When I initially tried out the Neverwinter Foundry, there were many elements that were just clunky. I constantly had to switch from Foundry mode to 3-D-mode just to add objects, and I had to hope that they were placed correctly. With the recent changes, I can now pop into editor mode and place objects directly into the world, an amazing step forward.
The tough part comes in creating the story and building the world in which the story takes place. Today, I'd like you to help me with a few of the elements I still need to round out my story.
We have a main character. I have called him Reed. He has always enjoyed playing tricks on people and doing "magic," but no one ever took him seriously. In fact, your character isn't even that interested in seeing his latest show because you know it's just going to be Reed's normal bag of tricks. In fact, you arrive late to the show.
As you rush in to his house, you are able to speak to a few NPCs who do not progress the story but do give you some background on what's happening. The butler obviously tells you where you can find Master Reed. But others will tell you what Reed has been working on and that he has been holed up in the basement for weeks. One person will tell you that he or she is concerned about one of the tricks that Reed is doing. Which person should give this warning? And what should be the name of Reed's greatest trick?
Reed falls over during his last trick, and one of the other people at the party explains that there is no way to wake him up. What do you do? Well, you go to find out what he's been reading. You rummage through his books of spells in the basement. That is where you find a book of spells. Now the question for me is what should happen after you find the book? What are the implications?
Perhaps you read from a passage, and that suddenly zaps you into Reed's dream. This would eliminate the need to use another character to move you into the next phase, but I don't know whether I'm a huge fan of that kind of storytelling device. We could have you run to the person who warned you from earlier. This would give that character greater reason to be in the quest, but at the same time this creates character development for a character we might never need again. We have also had zero action to this point. We could have manifestations from Reed's dream suddenly appear, forcing you to fight, then you could jump through one of their portals. Which would you choose?
I have a good idea for what I'm going to use as the setting for the "into the dream" part of the quest. There are many caves in the foundry that are bizarre and make for incredible otherworldly locations. The biggest issue for me is the size. The map should reflect the size of the adventure. I have encountered too many quests -- even outside of Neverwinter -- whose quest objectives are far too spread out. For those who don't like to take in the scenery, this makes for a very boring bit of gaming.
The plan is that you, the player, will have to fight through some of Reed's personal issues so that he can wake up. There are several obvious afflictions. Fear can easily manifest itself as a monster. Each fight should have its own but different mechanics. For instance, I know there is a way to make a monster disappear once you hit a certain part of the dungeon. I plan on using that mechanic on one of the fights, but I don't know how that can be done, nor which monster would be most appropriate.
So lets decide which personal issues Reed is working though. We could base them on the seven deadly sins, but I don't know that we should have seven boss fights in a single dungeon; that seems like far too many. Let's make it three. What I will do is list the seven deadly sins in the next poll and then take the top three as the issues that we have to battle. Each fight will be different, distinguishing itself by the fight mechanics based on the sin chosen.
This weekend, I plan to build out the basics for the questline. So I will close these polls on Friday night. I am enjoying your participation! So far the Foundry is living up to my personal expectations. The only limitation that is that I don't see a way to make any real choices during the dialogue. It is possible to change the difficulty of certain encounters based on dialogue choice, but I think that's directly related only to the number of mobs. Perhaps I can change that number to zero, but we will have to explore that next week.
Join me this weekend during my Choose My Adventure livestream. I will show you what I've done so far and give you an overview of our future plans.
Larry Everett loves MMOs, but sometimes when he gets stuck in one particular MMO, he loses sight of everything else he's missing. Direct his game time in Choose My Adventure on Wednesdays and on The Stream Team.