Donnerstag, 8. April 2010

Semi-interactive world events using Pashanai as an example

When we got the breaking new about events happening in Pashanai (Genesis Region) I was quite excited as something seemed to be happening. And I am sure I wasn’t the only one (e.g. Casiella also tweeted about the events). I couldn’t resist traveling there to see the damaged station for myself (even though again EVE Travel seems to have gotten there first and already published a nice report about the sight). I can’t help myself (even though I am Minmatar), the Amarr certainly know how to build impressive structures.

It saddened me to see the destruction wrought (allegedly by Minmatar terrorists no less). Guys killing civilians living there, as well as innocent slaves held captive there, can’t be the way to free those of us still enslaved to the Amarr! Whatever their color extremists are always bad for any culture or religion (and sadly Matar extremists are no different it seems).

Anyway back to the topic: I really like the freedom to visit a place in the news and see for myself the change wrought (in this case sadly for the worse).

OOC: EVE has quite a rich back-story which makes for quite a colorful stage setting for players to interact with each other. There is a gulf though between the action and player interaction taking place in the front and the stage being displayed behind them. But in more and more cases this gulf is getting bridged. Planets are one great example for that: They make for quite an incredible stage (especially since Dominion), but interaction is limited. With Tyrannis at least a part of this is going to change and we are going to do more than just being able to warp to planets.
With other “stage elements” the gulf is even bigger, as you can’t even “warp” to storyline events. The same holds true for the most pivotal characters of the back-story. An idea to bridge the gap to them might be in making them interact-able via epic-mission arks (as proposed in an older blog post of mine).
For world events like the Pashanai disaster the gap is already closing a bit insofar as we do see the events having an impact in the game world (at least in regards to the station model). This does still feel like a bit of a stage setting you can’t really interact with. Truly interactive (like GM-driven) events are too work-intensive, but making such world events “semi-interactive” would be cool!

Ways to do that (with Pashanai as an example could be):
  • Enabling us capsuleers to help in the evacuation of residents (by setting up NPC courier contracts with “residents” in them for example).
  • Enabling capsuleers to help injured people there (as above but also with e.g. Sister of EVE contracts or buy orders to bring in medical supplies).
  • Setting up event-based agents in space. This could be new reporters asking players to dock at the station and report back. This could be someone from the Theology Council asking the players to help investigate the event.
Especially the last one could even be a small epic-ark kind of story. The Theology council could ask for an eye-witness - who was seen exiting the station shortly before the explosion - to be found in a nearby system at a mission-site. This could be an unscrupulous merc paid by shady underworld crime lord. This then could lead to the site of the terror organization and to the player perhaps foiling another such attempt by intercepting a courier run with new explosives. We might even get some new hint when doing it (like hearing a servant tell how the Empress got a strange look and mumbling something in an obscure tongue before calling off the scheduled meeting at Panshanai).

Thus the damaged station wouldn’t be “just” a stage element but would provide a point of interaction between players and the story (thus heightening the “immersion” of the players in this dark game-universe).
What do you think? What would your ideas be for possible “interaction points”?

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