v1042 discussion

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Org du Lac
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Org du Lac » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:09 pm

Delta Tao owns the rights to Dark Castle. It’s possible some of those sounds, like the owl, were licensed out already when Joe got the rights to Dark Castle? Iirc Color Dark Castle was a delta tao production.

Sorry, super off topic! Will we all hear here when Joe’s Mase a decision, I guess?

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Destian
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Destian » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:25 pm

Sad news, indeed. Hopefully something can be done that will allow CL to continue on.

That said, I feel like Sek'tor's offer is the best we're going to get, and I'm sorry but anyone not understanding that the type of effort he's suggesting would need to return money as a business doesn't understand how software development works.

The debate here has always really been about "Do we keep adding to the old, brittle code, or throw it out and start fresh with CL2?" and at this point, it's kind of insane to keep going with the current code.

You could probably build most of what CL comprises right now in a modern game engine in a year, possibly less (depending upon the skill of the programmer(s) working on it).

You don't even need to call it "CL2", if licensing is really an issue. No offense to Joe, but he seems to want little to do with the game and I'm not blaming him for that.

Even if CL is "preserved" on virtual machines or via web client, it's going to need someone who can go in and fix things that break every once in a while. No system like this can run in a preserved state forever, and even then, there's still the issues of player attrition and of the storyline basically ending, meaning players would be grinding purely for the sake of grinding.

I won't speak for everyone, but my zeitgeist for ranking in CL has always been to "drive the dramatic storyline", as I want to have some meaningful impact when the story itself starts going down (which is why I want to push my pet to the next rank, as I want to bring everything I can to these situations).

Beyond that, CL still has some pretty serious design issues that need to be remedied. Here are my thoughts on what worked about CL vs. what didn't work:

The Good:

+A difficulty gradient based mostly upon the distance from TC: The general rule of "the further from town, the more dangerous the area" is probably the most brilliant part of CL's design. "What lies beyond?" is a question that draws a player's imagination into the picture for areas yet too dangerous to reach.

The hit underwater exploration game "Subnautica" employs a very similar design where you start in the "safe shallows" and the game generally becomes more and more dangerous as you go further from that starting area.

This made TC feel like the safest place in the game (though not TOO safe) and creating that contrast was vital for the feeling of hearth and home to exist. The overarching concept of danger over distance also helped for...

+Progression: The sense of progression in CL, though slow, is ultimately extremely satisfying. When you first solo/shrug off a monster that used to demolish you, it's a great feeling.

Also, the way the game measures your progression via in-character means like calling you master and lord and how you graduate to higher circles of your guild through tests is simply amazing. Instead of a number that indicates your character's power has increased, the world acknowledges it and that makes it come to life all the more.

+Story and continuity: IMO, the biggest downfall of the modern MMO is where Clan Lord excels the most: quitting a game like "World of Warcraft" immediately removes all traces of your existence from the game. When you boil it down, it's ultimately a hamster wheel you play with your friends (or play solo, though I cannot imagine WHY one would...).

Meanwhile, though the opportunities were rare, a player could be remembered in the annals of CL's history for their actions. Somewhere, there's a record of all the exiles in the party who went to kill Rowl. I personally sued Mar Solkin because I thought he was up to no good and I traded my alchemy kit to Tenebrion in exchange for deducting 20,000c from the price of the armor plans.

But the true power of all of these events is that none of them are repeatable, unlike in themepark MMOs where you can kill the same big-bad every single week and the game has no means of acknowledging why you're able to do this.

Significant, story-driven events are what set CL apart from the majority of other MMOs, and they're the only thing that made the grinding worth it, IMO.

It also made the game feel like it was pitting the playerbase against the rest of the world, which was great for the sake of making players want to help each other.

+The fallen system: The system of falling and needing to be rescued to avoid an exp penalty on your current rank made CL a wonderfully cooperative game. Needing to rescue a player(s) from a dangerous area often created a tense situation that tested the resolve of the rescuers. The clock was ticking, as scavengers would be chewing the player, making them harder to raise.

Some of my fondest memories are of rescues where I, as a lowbie healer, was able to somehow get everyone pushed into a safe cave or raised and out of an area that's trivial by today's standards (like NWF). Rescuing was basically my primary reason for playing CL (probably tied with storyline) as you just felt good after succeeding in rescuing a fallen and I tried to build Destian to be the best he could in this area.

+The library: CL wouldn't exist without the library, though we needed "The Reflecting Pool" or a similar mechanic that would ensure that time spent outside the library wasn't a net loss in exp gained.

The Bad:

-"Fighterlord": Up until the addition of pets, nearly all "desirables" CL set up for players to chase were best acquired by fighters: coins, resources, and progress are more easily acquired by fighters to the point that having a fighter to go out and gather these things for you was basically necessary (I even started leveling a fighter of my own at one point, Derp), and from there it was easy for your fighter to become your main.

-No real solo options: With progress being so limited while soloing, it ultimately wound up encouraging players to spend more time in the library than actually playing. It also led to a rash of double-clicking, which was sadly necessary for anyone who wanted to actually play the game.

-Subclasses:
Image

-A lack of game-driven goals: I tried to get my fiancee into CL at one point. She played a fighter for a while, but ultimately disliked the lack of goals the game offered her in the short term.

-Gameplay variety: All told, CL is 95% about murdering things. Even when your character is studying new languages or how to brew beer, you make progress in these areas by murdering things. I know there was talk about overhauling the crafting system and whatnot, and I completely agree that this would be necessary for a remake of CL.

As I mentioned above, my fiancee was turned off by the overall grindy nature of the game. I realize that CL was designed with the spirit of "Make up your own stories and role-play!", but that's no substitute for actual, in-game goals that can be achieved separate from ranking up.

-Healing Downtime: To this day, I still get mild anxiety when I'm healing someone well away from any combat/danger and it takes FOREVER to actually refill their health.

I sometimes wonder how different CL would have been if out of combat (or "Tranquil") healing was % based instead of rank based. That way, healing players who had just attacked or been attacked by a monster in the last 10-15 seconds would be governed by all of the usual rank counts, but when tucked in a safe cave or long after the danger had been dispatched, healers wouldn't need to spend ~5 minutes bringing multiple fighters up to full health so they could resume the hunt.

The fact that healers rank so much slower than fighters put healers in a constant state of falling behind, never having enough Fastus, Respia, etc. to keep pace with the growing health pools of your peers.

How many new healers would've stuck around, had they been able to be just as useful as veteran healers while out of combat, instead of left feeling like they were trying to fill Shamu's tank at Sea World with an eye dropper?

So all of this said, how do I see CL2 working?

I'll save that for another, separate post later...
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Sek'tor Glich
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Sek'tor Glich » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:18 pm

Great post, Destian. I think your post hits on a lot of game mechanics that could be greatly improved.
-Gameplay variety: All told, CL is 95% about murdering things. Even when your character is studying new languages or how to brew beer, you make progress in these areas by murdering things. I know there was talk about overhauling the crafting system and whatnot, and I completely agree that this would be necessary for a remake of CL.

As I mentioned above, my fiancee was turned off by the overall grindy nature of the game. I realize that CL was designed with the spirit of "Make up your own stories and role-play!", but that's no substitute for actual, in-game goals that can be achieved separate from ranking up.
One thing I'd specifically want to do is to separate ranks into "fighting" ranks which you get from killing things, "mind" ranks which you get from progressing as a mystic (mental challenges and such), and "crafting/merchant" ranks which you get from making/discovering things and engaging in commerce. This would allow a type of progression where someone could be a primarily TC-based character -- by opening up and managing a storefront, trading around ingredients that others have found and experimenting with them, and fulfilling quests that are like caravan trade routes. Also, instead of leaving a character in the library to gain passive experience, I want to have other options that people can leave their characters which have a positive (outside of ranks) benefit, such as leaving their character offline in a player marketplace which acts as an NPC merchant while they're away.

One of the most important things that Clanlord lost potential players from was the onboarding process, and the initial progression of ranking up. The answer from pretty much all of the remaining players is, "But that's why the more experienced players are there -- to help them out!". Except, a game should be fun to play in its own right without being logged in at the exact same time as a person willing to help you. If a new player starts at 2 in the morning and no one is there to help them, then how is the game supposed to be fun for them? But maybe if they were able to (for instance) bake a bunch of bread and pies to stock up their store, log off, and then a bunch of players would buy those goods during the daytime, there would be a much more positive player dynamic in the game that wouldn't force everyone to whack rats all day, or sit in TC waiting for shares.

The most important thing to keep in mind, though, is that I'm willing to develop a Clanlord game with the community's help (those that would be willing to give the game a try). It would be similar to the first days of Clanlord -- you'd be playing the first version of the game client (which really wouldn't be a game, but just basic game mechanics), all the way through the life of the project, seeing it grow piece by piece.

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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Sek'tor Glich » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:24 pm

By the way, on the issue of subclasses: I see the answer as being to open up gaining ranks in "speciality" abilities to anyone, and allow people to create their own subclasses. Maybe a type of character gains ranks in doing damage from behind and not being as desirable a target to a monster, while another gains ranks in being a more desirable target, while increasing health pool, detha etc. Players would be able to come up with their own subclasses based on their ranks and equipment, which also opens up the possibility for players to focus on different ranks if they choose to solo.

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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Maeght » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:22 pm

Here's the deal. What you guys are talking about is a different game. There are thousands of different games. I know you're excited about making one, but the chances it will take off are pretty minimal. I wish you all the best if you try.

What makes Clanlord the game it is the the people and history. You'd be taking very little of that with you into a new game.

A bunch of us won't be there because it won't be Clanlord. I play WoW for a lot of the stuff Clanlord doesn't offer. A bunch of people went there, but the Clanlord part doesn't carry over.

BTW, the paper and pencil RPG history is full of the husks of games that were better designed than D&D. It turns out the "you can train anything" option ends with a bunch of generalists that aren't good at any role because you end up training everything. There are whole threads here about people that tried that in CL and then complained.

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Destian
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Destian » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:08 pm

Maeght wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:22 pm
Here's the deal. What you guys are talking about is a different game. There are thousands of different games. I know you're excited about making one, but the chances it will take off are pretty minimal. I wish you all the best if you try.
Like I said, I'll make a separate post about how I feel CL2 could work when I have time.

It would involve streamlining some elements while keeping the core of what makes CL what it is. Yes, the players and the community are one thing, but the underlying game mechanics of CL are what created the community we have now, and there's a lot of good there that could still work in a modern game.
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moggle
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by moggle » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:08 pm

I did a mock up for cl UI in CEGUI, took me all of about 30 minutes, I thought if carbon was an issue for you could try something like this

Image

code just for intrest

CEGUI::Style style;

CEGUI::Window* tc = CEGUI::System::getSingleton().getDefaultGUIContext().getRootWindow()->getChildRecursive("Editor/TabControl");
CEGUI::VerticalLayoutContainer* layout = CEGUI::Helpers::CreateOrRetrieveTabAndLayout(style.scheme, tc, "CL", false);

CEGUI::HorizontalLayoutContainer* horzLayout = static_cast<CEGUI::HorizontalLayoutContainer*>(layout->createChild("HorizontalLayoutContainer", "HorizontalLayoutContainer/Craftscape"));

{
CEGUI::PushButton* pb = static_cast<CEGUI::PushButton*>(horzLayout->createChild(style.scheme + "/Button", "CL/LHS"));
pb->setProperty("HorizontalAlignment", "Center");
pb->setText("");
pb->setHeight( CEGUI::UDim(0.0, 50) );
pb->setWidth( CEGUI::UDim(0.0, 50) );
//pb->subscribeEvent(CEGUI::PushButton::EventClicked, CEGUI::Event::Subscriber(&TerrainEditor::OnSaveButtonClicked, this));

style.apply(pb);

pb = static_cast<CEGUI::PushButton*>(horzLayout->createChild(style.scheme + "/Button", "CL/RHS"));
pb->setProperty("HorizontalAlignment", "Center");
pb->setText("");
pb->setHeight( CEGUI::UDim(0.0, 50) );
pb->setWidth( CEGUI::UDim(0.0, 50) );
//pb->subscribeEvent(CEGUI::PushButton::EventClicked, CEGUI::Event::Subscriber(&TerrainEditor::OnLoadButtonClicked, this));
}


CEGUI::Window* statsWin = horzLayout->createChild(style.scheme + "/StaticText", "CL/Stats");
statsWin->setHeight( CEGUI::UDim(0.0, 50) );
statsWin->setWidth( CEGUI::UDim(1.0, -100) );

CEGUI::UVector2 pos ( CEGUI::UDim(0.0, 10), CEGUI::UDim(0.0, 10) );
for(int i=0; i<3; i++)
{
CEGUI::ProgressBar* pb = static_cast<CEGUI::ProgressBar*>( statsWin->createChild( style.scheme + "/ProgressBar", "CL/Bar" + Ogre::StringConverter::toString(i)) );
pb->setProgress( Ogre::Math::UnitRandom() );
pb->setHeight( CEGUI::UDim(0.0, 10) );
pb->setWidth( CEGUI::UDim(1.0, -20) );
pb->setPosition( pos );
pos.d_y.d_offset += 10;
}

CEGUI::MultiLineEditbox* log = static_cast<CEGUI::MultiLineEditbox*>(layout->createChild(style.scheme + "/MultiLineEditbox", "CL/Log"));
log->setSize( CEGUI::USize( CEGUI::UDim(1.0,0), CEGUI::UDim(0.0, 200) ) );
log->setYPosition( CEGUI::UDim(0.0,50) );
log->setText(
"* Your cloak named \"albino\" is in very good condition.\n\
* Your pair of pants named \"tangleberry-dyed blue\" is starting to look a little worn.\n\
Welcome to Clan Lord, Moggle\n!\
Type \\HELP for a list of commands.\n\
* You have been charged 19 coins for advanced studies.\n\
* You gain experience from your recent studies.\n\
Moggle is now Clanning.\n\
Moggle has been studying for 15 hours, 41 minutes.\n\
Friends online: none.\n\
It's 11:36am on Soldi, day 44 of Autumn, 579.\n\
There are two members of Neko No Kessha clanning: Slayer and you.\n\
* What's new: http://www.deltatao.com/clanlord/news/new.html\n\
* Mac users are encouraged to update to this newer client: http://www.deltatao.com/downloads/clanl ... rd.654.zip (Requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.)\n");

CEGUI::MultiLineEditbox* speach = static_cast<CEGUI::MultiLineEditbox*>(layout->createChild(style.scheme + "/MultiLineEditbox", "CL/Speach"));
speach->setSize( CEGUI::USize( CEGUI::UDim(1.0,0), CEGUI::UDim(0.0, 100) ) );
speach->setText( "" );

{
CEGUI::NamedCombobox nc( style, layout, "CL/Players", "Players" );
std::vector< CEGUI::String > players = { "Moggle", "Stora" };
nc.createItems( players, 1 );
}

{
CEGUI::NamedCombobox nc( style, layout, "CL/Inventory", "Inventory" );
std::vector< CEGUI::String > inventory = { "Wuv Muffin", "Gossamer", "Venom Gland", "Chain" };
nc.createItems( inventory, 0 );
}

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Warplet
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Warplet » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:12 pm

I don't usually chime in too much here, and had to remember my password just to say a few words.

1. I don't want CL game mechanics to change. I'll keep playing until the wheels fall off of the clients and then look for VM solutions if we have to. I'd even be ok with no new updates ever to the game world if it meant I could keep playing. I'm still sooo far from where I want to be I'd have at least another decade where I could play, develop my character, and still have fun as long as I still get to see my friends online. Any way to update clients to be future compatible is nice, but as long as we can find a way to keep playing that's fine with me. The account portal doesn't bother me a whole lot either, it's not like people were signing up for the game anymore anyway. We could probably find enough old accounts as a community to satisfy any newcomers who want to join.

2. If Sector or others want to make a CL2 game for the masses, I fully support them. It doesn't mean that I would personally play it, and that's ok. Their target audience may not include me anyway. Maybe we can find a way to backport their new content back into CL.

Overall, if others want to make a CL like game, even re-using the content then those of us who love CL and don't want it to change shouldn't stand in their way (only Joe and DT should have a say in that). Maybe they can make another game that will stand the test of time in the way that CL has for a lot of us.

Until the time they shut the lights out, I'll be in Pubbledy for our weekly clan meetings/hunts.

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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Jazz » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:33 am

Warplet wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:12 pm
I'd even be ok with no new updates ever to the game world if it meant I could keep playing. I'm still sooo far from where I want to be I'd have at least another decade where I could play, develop my character, and still have fun as long as I still get to see my friends online.
This is a good point. Having taken a few years off, re-joined, untrained (a couple times) etc. I'm still decades away from exploring the whole game. I bet a lot of old players, were they to even just check in, would be amazed at places like Easter Mountains/Estuary etc. So well designed.
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by humbaba » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:49 am

BEEER!

I was amazed three years ago when I found out that CL was still under active development, things like the Eastern Mountains/etc. I'd been logging in every six months or so to spend my lib ranks on regia so I could swing infinitely... only to discover than I needed like 300-400 more atkus to even hit things that I don't slaughter. Over the past 3 years I've been working on my atkus, I figured I was a year out from being useful again.

Clan Lord as it stands is both amazingly great and amazingly frustrating. I would love to see it get over the current obsolete hump in it's current shape to continue as it is for another 20+ years.

I think a CL2 would be pretty neat too, but I'm not sure if I'd play it or not. There is that entire laundry list of problems that CL has always had that make it hard to get into if you didn't love it back in the day when there weren't any other options.

Virtually all of my gaming these days is on my iPad, but I don't easily see how that would work for CL or CL2.

I would like to thank everyone for the experience. My first time logging into CL town was like 4 snells, with rats and birds. It was pretty boring so I didn't try again for like 6 months, which was not long before the Ripture War. I always regret missing out on that time period between those two.

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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Maz » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:11 pm

Don't think about that CL2 thing; it's never going to happen. There had been literally 20 years worth of discussions about gameplay and so on it's pointless.

As I mentioned what is needed is to save the game as it is *now* -- perhaps just freeze the ranks and so on, and find a way to have it run in a place where it's no longer under scrunity for resources. I'm quite happy spending some time doing that. However I have no interest in getting into endless 'gameplay' discussions. Turns out I'm not a gamer, never was, never will...

Perhaps if the player DB is scrubbed of any trace of 'payment' system it'd help. The only thing I'd need is that (with emails so people can reset their passwords, and the world + scripts. I don't even care that much about the server code...

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Jazz
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Jazz » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:05 pm

Maz wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:11 pm
perhaps just freeze the ranks and so on
They accrue so slowly anyways why bother freezing them LOL. I know of no other game where a player (as Humbubs just said) will train for YEARS just to re-adjust, acquire (partially) a new skill etc. etc. That's part of the insanity of CL.

Part of why I untrain is to experiment, find what I like best, then "quick fix" myself at the expense of setting myself back 3-4 years in rank gain, which.. I mean like.., who cares about 3-4 years when you've been playing almost 20. Problem now though is I'm convinced there is a bug in Untrainus to where I'm earning ranks at the 4,000 rank level even though I only have 3,000 now. Haha.

Near as I can tell Untrainus takes about 13% of your ranks away if you go soup to nuts to zero, but that's based on a very small sample size so it may be variable.

Oops... topic drifting sorry... seeing 18-20% packet loss at work and can't play at the moment. :-)
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Fundin » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:13 pm

Just reading and noting I've read it :)

/beeer :)
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and 99 in my fridge :-D

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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by thesquib » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:03 am

If for some reason the game comes to an end, or even if it doesn't, is anyone interested in having their character(s) preserved in a manner like this on the rank tracker? Could make it possible to put a bit more info in there, customisable, or something.

WARNING - 5mb or so. I don't recommend viewing on mobile in its current state/size.
https://ranktracker.squib.co.nz/allexiles
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Re: v1042 discussion

Post by Fundin » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:23 am

If things do end, which would be sad, it would be nice to hear about the unsolved stories we missed, areas we didn't see etc.

I did love the original PC explorations and finding oout the plans for those areas, and I'm sure there's still unsolved puzzles as peole have said.

Lots of intersting chat going on.
99 Bottles of Beer on the wall....
and 99 in my fridge :-D

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CLAN LORD MAP REPOSITORY
Old maps, new maps, got any maps?
http://www.tidyup.co.uk/clanlord/site/index.html

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