Dev Hangout Recap: Multiplayer in Shroud of the Avatar

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dame Lori, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Dame Lori

    Dame Lori Avatar

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    Recap of today’s Multiplayer Dev Hangout.

    *** My recaps are my interpretation not only of what the devs said (and I can be wrong), but also what I thought was important enough to paraphrase (which may not match what you think is important), so I encourage everyone to watch the hangout to hear the exact words and tone used by the devs when answering the questions that interest you before debating specific points... The recap is in order so it shouldn't be too hard to scroll through the video to find what you want. :) ***

    Video Link: Hangout of the Avatar ~ 1.30.14 ~ SotA Multiplayer

    New Stretch Goal:

    If they hit $3.25M, Richard and Starr with fence in puffy shirts. [IMG]
    Bonuses:
    1) If they get to $3.25 by R3 (Feb. 20) – there will be a cheesy training montage video with Rustic (Joseph) showing Starr how to fence.
    2) If they make it to $3.3M by R3, the loser of the fencing match will jump in the cold lake next to Richard’s property.

    Q&A- Matchmaking

    1) Will I be able to filter out one individual?

    You can block someone’s text, but not block them from view.

    2) How does friending work?
    Similar to Google+.. You can add someone to your friends list. They will get a notice that you did so. Then they can add you if they wish.
    This style may result in people you don’t like tracking you, so they need to experiment with this.

    3) Can we change the criteria for sorting the matchmaking?
    They will be building algorithms over time as they get players feedback and test results. It is not planned to allow players to adjust parameters.

    4) Can I whitelist/blacklist players, guilds, factions, etc. from purchasing from my vendor?
    They like the idea of allowing you to only sell to certain groups. They may add this after E1.

    5) Can I set a strangers-only mode?
    They like this idea, and Chris gives a “why would you want to do that?” example of acting out your cross dress fantasies over by the docks… LOL

    6) How can we locate other players in multiplayer mode?
    They plan to allow seeing locations of people on your social list. If they are in a non-adventuring area like a town, they would consider allowing you the option to go into their instance.

    7) What factors go into matching in OPO?
    They are working through this. Factors can be: How long has the instance been open or what is the party’s distance into the dungeon? (they wont let more people in at some point.) Other factors include friends, guildmates, kindred, have you traded before, have you completed a quest together, etc.

    8) What is the planned handing of Friends Mode when you don’t share friends?
    You will see friends of friends if your shared friend is there. Statistically it should be uncommon for a long string of “friends of friends” to show up.

    Q&A- Parties, Guilds, More

    1) How will joining your friends in a scenario in progress work?
    You will join at entrance – you can’t appear where they are. In some cases the map will have respawned and you will have to fight your way through to your party. There might be a summon player spell.

    2) How will your party chat with NPCs? Will we overhear other player NPC conversations?
    They are still discussing and they will be taking feedback from players. There is a problem with players overhearing spoilers, so they may whisper back spoiler/quest stuff.

    3) How will multiplayer mode prevent/permit other players from joining your private scenarios?
    Some plot relevant scenes will be private, and some adventuring spaces will be public. This is scene dependent.

    4) How will loot be split in multiplayer?
    “As fairly as they can make it happen.”
    They are considering all ways of this from free-for-all, to tagging, to most damage… probably not entitlement (everyone gets loot.) It’s easy for them to change tech-wise, so they will test it out.

    5) Multiplayer aspects of house ownership?
    Multiple levels of house permissions:
    - Closed – only you can get on property
    - Kindred – can do what you can do on the property except sell/switch house structure. They can decorate, place vendor, craft.
    - Guildmates – set permission so guildmates can come to property but they can’t necessarily change things.
    - Friends – friends can come to property, use crafting but can’t decorate.
    - Open, public – players can come to property and use crafting station but can not modify your home/possessions.
    - Guild property – property of guild, the guild become like kindred – not the same as specific guild structures, which will be discussed after R4.

    6) When will we get to hear more about guild housing?
    After R4.

    7) Will guildmates have priority sorting in multiplayer?
    Yes and they may sort ahead of friends.

    8) What about the population limit in a hex when it comes to guild wars?
    They recommend doing large scale guild battles in multiple areas. They will know more about the number limits around R3/R4.
    [insert comment from Lord British about the UO drunken naked vomiting mobs of UO]

    9) How many players can use crafting table at once?
    Concerns are visual (standing on top of each other, etc) but they don’t plan on having limits on public stations because of griefing potential.

    10) Will characters have trading ability?
    There will be secure person to person trading.

    11) How will offensive players be dealt with in game?
    You can ignore another player (remove their speech). There will be a support staff handling reports. They are discussing a karma system.

    12) The results of moving from peer to peer to Portalarium hosted servers?
    Too many problems with peer to peer. Port hosted = more security, privacy, tracking suspicious activity. It does introduce a little more lag and they are working on this.

    13) In game voice chat? Will there filters, tabs for text chat?
    Standard chat channels, filters, such as chat from friends, guild, local, crafting results, catch-all.
    For E1 they are not planning integrated voice chat.

    14) How will harvesting resources be handled in multiplayer? Is it personal, competitive, go in your own instance? Will there be more resources in OPO?
    Instance is randomly seeded with resources. Once you are harvesting a node, you won’t be competing for that node. You may be competing with other people on the same map to get to each node.
    If there are more players, more nodes may show up on map, or may have more resources. If theres a PVP flag there may be some competition. There will likely be an increase in the chance of rare resources in challenging areas (be it challenging PVE or PVP)

    15) Will there be more mob spawns in OPO to account for extra people?
    Depends on the zone. Some spaces will have a pre-defined number/difficulty. Others may change dynamically.

    16) Can we drop items on the ground? Can people use them? What permissions to use/pick up?
    Richard thinks there are roleplay reasons to work through the problems associated with allowing item placement in public areas.
    Starr’s thoughts- Currently, if it’s your house property, you can place items anywhere on the property. In public spaces, there are issues like bypassing secure trade (scamming). Creating black holes by putting too many objects in one spot. People trapping you with furniture.
    They can solve these issues, but it takes work and time.
    Chris’ thoughts – allows for emergent behavior so they will likely compromise. They want to retain emergent behavior but limit griefing.

    17) How can complex story be built into a multiplayer game?
    Richard acknowledges the difficulty of this, and is striving for a mix of your own individual accomplishments, and other times when it is not necessary to feel like you are the one sole hero.

    Q&A- Submitted during the $3M Celebration


    1) Any more scene jams planned?
    They want to, but they have been busy with releases. After R4.
    LB is expecting to take contributions for music and art. Will provide guidance soon.

    2) How will death be handled, loot on death, blessed items?
    Anything that is part of your pledge rewards or any add-on store item would be immune to loot in a pvp situation.
    The rules about looting are still being worked out. They have an idea about taking some items from body, but victim can pay ransom to get items back.

    3) How will guild properties be obtained?
    - declaring your own house open to the guild
    - an actual guild hall that have requirements to obtain (details post R4)

    4) Will guild houses be of unique types?
    Yes there will be guild exclusive buildings.

    5) Does game client make use of hyperthreading?
    Yes

    6) Will any responsibilites be required of players with titles? eg. if you are a knight, are you required to defend the town?
    They like these ideas, not for E1.

    7) Rogue skills?
    Nothing to share yet, working on it.

    8) Death penalty?
    No details yet. Goal: death has consequence- be it a corpse run, cost, experience hit… without being overly brutal.

    9) How do you balance the economy when some players take risks in OPO PVP and others don’t?
    One way is to put the rare resources in the challenging areas, but they emphasized that the reward of PVP is the PVP play and challenge itself.

    10) Where is the line drawn between RPing evil or being bannable?
    Judgment call by support staff. Are you within the TOS? No harassment, no racial slurs, etc.

    11) Can you combine spells and combat skills?
    There is nothing that limits them technically from making these combos. So, yes.

    12) Can you elaborate on how I can help with assets?
    Busy through R4, they will get to this after R4.
    There is a spreadsheet with Unity assets they are looking for in the Dev Depot.

    13) Can you strategically hide behind objects to avoid ranged attacks?
    Yes, they can do that (it’s not in the schedule though)
    Instant direct spells will not be avoidable once cast. You may be able to avoid some damage from fireballs and such by movement.
  2. High Baron O`Sullivan

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    Thanks for the informative recap Lori, well done as always!
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  3. Dame Lori

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    It was a great hangout. Lots of questions taken and answered... I think having the questions ahead of time really helped.
  4. High Baron O`Sullivan

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    Without a doubt.
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  5. monxter

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    Thanks for the recap!
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  6. Koldar

    Koldar Moderator

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    Dev Recap - awesome! Thanks Dame Lori!
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  7. Lord Ao Soliwilos

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    Very nice. Looking forward to hearing more about those guild halls! :)
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  8. Kilhwch

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    RE: Trapping with furniture: make everything destructive, so you can smash your way out if needs be. Just be careful swinging your hammer inside your house!
  9. mitchellhamilton

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    WOWZERS! This is a wealth of information! Well done Dame Lori, as usual you have outdone yourself.
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  10. smack

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    Awesome! Guess I don't have to do a transcription tonight! Thanks Dame Lori!
  11. Sir Frank

    Sir Frank Avatar

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    I'm having a hard time believing Richard was wrong about peer-to-peer, but listening to Chris here...My head may explode.
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  12. Umbrae

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    Awesome answers; although I am still watching. Loved Chris' response to P2P stuff. Also loved the Bloodmoss comment. :)

    Really love these Devs and can't wait to watch this game grow.
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  13. TEK

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    This was one of those hangouts that further solidifies my faith in how the game will turn out. Richard's advocacy for the ability to put items on the ground including even collision detection and Chris and Starr's analysis of emergent behaviors and possible exploits while still understanding the boundless creativity and fun from the ability was a great exchange. It makes me think those "heated debates and discussions" are paying off. Thanks a lot!
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  14. Godra71

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    I like to hear more about the ransom idea Chris stated. My thinking is will the PKer set the ransom or will it be an auto amount based on type of loot taken? Will it be the PKer must decide upon receiving the item that they can either keep the item or set for ransom? I like this option. :p
  15. vjek

    vjek Avatar

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    I'm very glad to see some direct answers to some long outstanding questions, thank you very much for that, Portalarium.

    I'm surprised to hear harvesting & looting will be shared and competitive. Tagging and most damage? Ay yi yi. I understand the entitlement argument, but that's not the only aspect to the discussion regarding personal harvesting and personal loot.
    Personal harvesting and personal loot solves all the social problems associated with the shared & competitive mechanics. That's why most modern persistent multiplayer online games use them. There's no rolling, no greeding, no needing when you don't need it (impossible to do right without classes), no problems of someone else having a full inventory, no waiting on every person every time to just click the damned button.

    I mean, those problems existed, and were solved. Why go backwards in this one particular area? With this design, we'll be stuck with people needing on everything, no matter what they 'need' just to ensure they get the most loot. I'm not in a hurry to be stuck with that issue again, indefinitely.
    If you go ahead with tagging or most damage, both of those drive players to anti-social behavior and playing the game in one way only, to ensure they do the most dps, always start the fight, no matter what, and similar issues.

    In any case, if we're going to descend into the need/greed/roll rathole, for the love of pete, have "auto" options for everything, including auto-need, auto-greed, auto-pass, and auto-pass-if-inventory-is-full. And also have auto-pickup, so if we're going to endure this nightmare again, it will at least require no mouse clicks if we don't want them.

    The comment that PvP does not add to the economy is surprising, given players are typically the best source of loot in any game that has full loot as a mechanic. The indication from this is that full loot is off the table, I guess, even without exploring compensating consumption mechanisms?
    That a player would want to keep an item from a pvp death is also disconcerting. I thought this wasn't a gear-centric game?
    If the intent of the ransom-an-item mechanic is to punish the victim, it accomplishes that goal, but how does that encourage them to participate again? I don't see how it would.
    If the design goal is to have a consequence for dying in pvp, why punish the victim when less punitive and less victimizing methods exist to provide a meaningful, tangible, strategic death? There's some conflicting messages here.

    It's good to see them thinking through the exploit/bypass potential of dropping items on the ground. It's the easiest way to completely bypass intended consequences in justice, faction, karma, and reputation systems.
    If that's the problem to solve, it may be easiest simply to make dropped items invisible to people that you don't want to see them.
    In other words, if you don't want murderers to see dropped items, make them invisible to murderers. If that's unpalatable, make dropped items visible only to people within a certain reputation range.
    That means something like if the average player starts at 50 rep, and reputation declines to zero where the player is a kill-on-sight-everywhere murderer, then only the players with 45+ can see the dropped items.

    Glad to see you can Close your property entirely. Might be nice if there was a mode whereby your vendor could be used, but there would be no other access to your property. I understand if that's not possible, but it would be nice to have the flexibility. Something like your vendor being placed at your gate or near the fence could still be interacted with, but people would stay off your lawn, kind of thing.

    Again, thanks for the Q&A.
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  16. Dermott

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    I could see a compromise with the dropping items in that they would only be able to be dropped in towns and other non-combat areas (assuming the town is not currently being invaded). It would also limit the potential of players abusing dropped items, not in terms of griefing other players, but using furniture to access portions of the world that would otherwise been inaccessible (Jumping is fun, but could the use of furniture then lead to further problems with it is my concern).

    PvP and "ransom": I kind of like this idea even as a non-PvPer. It won't make the hardcore "Full Loot" PvPer happy, but I find it a good compromise that doesn't completely turn me away from the PvP concept. Personally, I want to see PvP have contextual meaning beyond "gank someone and take their stuff" which is why I also like the quest and siege ideas put forward. I'm not entirely sure I'm in agreement on the PvP-contested resource nodes. It's been done, and I think SotA can create better meaning than that.

    Chris's Bloodmoss idea is interesting, but potentially exploitable if you have a willing sacrifice "mule" character to spawn the stuff.

    It's interesting and fun to see the evolution of thoughts and ideas that have happened from, say, the Kickstarter telethon to now. I have to admit as fun as the telethon was, some of the ideas seemed a bit "pie in the sky" where now things are much more focused and coming to more realistic ideas.
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  17. Godra71

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    I don't think this idea of a ransom system is to punish the victim. Having this gives the loser a system to get an item back rather than lose it forever. Just getting killed and losing any loot to another player could be considered a punishment regardless of a ransom system. PVP is high risk and high reward. I don't think ransom will hinder someone from participating again in PVP. Some people PVP and others do not. So you are either going to participate or you are not just based on PVP alone.
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  18. Akeashar

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    I'm more concerned about the bloodmoss idea when you're playing solo offline. Going into the swamps to farm the bloodmoss, identified by your many corpses, from your ritualistic self sacrifice to keep the bloodmoss fed... *shudders*

    I'm surprised tagging was raised as an option for loot, since its just an instance of twitch style gameplay that they had said they wanted to avoid in relation to other aspects of the game. Person with the best latency / connection / sitting in the server room being able to hit and claim the mobs before anyone else. I have nightmarish memories of FFXI and the whole tagging world bosses thing. Most damage is also an issue for similar griefing reasons, where someone overly geared and equipped can go around and kill mobs the little baby Avatars are working on for whatever reason, and then they go mwa ha ha off with the loot.

    I guess entitlement is my preference, in that you contribute to the fight, whether its by damaging, healing or being a sponge for monster owies, you get something for the effort you put in. Too many games the healers at least miss out because their contribution isn't considered in the metrics, but on the same hand you don't want someone spamming excessive heals in order to get more 'points' towards the loot.

    I definitely agree that the Ransom system appears to be an acceptable middle ground. I believe the model, with a ransom set by the system rather than players, is a good compromise for people wanting to get something for their 'Challenge' and the victims not losing out completely. (Especially if they're PvE players and thus contributing to the economy by the creation of the gold)

    Good to hear the rare resources are going to be in both challenging PvE and PvP content. There was some concern about PvP having the monopoly on that, when the challenges people seek can be of different types with none 'better' so much as another. Just preferred by individuals.

    All in all, it settled more concerns then it raised, although I'm sad Panda that the only way to really avoid someone in the game would be to go into Solo mode.
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  19. TemplarAssassin

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    Wow killing a person for 3.3M. That is...most unexpected...and cruel. I like it. It's amazing how you can find pure evil in the most unexpected places... *feels happy*
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  20. TemplarAssassin

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    Such things should be handled by players. Not the game.
    That's the different between emergent gameplay and candyland for...candybears where the game does everything so you don't accidently get hurt.
    I wonder why even RG can't make a good MMO nowadays.
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