Cleaning Up Instancing

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Alahmnat
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Cleaning Up Instancing

Post by Alahmnat » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:28 pm

I'd like to clean up the somewhat tangled mess that MOUL has made of instancing by proposing a few guidelines for marking Books and how they should behave, so that we can provide a consistent and explainable linking interface for new players.
  • Linking Books stamped by the DRC should lead to public instances only. Exception: Neighborhood links go to a 'hood-instanced Neighborhood, obviously. Linking Books to private instances that have Yeesha's stamp cannot have the DRC stamp on them as well.
  • Linking Books leading to neighborhood instances should have a unique stamp to indicate their different instancing status. This should have no exceptions.
  • Linking Books stamped by Yeesha (using the graphic from MOUL that resides below the Linking Panel, and the ornate Share Book stamp on the other page) lead to private instances. No exceptions.
  • Unstamped Books lead to "OOC" private instances - the Nexus, the Silo... places that should be considered public, but for gameplay reasons, are private or shared-private.
  • Bahro Stones lead to private instances. No exceptions.
  • The absurd concept of "Neighbors-instanced" areas should be dropped. It's confusing, unintuitive, and completely falls apart as soon as you try sharing the link.
  • ALL Linking Books must follow basic D'ni rules (no linking within the same Age, no coming with you when you link, etc.), including those stamped by Yeesha. Only Relto gets these special abilities. Linking Books to the Great Zero in the neighborhoods should be removed. Great Zero access should be granted via the KI either by default (available from minute 1 for new players), or through some registration mechanism (maybe replace the GZ Book with a registration terminal that adds the GZ link to your KI).
Areas of D'ni should, more often than not, be public (including the Great Zero... why is this neighbors-instanced when there's maybe 15 people in it at a time across all the instances?). With the expansion of available content and the dead certainty of improvements being made in the client/server code base both on the horizon, I don't think this will be quite the bottleneck it once was. With Yeesha still around, private/'hood instanced versions of D'ni will also still be around, but I'd like to see the number of variations on "who will I see when I go here" reduced to a manageable level. Obvious exceptions to this "should be public" rule include any areas of D'ni that revolve around at-your-own-pace story arcs (like Sharper's office, for example), or that include puzzles that you wouldn't want someone else messing with while you're solving them. Provided the guidelines outlined above are adhered to for links into D'ni, players shouldn't find themselves separated or confused about where they end up.

Further, in the event that we possibly get to build the Descent (big if, but I want to cover all of the instancing bases at once), we run into the potential for private-instanced areas being accessible directly from a public-instanced area (i.e. a node on the public Descent leads to a privately-instanced tunnel where "thing x" can be found). In such circumstances, Yeesha and/or the Bahro need to have a visual presence on the access point. For the sake of argument, let's say that by and large, these public-to-private transitions are going to be Node Doors, which are round and have a rectangular hole in the middle for the door itself. The stone around the door could have some sort of visual effect applied to it, like a warm glow that illuminates the inside of the round door frame, and a Yeesha or Bahro symbol could be placed between the door and the outer hoop of stone. Clicking on the door would send you into the area by yourself; if you wanted to go in with friends, clicking on the symbol beside the door would activate the "share Book" UI. The invited player would get an accept/deny prompt, and upon accepting would go through the door automatically, in advance of the person doing the inviting, much as it works with Age sharing. Players in other areas of the game can also be invited to this private instance using the same KI interface that Age sharing uses (though ideally much-improved). To access the shared private instance, the invited player would simply go to the Nexus, pull up the Book, and link in directly.

Most importantly, I think that these instancing guidelines should be posted publicly on whatever public-facing site hosts the OpenURU distributables, with descriptions of what will happen when the player tries going to them with friends, much the same way that WoW's website has an explanation of instanced dungeons for players unfamiliar with it. WoW may have ingrained instancing as a concept into a lot of people's minds, but even with 9 million players, there's bound to be people in the world who want to play Uru who have no idea what instances are because they have no interest in WoW, and Uru's online resources have never really done a good job of explaining how they work in this game (partly because the rules make no sense and are often very inconsistent).

dtierce
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Re: Cleaning Up Instancing

Post by dtierce » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:10 am

If your vision for the Great Zero is as a public area, how do you anticipate handling the GZ missions? Will the missions themselves still be instanced in some way? In other words, will one explorer's activation of one of the mission scopes affect anyone else's?

David Tierce

Alahmnat
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Re: Cleaning Up Instancing

Post by Alahmnat » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:15 pm

The GZ right now is Neighbors-instanced, and it handles activating missions for individuals just fine... missions operate on a player level, not an Age-wide level, so changing the GZ's instancing will have no effect on them :). I just want to make the GZ public because it makes little sense to further fragment D'ni into tiny pieces that lead to inconvenient questions when people start trying to over-do the concept of instancing as an IC phenomenon (i.e. "how do missions handed out by an instanced GZ help calibrate the public one we can't get to?", or "how do pellets dropped into a privately-instanced Lake help contribute to the illumination of the public one?").

Some IC instancing is necessary and can be supported by canon, but some of the "it's instanced because otherwise the game doesn't work very well" instancing (Neighborhoods, Er'Cana's Silo link) has also been thrown into this category, and that's made things messy. Between cleaning instancing out of stuff that could just be public, and providing a better framework for people to be able to say "this is instanced, and its instancing is part of the story for reasons X, Y, and Z", I think we can make better sense of the instancing mess.

Dachannien
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Re: Cleaning Up Instancing

Post by Dachannien » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:34 pm

One way to rectify the current issue with GZ would be to place a linking book to some miscellaneous age somewhere in the Cavern (somewhere more administrative than the Library, although I personally imagine most other linking books being placed in the Library) and in that miscellaneous age, have a link back to GZ. In fact, the miscellaneous age could be a sort of hub for linking to various places within the Cavern.

I'm sure this has been considered before, but I thought it still bore mentioning :)

realXCV
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Re: Cleaning Up Instancing

Post by realXCV » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:23 pm

I'm not sure I want to wait 30 min. every time I try to enter the city.

Grogyan
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Re: Cleaning Up Instancing

Post by Grogyan » Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:55 am

There is a huge issue to be resolved and as of yet the only suggestion that I have seen is the one I have put forward.

1) Yeesha is gone from future story events unless Cyan has something planned, my assumptions are to the latter
2) Sharing books at the book location is really dumb, same with bahro stones
3) How to do instancing?

My ideas require a strong rewrite of some aspects of the game that I asked Cyan to change when at the height of MOUL

1) Add a new KI level, which can be gotten as a suggestion at the Hub of Ahra Pahts, doing so will upgrade the KI to level 3, but you can't go straight there from a level 1 KI
2) All books and Bahro stones will link players to a default of Public instance of the Age/area, the exception to this is Relto more on this later
3) Book sharing is handled by clicking on the share book page with a level 3 KI which would then flash the KI icon at the bottom of the screen
4) The act of book sharing is done through the invite system in the Big KI
5) Link to the Nexus to link to a private instance of the Age
This fixes future inconsistances of instancing with regard to player created Ages, that first page would just be stamped Guild of Maintainer approved

Relto
Relto stays the same as it is, with the Neighbour hood book taking you to a private instance of Bevin, not Kirel.
The Bahro stone in Bevin that normally takes you to a private instance of the city to the hood stays the same
To link to another hoods' Ae'Gura should never need the use of the share stone icon, but that icon would work in the same way as stated above

The marker games can be done in either instance as it is now

The GZ is a public place, with no other "hot links" from any other source other than the Nexus, its my feeling that it be retained as a Public area.

Ask yourself how many cities that you know of with only a handful of people?
Why are real cities so big?

Map those answers to the game and the game will be fun

Pop limit I hear you ask, the limit I believe was set at 200 with easily coping with 500, gone now are the days when walking across Takotah Plaza would be 1 foot per 5 to 15 minutes

This is one of the major factors I believe why the game didn't take off like it should, because of the interaction of players to actually mingle with other players in a random location, this is the stance with Second Life which is still going strong

realXCV
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Re: Cleaning Up Instancing

Post by realXCV » Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:07 am

Grogyan wrote:1) Add a new KI level, which can be gotten as a suggestion at the Hub of Ahra Pahts, doing so will upgrade the KI to level 3, but you can't go straight there from a level 1 KI
2) All books and Bahro stones will link players to a default of Public instance of the Age/area, the exception to this is Relto more on this later
3) Book sharing is handled by clicking on the share book page with a level 3 KI which would then flash the KI icon at the bottom of the screen
4) The act of book sharing is done through the invite system in the Big KI
5) Link to the Nexus to link to a private instance of the Age
This fixes future inconsistances of instancing with regard to player created Ages, that first page would just be stamped Guild of Maintainer approved
You are taking the long path. Players might not want to be forced to use their nexus every time they go to their private instance.
How can we have puzzles in an age like Kadish Tolesa or Teledahn if it has a public instance where everything is solved ?
Grogyan wrote:Relto
Relto stays the same as it is, with the Neighbour hood book taking you to a private instance of Bevin, not Kirel.
Neighborhoods as private instances ? Can I say no? (see the last part of your post to understand why)
Grogyan wrote:The Bahro stone in Bevin that normally takes you to a private instance of the city to the hood stays the same
To link to another hoods' Ae'Gura should never need the use of the share stone icon, but that icon would work in the same way as stated above
Now that the hoods are private, does that mean that the city will be private too ?
Grogyan wrote:The marker games can be done in either instance as it is now

The GZ is a public place, with no other "hot links" from any other source other than the Nexus, its my feeling that it be retained as a Public area.
No problem with this as long as there isn't four players sleeping in front of the cgz machines.
Grogyan wrote:Pop limit I hear you ask, the limit I believe was set at 200 with easily coping with 500, gone now are the days when walking across Takotah Plaza would be 1 foot per 5 to 15 minutes
True. Now it's 1 foot per 5 - 30 sec.

Grogyan
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Re: Cleaning Up Instancing

Post by Grogyan » Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:50 am

realXCV wrote:
Grogyan wrote:1) Add a new KI level, which can be gotten as a suggestion at the Hub of Ahra Pahts, doing so will upgrade the KI to level 3, but you can't go straight there from a level 1 KI
2) All books and Bahro stones will link players to a default of Public instance of the Age/area, the exception to this is Relto more on this later
3) Book sharing is handled by clicking on the share book page with a level 3 KI which would then flash the KI icon at the bottom of the screen
4) The act of book sharing is done through the invite system in the Big KI
5) Link to the Nexus to link to a private instance of the Age
This fixes future inconsistances of instancing with regard to player created Ages, that first page would just be stamped Guild of Maintainer approved

You are taking the long path. Players might not want to be forced to use their nexus every time they go to their private instance.
How can we have puzzles in an age like Kadish Tolesa or Teledahn if it has a public instance where everything is solved ?
It my opinion that you just gotta, no idea if yeesha will make a reappearance, so anything after the MOUL Ages MUST work with the RAWA guidelines, the Nexus is that story continuity for visiting Ages, as its a technical marvel that just works, as with the KI, we can modify that because its an electrical instrument, and we know in real life how to manipulate electronics and embedded software.

There is an addendum I had also proposed that i'll iterate here for public Ages.
The public instance of Ages would have certain things that are deliberately "broken", this can be done relatively easy (through SDL variables), its just making books public by default that is the real key
Eg, Teledahn, the scope would work providing power, but the grate under the hut would be permanently ceased, and the lock on the terminal would also be "broken", but the lift still goes up and down, and all journey cloths are not visible
So some of the Age is solved but the rest is still only solvable in instances

For the garden Ages, the break is that all the cloths are gone

Think of it this way, its like having a teaser, you want to go further, but you can't with a public instance, work around is that the Nexus modifications done by Yeesha means that you can play by yourself or others
Grogyan wrote:Relto
Relto stays the same as it is, with the Neighbour hood book taking you to a private instance of Bevin, not Kirel.
Neighborhoods as private instances ? Can I say no? (see the last part of your post to understand why)
Oops I mean instanced, not privately, bad choice of words, still want that feature handled in the Nexus.
OOP programming means my brain sees private, and public modules of code

realXCV
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Re: Cleaning Up Instancing

Post by realXCV » Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:19 am

I still don't think that having a public instance for each age is a good idea. Your idea could work with the new ages but not with many of the current ages. Some of the current puzzles make you discover more of the age once solved. In MOUL, you can't go to kemo without solving a puzzle in gira. You can't go outside in Gahreesen without enabling power. In Teledahn, you can't get the clue for the pressure plates if the elevator is still locked. How will you break Ahnonay ? By making it unable to rotate ? It will work but you will receive complaints from players telling you that the age is broken (OOC).

There's at least one thing that doesn't work with your idea. Bugs in kemo. To get the last cloth in Gira, you need to turn on the light. To turn on the light, you need to have bugs (from kemo). Think of it. How can you carry bugs from kemo to gira if the books leads you to the public instance and the only place you can go to this liking point is through that book. Using Nexus (or relto if you can go to private instance from there) won't work as the bugs will leave you before you reach the light.

Other that that, private instances as they currently work are accepted in the guidelines. What is not accepted is alternate reality (kadish vs. alternate kadish)

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T_S_Kimball
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Re: Cleaning Up Instancing

Post by T_S_Kimball » Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:26 pm

Grogyan wrote: Pop limit I hear you ask, the limit I believe was set at 200 with easily coping with 500, gone now are the days when walking across Takotah Plaza would be 1 foot per 5 to 15 minutes

This is one of the major factors I believe why the game didn't take off like it should, because of the interaction of players to actually mingle with other players in a random location, this is the stance with Second Life which is still going strong
Out of curiosity, where did that metric come from? My experience with past St Pats Parades tell me that figure doesn't work as well as you think.

And in SL, there are two additional things they have which should have been implemented in Uru a long time ago:

1) Idle auto-logout. That would fix issues with 'sleepers.'

2) Distance limits on system updates to the client (aka the 'draw distance'). I see no reason why I should be getting movement updates for a person down at the Docks, when I'm *inside* the Library at the other side of the City.

Item 1 should be easy enough to fix. Item 2 is more complex and would require the server-side processes to actually track avatar movement.

--TSK

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