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Bluddy
01-18-2011, 03:23 AM
I don't have the expansion yet, but these are ideas I have from playing DC. Some of them may already be implemented in the expansion, some may be somewhat implemented, and some may be best for a sequel or should just be ignored.

It's really cool that you have to run to defend your town in DC, but I'm doing it just because I don't want to fail. I'd like to care more about the town and the NPCs as well.

So here's a list of ideas:

- Since NPCs can have relationships, they can be in love. We're given a quest by the NPC's lover: "Please try to save Blahblah my love!". If we don't act fast enough, he/she will go in and try it themselves and probably die a tragic death. If we then save the hostage, when we meet him in town he'll be very sad and maybe start doing the trouble-making/desperate activities. (It'll be good if we're informed when the lover goes in on their own so we can try and save them).
- The same can happen with married NPCs who are fighting (due to random aggressiveness). The husband will remark about the last thing he said to his wife being an angry remark.
- A young lad/lass in the town may be inspired by you and want to teleport with you to the next town. You get to remember the NPC's name, have him follow you, get attached to him. He'll help you out (a little) in a pinch. And it'll be sad if one time he's the one who's kidnapped/killed. He may decide to follow you again to the next town or just stay if he found his place/fell in love (which will also be enjoyable to see). Once you get attached to him, you may even ask him to come along.
- Dynamic kidnappings ie ones that didn't occur in the past. A monster comes in, grabs an NPC and goes. (Can this happen already in DW?)
- Real repercussions when you lose a town. An evacuation of the town begins. You have a bit of time before the denizens of the dungeons realize the town is lost. If they have a recon totem, you have no time. Any defeneses you built will help the evacuation. Everybody tries to get to the gate while masses of creatures invade. They also destroy the buildings so you really see the destruction. Husbands may refuse to leave until they find their wives. Then, any survivors may end up in the next town (some will die along the way). They may cause resentment among the natives though, and they'll be depressed/dangerous.
- Real celebration when you save a town. NPCs will come to you and thank you, especially if you saved their loved ones.

pnakotus
01-18-2011, 03:43 AM
It'd be interesting to fluff-up the end-town breakdown; some expression of your priorities (ie, NPC casualties, preventable deaths prevented, deaths through negligence, money injected into the economy, effects of remaining quests, etc.

Din drops you off and pulls you out magically, so its really just a way to express playstyle.

Bluddy
01-19-2011, 02:45 PM
Another idea I really like... Maybe it's naive to expect the player to get attached to the town and the people. This idea tries to use existing resources and to make us care about the personalities and behaviors of the townsfolk.

One of the problems is that there's nothing for the bosses to want. They destroy the town, but what is there for the town to hide? Why should traitors be bad news? What are you defending other than the town itself? We need a McGuffin.

Suppose some of the towns were given a very powerful item to safeguard - a Piece of Din (POD for short). Din gave the POD to a random person in the town to protect. The player knows right away who it is.

The monsters want the POD because it makes them super strong, giving them masses of troops and making the boss an uber-boss. It is a piece of Din, after all. Din wants the POD protected for obvious reasons. The town needs to be defended for the POD to be safe.

If the person holding the POD dies, you're in serious trouble. The monster that finds it will try to run down the dungeon to the boss. You have to get the POD back before the fight becomes near-impossible. If you lose the town at this point, Din will be very upset. He'll penalize you with a random permanent curse (lost levels, attributes). The more PODS you lose the worse the punishments get. Eventually the altar might stop recharging you. So you really don't want to lose the POD.

If you retrieve the POD after the first holder dies, you can choose another person to safeguard it. You need to figure out who's happy and not a traitor, mostly by talking to NPCs and listening to them talk about each other, and by making NPCs happy. It's a good idea to scout out a good potential POD holder just in case the current one dies.

A POD holder could have the POD stolen by an unhappy wife, or by a traitor. And what if you give the POD to someone who looks good, but is really a shapeshifting agent in the town? Bad news.

Dewfreak83
01-19-2011, 05:31 PM
I really like where this is heading...

To make it play into the whole "Demon War" theme of the expansion, it could be a demonic artifact. Depending on the difficulty, there could be more than one artifact - each giving an extraordinarily strong buff to demon kind.

Since the undead/zomibes are part of the expansion "story", there could be undead artifacts of the same nature. Perhaps quests that allow you to even choose sides by giving the artifacts to either side to help control the tide of the war. Perhaps that is the reason the demons and undead destroyed the human town in the first place (expansion description) - in pursuit of one of their powerful artifacts.

Bluddy
01-20-2011, 03:32 AM
Another couple of ideas... since people have been complaining about having too much money and not much to do with it.

How about adding an "In Debt" option for the character? Our hero was a bad guy in his past life, and what if he racked up a HUGE amount of debt? Obviously it's random, but we're talking about 50G or so. He owes the debt to an international league of lenders. Every town he goes to they collect some of the debt, leaving him with very little remaining money (he might get lucky at some towns where the league will forget about it). If he doesn't have enough money at the end of a town, they might take a piece of equipment or some items! Now things are getting interesting! Finding a treasure room makes you ecstatic. And that donation quest just became a lot more strategic: do I give from my meager amount of money or do I let him starve? Besides, a hero who's dirt poor is just so different from what's been done so far, it's awesome. I think it adds to the tension of the game as well.

Leprechauns become a threat now. Though they should probably be made faster, since in my experience they're just a source for MORE money rather than less. I'm thinking they should run away with your money to a lower level. If you kill them fast, that's good. If not, you have to keep following them until you catch them. They'll get more tired and slower as they go down the dungeon, but this way they give you an incentive to explore the dungeon more. Of course they might also get killed by other monsters, who'll leave your gold right there :)

Additionally, now that townies have limited money, vendors can't buy all the crappy loot you find, right? That's good. Well, what if they also looked for interesting loot rather than anything you could find? They don't want a piece of junk armor, they want something better than what you sold them last. Now here's another strategic decision: do I sell them my awesome armor because I need the money for potions?

Bluddy
01-20-2011, 04:10 AM
Stealing an idea from another thread: a way to make the NPC's new abilities impact the player is putting them in harm's way. Have quests to escort either 1 or more (preferably many more) NPC's to do something in the dungeon. It could be a mining operation, it could be setting up a complicated totem, or anything else that takes some time. You escort the NPCs to the area and protect them while they're doing it. They and you would be attacked by monsters all the while. If there's a traitor in the town, there would be many more monsters. NPCs that hate each other could fight while they're supposed to do the job, adding complications. And what if the town gets attacked at the same time, which is especially likely if there's a traitor?

DrShock
01-21-2011, 12:45 PM
I could not agree more with the kidnapping idea. What fun to go searching for a lost NPC and bring them back to town.

pnakotus
01-21-2011, 04:04 PM
Heh - escort missions are always a great addition to any game. :V

Nobear
01-21-2011, 04:57 PM
Anything universal that adds to a player's money problems at low-mid levels, should be balanced out at high levels (90+) where I already find myself spending more than I make on food/potions. From level 97+ in particular, I struggle with being broke and not having enough for food/potions or the occasional upgrade from a vendor.

Adding options to increase your character's money struggles is another thing and I'm not opposed to it. Sure, if that's your style why not have an option for it?

Roswitha
01-21-2011, 05:21 PM
I might point out that we've already got a Poverty option. Would it be better to tweak that or add a different option?

pnakotus
01-21-2011, 06:57 PM
I've got a few ideas around NPC happiness, money and town economy, but I'm not sure if Shadow needs them (or if they're related to the current issues with NPC happiness).

torikamal
02-07-2011, 11:35 PM
Just a quick idea that came to me:

Have the idea to fill up an empty bottle at an altar of life or mana.
The tradeoff is that if you do choose to do this, the altar gets used up, so it presents you with a little bit of a choice.

The potency of the healing potion would be based on how deep you are in the level.