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Warp Drive Active: On Dynamic World Events

Author
Winterblink
#1 - 2012-09-07 15:47:53 UTC
Hey all. One of the fellows on Reddit suggested throwing this in here for discussion, figured what the hey.

Blog post: http://www.warpdriveactive.com/2012/09/06/on-dynamic-world-content/
Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/zi828/on_dynamic_world_content/

Quote:
I make no secret out of the fact that I play other MMOs than EVE Online. While they do not hold my attention as long as EVE, the experience of playing them sometimes reveals some interesting features which I feel could be used to enhance other games. I’m currently loving the **** out of Guild Wars 2, and it reminded me of one of the things I feel has been missing in EVE: dynamic world content.

I’ve written in the forums years back that one of the things that is most lacking within the game is its lore. That’s not to say it is completely lacking, and the developers will be quick to say that the player community provides this in spades. I wouldn’t disagree 100% with that assessment, and yet even CCP recognized the lack of story driven content when it began — and subsequently shafted — the COSMOS effort. I think now would be an excellent time for CCP to revisit something like that.

Similar to my previous forum post on the subject, I’m in no way suggesting we suddenly have an extension of the current agent system, providing missions in the current normal sense. I’m pitching the concept of dynamic world content.

Guild Wars 2 builds on the public quest concept that was front and center in games such as Warhammer Online, allowing players to collaborate on quest content by going to an area and taking part in it without explicitly joining a party or zoning to a special instance. GW2 basically replaces the typical quest log with this concept, allowing for a more open approach to questing and quest activities. Additionally, and more in line with this discussion, it brings us branching dynamic story quests which require player interaction and often lead to an escalating — and still public — quest line. Players can come and go as they wish, be rewarded appropriately for their actions, and can even end up in the middle of a ridiculous boss fight to end the story.

I’m not suggesting CCP copy the concept word for word, however imagine the possibilities here if we apply an EVE-style mentality to the approach.

You undock from a station, and the new mission log UI shows flashing as you get a notification from a convoy that belongs to some NPC corporation. Its escorts are late, its supplies are needed at a station four jumps away, and it needs some security that it will make the trip in one piece. You expand the log UI, it shows a planned jump route to you so you know its next destination and a countdown to when the convoy will warp to the first gate. You decide to tag along.

As the convoy warps off you warp with it. It arrives at the gate 10km away and makes its way towards the gate, jumping through. You follow. On the other side one of the ships is having a problem aligning to the next jump. Two minutes appear on the clock in the mission UI, and a few seconds later red +’s appear as a group of NPCs warp in to try to destroy and loot the convoy. You begin to engage, attacking the enemies as other players who were warping to that gate decide to join in the convoy defense as well. With the additional help to defend the convoy during this encounter, the enemy NPCs call in additional reinforcements to balance the engagement. Suddenly there’s a much larger firefight on your hands, and still three jumps to go…

Rewards for players would be bounties on the NPC kills, loot from their ships, and loyalty points for the faction who’s convoy you helped. The event could even be extended by maybe a combat fleet at the station where the supplies are delivered asking for your assistance to help deal with the enemy NPC’s base of operations in that sector. You can help if you want, as much as you want, and be rewarded appropriately for your involvement.

An initial basic form of this could be done with simple encounter stages created like building blocks, that can be added to each other dynamically by the game depending on general randomness, player involvement, and level of success with the event stages.

And if we really wanted to add an EVE spin on the concept — and why the **** not? — then allow for players on the NPC’s side to join in the attack on the convoy. This may require some sort of opt-in mechanism for the duration of the mission to allow you to be attacked and to attack people involved in the event, but imagine an empire space with this kind of dynamic content AND with a PVP element thrown into the mix?

So you’re there defending against the NPC enemies because that’s all you can shoot at, suddenly some players show up and begin shooting the convoy you’re trying to defend. You want to win this, you have enough friends on your side, so everyone clicks the button in the mission UI that lets you engage players who have clicked the same opt-in button for the enemy side and suddenly you’ve got a real fight on your hands with all the rewards that come with it.
Winterblink
#2 - 2012-09-07 15:48:21 UTC
Quote:
This could be just one more way that time spent in EVE can be interesting and rewarding. Instead of grinding missions, you could go on a patrol through your home constellation for events kicking off, and take part in them as you see fit. CCP can weave in as much or as little lore in each event as they like, with the region or even constellation adding its own flavors to the party. Border zones between factions could have you attacking say Caldari ships, affecting your standings with that side. The results of faction warfare in the area maybe plays into things as well, even economic variables could be used — there’s no end to the amount and types of modifiers CCP could add to this over time.

In the end, the content is still primarily affected by the players who take part in it, and with a PVP element thrown in for fun the concept will still stay true to the roots of the game.
Ellariona
B52 Bombers
#3 - 2012-09-07 16:33:54 UTC
+1 if they are group efforts only and are subject to the sabotage of other players
Saede Riordan
Alexylva Paradox
#4 - 2012-09-07 16:41:16 UTC
+1 so much like for this. This could all be integrated with incursions as well, leading players into incursion areas and branching into improved incursion content.
Oberine Noriepa
#5 - 2012-09-07 16:57:51 UTC
I suggested this awhile back. I would really like to see the missioning system redone among these lines. Here's a link to the original post. I'll also quote and bold the relevant portion below.

Oberine Noriepa wrote:
Neftaran wrote:
The PvE aspect of this game is utterly horrible.
Agreed. It needs an overhaul. It should be made more challenging and interesting, and it would be great if it went into EVE's backstory a lot more in ways that go beyond reading walls of text. It would be really cool if avatar gameplay could somehow be tied into it. Exploring stations, boarding ships, etc. It could be made into something really unique, I think. There's a L1 mission where you fly into a hollowed out asteroid to blow up a space station. I would love to see more stuff like that, but on a level where you actually have to explore the environment to find what you're looking for. Maybe those types of changes could be implemented into the epic arcs? Maybe we could get new arcs?

I would really like to see more content like incursions. In Guild Wars 2, the side-quest content is all done through a live event system that encourages cooperation of other players as well as competition. I would love to see something like that in EVE. Maybe a feature like that could become so diverse that it ends up replacing the current mission system altogether? It could encourage more people to play together and possibly against each other, which is what EVE is and always should be about. There's a lot of potential to flesh out the EVE universe with a system like that. CCP is sitting on a wealth of backstory that isn't represented too well, if at all, in the game.

Winterblink
#6 - 2012-09-07 18:34:31 UTC
Oberine Noriepa wrote:
I suggested this awhile back. I would really like to see the missioning system redone among these lines. Here's a link to the original post. I'll also quote and bold the relevant portion below.

Oberine Noriepa wrote:
Neftaran wrote:
The PvE aspect of this game is utterly horrible.
Agreed. It needs an overhaul. It should be made more challenging and interesting, and it would be great if it went into EVE's backstory a lot more in ways that go beyond reading walls of text. It would be really cool if avatar gameplay could somehow be tied into it. Exploring stations, boarding ships, etc. It could be made into something really unique, I think. There's a L1 mission where you fly into a hollowed out asteroid to blow up a space station. I would love to see more stuff like that, but on a level where you actually have to explore the environment to find what you're looking for. Maybe those types of changes could be implemented into the epic arcs? Maybe we could get new arcs?

I would really like to see more content like incursions. In Guild Wars 2, the side-quest content is all done through a live event system that encourages cooperation of other players as well as competition. I would love to see something like that in EVE. Maybe a feature like that could become so diverse that it ends up replacing the current mission system altogether? It could encourage more people to play together and possibly against each other, which is what EVE is and always should be about. There's a lot of potential to flesh out the EVE universe with a system like that. CCP is sitting on a wealth of backstory that isn't represented too well, if at all, in the game.

Nice one.

I think the last time I posted something about this to the forums was when Warhammer Online came out, and the public quest part of it was intriguing enough to wonder how it would apply to EVE.

Specific mechanics aside, the sheer organic nature of finding things to do in GW2 is the part I'd most like to see translated to EVE in some capacity. It made the world seem just that much more alive. EVE's really good for having that living breathing feeling with the players of course, but this would be tasty icing on an already tasty cake.
Danel Tosh
Nocturnal Reconnaissance and Manufacturing
Eve Engineering
#7 - 2012-09-07 18:40:40 UTC
I would also include a low a null sec version of this Idea as well. It would give us nullbears somthing better to do that sit around and shoot plexes all day.
Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
#8 - 2012-09-07 18:47:43 UTC

I think this is part of the Crimewatch changes....

Someone steals from a can, and they become a suspect.... such that any passerby can engage that suspect, and the suspect can fire back....

All you need is for a trigger event that encourages people to go suspect..... Players will risk stealing when the loot is worth the risk... but what else could you trigger players to do?

I almost think the mission description is completely BACKWARDS.... The mission agent should say they have a report on the movement of an ENEMY convoy, and dispatch you to destroy it.... and once anyone shoots at the convoy, they get flagged as a suspect where everyone can shoot'em.... Convoys can be tweaked with escorts and active reps to encourage large ship or group efforts....

Souisa
WESCORP 2.0
#9 - 2012-09-07 19:05:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Souisa
It would be better if the players created the content, thats actually how EVE has been working pretty much from day 1. First of all its less for work the developers and it actually becomes a better game. Emphasize more on "freedom" and choice mechanics and you will end up with a very dynamic and addicting game

o/

Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
#10 - 2012-09-07 19:21:38 UTC
Souisa wrote:
It would be better if the players created the content, thats actually how EVE has been working pretty much from day 1. First of all its less for work the developers and it actually becomes a better game. Emphasize more on "freedom" and choice mechanics and you will end up with a very dynamic and addicting game


There are several aspects that need to be watched out for:

1.) Players creating content to farm excessively for very unbalanced rewards....
2.) The TTP concept (players creating obscene content)....

Essentially, I don't know how you can allow players to create NPC's content while insuring they don't abuse the system...
Ricardo Aguti
Perkone
Caldari State
#11 - 2012-09-08 00:03:16 UTC
I wonder to what extent the game can be made to randomly generate unique encounters rather than the way missions run now where the red crosses, triggers, and rewards are generally always the same. I think this could be positive for the game as long as the events are random enough that there is never a way to bring an ideal fit or fleet comp and you won't really know quite what you're up against until "it" hits the fan
Winterblink
#12 - 2012-09-08 01:31:07 UTC
Ricardo Aguti wrote:
I wonder to what extent the game can be made to randomly generate unique encounters rather than the way missions run now where the red crosses, triggers, and rewards are generally always the same. I think this could be positive for the game as long as the events are random enough that there is never a way to bring an ideal fit or fleet comp and you won't really know quite what you're up against until "it" hits the fan

That's why I was pitching a kind of building-block approach, whereby various encounter components could be strung together to make things interesting. With enough variety and ongoing support plus additional content over time it could keep things going quite well. Throw in modifiers based on player involvement (number of ships per side scales up NPC responses for example) and that further enhances things.

I don't think you'll ever get truly random generation, but a well thought out component based approach might do the trick.

Just a thought. :)
Lynne Rankin
Slow Chidlren at Play
#13 - 2012-09-08 02:02:24 UTC  |  Edited by: Lynne Rankin
+1. PVE is horrible right now and needs to be addressed. If not this, at least dynamic AI like the Sleepers >_<

But knowing myself, I'd probably be the guy who flies by, see a handful of ships defending a convoy I think to myself "True Sansha fitted PVE boats... WANT KILLMAIL!" and join in. If I have plenty of ammo left and the convoy is still standing I'll keep up on the enemy side to shoot at a couple roleplayers while getting some LP/bounty from the pirate faction (gotta build up that -10 Angel Cartel standing somehow). Who knows? Join in on the defense of the pirate faction basee for the heck of it in a sort of player driven incursion site, with players taking sides!

I want this.
Akai Kvaesir
Itsukame-Zainou Hyperspatial Inquiries Ltd.
#14 - 2012-09-08 02:08:47 UTC
+1billion. This, in conjunction with Shalee Lianee's FW proposal would be an amazing directional shift for EVE, away from disconnected groups (ie hisec, lowsec, null, and FW, among the other niches) and towards a rich and vibrantly dynamic player-driven and interconnected universe.

Finding a way to incorporate hi- low- and null-sec, while at the same time making FW have real meaning and real consequences...well, that would be a challenge but one I doubt would be insurmountable. But it is a step in the right direction, regardless. New Eden needs some new life, and I firmly believe this is the direction that will take us all to a better world, while at the same time retaining the awesomesauce of the EVE sandbox.

I really hope CCP takes a long look at not only the general idea of this, but also how it could legitimately be incorporated. In conjunction with the coming DUST connection, this alone would do wonders to bringing in subscriptions, not to mention addressing the hisec burnout rate.

Frogblast the Vent Core! When the W'rkncacnter came, Pthia was killed, and Yrro in anger, flung the W'rkncacnter into the sun. The sun burned them, but they swam on its surface.

Nalha Saldana
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#15 - 2012-09-08 08:53:36 UTC
Eve's content really lacks dynamics, this is how they could make pve fun!
Tcar
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#16 - 2012-09-08 17:06:37 UTC
That, is a damn good idea.
Souisa
WESCORP 2.0
#17 - 2012-09-08 19:52:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Souisa
Gizznitt Malikite wrote:
Souisa wrote:
It would be better if the players created the content, thats actually how EVE has been working pretty much from day 1. First of all its less for work the developers and it actually becomes a better game. Emphasize more on "freedom" and choice mechanics and you will end up with a very dynamic and addicting game


There are several aspects that need to be watched out for:

1.) Players creating content to farm excessively for very unbalanced rewards....
2.) The TTP concept (players creating obscene content)....

Essentially, I don't know how you can allow players to create NPC's content while insuring they don't abuse the system...



Well it basically sounds like a quest system in EVE and im not sure i like this idea. I thought EVE was about the environment players created, and not NPC style encounters like WoW etc

o/

Erik Finnegan
Polytechnique Gallenteenne
#18 - 2012-09-08 20:05:52 UTC
I like this. I'd call it a PVE flavor of player-policing.

To add to the building blocks of the world mission system you propose, Winterblink, how's this : ORE and factions could have mining fleets waiting to jump into asteroid belts, open for capsuleers to assist and protect them.
Tenris Anis
Schattenengel Clan
#19 - 2012-09-08 22:47:59 UTC  |  Edited by: Tenris Anis
Great idea, great reflection on the greatest theme park element of guild wars 2. +1

Just a brainstorm thought:

I guess it would be wiser to keep this for low sec . And it would be wise to balance the enemy ships not around player battleships. I would like to see lots of decent mini-events in low-sec. Should spice up pirating and low sec in general.
In High-Sec competition should be not achieved via direct fights, but via contested events. Example: While one group tries to bring their convoy to its destination, another group may try the same for another corporation's convoy. Who ever reach the target stations first gets the nice big paycheck, the other convoy finds the markets spoiled and will not make much profit. Both Events spawn at different locations, so players can not simply join all the same convoy.

Remove insurance.

Winterblink
#20 - 2012-09-08 23:08:01 UTC
Erik Finnegan wrote:
I like this. I'd call it a PVE flavor of player-policing.

To add to the building blocks of the world mission system you propose, Winterblink, how's this : ORE and factions could have mining fleets waiting to jump into asteroid belts, open for capsuleers to assist and protect them.

I like it. :)

I'm all for variety in the events, I only pitched an escort-combat example for obvious reasons. But yes, why not mining fleet protection? Or a courier fleet example where the players are the ones being escorted? Twisted

Lots of possibilities, especially when one considers linking events together into escalating chains that could form a kind of random drop-in story for the people who take part in them.
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