Ok, lets go to the brainstorming room
(I worry that I get in your nerves, Ross, when I do that
Man, there's even more stuff to sort through here than in the IotM thread.
Well, after all, even integrating a basic pvp system requires a good amount of work, let alone fully develop it, while you could easily design a balanced item and postpone your thoughts for a month...
I think part of what I find unsatisfying about KoL's PvP is the fact that it does affect the ascension game, but only by just a tiny bit. For me, that makes it feel like I'd have to put in a huge amount of time just in order to get an itty bitty bit of reward. A few stats here, an item there, or a flower in hardcore for a few extra turns if my liver isn't full. But to do that I've got to understand all kinds of mini games. Outfits. How the attacks work. Pursue different foods and drinks. Maybe even go out of my way for them. A ton of work for what's essentially a small reward if I'm good, and a whole bunch of penalties if I'm not good.
Totaly agreed up to this
. Indeed, unless someone is trully a club in his heart (no pun intended) KoL's PVP system requires a lot of study and "suboptimization" to enjoy limited reqards. Essentialy, puttig appart its originality and its funny appearence, it is a game for hardcores (not ascension hc, the true meaning of the word).
Making the system more integrated into the game seems to cause even more problems for me. First, something that was just optional now becomes required, so everyone has to learn it or be willing to be uncompetitive in ascension because they don't like PvP.The question is: what exactly could make pvp an integral part of TH?
I can see many responses. Of course, the most obvious, if for one or another reason, a player would be required to pvp in order to progress in the game, then a fatal mistake would have been made. I do think the answer is "double" and a bit more subtle:A)How much does one's progress in the game affect pvp?No affiliation.
The fundamental idea that the pvp system is not influenced by other factors except a player's skill in the game itself, summarizes this idea. Personaly, I do not like this concept. There are thousands of games out there that could accomplish the same. If it essentialy becomes a second game, then why not just go play a round of counter-strike? (because it sucks? well ok, appart from that...
)Very limited affiliation.
Imagine a system where the only influence a pvper gets from the rest of the game is something as limited as his (level DIV 3). Or the only factor is his attack rating (however this is calculated) with the proper stat for his class added, against the same rating of the opponent. Or a system that all the game stats, equippment included, affect pvp, but then there is very high random factor (I dislike this last idea). In any case, I do think this is one can be either one of the best or one of the worst ideas, realtive to the implementation. The basic reason to use such an idea would be to more or less, to let the game affect pvp, but in such a limited manner even a player who plays half a month could be easily competent without disrupting his usual gameplay.Average affiliation.
The player's stats, as in the three basics, the level and HP/SP, do affect pvp. Nothing else (except the probable arcade skill of the player incase it applies). THis is essentially the approach of a 'friendly heroes arena'. The player's cannot use their equippment and essentially, their skills play no role. This is the critical case, because myabe, the most reasonable solution, lies somewhere in here. Now will follow a distinction that will describe various combinations of stats and their effect.
-3 basic stats/level/HP-SP. This would be the quintessential 'average' solution. It saves many problems KoL has, like requiring farming for specific equippment and consumables, but if someone wants to focus in pvp, he can always go out of his way to increase his stat above and beyond. This is the best solution because it combines a suffiecient influence of the game to pvp while leaving the majority of casual players to the same (more or less) level of competition.
-3 basic stats/NO level/HP-SP. This would be the quintessential 'mortal kombat' system. Strength would define the damage normal hits do, Reflexes the speed of the character and intellect the damage skills (or special abilities) do. The hp and sp would play their traditional role. Of course, the arcade skills of a player would define a lot, thus even a newbie with great arcade skills is given the chance to win. This is the best system because it combines the essential factors of a character and the satisfaction that progressing in the game does affect pvp, without negating the chance for a new player to fare well. (This is the solution I like the most, as far as how much the game influences pvp is concerned.)
-NO 3 basic stats/level/HP-SP. This would be the quintessential 'turn based strategy' game. The level determinates something limited, like initiative (who goes first), while the HP-SP permits for some limited influence into the game, like a 'miracle' or the seer fact of enduring a bit more. This is the best solution because is succeeds in its struggle to make the game even a bit influential but practicaly pvp is 90% isolated and 10% influenced.
-reflex/level/NO HP-SP. This would be the quintessential 'far west duel' game. The level does not influence postively the characters, instead, defines the distance between the two duelists (or practically, the added levels of the two contestants define how small the target will be in the screen). Reflex, as it can be guessed, defines the milliseconds a player can wait before shooting. BUT, there are two details: we are not taking the reflex as is, but only a fraction of it (for example for each 50 points of reflex, you have to wait a milisecond less.) AND the mouse pointer does not appear before you get to shoot! So, practically, you cannot just take aim and clicking like there is no tomorrow. This is the best solution because it combines the bare minimum of influence with an original (as in, 25 years old) arcade game.
-3 basic stats/NO level/NO HP-SP
-NO 3 basic stats/level/NO HP-SP
-NO 3 basic stats/NO level/HP-SP
Ok, this is just for refference, I tried hard to think something that could fit in the three cases, and except repeating solutions mentioned above, yet more limited, there is nothing I could think of
. In general, this would be the best solution, in case you liked one of the above mentioned solutions but would prefer even less game influence.Great affiliation
Stats and eqippment OR stats and skills. I cannot see why one would want this solution if he has gone that far, and not take the 'Total Affiliation'. Thought, there is one motivation: implementation issues. Maybe using items in pvp makes it too unbalancing, or maybe implementing skills simply means infinite hours of coding.Total affiliation
Stats, equippment AND skills. Practically, this is the pvp system that best simulates a combat between players, as if they were NPC opponents. The same way you fight a typical opponent in the game, you fight a player opponent. I do know that this case is genrally distatsed, but what would be a complete analysis without complete data?
Anyway, it can be surely said that players might feel that the full potential of their abilities does play a role, without having to do weird things like drinking booze and eating so as to fight.B)How much does one's progress in pvp affect the game?
This is tightly related to the following quatation...
Second, if there are more rewards (not just stats and the occasional turn booster, but also items, buffs, and who knows what) I've then got to be VERY careful as a game creator to make sure that this doesn't unbalance the game. Stuff that's useful for a level 11 character may be way too powerful for a level 5 character. For instance, if you get a "free" weapon at an early level, does that give you too much of an advantage? Or, if it doesn't give you that much of an advantage, is it worth getting at all? Stuff like that.
Ok, first of all, we have a level limit. This means that I find no problem in giving a low level player an item he can't use for a few more levels. Or the contrary, maybe the best reward he can get, is something apropraite to his level.
After that, he rewards can vary a lot. It could be as simple as ranking, or as influential as an uber buff. The first thought that comes into mind, is to avoid having a pvp system that is heavily influented by the game, while offers little to none rewards. I would say this: why not have a pvp system moderately influenced by the game, that offers rewards not related to speed ascension or other competitive gameplay? For example, imagine all pvp rewards having a minimum requirement of 15 level (or whatever will be the last quest, plus one.) Imagine good items, such as weapons with 120 power and +10% chips, that cannot be used by speed ascenders. Or even imagine a system, that could randomly fetch you either a rewad apropriate to your level, a reward inapropriate for speeders or a reward that is only symbolic, like ranking and maybe an item that cannot be used (except maybe being referenced to the character sheet for the e-penis of it).
So that's why I'd personally lean towards having PvP being primarily a self-contained arena. That way I'm free to allow all kinds of rewards for playing well, as long as all of those rewards almost exclusively just benefit future PvP events. Being level 1 or level 11 might affect your chances to win or lose a particular match because of your current stats or whatever, but I don't have to worry if the rewards you get are unbalancing, because it would be based on your PvP status only.
This a is a great idea in all its aspects, and bears only a pair of flaws: the risk of making the game so much independant that players would feel TH is two games, and the risk of introducing sever optimization... A player that succeeds in gathering all the articles that influence pvp, might soon find himself in the top of the ranks, with little to no risk of losing, essentially frustrating the rest of the player base. All in all, defining some specific aspects of this idea, would make clear a possible flawless implementation.
I think this actually leaves room for more potential fun. For instance, if you can steal items, but they're only PvP items, then you can't destroy someone's leaderboard ascension run, but it can still mess with their next PvP fight--that's fun for the griefers, but fair for the ascender who's a casual PvPer. Right?
Uhm.. I personally hate a lot the concept of stealing from others, but then again this is the biased me and not the analyzer me
I also thing a self-contained PvP system is more inviting to newbies. I wouldn't even go near my hippy stone for months because I thought "oh no, this could really mess me up if I'm bad!" Whereas if you can enter with impunity (other than what it might do to your PvP record, which of course doesn't exist when you start), I think it feels safer to dive into the waters. More beginners means more people becoming good at it, and ultimately (I think) makes for a better competition at all levels.
Well, as long as the game influences pvp even at a basic level, I find this idea compelling. As I repeated multiple times, a s ystem that is pacticaly a second game, with no relation to the main, runs the very real risk of being ignored.
Does that make sense? Or am I just too out of touch with that particular contest to really understand what people like?
It trully does make sense
Given some more brainstorming, it would lead to a very appealing concept..EPILOGUE
A factor that was left largely uncovered, was the non-game influence factor. To make it clear, there are two cases (and the combination thereof) RNG and Arcade. RNG dictates that along the influence pvp receives from the main game, it is also influenced by an uncontrolled set of variables that lead to two equal players not drawing. On the other hand, Arcade means that the player has to develop keyboard/mouse related skills so as to be more competent, or to make greater use of the stats he possesses. I would like your opinion on these two concepts, because it changes wildly the actual implementation of pvp and thus, productively limits the scope of idea-storming.
Once again, congratulations for everyone that reached this point (By reading from top to bottom, not the contrary
), and my apologies for the ultra extensiveness of the post