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Title: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Axe Murderer on August 06, 2008, 10:43:09 PM
I have a poll for all you SP module players out there concerning henchmen (not including animal companions, familiars, or summoned critters)...
 
 
 
When you play a single-player module that supports henchmen that can be respawned:
 
 
1. What is your favorite method for bringing them back to life when they fall?
  • A) When they die they automatically and immediately respawn back where you hired them. They get removed from your party and you must go re-hire them to get them back again.
  • B) When they die they just lie there where they died. They get removed from your party and you must use a resurrection or raise dead spell on them to bring them back and then rehire them right there where you rezzed them.
  • C) They lie where they die but are not removed from your party. You can respawn them using any type of heal spell, feat (like lay on hands), raise dead, or resurrection -- ala HOTU style. If you don't respawn them after some amount of time, they are removed from the party and respawned back where you originally hired them as in option A above.
  • D) They get removed from your party and lie where they died. You can resurrect them only with raise dead or resurrection spells. When you rez them, they respawn back where you hired them. If you don't rez them within some set amount of time, they are permanently destroyed.
  • E) They do not get removed from your party and lie where they died. You can resurrect them only with raise dead or resurrection spells. If you don't rez them within some set amount of time, they are dissmissed from the party and permanently destroyed.
  • F) They do not get removed from your party and lie where they died. You can revive them using any type of heal spell, feat (like lay on hands), raise dead, or resurrection. If you leave the area without revivimg them, they are dissmissed from the party and permanently destroyed.
  • G) Same as F except instead of being permanently destroyed they return to where you initially hired them.
  • H) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.
 
2. What is your favorite method of dealing with henchmen in the party when you are killed and choose to respawn?
  • A) All henchmen, whether living or dead at the time, are sent with you to your respawn location and the entire party is healed up.
  • B) All your henchmen are removed from your party and remain behind to continue the battle without you. To get them back you must return to the battle and rehire them including rezzing any dead ones.
  • C) All live henchmen are removed from your party and left behind to carry on the battle without you. All dead henchmen are revived and jumped with you to your respawn location.
  • D) All henchmen are removed from your party, revived, healed, and sent back to where you originally hired them. To get them back you must go rehire them all.
  • E) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.
 
3. What is your favorite rule for reviving dead henchmen?
  • A) Only raise dead or resurrection can bring them back.
  • B) HOTU style -- any heal type spell or feat can be used to revive them. This would include  Cure Minor/Light/Moderate/Serious/Critical Wounds, Heal, Healing Kits, Lay On Hands, Wholeness of Body, Healing Circle, Mass Heal, Raise Dead, Greater Restoration, Resurrection, Regenerate, Aid, and Virtue.
  • C) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.
 
4. What is your favorite rule concerning dead henchmen you decide not to revive or don't have the ability to revive?
  • A) After some set time period they are permanently destroyed.
  • B) After some set time period they are revived and returned to where they were hired.
  • C) After some set time period they are revived, automatically rejoin your party, and are jumped to wherever you currently happen to be.
  • D) When you leave the area they are permanently destroyed.
  • E) When you leave the area they are revived and returned to where they were hired.
  • F) When you leave the area they are revived, automatically rejoin your party, and are jumped to wherever you currently happen to be.
  • G) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.
  • -- for A, B, & C what would be a reasonable time period?
 
5. Which henchman level-up rule do you like best?
  • A) Henchmen automatically level up whenever I do.
  • B) Henchmen gain the ability to level up whenever I do but I like to tell henchmen when to level up by talking to them.
  • C) Henchmen should level up based on what they kill just like PCs.
    -- Should this automatic level up happen immediately or the next time the party rests?
  • D) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Starlight on August 07, 2008, 02:11:28 AM
1. What is your favorite method for bringing them back to life when they fall?

A) When they die they automatically and immediately respawn back where you hired them. They get removed from your party and you must go re-hire them to get them back again.[/li][/list]
C) They lie where they die but are not removed from your party. You can respawn them using any type of heal spell, feat (like lay on hands), raise dead, or resurrection -- ala HOTU style. If you don't respawn them after some amount of time, they are removed from the party and respawned back where you originally hired them as in option A above.
G) Same as F except instead of being permanently destroyed they return to where you initially hired them.

Answer A and C are barely acceptable as I don't think it is realistic.

I have tried some modules using method A before. However, it has two problems occurs:
- If the companions defeat the enemies after they have been respawned, no experience points is granted to the player. This will affected the level of the player if this occurs frequently.
- If the companions is not set to invulnerable after they have been respawned, they most likely will disappear permanently when they are being killed the second time. I think this is related to the problem in NWN engine.

For method C, it may possess a problem to the players if they are very far away from the place where they hired the companions or the place is no longer reachable anymore. The same go for method G.

D) They get removed from your party and lie where they died. You can resurrect them only with raise dead or resurrection spells. When you rez them, they respawn back where you hired them. If you don't rez them within some set amount of time, they are permanently destroyed.
E) They do not get removed from your party and lie where they died. You can resurrect them only with raise dead or resurrection spells. If you don't rez them within some set amount of time, they are dissmissed from the party and permanently destroyed.
F) They do not get removed from your party and lie where they died. You can revive them using any type of heal spell, feat (like lay on hands), raise dead, or resurrection. If you leave the area without revivimg them, they are dissmissed from the party and permanently destroyed.

I hate method D to F as during the adventure, especially for heavy role-playing/adventure modules, the player has already form a bond with the companions emtionally. Permanently destroy is a great turn off.

B) When they die they just lie there where they died. They get removed from your party and you must use a resurrection or raise dead spell on them to bring them back and then rehire them right there where you rezzed them.

H) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.
There is one method I love very much and my answer is overlapped with that of question 4. Please check the answer in question 4.

If I can only choose one, I will choose method B.

 
2. What is your favorite method of dealing with henchmen in the party when you are killed and choose to respawn?
A) All henchmen, whether living or dead at the time, are sent with you to your respawn location and the entire party is healed up.
B) All your henchmen are removed from your party and remain behind to continue the battle without you. To get them back you must return to the battle and rehire them including rezzing any dead ones.
C) All live henchmen are removed from your party and left behind to carry on the battle without you. All dead henchmen are revived and jumped with you to your respawn location.
D) All henchmen are removed from your party, revived, healed, and sent back to where you originally hired them. To get them back you must go rehire them all.
E) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.

For method A and C, I think they only suit particular themes. e.g. Coldhearth by thegeorge use method C. When the player die, he/she will be transferred to realm of death of respawn. Then they can travel back to the location where they die with XP penalty. If there is no such similar realm/setting it only make the modules look weird.

I have encountered a better approach: In Citadel by Jim Grimsley, Maddeleine St. Romain, Jeff Tyson, they have included Tony K's AI. it is a really fabulous scripts I have ever encountered! If the player/other companions are being killed, the companions (they have not left the party) who are:
1. clerics/druids
2. or divine classes like paladins, rangers or classes who can use magic items like rouges, bards, wizards, etc who have the scrolls/items have the spell raise dead/resurrection
will cast the spells/use the items onto the player automatically. Thus the player is revived.

Another approach is, the player respawn at the exact location they died with XP penalty and the companions have not left the party, if the setting is right.


3. What is your favorite rule for reviving dead henchmen?
A) Only raise dead or resurrection can bring them back.
B) HOTU style -- any heal type spell or feat can be used to revive them. This would include  Cure Minor/Light/Moderate/Serious/Critical Wounds, Heal, Healing Kits, Lay On Hands, Wholeness of Body, Healing Circle, Mass Heal, Raise Dead, Greater Restoration, Resurrection, Regenerate, Aid, and Virtue.

Generally I prefer method A. B is also acceptable if the setting is right.

4. What is your favorite rule concerning dead henchmen you decide not to revive or don't have the ability to revive?
A) After some set time period they are permanently destroyed.
D) When you leave the area they are permanently destroyed.

Same as the answer for method D,E,F in question 1, I hate these two methods.

B) After some set time period they are revived and returned to where they were hired.
E) When you leave the area they are revived and returned to where they were hired.

Same as the answer for method C,G in question 1.

C) After some set time period they are revived, automatically rejoin your party, and are jumped to wherever you currently happen to be.
F) When you leave the area they are revived, automatically rejoin your party, and are jumped to wherever you currently happen to be.

It may be great for low level modules but not realistic for higher level modules when raise dead/resurrection is available.

G) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.

I have forgotten which modules I have tried before has an interesting approach: The companion will be reduced to a corpse and a backpack contains all of the items he/she carry. When a raise dead/resurrection is casted onto the corpse, he/she will be revived and collect back their items. If the players have no immediate means to revive the companion, they can carry the corpse to the nearby temple to have the cleric to revive the companion.

 
5. Which henchman level-up rule do you like best?
A) Henchmen automatically level up whenever I do.
B) Henchmen gain the ability to level up whenever I do but I like to tell henchmen when to level up by talking to them.
C) Henchmen should level up based on what they kill just like PCs.
-- Should this automatic level up happen immediately or the next time the party rests?
D) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.

Citadel has included a good level-up system: when you first hire the companion, you can tell him/her to
1. level up his/her current class to the same level as the player
2. or level up one level only. This can have a better control onto the companion as you can control them to mutli-class.
However, after the companion is of the same level as player, they will levelup automatically with the current class set for them when the player levelup.

I perfer method B for the player to tell them to level-up after a new level is archived.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Andarian on August 07, 2008, 05:42:36 AM
When you play a single-player module that supports henchmen that can be respawned:

Talk about opening a can of worms, Axe! This is a poll that I can't really answer without an extended discussion, and it's a subject that I've actually given a lot of thought to. I'll try to make my actual responses brief, as you asked, but some of them really do require prior elaoration on what I think are important design issues that lie behind the questions.

There are two important design decisions implicit in your poll questions. The first is the use of henchmen as opposed to companions (see the explanation below), and the second is support for henchman or companion respawning (presumably after death). For the record I actively dislike both of these features, and prefer modules that (a) use companions, (b) disable all respawning after actual death, both for players and companions alike. That's what I did in Sanctum of the Archmage, although I compensated for it by using an improved version of the Module Builder's Henchman Kit's "bleeding/dying system." That's a system in which a player or companion that is struck down in combat lies "bleeding" and accumulating negative hitpoints every round until they reach a limit, and during which time they can be healed to bring their HP back into the positive range. If the player or a companion "bleeds to death," then the death screen is displayed and the player has to reload a saved game. For the record, this is my preferred "death system" (which is why I wrote mine that way :)).

I also need to explain the difference between what I'm calling "companions" and "henchmen." In a nutshell, henchmen are designed and intended to provide combat support for the player. Their primary function is to serve as "meat-shields," although they may also have some interesting (but not plot-critical) conversation options. They're more appropriate to Action or H&S modules, and to RP/Adventure modules in which the plot is focused solely on the player. By companions in this context, what I'm referring to are party characters who play a plot-critical role in the module's story. Companions are key to more story-driven RP and Adventure modules in which the story isn't solely focused on the player and his actions.

The problem with allowing companion permadeath is that if they really are plot-critical, then the story will cease to make sense if they're allowed to die. Henchmen can be allowed to either survive or die, since nothing in the plot depends on their presence. So many of the listed options are counter-productive for companions. Since I much prefer playing mods with companions, I'll answer the questions based on that assumption.

With that out of the way, here are my answers: :)

Quote
1. What is your favorite method for bringing them back to life when they fall?
  • H) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.

I like either the death system used in my modules (described above), or something like the default system used in NWN2. In NWN2, characters who go down in combat stay down until the battle is over, and then they respawn automatically (at 1 hp) when the battle ends. That simulates the idea of being "struck down but not quite dead yet," and makes it such that you don't lose a fight unless the player and all companions are struck down. Everyone recovers after the fight is over on the assumption that the survivors tend to the wounds of the fallen and keep them from dying.

Quote
2. What is your favorite method of dealing with henchmen in the party when you are killed and choose to respawn?
  • E) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.

I never respawn, so I don't care what happens in that case. If the death screen is displayed, I will reload a saved game, whether or not respawning is provided as an option. If my character falls in combat but has not yet actually died, I prefer that companions remain in party and fight on without me, and can heal me to bring me back into the fight (or revive me afterwards).
 
Quote
3. What is your favorite rule for reviving dead henchmen?
  • C) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.

The B) option (HOTU style) isn't too bad, but what I really prefer is what I described above. Henchmen revive at the end of combat at 1 hp (a la NWN2) on the premise of not having actually died yet and having received first aid from the survivors, or can receive first aid from the player during or after the battle (a la Sanctum).

Quote
4. What is your favorite rule concerning dead henchmen you decide not to revive or don't have the ability to revive?
  • G) Suggest another scenario you prefer -- try to keep it brief and to the point.

I prefer that this simply not be allowed. It's fine for henchmen, but not for companions. I prefer to treat companion permadeath as equivalent to player permadeath (displaying the death screen with no respawn option). Automatically reviving fallen party members to 1 hp after combat is won a la NWN2 is also a good option. In Sanctum, the companion will remain in-party and without first aid will eventually either revive on their own and follow you, or die (resulting in display of the death screen).
 
Quote
5. Which henchman level-up rule do you like best?
  • C) Henchmen should level up based on what they kill just like PCs.

That's how I do it in Sanctum. I use the MBHK's system to award separate XP to companions (stored as a variable on them) and to check for and perform levelup anytime they receive XP.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Andarian on August 07, 2008, 05:58:47 AM
I have encountered a better approach: In Citadel by Jim Grimsley, Maddeleine St. Romain, Jeff Tyson, they have included Tony K's AI. it is a really fabulous scripts I have ever encountered! If the player/other companions are being killed, the companions (they have not left the party) who are:
1. clerics/druids
2. or divine classes like paladins, rangers or classes who can use magic items like rouges, bards, wizards, etc who have the scrolls/items have the spell raise dead/resurrection
will cast the spells/use the items onto the player automatically. Thus the player is revived.

That's in the Module Builder's Henchman Kit (MBHK), which I know that Citadel used at least at one point (I don't know if TonyK's system also offers it). Sanctum uses (a modified version of) the MBHK as well. As soon as I saw what you're describing, though, I ripped it out of the version of the MBHK that I use in Sanctum. Part of that was because the plot of Sanctum requires the disabling of all true resurrection (cf. the "Denial of Resurrection," explained by Orion in Sanctum 2), and because it doesn't mesh with the bleeding/death system. If you're not using the bleeding system it can be used to simulate receiving first aid from a healer (on the premise that you're not quite dead), but I didn't like it myself.


I have tried some modules using method A before. However, it has two problems occurs:
- If the companions defeat the enemies after they have been respawned, no experience points is granted to the player. This will affected the level of the player if this occurs frequently.

That depends on how the XP awarding is coded for the module. You can do that any way you want. For example, you can code it so that none, some, or all XP is given to a fallen PC when a companion defeates a creature. The second option (some) is what I actually do in my modules.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: BenWH on August 07, 2008, 06:24:02 AM
1> In order of preference: B, C, the method used in WCoC where they are respawned after a combat finishes, D. None of the others.

2> I prefer methods that generally allow you to get on with playing, so if death is not a central part of the story, I prefer to respawn near or where I was, with my henchmen. I liked the method used in WCoC the best: you respawn, but only if you have a live henchmen within 30 feet, and you respawn at the nearest safe location. Otherwise, you die permnanently. This made caring about your henchmen worthwhile.

3> I don't really mind that much. See 1 above! But I do like there to be a risk of a henchman not being able to respawn too (to stop you being blase). In the Wanderer for example, if a henchman suffered massive damage or died as a result of body destruction (such as fire), they were permanently destroyed, otherwise you could raise them.

4> A. Half a day (or about 20 minutes of real time)

5> C. But with the option to control via dialogue what their choice will be if they are dual class.

By the way, I make no distinction between henchmen and companions - my answers are the same whatever we decide to call them!


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: kookoo on August 07, 2008, 07:11:42 AM
Ok, the way I like to treat my henchpeople/henchzombies/henchlizardfolk is:

Hmm, I think I'm going to explain a little bit first too.  I built the henchies in my module the way that I liked to play them.  The fact of the matter is that I think they are the best part of a single player module because It's nice not to have to save the world by yourself.  My philosophy on playing a module is that I want to enjoy the story without working my butt off to get to the end.  I definitely don't like going back and forth to get my henchies back and I don't enjoy it when they permanently die 'cause I've developed a fighting system with them and in a many modules, a rapport with them as well.  If there is permanent death, I always reload my last saved game and if I can't beat the battle, I tell the henchie to wait while I go into god mode with a strength of 80.  I like story modules and role play modules more than I like battles though.  *I don't do that in beta testing though in case Fester Pot reads this*   ;D

Ok, that said: 

1)  I like B.  However, when I test the module, I always put a scroll of raise dead or resurrection in areas that have difficult battles so that players who aren't clerics, or don't plan ahead, have a way to bring the hench back to life.  In an especially difficult dungeon, I might even put a rod of resurrection as treasure after a boss.  I also make these items available in easily accessable shops.  Due to the fact that I have 4 henchies in part one and will have 12 in part two, this is even more important.

2)  I like A. although I think I have it so that if they are dead or injured, they stay that way until I fix them up.  I have respawn penalties of gold and xp too.

3)  A, but remember that the player should have the resources to do so.  It's no good if they can't.

4)  G, they just stay there until you get around to getting back.  Resurrection will fix any of the rat nibbles, the healing spells you cast after raising dead will do the same.

5)  Definitely B.  However, if the module starts out at level 20, this gets tedious to have to level each one up 20 times.  I have a new script and variable system made with massive help from a friend for part 2 that will level up the henchies when the player enters the area. 

Remember that I build to suit my style of play, so this is all how I like to play a module with henchies, not just build.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Andarian on August 07, 2008, 07:38:37 AM
A couple of other quick points:

1. Just for the record, the poll questions do appear to be somewhat NWN1-oriented, especially since the default NWN2 system isn't listed as an option. I suspect that NWN1 is the primary environment that you had in mind, though (please correct me if I'm wrong :)).

2. NWN2 introduced a use of the word "companion" that isn't quite as restricted as the one I defined in my earlier posts. I suppose that technically, what I'm really talking about is the distinction between plot-critical companions, and other henchmen or companions. But whatever we decide to call it, I do think there is an important difference between plot-critical characters and non-plot-critical characters, especially in party combat. Allowing character permadeath does restrict some of what you can do with that character in terms of plot and story, and for the reasons that I described.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: kookoo on August 07, 2008, 08:24:55 AM
It's interesting that everyone on this forum is expanding on their answers while the same poll on the Bioware forum is just getting the letter answers for each one.   :D


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Starlight on August 07, 2008, 09:16:38 AM
That's in the Module Builder's Henchman Kit (MBHK), which I know that Citadel used at least at one point (I don't know if TonyK's system also offers it). Sanctum uses (a modified version of) the MBHK as well. As soon as I saw what you're describing, though, I ripped it out of the version of the MBHK that I use in Sanctum. Part of that was because the plot of Sanctum requires the disabling of all true resurrection (cf. the "Denial of Resurrection," explained by Orion in Sanctum 2), and because it doesn't mesh with the bleeding/death system. If you're not using the bleeding system it can be used to simulate receiving first aid from a healer (on the premise that you're not quite dead), but I didn't like it myself.

Yes, I agree with you. This does depends on the theme of the module. If the module has "Denial of Resurrection" or even no "Divine Intervention", then just no respawn.

Just something off topic. An interesting concept raised in Citadel is that, the builders of Citadel, stole the core of magic from some gods. They only regard this power as a tool, a "magic" they can make use of, while the spiritual side of this power (religion, power granted by those gods) are being completely ignored. Thus the clerics inside the city can even cast healing spells without worshiping any gods.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Starlight on August 07, 2008, 09:23:05 AM
It's interesting that everyone on this forum is expanding on their answers while the same poll on the Bioware forum is just getting the letter answers for each one.   :D

heh....sometimes I find myself to be too talkative. In many discussion I like to give out the reasons to backup and explain my points of view. I just hope I'm not too disturbing  :P


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Tybae on August 07, 2008, 09:23:15 AM
It's interesting that everyone on this forum is expanding on their answers while the same poll on the Bioware forum is just getting the letter answers for each one.   :D

1  C&D
2  A&B
3  A
4  B
5  A

So there!  :D


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Starlight on August 07, 2008, 09:30:14 AM

1  C&D
2  A&B
3  A
4  B
5  A

So there!  :D

The above answer is posted from some unknown universe. It is too difficult to decrypt so we can just ignore them!  :P


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Andarian on August 07, 2008, 09:30:39 AM
It's interesting that everyone on this forum is expanding on their answers while the same poll on the Bioware forum is just getting the letter answers for each one.   :D

Just for the record, the poll questions do appear to be somewhat NWN1-oriented, especially since the default NWN2 system isn't listed as an option. I suspect that NWN1 is the primary environment that you had in mind, though (please correct me if I'm wrong :)).

From the fact that the poll was posted to the NWN1 but not the NWN2 module forum (not to mention who posted it), I think my assumption was probably an accurate one. ;)


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Tybae on August 07, 2008, 11:36:52 AM
The above answer is posted from some unknown universe. It is too difficult to decrypt so we can just ignore them!  :P

Nah, it's just too difficult for you to decrypt.  Breathing in too much Durian fumes?  ;)


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: sirchet on August 07, 2008, 02:33:52 PM
1. B
2. B
3. A
4. A  after 8 in game hours
5. C  immediately and I should choose the class they level in.

Direct and to the point.

Just like Tybae.  ::)

HAH HAH HAH HAH


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Tybae on August 07, 2008, 03:01:20 PM
Just like Tybae.  ::)


I know.  Everyone wants to be like me.  Ain't I the greatest?  ;)


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Axe Murderer on August 08, 2008, 02:03:54 AM
Just for the record, and since I know many of your are quite experienced builders as well as players, here are some additional details about the death and levelling plans...

Yeah it's NWN1, it will never be NWN2 ever. Player starts at level 0. No there will be no copying of systems seen in other HOF modules or ready-made vault packages whose strengths and weaknesses everybody already know how to exploit. Tho some of the better concepts may be borrowed in part. For instance, all capable henchmen will respawn fallen comrades (PC or NPC). This will not guarantee a fallen PC will be revived  and is one reason why I prefaced question 2 with "and you choose to respawn". I am hoping to make the choice of when to choose the respawn option during a battle when some of your party are still fighting an important decision. Sort of a way to control when your henchies decide to retreat and save everyone vs letting them continue in the hopes that they do not all die and force you to reload. I will probably not allow the respawn option if the whole party dies, but I have yet to decide on that. I am still obviously working out the mechanics for when the player and henchies gets killed.

While I would like to see a simple vote of what your favorites are just so I know for sure, I certainly don't mind a little discussion about them either. It would be easier if you didn't quote the whole of what I posted (starlight jeez buddy) -- referring to question number and answer letter is sufficient my memory isn't that bad yet, and it will help to keep your posts uncluttered and a reasonable length. What I am actually looking for is more to eliminate those ideas people really dislike rather than trying to come up with "the" methods everyone will be most enamoured with. So I'm employing a bit of reverse psychology in the way I worded those questions. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to do it that way... I want the players to experience a certain amount of frustration in death situations, give them a few options or alternatives, and force them to use their heads a little more than usual instead of just reload and try again, reload and try again, reload and try again...!!

There are actually 3 types of henchmen involved: mercenaries (temporary meat shield no real personality to speak of), friends (you get to know and love/hate them but can lose them if you are not careful), plot guys (critical to completing the story). Mercenaries will not be respawnable at all. They have rigidly pre-defined class progressions and will lag behind the player level-wise. When they die (and they are always the most likely party members to die) they are gone for good. Player will not be allowed to revive mercenaries -- for some odd reason the monsters love to tear them to pieces and eat them. There is a generous but limited supply of them "in town". They will mostly only be available in the early stages of the game since you do not meet all the friends or plot guys until later on. They will be strategically placed where you are most likely to need them. If you can keep them alive that's great but they will definitely not stay with you for any extended period. Eventually they will decide to part ways with you.
Friends are the ones I am really debating most about how to handle in death situations (death for them and you) and why I decided to ask players what they like to see with this poll. Basically it will be the player's choice to revive them or let them go or let them go for awhile then go back and get them again later. They are very helpful to have, probably more so than any of the other types, but are also not critical to the story. There are only a few of them available (3 at this point). Players might be allowed some limited control over their class progression as they level and their level will be maintained roughly comparable to or even a couple levels higher than the player. Obviously if I do allow player control there will be a conversation to level them and my question #5 is moot.
Companions are the guys most of you playing other modules will be familar with as the personality centric plot related buddies you cannot do without. They have already been mostly worked out -- basically if you let them die and you cannot revive them somehow, you lose. They will never leave your party but I am still debating whether I want to allow the player to run around with a dead plot guy in their party, and if so for how long/far it will be allowed before you simply lose.
 -- mercenaries, you must pay to hire them for a limited "time". They consume some of the loot. They will probably be making their own equipment decisions.
 -- friends, will volunteer to join you for free or very cheap if you want them. They consume only the loot you give them. You decide what equipment they use.
 -- plot guys will automatically join you. They consume only the loot you give them. You decide what equipment they use.

Player will get a module controlled bind location when they rest in certain safe areas and when certain plot progression events happen. When you choose respawn that's where you and possibly your henchmen will go. There is no fugue plane. For henchman (friends), hire locations will move around if necessary to ensure you will always be able to get back to them in a reasonable time/journey should I decide that they will respawn at their hire spots. Sometimes they may even jump ahead of you to the destination so you won't have to backtrack so much.

Sounds like Andarian and his kin will hate this part...Player death will carry an XP AWARD not a penalty! along with massive gold/item loss. The reasons for this are:
 -- to discourage reloading on player death, to encourage using the respawn option instead. If there is a benefit to choosing respawn, players will hopefully be more likely to choose it. Then it can be used to make things more interesting and varied.
 -- The story line might dictate that you must choose to respawn on a couple of occasions in order to continue. Haven't fully decided on this yet.
 -- realism! death is an experience and returning from death is an extraordinary experience...thus you get some experience points for choosing to go thru it (a tiny amount to be sure but some). Levelling up thru dying is not a possibility.
 -- if you are having problems getting thru something, an XP penalty system makes it worse. The more you have trouble, the more you have to try again, and the further back it sets you especially since typically you have a GP penalty as well. It is a frustrating and never ending cycle towards eventual defeat and it encourages reloading to exploit the death penalty. One tough battle and the whole story can be rendered unplayable. My idea makes it a little bit easier to continue with the story by helping you in these situations instead. Its sort of an automated combat balance right when you need it most system. The more problems you have, the more it will help you out, and the fewer number of retries will be required to get by it. This IMO will reduce frustration rather than increase it and lets the player get on with the story sooner and in a better position to meet the next challenge which is gonna be even more difficult anyway.
 -- much of your gold and/or items are looted by those who kill you tho it will vary depending on what you are killed by. To get it back you gotta go back and take it. Hopefully fostering a desire for revenge in this way can be used to enhance the importance of certain groups of enemies that will probably kill you (resoundingly) the first time you meet them. But as I said earlier the design in this area is still being determined. I may well end up scrapping the whole forced-death-respawn-to-continue idea altogether. In particular I am struggling with how I might let the player understand that he must respawn rather than reload in order to go on without just saying "in all likelyhood you are about to die and need to respawn to continue". I can't think of a way to make it obvious so I will probably forget it. Maybe an automatic respawn but I don't much like those either.
 -- making death a gold/item loss penalty means you have to go out and regain new stuff in easier environments. This makes "loose play" dying much more of a penalty than simply losing half a level or less. It is far more effort intensive to recover from and therefore you shouldn't be so willing to risk death once you learn about it. It also makes it a hell of a lot easier to maintain the whole GP/XP balance that I find is usually wayyyyy off in every module I have ever played. And it makes it far easier to control the player level as the plot progresses.
 -- in a typical XP penalty death system, when you have just levelled up there is not much risk involved with death. As a result, you will play differently. When you die 1XP past a new level the penalty is usually 1XP and maybe a little gold. In a gold/item system the same risk is present at all times regardless of how far you are progressed towards the next level. It is rarely the case that you are totally broke and have no items either. It is the death XP benefit that reduces and it only does so as you approach the next level (i.e. when you need it the least). Choosing to reload gives you the exact same death penalty exploit no matter how close you are to the next level. Yet unless you are almost ready to level up, you also lose some potential level progress by reloading. IMO this is a better way to go than having a reload avoid losing level progress at every stage in a level except just after gaining a new one. Personally, I consider reloading a way of cheating. There is no way to prevent players from using it to exploit the death penalty if that's what they want to do. Yet I understand that most players don't want to start all over from the beginning when they lose. The best you can do is give them alternatives to motivate them to not use it which is what I'm trying for. Death should not always mean "you lose" if you want a more interesting and varied module.

There will be very little if any XP given for killing things unless it is central to a quest. The vast majority of XP that takes you from level to level is gained thru completing the story line quests not thru battles. This will be done for several balance related reasons and to make it easier to control player level advancement as the plot progresses. In accordance with the death penalty I just outlined above, it will further encourage the use of the respawn option instead of reload. Players will not be able to run around killing things multiple times to gain enough levels to easily get thru a tough journey. Monsters are just another obstacle along the way and you get your experience by making it to the destination. It also better allows for areas that do not become "cleared", a pet peave of mine as it often makes no sense at all realistically. I call it the nuclear player system since apparantly the player contaminates the areas so badly that nothing can ever grow there again. In addition, the story dictates that it will be necessary to repeat several journeys via the same route and some of them need to remain active all the time for the same level (generally) player. I don't want to have those areas continually respawning higher and higher level monsters. Again this is in part a realism issue. If those areas could be occupied by orcs, why did they not kill off the bugs that are initially there sooner? By being able to keep the player from levelling up too much, those routes will stay pretty much equally challenging to get past on the return journey, and the player will not have to be surprised in an unrealistic manner by some different much more powerful adversaries that suddenly appear there for no apparant reason or no challenge at all because the area is still empty (very boring). The encounter system will also be alot easier to code since it will allow scaling to be mainly done by area rather than by party level.

Now if that all spurs you to opine with some additional comments or ideas -- go at it.


Oh yeah and by the way thanks for all the responses!!


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: sirchet on August 08, 2008, 10:48:06 AM
I feel...used...reverse psychology? That's when you make me think I thought what you were thinking when I was thinking about what I thought I was thinking...*scratches head*

Hope my votes helped. ;D


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Axe Murderer on August 08, 2008, 01:52:11 PM
I feel...used...reverse psychology? That's when you make me think I thought what you were thinking when I was thinking about what I thought I was thinking...*scratches head*

Hope my votes helped. ;D
In the true spirit of the AME forums I suppose I'm obligated to provide some clever retort like "It's a wonder you can think at all -- keep scratchin it just might help." Or are those kind of insults only for Tybae?  I'm still new here after all so I'm not yet familiar with all the correct protocols.

Yeah your responses are always welcomed by me so thanks again.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Tybae on August 08, 2008, 03:26:19 PM
In the true spirit of the AME forums I suppose I'm obligated to provide some clever retort like "It's a wonder you can think at all -- keep scratchin it just might help." Or are those kind of insults only for Tybae?  I'm still new here after all so I'm not yet familiar with all the correct protocols.

Yeah your responses are always welcomed by me so thanks again.


LOL.  I would never say anything like that.  I'm innocent, I tell you. 

*adjusts the horns holding up the halo*


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: kookoo on August 08, 2008, 09:21:35 PM
In the true spirit of the AME forums I suppose I'm obligated to provide some clever retort like "It's a wonder you can think at all -- keep scratchin it just might help." Or are those kind of insults only for Tybae?  I'm still new here after all so I'm not yet familiar with all the correct protocols.

Yeah your responses are always welcomed by me so thanks again.


LOL.  I would never say anything like that.  I'm innocent, I tell you. 

*adjusts the horns holding up the halo*

Hey!  That's where my halo went!  Give it back Tybae!


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Starlight on August 08, 2008, 11:11:31 PM
Axe,

For the death penalty, I think it is somewhat comes from the D&D materials. I'm not sure about the concept and most module makers don't want the player to just respawn over and over again without any consequences.

For the death bonus you have mentioned, I think it depends on the theme of the modules. If there are some mini-quests created for after-death, something like adventure inside the realm of death, you can gain little knowledge(and XP) for every travel or fighting something to gain the favor of death (god or entity, something like that). They allow you to respawn. Or something like exploit the "bug" or "hole" in the death system and you can escape from it (just like hacking  ;D ) then the player can respawn.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Andarian on August 09, 2008, 05:07:17 AM
For the death bonus you have mentioned, I think it depends on the theme of the modules. If there are some mini-quests created for after-death, something like adventure inside the realm of death, you can gain little knowledge(and XP) for every travel or fighting something to gain the favor of death (god or entity, something like that).

Agreed. If player death is part of the story, then it's a whole different ballgame. But I personally think that resurrection is greatly abused and overused in RPGs, and prefer modules in which the threat of death is real and meaningful. That's why I prefer "respawn" options that are based on the idea of having characters "fall in combat" but not actually be dead yet, and in which the "respawning" is understood as the application of first aid.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Axe Murderer on August 09, 2008, 11:14:58 AM
For the death bonus you have mentioned, I think it depends on the theme of the modules. If there are some mini-quests created for after-death, something like adventure inside the realm of death, you can gain little knowledge(and XP) for every travel or fighting something to gain the favor of death (god or entity, something like that).

Agreed. If player death is part of the story, then it's a whole different ballgame. But I personally think that resurrection is greatly abused and overused in RPGs, and prefer modules in which the threat of death is real and meaningful. That's why I prefer "respawn" options that are based on the idea of having characters "fall in combat" but not actually be dead yet, and in which the "respawning" is understood as the application of first aid.
Good stuff. I understand your points completely and have to agree that rez is definitely an overused concept if it isn't part of the story (and it will not be for me). This is particularly true in MP games. However, in single player either the game ends or you allow a means to continue via respawn. There simply is no other option if death is to be a real thing. If you're gonna have respawns then there must be a penalty of some kind or death is absolutely meaningless. If that penalty is too steep it really makes no sense go to all the trouble to code it up to begin with because players will always reload to avoid it. If you implement the idea of "fall in combat but not actually dead" then I don't really see any "threat of death" at all since you never actually die at all. I'm afraid I really dislike that. I've got a bleeding system in place which pretty much handles that scenario anyway.

To be honest, I'm with you 100% and prefer one death per game -- you die you liose seems most realistic to me except under very unusual plot related circumstances. Only gods can rez and players are never gods. If I was making this for me to play that's what I would do for sure. In fact I would force a restart from level 0 if I could for me. I just get a greater sense of accomplishment when I can go all the way start to finish without getting killed at all. If I can't do that I don't believe I've won the game. As I said before I think reload == cheating. Whenever I use it I feel guilt -- like I am cheating myself out of a really great feeling or admitting failure.

The way I see it, the player will really be, or should really be, the ultimate judge of when he has lost the game should he die. If you don't provide a respawn option then he willl always lose every single time and be forced to reload or start over. If you do provide one then the choice is left up to him. If he wants to reload he will, and it simply means he's decided that he lost which is perfectly fine. If the player thinks like you & I do then the option to choose-to-lose will always still be there no matter how the respawn option is or isn't implemented. But if a player does not agree with our philosophy, then he should be given the option to play it the way he wants to IMO. So far my poll results seem to indicate that a majority of players prefer to have a way to respawn... although I really didn't provide the die==lose option explicitly.

As a builder I could give dozens of respawn options. No penalty XP only XP+GP, choose your %, etc. etc. to allow for every possible play style. But that's way too much work for me so I plan on giving them only one method. Maybe the one I've outlined isn't the best. It is quite different than most I've seen tho which should give the game a component of uniqueness. Maybe it just sucks and I should do the standard XP+GP deal that most everybody simply exploits anyway. If that's what you think don't be afraid to say so, I won't be offended or anything. I should probably make another poll for the death penalty idea to see what everyone thinks about it. For the module to appeal to a wider range of players however, I think a respawn option of some kind should be there -- and I will be putting one in. What I'm trying to decide first is how to handle the henchmen.


So far poll results are as follows:
1. Respawn dead henchmen
 5%  - remove from party, respawn at hire spot.
53% - remove from party, stay put & wait for raise/rez, respawn at death spot
16% - stay in party, stay put & wait for HOTU rez, respawn at hire spot
11% - remove from party, stay put & wait for raise/rez, respawn at hire spot
16% - NWN2 style, no death possible

2. Where henchmen go when you respawn
50% - all stay in party, all go with you to bind point
28% - all removed from party, all stay and fight.
11% - living removed from party to stay and fight, dead go with you to bind point
11% - can't read the question
 
3. What will rez a henchie
59% - raise/rez only
29% - HOTU style
12% - NWN2 style, no death possible

4. What happens to dead henchies you don't rez
38% - time limit perma destroy
15% - time limit return to hire spot
8%  - time limit autorez & rejoin party
15% - leave area perma destroy
15% - leave area return to hire spot
 8%  - NWN2 style, no death possible
- After battle 1
- 16 hours     1
- 36 hours     1
- 12 hours     1
-  8 hours      1

5. Henchman level up
56% - auto level with player
25% - player chooses when in convo
19% - based on what they kill.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Andarian on August 09, 2008, 12:03:40 PM
If you implement the idea of "fall in combat but not actually dead" then I don't really see any "threat of death" at all since you never actually die at all.

That's not what I mean at all, so I apologize if I wasn't clearer about that. In Sanctum, I use a "dying system" in which fallen characters are unconscious, and may bleed to death if they fall with serious wounds and go too long without healing or first aid. In NWN2, fallen characters will respawn at the end of combat, but only if there are others in the party left standing at the end. That can be interpreted (and I like to interpret it) as a result of the survivors applying first aid to the fallen after the battle. Otherwise, the party is defeated, the death screen is displayed, and you have to load a saved game. In either case, there is a definite threat of death, the reasonable assumption that there is a state (unconscious/dying) between it and being mobile, active, and able to fight, and no "magic button" to restore all of the player's spells and hit points.

Quote
As I said before I think reload == cheating. Whenever I use it I feel guilt -- like I am cheating myself out of a really great feeling or admitting failure.

I have exactly the opposite view. I think of respawning as cheating, and reloading as the honest way to deal with being defeated. Trying a difficult battle with different tactics until I learn how to beat it, and by the rules of the encounter as the author designed it, is one of the things that I find most enjoyable about playing the game. I put a lot of thought into designing and balancing combats, and I appreciate it when other builders do the same. But press a magic button that restores all of my stats and lets me keep fighting, even though I got my tail handed to me fair and square? Nope. I won't do it. Not unless it's a part of the plot and the author has given me a very plausible reason for having that power -- such as a special item or ability, or non-gratuitous divine intervention -- and one that has reasonable limitations. Otherwise, I think that the ability to respawn becomes ridiculous and unrealistic.

Quote
The way I see it, the player will really be, or should really be, the ultimate judge of when he has lost the game should he die.

I think it's interesting that again, I have exactly the opposite opinion. I think it should be up to the author, and not the player, to decide when the player has lost the game and when he should die. If the player can ignore the author's intent with regard to story, combat, and the consequences of his actions, then it destroys the author's ability to craft a coherent and compelling story and gameplay experience. I also think that providing a respawn option is often used by builders as a way to avoid having to think carefully about and play-test the combat balance of their modules.

Quote
For the module to appeal to a wider range of players however, I think a respawn option of some kind should be there -- and I will be putting one in.

That's fair, and one should certainly build according to one's own preferences and those of one's target audience. I respect other peoples' differing preferences, but I'm definitely not a member of that target audience, and neither do I build for it. So as a player I will never use, and as a builder I will never code, a respawn option that doesn't have a specific and reasonable plot-justification. :)

Anyway, I'll leave my comments at that, since I don't want to derail the intent of your thread further. I'll be happy to take this discussion off-line, or to another thread, if you or anyone else is interested in continuing it. :)


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: kookoo on August 09, 2008, 01:23:35 PM
Making a module, or even a game takes a massive amount of works.  What most players don't understand is how much effort goes into just making decisions as to what systems to use.  this is the perfect example.

I'll go ahead and throw in my overall philosophy as a player and as a builder. 

As a player:  Is it interesting and enjoyable?  That is my primary concern.  The truth is, I don't really care all that much what kind of death system is there.  I want to play a story, preferably one that is as a good book that is fun to read and I can imagine myself in.  If I get 80% of the way through and have to start at the beginning of a book, I won't read it through again.  That's a bit simplified, but true.  the thing a lot of game makers in general don't realize is that not everyone wants to battle.  I like battles only if it's interesting, fun and relevant.  Otherwise I cheat past them, or if I can't cheat, I stop playing.  I always want the next part of the story.  I want to feel like I'm there and that there always something new to explore or another adventure. 
As a player, I admire a system if it's well done, as long as that system doesn't make the game unenjoyable.  It's not just modules, but games themselves.  One of the things I like about NWN is that it has so many modules and a lot of them are better stories than any OC out there.  The module makers aren't bound by being politically correct or needing to make something marketable either.  Because of that you find more originality in the story and greater chances taken in the various systems that can be tried.

Now as a builder, I try to please myself as a player.  I want to make a story first, then I worry about the systems.  Is my story going to be interesting and enjoyable?  That includes plots, conversations, npcs and henchies.  If so, then I've accomplished my goal.  After that, I think about how I would like to play it.  I try to make it all look nice.  then I try to think of the rewards.  Players like rewards.  I like neat stuff.  Then I think about how to make the battles enjoyable, that means the right kind of creatures that are powerful enough to give most players a little challenge, but not so powerful that the player has to reload or respawn a lot. 
Overall, I want as few barriers and stops to the game as possible.  The longer someone plays my module, the more likely they are to finish it and be satisfied.  If they have to work too hard to get to the end, they may never finish it. 

I guess what I'm trying to say, is; you have to please yourself as a builder, but it's even more pleasing if players enjoy what you build.  Make the custom system, but don't stop the player from playing the module.  Overall, the story you tell is what the player wants to experience.  Make the death system and the hench system work within the story, but don't let it stop the enjoyment that the players feel while experiencing your module.

Also, understand that my specialty is the story and the humor and when it comes to the scripting, I do only what I have to do to accomplish what I need and that is usually with your help.   ;) 

In any case, the key is enjoying what you build and taking a sense of accomplishment in it.  Good Building. :)


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: BenWH on August 09, 2008, 09:51:47 PM
Axe, in the Wanderer series I actually offered the player the choice of respawn and penalty system at the start of each module. It seems this was greatly appreciated. Why don't you do something similar?


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Axe Murderer on August 10, 2008, 05:18:32 AM
Axe, in the Wanderer series I actually offered the player the choice of respawn and penalty system at the start of each module. It seems this was greatly appreciated. Why don't you do something similar?
Start of the module eh? That's a really good idea. I'm curious to know what you did exactly.

However, I am running another poll on repawn penalty and if it keeps up like it is, it looks like I won't need to add a death system at all which is way cool. Bleed will be plenty. No need giving people what they don't want especially if it saves me some headaches.


Andarian -- excellent arguments there, not derailing in the least. This topic concerns death & respawn so your discussion is dead on the mark. Very instructive as well. I'm a yapper so I love debates like that. I am open to all forms of advice even if the ideas aren't as flexible as mine. Who knows maybe I'll end up learning that rigidity is the better method in the end. After all, you're the one with all the XP since you always reload heheh.  :'(

Ok misunderstanding no need to apologize bro. I have a bleed system in place so that will already be there in addition to any death system -- should I add one. I'm beginning to wonder if I really need it now.

Just for the record tho, it is my opinion that we don't have opposiing views on those points at all. Not basically in any event. I just think we perceive the reality of what is actually going on differently. What I really should have said is that I think reload == cheating and respawn == cheating too. It isn't an either-or deal to me. Frankly, I don't see much of a difference at all between those two buttons other than one assesses a penalty and the other doesn't. The way I see it they are both magical heal all buttons. In fact, of the two I would argue that the reload button is taking the easy way out -- no penalty, less honor. The only truly "honorable" way to recover from death is to admit you failed and start over with a new guy. Of course my time isn't unimited either so if its a long game I will use the reload button just like everybody else does -- it just makes me feel guilty is all. ;D If I can do it and take a penalty I wouldn't mind that -- self deprevation is great for guilt! The only reason I tend to use the reload over the respawn when I do it is because the respawn penalty is usually unreasonably steep.

Honestly I'm a little surprised after reading your post that you are so against the respawn button. It seems to me you'd be perfectly happy with it as long as it carried no penalty at all. Hell you wouln't have to wait for the game to reload. Maybe I'm way off here, but I'm thinking you are so turned off by the idea that there exists a magical means to return from death that it blinds you to the reality of what actually goes on when you cliick. You think one button is imbued with some evil magic and the other is clean. From where I'm sitting there is no difference really between the two. They both accomplish the exact same thing -- revive and try again. Respawn does not change the encounter design, nor the meticulouly manicured balance, nor your ability to make tactical experiments, nor your opportunity to learn how to beat it, nor does it allow the player to ignore your story any more or less than the reload button does.

I am also not entirely conviced that reload and try again means you are really testing different tactics so much as you are testing the random number generator. Maybe you got unlucky with your rolls. Returning and using the exact same tactics or even worse tactics might get you by if you get lucky with those dice -- not probable perhaps but possible if your tactics are sound enough. It could very well be the case that is was neither the monsters nor the encounter design nor your tactics but rather the dice that handed you your ass fair and square the first time. I don't see how any of that changes if you choose respawn over reload.

And the bit about who should be in charge we agree on as well. I also think the author should be the decision maker. As far as the story progression and module layout goes he is, and that's a good thing. But when it comes to handing out the consequnces of player actions I'm afraid he sits in the copilot's seat. The difference in our views is that I think while the author "should be" the one making the choices, the reality is that the player "is" the one that gets to do that and there isn't anything you can do about it. You don't seem to see it that way. Apparantly you believe there is a way to trump the player's choices and I don't see that as a possibility. If you tell him 30 times "you're dead, you lose" he can simply reload, wipe it out, and come back every time with "no I didn't, see I'm still here". Thus the ultimate decision of whether or not he loses (or even wins) will always be his in the end. The only way to trump him is to make it impossible to win or impossible to lose. You can tell him "you can't win" and he won't be able to change that, but you cannot tell him "you lose" and have the last word.

Because of that is why I said he should be given the options to choose the way he wants to recover. It isn't ideal by any stretch but it is the way it is, not the way it should be. And again, I see no reason why the respawn button would be any different than reload in regards to the player being able to ignore the story or the author's intent or his ability to craft his story. By the time respawn is available the author's intent to make you dead has alrleady happened. You can't ignore it after the fact using respawn any more than you can using reload. In fact if either of them provided the player that ability it would be the reload button which you can use any time you please. In the middle of combat if things aren't going your way you can reload. You're unconcious and bleeding -- reload is there. Yet respawn isn't even available until after you suffer the author's intent by dying. If the author says "You are about to die" the only way the player can ignore that is to reload. Therefore I think if you're gonna make the ignore argument you have it backwards. The player has more opportunity to ignore your intent and hose your story crafting ability with a button that is always active over one that is only available under certain "post-intent" conditions. That's why it surprises me that you hate it so much.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: BenWH on August 10, 2008, 06:20:53 AM
Axe, in the Wanderer series I actually offered the player the choice of respawn and penalty system at the start of each module. It seems this was greatly appreciated. Why don't you do something similar?
Start of the module eh? That's a really good idea. I'm curious to know what you did exactly.

I did it using a pretty simple method if I recall correctly. I had bleeding already (for party healing in multiplayer), and then asked the player if they want to respawn where they are or back in town, and whether they want a penalty or not. Custom onspawn, ondeath scripts detected what the variable was set to and handled it accordingly. In multiplayer I think I set it so that you all got the last person's choice, but I may even have left that free too.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: sirchet on August 10, 2008, 07:17:33 AM
The player has more opportunity to ignore your intent and hose your story crafting ability with a button that is always active over one that is only available under certain "post-intent" conditions. That's why it surprises me that you hate it so much.

Then again Axe Murderer, without the respawn option, the player is "forced" to start again from whenever they remembered to save. This also gives the player the option of going a little more "Hard Core" and only saving at certain events.
Don't worry, I'm not going to go into a player discipline rant.

btw, excellent discussion bringing up valid points.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Andarian on August 10, 2008, 09:40:05 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Axe. I find these kinds of discussions very interesting as well. :)

What I really should have said is that I think reload == cheating and respawn == cheating too. It isn't an either-or deal to me. Frankly, I don't see much of a difference at all between those two buttons other than one assesses a penalty and the other doesn't. The way I see it they are both magical heal all buttons.

I defiinitely do think there's a difference between the two, though. When you reload, you're going back to a previous situation and trying again -- but you're doing it within the logic of the story and the gameworld. You're still bound by the gameworld's rules and limitations, and have to find a way to make your way through its events and challenges by those rules and limitations. For example: if you're fighting two powerful creatures, and you kill one but the other kills you, and then you respawn, you only have one more of them to defeat. If you reload, you go back and have to defeat both of them, fair and square, by the rules of the module as the author established them, and with the limited resources that he's provided. That's why I view respawning as cheating, and re-loading not only as not cheating, but rather the "honorable" way of playing a module by the rules that it has established.

I'm happy to grant that this is a matter of preference and perspective, and that some may not share mine. But I'm under the impression that most players do share my preference for reloading and not respawning, and so far at least, the Bioware forum thread seems to be bearing that out.

I am also not entirely conviced that reload and try again means you are really testing different tactics so much as you are testing the random number generator. Maybe you got unlucky with your rolls. Returning and using the exact same tactics or even worse tactics might get you by if you get lucky with those dice -- not probable perhaps but possible if your tactics are sound enough. It could very well be the case that is was neither the monsters nor the encounter design nor your tactics but rather the dice that handed you your ass fair and square the first time.

Well, that depends on how you're playing, and how well the author has designed the battles. For a smart player playing a well-designed combat encounter, random chance is generally a minimal consideration. Bad luck will occasionally make the difference between life and death, but not usually. I like to try to fight smart, and I try to build for players who like to do the same. :)


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Axe Murderer on August 11, 2008, 07:54:09 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Axe. I find these kinds of discussions very interesting as well. :)

What I really should have said is that I think reload == cheating and respawn == cheating too. It isn't an either-or deal to me. Frankly, I don't see much of a difference at all between those two buttons other than one assesses a penalty and the other doesn't. The way I see it they are both magical heal all buttons.

I defiinitely do think there's a difference between the two, though. When you reload, you're going back to a previous situation and trying again -- but you're doing it within the logic of the story and the gameworld. You're still bound by the gameworld's rules and limitations, and have to find a way to make your way through its events and challenges by those rules and limitations. For example: if you're fighting two powerful creatures, and you kill one but the other kills you, and then you respawn, you only have one more of them to defeat. If you reload, you go back and have to defeat both of them, fair and square, by the rules of the module as the author established them, and with the limited resources that he's provided. That's why I view respawning as cheating, and re-loading not only as not cheating, but rather the "honorable" way of playing a module by the rules that it has established.

I'm happy to grant that this is a matter of preference and perspective, and that some may not share mine. But I'm under the impression that most players do share my preference for reloading and not respawning, and so far at least, the Bioware forum thread seems to be bearing that out.
Ahhh, the underlying assumption there is that I would set it up so that if you kill one of them then respawn and return, he would still be gone...and I would never do it like that. That would be a nuclear player situation that I referred to which I really hate. I would make certain that if you didn't win the battle you would get the same battle again even on a respawn. It's also why I don't like XP for killing things either. Yeah I fully agree that avoiding half a battle thru respawn would make respawning a major cheat by far.

With that understanding maybe it's more clear why I've been concerned about the henchies. If they are allowed to stay behind and continue fighting then you can either respawn and try to get back to them before the battle ends, or stay down and see if they can win without you and revive you. If they can be lost and you don't make it back in time, you could lose them either permanently or until the journey is over. Then respawning would be different than reloading in a more interesting way but not really cheating, just a risk assessment. And reload would always be there as an option. If they all go with you to the respawn location then it really would not be much different than reloading except maybe for the location you end up restarting from and loss of penalty. Either way, if you respawn and the battle is over before you get back there, you get the same battle again.


Title: Re: Players -- Please answer this poll
Post by: Andarian on August 11, 2008, 08:22:00 AM
Ahhh, the underlying assumption there is that I would set it up so that if you kill one of them then respawn and return, he would still be gone...and I would never do it like that. That would be a nuclear player situation that I referred to which I really hate. I would make certain that if you didn't win the battle you would get the same battle again even on a respawn. It's also why I don't like XP for killing things either. Yeah I fully agree that avoiding half a battle thru respawn would make respawning a major cheat by far.

I see where you're going with this now. Thanks -- that clarifies things considerably. :)