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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Marcuson
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Re: Coming soon: ESP Zones

Post by Marcuson » Tue Sep 13, 2022 3:41 pm

I'm not a fan of the ESP zones. As it stands, my PC spends a lot of time in distant locations with a completely silent network. Sending him mail is actually a better way to get in contact with him because he will instantly know that someone is attempting to contact him.

Couldn't we strike some balance between the way ESP used to work and between Shadgard and Mistveil Dominion having their own separate zones, perhaps with a no-man's-land between them -- or maybe control over the ESP in that zone could be fought over?

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Rias
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Re: Coming soon: ESP Zones

Post by Rias » Tue Sep 13, 2022 3:44 pm

The ESP zone coverage will grow again over time as work is done to restore them. What we have right now is the bare minimum, so it'll get better!

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Rias
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Re: Coming soon: ESP Zones

Post by Rias » Sun Sep 25, 2022 2:38 pm

For those that missed it: The zone encompassing the Library of Qamar was recently extended and now reaches Dusklamp and Stormholdt as well.

I've started tinkering with the enhanced ESP presence system. How does this look for the starting lineup of options?
announce: Set whether you wish to announce your presence when entering a new ESP network zone. (On/Off/Friends-Only)
friends: View or manage your aura friends list.
notify: Set whether you wish to see presence announcements when others enter your current ESP network zone. (On/Off/Friends-Only)
presence: Set whether you wish to show your aura presence to others on the same ESP network (On/Off/Friends-Only). ((This affects the list of auras shown when someone uses the ESP command with no arguments.))
pulse: Send a pulse of your aura color over your current ESP network. (Immediate)
Am I missing any essential functionality for phase 1?

P.S. Friends-only options only work for mutual friends - that is, both parties need to have friended each other. No spying on someone else's ESP network presence without their consent, essentially.

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Teri
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Re: Coming soon: ESP Zones

Post by Teri » Sun Sep 25, 2022 2:41 pm

I enjoy all of those options so far! Seems to be a nice mix of opt in and opt out.
Oh no, looks like I might die as I have lived. In the wrong place at the wrong time

tulpa
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Re: Coming soon: ESP Zones

Post by tulpa » Sun Sep 25, 2022 2:43 pm

Perhaps a pulse/announce/presence only option would be handy (no chatter).

edit: Though this is a little close to the wire in terms of overlapping with commune. I like the mute imagery of the latter.

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Rias
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Re: Coming soon: ESP Zones

Post by Rias » Mon Sep 26, 2022 10:56 am

The ESP network enhanced presence system (ESP-EPS?) has been implemented! The intent of this system is to help people ICly be aware of each others' presence on the ESP network for easier communications. All options default to off; this is all opt-in. Type AURA in-game for a list of subcommands. The ESP command can be used without any arguments to view a list of auras in one's current ESP network zone whose owners have opted in for sharing their presence.

Hopefully this will make it more convenient to utilize the ESP network and to know who's around when, and cut down on things like having to ask "Is Fred listening at the moment?" It should be nice to be able to get a little ping when someone with a desired service or skill comes into range, like a physicker or locksmith, without always having to just randomly take a shot in the dark asking "Any physickers around?"

It's noted in-game (and in an above post), but I'll also mention here that friends-based permissions require MUTUAL friendships - that is, two people must both have each other friended for either of them to be able to see friends-based presence and notifications. So it's not possible for someone else to friend you and see presence notifications without you friending them back first. This is in the interest of privacy and to prevent unwanted "spying".

Permissions-like stuff can be fiddly, so please report bugs and oddities with the BUG command. Feedback and suggestions are also very welcome here in this thread!

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