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Symposium: What does Not-Mabinogi look like?

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It has been some weeks since the cease and desist and subsequent re-branding or new goals of the project. You have my sympathy, I would absolutely refuse to drop a project that has gone this far and would do exactly what it takes to continue working on it. That's why I think you guys continuing the project are sincere when you say you want to continue to make your own game. I myself am absolutely a game engines guy: the only time I design is when I look at an existing design and think "this could have been done better" or "if we do this, maybe it will be more fun". Which leads me to the topic I want to discuss: What does Not-Mabinogi look like?

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I like the idea that everyone starts off in a small and friendly town where the player can practice very basic combat and production skills. Collecting eggs, milking cows, shearing sheep, collecting wheat, is super excellent for the basic systems of an MMO even though 99% of the time I play the game, I'm not doing any of those things. So you'd definitely want to keep the starter village.

Getting sent from the village to a nearby town to talk to somebody for a quest is pretty much a given. I mean, you could get sent to giant city straight to deliver a message to the knights order or to the king, but it just seems unlikely that whatever happened at your village is going to be that important. In the town you would be free to talk to more people and do more stuff. Here's where my complaint about Mabinogi comes in: Literally everything in the game is tacked on and it has no cohesiveness, every map in Uladh is straight hallways. The only time you have ever been able to not pass through a town is when you go between Tara and Dunbarton and you take the southern path of Taillteann: and that's still awful because you had to go through Corrib Valley and Abh Neagh as separate zones.

If I was doing world design, start with an X. At the dead center of the X is the town, There would be 3 small villages and 1 other town going away from the center. There would be paths between the 3 villages surrounding the central town. An adjacent village has a path to the other town, and the other adjacent village would have had a path to that other town, but instead it just ends up leading to a hard difficulty dungeon. And speaking of dungeons. There should be an easy difficulty dungeon around the starting village, medium difficulty dungeon near the central town. and additional medium difficulty dungeons on the paths between towns. adequately spaced away from other existing dungeons.

Everything should be designed in a way that you could fly around. This means everything is on a big connected map that properly loads and unloads. Since Aura project is going to need it's own game client, I don't think you're going to have such a shit problem as the game pausing 1+ seconds every time you move between a set square piece of land. World of Warcraft doesn't drop frames when you go from one area to another: it's an embarrassment that DevCat couldn't do Iria correctly, it's god damn pathetic. The quest markers in the game make your client pause to recalculate every second, just imagine how much more intense algorithms are being used in bigger triple A games that don't even choke as bad as that.

 

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Anyhow, I am just throwing ideas out there, If anyone else has better ideas for world design, I'd love to hear them. I'm not saying this is the way it has to be, whoever knows how to use a 3D program and prides themselves on level design probably has their own design methodology. Who is going to do world design anyways?

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it's an embarrassment that DevCat couldn't do Iria correctly, it's god damn pathetic

While it's always fun to bash on devCAT, I think we're being too hard on them sometimes. The original client could handle everything it had perfectly well, everybody who played back in G1-G3 knows that. The problem is that they were forced to tack on things the engine could not handle anymore. They had to do that, the game needed it, especially with the increasing competition I assume (WoW came out shortly after Mabi for example), but such companies rarely rewrite half the engine, that probably took years to develop, just for some new content, so you have to make due. And in some ways you actually have to admire that they kept this mess going for so long, while it was never made for it.

Anyway, I do agree with how the world in a new game should not be tunnel-like, as it is in Uladh. I doubt anybody would argue against a more open and "realistic" world.

Who is going to do world design anyways?

The first one who wants the job and is able to do it will probably get the job^^ Lack of people is one of the major concerns in this idea of developing a new game.

Edited by exec

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And in some ways you actually have to admire that they kept this mess going for so long, while it was never made for it.

You're right, in ways it is amazing that the game is still running considering the initial designs of chapter 1 doesn't seem to have the correct type of provisions for things that came afterwards. It looks like Mabinogi's initial world design would have had growth in various directions in much the same style as the existing world. I remember Tir Chonail appeared to have a closed path west of the school/church yard, Dugald Isle had a closed path east of the logging camp, Sen Meg and Bangor both had different exits to the south, and I figured there would be more teleportation devices like the one that goes to Sidhe Sneachta but that one ended up being unique. Every time new areas were added, what was added felt wildly out of place. Emain Macha is the best addition, IMO it does everything right. The housing areas are the largest offenders because they house a profoundly large amount of people compared to NPCs who have presumably created their own towns.

I guess this what happens when you have different people with different ideas at different times working on expanding the same game. I guess I can't fault DevCat for in-cohesive design: it is expected.

I wish I had the 3D modelling experience. I will have to learn it eventually out of necessity, but hopefully someone else can take apply their skill for Aura.

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