Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'design'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Records

Forums

  • Community
    • Announcements
    • Development Logs
  • General
    • Discussion
    • Support
    • Suggestions
  • Village
    • Leaf Village
    • Sand Village
    • Mist Village
  • Off Topic
    • Introductions
    • Chit-chat
    • Show Off
  • General
  • Spanish
  • Soporte
  • Discusión
  • Muestras
  • Chismes
  • Anuncios
  • Presentaciones
  • Reportes de Errores
  • Off Topic
  • Sugerencias

Calendars

  • Community Calendar
  • Event Schedule

Forms

  • Contact Us
    • Your Name
    • Subject
    • Email Address
    • Message
  • Staff Recruitment
    • Name
    • Country
    • Position
    • Resume/CV

Categories

  • Sand Village
  • Leaf Village
  • Others

Found 16 results

  1. Dear Ninja, First of it's kind rant Dev log. Balance is hard. Everyone has a favorite kind of ninja they want to be, and in an anime/manga, you don't have to consider balancing it in any legible way. When initially designing each mastery, I had a vision for it to affect the players gameplay heavily, for them to be good in certain scenarios, weak in others and also plan unique training experiences for them. For example, as a Tools Ninja, you would have a unique advantage in battles where you could prepare in advance by placing traps. You would have a harder time in spur of the moment battles or ambushes. You would also spend a lot more ryo on tools, hence have a harder time leveling up. As a fire ninja, you would have a big advantage in small arenas. Without any meaningful crowd control, you would rely heavily on AoE and landing your jutsu, which would be more easily done when there is little place to run. The large open world of Nin Online has little tight spaces besides bridges and valleys, but as new arenas are used for more chunin exams, maybe we'll see arenas where this mastery and others shine more. Sword ninja and Fan ninja are the only mastery where you need to hunt for your weapon. As more boss fights come, you will hunt for better weapons with better stats. I got a message from somebody saying tool ninjas were unbalanced because it was too broken because they OP when they can prepare for fights but are useless when they are fighting unprepared.. Good job me? My point is that there's a special place for each mastery in the games balance. The ideal end point is not where every mastery is balanced in a 1v1 fight or a 5v5 team fight. The end goal is for each mastery to have areas where it excels, and are weak in. Arenas where some will prosper and others fail. The end goal is not for support medics to have the same easy time training as Taijutsu ninja. The ideal balance is when each class feels like it has enough merit and fun points to be worth the training. There's a lot more to do, and always will be more I can do to improve the experience of each mastery. Sometimes tweaking values isn't enough, and sometimes it fixes things entirely. But there's more to balancing and game design than everything being fair in a 1v1 fight and I hope everyone who reads this gets my vision at least. PS: Typed on my phone right before bed. Ignore typos!
  2. This will be my Hidden Mist Village Launch Post-mortem talking about what it took to create the Hidden Mist Village’s initial launch state in Nin Online. It's been a long journey to create this major expansion for the game, and with the release a few months ago, it's been very satisfying to watch the dynamics of the game change. Elk's Work (2013) But the journey to create the Mist village actually goes back even further than you may think. Because it started in 2013, with some concepts drawn up by @Elk, one of the artists at the time. Back then, there was little to no reference of what the Mist village actually looked like besides a blur image on Naruto's Fan Wikia. The only other reference of the land of water, was from flashback scenes of the snowy smaller village that Haku was born in, in the original Naruto series. We had 2 simple directions, we wanted to keep the Mist village dark and gloomy, and really bring out the feel of the Zabuza Arc, and that's all we knew. Unfortunately, all of the artwork that Elk posted back then has gone offline and expired from image hosting sites, so I can't show you what he did. But the way the village looks from his concept art, and what we ended up having is uncanny. My Timeline of working on the Mist village (2018-2019) Like all the villages, it all really starts with a sketch, a very barebones sketch. Unlike the Suna one, this one was done digitally (in paint). Which you can see the similarities between the final product. Going from that sketch (Mid 2018) to this (Mid 2019) is rewarding! Tiles One of the hardest things to make for tiles are round objects, especially large round objects. So making a lot of different sized round buildings for Mist was definitely a bigger challenge than the square buildings in the Leaf and the one size round buildings of the Sand. But I felt that it was necessary for this village. I didn't want Mist village to just be a recolored Leaf village, so the majority of the tiles were made brand new just for the Mist village, besides small common objects that could just be recolored. In total, the Mist village has 3 tilesets (2048x2048) of sprites, 2 of them full! as well as a smaller tileset for the ant cave and one more for the Ship tiles for the new ship ride to the land of water. This is some early style tests of what Mist would look like Maps Although it may sound simple, like oh just add Mist map and the surrounding forests. The total number of maps created for the Mist village thus far is 58 including the interiors to buildings, and there's more to come. With the release of the Mist village also came the small village outside, the ports, the organization bases, the Academy, the shops, Asoki Port village and all the maps previously non-existent linking the old playable map space to the new. I didn't want each map to look like a clone of each other, so I made sure that different parts of the Land of Water felt different, and so it feels more like an entire country, not one village! These maps were all hand crafted and a lot of them contain new artwork made specially for them. The new mist graphic that overlays the maps was also custom made based on the Zabuza Arc's look and feel. The village map consists of unique buildings that can take a whole day to complete, and I took time to make sure maps like the Spa felt different from what you already have in the Leaf and Sand village. Like I said though, because there was little to no references of what Mist village should look like, the entire layout of the village was created originally for Nin Online, and so if you start seeing it look this way in any other game, chances are - they've been playing Nin Online! Mobs & Summons I made 10 mobs for Mist village. Including Ants, Boars, the Kraken etc. There's only two summons at the moment, Clams and Pandas! But for Clams, I wanted it to be very different from the other summons, so we made it so it was a stationary summon and I created Acid Mist Jutsu for it too. Adding summons is a process of doing the art and animations, then adding their Summoning Jutsu and stats, adding their NPC database stats, adding their summoning manual and adding the NPCs that sells their manuals. Bubble Mastery I wanted Bubble Mastery to work and feel different from other masteries, so I designed it around traps and snares, but utilizing a weapon. Although there's still more to do for it, I'm happy with how it looks! The art for it took a few weeks and then the implementation took a few days. Along with every new jutsu and mastery, comes a bunch of backend work like creating Jutsu/Jutsu Manuals/Scroll Scribe in the database. New Items/Equipment Mist Military Police Uniforms, Purple Forehead Protectors, Hunter-nin Robes and Masks, Mizukage Clothes, Mist Utility Vests, Blue and Colored Collar Jackets, Bubble Pipe are some of the equipment I did the art for, as well as all the mob drops and mission items! Oh, and the Bandaged Face Mask was done just a few days before launch to let people look more Misty. Scripting Making maps, doesn't just make them work. There's a lot of scripted systems for features like RP Missions, the Academy, Fainting and the hospital, Imprisonment, Kage command room, adding Mist to the War Event Map, and the Boat Ride too! These take time to make and are all done within the game itself. Missions The mission system is a complicated system. It's built upon both scripting and hard coding. The hard coded system is relatively simple, and it leaves a lot of the customizing each mission to the in-game scripting, so each mission takes a bit to create. I make NPCs and place them around and design fetch missions, I design mobs and place them around and design kill missions, I create a gate map and then script the timers for it, and then create guarding missions. I didn't want to just make missions for the Mist to go to the Sand and Leaf, so I also had to make missions for both the Sand and Leaf to now venture into the land of water. It may not seem like it from one village's perspective, but we effectively doubled the number of missions in Nin Online just by adding Mist! Missions have to be scripted down to the level of what to do to the player when he dies, and it has to be linked to the Village Score System for example, which has to be linked to the War System, and with systems so interconnected, it gets exponentially harder with every additional piece added into it. Clans This was a relatively simple thing to do, I looked through all the submissions for clans for Mist and created emblems for them or used ones submitted. Most of adding clans is just in the UI.. so.. UI & Forum / Website New UI pieces like symbols for the bingo book, the character selection, the world map and the village map had to be made. This was all done around April 2019. New introduction scene for the Mist village was hacked together myself as well! New login screens to celebrate the Mist launch too. The forum and things like updater had to be updated with new graphics pieces to feature our new village as well! Things like promotional banners were and social media images too. Music I did one piece of soundtrack for the Mist village, and the others are done by @Afilion! My piece plays in some of the interiors. I'm not a professional musician like him, but I wanted to leave a mark in a different way. NPCs I created 11 NPCs with full walking and attack animations for the Mist village, for things like Guards, and just wandering NPCs. Other Staff's Contributions Besides, Elk, our ex-artist @Sezu also contributed to the village with Dragonflies & Fox Mobs, 8 Misc. Static NPCs, the Striped Clothing Styled Items, and the to be seen Chunin Headband (Slanted Mist Protectors) & Mist Flak Jacket! On the programming side, there was a little bit of work to be done to prepare the engine to support a third village, which was all done by our resident programmer @Seth. Reaper/Santa Chulo also contributed with yet to be seen art like the weapons of the 7 Swordsmen of the Mist. @Afilion did the new village theme songs! I also commissioned an artist named Daikai to create new artwork for Mist Ninja! Conclusions Mist took a lot of work. It was a lot of carrying from myself. It gets exponentially harder to add more things to a game where every feature is interconnected. I left out a lot of backend work I had to do, and I'm sure I missed a ton of things I had to do. I'm thankful for the help everyone has contributed to the village. There were times I just felt like releasing Mist half done without summons, without organizations, without new jutsu.. but I decided against it because I wanted everything to be experienced at once and for people to get that feeling of a big new update coming, instead of the usual small patches with one or two new items. Although we announced that I hoped Mist would release in 2018, the original pipeline changed very quickly in that year. Between then and now, we also went to add major systems like Summons and Clans which were not initially intended to be added before Mist. I had to spend a good few months working on fixing the major crash bug in 2018 which you can read about here.. Mist was a lot of work, it still is, and adding more content is getting harder and harder. But we'll keep going, slowly but surely. Thank you all for the support and for playing Nin Online!
  3. Not going to write a full dev log for this update. But basically, if you don't know already, Fan weapons got a huge update, they now shoot ranged projectiles instead of normal melee attacks. This has been planned for a long time, and the goal is to make Fan ninja feel like a ranged class rather than just another kind of WM. This feature also allows us to make guns basically. We could have a weapon that shoots bullets. Which I really wanted to do for the Christmas event (so you could shoot zombies) but we didn't have the feature out in time. Ah well, maybe we can shoot something else this Halloween. There's more to come in the future in terms of what each fan can do, right now all the fan attacks are very general basic wind projectiles, but we've coded a very broad feature which will allow us to use weapons to cast jutsu on attack, which we can use for more than just fans. But for the most part, it will be quite a unique thing. Don't expect swords to ever shoot anything. It's a Fan thing. Eventually, I hope to implement elemental fans like the Bashōsen (https://naruto.fandom.com/wiki/Bashōsen) But not exactly like that, more like for example a Fire fan that contains elemental chakra stored within it, giving you a basic fire tornado projectile for example. So Fan ninja will be able to explore having burns for example. Even for non-elemental fans, we'll still be reworking their normal projectiles once we have a better idea of where to go from here in terms of Fan balance. Hopefully this piques the interest for Fans and Sands a little more and hey - maybe you're a bit of a fan of mine now. ay.
  4. Hey Ninja, Back again with another dev log. This time I just want to talk about some reasons why sometimes I add content which are for a limited level range. Right now mainly two bosses that you can only fight within the level range 20-30 and 30-40. To understand why such content is required, we have to talk about the design of the game, and the core of what is fun in an MMORPG. First of all, when I approach the design of Nin Online, I don't think about training from Levels 1-50 (or the new level cap when you're reading this!) as a requirement/procedure to get to the fun bit. One intention behind the design of leveling up from 1-50 is to provide players with a story to tell about their character, how they got to their power. A story to tell Think about the difference between playing Nin Online and playing an arena based game where you jump in on a level playing field, eg. Shinobi Striker. If you play Nin Online, you character starts off as an Academy Student, starts doing menial tasks for the village, eventually grows and discovers his first elemental chakra nature, or that he's gifted in Taijutsu or Medical Ninjutsu. He does a few missions that require him to team up with a group of 3 ninja and work under a Chunin/Jonin instructor. He makes friends along the way, and when he's killed a billion times in this leveling journey, he makes enemies too. Hopefully he's made more friends than enemies, that can help, and he's found some sort of purpose. It feels good to overcome obstacles Jumping into a game in an even playing field is fun when you want a purely competitive, fair experience. Nin Online doesn't strive to be that. It's tries to be a breathing world where if you've invested time into training in the game, you have a competitive age. Ie. It's an RPG. In any RPG, you start off feeling weak and it feels good to gain powers along the way. The feeling people get when they start off weak and eventually start being able to fend for themselves, and then further improve and can own people or hold their grounds against the best is a priceless feeling. But it takes time investment, and Nin Online aims to be a game for the people who have time to play the game, not sell out to the casuals who complain about not being able to get everything they want by pointing at it. If things are rare, it's worth more Simply put, if everything is obtainable by everyone all the time, then nothing is worth anything and those items are only worth whatever their stats are. There's items people don't need but have spent months in gaining because they want them. When they finally do gain it, it's worth a lot. Why did they want it? because it had value. RNG makes life more exciting If everything is set to for example, if you've killed 1000 wolves and it doesn't drop your sword, it will just give you your sword, then everyone knows the value of the item is only 1000 wolves, it feels cheapened, you didn't really hit a jackpot, the game took pity on you and gave you what you wanted. There is still a place for content that you can surely get as long as you try. For example, items that are bought with Ryo, items that are crafted with fixed amounts of more common items that can be bought with ryo or hunted. Items that are attached to finishing hard missions. But RNG items will always have to exist in some form for those who are willing to invest the time to get that +1 item. Spontaneous Experience In hours of straight play, your time in Nin Online should not be doing a single thing. Here's how it could play out vs. how it should. Log in -> Grind for 10 hours -> log out -> sleep -> login again tomorrow and repeat vs. Log in -> Take on a mission that requires you to enter an enemy village -> get interrupted by enemies and fail -> rest your Battle Injuries off while socializing in your village -> your village is spontaneously raided -> you escape narrowly and hide somewhere while stronger ninja battle it out -> you attempt your mission again and succeed -> you take your second daily mission which is to chill in the sauna -> you chill awhile and get rewarded while doing it -> you take your last mission and it's not very good so you choose to discard it (better luck tomorrow) -> since you're out of dailies, you go grind for awhile but you bump into people who ask you if you can accompany them on their mission -> you take a spontaneous journey to an enemy village -> you bump into enemy ninja with bounty -> you kill them and gain some bounty rewards -> you send off your new friend and you go get your bounty reward -> you reached a new level tier and you've unlocked fighting a boss -> you find a team of similar leveled ninja you've never met before and go try to finish that boss -> it's difficult but you do it after a few attempts -> you're lucky and it drops a rare RNG item -> you argue with your team about who gets it -> you log off with the item and feel great that you earned something rare today at the expense that your village ninja now know you're a bit of a jerk -> log out -> sleep -> you login again and get a different mission and now your village is on the verge of exiling you and nobody wants to team with you Back to level-limited content That's some of the things you have to understand about the core philosophy for the hardcore nature of Nin Online and why we don't have everything just at the end game. 1. Encouraging taking your time If you can do everything at 50, then leveling is a process of unlocking things you can do. There's no reason to take your time because your goal instantly becomes to do whatever is easiest to get to 50 so that you can do all the "fun things". But then you realize that you've already missed half the 98% of the fun by grinding all the way as fast as you could. 2. We want people to experience different things at different points in their ninja journey 1-10 should feel different from 11-20, which should feel very different from 40-50. Even if just visually, you should feel like you've doing more impressive feats, and you should feel like you've gained power, and your jutsu should feel stronger. To reflect this, bosses should feel like they're getting even more challenging. 3. Challenge. If bosses were available at any point pass the level requirement and not limited, people wouldn't do it at the level requirement if they found it a challenge. They would stick to grinding weak unchallenging mobs and procrastinate getting those bosses killed till when the bosses were no longer a challenge, and then it wouldn't have been fun doing it. But that's what the game encouraged them to do - they would've been stupid not to have done that. Currently, those bosses are designed to be a challenge at the level range it is set, once you're past it, it's going to be a face roll. 4. Similar point, but if the easy way is to just continue grinding or logging out and doing dailies everyday. Your experience is narrow, there's no variety. Ideally, in Nin Online, things should happen spontaneously, things should vary in your hours of playing. You should unlock new things and be encouraged to go try those things immediately. I hope this explains why things are how they are, it's really hard to explain when there's only two things that are this way. But eventually when there's more content in this manner, it will become more evident this creates a more well-rounded, varied experience over the course of your time playing.
  5. The idea for Asoki Village dates back to 2006, or possibly earlier. Back when I was a 13 year old kid, I made an attempt at a game called "Hidden Villages Online" it was essentially the same idea as Nin Online, but I was new to game development for the most part and wasn't able to make it anywhere as quality as Nin Online is today. Hidden Villages Online actually saw multiple test releases where perhaps less than a hundred people ever tried it. But it was a good learning experience as a kid, and it helped me make Nin Online what it is today. In Hidden Villages Online, you started at Asoki Village, which was a small village, and that was where everyone was born. There was no Leaf village or Sand village, just Asoki Village. 13 years later, here is Asoki Port village, slightly different names, slightly better mapping. I tried to recreate it how my kid self would've wanted it. I hope everyone likes it! There's only ducks here, but there's going to be Mission NPCs and shops soon. Regards, Ueda
  6. Hey Ninja, This week we'll be talking about the biggest change in the game since 2013. There are so many bookshelves in the game and it's been bothering me how they all have the same books in the same order, and I don't know if this bothered a single other soul, but It really bothered me. I actually designed the bookshelf tileset to be modular in 2013, but I never got the time to do a simple edit to make more varieties. Behold, more variation of bookshelves! Before / After (animated GIF) & that bin & that bin A more extreme example of a map with way too many of the same shelves previous.. & that bin tho More examples On a slightly more serious note, I actually added a bunch of new tiles into the game to make interiors more lively and maybe for that one or two cases, give people more to RP with. I know these are things the game doesn't need but I still want to do improvements like this because they make the world feel more alive to me. In the same way all the maps could've just reused all the same art and been clones of one another, and saved me a lot of time, I don't want to not make the art look good in every way just to save time. In the end, I want Nin to be something I'm proud of in every way. More small upgrades to other maps coming soon!
  7. Medical Ninjas in the Naruto series are both some of our favorite characters and some of our most hated. On one end we have people hating on Sakura and Ino who's feats until the Great Ninja War seemed forced in there to give them some relevance, on the other hand you have Tsunade who everyone universally agrees is a bad ass because of her medical Ninjutsu feats. As I mentioned in the previous dev log. Not all Masteries are meant to be as good at PvP or PvE. Some Masteries trade these abilities greatly for utility. Some masteries trade long-term survivability for short term damage output. Nin Online's inspiration for what Medical Ninja should feel like comes from a bunch of different characters. Firstly, we have two sub-paths that we want players to balance between. Here's a list of characters that you should feel like as you go towards that path. Full support Medic - Rin Poison Attack Medic - Kabuto When you get combined Masteries, and advanced Masteries.. Full Support Medic (Advanced Medic /w CHK) - Tsunade level medical Ninjutsu Advanced Poison Ninjutsu (Advanced Medic /w INT) - Ibuse Medical and Taijutsu User (Medic + Taijutsu) - Tsunade In total this is 5 different modes of medics we want to balance for. There will be people who choose to take Medic + Water still, and it won't be that bad because you'd have limited amount of jutsu slots which you will fill up with not just Medic and Water jutsu, but also hidden jutsu, clan jutsu and summoning jutsu in the future. Full Support Medics are not supposed to feel as viable in combat as other ninja. Except when you use Chakra Scalpels. Essentially, you're supposed to feel like a one trick pony as a pure support medic, when it comes to damage output. You are the support of your team, and Chakra Scalpels should allow you to push out damage and defend yourself temporarily while your team is too preoccupied. So you are basically Rin. Poison Attack Medics are supposed to be less viable in combat than a typical class in terms of pure damage output, but relies on poisons to get an upper hand in extended fights, where you tire out the opponent. As of now, this and full support medics are a little far from its original design. Cursed Seals are artificial sage modes. It is when unnaturally implanted kinjutsu and senjutsu is granted to its user. I have a theory that it was originally intended for Sasuke to have gained what his affinity towards Hawks and a potentially scrapped Hawk sage mode to him early by orochimaru. Which explains why he gains Hawk-like features when he gained his Cursed Seal form (hawk eyes, wings and a beak like Mark on his face). This was probably scrapped in order for Jiraiya, Orochimaru and Tsunade to have the same Summons as Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura. All the Sound 4 have Summons and artificial sage modes where they gain marks, just like Naruto does when he enters sage mode. But as the game is inspired more by Naruto than Shippuden, this is what we're going for. Cursed Seals in Nin Online will be an optional addition instead of ordinary Summons and Sage Modes that will require you to leave your village and learn from an evil ninja. However, as this is very far off, and I know people love Cursed Seals and its a large part of the series, I include them as part of the attack medic's kit for now. But this is the full vision of what Cursed Seals will be eventually. Advanced Poison Ninja are based on Hanzo, Torune and some freaky Ninjutsu like Orochimaru. You will get deadlier poisons which do different things, slow your enemies, damage them, silence them etc. There were initially plans for poison immunities, but that has been scrapped because such easy hard counters are not fun. A medicine making system is planned for medical ninja to use ingredients to make pills which can then be sold or used by allies. In conclusion, while medical ninja are meant to be very different from what they currently are, and as time goes by, this will be what it becomes. In the meanwhile, I do want them to be as fun as possible and provide unique gameplay, like having cursed seals.
  8. MMORPG are unique as a genre of projects to work on from normal RPG because they run as a service over a long period of time. They are different because there is not a definite end state, and players will always want more content and features. Of course, they are also different because of the social interactions your players can have, creating indefinite amounts of possibilities for special interactions and experiences in the world. Indefinite Service Indefinite Updates Indefinite Experiences These 3 factors when considered into the design and development plan can create a sustainable MMORPG. Diving into the past, most of us avid MMORPG players have encountered one of these scenarios. Being a long time player of a game but slowly realizing its no longer the game you loved. Being a long time player and leaving the game, coming back and seeing its no longer the game you loved. Anticipating a game from trailers for years, forgetting about a game, and jumping in half a decade later to realize its not what the trailers portrayed it to be. A lot of games lose sight of the original design over the years, this can be due to change in designers and people working on the game. This can be due to publisher intervention. This can be due to changes in monetization model. This can be due to a large variety of reasons that may even have been necessary for the longevity of the game. This common occurrence with MMORPG almost make it seem that this is the inevitable destination for all games in the genre. But if we look at the examples of games decades old that are still around and maintain a strong following, and the prevalence of Classic MMORPG private servers, we can see that this isn't true. There are dozens of popular Ragnarok Online private servers with thousands of daily active users while Ragnarok Online 2 is shutting down its team and the game has less active players than Nin Online which is made by mostly 2 individuals. Changing Developers / Designers When a game is bought by a new parent company, sometimes they come with deals where the creators or lead designers have to continue working on the game for a duration. Sometimes they replace them straight away. Whichever the case, while documentation can help, if you change the person behind the helm of a games development. You will get changes to the vision of the game. Lack of knowledge of what made the game great from a fundamental level can be detrimental, and even having that knowledge, it's still really hard to continue the development the way it was originally intended. Obscure decisions can seem random or error-like to a person jumping in midway through a game's development lifetime. Even experienced developers will struggle to weigh in everything that comprises a game's design when suddenly thrown a giant game design document and a world filled with more different kinds of players than they've met in their lives. The way Nin Online has counteracted this problem thus far is just by keeping the same lead designer on the helm for its current lifespan. While I intend to continue being the one leading the games development in the long term, it may one day be inevitable that I will not. In such a scenario, it will be very important that whomever continues the game knows not just the decisions for the game design - but the reasons for them - by heart. It is rare that a new designer can step into a project and make the game a better game while sticking to its original design. It's not something I've personally observed happen in all my research. I think companies undervalue the importance of keeping the individuals and overvalue the project they're buying. But besides just changing designers, I think individuals get bored of the project they were originally designing and turn their projects into something else over time, they start adopted market trends, listen to players rather than good design in areas they shouldn't. Decisions like these compound into bad games and eventually cause the games to die or at least lose their initial target audiences. Accessibility and Appeasing a Casual Playerbase Trend This next point is a very specific decision that has occurred within most of the MMORPG that we enjoyed as kids. Making a game accessible has in mine and many people's opinions been the cause of decline for many MMORPG of the past. When a game changes its design to match the player instead of making the player match the game, you end up with a game that everyone can play, but nobody wants to play. When you succumb to the notion that because you pay for something, you should have access to all its content, or that everyone should have access to everything in the game even if they don't have time to invest into it, you end up with a game where everything is worth nothing and you will never truly be proud of anything you do in-game. This is an echo of a video you can find on YouTube that's been trending lately. You can watch it here Power creep and updating balance https://mtg.gamepedia.com/Power_creep Game balancing is another issue that has to be considered for the entirety of a games development. While it is important to get player feedback, it's also important to constantly refer to original design documents and use formulas, graphs and diagrams to determine what works in theory. Determining whether something is imbalanced is hard. Personally for Nin Online, when something is deemed under powered by a group of players, I first have to consider all the variables that a single or even a large group of players might not notice. For example, if a Spell (Jutsu) is underpowered to a majority of level 50 players, I have to look at "what level is this jutsu" "what are the other jutsu in this kit" "what situations is this jutsu meant to be used in and not used in" "is it useful in situations that are niche and/or not currently experience-able In-game" "is there a combo that is not currently being used" "does the arena sizes and format of fights have anything to do with why this jutsu has been failing for these players" "are the players expecting something different than its original intention or is it simply not living up to its original intention" and more factors unique to each case. Once I've determined that it is under powered, next I have to consider whether to buff it, nerf or re-balanced everything around it, or rework it entirely. Which in itself, comes with dozens of factors to consider. But most importantly, if I rework it, does it still play into the design of its class (mastery) , and if I change it, is it for the betterment of the class or for the short term enjoyment of the players. When part of the designers job becomes to please the player base in the short term - it leads to decisions that don't consider longevity and long term balance. It is very easy to just buff something, most of the time, this receives the least criticism. People hate being nerfed, and love being buffed. Buffing other peoples classes doesn't hurt you as much as nerfing yours. So naturally, the easy decision is always just buffing. This leads to a common problem in MMORPG - power creep. My way to avoid this is to constantly make hard decisions, being stringent on my design is a benefit I get to enjoy by being the sole decision maker of the game. In a typical AAA company, if you make decisions that outrage players, you lose your job. This leads to situations where you buff things endlessly without considering other aspects of the game. Hard decisions are hard to make, but necessary. Another hard thing to maintain is a perfect imbalance, which is the concept that having everything fair is not fun, and that every player should have something about their class they feel. Is special. Players will often take two very different things in different classes and say "why does this class have this but this class doesn't?". Sometimes the first reaction even as a designer to this is "oh yeah, you're right, that's not fair is it?" but when you take this a step further and continue to balance things in a way that makes each class a re-skin of one another, it takes away the fun people can find from being overpowered in some ways and overcoming their underpowered-ness in others. What we should be balancing is the bigger picture, and making sure each class has the opportunity to shine in their own way. Creating content and the importance of Social experiences in MMORPG Being able to push out content faster than it can be experienced is not just an impossibility for an MMORPG like Nin Online, which has a small team, it is simply not possible to create a quest faster than players can complete it, you can't create a boss faster than players can get bored of it. At least not in a modern game development scenario. It might be possible one day. But we've seen that games, Nin Online included, have been able to retain players for years or even decades, so we know that pushing out content is not directly equivalent to retaining your players. There are a few ways games can tackle this, first by designing your game with social experiences in mind, you create infinite possibilities for interactions. Building systems that encourage player interaction one by one, makes a game not about what you do, but who you do it with. Each player becomes "content" because they provide a new way the game can be experienced. This should be prevalent in all MMORPG - but its not. Its one of the biggest charms and allures of the genre, but yet its so often forgotten by large studios. Expanding the right content in the right amounts is also important for Nin Online at least. Sometimes adding a boss is top priority, but sometimes working on an entire new village is more important. Sometimes working on features for a very small group of players like imprisonment for Military Police Forces will benefit the game more than anything. Prioritising the right thing at each point the games development is key for sustaining the games enjoyment. Sometimes advertising and marketing is purely the focus of mine because I want to introduce new players to give more potential experiences to everyone else. Game industry trends and One upping older content Sticking to design rather than the trends of other games is important, and once core gameplay systems are in place, there's often a point where MMORPG just seem to slap in features like achievements and in the case of WoW, Garrisons. Although they seem cool initially, sometimes these features can have negative effects on the pre-existing content. Adding too many instanced content can take away from the World aspects of the MMORPG and negate the large amounts of work poured into making an expansive world. While it can be used to encourage exploration and doing more in your world, achievements can also cheapen the idea of exploration in the world by listing out exactly what people can do in your world and by rewarding certain ways to play the game, you lessen the fun in doing things players are not given rewards for. "Quality of life" changes. While this term is actually used to describe changes that make doing menial tasks easier, like a UI change that makes inventories easier to scroll through. Sometimes developers mistake changes like adding more inventory slots as a quality of life change. While it does give players an easier time, it can also in turn make inventory management less important, which for some could be a kind of fun. Inventory management is a large part of classic RPGs and while modern RPGs tend to have limitless inventory space, I myself personally find the idea of not having infinite pockets more immersive and gives me a reason to return to world hubs to sell loot, which creates a new dynamic, which in turn increases my chances of meaningful social experiences. One of the largest parts of Nin Onlines game design is to create a large world and encourage players to never stay in the same spot too long, and encourage exploration. Not having an easy time in achieving makes achieving more valuable. Quality of Life is only useful to an extent, like having unintuitive UI or unintuitive systems that can be better if it had more visual cues. My point is that Quality of Life is a term thrown around everywhere and is used in out-of-context situations because of how general the term is. Eg. Increase the EXP rate because that would increase the Quality of Life of players in the game. Content Creep Content creep is not a real term, but I use it to identify the problem I see with games that focus on adding content for current player base, commonly the players who are very invested in the game and whom have maxed out their level cap. Focusing on retaining players rather than new players is important as well, and a fine balance has to be made so that you can retain your old player base while also making it increasingly more fun for new players. This will make it more likely that new players will join, which is also a good thing for the existing players, because as we established earlier, new players is in a large way, new experiences and new content in a social world. Sometimes going back to balance and ensure the old content is still viable when you've added new content is important, and I feel the biggest violation to this was Maplestory. By adding a dozen classes on top of the original 4-5, they invalidated the old classes, wasting the old content that old players loved and new players could've loved. Increasing Limitations in Technology Working within the limitations of your technology is also very important. A lot of older MMORPG had very great limitations on their hands, that players never even knew about. In the days of Ultima Online, they could only have a limited amount of houses before the server couldn't handle them. So they limited the amount and made them expire. In the days of World of Warcraft, they added instanced player housing, which made it so the server only loaded the data when they needed it. In the case of Nin Online, we try to stay away from instanced content because it removes the feeling of being in a perpetual world, and also because its not in our engine at the moment, but even if it was - I would struggle deciding on whether or not to use it. Because the idea of having actual property in the game sounds a lot more fun than everyone being able to own an instance that nobody else will enter. Because items are stored server side to prevent cheating, we also have a limited number of items we can create - so we have to avoid adding items, equipment or cosmetics that nobody will use. Everything has a weight on our server resources. Every cosmetic added for a small group of players is one less important equipment like a Flak Jacket or Sword. As time goes on and we improve our backend technology, it will increasingly be important to stick to the core game philosophies for design. Maplestory famously started condensing the original world that everybody loved by deleting maps and making the world smaller to make way for new content. Which is another example of forgetting how important the original design and content for new players who haven't tried the game is. I’ve also realized that as monitor technology has increased, pixel density has increased, and it has in turn made Nin Online characters really tiny, and you see too much of the world at once. While this is temporarily helped with the “Zoom” functionality in our settings, eventually, I will have to combat this with some sort of more long term solution or the game will become so radically changed it no longer looks like what is supposed to originally look like. Here is a video talking where they talk about the limitations of the technology back in Ultima Online and how they pushed it. Conclusion If we consider the 3 factors about MMORPG development stated at the start of this developers log, it creates a philosophy that helps make sure that the MMORPG you're designing continues to grow in size but maintains what makes it fun in the first place. This is all just a scratching the surface of a very large market trend that I've noticed over the past decade since my days playing MMORPGs like Maplestory, Ragnarok Online, MU Online, World of Warcraft when I was a kid, playing private servers of these games, and playing modern MMORPGs. If you search YouTube, you will find a larger movement of players of classic MMORPG or new players anticipating Classic WoWs release. This is also to explain to the players who are willing to listen that as a designer with the freedom to make difficult choices for the benefit of the game, instead of just pleasing people, I am going to make these decisions that will piss people off a lot, but it’s going to be for the sake of the games longevity to the best of my knowledge. And even though sometimes it seems like common sense that we should buff this or nerf that, sometimes - you just have to trust that the people making the game knows what best in a broad picture. Sometimes the players are right, and I’ve had so much changes to the original design made because of player suggestions, as well as minor changes like balancing based on what players have suggested. But I still do have to consider a myriad of things before just copy pasting ideas for balance changes, and it’s not an easy job when balancing for the future and what’s to come and not just for short term pleasing. Thanks for taking your time to read this wall of text! Inb4 nerf tai
  9. There's always a lot of questions, or rather complaints, that come in the form of "How come X mastery can do this while Y mastery can do this". Eg. Why doesn't fire have any targeted jutsu, How come Gentle Fist has 100 CP cost and long cooldown on their main jutsu. This is going to be a short series explaining the design behind more unique masteries, or atleast the thought process when I designed them. Balancing Playstyles The idea behind each mastery being good at a different thing comes from classic table-top RPG archetypes. However, instead of building classes around Tanks, Supports, Damage classes. In the ninja world, every class is able to fight, but can also be built to be more tanky, or do more damage, or in some cases be built for utility. Eg. having a Earth Ninja that purely uses agility and chakra, standing behind his team mates in a group fight to quickly cast CCs for his team. Or having a fully attack medical ninja vs. having a fully support medical ninja or anything in between. While some of this is held back by meta, or by incompleteness in features. This is the vision™. We want each mastery to be different in not just how they fight, but how they are experienced on more fundamental levels, with each class having unique leveling experiences, focus in progression, and different improvements when they rank up and how they should traverse the world safely. Tools Ninja aka. Ten Ten Style The mastery is built with a different sustainability dynamic than other masteries. While Tools Ninja can only use their jutsu a limited amount of times before needing to restock up on tools, and become virtually useless when they don't have tools, Tools ninja jutsu cost half of what their non-tool ninja counter parts cost in terms of upfront Chakra Points. While a Fire mastery ninja would be able to last longer out of their village, a tool ninja who is well stocked can last twice as long in a single encounter without charging chakra if their stat distribution is done the same as their enemy. Their downtime would be much less, giving them more time to punish enemies who have ran out of chakra. At the cost of ryo, they get a more complete set of jutsu, being the only mastery that at full potential can utilize Stuns, AoEs and high damage potential. Like a Trapper in D&D, they can set up traps to prepare for fights ahead of time and will find their use more in situations like defending against incoming raids, and fights in the Forest of Death where they can hold their ground more. Traps will be increasingly useful as more possible scenarios are created in the game. In terms of game economy, they also serve the purpose of being ryo sinks where in-game currency is given an almost direct conversion into fighting power. As time goes on and there are more smaller villages in between to stock up on tools it may become more convenient, but for now, having your team members hold tools for you is one way to extend your usefulness without returning to villages. Sword Master Although a lot of people are going to like the idea of carrying around a sword, just because they look aesthetically pleasing. The overall design of the Sword Mastery play-style is based on giving players who love hunting gear in MMORPGs a class just for them! In Nin Online, gear are mostly cosmetic, because we don't want to force players to look a certain way in order to be PvP viable, or look a certain way to be optimally powerful. Looking how you want to look is a big part of giving people the ability to immerse themselves in their ninja identity and role play. The class is based around the way Suigetsu is going around the ninja world trying to collect all the swords of the 7 Swordsmen of the Mist, except on a larger scale, where you go around fighting different enemies to collect swords from all over the ninja world. Playing any hybrid of Sword Master with an elemental mastery will give you a hybrid of both, because having the best swords won't matter as much when only half your kit relies on it. As time goes on and more of the game is fleshed out, I hope to have hundreds of swords with unique abilities, so switching between them can be useful in different scenarios. There should be a good combination of swords you get in different ways. Ones which you can do by simply finishing missions. Ones where you have to hunt bosses for days or months, and when you get them, they are the rarest items in the game. Ones which you can just buy from a shop. Ones that you can only buy from a shop somewhere obscure. Ones that you can only earn from events like we did back in 2013 (and have honored till today. Only Shauri will ever hold a Tsuarigi sword as a player!) To be honest, the current state of Sword Master is something I'm quite unhappy with and am still hoping to distinguish their fighting style more. And... There's still a lot to be said regarding why things are a certain way, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them and I'll answer them in the next development log!
  10. Dear Ninja, Although the Clan system is still quite awhile away, since I'm making the changes to display name policy. I should quickly explain why we're going this route for Clans. It has been the plan all along for clans to be a selection of presets, unlike Organizations, which players can make and join. What Clans are in the Ninja World When designing the clan system, the first thing I want to look at is what clans are supposed to be. In most cases, a clan is a family. When there is a structure, a leader, an elder, and there is still a clan house or home. It's a bloodline in some cases, when there are few remaining ninja in your clan, and there is no longer a family structure, we know it as a bloodline. You trace your special abilities back to a bloodline lineage. We know ninja from a some clans can potentially learn special jutsu passed down through their clan, and ninja from other clans sometimes have bloodline limits that can give them special abilities naturally - like doujutsu (eye jutsu). Clans can be small, but they can also be large. They tend to stay within the village, but can decide as a whole to turn their backs on the village sometimes, and have small subsets remain. Clans don't pop out of nowhere. They are ingrained in a village's history, when generations die, generations below still continue their legacy. So I took all this into consideration for Nin Online's Clan system. What Clans will be like in Nin Online (Not Anytime Soon™) Do note: All of this is subject to changes, I am still deciding a lot of things regarding WHEN you choose clans. There is a chance we might do it later in the game and not at character creation for example. On character creation, you select from a variety of clans of that village. Each clan will have unique outfit(s), and a default hair color or eye color recommendation. Some clans will have fixed eye colors for their unique doujutsu (eye jutsu). Some clans don't have eye jutsu and do not limit your hair colors. (All of these colors are still changeable in-game with the premium eye color changer - take those as colored contact lenses and rainbow hair dye - hair dye literally, but your character's natural hair color is always your clan's) Having a manageable number of presets per village will allow me to give each clan unique jutsu and outfits, because it will become a sustainable feature. If clans were player made, they would not be able to get these things because we cannot infinitely add more clothes into the game for every player clan made. This would be unsustainable for me as an artist and for our server which cannot infinitely add more items. Every clan outfit is one less important that everyone else can wear in-game. It will also allow us to create clan houses for each clan, where you could learn your new clan jutsu and get clan clothing pieces. Having preset clans will create belonging for new ninja, and make it so you have to work together as family. We'll be able to see special RP occurrences like an entire branch of a clan decided to leave their village and become a sub-set of their clan as criminal missing ninja. You might see that older players are less accepting of new members in a clan and do not work together to create a welcoming clan. This will cause splits in the clan. Whereas in clans where the senior family members have good structure and are welcoming will be more holistic and united. We will see clans that dominate the politics in their villages and clans that feel underappreciated and leave. New ninja who choose that clan in the future will also be more likely to join their kin as missing ninja as being a ninja from that clan would lead them to being ostracized by their village. The way "clans" in Nin Online are right now, you see players who form their family name and have people change their name to join them. It doesn't feel permanent, unlike what a family should be. Having a limited selection of permanent clans that will remain around indefinitely will make it so that each clan will potentially have a large number of family members. Instead of 5 or 6 player-made clans with 10+ members that see maybe 5-6 online at a time. I'd love to give the chance for current pre-made clans to have their clans turned into one of the preset clans for their village. This will most likely be the case. I will of course have my own ideas that I might want to impose onto the clan's overall aesthetic and name (got to keep them as lore friendly with the other clan names) and of course, I will be the one to decide what clan gets what jutsu as that falls into balance. I hope this gives you a better idea of the vision for the in-game clan system of the future. Don't get your hopes up on when you'll see any of this anytime soon! Regards, Rory
  11. Dear Ninja, Today we fixed one of the biggest server crashes plaguing the games development, and with it comes a lot of lessons for the future of the game's development. We now know some things to look out for and avoid when coding the game, and we now have the means to debug crashes like this in the future. The reason this particular crash was so unsolvable was that it wasn't actually crashing the server. It was creating an infinite loop in calling server game logic. Which didn't crash the server and provide any debug information, and our current server was not able to give any debug information when attempting to debug through the latest version of Visual Studio. It turns out that our dated technology required the use of dated copies of Windows and a dated copy of Visual Studio to give us the debug information we needed, and I would not have been able to discover this without @Seth. It also took @Robin's knowledge in debugging methods to figure out what was causing it. I've spent the last couple of weeks blindly testing the server to see what would cause crashes, it took me and Seth stress testing parts of the game blindly, as we collected useful data and information from players about what they felt was causing the crashes. While I cannot disclose the exact cause as of yet for the game's server security, I would like to say that some of the information given did in fact make sense once the bug was found. The discovery took the efforts of Seth, Robin and myself convening over a long period of time analyzing the course of action to solve the bug. I also would like to thank Pokemon Planet's creator, Brody, for also providing assistance, and advising possible courses of action as well @Abhi for agreeing to put aside time from his busy exam schedule to look into it when I called him. Lastly I'd like to thank all the players who have been patient and sending me reports on possible causes for the crashes over the last week. Thank you to Nintendave @Bolan Vongola @Dayum Mirana @Riley @Sukki Ohiya @Jellal Kuraen @Oriax @Itachi Himitsu @Lumy @Shissei @MrChubb The Hozuki @Origami Heart User_name @Lain and whoever else gave useful feedback and encouragement, you're all top notch beta testers. This may not be the last problem causing crashes, but we now have the means to debug any similar problems (which there might be). Hopefully this means a much more stable Nin Online server immediately, or in the weeks to come. However, I would like to apologize in advance that the goals of 2018 (Adv. Masteries / Mist) may come a bit later than end of the year. I was initially going to rush out a lot of content by the end of 2018, but I've decided that in the spirit of Christmas, I'll be working on making the server stable and doing a Christmas event again, because we haven't had holiday events this year. Regards, Rory
  12. design

    Dear Ninja, As of today we're putting a new feature into testing, it may or may not drastically improve your frame rate depending on your situation. However, I'm hopeful from initial tests that this will help many of you with previously low frame rates or only decent frame rates. Previously, the game was running in DirectX8 which in itself has quite some compatibility issues with modern Windows systems. We now have the game running with DirectX9 as the renderer, abeit through the work of a wrapper, which means the API calls are all done through DirectX9 API calls now. In my personal case, FPS was almost doubled throughout the game, and it's now more playable in 3440x1440 (3K Ultrawide) for me. DirectX8 (1080P) Leaf Village: 40-57 FPS Valley of the End: 40-50 FPS Chakra Forest / Forest of Ambushes: 50-55 FPS DirectX9 (1080P) Leaf Village: 97-100 FPS (My monitor is capped at 100hz Refresh Rate) Valley of the End: 80-85 FPS Chakra Forest / Forest of Ambushes: 90-100 FPS (My monitor is capped at 100hz Refresh Rate) DirectX8 (3K Ultrawide) Leaf Village: 14-25 FPS DirectX9 (3K Ultrawide) Leaf Village: 43-48 FPS PS: Do note that if your monitor is capped at 60hz Refresh Rate, the game will cap at 60 FPS. Anything above doesn't display because your monitor can only show 60 new images a second. Hope you enjoy this update! Regards, Rory
  13. design

    Dear Ninjas, This development log is to explain why some people have bad ping and why tunnel programs like ExitLag and NoPing help with that, and why it is out of our control. What is Ping? So Ping or Latency with Nin Online is the amount of milliseconds it takes for your client (in whichever country you are in) to send a packet of data to and fro the server located in North America. How do Tunnel programs work? First of all, watch this: https://www.nptunnel.com/en/how-it-works If you were to assume that data is moving linearly from your computer to our server and back, that should mean that Tunnel programs are somehow making data move faster than the physical limitations of our network sea cables etc. right? Wrong. Tunnel services simply provide more direct access to our game by running dedicated servers in strategic locations. This reduces ping drastically in some cases if your ISP is not providing you with a direct connection to servers (in this case) in Canada. Why is my ISP being a little shit and not giving my a direct connection to Canadian servers? Some people wonder why is it sometimes even when you're not located far away from the server, you can get bad ping? It's because your ISP is being a little shit or you've bought into an ISP that isn't being completely transparent with you on how they tranfer data. https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/isp-peering-high-speed-internet-slow/ ISPs do this because they can sell your "high quality / premium" plans labelled with fancy terms like gigabit connection or 1gb/s speeds. Without actually shelling out money to provide you direct connections. They're also not lying to you because your connection speed will actually really be 1gb/s - just to local servers or servers that are favorable. So how is it not our problem your ISP is being a little shit? In some sense, it does become our problem. When you experience lag, our game service suffers. We also need to find ways to optimize further (within physical limitations of science) to make it so our server can make you feel like latency doesn't exist. Why is it some other games have better ping for me? This can be for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they could be using non-authoritative server architectures. Which means more of the game's data is being processed on your client locally. However, for an Online RPG where we need to prevent hacking, this is not ideal because the more things processed on the client side, the easier it is to cheat. When all data is processed on a server, it is called an authoritative server. They could also be located nearer to you or have their own tunnel service dedicated to their game. They could also just not be transparent about the actual ping you have and use advanced client side lag compensation methods that make the game seem like it isn't lagging like I'll explain below. How do we deal with lag in an online game with an authoritative server? We compensate by making actions you take reflect on your client before they actually happen on the server, in some cases. But this is a move that has to be done strategically on only some areas of the game. Examples are, movement. If you move in Nin Online, it reflects on your client right away. However, this in rare cases can cause a situation where your client thinks you're on one spot, but the server knows you are actually somewhere else. We deal with this by making sure your client holds you in the spot where the server knows you are, until your client is ready to move again. We also minimize the amount of time the data takes to process on the server before a return packet is sent to your client. That is within on control. How it works is.. Client Packet is Sent ------ (Eg. 100ms) -------> Server Processes Packet (eg. 10ms) Server Packet is Sent -------- (Eg. 100ms) -------> Client receives packet The ping would be 210ms in this case. Because the Data was processing on our server for 10ms before the server started giving your client a response. However, our ability to optimize this is very limited at this point. The reason being, our server is capable of performing millions of calculations per second. This means any packet that is send is almost instantly processes. It spends almost no time at all on our server before it gives you a response. Our server is actually so powerful that we cap the amount of calculations it attempts to perform to how many it actually needs to. So far on a busy time, the server performs around 10,000-20,000 calculations per second. Which is almost 0.1% of the server's calculation processing prowess. There was a point in time where we had a lot we could do to optimize the game to be less laggy. We've solved the problems within our control like major issues that caused the server to hang when certain things were done for example. But there is two things we can't solve.. your ISPs lies and the engineering and physical limitations of data transfer (in 2018). Perhaps breakthroughs like quantum entanglement will create a quantum internet where we can transfer data instantaneously, but until then, we can only dream. Why is our current and only server in North America? Conclusion There's also the chance that if we can make Nin Online populated and monetarily profitable enough, we can run multiple servers in different locations. But right now, the only thing that will do is dilute the player base in a game focused on community, RP and engaging in fights with other players. On a bright side, we've got a major breakthrough for FPS lag!
  14. Dear Ninja, Here's another long form design rant. If you haven't seen the first one, read about the balance philosophy here. These development logs are less visually appealing, but give just as much insight about the future of the game. So if you're interested in game development, you'll probably enjoy my walls of text! The Problem This one is titled "the case against punishing for PvP crimes" to emphasize how much of a choice and dilemma this has been for the game. In the past, when a player for example, killed an enemy ninja repeatedly too many times, they were in a situation where they could squeal on the killer in order to get justice. There was a gray line between what was allowed and what wasn't in some situations eg. which paths can you block / how many tiles away your traps have to be from the entrance, and even if it was clear in cases, the moderation and punishment of said crimes would come down to subjective bias (how close are you to the moderation team, what terms are you on with an admin, your reputation as a player, what village you're from and the GM handling your case etc.). Not all players would report being harassed, because some players can deal with it and understand that dying to enemies in an Open PvP world is part of the game experience. Before I go any further, because I think your rage meter is filling up and you're about to comment how stupid I am down below, I'm going to state that I completely understand that it is not fun once a certain threshold is passed and that no single player should have that much control over another player's experience. It is not fun to be dominated (unless you're into that) by another player and spawn killed for hours. It is not fun to be surprised by traps when you walk into a door (unless you're into that) with no counter play possible. My point in this case is only to explain why moderation is not the solution, and explain the real solutions and why it takes awhile to get them done. If the game allows you to do it without cheating or exploiting any glitches, you should be free to do it. In the same way that Tigers not being able to walk on water or swim can be used to the ninja's advantage. These design choices. In the past, rules seemed grey about trapping enemies around corners to deal damage to them without getting damage in return. But they were always very clear, as long as you did not abuse any glitches (eg. using 3 players to block off the mob's target player, making it endlessly try to hit that player specifically, and not hit any), it is part of the game's design. You are free to use the terrain to trap enemies. In the same way, if the game allows you to place traps on the warp tiles (not a glitch) we cannot punish you for doing what the game allows you to. In the past, moderating these crimes on a case by case basis was a he said she said situation of finding out who is guilty. Which is like bringing two players to court for one persons accusations each time somebody is unhappy about being harassed. We would then have to hear the other side of the story and then the other side again, and again to find out when the cycle of hate began. The biggest lesson I learned from trying to moderate this is that - rarely ever will anyone just decides hey I want to spend the next 3 hours killing the same guy to ruin his day. In most cases, the player has good reason to. Sometimes that player has a mission that requires him to kill X number of enemies (and since the game allows you to kill the same people, why not?) - design problem not moderation problem. Sometimes that player has a bounty, so is being rewarded for repeatedly killing the victim. A lot of the time the player being killed endlessly had triggered feelings of injustice by killing another of that player's lowbie villager whom is now being avenged. In all of these cases, the moderation of said case is grey. It is also design problems, that the game doesn't punish you and sometimes even rewards you for hindering another player's experience. In some of these cases, it is intended. A world where open world PvP and leaving your village to find being a missing ninja is hard for example. In some cases, it isn't intended. A world where getting spawn camped for 3 hours is okay for example. So what defined harassment in open world PvP with actual factions that are opposed to one another? Is killing a player 3 or 4 times in an hour too much? Even if it is completely within character to do so (eg. Sand killing leafs is intended). Regardless so, it is still not the moderation team's job to ban each case of people deciding to play the game - the way the game allows them to. The job of the moderation team is to ban people who are playing the game in ways the game doesn't allow them to by cheating or using 3rd party programs, or offending another player out of character. The solution As time goes by and cases of "this isn't fun" happens. We learn what kind of behaviors to encourage in the game, and what kind not to. There are things overlooked like placing traps wherever you want sounds great in theory, but is highly annoying when done on warp tiles and around them. The solution is from a development and design. For example, preventing putting traps on tiles that are too close to the warp tile manually. Not fun being killed 4 times in a row by an enemy just because it completes his mission? The game shouldn't allow him to complete his mission that way. Not fun being killed for 3 hours in a row for now reason? The game should make it harder for him to accomplish that with guard NPCs or No Fighting Zones which allow you to sneak out. Not fun being killed for 3 hours endlessly because you killed a lowbie from his village? Stop being a dick and expect to get away with it you dumbass. Regards, Rory
  15. 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. 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 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 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 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
  16. Dear Ninja, With the eventual release of new higher level content, expect that a lot of changes will happen to current jutsu. A lot jutsu will have cast times and longer cooldowns, but people will have a lot more jutsu overall. Yeahhhh. Regards, Rory