Saga of Lucimia will fight wiki infodumps with sparse patch notes

You know how when it’s patch day in your favorite MMORPG and you’re skimming the patch notes trying to figure out what exactly changed, but it’s all cryptic hints and vague comments, and you’re pretty sure when they say “has been changed” they mean “has been nerfed into oblivion,” and you have no idea where the new stuff is so you can log in and find it?

Saga of Lucimia is not planning to alleviate any of that. A new dev blog and vlog from the indie studio argues that it prefers to leave discoveries, especially about new and moved NPCs, events, and activities to the players to encounter on their own, with no teases in the patch notes.

“While we’ll certainly be including notes regarding bug fixes and the like in our patches, one thing you won’t see from us are patch notes for updated or new content in the Saga of Lucimia,” write the devs. “It will be up to the players to discover those changes and events just as they would in a real adventure setting: by actually going there, exploring, following the lore and the storylines, and immersing themselves in the world. […] We want to keep players in the dark regarding content changes and try to avoid, for as long as realistically possible, a full-fledged wiki from being created.”

Of course, if the game is successful enough, that wiki will happen anyway. Team Lucimia is just hoping to hold that off as long as possible and not make anything too easy.

“While we anticipate it taking a couple of years (hah, who are we kidding? It’ll likely be more like 4-6 months) for a detailed wiki to be created given the size and scope of what we are creating for Volume I, at some point we have to face the reality that all of our hard work will be trivialized and the immersive experience we want players to experience will be lessened by those who just want the fastest route from point A to point B, and to hell with the fun of just exploring and enjoying the journey. That being said, we’re going to be doing as much as we can to keep things unknown, and to avoid EVERYTHING being available via a wiki.”

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Mr Poolaty

I think this is better than the walkthroughs of other games…

xhieron
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xhieron

Frogloks and Jedis. Or more recently, Warframe drop rates.

That’s why this is a horrible idea. Spinning deliberate obfuscation about what’s going on during live development is carte blanche for deception. Need a little extra time to finish implementing some content? Just tell the players the content is there and they haven’t found it yet. And after all, you can’t give any hints because you don’t want to ruin their sense of pride and accomplishment.

Data miners telling your players stuff you’d rather them not know? Shame the players for reading the data, ban the data miners and send C&Ds, and then gaslight anybody who questions your version of reality. If you start early enough–say, prior to launch, or better yet early in development–you can probably get a lot of customers to concede the slight before they’ve even been asked to put anything on the table.

Immersion is important to me when I play a game. But more important is transparency when it comes to people I give money to. I don’t think anyone was expecting this title to spell out changes in its patch notes in a way that any other title hasn’t in the past, but deliberately resisting a wiki and intentionally failing to publicly document content implementation is neither a quaint throwback to a simpler time nor is it indicative of a player-focused disposition.

It’s lazy, at best. At worst it’s sinister.

I’m not suggesting these devs are uniquely wicked or even necessarily have ulterior motives–only that this is the day of information control. Anyone who says “You shouldn’t be allowed to know this,” whatever the purported reason, is deserving of a critical eye.

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Dug From The Earth

Sigh

Data miners will get the info, even if its not in the patch notes.
Players who discover/uncover secrets will post it to sites like wowhead

The best and ONLY way for players to not be spoiled (if thats what they want) is to not go looking for the info.

Besides.. which mmorpgs out there post spoilers in their patch notes anyway? I cant think of any really… so whats so special about them doing the same thing with this game?

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Armsbend

Early FFXI quests were next to impossible without the data miners. It was stupid game design intended to waste people’s time. Instead, I decided a long time ago not to waste my time with games that insist the challenge is to frustrate the player.

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Schmidt.Capela

The issue with not looking for the info is that information is power, so in a game where players compete for limited resources those that go looking for the info outside the game are at an advantage.

Not that it bothers me — IMHO the best way to tackle this is by simply not having players compete for limited resources, thus enabling them to play at their own pace with no concern for whether others are advancing more quickly — but I do see where that point of view comes from.

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Gadgets-4G

I think this is a wonderful Idea. Now figure out how to lock down your art files so people aren’t digging thru them. Randomize some events put others on incomprehensible time triggers. Kill that goose in the field at A and a gate opens at X until it’s closed.

Manual events hands-on Gamemasters never could figure out how we got away from GM events and since no one is doing it much it would be great to see.

Or you know whatever it was you were thinking.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

I don’t think they’ll have to worry very much about people who are focused on the fastest way from point A to point B. Considering the emphasis of this game, it appears like those types of players are likely to skip this title completely or quit playing after a short period of time due to the design choices that are being adapted. This is good for the atmosphere they’re looking to achieve, but we’ll have to wait and see if it’ll be worth the financial ramifications.

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Tim Anderson

Already worth it according to our books :) And those are the only ones that matter!

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Optimism is great :)

However, the team still needs to wait to see what those financial ramifications are to determine if it was worth it, unless this project is purely for fun and not a business venture.

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Tim Anderson

Last time I checked, we had our own bookkeeper, accountant, and financial team who are the ones I listen to when it comes to hitting our benchmarks, thus the “worth it according to our books”…and we’re very much in line with where we want to be.

Thanks for your feedback!

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

You’re welcome!

I thought when you were speaking about books you were speaking figuratively, as in “that’s okay in my book” or when it comes to a definition “not in my book”.

I hope the outcomes mirror your projections!

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Katriana

“…just as they would in a real adventure setting” – Because of course we’re all going around doing the Indiana Jones thing IRL? LOL. Well good luck to them on keeping stuff secret. No doubt data miners will yank it all out of the code and be spreading it everywhere before most people even have a chance to ferret stuff out on their own in game.

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Darthbawl

Wait, you don’t roam around as Katriana Jones? *reality shattered* :P

Data miners will be a worry I am sure.

Veldan
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Veldan

Yeah, data mining would kill this very fast. However, I only ever see stuff about datamining in the biggest games. Saga of Lucimia will probably be a small niche game, so it would depend on whether its community gets people capable of and interested in datamining (and who feel the need to post the results online afterwards).

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Tim Anderson

Considering the vast majority of our “content” is player generated, and/or generated by the GMs, as opposed to static quests…data mining won’t do folks a lot of good because things will be changing frequently, and there’s just not that much in terms of questlines and etc. to try and hack. We’re very much a tabletop game set in a digital frame, which means we’re handcrafting a lot of the quests and running them as live events, as opposed to having them be static quests in quest hubs.

Then there’s making sure you’ve got as much as you can on the server side as opposed to the client…encryptions…etc.

That’s not to say you can eliminate data mining. But you can work at reducing it to a minimum with a little bit of forethought.

And yeah…we’re not a AAA title with a million subs, nor do we have any desire to. That right out of the gate sort of helps “protect” against the vast majority of data miners who are primarily going after the big games where the data is actually worth something :)