The Minor Future of The Ruins of
Related Design Pillars?: Story-telling, Rogue-like Sensibilities
the game currently offers "Motivations", but doesn't actually follow through on them... for example, if your motivation is Revenge, shouldn't you be able to get that revenge?
the goal of this Landmark is to increase the role of Motivations, strengthening the definition of your character, and creating another story-telling hook for you to grab on to. ("I played this dude who was out for Revenge, and I was tracking him all over the world! but then I met this wonderful lady at a local fair, and...")
More-fluid Retirement Goals (planning, 0% complete)
reaching the retirement requirements in The Ruins of is currently something that's easy for new players to get stuck on, with no good way to progress. for example, if you go through the game for a long time without realizing you should be donating to the museum, or saving money for a corporation, you can get stuck at level 30, where all that's left to do is grind through dungeons!
this is because the goals are these huge, "all or nothing" things: 18000 reputation... 90000 rho...
finally, since they are so large, it's only reasonable to ask players to complete a couple of them, but that means that, as a player, the way you play the game boils down to just a couple simple, relatively-uninteresting decisions. ex: "do I sell my artifacts, or do I donate them?"
a solution to both of these is to break the retirement requirements down into small steps, and allow a player to reincarnate even if they didn't finish each all the steps from one "requirement", as long a they finished enough total steps from all the "requirements."
a good way to think about it is like this: rename "Heroic Deeds" to "Life Achievements" (or something), and make "Life Achievements" the only way to win... but now offer a Life Achievement point for getting to 4000 reputation; another two for getting to 10000; another three for getting to 18000. we could break down the 90000 rho corporation requirement, the 30 monster dissertation requirement, etc, into similar pieces.
this makes it easy to add in revenge, starting a family, etc, with similar tracks, each giving Life Achievements, and/or even smaller one-time goals that reward you with small Life Achievement.
Integrated Motivations (planning, 0% complete)
following the above, each Motivation should do one of a few things:
- make advancing down a particular track easier (ex: +1 reputation for donating uncommon or rare-er artifacts?)
- give you a Life Achievement for completing a particular track (ex: +1 Life Achievement for finishing the "start a family" thing)
- give you a Life Achievement for doing something original (ex: Thrill-seeker: +1 Life Achievement for defeating 100 Challenging-or-harder monsters)
Life Achievements: Museum Reputation (planning, 100% complete)
as mentioned, I think this will break down something like this:
- 4000 Reputation = +1 Life Achievement
- 10000 Reputation = +2 Life Achievement (totaling +3)
- 18000 Reputation = +3 Life Achievement (totaling +6)
I broke the progression out this way, because I want the reward to increase for sticking to a particular path (at the cost of a little more work), but not so much so that it's impossible to win by just doing the "intro level" of each path. a little math reveals that the Life Achivement/Reputation ratio increases as you go, from 1/4000, to 1/3333, to 1/3000 at the end. is this necessarily the best progression? it's hard - if not impossible - to tell without actually playing through.
this progression assumes that 12ish points are required to win the game (making completing this path half of a win, just as before). I say 12ish, because by adding new paths to the game, and making it possible for players to be rewarded for only getting their feet wet in them, 12 may be too trivial a task. this will require play-testing.
Life Achievements: Investor (planning, 50% complete)
this replaces the "become a CEO" retirement requirement. I'd also like to make it a little more like the museum, by offering you "favors" for your services.
as with the other Life Achievements, the rewards are cumulative, so for making 60,000 rho in business investments, you will have received a total of +3 Life Achievements (+2 for 60K, and +1 for 25K).
- 25K rho = +1 Life Achievement (1/25000 ratio)
- 60K rho = +2 Life Achievements (3/60000, or 1/20000 ratio)
- 100K rho = +3 Life Achievements (6/100000, or 1/16666 ratio)
still to figure out: what kind of rewards should companies offer you for being such a generous investor? the options should be comparable to, but distinct from, those offered by the Museum.
Life Achievements: Skill/Power/somethin' (planning, 50% complete)
getting to level 30 is currently a possible retirement requirement for you to take. I'm not entirely sure how to break this down, but one idea did occur to me:
for every level above 25, you get +1 Life Achievement.
this means that at level 30, you'd have +5 Life Achievements.
I can't tell if this is boring, or perfect (or both? :P)
Life Achievements: Published Scientist (planning, 90% complete)
this replaces "write a dissertation" with writing several, smaller articles for a scientific journal, and finally, a book.
for comparison, "write a dissertation" currently requires you to study 30 monsters, and spend 60 AP and 6000 rho.
- 1st article: prereq: studied 4 monsters. spend 10 AP and 500 rho, get +1 Life Achievement
- 2nd article: prereq: studied 9 monsters, wrote 1st article. spend 10 AP and 500 rho, get +1 Life Achievement
- 3rd article: prereq: studied 16 monsters, wrote 2nd article. spend 12 AP and 500 rho, get +1 Life Achievement
- 4th article: prereq: studied 25 monsters, wrote 3rd article. spend 15 AP and 500 rho, get +1 Life Achievement
- book: prereq: studied 30 monsters, wrote 4th article. spend 20 AP and 2000 rho, get +2 Life Achievements
since the cost to study monsters is so low, the progression here is different from museum donations and business investments: the ratio gets worse as you go, not better (similar to the Skill/Power achievements). I've also increased the AP cost slightly, and decreased the rho cost.
it's overall a little more wibbly-wobbly than other paths, which I feel a little uncertain about, and there's a greater incentive to just finish the track, since the +2 at the end is big compared to the +1s you've been getting (and for only 5 more monsters).
I was also kind of tempted to make it so that you could write the book as long as you'd written at least 2 articles (not requiring all 4), just to be a little different... but would you ever really not pay 500 rho and some AP for 1 Life Achievement point?
while I'm uncertain about this progression path, since it requires a Study knowledge, you're kind of picking from the outset "this is what I want to do"... making it quite different from the existing paths anyway.
probably we just need to play it out, and see how it goes.
finally: I think a Motivation which allows you to Study (from level 0) would be an appropriate/cool addition.
Life Achievements: Start a Family (new concept) (planning, 0% complete)
since we don't already have this in the game, it's a little extra work, not just in that we need all-new code, but in that there are no established mechanics: what are the mechanics behind meeting a guy or girl? becoming involved? having a baby?
finally, should this be a "major" goal totaling 5 or 6 Lifetime Achievement points when followed to completion? or should this be something smaller, netting closer to 3?
dating sims are probably a good place to start looking for ideas. I feel like I know how dating sims generally go, but I should should probably sit down and actually play one or two through, to get a better idea of how they do things, see if they're adaptable to The Ruins of (or at least what concepts we can borrow), etc.
without any additional knowledge, I imagine a progression something like this:
- become involved with a person: +1 Lifetime Achievement
- get married: if a major goal, +2 Lifetime Achievements (totaling 3, as we do); if minor, just another +1 (for 2)
- have kids: if a major goal, +3 (totaling 6); if minor, another +1 (totaling 3)
whether or not this is suitable as a "major" or "minor" life achievement path will ultimately depend on how hard it is to do... is it equivalent to 18000 reputation? or writing 4 articles and a book? it doesn't seem likely that it would be, but again, without having looked more into the mechanics of how this works out, it's hard to say; if it's possible to make this a "major" life achievement, I would like to do that.
the motivation "Lover" could either affect the mechanics, making this path easier to take, or give an increasing reward for following through to the end (kids = +1 life achievement, on top of whatever else you got).
Life Achievements: Photographer/Artist (new concept) (planning, 0% complete)
this was initially discussed as a "Tourist" option, but thinking about it more, it seems like this could be comparable to becoming a published scientist, except in this case, you are taking photographs of interesting places around the world in an attempt to become a published photographer/artist.
should the ability to use a camera also require a knowledge? (Photography)
similar to the Published Scientist path, you could get rewarded for turning in photos of interesting places to a magazine/journal publisher, and ultimately publish your own book.
(another thought: should the magazine pay you for your photos?)
Life Achievements: Revenge (new concept) (planning, 0% complete)
this is a life achievement that would require a motivation: Revenge!
by taking Revenge, you have a rival/nemesis who you're out to get. through the course of the game, you would encounter the rival's minions. each minion defeated gives you a clue to your rival's whereabouts (another country), as well as a Life Achievement point.
the minion fights would be a sort of "sorry, but your rival is in another country", one leading to the next, until, in the end, you finally face your rival. defeating him/her, completes the Revenge path.
initially I thought of this as being a goal on-par with the others (yielding half the required Life Achievement points), but I'm not sure how to make the cost worthy of 6 Life Achievements. so perhaps a "minor" achievement, featuring 2 minions and 1 rival, each fight being worth +1 Life Achievement.
regardless: an interesting question: what happens when you lose a fight? I think the most reasonable thing would be that the minion/rival escapes, but you "manage to find out" what country they've fled to. going to that country means you repeat the fight (and if you lose again, they get away again, etc; repeat until you win :P)