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More interesting items/ideas for a Bioshock Rapture MMORPG
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Delta's "Memories"/Mind Restored by Vita Chamber :
Not necessarily 'all' his memories, we can say 'some', possibly as shown by the low detail seen in the 'ghost stories' in BS1 (whether DNA/RNA based of not). Delta's restored memories actually may be only a few and random, and of dubious usefulness (memories maybe , but Knowledge? Experience? Muscle Control? What happens when those things start to conflict/overlap ?). The Little Sisters didnt seem to gain much from similar absorption, except confusion, and a 16-17 year old (Eleanor) does not do all that much better (if at any age it could be handled). Sofia Lamb saw the basic effect (probably in her patients), and may have deluded herself in how far it could work (her thinking on changing Human Nature sets her amongst the most crazy people in history, as well as some of the murderous). The resulting insanity in Gil Alexander should probably have given her a clue.
Delta may instead have been largely intact (body in storage after his 'death' which the 'lab boys' investigated). Eleanor also could have found the research tapes of Delta's mind, to be restored and edited. How much they might have done before they put Delta into 'storage' is unknown. No doubt Eleanor would want to restore/add memories which would make Delta inclined to come rescue her. You see her play other 'memories' to you (Delta) along your journey. Perhaps Eleanor is quite a bit better at manipulating YOU than her mother was.
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International Order of the Prawns :
Rewrite the entire Lutwidge Saga with somewhat more realistic details. Awful lot of it was just to far into Fantasyland that even Walt Disney would shake his head at it.
Lutwidge was psychotic. Some of those intricate puzzles were booby trapped as part of his desiring to prove how much smarter he was than everyone else. If you tried to solve his crazy puzzles at some point explosives were detonated, and for others there was no solution. Meltzer, being suspicious, might have been smart enough to cut open the puzzles, disarm the boobytraps and then piece together the solutions from th workings inside.
The International Order of the Prawns - benevolent society whose purpose was the obtaining superior seafood in Rapture.
Int'l Order of the Lawns ( Rapture's Lawn Bowling club - met every Saturday at 'Arcadia Brookside Lawn' )
Int'l Order of the Yawns ( Rapture's Vacation Slide Museum -- ex- the 4 hour Stultefield Pencil Factory tour )
Int'l Order of the Fauns ( Lutwidge was obsessed with the Disney movie Bambi - this is not to be confused with "The International Order of The Fonz")
Int'l Order of the Juans ( San Juan Cola - the ADAM pause that refreshes, then you get a tumor... )
Int'l Order of the Von Brauns (Rapture Rocketry Club - a few German scientists managed to evade the Americans and the Russians after the war...)
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Ryan Got a Bum Rap :
It was not clear that Ryan's men were doing the LS kidnappings. Earlier, LS were 'orphans' from Fontaine's orphanages (if some parents put them there having them turned into Little Sisters, that fact probably wasn't mentioned to the parents). That was also the earlier period, when they just sat in the orphanages generating ADAM (no 'Gathering' yet).
Alot of this stuff, we barely got clues about. It seems more this part of Rapture's story was shaped by the game writers trying to imply Ryan was an Evil Blue Meanie, (OMG human testing!! OMG Little Sisters!!! OMG Hung people!!! OMG pictures of missing people!! OMG Terrorists are Freedom Fighters!!! OMG Ryan just killed people for no reason!!!! etc...) even when such things would be illogical/counterproductive for Ryan, and much of it wasn't even his doing.
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"Do we gouge the suckers a little? Maybe. But where else they gonna go?" - Lloyd Webster, President, Circus of Values Vending. :
A poster boy for the writers implication that 'Capitalism is Evil', and thus failure was assured from the start ? Have you ever seen a vending machine that gives you a lower price as in your supermarket? Convenience is a commodity. There is competition from every other source of the same goods, which the buyers have the choice to purchase from instead. You might as well voice the same illogical complaint towards the world we live in.
Note that we see these vending machines AFTER Rapture has gone downhill more than a little. Who refills the machines and at what cost and risk? Perhaps the prices went up as the chaos spread and there was great risk for most people just trying to go to what few stores were still open. Wouldn't ALL prices have gone up in such an environment? Later, what is money really worth in Rapture, anyway? What is still produced and available by then ?
It is actually unlikely those vending machines would have a single item remaining in them by BS1 times -- UNLESS the City wasn't in quite as bad a shape as they tried to present. Perhaps many citizens were in a better situation than the deserted/wrecked areas Jack passed through - after all Atlas is guiding him, and likely that path would be through largely unoccupied areas - areas with minimum Ryan-siding presence.
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Guns Worth More than Butter :
Ive seen in many games the taking of 'loot' from killed enemies which can be 'sold', or being money which can be traded/spent. What was usually overlooked/ignored was the weapons themselves, gained from dead opponents, these in the real world are often much more valuable than anything else (usually game loot being some crap or other and rarely any of the other real equipment which might be useful to a Player, in a more detailed/realistic game). Collecting and selling good working weapons could have resulted in a much more substantial income for the Player. Now, in many of these games, you kill more enemies in a few minutes than John Wayne or Rambo did in their whole career of movies (and YOUR whole map would be knee-deep in corpses/discarded guns by the end of the game, if the corpses did not conveniently and mysteriously disappear).
If some additional reality was implemented in this MMORPG game, more realistic carrying capacities might help control such windfalls (YOU try carrying around a pile of heavy guns in a sack...). In this Bioshock Rapture MMORPG, the body counts are far lower (actually made rare), so collecting 'stuff' plays a bigger part (particularly since alot more of it is useable for multiple aspects of the game, not just Ammo and 'Buffs'/'Power-ups'.) Objects also have multiple uses and sub-parts, useful for repairs/upgrades, if not just their value as recycled materials.
Of course, with a lack of manufacturing for nearly a decade, shortage of working equipment/materials makes upkeep harder for weapons (and some types of Ammo might be getting rather scarce) in Rapture. Even spare parts become valuable. Old 'Quality' ammunition even moreso.
So you might find Splicers, but they might have few good working weapons to loot. Being valuable, your opponents will want them maybe more than you do, so you unlikely to just find them lying about.
The 'Butter' which was actually 'Luxury' (in that famous phrase), those become rare also and valued. When even just ordinary eating becomes harder, there is more and more concern about where the next meal is to come from, and the importance of protecting any good source. To survive for so long, the inhabitants of Rapture had to find/make such sources (and hold onto them), and you will usually be finding them near those sources.
- Airlock Fishing (Fish are attracted to lights, thought the decompression of an airlock usually kills them)
- Still Operating Farms (growing wild or still cultivated)
- Mini-Farms (a popular hobby for apartments back in Rapture's Golden Age)
- Bathtub Slime Farm (we saw a few of these - you get hungry enough and you'll eat just about anything...)
- Neptunes Bounty still in operation (Faction their trades with many others in Rapture)
- Any old stockpiles trapped behind blocked doors (Splicers would have found most of those)
"Guns and Butter" were a semi-popular Jazz Group in one of the larger Post-Civil-War Factions -- as was a group called "Rosa Gallica" which some MMORPG Player Creator might re-create as a Banjo Quartet (or not).
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New Zealand SPCA teaches rescue dogs how to drive a Mini :
Thats a real story from the internet (story says it probably is a hoax).
But consider the Bathysphere problem - Anton Kincaide has to find a way to lower the costs of running the Network of Bathyspheres (and the Trolleys too) for his Metro to outcompete the Atlantic Express.
Labor is a major expense and it would be a major savings to eliminate the Bathysphere 'pilot'. Computers/electronics at that time aren't remotely good enough to auto-control/navigate the vehicles. This is before (pre 1952) the Bio-Electronic revolution which made things like The Thinker and the many lesser 'smart' automation systems possible.
Along comes some brightboy/boffin (assuming ADAM was being researched that early) who tells Kincaide about what ADAM might be able to do to create a cheaper 'pilot'. What projects might have been started along these lines?
Cats and Dogs no doubt were considered ... "Captain Fluffy wishes to welcome you aboard. We have reports of mild currents and little turbulance for you trip today... Please take your seats and we will get under way."
Eventually the Bathysphere Cable system took alot of the steam out of the problem, requiring much less complex automatic control.
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Bioshock 3 Speculation (from forum long long ago in a galaxy far far away...) :
Scenario could be at 1/3 way thru you figure out Ryan is still alive. He had faked his death like Fontaine to finally get Atlas and Jack finished that before leaving. Thats a delayed twist. Ryan spent the years between Bioshock 1 and Bioshock 2 trying to keep Rapture alive. Lamb's little situation was really just a sideshow - only a small part of Rapture. Now it is time to fix the City and Ryan gets Tenenbaum back to do her Cure. The surface intrudes with ColdWar minions wanting to grab Rapture's technology, or keep it from their Cold War enemy. Lots of fighting inside with some strategic generation of some battles to thwart the surface people. Finally Rapture wins with somehow the secret intact and Ryan destroys the Lighthouse to hide Rapture better, and the final scenes are of cured splicers rebuilding. Who you are in it could be another faceless voiceless one who maybe turns out to be Ryan's other son so that the dynasty can continue. What kind of moral choices? It was arbitrary/pretty meaningless in previous games, so just make something up with little impact on the final outcome. Reuse alot of the previous game stuff to cut down on costs. Maybe add some submarine and ocean action in the fighting. Maybe have it modable to create battle scenarios, though Mod tools might be too much work to produce.
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"Beneath the myth, 'God' is just a name for our moral duty to others. It is that impulse which unites the Family." - Dr. Sofia Lamb
This should have been placed underneath those murdered 'unbelievers we saw in BS2 -- apparently moral duty to others is really only properly what Sofia Lamb thinks and wants and demands.
Wales Brothers :
Look what happened to the Wales Brothers, who's impressive work in Rapture was found to be 'leaky'. Form over Function .... Expensive retrofitting and changes were made to more than a few of their buildings. They were relegated to designers rather than builders. Later with little new building in Rapture, they had to find other employment (ie- religion scam artist and pimp).
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The THINKER 'Open doors' ? :
Is there actually a quote anywhere in the game that supports this statement ???
Electric eye/capacitance sensors, contact plate, solenoids and maybe a safety interlock to prevent opening when the other side is flooded... No need to run wires for every door miles back to The THINKER to do something simple electical circuitry could do.
"Rapture depends on The Thinker every day! Dispatching trains to commuters, making assembly lines more efficient, and keeping the air fresh!" - Advertisement This is actually much better.
Many systems in Rapture would be similar - local automatic systems doing the grunt work (a semi smart control box locally), but with something else added maybe to monitor, or to coordinate tuning things for efficiency, or directing operation (with the local system doing the basic work).
Routing Trolleys, Trains, Bathyspheres, Elevators for efficiency. Shifting power/temperature/airflows to meet varying demands. Phone/Pneumo routing for load leveling traffic and failure redundancy. Coordination/prioritization of repair tasks in the City, and dispatching various resources (including Big Daddies).
Suchong (while stroking white mutant 6 legged cat) : "No Miss Elizabeth, I expect you to DIE !!"
(some of those 'subject' tables in Optimized Eugenics do look like the laser table from Goldfinger...)
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Game Asset Want Ads :
A klarge part of the Asset Creation Community activities is to create needed Assets for the game (to get a decent representation of game objects first and foremost and then specialize/refine later).
Postings online with descriptions/specification of what is needed. This can be broken down into seperate elements to be worked on by more/different people (or for half-finished works a request for the missing elements).
There would be standards for 'official' submission of these requests, which vary from simple Wish List entries to very detailed descriptions, which might describe very specific aspects (ex- could include a picture of a real world object that has a certain 'look' the requestor wants). As usual, informal Forum discussion can be done endlessly outside of the official 'Want Ad' system (some people are 'idea' people and can be brilliant in that way, yet get bored of actually having to fit into a process needed to organize real production activities).
You would want somekind of task assignment process, so that multiple people dont waste their time working on the same thing (colaboration is a seperate issue). Different elements (shape/textures/attributes/behavior scripting/template data) can often be worked on in parallel once certain constants are locked down.
Demonstration Credits. People who put work towards an object get Credit Listed. THAT is a whole 'nuther' system to be created/implemented to properly give credit where it is due, and to not have loopholes to those who might try to scam the system -- particularly if some kind of creation rewards are given - even if it is just an advancement ramp where creators can move up to more complex Assets after they have demonstrated their skill)
The already completed components/elements can be pretested in the online sharing mechanism (again important emphasis on not wasting peoples time - bugs/issues are to be discovered early).
The 'Impossible Mission' force - how does this fit into Rapture ? :
Jim Phelps and his group infiltrate Rapture ? Are instrumental in extracting a major criminal who tried to evade authorities by going to Rapture ? Framed the baddies so that Ryan had Sullivan 'off' them ?
WHAT did the government know about Rapture, and WHEN did they know it ?? The Secretary of course disavowed all knowledge of it.
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Tuning a Monster (Game playability adjustment) - in a MMORPG the Problem is Cubed :
The old balance problem of Tuning a game so that Players dont just walk all over their NPC opponents AND not be dull or dumbed down, and at the same time not be a deadly frustrating abattoir(Player slaughterhouse).
This MMORPG Game, being at least a magnitude more complex (actions, props, impairment variations, potential tactics, terrain complexity, motives, NPC actions/behaviors) than advanced games out there, requires a whole lot more complicated Tuning/Adjustmets/Balance for all the interrelated complex elements, to also make them consistent (to avoid easily exploitable loopholes and optimal simple tactics which would makes the game less interesting and more repetative/distorted).
SO the solution is to have a Modular Adaptable System to allow continuing improvements (far more than whats offered in the majority of other games) created by talented Players to make scripting that drives the 'smarts' (including built in 'tuning' features to assist adjusting capabilities).
The game should have less 'god-like' buffs, and NO plodding auto-advancement grinds for the Player's Character. That way things dont have to be variably tuned as much to 'levels' or as blatantly (immersion breaking) contrived as in games where entire World Areas 'go grey' and are useless/blocked/disabled outside of a certain 'level range' of applicable Players.
- Modular - New logic from Players can be subsequently added to allow NPC opponents to do Tactics not previously seen. A variety of opponents of varying levels of difficulty (it is likely playtesting only will uncover how difficult Players find various elements of the game, and adjustments would need to be made incrementally post-introduction). Hopefully, the Creation Community would get better at judging such things ahead of time and devise criteria to have a 'median' experience.
- Adaptable - more varieties of difficulty -- some made to match a Players abilities, others allowing Players to figure out how 'deep' they want to get into trouble. Players should usually have an adaquate number of ways to leave a bad situation, and for them to read/recognize/assess a difficult situation and then retreat, so as to avoid worse consequences. Retreating (strategic withdrawl) should frequently be a viable option in many situations (players should be challenged by their escapes as much as by their victories). There always should be multiple ways to handle the same problem (preferably without one constant 'loophole' which will have players 'shortcutting' much of the games variety of interesting activities).
- Scenario-wise/Situational Flexibility (extended interactional aspect) - Multiple Players simply start 'ganging' up on the poor Splicers ?.... Well, a bigger Player 'party' can attract more Splicers (or Player's appearing to present a bigger threat to a Faction entity, will have the Splicers bring out more resources). And Splicers could be made to simply try to avoid overwhelming opponents (leaving the players to g'geton with' their bigger objective).
- Macro Environment Complexity - Capturing a Splicer is one problem, getting it back to the New City for 'Curing' might be a whole nuther.... Remember these arent mindless animals, and you may have some 'friend' of that captured Splicer on your trail to free its associate. Splicers will have their 'grapevine', and players will face something much more advanced/interesting than the idiotic/pathetic "Minefield of Monsters" so many MMORPGs have in their sandbox game (and even in their 'Missions'). Much more complex behavioral scrioting, INCLUDING NPC Group Scripting.
- Facing the Game Industry Dumb-Down - There also may be the learning curve problem of 'too hard' -- of Players facing their first real 'smart' NPC opponents (PvP some games offer only way they could do that) and being overwhelmed when they actually have to think a little or face situations they cannot 'Save And Reload' til they find a solution. Things should operate logically/as-expected so Players dont have to double think everything or try to remember how some arbitrary game mechanics work.
Stupidly Difficult Controls - Thats another issue - when things are happening too fast (or then too slow) for the Player to issue commands or to activate desired actions. Despite interface improvements, controls just never are natural to most Players, and fumbling with a poor interface is one of my least favorite part of many games ("Im supposed to be fighting game opponents, NOT the damned game interface!" - Me). And this game would have more options for player action.
- Mission selection choice, and informing/prompting the Player beforehand what they might face - so they can decide/adjust the resources they will want to apply ("Bring your Galoshes, we are going into the sewer"...).
NPCs who pack appropriate stuff automatically (by default of players preference presets).
- Some Players may prefer doing many things completely Solo (not even with Team NPCs), which should have its advantages as well as disadvantages. (Sneaking around is easier, but facing a mob of Splicers is harder...)
- The MMORPG should be a different game which requires Thinking/Planning/Imagination. There may have to be a 'Dummy Corner' where many careless Players wind up again and again (hauled back as a near corpse), as they adjust to playing a game different than your "dumbed down" typical MMORPG experience. And if they prefer THAT, then there STILL should be enough in the MMORPG for the "Casual" players to enjoy the game (Bunny Slope adventures, Roleplay ordinary citizens, Tourist missions).
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What Happened to the Other People Who Were With 'Johnny Topside' When he Found Rapture ?
"Before his arrival in Rapture, the man who would become Subject Delta was a deep sea diver who conducted an investigation of the many ship and submarine disappearances in the Atlantic Ocean Southwest of Iceland. While surveying the area in an advanced diving chamber he accidentally discovered the hidden city..."
Diving bells/submersibles (being complicated machinery) require large support ships (which they don't move far away from). It is rather hard to believe that they did not see The Lighthouse, which is in close proximity to Rapture. Surveying usually takes place from the ship, and only when they find something of interest do they dive below in a 'diving bell'. The submersible vehicles have a limited time to stay down and require extensive preparations for each 'dive'. The support ships have at least a basic crew and the people required to maintain/operate the undersea vehicle.
This is not a case of "The Lone Adventures of Tom Swift and his Amazing Sub"
Expeditions to the North Atlantic with deep diving vehicles isn't quite the same as a trip to the beach by hopping in your car. And there is alot of nothing down there well below the depth of Rapture (which is situated on a rather high point compared to the rest of the ocean in that area), so they had to be virtually ontop of Rapture for "Johnny T" to have run into Rapture.
So what happened to THEM - the crew - the collegues? If 'Johnny T' had any fame, wealth, influence (to get such equipment), relatives, investors, backers, collegues, friends, his disappearance (with or without his support ship also mysteriously disappearing) would be heard of/reported in the Press -- moreso if his entire exploration expedition suddenly vanished (possibly even bringing significant 'investigations' and 'searches' long even before Jack's ill-fated airliner crash).
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Repairs, While You Wait :
With the expense of transporting new items to Rapture before 1952, and the cessation of that opportunity after that date, the City would shift more and more to repairs of needed equipment. Rapture was too small to have the broad set of industries/factories and crafts, and lacked many raw materials required to newly produce/replace all the many different items used there. Thus, repair shops would become very common, the saving/salvaging of things for parts and even recycling hard-to-get materials would become typical. Craftsmen who could rebuild things would be in increasing demand. "Used" stores would be common.
People would have brought lots of possessions along with them (not just those required for their work, but also personal possessions). So a wide assortment of objects from across the world would be found in the City. This would make it likely for the MMORPG to allow a more varied object content, even in just appearance to make location scenes in the good-sized City look more unique.
Things in New Rapture would be even more dependant on recycled/rescued items, as even those things previously made IN Rapture are largely not available any more. There would be alot more of a 'make do' attitude everywhere you look.
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"Gimme the Cashhhhh !!!" (The 'Hype' from The Fifth Element) :
If ADAM has such addictive properties (psychological as well as physical), then wouldn't one of the first signs in Rapture be a rash of muggings by addicts who have lost their jobs because of becoming unstable, and couldn't afford their 'fix', and thus have to resort to crime to get the money they needed to feed their ADAM habit ?
A good question might be : Of all the 'poor' people that Fontaine and Lamb and Atlas preyed upon (selling them their parasitic ideals), how many were ADAM addicts or common-drug or alcohol ruined people ? Suddenly a possible reason for most everyone else in Rapture not being 'humanitarian' makes a bit more sense.
Personal Responsibility IS part of the Philosophy Rapture was founded upon.
Consider the possibility of people who are mentally impaired and are told they deserve everything to be given to them, and then being armed with combat plasmids (like by Atlas) - what they might do. What likely should Andrew Ryan do to someone arming these crazy people and inciting them ? What would the People of Rapture DEMAND that Ryan do to such a person ?
Considering the effects and the amount of time ADAM products were sold to Rapture's consumers, wouldn't such side-effects start showing up well before the 'everyone went crazy' period after Kashmir ? If it was shown to be so debilitating (physically and mentally), wouldn't the newspapers/TV news be full of Exposés and Denouncements of it as 'poison' ? Ryan wouldn't interfere with such journalistic activity, and even if Fontaine tried to prevent individual Newspapers and other media from reporting the story, he couldn't stop Ryan from getting the story out. (Of course the game writers avoided this logical outcome which would have invalidated their plot).
If serious problems caused by this 'drug' were identified and projected, wouldn't Ryan himself begin to propagandize against it (particularly if Fontaine was the biggest operator), even if he wouldnt 'regulate' it (a course rejected by his Philosophy) ? People have a right to decide for themselves, but letting them be properly informed doesnt run contrary to that. Apparently, the ADAM problem was sufficient enough that Ryan could not just shutdown Fontaine's ADAM business without condemning some significant portion of the population to dangerous withdrawl effects (but that situation just popped into existnce apparently).
More Flashback Scenarios Gang Zone Rapture :
Post-Minerva's Den Rapture (Post-BS2) where Splicers have formed different gangs, with each vying for control of Rapture (or a piece of it). You (roleplay) choose which gang you're affiliated to (each with different motif/distictive 'colors') and you take different Mission/Quests that gain you money or favor or Rank. Each gang is different; either possessing unique Weapon upgrades, unique Plasmids, or their own brand of Big Daddy to aid their own Little Sisters. Resource Locations exist which provide additional assets. Basically a MMORPG sub-game where you try to rise to the top, both in gang hierarchy and gang territory control. There could be server 'worlds' which restart frequently once they settle out (win conditions) from the Players activities.
The gangs presented can also exist as opponents in the main NMMORPG game world years later (reusing the assets is good).
Much of the terrain probably should be generic 'Street' modular architechture (squat like most of the Solo game's) with a smattering of 'landmark' buildings. Use of the auto-generator used in the full MMORPG's expanding city mechanism might help make each 'run' of the 'gang zone' scenario somewhat different by having content randomized at a medium level (different stores/facilities with interiors and themed prop sets, within generalized modular street sections (think of pipe sections/intersections) connecting appropriately across some expanse of varying seabed terrain).
There has to be a limit to the entire play area (game will represent a small part of Rapture .. a tenth??) So some kind of artificial (but plausible) boundries are at the edges (still can have some low detail exteriors stretch away and other parts of the city visible through the murk). Liklely more powerful Factions have the playing zone as a 'no-mans land' between them and have then closed off (a potential for those outside entities to serve as supply sources so that the 'gangs' have more than pointed sticks to fight with.)
Sofia Lamb only controlled a small part of Rapture (mainly the corner around Persephone) so these areas weren't "worked" over by her collectivist purges and enslavement.
Some intelligent (but plausible) mean of keeping too many players from being all in the same place at the same time for major 'rumbles' is desireable. This is basicly Multi Player PvP for players who like to compete in killing each other (but more complex/persistent than BS2 MP).
"My Mother The Bathysphere" (Rapture TV Series Sitcom 1955) :
You dont have to be a crazy Splicer to come up with ideas like that (ie - thats the name of real world TV series "My Mother, the Car", 1965-1966 ).
How To Train Players For The Big Paradigm Shift ? :
Many players have spent years killing things in video games without much thought other than "What loot or points will I gain ?" and "Why is it taking so long to stand here and kill this thing". And, more frequently than not, having little experience in other methods of getting things done.
How do you break players of their (by now) reflexive "Kill First and then (actually) not much at all afterwards" ?
The MMORPG plot has a social mandate of "Dont kill the Splicer. Just X time ago YOU were a Splicer yourself"
Training Players to ease them into doing neat non-fatal stuff (better effects in more varied circumstances with more things in-game to use in creative ways, more interaction ...)
Various non-human things that still can be 'blasted' (though watch the collateral damage to stuff you might want to loot, and to your nearby allies AND yourself). Deformable terrain and destroyable props.
Heh- you get points for the LEAST amount of damage done to capture a Splicer (less effort to stitch it back together before its 'cured'...)
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