View Full Version : POLL - Travel Times
Mon, 11th Mar '02, 8:22pm
The Forgotten Realms is a BIG place, and to render it 'realisticaly' takes space. In a persistent world you cannot have differnt groups at different times, so:
If you wanted to travel from one city to another, say 60 miles away, how long in REAL TIME (ie minutes sat in front of your computer) would you be prepared for the journey to take?
Mon, 11th Mar '02, 11:30pm
No time. And I really doubt you'll find anyone who'll be willing to sit in front of their screens for that. :heh:
Tue, 12th Mar '02, 12:10am
What, you mean sitting there twiddling my thumbs waiting for the travel to be complete? Or do you mean travelling overland in the game?
If it's the former, then I'm with Tal. If it's the latter, I don't care as long as there's a bit of adventure along the way.
Tue, 12th Mar '02, 1:21am
I agree with BTA, I would be willing to actually do the movement myself, if I knew there would always be the risk of unique encounters, or side adventures or some such. As far as 60 miles is concerned, I would estimate an adventurer, in full gear and supplies, walking that far, and resting, would take maybe 2 full days? In game time, that could be cut well down, but who wants to sit in front of the screen, trudging down the road for two hours, or even one hour? I could see traveling through the land for a half hour, if there is enough new landscape to keep interest. And again, side-adventures, and hidden ruins et al, are great when you're out in the middle of nowhere.
My 2 cps
Tue, 12th Mar '02, 6:05pm
I'd say you have to walk the distance yourself, otherwise it'll turn into silly 'teleporting' from one town to the other (which is fine if you have the spell, but...) I'd rather have an option that you can't do anything while you're character travels (so you can log off if you don't want to watch) than instantaneous travel.
Tue, 12th Mar '02, 7:50pm
Overland travel is likely to be BG1 style, you walk all the way. The terrain will be what it is in that part of the FR, green fields, woods, whatever. It will be consistent. There will be encounters appropriate to the area. 60 miles is comparable with Candlekeep - Friendly Arm.
Sea travel will be scripted. If you don't want to sit and watch your boat for an hour you should be able to log off and log on again when your boat docks.
Tue, 12th Mar '02, 8:28pm
Guys, we're talking a persistant environment here. :p
This is not the single player game where going to that next town might be the only feasible thing to do since all the quests in this one have run out.
Nor is this a place where the carpet is rolled out for you, guiding you towards an ultimate goal.
And it is absolutely not the game that you sit down for 4 days and "beat".
We're talking endless adventure here, so of course there'll be things to do along the way if you want!
I would be very disappointed indeed if traveling from Phlan to Hillsfar took me the same time as walking through the town of Phlan itself.
"Hey, the plate mails are cheaper in Suzail than here in Waterdeep, I'll run over there to buy one and be back by evening!"... yuck!
Doing it "realistic" with regards to the time scale might not be feasible either though. If we're doing time at an 8:1 scale, walking 60 miles should "realistically" take about 5 hours (that's 2 full days at 16 hours a day, plus an 8 hour rest, 2x16+8 = 40, 40:8 = 5).
I'd go for a set distance per "day", walking somewhere between 60-180 miles per in game day sounds fair to me (60 miles taking anything between 1 and 3 RL hours if the time scale is 8:1).
Of course, there should be faster ways to get ahead in the world, such as passage by ship, carriage, or for the truly priveliged even teleporters.
But if I set out from Waterdeep to Suzail by foot, I want it to hurt!
Thu, 14th Mar '02, 11:15am
There's no talk about teleporting or anything. If you want to travel from one town to another, there is no reason why you should have to walk that distance manually (I never did that in PnP either). If there's something interesting on the way there (like an encounter or something), just stop the travelling and fight the monsters, bandits or whatever before you continue. Too much walking is nothing but boring.
Thu, 14th Mar '02, 12:28pm
Once again, we're talking a persistant world.
Sure, in single player mode there is no reason why you should walk all the way. But something like that would never work in a persistent environment.
When there are several players whose times should be coordinated, there is no other way than to let time pass at the same rate whether you're walking, fighting, sleeping or whatever.
Imagine I'm in Waterdeep and my friends are outside Suzail. Suddenly they are attacked and need my help, messaging me on icq, and I quickly rush to the nearest map exit, press the Suzail icon and I'm there! Sounds realistic, no?
Just letting your character walk with no input from you, perhaps letting you log off in the meantime, would not be feasible either. What if there are encounters along the way. How will you know? You'd still have to sit staring at the monitor, wouldn't that be even more boring?
Thu, 14th Mar '02, 4:07pm
You have a good point. Think I'm still stuck in the single player thinking of the IE games :). Multiplayer could certainly not work that way, unless you have the teleporting system like Diablo 2 has.
Thu, 14th Mar '02, 5:41pm
The problem, I believe, is that in ALFA at least, not the whole a Faerun will be covered (certainly not at first), so what if there IS no server handling the land between the two points you want to travel?
Thu, 14th Mar '02, 5:45pm
Hmm....interesting point for multiplayer. If it were PnP, I'd normally work it like this:
Players decide to travel from town A to town B at a march (ie., not stopping to look around or check things out). DM (me) makes random encounter checks. During the first day of the journey (say a total of 32 miles or 2 days of travel assuming at least one party member has a speed of 20 ft.) there are 3 encounters. Because of the encounters, the overland journey is interrupted 3 times throughout the day. Real-time play takes effect for each of the encounters.
Also during the journey, one of the party members begins an argument with another. Again, the journey is interrupted, but this time for role-play purposes. Even if there are only 2 players involved, the time to role-play this will affect the other players. If it's short, it may only be a few minutes interruption. If it's longer, players that aren't involved can observe, or take the time out to go get a drink, have something to eat, etc.
Now that's a fairly simply and common scenario. The whole first day of the journey could (in real-time) take an hour or two of game-play. Note however, that it's not time wasted - things are accomplished.
Another scenario might include players who are journeying through a wilderness area, where they've never been before. All that they know is that their ultimate destination is off in some general direction (say north). In this situation, lots of things are going to happen, or could happen, primarily looking for a trail, or path, and following it, until they need to make another decision (usually not very far along). Here players will have to make wilderness lore checks, spot checks, etc. to get there. So this form of travel is likely to be more real-time. Still you don't want to overdo it.
A third scenario could be when the party is sleeping, or part of it is at least. Say one member decides that, while the others are asleep, they are going to go off into the night, and take a look around (again, very common in PnP). Until something wakes the others up (since they've stated that they are sleeping), they are out of play, while the other member is off doing her thing. This could take up to 8 hours of play (leaving one very exhausted party member).
For a CRPG, it shouldn't be exactly like this, mainly because it would ruin the game (who wants to sit in front of their computer, or go away from the game they just started, for an hour or more). I think that the system used in BG1 should be used, in part: instant travel between some areas, overland travel forced through others. However, on those overland maps, you should still have to option of saying 'I'm going straight north without stopping'. Anything you encounter would interrupt this. And for this kind of overland play, each player should be allowed to cause an interrupt, for role-playing. Travel would then revert to real-time. And if someone wanders off on their own, well, you'd probably have two sets of real-time play: one with the person off on their own, the other with the rest of the group (sleeping, eating, searching for the other one, etc.) with each player only able to see the portion of the map from where they are.
Phewww! That was a little long-winded.....
Thu, 14th Mar '02, 6:11pm
BTA The hope is by NWN + 1 month there won't be any gaps. New DMs are appearing every week. If there are gaps I guess we will use a variation on sea travel. One of the reasons for the question is to figure out how long people will tolerate to cross a server gap. Opinions seem to span instant to 3 hrs with an average around 30 mins.
Portals will exist, but they will be rare, the subject of a significant quest and have an in-game reason. They will not be a cheap easy way of zipping around.
Gnolyn, in a PW you can't have people in different time bubbles. That's one of the major differences with PnP/ single player CRPGs. Current time scale factor is 8:1 i.e 3 hrs real time = 1 day.