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Morbus
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« Reply #705 on: March 08, 2008, 12:53:55 pm »

A question for everyone. If you choose the "let's find another way" option (link), you can either intimidate Feng (he'll respond by calling in a guard who sits outside) or work something out. The latter will result in a quest to kill a rival loremaster (Cassius) invited by Antidas who's beginning to suspect that Feng is full of shit. Double-crossing Feng and taking Cassius to Lord Antidas will allow you to bypass Dellar's (Antidas' main enforcer and "gate" keeper) quests, will make Cassius a new loremaster and force Feng to flee (and eventually surface in Ganezzar).

So as you can see, while the quest is simple, its effects aren't. The quest is hidden in one of the dialogue branches and won't be offered unless you explore a very specific branch, which doesn't have tags and thus would probably be skipped by most people.

Is this a good idea or not? Should this quest be offered to all or remain as is? What are your thoughts on quests that aren't offered, but must be found in dialogue branches?
I think the less powerplay the better. The way I see it, the more role-play the player is tempted to make, even though if he's less likely to get rewards, the better. For example, at first glance, I don't think my typical character would want to sell the map, I'd rather keep it and see if it's of any use to me, so I'd choose to "think about it". Would that lead me anywhere? Would I be rewarded to follow my character's will? Because if not, then it breaks role-play, and I'd start choosing whatever is "best". Of course, I highly doubt it wouldn't lead me anywhere, and giving the player an all new questline by choosing an exquisite dialog thread is AWESOME to encourage him to follow his character's will. Then again, the whole game has to be designed according to that philosophy, but from what I've seen, I think that won't be a problem here.

Not really. Wasn't fishing for compliments. In fact I was even embarrassed to ask because the question smells of "God forbid the player will miss something because it wasn't shoved in his face" *philosophy*. However, it *is* very, very easy to miss this quest. If it was a minor "cute way to get something for free" quest, I wouldn't have even asked, obviously, but this quest affects a lot of things and gives you a solution to another quest, and as a designer I want to be sure that the quest has a fighting chance to be seen.

Edit: I'm just being honest here.
Well, it shouldn't be a problem at all if not doing that quest doesn't break the game for you. Because what happens most of the times with hidden quests is that finding them is the quest itself, and if we don't find them, then we can't finish the game, or a certain major questline. If the hidden quest is just a bonus, an extra, a sidequest, something that isn't needed in order to do other things, then it's no big problem, but if it is, then, well, I think you should make it obvious to the player that there's something to be accomplished, and that s/he must find the way how to.

If you know what I mean.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 12:57:36 pm by Morbus » Logged

Vince
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« Reply #706 on: March 08, 2008, 01:07:02 pm »

For example, at first glance, I don't think my typical character would want to sell the map, I'd rather keep it and see if it's of any use to me, so I'd choose to "think about it". Would that lead me anywhere?
Well, you can finish the game without talking to any Noble House, but it will be difficult as you'll have no guidance whatsoever. Anyway, going to see Antidas doesn't force you to sell the map. You can talk to him, learn what you can and leave if that's what you desire.

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Well, it shouldn't be a problem at all if not doing that quest doesn't break the game for you.
It doesn't.
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Dr.Strangelove
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« Reply #707 on: March 08, 2008, 02:07:37 pm »

What happens if you say "Tell me more." in pic AoD 32? Just more background information?
Also, I'm sorry to insist but what do you think about the idea on my last post(#704, maybe you missed it)?
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Vince
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« Reply #708 on: March 08, 2008, 02:15:49 pm »

What happens if you say "Tell me more." in pic AoD 32? Just more background information?
More detailed info if you are interested in what Feng knows and thinks. You have several topics to choose from (the war, the Qantari, the High Lords, and Thor-Agoth). Obviously, different people will tell you very different things.

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Also, I'm sorry to insist but what do you think about the idea on my last post(#704, maybe you missed it)?
Same concern. After passing the skill check players will most likely proceed forward, so I doubt that the "I'll think about it" option will see a lot of action. So, instead of burying this quest in one rarely visited branch, we'll bury it in two rarely visited branches. See my point?
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Dr.Strangelove
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« Reply #709 on: March 08, 2008, 02:57:30 pm »

Thank you. What about adding the "let's find another way" option when he asks for the 25 gold AND after thinking? Adds 2 chances (3 chances total and almost in a raw), it's more visitable that way and people may chose it as to avoid giving any money to the old weasel. I think the option is not buried this way but neither shoved on the player's face. Or, to add to Cardtrick's thought, Feng, having more information than an ordinary NPC, might already know the player is an assassin( a fighter,a grifter,etc...) so he might take initiative based on the player's backround. 
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galsiah
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« Reply #710 on: March 08, 2008, 03:07:58 pm »

I think it's a good idea in a game that's aimed at replayability. A second way to get it seems reasonable, if it's as interesting and substantial as it sounds. It probably makes most sense to have each way to access the path be different - that way different types of players/characters will have independent chances to pick it up, and things have a more varied feel.

cardtrick's suggestion seems fine.
I agree that Dr.Strangelove's isn't great, but I don't think it's necessarily bad to have two options both in rarely used dialogue branches: the problem here is that those branches are likely to be picked by the same players (being very similar), so having two chances isn't likely to raise the odds of finding the path significantly. If you hid such an option behind a rarely used hard-nosed-pragmatism line, and a similar option behind a rarely used whimsical-jocularity line, I wouldn't see it as a problem. So long as those lines would rarely be used by the same character/player type, you're still increasing the odds of finding the path.
I suppose there's little downside in leaving the "another way" line in there for longer though. It's reasonable that the PC might want to find another way even after a price reduction, and there's zero development cost in including the same option again. It doesn't fully address the main issue, and isn't that interesting - but it makes sense, and can only increase the odds of taking that path (if slightly).
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Dr.Strangelove
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« Reply #711 on: March 08, 2008, 04:26:05 pm »

I just realised, reading galsiah's post, that my idea of repeating the "let's find another way" line thrice, works as an advertisement (or propaganda): repeat something enough and people will notice, buy or "buy" it. It's rather inelegant and cheesy but it increases the odds. I now think that skill-check or PC reputation may be better ways to handle this, having replayability in mind.
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GhanBuriGhan
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« Reply #712 on: March 09, 2008, 08:22:08 am »

Since replayability is an important selling point for you, I think it is absolutely fine to have a lot of hidden things like that. It is what people (hopefully) will be excahngen on the messageboards, what will keep interest up. Overall you need a balance of easy to find and hard to find material, but I would make sure there are some things in the game that are so hard to find / activate / complete (and maybe even hard to reproduce, relying on multiple condidiotns) that they have a chance to become the subject of actual internet "treasure hunts", people trying to find those cool things too. Should be good for word of mouth.
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"Merely killing those being mean to me. It's not my fault it's everyone in the world of AoD". (Vahhabyte)
Vince
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« Reply #713 on: March 09, 2008, 11:23:59 am »

... Should be good for word of mouth.
I've thought of that.

Anyway, I've followed cardtrick's suggestion and here is what it looks like. When you click one "ok, I'll go see Antidas now, etc" line, the dialogue mode doesn't end:

[attachment deleted to save space]
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Vince
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« Reply #714 on: March 09, 2008, 11:31:09 am »

I don't think that would work though. Before it was hard to find, now it's in your face. We'd probably need to come up with something else (suggestions are welcome), but for now let's proceed. So, now you have 3 main options:

- do the first assassins guild's quest: kill the spies
- talk to Lord Antidas
- do Feng's quest: get rid of Cassius

Not to mention exploring and checking other guilds. So, what would Jesus do?
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jeansberg
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« Reply #715 on: March 09, 2008, 11:55:29 am »

Get rid of Cassius. I love how being in a guild adds dialog options like that. Smile
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Pastel
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« Reply #716 on: March 09, 2008, 11:58:03 am »

I don't think that would work though. Before it was hard to find, now it's in your face. We'd probably need to come up with something else (suggestions are welcome)
I think the best, and kinda obvious solution, is not to hit the player in the face with the "Another way" option, but rather give him a very good reason to pick it in the first place.
Raise the Streetwise option a bit. Raise the Persuasion option a lot (skill requirements I mean). Make the pre-negociation, and the post-negociation both prohibitive for a starting character.
So, unless you have Street, Pers, or a large amount of money (possibly by delaying visiting Feng until later), you will be faced with two options: "I'll come back later with the money", or "Maybe we could find another way?". Now, which option will 90% of players pick?
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Nye
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« Reply #717 on: March 09, 2008, 12:05:09 pm »

How is the '[Assassin]' check handled? Does it depend on your reputation with the guild or is it always an instant-success (of course only if you are a member)?

And is the first guild's quest the one you've already described elsewhere? If so, I suggest going for Cassius.

Anyway, so far so good Smile
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Jedi_Learner
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« Reply #718 on: March 09, 2008, 12:11:36 pm »

You've gone into detail before about what happens with the spies, so I'd properly like to see what happens with Cassius.

Neleos tells you that Gracius is "staying at the inn", Feng tells you that Cassius is "properly at the inn". I'm guessing that in Teron there is only one inn? Gracius and his guard died last night by your hands, and now you're off to do another murder in the same building? Would you really want to take your chances at this inn? lol
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I'd like to take a moment here and address the issue of expectations. There is nothing revolutionary or evolutionary about AoD. I hope it will be a good game, nothing else.
Vince
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« Reply #719 on: March 09, 2008, 12:28:02 pm »

So, unless you have Street, Pers, or a large amount of money (possibly by delaying visiting Feng until later), you will be faced with two options: "I'll come back later with the money", or "Maybe we could find another way?". Now, which option will 90% of players pick?
Good point.

How is the '[Assassin]' check handled? Does it depend on your reputation with the guild or is it always an instant-success (of course only if you are a member)?
Your reputation with the guild. The difficulty depends on what you're trying to accomplish. In this particular example you only show your familiarity with the guild's price list, so it's a pretty much an instant-success dealio.  In some other cases you may have to go with a "fuck with me and you are fucking with the entire guild, asshole" angle, in which case you'd have to be a notable member to pull that off.

Neleos tells you that Gracius is "staying at the inn", Feng tells you that Cassius is "properly at the inn". I'm guessing that in Teron there is only one inn?
Yep. And if I'm not mistaken it says probably not properly.

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Gracius and his guard died last night by your hands, and now you're off to do another murder in the same building? Would you really want to take your chances at this inn? lol
Well, death and murders won't shock anyone there. Not in a town with an assassins guild's branch. Anyway, let's wait and see what happens.
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