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 Operation: Brainstorm

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W. Birkin
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PostSubject: Operation: Brainstorm   Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:25 pm

Greetings my fellow DF players! All... two or three of you. *cough*

I've been lurking in I&S for a few days now and I've been thinking on what I could
suggest that will get the masses foaming at the mouths and calling for my blood. All
silly-ness aside, I've been trying to think of a legitimate idea that would help DF as
a whole and my conclusion was that there isn't enough RPG elements to the game.

Aside from the level ladder, the stat allocation system and maybe the missions, but
other than that, DF is nothing more than a 3'rd person shooter. So I want us all to
come together and try to think of some RPG elements that we can present as a clan
to the masses that we think will help DF. So far, I've thought of the following:

* - Main Story Overhaul
* - Quest Dynamics
* - Unlockable Content
* - Random Events


Story Overhaul
Personally I feel that Neil jumped the gun with the story we're presented with in DF
at the moment. We're in a post-apocalyptic setting, where most of the major events
of the outbreak having already occurred. From a story-telling stand point, I feel that
this is a HUGE waste of potential. We already know what happened, how it happened,
who's responsible, and that no one is going to be able to do anything to fix it. Our
role is of survivors, we live day to day, with the only surprises in store being who's
going to die next. That might be fine for the most part but there could be so much
more to it.

Part of the fun of a survival horror is seeing the world around us going to hell, there's
few, if any survival horror games that I've played where the world you walk into is
already destroyed, and if there IS, you're there for a reason. To either figure out
what happened or to fix it, DF lack this and to me, that takes away from it. We need
more of a motive to play, other than just surviving from day to day, because it really
isn't that hard to just "make it" in DF, and when that happens the game gets dull.

That's why I feel that pushing the game's setting back a few years would be better,
because nothing is ever interesting at the beginning or the end, its always the stuff
in between that makes things interesting. Since there is no finality to the setting, we
have much more freedom to add new elements to the game.


Quest Dynamics
The modus operandi of any RPG is without a doubt the quests. If you feel that "quest"
has too much association with a fantasy setting, then we can call it scenario. Whatever
you call it, the quest is a means of getting your character involved with the game, either
by offering some story or just something fun and interesting to do aside from the normal
every day grind. I don't count the missions in 2DF to be the same as quests, they're more
like simple jobs or tasks that someone does for a bit of extra cash and EXP.

I'd love to be given a scenario that gives me access to a special or specific map, where I
have a clear objective but I have to complete certain objectives to reach my goal, be it
killing a certain amount of enemies, obtaining various keys or figuring out some sort of
puzzle to unlock my path. It'd give the game far more depths, give the player a better
sense of achievement, and could make it easier to add in branching story lines.


Unlockable Content
What kind of RPG doesn't have some sort of unlockable content? As far as I can tell, the
only thing we have that even remotely comes to unlockable content is the Elite Shop,
which is nice but not something everyone is entitled to. What we need is something else,
unlockable areas on the map, unlockable weapons, skills or abilities, unlockable enemies,
something along those lines, anything that can punctuate a players achievement.

Right now we have a the entire map open to us, this allows us to go anywhere we want, as
long as we have the patience to get there and the ability to survive, but I'd rather actually
earn the right to go to other parts of the city by unlocking them through quests or events.


Random Events
Now I know I haven't spoken very fondly of Missions but I don't think they should be taken
out of the game. Instead, why not turn them into random events that the player has the
option of completing? The missions in 2DF were basic at best. You get a list of instructions
that define your goal, and then you just go out and do them, so why not just make them
random events that occur periodically out in the inner city.

Just imagine being out in the middle of the inner city, looting or grinding, when all of a sudden
you get a distress call over your radio, "Is there anybody out there? We need help! We're
trapped at X and we're unable to fend off the infected!" The player then has a certain amount
of time to get to that location, where it becomes an extermination mission. Or maybe you're
out and about and suddenly pick up a request to run a courier mission, where you travel to
point A, then have to take the package to point B to complete.

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Jabbawoky
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PostSubject: Re: Operation: Brainstorm   Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:58 am

Story, Content & Quests
Yeah, Neil said that the story was lacking and that it needed something doing with it. He talked about missions & global events and how they were intertwined. If I remember correctly he mention how Xaeleth may be writing facets of a mission-based storyline, but this was months ago and I have heard nothing since then. For some reason I doubt we will see a story before other major features are implemented. This is a problem that he recognizes to a degree, nonetheless.

Everyone agrees that beyond the tedious play of loot-grind there is no sense of purpose in the game at all. And that really is a major flaw, for granted. Hopefully he has story based global events or quests in mind for DF's full release this year.

Dare I say... Secronom Labs?

Seriously, they seem an ideal way to bring in all these things you have thought of: story based missions, unlockable areas and achievements, timed objectives and the like. I mean, what can we not do inside a secret laboratory which resides underneath Fairview's sewer complex? It could also add a sense of adventure, danger and exploration which DF is really lacking at the moment.



Events
Random events are an excellent thought, one which could keep the game 'fresh' with minimal imput. While out in the suburbs an exclamation mark appears upon the HUD. You go to you menu and open up the "Missions" box. There you can choose from a recent mission that has popped up, depending on your level and what color zone you are in. Some could even have a time limit. Examples:

- 1 -
"This is blah-de-blah to whoever, we've spotted a large horde of zombies and shit. We need help to take them out blah blah. Mission Reward: 1000exp, $300"

You go to the highlighted location on your map where two NPCs are standing. Then you must defend yourself against successive waves of aggro. NPCs are non-essential to the mission.

- 2 -
"Hey you, yeah you! Theres a Titan wandering around inside this building I want 'caded. Take him out for me? Mission Reward: 10000exp / $4000"

You must kill the Titan indoors. He will not come outside.

- 3 -
"This guy owes me big time on gambling debts. But he is hiding somewhere in South East and I can't get to him... find him and make him pay. Capeeshi? Mission Reward: 15000exp / $10000"

You search the highlighted blocks in SE for a dangerous NPC character and must kill him. He has infinite ammo, a large health pool and decent weps. Zombies will attack both you and him... may aggro is your friend here?

- 4 -
"A friend of mine has hotwired a truck and plans to bring some shit over from Racoon City. Problem is, he needs a distraction in this area so he can get out safely. You look like good zombie bait, so how 'bout it? Mission Reward: Sledgehammer (you must have one free inventory slot to receive this reward)"

You must survive in this area until the time limit is reached. Say, 4:00 or whatever.

- 5 -
"I hear Death Row Looting Party has a stash of something on the top floor of this building. Go fetch before their guys get to it. Mission Reward: 10000exp $8000"

Reach the stash before DRLP take it back to Castle Nevermore! It would be a timed mission.
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W. Birkin
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PostSubject: Re: Operation: Brainstorm   Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:36 am

Hey Jaberwocky, thanks for taking the time to read and for responding! I
was beginning to think no one else would take this seriously. :3

Yea, I had heard something similar with Admin about the story needing to
be re-worked, but as you said it's been months, if not longer since I last
heard anything on it. Though just between us I don't think he's going to
get DF done any time this year.

Any who, Story-Driven Missions is one thing but its the whole primary
story that needs to be re-worked with DF. So while missions with some
substance to them are fine, it won't matter much if we don't have a
good, solid, encompassing story that binds the whole game together.
I guess we'll have to see what Neil and Xaeleth have in store for us.

I would -love- to see the Secronom labs, and I'm sure that Neil, if
he does intend to make unlockable areas and such, then this would
be one of those things. I wouldn't mind seeing a Hospital and or a
Police Station, either.

My friend mentioned something about her thinking over the classes
and the skill / proficiency system that we have set up, and I have
as well. I'd really like to have something more in-depth than just
a few extra stats, or a service or production class ability, Maybe a
skill or feat tree that offers specific pro's and con's to the class.

I like some of your ideas for random events Cheesy If I present anything
in this idea it'll probably at the very least be the random events. So
I'll begin to flesh this idea out more, too. Whats your DF name, so I
can give you credit?

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PostSubject: Re: Operation: Brainstorm   Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:04 pm

If you do present some of this to Admin, wait a while. I'm away from my comp for the next 5 days or so, and I definitely have idears for this.
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W. Birkin
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PostSubject: Re: Operation: Brainstorm   Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:21 pm

I will. ^^ Thanks for the future contributions Kanden, and we'll see you in a week Cheesy

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Jabbawoky
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PostSubject: Re: Operation: Brainstorm   Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:26 pm

Heh. They were just off the top of my head. Ideally we would have more than 'go fetch' or 'go kill' missions but the layout of the game itself may not allow this. In that case, thousands of dialogue-like unique quest descriptions like the above would create a better feel to such essentially simplistic missions than the stark, unexplained, 'do this' objectives from 2d. Having the game tell you why a mission is needed would attach us more into the gameworld I think.

I have no idea how a plot - if that is what you meant - can be worked into a game which by its definition is freeform, but immersive story elements would not be outside the realm of possibility. Though a strong, solid primary story is not the same as occasional story driven quests or references. How the two can be reconciled is anyones guess. Then again, I have no real experience with other MMOs... I'm guessing they are not so strong on the gameworld narrative aspect.

It is true that DF is not an RPG, rather an arcade shooter with slight RPG-esque features thrown in. I believe The Raven had an idea about proficiency based weapon feats. It was quite good and well put forward. Combining that suggestion with a class specific slant would be a thing I would very much like to see, for at the moment everything is too samey. All endgame players are forced along an increasingly narrow path at the moment. Many character classes are utterly superfluous, as are an increasing number of proficiencies; Chainsaw and SMG being the latest casualties.

I suppose each profession would have its own feats, as would each proficiency. Or something. Profession feats alongside proficiency feats perhaps. Or whoever.

(DF name is Octoph, but I'm not bothered about credit that much. Do what you wish.)


Last edited by Jabbawoky on Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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W. Birkin
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PostSubject: Re: Operation: Brainstorm   Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:29 pm

X3 *tackles octoph and glomps*

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