Is it possible to make a wilderness quest?

For all talk about quests. Creating, testing, bugs, and development progress.
haloterm
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:21 am

Re: Is it possible to make a wilderness quest?

Post by haloterm » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:20 pm

Was thinking about a "light" variant of this, too, today, because I found many sites with beautiful landscape (Distant Terrain mod...) and I'd like to send players to these. These would be fixed locations, not randomly, for my Black Horse Curier questline. I'd just need a way to check the player's x/y position, something like

pc at x y set _doMyStuff_

or

pc enters x y

...

This way I can give fixed position quests to players. To find out the position during quest development, I'd simply walk myself the distance and check in DFU where I am (I think I've read that there exists a tool for that). And then I'd write descriptive texts:

1. First, travel to ...
2. From the north gate, walk 10 minutes north.
3. Then turn west and walk 5 minutes.

(Minutes are reffering to ingame minutes. And it's important that the player understands "walk" as "walk" and not as "run").

Of course such kind of mechanic can't be over-used, but it would make the player to visit nice locations otherwise unknown. (I'm really speaking about look and atmosphere here. Not about killing stuff at the target.)

communityus
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:51 am

Re: Is it possible to make a wilderness quest?

Post by communityus » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:41 pm

I wonder if the technique used in Harvestable crops could be adjusted to fulfill this purpose. Instead of spawning crop with logic spawn npc's / mobs with logic. As a first step anyway.
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=964&hilit=harvestable+crops#p11610

DigitalMonk
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:01 pm

Re: Is it possible to make a wilderness quest?

Post by DigitalMonk » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:26 pm

haloterm wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:20 pm
This way I can give fixed position quests to players. To find out the position during quest development, I'd simply walk myself the distance and check in DFU where I am (I think I've read that there exists a tool for that). And then I'd write descriptive texts:

1. First, travel to ...
2. From the north gate, walk 10 minutes north.
3. Then turn west and walk 5 minutes.

(Minutes are reffering to ingame minutes. And it's important that the player understands "walk" as "walk" and not as "run").
I think that minutes is going to be tricky, because different characters have significantly different movement speeds. My Argonian who abused the Oghma Infinium has a speed of 100, and his walk speed is at least as fast as his original run speed. Running, he's noticeably faster than my horse.

It would be neat if if you could do landmark-based directions. But... The landscape is very cool, but not unique (for obvious reasons) in the handy way (ie, walk north until you see two blasted oaks, then turn west until you pass among a circle of rocks). With asset injection, you could always place your own landmarks, I suppose. They'd need to be moderately large to pick them out of the scrub, but you could place them PRECISELY north of the gate, and PRECISELY west from the first landmark to improve the odds ;)

Or I suppose you could have handy NPCs that just happen to be hanging around at the turning points to give directions, but that's pretty contrived and it seems like there are relatively few situations where it would make any sense. I suppose you could mix this with asset injection to make caravans of helpful people who are stopped for a rest, or hunting parties, or some other reason for people to be hanging about in the wilderness. To lend any sense of reality to that, though, you'd need to be able to make them pack up and disappear within some number of hours of you "encountering" them...

I also wondered about NPC guides that you could follow, but I don't know if the underlying AI system is up for that (and every game I've ever had to do that in was incredibly frustrating, because our movement speeds didn't match, so, just for sanity, I'd request that the guide sets his/her walk and run speeds to match the player character's)

Of course, this all gets, um, entertaining in the presence of user-selectable terrain samplers. For one thing, the view you like may not be much under a different sampler. And that's if it's just an aesthetic difference. If the sampler is taking a seriously different view of what the geography could be, you might be going for a swim or falling off some cliffs. I'm also not certain how exterior asset injection interacts with terrain samplers. I assume you specify an X,Y and it uses the sampler to get the Z at that point, but I'm not sure.

On the other hand, if terrain samplers could somehow be MODIFIERS of the terrain, instead of REPLACERS of the terrain, then you could make your own terrain sampler that didn't modify anything unless it was "along the hiking trail to scenic Dontgonearthe Castle". If it was along that trail, you could modify the ground texture and random bushes and trees and such, so that there was a trail -- maybe not a full road, but some indication of other hikers and a way to get back on track. I know there's another project looking into roads, but he wants to get a full road system across the Bay, and that may take awhile before there's anything to play on (and the roads might not go anywhere near your scenic views). If you're making your own hiking trails, you can make them as you go.

Hmmm... Brainstorm, but not sure if it's brilliant or just all wet...

How about a Trailblazer mod? You can press a key to activate it, and it records where you go until you deactivate it. First thought is that it should only record coordinates of locations where you rotated, so that if you point yourself at the North Star and ride for 3 days, it's still only two points in the record... I'd also say that it shouldn't record anything until you'd moved a reasonable distance (100 "yards"? I dunno) from the last recorded point. That way, if you get in a fight or just wander about aimlessly for awhile, you're not filling up your log with irrelevant points. Then you could have an Iliac Bay Hiking mod that provided ways for you to follow previously recorded trails. (Not entirely certain how trail importing, exporting, sharing, merging, etc should best be done, but I'm sure there are solutions) Or combine the two into the Hiking Tourism Guild, where you get missions to blaze new trails to scenic vistas and report back for your reward (if your recorded trail:
  • Starts within the specified starting block (or city, or whatever you can localize it to)
  • Ends within the specified ending block (ditto)
  • Has a total length not more than ? times longer than the direct as-the-crow flies distance between Start and End (so, some wandering, but not just random walking all over the map)
Or maybe you get quests to guide/guard a set of tourists along a previously established trail to the destination and back. That's another AI question... And it might be fun if there were just NPC hikers or tour groups strolling along the trails as you came across them.

(If you want to get seriously insane, store the global database of trails in a file on a github account, so that anybody playing with an Internet connection can see all the trails that all the other players have made, and can submit their own... The pull/commit/push stuff could be done by your mod from inside DFU, possibly as part of the load and save process -- if you had any new trails that hadn't been pushed yet). That would be one way to eventually end up with roads. Especially if it kept track of movement along existing trails and gave them "accumulated wear" values in the database, because then you could change how you marked up the terrain based on how worn down it was. Roads would (eventually, slowly, very slowly) appear on their own...)

Ummm... Sorry, kinda got distracted and ran off on various tangents there...

communityus
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:51 am

Re: Is it possible to make a wilderness quest?

Post by communityus » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:12 am

I'll digest above.
communityus wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:41 pm
I wonder if the technique used in Harvestable crops could be adjusted to fulfill this purpose. Instead of spawning crop with logic spawn npc's / mobs with logic. As a first step anyway.
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=964&hilit=harvestable+crops#p11610
more on this approach here: (part 2)
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=49&p=39572#p39572

haloterm
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:21 am

Re: Is it possible to make a wilderness quest?

Post by haloterm » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:29 am

DigitalMonk wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:26 pm
Of course, this all gets, um, entertaining in the presence of user-selectable terrain samplers. For one thing, the view you like may not be much under a different sampler. And that's if it's just an aesthetic difference. If the sampler is taking a seriously different view of what the geography could be, you might be going for a swim or falling off some cliffs
Yes that's true, but I would simply state at the quest download page that the quest requires Distant Terrain. So if one uses another terrain sampler, it's just not compatible; have to live with that.

Lots of good ideas in your post...

I think with your remark regarding walking speeds you are right. Well, then maybe I'd write something like "... ten minutes, like the Argonian runs" or anything like that. :D

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