Real Time Crossfire Mailing List Archive
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Re: CF: What do you want?

On Wed, 26 May 1999, Mark Wedel wrote:
> > Sure. So maybe the real question is: should crossfire stay like it is
> > _now_ (-> only a few minor changes), or _should_ there be some
> > redesign on a larger scale?
>  The question to be asked could also be 'what should crossfire be like?'  I
> think even if it 'stays like it is', there will still be gradual improvements
> and new features added.

Agreed. I'm asking it in several ways :). In my opinion, it should change
towards more of an adventure/questing rpg. The question is, do other
people agree? I can certainly see the charm in the action type crossfire
game, but I think it's extremely hard to balance such a game, and it will
have inherent tendencies that work against the production of non-action
maps and quests. The crossfire engine could work well for both kinds of
games, so if there isnt agreement on the direction, perhaps the code
should be forked before starting such modifications.
>  But I see that actually happening pretty unlikely.  The likelihood of someone
> actually starting from scratch and being able to make a usuable project in a
> reasonable amount of time pretty difficult.  I know that some people have
> started new projects in the past - not sure of the current status.

Agreed. I think the code itself is pretty good. Some things need to be
fixed, like the overuse of structure elements. Memory and reuse may have
been considerations in the past, but I think we are pretty safe these

>  I agree in that there are lots of area in which it is not documented how things
> work.  An advantage of starting over is that could be documented (but I would
> imagine you will still run into conflicts as a new feature is added or code is
> changed so something that was not possible is now possible and that side effect
> was missed.)  The biggest problem with crossfire in this regard is that there
> are maps using these bugs/features, so if they change, maps break.  If no map
> used a particular side effect and it was fixed, no one would care.

The most painless way to deal with that would be to dump the maps, decide
on 'correct' server functionality and balance and reintegrate the useable
ones into a new mapset. Most of the crossfire maps are *old* and in sore
need of both artistic and plotline improvements. There are a couple of
mapsets that would survive with minor changes, mostly the ones where there
is a lot of plot already and that are not dependent on hack'n'slash.

As far as the maps go, currently I'm of the opinion that we should scrap
the scale concepts, and move to a single unified scale for maps. Stick
with the current indoors scale for everything.

There are several reasons for this. 

An 'indoors' scale would allow monsters and NPC characters hanging around
in towns without it looking weird. The towns in themselves, rather than
just the houses, could become parts of plotlines. The same pretty much
goes for outdoors.

It would also prevent the 'closed houses' problem, since it would be a lot
harder to add a new house to a town. A new house would match the indoors
size of the house, but just contain the outside walls, and have a normal
passage through doors as a mapswitch point.

The 'world' would become a lot larger. The current mapset is very large,
but the tendency to space dungeons closely over a small 'world' gives the
impression of a much smaller world. 

Also, as I've been working on the graphics, I think it would allow more
care and work done on a single scale. Of course it would be annoying to
dump a lot of work, but in the long run it would improve things.

A possible problem would be the server side handling of large maps,
preferably with natural boundaries such as different 'zones' (countries,
dominating archetype mix, etc). 

The concept of generators could be replaced with invisible random monster
appearance zones in the outside world. These would have a certain chance
to generate a monster in a certain interval. The type of monster would be
tied to the map type (goblins, orcs, dwarves in mountains, elves and
animals in forest, random guards or something in countries, etc), and the
monster could have a certain lifetime during which it will wander around
on the map (or behave differently in some cases).  

As always, opinions appreciated.


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