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  1. #1

    Object interaction flagging, lessons from UO/ATiD

    Bear with me if that was discussed already some place else as I didn't find it but I want to bring up a topic that is in my opinion quite important for multi-user games with the ability to drop objects: object interaction flagging.
    What I mean with that are two things: flagging who is allowed to interact with a natural existing object (like trees for example). And flagging who is allowed to interact with a player placed object. Which is related to the question where any player is allowed to place objects.

    Since most MMO's avoid the ability to flag naturally existing objects at all. And avoid the ability to drop object to the ground. The experience with what these features can cause is limited in larger user number environments. The ones I know of are UO and ATitD (A tale in the desert).

    UO pretty much has no flagging, everyone can interact with any naturally existing object - except taming/riding owned npc. Everyone can drop anywhere things but they are not flagged as property so anyone can pick them up, move them.
    Advantage: You can't grief people by cluttering their yard (optical stuff) or preventing them from expanding their house (engine based checks for empty ground). Stuff disappears by decay to prevent environment cluttering and client lag.
    Disadvantage: without an ability to "bind" something as property you are limited in terms of decoration outside (fences, plants) as well as creation of self established ressource nodes (fields for example).

    ATitD went the other way around: almost every object someone drops is flagged as property of that person. Ressources are excluded and are free-for-all and decay. Only the owner can interact/move/delete these objects.
    Advantage: one has a huge freedom to decorate inside and outside, good for creativity and customization. Amazing what some people come up with. Ressources harvested but not picked up will not clutter the lands.
    Disadvantage: A lot of griefing by people placing for example bonfires (cheap non-decaying object/building flagging) all over the places of other people. This is an optical annoyance AND it prevents people from building at these places, extension of their houses is only possible on empty ground. Furthermore there is a tendency to built for example mines on ore veins out in the nowhere just to "claim" the spot. And then forget about them and that is it. People who come to settle there are than not able to use that land ... Or people leave the game and their compound decays - but all the rocksaws etc. you have to built outside stay forever. Which is a LOT of stuff over the games development.

    There has not been a solid solution to the problems caused by the ATitD approach so far even though the players discuss this topic since years now. I have played around with UO server emulators and freeshards a few years and tried to come up with a solution to this stuff. Now I'm curious what is planned for Xsyon? Since I read a post where someone stated trees were chopped down close to his home and left there and now he is stuck with them laying around ... I was wondering if there are already solutions engine wise to counter these problem? Or is that not considered a problem at all.

    I mean the "best" solution I came up for me so far was:
    1. distinguish in ressources and player-owned objects
    1.1. ressources are anything which is not placed at player owned land by the owner himself
    1.2. ressources can be moved or picked up by anyone
    1.3. ressources decay
    2. player owned land is defined as area around a players cornerstone
    2.1. each subscriber owns a cornerstone
    2.2. cornerstones reach can maybe be extended by whatever engine stuff, maybe level? - Question is what to do if someone else already built there ...
    2.3. if subscription is cancelled, what happens than? wrap the whole property up into a moving chest similar to EQ2, so once someone comes back they can unpack when they claimed land somewhere else? In UO you have huge deserted places of "homes" where nobody is, cancelled subscription and huge database space and lag

    Comments?

  2. #2

    Re: Object interaction flagging, lessons from UO/ATiD

    To my knowledge trees regrow, the rate they do so, I am not sure. Also no knowledge has been said about replanting or the growth of a forest by a natural force. More so no information is know about if players can increase the size of a forest.

    For those not familiar with the terminology, a 'cornerstone' is a non-craftable item in ATitD which is used on a compound (your home or set of homes) building that allow for the non-decay of internal structures - that is structures that need protection from elements and requires a foundation inside a compound.

    As for how to deal with expired and/or quit subscription accounts, I think that will all need to be experienced before players could give suggestions. Thou a will and/or a tribe ownership should be first - as the player should be making wise choices in the event that this happens.
    We have cool new forums... Y~A~Y

  3. #3

    Re: Object interaction flagging, lessons from UO/ATiD

    Kiwibird thanks for the reply but I'm not so much talking about respawn from ressource nodes like trees but: who can interact/move/destroy a log once it has been chopped? Does it simply decay? How do you prevent decay of log-houses in this case? Or that other people can simply plug the logs from your log house?

  4. #4

    Re: Object interaction flagging, lessons from UO/ATiD

    Ownership of items to my understanding belongs to the tribe. When not built in the tribal zone, we have no information about who owns, controls and what restrictions might be in place.
    We have cool new forums... Y~A~Y

  5. #5

    Re:Object interaction flagging, lessons from UO/ATiD

    Very good and important thread.
    Thank you Jenadi, Kiwi so far.
    I'm tensily looking forward to posts from others, devs, Jordi.

  6. #6

    Re:Object interaction flagging, lessons from UO/ATiD

    Its different here than in Atitd, since the game is tribe based. The dropped resources have no permission as far as I know, anyone can pick them up. I think we will be able to use mines and other resources inside another tribe's land but that makes one flagged as a thief. You can't build or terraform inside another tribe's territory, so no griefing. The land owned by a tribe depends on the members number in the tribe.

  7. #7
    Xsyon Citizen
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Valdosta, Georgia
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    79

    Re:Object interaction flagging, lessons from UO/ATiD

    I like the idea behind a "cornerstone" or in Xsyon maybe it could be a "Personal Totem". If you are in a clan your "Personal Totem" could be put next to the Clan Totem thus extending the Clan's area of influence. In the case of the solo player it would afford them a chance to have their own small area that they have influence over. Or, you could refer to them as "Non-Degredation Zones" Anything outside the Zone is fair game and will degrade over time (Perfect chance for PVPers to get LOOTS). And, anything inside the Zone (placed by a player that owns or is a co-owner of that Zone) would be considered safe property and degredation would cease.

  8. #8

    Re:Object interaction flagging, lessons from UO/ATiD

    Thanks for the input, that calms me to some degree.

    Will: yes, if adding a personal totem to the clan totem extends the land that would allow players to decide in which direction to extend their property. If just the membership increases the diameter of the land equally to all sizes it thins out or the more members it adds more land exponentially (matter of geometry in terms of a circle, diameter versus area covered).

    In case of adding the same diameter per member with already built houses and such the new member has no useful space to built himself, "his" area is spread around as a narrow band. And his area addition might overlap with areas of the environment not attractive to built on (hills, water).

  9. #9
    Xsyon Citizen
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Valdosta, Georgia
    Posts
    79

    Re:Object interaction flagging, lessons from UO/ATiD

    Yes, I get what you are saying. 2 examples:

    1 - If a clan starts next to water their Area of Influence should not be in a circle it should be inland and if they decide to build a dock out onto the water then they should have to give up a portion of their "Land" to be able to increase in equal proportion their Area of Influence in another direction.

    2 - A solo player wants to be next to a junkpile his/her Area of Influence should not be able to encompass the junkpile but instead it should cover a small area next to the junkpile.

    This would be NICE. :woohoo:

  10. #10

    Re:Object interaction flagging, lessons from UO/ATiD

    This is such a fundamental part of the game I surely hope the developers know how to achieve their aims.

    Clearly it's dumb if I can stop a tribe developing their land by making a few roads or dropping logs there. Equally it's daft if people can leave baskets all over the place that cannot be removed.

    I was surprised when I deleted a character of mine and his basket was still stuck in the ground afterwards.

    I would also hope there is some way (even if difficult) for a tribe to damage the walls of another tribe's fortifications, and even a way to overrun it.

    I also think fires should need replenishing to stop them blighting the landscape in every direction.

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