PDA

View Full Version : Will the characters be stored locally or on the server database?


interesting
02-06-2010, 04:27 PM
This factor is of major importance to me.


If characters are stored locally on the users end, this means they can change the game memory values, use trainers, cheaters, speed hacks, they can leave games unsaved after important events, or duplicate items through multiplying/cloning their saved games and so on. Players can modify the game files to alter game mechanics elements, changing the rules of the game and the overall experience for him and others.

It affects the competitive aspect of the game.
It puts in perspective everything players achieve, all the items they randomly acquire and many other effects.

It creates a state of insecurity/doubt. What looks like is not what it seems. You can never be sure if whoever is playing with you used an illegal program to edit his character or duplicate items, etc.

It turns all the time and effort spent by the players in the game to dust, because since players arent playing according to the same rules (some might be using godmode, others might have edited their money to 999999, and so on).

It removes the point of playing this style of games: characterized by the roguelike elements of randomness and vertical character progression, where time and effort spent determines characters power through stats/skills/items and so on.


With that being said, I would like to know how Din's Curse co-op multiplayer will be implemented as to prevent all the aforementioned effects.

I could later on provide historical feedback on how other games of the same genre/style fared regarding their decisions on this issue.

Thanks a lot, and good to see you are progressing Steven, best luck to you in your projects this year.

peirceg
02-07-2010, 12:55 AM
How about make created characters that cant be carried over from session to session? This way you have a degree of control (the person hosting the game that is) over who/what can play. That way you simply dont play people who cheat unless you want to?

Shadow
02-07-2010, 10:54 AM
I agree with pretty much everything you said, however doing server side characters is a huge undertaking (time and money) and just not very feasible for a company our size (ie me).

Aganazer
02-07-2010, 11:17 AM
I could later on provide historical feedback on how other games of the same genre/style fared regarding their decisions on this issue.

I'd be curious to know what aRPG's besides Diablo had server side characters for their multiplayer. Comparing anything to a Blizzard title isn't really fair.

interesting
02-07-2010, 03:21 PM
I understand there is cost of time and money to have the characters information stored on the server and Im not insisting on it, I already understood your situation.

Just want to point out some things:

1. Piracy, when you have people logging on your server you can have it verify it they are using a unique cd-key and match it with their account information. This prevents piracy for all those who want to play online and have their data stored on your servers.
I know you know that, just mentioning it...

2. This point I dont know how to express... I consider it of supreme importance and in my oppinion this is the stuff that separates a huge success from an inexpressive result.

If you have this "even ground", where all characters are stored, magically, it will grow, more people will come, it will get popular, communities will be formed around it.

What I want to say is that, having character data stored on the server is the difference between people caring about your game or not, its the difference between what people do in your game "have a point" or being "pointless".

Its hard to explain. I think that IS THE FACTOR. The "boom" factor. It affects anything you achieve with your game, but exponentializes it.

For this genre, there were lots of good aRPGs, but they lacked it. Diablo is too old. Dungeon Runners free to play model was badly implemented (it was so revolting people refused to play). Titan Quest denied it at release and tried to make up for it years later. All the others aRPGs were singleplayer, some had multiplayer co-op on private lan/internet, but it doesnt satisfy.

In one, you play with a bunch of friends, in the other you play with the world, its much more compelling/social. When people play a single player or co-op multiplayer, they evaluate it in a limited way, as a personal experience they once had, something private, when you have character data stored on a server, it scales to something collective, suddenly whatever they achieve, or their experiences on that game become memorable, people can brag about it, and they can proudly remember what they did, what they accomplished to/against others in a way others cant ignore it... in this time and age people dont care what you accomplish in a single player game, or that time you played in lan with your friends, but if you were good in a game that thousands of others played online, suddenly its something you be proud off, its hard to explain why.. why in one situation playing it and progressing/achieving things on it is pointless (singleplayer, co-op multiplayer with data stored on client) and when in the other, it suddenly has a point and people care about it and see and evaluate it differently (when you have character data stored on server). Sorry for not being able to express it better.

I think lots of those other aRPGs never got any recognizement or popularity they would get if their developers would "cross the bridge". And that is the character data stored on their servers, everyone united under the same rules.

They all argued the same reasons: "time to implement and money to sustain".

This genre is starving for THAT. The first game to come up with that will win the "big pot". Mythos came close to experience that, if only Flagship would have focused on it, instead of it being a testing tool for ping0 (their battle.net).

Torchlight released recently is the same thing. People dont bother to play it more than once, if they do. Without that "factor", the character data stored on the server side, its like a shadow of what it could have been.

Take your time to think, if you could have character data stored on the server, even if the actual connection was hosted by the players, the cheapest and easiest way you could implement it, even if it was to say to the world that you have it "character data stored on the server".

You would generate so much interest. It would be so popular. There isnt much competition on the market and it will take a while for them to arrive. The demand for this was never as high as currently is. You dont need to make it an MMO, you can still make it co-op hosted by the players, dont need for standard MMO tools and features, dont need to balance anything, keep the same game mechanics, all you need to have is a client-server communication sending cryptographed data of the characters on a timely basis and storing it, when people log in, they get the server stored data, and it keeps updating as they play. Thats the only thing you need to "jackpot" Im talking about.

Just take your time to think about it. A thing like this might be the opportunity of your life, to win big, to make a difference, to get recognized.
You already have the edge with the whole "players actions/decisions change the game world and the world doesnt revolve around the player, its living breathing world design in aRPGs", but people wont see it, people wont recognize the visionary design, and thats because that magical thing I said.
f you dont store character data on a server, its wasted, its worthless, its pointless, people dont care about it and all your geniality and brilliance vanishes into thin air.

So if you could "cross the bridge", make a difference, even with the minimum time and money invested, just for the sake of fullfilling that magical requisite, by all means, do it.

Aganazer
02-07-2010, 04:37 PM
all you need to have is a client-server communication sending cryptographed data of the characters on a timely basis and storing it, when people log in, they get the server stored data, and it keeps updating as they play. Thats the only thing you need to "jackpot" Im talking about.

You would also need to safeguard the servers in some way. Anyone could mod-in a quest that gives 50 levels worth of experience or a MOB with some ridiculous loot. Those characters safely stored on the server are only as safe as the game servers checking them out. I'm not sure what kind of GameGuard-like tools the companies use but there needs to be some game server security involved.

I'm also not sure if its all that big of a deal. There are tons of people that are fine with single player alone, fewer that only play with trusted friends, and fewer yet that care about a competitive coop with rules.

HGL is out of business, Dungeon Runners is out of business, Borderlands has sold gangbusters without secure servers. I don't think we could draw any lines between stored characters and a game's success.

I'm sure this kind of feature would be cool. I'm not against it or anything, but I can think of about 20 other things that would be just as cool to add without the kind of ongoing costs that this would need. This feature is more the business of MMOG's which is probably where I have seen 'Interesting' before... mmorpg.com?

Lyranaar
02-07-2010, 05:19 PM
...

1. Piracy, when you have people logging on your server you can have it verify it they are using a unique cd-key and match it with their account information. This prevents piracy for all those who want to play online and have their data stored on your servers.
I know you know that, just mentioning it...

2. This point I dont know how to express... I consider it of supreme importance and in my oppinion this is the stuff that separates a huge success from an inexpressive result.

....


Please don't take this post in any way personal. I just would like to state my opinion to this suggestions.

to 1) One definite reason to buy this game for me was the fair EULA and the absence of DRM. If there was some forced logging in to any place or worse I probably wouldn't have bought it. I understand that is probably no point for you, but for some customers that is a buy/don't buy criterium. I want to be able to play the game at any time - now and later - at my terms.
I also don't really think this would stop piracy - if the game is popular enough. It is always hard to say what "would" happen. But economical it is not about stopping "piracy" it is about getting paying customers that counts.

to 2) There is really not much at the market that fits your decision and is newer. I agree. But there is not much around that let's you enjoy friendly coop games with friends/family either. For me that's the game I wanted since playing DoP. ("If this could be played coop..."). And best of it, it is even moddable that way without hassle.

So I think Din hits the market in a spot there are few or none contenders anyway. And this way it needs fewer resources to build on it. I rather see the scarce resources of Soldak go into delivering the best possible experience for exactly this type of game. It's addicting - as it stands now. I think it has the potential to be a long seller, just what a small company needs that way.

Perhaps if Din is done (and one expansion that brings the outside world as well :-) ) and there are thoughts about a new project, there could be a game like you describe, now for another audience.

Cheers!

getter77
02-07-2010, 08:07 PM
passionate points

I can see where you are coming from somewhat, as somebody doing his best to take a long terms look at the game in terms of thinking it has the "right stuff" to remain relevant for many a year out from now. This might well simply be out of the monetary lineup for now though, seeing how you can't get much more of a skeleton crew than one actual skeleton! (Mr. Peeler).

That said, you might, and perhaps somewhere in the future, Soldak might consider taking some notes on this sort of thing in terms of about the only thing I know of that tries to do this and is actively working at it improvement wise nowadays---not an MMO, but a realtime Roguelike environ:

http://www.mangband.org/ The PWMangband variant in particular seems especially active lately and even seems to have graphical tiles working.

savagestranger
02-11-2010, 08:08 PM
I came to this forum from ve3d.com to ask this very question. The game seems very interesting, but not having secure accounts diminishes a lot of my excitement. For me, it's removes the multiplayer fun, knowing that anyone can cheat at will. Sure, I could play with only people who I know, but synching our schedules, not to mention common interests in a game, is somewhat of a rarity. Even if the stars did align, who's to say that they wouldn't cheat. lol

I really believe that such a system would only propel the game forward and if I had to bet, I'd bet that there are many potential customers who would feel the same. Sure, a lot of people bought Borderlands and Titan Quest, but the communities could have been sustained for much longer, imo.

interesting
02-11-2010, 11:29 PM
Yeah, I was playing Borderlands months ago and it simply killed it for me after 4 days. Whats Am I doing? Whats the point? The more people started posting on the forum about the modifications they did, the trainers they used and so on, the less interested I felt in the game, waited a bit to see if they would "fix" it or how would they repply to the community (I wasnt the only one, there were many thinking alike), nothing. I checked their forum for one more week then stopped caring.

Kruztee
02-11-2010, 11:50 PM
Play the game how you want to.

Din's Curse is primarily a single player game with included co-op multiplayer support. It is not (and by my understanding never was meant to be) a MMORPG. If you don't want to play with cheats, then don't. Soldak games are by their very nature extremely easy to mod. It is intended and encouraged that people mod their game to their own likings.

The best thing to do is to play with people that you trust not to modify their game (if that's what you want). There are many people that regularly post on these boards (myself included) that would be happy to play a totally unmodified co-op game with you. It's not a particularly competitive game and there is no PvP element to it at all. I think that with all this talk about secure servers and whatnot, people are really just missing the whole beauty of the game.

:(

interesting
02-12-2010, 04:18 PM
Kruztee
You are mistaken.

"It is not (and by my understanding never was meant to be) a MMORPG."

Your mistake here is to assume that having character data stored server side makes a game a MMORPG.

Battle.net didnt made Diablo series a MMORPG.

Your second mistake is assume that its just about one player preferences.

"If you don't want to play with cheats, then don't."

Its about preventing EVERYONE from doing so. It doesnt matter if I choose not to cheat, what matters is that others are still doing it.

Could you please explain yourself, how come you didnt realize that?



Last thing.
Relying on the player to filter who he plays with as an attempt to prevent cheats doesnt work, because players cannot tell if whoever they are playing with are following the same rules as he.

Having to actually filter and choose who he plays with, strongly reduces the scope of whatever he achieves, limits the number of players he will play with, all the social/community aspects of it, the economic aspect.

Basically, instead of playing with ALL players, you are playing with a few, because of the inumerous filters and limitations.

Its about the game "bridging" the players, offering them a tool that relate each other prior to them stablishing a relationship outside the game, under a unified set of rules (that embraces and prevents all the negative aspects already mentioned in anterior posts).

The server intermediates a "social contract" signed by the players who will abid to play under the same rules, either they want it, or not. All the players. I will be sure that noone else will be using a trainer, because since the character data is stored server side, OTHERS doesnt have access to it.

A co-op multiplayer support is good, but pales in comparison with a "Battle.net" of sorts.


You mentioned the game's modability.

Shadow, does the modability of Din's Curse allows the ability to a player to mod/create a server that stores the data of the character who played on it akin to a Battle.net?

Many years ago Ive seen this feature, the game was called Rage of Mages II: Necromancer, released in 1998. I modded and hosted a server and whoever played on my server had to setup a login/password and their characters would be stored on my computer and whenever they wanted to play in my server, they would use those characters stored on the server. I was able to host over a dozen players and I know of player run servers that allowed for hundreds of players simultaneously. It was a russian game, not widelly known... such strong pedigree ended up with Allods Online, currently in Beta. Rage of Mages was a little game that not many people overseas knew about and it had that feature and 10 years later the characters stored on the server were still there, the world was still there, everyone playing under the same rules, no trainers/mods etc.

Does Din's Curse would allow that? If you think of this as an MMORPG you will dismiss it as too costly, too difficult, etc. It has nowhere the same costs to implement or maintain as an MMORPG. Its very viable.

Kruztee
02-12-2010, 05:55 PM
Kruztee
You are mistaken.

Rubbish. I was simply stating my opinion (although, it seems that I probably should have made this more clear). Just as it seems to be your opinion that having no server-side character data storage makes Din's Curse a lesser game. I'm simply disagreeing with you. :confused:

Your mistake here is to assume that having character data stored server side makes a game a MMORPG.

I certainly did not make that assumption anywhere in my post. You misunderstand me. :mad:

Its about preventing EVERYONE from doing so. It doesnt matter if I choose not to cheat, what matters is that others are still doing it.

Could you please explain yourself, how come you didnt realize that?

Then I repeat my point. Don't play with people you suspect of cheating. It really is as simple as that. We're not talking about a massive EA backed title that's going to move hundreds of thousands of copies here. At the end of the day (and I certainly wish Soldak all the very best selling an excellent and immensely re-playable title) if Din's Curse sells a few hundred copies, then it will be doing extremely well in market where the sales of most indie games are measured in two or three digits. To be even comparing Din's multiplayer support to "Battle.net" is both unfair and non-productive. I'm not trying to be facetious here, but unfortunatley, that's just the way the world is.

Shadow, does the modability of Din's Curse allows the ability to a player to mod/create a server that stores the data of the character who played on it akin to a Battle.net?

Hmm. this actually seems like a sensible question, so I'll leave that for Shadow to answer.


I'm not going to weigh in to this argument anymore because I don't see anything productive coming from it. I simply see that we have a vastly different opinion of the way multiplayer should work in this game. Neither of us is wrong for holding an opinion, and I would respectfully request that you desist from informing people that "They are mistaken" for doing so.

kyol
03-09-2010, 05:44 AM
Yeah, I was playing Borderlands months ago and it simply killed it for me after 4 days. Whats Am I doing? Whats the point? The more people started posting on the forum about the modifications they did, the trainers they used and so on, the less interested I felt in the game, waited a bit to see if they would "fix" it or how would they repply to the community (I wasnt the only one, there were many thinking alike), nothing. I checked their forum for one more week then stopped caring.

Same story here! :(

timeh
03-09-2010, 10:25 AM
Same story here! :(

I honestly don't understand how what people that aren't (and never will be) playing with are doing to their characters has ANY effect on how much enjoyment you can get from a game.

Apply the argument to real life. There are plenty of thieves and crooks out there, but you still "play the game"...

Guenwhyever
03-16-2010, 04:54 PM
Having characters stored server-side would be a massive waste of money.
As others have said.