Login

TOPIC: Newbie Beast Form Suggestions (Cow, Mostly)

Newbie Beast Form Suggestions (Cow, Mostly) 3 months 1 week ago #17696

  • snowwhe
  • snowwhe's Avatar
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 1
Several suggestions and some feedback follow from a newbie (me) who has played the cow skill line out to 50. Most of the focus here will be on natural beast forms, or 'animal forms' (cow, deer and pig) from the perspective of my limited experience.

### Suggestion: A Newbie Introduction To Beast Forms

Consider making an extremely short-lived, one time animal polymorph on the newbie island as a way of educating the player about beast forms, distinct from the curse lesson taught by Gajus the Big-Headed.

For example, one of the pillars surrounded by distracted rats in the newbie dungeon could have an unlootable piece of cheese resting atop it. Interacting with that cheese might warn the player that their character feels uneasy just being near to it, but is still oddly curious about how it tastes. Once and only once, the character can try to taste it, resulting in a short rat transmutation. After 30 seconds has elapsed, or after the player dies, the transformation reverses itself and the player receives a dialog cautioning them to be more careful in the future. The dialogue observes that the passing of time must have weekend that particular enchantment, but that such magical impairments found on the main island will be difficult, if not impossible to remove. Subsequent interaction with the cheese would see the character's inner monologue reminding them to stay away from it.

A rat transformation was specifically chosen for the above example as it fits in nicely with existing art in that location and is not associated with any cursed beast form currently in game. It would neither require the work to develop new art, a new skill line, nor spoil the reveal of a beast form skill line already implemented.

### Suggestion: Permanent Beast Forms

Please reconsider having animal form curses (cows, deer and pigs) gradually become permanent the longer a character goes without removing or overwriting them. My suggested mechanic is to have a hidden counter advance with each new real-world day that a player logs in to play their character while carrying such a curse. If the curse is removed, or overwritten with some other form-changing malady, the counter starts over at zero.

At the start, any character assuming an animal form would be limited to level 20 in their respective skill line. Any prior skill level gained in that animal form above level 20 would be temporarily 'greyed out', making not only the related abilities but also any cross-skill synergies or item dependency requirements resulting from them unavailable to the character. Currently prohibited skill lines (blacksmith and carpentry as oft-cited examples) will remain prohibited under this new scheme, but not be immediately 'greyed out' to allow cursed characters the ability to continue 'using' dependent equipment and synergies in an effort to quickly remove their curse.

On the 7th day the player logs in to their cursed character they would see a pop-up dialog (similar to how the Hang Out dialog presents itself) describing how the character feels their curse burrowing deeper, taking root. The message should convey a sense of fear and urgency about it, reminding the player to prioritize looking for a cure. The character will also now find their related animal form skill line open to level 30 as they gradually become acclimated to their new form.

On the 14th day they would see a second pop-up dialog, less fearful than the first but still reminding them of the urgent need to look for a cure as they begin forgetting how it felt to be what they had been before. In addition to now being able to advance their animal form skill level to 40, they feel the first new form-specific side effects from remaining as they have been for so long. As an example, perhaps deer animal forms at this stage would now find it impossible to eat meat regardless of whether or not they had been vegetarians before. Pigs, on the other hand, might now need to eat somewhat more frequently, with food buff durations running 10% shorter. Cows animal forms perhaps suffer from both.

On the 21st day the third pop-up dialog would talk about the character becoming used to the things they can no longer do, how at times they feel more like what they've become than what they were and wondering whether or not they'd even want their curse removed if the opportunity presented itself. There would also be an out of character red text warning at the bottom of the pop-up informing the player that they only have one week left to restore their character's form before the change becomes irrevesible. At this stage they'd be able to advance their animal form skill line to level 50, but also find all skill lines their animal forms are unable to participate in 'greyed out' (as described above) while the curse remains. This would be the effective animal form skill level cap for non-permanent animal form characters.

As an example, a cow animal form at this stage would essentially find all weapon skills, several tool-using trade skills and all other animal form skills 'greyed out', removing any abilities, synergies and item dependency requirements they might have provided. As a point of clarification, they'd still be able to 'equip' swords and such for the stat adjustments, as long as the sword in question didn't have an explicit sword skill level requirement. The harsh nature of this penalty is purposed to eliminate any perceived 'required' advancement path for an animal form build that would necessitate advancing through multiple, unrelated skill lines that ultimately become unusable purely for synergies and potential item dependencies that can't be obtained after the fact. Narrowing the skills that an animal form build benefits from through a 'greying out' process also makes them much more alt-friendly to advance.

Finally, on the 28th day the player would log in to the final curse dialog describing how their character wakes up feeling somehow different. The character soon realizes that the curse, like a continual background noise that suddenly went silent, is gone. They'll instinctively know that the results of the curse can never be undone, rendering their true form forever that of a rather intelligent animal. At this point the character has the remainder of their animal form skill line opened to them for advancement.

This proposed process is intentionally slow and drawn out, allowing for an abundance of warning and time for the character to skill up and remove most any animal form curse in game without assistance. It would not penalize infrequent play time, advancing only with each play session of a cursed character and only on each new real-world day. Ideally, by means of the 'greying out' process, any skills, abilities or synergies gained while temporarily advancing an animal form skill line would become unavailable to a character who has had the associated cursed form removed. Doing so would simplify balancing within the respective animal form skill lines considerably, allowing developers to take into account various skill lines barred to the animal form in question without having to worry about how those abilities or synergies might add to a curse-cured non-animal form build.

### Dependent Suggestion: Permanent Beast Form Racial Traits

The races in Project: Gorgon currently have various racial traits which, when managed, result in a sliding -1% to +1% experience modifier. If permanent animal forms were implemented, changing them to take into account a character's new permanent status would not only make sense, but prevent a few odd pairings.

Currently:

Humans get lonely when not around company.
Elves get disgusted from being dirty.
Rakshasa get sad from killing sentient creatures.

Permanent animal form replacement traits might look like this instead:

Cows get lonely when not around other cows.
Pigs feel uncomfortable when not dirty.
Deer get spooked when any player is killed nearby.

### Dependent Suggestion: Permanent Beast Form Skills

In compensation for 'greying out' multiple incompatible skill lines, animal form progression above skill level 40 should come with compensating benefits. Examples follow:

At level 41, animal form players might gain a 'Call for Help' ability that compells nearby already non-aggro NPC ungulates to aid them when under attack.

When technology permits, animal forms over L41 might also serve as steeds with varying advantages. With the proposed timed level restriction it would be a long enough delay (two weeks) to mitigate concern over people electing to get temporarily cursed for the quick access to 'free' mounts, but also obtainable early enough into the curse that the feature could be weighed when deciding whether or not to remove it.

At level 51, animal form players might be able to 'Charm' like animals (cows charming cows or bulls, pigs charming pigs or boars, etc.) found in the same zone, coaxing them into assisting until they die or the character zones.

At level 61, animal form players might gain an 'Act Natural' ability that creates a self-buff which lasts until broken by running, swimming, fighting or looting. While under the effects of this buff, intelligent NPCs that would be familiar with and non-hostile to the animal form in quesiton but otherwise normally agressive toward player characters might become non-aggressive in thinking the character to be just some dumb animal.

Example 1:
Orc - "Hey, Gronk, who let cow/pig out of barn?
Gronk - <shrugs> "Dunno, not my job.")

Example 2:
Dryad - "Look, Trix, a deer has wandered into our grove!"
Trix - <looks lovingly> "Such a lovely creature."

Of course, there should always be that off chance that NPCs who would not normally be aggro might also treat you differently if they were to think you were just another dumb animal.

Example 3:
Disguised Werewolf: <stares hungrily> "Mmm... dinner."

### Suggestion: Hanging Out with Dairy Cows

Unless I'm mistaken, all players currently see a 'Milk Cow' option when mousing over an NPC Dairy Cow. I'm proposing that for characters in cow animal form, the mouse over option be changed to the same 'Talk' option seen on other NPCs. Of course, these Dairy Cow NPCs don't have anything intelligible to say to the character, instead providing a standard NPC dialog window with the current, 'Milk Cow' option, along with a new 'Hang Out' option.

Chosing 'Hang Out' allows the player to queue up 'Graze with this herd' for the next time they're offline, requiring 2 hours to complete. This is a repeatable 'Hang Out' option otherwise similar to what is found on other NPCs, available for every Dairy Cow in game which rewards the player with 5 grass, a reset of the suggested cow racial trait (proposed above) and a possible alternative means of learning specific abilities (see below).

[Similar herding mechanics might be applicable to deer and pig animal forms, but I won't brainstorm about them here.]

### Dependent Suggestion: Selective Alternate Skill Learning

When a character completes a 'Graze with this herd' option, the lowest level ability learnable through herding that the character qualifies for and does not yet know, if any, is learned as part of the reward upon log in. Some abilities, such as the Graze and Chew Cud abilities, might be learned from grazing with any herd. Other abilities learned through herding might only be learnable after grazing with a specific herd in game.

For example, while the suspicious cow is reasonably easy to happen across if questing naturally leads the player through Eltibule, she is a bad exclusive gatekeeper to the first level of Clobbering Hoof. By the time you've found her and gained sufficient favor to receive training, you've well out-levelled the Level 6 Clobbering Hoof 1 ability and end up purchasing it only as a cash-sink prerequisite to Clobbering Hoof 2 or 3. Having Clobbering Hoof 1 learned as a reward for grazing with the Eltibule herd when level appropriate is a good way to address this.

Similarly, Tough Hoof 1 is fairly difficult to get by level 15 (when it becomes available) without already knowing where Animal Town is, and then surviving a challenging run to learn it from Raul. Even if you're able to get there, the favor prerequisite on Raul turns the ability into another cash sink prerequisite to Tough Hoof 2 or 3 in most cases. Consider having Tough Hoof 1 also learned through herding in Animal Town, after adding a pair of Dairy Cows in the stall nearby to qualify the bovine presence there as Raul's herd.

The following existing abilities seem particularly well-suited to learning this way:

Lvl.5 Graze (any herd; observing other cows)
Lvl.6 Clobbering Hoof 1 (Eltibule herd; observing Bulls defending the herd)
Lvl.7 Chew Cud 1 (any herd; observing other cows)
Lvl.15 Tough Hoof 1 (Animal Town herd; observing Raul defending his herd)
Lvl.28 Chew Cud 2 (any herd; observing other cows)
Lvl.39 Chew Cud 3 (any herd; observing other cows)
Lvl.55 Chew Cud 4 (any herd; observing other cows)

The following proposed abilities would also be appropriate to learning this way:

Lvl.25 Graze 2 (any herd; observing other cows) [see below]
Lvl.41 Call for Help (any herd; observing other cows) [see above]
Lvl.45 Graze 3 (any herd; observing other cows) [see below]
Lvl.51 Charm Bovine (Animal Town herd; observing Raul doing his thing) [see above]
Lvl.61 Act Natural (Eltibule herd; observing the suspicious cow doing her thing) [see above]
Lvl.65 Graze 4 (any herd; observing other cows) [see below]

[Similar alternate learning might be applicable to deer and pig animal forms, but I won't brainstorm about them here.]

### Suggestion: Cow Skill Line Ability Additions/Changes

Previously in this thread I've mentioned the addition of pie-in-the-sky imagined abilities as compensation in the context of a permanent curse mechanic that may never happen:

Lvl.41 Call for Help [see above]
Lvl.51 Charm Bovine [see above]
Lvl.61 Act Natural [see above]

More realistically observing the role of the cow skill line to be focused on that of a single-target group tank, I'd like to suggest the following additional ability to better serve that role when dealing with chaotic crowds (which almost always seems to be the case in fast-respawning dungeons):

Lvl.15 Moo of Aggression 1 : Power 5, AoE 4, Taunt +60, Cooldown 30.
Lvl.30 Moo of Aggression 2 : Power 5, AoE 6, Taunt +120, Cooldown 30.
Lvl.45 Moo of Aggression 3 : Power 5, AoE 8, Taunt +180, Cooldown 30.
Lvl.60 Moo of Aggression 4 : Power 5, AoE 10, Taunt +240, Cooldown 30.

Learned on levelling up like Moo of Determination or Moo of Calm, this Moo has a way of drawing the attention of hostile opponents back onto the cow. The proposed power cost is low, but non-zero to require power pool management. The smaller initial AoE will scale with ability level, and the initial taunt value similarly scales from starting at the lvl.6 Clobbering Hoof 1 single target strength. The ability inflicts no damage and is designed to be available as frequently as other 'Moo' abilities. Any future items mods to the ability would likely be the same as item mods for other 'Moo' abilities, which mostly seem to focus on mitigation or self-healing.

Additionally, I propose expanding the Graze ability into a line of abilities and changing them to provide the convenience of vegetarian nourishment to the cow that isn't a threat to replacing cooking recipies at the expense of no longer being an instant-cast ability. Nourishment gained this way would not advance the Gourmand skill.

For example:
Lvl.5 Graze 1 : Nourishment of a Baked Potato (Lvl.0), casting time similar to eating, and interruptible.
Lvl.25 Graze 2 : Nourishment of Onion Rings (Lvl.5), casting time similar to eating, and interruptible.
Lvl.45 Graze 3 : Nourishment of Boiled Cabbage (Lvl.10), casting time similar to eating, and interruptible.
Lvl.65 Graze 4 : Nourishment of Cabbage Soup (Lvl.15), casting time similar to eating, and interruptible.

### Suggestion: Dialog-based Milking

Eliminate the current Collect Milk ability line completely, replacing it with NPC interactions instead. Every hour, a cow animal form is able to be milked by an appropriate NPC (typically a farmer or a stablehand) through options found in dialogue with them. Due to the increased cooldown time over the current Collect Milk ability, each milking yields more milk per use, up to 1 jar plus 1 per week spent since eating meat (capped at 10). The character can only receive as many jars as they posses empty jars and available room in their inventory, however, with the rest going to the NPC.

Part of this proposed system is a continually building need to be milked that results in a debuff if not managed properly. Cow animal forms will begin to feel a need to be milked again roughly one real-world hour after their last time. They'll receive a second, more urgent reminder an hour before the debuff is set to take effect. After three real-world hours have passed, they will suffer a 'swollen udder' debuff and receive a movement penalty identical to being encumbered until milked.

NPCs flagged as being able to milk cows may still have their own restrictions on interaction with the cursed player (insufficient beast speech or favor, quest-gated, hard-coded disgust or outright hostility as examples). NPC favor might also not be a binary thing in regards to this, with lower favor levels still allowing for a player cow to be milked, but resulting in the NPC keeping some or all of what is taken. A permanent cow animal form using the proposed 'Act Natural' ability (see above) might be able to be regarded as a normal cow by an otherwise uncooperative or hostile NPC farmer or stablehand and be milked by them (though receive none of the product in return).

### Dependent Suggestion: PC-based Milking

Milking by other players under this system would remain nearly unchanged. The only significant difference would be that a character who has been allowed to milk a player will be presented with the option to continue milking a cow animal form with the swollen udder debuff after they've received their normal jar. If the non-cow player agrees to a dialog pop-up, they can continue to milk the cow animal form until the debuff goes away, potentially gaining more jars in the process (if they had sufficient empty jars in their inventory) and starting a new cooldown period for the player cow. The milking cycle timer is otherwise independent of milking by other-players, meaning that being on cooldown won't prevent PC milking as it currently exists.

### Suggestion: Beast Speech Decay

Simply, have a character's beast speech score decay over time when not in a cursed beast form or not a shape-changing lycanthrope of some kind. Word substitution is frequently hilarious, and should not be largely shelved for future cursed beast forms if it is capped then neglected.

### Suggestion: Animal Form Druid Starter Shoes

Please start animal form druids with an appropriate item in place of the starter quarterstaff. As an example, a cow/druid is currently left in the non-obvious position of holding said quarterstaff, being told that it is supposed to enable use of their druidic abilities and wondering why it isn't working. Once they do figure out that they need wooden cow shoes instead, they're left with the dilemna of how, exactly, to acquire them because they're not on the normal loot table as far as I can tell. Having to interact with players to obtain a key item like that is perfectly fine, but probably shouldn't be a prerequisite to begin training on a new skill line you've just obligated yourself to.

### Suggestion: Change Druid Deer Form

I think a mistake was made in allowing the Druid skill line to have Deer Form in it's current incarnation. It trivializes both the acquisition and cure of the deer animal form curse, and limits what could be done with the deer skill line specifically, and animal forms in general out of balancing concers.

One way to remedy this would be to embrace both the timed unlocking of animal form skill levels and the potential permanence suggested above with the druidic deer form. In this way, you could add a druidic deer NPC to the game who teaches the skill with sufficient favor, but cautions the player's character not get lost in the form by spending too much time in it. Because the druidic deer form would effectively be capped at a lower level unless multiple weeks were spent in it, the ability would not significantly interfere with balancing the deer skill line.

A better way to fix the issue, in my opinion, is to restrict druidic animal forms to 'travel forms', replacing the deer form as it exists with either a 'gazelle form' or simpler 'snow deer form' that is a fast-moving form with no associated skill line, though perhaps with some wintery affinity in the case of the snow deer. Making this change could keep druidic forms visually and functionally distinct from animal form curses, while allowing the cursed animal form skill lines a bit more room to breathe in terms of balancing.

### Suggestion: Beast Form Affecting Curses

The idea here is not to necessarily suggest new bestform curses (easy to imagine, a lot of work to implement), but rather suggest modifications to existing curses or entriely new curses that have peculiar interactions with beast form characters.

Devolution (new) - It could be from a spore cloud or chemical, a wizard or mentalist, but the resulting curse causes the character to mentally 'devolve'. It becomes difficult for the character to speak, and they find long sentences challenging to get out before they're forgotten. Their sentences are often truncated at 70 characters, at which point they trail off into ellipses... Uncommonly, those under the Devolution curse are unable to recall any of the words they had been searching for, muttering only a primal 'ugh' in frustration. Devolution of beast forms is similar, with truncated sentences and obvious animal sounds substituted in place of the more humanoid 'ugh' sound, however they'll also suffer an additional 50% penalty to their beast speech scores until the curse is lifted.

Distraction Curse (new) - After losing to a shiny golden golem, crystalline entity or some similarly dazzling being the character finds they're easily distracted until the curse is removed. Normal players ocasionally find themselves compelled to stand and listen to music in cities for a time whenever music is playing (an appropriate cooldown would help mitigate abuse of this). Pigs similarly find themsleves distracted to spend time rooting in dirty farm fields in sight, cows are lured to pause and graze in open fields as they pass through, deer randomly prance about forests they find themselves in, etc. To keep the annoyance manageable, the allure would be immediately broken whenever a distracted character takes damage.

Locking Curse (new) - A new goblin by the name of Lokkar (clever, I know) takes up residence at the far end of the Boarded up Basement in Eltibule. He is convinced goblins exist due to a curse placed on their forebearers many generations ago. Despite repeated dissections of his kin, he's been unable to solve the puzzle of this perceived curse, but has instead learned a new trick. His curse is a simple one that prevents any other curse from being removed by any other means while the Locking Curse remains in place.

Nameless Curse (existing) - It's bad enough character's suffering under the Nameless curse are unable to speak their name without having foreign words come out in their place, but beast form characters have it especially rough. When under the Nameless curse, even a werewolf in human form will be unable to utter their name, instead sounding more like the animal they are. Cows 'moo', pigs squeal, etc.

Uncivil Curse (new) - It could be a gluttonous goblin, a petulant child or a disgusting noble that throws this curse, but the resulting curse causes characters to behaive in random, uncivil ways. Normal characters will wipe their nose, spit, relieve themselves, scratch freely, belch and more from time to time, all instinctually beyond their control. Beast forms may do some of this as appropriate to specific forms, but they'll also act out in more animalistic and less civilized ways. Two examples that come to mind: a cow beast form indifferently auto-accepting PC milking requests, and werewolves or spiders occasionally staring hungrily at people around them.

### Feedback: NPC Interactions with Cow Beast Form

Overall, the NPC interactions with players in a cursed beast form are more detailed and well developed than I expected them to be. Some require some sort of quest up front before they're willing to speak further with you. Many, whether or not they interact with you, mention your cursed form in some manner while speaking with them. Further, many of the NPCs I was interacting with before the cow curse retained their personality post-curse even if interacting differently with my character (the bully was a still a bully, the outcast was still a bit odd, etc.).

Pesonally, I'd like to see fewer NPCs up front that are accessible to cursed beast form players. Ultimately though, I'd like to see slightly more NPCs accessible to cursed beastform players given sufficient advancement of beast speech (NPCs that don't interact with the player because they can't understand them, so just assume them to be another dumb animal), and notoriety (NPCs that don't particualrly like cursed beast form players for one reason or another, but nontheless like to be seen in famous company). Some of these NPCs would still have required quests after achieving a sufficient Beast Speech level (the Inn Keeper in Serbule is a good example of such a quest), while some might be more inclined to interact without requiring such questing. An outcast or a child might be more willing to work with a cursed player at lower beast speech or notoriety levels, while a banker or a swordsman might be less patient or understanding.

Of course many, if not most NPCs should shun cursed beast form players regardless of beast speech or notoriety, as their reasons for disliking the player have little to do with comprehension or envy. Some NPCs might even accept and interact with a beast form player until the player tries to successfully speak with them, at which point they realize they're not a normal animal and get spooked. For these NPCs, it would add an extra level of dialogue polish for their rejections to more closesly reflect their personalities or attitudes. For instance, Joah in Serbule might continue dimissing you as 'dinner walking through the front door' no matter what you do, but Marna the healer will change from simply shooing you away to looking sadly at you once she understands what you're saying (higher beast speech) and saying she can't stand to look upon you while unable to help your condition.

### Links: Relevant Prior Threads (Truncated By Forum Link Limit)

01/2016: Plans for "permanent" animal curse forms

01/2016: Druid: Animal forms

07/2015: Permanent spider/cows

03/2015: Critter Central: A Guide to Animal Life (upd. 1/6, old)

03/2015: Cow Feedback: What needs to happen to even them out.
Last Edit: 3 months 6 days ago by snowwhe. Reason: Clarifications and expansions.
You must log in to post or reply.

Newbie Beast Form Suggestions (Cow, Mostly) 3 months 1 week ago #17709

  • Dyansha
  • Dyansha's Avatar
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 1
Many awesome and fun ideas. I won't comment on the specifics of cows (I don't know them). I have to say though that when I finished reading, it all felt like stories/features that would integrate very well in the existing game.

I hope my non-permanent deer will see one day that some were implemented. :)

Thanks for the careful analysis and brainstorming!
You must log in to post or reply.

Newbie Beast Form Suggestions (Cow, Mostly) 3 months 6 days ago #17722

  • jacksin125
  • jacksin125's Avatar
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • Posts: 10
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
These are some very interesting ideas, however i feel that many of them would make animal form for the most part not worth playing. One of the big things about this game is that players feel they can level up everything to max. If animal forms either had to be permanent to work or became permanent when you were in them too long, then that would seriously limit people's ability to play as them. Maybe if the game became significantly more friendly to animals (perhaps if animals got a free teleport to Animal Town on death, similar to enter the light, among other things) then they would become more viable options, but even then they would still be pretty limiting. However, I can see you put a lot of thought into this, and they are some very interesting and relatively lore friendly ideas, so perhaps if you put a bit more thought into it, you could come up with answers to those problems!
You must log in to post or reply.

Newbie Beast Form Suggestions (Cow, Mostly) 3 months 6 days ago #17741

  • Khaylara
  • Khaylara's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 681
  • Thank you received: 149
  • Karma: -85
I didn't get to read everything but the idea that animal forms should become permanent. That's already being considered. I don't like it personally but the developer was considering making animal forms permanent once the player unlocks them over level 50 (lycans excluded since they are not technically animal forms)
*you eat what you kill* (Riddick booming voice)
You must log in to post or reply.

Newbie Beast Form Suggestions (Cow, Mostly) 3 months 5 days ago #17750

  • snowwhe
  • snowwhe's Avatar
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 1
This thread has been copied over to the new forums.
You must log in to post or reply.

Newbie Beast Form Suggestions (Cow, Mostly) 3 months 4 days ago #17760

  • Eachna
  • Eachna's Avatar
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
I really would *not* want animal forms to become permanent. Right now animal forms are what players can use if they want to flirt with something like druid or lycanthrope without paying the full cost of a permanent change. For lack of a better analogy, permanent animal form would be something like another "hardcore" mode rather than just a play style choice as it is now.

I don't want to create a bunch of characters. I'm really enjoying that the system is set up so you can just perpetually level one character and older characters aren't really more "powerful", they're simply more "flexible". This part of the game suits my play style perfectly. I like to play a dilettante or toolbox character. I believe this is the default mode/expectation of the game. *In general* the game is being designed so that a single character, with enough time invested in it, could do almost everything.

There are some specific choices behind permanent locks for the players who like to limit themselves one way or another. That's its own form of choice and I'm all for it. Hardcore and druid and werewolf are great if you want to commit to some form of higher power or ideal.

I'd rather see permanent animal forms be connected to something that already has a permanent lock, like a druid. Then it becomes part of making a bigger commitment to your existing hardcore commitment, rather than locking another element of the game away from the dilettante players.
You must log in to post or reply.

Newbie Beast Form Suggestions (Cow, Mostly) 3 months 4 days ago #17764

  • snowwhe
  • snowwhe's Avatar
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 1
A fair point.

I think the gap between our opinions is simply one of the role we feel cursed animal forms should play in the game. I'm really far too new to speak with any authority, but my initial impression is that they were intended to be more 'curses' than 'classes'. The resulting suggestions will be far different than if you view it more as a 'class' than a 'curse'.

Using a level-limited mechanic that requires permanence past a point would still allow people to flirt with something like being a druid or lycanthrope, but stop short of trivializing or normalizing what (from my point of view) should still be considered a curse. The suggested timed delay (where the level cap gradually extends until passing 50 only when the curse becomes permanent) also allows more interesting things to be done earlier than 50 (the mount/steed idea, as a potential example) without having to take into account that anyone over level 20 can run and get themselves cow-cursed inside of 5 minutes, then clear it after the utility of the form fades in a similar amount of time.

I generally agree with you though that 'surprise' permanence would be a bad thing.
You must log in to post or reply.

Newbie Beast Form Suggestions (Cow, Mostly) 2 months 3 weeks ago #17886

  • Eachna
  • Eachna's Avatar
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
snowwhe wrote:
A fair point.

I think the gap between our opinions is simply one of the role we feel cursed animal forms should play in the game. I'm really far too new to speak with any authority, but my initial impression is that they were intended to be more 'curses' than 'classes'. The resulting suggestions will be far different than if you view it more as a 'class' than a 'curse'.

Using a level-limited mechanic that requires permanence past a point would still allow people to flirt with something like being a druid or lycanthrope, but stop short of trivializing or normalizing what (from my point of view) should still be considered a curse. The suggested timed delay (where the level cap gradually extends until passing 50 only when the curse becomes permanent) also allows more interesting things to be done earlier than 50 (the mount/steed idea, as a potential example) without having to take into account that anyone over level 20 can run and get themselves cow-cursed inside of 5 minutes, then clear it after the utility of the form fades in a similar amount of time.

I generally agree with you though that 'surprise' permanence would be a bad thing.

What you wrote is pretty passive-aggressive and snotty. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you didn't mean it deliberately but you may want to consider less dismissive ways of saying things in the future.

I don't view animal form as either a class _or_ a curse. I view each form as a skill. Being any one of the animal forms does have an associated curse. A curse can be meaningful without making sure every moment of play is a source of misery and frustration.

Animal form's curse is already extremely difficult to manage. No hands + no voice blocks access to NPCs (storage, favor, trainers, vendors, quests), skills (weapon skills, buffing skills), and crafting (some crafts, some harvesting). To make it permanent would be brutal. Playing as either a druid or lycanthrope give you more powerful skills, and you have a very mild curse for each. Other permanent curses in game should be balanced to be about equivalent to those, not made extremely more painful.

There's no "need" for a permanent curse to justify doing interesting things with animal forms. I like the forms, but the skills are each average to weak in power compared to other high cost skills. They don't need to be powerful. The forms are designed for people who want to be silly (silly skins, silly hats, silly animations) and have fun. There's plenty of "fun" things that could be added to animal form without making it more powerful. Even if, as part of adding extra animal content it became more powerful, then it would only be 'catching up' to more powerful skills.

Right now we have a situation where someone who plays one character (like me) can enjoy animal form because I only have to deal with the curse when I play the skill. If the curse were made permanent, I simply couldn't "afford" the curse cost. I can't give up storage slots, crafting, vendors, and skills that the game is built around presuming I'll eventually have. Permanent animal form will result in a "dependant" character that is permanently crippled and since I only play one character, that means no animal form for me. Now, I've been locked out of playing something I enjoyed purely because you find it trivializes the game to see other people enjoying animal form. :(

How do you switch between animal forms under your system? If you're a permanent pig, how do you become a cow when you want to tank? Are you suggesting animal players cut off even more options and not even be able to swap between different animals? That, again, just limits play-styles. What if someone likes healing and tanking and DPS on different days or with different friends? The entire game is built around being able to swap between different, highly specialized skills whenever you like (except combat).

Animal form also gives a taste of the experience of playing as a shapechanger, without paying the permanent curse cost. This allows more than one play style to enjoy the shapechanging content. It gives people more choices. The animal form curse is much more extreme when in effect than the shapechanger skills with permanent curses, which seems like a very reasonable tradeoff to me. A curse that is either permanent and mild seems balanced by a temporary curse that's very strong.

Allowing half-use of the skill is just pointless to me. Halt at level 'x' or go permanent. Halting at level 'x' means that I end up with a skill that's too weak for high end content, that can only be used with other low/mid-level skills, and that I either play without gear or try to figure out how to juggle equipment slots to have skill-specific gear for it when it'll never get better.

You can't know ahead of time how players will level their characters. It's quite possible to blithely play and not realize how important NPCs are. It took me a couple months before I figured out I needed to bribe specific NPCs to get storage space or hidden skills, and I know I'm not the only person to have missed them. Warning people 'ahead of time' that a curse is permanent is not the same thing as them being able to make an informed decision as to whether they're prepared to pay the cost. The game will end up with people who drink an animal potion five minutes after going to Serbule, levelling through because they have fun with it, making it permanent, and then being locked out of stuff they hadn't yet discovered even existed. They'll only figure it out when they read in chat or the wiki that Bob has the Whatzit skill and Bob shooes them away when they try to talk to him. You can't just warn people a curse is permanent, you have to warn them that they're about to permanently cripple their character for no benefit other than some silliness.

Finally, if it diminishes your play that someone has a different play style than you, frankly that's a problem with you and not something the devs should design content around. My attitude with MMOs has always been "I play my way, you play yours, let's peacefully co-exist". If the only way you can feel special is making sure other people don't feel special, then maybe you belong in a single player game. My desire to have fun is _JUST AS VALID_ as yours. There aren't a lot of other MMO options for playing an animal form that's as "silly" as what we have here. It may end up being a popular 'draw' for new players, which means it's something that should feel accessible to those players.

Edit: I don't know if the devs will read this or read all of it, but if they do I hope they take what I say under strong consideration. There are ways to give animal form's existing curse more impact without making it permanent, and still keep the forms accessible to all players. If there's demand for a permanent animal form with extra benefits over the temporary form then I'd respectfully suggest linking it to druid or lycanthrope (or both) in what could be seen as a "hardcore" version of those skill lines. That would give people who want a tangible benefit (extra skill stuff) from having the discipline to not drink an "uncurse" potion a way to get their reward, while keeping shapechanging open to everyone.
Last Edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by Eachna. Reason: dev note
You must log in to post or reply.

Newbie Beast Form Suggestions (Cow, Mostly) 2 months 3 weeks ago #17891

  • snowwhe
  • snowwhe's Avatar
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 1
Eachna wrote:
What you wrote is pretty passive-aggressive and snotty. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you didn't mean it deliberately but you may want to consider less dismissive ways of saying things in the future.

What I wrote was not intended to be passive-aggressive or snotty, and after reading through it once more, I disagree that it was either. Rather, it was an attempt to acknowledge that two people could genuinely disagree on a topic like permanent animal forms in a way in which both lines of reasoning make a fair amount of sense depending on the context of how they view the role of animal forms within Project: Gorgon.

I don't view animal form as either a class _or_ a curse. I view each form as a skill. Being any one of the animal forms does have an associated curse. A curse can be meaningful without making sure every moment of play is a source of misery and frustration.

Animal form's curse is already extremely difficult to manage. No hands + no voice blocks access to NPCs (storage, favor, trainers, vendors, quests), skills (weapon skills, buffing skills), and crafting (some crafts, some harvesting). To make it permanent would be brutal. Playing as either a druid or lycanthrope give you more powerful skills, and you have a very mild curse for each. Other permanent curses in game should be balanced to be about equivalent to those, not made extremely more painful.

Animal forms (cow, deer, pig, etc.) are, by definition, skill lines in Project: Gorgon and you'll get no disagreement from me there. The reason for mentioning class vs. curse previously was to contrast how differing points of view on the role those skill lines play affects resulting expectations. If you view them more as 'classes', for instance, you might consider them similar to fire magic or psychology in how they should be swappable almost at a whim. If you view them more as 'curses', you might lean toward permanence or a more onerous penalty for swapping between forms with resulting rewards for commitment. Somewhere in between the two extremes you'd find something like the druid or werewolf skill lines (limited item restrictions, some skill line restriction, permanence and minor play constraints).

I disagree that animal form curses, as they currently exist, are already extremely difficult to manage though. Brand new to Project: Gorgon, my first character was Cow/Druid (as noted previously). I've since leveled those skill lines out to 60/60 without ever needing to remove the Cow curse in the process. In fact, because my Cow skill line was so advanced relative to the sword and psychology skills I initially used (20ish), I would have been relatively crippled when not in Cow form. While there certainly were skill lines I was not able to pursue (couldn't harvest wood, couldn't pursue carpentry when I wanted to, etc.) and NPCs I couldn't interact with (Marna, Joeh and the Serbule farmers were ones I noticed the loss of early on), playing Cow with no prior Project: Gorgon experience was not particularly difficult to manage.

Now, there were two things that were broken and inaccessible to animal forms that need to be corrected in my opinion:

1. Lammashu (sp?) is currently the only NPC that sells the increase to the Endurance cap and she doesn't talk to animals. It would make immense sense to also have that skill cap raising ability trainable on Jace Soral a bit NW of her.

2. Interaction with Gretchen Salas is required to advance the main Davlos storyline and she doesn't talk to animals. An easy fix would be to make her favor independent of advancing the Davlos storyline, so that it is not a prerequisite to finding the journal in the Millet box. A slightly more involved fix would be to have an equivalent 'fetch quest' issued by Braigon nearby for animal form players.

There's no "need" for a permanent curse to justify doing interesting things with animal forms. I like the forms, but the skills are each average to weak in power compared to other high cost skills. They don't need to be powerful. The forms are designed for people who want to be silly (silly skins, silly hats, silly animations) and have fun. There's plenty of "fun" things that could be added to animal form without making it more powerful. Even if, as part of adding extra animal content it became more powerful, then it would only be 'catching up' to more powerful skills.

It depends on what you want to balance them against. If you wanted to balance them against, for instance, a druid-level or werewolf-level skill line I think permanence (or again, making the switch between forms onerous) needs to be on the table. I can't speak to pig or deer at the moment, but I did list some ideas for cow above. I plan on revisiting and revising these on the post I've copied to the new forum in the near future as some of my opinions have evolved after further advancement, but I don't want to modify this post here for sake of future reference.

Right now we have a situation where someone who plays one character (like me) can enjoy animal form because I only have to deal with the curse when I play the skill. If the curse were made permanent, I simply couldn't "afford" the curse cost. I can't give up storage slots, crafting, vendors, and skills that the game is built around presuming I'll eventually have. Permanent animal form will result in a "dependant" character that is permanently crippled and since I only play one character, that means no animal form for me. Now, I've been locked out of playing something I enjoyed purely because you find it trivializes the game to see other people enjoying animal form. :(

Regarding storage slots and vendors, I'm not sure animal forms are out any in net comparison to non-animal forms at this point. Both Jumper and Raul provide generous storage compared to the loss of Marna and Joeh, for instance. Vendor-wise, I think Animal Town may also compensate. I haven't compared vendors directly in terms of what they'll buy and depth of wallets at high favor levels though, so I can't say for certain. The main disadvantage is that Animal Town is a bit out of the way currently. That perception will probably change somewhat with the introduciton of the fae zone.

You're right in noting that barring tool-using crafting skills is a significant detriment. I guess I don't view that as a critical design flaw though, if animal forms are given appropriate bonuses to offset it. For the non-crafting skills currently currently barred, I think some could be allowed in similar ways to how the druid skill line was accommodated (fire magic and ice magic seem direct analogs, for instance).

How do you switch between animal forms under your system? If you're a permanent pig, how do you become a cow when you want to tank? Are you suggesting animal players cut off even more options and not even be able to swap between different animals? That, again, just limits play-styles. What if someone likes healing and tanking and DPS on different days or with different friends? The entire game is built around being able to swap between different, highly specialized skills whenever you like (except combat).

In what was originally posted I didn't have a proposed cure for permanence, though when I get to revising my post on the new forum I'll have an (onerous) one to suggest. I didn't and wouldn't explicitly suggest a permanent animal form be unable to be subjected to subsequent transmutation curses though. I see no reason that a permanent cow, for instance, wouldn't be cursed into a pig or deer form.

Regarding changing play stiles, what makes a cow not able to take on a DPS or tank role as they see fit? Sure, they might not be able to take on the 'flavor of the now' combination, resulting in one less archerer hybrid rushing to loot arrows from fallen elites, but they'd still have their choice of any two skill lines available to them. This is particularly true if some currently prohibited skill lines can be accommodated, such as what I mentioned with fire and ice magic above.

Animal form also gives a taste of the experience of playing as a shapechanger, without paying the permanent curse cost. This allows more than one play style to enjoy the shapechanging content. It gives people more choices. The animal form curse is much more extreme when in effect than the shapechanger skills with permanent curses, which seems like a very reasonable tradeoff to me. A curse that is either permanent and mild seems balanced by a temporary curse that's very strong.

Allowing half-use of the skill is just pointless to me. Halt at level 'x' or go permanent. Halting at level 'x' means that I end up with a skill that's too weak for high end content, that can only be used with other low/mid-level skills, and that I either play without gear or try to figure out how to juggle equipment slots to have skill-specific gear for it when it'll never get better.

You're right in that it wouldn't be feasible end-game under my proposed system - I just disagree that there's anything wrong with that. Allowing 'half-use' would still give a 'taste' of the experience of playing as a shapechanger without paying the permanent curse cost, and it would serve even more effectively as a curse. It would also allow for later abilities in the respective skill lines to be balanced with less consideration of skill line overlap, something Citan has pointed out in the past.

You can't know ahead of time how players will level their characters. It's quite possible to blithely play and not realize how important NPCs are. It took me a couple months before I figured out I needed to bribe specific NPCs to get storage space or hidden skills, and I know I'm not the only person to have missed them. Warning people 'ahead of time' that a curse is permanent is not the same thing as them being able to make an informed decision as to whether they're prepared to pay the cost. The game will end up with people who drink an animal potion five minutes after going to Serbule, levelling through because they have fun with it, making it permanent, and then being locked out of stuff they hadn't yet discovered even existed. They'll only figure it out when they read in chat or the wiki that Bob has the Whatzit skill and Bob shooes them away when they try to talk to him. You can't just warn people a curse is permanent, you have to warn them that they're about to permanently cripple their character for no benefit other than some silliness.

Potion-based transformations, from what I've read, are temporary and for testing.

I'm actually not opposed to 'permanence' with an onerous route to a cure as an alternative though. Right now the cures to transformation curses are a bit too trivial, however. In the few weeks I've played I've banked several form and un-form potions of various flavors. Having noted these are supposedly temporary I'd look to Maronessa as perhaps a more finished example of how these curses will eventually work their way into game. With this in mind, it's worth noting that past combat skill level 30 or so changing in and out of Cow form becomes less taxing than curing an advanced or even complex disease, and that just seems a bit backwards is all.

Finally, if it diminishes your play that someone has a different play style than you, frankly that's a problem with you and not something the devs should design content around. My attitude with MMOs has always been "I play my way, you play yours, let's peacefully co-exist". If the only way you can feel special is making sure other people don't feel special, then maybe you belong in a single player game. My desire to have fun is _JUST AS VALID_ as yours. There aren't a lot of other MMO options for playing an animal form that's as "silly" as what we have here. It may end up being a popular 'draw' for new players, which means it's something that should feel accessible to those players.

It's an alpha. I'm offering up my feedback, which is going to be innately tainted by my own opinions and play style. I do enjoy hearing constructive feedback and dialog from other people though. Thank you.
Last Edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by snowwhe.
You must log in to post or reply.