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Traveling and Mark/Recall Suggestion

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:28 pm
by pohdoh
I was thinking about mark and recall and the dynamic it had on the entire game and just wanted to post my thoughts before i forget them. (In case the spells does come back in a similar form)

Mark/Recall provide incredible freedom in the games. So much freedom that you could teleport into the middle of dungeons and even freely move in and out of expansions lol.
As much as i like the freedom it gives, I think its too convenient and breaks immersion later when you have many mark spots and can just teleport everywhere without bothering with the world. Some brainstorm ideas on solutions.

1. Mana cost for spell increases as the distance increases
-so that non-mages won't be able to experience near the same freedom of teleportation and also gives a purpose to potions that increase max mana

2. Recall is not 100% accurate
-aka it won't teleport you to the exact position most of the time especially if your enviro magic (or the determining stat/skill) is too low. just give some negative consequences to trying to mark spots in dungeons and teleport around to avoid puzzles and whatnot.

3. Recall cost material or ingredients to perform
-possibly to add more limiting agents beyond just mana. or have it so teleporting around the world is still possible for non-mages but just very expensive.

4. Recall anchors in the world
-make some places like major city gates and houses as places where recalling to them is much safer and easier. i feel as if its would be a great opportunity for lore and would make sense for mages. players could see npc mages teleporting near the city and some npc's could even offer services to teleport you to a city location for gold.
I specifically say at the city gate or near a city and not inside a city since it would be a joke to city security if anyone could teleport inside the city and avoid all the guards. If anything I think that teleporting or doing any kind of teleportation magic inside the city is forbidden and is a major crime since its a huge security breach.

4. Recall accidents
-have a risk of taking significant damage or having your items scattered around the area if you attempt a dangerous teleport into a dungeon or a wilderness far away from a major city.
I am not too sure on this idea since i could imagine players just saving before teleport and reloading the game if it happens. Maybe just make this a surefire thing if teleporting into dungeons or world regions where there are alot of monsters.

This degree of movement in the world should still be possible but like my other ideas, if you specialize and build a character around it. I think this would open up a completly new branch of mage specs and have builds focused around teleportation and getting around the world quickly in exchange for less emphasis on combat stats. There could even be combat teleportation spells where you could teleport forward or backwards or teleport away monsters during combat.

The next topic i was brainstorming was traveling and how to get around the world. If mark/recall will have more limitations, there must be alternative methods of traveling for non-mages or else everyone will be forced to invest in mage related skills which is not what i want. I want many types of character builds and specializations to be equally viable.
First and foremost, i am a strong advocate against unrestricted fast travel similar to that of Skyrim I feel as if it completely destroys immersion in the world and makes the world so much smaller. There should be ways to get around places without walking everywhere but not fast travel. Some ideas i been thinking about.

Elaborate Carriage/Ship routes
there was some ship travel in TQ1 but i feel as if it was too expensive and pretty pointless with mark/recall. here is what i have in mind

1. dedicated carriages
there are carriages that specialize in travel to major cities. their sole purpose is traveling to different places and having many passengers. kinda like a private bus. they would be cheap but only avalible during the morning/early afternoon and they always drop you off at your destination at night. In addition, they can only take you to major cities since it wouldn't be profitable or reasonable for them to carry you off to isolated villages or wildernesses.
you could find them at the city gate where they are gathering other passengers and whatnot. also they would have armed guards to guard the carriage so raids or bandit attacks would be nonexistant.

2. peripheral carriages
these would be villagers or city folk that are about to leave and you could just pay extra to hitch-hike. An example would be a trader or farmer about to head back to their village after spending a few nights in the city. Would be more expensive and they would only take you to 1 destination but they would allow you to travel to villages and farmlands instead of just major cities. You could find them at the inn in the morning when they are about to leave and can arrive at your destination in the afternoon.
They are just one of many villagers and you will find multiple villagers or people in the inn taking you to the same location. Would be immersion breaking if the same guy is there all the time like an omnipotent machine. The npc's there would constantly change just like a normal inn and the inn would be a dynamic place where you would always find new people there.
Point being, this form of travel is reliable since you will usually find at least one person in the inn willing to take you to your destination. Bandits could attack rarely which would cause some combat in the middle of the road and stop the carriage forcing you to walk the rest of the way.

3. ship systems
taking a ship to port places would be the cheapest, fastest, and most reliable way to travel around the world. the harbor will always have ships avalible for travel and they would get to your destination rather quickly since ships are much faster than carriages. the only catch of course is that they would only take you to major cities near the ocean. later in the game, you could buy a ship for a very high cost as an endgame item (costing in the hundreds of thousands of gold) and you could travel to whatever location near the shore that has a beach. bigger ships would require a paid crew while smaller ships would be self-manned with larger ships having their own advantages like acting as a house and allow you to do mass trade and whatnot. or you could rent the ship to people and take a share of their profits. a bit ambitious but still ideas out there.

I still feel as if the carriage/ship system is much weaker than the mark/recall system but i suppose i could think more about how to change that. I just want to encourage exploring the world and walking through the wilderness while still having options of more immersive fast travel that isn't too convenient/easy or too annoying.
hopefully some of these ideas are new and are useful :D

Re: Traveling and Mark/Recall Suggestion

PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:53 am
by Sylon / Redshift
Thanks for all the detailed ideas! Yes, I also think mark/recall should be limited somehow, I like the "increase mana cost with distance and/or having ingredients for success" idea the most. But we'll think about the others too. : )

As for traveling, I didn't plan to put in an "unrestricted fast travel system" (never played with Skyrim, but at least I can't steal ideas from games like that : ). We'll keep the ship traveling, that's for sure, with some limitations. Also I'll think about the carriages you mentioned (both dedicated and peripheral), these are good ideas!

Thanks again!

Re: Traveling and Mark/Recall Suggestion

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:52 pm
by pohdoh
Sylon / Redshift wrote:Thanks for all the detailed ideas! Yes, I also think mark/recall should be limited somehow, I like the "increase mana cost with distance and/or having ingredients for success" idea the most. But we'll think about the others too. : )

As for traveling, I didn't plan to put in an "unrestricted fast travel system" (never played with Skyrim, but at least I can't steal ideas from games like that : ). We'll keep the ship traveling, that's for sure, with some limitations. Also I'll think about the carriages you mentioned (both dedicated and peripheral), these are good ideas!

Thanks again!

I think overall what i would do in an ideal world is to make

1. Mark/Recall mana cost increase with distance. (exponentially)
-so map distance still has meaning in the world and to encourage players to travel some distance on foot or carriage before recalling. Recall should be a medium distance teleport and not a way to be omnipresent in the world lol.

2. Mark/Recall mana cost increases with bag weight
-this is more for the economical aspect if there will be supply/demand and fluctuating prices. buy low and sell high strategy will only become fun and meaningful if traveling from locations is a challenge. Otherwise we would get players just buy item -> teleport -> sell item -> teleport -> buy item and that would cause balance issues and just wouldn't be very fun for the player if that was the best way to make gold. I really don't want mark/recall to play a significant role in economics and rather have it so playing the stock-markets in game will take some time but lead to rewarding profit for the player.

3. Mark/Recall requires ingredients (runes, talismans, scrolls, etc) for success
-i think there is some good potential for this idea. it would be cool if there was multiple levels of ingredients of different quality. Better ingredients will allow for longer distance teleports, teleport during combat, teleport while carrying too much stuff, etc. I would also try to make this craftable (somehow lol) since that is my suggestion for almost all items but im not sure how or if it will add much to the game.

4. Cannot Recall directly inside major cities (crime)
-just to make it so you still have to walk around inside cities and so you can't just place teleports inside npc's houses and go directly back and forth. I don't want players to explore the city once, mark important locations, and only recall back there and never even see the city ever again.
-I would still make it so you are free to mark wherever you want and you can still try to teleport inside cities but it will be a major crime of variable severity. Teleporting inside the city walls is a medium crime, teleporting inside a citizen's home is a major crime, and teleporting inside a palace or a high security place is a severe crime. All of which will result in jail time no matter what. If people could teleport into cities freely, it would defeat the whole purpose of walls and guards lol.
-In addition, i would like for there to be teleporting liscences that a player can purchase or obtain in quests where you eventually earn the right to teleport inside cities as a liscenced and safe mage. It would cost you alot of money or a difficult quest and they still don't extend to teleporting inside a citizen's house or palaces or fortresses or high security places. I would imagine there is laws to prevent that or else that would be a rather huge breach of security. But the severity of doing so would be much less and would also depend on reputation. Some citizens won't mind if a exhalted hero teleported into their house and some npc will be stingy about their privacy no matter what.

5. Cannot Mark inside dungeons with enemies inside of it. Cannot Recall inside dungeon with enemies inside of it
-just to make dungeons feel more menacing and to give an additional reward to players that complete the dungeon.
-the recall restriction is there to prevent players from just marking the treasury room or something and then recalling back each time to pick up the loot and ignore the rest of the dungeon. If you want to get the respawned loot, you have to walk through the dungeon from the entrance! ;)

Re: Traveling and Mark/Recall Suggestion

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:29 am
by Sylon / Redshift
Yeah, good ideas! I especially like the "teleporting inside a city/house is a crime" idea. : ) Thanks!

Re: Traveling and Mark/Recall Suggestion

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:52 am
by pohdoh
Sylon / Redshift wrote:Yeah, good ideas! I especially like the "teleporting inside a city/house is a crime" idea. : ) Thanks!

I hope that guards in general are more interactable especially being able to enter combat and help or attack the player. Its a simple idea on its own but there are some nuances i noticed with this mechanic and how to properly implement it.

1. Must always be threatening

How exciting a thief approach to the game will be is directly proportional to how menacing the guards are. If the guards are not threatening, then there really isn't such thing as a thief build since suddenly every build or character can become a thief at any point with little consequences. Guards becoming weak would also make bounties and fine worthless since you can just keep raising it without any consequence.

I think a god example of guards done right is Grand Theft Auto. Well in this case its police but they serve the same function. Commiting a crime will cause some police to chase the player if the player is in sight and isn't hiding. Once caught, the police will engage in combat. The catch is that resisting arrest is also a crime and this will escalate the crime level until they start sending in helicopters and such overwhelming numbers that the player must run away or inevitably die. No matter how powerful the player is, eventually he will die if he keeps fighting.
The point is that the guards always have the potential to kill and knowing this makes committing crimes (inevitably) all the more thrilling and enjoyable. The fun behind committing crimes is the risk behind it and the anticipation/anxiety that the player feels knowing that a storm is coming. Yes guards can become less threatening over time but never something that can be entirely ignored as a lethal threat.

2. Stratification of Guards

There should be multiple types of guards of varying levels or abilities. They shouldn't all just be the generic armored melee guard that rush at you. There should be mage guards which makes sense in a world filled with magic. They could not only cast attack spells but also spells to seal off parts of the town or weaken your magic resistance. They could cast spells that prevent you from teleporting away if you are a serious criminal. Archers would also be stationed around the area and mercenaries outside the cities to chase you down. Bounty hunters could also ambush you in inopportune times like resting and prevent you from approaching the town without a fight.
Basically more variety goes a long way in immersion. Guards is no different. :)

3. NPC reaction to guards

Having the npc's interact with the guards is crucial to feeling like the guards are an organic part of the city and not just thugs that only go after you.
NPC's should run away into their homes when they see guards chasing after you. They should mention the guards and should call for their help when feel threatened.
It can be taken a step further with guards behaving differently to different npc's. They might come very slowly if a crime is commited against a peasant but come quickly and in force when you steal from a rich merchant. They might not come at all when you fight vagrants or shady people and might even backstab you during a questline

4. Ways to prevent Guard Abuse

Their help should be a last resort and not a cheap way to kill monsters that are too difficult for you. Bringing a monster once in a while would be given a fine or a warning to not do that again. I would imagine bringing dangerous monsters to civilian towns and endangering guards would be frowned upon. Repeated attempts could cause huge fines and if a guard dies because of you, you could be branded a criminal.

5. Guards must also feel like actual people

One thing i really liked in the Murder Trial Quest in TQ1 was that you had to find the guard in his house. Not the barracks but in his house just like any ordinary citizen. They should be manacing and threatening but they shouldn't feel like omnipotent and faceless gods.
Being able to talk or have conversations with them would go a long way to improve immersion. Being able to bribe or persuade them to overlook your next crime is another great feature in other games. It could also bring another level of depth to how cities are divided. Guards in the slums will be easy to bribe and will ignore many crimes while guards in the inner city would watch you like a walk and never be bribed.

Re: Traveling and Mark/Recall Suggestion

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:39 pm
by Turtleman
These are great ideas. I agree it's too easy but I'd be afraid of it getting TOO hard. You guys should collaborate and blend your ideas then work on dialog options.

What if also there were guilds? They would fast travel you but you'd have to perform some service for them. Money wouldn't be their biggest need.