Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Just a thought on a more organic method of marking out quests, giving directions and adding to the atmosphere and depth of the gameworld.

 

Between cities we have milestones, giving distances to local points of interest, cities, shrines, battlefields of yore etcetera. So that we know we are on the correct path and do not need quest markers or glowing exclamation marks, we can just follow the simple directions we have been given. And if a path or trail is not marked, is that not intriguing in and of itself.

 

Signposts could also mark the way at crossroads, perhaps with shrines for the prayers of passing pilgrims, the grisly gibbet of condemned criminals, or a toll house for the upkeep of the highway. All serving to give directions, while enriching the world, rather than a glowing mark in some far off spot.

 

Street names so that instead of going to the marked house, we look for a hovel clinging to the side of Woedica's temple on Aedyr avenue. Venturing forth to beard the bandits in their lair we are advised to take Goodroad Gate, and the well maintained and travelled highway stretching beyond it. Famous events, heroes and peculiarities could be reflected in the streets names, so that in travelling them we learn more of the local culture, history and peoples. In time hopefully we come to know these locales as well as we do the Strip, Sigil, Mulsantir or Athkatla, and can quickly follow directions without the need to ask or be directed.

 

That being said, random encounters that are not with monsters or peddlers, but simply a farmer leaning on his gate or a goodwife putting out her washing, might be perfect opportunities to gain directions. Local points of interest, warnings, rumours and such might also be passed on, all while serving to reinforce the atmosphere of the locale.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

  • Like 9

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just like this idea a lot, that's all. It would be great to get the direction: "Unlucky sod! Go to 13 Schicksaal Street and have your fortune read."

  • Like 1

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

What, no hand-holding quest markers? I remember having a discussion nominally about this somewhere with regard to Skyrim, and someone insisted that RPGs need quest markers because people who are bad at navigating should not be disadvantaged by RPGs... but for me that's part of the RPG package.

 

Anyway, I think this is a must-have/given.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was totally awestruck by signposts and asking for directions in Ultima VII. That was a long time ago though.

 

Yes the idea was spurred by that very game, though I wouldn't go so far as to have to translate them from the Futhark.

 

What, no hand-holding quest markers? I remember having a discussion nominally about this somewhere with regard to Skyrim, and someone insisted that RPGs need quest markers because people who are bad at navigating should not be disadvantaged by RPGs... but for me that's part of the RPG package.

 

Anyway, I think this is a must-have/given.

 

Indeed, one might argue that adventurers are, to quote a bad actor, boldly going where no man has gone before.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Link to post
Share on other sites

To give it some distinctive character, how about using mosaic street symbols rather than names? If most people are illiterate then symbols may be easier to find.

  • Like 4

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea, as we still see pictograms being used on modern motorways for services, petrol, what have you. A bed for an inn, a tankard or barrel for a tavern, an anvil or hammer for a smith etcetera. Obviously there would be a problem with streets named after individuals and places however.

 

Would the illiterate be travelling however? One assumes that like in medieval Europe the average peasant was bound to the land, and would judge the local market town as an exotic destination. I suppose it depends on what level of literacy Josh decides upon.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Would the illiterate be travelling however? One assumes that like in medieval Europe the average peasant was bound to the land, and would judge the local market town as an exotic destination. I suppose it depends on what level of literacy Josh decides upon.

 

They would, it wasn't uncommon for traveling mercenaries to be illiterate for example.

Exile in Torment

 

QblGc0a.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

well those were the grand minority... and were armed and trained to handle the odd beast if they got lost and would know how to get by. travelling, even short distances, was dangerous back then and had nothing to do with education. to travel you didnt need just maps or road signs, but weapons and a number of people to travel with you and wield them to ward off wolves, bears, boars, bandits and such. this is why few would travel more than a couple of km even if there were roads

The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What, no hand-holding quest markers? I remember having a discussion nominally about this somewhere with regard to Skyrim, and someone insisted that RPGs need quest markers because people who are bad at navigating should not be disadvantaged by RPGs... but for me that's part of the RPG package.

 

Anyway, I think this is a must-have/given.

 Skyrim needed the quest markers, because people gave you no directions or clue whatsoever about where to go....it actually did have signposts and stuff

I understand why they did it, after people complained of getting lost in morrowind, but I don't see why they couldn't have done both, an optional marker and a good description for those who wanted to turn it off

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Would the illiterate be travelling however? One assumes that like in medieval Europe the average peasant was bound to the land, and would judge the local market town as an exotic destination. I suppose it depends on what level of literacy Josh decides upon.

 

They would, it wasn't uncommon for traveling mercenaries to be illiterate for example.

 

 

A good point, and though I think most mercenary bands would have a fair number of literate individuals, it would be interesting to have an illiterate protagonist. Especially if he's equally intelligent and learned as the more traditionally taught members of the band, perhaps his memory is far superior because he's had to use mnemonics to absorb information rather than relying on the written word.

 

This raises an interesting point, with the printing press not yet having been invented one assumes that books and writings are still massively expensive, and treated as treasures in their own right. Aristotle's comedies from the Name of the Rose automatically springs to mind, painstakingly hand written with elaborate illustrations in gold leaf, bound in finest calf skin with bronze fittings. A true relic.

 

Edit: Is there a lingua franca in the Dyrwood region?

Edited by Nonek

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Would the illiterate be travelling however? One assumes that like in medieval Europe the average peasant was bound to the land, and would judge the local market town as an exotic destination. I suppose it depends on what level of literacy Josh decides upon.

 

They would, it wasn't uncommon for traveling mercenaries to be illiterate for example.

 

A good point, and though I think most mercenary bands would have a fair number of literate individuals, it would be interesting to have an illiterate protagonist. Especially if he's equally intelligent and learned as the more traditionally taught members of the band, perhaps his memory is far superior because he's had to use mnemonics to absorb information rather than relying on the written word.

 

This raises an interesting point, with the printing press not yet having been invented one assumes that books and writings are still massively expensive, and treated as treasures in their own right. Aristotle's comedies from the Name of the Rose automatically springs to mind, painstakingly hand written with elaborate illustrations in gold leaf, bound in finest calf skin with bronze fittings. A true relic.

 

Edit: Is there a lingua franca in the Dyrwood region?

 

I suppose it could be possible for some classes, e.g. barbarian, but there's no way (that I can see) to have something like that with learned characters like wizards, monks and priests et al., which makes it an impractical feature to implement IMHO. It would certainly present some interesting dialog options though!

 

Comic Relief Character Class Conclusions, a Silver Short Story

 

Merchant: We have an agreement. Now please sign this contract to protect my caravan and we're ready to go.

Protagonist: I'll be right back, I'll just have to negotiate with my companions.

Merchant: Very well, I'll wait here.

...

Protagonist: Ok, you know I can't read, what does the contract say, is the merchant pulling a fast one on us?

Barbarian: Can't read. Could shake him up to make sure he doesn't get any ideas?

Protagonist: No, it's fine. You then?

Ranger: Do you think I read books in the woods? It's enough trying to avoid all the beasts in there!

Protagonist: Who can read this contract then? ... Can any one of you read at all?

Fighter: Uhh...

Rogue: Err...

Barbarian: No.

Ranger: That wizard fellow could... if only we hadn't left him in the last town passed out on too much ale.

Barbarian: His pipe tobacco stank.

Fighter: And his demands for compensation for helping with those trolls were outrageous!

Rogue: We practically had to leave him there and make a hasty departure that night.

Protagonist: Marvelous. What in the hells are we supposed to do now?!

Barbarian: Just take the money off the merchant and make him eat this... paper.

Rogue: All in favor?

Ranger: Aye.

Fighter: We'd have to skip town... let's go eat first.

Protagonist: *sigh* Fine. But next time I'm just paying the wizard.

Exile in Torment

 

QblGc0a.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as we have landmarks to identigy places with, I'm sure we'll get to where we're going. But, streetsigns seem a fine idea.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know the illiterate might well scorn paper and ink, insisting on mixing blood in a crude form of geas, or spitting on their palms before clasping hands as horse traders are still wont to do. A contract is after all important to the merchant, not to the Barbarian or whomever, for them it's casting doubt on their honour and stating they might lie. It might be nice to see this clash of cultures enacted by the illiterate protagonist, like the severed finger thing in Modoc, Fallout 2.

 

A Cipher might be a good functionally illiterate character, dismissing paper and ink as crude things that can display only the basest subject matter, whereas he can fill your mind with anything you can imagine. Wizards and priests however will I agree no doubt be extremely book learned, unless the religion mandates the learning of dogma and prayers by rote, reserving the holy books for the more accomplished of the clergy, like how services used to be read out from behind rood screens in churches.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really, really enjoy in-universe signposting and landmarks in games. I think it's important to make sure the player knows where they're meant to be going (unless of course it's actually a mystery in-universe), and they aren't neccesarily always going to suffice by themselves, but they certainly add a lot.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a huge fan of providing (when appropriate) oodles of directions, signs, and landmarks in lieu of typical golden trails/minimap guide-arrows/quest markers (although... if your character knows the exact description of something/someone and that thing/person is within their sight range, maybe some kind of indicator wouldn't be silly? Glowy outline or arrow? It's a bit silly when your character can spot some perp at 20 feet, but the player can't see enough detail to know who's who, so you have to jog around talking to everyone in the room just to "spot" the right person.).

 

And I've gotta say... Reading "streetnames" in the title just made me think of this:

 

"*Points to Barbarian with twin axes across his back* This is Thorildir, but around here, he's known as Chops."

 

8)

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Link to post
Share on other sites

A comprehensive journal entry and such things as sign posts eliminate all needs for quest markers. I really like the idea of sign posts. Arcanum had them in cities. I've still to play Ultima 7. I picked it up in GOG's summer sale, but haven't gotten around to playing it yet. I think quest markers originated largely due to poorly written or incomplete journal entries and instructions. I also thing MMORPGs played a role. Of course in an MMORPG it makes sense because there are so many characters running about.

Link to post
Share on other sites

well if you look for a particular person, and you know what he looks like you may get his circle to be of a different color than the rest of the neutral population. your party has blue circles, enemies have red, neutrals have white, important people you know of have green. of course as it happened in BG, if you put your cursor over a guy you get his name, so if you know the name you can just mouse over them and see who is it.

  • Like 1

The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whilst it's slightly at a tangent to the OP, I think it's relevant to say that more than anything I think it's important that if your character is meant to know where something is / who someone is then the player should also know. Whilst I don't object to 'Find your own way there' or 'Work it out yourself' sentiments on the whole, I don't think they make any sense when we're talking about somewhere/something that the character, in-universe, is supposed to be already familiar with. In addition, I think it's worth bearing in mind that the nature of the game is that we as players can't actually research and look things up the way our character really could. Yes, we can usually ask NPCs for directions, but we get one set response and maybe there's something we're not clear on. In reality we could get a map, we could ask someone to write something down for us, et cetera. Quest markers or other UI aspects can, ultimately, simply suffice for an abstraction of such.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Whilst it's slightly at a tangent to the OP, I think it's relevant to say that more than anything I think it's important that if your character is meant to know where something is / who someone is then the player should also know. Whilst I don't object to 'Find your own way there' or 'Work it out yourself' sentiments on the whole, I don't think they make any sense when we're talking about somewhere/something that the character, in-universe, is supposed to be already familiar with. In addition, I think it's worth bearing in mind that the nature of the game is that we as players can't actually research and look things up the way our character really could. Yes, we can usually ask NPCs for directions, but we get one set response and maybe there's something we're not clear on. In reality we could get a map, we could ask someone to write something down for us, et cetera. Quest markers or other UI aspects can, ultimately, simply suffice for an abstraction of such.

 

What you say makes sense to some degree. It might be fine if one could turn such quest markers on and off. I still think though that well written journal entries eliminate the need for quest markers, but I'm sure they result in more work for the designers.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally i'm not utterly against map markers, in point of fact i'd like the ability to add my own, and if we're visiting the place where we grew up I fully expect the map to reflect this, with markers indicating the important places we know, detailed journal entries and no fog of war. I'm only against what I would consider to be unwarranted simplifications, such as quest markers that stifle exploration and the following of instruction.

 

I do think that making quest markers part of expert mode or a toggled preference is a good idea, but I also believe that the games pathfinding (for wont of a better word) shouldn't be designed around having them enabled.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as I don't see big exclamation marks on questgiving or related NPC's heads.

  • Like 1

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What you say makes sense to some degree. It might be fine if one could turn such quest markers on and off. I still think though that well written journal entries eliminate the need for quest markers, but I'm sure they result in more work for the designers.

While I don't understand why you'd want to turn them off, from a "you shouldn't have to work at something that your character already intuitively knows" standpoint, I guess something like that could be toggle-able, just for more challenge?

 

But, just so you're clear on it, the suggestion isn't for your character to simply always know where everything is because it's harder for the player to figure such things out. It's to have things that your character WOULD intuitively know be marked for your character (to represent the idea that you already know it, rather than having the player spend 15 minutes searching, with mouse-and-topdown-view, for something on the ground, or some identifiable marking that your character has easily been able to see for the past 15 minutes).

 

If it's done right, you shouldn't really ever feel the need to turn it off, at least not for the reason that it's arbitrarily taking away your need to actually discover and search for things. You'll just only have to search for things that are unknown in location/aesthetics, rather than having to do it for EVERYthing.

  • Like 1

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...