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Meghaford



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character development Reply to this Post
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Duncan and I were talking about this a bit the other day, how there's not much character development. I know this is a puzzle game but some char development would go a long way. (Duncan loves his RPG's, which is where this first started.)

Firstly it may be nice to only be able to do certain jobs depending on your experience... so you can't sail until you are a neophyte in bilging, and etc. up to navigation. I can, however see this as being a bit annoying for old players creating new pirates.

I would also like to see the swords only available to players depending on their experience in swordfighting. So the fencing sword can be used by everyone, whereas the cleaver requires someone to be an Expert. (and maybe of a certain skill? gaining experience is easy as clicking on an NPP, and exiting right away...)

for each of the work puzzles, as you gain in experience perhaps add some fun pieces, like the blowfish and shroom in Bilging.

Having a pirate "all star" list of pirates who have completed a list of tasks, perhaps one for each archipelago. in the Alpha Archipelago, perhaps ye have to "Captain a ship and Defeat the Black ship (after first attracting it to ye!)". In another, "find the lost treasure of Melee Island(TM)" or "Fight your way single handedly to the Minotaur, defeat him and steal his Cleaver", "hold a port town hostage for 24 hours", "locate the hidden Druid Island" etc, etc... pirates who complete all these will be forever immortalized in a list which can be viewed by all.
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--Ursela, Captain of the Dastards
... and a few others ...
[May 22, 2003 1:23:51 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.rjmlb.com [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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Re: character development Reply to this Post
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Some of this could be accomplished by crew politics . . . people get new rank (or permissions, if that system ever happens) based on performance.

It seemed to me like the game was against "levels" per se, and any incentivizing for a higher rank seems like levels to me. Even in RPGs, you don't have to be level 312 to get a +23 blade of Vorpal Isopropyl . . . somebody can just hand you one.

The main leveling I see happening is with conspicuous consumption . . . more and more expensive houses and islands and installations and fortifications. Obviously, none of these things are there yet, so things feel a little spare.
[May 22, 2003 10:40:03 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
Nemo
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Yes, we are very much against "levels." The aim is that players interested in achieving goals beyond those of the average puzzler will find them in the same ways people find it in real life: through social connections (friends), career advancement (fame), and good old consumerism (fortune). Much as Homullus pointed out, we seem to be on that track, but so far only have the bottom tiers in place.

I find it interesting, however, that the subject of this thread is Character Development, and not one suggestion has the slightest bearing on character development. We're all geeks here, and we've played our share of role-playing games. We at Three Rings find most computer role-playing games lacking because, well, there's no role-playing. The fun, getting-friends-together-and-being-strange-in-an-agreed-upon-manner aspect is replaced with more complicated ways of doing the paperwork everyone hated about table-top RPGs anyway.
Y!PP already has more role-playing the moment someone says "ARR." We like that. It's far preferable to the mess of internet abbreviations that bombard you on other MMORPGs. We encouraged the shanty competition to get more of a feel for the genre and the fun of being piratey, speaking piratey, being piratey. We've enjoyed the balancing forces of, say, a kindly old Silverbeard pirate, who takes new lubbers under his wing and shows them the ways of the seas, and a disreputable Spleen pirate who'll try every dastardly deed and sing drunkenly about them in the inn. Those pirates have character development. Ursela and Homullus, you both have moved along that path as well, (although not quite as categorizable).

So, I'm very interested to hear anyone's thoughts on encouraging that kind of character development. The kind where players can feel like pirates. The kind that encourages interesting pirate names and dialogue (the mention in another thread of having titles... that's been in the plan since long ago, but I think it would be more helpful in keeping up a piratey environment than we think).
There will always be more gold to plunder, more trinkets to buy and more status to acquire. Adventure Islands will bring the sort of player (well, crew) versus environment, fight the monsters, save the villagers adventure that we all look for now and again. There will be exploration and accumulation galore... that's easy. Tell us how to draw you in and have you play.

-Nemo
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[May 23, 2003 1:49:42 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
homullus

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So . . . role-playing. Eventually, we will be able to pursue different careers, in a way. Some can be more merchanty, some can be piratey, some can be policey, some can be crafty. What about different title sets for different crews? That is to say, allowing crews to pick the titles (and rank titles too) appropriate to that set? So, titles for a merchant-y crew would be different from a Navy one and a Pirate one. It would have no bearing on the game -- everyone's permissions would be the same for each level as the current pirate system -- EXCEPT if you're going to make Captain's Jackets only for Captains, have a unique uniform for the head of each type of crew, and have them be different.
[May 23, 2003 2:01:48 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    homullus [Link]  Go to top 
Livesey



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Certainly eye patches, hooks, peg legs, and familiars all add to one's "character". I know all of these exist, and I'm very curious to see what interesting mechanics are introduced for the earning of these later on.

I'd like a crew to somehow be able to name its vessels, too

-Hethor
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-Hethor
[May 23, 2003 2:12:01 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tw11st38r



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An extreme way to encourage major "character development" or "realism", depending on how you want to look at it, is to STRONGLY encourage/require people to speak piratey.

Offer some links to sites that have piratey/sailor lingo (and there are many out there)

If you're going to be a pirate... act like one.

I know you can't really REQUIRE, but to constantly constantly encourage people to speak piratey.

Blackdeath
[May 23, 2003 2:25:15 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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Piratey lingo Reply to this Post
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I enjoy piratey talk, but I have to say that half the fun of pillaging with my crew is seeing how extremely silly (in a literate sort of way) they can get with the epithets and exhortations when we're sea battling (my favorite still being Johnnysalt's extensive repetoire of cooking terms (frappe the scallywags!), which are just not at all piratey!)

One thing that I particularly like about PP is the quality of the chat - people form relatively well-spelled, typo-free, and l33t-speak free sentences for the most part. I'm sure there will get to be more abbreviations as we go along, but I hope we continue to have a reasonably literate population.
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[May 23, 2003 3:02:16 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Nemo
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Arr! Reply to this Post
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I agree with all of this, and generally do my best to encourage piratey talk amongst players. Those of you (Ursela) who wonder what arcane rules govern when Barnaby comes to Alpha Island need look no further than my own desire to inject some more piratey dialogue into the flow of things. Nemo keeps a more literate, scholarly vocabulary than the general pirate both because of his character and for ease in dispensing information. But I try to inject his opinions on colonialism, gender and social order to keep him from becoming merely a more pedantic version of myself.
It is a subtle balance to keep piratey and encourage it in others, without being annoying or inscrutable (I know Whitebeard slipped into that latter category on more than one occasion).

Another part of this effort is translated emotes. Our first experiment in this (having 'Nemo says, "lol"' read as 'Nemo laughs') seems to be working quite well. I'd like to see if we can replace other lingering abbreviations (such as verbally translating 'brb' and making 'afk' just pop up the ZZZs).

Renaming ships is already in the plan, it's just gotten passed over for some more important things. Similarly, more interesting ranks and titles are on the board as well. We are still debating letting captains create their own, but if they can make their own names, this seems no more dangerous.

This is my new favorite thread. Keep the ideas coming and keep encouraging others to be piratey ARRR!

-Nemo

P.S. Muffy, the cooking terms may not be explicitly piratey, but wouldn't it have been less funny if he hadn't been combinging them with the decidedly piratey "scallywags"? I think you've actually hit exactly on the irreverently piratey feel we are generally aiming for.
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[May 23, 2003 3:49:22 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Meghaford



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I have a great idea for encouraging piratey talk... Invite us Alpha testers back for a free month or so when you release :o) Also, it would be awesome if we could sign up to have you save our names... I'm not sure what I'd do if someone stole me name!!! How would we know each other?

I definitely never thought to talk piratey when I first started, thought it was kinda funny that the Dev's were (not that I knew who they were then). Then after doing it a little, it caught on until now when I can't stop it, and don't want to!!! It's just a lot of fun. With us Alpha testers mixed in with all the newer pirates, the piratey lingo will spread like wildfire.
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--Ursela, Captain of the Dastards
... and a few others ...
[May 23, 2003 3:49:53 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.rjmlb.com [Link]  Go to top 
Penndalla

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Aye, ye can add all kinds of pirate-y things to the game; and, aye, it will add to the atmosphere of the game, no doubt. It be a mystical world where ye would assume (from and rpg take) that there be no news media, telephones, or instant messages. So rumors should abound, misinformation, the unknown should be a big part of it. Ye ship can?t be sunk, ye pirate can no be killed, but there has to be someway to capture that fear of the old sea ? just imagine what the European and Viking explorers contended with emotionally with all the superstitions of the day?

And now to me point! Of course, I know the designers planned fer much of this, but I be not sure they foresaw the full implications either?
The social dynamics of this game be staggering. The nature of ships on the sea forces sailors to become intimate, and I think it be beneficial that pirates in some way feel at home on a certain ship or another. So, ye get the intimacy that ye typically see in guilds.

In most RPGs, there be a limit to guild size -- if a guild wish to remain functional rather than become a prestige or social club. Therefore, in most games, as a new player ye be of little value to a guild, unless it be a small one growing or a big one accounting fer attrition. This causes cliques that sometimes leave a large portion of the players out in the cold when it comes to roleplay. In Y!PP, crews/flags have the ability to grow to here-to unseen proportions and still function. Unlike what ye see in other games, crews that try to form elite cliques will become increasingly insignificant and marginalized.

I have read in the forum whar cap?ns be talking about newbies like they be a hindrance. I believe that in recent weeks, many newbies have wandered about the docs and on auto ships fer a while until they just go away. It be because they found no roleplay, and some good souls have saved a few afore they left.

In our crew, we started the practice of invitin? all jobbers to join the crew afore we sail. We freely accept mates into the crew as full pirates right off the dock. To be an officer, ye swear by the responsibility to recruit each time ye play. Rudder Lubbers suffered financially fer it to begin with, but ye can look us over now to see the money rollin? in. And it be amazin? how we can get newbies up to snuff in a single night normally. The philosophy of our group dynamics makes assimilation necessary and ubiquitous.

Ye can just poll the new recruits of the last few days. Ours will speak of a very livid experience. It be the dif. betwixt a roamin the docks and joinin us early in they career as a pirate.

I am not putting other crews down, and I be not braggin. It be no special social ability of me or anyone in the crew? But ye can watch as Rudder Lubbers be growin into the most active crew in the game. We be tryin to always keep a ship in the water durin active hours. And I sincerely believe the crew can support thousands of players without losin the personal touch. That be a credit to the designers of the game.

WHEN IT ALL BE SAID AND DONE, it may be one crew, or it may be several, but those crews that embrace newbies, train em, and submerge them in what be an organized and realistic crew (with narrow and defined leadership in set proportion to the membership of that crew) will become behemoths within the game. The leadership of these crews (and I do not speak of a single cap?n as the leadership) will be to the Role-play atmosphere (and socially) as Greenspan be to the economy in real life.

Unless the designers intentionally thwart the mechanics that allow for these behemoths (and I do no? think they would), the question of atmosphere and character development be not so much in the hands of the designers but in the hands of the crews. If ye should be worried about anything, it be the possibility that one massive crew might be as the empire that dominates the game while other crews be pressed to the side. But if they be pressed to the side, it be their own fault for havin? bad attitudes about newbies and a too open leadership structure.

Har har. Ye knew afore this that I be full of hot air and like to share it. But, aye. Trinkets and dictionaries be great things and make fer good pirates. More of that please. And I be sincere about that too! =D
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Pennsuedo

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[May 23, 2003 3:52:50 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y245/Pennsuedo/?start=all [Link]  Go to top 
Penndalla

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Har, like I ha' no already had me say on this...

But Ursula be postin while I was writin that book. SHE BE RIGHT ON! I feel it be very important that ye carefully consider what ye do with the testers at the end. I do no' mind payin' when the time comes. But ye will not have as much luck influencin the style of play of the new population like ye did in the alpha. Leavin at least a great portion of social hiarchy intact will do wonders fer the role play.

Even if the testers stay on af'er ye wipe it, if they be just a minority in the general population and rebuildin all from scratch... Well, the Cyberpunk Gank Squaders Crew that mass migrates from another game can be havin a much bigger impact than what ye would want.
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Pennsuedo

My art: http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y245/Pennsuedo/?start=all
[May 23, 2003 4:02:34 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y245/Pennsuedo/?start=all [Link]  Go to top 
DonCarnage



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i do be thinkin that as crews be developin, and have more options and whatnot, and more people are ingrained in the game, there will be more diversity between crews, and so some will be very user friendly, and some will be downright nasty methinks and very secretive and whatnot as well
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Not everything I think is something I should say...
[May 23, 2003 4:21:24 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Meghaford



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I also would like to bring up the "all star" list idea, having a set amount of things which can be done, but are very difficlut. Puzzle pirates is unique in that there is no set goal to achieve. This is both good because it makes it more social, but on the other hand could also become boring for others.

Perhaps have that list of those hard to reach goals... and as you check off more on the list, you could get a higher and higher ranking (perhaps just something visible on the character screen... ) Completing it all gains you a spot on a list, visible by all.
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--Ursela, Captain of the Dastards
... and a few others ...
[May 23, 2003 5:16:12 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.rjmlb.com [Link]  Go to top 
muffy



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Nemo wrote: 

P.S. Muffy, the cooking terms may not be explicitly piratey, but wouldn't it have been less funny if he hadn't been combinging them with the decidedly piratey "scallywags"? I think you've actually hit exactly on the irreverently piratey feel we are generally aiming for.


Aye, though I must admit that "scallywags" was my own addition. I didn't make notes, but I believe Johnnysalt would usually include an unusual body part, such as "frappe their eyeballs!" However, yes, I love my crew 'cause they do so well at mixing the silly with the piratey, which makes it much more silly!

*grin*
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[May 23, 2003 5:58:28 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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