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Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #60 on: June 30, 2013, 11:42:58 pm »
Completely off-topic, but this has something vaguely to do with guns and weapons and items. This struck me as I was playing Mount and Blade: Warband with the Floris modpack:
Free-targeting AND mechanical targeting! I'm also fairly certain this idea was already proposed, but the weird arrow physics in this mod made think of it [again].

So free-targeting is what we see in most FPS games. You aim the mouse and click the button and it shoots. You don't need to select a target.
Mechanical targeting is what we see in a great deal of MMOs - you have to select [one] target and the computer locks onto it for you. You can't use most attacks unless you have something targeted.

Free-mechanical targeting is this: You can usually shoot wherever and whenever you wish, but when the mouse is hovering over a given target and you fire, the computer targeting takes over and executes the attack for you. You don't need to lock on, and you need to keep the crosshairs on the target - thus making it "free" - but the attack is handled all by the computer, meaning that character stats actually have an effect  making it mechanical. This would allow for both player skill - keep the crosshairs on-target like a normal FPS - but make sure that the actual attack and damage depends on character stats instead of solely on player skill. (They could even make it so that at higher levels of Firearms there is a more and more accurate auto-aim function.)

They could make it so that there are different effects for hitting a character in a certain part, "called shots". The shooting player could toggle whether they just want a basic attack, or aim for the head, or aim for the legs, etc. Shooting someone in the head is harder, but obviously deals more damage (or Lethal damage in the case of vampires); shooting someone in the legs slows them down; shooting someone in the arm makes them less effective at attacking - can't hold two-handed weapons, etc.
The computer would still be handling the mechanical attack based on whatever ruleset the developers choose (ex: you can hit the head only on a mechanical roll of 8+, or on a roll of 90-100 on a percentage roll, or whatever), but the player gets the choice of both the target (and they can switch targets as quickly as they can move the mouse, instead of having to tab-select), and gives them the choice of specifying targets, but all players are still using the same rule base!

They had a system like this in post-"New Game Enhancements" SWG, where you could ONLY shoot if you had something under your crosshairs, but this is more like true free targeting. You could even hit an Obfuscated character if you wanted to go around shooting randomly. (Which is what some people might be driven to.) Stealth would be overpowered if you always had to select the target, but is less effective with free or free-mechanical targeting, since you can just unload.

The drawback is that it probably takes much more processing by the server to determine where everybody is, how far away they are from one another (ranged penalties), bullet trajectories, etc, in an open-world format, as compared to selection/pure mechanical targeting. However, I've played plenty of MMOs where they have free targeting where it does calculate every aspect of this (distance, bullet spread, trajectory, bullet speed, shotgun scatter, etc), and I don't think it's any real problem. The only real difference is that those tended to be instanced games instead of open-world.
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Offline mouser9169

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #61 on: July 02, 2013, 10:32:14 am »
The drawback is that it probably takes much more processing by the server to determine where everybody is, how far away they are from one another (ranged penalties), bullet trajectories, etc, in an open-world format, as compared to selection/pure mechanical targeting. However, I've played plenty of MMOs where they have free targeting where it does calculate every aspect of this (distance, bullet spread, trajectory, bullet speed, shotgun scatter, etc), and I don't think it's any real problem. The only real difference is that those tended to be instanced games instead of open-world.

You've stated the problem and the solution.

The reason those games are instanced is to limit the amount of calculations required. Trying to keep track of everybody in an open world is too herculean a task - character position and movement is usually handled client side with periodic 'checks' by the server. There's probably an exception or two floating around out there: you can make your game do anything if you make it the focal point of the game, but it always comes at a cost to something else.

Games are moving to thinner clients as time and technology moves on, but we're not at a point where completely 'dumb' terminals are feasible yet. The other obvious problem with 'free' targeting is network and client side lag. SWG used a form of free targeting in space combat. Once the ping was high enough combat was practically impossible, since you were shooting at where a ship was, instead of where it is. You might get lucky with large NPC ships that followed predictable paths by 'leading' them, but that would never work against a skilled player ship.
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Offline xxbxx

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #62 on: July 02, 2013, 08:37:42 pm »
In free targeting system there's a problem of handling friendly fire as well, while games that don't have free targeting can omit it, so IMHO the latter is better, at least for a MMO, where you aren't supposed to shoot players and NPCs that belong to your own faction.

Offline Nosferatu Numbers Station

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #63 on: July 02, 2013, 09:35:13 pm »
In free targeting system there's a problem of handling friendly fire as well, while games that don't have free targeting can omit it, so IMHO the latter is better, at least for a MMO, where you aren't supposed to shoot players and NPCs that belong to your own faction.

Ah but there lies in a problem that is most prominent in a game called Team Fortress 2: What is to stop one from doing so anyways if they want to check if the ally is really an obfuscated person with mask of a thousand faces?  Shooting people as a way to say hello comes across as too peculiar for a proper greeting, let alone a means to uphold the masquerade if there is gunfire in the middle of the streets.  Yes I know we have auspex, but not all kindred will have that ability.

So, anyone have any proper work arounds for that as a means of engagement?
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Offline mouser9169

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #64 on: July 02, 2013, 11:31:40 pm »
What is to stop one from doing so anyways if they want to check if the ally is really an obfuscated person with mask of a thousand faces?

I think the blue name floating above their head will be a pretty good clue...
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Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #65 on: July 03, 2013, 03:34:43 am »
The good news is that in order to run an open-world game, the world can be broken down into zones that are individually loaded by whoever is using them at the time - I don't know what it's called, but it's not quite instancing, and it's not quite separate servers*. I've seen this in big open-world games like SWG, where every square kilometer was a separately-loaded zone, and in Skyrim. Instead of reading the entire world all the time at once, it would just need to calculate things in a given zone, or across the invisible walls separating loaded zones.

*on the note of different servers, I believe the developers did mention they were going for different instances of each zone like we see in Dungeons and Dragons Online, with freedom of movement between them. That should reduce the burden on the server while still letting people all exist in the "same" world.

If they do have a free-targeting system, there should be friendly fire. There aren't neat little clear-cut lines between sects, or between members of the same sect, as there are in most other games. The World of Darkness isn't Red vs. Blue, it's dog-eat-dog, with every vampire fundamentally out for themselves. The closest thing that comes to "a team" is your coterie... and the bullet you just fired doesn't care that a coterie member got in the way.
Anyway, if they put in the mixed system I remembered/proposed, the computer could check whether the target you are hovering over is nominally an ally and simply not fire - or fire but just not damage them. That's just as much of a "gimme" as tab-selection targeting is, though.

"Shooting people as a way to say hello comes across as too peculiar for a proper greeting"
I dunno - I do exactly that if I think there's a Spy around. But if we allowed friendly fire, there would be no way to tell whether the person is actually an enemy or not, since you'd damage them either way. It may be a little cruel, but it's also more realistic and keeps the stealth system alive. If somebody is just randomly shooting into corners hoping to hit a Nossie, there is no reason the game should register the hit on the shooter's screen, or splash blood, etc. (If the Obfuscation holds, it should cover blood splatters as well as the actual Nossie.) The Nossie would still take damage, but the shooter would never realize it. Only if the Nossie attacks would the Obfuscate be sure to break.
On the other hand... in the politically-complex World of Darkness, shooting somebody in greeting tells them that you don't trust them, and that has its own repercussions. It would be especially rude/antagonistic if you actually dealt damage, thus (hopefully) making fewer people go all loose-cannon on everybody they meet. It might just be your Ally, who is no longer your Ally because "WTF, man?! You just shot me!"
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Offline Valamyr

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #66 on: July 03, 2013, 08:53:53 pm »
On this topic, regarding what theyve told us about not wanting Kindred to craft stuff themselves but instead have and cultivate underlings for that: that's great, I loved it in theory.

But I've seen a 'system' like this implemented in the new Neverwinter, really poorly. Like, Zynga games bad. You just click on repetitive tasks and a task bar slowly progresses and at the end you get a bit of 'craft xp' and some coins or stuff. The crafting game revolves around logging in very often to maximize usage of your 'craft slots', no strategy nor feeling of accomplishment, no ties to any physical element in the game world, and to add insult to injury, you can use RMT to 'auto complete' your "crafting" load bars...

So as cool as the theory sounds, its possible and even easy to REALLY screw up implementing that :p I'm hoping they're planning on designing something a little more solid than this.

Offline Nanaloma

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #67 on: July 04, 2013, 12:47:50 am »
Maybe one should use brain power and the social aspect to determine friend/foe/neutral rather then crude gimmicks. 

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #68 on: July 04, 2013, 02:17:23 am »
It sounds like they did that exact same crafting system in The Old Republic, Valamyr (with the ability to purchase shortcuts). Sure, it was convenient, but it wasn't nearly as involved as crafting systems in other games, and it didn't feel at all satisfying to complete an item.

I think in most games, the point of a "crafting" system is really to collect the resources. The actual "crafting" is waiting to fill up a progress bar over the course of a few seconds, minutes, or hours. I'm awaiting the game where the crafting stage has a purpose - maybe like outfitting a ship in EVE Online, or modding a gun in Blacklight: Retribution, but the ship/gun turns out to be the product. The resources are much less scarce, but you can combine them in slightly different ways to make a more specific kind of product.
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