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Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570341
01/10/15 09:22 PM
01/10/15 09:22 PM
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Madscientist Offline

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Many peope talk about persistent worlds with up to 50 players.
D:OS2 is a game that is designed for up to 4 players.
So I guess DM mode will be 4 players plus 1DM.
Somewhere else Raze said that Larian does not have multiplayer servers. (Not sure if he referred to D:OS EE or D:OS2).

Most importent: D:OS2 has turn based combat (unlike NWN1+2). If there were 50 people in a fight, each one had to wait several minutes until he could act for a few seconds. Battles could last for hours. Only very few people would be able or willing to do this. I think DM mode should focus on 4players + DM.

my idea: There are 4 players plus the DM. The DM can influence the environment in some ways the players can not (like controlling or creating enemies). If one players succeeds in performing a certain task, he becomes the new DM and the old DM becomes a player. There may be several options what this task may be.
Of course the normal case is that somebody is the DM all the time and he controls the environment the give players the best game experience.


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Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570343
01/10/15 09:31 PM
01/10/15 09:31 PM
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To Caerbanog...

"The more problematic in your post is more the turn by turn thing. We are not very familiar with Divinity and i think we didn't even considerate that. If a pseudo real time mode like in nwn2 or pillar of eternity can't be implemented for the multiplayer, a large number of player can't happen. What would happen if a player enter in combat (and switch to turn by turn) and a player in an other map doesn't?"

It will not be real-time combat in any manner, I think that is in total stone. BUT the system was brilliantly designed to where you can have two groups in different combats at the same time and they don't interfere with one another. Or someone can be in battle and the another can be in town moving around doing their own thing. You only become part of the TB action when you are like within 30 yards or so of the conflict. So it could still work in way you allude towards.

That said, I'm not seeing the persistent world for D:OS 2. It's just too much of a difference.

I'm also in agreement that it has to come out with the game in a very solid state, if we don't like it within the first weeks, it will die in terms of people caring to use it. I'd take a strong look at how mods happen with the leading game and assume that trend to continue.

I think they should just chip away at the stone. Lets hope there is a D:OS 5 for example. Each one expands on all aspects. So we had in D:OS a mod tool, now we'll have a better mod tool and a GM Mode for D:OS 2. In D:OS 3, I suspect we'll have better Mod Tools and DM Mode yet and maybe that is when persistent servers kick in.

I'd be happy with a nice bar raise for each and every release. We've been idle for 10 years in this area, a reasonable approach per release seems realistic to me.

Some mention doing things like modifying the world live, well that has to affect everyone without reloads. They really would need to create a Standalone Server engine that feeds clients. I think that is a major change to how the engine works today.

Last edited by Horrorscope; 01/10/15 09:32 PM.
Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570397
02/10/15 03:04 AM
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I had posted this in the backer lounge, bur it seems like it's more appropriate here:
Quote:
Hey guys, first time backer here and I'm glad my first Kickstarter had such as awesome community. Props to you guys (and Larian of course).
I'm really, really psyched for GM mode. Ever since I started DMing for my playgroup, I've wanted a system to automate things for me. That way I can spend more time crafting the story and lore, than speding brain power on minutiae like rules enforcement.
I can see why people think it would be difficult to DM online/in real time but I think it's comparable to tabletop RPGs. You would still spend a week beforehand crafting storylines and alternative scenarios for the characters, and during the game you just drop them into play and occasionally deal with curveballs the players throw at you. I agree with MechSoldier that narrative can be handled most easily through chat and voice.
In all, you would lose a bit of the interplay and socialization from tabletop gaming, but you gain a lot more in terms of rules automation, art assets, fewer chances for metagaming, and most important to me, the ability to play with people anywhere in the worlds.
A couple of things that I would like to see implemented in GM mode (let me know what you think) which would be really cool:
1) Procedural generation: You could generate everything from whole worlds to the layout and furnishings of a single room (I have the hardest time deciding what to put in dungeon rooms), maybe even NPCs, loot, and monsters
2) Session replay: Speaking from personal experience, my playgroup and I have a hard time remembering the details of things that happened a few sessions ago (especially when dealing with those curveballs I mentioned). It would be great to just be able to replay the pertinent parts for the group or an individual (less metagaming again)
Can't wait!


In general, I'm visualizing the GM mode as an online extension of the tabletop RPGs I know and love. 4 players and a DM seems ideal to me but the option to have more players/spectators is always welcome (50 is a bit much though). I'm not a big fan of letting the DM control monsters (unless it's like an endgame boss or special encounter).
In a tabletop RPG, monsters have rules to govern their behavior and to keep the game free from bias (one of the reasons dice rolling features heavily). These are systems that can easily be automated to free up the players and GM to focus on their main goals: The GM builds the world, and the players write the story.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570422
02/10/15 07:49 AM
02/10/15 07:49 AM
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@Kerrida - You're right and who's is gonna play GM-mode on their first playthrough anyway? Might as well release it a few weeks later like they did with GTA online.. Only working this time... The important thing is that there is a community that supports the tools and that the message gets out there.

Last edited by Tiggerdyret; 02/10/15 07:53 AM.
Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570427
02/10/15 08:14 AM
02/10/15 08:14 AM
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I think the devs are hoping for a lot of total conversions. I think it was Swen who said he'd love to see a moba in this engine. So it is definitively possible to make a real time mod, though it might take quite a lot of work.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: Tiggerdyret] #570431
02/10/15 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted By: Tiggerdyret
@Kerrida - You're right and who's is gonna play GM-mode on their first playthrough anyway? Might as well release it a few weeks later like they did with GTA online.. Only working this time... The important thing is that there is a community that supports the tools and that the message gets out there.


Well I know people that got Mass Effect 3 and never went through the actual game, only focusing on the MP. Yes, Mass Effect Multiplayer, which ca be fun, true, but clearly not a fully-fledged MultiPlayer game in its own right =)

I could totally imagine people getting DOS2 only for the GM mode myself. I even think some people here said they were successfull in convincing their otherwise uninterested friends to get the game just for the GM mode, or something like that. This is a serious feature and selling point if done right.

Although I agree it could be released a few weeks later as part of a DLC or something, I'm not sure it should. It's best for such a feature to be a part of the game right from the start, rather than be "the DLC feature", which is quite pejorative =)


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Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570439
02/10/15 09:43 AM
02/10/15 09:43 AM
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Hi everyone. My first post on this forum.

As a GM of P&P games since 1984, I thought I would share some thoughts:

Every good GM knows that you spend litterally thousands of hours preparing the setting for the players. Hence, the option to preplan and save an area in D:OS2 should be implemented.

It is also highly unlikely that you will be able to insert intelligent NPCs in such areas, and let the player communicate with them. Merchants and such, yes. However, inserting hints, tips and clues should be no problem. Parchments in chests, writing on walls, etc. I guess this is already in the plans.

One of the flawed but extremely useful systems in AD&D, was the Random Encounter chart. A similar system could be easily adapted in D:OS2. Let the game decide if there should be any encounters in an area whenever the players decide to go walkabout, and let the GM launch it with a single click. Of course this should be adapted to the player's current level. One of the flaws in the AD&D system was that the DM could roll up a Red Dragon for the first-level players, killing the party in one turn.

This also launched the term "Random Encounter Quest," where the players just walked into the wilds with hopes of finding monsters to raise their XP. The P&P version of grinding, and a huge headache for any GM who wanted to move the campaign forwards. You plan every major encounter in advance, and then the players just swat them aside because they've spent a week massacring Kobolds. No fun at all.

Exploration, riddles and traps is the backbone of any decent P&P campaign IMHO. The problem with crossing a river, or opening a door. This is much more important to me as a GM than slaying monsters. Implementing a system for this will be vital. Ballance is also important.

On the question of how to adapt this system to the main game, it's actually quite simple. The GM creates a side quest/campaign, and at some point in the main game, played in GM-modus, the players get sucked into it. Look in the wrong mirror, open the wrong door, move a barrel to find a trapdoor to the Underdark. Playing the main game in D:OS2 in GM mode just as easily do this as it's done in P&P games. It's basically a question of letting a GM create their own micro-campaigns.

This also creates an absolutely brilliant possibility for community interaction, but that's something my head hasn't quite gotten around yet.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570466
02/10/15 11:38 AM
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Well, I think people going for persistant big multiplayers worlds are going to be really dissapointed.

Aside from that I do share a lot of the sceptisism towards GM-mode. Considering the difficulty and time-consuming effort of level-creation I seriously doubt that any level editing on the fly will also be part of the package.

Some things I would image:
* Hiding player stats from the GM, so they cannot with 100% guarantee know what skills the crew they GM have and can put up on traps and riddles (as also in above post) on the fly with the need to react if they can or cannot resolve it, adding more reactivity to both sides.
* A dialogue tool for GM mode that isn't a preset-dialogue file like used in the game. It'll allow the GM to type in real time and the 'pets' to reply in real time. The players then amongst themselves pick which of the responses they gave to rely to the GM to continue. This way the GM doesn't need to pre-dialogue edit files with a lot of potential branches that'll never be met (that's for mods) but can keep things active on the fly. The created dialog however can still be saved (along with all proposed player lines, not just the picked) for actual use in modding later, in order to create more 'organic' dialogue options with players for example. This should also allow the GM if desired to make their event more easily into a mod if it proved to be a lot of fun.

But seriously, Larian should look at their ideas and think if allowing good modding and custom maps and quests is not enough, since those are required for GM, and cannot be done 'on the fly' at all. And if a custom campaign is created, what actual worth it is to make someone master it rather than people run through it as they do the campaign the game ships with. If there's no added worth, it should really just be dropped. Then again, with the schedules idea in mind, I do expect you guys to make the right decision even with it being a pledge goal that's reached...

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570487
02/10/15 01:11 PM
02/10/15 01:11 PM
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I would find it fun to play through the campaign with a friend controlling the enemies, or the other way around. It would also be a good way for a someone to drop in in middle a game and just have fun for a couple of hours, while the one controlling the characters can still focus on the story that they might already have invested 50 hours in. It's pretty hard to find the time to play through an 80 hour game with a friend.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: Tiggerdyret] #570510
02/10/15 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted By: Tiggerdyret
I would find it fun to play through the campaign with a friend controlling the enemies, or the other way around. It would also be a good way for a someone to drop in in middle a game and just have fun for a couple of hours, while the one controlling the characters can still focus on the story that they might already have invested 50 hours in. It's pretty hard to find the time to play through an 80 hour game with a friend.


I really don't think that will happen. A GM messing with the main quest scripts and triggers might break them.

Honestly the idea of dropping into a random game in this kind of game does not make sense, much less dropping into someone's random game and becoming a GM.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570634
03/10/15 12:13 AM
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Quote:
So, what would your dream DM-mode look like?

Requests for live DM mode and a public or private 4 w/1 session, assuming a capable player/game tagging system -from Role Play to Just Come At Me Bro:

1. Live GM able to possess and place any creature or object including a player character. w/accompanying permission toggles. Friends can set GM permissions to full, strangers can look for games with GM permission toggles set to what they are comfortable with. Full control to very little control.

In my opinion, if maximum live GM control is the goal, everything else will fall into place and provide for a pleasant gaming experience.

I'm a frequenter of the Sword Coast Legends forums. SCL's approach of "ease of use" regarding a GM (DM) throwing together a quick module and stocking on the fly is pretty cool, unfortunately they have sacrificed DM/GM control for balance by going after the pick-up-game-with-strangers crowd -a type of game play that screams "Balance this!"

This seems to have created more balance questions than it answers and pretty much indicates to me that giving folks the options of joining games they like or agree with the permission settings, is the very best way to proceed with a live GM mode.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: Horrorscope] #570639
03/10/15 04:38 AM
03/10/15 04:38 AM
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norD Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Horrorscope

2. Move around the map at will.
Could you develop on this? I'm not sure to understand.

Originally Posted By: Madscientist

Somewhere else Raze said that Larian does not have multiplayer servers. (Not sure if he referred to D:OS EE or D:OS2).
It says what it says. There's no "server" at Larian. Every coop or multiplayer is host by one player.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570674
03/10/15 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: norD
Originally Posted By: Horrorscope

2. Move around the map at will.
Could you develop on this? I'm not sure to understand.


Probably something that is a given, but the GM simply has to be able to easily move around the loaded map easily to go to where the players are to do something and be able to go to a place they might be in a little bit to do something. Eye in the sky.

Something meaning, place, remove, modify things a DM has control of.


Not Related: Earlier I mentioned that D:OS2 is TB and that is in stone, really I cannot say that. All I know is that it is, but someone has mentioned Larian could see a moba mode for the game, now would that be TB or real-time? If they are thinking real-time, then it would seem that could perceivably come back into the main part of the game.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570694
03/10/15 05:05 PM
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Don't try to do too much with this mode. That doesn't mean don't put effort into it, but I have seen requests for:

Online 64+ player persistent worlds. This isn't NWN, and it shouldn't be.
Competitive GMing, with switching GMs (Sword Cost Legends Style)
GMs that can magically make major edits on the fly, including building a module while players are playing through it.
Ability to GM the main game, including rewriting it (also on the fly?)

Obviously, most of these are incompatible, and questionable even by themselves. What I would like to see:

Multiple levels of GMing, based on the map played. 'Locked' maps (such as the main campaign) might allow limited GMing, such as controlling enemies, adding / changing traps, and just generally tweaking the difficulty of the experience. Levels specifically designed for GMing would allow many more features.

GMs should be limited to a reasonable number of players. The standard would be up to 5 (4 players and 1 GM), but if the game could support a few more (no reason it can't, if it seems to be able to do up to 5 when 4 is standard), then up to 9 would be nice.

GM should be able to:
Add/remove monters/traps
Control monsters
Add buffs/debuffs to parties/monsters
Edit monsters (add abilities, stats, levels, XP, drop table, etc)
Add remove path blockers (eg a wall that dissapears when quest progress is made).
Create on the fly dialogue with NPCs.
Place loot

Ideally, this could all be done in realtime while in game, although probably some work would have to be done beforehand in the editor. Actually creating maps, adding areas, etc should all be done in editor, not in game.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: Wraith367] #570701
03/10/15 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted By: Wraith367

GM should be able to:
Add/remove monters/traps
Control monsters
Add buffs/debuffs to parties/monsters
Edit monsters (add abilities, stats, levels, XP, drop table, etc)
Add remove path blockers (eg a wall that dissapears when quest progress is made).
Create on the fly dialogue with NPCs.
Place loot


That would the most basic things the GM mode MUST be able to do, I completely agree.
However it's also the most basic and potentially uninteresting way of playing a RPG - well in my opinion. The dreaded Door-monster-treasure type of game. It would also kinda limit the options for a more enterprising GM with more enterprising players.

I agree that full editing on-the-fly of modules sound a bit too complex, and no human player could possibly be fast enough to do that. However I still stick to the "pre-made assets" function, so that a GM can add new premade rooms on the fly if their players turn out to be innovative.


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Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570708
03/10/15 06:40 PM
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I'd love the capability to make Persistent Worlds, but it does seem out of scope. Perhaps, just maybe, they'll have enough editable functionality to allow modders to try for this. But it would be unwise to focus too much attention on these for an admittedly low-population game type.

And I agree with Horrorscope. VERY important that a GM does not have to be where the players are. This would inherently mean that combat (and some dialogue) can be automated. BUT, I really believe a GM can take over any NPC. Generic monster, enemy boss, random NPC villager. They should be able to chat as that person. Additionally, there should be some robust 'rolling' mechanics for non-combat skills (or, at least, some basic functionality that a GM can extrapolate and implement with other game features).

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570760
04/10/15 02:29 PM
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I like allot of the ideas so far and also agree that persistent worlds, large player counts, major on the fly changes, etc. are most likely "out of scope".

I feel that even dedicated servers are out of scope (never intended), but I still hope they are considered. Think of the issues you face if the host crashes mid game, they suddenly need to leave, or the machine they are on has trouble hosting. I think some people would like to be able to GM and/or be a player on their own server as they see fit. Maybe even switch roles during the same play session.

Also most people these days don't seem to want to stick around for very long play sessions so a friendly drop in/drop out system is a must. I think that dedicated servers would certainly enhance this.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570765
04/10/15 04:52 PM
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Just took a look at the Editor/GM mode stream (took me long enough). Absolutely LOVE the idea of modder-created templates for GM functionality. Think that's a really wise way to go that adds tons of flexibility, but also allows a GM's life to be easy (or hard).

The only consideration in this is how an END-USER will grab these mods. This might be something we, as a community, have to develop. We need a robust website/game UI that automagically downloads all necessary mods. BUT, this also shouldn't bloat a player's game, which means some templates should be shared and not re-downloaded. It will be very difficult for anyone to create a functional pre-programmed system for this. Instead, we should focus on putting together 'community packs' of useful functionality that can be easily shared as a single download. Enhancing UX. Maybe Larian could curate the most popular mods and put them into endorsed/approved packs. A great mod community will only form if we have great user experience. Part of the responsibility rests on Larian to develop great systems. But part of that responsibility also falls on us, as a community, to develop great culture.

Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570802
05/10/15 12:39 AM
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Look, if they are going to do a shitty GM mode like in Sword Coast Legends then don't even waste the money, that DM mode, like the rest of the game, is fucking terrible. Not to mention that whoever came up with the idea to make it a competitive thing is an imbecile that clearly never played a PNP game. A DM is omnipotent in the game, it is genuinely no contest if he is against the players, hence to make it "fair" they drastically, and completely pointlessly, limit the DM to a bad version of Dungeon Keeper.

A proper GM mode needs to have access to full editor capabilities in game, in other words NWN1 or 2 tier. Personally I don't care if you make it possible to do a big open persistent world or not but it needs to have the same level of power to be worth it otherwise it's probably too restrictive.

Last edited by Raith; 05/10/15 01:55 AM.
Re: - D:OS2 GM Mode - Ideas! [Re: norD] #570803
05/10/15 12:55 AM
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Raith, we all have our opinions. First it would be different than SC, because the mod tool in this will do more, that is the A1# complaint over there and that is the cookie cutter map creator.

IMO these all can come come in different shapes and sizes. It may not be how you like, it may do things different than what a table top GM would do. But I'm up for doing something here and I'm not locked into something has to be a certain way. This has been done so little that a starting point anywhere is moving it forward.

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