[crossfire] Party Support

Mark Wedel mwedel at sonic.net
Sun Jul 29 01:09:50 CDT 2007

Juergen Kahnert wrote:
>> So it may be more a thing that players should be able to cooperate on
>> a single map, and somehow share the rewards.
> Yes, real multiplayer maps / quests would be nice to have.  I just lack
> on ideas how to create some with the current system.  Some characters
> are able to clear a map before any other member of the party has a
> chance to talk about the tactics...

  This is a bigger/tougher problem to tackle.

  There are some multiplayer maps, but really, most of them only require 
multiplayer because two levers need to be pulled at the same time - making maps 
like that is easy to do, but doesn't really add much in the way of cooperation - 
one player can still go in, kill everything, then the rest of the people come in 
to pull the levers.

  But would be nice, which may happen with class/race/skill rebalancing, is for 
parties to be able to handle tougher dungeons than they might otherwise be able 
to handle on their own, and thus get better items/more exp.  For example, if 4 
level 40 characters team together, and as such, are able to complete a map for 
level 60 characters, that may prove some good incentive.  Right now, things go 
so fast (and so many large effect spells) that it really doesn't work that way - 
all 4 level 40 characters would probably be killed quickly on a level 60 dungeon.

>> But could be very valuable as part of a party,
> So, and you remove the ability to heal from each other class?  No longer
> rods of heal or restoration scrolls, potion of healing, etc. for everybody?

  I didn't say that.

  But using such items takes some amount of time, at which point you're not 
casting spells or inflicting damage.  If you have someone else healing the 
fighters, instead of them using those items, their effective damage rate goes up.

  There has been a lot of discussion about rebalancing/redoing classes - that is 
completely unrelated to party support (the discussions about redoing it are 
really separate), but those changes may make playing with parties more desirable.

  This is especially true of spells are distributed more evenly among levels. 
If you're character can be level 30 in both one handed weapon and prayinging, or 
in the same time it takes to get that, level 50 in one handed weapon and level 5 
in praying, there are some choices there.  If playing with a party is feasible, 
you may no longer feel the need to increase praying skill much, and if you're 
level 50 in melee, that allows you to do tougher maps than if you are level 30 
in both.

  As noted, those levels are presuming equal playing time.  It may/probably 
would be possible to get level 50 in both, but that is obviously going to take 
longer than a 50/5 split.

>> so so want some way for the character to get exp.
> Make the "healer" getting xp from healing.  No xp sharing, please.  Let
> it make more xp the higher the healed character is, or whatever.  But
> make sure that xp comes out of the skill you use.

  Things like that don't work very well.  Off the top of my head, I can think of 
numerous abuses that players would quickly come up to get healing exp up 
(players damage each other, etc).  I personally think exp sharing should be part 
of the game.  Now it may be that exp sharing shouldn't be equal like it is now - 
maybe the person that kills the monster gets 50% of the exp, and the rest of the 
party splits up the remaining 50% (or maybe even more, based on members of party 
- eg, for 2 member party, it is 75/25 split, for 3 it is 50/25/25, for 4 it is 
40/20/20/20 or something - don't know - don't really need to figure out exact 
formula right now).

  Under such a model, those not killing creatures get exp more slowly, but still 
get something - if the only way to get exp is by killing creatures, pretty much 
means that every class must be something that goes and kills bunches of 
creatures, which I don't think is good.

> Doesn't matter.  Count the damage each character made and divide the xp
> pro-rata.  If not, won't hurt.  But I won't like to play a healer if I
> need a warrior which weakens the monster that I get the chance to gain a
> little bit xp...

  That doesn't work for several reasons.  First, what do you do about creatures 
with fast regeneration?  If you get damage for each hit, you now open up a way 
for infinite exp.  The alternative is at some point the monster becomes with 0 exp.

  The other thing is that IMO, killing the creature should be rewarded much more 
than damaging it.  It is easy to damage a lot of creatures, but may be harder to 
kill them (regen rate, damage they do to you, etc).  You also get another 
potential abuse here - players going into a map, doing some damage to a high exp 
monster they have no hope of killing, and then retreating before they get killed.

>>> 1) Slow down combat speed.  Some player just won't like that,
>>>    especially no slower movement.  So the only chance for that is to
>>>    reduce weapon speed.  May work.
>>>    But on a 2D tiled map with fast moving monsters you could quickly
>>>    run out of escape routes.  Slower movement will help, too.  But I
>>>    think no majority for a general slowdown.
>>   I don't think there are enough details on that.  In my thought,
>> movement would really only be slowed down for high level characters,
>> and in fact sped up for lower level characters - in a sense, reduce
>> the speed variance that currently exists, so that high level
>> characters don't move 5 times faster than low level characters.
> Sounds good for me.  But long travels around the world will probably be
> fatigueing.
> It's a good start for better party support.  But traveling around the
> world shouldn't be boring.  Don't forget that not every race is able to
> wear speedboots...

  More use of transports could be added.  Note that right now, even for a 
moderate/low level character without high speed, unless going cross country 
through mountains, it never takes more than a couple minutes real time to get to 
any point.

  Things won't be any slower than that with a revamp - what changes is 
characters won't have 1.0+ speed.

  I think in some ways, reducing speed may be useful - right now, it really 
doesn't make much difference where you character is based out of, as you can get 
anyplace else in the world very quickly.  If it actually took some time, 
characters may instead base themselves where they are currently adventuring, 
which would help keep the high level characters in the same area, and not near 
the low level characters.

>>> 4) What about characters in the second row like archers or spellcasters?
>>   It has been suggested that there should be a way to target creatures
>> not in the front row
> But how?  Do you need the mouse to click on the monster?  Than move
> around with the keys to switch back to the mouse because the monster
> also moved?
> You have to find a way to make the game fully playable with the mouse or
> this won't work.
> Or find a way to make it work only with keys.  Or both.  But a combination
> out of both won't work.

  Aiming with keys would be difficult.

  Aiming with a mouse would be easy, but as said, going between keyboard and 
mouse is a bit annoying.

  I'm not sure what it would take to make the game completely playable with the 
mouse (and completely may be a bit of an overstatement - some things may only be 
doable by keyboard, but if those are things you don't do in combat, probably ok)

  Movement can easily enough be done with the mouse.  Likewise, firing can be 
done with mouse.  It's things like selecting spells - in the clients, you can 
use the spell windows, but those take up a bunch of real-estate.  Some form of 
quick pulldowns/icons could perhaps be done to select spells - not sure.

>>> 5) Create party quests.
>>   But that isn't really the point - just because points 1-4 do not
>> currently exist, or are not currently used, doesn't mean we
>> can't/shouldn't be able to think about how parties/quests would work
>> if those points did exist.
> I don't have your imaginativeness to create maps which works well with
> features nobody knows how they look like...
> I always thought you need to know how the system looks like to create
> well working addons for this system.  How do you develop addons without
> knowing about the system?

  But lets take it from this view:
  Presume you have party support (not that big a presumption).  And presume you 
have some way of recording the party members that completed a quest (killed the 

  At that level, it then doesn't take too much imagination to think about when 
the party returns to town, how they get a shared reward.

  You don't necessarily need to know how a party will work together in order to 
know there should be some way to reward it.  And in many ways, it shouldn't make 
a difference - if that NPC in town wants something done, he probably doesn't 
care how it got done - he just cares it did get done.  Now as programmers of 
that NPC, we should take into account that people may work in groups to get that 
task done.

  But my real point here is that we really shouldn't pretend that parties won't 
exist, and don't have any support for group rewards at all.

> Did you never solved a quest to find out that the quest reward is
> useless for you?  Will this cancel your xp gain / the fun you had?

  If I constantly did quests as part of a party, and found out that on all 
quests, only a single person got a reward, that would be a big disincentive to 
ever work as a party.

  And I still say that you don't need party specific maps to think about party 
quest rewards.  Many single player maps may be played by parties, and if there 
is a quest, it should be thought about how that reward would be shared 
(alternative rewards, each person gets the reward, whatever).

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