Karma

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Talaroc
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Post by Talaroc » Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:00 pm

Elemental karma could be interesting.

I'm going to disgree pretty vehemetly with the idea of having kingdoms represent the elements. That lines up a little too neatly for my tastes. Better to just have however many kingdoms we have, that might be related more or less to certain elements, but are mainly independant of them.
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Post by Rotonen » Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:45 pm

Well at the moment I think we have to totally scrap my backstory, because there is no room for the new gamesystem and gameplay elements in my story. We'll just think about stuff for now before actually writing a new one.
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Post by imorgado » Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:59 pm

Rotonen wrote:Different kingdoms could have differend stands to what's "right" or "wrong"..? And who is saying there aren't any independent "pirate havens" ? ;)
We're not goint to debate about human moral, and moral build, ego and everything else.

I vote for 2 kinds os attributes.

Karma, your personal believes, the path that you choose to go thru, if you think that: Killing all humans, is a way to wash the land. To all others yous saw as a insane murdrer, but to you and your believes you're a saint. The world moral, as I think, what we see as "correct" in a normal real world, no steal, no killing, no treachery.

Kingdom status: Your status in kingdom, you should be an asssassin, mercenary, thief, and everything else and be saw as hero in one realm, but inside your soul you're a villain. A kind of anti hero. People respect you by fear.
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Post by Kyokai » Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:10 am

I think imorgado is right. The Karma I meant to talk about when I wrote this thread was intended as a measure of moral good (how well you act in relationship to the other players of TMW). Kingdom fame would be quite a different thing altogether.

Rotonen: I don't understand why we would need to rewrite the backstory. I have no intention of kingdoms being elemental, and I don't think that's what you intended either. Like Talaroc said, it just lines up too neatly.
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Post by Talaroc » Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:00 am

Now, see, I disagree with using a standard "good vs evil" scale in-game. As in, at all. First, because it's old: virtually every video game has that dichotomy going on somewhere. It's just not very interesting. Second is for the same reason I refuse to use the "good/evil" dichotomy in RL: it's oversimplistic and artificial. Sure, there are a few moral standards that most people agree on, but for the most part it's all highly subjective. One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist, and all that. I also see problems with implimentation: aside from wanton killing of the weak, what could be used as "negative karma" triggers? Theft? Nobody would ever play the rogue/theif line. "Dishonorable" killing? We'd have no assassin characters. I can't even think of any other in-game examples off hand of things that could be used.

Kingdom reputation, however, would be far more realistic, in two ways. First, it abandons the idea that there's any single universal morality (there isn't, especially across cultures), or any "good guys" and "bad guys" in the traditional video game sense. Second, it more closely follows human nature; if you become a hero to my mortal enemy, I'm unlikely to view you in such a favorable light, and vice versa.

Now, I'm all for some sort of system to protect against wanton pkilling of low-level characters (partly just to protect them and partly because very few people agree with wanton murder), but I don't think it should be connected to any sort of overal "morality" system. Rather, a rating generated from how you tend to act in PvP combat (rating goes up for engaging and/or lower-level opponents, goes down for "showing mercy" by not actually killing them, or by saving them by attacking characters who are fighting a lower-level character, that sort of thing). That rating could, say, have an impact overall on all your kingdom reputations (high rating=lower standing in every kingdom, low rating=higher standing in every kingdom).
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Post by Kyokai » Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:50 pm

Talaroc wrote:Second is for the same reason I refuse to use the "good/evil" dichotomy in RL: it's oversimplistic and artificial. Sure, there are a few moral standards that most people agree on, but for the most part it's all highly subjective. One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist, and all that. I also see problems with implimentation: aside from wanton killing of the weak, what could be used as "negative karma" triggers?
First off, I have to point out to all of you (not jsut Talaroc) that what you believe is good and evil is not really that relevant. This is a gameplay element and not a worldview . Try to keep that in mind.

Second, there is more to Karma than just hurting weaker characters. As we've stated before, there will be interactive world objects, such as trees, plants, signs, etc. Inappropriate use or destruction of these public properties is a merit for negative Karma. Also, poaching a large number of non-aggressive animal monsters would increase negative Karma. The system isn't really meant to make players good or evil, but to force them to replant trees they cut down and not go on PK sprees outside of the normal PvP arena (or kingdom warfare) setting. It also asks them to find alternative methods of training, rather than simply hunting mobs.
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Post by Talaroc » Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:20 pm

So...wait, you're going to make it possible to destroy interactive world objects just so you can tell the players not to? Because I'm not aware of any actual function that the destruction of most interactive world objects would serve.

The reason I brought my worldview into this, was just to illustrate that I think it's oversimplistic to reduce it to one dichotomy, and hampers realism.
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Post by Kyokai » Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:43 pm

Talaroc wrote:So...wait, you're going to make it possible to destroy interactive world objects just so you can tell the players not to? Because I'm not aware of any actual function that the destruction of most interactive world objects would serve.
I don't see how you're going to get any wood for carpentry crafting without cutting trees, but I want to have a system that rewards players for giving back to TMW, and not just taking from it.
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Post by Talaroc » Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:10 pm

Ok, cutting down trees. That's one.

What I'm saying here is, if this is suposed to be a viable system, a /lot/ of the objects you can interact with are going to need to be destructable, with similar reasons.
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Post by Catfish_Man » Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:20 am

When I saw karma I immediately thought of the moderation system used on some forums. Possibly it could be useful to have moderators/admins be able to "karma slap" people abusing the game? (people using bots, picking on newbies, standing in the town square reciting their new porn novel, etc...). That would be a whole different sort of karma though, as far as I can tell.
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Post by Aacheron » Thu Mar 24, 2005 1:59 pm

Why not have this Karma (I'd like "Soul" better - a soulless person would have no Soul, hehe) divide people into two "camps" - yes, "Dark side" and "Light side". Before you so vehemently throw an axe or three at me, let me tell you something about why people play games or watch movies.


Most fantasy worlds and movie plots have specific "good guys" and "bad guys", because the real world hasn't. The real world is what we escape from when we play games or read a book, or even just daydream about cosmic kingdoms. We are all escapists at heart, and people actually seek an oversimplistic good-versus-evil struggle. Maybe not as apparent as just that (I love the concept of "balance of the world" and planting trees, and all that, etc.), but the underlying thing has to click with their subconscious and tell them "this is a simple system without moral grey zones".

Not everything is this black-and-white, though, mostly because people have come to the misconception that slavingly simulating certain aspects of reality - even in freakin' high fantasy - is an end upon itself. They think it's automatically more "cool" because it's ripped off the real world. Those who are bored of the constant "good and evil duel it out" are just bored of it consciously. Subconsciously they still desire for a break from reality now and then; they might seek their "higher grade of ethics in fiction" as entertainment, but it's not true escapism in the sense of it.

Simply put, people want black-and-white games, even though they don't want to admit it, or don't even know of it.


Plus, why complicate an already-complicated game with some fiddly "grey morals" and "obscure karma"? Slap a freakin' Force-metre straight out of SW:KotOR on this shebang, and we're off...

Just my 0,05? again.


PS. I love the idea of Nature and the World itself being the centre of good "Soul" (or whatever you choose to call it). Maybe area-effect spells run the risk of damaging property or breakable objects (accidentally setting fire to the forest whilst wiping out baddies? ^_^).

But the main thing is, make it equally rewarding to play (roleplay, as it is) a "good" guy and a "bad" guy - low (or even negative) Soul should merit access to "evil" items and "evil" quests, maybe gaining the attention of some evil presence or boohaah? Then again, high Soul should slowly ally the character with the forces of Mana and the world itself.


Minor idea: the more natural and "tree-huggy" the character is, the more in contact with Mana and life-force s/he is?
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Post by Talaroc » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:21 am

Aacheron wrote:Why not have this Karma (I'd like "Soul" better - a soulless person would have no Soul, hehe) divide people into two "camps" - yes, "Dark side" and "Light side". Before you so vehemently throw an axe or three at me, let me tell you something about why people play games or watch movies.
*snip*
Thanks for the pop psychology, but I have to disagree with you.
There is an element of escapism in gaming, no doubt. I mean hell, if it weren't escapist, it wouldn't be a game. However, this does not mean that "slavingly" embracing all possible tenants of escapism is a good thing or that it makes a game more fun. One has to strike a balance; bear in mind here that this is a role-playing game. If things are pulled too far away from reality, the player becomes inable to identify with or take on the role of the character. The thought "I'm on an adventure" in the player's mind becomes "I'm playing a game," and immersion is lost. Of course, if it emulates reality perfectly, the game is no fun. There has to be a balance in there somewhere, and the argument between a good/evil dichotomy and a more realistic grey-zone structure is realy a small part of that; realism and escapism can be balanced or unbalanced regardless of what we choose. The reason I support the grey-zone structure is because it's not so trite and overused as your standard good/evil dichotomy, and allows for much greater flexibility in terms of world creation.

And as an aside, living in the US under Bush, having people boil it all down to good guys and bad guys is reality. :wink:
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Post by Aacheron » Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:35 am

Talaroc wrote:(quite good points)
You are right, you know. A balance is always a good idea; I was never telling you to force a rigid good-evil-division, either, but more so telling you not to avoid it like the plague.

How about, instead of a simple line or such, you could envision the "alignment" axis as three lines emanating from the same point, id est a triangle of sorts? You could move towards either point of the triangle, and be anywhere in-between... The trinary division would help with the all-clich? "bad" vs. "good", as even D&D's alignments (two axis) are divided into two bad and two good; evil and chaotic vs. good and lawful. Chaotic Good characters are still good, but they're free-spirits who don't always follow laws, rebels even.


But anyway, a trinary system could involve mutually inclusive goals, such as (just off the top of my head) "nature" or somesuch for preserving nature and achieving "oneness" with Mana/nature (a nice skill could be "wilderness lore" or some derivative thereoff), "might" or something for being courageous and brave (not forgetting victorious) in combat and other such details, and last but not least, "intellect" or whatever for achieving mental acuity and scientific knowledge.

I have tried to slightly make them mutually exclusive only at the extreme; Na has to forfeit violence and victory for harmony, and cannot be crudely scientific or dissect everything; Mi forfeits studying and contemplating for fighting, and might accidentally break a branch or five, etc.; In can't respect spirits of the forest or pray to haltija's all the time, and achieves mental power instead of physical power. You should be able to play two nonexclusively for a while, but sooner or later you'd have to choose only one...

Na can be described as being in contact with the Mana-flow of the world and the surrounding nature, Mi is mastery of physical prowess, In is cold hard knowledge.


DISCLAIMER: I am not aware of any system that uses anything like this, and if I've unconsciously copied or borrowed it from somewhere, do let me know. Ideas and further development would be critically desired...
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