Suggestions / questions from a newbie

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Suggestions / questions from a newbie

Post  Aradan Kir on Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:58 am

Ok, so I've only been here a few days, so freely admit I've not really seen that much (so some of these may not be valid) - feel free to shoot down in flames as appropriate Very Happy

1. The noob area should be nearer where you get off the ship - in fact, possibly shouldn't even be in-game at all. It doesn't make IC sense, so maybe should be accessible via the OOC area right at the beginning.

2. The city feels empty - unlived in. There are a few NPCs, but there are HUGE areas with nothing in. Appreciate that these might be set aside for future development, but in the meantime maybe they should have housing / walls or something there. Maybe burned out ruins? Perhaps several sections of the city have been burnt down and are now inhabited solely by rogues, thugs, or critters who are generally left in peace (as there no reason for sensible people to go there).

3. A map of the world (doesn't have to be detailed) would be very handy - just to get a rough bearing on things. Surely locals would know that village X is to the north and the Sea of Z is to the east etc?

4. Some quests would be good. Now, I admit I haven't explored that much yet - but I haven't found anything to do. Do any NPC's offer quests anywhere that I've missed?

5. History. Does the world have a history and background that affects decisions made by both DMs and Builders alike? Is there a continuity and decision process to building, besides the bits mentioned somewhere about critters near water sources, etc?

6. Empty areas. Seems that a lot of areas I've explored have very little in them, besides maze-like paths of trees or impassable areas. Wandering across large areas around trees etc, to find a dead end and nothing else, isn't much fun.

7. Large areas. From a conversation the other day, it might be that areas are all uniform in size in order to create a grid-like structure to the world, so it can basically be mapped out - and it may be that some areas I visisted where I could only access a small corner of a huge block, could be because there's other ways into the other bits of that area that I haven't found yet. But it seems a bit wasteful of resources.

8. Test text. I appreciate the server is in beta - but having all that test text in the server channel is quite off-putting. Maybe have an option somewhere where this can be toggled on or off, and by default it's off.

9. IC / OOC. I'm unsure what in this world is meant to be IC and OOC. Do you use party chat as IC or OOC talk? If IC, should the PCs not be in the same at least? I've played on servers where party chat is totally OOC (friendly), or party chat is pretty much frowned on (serious) - just unsure where AR fits in that scale.

My general first impressions are that whilst the players and team seem very friendly, approachable and helpful; the world itself feels a little like a tech demo. ie very impressive in what can be achieved with the NWN engine + lots of scripting, but the world itself doesn't feel like a living breating entity. The tech will likely be what attracts players, but a living, breathing world with lots to do and very active DMs and players will be what keeps them.

Hope this doesn't sound overly critical - it's all meant to be positive suggestions for what I feel would be improvements.

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Re: Suggestions / questions from a newbie

Post  Khaos1987 on Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:48 pm

Hi Aradan! Most of your points can be explained by the server being in beta, or even a later alpha stage at times. The fleshing out of areas is often the last of things on builder's minds, since just making interiors and wilderness areas to put in the server is the most important, as they serve as placeholders for the final areas while still allowing characters to go there. As a former builder myself, I know I used to dread fleshing out and giving detail and life to areas, because it was both tedious and time consuming. Time that would be better spent working on scripts or writing the history or something else more pressing.

However, I will agree with you about the quests. They can be given out by certain people, usually found in taverns or inns, and it's a unique system that I was warming up to. But one of the worst things about the quests themselves is that you need to go find the person who wants a job done, and talking to the guy that gives the quests doesn't count. (If you've ever played Final Fantasy 12, the hunt board works in a similar way to this system) However, most of the locations of the people that give the quests are given as "In South Chonda" or "At the Egbort Docks". Which seems fine until you get there, and the area is a reasonably large size and they count being inside buildings as being in the area. So after about a real life hour or so looking on the streets, in shops (Including the backrooms of shops), and even some places that aren't marked with a mapnote, you may finally begin your quest! Wasn't that fun?

As you can imagine, I wasn't about to grow old and grey doing those quests, so most of my items and XP came from doing quests for other player characters. And I'd like to thank all those people right now for giving Kross work, because if not he'd still be level five with the starting shortsword!
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Re: Suggestions / questions from a newbie

Post  N8 on Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:56 am

Re: Suggestions / questions from a newbie
Khaos1987 on Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:48 pm

" However, most of the locations of the people that give the quests are given as "In South Chonda" or "At the Egbort Docks". Which seems fine until you get there, and the area is a reasonably large size and they count being inside buildings as being in the area. So after about a real life hour or so looking on the streets, in shops (Including the backrooms of shops), and even some places that aren't marked with a mapnote, you may finally begin your quest! Wasn't that fun?"

just mentioning.... I found one of the guys that i was supposed to and when i talked to him he said i have to find a guy named and he can be found at ,give him , and come back to me and you will recieve .



there was no names or places so obviously the quest would be impossible to even try to run... again... i ws just mentioning it....

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on a different note..

Post  N8 on Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:20 am

i have heard some complaints about the varience in lvls on DM run quest and i can not deny that i tend to agree with them.... when one or more low level charactors are running in a quest run by a DM with a high lvl DM charactor the lowbies tend to get left out of the action and feel as if they are useless and have no purpose.... this can be a major turn off for some players, which is not something that will benefit this server... i suggest making som lower level DM pc's to run with the lower lvl players as well as some geard down spawns, making it possible for those players to get through without dying every 30 seconds and needing to be revived by the DM.. that said the opportunity for RP and the plot ideas are great.

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Re: Suggestions / questions from a newbie

Post  GM_ODA on Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:39 pm

Welcome to the server and the forums Aradan Kir!

Questions, requests and suggestions are ALWAYS welcome here and we ALWAYS read them, we adopt those that both are scriptable/buildable and that 'add to the setting', just FYI. So please keep the feedback coming!

I'll address your questions one by one here. If I miss something, poke me and I'll revisit the topic. Very Happy

Aradan Kir wrote:1. The noob area should be nearer where you get off the ship - in fact, possibly shouldn't even be in-game at all. It doesn't make IC sense, so maybe should be accessible via the OOC area right at the beginning.

Noob U is accessible from the second room, and all PCs MUST walk thru that room as there are triggers there that 'clean' the PC and adjust for any version changes since last login. Haggis is the gatekeeper there and (when operating correctly) he offers new PCs a choice of PRACTICAL or DRAMATIC entry, the practical is Noob U, while dramatic is the 'lump on the head on a ship in high seas' method. Very Happy

ICly, the Noob U. is a training area paid for by the Mercenary Guild who likes 'well trained' personnel.

Aradan Kir wrote:
2. The city feels empty - unlived in. There are a few NPCs, but there are HUGE areas with nothing in. Appreciate that these might be set aside for future development, but in the meantime maybe they should have housing / walls or something there. Maybe burned out ruins? Perhaps several sections of the city have been burnt down and are now inhabited solely by rogues, thugs, or critters who are generally left in peace (as there no reason for sensible people to go there).

Yes, there are some empty areas and slightly empty areas too. We are in late beta test, and some things were intentionally with-held from this build as they would give away too much of the module's secrets before it was really 'ready for prime-time'. Some was left out as it was not yet built when the area was made. Some was left empty for PLAYER use as shops and such. Only the basic vendors and such were made available at this stage. Currently we are rolling out a new merchant system in the final stages of testing which allow for haggling, shoplifting and more; as soon as we get the 'monthly resupply of merchants' fully tested and debugged, we'll roll out the rest of the new merchants and be more 'full featured' for it. Some areas, like the broad avenues in the city are there intentionally, the founder of the city was a ship captain and feared fire from long experience, hence these are 'fire breaks' meant to limit the spread of fire and provide an avenue through which water elementals can be sent (animated near the sea shore and sent inland to battle fire) - this system will actually be IN GAME soon.

Aradan Kir wrote:3. A map of the world (doesn't have to be detailed) would be very handy - just to get a rough bearing on things. Surely locals would know that village X is to the north and the Sea of Z is to the east etc?

A map of the world is in the works, it has been roughed out and long planned, but the final version, a beautiful full color map with LUSH detail, is at this point just out of my financial reach. I have a line on the map of our RPG dreams, but need to come up with the scratch to obtain it on DVD (we have permission to use it for the game, but I must buy a copy first). So, as soon as my very meager budget can afford it, I'll obtain the DVD and get busy pushing out a PLAYER version of the world map, until then, I can only offer a very few maps made via NWN and available in the PLAYER GUIDE (map of city only at this time).

Aradan Kir wrote:4. Some quests would be good. Now, I admit I haven't explored that much yet - but I haven't found anything to do. Do any NPC's offer quests anywhere that I've missed?

SOME NPCs do give quests, but I build my NPCs a little different than I find on most servers. First, in a salute to realism, NPCs don't just trust every fellow with a sword strapped on that walks into their lives. Most NPCs must get to know you and establish trust before they confide some secret matter to you. This said, go talk to NPCs repeatedly over several days, the more you talk to them the more likely they will open up.

I know this makes finding quests hard, so, to offset that and especially to help new PCs in the game, we also have the TASKMASTERS, six of them around the city. They are known and respected members of the community and as such other NPCs bring them their troubles, to broker out to 'reputable adventurers'. The mini quests that these TASKMASTERS are able to grant will take the PC to NEARBY areas, usually only one or two transitions from the TASKMASTER. If they tell you someone is in 'South Donnel' they mean out on the streets there, not in the shops so that should help you reduce your search time a bit, concentrate just on the named place. These quests have timers tho, insurance against PCs taking quests and leaving prematurely, so move with speed to the noted place and search thusly.

Aradan Kir wrote:5. History. Does the world have a history and background that affects decisions made by both DMs and Builders alike? Is there a continuity and decision process to building, besides the bits mentioned somewhere about critters near water sources, etc?

Yes, there is a history and all decisions are guided by this - some of the history can be learned by TALK channel talking to the Sage on board the ship at sea, more from the books in your inventory. Other details are listed in our web, wiki and PLAYER GUIDE, links for these are here in the forum.

Aradan Kir wrote:6. Empty areas. Seems that a lot of areas I've explored have very little in them, besides maze-like paths of trees or impassable areas. Wandering across large areas around trees etc, to find a dead end and nothing else, isn't much fun.

Encounters in (especially rural areas) vary from day to night. Not every area has an encounter in it, and those that do can even vary by the day of the month. Some areas are intentionally EMPTY of encounters, this leaves room for our DMs to insert things to suit their needs at will; crowding too many monsters by auto-spawn in an area can really inhibit what a DM can do, so we try to provide a little 'wiggle room' this way.

Aradan Kir wrote:7. Large areas. From a conversation the other day, it might be that areas are all uniform in size in order to create a grid-like structure to the world, so it can basically be mapped out - and it may be that some areas I visisted where I could only access a small corner of a huge block, could be because there's other ways into the other bits of that area that I haven't found yet. But it seems a bit wasteful of resources.

We do use a grid mapping system and all our outdoor maps are built on a 16x16 tile format. When it seems you can only access part of a map, it CAN indicate that you need approach it from a different direction, or find some other way, perhaps FLY over the trees and see what lay beyond? Some locations can only be accessed by a 'nature' class PC like RANGER, DRUID, BARBARIAN, or MONK via the ROUGH TRANSITION or 'Hidden Trails', such a PC can allow their whole party to travel with them too. Remember alternate modes of movement here are sometimes required to reach certain locations.

Aradan Kir wrote:8. Test text. I appreciate the server is in beta - but having all that test text in the server channel is quite off-putting. Maybe have an option somewhere where this can be toggled on or off, and by default it's off.

Sorry, no can do. We can either send debug msgs to DMs or PLAYERS, or both, but sometimes we need to login as a PC to test things and at those times we need that debug text. Those channels will quiet down more and more as time goes on, but we do need them as is for now.

Aradan Kir wrote:9. IC / OOC. I'm unsure what in this world is meant to be IC and OOC. Do you use party chat as IC or OOC talk? If IC, should the PCs not be in the same at least? I've played on servers where party chat is totally OOC (friendly), or party chat is pretty much frowned on (serious) - just unsure where AR fits in that scale.

PARTY is OOC - use it at need, be aware that overuse of PARTY can cut into the automatic XP you earn for RP here.

Aradan Kir wrote:My general first impressions are that whilst the players and team seem very friendly, approachable and helpful; the world itself feels a little like a tech demo. ie very impressive in what can be achieved with the NWN engine + lots of scripting, but the world itself doesn't feel like a living breathing entity. The tech will likely be what attracts players, but a living, breathing world with lots to do and very active DMs and players will be what keeps them.

Hope this doesn't sound overly critical - it's all meant to be positive suggestions for what I feel would be improvements.

We like honest critiques, feedback is good. Thank you for your kind words. While we cannot take all requests, we DO weigh them all carefully in light of what is already established (scripted or other things PLAYERS may not be aware of impact our decisions).

Thank you for your feedback, and doubly so for the "tech demo" - I agree this server is head and shoulders above all the rest in what a PC can do here. It is still in BETA (nearly done) and some details are omitted until the testing is done. One thing we desperately do need however, is more DMs and more PLAYERS especially. DMs to fill in the lacks (run custom quests and the like) and PLAYERS to help us scare out those last couple bugs so we can take the BETA tag off the server and get down to serious gaming fun.

Please help us bring in more PLAYERS so we can more swiftly complete this BETA testing? Post in other forums, tell your gaming friends, shout it from the mountain tops, well, ok, skip the mountain tops.

More players mean more guilds. More DMs mean more adventures/quests.

We are also seeking a few Guest Builders to help fill in more quests and other details, as well as build more areas as needed. THIS IS A CALL OUT TO PLAYERS - DMS - AND BUILDERS ... come see what we have wrought here, I think you will not find better nwn RP tools anywhere.

Be well. Game on.
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