Trade Tasks (Game Design Post)
According to players currently testing the open-world, it is hard to make a living as an independent comitatus in the Empire. That was an intended design choice, because almost all the trade is controlled by factions on the continent, be they Trading Houses, religious organizations or criminals. With their Imperial trading monopoly licenses or their raw negotiating power, factions buy and sell at significantly better prices. With that in mind, we have planned to include a Task-system from the beginning and we are now getting closer and closer to implementing it.
What we call Tasks now in Vagrus are essentially procedurally-generated contracts offered by factions. If you fulfill the Task, you get rewards and reputation with these factions. At this time, we are concentrating solely on Trade Tasks, though there are going to be other types later on.
The main goal of the Task system is to allow players to ease into the open-world part without having to have an extensive meta-knowledge of what can be bought or sold for a good profit in the different parts of the Empire. While completing these Tasks for a fixed commission, players also earn reputation with factions, gaining access to higher tier Tasks, better market prices, and one-time rewards.
The design considerations and building blocks we are using for Trade Tasks are as follows:
- Many Tasks have a time-limit to complete.
- Early delivery increases your reputation reward.
- If you failed to deliver in time, you lose reputation. It does not matter if you just tarried too long, lost the goods due to unfortunately circumstances, or sold it elsewhere like a true swindler. To make it less appealing, you lose significantly more reputation than you would have gained, and can not get a new Task from the given faction until you either complete the delivery or pay for the 'lost' goods.
- There is a limit to how many Tasks you can accept at any given time (though if it is in general or per faction is yet to be decided).
- Parameters for Tasks (like destination, cargo type, etc) are generated procedurally, though typically within certain boundaries depending on the faction that offers it.
Tasks are intended to be expanded in future milestones with Mercenary and Exploration type commissions, too. This milestone is to lay the foundation for those as well. We are hyped as a Jhakra in heat by the prospect of adding this feature set to the game, as we think it'll make it much, much deeper and provide a ton of things to do for players. What do you think?
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