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BlorgonSlayer

What makes this game stand out?

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What makes this game stand out from other games that exist already?

 

The overall single detailed universe is being done by Star Citizen.  The space sandbox builder has been done by several other games already, such as Empyrion Galactic Survival and Space Engineers, as well as others.

 

To me, it seems the primary differences are as follows:

 

1.) Top notch graphics (better than EGS and SE, but maybe on par or a bit below star citizen).

2.) Single shard universe (again, not the first to do it, see Star Citizen, EVE, but first to do it in a highly rendered voxel world)

3.) Completely user driven content - this one seems to be the most unique of all of them (although perhaps there is a game out there that had this, like minecraft, not sure)

 

So it seems the main differences are not necessarily differences, but the fact that they are taking all these elements that other games have done and combining them into one game.  Is this a correct assessment?  What do you think makes the game stand out the most?

 

Edit: Also, let's discuss the pros and cons of combining all of these components into one game.  What tradeoffs are there compared to these other games that DU draws from?

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Minor correction, star citizens server structure does not even compare to DU. It splits the world in instances, with a maximum of 40 players per instance. I'm not sure if this is currently in the game or still on their to do list. This might improve over time but they can't do what DU will do or what EVE does. 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Falstaf said:

Minor correction, star citizens server structure does not even compare to DU. It splits the world in instances, with a maximum of 40 players per instance. I'm not sure if this is currently in the game or still on their to do list. This might improve over time but they can't do what DU will do or what EVE does. 

 

 

 

Ah, I was not aware of this.  Good to know.  So based on that alone, it seems that what DU is trying to accomplish is quite revolutionary, especially in the voxel game space.

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Just now, BlorgonSlayer said:

Ah, I was not aware of this.  Good to know.  So based on that alone, it seems that what DU is trying to accomplish is quite revolutionary, especially in the voxel game space.

 

Hence the excitement. ;)

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With respect to the networking problem:-

 

1. Large Population Total

2. Population Density Problem

 

It seems DU is designed (design intention) to be around EVE. I can't think of any other MMOs that invested into networking technology to the same degree (with 3d graphics). Bear in mind the reason for multiple shards is primarily number 2 and even then many mmos deliberately partition Total population via levelling zones, instances, game modes, quest hub bread crumbs and so on. Bear in mind large crowds in mmo combat are often a zergy mess and poor quality gameplay irrespective of performance meltdown too. The main problem is MMO as a genre has a USP arounding CONNECTING PLAYERS in high quality social interaction ways: Think of liking or following on facebook or twitter for example for social network. Trade is a primary means of this "There's No Catholic Or Protestant When Trade Is Being Conducted" is an old saying from days of yore for example.

 

So that is exceptional category and the virtual economy is what will result if the game has:-

 

1. Enough social groups

2. Enough complexity in the sink-faucet of valuable resources

3. Distance/Scarcity dimensions

4. Politics and Territory above this.

 

A lot of "mmorpgs" don't really make any sense. If you have economic pressures and incentives this fuels a lot of gameplay behaviour by individuals and groups. And that needs a lot of SCALING UP. Eg EVE. I think this simulation is a key component of virtual worlds: They must have designs that make more simulacra in gameplay behaviours emerging as they might in say historic epochs of human history at a high level. Obviously DU is a "what if...?" with humanity in the future beyond Earth and our own solar system and in other solar systems within the galaxy. Interesting if the simulation follows some of what we currently know and assume about large scale drivers of human group motivations and patterns.

, then add voxels to that networking scale. I'm surprised how BLIND people appear to be

And the other thing: I don't see a lot of voxel games but when you do see them and you see how creative they are, then that's a huge dimension for mmorpgs. Not just that but look at the above COMBINED with voxels by comparing game world sizes:-

 

Ultima Online - 55.9 km²

World of Warcraft - 80mi2

Asheron's Call - 500mi2

Guild Wars: Nightfall - 15,000mi2

The Lord of the Rings Online - 30,000mi2

(NOT AN MMO) Elder Scrolls Online - 62,000mi2

WWIIOL online uses a ½ scale map of Western Europe with 52,000 km2 (20,077 sq mi) of accurate terrain (800 m resolution satellite data).

Life Is Feudal - 441km2

 

Now look at DU:-

 

Dual Universe - ALIOTH ONLY: 45,238.93 km2

 

:lol::D:P

 

Now add to this... (still only Alioth...): Volume of physical planet Total = 1,150,346 km3

 

Bear in mind the volume of the Atmospheric Belt surrounding this physical volume (some of which will never be used oc) and then the amount of volume above this in Space radiating out used too. Does anyone have some info on the atmospheric radius of Alioth? You can see a thin layer clearly in the latest backer portal video.

 

This is where the VOXELS really shake things up as you can see purely using the simple crude comparison of world size AREA vs Volume.

 

In most mmorpgs there's tiny amount of volume for starters: Limited free-form flight and interaction in this dimension or else gradient rise and fall. I think some mmorpgs have swimming deep in seas/lakes. But overall the ground is texture and hence area interaction mostly.

 

Not only can players go up and down in locomotion the actual physical layer is useful for resources and building structures too with voxels.

 

Then add the space around the other planets and the total solar system, then add more solar systems... And I barely mentoned what sort of huge data on the voxel manipulation changes to the world as well as the number and diversity of constructs multiplying changing the landscape or spacescape too.

 

You can see that in theory, DU is really something else. Again EVE compares, but it's "empty space" (I really liked the theory behind their dust game linking but sadly it did not work in practice).

 

Let's come back to the advantages of SCALING PLAYER NUMBERS (if it's possible):-

 

With so much space, there needs to be lot of players for that space to make a tiny impact on it. That is to say, most mmorpgs, they are not complex interaction systems at all: Neither socially nor in game world interactions either.

 

It will be interesting to see if DU achieves high physical interaction that itself drives further social interaction and that drives  more of each and so on...

 

It's still early days so that may explain why many don't seem to twig: Another NMS etc! :lol: But then... go back above look at those numbers, even add your own... did I already say people appear to be blind?

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47 minutes ago, Falstaf said:

Minor correction, star citizens server structure does not even compare to DU. It splits the world in instances, with a maximum of 40 players per instance. I'm not sure if this is currently in the game or still on their to do list. This might improve over time but they can't do what DU will do or what EVE does. 

 

 

 

Networking is nightmare. Until you see it working it does not work! Probably should use this standard for DU atm too to be consistent. They have done the bots and they are boosting the performance and working on increasing player load for pre-alpha, so the signs are good they're doing things in the right order! Those that don't, won't have anything near approaching an MMO. That applies even to MMOs.

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All these are good points, but there are two further points I would like to make here, that have me skeptical of this game.

The first is that with the ambition that the game has, to have one single shard universe, with highly rendered graphics, and everything being completely user interactive, I feel there will inevitably be sacrifices made in certain areas.  For example, there will be no water physics, or collision physics, because of the layer of complexity that these things add.  I've also read that things like air tightness will not be considered at all, and survival mechanics are not a major priority either.  So you may be living in a very realistic looking universe, but because all the resources are being dedicated to making it look good at every scale, and making it so thousands of players can play at once, a lot of other areas will suffer.  

The second issue is that having a single shard universe whose planets and systems are completely created by the devs, means that the players have no control or say over the parameters of the universe at all.  Contrast this to a game like Empyrion, which allows you to completely tweak the universe to your preference, and is now introducing multiple biomes to planets, which are based on parameters like humidity, temperature, etc.  I'd be surprised if NQ was doing anything like this, and they definitely won't be putting such tools into the hands of the players.  Sure, the players do guide the development of the civilizations to every degree, but Empyrion already allows this if you want to set up your own server in such a way, except the server owner can manipulate the planet conditions as well.  There may be fewer players in one place, but there is greater customization, flexibility, and realism, because of how they have decided to approach multiplayer, and because they are not trying to make their game look like the real world in every respect.

So I definitely think there are pluses and minuses to the approach that NQ is taking.  I'm still skeptical that it will be better than what exists or is in development currently, but I guess time will tell.

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Is DU really that "highly rendered graphics"? I don't think so. It's already an area of sacrifice. What's quite impressive is the LOD seeing stuff in the distance: I want to book my space tourism ticket already. Look at SC, it's ridiculous how much like a movie it looks in comparison.

 

Yeah there's no water particles or collision, those are trade-offs: Performance, granularity of detail trade off for a scaled mmo and gameplay: These were discussed in the forums somewhere with some input from NQ.

 

As to which is a better approach? Lots of servers with smaller populations but more realism and granularity (survival stuff is in this category) or a single shard. Personally, the bigger single shard population of players is a bigger pull. I think the shared story makes the story more interesting.

 

Planets are proc gen atm and they use an algorithm for generating the correct type of resources and proportions. It's an area they can iterate on over time. Again they've managed size, so extras eg animals or some such, it's a future consideration. Given how much voxel terraforming there is and construct design, it's not a big issue.

 

I do agree, I would love interesting biome parameters for more biological representation in the game...

 

It'll be DIFFERENT from most of what is out. Too many games are made these days according to the established tropes of an established genre: People seem to expect a certain formula when it's been done a thousand times... Games originally arose not to become like previous games but to represent something we could experience or imagine and how that might be represented creatively using computers: The latter is a more interesting way of developing games. Instead "build a platformer"... *sigh*. This is what I like about the simulation dream. Could we represent worlds and how do we do that and what's the essential stuff to make if feel right: So much more interesting. Today's mmorpgs are all the former and it shows (bar a few exceptions).

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1 hour ago, MookMcMook said:

It'll DIFFERENT from most of what is out. 

This is kind of the point of this thread.  Yes, it is different from the majority of other games, for sure.  However, it is drawing heavily from some other games that are in development now, and due to the approach they are taking in combining all these aspects, I'm not sure they are going to do it better than those doing these things independently.  Yes, the graphics are amazing, but due to the voxel system, star citizen's graphics will always be better.  Yes, it is an exciting open world sandbox space sim, but due to the graphics and single shard, it is less immersive and realistic than something like Empyrion.  So yes, it is different, in that it is combining all these different aspects, but is it better than the games it is combining?  I'm not sold that it is.  

 

I do understand that this is extremely early to be making such judgements, and time will tell how the game develops, but at this state, given the limitations that have been set up from the get go, I'm skeptical of the hype.

 

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On 3/10/2018 at 10:31 PM, BlorgonSlayer said:

 Contrast this to a game like Empyrion, which allows you to completely tweak the universe to your preference, and is now introducing multiple biomes to planets, which are based on parameters like humidity, temperature, etc.  

 

Love Empyrion, but this claim is at best pretentious. You have no actual control over the core planet design. Also the scale is much, much smaller. You can easily walk around a planet in Empyrion, I'd suggest you try this in DU :P ..  I always have a chuckle when I read the claims regarding the seed in Empyrion when it really only determines where the resources are.

 

Empyrion has a lot to offer on paper, but it's all very shallow and the immersion is minimal. It's much closer to SE than it is to DU. Really DU will be much closer to EVE without the huge battles and fleets but with the control players have over the actual game and how it evolves. To me SC is really going nowhere very fast and ED is bacially Trucking Simulator in Space, quite fun actually but that's about it.

 

For me, DU holds a lot of promise of which we  will need to see how well it translates into an actual game.

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1 minute ago, blazemonger said:

 

Love Empyrion, but this claim is at best pretentious. You have no actual control over the core planet design. Also the scale is much, much smaller. You can easily walk around a planet in Empyrion, I'd suggest you try this in DU :P ..  I always have a chuckle when I read the claims regarding the seed in Empyrion when it really only determines where the resources are.

 

 

Yes, in 7.x and earlier, this is the case.  However, check out what is being planned for 8.0.  Not only will you be able to customize the biomes of a planet, in a very specific way, but the planets are growing a whole lot, up to over 2000+ square km.  Yes, still a whole lot smaller than the scale of what is being planned for DU, but it will no longer be possible to walk around planets in one sitting. 

 

https://empyriononline.com/threads/road-to-alpha-8-development-update-ii.36744/

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The point remains, even at the level of customization that exists now, it is more than will ever exist in DU.  Also, I'm not sure how you could downplay the immersion in EGS.  You literally have to eat multiple times a day to survive, and you can get a poisonous spider bite and die if you don't treat it.  These aspects are being further developed in coming updates as well, where simple medical issues can progress to more severe issues.  So I'm not sure how you could think there is minimal immersion there.  It's one of the most immersive games I've ever played tbh.

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I think the major thing you must keep in mind is that DU is a MMORPG. 

 

Empyrion and others like it are single player games or small scale multiplayer. If you come at DU from a single player game mindset then there are many areas you can look at and decide that it's underwhelming. 

 

But DU is an MMO and so the discussion changes. In a time where MMO's became smaller in scope, less persistent and far less ambitious DU is truly trying to be groundbreaking in its design. In context of its own genre DU is quite revolutionary. 

 

DU was never sold as a survival game. Or designed to give players ultimate control over the creation of worlds. It's not because 1 game does something that everyone else should copy it. And since this is an MMORPG with a persistent world some sacrifices have to be made from a technical point of view. Like water physics and such. 

 

You seem to downplay the single shard element. It's not my idea to change your mind but if you take what DU does on the scale it does with the potential amount of players it can host you fundamentally change the player experience. 

 

The experience changes in ways that a small scale multiplayer just can't provide. 

 

Apples and oranges. 

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11 hours ago, MookMcMook said:

It'll be DIFFERENT from most of what is out.

 

8 hours ago, BlorgonSlayer said:

It'll DIFFERENT from most of what is out.

How did you lose the "be" btw in your quote?

 

8 hours ago, BlorgonSlayer said:

However, it is drawing heavily from some other games that are in development now, and due to the approach they are taking in combining all these aspects, I'm not sure they are going to do it better than those doing these things independently.  Yes, the graphics are amazing, but due to the voxel system, star citizen's graphics will always be better.  Yes, it is an exciting open world sandbox space sim, but due to the graphics and single shard, it is less immersive and realistic than something like Empyrion.

Yes, you're inherently right.

 

1. All games end up drawing from other games. Minecraft drew heavily from "Infiniminer" for example, but it was Minecraft that blew up the Voxel genre you could say. I always felt Minecraft was like the true heir to the original Populous at a higher resolution... God I loved that game and still do :)

2. Again agree, an MMO's USP is SCALE, that sacrifices "granularity" as you point out (of detail). But that scale is potentially huge with respect to networks of players. A lot of money and lot of focus has been on SC but it won't scale... that vision hence is limited despite the stunning movie-like quality. You have realize the USP of GAMES themselves is not story, it's not sensory stimulation, though these are often v necessary in combination: It's interaction. Look at the interaction at scale potential. Will it end up that way: That's the question for the moment but we can refer to the preceding to conclude we're on the right road/tracks unlike other game designs. That is what I see and hear from NQ's conception and technology they're bringing to DU. Again we're ON the road, we're not "there" yet.

3. Graphics I believe are far over-rated: In fact what they're really good for is market discoverability and purchase boost. Not necessarily a good or great game that lasts. MMOs not only scale in the size of the virtual world but in the time they endure as games and hobbies for players to keep feeling involved and excited by. A big part of that is how successful the communities in the games develop and what FREEDOM and CREATIVITY they find. It's not graphics.

 

I'm just waiting for one faction to produce a Star Wars Themed War Fleet modelled on "The Empire" against another fleet idk maybe Transformers The Fleet or something else suitably "jarring". :P

 

8 hours ago, BlorgonSlayer said:

The point remains, even at the level of customization that exists now, it is more than will ever exist in DU.  Also, I'm not sure how you could downplay the immersion in EGS.  You literally have to eat multiple times a day to survive, and you can get a poisonous spider bite and die if you don't treat it.  These aspects are being further developed in coming updates as well, where simple medical issues can progress to more severe issues.  So I'm not sure how you could think there is minimal immersion there.  It's one of the most immersive games I've ever played tbh.

Yeah the personal survival stuff is too granular for an MMO. It's a different genre and scale of gameplay. Those MMOs that went that route ended up being obsessively grindy killing early player fun too quickly.

 

3 hours ago, Falstaf said:

I think the major thing you must keep in mind is that DU is a MMORPG.

As said above:-

 

1. Many games today are derivative of making a platformer innovate within the platformer GENRE. Eg MMORPGs do this: DikuMUD -> EQ -> WOW -> Most other 3D Themeparks. They never deviated to reassess the original question of what an MMO should be and how best to represent that: It became a game design problem to tap a market to turn a profit and the cut corners are EVERYWHERE in these games and players know it or experience it.

2. The interesting innovation is when games take an entirely fresh reappraisal eg how do we simulate worlds/space at scale? UO -> EVE -> DU I feel go in this direction. I'd call them a separate genre: MMOVW (massively multiplayer online Virtual Worlds).

 

It's good NQ simply call DU: "The Civilization Building MMO". Similar enough to the above acronym that it does not matter but "identifiably" NOT "mmoRPG" most importantly. If DU is sufficiently different as I think it is and will be then, people will notice that irrespective of name tags used. So "all's well that ends well... a rose by any other name." B)

 

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4 minutes ago, MookMcMook said:

 

 

It's good NQ simply call DU: "The Civilization Building MMO". Similar enough to the above acronym that it does not matter but "identifiably" NOT "mmoRPG" most importantly. If DU is sufficiently different as I think it is and will be then, people will notice that irrespective of name tags used. So all good.

 

I'm not sure I understand you. 

 

DU is played with a character that learns skills over time and allowing your character to be better at activities because of it. Character skill trumps player skill. 

 

It also uses Stat rolls to calculate damage etc. 

 

Those are both defining characteristics of RPG's. 

 

So by game design DU is a MMORPG. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Falstaf said:

I'm not sure I understand you. 

 

DU is played with a character that learns skills over time and allowing your character to be better at activities because of it. Character skill trumps player skill. 

 

It also uses Stat rolls to calculate damage etc. 

 

Those are both defining characteristics of RPG's. 

 

So by game design DU is a MMORPG. 

 

 

Emphasis.

 

mmoRPGs = You the player are the "Hero": The focus.

 

mmoVW = The "World" building is the focus.

 

Of the design. The latter can include RPG elements, the former does not include virtual world building of sufficient depth and interactivity and mutability.

 

It's interesting, Koster recalls that a lot of game journalists were, "Like, why would players want to bake bread and become a baker/boulangerie shop?" Yet often in many forums you have players piping: "Where's an MMO I can simply "be", not some dang hero saving the entire world, or be a simple farmer or whatever: Ie players don't want prescription, they want interaction that creates roles of some interesting consequence from their OWN actions and decisions as they experience the game world.

 

For example, I am getting impressions that DU will be very helpful for players to be very cooperative to achieve really interesting things. Less emphasis on individuals, more on the world works like such, we need to get groups of players to do various things cooperatively to interact with it most interestingly. That sort of vibe... Idk, I'm not a pre-alpha tester.

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10 minutes ago, MookMcMook said:

Emphasis.

 

mmoRPGs = You the player are the "Hero": The focus.

 

mmoVW = The "World" building is the focus.

 

I think we have to disagree on that. 

 

RPG has nothing to do with being a hero. It has to do with how the interactions with the world are done. Stats dictating the outcome of an action. 

 

Ultima, EVE, Star Wars Galaxies etc were all based on stats. Sure they have a strong emphasis on the world but at its roots they are still RPGs. 

 

An MMOVW would be something like Second Life. 

 

And DU has a strong community and world building focus but that has nothing to do with the definition of RPG. 

 

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34 minutes ago, Falstaf said:

I think we have to disagree on that. 

 

RPG has nothing to do with being a hero. It has to do with how the interactions with the world are done. Stats dictating the outcome of an action. 

 

Ultima, EVE, Star Wars Galaxies etc were all based on stats. Sure they have a strong emphasis on the world but at its roots they are still RPGs. 

 

An MMOVW would be something like Second Life. 

 

And DU has a strong community and world building focus but that has nothing to do with the definition of RPG. 

 

You're merely talking about "Skill Abstraction" systems.

 

The design emphasis of mmoRPGs very much is orientated around some peculiar notion that the CHARACTER (hero's journey completely ripped to shreds btw) is the centre of the universe "so to speak". Look at the designs. Or if that does not appeal, just put it that these mmoRPGs designs have much much more in common with each other than they do with DU, DU being an outlier to the extent it should have a different categorization merely through relative divergence.

 

It's for this reason that these "worlds" have been such low interaction environments: As @BlorgonSlayer has been saying there's a cost associated to MMO scale and this very much is the cost of these mmoRPG designs: They're dead worlds or ghost towns. For some financial reason devs of mmos have assumed that each player is predominantly a power-projection of the player's ego. It's a limited and limiting design. The real potential is in networks of players within a highly interactive virtual world building construct... combining what computers do very well networking and data:-

 

Physical systems -> logic -> player conceptual basis of the preceding -> Virtual World simulation game systems eg social tiers: combat, trade, politics and so on... these large systems then generate the necessary emergence.

 

RPG is just a genre trope afterall in video-games it's not a fixed thing: ""Stats of chars is wot players H-M like in the market"" I say complete BS. Bartle did an interesting analysis recently: What things DON'T players like in games and that's partly how you end up with various genres. Fair enough: What about beyond that though? What creates new experiences via making video-games?

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