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Drayn
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pNPCs

Postby Drayn » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:41 am

Hello hello! Back from break and bristling with ideas as normal.

Here is one I'd like the wizards to think about but the rest of the player base would likely be interested too.

THE PROBLEM: Story arcs that hinge on NPCs are flat, because of the limitations of AI, making them a touch less engaging.

THE VISION: A dark shadowy figure arrives at Elvandar market, snarling at those who pass him by. A guard challenges him, only to be thrown back by a bolt of unseen force. This new comer means trouble. This newcomer is being played by a real person, so conversing with them is possible, their behaviour isn't predictable, the story becomes interesting.

THE SOLUTION: With the best will in the world, code cannot hope to support that sort of narrative, if it could, our wiz staff would be even more godly than they already are. For a really interesting character, there needs to be a human pulling the strings.

BUT: Wizards already work their but off keeping the mud alive and stopping the bugs running amok and somehow still find time to bring us cool new stuff.

SO: Get players to do it.



Here's the rub. I've been a player for quite some time now and I love my toon to bits, I love his role in the world and all the interactions he goes through, but every now and then, for the sake of shaking up the world, it'd be great to be evil. But if I wanted to do that, I'd either have to have Drayn go bad, or create another character. The trouble in the first instance is that Drayn going sour would undo the years of RP I'd put in being good and I might not be able to shift back. The problem in the second instance is that it'd take AGES for the character to become a credible threat, worthy of the rest of the players doing anything about.

My proposal is this, the wizards design pNPC accounts with specific stats, skill sets, motives and objectives. The password is then given to a player who can be trusted to play them responsibly and they do so, on the understanding that they operate within guidelines or have the privilege revoked. The pNPC account would be more or less exactly the same as a regular account, only the character already has a significant level of skill and equipment and has a list of RP guidelines to follow. That way, the wizards can introduce more roleplay elements into the world, without having to add a great deal to their already extensive workload.

It doesn't need to be just bad guys either, could be anyone doing anything that might make a good story. An alchemist shows up selling weird potions, a visiting noble, travelling jester, anything at all!

Any thoughts?

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Delia
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Re: pNPCs

Postby Delia » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:54 am

I think this would be absolutely fabulous <3

It could make for some massive fun for the player involved, to take a break so to speak, just to enjoy a "one-shot", "short story", or sometimes recurring character. I think others might enjoy something new happening, a merchant peddling strange wares or shady character snooping around the court, anything!

Of course responsibility is key here :)
"To be is to do" - Sokrates
"To do is to be" - Jean-Paul Sartre
"Do be do be do" - Frank Sinatra

Akulli
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Re: pNPCs

Postby Akulli » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:59 pm

If it's anything like my roleplay with Sahla, then let me tell you. It can be tons of fun!
For he comes, the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand

Skragna
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Re: pNPCs

Postby Skragna » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:21 am

I would sell my one working kidney to be able to do this thing.

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luminier
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Re: pNPCs

Postby luminier » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:55 pm

Heres my take

Allow players to make characters where they can tailor a set of skills (limited number of skills, maxed at 80-90?) themselves without grinding for months to get them there. The catch is those skills will never improve past where they have set them upon creation and the character exists to create a story.


also "player non-player character" seems to be a bit of a misnomer here.

The ability to do other wacky things to help make the story would probably still have to be coded and run by the wizards to have that make sense, but yea.
The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.

ferranifer
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Re: pNPCs

Postby ferranifer » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:35 am

I think this kind of feature is pretty dangerous in the hands of the players.

Given the size of our playerbase, a single new powerful character can have a massive impact on the game. We already have constant debates about the implications that player interaction can have on roleplay, backstory, setting and the enjoyment of other players. Just imagine what it would be when someone is instantly given enough character power to become a sudden endgame player - with no implications to his current character.

That's without even getting into what kind of players should be even allowed to obtain instant power. Not everyone is fit to or able to create compelling storylines for the rest of the game. Not everyone understands what is good for the health of the game either.

It sounds like it's a feature that would require constant attention from the wizards. Might as well let the wizards do it as they have been doing it in the past instead of having to spend more effort and time on it than they currently have to.

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Re: pNPCs

Postby Drayn » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:26 am

luminier wrote:"player non-player character" seems to be a bit of a misnomer here.


Well, yeah, but you get the rough idea.

The ability to do other wacky things to help make the story would probably still have to be coded and run by the wizards to have that make sense, but yea.


Characters have the ability to make interesting plot without having to have unusual abilities or coded support. Think about people like Phelan or Delmon. Just showing up causes a stir, has messages bandying back and forth across the orbs.

I think this kind of feature is pretty dangerous in the hands of the players.


In the hands of some players, certainly. However, I know that there are some terrifically responsible players who are excellent roleplayers who would use this responsibly. Besides, if they don't, they can just have the privilege taken away.

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Given the size of our playerbase, a single new powerful character can have a massive impact on the game. We already have constant debates about the implications that player interaction can have on roleplay, backstory, setting and the enjoyment of other players. Just imagine what it would be when someone is instantly given enough character power to become a sudden endgame player - with no implications to his current character.


Well sure, but that's kinda the point. Story SHOULD shake up the world. There are already incredibly powerful characters in the world. When they return there's a buzz to the world again:

"Luminier is awake! He'll sort out the crusade!"
"Phelan is back! Man battle stations!"

But what about the times when those characters are on extended leave? Or when the bone priests have worked themselves to the...well...to the bone. Or how about something like a visting noble for the evil characters to kidnap and torture. I'm sure they're bored of Drayn's screams by now :D

That's without even getting into what kind of players should be even allowed to obtain instant power. Not everyone is fit to or able to create compelling storylines for the rest of the game. Not everyone understands what is good for the health of the game either.


Agreed. I'm not saying these pNPCs should just be left in a bucket for anyone who takes a fancy.

It sounds like it's a feature that would require constant attention from the wizards. Might as well let the wizards do it as they have been doing it in the past instead of having to spend more effort and time on it than they currently have to.


Or how about a player who is more or less wizard material but they either don't want to or can't code or write theme? We can assume they can at least roleplay, or they wouldn't be playing Geas.

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Re: pNPCs

Postby Drayn » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:14 pm

This thought is in a similar vein to this idea, so I'll just put it in on the end, but how about playable evil races? Like Orcs and Goblins?

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Re: pNPCs

Postby lanyara » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:15 pm

Good idea (in principle).

You need to however keep in mind that other players may complain about special PCs like that.

I remember the days when Eal-Deliah was not yet added. There was eventually the background story with Vlad, and Vlad had a few cameo appearances. The tshaharks "back in the days" had a new favourite sport and chased Vlad around for a long while. :D (I also wanted to get a piece but the tshaharks did not let me :( )

I think Vlad never PKed any other character and was soon retired anyway after the background story was finished. But I remember what happened back then too - at least two players heavily complained about Vlad, stating that it was unfair.

So you see, there may always be complains ... these would have to be thought of beforehand. And I think all players who want to interact as or with special purpose PCs need to consider that beforehand as well.

PS: My personal opinion of course was that it was fun, and Vlad hunted my tshahark down back then and stunned him. It was a lot of fun, my tshahark never understood why he was attacked. :D But it shows you that you can never please everyone, some players just hate that kind of roleplay / interaction. (I wonder what they said when there was the dragon lifequest :P)
Best race: halflings.

ferranifer
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Re: pNPCs

Postby ferranifer » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:41 pm

Just adding a bit of food for thought here. What is stopping the real characters to actually get involved and create this kind of roleplay on their own? Just go out there and do it. Invest something, put your own skin at stake. Change the World if you have to, but do it with your own character, your own influence, your own power and at your own risk. And if you don't have enough of those, then build it. It will feel a lot more rewarding than using a premade character and actually force you to think very carefully about what you are doing and pay the consequences of your actions.

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luminier
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Re: pNPCs

Postby luminier » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:14 pm

ferranifer wrote:Just adding a bit of food for thought here. What is stopping the real characters to actually get involved and create this kind of roleplay on their own? Just go out there and do it. Invest something, put your own skin at stake. Change the World if you have to, but do it with your own character, your own influence, your own power and at your own risk. And if you don't have enough of those, then build it. It will feel a lot more rewarding than using a premade character and actually force you to think very carefully about what you are doing and pay the consequences of your actions.



this was discussed in another topic already, but ill give you the jist of that convo in a sentence or two.

Basically people don't want to invest a lot of time in a character to make a story or something happen and then have it blow up in their face and have everyone hate them. It is especially annoying to that player when everyone is against them OOC and IC and usually drives them off the MUD. this idea was proposed so there would be a smaller barrier to "game changing" or "game politics" RP.
The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.

ferranifer
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Re: pNPCs

Postby ferranifer » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:46 am

There are ways to "stir the pot" without antagonizing people. It can also do wonders to your enjoyment of the game when things are a bit uncertain and somewhat dangerous. Those things won't be there without risk. The consequences to your character might be something you didn't expect, but that's part of what makes playing a roleplaying game enjoyable, isn't it?

There has been several threads already about endgame, roleplaying and consequences. I think that the game could greatly benefit from more high level players making things happen and putting their safe environments at stake. I find the game stagnant and boring when everything is just peachy and things simply go according to plan.

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Re: pNPCs

Postby Zehren » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:00 pm

ferranifer wrote:There are ways to "stir the pot" without antagonizing people. It can also do wonders to your enjoyment of the game when things are a bit uncertain and somewhat dangerous. Those things won't be there without risk. The consequences to your character might be something you didn't expect, but that's part of what makes playing a roleplaying game enjoyable, isn't it?

There has been several threads already about endgame, roleplaying and consequences. I think that the game could greatly benefit from more high level players making things happen and putting their safe environments at stake. I find the game stagnant and boring when everything is just peachy and things simply go according to plan.


This is also my truth.

ferranifer wrote:build it. It will feel a lot more rewarding than using a premade character


This is not my truth.
Drayn wrote:Zehren, the Karmassassin!

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luminier
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Re: pNPCs

Postby luminier » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:28 pm

ferranifer wrote:There are ways to "stir the pot" without antagonizing people.



Even if it isn't your characters intent to antagonize, you can be sure that someone with RP some issue with what you are saying simply because it stirs the pot.

It seems as if people like things to change in game as long as it doesn't affect them in their daily life.

You can browse Glorfindels topic here where we go off topic and talk about stirring the pot...
The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.

Skragna
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Re: pNPCs

Postby Skragna » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:43 am

Skragna tried to stir the pot without breaking the world. He was hated OOCly for this and partially IC. It drove me away. I really don't want to play Geas anymore, because of the massive negative reaction from what I wanted to do, and spent hours of in-game time learning.

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Delia
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Re: pNPCs

Postby Delia » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:28 am

If I ever contributed towards your negative emotions(or anybody elses, for that matter), I sincerily apologize. The Forostar in my head is rife with racism and I try to subtly(not always very so)include that to both my OOC and IC input. While Delia is not the most racist bastard out there, she has her share of preconceptions. As well as I, who believes tshaharks have an invisible "extra added difficulty"-tag attached to them given their unique place in the gameworld.
"To be is to do" - Sokrates

"To do is to be" - Jean-Paul Sartre

"Do be do be do" - Frank Sinatra

ghalt
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Re: pNPCs

Postby ghalt » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:05 pm

Skragna wrote:Skragna tried to stir the pot without breaking the world. He was hated OOCly for this and partially IC. It drove me away. I really don't want to play Geas anymore, because of the massive negative reaction from what I wanted to do, and spent hours of in-game time learning.


Dude, you counted on me to do something I never really came through on. It had nothing to do with you and a lot to do with my laziness, and I hope I did not hurt your enjoyment of the game.

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Re: pNPCs

Postby Skragna » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:10 am

Naw, man. Ghalt isn't at fault. In fact, he was one of about three or four people willing to help the big ol' hark.

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luminier
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Re: pNPCs

Postby luminier » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:24 am

So what if the pNPC's had a skill level for skills or whatever that you could set like we talked about earlier in the thread but when they die they die for good. No resurrection?
The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.


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