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The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby ThinkTwice » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:07 am

I'm not very interested in playing an orc, but getting to play a giant spider is relevant to a whole lot of my interests.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Icarus » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:29 am

I imagine folks would love to play some bandit pirates, but bandit pirates probably wouldn't roll with orcs or them goodytwoshoe humans... And it would be pretty nuts of us to roll in a third sphere when two already have issues.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby EltanimRas » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:15 am

I've more than once wished (in this SoI and the old one) that it were easier to get a non-combat PC captured and 'put to work', as it were, in whatever the evil sphere of the moment happened to be.

Details aside, count my vote of interest for the eventual opportunity to play a non-evil race (like the old 'mongrel human') in a nonetheless evil sphere.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Songweaver » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:27 am

A lot of good points are being made all around.

Ultimately, only playable wargs/spiders make a lot of sense to me for ALPHA in terms of adding other playable forces. Humans could be made to work in terms of story, but I feel might fit awkwardly into the building design of the game, unless their "homebase" area is pretty small.

1) Humans

Design Possibilities: This is the most accessible option for introducing the largest number of players to the evil side of the game. But, as stated previously, there aren't a lot of options for evil humans in this general region. Dunlendings coming up from the southwest were mentioned by Throttle (though I think Dunlendings are too isolationist, generally, to make such a move unless they are displaced against their will). Easterlings coming from the east (closer, probably makes more sense) because population boom is necessitating them to expand. Easterlings would be the only hook that I think would work well here; they are always looking to expand due to over-population and tribal wars, and could potentially work with orcs (they've done so before) to ally against local humans in an effort to take their land.

Design Cons: Humans and orcs "working together" will, as Oblivion said, inevitably lead to more infighting. Since ALPHA has more of a PVP bent than I imagine Laketown itself will (being that Laketown is significantly more secure than Utterby), this would probably reduce meaningful PVP between spheres. Adding humans would also necessitate the addition of more of an evil-side economy, which could be tricky in the present situation. This option might require a lot of unforeseen building/fixes to make stable.


2) Wargs

Design Possibilities: We already have wargs in the game. We have wargs as a neutral slaughter-factory that kills orc and human alike. We have (I assume) wargs that interact cooperatively with orcs. We have meaningful warg documentation written by Krelm. Wargs have an interesting society that is complementary to orcs. Making them playable would create some very unique roleplay opportunities and would likely lead to the smallest amount of evil vs evil conflict versus other races, making this the top choice for adding a race that will support the current ALPHA PVP infrastructure. Unlike humans, wargs could fit pretty easily into the map with very little extra room, object, craft, or economy building required.

Design Cons: Wargs would require a bit of code work to make feasible. How to balance their AC and Damage? I have some thoughts on this that I won't go into here, but regardless, it would take a non-standard approach. You also don't want wargs wielding weapons, unlocking doors, and probably a small number of other things. In short, this would take a bit of coding work.


3) Spiders

Design Possibilities: Many of the things that you can say about wargs is also true for spiders. No additional "evil race" is going to feel more Mirkwood than spiders, and I suspect that they would lead to some rather deep, uniquely evil play.

Design Cons: All of the cons for wargs, meaning code prep, apply here. Additionally, spiders are less likely to live together with the orcs, and are slightly more likely than wargs to just eat the orcs on occasion.


4) Trolls/Abominations

Design Considerations: I feel like we'd be jumping the gun to introduce these races as playable now. Their power level is very high, and they need to be extremely rare - even more rare and powerful, arguably, than elves. That said, if you wanted to play a botched orcish experiment from Dol Guldur, you could really do that now. It'd be a neat little RPP Role with maybe some skill boosts, with no need of the crazy stat boosts of SOI's old Abominations.


5) Evil Dwarves

Design Considerations: I feel like we'd be jumping the gun here, too. There is a point in the future where I can see Dwarves being very important to the story, but it's not yet, and it's not this far south on the worldmap.


6) Wights

Design Considerations: I always think that Wights/Undead should largely either be RPA-only or the result of plot involving characters that at least started as a normal, living race. A normal Wight in Tolkien's world does little more, canonically, than haunt its barrow or tomb. Playing something of this nature would be about as isolationist and non-dynamic an option as is really possible.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Throttle » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:47 am

If the purpose is to attract more players to the evil sphere because orcs are too unrelatable a race to play for most people, I don't think there's any point in talking about wargs and spiders and trolls.

Also, I don't think Dunlendings are that much of a stretch.

http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Dunlendings:
When Eorl and his people were granted Calenardhon --- Rohan, as it would later be known --- in TA 2510, they drove the Wild Men from their new lands, earning their bitter hatred and enmity. The Wild Men were also driven from the White Mountains by the Men of Gondor. During the next five hundred years these shorter, dark-haired warriors made frequent attacks upon the outlying settlements of Rohan, exacting revenge upon the usurpers, whom they called "straw-heads" because of the high number of blond warriors among them.


There's already PCs from Rohan and other places far outside the vicinity of the River Running. There's also a history behind this, unlike the Easterlings whose reason for being in Mirkwood with a tribe of Orcs would be entirely artificial; nor are the Dunlendings that far away as they no longer actually live in Dunland but have been driven into the Misty Mountains by the Rohirrim. In timeline terms, this would actually be the perfect point in the history of Middle-Earth for playable Dunlendings. While not the strongest of grounds, there's also canon that permits Dunlendings and Orcs working together without it being completely absurd:

Saruman welcomed to Orthanc a large warband of these Dunlendings. Saruman evidently convinced them that they could reclaim what had been taken, and during the early part of TA 3019, a fearsome raiding force comprising Dunlendings, Orcs and Uruk-hai left Isengard and began ravaging the western settlements of Rohan.


This is in only a hundred years. If ever a human demographic from this general region has to co-exist with orcs and not be an insult to canon, it almost has to be the Dunlendings. It always helps that they've been in the films, however brief their screentime, as this goes a long way towards inspiring players and making it seem legitimate instead of artificial the way completely fabricated peoples tend to do.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Pallando » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:37 am

Realistically, as Icarus mentions, we want races which play nice together - or at the very least have some kind of reason to be in one place together. That pretty much rules out wights, abominations, wargs, or spiders if we want to build on one sphere or outpost. The aforementioned are borderline for me at best - putting them with humans (which is the natural next step for 0 RPP) would be pushing it.

Of course, orcs and wargs works nicely but frankly I don't think we're ready to have playable wargs here yet. There are a tiny minority of people campaigning repeatedly for this but realistically there are far better choices with much better depth and possibilities (in my opinion).
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Jeshin » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:33 am

Theme of this post - Fun trumps everything except Fun


Orcs are slavers. There is no reason we can't implement a warg or troll or several and have them be servants to the orcs. Kept in line by the threat of death and to valuable an asset for the everyday orc to dare harm. If you're concerned they won't have enough free agency just have their backstory be that they were broken by some slaver NPC or hell make it an RPP role. Which is why they can go outside unattended because they'd never runaway being broken.

You could even throw some spiders in there. Have spider mother/leader make a loose alliance with the orcs because they feed her human flesh or something. So several lower rung spiders join the orcish forces to help them out and collect that juicy juicy human meat for their broodmother. Have them support whoever the orc in power is at the time creating a loose barrier to challengers who have to do it when the spiders aren't around... or something.

You guys get the idea, you can game things canonically easily enough if you want to make these things happen.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Justanothacivy » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:48 am

There's more info on playing a spider or warg than orcs right now.

https://shadowsofisildur.atlassian.net/wiki/display/PW/An+In-Depth+Look+to+Spiders Spiders

https://shadowsofisildur.atlassian.net/wiki/display/PW/An+In-Depth+Look+to+Wargs Wargs

I mean... wow. Look at all the effort put in there.It really is amazing and almost ready to go as far as roleplay standards.


If there is a worry about splitting spheres... why? You have already added two more spheres inside the races of men, the untrusting Beornings and the native Utterby folk.

Sure they may not kill each other but what kept TE and MM in line was the threat of all out WAR. That and the unbelievably strong enforcer NPC's.

If infighting happened -between- evil races it would be an utter blood bath. Something that would carry a heavy penalty. A potential ally in the face of Beorning threat? Would not a particular influence that has been guiding Striza issue warning, against hostility, towards any potential source of power it could attempt to corrupt and control?

Infighting will always happen with orcs, perhaps the most. Second to them would be wargs, fighting for dominance is a very similar roleplay theme. Spiders may see the least infighting, as theirs is a very structured social atmosphere.... that and if you mess up you're dinner!

Trolls. Everyone is afraid of trolls. Yeah, true,they are natural powerhouses but you have to stop and think. Their roleplay, the "Fool" or "Idiot" is not easy. Letting yourself be tricked, influenced, constantly wary of the time of day (This doesn't have to be coded in right away, I'm sure a player that could be trusted with this knows how to use the 'time' command.) would be exhausting and some may find it boring. Far less freedom of will and all that. Trolls would probably fit easily into this setting, directly into the Vadok with no other needed prep, but would require carefully checking of stat and racial balance as would the other two options mentioned above.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby krelm » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:53 am

Pallando wrote:Realistically, as Icarus mentions, we want races which play nice together - or at the very least have some kind of reason to be in one place together. That pretty much rules out wights, abominations, wargs, or spiders if we want to build on one sphere or outpost.


Why would it rule those out? As SW said, these are basically the only races that would have any easy reason to work with orcs without it feeling like they were forced into the storyline.

Pallando wrote:There are a tiny minority of people campaigning


As I stated in the OP, there are there are technically only a tiny number of people that are willing to play, or RPA for, orcs.

Pallando wrote:but realistically there are far better choices with much better depth and possibilities (in my opinion).


Such as?

Some people wrote:Trolls


I agree with SW here that trolls, while they would be cool to play, probably aren't ready to be added. I'd see them as a 4 or 5 RPP race.
Last edited by krelm on Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Raukran » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:08 pm

I'm not usually the type to get into RPing out animals, but I could totally imagine rolling a spider or warg to terrorize humans with.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Icarus » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:16 pm

Someone find pof Ulroo!
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby MrT2G » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:34 pm

Icarus wrote:Someone find pof Ulroo!


Was that troll in TE? Gothraka?
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby krelm » Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:35 pm

He was, as far as I know, the last troll before Kite closed down Egg-Thela.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Manarath » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:15 pm

From my perspective the irony is that out of all the races you could tag team with the orcs, anything humanoid outside of trolls is asking for trouble. Orc culture is highly self-destructive in that if you leave them alone their at each others throats just because. On the other hand the moment you see them sharing borders with any other humanoid be is elf, dwarf, or human suddenly their working together and causing a ruckus for their neighbors.

The rivalry orcs have with the other three main races is so strong it does not matter if their supposed to be on the same side, blood is going to be spilled between the two, somewhere down the line.
On the other hand orcs seem to have a different relationship with the more bestial races in the books. They teamed up with wargs, and that was without the forced assistance of a higher power. And since warg culture is kinda up in the air, its easy to fill in the blanks to make it work, which looking at the wiki some awesome person has already been working on that. And the same goes for the spiders really.

We know what motivates them, food. More importantly tasty food. We know from Shelob that she did eat orcs, but it was mostly because she had little choice, what with her setting up shop in a place with pretty much nothing but them around her. We know she did not like the taste, but its all she could get.
On the other hand, the Mirkwood spiders are set up in a place with a much greater supply of various prey. Wild animals abound and I bet they would still prefer them over the foul blooded orcs. Between the orcs and the spiders I would see it simply as a business transaction.

And that's before we throw in the awesome that is the info on the wiki we have. When it comes to the wargs and the spiders, I don't see it as an issue on finding a way to get THEM to work with the orcs, as we can fill in the blanks of their culture to make it work. Its a matter of getting the orcs to work with them, and really, that issue applies to any race tag teaming with orcs.

But at least with these two, there is not an entire racial history of war between them to muck it up. I'm willing to let go on the trolls though, as awesome as they are simply because, they really would be broken to play as in the current setting. But for the other two races, at least this way the staff don't need to control NPCs to keep the interactions between wargs and spiders going between the orcs, or humans. Though....I do miss old Ulroo....
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Pallando » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:58 pm

krelm wrote:
Pallando wrote:Realistically, as Icarus mentions, we want races which play nice together - or at the very least have some kind of reason to be in one place together. That pretty much rules out wights, abominations, wargs, or spiders if we want to build on one sphere or outpost.


Why would it rule those out? As SW said, these are basically the only races that would have any easy reason to work with orcs without it feeling like they were forced into the storyline.


With all due respect just because SW says it doesn't make it true. If anything these feel more forced and more unrealistic to me - just a gut feeling.

krelm wrote:
Pallando wrote:There are a tiny minority of people campaigning


As I stated in the OP, there are there are technically only a tiny number of people that are willing to play, or RPA for, orcs.


The numbers don't really agree with you here.

krelm wrote:
Pallando wrote:but realistically there are far better choices with much better depth and possibilities (in my opinion).


Such as?


Humans? We have infinitely more lore and depth (being humans ourselves) than playing an abomination or wight. Chunks of people struggle to play humans in an RPI effectively, let alone rare and wonderful races like wights. Just because you feel confident playing one doesn't mean everyone else does. This inevitably affects the quality of the game overall.

Edited to add: I've said my piece on this, I won't be providing further feedback on the topic :)
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Throttle » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:10 pm

While I don't see PC wargs working out at the moment, or any other non-humanoid race for that matter, I think it would be really cool to see warg mounts.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Fulgrim » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:11 pm

Well that unexpectedly diverged off into the territory of "I don't think X" and then "it seemed pretty reasonable to me" and then quickly into "you're wrong and now I'm done".

Wargs and spiders wouldn't be that hard to get in game, though the question is would it draw in more players than orcs, or merely attract those who like orcs into their roles? Answers point towards unlikely, though that doesn't really mean to say they are either unrealistic (they aren't, alliance between these races do happen) and also begs the question on how much realism is demanded in a hyper-fictional, canon divergent and high-fantasy world like Middle-Earth?

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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby krelm » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:14 pm

I'm going to reply, anyway.

Pallando wrote:Humans?


Pallando wrote:Realistically, as Icarus mentions, we want races which play nice together - or at the very least have some kind of reason to be in one place together. That pretty much rules out wights, abominations, wargs, or spiders if we want to build on one sphere or outpost.


This also rules out humans, technically, if you're going by the specifics of your own post. Humans wouldn't want to stay in the same place as orcs, and humans and orcs never get along-- which was the original point of this post. It'd be cool to have a human and orc sphere but, as Oblivion stated, without heavy staff intervention and a group of NPC enforcers, it would quickly tear itself apart; we're talking more PKs than when the orc sphere opened.

Meanwhile, wargs work with orcs all the time, and, as Manarath pointed out, they don't need any outside influences to do so-- they just do.

Cutting myself off before I turn this into me arguing solely for wargs-- the original purpose of this post was the figure out what people thought of an inter-species badguy sphere. Most seem to be for it, some seem to be against it, but whatever way the door swings it would take a lot of work to do so.

Pallando wrote:The numbers don't really agree with you here.


Right now we have 1 orkish RPA (Nimrod) and 2 RPAs in training (Fulgrim and Gothmog). The humans have Icarus, Frigga, Meneldor (if he's still around), Alcarin, Taurgalas, and, on occasion, though not technically, Tiamat. Three RPAs to somewhere between four and six.

Also, try rolling an orc and logging in for a consecutive week, during peak hours, no less to find out that you're literally the only one on. This hasn't been the case lately, but all last week everytime I logged in, I was the only one on. The numbers, if you look at them, definitely agree.

EDIT:

Throttle wrote:While I don't see PC wargs working out at the moment, or any other non-humanoid race for that matter, I think it would be really cool to see warg mounts.


Do not make me put the brakes on this thread and turn it into a pro-warg-PC argument because by god I will do it in a heartbeat!
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Throttle » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:27 pm

Well, the code doesn't currently support it in any way, that's what I meant. Someone would have to implement all manner of warg combat systems and random shit like eating corpses without having to butcher them with a knife and so on. If someone wants to do that, I won't stand in the way of it. It's just a hundred times more effort than simply adding a humanoid race, and if people are hesitant to play orcs because they're too alien to identify with and hard to diversify as character concepts, I don't think wargs are any less so.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Fulgrim » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:41 pm

Actually with some simple progs and some objects you could streamline the food-getting process for wargs, and combat is already all implemented.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Throttle » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:50 pm

For PCs as well, with warg combat skills and skillgain support etc.? I know the code works for NPC animals, but that's rather different.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Fulgrim » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:52 pm

The skills are literally just Dodge and Brawling. Attacks that you see as "claws" and "bites" are actually just settings in the code that changes the default damage type for unarmed attacks.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Matt » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:55 pm

Well there's progression of damage and AC that comes with a humanoid PC. You can have a pquality weapon that is pitted all the way up to refined honed iron weaponry. Same thing will happens to armor. But with a warg you just have everything set to a specific level. Would just have to balance what a PC wargs damage/AC would be naturally against humanoids and their ability to get new weapons/armor.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Throttle » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:55 pm

I remember fiddling with it at one point back on Atonement to see if there was basis for mutants who fought with tentacles and claws and such, and I remember it not working out because the combat code was a bit fucked when you didn't use weapon and style skills. If it works here and has been tested, that's cool and leaves it just a matter of whether or not warg PCs are desired.
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Re: The Badguy Sphere, Mixing Races?

Postby Songweaver » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:00 pm

There are some things you'd have to deal with to make wargs or spiders playable.

- How to balance unarmed damage so that wargs don't app in too strong, but also don't become irrelevant at more experienced levels. Basically, how do you model the bite/claw damage of wargs/spiders to follow a similar curve from trash-to-oquality weapons? I think there's an elegant, simple solution here, but it would require hardcoding.

- The same deal for warg/spider AC vs the quality curve of in-game armor.

- How to keep wargs/spiders from wielding weapons or wearing armor?

- How to keep them from unlocking doors/etc? Meaning, you'd have to consider a list of things you wouldn't want them to be capable of, then hardcode checks for race into those commands so that they couldn't.

- A fix for eating/food.

It's not a crazy long list, and I personally think it's worth the effort ultimately, but it does demand work.

On the flipside, adding in evil humans would demand less tangible and more design-centric work to create some sort of living infrastructure for them and a human-like economy that the current orc sphere doesn't really support. It's really about the same amount of work (maybe more), but of a different breed.
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