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Panpiper

'Hero System' online

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Re: 'Hero System' online

 

There are two factors making it difficult to do anything resembling a direct port of the HERO rules to a MMO.

 

First off - technical issues. The following powers would be impossible or insanely difficult to implement in a computer game:

Shapechange - Pretty much impossible, unless you restrict it to looking like player character models.

Duplication - Would need impractical AI to control the duplicates.

Summon - Would only work with a predefined summoning list, otherwise it would need impractical AI to control the summons.

N-Ray Vision - Because there literally isn't an inside to the buildings you can't go into.

Desolidification, full Teleportation, full Tunnelling - For the same reason.

Telepathy - NPCs aren't actually thinking anything.

Mind Control - Every NPC and creature would need the animations for every possible action. And Mind Control that wasn't possession-type would have the same AI issues as Duplication.

Mental Illusions - No way to specify what the illusion is, no way to tell how a given NPC would react to it.

Images - Like Shapechange, only possible if limited to existing objects/creatures.

Really Fast Movement (Megascale, or even high NCM) - Breaks any system where content is loaded as needed based on where the character is - which is every MMO, AFAIK.

Clairvoyance - The problems of Really Fast Movement and N-Ray Vision combined.

Transform, Precognition, EDM - These are pretty much impossible.

 

Then there is the balance. Without a GM or concept of fair play (and if you have thousands of players, there will be somebody with no concept of fair play), you can break the game wide open in a number of ways - Transform, Summon, Duplication, Usable as Attack, Megascale, Mind Control - just for a start.

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Re: 'Hero System' online

 

I disagree with this entirely. What it would require is hard-coding in a lot of game element interactions, and that would probably mean flat-out restricting some things. AFAIK there never has been an MMO that requires character approvals, and I doubt there ever will be; it's not in any way practical or profitable.

 

As for PvP whining -- I could give a damn. ;) If it were up to me, I'd put PvP in with a big, bright disclaimer, and then totally ignore most PvPer comments. In my experience, relying on PvPers for input on how an MMO should work only worsens the MMO... unless the MMO is about nothing but PvP.

 

I agree.

 

Your character takes Blast. If you take a straight up Blast you get 12d6 of Blast. But, you could also make that Blast AP! You just now get 9d6 of AP Blast.

 

I don't think it would be very difficult to control at all. Balancing can be an issue. But it will always be an issue. If everyone starts waltzing through all the mobs because EVERYONE has taken AP Blast, then maybe it's time to add a little hardening to some of the mobs.

 

Piece of cake. Heck, I've tackled much more complex and complicated system development tasks.

 

If you took HD and simply disallowed anything with a Stop Sign or Warning Sign you would have most of the creation system done! :)

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Re: 'Hero System' online

 

Had to respond to this. Before I go into it, you're points are valid. These examples would be DIFFICULT to implement. I don't know about "impossible", though some would need heavy tweaking, and a very clear explanation of how they work in the MMO. That said:

 

There are two factors making it difficult to do anything resembling a direct port of the HERO rules to a MMO.

 

First off - technical issues. The following powers would be impossible or insanely difficult to implement in a computer game:

Shapechange - Pretty much impossible, unless you restrict it to looking like player character models.

 

Not impossible, but would require a LOT of work. Shapechange would have to have limitations so that it could be programmed for. An assortment of pre-build "forms" would have to be modeled and designed, and the shape changer would have to have an icon or something for each form available to them. Shapechange would be a very cumbersome power, and require a lot of work in the modeling, animation, sound effects, and creature design departments, and it would definitely bear a learning curve (each form would need their own "abilities bar" for the different things they could do), but it would also be one of the most fun, rewarding powers in the game.

 

Duplication - Would need impractical AI to control the duplicates.

 

Of all summons, this should be one of the simplest. It would probably not be able to be as flexible as the PnP version. All duplicates would simply be carbon copies of the main character. For simplicity, there would probably be a simple control method, where the player sets the aggression level and primary function (ranged attack, melee attack, crowd control, player support) of their dupes. This could be as simple as making them all act the same, or having the option to make each dupe perform differently. If character disadvantages were built into the system, this would be a perfect opportunity to have the AI function in different ways based on the character personality defects, LOL!

 

Summon - Would only work with a predefined summoning list' date=' otherwise it would need impractical AI to control the summons.[/quote']

 

Combine the options available to the shape changer with the pet options of the duplicator, and viola! Summon!

 

N-Ray Vision - Because there literally isn't an inside to the buildings you can't go into.

Desolidification, full Teleportation, full Tunnelling - For the same reason.

 

Just because it hasn't yet been done, doesn't mean it couldn't BE done. Walls shouldn't be barriers in a superhero game the same way they are in other games. I can't wait til a super strong character can chuck a dump truck through the wall of the nearby Starbucks! LOL! That may be a ways off, but having the ability to see, walk, teleport, and tunnel through walls isn't as far fetched. Probably difficult to program for, and would probably need to be a consideration at an early stage of development, but I don't see why these couldn't be done.

 

Telepathy - NPCs aren't actually thinking anything.

 

Most NPC's are just thinking mundane things that don't concern the PC, but this would be a fun mission generation tool, if done properly. Also, this might be a way for players to learn of a villain's weaknesses, where their lair is, how many henchmen they have, or any assortment of things. Telepathy could be a fun "crime solving tool" for the developers to play with.

 

Mind Control - Every NPC and creature would need the animations for every possible action. And Mind Control that wasn't possession-type would have the same AI issues as Duplication.

 

But it would be SOOOO much fun! LOL!

 

Seriously though, NPC's with no combat abilities could just not be controllable (unless the player is a villain) in non-possession scenarios, and may only have limited usefulness in possession scenarios. Another power with a bunch of potential, depending on how much the developers would want to put into it.

 

Mental Illusions - No way to specify what the illusion is' date=' no way to tell how a given NPC would react to it.[/quote']

 

Difficult, to be sure. Would probably have to have a variety of options, but would be funny to watch from a 3rd party perspective, as you'd see an enemy fighting or reacting to a situation that nobody else can see! LOL!

 

Images - Like Shapechange' date=' only possible if limited to existing objects/creatures.[/quote']

 

I actually saw this one more like Summon than Shapechange, but with the added option of conjuring inanimate objects. A lot of work would have to go into this. An AI who saw you conjure the object/creature might automatically see through it, while one who did not see the conjuration might automatically accept it as real. This one would probably be extremely difficult, unless it was just treated as another form of Summon.

 

Really Fast Movement (Megascale' date=' or even high NCM) - Breaks any system where content is loaded as needed based on where the character is - which is every MMO, AFAIK.[/quote']

 

I actually figured that FTLT and NCM would be a self-contained way of traversing zones. FTLT might be the only self-contained way of getting to another planet zone, while EDM might be the only self-contained way of traveling to alternate dimension/time-lines, and NCM would allow players to perform self-contained terrestrial travel. Basically, it would make it so players with these abilities wouldn't have to utilize travel devices to traverse zones. Simply select the specified movement type, and choose an accessible point on the map that would open up. EDM would probably be the most difficult one.

 

Clairvoyance - The problems of Really Fast Movement and N-Ray Vision combined.

 

This is personal mission finder! Would be difficult for anything else, however.

 

Transform' date=' Precognition, EDM - These are pretty much impossible.[/quote']

 

Improbable. Precog would be the most difficult, methinks. Could function as a buff that makes all of the players attack always hit, and all attacks against the player always miss for a limited duration. Would probably have to have some sort of cool-down. AoE attacks and mental effects should have reduced effectiveness against the player for the duration.

 

EDM would probably have extremely limited usefulness, to the point of probably being more of a novelty power than anything else, and transform should probably just be disallowed as it's even a tough one in the PnP game.

 

Then there is the balance. Without a GM or concept of fair play (and if you have thousands of players' date=' there will be somebody with no concept of fair play), you can break the game wide open in a number of ways - Transform, Summon, Duplication, Usable as Attack, Megascale, Mind Control - just for a start.[/quote']

 

Well... no system is perfect? PvP is PvP. I don't believe in trying to force some artificial balance based on PvP. Mentalist who can keep their distance will likely pwn brutes. Brutes who get the drop on mentalists will likely drop them fairly quickly. Fliers will always have an advantage over non-fliers. Tunnelers have the potentially best method of escape. Everything has strengths and everything has weaknesses. Transform, as I said, should probably just not be included, and the same goes for Megascale. Or they should both have limited functionality and/or players should have to do something special to access them. Like Megascale only being available via superbase weapons or such. Transform only being available for specific non-combat functions. Abilities in the books that have STOP signs have them for a reason. They should either be disallowed, watered down, heavily limited, or extremely difficult to obtain.

 

Just my opinions. Sorry if I rambled, I haven't been to sleep yet, and it's 5am.

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Re: 'Hero System' online

 

Mind Control in City of Heroes works fine. Essentially enemies just join your side. No extra animations needed.

 

You can even cast it on robots or inanimate machines. Cast it on the Sky Raiders force field generators and they will englobe you instead :D

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Re: 'Hero System' online

 

I disagree with this entirely. What it would require is hard-coding in a lot of game element interactions, and that would probably mean flat-out restricting some things. AFAIK there never has been an MMO that requires character approvals, and I doubt there ever will be; it's not in any way practical or profitable.

 

As for PvP whining -- I could give a damn. ;) If it were up to me, I'd put PvP in with a big, bright disclaimer, and then totally ignore most PvPer comments. In my experience, relying on PvPers for input on how an MMO should work only worsens the MMO... unless the MMO is about nothing but PvP.

 

This is a great point and very wise words.

 

PvP undermines MMO balancing in very insidious ways.

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Re: 'Hero System' online

 

There are two factors making it difficult to do anything resembling a direct port of the HERO rules to a MMO.

 

First off - technical issues. The following powers would be impossible or insanely difficult to implement in a computer game:

Shapechange - Pretty much impossible, unless you restrict it to looking like player character models.

Nah, shapechange is actually fairly easy as long as you're willing to ignore some graphics problems that occur even for player character models; you're limited to models with full animation, but that's not just PC models. It's tricky to make it do anything worthwhile (tweak aggro code?), but not hard to make it have a cosmetic effect.

Duplication - Would need impractical AI to control the duplicates.

Summon - Would only work with a predefined summoning list, otherwise it would need impractical AI to control the summons.

Generally true.

N-Ray Vision - Because there literally isn't an inside to the buildings you can't go into.

You can still let it see through objects where an other side actually exists. Same applies to tunneling, desolid, teleport, though you'd be adding a lot of special-casing to your movement code for a pretty marginal benefit.

Telepathy - NPCs aren't actually thinking anything.

So? It usually winds up as 'click to bypass plot point X', but that's not totally worthless. Again, though, requires a lot of special-casing, here in quest design.

Mind Control - Every NPC and creature would need the animations for every possible action. And Mind Control that wasn't possession-type would have the same AI issues as Duplication.

Hardly. You just use the standard lazy method of mind control -- you adjust the mob's internal faction definition and it uses its normal AI.

Mental Illusions - No way to specify what the illusion is' date=' no way to tell how a given NPC would react to it.[/quote']

Doing specific effect illusions is doable. In practice, most mental illusions will boil down to a stun, hold, blind, or DoT effect.

Really Fast Movement (Megascale' date=' or even high NCM) - Breaks any system where content is loaded as needed based on where the character is - which is every MMO, AFAIK.[/quote']

In practice, it's just an ability to do zoning in situations where you aren't normally able to do zoning -- i.e. rather than take a plane to go from zone Canada to zone Desert, you just pop your movement power.

Transform' date=' Precognition, EDM - These are pretty much impossible.[/quote']

Limited target set transform is doable; it's about the same as summon. EDM is like long-distance movement, it's a specialized ability to change zones in a nonstandard way.

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Re: 'Hero System' online

 

Nah, shapechange is actually fairly easy as long as you're willing to ignore some graphics problems that occur even for player character models; you're limited to models with full animation, but that's not just PC models. It's tricky to make it do anything worthwhile (tweak aggro code?), but not hard to make it have a cosmetic effect.
I would imagine that enemy models don't have the full set of player animations. "Bystander" NPCs might not even have combat animations.

 

You can still let it see through objects where an other side actually exists. Same applies to tunneling, desolid, teleport, though you'd be adding a lot of special-casing to your movement code for a pretty marginal benefit.
This is true, but I think it would mostly just end up frustrating the players, because probably 90%+ of walls have no other side. N-Ray Vision is the worst, because it makes the problem immediately obvious, and doesn't even look quite right when the walls are passable (they should still have pipes and whatnot). For the movement powers, it would be the "flimsy wooden door" problem all over the place - why do all these normal buildings have unobtanium walls?

 

So? It usually winds up as 'click to bypass plot point X', but that's not totally worthless. Again, though, requires a lot of special-casing, here in quest design.
I was thinking more of using it on random people in the street. Same problem as N-Ray Vision - the limitations are really obvious.

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Re: 'Hero System' online

 

I would imagine that enemy models don't have the full set of player animations. "Bystander" NPCs might not even have combat animations.

The vast majority of NPCs in the game could be produced with the costume editor, and probably have exactly the same animations available as PCs. The exception is things like grondlings (4 arms) and various animals.

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