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Sintwar
11-06-2009, 03:08 PM
I don't know if this would be the right place to post this, but I would like to make a suggestion for something that could help keep things interesting.

I have been playing for a little over a month, and have not even come close to exploring all there is to explore. But I do see a time in the future, where I have seen all there is to see, and all I will be doing from that point on, is re-doing quests over and over until I have seen every map, every area, every spawn and become tired of them. I have already met a few people in this situation. Even as a level 12, I find that the only thing I can really do to gain more exp, is to do the same quests over and over again.

I don't know if this idea has been suggested before or possibly thought of by the devs, but I ran a search in the forums and found nothing.

So, my suggestion is to to implement a treasure map / treasure hunt system, which would spawn random treasure maps as items in chest loot and/or as quest rewards, or maybe even purchased from a shady npc in a dark alley somewhere.

Each map would have a different challenge rating, and could be traded. The higher the challenge rating (or level), the harder the monsters, and better the treasure, and possibly the more the chests you will encounter.

Treasure locations could be placed in random spots in the wilderness areas, but it would also be great to have randomly generated islands of different sizes, theme and content that the player groups can travel to via a npc at a dock.

The idea would be, that once you acquire a treasure map, you and your group travel to the location indicated on the map (Cerulean hills for example), The map owner will activate the map before the group enters, and as long as another map quest is not already active in that group, the treasure quest will activate, and upon entering the quest, the treasure quest will become active instead of the usual slayer/explorer.

If randomly generated islands are a factor, groups would meet at a npc at a dock, and the one with a treasure map would initiate the quest, with the rest to follow.

Once inside, the area will be filled with monsters relative to the challenge rating and theme, along with varying camp locations, and activities going on depending on the type of monsters available.

The stories can be fairly similar, such as "A clan of orcs have buried a treasure somewhere in the Cerulean hills. This map seems to include directions for finding it", but the location of, and requirements to find the treasure should be fairly random.

Once inside, there could be several different tasks that the group will need to complete before the actual location is revealed on the map. Perhaps they need to raid several camps to acquire more information, find and solve several random puzzles or any number of combinations of tasks, which will ultimately reveal the location of the the treasure on the area map. There could be endless possible scenarios of ways to reveal the location.

The point though, is to ensure that you get a different adventure every time. There could even be random makeshift tunnels that have been dug within the camps, and loaded with traps that the group would need to explore in order to find a document, key or something needed to locate the treasure. The tunnel entrance would simply be a bunker type entrance located within a camp.

This could also re-open the maps for some of the higher level characters. For example, it is almost entirely pointless for a level 20 character to explore the Cerulean hills. They have no need or desire to visit this area ever again once they reach a certain level. There is no xp, the loot is fruitless for them, and the monsters are just too easy. But, give them a chance to enter that same map, fill it up with level 20 monsters and loot, and they will want to go back to it.

A few side notes:

Keep the treasure map available until the treasure has been obtained. It would suck to have a group wipe, a bunch of people leave the quest, and/or then the person who owned the map lose it because he lost connection or something.

I would also suggest that the person who owned the map be guaranteed the loot in the actual treasure chest. It would suck to own a map, start a hunt, lose connection or something, only to return to the quest to find out that your treasure is unavailable because someone opened the chests while you were trying to get back in.

These type of quests would not need to award favor. XP and loot would be more than enough incentive for these type of quests I think.

I would really like to see the randomly generated islands, tunnels, caves, etc. This would keep it fresh, different and challenging every time, instead of having someone who has completed the areas 2,000 times running around screaming "ok, everyone follow me and do exactly what I say!!", which is almost like having the Dungeon Master announce that "as soon as you open that door, there will be a swarm of trolls, and this is how you are going to kill them..., and by the way, there is a trap here, so rogue - stand here and search for traps..." Annoying!

well, let me know what you think. Any suggestions? Any other types of task ideas or methods to reveal the treasure location?

PyroKillas
11-09-2009, 10:04 AM
This is probly the best idea i've seen in a long time in many different mmorpg's even though this has been implemented in most of them I regularly play, the way you have thought of it to be so random is just brilliant. I for one would love to see this in my favorite mmorpg of all time DDO :D

-Pyro-

Shamurai
11-09-2009, 10:22 AM
Love the idea!
/signed

chaossdragon
11-09-2009, 11:29 AM
ah this brings back many memories of treasure hunting via maps from Ultima Online.

go fishing, catch a message in a bottle, a piece of paper is stuck inside and once decoded it would reveal an image of a random location of the world with an x.

the idea was to figure out where the image matched the world, almost always near a coastline or some other obvious landmark... go to the location and start digging.
as you worked closer and closer to your goal various random and rather powerful monsters spawned and would try to kill you, most often succeeding unless you had some good guards... maps ranged from level 1 to 5 for difficulty scaling. but once you reached your goal you would get a nice chest full of goodies.

/signed

Zenako
11-09-2009, 11:58 AM
Interesting, but sadly rather impractical. Let me explain. For it to be worthwhile and anything more than just a token degree of randomness would require a LOT of effort to develop. It would be rediculously easy to end up with quests that are broken due to "random" results of mob compositions. Like it or not, the number and types of enemies we face in each quest is pretty carefully scripted to the challenge that quest is supposed to present.

The graphics (which are a pretty strong point of the game overall) are tailored and tweaked to fit each quest. They are not standard blocks of 3 straight cave tunnels followed by 2 left turn modules and a medium cavern. While it might be feasible to just repopulate explorer zones with Devils instead of Orcs for example, the numbers of mobs appearing at once would need to be considered. While it is ok to step into a room/small cave with 10 orcs, doing the same thing with 10 devils could be a problem. Are there spots in there that the devils could Teleport too that they would get stuck? Could they get into spots where the characters could not kill them either? Its annoying when a Devil Teleports into the wall in Shroud pt 4, but at least there you can often move far enough to get them out, while in a small cave that might not be possible. Broken quest component then.

What this ultimately amounts to is almost having individual DM's for each party. That becomes very expernsive to support. Would it be great. You betcha. Would it be cheap to do...not by a longshot. Would you pay $50 a month to play that type of game?

Some nice ideas there, but the things you need to design for when doing a MMO are vastly different than the things you design for when doing a quest for a single group. IF the maps are too rare, then no one uses the new options. If there are not enough variations, pretty soon people figure them all out too. Variation in quests does cause some players anxiety. I recall some complaints about the variation in mini bosses in Part 2 of Shroud when it first came out. Some complaints about how their group got screwed by having the hard set vs a much easier set to deal with. Not everyone wants things to vary, some actually like it if they can exactly plan out every step of every quest for themselves. Are there a lot like that, hopefully not, but they do play.

chadj82371
11-09-2009, 12:46 PM
Cool idea but I'm guessing it would be pretty expensive to implement. Maybe the treasure maps could be sold as adventure packs. They could even break them up like Necro 1-4. Each pack for different level maps. Don't know. But it is a cool sounding idea. Might even provide some reason to go back to Korthos.

Sintwar
11-09-2009, 07:52 PM
Interesting, but sadly rather impractical. Let me explain. For it to be worthwhile and anything more than just a token degree of randomness would require a LOT of effort to develop. It would be rediculously easy to end up with quests that are broken due to "random" results of mob compositions. Like it or not, the number and types of enemies we face in each quest is pretty carefully scripted to the challenge that quest is supposed to present.

The graphics (which are a pretty strong point of the game overall) are tailored and tweaked to fit each quest. They are not standard blocks of 3 straight cave tunnels followed by 2 left turn modules and a medium cavern. While it might be feasible to just repopulate explorer zones with Devils instead of Orcs for example, the numbers of mobs appearing at once would need to be considered. While it is ok to step into a room/small cave with 10 orcs, doing the same thing with 10 devils could be a problem. Are there spots in there that the devils could Teleport too that they would get stuck? Could they get into spots where the characters could not kill them either? Its annoying when a Devil Teleports into the wall in Shroud pt 4, but at least there you can often move far enough to get them out, while in a small cave that might not be possible. Broken quest component then.


I don't think it would be too difficult to randomly fill a map with balanced mobs. If done properly, each map could have a base template for each level map. Islands could have a tile based design, which would generate x number of y type of monsters in tile zones based on the difficulty of the map.

From what I have seen so far, the sewer systems for the most part seem to be fairly modular. As in, they are already using copied and pasted segments to build their existing quests. Granted, every map has had several certain areas custom built specifically for that particular map, for the most part, it would not take much to use existing segments of those tunnel and sewer areas to generate a fairly random map, with some corridors and a few rooms.
Just Google the term "random maze" or even better "random dungeon", and see what you come up with. If some cheapo web app can generate as awesome of random floorplans as I am seeing, I see no reason why the DDO staff would not be capable of doing something better with their maps.

For each tunnel segment, it could do this:
Use tunnel segment type A1 on this tile. (There would be several segment types such as water logged, broken tiles, archways, etc.)
Use A1 configuration B. (each segment type would have it's own selection of decor. for example, A1 might have 3 possible configurations. 1: crates and barrels lined up on the wall. 2: no crates and barrels. 3: misc. junk on the floor)

Each segment could also have a few possible trap types, and would be generated in random locations throughout the map depending on the challenge rating.

The rooms would have the same thing. There might be 8 different possible room segments, with 5 or more different possible configurations each, and with mobs populating each room (or not), also depending on the CR.

Each map could be generated and stored temporarily. The same map can even be used for several groups, as long as someone in the group has not already encountered that exact map. If someone comes in late, they may have already seen it, but with maps being as random as they are, it would be unlikely that they would realize it.

The same could be done for random wilderness areas (islands).

Granted, these areas will not be anywhere near as lush and mind bending as the customized maps are, but they would certainly make up for it in player experience. Nobody in your group having any idea of what is coming up next is the BEST kind of questing possible.



What this ultimately amounts to is almost having individual DM's for each party. That becomes very expernsive to support. Would it be great. You betcha. Would it be cheap to do...not by a longshot. Would you pay $50 a month to play that type of game?


You don't need a DM for this type of quest. The narration could be fairly repetitive, as the story line would be almost identical every time. Someone has hidden/buried a treasure, and you set out to acquire it. A few "There seems to be an entrance to a tunnel in this camp" or "You hear voices behind this door" here and there would be more than enough.




Some nice ideas there, but the things you need to design for when doing a MMO are vastly different than the things you design for when doing a quest for a single group. IF the maps are too rare, then no one uses the new options. If there are not enough variations, pretty soon people figure them all out too. Variation in quests does cause some players anxiety. I recall some complaints about the variation in mini bosses in Part 2 of Shroud when it first came out. Some complaints about how their group got screwed by having the hard set vs a much easier set to deal with. Not everyone wants things to vary, some actually like it if they can exactly plan out every step of every quest for themselves. Are there a lot like that, hopefully not, but they do play.


That is why I also suggested making them available for purchase on an NPC, as well as the ability to trade them. I would not recommend them be a rarity by a long shot. Either you find them in a chest in the usual quests, or you buy one off of an NPC. You could even have that NPC purchase them from the people who don't want them. This would create a realistic reason as to why he manages to always have a map to sell when you want one. ;)

And if some people just want to do the same old quests over and over again, there is nobody forcing them to participate in treasure map quests. That is not a good reason to not implement this idea.


I'm sure Turbine could also come up with a way to make their money back on this too. A different quest every time you play? That would sell like crazy.