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Thread: Music system revamp proposal

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Music system revamp proposal

    After my last post about the limitations of the music system, I started thinking about how I would change the system to make it fun! While I am aware there is (or will be) a band function, it has its own limitations I will discuss later. Here is my proposal.

    AAU MML Music System 2.0

    Create an NPC band system. This system would, for all intents and purposes, replace how the music system works and would not require other players to be involved (aka Request Ensamble).

    1) Sheet music would be stored on the local machine, not in the game database. This would save space in the DB and allow for more detailed and longer songs. (this is assuming the MML notation system would still be used.)

    2) Instruments would no longer be physical objects, simply virtual ones. Access to all of the instruments would be garnered through artistry rank. This will save space in the game DB as well as player inventory. It will also reduce the resource waste in creating the instrument objects.

    3) Players level artistry by playing songs. XP is gained by time spent playing.

    4) All players start with access to 2 instruments and 1 NPC band mate. Any number of live player band mates may be used. The UI interface will have 3 elements for each band member:

    - A) A band member selector (to select either an NPC or live player for that slot. If it will be a live player, they must be grouped so the UI will have a list of potential members. If NPC, it will be a random NPC in appropriate attire).

    - B) An instrument selection dropdown menu that would select which instrument that band member would play.

    - C) A button to allow for the selection of the .mml file each band member to play. This will allow each band member to play a different instrument and to independantly play a part unique to that instrument.

    5) The Music UI will also allow the player to save the setup for any performance. For example, as an amateur, I could set my 1 band mate to play a flute, while I played the lute. Once the .mml files were selected for each band member (even if they were the same), another button on the UI would allow that configuration to be saved as a Archeage Performance File (.apf) on the local machine.

    6) Once the instruments and music files have been set, the final element on the Music UI would be "Perform". This will spawn the NPC band mate(s) in an orderly configuration around the player, the instruments for each band member, load the music file into memory, and start the syncronized playback of the files.

    7) Each level of artistry would grant access to additional instruments and band members. By the time a player maxed out Artistry, they would have access to all instruments and 8 (or more?) other NPC band members. A purely NPC + Player band would not have the standard 5 person limit. Having 4 live players in a group with you would only add live players to the band. Based on this, the theoretical total of band members would then be 5 (live players)+8 NPCs,+1 band leader for a total of 14 band members. The NPCs would still spawn in the usual places.

    As I said above, there is band function called Request Ensemble. However, it requires other live players with sufficient skill level to play certain instruments, and (correct me if I'm wrong) everyone will be playing the same piece of sheet music. This puts an extreme bottleneck on an otherwise laborious process that is supposed to be fun for the player as well as other players who want to listen. This proposal removes all but one bottleneck and that is actually playing music to get XP.

    I hope the devs take this suggestion and I am even willing to help if necessary. I would like AAU to have the best music system available and I think this will go a long way towards making that happen.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    You have no idea how much of a coding task you're asking for there and how much of a headache it would be to do. It's just not plausible to let things be user side, not only for efficiency and how others can hear it but also because giving access to any folders to the user that can modify the gaming experience opens up ways to exploit.

    Also is a matter of how many people actually would care enough to do it all. It's unfortunate but lot of people just don't care much about the music system, using it just for something to do once in a blue moon when bored. I can agree with some things, such as playing songs giving Artistry experience but that's about it.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pockethealz View Post
    You have no idea how much of a coding task you're asking for there and how much of a headache it would be to do. It's just not plausible to let things be user side, not only for efficiency and how others can hear it but also because giving access to any folders to the user that can modify the gaming experience opens up ways to exploit.

    Also is a matter of how many people actually would care enough to do it all. It's unfortunate but lot of people just don't care much about the music system, using it just for something to do once in a blue moon when bored. I can agree with some things, such as playing songs giving Artistry experience but that's about it.
    I agree that most people do not care enough to even use the system. I wanted to, but the sheer limitations to system have made me walk away. So it's not that I don't care, I just find it not worth the effort for such little value.

    If you're familiar with Lord of the Rings Online, they have a very robust system...dare I say the best one in the MMO genre. Plenty of people enjoyed using it because it was very easy to get into and music professionals found it a challenge to make excellent sounding arrangements and compositions. From a technical standpoint, LOTRO has always used client side music files, so the implementation of that system is what prevents any breach of security. In the 4 years I used the system, never once did I see a music system based exploit.

    I can't speak to how complex this kind of revamp would be as I've never coded for an MMO, but if it is important enough to the gaming company, it can be managed. As a software engineer, however, I can say that it would definitely be a project. As a musician and composer, I find the ability to make arrangements and original compositions a challenge and the ability to perform them a reward.

    To be honest, I think making the system more accessible and inviting would make more players interested in giving it a try. As it stands now, while I am interested, I won't waste my time.

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