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Graeme Devine to save AO from certain demise!
July 6th 2001, 21:40 CEST by Morn

Okay, I promised not to post any more AO crap, so I'll make this quick. Check out <a href="http://www.webdog.org/plans/279/">Graeme Devine's latest .plan</a>. My "favourite" part:

I'm posting here because my posts to the Anarachy Online Community board get deleted..

Ugh! Thanks to Enyak, Apache and szcx for letting me know about this one.
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#1 by "szcx"
2001-07-06 21:46:36
leslie@sweetfuckingchrist.com www.sweetfuckingchrist.com
Funcom must be Epic fanboys ;-)
#2 by "Paul"
2001-07-06 22:25:31
deleted deleted
I'm beginning to want Andy back.
#3 by "Paul"
2001-07-06 22:29:37
deleted deleted
http://www.cnn.com/2001/LAW/07/06/dna.evidence.ap/index.html

Hey what a surprise. Another man freed. Rape and Murder could have gotten him on death row too.
#4 by "crash"
2001-07-06 22:54:12
crash@planetcrap.com
the biggest question i have is "will they take him up on the offer"? sadly, i think the answer is no... even though were i funcom, i would get the legal staff workin on an NDA and get Marit looking to set up travel arrangements and make some phone calls. dunno... having an offer from someone who's been there, done that, and has the hard experience you desperately need basically offering to come in and fix your stuff for free? how could you seriously pass that up?

as for trade secrets and whatnot, somehow--call it a hunch--i don't think there'll be anything in funcom's code that id wants or needs to use. :) we'll see.

and as to the "deleting the posts" thing, i've a strong suspicion they may have been deleting the posts because maybe--just maybe--funcom thought Graeme wasn't really the poster.
#5 by "BruceR"
2001-07-06 22:56:05
brucer@snappingturtle.net http://www.snappingturtle.net/jmc/bruce_r
Yeah, but what does he think of WW2O?
#6 by "Therac-25"
2001-07-06 23:00:52
"It would be interesting to play on a modem. "

Polite.
#7 by "None-1a"
2001-07-06 23:10:52
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a
#4 "crash" wrote...
as for trade secrets and whatnot, somehow--call it a hunch--i don't think there'll be anything in funcom's code that id wants or needs to use. :) we'll see.


Not likly, but funcom may end up with code id doesn't want there.

#0 "Morn" wrote...
Thanks to Enyak, Apache and szcx for letting me know about this one.


I wouldn't make a noose right now but I seam to have missplaced my hangin' rope.
#8 by "JMCDaveL"
2001-07-06 23:14:57
jmcdavel@mailandnews.com http://www.cosmicrift.com
Hey morn you lied!

--jmc
#9 by "Narcopolo"
2001-07-06 23:48:09
id went to a scripted menu system for Team Arena, I'm sure that wasn't holding up the TA release, but it didn't come out for Q3A for quite a while.  Suggesting things that even seem simple, like moving the character selection screen to HTML, would take a bit before the end user saw them.  

It seems like Funcom should send Graeme the source and let him take a pass at it.  That's all it would be of course, but it would let them see where he thinks they should start.

It also seems to me that an open source approach to developing MMORPGs is going to be desirable in the future.  They're selling the service, really, so why not.  Make them pay for the art if you must, but opening the source, and everyone working from a common template, would bring costs down, and help patches come more quickly.  Especially from the hard core geeks like Mr. Devine.
#10 by "szcx"
2001-07-06 23:57:36
leslie@sweetfuckingchrist.com www.sweetfuckingchrist.com
Yeah, open source game development.  Because cheating isn't a big enough problem now.
#11 by "Phreakin"
2001-07-07 00:21:56
This is all FilePlanet's fault!!!!!!!!!

Kidding of course, I couldn't resist :)
#12 by "Narcopolo"
2001-07-07 00:50:17
#10 szcx-
Yeah, open source game development. Because cheating isn't a big enough problem now.


Clearly it wouldn't be.  What kind of cheating would you have that you don't already, with everything handled on the server?  Aim bots are useless when combat consists of hitting the 'a' button to attack.  

Open sourcing the client sounds like a good way to get some fixes done, and even if you don't have a secret renderer advantage, look how low tech EQ was when it started.  Not to mention UO.  The graphics are rather secondary in this field.  And you'd still have to tailor them to your game, so quite possibly you'd have some good stuff to offer.
#13 by "szcx"
2001-07-07 01:11:22
leslie@sweetfuckingchrist.com www.sweetfuckingchrist.com
Open sourcing the client sounds like a good way to get some fixes done

Sounds like it.  Of course, Didn't work for Quake.
#14 by "Narcopolo"
2001-07-07 01:54:10
Why do I feel like we've had this conversation before?  Oh yeah...

#13 szcx-
Open sourcing the client sounds like a good way to get some fixes done

Sounds like it. Of course, Didn't work for Quake.


In Tribes 2 Engine, Anyone?
#160 Maximus wrote-
#152 deadlock-

just as a matter of interest, has anyone come across anything neat that's been done with the Quake source ? I can't even find any decent sites about it


MrGLQuake
TomazQuake
OpenQuake
Quake Standards Group
Quake Engine Resources



In Voodoo Extreme in Story Cloning Scandal!
#711 szcx wrote-
You want secure online play? Then don't trust the client. Simple as that.



OK, done and done.

Now is there any good technical reason not to open the source to the client for a MMORPG like AO or EQ?  Bear in mind that we aren't talking about Planetside or Dark Sector or an FPS like Quake at all.  I can see how the server for your RPG might be something that you'd feel uncomfortable opening if you are a service like Verant, but if the client isn't trusted, what's the problem?  

All right, securing the server with the source available to all is a different story.  For one thing, you wouldn't have the network effect like Linux of everyone running their own server to test the waters.  There wouldn't be thousands of little EQs stress testing the code.  However, if you made the source open from "beta" on, and not under a truly free license, you might get the most of the benefits of people trying to crack the security.  
There's a lot of immediate reward to be had from being able to dupe items or train their chars, obviously.  so there would be more than a few hundred people willing to try, for free, so to speak.  Careful logging should be helpful, and many people would be willing to help to make the game secure and forfeit the ill gotten loot.  You'd periodically want to reset what everyone has anyway and keep track of item acquisition, for the beta at least.  
Instead of jumping on that with cynicism about human nature, can anyone think of a compelling reason why you wouldn't want to leverage the programming abilities of the geeks that want your game?  That's two questions, btw, first the client, then the server.
#15 by "crash"
2001-07-07 01:55:48
crash@planetcrap.com
Therac-25, 6:

"It would be interesting to play on a modem. "

Polite.

heh. interestingly, playing on a modem is no better or worse than playing on DSL in most cases. (i'm on the modem, friends are on DSL.) if the servers go down or stop responding, doesn't matter how fat your pipe is--ain't no water coming at any speed. one thing i've noticed that my DSL-enabled friends haven't is that for whatever reason, when we get lag spikes (which you really can't tell thanks to the wonderfully-useless ping meter AO has; i don't care about ping time, i care about packet latency), i tend to recover from them more often and slightly more quickly than they do. i.e. for me a spike tends to be "okay, time to wait", for them a ping spike tends to be "okay, time to reconnect". i have a higher overall latency, to be sure, and my time between action/response is correspondingly higher, but other than that, AO is quite playable (relatively speaking, of course) on 56k.

then again, i'm in the bay area, as are the game's servers, so my experience through a modem is probably quite different from someone in texas. :)
#16 by "crash"
2001-07-07 02:06:10
crash@planetcrap.com
Narcopolo, 14:

I can see how the server for your RPG might be something that you'd feel uncomfortable opening if you are a service like Verant, but if the client isn't trusted, what's the problem?

not that i have any expertise in network coding, so let's get that out of the way. but let's see... the client isn't trusted. by what? the server code. what are you open-sourcing? the server code. so... you'd be letting people see how the client talks to the server, and--more importantly--pretty much giving the key to the vault out.

so the server doesn't trust the client because of the way the client talks to the server and vice versa. opening the source would show those that have interest just how the server accepts information--and from there it's just a matter of time, isn't it?

and on another side of the coin, AO does have one thing no other MMOG has yet been able to sport: the ability to have literally hundreds of people in the same place at the same time. (AC's limit is about 60, and then you get booted out of the region. EQ, i don't know, but i've yet to see a documented plane raid over about 50 ppl, and that's a whole zone. WW2O i don't know because i have zero interest in playing it. UO, been a long time since i bothered.) according to the company (yeah, i know, grain of salt and all that) they had ~700 people in ONE CITY the other night, and in the timeframe this was documented, i was in there myself. on a 56k. playing slowly, but "normally". i can't see them open-sourcing that, personally; that's a huge competitive advantage, currently, and goes a long way to puttin that first "M" in MMOG.

so... advantages and disadvantages to both, i suppose. if it were my code, i'd much rather have a select group of proven coders to look at it and make suggestions under a tight NDA and limited access. but that's me.
#17 by "Desiato"
2001-07-07 02:13:50
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com Nope....dammit
Is the application for checking on the AO servers just using ICMP packets? Then, if (as my traceroute
suggests) they are blocking ICMP packets at Exodus communications before they actually hit the
destination IP -- how are the gameservers exactly being affected by this util then? Does it actually
(inadvisably) try to negotiate a connection to prove that the server is "live"? How stupid that would
be....


Desiato
#18 by "Narcopolo"
2001-07-07 02:22:07
#16 crash-
the client isn't trusted. by what? the server code. what are you open-sourcing? the server code. so... you'd be letting people see how the client talks to the server, and--more importantly--pretty much giving the key to the vault out.


The way I understand the trust issue is rather that the server doesn't trust the client to make any calculations.  The server will do all the calculations and then just tell the client to update itself with the information that is fed to it.

So it doesn't matter what the client tells the server (as long as it's in bounds), because the client is just letting the server know that you sat down, or mooned your party.  It isn't testing to see if your spell is successful.

The client isn't worth opening if that were true, and certainly not the server.

I agree that there are competitive reasons not to open the source, like the everyone in one place thing about AO, but I think that any game coming along now could put everyone in one place if they chose to do it, I understand that almost all games in the works were planning on that implementation.
#19 by "Gabe"
2001-07-07 02:36:26
gakruger@hotmail.com
You can't envision a whole host of client side exploits? Wireframe modes, increased view distance, revealing any and all stats the server might reveal to the client, creative uses of automation, on and on and on.

You can not count on the kindness of the community to only work towards making the client better. That is incredibly naive. An example of this wonderful utopian open source community: A recent thread on slashdot encouraged members to send in their cool prompts they had set up in their various shells. Fancy colors, current time, things like that. Of course a large number of people posted obfuscated prompts that many people weren't sure what they did, so they tried them out. Turns out they did things like execute 'rm -rf'. God bless 'em.
#20 by "Narcopolo"
2001-07-07 02:53:48
#19 Gabe

If the client isn't supposed to know how many hp the mob has, don't tell it.  If the player can't possbily see where the enemy is, don't tell him.  EQ uses a lot of hacks to make things easy on itself.  Which are promptly exploited by those who know how, a la ShowEQ.  

If you are going to be open, you can't have that luxury.  If you are going to maintain a game like EQ open, you might have to spend more money on CPUs to make sure that the players aren't getting too much info.  Fine.  So that might offset the benefit of opening the code, I don't know, you'd have to actually figure it out in terms of cycles.  But the code would be reusable, and possbily contributed to in the "co-optition" style by other online companies.  So that might offset production costs.  

I'd like to ask you to specify some creative uses of automation, please.  I've heard of macros in AC that let computers play for you, could this be fixed by more dynamic spawning, for instance?

I asked to stay away from trying to argue that human beings are inherently evil, especially those who engage in deviant open source practices, so the whole thing must be a waste of time.  I know that there a lot of people who would work on exploits for themselves.  There are also a lot of people that would work on fixes for the game, canceling out the easiest exploits, and most popular ones. Eventually, hopefully, all of them.  Talking about the client there.  Server exploits could ruin the game for everyone beyond the ability of the community to recover.  So don't release it until it's ready? I'm not making an absolute case for it.

But what are the technical reasons not to open the client?  I can't think of any reason that EQ for example shouldn't be open that couldn't be fixed by a server side patch.  Of course, it might require a re-write of their entire code base, knowing Verant, but that's kind of an academic consideration.
#21 by "Calavera"
2001-07-07 03:03:26
As far as client/server with an open source client. Have a compile time variable generated when a client/server pair is generated. Have the server only respond if the client can provide that key. E.g. You build the server, which generates a key that is included as a static variable in the client. You'd still have to maintain a list of valid 'keys', but you could ship your client source with this code disabled (And support for it removed) and it responds with a set key that identifies itself as open source. (Making it more of a handshake instead of authentication) If it responds something invalid, double check (have the key resent), and then pop-up an error stating that its an invalid client. People may still get the valid key, but this would make it more difficult. (Something a casual exploiter wouldn't hopefully attempt...) Of course for security, encrypt the valid key when transmitting to make it even more difficult to find in the stream. (And more likely to be useless if its found) The drawback is you would have to have 2 seperate servers(farms). One that is for binary only clients and a second that was for open source clients only (Both would still deny invalid clients).

Calavera
#22 by "crash"
2001-07-07 03:06:51
crash@planetcrap.com
Narcopolo:

I'd like to ask you to specify some creative uses of automation, please. I've heard of macros in AC that let computers play for you, could this be fixed by more dynamic spawning, for instance?

currently, there are macro bots for AC that can (and do):

* identify specific targets
* use the most effective attack on said specific targets
* buff itself correctly
* heal itself and regen its stamina/mana
* identify when it has debuffs
* knows when it dies and what to do next
* resupply itself (in the case of an archer and arrows)
* cast specific spells or perform specific actions when given correct /tells
* perform minor maintenance duties

and the spawns in AC are semi-dynamic outdoors; they're not always the same type of monster, and they're not always at the same interval, but they are always in the same place. the only way to "fix" this would be to ban players using macros, because--as you know--the persistence and intellect of thousands of players will nearly always trump that of a small development team.

but now that the cat's out of the bag in AC, so to speak (i mean, once you've reverse-engineered the packet stream with the company's "blessing", it's just a matter of coding), there's really no way to "fix" it.

and to be frank, the AI of these bots is far, far superior to anything seen in the game.
#23 by "Darkseid-D"
2001-07-07 03:12:50
Darkseid@Captured.com www.sluggy.com
Did you all know Stevie Wonders favourite colour is...


corderoy.



I thangyew.


DS
#24 by "Gabe"
2001-07-07 03:44:56
gakruger@hotmail.com
Narcopolo (#20):
If the client isn't supposed to know how many hp the mob has, don't tell it. If the player can't possbily see where the enemy is, don't tell him.

It has become standard practice for a game to show you how close the monster is to dying. In fact I would argue it is a necessary part of gameplay. You have to know when to run, right? How do you do this without sending how much health the monster has left?

I'd like to ask you to specify some creative uses of automation, please. I've heard of macros in AC that let computers play for you, could this be fixed by more dynamic spawning, for instance?

crash answered this pretty well. It would be taken to a whole new level once people had direct access to the client's code.

I asked to stay away from trying to argue that human beings are inherently evil, especially those who engage in deviant open source practices, so the whole thing must be a waste of time.

I never said that all people are inherently evil. I have a higher opinion of at least myself. I just said it was naive to think that there wouldn't be people, smart people, working very hard to exploit the game and ruin the experience for many others. I believe opening the client source and giving these people a direct pipe to the server aids them in this task.

You talk about all the time spent by people fighting this new host of exploits and all the people back at the main company fighting the exploits on the server end. Opening up the client source sure really helped them out in this scenario, eh?

I also think it would end up being a support nightmare for the game company. There would be an explosion of different client versions that the users will see. Since the user is paying the game company for access to the servers, they will go bitching to them when something doesn't work. The average user will expect the company to support whichever client they happened to download and use. Since they can't, it'll just be bad feelings and bad press.
#25 by "Whisp"
2001-07-07 04:38:13
#24 Gabe wrote...
You have to know when to run, right? How do you do this without sending how much health the monster has left?


Well, you have to admit it'd be nicer if instead of an artificial little bar or something, it was reflected in appearance and behavior.  You know, blood streaming from wounds, sword dragging on ground, shakey hands, stuff like that.  Just not feasible yet.

-Whisp
#26 by "Gabe"
2001-07-07 04:47:43
gakruger@hotmail.com
Whisp (#25):
Well, you have to admit it'd be nicer if instead of an artificial little bar or something, it was reflected in appearance and behavior. You know, blood streaming from wounds, sword dragging on ground, shakey hands, stuff like that.

That is fine, but I would imagine that would be done client side in order to reduce bandwidth usage and improve animation latency. The server tells the client how much health the monster has and the client renders it appropriately. It all boils down to the same thing though, the client is aware of how much health monsters have.
#27 by "Whisp"
2001-07-07 05:08:54
Oh, I agree, there needs to be something.  No way to make intelligent decisions without that kind of information.  Otherwise, your reduced to praying your opponent keels over before you do, or attacking in ridiculous strength.

-Whisp
#28 by "Narcopolo"
2001-07-07 05:36:05
#24 Gabe-
It has become standard practice for a game to show you how close the monster is to dying. In fact I would argue it is a necessary part of gameplay. You have to know when to run, right? How do you do this without sending how much health the monster has left?


Send a percentage of health for your bar.  Don't tell them this one has 32000 hp at it's peak, now it has 5000.  Say instead it's at 57%.  It's a design decision, I wouldnt really care if the players know how many hp the mob has.

crash answered this pretty well. It would be taken to a whole new level once people had direct access to the client's code.


Maybe.  Why isn't it a problem in EQ?  I don't know, but I don't think it has anything to do with the source being closed.

You talk about all the time spent by people fighting this new host of exploits and all the people back at the main company fighting the exploits on the server end. Opening up the client source sure really helped them out in this scenario, eh?


How is this any worse than the situation that they have now?  In this situation the community at least gets to help.

I also think it would end up being a support nightmare for the game company. There would be an explosion of different client versions that the users will see.


I think pretty much everyone will be using the patched binary they get from the developer.  In order for the endless stream of patches to work, they'll have to be applied uniformly.  The benefit of hacking the code will be to be able to send in a fix.

The developer just won't support anything other than the binary they give out.  I know that a lot of people will try to cheat, and then complain when the cheat they got borked their files, but that's something they hire people like Abashi to come along and say STFU for.

I just said it was naive to think that there wouldn't be people, smart people, working very hard to exploit the game and ruin the experience for many others. I believe opening the client source and giving these people a direct pipe to the server aids them in this task.


You are almost certainly right.  But, that doesn't mean that the risks out-weigh the benefits.  I doubt many people would be willing to try it though until the costs actually come down, perversely.  Or desperation sets in :)

The biggest problem as I see it is not quite the cheating, but the real world value of some of these online items.  There won't be much value in easily duped items, but there would certainly be people willing to try to make a life of crime out of exploiting the game.  It would be hard to police that effectively.
#29 by "TheToadWarrior"
2001-07-07 05:37:41
toadwarrior@hotmail.com http://www.toadwarrior.org
szcx (#13):
Open sourcing the client sounds like a good way to get some fixes done

Sounds like it. Of course, Didn't work for Quake.


Simply because I don't think anyone's really working on fixing it. Not to mention I think the fact they're trying to keep compatibility with older clients is holding them back.
#30 by "crash"
2001-07-07 06:55:14
crash@planetcrap.com
Narcopolo:

Maybe. Why isn't it a problem in EQ?

because EQ disallows 3rd party apps, packet sniffers, macroing, and abuse. all of the above are bannable offenses: you do any of 'em, they find out, you don't play no mo'.
#31 by "Terata"
2001-07-07 10:35:10
jeremys@artifact-entertainment.com
Honestly, I think open-sourcing any part of a game like this is just asking for trouble.  While you might only support the current executable downloaded during the patching/update process, there would almost certainly still be a dozen varieties of modified EXEs hanging around with people trying to use them.  That means customer service problems stemming from those modifications, which means a bunch of wasted time.

Worse it means dealing with this publically.  While a lot of people here might look at that representative saying "We don't support user-modified EXEs, STFU" and understand why, there's still lots and lots of people who see that and assume you're just too lazy to bother.  These people don't care if you have the most sensible and concrete reasons in the world, they tell you that's just an excuse and continue on their merry way.  "If they were any good they wouldn't have broken my wallhacked client with built in ShowEQ!  They suxxor!"

While some bugs might be found and fixes submitted earlier than otherwise, I think the additional trouble just wouldn't make it worth it.
#32 by "Gestalt"
2001-07-07 15:22:17
john@eurogamer.net http://www.eurogamer.net
Gabe - "I've heard of macros in AC that let computers play for you"

This is really more of a game design than a technical issue IMO. In all but the most basic of online games you are never going to be able to produce a completely secure system when there are hundreds of coders around the planet trying to hack some kind of advantage for themselves. Give up and move on.

The real solution is to make sure that macros don't give you any great advantage, and IMO the best way to do that, and improve the gameplay at the same time, is to turn the XP system on its head so that the more times you repeat an exercise the less experience you get. That way macros will give you diminishing returns the longer they are run, and the player will need to go out and find new things to do instead of just leaving their spare PC slaughtering shreks in the same spot all day.

The problem we have is that the character development system that all MMRPGs use today is essentially the same that D&D has been using for the last 30 years, and it just doesn't work in that environment. "Most of these games are now twenty to thirty years old, and were originally intended for a small group of players sitting together in a room with a bunch of manuals, paper character sheets, and a big bag full of dice. They weren't designed to cope with computer role playing games, real-time 3D graphics, and massive online worlds that can be a second home to thousands of players from around the planet."

Time to try something new.
#33 by "Darkseid-D"
2001-07-07 15:37:42
Darkseid@Captured.com www.sluggy.com
the law of diminishing returns isnt always applicable, especially where there are LOTS of people hunting things to kill.

forcing people to move on from familiar or 'safe' areas can be really really annoying as the next 'safe' (and by safe I mean an area they can actually handle) may be half a server away and already over populated.

very fine line to walk, I know Insomnia mud struggled with it and ended up working on a levels + times killed system, the more levels you gained the less the critter was worth as well as the more tims you killed it reducing the value somewhat.  But sometimes the creature youev killed most, is killed most because it drops something you want, like a codpiece of antifreeze or a potion of Jason Hall strength +3. Theyll still kill it to get the item regardless of how little xp they score.


Ds
#34 by "Gestalt"
2001-07-07 16:43:45
john@eurogamer.net http://www.eurogamer.net
Darkseid - "forcing people to move on from familiar or 'safe' areas can be really really annoying as the next 'safe' (and by safe I mean an area they can actually handle) may be half a server away and already over populated."

Again, that's a design issue. You need to make sure that there's a good spread of challenges throughout your world, plenty of monsters to slay, and ideally some more interesting ways of earning experience.


Darkseid - "sometimes the creature youev killed most, is killed most because it drops something you want"

Another design issue. Why do I get this crap when I kill a monster anyway? If they're hitting me with a spear, why do I only get a dagger and a shitty gemstone when I kill them? And if they have some marvelous magical item, why don't they use it in their own defence instead of just holding on to it until some nasty hero comes along and kills them for it? Why do they always respawn in the same spot with the same stats and equipment, so that you end up with a queue of people waiting in line to kill them?

MMRPGs are still fairly primitive, with some truly bizarre conventions. The whole respawning thing just doesn't make sense from a gameplay or story point of view as it is now, and neither does the way you gain equipment, experience and cash by killing monsters. Asheron's Call had some nice ideas, but it didn't go far enough with them IMO.
#35 by "Desiato"
2001-07-07 17:05:10
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com Nope....dammit
In regards to this whole "open the source" of AO clients (or whatever RPG) I have a few things to say.

You may not remember this game, but once upon a time a game called "Ultimate Race Pro" was unleashed
on the gaming public. There were a few problems, notably - the marketing department thought that since
you could race a track at night, it constituted a new "track" and sold it accordingly. But that is another
can of worms...

My friend and I, flush with our success at making cars for POD, decided to muck around with the exe and
config files for URP to see if we could add anything, or just change some settings. (The cars were a bit
static, and we felt they didn't go fast enough.) Well, lo and behold - my friend soon sussed the specs for
the car format, and I did some .exe diving to see where the other variables were....soon -- we had a car
that went about 300 miles and hour.

And then we did a horrible thing.

We released an application that let any schmoe patch their game, therefore ruining it for anyone who had
a "normal" car.

I believe the shelf-life of that game (marketing gaffes not included) was barely a couple of months. I do
admit not following it after we released the patch, so for all I know things went back to normal, but my
point is that for a short time - by us indirectly "opening up the game" in ways the developers never
intended, we made a "arms race" environment for all the other players....it was a stupid, stupid thing to
do, and I swore never to do that...it was a classic example of "doing it because I could..."....not because
we should..

So, go ahead, have an open-source client - my friend and I managed to wreck a game for 3-4 months, I wonder what some smartass will do when they have the full source at their disposal. Perhaps we'll find out..


Desiato
#36 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-07-07 17:22:43
warren@epicgames.com epicboy.flipcode.com
Gestalt (#34):
Another design issue. Why do I get this crap when I kill a monster anyway? If they're hitting me with a spear, why do I only get a dagger and a shitty gemstone when I kill them? And if they have some marvelous magical item, why don't they use it in their own defence instead of just holding on to it until some nasty hero comes along and kills them for it?

I have to admit, that was a cool thing in Doom2 ... kill a shotgun zombie, you get his shotgun.  Kill a heavy gunner, you get his chaingun.  It made sense.

It drives me nuts when I kill something that's using a better weapon than I am and then I can't pick it up for myself ... wtf?

Why do they always respawn in the same spot with the same stats and equipment, so that you end up with a queue of people waiting in line to kill them?

No shit!  Surely it can't be that difficult to at least specify a radius within which the creature will spawn.  The terrain is heightmapped, so a trace into the ground should show you where to put the monster when it appears ... this can't be a hard problem to solve.

#37 by "Darkseid-D"
2001-07-07 17:47:49
Darkseid@Captured.com www.sluggy.com
its a design issue

face a horde of skeletons weilding longswords....


either give a juicy reward like a crown or a gem ... or have a floor littered with long swords..


*shrug*

Dungeon Seige is supposed to reflect what the monster had in its loot..


Ds
#38 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-07-07 18:01:24
warren@epicgames.com epicboy.flipcode.com
Darkseid-D (#37):
either give a juicy reward like a crown or a gem ... or have a floor littered with long swords..

Nothing says you can't have both.  The crown or gem is your reward, but getting the longsword makes logical sense.
#39 by "Darkseid-D"
2001-07-07 18:07:46
Darkseid@Captured.com www.sluggy.com
ok you wipe out 10 skeletons, they crumble to dust, leaving their armour lying there and various weapons.

you have to draw all that, remember it, store it and transmit data about it if youre playing network games.

then theres longevity, how long will those swords say there? Where do they if the player doesnt pick them up? Will other monsters come along and steal them? could you use them as 'bait'

issues man, issues.


Ds
#40 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-07-07 18:16:59
warren@epicgames.com epicboy.flipcode.com
Darkseid-D (#39):
ok you wipe out 10 skeletons, they crumble to dust, leaving their armour lying there and various weapons.

you have to draw all that, remember it, store it and transmit data about it if youre playing network games.

then theres longevity, how long will those swords say there? Where do they if the player doesnt pick them up? Will other monsters come along and steal them? could you use them as 'bait'

issues man, issues.

So they drop a backpack.  ;)

Seriously, we had the same problem with Wheel of Time ... if you kill someone, you get all of their ter'angreal.  Problem is, you can't just spawn 30-40 pickups ... the framerate would plummet.  So we opted for dropping a bag, which contains everything the person was carrying.
#41 by "Darkseid-D"
2001-07-07 18:32:31
Darkseid@Captured.com www.sluggy.com
but did the computer cheat in its ter`angreal

did it in fact have a limit of say 10 arrows or 3 soulspikes, and did they only drop what they hadnt used?

or did you cheat and say 'you have these powers, unlimited shots and this is what you drop when you die'

Ds
#42 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-07-07 18:34:27
warren@epicgames.com epicboy.flipcode.com
In a shameless attempt to hijack this thread, let me just say that Anachronox kicks -ass-.  It was crashing constantly for me before I installed the patch, but now it's solid as a rock.

It's got a great story, the particle effects are great, the music is great ... it's just great!  :)  Every 5 minutes or so I see something that makes me say, "Cool!".  If you like Japanese RPG's, check this one out ... the influence is unmistakable.

The voice acting deserves a special mention.  It's -excellent-.  Full of emotion, they sound like real people instead of cardboard cutouts reciting lines.  Totally draws me into the world.

Sure, the graphics are a little dated in places, but it's got it where it counts.  And besides, it's an RPG ... it doesn't need enviro-bump-mapped-spiraling textures to be good.  The graphics are FAR from bad.


So that's 2/3 for ION Storm.  I don't count Dominion since that wasn't really theirs ... it was just bought and shipped to get them out of their Eidos contact ... they didn't design it.

Deus Ex and Anachronox certainly seem to support the "design is law" line they were promoting.  Unfortunately, all the internet collective will remember is Daikatana.  :-/
#43 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-07-07 18:36:07
warren@epicgames.com epicboy.flipcode.com
Darkseid-D (#41):
but did the computer cheat in its ter`angreal

did it in fact have a limit of say 10 arrows or 3 soulspikes, and did they only drop what they hadnt used?

or did you cheat and say 'you have these powers, unlimited shots and this is what you drop when you die'

I THINK it had unlimited spells but you could tell it which ones it could and couldn't use, as well as the odds of them choosing certain spells.

But this wouldn't be unique to WoT.  Enemies in FPS games always have unlimited bullets, rockets, etc.
#44 by "Anonymous"
2001-07-07 18:43:04
Unfortunately, all the internet collective will remember is Daikatana. :-/

Hopefully, development houses will never forget Daikatana (or Tresspasser).  Maybe the death penalty really is a deterrent?  ;-)
#45 by "szcx"
2001-07-07 18:44:52
leslie@leslienassar.com belgian.chocolate.covered.babyjesusfetus.com
#44 was me.  Damn you, Cookies... damn you all to hell!
#46 by "LPMiller"
2001-07-07 19:13:58
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
I THINK it had unlimited spells but you could tell it which ones it could and couldn't use, as well as the odds of them choosing certain spells


Why is that?  Some game...I THINK it was UO, at least in the early days...did have the cool thing of the enemy creature eventually running out of ammo/mana.  Some other RPG types do this as well.  In half life, they had to at least reload, which could become part of the tactic.

But I would love to occasionally run into a room, with my 6 bullets and 7 guys going after me, and hear "Click...Click.  Uh, shit."  And have it not be me for a change. :)

LPMiller
Chief News Editor
GotApex?
#47 by "Whisp"
2001-07-07 19:36:38
#46 LPMiller wrote...
Some other RPG types do this as well.


In FF, sometimes I found it fun to suck all the magic from a magic using enemy, then watch them flail at you with pitiful physical attacks.  Unfortunately, a lot also have non-magical spells that don't use MP.

-Whisp
#48 by "Anonymous"
2001-07-07 20:05:49
It drives me nuts when I kill something that's using a better weapon than I am and then I can't pick it up for myself ... wtf?

Severance: Blade of Darkness is good for this kind of thing.  Although admittedly you never encounter more than 5 or 6 enemies in any given area, when you kill them they drop whatever they were carrying - shield, weapon, health, etc.  The bodies themselves stay as they lay with whatever visible wounds you treated them to when you last fought them, they never sink into the ground, magically vanish or anything like that.

Its refreshing to know that once you've exhausted your current shield or weapon - assuming you are not too far away to make it impractical - you can run back and pick up whatever you like from one of your previous encounters with the enemy.
#49 by "The Organizer"
2001-07-07 20:47:53
Fallout, I believe, kept track of enemies' ammunition counts, what specific items they had and in what quantities, etc.  I remember this because even when fighting an enemy which you had no chance of being defeated by, it was always in your best interest to fight it as quickly as possible and not pull any punches; if you let the battle drag on too long your foe would have used up all its stimpacks, ammunition, useful drugs, etc. for its own purposes, meaning less loot for you.
#50 by "Terata"
2001-07-07 20:49:41
jeremys@artifact-entertainment.com
MMRPGs are still fairly primitive, with some truly bizarre conventions. The whole respawning thing just doesn't make sense from a gameplay or story point of view as it is now, and neither does the way you gain equipment, experience and cash by killing monsters. Asheron's Call had some nice ideas, but it didn't go far enough with them IMO.


We've got some really neat concepts we'll be trying for Horizons, how well they work out remains to be seen.  DEFINITELY want to kill the predictable-spawn concept, ideally in a sensible way, but when you've got 5000 players all running around you can't leave an area empty for too long or it'll get boring.  There's a line to walk there -- you've got to put the critters back somehow.

One idea I see a lot for this is having something like a unique space for each party who enters a dungeon (so you could have three parties in one dungeon, but each sees their own version of it).  It's got merit, but what happens when your friend logs on and he wants to join you?  Plus, isn't running into other groups of players and dealing with it half of the reason to play these games?
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