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Mission or quest goals as graphs

Posted by Chris Jones
On January 10th, 2007 at 19:54

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Posted in Cyberpunk MMO, Design Journal

Many missions or tasks should be able to be completed by a single player or (faster) with a team. Several roles or skills are used (such as unlocking doors, defeating security systems, watching for guards, cracking safes, etc.) that fulfill tasks in the mission (in order and in arbitrary order). With a team, these may be completed faster.

In opposing missions, players on the other side may reset goals if there isn’t a team to counteract the damage to the completion status.

In competitive missions, teams may have different sets of goals to accomplish (either different locations or completely different goals). Some of those goals may be exclusive or complimentary to the other team’s efforts, and some may be block the other team if they haven’t advanced past that goal.

Mission goals may be seen as acyclic directed graphs. These graphs may be linear, networked, treed or doubly treed (with many goals in the center and a single beginning and single or few end points. Success may be based on absolute completion of all goals, achievement of a particular end goal, or a percentage of goals completed. As opposed to grinding (kill ten rats, so to speak), completion of goals should use skills outside of combat.

One Response to “Mission or quest goals as graphs”

  1. NCortex Says:

    This sort of falls into line with my meandering post about the combat system.
    Allowing skill use to play out in a scripted manner based on objectives and the envorinment.

    For instance. The scripted “Take Cover” skill. If having someone pull security at a certain spot. Provided the environment was created with these types of skills in mind. Using that skill in a predefined (Could then also be assigned at random.) spot would register a flag, in combination with the mission marked environmental objects in the area, triggering either an instant quest update for partial completion OR start a timer during which NPC’s would spawn or react and rush the point.

    Tactically the unoccupied nano-tech could toss up a molecular statis field inbetween environmental objects(scripted to fill the area between the verteces of two or more elligable objects OR of predefined length) essentially creating a wall, preventing the group from being over run while the decker slashes through the matrix.(Thus either updating a second security objective or increasing the speed at which the timer for holding the point decreases.) In turn the samurai could start picking off the enemy force.

    I think with the right ammount of planning in the creation of the world as a whole, you can impliment an immersive mission system that can autonomously plan missions based on group type. Poll areas for mission/group compatible environs. Mark locations and ready spawns. And render situations that leave the group members feeling usful while simultaneously assisting in completion of objective.