Saturday, October 29, 2011

Upcoming: World Events & Faction Territory Control


Greetings everyone!

So Free2Play happened, which was awesome.

Even while we sorted through the server issues, lots of fun things that get industry types in suits get excited about like "concurrent users" and "unique logins" and whatnot all decided to climb high enough to set some records. Then when we finished sorting through the server issues they went up (of course). But I'm sure you're not here to read about that! You're probably interested in what's next content-wise.

To that end, guest posters AFFA and Neverender have decided to drop some knowledge on y'all re: World Events and Faction Territory Control that should be coming soon (once we have a PTS up). From here on out divest yourself of all but your scrollin' finger and your sense of amazement, because they're all you'll need!

World Events

Hey, it's AFFA, and I'm here to talk about World Events.

Have you ever seen waves of rotters attack Kristo's Rest?
Have you ever protected Chemtown from a CoG invasion?
Have you ever seen El Cadejo escape from Brigg's Point and go rampaging across the wastes?

Well, as Microsoft used to say: you will.

Types of World Events

The World Event system is Fallen Earth's answer to dynamic content. The system itself is very robust. We can create an event anywhere in the game and we have several types of events that can be combined to do almost anything.

There are currently three basic kinds of World Events: Node, Attack, and Effect. Node events spawn harvest nodes at a random location. Attack events can spawn a creatures in a random area or creatures that attack a specific point. They can spawn creatures in waves, as regular generators with a respawn time, or all at once. Effect events can apply an effect to all players, all NPCs, or just certain NPCs. This could be used to temporarily lower merchant prices in a town (Social debuff on merchants), start a disease spreading, or give all players in an area a buff.

We also have a more advanced World Event which we call Goal events as each one can have five separate goals that players must complete. The good news is that these Goal events can do almost anything. And if they can't do something yet, it is very easy to add new features. They are limited only to things available in the Scripting API, which is not much of a limit. The bad news is these events are extremely complicated and time-consuming to set up, and we don't have as many of these in the game yet as we'd like. In addition to spawning nodes, spawning creatures, and applying effects, these events can create objects, create buildings, change NPC behaviors, add new mission givers, and much more.

World Map Icons

The ability to draw on the world map, called the Objectives system internally, is something we've wanted for a long time but were only recently able to implement. World Events require map icons since they can occur at random, but there are other systems in the game that will benefit from the ability to draw on the world map, such as Conflict Towns, Progress Towns, and Town Events. We have plans to add more systems that make use of this feature, such as Territory Control (keep reading!).

All players in the game receive the icon, name, and position for every Objective on the map. All players should be able to see at a glance which faction owns a Territory Control keep, where a random boss has spawned, or where additional resource nodes are. You can see all the Objectives in the game on the map, not just the ones for your current sector. If you mouseover any Objective icon, a more detailed description will pop up.

Rewards

World Events track player participation. When a World Event succeeds, all players who have participated get a mission that instantly completes itself and offers rewards. The rewards can be anything a mission can give you: experience, items, AP, faction, chips, defense tokens, etc. The rewards are scaled based on your participation. Someone who killed 50 rotters will get a larger reward than someone who killed just 1. If you stop participating for too long or go offline, you may not get any reward. And of course there is no reward for failure.

Future Possibilities

Any World Event can chain to another World Event on creation, on success, or on failure. With this capability, we can eventually build chains of events and make Fallen Earth a much more dynamic game. Currently the event for Kristo's Rest above is just waves of rotters. But in the future, if you kill all the rotters, perhaps that will chain to a World Event to fix the LifeNet pod. And if you fail, perhaps that will chain to a World Event that makes all the NPCs go indoors and rotters roam freely in the town. There are a few examples of this working internally, but they are minor. For instance, if you finish one of the Papermill  World Events, it chains to a Node event that spawns crates of paper as part of the reward.

The World Events we have written so far are very modest and don't use the full capability of the system. We also have some additional work to do before we can make mission givers, merchants, and other town NPCs react to World Events. The first batch of World Events will be mostly random harvest nodes and creatures attacking a single town, but we have big plans for this system in the future.

Territory Control

Hey guys, Neverender here. I've been busy working on the upcoming Territory Control system. Here in the office we've started to have some early play tests of some of the mechanics, and I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I have to say, the area looks amazing. Our artists have done some excellent work and I am pumped for this stuff to go Live so I can run around and kick some ass in this war zone they've created. You probably want to hear some more about the mechanics of Territory Control, so I thought I'd share a few things.

Territory Control area, with large central keep (left)

Territory Control Area 

When Territory Control goes Live, we will introduce a new area north of Blaine where everything--at least initially--will take place. We plan on expanding Territory Control after that, but to give you an idea of the size I'd say the whole area is around the size of Terminal Woods. The area can be reached by taking the road north from Blaine. Once there, you'll be able to activate a Fast Travel point at your respective Faction camp along the outskirts of the area.

Control Points

The Territory Control area has 13 control points that Factions can hold. These control points work a lot like the existing Faction Control system, but with some nice additions. Six of the points are out in the open and will be harder to defend and maintain control of. The other seven points are actually inside of keeps (including one bad-ass huge keep in the middle of the area) that will provide much better defense, as well as some other nice perks.

One of six smaller keeps
Keeps

The keeps will feature destructible doors and walls with defenses that can be upgraded and reinforced once your Faction has taken control. The keeps also come equipped with some out-of-service LifeNet pods, but don't worry-- you can fix those too! You may want to protect them though, as they might make a nice target for any attackers that have their hearts set on taking over your keep. There will also be Faction NPC guards and bosses that help add some extra defense.

The barriers and LifeNet pods can be upgraded by spending Death Toll. Some perks for holding a keep (on top of the much better defensibility) will include vaults, a mailbox, a crafting facility, and more. Players from the faction that currently controls the keep will be able to use a re-purposed LifeNet Pod to teleport themselves inside. 

One of the doors to the main keep getting destroyed. As an attacker, it's rewarding to see the keep's defenses literally crumble at your feet!

Rewards

If your faction holds any of the 13 control points in the area, you'll get a nice buff that will improve based on the number of points you control. That improvement will max out at 4 control points. The buff will increase death toll, faction, and experience earnings and will also give a nice boost to the major offensive combat skills.

And then there's what you're all really fighting over: resources. When you control a point, you'll have the ability to create and place your own harvesters that will generate some nice resource nodes in the area surrounding your control point. Be sure to defend your area though, because if another faction moves in and takes over you'll lose your hard work!

Capture Mechanic

Currently the capture mechanic works a lot like Faction Control Points. The control points each have a flag. If there are Faction NPC guards or bosses defending the flag, you'll need to take them out before you can attempt to take control. If the control point is inside of a keep, you'll need to breach the keep's door(s) before you can even do that. Whenever you take control of one of these points away from another Faction, your flag will be immune to attacks for a short while. We also plan to add exciting new ways to take control of an area in the near future.

Each control point will have an icon on the strategic map representing the Faction that currently controls it, as well as what state it is in. The 3 states that the icon will indicate are Controlled, Under Attack, and Immune to Attack. Each faction has 3 icons that represent each of those states, so players anywhere will be able to see how their Faction is doing at all times.

Well, that covers most of the basics. I'm excited to see all of this in action. Thanks for reading!

-Neverender

5 comments:

  1. really, all this sounds great, awesome.
    (even though i thought TC would be taking place on the whole world map, not just some new small area..)
    BUT!
    im personally not putting any hope in this anymore and i expect it to be released broken and in a disappointing condition. maybe this time things will go right, but i wouldnt put my money on that. ;(

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  2. also one important question remains: when?

    pts - when? world events - when? territory control - when?

    soon™ isnt an answer :P

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  3. Sounds awesome tbh. Now just need that pts :P

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  4. seriously!?! MORE content? How about we fix a jacked up combat system first. Stop the content and FIX whats broken!

    ReplyDelete