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At its current state DU is nothing more than a game prototype. All this talk about civilization building where the game mechanics are nothing remotely about "civilization building"... and no, ability to build cities with voxels does not qualify. A city is not a bunch of buildings, it's the social aspect and the reasoning behind living in a city in the first place.

DU does not have social drivers for civilization, DU does not have selective pressures for civilization organization (no danger, no scarcity, pvp is just flying space castle sieges, no technological progression system at all)...

The common plight of big universe games (Elite Dangerous I'm looking at you) is they are going for scale, not depth. In Elite, I can basically play the whole game loop in less than 2 hours, you just have millions of planets and systems to play that game loop in. I feel like DU is going the same way. A new system will not fix the current problems as it will only make the universe larger but will not add depth. It's a common and frankly silly mistake, especially in DU context. What I am proposing here is focusing on depth, which requires a massive amount of content (what we've been asking for since... forever). You get the depth right with a fun game loop for the majority, you can then extrapolate that unto new systems.

 

I know that this whole thing is wishful thinking at this point of the "beta" that should be an early alpha, but here goes:

A way to simulate "civilization" in DU would be to scrap this Eve talent system (some things really shouldn't be copied) and do an org-based technological progression system.
NOTE, not a skills tree, a TECH tree:

 

  1. You have to be in an org to even progress in advanced technologies... Or there should be more technology branches available for group context
  2. Solo players should have basic technology progression available to them to facilitate solo play, and maybe a separate tech tree. Solo player tech tree should not be an afterthought, maybe it should have some cooler stuff than org tech trees. But the higher tier advanced stuff should only be in group context.
  3. Tech can only be progressed through when you are actively doing actions that facilitate skills /numbers that unlock a tech path  (you have to play to progress)
  4. Vast technological skills tree that unlocks stuff on an org basis. This automatically creates groups of people that progress through technology differently and this adds a ton of variety to orgs.
  5. an org can choose to progress through a more electronic line of skill, while another one might focus on plasma, another one might focus more on laser tech.
  6. an org may choose to develop agricultural skills for resource generation, or more mining, or more building.. debatable topic here but it's not hard to imagine that with this system orgs will specialize
  7. As you climb  further and further up the tech tree the branches have wider distance from each other, meaning that it's a lot harder to cover the whole tree (you need to specialize AS AN ORG in a certain area of technology)
  8. This should be a background systems with interesting skills (so you don't have to feel like you need to hit a rock X number of times to gain a better skill in idk... pooping). Skills progress organically based on actions, the difficult part is making the grind not grind for its own sake.
  9. You can have org waypoints (for example, some skills have multiple options and the org has to choose what type of said technology they want to unlock, they can't have both).
  10. IMPORTANT - this system gives devs a ton of room and opportunity to add more stuff to the tree whenever they want to, basically an unlimited system.

 

An example of a skill tree from Path of Exile:
Image result for path of exile skill tree

 

Granted this is a different mmo and all that (do not comment on path of exiles, irrelevant to the topic, I'm just showing a tree, could have used a different game), but the principle remains the same. As you go out to the outer layers of the tech tree you are forced to specialize because it becomes much harder, even impossible to cover everything on the outer branches of the tree in a group context. Skill training is done organically in group context, you simply focus on what you want to train and do those activities. In my opinion this system simulates "civilization building" much better than the Eve talent system which only focuses on the individual anyway, with few skills in group context.

The main thing with this tech system is it gives devs plenty of room to add more features and technologies to the tree, and as an mmo, new content is always important.

 

Anyway, what do you all think?

And before someone says "I specifically joined DU to avoid doing x number of stupid quests to gain a skill point", this is not what I mean by this tree. Tech should be acquired organically, not through some lame quests. Valheim for example has a really nice organic skill generation system, you don't even spec skills. You CAN'T. You automatically gain skill based only on what you do. I think this is a good system. I think it will encourage people to group up, I think it will add a ton of variety into orgs, and I think it will greatly increase specialized fun.

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1 minute ago, Splutty said:

Not sure if I agree on the 'have to be in an org' part. I think that's actually one of the main problems. But other than that, yeah, the skill system doesn't seem particularly well thought out, fitting, or for that matter functional. (There are skills that simply don't work. At all.)

I understand that solo play needs to be a viable (not just viable but enjoyable) part of the game. I only mainly suggest advanced technologies to be unlocked only in group context because of diversification of orgs themselves.

Maybe characters can have a separate tree system that is on par with org technology and maybe even cooler in some respects.

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A separate, distinctive tech tree for organizations sounds like a swell idea.

 

Something that players cannot directly invest into unless they're of the appropriate rank in a sufficiently advanced organization, providing a distinct incentive to form and progress those organizations or join existing orgs that are doing the appropriate work. Serves as a great place to put the vaunted "endgame content" that people speak of in hushed tones when talking about sandbox mmos.

 

You could brainstorm forever about the particulars of such a tree, but I think the concept is a good one.

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2 minutes ago, Splatinum said:

A separate, distinctive tech tree for organizations sounds like a swell idea.

 

Something that players cannot directly invest into unless they're of the appropriate rank in a sufficiently advanced organization, providing a distinct incentive to form and progress those organizations or join existing orgs that are doing the appropriate work.

 

You could brainstorm forever about the particulars of such a tree, but I think the concept is a good one.

That's the beauty of it.. the scaffolding is very much obvious but the iterations are infinite. If you can get a working prototype for a system like this, you can basically feed infinite content incrementally into the game. 

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1 hour ago, IvanGrozniy said:

Skill training is done organically in group context, you simply focus on what you want to train and do those activities. In my opinion this system simulates "civilization building" much better than the Eve talent system which only focuses on the individual anyway, with few skills in group context.

The main thing with this tech system is it gives devs plenty of room to add more features and technologies to the tree, and as an mmo, new content is always important.

 

Anyway, what do you all think?

And before someone says "I specifically joined DU to avoid doing x number of stupid quests to gain a skill point", this is not what I mean by this tree. Tech should be acquired organically, not through some lame quests. Valheim for example has a really nice organic skill generation system, you don't even spec skills. You CAN'T. You automatically gain skill based only on what you do. I think this is a good system. I think it will encourage people to group up, I think it will add a ton of variety into orgs, and I think it will greatly increase specialized fun.

there's never been a game design rationale for a time-based skills system... 

 

such a system is a ploy to maintain subscriptions. 

 

that's why they implemented it in Eve and that's why DU lazily copied it. 

 

Building skills should be at some level an achievement...you know, something based on the actual game, not based on how long you've been a subscriber. 

 

sure free to play games can suck, but subscription games can also build core game features around monetization and this is a prime example. 

 

NQ didn't want to make a "good skills system", they wanted to make a skills system that encouraged people to keep their subs active. 

 

PS I know you said not to mention it...but that screenshot makes me want to play PoE again :D 

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9 hours ago, ShippyLongstalking said:

... such a system is a ploy to maintain subscriptions. 

subscription-S-

 

Time-based skills pretty much is alt milking, even if devs trying to make faces like its totaly not the case. From pure disign perspective of 2020s game trends (and audience) its more or less horrible choice for newcomer game as I see it. This age demand fresh ideas, dynamics, interactivity to capture people attention.

 

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16 hours ago, ShippyLongstalking said:

there's never been a game design rationale for a time-based skills system... 

I disagree with this. For games I play less frequently, time-based skills are a nice way to continue making progress even if I can only login to the game for an hour a week. I'm not sure if there are games that have tried a hybrid approach, but that could be interesting. Reward active players with increased training speed, but maintain a slower background training rate for players who can't devote as much time.

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I was thinking a bit about it and come to conclusion, that some people probably hate.

 

Only hope for DU higher levels of societal organization is endless WAR.

 

Reason is quite simple, if not obvious on surface. Every peacful (mostly economical) global interactivity will be overpowered by hardcore grinders and alt accounts working in small groups (as micro-clan or core of larger org). So, no matter how you roll skills, resources, industry or anything, as long its not includes physical conflict (projection competition) people will be fanaticly workarounding any system thrown against them, and totaly not willing to be "civilized", progenating same "isolated farmsteads" thing, that now rules DU.


Do workarounds with war much more difficult: people can't replace 10 people ship crew all by themeselfs (if we exclude some very limited play on 2-3 computers). Probervial field of battle allows more or less "honest" degree of people/characters ratio and, to some extent, less importance of bruteforcing via solo/small group 24/7 playtime. Also in war you need alies, that will realisticly generate larger groups from smaller ones.

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I think the decision to limit us to NQ built markets is the first mistake. There is no social element to the markets. People just land, crash inside the million parked ships, run to the terminal and then run home.

 

The other complete immersion killer is that markets on all planets look exactly the same. 

For me the smartest move to create community feeling within the game is to scrap all the faceless NQ hubs and open player markets

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1 hour ago, Burble said:

For me the smartest move to create community feeling within the game is to scrap all the faceless NQ hubs and open player markets

Totaly agree. It, by all bits and pieces we had, was initial idea -- just drop us on Alioth empty handed near Ark and let build everything from ground up. Clean world, new start, makes sense.

 

Yet, for some reason, NQ made deeply wrong (as for me) bet on some sort of idea, that more "established" world bring them more success with new (and, likely, more mainstream) audience. So they crudly made it "established", while we obviously had all ability to make it so much more organic and interesting way. Its very badly lost opportunity.

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@op

 

I have been also suggesting that Orgs should have their own tech tree that add both higher technology/upgrades but also that it should also unlock new features or functions to the table that makes orgs more than just an industry but that they can provide civil functionality such as city halls, police force, ship yards, player markets, military bases, powerplants, etc that require zoning but serve real pusposes that are lacking in the game for territory wars. But also that Orgs should have their own versions of TUs that range from a 7 cluster tile to regions/sectors that are much larger than 7 tiles but cost a lot more.

 

I also think that the Org tree should act kind of like a group Age of Empires kind of research tree that each player in the org should have a sepperate Exp Pool and Exp per min to help their org research but also that if you leave the org that exp goes with you wether you start your own Org or go to another larger one.

 

This game has a serious lack of needing an org as everyone can do the same thing. I wish that there were no pvp protections at all and it required massive org factions to watch each others backs because your property can be stolen, hacked, or damaged/destroyed at any time to facilitate the need to work with huge orgs to gain ally protections where your orgmates cant attack you or that anywhere anytime outside of the alioth homeworld is full danger besides your orgmates. I think also if they got rid of the tab target random bas and had actual aiming/leading of shots this game would be much better off.

 

Until there isa need for civilization I can do everything a large org can do and I dont need them as they dont really need me either. I would rather play this game solo or in a small group the way this game is as there is no real point to anything DU/NQ has built or added to the game so far. Its a solo building game with crafting imo not the PvP game they set out to make. Until its unsafet outside alioth everywhere it will never materialize just look at the StarWars PvP event lol.

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On 2/19/2021 at 10:10 PM, IvanGrozniy said:

You have to be in an org to even progress in advanced technologies... Or there should be more technology branches available for group context

You for real? 

 

Why dont you suggest blocking the subscription of anyone without a org? 

 

I understand that this game does little for the creation of a civilization. 

But your solution will only makes the hole between soloplayers and orgs deeper. 

 

And solo players will probably want a civilisation more then orgs. 

 

Orgs can protect themselves. Solo players need laws to be protected. 

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2 hours ago, joaocordeiro said:

I understand that this game does little for the creation of a civilization. 

But your solution will only makes the hole between soloplayers and orgs deeper. 

 

And solo players will probably want a civilisation more then orgs. 

 

Orgs can protect themselves. Solo players need laws to be protected. 

Solo players wanting a civilization more than orgs... if that's exactly what you mean that's fine, I agree. If what you mean is solo players will create civilization more than orgs, that is an oxymoron.


We need to define what civilization even is to use it, and then gamify it in DU context:

 

Civilization is the organization of individuals into social bodies due to selective pressures.

  • A non-exhaustive list of the characteristics of civilization include: social structure and hierarchy, efficiency, work organization, supply of needs
  • A non-exhaustive list of the emergent properties of civilization includes: technological innovation, sociopolitical development, cultural development
  • A non-exhaustive list of selective pressures that create civilization include: resource shortage, non-uniform resource distribution, geography, weather, proximity to neighboring civilizations, war, dangerous environment, dangerous neighbors.


Clearly, saying that one should join an org to play the game is a problem, this is why, if you read my initial post carefully, I also suggest a separate tree for solo players and perhaps some more interesting options that org tech trees will not have. And vice versa. But if DU is to be a civilization building game, it is impossible in solo play context. You need to be working together as a group and form social hierarchy and roles. This is a key part to civilization building. I hope you see my point and why it is, I think, necessary, in order to gamify civilization progress in DU context, there must be an org tech tree.

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4 minutes ago, IvanGrozniy said:

there must be an org tech tree.

But how will that even work? 

What will prevent ppl from creating massive orgs without any other resource share, just to bypass this system of yours? 

What will prevent ppl from making their private org to play alone? 

How woukd. It work with ppl. In multiple orgs? How about orgs inside orgs? 

 

The problem you refere is real. But this is not a solition. 

Ppl will not join a org for org research and if they are forced to do, they will not participate in the social aspect. 

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15 minutes ago, joaocordeiro said:

But how will that even work? 

What will prevent ppl from creating massive orgs without any other resource share, just to bypass this system of yours? 

What will prevent ppl from making their private org to play alone? 

How woukd. It work with ppl. In multiple orgs? How about orgs inside orgs? 

 

The problem you refere is real. But this is not a solition. 

Ppl will not join a org for org research and if they are forced to do, they will not participate in the social aspect. 

Well there are some obvious things to consider:
 - org tech trees should be non-transferable. This means if you are in org A and they have researched plasma weapons, you cannot then go to org B and build plasma weapons for org B (unless for example org B asks to buy blueprints or tech from org A). This has its problems of course, but literally every social organization methodology has its strengths and weaknesses.
 - the way that research is generated is when org members literally do the tasks that unlock certain branches... for example, if org A wants to focus on plasma weapons research, they will build more plasma weapons, make more plasma, build stuff out of plasma, etc... the research points system should only grow when more people do tasks that help with research in certain things. I don't even like the idea of assigning what you research, it should be organic. If you do this, then this research branch gets more skill, if you do that, then that research branch gets more skill, etc.. 

 - yes this will incentivize big orgs if they want to grow in research tech faster. To fix this, research point generation does not have to scale linearly with how many players are working on certain things that increase research points in a certain branch, it can be a logarithmic function like this:

 image.png.daa55404077471fec0d2343ca861f0cc.png

Meaning that there is a certain sweet spot where you get max research points generation, and then beyond that the increase in point generation is not very effective. This ensures that orgs don't hoard players to research super fast.

 

And on and on, there are many ways to implement this and it's worth discussing I think. Thank you for brining up the points you bring up, because yes you raise valid issues.

However I still maintain that for a civilization building game, group / org level tech progression is necessary.

 

You must also realize that this system inherently requires a lot of content to be in the game. If I want a vast tech tree system, every branch unlocks an element / technology, it forces the game to be more content heavy rather than focused on huge universe with very limited content. 

 

I guess, in a very loose way, you can think of this system as say, age of empires where you have technology ages.. you must do x in order to go to the next technology age y. But in DU this can be done on an org level, forcing them to be more dynamic and varied because one org cannot research everything. It should basically be impossible to do that.

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There is nothing stopping a solo solo player from starting a pocket org like everyone else for 500k-h. It can also be handled just like if you dont have anything qued if there is a research exp as their is personal growth exp.

 

Most of all any researched technologies should be massive and require much larger cores or zoning to place down such as industry units that are XL and higher should require massive machines to make or ground based defense units like surface to air batteries, nuke silos etc. But also for things like giant reactors for a zoned power plant, solar arrays, Communications satilite dishes, and pretty much modular things you can build around with voxels.

 

But it should be more like a landlord type thing where it does not matter if someone is in your org they can still live in residential areas or industrial areas where they get taxed for living there but get better taxes if they are part of your org but are still offered the same protections for living on your land. If the org is targeted they should be expected to help especially if they are invested in the providence/sector/region.

 

There needs to be some kind of governmental structure of voting or building/planning for things like setting height limits for air travel or whatever is needed.for the area or getting permits for stations/elevators etc.

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I jusy feel like ppl would join up this massive orgs without sharing any other resource or interact socially. 

 

To me the beat way to form a society is to bring some out side threat.

The best way would be NPCs. But we all know that's not gunna happen. 

 

Another way is too reward civil behaviors. Like geting tax discounts for helping players. Getting heavier taxation for killing other players. 

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14 minutes ago, joaocordeiro said:

I jusy feel like ppl would join up this massive orgs without sharing any other resource or interact socially. 

 

To me the beat way to form a society is to bring some out side threat.

The best way would be NPCs. But we all know that's not gunna happen. 

 

Another way is too reward civil behaviors. Like geting tax discounts for helping players. Getting heavier taxation for killing other players. 

I actually agree with some of this. The reward can be a global reputation system perhaps? Outside threat would be awesome, that would really be nice.

The issue though is that if this is a civilization building game, there is no tech tree and no civilization progression in the game. Nor do I think it is even planned :( This whole post is a pipe dream lol.

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1 hour ago, joaocordeiro said:

I jusy feel like ppl would join up this massive orgs without sharing any other resource or interact socially. 

 

To me the beat way to form a society is to bring some out side threat.

The best way would be NPCs. But we all know that's not gunna happen. 

 

Another way is too reward civil behaviors. Like geting tax discounts for helping players. Getting heavier taxation for killing other players. 

It just needs rival solar systems fighting against each other to work with two factions. They missed that boat and unfortunately its likely not going to work at this point in the way they want it to since honestly the big orgs dont really have to fight at all. Sure you got some people blocading planets every now and then but nothing will really ever turn this into a good pvp game unless they just stripped all the pvp protection zones straight up, took away speed limits, and make it non tab target to actually require some kind of skill requirements in combat if not just completely ditching the whole talent system.

 

They dont have the money or resources to do anything meaningful at this point so its kinda a moot point to have a civ since they wont/cant make this game a success with anything planned on the to-do list.

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Factions could have been a thing if done properly, like 3 home planets (Alioth, Thades and Madis), you get to choose where to start from and you get benefits only on your own planet, like the safe zone being limited to "natives".

 

Beside that I still think industry should be somehow limited, I mean being able to produce anything is counter productive if they aim at cooperation, maybe splitting the industry talent tree into branches (assembly, metalwork, refinery, etc) and giving us only 1 choice could help. Ofc ppl will use alts to avoid this but they'll still be a minority.

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