[crossfire] New-Content Solution Concept (Crossfire the Sandbox)

bill billy ephraim.baker at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 7 11:02:09 CST 2019

Hi, Titus here.
First a little backstory:
I came to Crossfire through another fork that had broken away from CF back in 2006 called Deliantra. I was impressed both with it's roguelike style of gaming as well as it's non-congruent story telling, there was no idea what I might find next. Fast forward two years and I'm now discovering a facet of RPG gaming I've not seen before, a facet that probably developed completely by accident. I'm of course talking about that forks persistent history. 
See, that fork had been running continuously since it's last server update and has had many players come and go. Many of those players left their mark in some way or another and it was in finding those little foot prints left by the games previous heroes scratched an itch I didn't know I had.
Ultimately Deliantra was not to be. I had pieced together a nearly complete history that terminated with the Great Population Purge of 2015 and never recovered. Deliantra did this to themselves and if they had been more forward thinking would still be experiencing high numbers in population to this day.
What happened? 
Well I think the first think to happen was that the heros of that age discovered some of the less-than-public-friendly content in late stage mlab and railed. When the DM response was to lock off those areas instead of fixing the problem, the message players received was twofold 'kiss endgame goodbye' and 'I couldn't be f*cked'.
The second issue Deliantra faced is exactly what Crossfire is having trouble with now: new content. Most players did not find the 'fourth dimension' the way that I did. With too low of a population to guide new players and not enough stuff for veterans to do, the pile of forgotten knowledge grew and grew.

Ok. Thank you for getting through that, I promise I have a point.

So I mentioned history. This is something many games try to give players usually through narrative. Crossfire attempts this with it's anthology of the gods and some of the larger game quests. I am no writer of fiction. The stories I watch or read are of small, real life dramas which came and went. The antics of 4chan, Minecrafts anarchy server 2b2t, the rise and fall of popular rpgs from the golden age. These stories are real and inspiring because, as many say "you just can't make this stuff up". Many will 'people watch' forever, drawing infinite satisfaction from all the little ways people are unpredictable.

To my eyes, The in-game Crossfire universe exists at a single replaying position in it's history. Very little distinguishes what happened last week from what will happen next week. When a player attempts to leave their marker in time, what options are there? How much can a player really feel connected both to the world or the community when he is so divorced from doing anything which might effect the next generation of players in effect creating a new era with each batch.

(Get to the point already, damn)

Ok, I've said a bunch of stuff but what does it all mean?

So I'll get right to it, I'm developing a beta server intended to test a handful of mechanics which will turn CF into something completely unique within the Roguelike community: A true sandbox rpg complete with that all important ability to change over time.

So what have I done so far?

Bigworld is a flat plane in vanilla CF, I've turned it into a globe with the 'dark side' having been made into an un-populated buildable zone the size of the main continent with vertical building capabilities. Now players can manually build public and private structures using some of my new buildables.

Dynamic Crafting in Jewelry, Smithery and Woodsman allows players to develop relationships with the items they use. It encourages players to find the best base item to upgrade over time into a major item of power. The completionist players will eat this up.
This will also lead to the creation and circulation of new artifacts which have real history associated with them.

Toggleable Permadeath will allow players to preform an in game ritual which will activate permadeath/hardcore. Hardcore players receive a buff to their exp and have a gravestone spawned on a 'leader board'  cemetery map when they die (Raise Dead spells work, further encouraging population).
Apotheosis (coming soon) will allow hardcore players to create their own cult by consecrating an altar to themselves. This will convert said character to demi-godhood with the following results.
@ zero followers, -5% buff to all stats
@ 1-5 followers +2% buff to all stats
@5-8 followers +5% buff
@8-12+ followers 10% buff (these figures are being workshopped)

Followers in turn receive a buff for joining said cult which is calculated from a handful of random stats from the demi-god.

Demi-god can then designate a 'cult-item' which is destroyed over the altar in place of it being created as a 'god given' item available for cult members. This obviously links back to dynamic crafting, now cult members will work together to create items of power for the good of the group.

Other smaller stuff I've done involves new modes of transportation such as a driveable horse and dragon, more pilotable ships, more roads and water ways.
I've also pulled all the crap out of the mlab maps and believe them to be good for public play. I intend to represent them as the questing-element end game.

Ok, you've gotten this far, you rock.

My thinking is this: Players do not want to disconnect from the game to make new content so instead we incorporate content creation right into the playability. In less than a year different servers could have completely unique locations and demigods, all with their own stories. Who knows? Maybe linking servers together at that point might be the beginnings of a real in-game multiverse.

Thoughts?Objections?Concerns?Requests for Child Support?

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