A New Game Model: Bots, Nurturance and Solving the Grind
But let’s take one step back and imagine what the game would actually look like.
It Takes a Village: Let’s say players start with a town with one or two characters at their control. These novice characters have the potential to level into a set of higher professions following RO’s model. The only difference would be that there would be more crafting professions that were more sensible (don’t require fighting to become a blacksmith or an alchemist). The goal of the game is to grow a large collaborative network of characters that complement each other and help the town grow.
Characters: Like in SWG, different characters complement each other well and need to work together to achieve larger goals. The difference here is that the player has to choose how to optimize his town according to his liking. Maybe he wants a more militaristic town that can take over other towns, or maybe he wants to be the merchant hub, or maybe the magic research hub.
Advancement: Apart from normal character leveling, we have two other ways of granting advancement to players. We can give them more novice characters to grow and we can give them more advanced botting scripts.
Control of Characters: Players can control the characters directly, but as they advance in the game, they gain AI scripts that allow them to automate their characters. Perhaps we would also build in several different areas of scripts such that certain players might choose to build great fighter bots while others build great harvesting/crafting bots. But in either case, players can choose to gain control of a character they want to play with.
Collaborative Botting: The complementary nature of character skills forces players to script collaborative bots that work together by themselves. In fact, this is where the real game is – how to optimize and get bots to do what you want by themselves. Players would create tank/healer pairs for hunting groups, harvester/bodyguard pairs for harvesting missions, and an elaborate production chain for mass-producing certain goods (for example, clay => bricks => wall enforcement, or ogre blood => red gems => spell research).
Focus on Strategy Not Grind: The semi-automation allows players to truly focus on the overall strategy of how they want their towns to develop as their village grows to about 20-30 bottable characters.
The Multiplayer Part: Different players collaborate or compete at a larger level now – two villages fighting over the same set of limited resources, or a fighter town that feeds resources into the manufacturing town and getting weapons in return. Diplomacy between multiple players becomes more complex and interesting.
A Battle Scene: Instead of controlling one character, imagine a player who is working with two other players to raid an orc city. They each have about 10 characters. One town will supply close-ranged fighters, while another will supply healers and mages, and the third will supply archers and fast cavalry. Many characters could be scripted to do basic tasks – like healing specific fighters, giving them priority over archers. We could also imagine a semi-automated group. The fighter town might have 8 bots that attack what 2 key characters attack – controlled by the player.
While You Sleep: In fact, the game makes it such that your village is working day and night even as you sleep or are at work. Your town is a living, breathing entity that persists in the world – harvesting raw resources, manufacturing enforcements and weaponry, battling hostile invaders, all according to your plan. You could set alarms to alert you to anomalies if certain strange conditions appear – healing potions running out very quickly.
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