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Old 02-13-2010, 03:17 AM
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Slik and Abjorn's Rebirth Plan

Here is what we have come up with (with help from Kay and Chang as well):

N-Pulse Rebirth Plan
  • Simple gameplay.
    • Keep close to classic roots.
      • Weapon usage and swordplay should be very similar to that of classic style servers and Zelda.
      • There should be varying weapons of all shapes and sizes, however speed, range, and power should not vary too greatly.
    • A limited leveling system.
      • Levels should not create uneven balances of power. While they should definitely effect strength, health, and the like, it should not be to a point where skill cannot overcome level.
      • A steep experience curve will be in place to further level the playing field.
      • To add a fun alternative to grinding, XP will be awarded for pking and sparring.
        • XP is limited to killing someone within 5 levels of yours. This is both acting as noobie protection and a failsafe against cheating (for instance, a high level player letting a low level friend kill them over and over to gain experience quickly).
        • Different ways of gaining XP award different amounts of XP. Killing badies gives the most XP, winning a spar after that, and pking someone in the open gives the least.
      • Gaining levels is very much analogous to gaining hearts, higher level sword, etc, in a classic quest. Most baddies (and the best baddies) will be concentrated in quests, so the best way to gain levels is to complete quests.
        • This will be designed so that players who have completed all the quests will be around the same level, much like players who have completed all quests on a classic server are. A player can still gain levels through pking, sparring, etc, but due to the lower amount of xp given and the high experience curve this will be difficult. So players who have played through the quests will not vary in strength too much.
        • Some quests may or may not be accessible after completion.
    • Weapons are categorized into Tiers.
      • Tiers have a upper and lower level limit. You must be a certain level to use a Tier, and you can use it up until a certain level.
        • For example, Tier 1 starts at Level 1, and you can use a Tier 1 weapon until, lets say, level 10.
        • The next Tier will start where the last one left off, so Tier 2 in this example would start at level 10.
      • All weapons in a Tier have a "base stat."
        • There are three stats for weapons, speed, range, and power.
        • Where one stat is lacking, one or more stats will make up for it equally.
        • So, for example, a Tier 1 weapon has a base stat of 5. So if that weapon had a speed stat of 3 it could be equalled out with a power stat of 7.
          • Or 3 speed, 7 range, 5 power
          • Or 3 speed, 6 range, 6 power
          • etc
      • Many Tiers will be decided upon for release, and weapons for them as well, though eventually more may be needed.
        • Upper Tiers will not have many weapons, as players won't be able to get them for some time (it will take much leveling), so the existing weapons for those Tiers will be there more as an incentive to continue playing.
    • Quests need to be designed in a completely different way from the usual way Graal Quests go.
      • Graal Quests, to be honest, suck. This includes every single Quest I have seen on N-Pulse.
        • They are all entirely comprised of "go from point A to point B; kill everything in your way; and solve mundane, arbitrary, and annoying puzzles that are not fun."
        • No fun, successful game designs dungeons and quests this way.
      • Quests should be creative, needing thought, skill, and adventure.
        • Think back to Zelda, specifically classics like A Link to the Past, or Ocarina of Time.
        • You did not just follow a linear route to get to the end. You had to figure out which way you needed to go, and when you did, there would be something blocking your path.
        • You would have to search around and find a way to get past the obstacles in your way, whether that be a new item, a switch or lever, a key, etc.
        • This would happen multiple times in a single dungeon. Dungeons took time and more importantly they were fun.
      • Quests should be planned in this manner.
        • Quests have a certain level range they should be designed for.
        • When making a Quest this should always be kept in mind.
          • For example, one of two weapons for the next Tier should be available to find in the dungeon because a player may level up to the next Tier in that Quest or soon after.
          • Baddies should be designed to be tough, but not impossible, for these level ranges.
      • To enforce the designed level range for Quests, most Quests should be made to be played in a certain order. Most of those should be inaccessible without having completed the previous Quest in the order.
        • This can be done through storyline, needing an item/spell from the previous Quest to gain entrance, etc.
    • Spells play a relatively minor role in overall gameplay.
      • Very few spells can be bought in a store, those that can are not particularly great.
      • The best spells are all in Quests, and a few can be found in remote parts of the overworld.
        • These spells (when in Quests) will play a major role in Quests, and are by far the most useful.
      • Gimmicky spells that are just for fun can be bought with EC.
      • Spell usage is simple, as easy as selecting the spell and using it.
    • A simple hotkey system will be implemented to smooth gameplay and make weapon switching and spell usage easier.
  • Offer new content that is high quality, reasonably original and enjoyable.
    • Attempt to maintain a fairly consistent look and feel. We don't want an amazing gfx right next to beginning-grade graphics.
  • Well structured and streamlined development pipeline for development efficiency.
    • Development goes through a 'pipeline.' The order and methods through which content is developed must be efficient and structured so that it can flow through the pipeline at a steady, fast rate. Otherwise this pipeline will get clogged and work will be delayed, sometimes indefinitely. This is what kills projects on Graal.
    • Nothing is done arbitrarily.
      • All work done must be planned and detailed beforehand.
      • No significant work should be done without having an approved and designed purpose.
      • If a staff has been working hard we are more than willing to give them a break to do whatever they want (within limits) until we need them again.
    • When someone has an idea it must go through a process to be vetted and, if it is decided to be used, planned in full.
      • Ideas are compiled into a list and every so often a group of development leaders will go through all proposed ideas and decide which should be used.
      • If an idea is to be used the appropriate staff will form a small team to plan out the idea fully and assign work and deadlines accordingly.
      • Anyone can propose an idea, no matter what it is.
      • Ideas will be held in a Google Wave. If someone wants to propose an idea they reply to that wave with a reasonable amount of details of their idea. The more detail the more chance the idea will be used.
    • This all also applies to ETs who work on Events and such.
      • Development staff that are not ET Devs have no obligation to work on on Events unless they have no current assignment.
      • This process will be mostly isolated for ETs, giving them more freedom to work without restrictions of admin oversight, but they still need some sort of planning.
      • ET Devs should not be assigned any work on Rebirth unless they request it.
    • PRs should keep themselves up to date on all projects and work being done. It may happen that a development staff can need reminding to check Google Wave on updates about assignments and work.

We also want to know what everyone thinks of having player stats. The question has been thrown in the air after this plan was created, and we don't have any particular feeling about it either way other than that if the players wanted player stats we would only have 3: strength, vitality, and intelligence.

Have away at it, folks, we really want to know what you think of it, good or bad. However, if you have criticism, please make it constructive. Give a reason, preferably multiple, for any issues you have with our current plan.

Keep in mind that this is the general plan, finer details will come after we finalize this general outline.