Player-Thrall System


#1

Paradigm shift; from grind to emergence and a Player-Thrall system.

Player interaction is the nature of multiplay. Yet, there is a general flaw in gear-grind, level-grind, building-grind mechanics. It always devolves to a ‘solo process’ or pve. This has been Funcom’s general shortcoming as “MMO Developers”, since Anarchy Online. Of course there was Secret World, but the under-developed punk Harry Potter theme wasn’t resonating with gamers.

There is still time to shift the Conan Exile ‘paradigm’ into an emergent, barbaric and interactive experience. Building castles, then smashing castles has very limited appeal where only the hyper-dedicated and hard-core have entry. To grow your CE community you’ll need to grow your ideas. Watching people grind forts to be mashed down a few week later, is a face-palm paradigm. Or mine-crafting as pve, where all you have is a solo competition to out-lego the other guy, for “impressive points”.

However, what we are seeing with Pippi, Class-mod, Sexiles and other mods, is the same, obvious path I had suggested several years ago, when discussing the emergence in Skyrim Modding. How dropping the grind and go emergent is the future. Yes, Funcom does a nice grindy MMO, but keep an eye on Fallout 76, that is where you should have pointed this IP. And Bethesda is wholly thankful you did not, it allows them first entry and bragging rights for a new genre.

Funcom still has an extrodinary opportunity, primarily due to the R.E. Howard universe as both excuse and reasoning. Brutal, dangerous hard-fought struggle for power. Where slavery and liberation are the thematic threads throughout.

A player-thrall system, a Sparticus Mechanic, is the only way to bring players together. Making other players a resource for power. PC-Thralls that persists when a player logs off. Rather than spiking heads on a pike, you enlist the services/efforts of other players – emergence.

I posted a suggestion on discord for Class-Mod/Sexiles, using Confidence Rating as the new girbil-wheel carrot. Provide motives and mechanics allowing enthralled players to leverage their disadvantage eventually claiming a portion of a slavers value, if the slaver fails to win the slave/master moral struggle. These mechanics bring both ‘hard-core’ grinders and casual players together in what could be consided the first proper simulation of humanities most energetic struggle – what is freedom. This is the primary theme for R.E. Howard, a texan who created the universe, to expose the intriges and emergent outcomes of humanity’s struggle with itself.

Going soft-core for Conan Exiles is part and parcel of Funcom’s almost-hit, but mostly a miss development efforts. Certain things sell, and the most obvious ones are always at the fretful edge of moralized hand-wringing.


#2

This is a very long long way of trying to say that you want to have player slaves… i don’t see that working… at all


#3

Suppose, I’m just imagining other form of interaction, other than killing each other. Currently, killing each other and wrecking stuff is the only conflict paradigm between interactive players. CE has done a great job there. However, building forts together doesn’t have long-term appeal, basically it becomes anti-social, it is also nauseating in many ways. It only takes an evening on any server to discover how anti-social building fences and walls really is. It gets old fast and is shallow in the end. CE is a great game and getting better, but the numbers are showing lack of design-judgment. Needs a fresh set of eyes on the process.

Making a game less “killy” is not that hard. Per Modded Skyrim you’d be amazed how complex and “unkilly” a game can becomes when emergence between multiple mini-games are all triggering at the same time. With a mod like ‘death alternative’ the content is virtually endless depending on the triggers set up and breath of the greater game. We are starting to see this with some of the top mods in CE, to a much lesser degree.

I guess, what I’m suggesting are alternatives to killiness. Stuff like, playing music together (archeron’s call), trading etc, other small social interactions that don’t require raid preparations, or castle-wrecking.

With slavery themes pervasive in CE, it only make sense to add emergent mini-games to both Slaver and Slave, and, make Thrall mechanics work “Globally”. Using Sexiles for example, there are good mechanics for Slavers, but you really have to stretch the rp as a slave, a Spartacus styled mini-game is easy to imagine.


#4

Once again too long… dressing up your point like your stretching for a minimum word count in an essay.
Player slaves won’t work because no one would want to be the slave. If your going to RP as a slave, you’d just say you’re a slave.


#5

—Translated—
Im just imagining different forms of player interaction than fighting. The only thing there is to do is fight eachother and npcs. Building forts doesn’t have a long term appeal and gets old fast. Its boring to make a fence alone. CE is a great game and getting better, but needs new designers and ideas.

Its a combat game, the point is to fight


#6

No, it’s a survival game that devolves to violence meta. Dressing down opinions to equivalent of passing gas, serves no purpose. It appears I am making this suggestion to everyone, but you. Why are you even here, in this thread, Hmm?

ps, feel free to delete you posts, unless you have something to say other than, Translate: you disagree, duh. Jizzing and flatulence made words, isn’t helpful.


#7

For a while I’ve been wondering if the whole post It’s just an excuse to slave your fellow clanmates :rofl:

Don’t Quote me on this but I thought that was planned on early acces, and the funcom team definitely abandoned the idea because to slave other player gave too much technical issues


#8

It’s not a technical issue, it’s the fact that it’s no fun at all for the enslaved player. And if you want to RP it, there’s nothing stopping you doing it anyway, you don’t need a game mechanic for that.


#9

Absolutly agree. But, It’s not me saying They discard it for technical issues, “Bylos went on to say that the team at Funcom initially wanted a game where players could take each other as slaves, [or “thralls,” as they’re referred to in-game]”
you can read it by yourself: https://www.polygon.com/2018/5/15/17353390/conan-exiles-slavery-pc-ps4-xbox-one


#10

Thanks for the link. Well, what the article says is: “In the end, Bylos said, the system of players taking other players as slaves ended up being too difficult to implement during Conan Exiles ’ time in Steam Early Access.”

“Difficult to implement” could well be a technical limitation, but not necessarily. I’ll give you that it’s the go-to interpretation, but in this specific instance I’d say it could just as well mean “too difficult to implement in a way that was fun”. Because I’m having a hard time seeing how a mechanic like that would be any fun to anyone outside of a heavy RP scenario.

Then again that whole article seems to veer right on the edge of outraged screeching that slavery exists in the game at all. The majority of Joel’s quotes are apologies, which is ridiculous (and probably selective quoting on their part).


#11

hi the closest i can imagine it working, would be sort of like a Truce agreement.

a bit like when armies of one kingdom would get a tribute from another smaller clan, (such as making them a vassal or protectorate, or basically a bit like a protection racket, where the smaller one gives the larger one something, like 100 Fish, or 100 wood per day, and the larger one promised to not attack them that day, and to protect them from spawning animals, or attackers.

in some boardgames (like a risk style game, i guess capturing influence from 1 player for part of the game could have some benefits, like maybe learning one of their feats, but for an actual player, unless they are wanting to partake in a full rich roleplaying game, then it wouldnt be much fun staring at a wheel of pain station, for hours and hours :slight_smile:

(except for maybe a modded wheel i heard about, which is supposed to be a bit skimpy, but i never got it to work lol) :smiley:


#12

Something like this could maybe work, though I suppose actually coding a mechanic that compels a player to give tribute might be tricky. Say, 50% of all gathered resources for 48hrs could be ‘magically’ siphoned to the conqueror’s Torturer’s workstation inventory.

Still, given the temperament and maturity, or lack thereof, of many players, I’d still foresee a bunch of rage quitting, or players just not playing for that time to spite their conqueror.

I think Mikey is right about this, the devs most likely considered it from all angles they could and decided they couldn’t make it fun. I seem to recall hearing one of the devs (Oscar?) say as much in one of the streams in response to a question about this, but can’t remember which.


#13

You know this is not a MMO, yes.

I am very pleased that Funcom looked away from this style. F76 is not going to be good…not at all like people are saying.

I am with Bethesda on this one. However, your statement confused me.

First Entry into what? Bethesda cannot really brag about a new game when F76 is basically a rehash of an existing game.

How will this appeal to solo/co-op and single players?

Yep, if this was forced upon me, I would be taking a two-day break from the game every time. I would play Solo/Co-op always and avoid other players.


#14

Yeah, and not necessarily because you’d be raging out right? Just it would suck and you don’t want to play with that mechanic. You would not be alone.

Devs made the right call I think.


#15

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