Coming soon: ESP Zones

Discussion regarding the various areas out there.
Ephemeralis
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Re: Coming soon: ESP Zones

Post by Ephemeralis » Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:08 am

While cool from a thematic perspective and definitely a plus for immersion, there are countless examples of well-intentioned barriers made to inhibit player communication either driving them to third-party platforms to achieve the same end or decreasing the overall interactivity of the game. COGG's current global ESP implementation is a relative rarity in current MUDs that I think has had a fairly healthy impact on the overall engagement levels of the game - interacting with nearly everybody online (who has a pendant at least) is only a simple command away.

To quote something (possibly) familiar to Rias from the Gemstone days - if you add this in, you are inviting an LNET equivalent to emerge eventually, for better or worse.

It's a tricky conundrum to face from a game design perspective, because I totally get the desire to go with this kind of communication zoning. It just needs to have serious buy-in from your players, or else it becomes an inconvenience circumvented by external tools, sadly.

artus
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Re: Coming soon: ESP Zones

Post by artus » Wed Aug 03, 2022 8:16 am

I do share the same concern as Firerose and honestly like the idea of friend aura, +second the idea of being able to sense at least who you befriend or something in a wider area than just that zone. It will, or may, feel very empty with esp lock even with 21 people on. The concern is more for let's say a newb joining the game, knowing 0 thing about it and is greeted with silence when they get on esp and stay in the wrong zone. I'm lost and I don't know where! Silence...Not pleasant, right?

A new newbie task for esp range may actually help, to think of it.
As for druidry, having terrain blockage like now sounds good enough. You're limited in where you can broadcast your location already. At least it gives people means to, let's say, have a naughty druidic date somewhere naughtier in the forest.:)

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Rias
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Re: Coming soon: ESP Zones

Post by Rias » Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:10 am

I hear the concerns. It'll be interesting to see how things go. If this all ultimately ends up being objectively bad, we can plop a few ESP sites in strategic spots that can be secured and link all the zones back up as a last-ditch solution to bring things back global. (And also have fun with by having them occasionally taken down or captured by hostile forces.) I'm particularly hoping to avoid the cheapness of having two opposing factions in constant free and open communications with one another though. Especially when the conflict ramps up, and there would be all the taunting and bickering and threatening and whatnot.

We do already have the linked Discord/IRC/Slack/Matrix for third-party game communications. In my experience with LNet on Gemstone (granted this was well over a decade ago) it was pretty clearly used as an OOC communication tool, but I also didn't utilize it much at all so maybe there was a serious problem with it being abused as an IC communication as well. Having people communicate OOCly is fine, and thus far our community has shown that they're well aware of the difference between OOC and IC, and that it's not appropriate to cross those lines. But again - if it becomes a serious problem, there's always the option of linking the zones back up if that's deemed the only viable solution to keep the game healthy.

In the case of newbies getting lost, we have the in-game #QUESTION channel for help that will remain geographically unrestricted. Becoming lost somewhere out there beyond the starting/main-town areas as a newbie is a perfectly acceptable thing to seek assistance with via the QUESTION command/channel.

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Lexx416
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Re: Coming soon: ESP Zones

Post by Lexx416 » Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:21 am

Rias wrote:
Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:10 am
I'm particularly hoping to avoid the cheapness of having two opposing factions in constant free and open communications with one another though. Especially when the conflict ramps up, and there would be all the taunting and bickering and threatening and whatnot.
This, particularly, is what I'd like to avoid. I also just generally don't love the idea of free and open long distance communication between both Factions - I think that would create more of a social stigma from conflict between the factions, which is counterproductive for the apparent design intent of having Factions. Having constant free and open long distance communication also sort of hurts the theme of the game - the Lost Lands is supposed to be dangerous, and wild, and it feels so much less dangerous if I can just Magical Ham Radio any time my character runs into trouble, and anyone idling in a town could come and rush to my aid.
"You hear the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods... Remnants of an older time they be, living few and secretly, wild and wary as beasts."

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