Realms 2.0 (An RPG Future...)

For Wizard Kings (and higher) to discuss the Realm Editor and the creation of realms.
Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:42 am

  • Here is my case for a RPG Realms 2.0 & some of my thoughts on how I would go about implementing it using as many of the assets that exist as possible. I’ll do one for a Strategy Realms 2.0 in the next couple days though obviously as I’ve stated ad nauseam I’d prefer RGP over Strategy.

    The case:
    One of the issues I have developed with Realms is that now we have this wonderful lore that creates a universe but Realms just don’t feel like part of that universe – they have to me become increasingly like a separate game purely bolted on. I’m not saying that Realms have to be Lore compliant, quite the opposite, in the Shattered Worlds anything could be possible (Quiz Realms, the works). It just feels that the current implementation has nothing to do with the concept of the Realms being true ‘worlds,’ separate, unique, but still part of a greater whole. In Sci-fi shows one week they’re visiting future earth, the next a world they touch down on is a great big TV show; so why not in fantasy, why not in Realms? I have no problem with that.

    The game I would aim for...
    Firstly, fixed mechanics such as the Banish Spell, Reinforcement Points and Time are gone, as is the Realm entrance fee so players can revisit a Realm as often as they like (this should all make sense below).
    Realms now exist in three ‘layers.’ Map, Random Quests, and Major Quests. Once all Major Quests are complete the Realm’s Major Quests can be reset by the player for a large gold fee. However, players can come and go from a Realm as many times as they like as long as they are not on a either a Random or Major Quest (if they are they are locked to that Realm until they complete it or fail at it).

    Map Layer:
    The Designer places the terrain and infrastructure pretty much as they do now but now we have a more componentised approach.

    Citadels
    These are now a selection of fort graphics that are used for Quests.

    Fog of war
    Although the explored map is shown, dimmed, Marauders and Wizard Lords aren’t unless in the players LOS which is not unlimited.

    Herbs & Magical Commodities
    A selection of Snapshot defined Herbs and Magical Commodities (such as those from Lords of Chaos (sorry, couldn’t resist) ). The player can carry a small number of these for sale and be allowed to transport them to Limbo and from Realm to Realm which would create a market for those interested in it. A small storage facility could exist in a player’s tower on Limbo so that ‘trade runs’ could be discovered and performed.

    Mana Fluxes/Forge Crystal Mines
    Where you spend gold to buy Mana, can buy Forge Crystals etc

    Palace
    A graphical selection of ‘capital’ buildings that can provide military type Random Quests (such as capture this Citadel, defend this Town against X Marauders) and/or has the Wizard King/Ruler NPC which the player can choose to Duel if the Designer allows.

    Portals
    Entry, same as now, and Exit – where the player can leave anytime (if on a Realm Quest this causes the Quest to fail).

    Realm Spells
    Breach Palace would go, but instead there should be more Realm Spells, some off the top of my head examples:-
    Activate Artefact – activates a collectable artefact with a custom power for the next battle. This would also allow custom, Realm only artefacts that the players can collect without unbalancing the rest of the game.
    Foresight: Reveals the location Wizard Lords on the map.
    Freeze Marauder: as it says.

    Towns
    Towns are now componentised with graphics to reflect this. Designers place nameable NPC merchants/shops of different types & set their barter skill (ie some merchants will sell goods for cheaper than others). Some examples:
    Blacksmiths: Sells Bodyarmour.
    Apothecary: A place where herbs & magical commodities are bought and sold.
    Innkeeper: Provides civilian type Random Quests (like rescue maiden in distress etc). Gambling etc. Where you hire sentient Mercs from for a combination of gold & kudos
    Magician: Sells Staffs & Talismans.
    Map Maker: Similar to Reveal Fog Realm Spell but is Realm wide.
    Portal Shop: For a fee the player can access their equipment on Limbo and swap it out.

    Villages
    This is now where you hire specific Mercenaries and/or none sentient mercs from for a combination of gold and kudos.

    Piracy
    A player leaving a Realm with loot risks being attacked by another wizard upon return to Limbo. If they have invaders switched on this will be a human player if available. If the player loses then they must select one item from their ‘on person’ inventory to secede to the winning player.

    Quests:
    Only one Quest can be undertaken at a time and all others become unavailable whilst a player is playing one. Wizard Lords and Marauders are controlled by the Quest Layers, so each layer could have its own set and a Realm could be made ‘hostile’ to the player from the get go by having an Encounter placed on the Entrance Portal that activates a Major Quest. Any piece of infrastructure, Mana Flux, Village, Town can be subject to a quest so the Battle Maps would still be used.

    Random Quest Layer:
    A selection of reoccurring Missions and Quests predefined by Snapshop (such as defeat Wizards x, y, z then return here or escort x to y safely then return here) that the player receives from the relevant NPC merchant. The designer can denote quest parameters so you don’t end up rescuing a Paladin in a Goblin Realm etc.

    Major Quest Layers:
    Branching Encounters similar to the current system created and grouped together in numbered Major Quest ‘layers’. Encounter outcomes can active or deactivate Major Quest Layer number X or Y – the number is just a way to identify the Quest and does not denote any type of order or compulsion. A Major Quest Layer can be triggered by an Encounter placed anywhere (thus ‘simulating’ an NPC). These Quests can also award the player an Artefact - a Designer created magical item that the player can keep, listed on their profile’s inventory, but that only affects the Realm it is from. You activate it by spending Flux Mana to cast the Spell (see above). An example could be Creatures +10% attack.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts atm and even if 90% is it is not what others want maybe there is a salvageable gem that can be taken from it somewhere :)
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    Farious
     
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Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:23 pm

  • I pretty much like every idea presented in the case for 'Realms 2.0'. All those things would be a step in the right direction.

    The rework suggestions for towns and trading sound great. Linking forge crystals with mana fluxes would be perfect, and re-purposing citadels!

    Some locations would be visible through the fog of war? That sounds quite good, you're wizardly senses detect the general direction of where other wizards are located, but the FoW still exists.

    ...Well thought through Farious. Some clever ideas, probably really simple to implement to.... It will be interesting to see how guilds all ties in to.

    Turning up the RPG'ness is a good way to go. The thing I would really love to see is some degree of character building from scratch thrown in at the beginning of each self contained realm - just as an option. A fully customised run could still be the default, but I don't understand the appeal of going the fully customised route every single run of every single realm with no variations.

    There needs to be more options to randomise gear in general (essentially randomise your 'starting conditions') to be able to run a realm differently every single time, almost procedurally.. Integrating more aspects of procedural generation really is key to the success of the SP (IMO all the best SP games feature proc-gen heavily.. it's the thing that makes them addictive and re-playable).

    CR kind of sleepwalked into being a game all about fully customisable 'unchanging' characters, never really capitalising on the defunct random gear mode which always kept it fresh. Random characters which you can augment in a semi-customisable way is a more interesting concept (and very RPG-y). The closest we get to this is the very first time you boot up the game and you are offered a random build and random character stats based on your choice of faction (law/chaos/neutral/arc/vig/hero), this is the first and last time you see this kind of choice.

    I don't mind realms being linear, it just needs something to break that linear feeling up a bit and the best way to break it up would be to have more procedurally generated elements... A mechanic that gets players to use every possible combination of wizard-type/build/load-out/special ability in a 'semi-random' fashion, so that your playing style and strategies are constantly adapting and evolving to the conditions and environment... More procedural generation (randomised starting conditions) within realms 2.0 would be great.
    Last edited by Mazy on Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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    Mazy
     
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Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:43 pm

  • i honestly feel like alot of this stuff sort of veers too far into fluff territory for my liking. Fluff isn't neccesarily a bad thing, all the brewing/potions/crafting and other interactions in games like this do suit the purpose for sandbox/roleplaying stuffs, but i feel like what this game is shooting for is something lean and mean, design wise.

    stuff like varying towns people, different commodities along with simulation stuff is kind of something i don't feel would blend well with the game.

    The idea that i agree with most is the simple Objectives setting, were a creator could more easily set a parameter of objectives for a realm (as opposed to having to wire it in through encounters and potentially alienating everyone who doesn't want to write/screen shot encounters down for reference)

    As far as the loadout character dynamic goes..I feel like realms should just adjust to accomodate this. To extrapolate:
    When you first start the game, you don't have many talismans if any...

    realms in lower levels should ideally be something to facilitate the aquiring of items while being enjoyable. This is were you get that progression feeling of gaining loot and the ability to personalize your dude/gal.

    higher level realms should be there for players who've got the equipment they need and be a great place to facilitate experimentations of load outs and what have you.

    As far as narrative is concerned, easing the load of actually creating and balancing fun/varying game dynamics for realms would make the process of questing and the like alot funner..hopefully a means to facilitate this will come into place.

    I feel like the tweaks should lean more towards adding variety to battles and adjusting strategic layer business to be more engaging. I'll stay tuned in for your 'strategy realms 2.0' thread.
    anjovi
     
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:27 am

  • I have split off the posts iunto a new thread to help keep this on topic.

    Regards,

    Jim
    The Battlemage!

    gary is my master now...

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    SlipperyJim
     
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