While I’m Asking for Game Features

[Eternal Lands] Yesterday, people were lining up to tell me that a feature I always wanted in a game already exists in various forms and is slated to be implemented fully this year. Later that day, WorldIV pointed me to a game that has another feature that I have always wanted.

killsheet.JPG Eternal Lands is a bagatelle of an online game that is in beta and feels like it. It has some interesting ideas, insane lore, and graphics akin to ATitD; I can review what I have seen if there is interest. What excited me is that it has a kill sheet.

Remember that box in Fallout that listed everything you had taken out? I loved that box. I would hunt deathclaws until they outnumbered the rats. I love my badges in City of Heroes and the deed log in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™. If I am going to be killing ten thousand rats, I at least want a trophy to show for it. I really love EVE Online’s logging tools that let me see every transaction I have made back to eternity along with why corporations love or hate me.

Here we have almost my perfect ideal for tracking, although it does not have EVE’s market/wallet tracking. What it does do is list everything you have killed, been killed by, harvested, made, summoned, or cast. It divides it between “ever” and “since you last logged on.” Another tab shows how much experience you have gained in each category this session. All I need is a bit of organization like nested folders in Windows, so that I could see what specific types of goblins (wizards, scouts, etc.) I have taken out, and maybe some organization of harvested items into their categories (plants, rocks, etc.).

Your game should be tracking all this anyway. Let me see it! If I have logged 345 hours and killed 1,453 red-shirted goblins, I want to know that. I can compete with my friends on who has slaughtered the most centipedes, and we can mock each other for having spent all that time harvesting coal. “Yes Bill, you are paying $15/month to pretend to be a coal miner. Your parents must be proud.”

So there is another feature to add when you are building the perfect game for me. I thought I’d mention, because so far this has been the week where I get everything I want. If any game companies want to hire me, I have years of project management experience. :) Come on, round out my week.

: Zubon

13 thoughts on “While I’m Asking for Game Features”

  1. Various WoW mods do it and that is the best way for a developer to do it. Why? Because it isn’t something that is a main selling point for a game. Create a moddable UI and let players create the “bells and whistles” they want. Chances are the community will do a better job for free. Take the energy saved from not having to do it and polish the important stuff.

    Star Wars Galaxies did it for a while on a broad scale(not sure if they still do). Most of SOE games actually have some sort of stat tracking for their characters. Not really anything that has impressed me though. Plus Blizzard is doing it now with The Armory for WoW.

  2. Players can’t incorporate things like bonus stats to poison resist when you kill 100 spiders or titles when you manage not to die from level 1-50. They can’t slowly improve upon existing skills when you use them 750 times or increase your overall damage after you use multiple skills 1000 times each. LoTRo is doing this and that IS why I’m buying the game. So not only can the community not do it “better” it’s also a selling point for me.

    Now, that’s not to say they could build a better interface because for the most part interfaces are built and prettied up at the last minute, never to be touched again. EQ2 did it best when they released their GUI into XML formatting so players can do literally whatever they want with it.

  3. The success of Achievements on the xbox360 (and the forthcoming versions of it for the Wii and PS3) have shown clearly something we’ve all known for a log time… people like bling. Completely useless and moderately arbitrary titles and badges make people happy.

    Playing City of Heroes, I love the fighting and the missions, but I get a much broader smile on my faces when I run across a random badge, or I defeat a bad guy and learn he was my 10 millionth customer… More games need this. Hundreds, thousands of little bits of bling.

  4. Alright Cybercat… we were not talking about skill advancement as you kill more of a certain creature or gaining titles. We were talking about a stat tracking UI element.

    What you are talking about has nothing to do with visible statistics. All you are shouting about is giving titles out based on meeting criteria which is hardly a new idea. It can be part of a game, but there is still no reason the developer should show you the stats behind it. Just because it is tracked does not mean it is easily displayed.

    In the end; we agree. The community makes better UI tools.

    And EQ2 opened their UI because WoW did it… just like most of EQ2’s changes have been focused on making the game more like WoW. In the end… moddable UIs have been around for A LONG TIME before WoW ever showed up. Oh and .LUA > XML. Thanks.

  5. Skill advancement is just the next level of stat tracking. I’m talking about exactly the same thing, except with one addition, a bonus to your character as an achievement when you hit certain goals, such as 100, 1000, 10000. Displaying stats is rather easy compared to designing the tracking system as well.

    As for EQ2 opening their UI, I don’t think it was just because WoW did it. EQ2 appears to have designed their interface around the idea that it was going to be released to players. LUA certainly has advantages over a non-programming language though :P I just haven’t seen it used to really modify the interface in the same way EQ2 players have, likely because while EQ2 players are busy making visceral changes WoW players are busy making things like Auctioneer :)

    I think if any game was to be a poster child for copying WoW, it would be SWG.

  6. Did anyone else notice that he only killed 5 rats, not 10.

    How can you justify this outrage?

  7. Tribuadore wrote: “Did anyone else notice that he only killed 5 rats, not 10.”

    I just assumed he was only halfway through the epic quest. =)

  8. Eternal Lands has a fan base of 10plus year players and any one who is new who decides to join are harassed and ridiculed from the majority of these veteran players. Radu always sides with these players as well. Its a shame. New players will NEVER be good enough to fight these players and win a pk battle, and once you lose your battle be prepared to be scammed and flamed from these same players. There are way better games out there than putting up with the mondane repetitiveness of harvesting, polishing manufacturing and very spoiled snobbish players ingame.

  9. Whoa, necro post. Someone had a bad day in this game? :)

    “You will lose some of your items when you die. This is normal, it happens to everyone! They will be dropped in a little tan bag in the spot where you died. Most people do not get their items back, this is legal and normal. Anything in a bag on the ground is fair game for others, no matter why it was dropped.”

    There’s your warning bell right there. Plus the fact they sell items for real money and limit new players to spending $100 USD a month (only!) because of the possibility of getting scammed or losing the items on death more easily as a newbie. Stated so matter-of-factly on their website, guess it must occur often enough.

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