v1042 discussion

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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by TreeBeard » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:19 pm

I saw this from thoomcare, and read the thread. It sure is a bummer. I appreciate the efforts made by the GMs, and if anything can be done to keep it going, I would love to see that happen. That said, the halcyon days are well in the past, and it has been hard to be glued to my screen just to get some lasties and see some friends (though I very much appreciate those friends). To me, the crux of the game was the stories and hidden secrets to discover. Finding something, or figuring out a mystery was a great source of enjoyment for me and my characters. As that dwindled, I found it harder to keep playing, and I see that it has been a challenge to just keep the lights on. I appreciate everything that this game has provided, and I hope whatever legacy version remains will last indefinitely. I also would be happy to play a CL2, just to have a semblance of the theme of the original. I would hope to see some of my old pals on either a stripped down original, or a glossy new homage.
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Destian » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:43 pm

Maz wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:11 pm
There had been literally 20 years worth of discussions about gameplay and so on it's pointless.
Yes, but it's only now that we're being told CL is ending and that we have someone interested in financing/overseeing the development of CL2.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not holding my breath for this to happen or anything, but we've never actually been faced with CL ending until now.
TreeBeard wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:19 pm
That said, the halcyon days are well in the past, and it has been hard to be glued to my screen just to get some lasties and see some friends (though I very much appreciate those friends). To me, the crux of the game was the stories and hidden secrets to discover.
Agreed in full: if people want to play a game where they can grind their goddamn eyeballs out, there are ones out there even more casual-friendly than CL.

It's CL's sense of intrigue and involvement in the storyline that made the whole thing work for me. Subtract that and it's a huge "Meh".
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Warplet » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:46 pm

To me the best solution would be to let Sector go off and design CL2 and fix/change all the things he wants to. Hopefully in the process he can keep the images/sounds/world files the same format so that they can still be read in by the current CL client. His new game will hopefully get the oodles of new users, cash, and volunteers to help drive new content.

Let the current CL client continue to limp along for as long as it can and backport the updated content into the original game. Those of us who enjoy the current gameplay can continue to get world updates from CL2. This might mean keeping an old computer around to play on or going to some sort of VM solution.

I do understand this is not the solution GMs had in mind when the conversation started though...

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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by thesquib » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:43 am

Destian wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:43 pm
Maz wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:11 pm
There had been literally 20 years worth of discussions about gameplay and so on it's pointless.
Yes, but it's only now that we're being told CL is ending and that we have someone interested in financing/overseeing the development of CL2.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not holding my breath for this to happen or anything, but we've never actually been faced with CL ending until now.
TreeBeard wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:19 pm
That said, the halcyon days are well in the past, and it has been hard to be glued to my screen just to get some lasties and see some friends (though I very much appreciate those friends). To me, the crux of the game was the stories and hidden secrets to discover.
Agreed in full: if people want to play a game where they can grind their goddamn eyeballs out, there are ones out there even more casual-friendly than CL.

It's CL's sense of intrigue and involvement in the storyline that made the whole thing work for me. Subtract that and it's a huge "Meh".
Well, not exactly ending just yet. Otherwise why fix the account portal?

One of the points Yappy regarding keeping CL going was the non-zero sum cost of keeping a server running. Are there volunteers to help pay for these costs? If people are happy to keep paying then maybe we can work out a way to support or takeover the running costs entirely.
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Destian » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:05 am

thesquib wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:43 am
Well, not exactly ending just yet. Otherwise why fix the account portal?
Not immediately, but they're talking about drawing it to a close so something needs to be done.
One of the points Yappy regarding keeping CL going was the non-zero sum cost of keeping a server running. Are there volunteers to help pay for these costs? If people are happy to keep paying then maybe we can work out a way to support or takeover the running costs entirely.
Even if the server is maintained and the client continues to work for everyone, how long will it be until community attrition alone makes it not worth keeping up?

We're already 1-2 scheduled hunts being perma-cancelled away from having nothing left but a few of double-clickers and Stora being the game's entire population.
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by thesquib » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:34 am

Destian wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:05 am
thesquib wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:43 am
Well, not exactly ending just yet. Otherwise why fix the account portal?
Not immediately, but they're talking about drawing it to a close so something needs to be done.
One of the points Yappy regarding keeping CL going was the non-zero sum cost of keeping a server running. Are there volunteers to help pay for these costs? If people are happy to keep paying then maybe we can work out a way to support or takeover the running costs entirely.
Even if the server is maintained and the client continues to work for everyone, how long will it be until community attrition alone makes it not worth keeping up?

We're already 1-2 scheduled hunts being perma-cancelled away from having nothing left but a few of double-clickers and Stora being the game's entire population.
I certainly can't disagree... I guess I just know that making games is a lot of work, a significant amount of time. I know your average CL player is probably pretty patient though :)
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Destian » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:56 pm

thesquib wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:34 am
I certainly can't disagree... I guess I just know that making games is a lot of work, a significant amount of time. I know your average CL player is probably pretty patient though :)
Ideally, something could be done to maintain CL in the interim, as CL2 wouldn't be playable for a while even if it started today, depending upon how many people are working on it.

It's just that eventually, CL is going to peter out no matter how many bandaids we throw on it.

Better to have the ethos of the game survive for future gamers, even if it's only via a spiritual successor.
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Jazz » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:10 pm

Destian wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:56 pm
It's just that eventually, CL is going to peter out no matter how many bandaids we throw on it.
I feel like that's been said for the last 15 years. And here we are. So bandaid it up and go another 20 years! Even if it's just as a curiosity or for some weird Ready Player Two 90s sequel reference. If it can be paid for... which can't be hard... why not.
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Destian » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:03 am

Jazz wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:10 pm
I feel like that's been said for the last 15 years. And here we are. So bandaid it up and go another 20 years! Even if it's just as a curiosity or for some weird Ready Player Two 90s sequel reference. If it can be paid for... which can't be hard... why not.
I expect the CL server to outlive most of the people currently playing it, but CL2 is about ensuring the ethos of CL isn't snuffed out. This isn't like WoW where there will be clones of it continuing to spring up long after it's gone. CL has no "heir", as it were.

There are parts of CL that definitely didn't work, but even those parts were in the game with the intention of promoting cooperation. I believe what Joe created was ultimately a sound design concept. It just needs to be updated for the modern market and that is ABSOLUTELY doable.
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Jazz » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:09 am

Destian wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:03 am
It just needs to be updated for the modern market and that is ABSOLUTELY doable.
Do you really think anyone in the current generation is willing to dedicate to a game for years let alone decades? I'm honestly not sure of the viability of CL2 without making it whizz-bang, 10 second satisfaction, etc. etc. & that's, clearly, not part of the ethos of Clan Lord. Maybe I'm just overly jaded/cynical at this point.

Dare I say it, but CL, as is, feels like an old folks home... and very likely may well be. LOL. ;-)
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Destian » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:50 am

Jazz wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:09 am
Do you really think anyone in the current generation is willing to dedicate to a game for years let alone decades?
My post here explains it pretty well:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=10525#p208667

Individual character progression could work on a yearly scale if story progression was happening on a weekly or possibly even daily scale. In fact, if the game featured enough story progression, then CL's current character progression speed is just right.

If the unfolding storyline was also documented via videos recapping what happened over the course of that week (or the past few days, even), you're essentially talking about a TV show that people are playing, and I very believe there would be a market for that.

It hinges entirely upon the quality of the story and the tools GMs have at their disposal to tell it, though. I'd brainstorm on some additional ideas but my cycles are currently going elsewhere.

Basically, imagine if "Game of Thrones" was an MMO where, instead of watching it once a week, you played it as often as you wanted and each "episode" played out over the course of the week.

Yes, you'd miss out on participating in some of the events, but you'd still be able to watch the "episode" at the end of the week which acts as a summary of the week's events, including footage of players participating in it.

I think Joe had it right in progression speed and story influence. The only problem was that, with a small community, it sometimes came to pass that there weren't enough (read: any) players around when the GMs were there to roll the story forward.

If CL2 has either an active twitter account or some other means of quickly informing the community that something is about to go down in game, it would never have that problem (and rewarding solo activities wouldn't hurt, either).
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Adar » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:23 pm

Well, it's been nearly a month since this thread started. We have 15 pages of speculation and suggestions, and no input from Joe. In the end, input from Joe is arguably the most important determinant of what can and cannot be done.

I have a slightly unusual perspective on the game. I get to see it through two different sets of eyes. I figure while we're sitting here essentially shootin' the breeze I might as well share something about that. As some of you know I've spent a fair amount of time playing with my son who plays the character Rune. He is a child on the verge of being a teen, but he's a thoughtful and observant child. And he brings youthful eyes to an old game. You haven't seen much of him since V1K. That incident really made an impression on him.

He has access to plenty of very cool games on very polished platforms. He didn't mind CL's graphics and sound quality. Esthetically CL passed into "cool retro" territory years back. He once made the observation that CL's gameplay was pretty good - there weren't distractingly beautiful visuals and sound to confuse the issue and mask game flaws. He loved how expansive the world was. He liked how people were generally kind and conscientous. Sometimes kind beyond measure. He liked how there was a grindy aspect of the game for when you just wanted to play whack-a-mole, and yet there were these overarching storylines and puzzles to solve and new areas to look forward to. He hated that he was beyond useless for the first few years of his character's life... hated that he could never close the gap. But he was willing to keep playing in order to potentially play a role in the storyline. He stuck with it for years... up until V1K.

The way he saw it, V1K exposed how truly broken the game is. A relatively trivial change - adding in NPCs who doled out extra experience - horked the game badly. Forced GMs to load the game from a backup. This is when Rune lost patience. He said to me, there's no way for the GMs to fix anything or really add anything, even if there were enough of them to do so - even if they were getting paid. (He's very sympathetic to them.) All of the storyline - all of the exploration - the hope for new territories and answers to mysteries - none of those could be developed past where they are at this moment. Because if you add too much to this strained system the odds are extremely likely that it'll bork the game.

While we were talking it over he reminded me of the moon manual I picked up at auction. To him that also represents the level of extreme decay the game is at. First of all - it's an important piece of a plotline (that never went anywhere beyond the opening chapter). That it wound up at the auction house says that the player who had it in stash had lost hope of its immediate usefulness to the extent that they went and put it in storage. And then stopped playing the game long enough that their storage items went to auction. A random midbie (me) picked it up - suggesting that even the current playerbase was unaware or unconcerned about its role in the unfinished storyline... because that storyline was unlikely to ever be concluded... because cycle up to the last paragraph: if you add too much to this strained system the odds are extremely likely that it'll bork the game.

I'm relaying his point of view because I think it's a POV worth hearing. He's the sort of person you'd want to bring into the game to keep it going another 20 years - thoughtful, enthusiastic, willing to slog for a good cause, willing to go chase down backstories and read them, and pretty decent company. And he sees no point in coming back to CL1 because there's no point for someone like him. It's dying and it's appeal for a new person isn't the 'whack-a-mole' aspect of it - the appeal is the storytelling, mysteries, the strategizing, and the way the community comes together to address and discuss those things and help each other. I see what he's saying. And I agree. If I understand things correctly the reason 'ubers' want to keep their ranks is because there's something gratifying in bringing down increasingly difficult monsters with carefully crafted training. But there is a repetitive aspect to that avenue of gratification that diminishes its appeal to a chunk of the population, and it's a non-starter for anyone new. The storytelling aspect and the mysteries include everyone. Or would, if it could still be done.

And so... while I have great affection for CL1, I also keep my eyes on the horizon. And CL1 really is a decaying carcass. I think we need to strip that dead body of as much value as we can possibly get out of it and play a little bit of Dr. Frankenstein. Stitch together a CL2. Yeah it's potentially a monster and it clearly frightens a few people. But honestly, I'd rather that than the stagnation of what Puddleby is now. And you sure as hell aren't going to attract anyone new with the flies buzzing and the buzzards circling. It's gotten sort of depressing for me to be in game to be honest. It's a ghost town done up in bright colors and it's hard not to think of all the unrealized potential... unrealizable potential.

But first we need to hear from Joe. There's no real point in any of this speculation without his input.

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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Destian » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:44 am

Adar wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:23 pm
But first we need to hear from Joe. There's no real point in any of this speculation without his input.
We need his input for moving the CL server elsewhere, yes.

We don't need even the slightest bit of approval for making CL2, so long as it isn't actually called "Clan Lord 2".

All of the art assets and most of the sounds for CL2 would need to be remade anyway. As long as it's a "spiritual successor" and not a direct sequel, there's nothing Joe can do or say about ripping off 99% of the existing CL's game mechanics and design.

Not saying whoever makes "CL2" SHOULD do that, only that clones of games have been happening for years as there's as of yet no way to patent game mechanics.

The server finding a new home is more in peril, really.

And I completely agree with your son on pretty much everything. There are literally thousands of games out there where you can play an unending "whack-a-mole" grind but exceedingly few with an interactive storyline that maintains continuity.
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Leinis » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:44 pm

Adar wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:23 pm
The way he saw it, V1K exposed how truly broken the game is. A relatively trivial change - adding in NPCs who doled out extra experience - horked the game badly. Forced GMs to load the game from a backup. This is when Rune lost patience. He said to me, there's no way for the GMs to fix anything or really add anything, even if there were enough of them to do so - even if they were getting paid. (He's very sympathetic to them.) All of the storyline - all of the exploration - the hope for new territories and answers to mysteries - none of those could be developed past where they are at this moment. Because if you add too much to this strained system the odds are extremely likely that it'll bork the game.
Please let your son know that the reason v1000 broke the game had nothing to do with Buster/Boostus. That extra experience system was already a part of the game since the Arindal migration. Buster was added in during the summer to test out the system but was pulled shortly afterwords and then Boostus came out around v1000. I'm not sure if Boostus actually came out in v996 but either way, he had nothing to do with the backup bug.

The reason for the backup bug is rather silly itself though and also does expose "how truly broken the game is." What happened there was that the way the versions are stored and all the character data for the versions is in an alphabetical list: v1, v2, v3, v4,.... But some interesting things happen when a new digit is reached. Instead of being appended to the end of the list, they are sorted in to the list alphabetically. This means that when v1000 rolled around, it was not placed after v996 and when the code to load up the data looks at the end of the list, it saw v996 again. Is this a silly bug caused by spaghetti code and truly game breaking? Yes. Did it have to do with the exp NPCs? No.
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Icy » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:54 pm

Adar wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:23 pm
Well, it's been nearly a month since this thread started. We have 15 pages of speculation and suggestions, and no input from Joe. In the end, input from Joe is arguably the most important determinant of what can and cannot be done.

But first we need to hear from Joe. There's no real point in any of this speculation without his input.
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