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[Design suggestion] Personal journal / reputation tracker

KilionKilion Member
edited September 2023 in General Discussion
Hello there, Intrepid & community!

I have a suggestion for a system feature that is supposed to support players in keeping track of social encounters in the game. I'd love to see this being done as a personal journal.

Why do I want this feature?

Ashes of Creation is aiming at bringing back more social aspects to the MMORPG genre and make these social connections a powerful tool to ascending in the world, be it PvE, PvP, Node management or artisanship. To my knowledge this is due to the many fond memories of social interactions players had in older MMOs but also because it helped create a feeling of meaningful activity in the game. But server size limits were different then and with numbers of active players potentially being double that of the olden days, keeping track of how someone has been acting towards you can be a bit tricky. Therefore, I'd love to have a personl journal in which I could track my relationships with characters or guilds.

How does it work?

If you encounter a player you will have the option to note them and/or the guild they belong to down into your journal. This can be done e.g. by right-clicking their avatar and clicking "note down charater" or "note down organisation"

An entry about another character contains:
- a small image of the avatar as last seen (this will only update after actually encountering the character again)
- a short set of tags that explains what you know about them (like class, guild & node association and artisan professions)
- a bar ranging from "hated" over "neutral" to "venerated" and a slider that tracks where one sees this character ( 0 = hated; 50 = neutral; 100 = venerated)
- a note section where short comments can be made (e.g. "Attacked my caravan" or "made my sword")

An entry about a guild would contain:
- The guild crest as last seen (this will only update after actually encountering a guild member/building displaying the crest)
- a similar bar to track your opinion about them
- an option to set new members of that guild who I encounter to the same reputation level of the guild
- an option to limit a guild members maximum reputation to the reputation level of the guild he is part of
- a note section

The third feature is the search function, with which you can get a list of characters or guilds based on criteria you have tagged onto entries in the journal and sorted by reputation.

Ingame example

I message someone who is offering gems for a decent price one village over, we set up a meeting in the local tavern. As I see him, I note down his name and his guild, the "Darkwood Shivs" in my journal and set them to neutral. We negotiate the price I pay and get the gem I need to finish the necklace I've been working on. I go into my journal, find him and increase his reputation by 5 because there was no issue with the trade and the gem was reasonably cheap for him being the only one in the area to even offer it, we chat a bit more before going our separate ways. With my purpose here being fulfilled I get on my horse and make my way back north to my node. A few miles out from the village a group of highwaymen attack me, it is 4v1 I have no chance and I die. Returning to life I realize they even got my gem from the resource bag - blasted. But I also noticed that they were ALL part of a guild... the "Darkwood Shivs". They set me up, made me pay for a gem, took my gold and then retrieved the gem to offer it again. No wonder they had so many to offer. I go back to my journal and set the whole guild down to 20, set that value as the default for all guild members of the Shivs and add a comment saying "con artist" to the member I had made the deal with and reduce him to 20 as well.

Later that week me and my guild set up another trade with the Darkwood Shivs and counter their little group of highway men with our own forces. My guild members go with my suggestion and after encountering the Darkwood Shivs also are able to note them down in their journals with a low value and a comment that they con people out of resources they pretend to offer for trade.

4 months later, I am looking for a ranger for a dungeon dive. One of the people hitting me up to join turns out to be a member of the Darkwood Shiv. Thanks to the search feature I quickly find out that these were the guys who scammed me out of my money, choose someone else for my dungeoneering.

The ranger did not know about the con trades in his guild, but since the guild reputation seems to be affecting his opportunities to dungeon dive, he decides to leave the guild for another. Later on, because business has been drying up, the Darkwood Shivs decide to rebrand, basically rendering all entries of their guild useless, as it now is named differently, however that move has cost them guild levels and resources.

Discussion

One thing I am not really sure about yet is wheter bigger shifts in reputation should only be possible with a comment. e.g. If as in the example I want to reduce someones reputation from 55 to 20, the journal automatically creates a log entry in that players file that has a date on it and will require me to write a comment on WHY that drastic change occured. The threshold for this reputation shift could be something like 15 points in either direction.

Another thing that could be done is that updates don't occur automatically, but when I encounter a character who has already an entry in my journal it gives me the option to "update" things like his guild associations, level and avatar image.

It might make sense to have a "forget" option for the journal where entries that haven't been updated in 6-12 months will be deleted or their contents drastically reduced (like only the last set reputation remains)

Lastly, I've been thinking about whether it would make sense to be able to share entries with others, but I came to the conclusion that this would not be a good idea as the journal is supposed to be filled with notes of ones personal encounters. Also the feuds created from spreading old or faked reputation scoring... no, too much drama. People should make all the entries in their journal personally by encountering people personally. For bigger scenarios like a siege I could see a potential opportunity to bring the Gods back into the mix, where you can pray (and pay) in a temple to basically read out combat logs like the guilds you fought against in the last siege or 30 min.

Closing thoughts

I understand that in theory we could do exactly the same thing with a simple Excel sheet while playing and some people will say "just remember the people who wronged you" but the human brain has definitely did not evolve to really remember several thousand people with any degree of detail. On servers with 50k registered accounts and up to 10k active players it is not really possible to keep track of everything in your mind - hence my suggestion.

This would be a powerful tool for players to act out social scenarios that can have great impact on conflicts and the gaming experience in general. And it might be a nice tool to support RP players as well if they do wish to use it that way.


Thanks for reading!
The answer is probably >>> HERE <<<

Comments

  • tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Tools like this are very useful. In fact, when L2 first came out, I bought a couple of small notebooks and used them for just this very thing. One notebook was for players, one was for the game (recipes, quest notes, maps, etc.).

    I have already started the same system for AoC, making notes on active forum players who I would want to work with (and those I would like to avoid). One advantage of having the information in notebooks is that I do not need to be online and in-game to use them and I am not subject to a forced format design.

    In other words, you don't need something like this programmed in the game, players are quite capable of custom designing what they want hardcopy.
  • tautau wrote: »
    I have already started the same system for AoC, making notes on active forum players who I would want to work with (and those I would like to avoid).
    su5hmn9galbz.gif
  • SolvrynSolvryn Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Support.

    Asherons Call had books as in-game item you could do this with and keep on your person.

  • tautau wrote: »
    In other words, you don't need something like this programmed in the game, players are quite capable of custom designing what they want hardcopy.

    I'm not sure whether that is actually feasable given the server size limit compared to older games. To my knowledge it has expanded considerably since back then and while I agree that it is to some degree possible to keep track of these things outside of the game, the player migration in Ashes will probably be much higher.
    Long story short: I expect more players, more encounters with strangers to the point where a paper based tracking system will become seriously inconvenient.

    And yes, not everything has to be dialed for convenience, but with the same argument we could say "Steven could have just made a full TTRPG out of his original campaign." You get my point, since Intrepid decided to take this thing digital adding a small digital notebook isn't too far of the idea to digitalize this adventure. And it doesn't prevent you from sticking to your notebook system or anyone else from making an Excel sheet either.
    The answer is probably >>> HERE <<<
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    If we can earn Node reputation in-game, we should be able to track that somewhere.

    Sieges are supposed to be 500 v 500?
    I'm not sure how a game UI can track all the reputations we could possibly have with thousands of players in a Castle Siege/City Siege game, like Ashes.
  • Dygz wrote: »
    I'm not sure how a game UI can track all the reputations we could possibly have with thousands of players in a Castle Siege/City Siege game, like Ashes.

    Neither am I, that is why my suggestion did not aim to answer that question.
    The tool would be for smaller scale encounters where we deem outcomes noteworthy.

    The answer is probably >>> HERE <<<
  • I found an alternate solution that wouldn’t impact server performance, decrease development cost, and not add to the release timeline:

    ccqhfdh1wrpa.jpeg
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited September 2023
    Kilion wrote: »
    Neither am I, that is why my suggestion did not aim to answer that question.
    The tool would be for smaller scale encounters where we deem outcomes noteworthy.
    Again, I think the suggested tool becomes moot in a game that is really designed for large scale battles of 500 v 500: Node Wars, Guild Wars, Node Sieges and Castle Sieges.

    I expect Ashes to have some form of Journal.
    I expect Ashes to track reputations in some fashion - especially since we can earn Node Rep.
    I expect there to be a UI with some information about Guild War opponents.
    And I hope we will have access to some form of "Armory" Similar to WoW, where we can get stats and other info on characters active on each server:
    KTbGmwD.jpg

  • no armory pls
  • CROW3 wrote: »
    I found an alternate solution that wouldn’t impact server performance, decrease development cost, and not add to the release timeline:

    ccqhfdh1wrpa.jpeg

    That won't help unless you have a one of these: https://www.penshop.co.uk/pens
    This link may help you: https://ashesofcreation.wiki/
  • 🤣
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    I'm all for the idea of in game books for players - whether just as a UI element, or as items in the game world itself.

    That said;
    tautau wrote: »
    Tools like this are very useful. In fact, when L2 first came out, I bought a couple of small notebooks and used them for just this very thing. One notebook was for players, one was for the game (recipes, quest notes, maps, etc.).

    I have already started the same system for AoC, making notes on active forum players who I would want to work with (and those I would like to avoid). One advantage of having the information in notebooks is that I do not need to be online and in-game to use them and I am not subject to a forced format design.

    In other words, you don't need something like this programmed in the game, players are quite capable of custom designing what they want hardcopy.

    I'd personally rather an app to do this than using notebooks. Fortunately, an app existing doesn't mean someone couldn't use notebooks if they prefer.
  • ChaosFactorChaosFactor Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Dygz wrote: »
    Kilion wrote: »
    Neither am I, that is why my suggestion did not aim to answer that question.
    The tool would be for smaller scale encounters where we deem outcomes noteworthy.
    Again, I think the suggested tool becomes moot in a game that is really designed for large scale battles of 500 v 500: Node Wars, Guild Wars, Node Sieges and Castle Sieges.

    I expect Ashes to have some form of Journal.
    I expect Ashes to track reputations in some fashion - especially since we can earn Node Rep.
    I expect there to be a UI with some information about Guild War opponents.
    And I hope we will have access to some form of "Armory" Similar to WoW, where we can get stats and other info on characters active on each server:
    KTbGmwD.jpg

    Two things that I have big problems with.
    1. Are you attempting to boil down Ashes of Creation into being entirely/ultimately focused on PvP events associated with Node/Castle sieges? Because that is way out of pocket.
    2. I'm hoping that you don't want WoW Armory for the sake of inspecting OTHER players that you're playing with/competing with. There's a reason we don't want addons, there's a reason we want to limit the information that you can inspect from the game. Mix/Max elitism is incredibly toxic and unnecessary. Ashes is intended to be a social game, an MMORPG not just an RPG.

    If I'm somehow reading this out of context just let me know. Even though I agree that you really can just open up notepad on another screen, I do think it's reasonable to desire some kind of in-game note taking system to reduce confusion/multitasking required of the player. (This guy is a d$&%, this guy is an awesome resource gatherer, this is literally a scammer, etc.)
    ej8s4cu9gp1n.png
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited September 2023
    Two things that I have big problems with.
    1. Are you attempting to boil down Ashes of Creation into being entirely/ultimately focused on PvP events associated with Node/Castle sieges? Because that is way out of pocket.
    2. I'm hoping that you don't want WoW Armory for the sake of inspecting OTHER players that you're playing with/competing with. There's a reason we don't want addons, there's a reason we want to limit the information that you can inspect from the game. Mix/Max elitism is incredibly toxic and unnecessary. Ashes is intended to be a social game, an MMORPG not just an RPG.
    1: Why would you jump to "entirely" when I did not state anything like "entirely"?
    Steven's primary goal for Ashes is to support large scale battles of 500 v 500: Node Wars, Guild Wars, Node Sieges and Castle Sieges.
    "Entirely" is irrelevant. That focus of Ashes design is signifcant enough to make the suggested tool moot.

    2: How is the WoW Armory in any way connected to "conning"??
    If I meet someone in-game and want to know what guild they belong to, I will ask them in-game. If they don't have their guild-name displayed with their name tag.
    If I want to know the roster of a guild, I would probably look that up in something like the WoW Armory outside of the game world. Or with some other feature than my own personal notes.


    If I'm somehow reading this out of context just let me know. Even though I agree that you really can just open up notepad on another screen, I do think it's reasonable to desire some kind of in-game note taking system to reduce confusion/multitasking required of the player.
    I expect Ashes to have some form of UI notepad and/or personal Journal.
    I do not expect those to be robust enough to track info meaningfully for the multitudes of player characters we will frequently encounter.


    (This guy is a d$&%, this guy is an awesome resource gatherer, this is literally a scammer, etc.)
    Social animals, like Humans and Corvids tend to be excellent at remembering stuff like that without relying on written notes.
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