Exploration and purpose

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Exploration and purpose

Post by Lasombra on Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:50 am

Often I find my PCs lack the incentive to explore. Sometimes I'm interested in something for no apparent reason, but usually, when I see a cave, I don't immediately think: "Oh, a cave! How exciting!", because there is not much reason to go there. Often it's populated with enemies that provide poor/mediocre reward, a few chests with common items and maybe a special one that often won't do much for the particular PC, but rarely anything worth the trouble of going through the swarm of enemies - which can be fun in itself, of course, but not every PC fancies it.

That's the reward side of things, but there is also expectation - players go to areas that they expect will be significant in some way, and there is usually no such information available in-game other than PCs. There is not much in-character reason to explore, unless the character is obsessed with checking out every rock in the world( Razz ).

Suggestions:
-Make the experience gain from monsters generally worthwhile. As it is, some encounters are far, far more rewarding than others. While flat XP gain would be bad, the diffrence right now is so huge that it encourages grinding if the player wants to have a feeling of steady progression, which is one of the major driving engines for adventuring.
-Make some rather bland areas increasingly difficult and rewarding as the player progresses through them. Provide puzzles, unique or quest Items/NPC's at the end of chains of areas that would justify even higher level characters going through them.
-More flavor and NPC information[in form of rumors and such] and quests that would encite players to visit interesting places.
-Make the more obscure areas more rewarding to justify going out of your way to visit them.
-Add some life to generic villages. There are many of them and most get boring after a while with nothing to do. They serve as "roads to destination", only, which makes teleporting a much more appealing idea, but also much less satisfying.
-More dialogue in general. It really adds to immersion.

I realize Aenea is huge and you are already doing an enormous job at adding to it. You could outsource some work to players, who would gladly provide some ideas for quests, dialogues and area designs. Would those be welcome?
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Re: Exploration and purpose

Post by RustyDios on Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:31 am

Lasombra wrote:
I realize Aenea is huge and you are already doing an enormous job at adding to it. You could outsource some work to players, who would gladly provide some ideas for quests, dialogues and area designs. Would those be welcome?

This was already tried with the (entire) Dark Realm... as you wander through the place type ;;info area into the chatbar and it should bring up a combat log message for who designed that particular area.
Unfortunately the area's still needed to be populated by The Amethyst Dragon in most cases as far as I know because of the way the SparkySpawn system is set up.
Saying that, the whole area does work very well IMO, especially the "gauntlet run"... but other than smashing Horaxxana and the Nemesis to pieces there really is no point in going there... ...

There are plenty of places that seem like they could be more interesting. Take, Damorok for example. There is a "natural" city there, after a build up of crafted pillars and ape-like humanoids (not really found any where else!) and lots of potential for an area specializing in nature/druid/ranger/barbarian "stuff". But all that is there is a shrine to Andra. Big unique city... lots to "see".. nothing to "do"... ... ... .. and it is in effect the "end of the line", for walking out that way.. big build up for no gain...
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Re: Exploration and purpose

Post by Lasombra on Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:55 am

Damorok is one of the places I had in mind. I was pretty disappointed the first time I went there, and searched it thoroughly because I thought it was impossible for a place as interesting as this to be devoid of any interaction.

I think a bnuch of quests would really add a lot of life to Aenea. Not sure if there's a lot of technical stuff The Amethyst Dragon has to do with Aenean quest system to implement them, but I'm sure some players would love to write their ideas for adventures.

RustyDios wrote:but other than smashing Horaxxana and the Nemesis to pieces there really is no point in going there
This is a good example of what I was getting at. The only thing to do in DR, AFAIK, is to fight(I'd prefer it was otherwise. There could be manipulative demons exploiting the player or in a desperate need of help, puzzles, items with unique powers or boosts, diffrent philosophies, inter-planary travelers, faction conflicts the players could take part in etc.). And since most enemies there give a pittance of a reward, they get skipped, leaving grinding the gauntlet the only appeal. I'd think there would be more than one "big bad boss", considering Aenean DR is, IIRC, a pretty chaotic bunch with no real structure.
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Re: Exploration and purpose

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:59 am

This idea is very good. It involves a titanic amount of work, too. I think we can all agree it would be work worth doing, though.

Some of the current quests still need attention to be properly integrated into the new Aenea Quest system, (for example the Armor of the redeemed quest - avoiding further details due to spoilers), but I think it would be a long while for The Amethyst Dragon to develop and add the extra polish required to accomplish these goals. That said, I think it would be well worth the wait.

There a literally a gabillion opportunities to add interesting and engaging components to the existing content. The DMs have had several discussions about plot/questlines that involve branching paths and faction-based interactions. Its just a lot of work, and the current bug list is another time sinkhole for The Amethyst Dragon.

On top of that, The Amethyst Dragon keeps designing new things to add, too. We just need to clone him... several times.

Since it is related to one of your proposals, I wanted to include a link here to another thread where I wrote up my analysis of the current progression situation:

Link
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Re: Exploration and purpose

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:53 pm

Adding a tie-in to a related suggestion.
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