After yesterday’s article, I started to make a tally of what the game ‘has’. In the first there was the article ‘Recap to the intro’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2021/09/25/recap-to-the-intro/) which had a run down of a lot. But that rundown was not enough. There was the search ‘Lawlordtobe + RPG’ which gave me a lot more of what I wrote (and weirdly enough at least one story I forgot about). The basics are covered. In the basics there is the map, the character and the story. In the deeper run, the map is also covering the environment, the economy and the map itself (which is an environment, challenges and spiking of the map).
Spiking is an early term I had. Like in places like Skyrim and Oblivion, there is a lack of caves, ruins and other places. So we spike the map to have these places. Yet the maps to some degree have an approach to caves (and some look really good) but as I personally see them unnatural. There are two problems with my train of thought. Caves are set in stone (literally so), as such they are part of the permanent map. Some places have way too many ruins and these ruins are a weird form of small. But the idea of some ruins are a good thing, yet how to employ them?
Brush and thickets, Fallen trees, Hollow trees, Evergreen trees, Rock formations, Rock overhangs, Caves, Low landforms and high landforms. Some are for single opponents, some are for groups. Ruins are a side here. They tend to be a good place for groups. But the setting needs to be natural (or as close as natural as possible). If there is a ruin, there was a reason that the building was there before it was a ruin. And not always is it a castle or a keep. But spiking is a dangerous setting. There is a danger of making it a place of convenience, and that is dangerous for the game.
As we look into the economy I saw the dangers of ‘loot’ in the game. In some game we enter an old (really old) place, but it has the most modern of ‘loot’. So we redefine what loot is. broken swords, daggers, broken shields, old coins, chains. Elements that can be reforged into metals, old coins (copper, silver, gold) that can be set into metals. Yes there will be chests with actual new(er) stuff. Like groups of brigands, they have bounty, they have conquered stuff (that needs liberating). It will not be about wealth. In one RPG I had 300K, so in what living form of delusional would an adventurer have this much money? Too many RPG seem to value credits as an indication of achievement. That too needs to change.
I took examples from classical masters, from stories (the non-Robin Hood kind) and from historical events, but they need to evolve in RPG gaming. In the economy that side is merely a cog, but a cog that could evolve. Yet the station of evolution is a larger problem that I have not solved yet. I did like the nemesis system that we see in the Shadow of Mordor, but that was THEIR system, I need a similar but different system. This is to stop grinding, the stage where there will be spawning (one man’s ruin) is the next persons envy. But if the previous group was defeated, the next group will have better defences, and optionally one or two more brigands. There are shelters for singular people and those people are sly a lot more like cutthroats, so no warning. All sides we see very little of in current RPG’s. All sides that are new in the RPG.
I gave more than one story start and that is central in any RPG, yet there is also the additional stage. You see there is no stage where we can do it all, play it all, live it all (the latter is a matter of debate). But the stories cannot be around you, around the player. The main quests yes, but the side quests need a larger setting than we are used to. There is a side that takes me back to Robert Ludlum’s Scarlatti Inheritance (I think), a local village event and a burial that is part of the story. So to set a side quest needs the seeding of a story all by itself that has several connections. There needs to be an intelligent part in this, so that stories can be written en mass and spread in the game, so that some side quests are not part of every game (another way to prevent grinding) and there we see that we need 50-150 side quests. That can intervene to a larger degree to the character that you play at that time. So far we see the foundation of an RPG that can be played on console or streamer.
Then we get to the cogs of the economy, I spoke about them but I considered one additional set of cogs for each part. About that in the next story which will happen during my weekend.