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Author Topic: City Discussion  (Read 26977 times)

Offline Nanaloma

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2010, 10:10:42 PM »
They could even be going the route of having a starter city depending on which sect you belong to and have other cities where the sects are trying to take control. I guess we'll all be left to speculate for some time but to add to my point above - its not called City of Darkness...

Exactly.  I don't expect there to be only 1 vampire per 100,000 mortals, like in PnP... but I don't want everyone I meet on the street to be a vampire, either.  To keep the flavor of the World of Darkness, there have to be multiple cities, and mortals have to outnumber vampires, even if it's only a 10-1 ratio.  The whole point of the Masquerade is "Humans outnumber us; we must keep our existence secret."

It is also important for individual vampires to be able to make a difference in their city, if they are successful enough.  If there's only one city and 10,000 vampires are vying for control of the city's police department, who has control?  An alliance of 500 vampires cannot become Prince of Mega-City, or even just the city's Primogen.  People have stated numerous times in this forum that they don't want the WODMMO to be "WOW with fangs."  Well, I'll come right out and say that I don't want it to be "EVE Online with Fangs", either.  When I ask who the Prince of the city is, I don't want the answer to be, "Oh, the Fangula Conglomerate runs this city."

The reason that the "(Insert city name) by Night" books were so popular is that each city had its own flavor.  If CCP wants to start with one city, that's okay; but there have to be more than one as the game progresses.  Nobody expects each city to be the size of New York City or Los Angeles; they can feel big, without being true scale.

Ditto that!  (that translates to I agree, bravo!, whatever - shouldn't use pilot speak I suppose). 

Offline Don Strudel

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2010, 12:46:37 AM »
They won't be big at all. I expect each city would be one block tops.

All the twelve million players in WoW could live comfortably in one proper-sized city. Multiple cities also brings up a problem: why should anyone care what happens outside their own city? Furthermore, depending on the ease of travel, the feeling would not be multiples cities, but one city with different districts.

The distinction between one big city and numerous tiny cities is purely artificial. Mechanically they'd work exactly the same if travel between different cities was possible. Sure, they'd LOOK like different cities because they have fake-looking "forests" haphazardly tacked on between them, but they would essentially function as one unified fiefdom. Having one good-sized city with different districts spread between different factions would FEEL far less tacky that having hundreds of tiny villages split between different factions.

All you're arguing for is a different aesthetic, one that I find to be disagreeable. Why is having multiple cities so important? In practice they'd still be treated as one entity if there was travel between them. Power blocs would emerge and take control of them, and for all intents and purposes they would function like one city with a few D&D monster-infested parks and annoyingly gridlocked streets.

In Bloodlines, for instance, travel between different districts was a short taxi ride. The difference between multiple cities in the MMOG would essentially boil down to that. If travel is an easy taxi ride, then multiple cities would function as different districts of one city. If travel is a difficult and dangerous walk through D&D monster-infested forests, then most people wouldn't bother to travel, which would defeat the purpose of having a unified shard.

There are no benefits multiple cities have over multiple districts of one city, and they would function exactly the same in practice. Justify it to yourselves all you want, but these "cities" will end up just being a long string of pretentious city districts with delusions of being in different cities. "Oh look, the New Orleans district! And right next to it, the New York township! And just down the street, the Los Angeles Quarter! One taxi ride away, Amsterdam!"
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 12:51:52 AM by Don Strudel »
Let's face it, Humans Are Bastards, and the only reason the Crapsack World we live in has a semblance of civility and law is fear of reprisal.

Offline Kian

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2010, 01:47:56 AM »
Based on that, why do you only want one city if theres no difference?

Why would each in-game city only be one city block?

I'm sure all the players in WoW could live in one mega city...

Wheres your source on " have flocking "forests" haphazardly tacked on between them" maybe they'll have convincing looking forests placed gently between.

Why should I care what goes on in a district across town when I'm competing with 10k players to hold my own city corner anymore than you would care about what happens in different cities?

Would travel be easy between cities as in Bloodlines? Who knows, probably not if there is a day cycle and vamps had to stay underground( I'm sure they wouldn't force PCs to sleep). so that would make travel difficult, right? Not to mention the fare on a cab from NYC to LA.

The Gangrel would get restless in one city.


 All you're arguing for is a different aesthetic.

And multiple cities for me at least would feel more like a real world than one city that I can't leave. Maybe if they go for an Escape for New York theme.
=P

Offline Don Strudel

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2010, 02:16:38 AM »
Based on that, why do you only want one city if theres no difference?
Because it makes more sense to have one city with districts versus numerous tiny villages with easy travel. It's a matter of scale and perspective.

Why would each in-game city only be one city block?
Have you seen the "cities" they have in MMOGs these days? They're about the size of one city block each. Smaller, even.

Wheres your source on " have flocking "forests" haphazardly tacked on between them" maybe they'll have convincing looking forests placed gently between.
Not my idea. I keep hearing people on these forums throwing out ideas about forests for werewolves to live in. I don't think the idea is particularly interesting.

Why should I care what goes on in a district across town when I'm competing with 10k players to hold my own city corner anymore than you would care about what happens in different cities?
Then you admit my ideas are sensible? You could be affected economically. Prices might change because of scarcity or price fixers in another village.

Would travel be easy between cities as in Bloodlines? Who knows, probably not if there is a day cycle and vamps had to stay underground( I'm sure they wouldn't force PCs to sleep). so that would make travel difficult, right? Not to mention the fare on a cab from NYC to LA.
You're making a lot of assumptions about how the game will work. Limiting vampires in day/night cycles is a recipe for disaster, because it WILL be exploited, and simply isn't fun to play. What if people who want to play together get stuck in different cities? Difficult travel is an all around bad idea as well.

The Gangrel would get restless in one city.
Who cares? That's a stupid argument. I'm trying to argue on the basis of some semblance real-world logic here.

All you're arguing for is a different aesthetic.
One that's more sensible. Many tiny villages will just feel like one city with multiple districts. So why not just make it one city with multiple districts? Have you ever visited Chinatown or Little Italy? One city can be quite cosmopolitan. You have a poor sense of scale with regard to these things.
Let's face it, Humans Are Bastards, and the only reason the Crapsack World we live in has a semblance of civility and law is fear of reprisal.

Offline Aydoo

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2010, 02:28:02 AM »
Screw this easy travel shit. Put cars in the game for those who have Drive skill, make tons of open highway space between the cities and make people actually TRAVEL there. The World of Darkness is more than just cities. Its forests, jungles, ruins, towns, highways, abandoned buildings, and anything you can imagine from the real world. I say include it ALL.

Offline Don Strudel

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2010, 02:46:07 AM »
Screw this easy travel shit. Put cars in the game for those who have Drive skill, make tons of open highway space between the cities and make people actually TRAVEL there. The World of Darkness is more than just cities. Its forests, jungles, ruins, towns, highways, abandoned buildings, and anything you can imagine from the real world. I say include it ALL.
See, that's not exactly something that will attract people.
Let's face it, Humans Are Bastards, and the only reason the Crapsack World we live in has a semblance of civility and law is fear of reprisal.

Offline Mir

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2010, 03:23:02 AM »
Screw this easy travel shit. Put cars in the game for those who have Drive skill, make tons of open highway space between the cities and make people actually TRAVEL there. The World of Darkness is more than just cities. Its forests, jungles, ruins, towns, highways, abandoned buildings, and anything you can imagine from the real world. I say include it ALL.
Include the entire world?  Okay; of course, it'll take them another twenty years to build it, and we'll all have to take turns using the computers at NASA to play it, but I suppose it could be done  :smile:

As for the day/night cycle comment a few posts back, I can't see the game launching with day present, not when everybody's playing a Vampire.  Essentially telling your entire playerbase "go away" every twelve in-game hours seems like a self-destructive business plan.  Maybe when the game has a few expansions under its belt, and at least part of the playerbase could experience daylight, maybe then I could see them adding day in some form.  Although, it would make more sense to me to implement day and night as zones, rather than the more traditional day/night cycle (to avoid the aforementioned "go away" scenario).

Offline Aydoo

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2010, 04:26:44 AM »
Screw this easy travel shit. Put cars in the game for those who have Drive skill, make tons of open highway space between the cities and make people actually TRAVEL there. The World of Darkness is more than just cities. Its forests, jungles, ruins, towns, highways, abandoned buildings, and anything you can imagine from the real world. I say include it ALL.
See, that's not exactly something that will attract people.

CCP's Eve is a Niche game.
White Wolf's WoD is a  Niche game.
Niche to the power of Niche multiplied by Infinity.
The main group of players who will be attracted to CCP's WoD will be:

1.) CCP fans.
2.) White Wolf fans.
3.) Vampire Fans.
4.) People who stumble upon the game through word of mouth, advertising, or happenstance. (EG: everyone else)

Over half the crap everyone keeps suggesting is sure to drive most of the #4 group of people far from the game. So why the hell not. SUPER SPECIAL REVOLUTIONARY DIFFERENT doesn't attract people. People like mediocrity and more of the SAME. Look at console games. Look at what games are UBERSUPER POPULAR (and stays there), and what flames up and dies just as fast.

@Mir

Not the entire world. Having a cab from city to city is retarded. If you say have 10 city hubs, then there need to be twice as much space between the cities.

People say oh "New Orleans" would be a fun city to do a chron in. Do you know how small New Orleans is? Its literally like.. 20 square blocks. What most people call "New Orleans" is the main Central Buisness District, plus all the suburbs (Kenner, Metarie, Gretna, etc) which is why usually its called "the Greater New Orleans Area." Most large cities are like this. The GNOA is situated on a lake to the north, with several causways passing outwards in three directions. On the south side  and west side its mostly surrounded by swampland. To the east a river runs through the "city" and further east is more water and swamp.

From Houma (which is south of GNOA) is about 45mins by highway. Theres quite a few towns on the way lots of open land (old farm land, cattle land, swamp/bog land, forested areas.) If you cut out everything in the 45 min drive from one area to the next, then you are doing a diservice to your game. You lose alot of the flavor of what makes WoD and Vampire especially unique.

If all the characters are trapped in a brick, mortor, and iron prison you might as well just have all the characters sitting in boxes with doors connecting each other and let them fight over what box belongs to who. The city is a base and a starting part, its the rest of the world the makes it interesting.

On another note in this "space between" you don't need to do the EQ, WoW, FFXI thing of populating it with monsters. More to the fact make the world pretty barren. Add some humans here and there realistically, at rest stops and perhaps lonely diners. Add cops patrolling the roads and a few pitstops on the longer hauls. Have some places for if the sun comes up for kindred to bunk up or they would otherwise fry in the sun. Then further in the hidden places you could have say a sabbat pack's haven with some ghouled dogs or what not. Theres alot you can do without resorting to just throwing tons of monsters all over to act as fodder and travel prevention.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 04:30:32 AM by Aydoo »

Offline Dark_Ghost

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2010, 06:08:27 AM »
Screw this easy travel shit. Put cars in the game for those who have Drive skill, make tons of open highway space between the cities and make people actually TRAVEL there. The World of Darkness is more than just cities. Its forests, jungles, ruins, towns, highways, abandoned buildings, and anything you can imagine from the real world. I say include it ALL.

WoDo Meets APB. you have my vote! ;)

Offline Dark_Ghost

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2010, 06:12:20 AM »
Screw this easy travel shit. Put cars in the game for those who have Drive skill, make tons of open highway space between the cities and make people actually TRAVEL there. The World of Darkness is more than just cities. Its forests, jungles, ruins, towns, highways, abandoned buildings, and anything you can imagine from the real world. I say include it ALL.
Include the entire world?  Okay; of course, it'll take them another twenty years to build it, and we'll all have to take turns using the computers at NASA to play it, but I suppose it could be done  :smile:

As for the day/night cycle comment a few posts back, I can't see the game launching with day present, not when everybody's playing a Vampire.  Essentially telling your entire playerbase "go away" every twelve in-game hours seems like a self-destructive business plan.  Maybe when the game has a few expansions under its belt, and at least part of the playerbase could experience daylight, maybe then I could see them adding day in some form.  Although, it would make more sense to me to implement day and night as zones, rather than the more traditional day/night cycle (to avoid the aforementioned "go away" scenario).

i was thinking out of a 24 hr cycle, 8 hrs be "daytime" 16 be night. and heres why. daylight is a vampire's weakness.. take out daylight? might as well take out something like silver for werewolves. you have to have some time in game where daylight is happening. vampires can still travel out of the light, but are either limited by some thing or whatever, so they can escape if need be.

i think the day and night cycles shouldn't be exact, or that they should be offset. so that the day / night cycle isn't allways the same.

Offline PGM1961

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2010, 08:04:02 AM »
They won't be big at all. I expect each city would be one block tops.

All the twelve million players in WoW could live comfortably in one proper-sized city. Multiple cities also brings up a problem: why should anyone care what happens outside their own city? Furthermore, depending on the ease of travel, the feeling would not be multiples cities, but one city with different districts.

One block cities?  We're not talking some little village you stumble across in a fantasy-based game, with one smithy that doubles as a general store, and one witch selling potions.  You are exaggerating a bit.  Modern servers have the capacity for a little more than that.

As for why should anyone care what happens outside their city... exactly.  In the WOD, vampires rarely travel from city to city, because it's too dangerous.  They don't care about what happens in some other city, because their current city is the one with all of their ghouls, contacts, allies, resources, etc.  The point of the whole thing is that vampires are predators, and they feel crowded if too many other predators are in the same city.  VtM and VtR are not about giant vampire corporations banding together to make their presence felt; it's about personal interactions, between individuals or relatively small groups.  City politics rarely revolve around clashes between the big sects, such as the Camarilla and Sabbat.

To do away with smaller group dynamics in favor of corporate structures would be to make the game basically 'EVE Online with fangs', which I do not want to see.  It sounds like that's exactly what you do want to see, which means we disagree on what game we'd like to play.  It's that simple.

The distinction between one big city and numerous tiny cities is purely artificial. Mechanically they'd work exactly the same if travel between different cities was possible. Sure, they'd LOOK like different cities because they have fake-looking "forests" haphazardly tacked on between them, but they would essentially function as one unified fiefdom. Having one good-sized city with different districts spread between different factions would FEEL far less tacky that having hundreds of tiny villages split between different factions.

All you're arguing for is a different aesthetic, one that I find to be disagreeable. Why is having multiple cities so important? In practice they'd still be treated as one entity if there was travel between them. Power blocs would emerge and take control of them, and for all intents and purposes they would function like one city with a few D&D monster-infested parks and annoyingly gridlocked streets.

In Bloodlines, for instance, travel between different districts was a short taxi ride. The difference between multiple cities in the MMOG would essentially boil down to that. If travel is an easy taxi ride, then multiple cities would function as different districts of one city. If travel is a difficult and dangerous walk through D&D monster-infested forests, then most people wouldn't bother to travel, which would defeat the purpose of having a unified shard.

There are no benefits multiple cities have over multiple districts of one city, and they would function exactly the same in practice. Justify it to yourselves all you want, but these "cities" will end up just being a long string of pretentious city districts with delusions of being in different cities. "Oh look, the New Orleans district! And right next to it, the New York township! And just down the street, the Los Angeles Quarter! One taxi ride away, Amsterdam!"

I believe your main point is where you say that you find the aesthetic (of different cities) 'disagreeable'.  This is a matter of personal taste on your part, which is fine, but you try to rationalize it by calling the opposing viewpoints 'illogical'.  Let's talk logic then.  Your basic assumption about cities seems to be that travel for vampires would be as easy as for humans (which is getting harder all the time, but we won't even talk about the TSA).  You compared travel between 'cities' to the travel between the different maps in Bloodlines -- Bloodlines is not an example of different cities, but of different districts in the same city.  Basically, these are all the Los Angeles Metro area, with no wilderness in between, and easily available by cab.  The only so-called 'wilderness' is in Griffith Park, which is just that -- a park.

Personally, I liked the fact that the different areas in Bloodlines had their own individual look and feel.  I didn't feel that the city districts were in any way 'pretentious'.  But I had no illusions that these were different cities.

The truth is that if CCP is going to use the White Wolf model for vampiric society, then travel between cities will be difficult and dangerous -- and rightly so.  Either there are werewolves in the wilderness, waiting to kill all vampire travelers; or if werewolves are not as big a threat, then all of the lawless vampires who enjoy killing their own kind will live out there on the fringes, and prey on their more 'civilized' kindred when they travel between cities.  Air travel avoids this, but is even more problematic -- even with night flights, there are TSA scans, ID checks, biometric databases... all of which make this method difficult for Kindred.  The White Wolf model for vampires is solitary predators thrown into a group setting, isolated by circumstances in the cities, and forced to develop elaborate rules of conduct among their kind -- both to avoid constant warfare, and to keep the mortals ignorant of their existence.

Group dynamics among vampires is never on a large-scale, corporate model, involving thousands of vampires and factions numbering in the hundreds.  Oh, you had the Camarilla and Sabbat, but these were not governments.  Aside from the Traditions, Camarilla law in one city might be different in another city, depending on the local Prince or Primogen.  Camarilla cities were more like the city-states of ancient Greece -- they consider themselves allied, but they are powers in their own right, and pretty much self-governing.  In a like manner, Sabbat packs do what they want, and only seldom are they involved in anything on a larger scale.

If CCP intends to preserve any of this aspect of the VtM or VtR games then they will have to have different cities, where there are no more than a few hundred Kindred; instead of one uber-mega-city, where the actions of one vampire don't matter, and each player knows only a tiny fraction of their city's Kindred.

I don't see that this would be that hard to do.  As people have pointed out, distance in an MMO is purely artificial.  Chop that big city into smaller areas, with smaller sub-areas as city districts (and no, they wouldn't just be two blocks in size... servers are a little more advanced than that now).  The difference between this and the uber-city model would be that travel between actual cities is difficult and dangerous, not just a simple cab ride like between city districts.  As Kian pointed out earlier in this thread, the setting is the World of Darkness, not the City of Darkness.  It should feel like a real world, even if the horizons are a lot closer than they seem.
An honorable man will still do the right thing, even when he knows there is no chance that he will be caught and punished for doing wrong... and even if it costs him dearly.

Offline Aydoo

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2010, 03:34:10 PM »
To be fair Santa Monica is a "different city" but thats just semanitcs like my New Orleans example and its generally included with the main larger hub.

Also I totally agree with the 16/8 Night/Day cycle. That seems to fit the whole tone of the WoD games while giving more leeway to the kindred and is less restricting.

More about travel:
So I regularly travel from Houma (Southern Louisiana) to Shreveport (Northern Louisiana.) Its a 4.5hr drive, even if we don't make but one stop for gas. We pass through a few towns, and cities along the way but there is one thing that stands out to me every trip. Just before Lafayette there is a rest stop. At night this place is wonderful to check out. Its an open parkish area with a body of water to its back. The byway leads off the highway into a long parking lot. The main building has restrooms, a map, and a few vending machines. Usually there is a night guard there as well. Behind the main building is some small storage buildings with roll down doors most likely used for their lawn care tools. The park area is situated with quite a few benches and park "grills." There is always 4-5 big rigs parked around the lot as well. Its perfect for a haven or safe house of a kindred. There would always be an influx of humans that are traveling, especially at night, travelers would mostly go unnoticed if they had to "disappear."  The large body of water and surrounding forested/swamp area provides pleanty of place to hide things that need hiding.

This is the kind of thing I'd like to see outside of their towns. It adds alot of abience and wonder to the world. While yes alot of the politicing and happening are in the major hubs there are LOTS of kindred who dislike being tied down and constantly travel. Sabbat packs aren't the only ones who wander, as there are alot of other Nomadic kindred. While their social power base in anyone area won't be anything to brag about, the riggors of travel will usually make them due to neccesity into a tough son of a bitch.

I mean look at Jack and Beckett. Both these characters were of that type.

Offline Kian

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2010, 06:01:35 PM »
 :deadhorse:



What Aydoo and PGM1961 said :vampsmile:

And Don, no I don't agree that you ideas are sensible.

You see to have made allot of assumptions about how the game will work, and how small their cities will be.

The Gangrel would get restless in one city.
Who cares? That's a stupid argument. I'm trying to argue on the basis of some semblance real-world logic here.

Your counter point here was well thought out, equalled only by how well you said it.  :vampwink:

No real point to debating when you come back with gems like that.
=P

Offline PGM1961

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2010, 07:19:50 PM »
Also I totally agree with the 16/8 Night/Day cycle. That seems to fit the whole tone of the WoD games while giving more leeway to the kindred and is less restricting.

Meant to comment on this in my last post, but forgot.   :smile:

For realism's sake, I would love to see a day/night cycle of some kind in the MMO.  But just like Final Death, I doubt Daytime will make it to the MMO, because it would keep too many people from playing, depending on the ratio of day/night, and their time zone.  With my luck, I'd probably be one of them.

With a regular 9-5 type of job, most people would only be able to play for a few hours in the evenings, and maybe earlier on the weekends.  Even with the 16/8 cycle you mentioned, these people might only be able to play their vampire about 4 times a week, perhaps less if they're busy on the weekend, or their time zone just doesn't sync up with the night cycle in the game.  This would just be too frustrating.  Yeah, maybe you'd be able to play a ghoul during the daytime, but for many people that isn't what they want to do.

I just don't see CCP including a day/night cycle.  I could be wrong, though.
An honorable man will still do the right thing, even when he knows there is no chance that he will be caught and punished for doing wrong... and even if it costs him dearly.

Offline Radical21

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Re: Why multiple cities are a bad idea: they don't scale well
« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2010, 07:49:41 PM »
Day/Night cycle is logical but can only be included with options to compensate for the downtime either by switiching characters, using animalism, exploring Dragon Age like "Fade dimension" when the kindred sleeps or making it Kindred:The Embraced daywalking style(Shortlived Masquerade-based TV series by white-wolf where vampires can walk during the day if they fed)

Without Day/Night Cycle many of the disciplines lose their edge, especially the survivalist based disciplines of clan Gangrel if they become implamented as they are and anything to do with Havens becomes trivial and insignificant which results in no explanation for some of the politics of kindred, I guess kindred still have a reason to fear mobs with torches and pitchforks coming at them but less so because they dont need to worry about being vlunrable during a period of the day which means they can be constantly on the move like humans are and have no real reason to claim for territory..