Author Topic: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts  (Read 2502 times)

Offline Penumbra

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New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« on: April 24, 2012, 01:59:59 PM »
I would say that Vengeful Ghosts are one of my favorite things (among many) about AVWW. Back when there was the wondering monsters mechanic, the ghosts played a pivotal role in rampaging all over the place.  8)

The ghosts are still there, but I feel slightly marginalized. They are a terrific, dynamic and unique penalty for failure, and I think they should be buffed. Not just "make them stronger" but maybe new mechanics to better fit the game as it is now.

They could create missions now instead instead of rampaging monsters. Maybe the overlord could take them and use them somehow? Enough of them brought together to create new lieutenants? I don't know. Maybe you know the perfect thing? ???

Offline x4000

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 02:03:57 PM »
I agree that they should be brought back into the fore more.  And particularly the ones that pop up while in mission instances are rather pointless, since usually you're getting kicked out of that mission instance when you respawn and then the ghost is lost with the mission instance and serves no purpose.

I also think that probably there's not one right idea here, but rather a collection of different mechanics that might or might not come into play at any given time with the ghosts might provide the most long-term satisfaction with them.
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Offline Penumbra

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 02:07:03 PM »
I also think that probably there's not one right idea here, but rather a collection of different mechanics that might or might not come into play at any given time with the ghosts might provide the most long-term satisfaction with them.

This exactly. They should play very important roles, but only sometimes. Would lead to many nice emergent situations. The player should be made to care about death as more than just "losing upgrade stones." As to what those roles are, well... hmm.

Offline Penumbra

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 02:32:03 PM »
Here are some random stream-of-consciousness ideas. None of these are near complete or even remotely balanced.

1) Bring back moral in a different way. Maybe if you kill off 5 Lumbermancer Glyph-bearers, your other Lumbermancers don't feel like working quite as hard

2) Have them drop a small % of the Upgrade Stones used to buff that character. Already stated by x4000 that some ghosts just "disappear" when in a mission, but that could be fixed with something else.

3) Buff the overlord

4) Horde resources - Maybe you get into a gem cave, and find them there mining away, then running!

5) Create their own settlements/fortresses. Actively work against the player settlement.

6) Create Vortex Pylons

7) Attack Wind Shelters. Especially with the new +Tier wind, this could be really interesting.

8 ) Train regular enemies around them into micro/mini bosses

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 02:34:47 PM »
Maybe:

1) About 10 minutes after a vengeful ghost has been spawned, if no one is in its chunk, pull it out of that region into the continent's "ghost pool"
2) During critical moments (boss fights, maybe certain non-boss-fight mission situations like an npc-rescue during the rescue phase) the game (i.e. the overlord; this wouldn't happen if there was no overlord) spawns 1 or more pooled ghosts in the chunk (removing them from the pool, but making them eligible for rule #1 again).

If desired, we could give it a random chance of "spending" the ghost to cast a continent-wide debuff, too, basically the inverse of the guardian power buffs, but presumably players would just wait those out while invincible.
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Offline Penumbra

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 02:37:26 PM »
If desired, we could give it a random chance of "spending" the ghost to cast a continent-wide debuff, too, basically the inverse of the guardian power buffs, but presumably players would just wait those out while invincible.

Not if the debuff wasn't timed, but instead caused by a structure/mission on the continent. That would force the players to either deal or live with it.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2012, 02:38:41 PM »
If desired, we could give it a random chance of "spending" the ghost to cast a continent-wide debuff, too, basically the inverse of the guardian power buffs, but presumably players would just wait those out while invincible.

Not if the debuff wasn't timed, but instead caused by a structure/mission on the continent. That would force the players to either deal or live with it.
Good point!
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Offline Martyn van Buren

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 03:56:44 PM »
I'd really like to be able to deal with vengeful ghosts in a more peaceful way than a fireball to the face.  I like occasionally having to fight off someone I recognize as an old character but killing all of them is kinda weird.  Perhaps we could get a mission to lay them to rest?

Offline Penumbra

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 04:17:57 PM »
I'd really like to be able to deal with vengeful ghosts in a more peaceful way than a fireball to the face.  I like occasionally having to fight off someone I recognize as an old character but killing all of them is kinda weird.  Perhaps we could get a mission to lay them to rest?

A way to make piece with them would be great! Like, they are tainted by the overlord and could be reintegrated into your settlement. Kinda like the "blue glowies" Jedi become.

Offline Dizzard

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2012, 04:34:26 PM »
I'd really like to be able to deal with vengeful ghosts in a more peaceful way than a fireball to the face.  I like occasionally having to fight off someone I recognize as an old character but killing all of them is kinda weird.  Perhaps we could get a mission to lay them to rest?

I agree with this. Maybe there could be different mission types depending on the hostility level of a ghost. Some ghosts may not necessarily be hostile and out to get you but are still unknowingly hurting the environment. (which is bad for you)

I just can't really understand why every ghost becomes vengeful. I guess I do understand that it's a punishment to the player and that makes perfect sense from a gameplay perspective......but in terms of this feeling like a real world with real characters it feels odd that death seems so narrow. It should be the opposite, a wide spectrum.

I like the idea of ghosts coming back to haunt you in different ways....not necessarily just the "I'm mad and I'm hitting you with purple miasma" way. Like a spirit that starts to follow you around draining your mana but you can't actually hurt them.....

Perhaps different spirit types could spawn depending on the element of the attack that killed them?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 04:43:30 PM by Dizzard »

Offline Eagleheart

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2012, 04:39:35 PM »
Idea #1: They could follow you into whatever region you go into next and 'possess' all the monsters in the area, buffing them. When you killed the monster it was in, you would then have a chance to do damage and destroy it as it tries to get into the next monster. Or perhaps it could simply possess all monsters in the chunk at once and you have to find it and kill it to end this.

Idea #2: Leave them as they are now, but when five or so of them are built up without being destroyed then they join together and attack you at random in a region later. I like the idea of them merging together into a super ghost boss and then falling apart back into their usual forms after you destroy it and having to destroy them as well. They could also attack the settlement like wandering mobs used to instead of ambushing you in a region.

In either of these cases, implementing ghostly mist to the air and creepy music when they happen is a necessity.  8)
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 04:42:29 PM by Eagleheart »
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Offline Terraziel

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2012, 04:55:02 PM »
I think my concern is that this would send a conflicted message about death, we have a message telling people not to worry about dying and that they should expect their characters to die,  and then suddenly we are getting actively punishing them for doing so.

....How many characters are people expected to lose on a continent? 2 or 3? 5? 10?
and once we decide and balance around it what happens to people who die "too much"? depending on what actually gets implemented the game risk becoming progressively harder for people who are having a hard time already (whilst yes I suppose the logical response is that said people should turn the difficulty down, they won't)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2012, 04:58:36 PM »
I think my concern is that this would send a conflicted message about death, we have a message telling people not to worry about dying and that they should expect their characters to die,  and then suddenly we are getting actively punishing them for doing so.
Yea, in general I don't think we can add any more penalties to death (or really penalties to the game at all) for all players.  There used to be tons of penalties and ways to get really up a creek (or even lose, but not game-over), but one by one those were simply found un-fun, even by the forum crowd.  So if we do anything more vicious with the ghosts it would have to be some kind of opt-in thing.
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Offline Penumbra

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2012, 06:34:40 PM »
Not putting any more penalties in place is important. Things can't get into an unwinnable state easily. Buying all useless spells, or leaving a Tier 1 finder orb on is much more "willful" than just dying a lot.

So, about the "opting-out" mechanic for Vengeful Ghosts penalties. It should be organic, and not just a server setting. Which means that Vengeful Ghosts should somehow grant a bonus when dealt with "correctly."

Currently, the Ghosts stay in the zone you died in, being aggressive. To "opt-out" the player merely avoids that zone, forgoing any potential rewards, and moves on. Having something like the overlord become stronger because of deaths would put a struggling player even farther behind without recourse. So, we need a mechanic that can be ignored but remains tempting to toy with.



There are three categories of players I am thinking of:
1) players who just aren't dying often
2) players who are dying often because they really like a hard challenge and are having fun
3) players who are dying often because they find the game hard and frustrating.

For #1, these players will not have any (or very few) Vengeful Ghosts. Whether or not the players are just playing on too easy a difficulty or are just too good for The Chosen One, this means the mechanic cannot be mandatory. We don't want players purposely killing off characters to access these features, or bother players who like it easy.

For #2, these players want even more challenge. They are playing at a difficulty where they will fail and they are enjoying it. For them, any extra obstacles put in front of them are welcome. An optional block or reward would be actively sought after.   

For #3, this player is struggling. Putting more obstacles in their way will make them quit. The Vengeful Ghosts could either be something they completely ignore or, more usefully, direct the player to something they might have a better chance at.



As for what this mechanic is exactly, I still don't know. Some games suggest an Easy mode when you die too many times at the same place. This is seen as annoying by #2, and insulting by #3. The only players who like that option are those who didn't know it existed in the first place. Maybe the missions or obstacles brought about by the Vengeful Ghosts should be easier than whatever killed the players.  Take away one thing (upgrade points) but give an option at a bonus of some sort for dealing with the aftermath.

Blocking access to a zone that has too many Ghosts in it until overcoming some other mechanic (like Vortex Pylons or increased wind) could be seen by the #2 players as a penalty for dying too often, yet allow #3 players to buff up a little bit.

Offline Martyn van Buren

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Re: New ideas for Vengeful Ghosts
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 02:35:57 PM »
How about a chase mission to lay the ghost to rest? As in, create a guardian power/spell that will spawn a mission to lay the ghost to rest peacefully.  Personally I find myself imagining something a bit like rescue survivor but with a survivor that's shooting miasma at you.  So say something like this --- once you spawn the mission, the ghost becomes more aggressive and gains the ability to chase you across chunk transitions, but if you can lure it to a nexus of Ilari power three-five chunks away you can liberate the spirit and get some kind of reward (plus peace of mind). It would be entirely optional (and possibly not available until you get a necrotonomist or a necberdasher in your settlement), and I think it would get nicely at the sense of " I want to help this thing but it's trying to kill me".

By the way, does knockback work on ghosts?