Ueda

design The case for Daily Missions

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Dear Ninja,

Here's another wall of text, this one talking about the core game designs and philosophy behind.. Daily Missions!

Before there was daily missions, the only way to level up was to grind. Killing enemies repeatedly. When initially designing Nin Online, one of the hardest problems was trying to create a variety of ways for players to level up. One of the ideas was to make it so open-world PvP gave experience. Another idea was to reward medical ninja for healing players. This would turn out to be a big headache because of all the ways this would cause huge infinitely experience exploits.

Preventing Exploits

As simple as it sounds, giving experience to ninja for killing other ninja, or healing other ninja is not possible because it opens up better ways to train with no risk, opening up exploits where you can just stand outside a hospital and make one character kill another to level up, or you can pay high level ninja to let you kill them for hours to level up. Or you could just use a bot to do all those things.

One of the things that having missions that limit the amount you can do such things is that you can't plan to just "cheat" the system to the top. The missions tell you to kill X players, and once you're done with that, your next goal is collect X bounty. This way, you can't just AFK near the hospital and bot for hours getting XP from killing people.

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We still want to reward players for open world pvp, but we don't want to do it carelessly or replace killing mobs, or actually doing missions. So we make the rewards part of the missions system. Where who and why you kill. Is it just any enemy? or is it somebody with a bounty?

As time goes on, we can make it increasingly more specific. Eg. missions that tell you to kill 1 Mist village ninja. Kill 1 Sand village ninja. Kill 3 Missing Ninja. Kill 1 ninja from Level 10-30. These are all tasks that both reward for open world pvp, and prevent you from exploiting or just repeatedly paying the highest level player around to AFK and let you kill him for hours to level up.


Variety

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While preventing infinite experience loops is an important function. It is far from the main purpose of the system. The main purpose in the system is to create variety in the game play experience and the journey to becoming a powerful ninja. Instead of a repetitive grind, the daily missions give you a random journey to go on.

A mission like "Collect 30 Something" provides you with more options than just going out and killing for XP. If you have spare Ryo, you can buy it from somebody. Your journey then becomes meeting up with this player in a location to make the exchange happen.

A mission like "Kill X Enemy Ninja" lets you take a break from the endless grind to interact with other players. Team up. Explore the larger world. Infiltrate the enemy villages. Although not encouraged, it also allows you to attempt to negotiate exchanges with enemy village ninja.

A mission like "Collect X Bounty Rewards" let's you open up your bingo book and find players who are enemies of the village, then track them down based on where you think they'd likely be for their level range, or based on their village.

A mission like "Time off!" puts you in a place where you can relax and where you have time to burn, to socialize. Although the reward is low, it is there, and doing nothing but socializing for a few minutes can be seen as a good break from grinding. If you're not up to it, then better luck on the RNG, but getting experience for doing little to nothing and just appreciating the world is a good break nevertheless. The balance in how much experience it should give you is important, and maybe we haven't quite got it right. It should be enough so that you have the choice between just grinding - or doing nothing and getting a lesser reward, but hey, the RNG village mission assigners told you to do it so might as well just chill for awhile. We also send enemies potentially your way, so it's not always completely peaceful.

There's also tons of missions that provide short stories and ask you to go on small adventures like finding a missing cat, or retrieving a hawk. You may bump into other players during the time, or you can ask people for help on where they would likely be, creating a way for experienced players to help new players in a way besides letting people kill you for XP (back to Preventing Exploits).

Variety in experience for these missions can be drastic, but the way we balance it is so that your journey to maximum level is only a matter of time. If you just complete your dailies, eventually you will get to maximum level. Sometimes that journey might give you more experience, or sometimes it will give you less. But it's balanced so that eventually your luck will get you there at the same rate as everyone else, so that you don't feel the pressure to just grind your way to max level.


The Limit

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The limit on daily mission exists so that we can provide the option to abandon missions. We want ninja to complete their missions. But we also don't want them to be stuck on a mission forever when it's not possible for them to finish it if there's no players online. The way we balance missions to give you experienced fairly so that all missions are worth doing, is by limiting it. We don't want players just abandoning the low experience missions to reroll for high experience missions.

If given a choice, nobody wants to do the lower experience missions because you start to see Time vs. Reward. Of course it's meaningless to take a break and do "Guard Duty" if the Documents Mission is just more productive. But thats not fun. Feeling as if the only viable way to play is if you abandon your guard duty to get documents just kills variety. Then you're stupid not to!

Back in earlier versions of the game, we could already see this behavior when we allowed players to share missions (this was an experiment that Seth did). What happened was the entire game play became a matter of finding players with the high experience missions and begging them to share it with you. Because you'd be stupid not to! Why waste your time doing something like "Guard Duty", when you could do "Retrieve Documents" which gives you more experience in less time?

But the entire balance of rewards is designed to take you to max level eventually. The high XP missions exist because the low XP missions exist. If the game let you choose to only do the currently high XP missions, then those high XP missions would have to be nerfed to the point where it still takes you about the same time to get to max level. We want ninja to take their time to get to max level, because at every level tier, there is opportunity for unique RP, unique battles and unique experiences. (But this topic is for another design development log!)


Lore

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The final case for daily missions being the way they are is the lore. It's clear in the Naruto series that ninja just don't choose what missions they're assigned to. The story of any ninja in Nin Online shouldn't be "I completed Retrieve Documents 1000 times to become a Jonin". The variety in experiences is what made your ninja the powerful ninja he is.

To paint a fuller picture, daily missions are supposed to be the grind that you don't see ninja in the Naruto series do. It's mentioned and shown many times in the series that when you're not watching team InoShikaCho doing a crazy mission arc, they are out serving the village in less epic ways.

The Toad village Arc at level 30 in Nin Online is a storyline arc that took a long time to do, and creates a one-time off story arc that is something that would be showcased in the anime series. While daily missions are the missions you don't see. But in Nin Online, you play as one ninja all the way, you see his full picture. Him doing epic adventures, and also taking time off!

Eventually what we want is for there to be an interesting Toad village arc-like story mission for every village at every 10 levels. I'm currently planning level 20 arcs for the Leaf village to be something like a Zabuza arc for example.


Conclusion

It's 7am in the morning and I'm sure I've missed out a lot of points. I might be all over the place with my explanation, and I'm sure it'll still leave some questions unanswered, or it might have completely went over your head and you still don't understand why Daily Missions are random and how the solve the grind mobs problem. In which case, I'll probably do a second version of this dev log when I'm less sleepy!

Regards,
Rory

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Please add kill counter for cbk and waging war. Raise exp gain for time off!? (Sand & Missing) and add a ryo reward for medicine supplies (Missing).

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just wondering,

is it possible to make it like leaf ninja get XP from killing sand ninja inside their village and in their Guard Duty area ? 

- that way players wont be able to bot cuz if u afk at sand GD and you are a leaf ninja, you die in 30 sec

- player wont be able to spam kill, or get XP for free. Once you enter sand's you will not stay alive for more than 1 min

i think that will work because it will be hard to cheat to get that XP actually you will have to raid or something. 

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5 minutes ago, Kokuryu said:

Please add kill counter for cbk and waging war. Raise exp gain for time off!? (Sand & Missing) and add a ryo reward for medicine supplies (Missing).

Added kill counters for CBK and WW.
Raised XP for Time Off!? earlier today
I'll look into that last one

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48 minutes ago, Rory said:


Eventually what we want is for there to be an interesting Toad village arc-like story mission for every village at every 10 levels. I'm currently planning level 20 arcs for the Leaf village to be something like a Zabuza arc for example.
 

Hope there's a Sand arc released at the same time unlike how Leaf has the Hide and Seek to get a second jutsu free while Sand does not.

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@Rory I just don't want to be stuck at level 40 for weeks because the missions suck. and before someone says "get good" or "that's your problem" the missions themselves intrinsically are awful. The reason people originally "exploited", and I say that term loosely in this case, the waging war missions is because the missions are terrible to do. They become near impossible when you don't have a scenario, or game state that allows for just kills. And the fact that things like waging war have in many cases caused the different factions to hate each other just for wanting to level. Time off is exactly as you said, worthless, our time off is chilling in time square AFTER doing our high exp missions, the fact that some missions LITERALLY make us take longer to level for no fun, reason is not worthwhile. The limit sure is to encourage other ways of leveling, however I feel the way leveling is treated in this game is all wrong. Leveling is NEVER a main focus in good games. What is the focus? The Game. Leveling is secondary to the events and fun you already are having, but this game is designed in such a way that trying to level up is everything this game has to offer a player in terms of wanting to win at the only real activity that exists, pvp. The idea of variety isn't valid in this case in my opinion, because in your own example, your case for variety was a walking, sneaking, collection missions vs. standing in an area hoping a raid doesn't happen for the next 30 minutes. That isn't what variety should mean. Variety should mean one is lets say fighting people, and the other is maybe paroling the surrounding area, while another could be idk, maybe earning some cash? The point is don't disregard peoples lack of wanting to do a certain missions as a problem with us, the mission just isn't good, for more than just the experience, but there isn't any real fun or variety to be had in a lower exp missions presence. If every missions gave similar amounts of exp but you still got random missions, that would be purely for variety, but having the rewards differ is just a way for people to take longer to level up. (btw quick thing, time off you never see/talk to a single person, nobody is almost ever in there at the same time as another.) The game needs to stop being such a leveling focused game, add more stuff to it that gets us to level up faster. Why does this work? because you could level to max in a day but if the game has content besides leveling, like some other mmo's like ShadowBane, than leveling to max quick won't matter. You can see it now, max levels have nothing they can do except wait for you to increase the level cap and add new content. I say, make leveling A LOT faster, and easier than it is, then look at the game as a whole and see what could be added that adds lasting gameplay and intrigue to its playerbase. That's my take on this, enough ranting for today. Phew...

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21 minutes ago, TheEighthSin Dayu said:

And the fact that things like waging war have in many cases caused the different factions to hate each other just for wanting to level. 

One of the reasons I think there should be a proper war/peace mechanic. For instance, if Leaf and Mist are at peace, Leaf ninja would not be given a "Kill 1 Mist ninja" mission and the Leaf Jonin wouldn't attack Mist ninja.

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1 hour ago, TheEighthSin Dayu said:

@Rory I just don't want to be stuck at level 40 for weeks because the missions suck. and before someone says "get good" or "that's your problem" the missions themselves intrinsically are awful. The reason people originally "exploited", and I say that term loosely in this case, the waging war missions is because the missions are terrible to do. They become near impossible when you don't have a scenario, or game state that allows for just kills. And the fact that things like waging war have in many cases caused the different factions to hate each other just for wanting to level. Time off is exactly as you said, worthless, our time off is chilling in time square AFTER doing our high exp missions, the fact that some missions LITERALLY make us take longer to level for no fun, reason is not worthwhile. The limit sure is to encourage other ways of leveling, however I feel the way leveling is treated in this game is all wrong. Leveling is NEVER a main focus in good games. What is the focus? The Game. Leveling is secondary to the events and fun you already are having, but this game is designed in such a way that trying to level up is everything this game has to offer a player in terms of wanting to win at the only real activity that exists, pvp. The idea of variety isn't valid in this case in my opinion, because in your own example, your case for variety was a walking, sneaking, collection missions vs. standing in an area hoping a raid doesn't happen for the next 30 minutes. That isn't what variety should mean. Variety should mean one is lets say fighting people, and the other is maybe paroling the surrounding area, while another could be idk, maybe earning some cash? The point is don't disregard peoples lack of wanting to do a certain missions as a problem with us, the mission just isn't good, for more than just the experience, but there isn't any real fun or variety to be had in a lower exp missions presence. If every missions gave similar amounts of exp but you still got random missions, that would be purely for variety, but having the rewards differ is just a way for people to take longer to level up. (btw quick thing, time off you never see/talk to a single person, nobody is almost ever in there at the same time as another.) The game needs to stop being such a leveling focused game, add more stuff to it that gets us to level up faster. Why does this work? because you could level to max in a day but if the game has content besides leveling, like some other mmo's like ShadowBane, than leveling to max quick won't matter. You can see it now, max levels have nothing they can do except wait for you to increase the level cap and add new content. I say, make leveling A LOT faster, and easier than it is, then look at the game as a whole and see what could be added that adds lasting gameplay and intrigue to its playerbase. That's my take on this, enough ranting for today. Phew...

Oh god. You need to split your posts into paragraphs.
I'll reply in point form.

1. It wasn't an exploit at all. It was the only viable way to play because it was the only way you could get to level 50 the quickest. Playing in any other way would be stupid because the game punishes you for not doing it by making you level slower. Which is the big point in my OP.

2. You contradict yourself when you say that that you don't want to be stuck at level 40 for weeks because missions suck, but at the same time acknowledge that the fun part of a good game isn't leveling up, it's playing the game itself. Which is something I heavily agree with. That's why missions are there to relieve the problem of it just being a grind to 50, by providing variety, which is all addressed in my OP. Your idea that you can only have fun in Nin Online when you're level 50 is exactly that, your own idea. Nin Online is not designed that way. PvP is designed to be fun at every level, if you're 40, you can PvP with your full kit without a second mastery with people at your own level, you're just not doing that. You want to be 50 and PvPing with people lower than you or people at 50 because you don't like being 40 and being killed by people at 50. But tell me a game where people like to die, no game is designed that way, most people wanting to be max level is a normal human thing.

3. The point of waging war is to cause factions to hate each other because the tension drives better RP. Having true peace between two villages when there is only two villages means there's nothing going on. What's the point in making multiple villages, multiple factions in a open world pvp game if there's no fighting.

4. Of course we want to create more things to do while you level up. The thing is - that has nothing to do with daily missions and this is a post about daily missions. The point of this article is to explain reasons why we limit daily missions and pace out the leveling. The game isn't designed for you to grind to 50 and I've said numerous times throughout the existence of the game that I want to spend time working on the features that aren't just PvP and missions. But that is just nothing to do with this topic so it's not in this article.

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Theres more to a game than what you see in front of you, theres always something new, something hidden that isn't for the public eyes.

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13 hours ago, Rory said:

Oh god. You need to split your posts into paragraphs.
I'll reply in point form.

1. It wasn't an exploit at all. It was the only viable way to play because it was the only way you could get to level 50 the quickest. Playing in any other way would be stupid because the game punishes you for not doing it by making you level slower. Which is the big point in my OP.

2. You contradict yourself when you say that that you don't want to be stuck at level 40 for weeks because missions suck, but at the same time acknowledge that the fun part of a good game isn't leveling up, it's playing the game itself. Which is something I heavily agree with. That's why missions are there to relieve the problem of it just being a grind to 50, by providing variety, which is all addressed in my OP. Your idea that you can only have fun in Nin Online when you're level 50 is exactly that, your own idea. Nin Online is not designed that way. PvP is designed to be fun at every level, if you're 40, you can PvP with your full kit without a second mastery with people at your own level, you're just not doing that. You want to be 50 and PvPing with people lower than you or people at 50 because you don't like being 40 and being killed by people at 50. But tell me a game where people like to die, no game is designed that way, most people wanting to be max level is a normal human thing.

3. The point of waging war is to cause factions to hate each other because the tension drives better RP. Having true peace between two villages when there is only two villages means there's nothing going on. What's the point in making multiple villages, multiple factions in a open world pvp game if there's no fighting.

4. Of course we want to create more things to do while you level up. The thing is - that has nothing to do with daily missions and this is a post about daily missions. The point of this article is to explain reasons why we limit daily missions and pace out the leveling. The game isn't designed for you to grind to 50 and I've said numerous times throughout the existence of the game that I want to spend time working on the features that aren't just PvP and missions. But that is just nothing to do with this topic so it's not in this article.

@Rory My point is that everything you mentioned for gameplay is the pvp, which is part of my point. Sure pvp at all levels, but the fact that all i am leveling for is to not get stomped by higher levels, and to fight at higher tiers of combat is so linear that most people leave the game at lvl 50 when they realize that they have nothing left when leveling is gone. That is the point I am making.

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On 5/28/2018 at 9:10 PM, TheEighthSin Dayu said:

@Rory My point is that everything you mentioned for gameplay is the pvp, which is part of my point. Sure pvp at all levels, but the fact that all i am leveling for is to not get stomped by higher levels, and to fight at higher tiers of combat is so linear that most people leave the game at lvl 50 when they realize that they have nothing left when leveling is gone. That is the point I am making.

Well that's the amount of non-pvp content we have now. Never have I ever claimed that I'm trying to make a game that will keep people happy forever. People will come and go, there's nothing I can do to unnaturally retain players that way. The amount of content we can create is limited by our manpower, and that in turn is limited by the amount of money we can make from a game that isn't trying to milk people of their money and only sells optional cosmetic items.

When there's more content, some people will come back, and then they will go again when it's over. Nin isn't ever going to reach a point where people who are here for the content are going to infinitely be pleased because it takes months for a campaign that lasts barely a day to be made. The reason why I still do it is because it enhances the limited experience I intend to create for each player there.

People who will stay longer will be people who just want a community. Because the only dynamic content that can keep people entertained won't be made by me, it's by the community who create interesting RP scenarios which we already see happening.

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9 hours ago, Rory said:

Well that's the amount of non-pvp content we have now. Never have I ever claimed that I'm trying to make a game that will keep people happy forever. People will come and go, there's nothing I can do to unnaturally retain players that way. The amount of content we can create is limited by our manpower, and that in turn is limited by the amount of money we can make from a game that isn't trying to milk people of their money and only sells optional cosmetic items.

When there's more content, some people will come back, and then they will go again when it's over. Nin isn't ever going to reach a point where people who are here for the content are going to infinitely be pleased because it takes months for a campaign that lasts barely a day to be made. The reason why I still do it is because it enhances the limited experience I intend to create for each player there.

People who will stay longer will be people who just want a community. Because the only dynamic content that can keep people entertained won't be made by me, it's by the community who create interesting RP scenarios which we already see happening.

Everything said here, is no better than how Destiny does its game structure. Which I don't think is a good thing. I am aware a while back you mentioned how you don't want to get new people to help willy nilly because your worried that if they aren't experienced enough, that they will slow down the game process. Every game company has these reservations but even if a couple of people end up slowing you down, there is bound to be at least 1 person that can contribute well to this game/project. Here's what I think could help with what i'm talking about. Some people, and I mean people who are capable of coding for the game and such, need to be in charge of creating side content. So we are both clear, using the fishing post as an example, to put fishing like how Pokemon does it, is pathetically easy. Its a simple system that the simplest of games can create (Pokemon, Wizard101, low budget mmo's with small teams). I don't say this to be rude, I just want to be matter of fact. Everything RN is clearly being focused on this big update that is literally a phantom in the wind. It might as well not exist until we see it. It would help if you had some people working on content that doesn't take very long to create but ends up creating a steady stream of content that is beyond the "Make your own story" kind of crap. Sure, people will come and go, but your talking about an environment that at your current pace will never happen. My suggestion, is at least someone, some one person, should be tasked, maybe even someone new, that can work on simple small content which will go a very long way. And yes I have heard all the stuff before, I have seen all your comments about finding new people. I would just like this to be kept in mind, no huge long rebuttal how this is wrong, just something you should consider.

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29 minutes ago, TheEighthSin Dayu said:

Everything said here, is no better than how Destiny does its game structure. Which I don't think is a good thing. I am aware a while back you mentioned how you don't want to get new people to help willy nilly because your worried that if they aren't experienced enough, that they will slow down the game process. Every game company has these reservations but even if a couple of people end up slowing you down, there is bound to be at least 1 person that can contribute well to this game/project. Here's what I think could help with what i'm talking about. Some people, and I mean people who are capable of coding for the game and such, need to be in charge of creating side content. So we are both clear, using the fishing post as an example, to put fishing like how Pokemon does it, is pathetically easy. Its a simple system that the simplest of games can create (Pokemon, Wizard101, low budget mmo's with small teams). I don't say this to be rude, I just want to be matter of fact. Everything RN is clearly being focused on this big update that is literally a phantom in the wind. It might as well not exist until we see it. It would help if you had some people working on content that doesn't take very long to create but ends up creating a steady stream of content that is beyond the "Make your own story" kind of crap. Sure, people will come and go, but your talking about an environment that at your current pace will never happen. My suggestion, is at least someone, some one person, should be tasked, maybe even someone new, that can work on simple small content which will go a very long way. And yes I have heard all the stuff before, I have seen all your comments about finding new people. I would just like this to be kept in mind, no huge long rebuttal how this is wrong, just something you should consider.

Mmm you need to start writing in paragraphs.

Destiny is different. They charge people lump sums of money to play the game. So it is in their best interest for the game to eventually go stale so they can release a sequel to rake in more money. Nin Online is free to play. Nobody needs to pay. If you want to join and play for free, that's totally fine you're not at a single disadvantage for doing so aside from occasional fashion contests. How we make money is by continually having new players join and buy cosmetics to look cool while they RP.

If you think that people who have actual game development experience required to work on an online rpg are going to come to me and throw their time at a game which won't fit on their resume and won't benefit them in any way, then you're delusional. The game doesn't earn enough money to rationale one person working on it. It's a service provided to fans by fans of the Naruto series even if it's monetized and trying to stay afloat. It takes me months to train a developer to get basic things done, and it takes years for people to get good enough to sprite for the game. It also takes hours of free labor, which is not something most people who can make a game like this will do for free. I'm not into training developers for months for them to contribute a few hours of work and then leave. If they want to work on the game and they have actual skill, they are already in the team eg. Sezu, Seth, Masterant, Sefunmi. We're already so god damn lucky to have so many Naruto fans willing to contribute to the game in their free time. But time is money and I don't expect anything more from them.

Coding doesn't work that way. Every system is intertwined in an online game, everything is networked, everything is way over the paygrade of an average script kiddie. The people you find on BYOND willing to code games are not going to get any shit done. Seth has been programming for what 10 years now and it's still hard to get things done when he's working on the game almost daily. If you think adding a fishing system is so pathetically easy, go do it yourself, go make an MMORPG with the amount of content and features as Nin Online and then try to code in an additional fishing system. People underestimate the difficulty of making a game, especially an online game. Everything you add is connected and every feature becomes exponentially harder to add because of things optimization and how connected everything line of code is.

I could choose NOT to release any future content updates and it is really my own choice. Because I am a human being with my own life and career and everyone on my team, so when you say you're not trying to be rude but then shit on the amount of work it takes to make the game and the effort being put in, it's a very big insult.

Kingsisle Entertainment behind Wizard101 is not a small company, they have a large team of full time employees.
https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/KingsIsle-Entertainment-Salaries-E246079.htm

Pokemon is one of the most expensive game franchises in existence, and the studio behind their main games have 143 full time employees on payroll.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Freak
 

If you're not into RP or the community driven aspects of Nin Online, then go play this
https://naruto.oasgames.com/en/
I'm not competing with them for the speed at which I can add useless content. This is an RP game.


Not going to bother responding to the rest of your long ass one paragraph post because it's already disrespectful and ignorant beyond belief and I don't think you understand anything about game development. Go find any other online game made by 2 people and volunteers earning little to nothing.

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fair, your points, are fair. well met. I do believe you mis-interpreted my point I was making. Which was not even directed at how the game's designed, but non the less, fair.

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