Multi-Player Daggerfall

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Ommamar
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Multi-Player Daggerfall

Post by Ommamar » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:54 pm

I am currently re-watching an interview with Julian Jensen who was a driving force in the creation of Daggerfall. One of the questions was what you would of liked to have developed if you had an extra 6-12 months. He replied that he would of liked to have the game be multiplayer, that he had in fact designed it with that in mind. I don't know if he was thinking in a LAN format or a full fledged online game like Ultima Online that was released only a year after Daggerfall. Could you imagine how legendary that would of been if he had pulled that off?!

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Deepfighter
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Re: Multi-Player Daggerfall

Post by Deepfighter » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:30 am

Well, no new thoughts here. Topic comes up now and then.

See also Daggerfall Deatmatch
Head of the German Daggerfall translation - www.daggerfalldeutsch.de
and German translator for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Lore-Expert for The Elder Scrolls: Online

Ommamar
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Re: Multi-Player Daggerfall

Post by Ommamar » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:34 pm

So you link 2 threads from 2015 and one too a mod being developed to try and belittle someone trying to start a conversation that you could just chose not to involve yourself in?

Here is a new thought since you seem to be struggling with the point of this thread. What if Daggerfall, that was already ambition as hell had come out with some form of multiplayer as the base game, before or at the same time as Ultima Online? Daggerfall is already credited with showing the possibility of an open world and really launching the Elder Scrolls series. How much more influence would it of had as a competitor to Ultima Online?

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Jay_H
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Re: Multi-Player Daggerfall

Post by Jay_H » Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:00 pm

We're not going to start a fight about this. I agree that reviving an old thread would have saved some effort, but it's not worth getting upset. If things get out of hand I'm locking this.

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MasonFace
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Re: Multi-Player Daggerfall

Post by MasonFace » Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:51 pm

I know better than to get involved, but regardless, here I go! I think Deepfighter misunderstood the crux of your topic, but I think Ommamar overreacted. It happens to the best of us. We're only human.

Now, to reply on the topic: I think if Daggerfall was released with multiplayer, even as a post-release patch, I think it would have been limited to LAN, at least at first, and it would have been epic! At the very least, I could see arena deathmatch being incorporated as a throwback to what Elder Scrolls: Arena was originally conceptualized to be (I think I remember hearing that in an interview?). I think it would have shaped the future of Elder Scrolls in an irreversible way such that no later installment would be released without including some form of multiplayer.

I think they could have made a lot of money if they had continued to refine Daggerfall after release and incorporated multiplayer while fixing bugs and finishing some unimplemented ideas and then release a special edition before publishing Morrowind. But I know that game development was very different back then and most publishers didn't see the value of continuing expenses on an already "finished" product.

But that's just my take.

Ommamar
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Re: Multi-Player Daggerfall

Post by Ommamar » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:07 pm

Listening to what Julian envisioned it really sounds like MMORPG with a single player mode tacted on which is interesting as the current trend has been a single player focus with multiplayer as an additional feature. He speaks of his vision of thousands of players on a server where they could connect their single player builds or create a build completely online.

One of the things I found interesting is how much things changed in Morrorwind and how that has carried over as far as how the player object was defined. How Julian described it was the player was viewed by the engine as an NPC that the player could manipulate stats then build on them. I watched quite a few interviews about Fallout 76, one of the points I heard mentioned was how hard it was to get around the player 1 definition as viewed by the engine.

It makes me wonder just how far Julian could of pushed things as well as what kind of game is envisioned to be developed by Once Lost Games.

l3lessed
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Re: Multi-Player Daggerfall

Post by l3lessed » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:19 pm

God, Ultimate Online was another game that truly defined my childhood gaming experience and expectations. Before UO, I had only played "The Realm", which was one of the truly first graphical MMORPGs. But its scope and playstyle felt like most other limited side scrollers.

I'm just imagining how much my mind would of been blown if the original Daggerfall had a MMO setup for it. Such huge possibilities.

I still think, to this day, UO was one of the best designed MMORPGS. It had such complexity, was so easy to understand and play, and truly forced players to struggle with the world and other players around them, instead of the Care Bare grind sessions that every MMO copies now thanks to the overrated blizzard Warcraft MMO; I ground my player to level 30, saw the never ending grind for items and levels coming, and said F' this).
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Jay_H
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Re: Multi-Player Daggerfall

Post by Jay_H » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:23 pm

If we speak only of co-op, I can imagine a relatively seamless implementation of it. A Diablo 2-style increase in monster difficulty could be implemented for each character who enters either the same game or the same dungeon, if they group together; a character exploring alone would face enemies with normal stats, but two characters in the same dungeon will find that the same enemies have elevated stats, and so on increasing for every character present. Attacking other characters would likely be permanently disabled.

Characters could use differing time systems until they decide to form a party, at which time all time-reliant decisions (travel, rest) would require the consent of every party member ("Solidarity Scheme"); for streamlining, an option could be implemented to allow the party leader to make each decision and apply it to all members of the party ("Leadership Scheme"). When forming a party, time would automatically sync to either the party leader's time or the most future time among all party members. Messages could appear at the top of the screen to show the whereabouts of other party members: "Gaenor has entered Direnni Tower." "Martin has completed quest: Escaped Atronach." "Umbra has entered the Mages Guild." A "call" function could be implemented across cities and dungeons; when the call button is pressed, all other party members would be pinged towards the location ("Ulfric calls to you from the southwest." "Farengar calls to you from the north."). Characters who die in a dungeon would probably respawn at the exit of the dungeon, and on the outskirts of the city if in civilization. Respawned characters would leave a corpse with all carried items, necessitating a corpse run, though the wagon and horse would always remain on the live character.

Any character would be able to sleep in a team member's house, but not in a team member's inn room. Until the character shows it to you, there would be no way to know which house belongs to any character, team member or not; this would prevent unfair looting from character houses (one alternative is to make the loot in character houses invisible and inaccessible to everyone except the character who dropped it.) If the decision is made to rest but other party members are not in adequate locations, they would only loiter for the equivalent period, passing time at the same speed but not gaining stats back. Any interruption to rest would interrupt all characters' rest, and no character would be able to rest if any party member is near an enemy (the one attempting to rest would get a message at the top of the screen: "Caius can't rest right now." or perhaps "Jauffre is near an enemy.").

All characters would be able to see a quest objective item, but only the character holding the quest that spawned it would be able to pick it up (a message could appear at the top of the screen: "This doesn't belong to you...").

Now just imagine this with Tedious Travel, everyone moving together.

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Deepfighter
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Re: Multi-Player Daggerfall

Post by Deepfighter » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:53 am

Ommamar wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:34 pm
So you link 2 threads from 2015 and one too a mod being developed to try and belittle someone trying to start a conversation that you could just chose not to involve yourself in?
Woah, calm down a bit. :o If I would have struggled with this thread, I would have merged it with one of the others, it seems you missed my point. I just wanted to give you and the following contributors, an overview of threads which happened to discuss this already in some way to (1) show you that this topic has been discussed before (which doesn't imply that it can't be discussed here as well) and (2) and foremost to build up on those ideas. There was really nothing belittling or unfriendly, just the stated fact, that your entry post - frankly speaking - did not give another discussion point (or build up on previous topics) for someone to add to this specific topic, which hasn't been stated elsewhere. The answer to your questions - It would have been of course - without question - legendary! :D ). As you felt yourself to explain a bit more on your thoughts, it seems that I wasn't completely wrong and see for yourself - it started to get rolling. ;) In any way, if I offended you, I am sorry about that, as it was honestly never an intention of mine. :)

-----

Regarding the topic I am completely on MasonFace side. Only LAN would have been possible at that time for Daggerfall (IMHO). Can't imagine that the (internet) technology in the households at this time would have been capable of transferring/synchronizing this game in a stable way. Ultima Online 1 1/2 years later was graphically not that demanding (and had already during the starting phase serious server lag problems). Daggerfall was ahead of his time and an online feature would have been to early.
Head of the German Daggerfall translation - www.daggerfalldeutsch.de
and German translator for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Lore-Expert for The Elder Scrolls: Online

Ommamar
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Re: Multi-Player Daggerfall

Post by Ommamar » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:11 pm

I guess it was the "no new thoughts here" that caused the trigger. I think you could of referenced the other threads by stating that multiplayer has been mentioned in them.

I agree that it would of been wise to have a LAN style of co-op to start but with how ambition Daggerfall was in a lot of ways still is I don't see the development team not trying to achieve there vision of what has become MMORPG. Looking at Julian's experience as he has described it I am sure he has the knowledge base now but I am sure it would of been a struggle to make a multiplayer game. Even getting the Daggerfall single player game released was and the original client had some huge issues that even after all this time and community development can still occur.

It is a good idea Jay_H but seems harder to implement then it seems it would be. If you look at ESO on release they had a similar idea with groups entering instances but there was huge sync issues where players often saw very different things in the instance. One possibility to implement this would be how Guild Wars did it where the towns would act as hubs while the wilderness and dungeons would be instances you could enter alone or as a group.

Both the Realm and Meridian 59 where basically graphical MUDS with very linear paths. Ultima Online was really the first that had the ability to allow the player so much freedom with different paths. I agree it had a very solid design both from a world perspective and a character build perspective. Then came the people! I met some great people who I still keep in touch with but the majority I could of done with out. It did give your group/guild meaning though as you had not only the world but other players to struggle against. You are right l3lessed that even Ultima Online was diluted over time until the game came something much different that set a trend that few games go against even those in development today.

WOW wasn't bad at release but it had so much nostalgia as Blizzard did a really great job of developing that Intellectual property through their strategy games. WOW let you actually be a part of the greater war at the individual level instead of controlling large units. I played both a Priest and a Paladin to 60 with other random lets try this class characters. Eventually I tired of my action not effecting the world.

Which is one of the things I think would of made Julian's version of a multiplayer Daggerfall so great is that his vision was you would be involved in sweeping changes to the world that where tangible. Of course it is easy to paint a picture of how you would of done things if you only had more time. I hope that the mods in development goes well as even something like Divinity Original Sin 2 system would be a fun way to experience DFU.

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