World of Darkness Blog
Created 1 years 88 days ago
Gamer, Singer, Trainer, Storyteller, and all-around swell cat.
Been playing WoD since the original VtM came out back in 1991, though I've been into RPG's since the D&D red-box in Grade 6.
First book I ever read: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (I have the hots for sinister female leads thanks to this novel)
Favourite Movie: The Sound of Music
Favourite Computer Game: Any adventure game by Sierra On-Line, particularly the Gabriel Knight series.
Merit: 6 Flaw: 0
- Currently 4.00/5 Stars.
or "The Unfortunate Myth of the Open-World RPG"
You’ve just completed Sibling Rivalry in Bloodlines. Jeannette and/or Therese are now two of your new favourite NPC’s of all time (well, they’re on my faves list at least). You can’t wait to interact with these women even more, but....guess what – that’s it. You’ll never perform another quest in the game that brings you back in contact with them in any meaningful fashion. The same goes for VeeVee later on. You can go back to their respective clubs as frequently as you like, but that’s it for actual interaction with the characters.
You’ve finished all the quests in Duskwood. The spooky, Halloween feel of the zone is fantastic and you’ve really enjoyed the time you’ve spent there. It sure would be great to have more opportunities to come back often and continue your adventures with the Night Watch. Guess what? Nope. You might gallop through on your way to Stranglethorn or a Karazhan run, but that’s about it.
You’ve saved Kvatch! The Oblivion gate is closed. There’s a whole ruined city before you now to explore and possibly restore to new glory! Afraid not! Without significant mods, you’ll never come back. Get that priestly Septim and drag him on outta there!
These are just some examples of a big problem I have with “Open World” computer games. Once you’ve experienced a batch of content, you usually say goodbye to that area/content and move on to the next batch/zone/entire planet/etc. I’ve always felt it to be a significant shame, since many times there are places and characters that I really enjoy, and would love to stay in touch with, and see them featured in future quests or story content.
This is also one of the high hopes I have for the WoD MMO. With their commitment to not being a cookie cutter version of most MMO’s, and their focus on allowing players to drive story content, I can see all the areas of each city being constantly visited and in use. Wouldn't it be great if various NPC’s suddenly send you a text or an email or voicemail asking you to meet up and help them with a random task or job, even after you’ve completed all the “regular quests or jobs” they would normally offer to players?
What other ways could the developers keep content fresh and relevant? I would hate to see an entire neighbourhood constantly vacant because “it’s the new player area, there’s nothing for me to do there anymore” or “I’ve out-levelled that content”
I think resource management and confrontations could play a large part in counteracting that drawback. I have a secret hope that “farming” in the WoD MMO will take the form of Backgrounds – Herd, Retainers, Influence, Status, Resources, etc. This could also tie into your political goals as well – in order to qualify for becoming a Seneschal, you need to have gained a certain amount of resources, mortal influence, and/or Kindred status. Certain neighbourhoods provide specific forms of resources – shops, gangs, government offices, public parks, and so on. Players could then vie for control of these neighbourhoods in order to earn those resources and add dots to those Backgrounds. Every now and then, someone tries to take over that neighbourhood from you, and you’ll need to head over there and deal with the insurgents.
This is just one way to keep content relevant. Are their storyline, roleplaying, PvP possibilities that could play a part as well? I think so, and I’d love to hear your ideas too!
1 years 87 days ago
I was extremely annoyed that you didn't get any further content with Therese/Jeanette or VV, too. You just KNOW that the twins want SOMEBODY dead later in the game, but there's no extra content that covers it. (Unless you play the ClanQuest Mod, which I think grantes you the Malkavian Clan quest from Therese/Jeanette.) They did this a little bit with Bertram Tung if you play a Nosferatu (Bertram Tung is one of my favorite characters), but all the other Clans pretty much got nothing that cycled them back into the "newbie zones". This is why I like the Elder Scrolls games, especially the new Skyrim. The game scales with your character's level, so you can go anywhere and fight tough creatures and take repeatable quests from your favorite faction. That's how *I* hoped Backgrounds work would, too, but people on another forum I frequent were not hospitable to the idea. I wanted some nice "domain battles" going on, where you actually have to claim a physical space in the city to gain Background dots, and you had those dots as a nice overview of your political power. I figured if they put in pickpocketing on player-characters, you'd still 10% of whatever money they had on-hand, but you could only do it to a given player once a day. Thusly, you'd need 10 players (if it's 10% of the base), or lots of players if you really wanted to empty their pockets.
1 years 87 days ago
True. You'd have to have a steal limit for characters so newbies don't complain about losing it to anyone and everyone. Games scaling to level is nice; at least you don't die every time you turn around. Build different hubs for different clans and have the option of being allied with multiple clans or groups like the anarchists in VtM. Political intriege is one of the hardest things to program or write for because of backstabbing, double crossing, personal agendas and then to have players come in and have an effect on it in any sort of way other than a shallow storyline and only really interact with two or three people that are just to advance story line. The gamer guys have a lot more ahead of them unless they say screw npc's except the basics and make players create thier own politics ingame.
1 years 87 days ago
First off, I love this blog post. Ah yes the games loopholes. You can't ever go back to certain places and you never see the guys ever again unless they are central to the story. However, not all people can stand all characters and may not want npc's to contact them later in game. If you had that system, it would be beneficial to give the option of contacting the npc again. Have some, the most important or has really good quests later on, push thier numbers a little. Carry around a cell, address book or npc contact cards to contact them again. Also it would be nice if the reverse can be true too. Such as, you do a quest with an npc partner and you're locked out of the area or quest. You should be able to call them up and go back with the npc partner to the area effectively unlocking it or certain lvl requirements to go back. VtM:B did most of thier world so you could get back to an area but mostly the big areas. That's fine with me as long as we can always go back and do different stuff within the same area. Maybe after the area is unlocked, you can take other npc's if they agree just like player characters. Also a pickpocket or theft system should be in place so you can steal minor stuff like a little money, minor items or food from players, npc's and stores. However the fail percentage also could get you beat up or hunted for attempting the theft.