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Player Towns (Communities) in SotA - how can they work?

Discussion in 'Shroud of the Avatar Discussion Hall' started by Winfield, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Winfield

    Winfield Adventurer
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    I'm very interested in how realistic player towns might exist and persist in SotA.

    Realism for a player town to me is where the town can be enjoyed by citizens of many guilds and the weary travelers, even the enemies. The town has a Role-played government that the players establish and control. It's debatable how many game are mechanics needed to "create a town" or "establish a government". Personally, I don't think too many game mechanics are needed. What we need are basic tools to establish city sites, build buildings, and open up shops, libraries, theaters, forges, and defenses. Then, when people come through the player town, they feel they are in a town run by players.

    I'm interested in learning more about the offline and online content, and designs for player interaction in SotA. I think Player Towns can add a lot of fiction, history, intrigue, and community to SotA.

    Sincerely,
    Winfield, Old Man and Governor of PaxLair (UO)
     
    Taylor likes this.
  2. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    From the initial interview, it sounds like they are going to restrict player housing to the various sized pre-existing villages/towns/cities because they don't want the land cluttered with houses the way UO became. Beyond that, I guess we'll see.
     
  3. Zosimus

    Zosimus Grand Inquisitor
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    Which is the way it should be. If [player housing was all scattered in the game then there is not much interaction going on. I think it's a wonderful idea and breath of fresh air in the MMO world to make cities viable again and being used.
     
  4. Lord Lew

    Lord Lew Lore Keeper
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    The interview alluded to basic player npc vendors to supply single player needs with player housing for other various shops. So you can play a single player game, and when you enter a village, town, or city, acquire wares either obtained or crafted by other players. I don't think however that you will run into said players, unless they are on a friends list, or are on a collision course with them in the instanced pvp system. I guess all speculation is valid at this point.
     
  5. Nexus

    Nexus Site Support
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    We discussed this a bit, it may be possible for communities of players to petition to have a town added for their group. But yes housing will be restricted to inside villages, towns, cities, but being able to work at having your own village, town, or city added makes this an attractive trade off.....hmm Straticsville......
     
  6. Winfield

    Winfield Adventurer
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    I'm beginning to understand better, at least for what is anticipated or speculated at this point. I'm likely speculating myself on some of the points below.

    - People with city housing can set up public vendors, that anyone can use, but the player characters won't interact with non-friend players. This will allow commerce to grow, but it's not face to face with random people. Just through NPC Vendors.

    - A large pre-existing player community might petition for a town/city of their own, fill it with their own housing, and then those in that player community has everyone as friends and can work together in that city. Then also, public NPC vendors would still be accessible to the masses of people.

    -- so how could/would a public theater play work in a town/city? A building open for everyone to attend at the same time, if they pay an entrance fee?

    -- What if we had a public PUB in a city, where anyone could come and see us together, not just friends, as long as they pay a fee or get permission to enter somehow? This would be sort of an MMORPG pub, not restricted just to friends. A hang out place for people to meet each other, and maybe garner more friends.

    To me, we can't go the full MMORPG open housing like UO has, but maybe there is an open layer, like a public lounge with limited number of people or time limit where people across friends groups could at least meet and talk or read community bulletins or something. Just brainstorming here.

    Winfield
     
  7. Dag Nabbit

    Dag Nabbit Seasoned Veteran

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    I have two concerns at this time. One is that I work late so my play time is also restricted to late night/very early morning. Will I only find closed shops and sleeping npc merchants? That is if npc's follow a schedule. Second is that I do not use facebook nor twitter and never will. Will I be relegated to playing the online version solo,with no chance to friend up people that also play?
     
  8. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    Nope, I believe there will be a friends list as part of the game and you'll have other people show up that are on similar quest lines, or if you choose to take one or the other side in a PvP-based quest/event.
     
  9. Francis_Marsten

    Francis_Marsten Visitor

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    I've been following the details of SotA closely trying to understand more how the online aspect works. I am especially interested in the aspect of players towns and communities. Having played UO back before 2000 and experienced players towns like Paxlair I am hoping SotA can potentially offer a new place for player towns.

    Here is what I know so far

    Lord British said yes to players towns, if there is a large enough group / community wishing to create a player town. They would more than happy to add that town into game. He called listed Paxlair as part of his examples. He did not go into any more detail, so no clue if its just another town or there is some potential for player government.

    As for the online aspect, the system will match players together who are friends or likely to get along. There is no word on the number of player they plan to support in an instance but it sounds like somewhere from 10 to 100 (I am reading into the tens of players that was used to describe that part)

    Lord British clearly is looking at the virtual world aspect, such as crafting, running a shop and so on. That means there is a lot of potential.

    So far I recommended that they support a community / membership features that allows players to sign up to a group to assure they get match with players from that group. For example an Paxlair group.

    In any case I am advocating this cause and if the game sounds promising I will probably donate enough on get access to the developer forums where I can push these sorts of things.
     
  10. Winfield

    Winfield Adventurer
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    Here's one of my rather old articles about building a player community (which a player town serves). I wrote this 8 years after PaxLair was established.

    PENNED FROM THE DESK OF MAYOR WINFIELD - June 12, 2006

    Hail my friends,

    Establishing a community can be a very satisfying endeavor. Or it can be very frustrating. Communities can be guilds, establishments, towns, cities, groups of guilds, and more.
    What I've found over the years are some key ingredients to success. Each of these should be developed together since the effects of one ingredient affect the others. Increase a little of one ingredient, then increase more of another. Then return to a previous ingredient and add a little more and so on.

    It is a bit like mixing a potion. For a small potion, you still need all the ingredients. For a large potion, you just need more of the same ingredients.

    The primary ingredients to get things started are:
    • Location - a place to call home, for people to gather, some buildings in the same area.
    • Events - offer consistent and quality events. Include regular meetings to meet and greet people.
    • News, News, and more News - use all available news services to your advantage. Announce events, report results, explain details about your community.
    The secondary ingredients are essential for a long-term established community:
    • People - dedicated and committed people. Quality is better than quantity. People get interested because you have worked on the primary ingredients above.
    • Organization - a government or leadership structure. It can be large or small, but someone needs to be in charge and avoid single-point failures for decisions and projects. Have redundancy with deputies in your structure. Delegate projects to people and give them opportunities to also be creative.
    • Skypage and Skyboard (web page, messageboard) - a place in the ether to make your community permanent, offer history and news, and the means for people to communicate. Keep the skypage fresh with news and a list of people involved. Explain your community well for people to learn and becoming interested.
     
  11. Sargon

    Sargon Seasoned Veteran
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    But what is the point? I can't figure out why player vendors would be needed or wanted in a game that is being described as basically just a co-op RPG. What motivation does someone have to run a vendor if they have already completed the storyline? I don't understand the persistent housing feature at all. I'm beginning to wonder if housing may be nothing more than a strategy to encourage backers into spending more money.
     
    #11 Sargon, Mar 13, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  12. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    I think it's due to the dual-nature of the game. Why have "pure crafters", which seems to be a probable goal of LB and team based on his statements about not liking the WoW-formula where you play a fighter who MIGHT do some form of crafting on the side, but is forced to fight to advance, in an offline game?

    From what I am gathering, the evolving storyline will be both on and offline, so you can play the game in a story-content way the way you did the Ultima series. Then to add more depth and longevity, the online portion comes in that allows people to interact (in a bit different way than MMO style). With the online portion, there is nothing that forces you to complete the storyline or sidequests or whatever if you don't want to. Basically LB is using the feedback he's received on the stuff that people have done just to mess around in the Ultima series and UO to help build that expanded online portion of the game which includes housing, vendors, crafting, and socializing.

    Basically it's taking the baking bread sub-game from Ultima 7 and giving it more of a purpose than filling the baker's shop with bread rolls just for the hell of it (which I guess you still could if you wanted to in SotA).

    Also it will give friends a hub of sorts to meet up to go questing together if they want to on top of finding each other out in the wilderness.
     
  13. Sargon

    Sargon Seasoned Veteran
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    That may be the case, but what would be the point of playing the game if not to complete the storyline? All the information I have seen points to the storyline being the primary focus, so why would someone want to sit in one town and run a vendor out of their house to sell items to invisible players they will likely never see? None of it makes any sense to me. I guess you can play shopkeeper if you really want to and watch your inventory go up and down, but how would that ever justify someone spending $500 (or more) for a house plot?
     
  14. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    Some people enjoy that though. Just like how much it surprised LB when he found out that people played UO to do nothing but fish (before the skill was fleshed out with SOSs and whatnot, I mean when it was toss the line, 50/50 shot to catch a fish), there will be people who play SotA to play as a crafter and avoid the combat aspects of the game.