World of Darkness Blog
Created 1 years 18 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: 3 Flaw: 0
Welcome to Blog 2 of my ongoing consideration of the Traditions and how they may or may not take effect in the MMO. Can Domain work in an MMO? Or will it turn to a half-hearted cross of unsatisfying PvE quests and pointless PvP?
Definition time: The Tradition of Domain states that a Kindred’s hunting ground is their territory, which they rule absolutely.
This can refer to anything from a neighbourhood, a section of the sewers, a single building, even an entire city in the case of most Princes. What about more esoteric Domains such as the Media, or Law Enforcement, or Municipal Government? If the Prince grants me domain over Law Enforcement, will I be able to call for police backup, or have the morgue cover up a Kindred crime and therefore preserve the Masquerade?
One of the problems with Domain is that it’s mostly subjective. In the case of a neighbourhood, where do its borders end and the next begin? In the case of a single building, does the domain refer to just the building and its contents, or does it include the whole property that the edifice was built on? And so on.
If the Prince has claimed the entire city as their Domain, this usually means that any Kindred who wishes to claim their own Domain within the city must first either seek the permission of the Prince or have it granted to them by the Prince in reward for services rendered. In such cases, the Prince usually then asks for ongoing tribute of some kind based on the primary resource of the Domain. As a purely blatant example, a shopping district might provide certain goods and services the Prince desires.
The other problem with Domain is that, in many table-top chronicles, it is usually a given and rarely contested. For example, “The docks belong to Frankie the Shiv” or “The golf course belongs to Svetlana Sexbomb”. This is usually to suit the story, but also has something to do with Kindred population numbers within a city. This wouldn’t necessarily translate to the MMO, where Kindred population in most cities will likely be wildly out of control, leading to nearly constant conflict over resources such as kine and domain. “Who’s running the warehouse district this week? Better make the most of it, someone will probably oust/pvp/grief/harass them out of it by next week.”
Which then leads to the question – how do we enforce our “rulership” of a domain? Will it be solely PvP-based? Will it be group PvP-based with coteries? Or will domain control be run more appropriately – through insidious politics and social manipulation? I should be able to wrest control of any domain away from its current “ruler” by tactics such as manipulating the kine to turn against them, elevating crime rates so that the Prince is forced to turn the Domain over to someone with more skill at keeping crime under control, etc. etc.
But will the MMO offer this degree of gameplay, or will it just be left up to PvP? (This would feel like a cop out to me) What this then comes down to, is what type of gameplay mechanics will be put in the game to facilitate roleplay, social manipulation and NPC interaction. Could it simply take the form of PvE quests? I can’t help feeling that it would need to involve more complicated AI than that.
Finally, Domain concerns will also likely encompass our individual Havens in some fashion. Haven defence will be much easier to secure. It could be as simple as a complex security system, but I would love to be able to involve magical defences as well. Thaumaturgy, of course, but I’d love to see items and rare artifacts involved somehow as well. Stealth will also have to come into play unless you’re okay with all of your rivals following you home every night and knowing exactly which building they should burn down. Yes, I want to be able to burn down a building to confound my enemies.
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1 years 17 days ago
The impression I'd gotten from the stuff they've released has generally implied that territory will be generally won and lost through gameplay, as a major resource contested between players.
1 years 17 days ago
Interesting topic. I think they will have to make lots of huge city's to solve potential problems with domains. That is only, true CCP way, of making games :)
1 years 17 days ago
I think the PvP aspects of Domain are going to come down to how much security you can "install" in your Domain, and in what ways. I like the way they did control over space in EVE Online, where you actually had to BE in a system to exert control over it (whether in the form of regular patrols in your ships, or installing a station, or sending in spies, etc. Your political control WAS your physical control. (At least the way I hear it from _username on the PlanetVampire forums. I never got far enough in EVE to play the political game.) So I'm thinking the setup in the WODMMO will be similar for vampires: you may have control in name over a large swathe of the city, but practically you only "control" the areas that you or your coterie can personally police, keep in order, and deliver results to whoever needs to be paid off. On the one hand, I'm in favor of seeing a gridded setup, where you exert domain over a given segment of city blocks. This way is kind of like the city/control zone setup of the Civilization games, where you have one definite major center of operations totally under your control (your city, or your haven), but you have influence and can accumulate resources from the surrounding area, but that area can be invaded and pillaged by other players. On the other hand, it's a tad more realistic to simply declare "I now own the docks", and then struggle to live up to that claim when everybody else wants the docks, too. This is a little more of a "free-for-all" mode that I'm not sure will work horribly well in a game where we will be having potentially hundreds of vampires in a given city.
1 years 17 days ago
Honestly, I think the method for doing this will more simplistic: Have political domains and separate PvP territories. Domains are long-standing political positions, handed out by the Prince to his/her supporters, etc. These have economic and voting prestige and are intended to have long-lasting semi-permanence. (Of course, they can be re-allocated, but they should not be swapping hands every week). PvP territories are what people fight over. These are not the typical domains. I think most PvP combat will be kept to the more 'undesireable' and 'seedier' areas of cities, where the combat can be justified within the Masquerade. PvP doesn't have to have a ton of places to take place in, so these pvp-dedicated areas do not have to be domains. Of course, pvp can take place in other domains and perhaps, just as i've suggested with a Prince, it might be nice to have it so that PvPers could 'oust' someone from their domain.. but that doesn't make them control the domain, the Prince would appoint the new person. Also, those vampires might find themselves the target of the Prince's ire and, without political support to protect them, might be subject to blood hunts, etc. in order to 'restore order'. Unless the PvPers had political support, it is likely the other domain holders in the area would be worried about being ousted and might support harsh punishments from the Prince.