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GreyPawn
An offering to the Shadowrun community as a whole.

www.Shadowrun-Online.com

I welcome your thoughts, your input, your criticisms and queries. Post your thoughts liberally, for the site is meant to be an incubator of a collective vision. Be gentle though, for we are still in a conceptual stage.
Kagetenshi
Good luck braving the Redmond Barrens. I think that sticking point will end up killing the project.

~J
GreyPawn
The Redmond Barrens will most probably be a free-for-all non-consentual PvP environment consistant with the locale.

Unless by The Redmond Barrens you meant Microsoft, current owners of all FASA computer games intellectual properties. If you did, know that the purpose of the site is two-fold, to create a formidable game concept proposal to pitch Microsoft and to demonstrate a viable pre-existing base for the game.

--GreyPawn
--Shadowrun-Online.com
Maxxi
I think a safer bet would be too do what White-Wolf did for their online RPG chat. Just use a program like digichat, and have permenant chatrooms set up, each which represents a different area or street. Designate some people as moderators, and come up with a program that is also linked too the site that allows people to view their character sheets and others.

It'd be a good interim thing, and it would show you the amount of interest people had in such a thing.
noneuklid
I can't code well, draw well, or webmaster (at all), and my pockets are a little shallow. But if there is any way I can help a Shadowrun Online game get launched, I would love to see it as an MMO. I think that adopting conceptual elements from games like PlanetSide would be appropriate; having an integrated RP and FPS system would make SRO absolutely kick-ass.
Mr. Man
Of all the computer games that could be made with Shadowrun I like the idea of a MMO the least (which is to say: not at all). If it were a choice between Microsoft continuing to let their Shadowrun rights grow mold forever and making an MMO I would choose the former with no hesitation.

Huge groups of runners wandering around? Camping dragon lairs for the respawn? Every idiot with $10 a month let in the door and catered to?

No. Hell no.
noneuklid
There have been a lot of changes in MMOs recently, first and foremost the common status of instanced missions- which are perfect for SR. Check out CoH for the 'prime' example on that one. No camping.

Adding FPS elements would make stealth a more important concern, and so huge groups of runners would simply not work. Certainly players would probably form tribes or guilds, but encouraging backstabbing by subtle game mechanics would eliminate this.

Fleece the unwary and encourage the skilled.
Trax
I don't know about an MMO, but I think it would be great to have it as an FPS, kinda like Deus Ex, with the open story and plugin ability of Morrowind so that you can do the main story if you want, or ignore it and do whatever you want.
GreyPawn
Maxxi- Chatroom placeholders is a definite possibility as the project grows in strength, number and content.

noneuklid- Everyone has a talent. Even if yours happens to be writing or critical input. I welcome all SR lovers with any talent to participate in the SRO project in any way they can. Programmers, writers, critics, artists, designers, community cheerleaders, seasoned gamemasters and anyone else with two cents to add is welcome to contribute with the "Submit an Article" link on the site or the forums. Any help is appreciated, and brings the conceptualization one step closer to being successful.

QUOTE
Huge groups of runners wandering around? Camping dragon lairs for the respawn? Every idiot with $10 a month let in the door and catered to?


Definitely not. A little about me? I am a proud student of the MMO school of hard knocks. I worked for Electronic Arts in their Seer Interest program and recently their Event Moderator program. I've been the guildmaster of over 2,000 players across Ultima Online, Anarchy Online, and Shadowbane. I've been a Stratics News Manager for The Matrix Online and Lead Reporter for UO Stratics. I am a dedicated student of the philosophies of Raph "Holocron" Koster, Scott "Lum The Mad" Jennings, Damion "Ubiq" Schubert, Jessica Mulligan and Anthony "SunSword" Castoro.

I've been in all the MMOs. I know how they go. I know what goes wrong with them and what makes players enraged and what ruins a fun experience. Huge groups of runners running around? Sure. In the form of Player Corps, Gangs or Initiatory groups, just like in Shadowrun. Camping a dragon lair respawn? Definitely not.

I encourage you to read some of the articles on Shadowrun-Online.com, so you can see what kind of game I'm talking about. Especially the one about Immersion, since that seems to be a sticking point for you, and I do feel the same.

--GreyPawn
--Shadowrun-Online.com
FrostyNSO
I almost cry at the thought of thousands of "shadowrunners" running around the streets doing "shadowruns".

It's almost as bad as when I watch my friend play everquest 2 and he fishes and cooks for 4 hours.
Could you see a shadowrunner sitting in the middle of the barrens with a hunting rifle, sniping devil rats for 4 hours to make 'health' for his friends?

FPS Deus Ex style all the way.
Arethusa
Most MMORPGs aren't. They're rarely massive, are often not multiplayer, are online maybe half the time, involve no roleplaying, and hardly ever qualify as games. But that doesn't mean an online RPG has to follow the MMORPG formula of braindead repetition.

Is it possible for an SR online RPG to be openly developed by a community? Yes. Is is possible for it to break the conventions of a genre built on the stupidity of its fans? Yes. Is it likely that an independant group could manage this? I find it unlikely. A crack coding team can manage impressive things, but there are realistic obstacles when you venture into world creation, and those obstacles exist primarily in things that take large amounts of time, equipment, and money to successfully manage: soundwork, voice acting, art, etc. It's been done in open development to a limited degree, but even then, it was very difficult for teams to pull off. Given that Shadowrun is already a heavily niche game, I can only advise a strict sense of skepticism and realistic expectation.
FrostyNSO
I think a great Deus Ex, Splinter Cell, style, FPS update of the old Sega Shadowrun game would be awesome. But of course with a totally different storyline.

Or better, a dynamic storyline, not in the traditional sense, but a storyline where the decisions you make actually determine the plot you follow (and the path along), rather than which path you take within the one plot.
The White Dwarf
As a MMORPG vetern (and I mean it, Im ranked high and have spoken to people involved with the game staff, beta'd, etc), I have to say 2 things on this:

1) An SR MMO would be incredibly difficult to pull off successfully. Like really freaking hard. Like given a choice of going after Lofwyr, or designing this game, Id be forced to take pause and consider which is actually harder.

2) **IF** done right, an SR MMO would easily surpass all others. But for the love of all that is shadowy do it right. A poorly done one would do far more damage than could be imagined.

Properly implementing the various aspects of Shadowrun in a MMO environment poses many challenges, not all of which can be solved without coming up with new mechanics. Youd literally have to use every trick in the book and create a few new ones to do it. But omg, think of the possibilites .... Its like the run you know will likley kill you but is too cool to not take.
GreyPawn
This is in part one of the reasons it would have to fall into the MMO genre. Live ever-changing content and storyline cannot be accomplished in a single-player shot-in-the-dark Deus Ex style game. Nor would the amount of capital generated from a single player game be enough to support live and ongoing content.

Yes, it is going to be extremely hard. Anyone with a group of 10 coders and an engine can build a level treadmill. But the type of game the Shadowrun world demands as an MMO requires alot more forethought than your run of the mill Everquest clone. A single shot, single player FPS would be remarkably easier to do but offer an incredibly limited experience.

Not to bemoan or demean the purists, but any game is better than no game. And there *are* tons of tricks in my little black book of MMO design. You can read about some of them on the site right now. Like the Developer program, designed for the sole purpose of giving the players powers to add things to the world, like clothing, buildings, gear, etc.

Let me state with all due certainty that in SRO, there will not be any four hour marathon fishing for karma gain. Or camping of any sort. Dynamic spawn coupled with instanced run locations easily resolves that.

--GreyPawn
--Shadowrun-Online.com
=Spectre=
As big a fan of both Shadowrun and MMOG's as I am, I have to be exremely leery of any attempts to combine the two. Fundamentally, they are simply too different to actually work together and retain a mix of both. You could easily build a MMOG and slap the shadowrun liscence on it, but it won't bear any resemblance to the true game we've all played for years. Or, you could build a true Shadowrun game, but it's content and engine dynamics will almost restrict it to single or very small group play to stay coherent.

The problem stems from two primary sources. The first is of course, combat. As with any MMOG, turning combat into +'s and -'s is bad, but in Shadowrun, it's damn near fatal. Yet, the core rules require this in a number of instances simply because it makes each shot, punch, spellcasting or grenade toss a different experience from the last. Another problem with combat is scale. How exactly do you plan to stop Riggers, who have access to drones capable of dishing out far more damage than any other class save for maybe a combat mage. from teaming up and running air and drone strikes all over others. The instant you say, "Well we'll jsut tweak down their power level" you are removing yourself from Shadowrun. Riggers are rare in game because of financial constraints on the world. Not everyone has a million bucks or so to layout on one vehicle or drone setup. But in an MMOG, everyone wants to play everything, and this includes Riggers. Likewise, Deckers come with the very same problems as riggers, but are far more difficult to manage. Remember, Decker actions can take as little as a few seconds in game, but hours(in some cases, DAYS) to rule and roll out. How do you combine the lightning fast time of a Decker's ingame actions, with the turtle-with-only-three-legs slow decking rules.

The second primary problem is structure. The basic, fairly common play session in SR is "Johnson A pays team B to X(where X is equal to steal, plant, open, close, destroy, rebuild, enter, exit ) Y(where Y is equal to person, place, or thing)" In these situations, the GM is the general authoratitve world maker. He decides the subtle values and effects of character actions, such as whether or not their actions make the news, Lonestar, their reps or any other intangible factor. But in an MMOG, the world must automatically make these decisions. Abstract thoughts don't enter into it. If a runner does this, their rep increases. If a runner does that, Lonestar picks them up and strts looking for accomplices. Given the thousnads of factions spread out over the shadows of the world, how do you control what happens to a character with rep in seattle who deos a job in say denver.

I'm not really trying to knock the wind out of your sails for the project, but this has been sggested before, and in every case, these tasks prove near insurmountable. Shadowrun is a great game becuase it can be tailored to a variety of play styles, from the uber-violent to the uber-talktative, and everything n between. Trying to distill all of that into one solid video game concept just will not work.
GreyPawn
You are wise to be leery =Spectre=. MMOs and tabletops are vastly different creatures, with different ways of reaching a similar shared goal, that being fun. And you are right about how an MMO Shadowrun will be different from the SR pen and paper that you've played for years. It is the very nature of the digital media to present substance to what was only previously imagined. Is Dunkelzahn going to look in-game like he looked in your imagination from the vantage point of the tabletop? Perhaps, but probably not. But thats the tradeoff for substance.

You bring up the issue of balancing, with riggers and deckers and mages. Currently in Shadowrun, there exists a level of diminishing return, which has helped to balance things out a bit. But balance, even in Shadowrun pen and paper is a thing that every GM struggles with. I can firmly say that balancing will be on the top ten list of priorities for a Shadowrun MMO. And it won't be the "fix it as you go" approach many MMOs have adopted that force changes to the actual physics of the universe to nerf or twink specific disciplines/classes on the fly.

You've mentioned the problem of deckers and Matrix play. One of the earliest suggested remedies for this is a simple layering of the game world. Three different "spaces" one can exist in. The real, astral and the Matrix. Ever play Clive Barker's Undying? Astral Sight in that game is a perfect example. Faceted instanced game worlds layered over the existing static one. So the Decker will be able to travel along with a party in the Matrix interpretation of the real world, just as a projecting mage would be able to in Astral. In regards to speed, simplified success/failure calculations can determine the outcome of a decker or a rigger's actions without the need for hours of mathematical declarations. If a simplification of the rules functions in the same just and fair fashion as the complex variety, isn't the result the same?

Regarding structure and content, I'm a firm believer that content is king. Already the poll on the SRO site concurs with that fact. A random set of strings, intuitively populating NPC Johnsons' "to do lists" in exactly the same type of formula you have outlined would be the primary force of content. Secondary would be the more specific and lore-based missions, pre-written by both Live Content writers and players to provide a deeper understanding of the plot, lore and history of the world, very much in the way that World of Warcraft does missions. The third type of content is passive content. Seeing something in-game you'd recognize, like a Diner on a street corner or hearing an episode of WyrmTalk in-game for the first time. The fourth and final element of content is the best kind, that being Live Content. Runs and overarching plotlines administrated by game staff using GM tools to present the event to small or large groups of players, and adding a uniquely human interface to the storyline.

--GreyPawn
--Shadowrun-Online.com
Kagetenshi
Let's run through some problem scenarios, shall we?

Character A wants to improve his or her stats. How does he or she do that?

~J
GrinderTheTroll
One of my biggest complaints in transitioning any RPG to Console, PC or MMOG form is something gets lost in the translation. You are no long listening to the description and forming your own picture, which for me, has always been one of my favorite parts.

Also the mechanics of an MMOG would need to be so different that it would decimate many of the RPG facets that make SR a great RPG. Some sort of hit points would be introduced, reoccurring healing, new skill system, combat, weapon functions, magic, decking, rigging, you name it, would need to change to make for a lasting "real-time" experience.

I don't think an SR MMOG would bring a huge number of new SR players, look at EverQuest for example. There is a d20 Everquest RPG, and even though I enjoyed the MMOG, I had *zero* desire to play an RPG based on it. They might have similar themes (world, people, faces, names, etc.), but IMO the experiences are completely different.

Sorry for the bitter comments I just think not all things RPG need to make the translation to video-game, console or MMOG.
GreyPawn
QUOTE
Character A wants to improve his or her stats. How does he or she do that?


With karma points gained. Let us say a new character is created and logs into the game. After going through a very extensive tutorial process for indoctrination and systems familiarization, the player wishes to find a way to boost his charisma, since he is hopeful of some day becoming a well known face-man.

The character would utilize his existing contact/s to come into communication with an NPC Johnson, whom would then be added to his contact list at a level of 0. The Johnson would function as a mission terminal of sorts, the new player being able to select from a list of randomly populated runs with outlined rewards in and karma points. The player accepts a mission from the Johnson to bring a brown paper package from the 4th Street Warehouse to the Denizen's Diner southeast of the Arcology, with a run difficulty of "Very Easy". Lets say that the reward for this run is 100 and 5 karma. The player completes the run without a hitch and the hand-off goes as planned. 100 is deposited onto the player's unregistered credstick or account and the player now has 5 karma to spend.

Once the player obtains the requisite amount of karma to increase his charisma attribute, he does so according to the game formula with adherence to racial limits and maxes through the character sheet screen.

--GreyPawn
--Shadowrun-Online.com
Kagetenshi
So fixed karma aquisition based on run completion only?

I personally don't consider that an acceptable answer, and is certainly a departure from Shadowrun tabletop, but let's move on to the next question.

Bob wants to make a character. What is the Chargen? Priorities? Point-based? Something completely different and new for the MMORPG?

~J
paul_HArkonen
QUOTE
So fixed karma aquisition based on run completion only?

I personally don't consider that an acceptable answer


I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on that one, I'd say that Karma aquisition based on run completion is the only way to give out Karma and prevent the EQ "camp the respawn" mentality. I'd say it would be nice to have "if runner completes X he gets Y Karma, but if he completes X and Z he gets V karma" (sorry ran out of letters there) but most the important thing is to prevent the "camp the respawn" mentality. And PCs shouldn't know how much Karma they get from a run until they finish it.

Oh, and I realize it's not exactly the best thing for an MMO, but I'd say you should have each Johnson only have one run, so you either take it, or you don't, but if you don't you have to search for another run to do.
Kagetenshi
I think it's better than a lot of solutions, but when it comes down to it it is exactly a "camp the respawn" thing. You look for the job that you can clearly identify as offering more karma (and people will map them out).

~J
paul_HArkonen
That's why you have to try and prevent people from getting the same run over and over again, I realize it's a lot more work, but the only real solution is that once a run's been done... it's done, over with, completed, not available anymore. Period.

I understand it makes life a hell of a lot more dificult, but in my opinion that's the best system, again to encourage, actual role play, or at least something other than "I must become the best (player, runner, decker, etc) here."

And keeping Karma amounts for a run hidden would also help prevent that, although it wouldn't end it completely.

[edit] and any run that offers more Karma needs to be harder, delivering the bag should be worth maybe 1 Karma, maybe. Either way looking for a run that offers more Karma should mean looking for a harder to complete run. [/edit]
Nath
Only on run completion ? That'd be without me. I don't to be going from and back an automatic Johnson #1 asking me to kill 10 squatters, pass a level and move on to Automatic Johnson #2... I want to be rewarded somehow if I want to play a gunrunner, paying other PCs to rob missile launcher in a military compound, protecting my goods and selling them on the black market to other PCs who want to use them on a run. Or as a fixer, accepting runs from Johnson only to subcontract them to other PCs. Or as a cop or as a corporate "counter-terrorist" expert stopping running PCs...
paul_HArkonen
but see those could each be considered runs.

Let's take your gun running example. You get X Karma for actually finding a group of PCs to work for you, another X Karma for getting the goods, another X Karma for selling them. But you don't get Karma from trying to find squatters and kill them.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (paul_HArkonen)
That's why you have to try and prevent people from getting the same run over and over again, I realize it's a lot more work, but the only real solution is that once a run's been done... it's done, over with, completed, not available anymore. Period.

But there are still catagories. Theft, datasteal, willing extraction, unwilling extraction, wetwork, mayhem, etc. etc. etc. Some of these are intrinsically more difficult than others. Some targets are intrinsically more secure than others. Unless you're going to make sure that no one has ever heard of the corp they're getting a run against and no one ever will again, you'll have people who will be able to cross-reference run type to corp. Think only a few people will ever do that? You're right. And those same few people, or at least one of them, will probably post a guide. And then boom, camp the spawn point.

Regarding gunrunners, then you get a group of five running guns back and forth between each other.

~J
paul_HArkonen
well then how about we give up and never try anything because as you're pointing out people will always try to "camp the respawn" in whatever form that takes.

It's not possible to prevent it entirely, it's just that steps should be taken to try and prevent it, or to encourage people who don't want to play in a world where it's all "camp the respawn" to play. Just because X,Y, and Z people do it doesn't mean it's needed to play. I can play my way, and those people who don't want an RPG can just sit and camp.
Kagetenshi
But that's true anyway. What we have is a kludgy solution that doesn't reward alternative solutions to problems but doesn't protect against camp-the-spawn play. Moreover, it doesn't reward "valiant failures", whereby an attempt with merit may be karma-worthy even if it failed. That said, I can't say that I see a way to do this, but the absence of a better solution doesn't make a solution good.

~J
paul_HArkonen
except that even in the actual Game, IIRC, Karma is only supposed to be given out upon completion of the run, if you need an exact quote I can find it, I think.

Either way, It's better to try and encourage role playing, by basing experiance off quests, thus giving runners who have a goal in the game, whatever it may be, a chance to earn enough Karma to "level up" without ever having to go look for enemies to kill for no reason other than to level up.
Kagetenshi
Yes, you only get karma after a run. That doesn't mean that Run X is always worth 5 karma no matter how you complete it, and always 0 if you fail to accomplish the objectives.

~J
paul_HArkonen
I don't know, I would hope that run X would be worth 5 Karma unless you did in some way the was beneficial to either yourself or the J, like with no deaths, or no traces, or something like that. But either way you should get no Karma for not finishing it, and no extra Karma based on kills.


Actually another concern just came to me. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to use Lone Star/ corporate payback squads?

I mean a lot of SR is based off of staying in the Shadows and not getting cuaght. Any SR game, done right, would have to have that element to it, but how it would be done I don't know.
=Spectre=
Grey Pawn, you made a very interesting suggestion before about using Digichat to try and work out the problems. But to truly succed, you'll need to stage up the difficulty.

What you'll need to do is, as you said, create an online virtual world similar to White Wolf's Jade, New Bremen, and other persistant chat games. But you will need to create this world and sustain it using only AI run scripts. GM's can watch and adjust the scripts to balance things, but as the MMOG will run fundamentally on AI interaction, so too must the chat game version to work out the kinks.

on top of that, you'll need to craft a completely computer run character approval system. Again, this will simulate you running the MMOG via the perosnal computer, but you'll need to completely eliminate book searching and websearchign for parts. You need a completely self contained creation system to pass MMOG muster.

Last but not least of the game process, you need a self sustaining combat system where players can decide in an instant if they want to go into combat. This may be a bit flexible however, as you could theoretically go 3rd person camera over shoulder(Max Payne, Freedom Force) for combat so you can do ranged and melee with relative ease and have a more action packed game. But then again, doing so means you put more twitch-factor into the game, and less reliance on speed-boosting cyberware, powers or spells.

If you can use the Digichat or another web-based chat engine to solve this problem, the actual mechanics of making Shadowrun into a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying game may indeed be a possibility. But there is one other option you may have in regards to the game. Take out the Massively word of the MMOG concept, limit your servers to a few hundred people per gameworld instance, and run it as a Multiplayer online RPG. That would lower the level of tweaking and concept shredding you'll have to do and make the game a little easier to build.
bitrunner
personally, i'd rather see more of a format like Fallout, with maybe the option of having up to five other players, like NWN...get the mechanics, environment, and such for this type of game first, and see how it sells, then move on to the MMO...
but, if you're driven on the MMO front, i'll say that i've liked CoH so far the best in terms of overall gameplay - how it handles missions, the environment, etc...
Cynic project
Well, COH would be a good start,but you need more complex NPCs,skills,and gear.
the_dunner
Corporate payback squads and Lone Star are easy to incorporate. Any decent MMORPG tracks your reputation with the various factions in the game world, and this one would also. Of course, instead of tracking faction with Pirates and Fey, you'd be tracking reputation with various corps and organizations within the Shadowrun world. If youre face showed up on vidtape a few too many times with Renraku, it could trigger a payback squad showing up. Similarly, roaming Lone Star cops would have various attitudes towards PCs based upon past experiences. Further, a street encounter with DocWagon could result in an HTRT showing up to clear up a mess.

Somebody else mentioned that guilds shouldn't exist. I, on the other hand, would very much expect them to. Guilds would be represented as things like Gangs, Initiate Groups, and Shadowrun teams. In tabletop terms, your regular group of PCs would probably belong to the same guild. I doubt most would have a logo, but they could certainly have a name that they go by.

Similarly, a combination of instanced Shadowruns and a well coded random generation system could come up with a very nice variety of runs. If players selected their contacts at Character generation, those contacts could determine which runs were available to them initially. Then, as they improved their reputation with a given contact, that person might introduce them to new contacts who offer other runs.

Since MMORPGs update on a regular (often monthly) basis, it would make a great deal of sense to have the run generation system change regularly, with a theme. For instance, one update might have a lot of runs that deal with a Mob war. Another might deal with a corp trying to develop a new product line, and the competition that entails. After that, a big plot could center around some media star's rise to fame.

The possibilities here are pretty expansive. Sure, there are a lot of kludges and a lot of sticking points. But, given time and thought, this could be made to work quite nicely.

Someone suggested that Riggers would be unbalanced. I'd agree that it would be very possible for them to be. However, other MMORPGs have certainly enabled "pet" classes in the past.

Another person mentioned that a level system would destroy the game. I'd agree with this also. However, there have been skill-based MMORPGs before, and I think this would be the direction that the game would have to move.

The biggest problem I forsee is just how many variables the game would need to track for each character. You'd need to start with everything that NSRCG tracks, and then add in so much more. Further, since it's a cyberpunk game, you'd need a costume creation option that would be comparable to the one in City of Heroes.

This is an enormous project to seriously consider. It's possible, but the number of man hours it would encompass are astronomical. Just the number of artists that would be required to model and skin everything is mind boggling.
bitrunner
exactly - a good start...you could certainly do worse than to build on their engine...
Cynic project
Evercrak,anyone?
James McMurray
I haven't had much time to look at it (about 5 seconds) but I have one sugestion: change the layout to be a dark background with a light font. Its much easier on the eyes (they've even done ergonomics studies about it, which show it to greatly reduce eye strain).
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (the_dunner)
Someone suggested that Riggers would be unbalanced. I'd agree that it would be very possible for them to be. However, other MMORPGs have certainly enabled "pet" classes in the past.

I have yet to see a pet class that offers vehicle armor and a medium machine gun with halved recoil, plus sensors that extend kilometers away.

~J
GreyPawn
Run completion would not be the only source of player advancement or karma gain, most definitely. And like I said earlier, spawns would be completely unmappable and completely uncampable due to a dynamic spawn system and instancing. Karma could theoretically be recieved any number of different ways, through profiteering, monster-killing, bounty hunting, player corp leadership, etc.

It would be theoretically impossible to prevent the same -type- of run from being experienced more than once, but a randomizer with intuitive touches could generate dynamic missions and runs enough to break the monotony and certainly the possibility of encountering the same run would be improbable at best.

It -will- be possible to subcontract runs. Players will definitely be able to become Johnsons themselves in this fashion.

QUOTE
Does anyone have any suggestions for how to use Lone Star/ corporate payback squads?


Yes, there is an entire discussion regarding Justice on the Shadowrun-Online.com site regarding this. Summarized? Many causes will have lasting effects. Kill a CEO of an A or B corp in a public market and get seen? Expect your Low Lifestyle safehouses to suddenly come under alot of LoneStar attention. Off the wrong chummer on a side-street ally and maybe you'll find that level 1 contact of yours isn't so trustworthy anymore.

=Spectre=, I don't believe approaching an MMO's creation from the point of view of a chatroom is the best direction. My experience in MMOs and some of the hard learned lessons indicate a more holistic approach is necessary, hence the concept site. A community has a tendancy to sift through the bad and good and leave the best behind before galvanizing itself to push something through, and thats really what I'm aiming at here. If a placeholder was something that the SR community as a whole demanded, I might be tempted to construct a UO emulator shard with a Fallout skin and reconfigured skills and map tileset. But to do such would be to rubberstamp the project as 2D isometric before it even leaves the starting gate.

--GreyPawn
--Shadowrun-Online.com
GreyPawn
QUOTE
I have yet to see a pet class that offers vehicle armor and a medium machine gun with halved recoil, plus sensors that extend kilometers away.


"Pets" is a good way of comparing Riggers to the current MMO genre standards. Naturally, a beta testing heavy-handed balancing would have to come into effect for all archetypes. Limitations and balancing is the only way to make things fair and just and to prevent one archetype from becoming the *only* archetype.

--GreyPawn
--Shadowrun-Online.com
Kagetenshi
And then we get into the question of how far away from Shadowrun you're willing to let this get.

~J
GreyPawn
That depends entirely on your interpretation of what is Shadowrun.
Is Shadowrun the rich world, the stories, the lore, the characters and peoples and events which have shaped the universe through myriad numbers of sourcebooks, communities and gamers..

or..

Is it the fact that firing a snub-nosed revolver from the back of a moving train at a dune buggy results in a modifier of 12 (plus -2 for light conditions)?

Important question to ask oneself. What is the world of Shadowrun made of? The substance of it, or the way the substance is relayed?

--GreyPawn
--Shadowrun-Online.com
Kagetenshi
This isn't nearly that fine a distinction. One of the big things about Riggers is that they pack the most punch by orders of magnitude with some of the best armor and mobility. The balance is that they pack the least subtlety (or the most fragility when they are subtle), high costs, and some unique difficulties operating indoors.

That's more balanced in a tabletop game than a MMORPG. Remember, not everyone is going to be there to role-play; the vast majority of the market will be there to do anything but. Meanwhile, you either overpunish them and make them useless, or you let them smack anything down. Sure, they may get taken out by a hit squad later, but in a MMORPG it just doesn't matter so much.

Which raises another question, despite the fact that you haven't answered the last one: when a character dies, what happens?

~J
FrostyNSO
When they die, they're dead.

I'm sure this will be remedied by the all-powerful Doc-Wagon. However, I think that there should be a limited maximum number of Doc-Wagon response teams in the game world.

If all the Doc-Wagon response teams happen to be busy, you're SOL. There is a set amount of time that Doc Wagon has to arrive before you're dead for good. (based on body attribute)

Furthermore, Doc-Wagon teams will need to be sufficiently bad-ass to prevent people from "Camping" Doc-Wagon. (killing somebody with a contract and waiting for the paramedics to arrive and hijack their ambulance)

edit:

Also, you could allow other players to drag dead characters to the nearest street doc or hospital. They'd have to do this within a certain amount of time (based on body attribute).
Kagetenshi
This makes the problem of PKing Riggers even worse. Kill off a lot of peoples' worked-on characters, get wasted by the Star, then start working on your next PKing Rigger (or Streetsam, or whatever).

~J
FrostyNSO
The Star could act similar to CONCORD on Eve-Online. They will come to interdict gunfights in higher security areas, and as the security rating decreases, so does the response time. In Z-zones, there is no response whatsoever.

This would (in theory) keep most of the PK-ing localized to low security zones. When a character ventures into these zones, they should know damn well by then what they're getting into.
Kagetenshi
Not with a disposable PK-character, unless you want to have response times in under the amount of time it takes for a grenade to be thrown, explode, and kill the person it hit. Or for a vehicle to accelerate and ram a player.

~J
FrostyNSO
Good point.

Before i get too much ito this, let me make it clear that I am against making Shadowrun a MMO, I'm just bouncing ideas here.

Another idea could be to have a sort of points system.

In a NASCAR game my uncle used to play, it would keep track of your crashes and whether you were at fault. If you had to many crashes to your fault, it wouldn't allow you into certain games (depending on what settings the game creator set).

This could be modified to disallow access to districts?

The disposable PK player would have to be fixed by something like (either, or, or any combination of the following):

1. Limiting the number of characters you can have on an account.

2. Imposing a time limit between creating and deleting characters.

3. Making players pay for each additional character.

4. Allowing only 1 character per account at a time.
GreyPawn
Death is a tricky subject.

After careful consideration, yes, DocWagon will most probably function as a catch-all to prevent character death.

If you die, you re-appear at a local DogWagon clinic. No karma penalty, no Hand of God, no gear loss, but depending upon where you were, its possible that you've lost the items that were in your inventory. Death will function very similar to World of Warcraft in this regards.

While I'm pretty sure that this will have some detractors, especially amongst the more die-hard SR purists, players of games don't play them because they want to be punished or they enjoy downtime. Making death as painless as possible appeals to a greater number of people than making death painful would, simply put. Permanent death cannot be an option in any competitive online game.

--GreyPawn
--Shadowrun-Online.com
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