View Full Version : Newbie Beast Form Suggestions and Feedback (Cow, Mainly)

12-23-2016, 12:53 PM
What follows are heavily revised suggestions and feedback on animal forms after levelling my first Project: Gorgon character from a would-be sword wielding, psychology spouting menace to a 60 skill level cow/druid after happening across Maronessa. The original thread was posted under the old forums (http://projectgorgon.com/forum/support/3462-newbie-beast-form-suggestions-cow-mostly), and revised multiple times here to make it more approachable.

### Suggestion: Hanging Out With Dairy Cows

All players currently see a 'Milk Cow' option when mousing over an NPC Dairy Cow. For characters in cow animal form, the mouse over option should be changed to the same 'Talk' option seen with other NPCs. Of course, these non-enhanced Dairy Cow NPCs wouldn't have anything intelligible to say to the character, but they would provide a standard NPC dialog with the current 'Milk Cow' option and a new 'Hang Out' option.

Choosing 'Hang Out' would allow the player to queue one of the repeatable 'Graze with this herd' offline events of variable length (2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 hour(s)). The event would always award the character with a food buff and minor cow skill line experience upon completion which scale in meal level and magnitude with the amount of time spent grazing offline. Additionally, grazing with different herds would become the new means of learning a subset of cow skill line abilities as follows:

L.05 Cow: 'Graze' after grazing with any herd.
L.06 Cow: 'Clobbering Hoof 1' after grazing with any herd.
L.07 Cow: 'Chew Cud 1' after grazing with any herd.
L.15 Cow: 'Tough Hoof 1' after grazing with any herd.
L.28 Cow: 'Chew Cud 2' after grazing with any herd for a 4+ hours.
L.39 Cow: 'Chew Cud 3' after grazing with any herd for a 6+ hours.
L.55 Cow: 'Chew Cud 4' after grazing with any herd for a 8+ hours.
L.?? Cow: 'Chew Cud 5' after grazing with any herd for a 10+ hours.

L.16 Cow: 'Clobbering Hoof 2' after grazing with Eltibule herd for a 4+ hours.
L.26 Cow: 'Clobbering Hoof 3' after grazing with Eltibule herd for a 6+ hours.
L.36 Cow: 'Clobbering Hoof 4' after grazing with Eltibule herd for a 8+ hours.
L.46 Cow: 'Clobbering Hoof 5' after grazing with Eltibule herd for a 10+ hours.
L.56 Cow: 'Clobbering Hoof 6' after grazing with Eltibule herd for a 10+ hours.
L.?? Cow: 'Clobbering Hoof 7' after grazing with Eltibule herd for a 10+ hours.

L.30 Cow: 'Tough Hoof 2' after grazing with Animal Town herd for a 4+ offline event.
L.45 Cow: 'Tough Hoof 3' after grazing with Animal Town herd for a 6+ offline event.
L.60 Cow: 'Tough Hoof 4' after grazing with Animal Town herd for a 8+ offline event.
L.?? Cow: 'Tough Hoof 5' after grazing with Animal Town herd for a 10+ offline event.

L.15 Cow: 'Moo of Calm 1' after grazing with Southern Serbule herd.
L.35 Cow: 'Moo of Calm 2' after grazing with Southern Serbule herd for a 4+ hours.
L.48 Cow: 'Moo of Calm 3' after grazing with Southern Serbule herd for a 6+ hours.
L.62 Cow: 'Moo of Calm 4' after grazing with Southern Serbule herd for a 8+ hours.
L.?? Cow: 'Moo of Calm 5' after grazing with Southern Serbule herd for a 10+ hours.

Two herds already exist in game, a herd of Dairy Cows found around Serbule's stable (with nothing special proposed to be tied to grazing with it due to the location's convenience), and a herd of Dairy Cows among the feral cows in Eltibule. The Southern Serbule herd would be created by moving two of the Dairy Cows from Serbule stables to the stables near the Southern Serbule Inn (preserving the current NPC-supplied availability of Milk). The Animal Town herd would be created by adding two new Dairy Cows in and around Raul's pen (expanding the NPC-supplied availability of Milk, but reducing the net convenience of collection by spreading Dairy Cows about).

Allowing the above skills to be trained in this manner would resolve another issue I encountered as a new player trying to advance the cow skill line - having insufficient favor with NPCs to acquire role-required (tank) skills when level appropriate. As one example, the suspicious cow is a bad exclusive gatekeeper to the first level of Clobbering Hoof, as by the time you've found her and gained sufficient favor to receive training, you've well out-levelled the utility of Clobbering Hoof 1 and end up purchasing it only as a cash-sink prerequisite to Clobbering Hoof 2 or 3. Similarly, Tough Hoof 1 is fairly difficult to get by level 15 (when it becomes available) without already knowing where Animal Town is, surviving a level-challenging run to Raul and then gaining the favor required to train from him before the skill simply becomes another cash sink prerequisite to Tough Hoof 2 in most cases. Both should be acquired with the proposed 'grazing' system, and if favor-gating were still desired, it could be added as a prerequisite to subsequent iterations of those abilities learned by grazing with their respective herds.

Similar herding mechanics might be applicable to deer and pig animal forms, but I won't brainstorm further about them here.

12-23-2016, 12:53 PM
### Suggestion: NPC Dialog-based Milking

Eliminate the current Collect Milk ability line completely, replacing it with NPC dialog interactions that appear when talking to an NPC flagged as being 'able to milk cow animal forms', after any prerequisites have been met.

Upon being milked by an NPC, a player character cow has any other milking-related de/buffs discussed here wiped and replaced with an 'Empty Udder' buff that has no effect beyond a 1 hour timer counting down. After the 1 hour timer elapses, the 'Empty Udder' buff is replaced with a 'Sloshing Udder' buff that has another 1 hour timer and denotes the player character cow can now be milked by an appropriately flagged NPC. After that 1 hour timer elapses, the 'Sloshing Udder' buff is replaced with a 'Full Udder' buff that has yet another 1 hour timer and conveys a more urgent message of discomfort on mouse-over. Finally, after that timer elapses, the 'Full Udder' buff is replaced with a 'Swollen Udder' debuff that has the same effect on the character as being encumbered until removed. The net effect of this is that, ignoring the effect of being milked by other player characters, a cow animal form would need to be milked by an NPC at least every 3 hours to avoid the encumbering debuff of 'Swollen Udder'.

Other-player milking of cow animal forms would remain unchanged from the perspective of the non-cows. Regardless of what de/buff state a player character cow were in, other players would be able to milk them just as often as before. The main difference to the player character cow is that after being milked by another player any de/buffed state aside from 'Empty Udder' would be reset to 'Sloshing Udder' with a full 1 hour timer remaining. In other words, a single group member would be able to extend the buff timer cycle of a player cow indefinitely, preventing group interruption from the 'Swollen Udder' debuff effects with minimal planning. As the player character driven reset is limited to the start of the 'Sloshing Udder' buff, milking by other player characters will not interfere with cow animal forms collecting their own milk through NPC interactions if desired.

The following list of existing NPCs seem particulalry well-suited to being flagged as 'able to milk cow animal forms':

Gisli (located in Serbule and available after the intro animal form quest)

Braigon (located in Eltibule and availble once found but keeps a portion for himself)

Jesina (located in Eltibule and available after freeing her sister)

Spot (located in Animal Town and always keeps a portion as her mayoral notion of a tax)

Arlan (located in Ilmari and available after defeating the Geyser Slug)

These locations might also make sense to have a new or expanded NPC available:

Sourthern Serbule (perhaps the existing stable golem who doesn't distinguish between PC and NPC Dairy Cows and keeps it all)

Kur Mountain (perhaps a cold NPC, who is willing to help the PC cow if the nearby fire is burning)

Rahu (perhaps the NPC with the tiger pet, who always keeps a portion 'for kitty')

12-23-2016, 12:54 PM
### Suggestion: Semi-Permanent Beast Forms

Please reconsider having animal form curses (cows, deer and pigs) gradually become semi-permanent the longer a character goes without removing or overwriting them. My suggested mechanic is to have a hidden counter advance with each new real-world day that a player logs in to play their character while carrying such a curse. If the curse is removed, or overwritten with some other form-changing malady, the counter starts over at zero.

At the start, any character assuming an animal form would be limited to level 20 in their respective skill line. Any prior skill level gained in that animal form above level 20 would be temporarily 'greyed out', making not only the related abilities but also any cross-skill synergies or item dependency requirements resulting from them unavailable to the character. On the 7th day the player logs in to their cursed character they would see a pop-up dialog (similar to how the Hang Out dialog presents itself) describing how the character feels their curse burrowing deeper, taking root. The message should convey a sense of fear and urgency about it, reminding the player to prioritize looking for a cure. The character will also now find their related animal form skill line open to level 40 as they gradually become acclimated to their new form.

Then again on the 14th day they would see a second pop-up dialog, less fearful than the first but still reminding them of the urgent need to look for a cure as they begin forgetting how it felt to be what they had been before. The character will also now be able to advance their skill line to level 60 (the current cap). On the 21st day a third pop-up dialog would talk about the becoming used to the things they can no longer do and how at times they feel more like what they've become than what they were. There would also be an out of character red text warning informing the player that they only have one week left to restore their character's form before the change becomes semi-permanent. At this stage they'd also be able to advance their related skill line to level 80, but find all skill lines their animal forms are unable to participate in 'greyed out' (as described above) while the curse remains.

Finally, on the 28th day the player would log in to the final curse dialog describing how their character wakes up feeling somehow different. The character soon realizes that the curse, like a continual background noise that suddenly went silent, is gone. They'll instinctively know that there is no longer a curse to be removed, rendering their true form forever that of an animal. At this point the character has the remainder of their animal form skill line opened to them for advancement.

This proposed process is intentionally slow and drawn out, allowing for an abundance of warning and time for the character to skill up and remove most any animal form curse in game without assistance. It would not penalize infrequent play time, advancing only with each play session of a cursed character and only on each new real-world day. Ideally, by means of the 'greying out' process, any skills, abilities or synergies gained while temporarily advancing an animal form skill line would become unavailable to a character who has had the associated cursed form removed. Doing so would simplify balancing within the respective animal form skill lines considerably, allowing developers to take into account various skill lines barred to the animal form in question without having to worry about how those abilities or synergies might add to a curse-cured non-animal form builds.

While the transformed player would still be succeptible to other animal curses, their only long term means of addressing this semi-permanence would be high-level race-changing potions to be introduced at a later date. Ideally these would be both resource intensive to acquire, and require some sort of attunement process - something akin to a max alchemy potion combined with max meditation and perhaps a week wait for the effects to materialize.

12-23-2016, 12:54 PM
### Misc Suggestion: A Newbie Introduction To Beast Forms

Consider making an extremely short-lived, one time animal polymorph on the newbie island as a way of educating the player about beast forms, distinct from the curse lesson taught by Gajus the Big-Headed.

For example, one of the pillars surrounded by distracted rats in the newbie dungeon could have an unlootable piece of cheese resting atop it. Interacting with that cheese might warn the player that their character feels uneasy just being near to it, but is still oddly curious about how it tastes. Once and only once, the character can try to taste it, resulting in a short rat transmutation. After 30 seconds has elapsed, or after the player dies, the transformation reverses itself and the player receives a dialog cautioning them to be more careful in the future. The dialogue observes that the passing of time must have weekend that particular enchantment, but that such magical impairments found on the main island will be difficult, if not impossible to remove. Subsequent interaction with the cheese would see the character's inner monologue reminding them to stay away from it.

A rat transformation was specifically chosen for the above example as it fits in nicely with existing art in that location and is not associated with any cursed beast form currently in game. It would neither require the work to develop new art, a new skill line, nor spoil the reveal of a beast form skill line already implemented.

### Misc Suggestion: Animal Form Druid Starter Shoes

Please start animal form druids with an appropriate item in place of the starter quarterstaff. As an example, a cow/druid is currently left in the non-obvious position of holding said quarterstaff, being told that it is supposed to enable use of their druidic abilities and wondering why it isn't working. Once they do figure out that they need wooden cow shoes instead, they're left with the dilemna of how, exactly, to acquire them because they're not on the normal loot table as far as I can tell. Having to interact with players to obtain a key item like that is perfectly fine, but probably shouldn't be a prerequisite to begin training on a new skill line you've just obligated yourself to.

### Misc Suggestion: Staff Alternate for Fire and Ice Magic Skill Lines

Consider allowing animal forms to learn Fire and Ice Magic in a manner similar to how Druid animal forms can advance druidic skills. Perhaps allow them to acquire elementally attuned shoes (with correspondingly awesome visual effects) that impress needed NPCs (Velkort) and server as a fire or ice staff for purposes of spell casting. The fae realm might be an ideal place to introduce such a thing.

### Misc Suggestion: Change Druid Deer Form

I think a mistake was made in allowing the Druid skill line to have Deer Form in it's current incarnation. It trivializes both the acquisition and cure of the deer animal form curse, and limits what could be done with the deer skill line specifically, and animal forms in general out of balancing concers.

One way to remedy this would be to embrace both the timed unlocking of animal form skill levels and the potential permanence suggested above with the druidic deer form. In this way, you could add a druidic deer NPC to the game who teaches the skill with sufficient favor, but cautions the player's character not get lost in the form by spending too much time in it. Because the druidic deer form would effectively be capped at a lower level unless multiple weeks were spent in it, the ability would not significantly interfere with balancing the deer skill line.

A better way to fix the issue, in my opinion, is to restrict druidic animal forms to 'travel forms', replacing the deer form as it exists with either a 'gazelle form' or simpler 'snow deer form' that is a fast-moving form with no associated skill line, though perhaps with some wintery affinity in the case of the snow deer. Making this change could keep druidic forms visually and functionally distinct from animal form curses, while allowing the cursed animal form skill lines a bit more room to breathe in terms of balancing.

### Misc Suggestion: Dalvos Quest Line Progression Fix

Interaction with Gretchen Salas is required to advance the main Dalvos storyline and she doesn't talk to animals. An easy fix would be to make her favor independent of advancing the Davlos storyline, so that it is not a prerequisite to finding the journal in the Millet box. A slightly more involved fix would be to have an equivalent 'fetch quest' issued by Braigon nearby for animal form players.

### Misc Suggestion: 51+ Endurance Cap On Jace Soral

Lammashu (sp?) is currently the only NPC that sells the increase to the Endurance cap and she doesn't talk to animals. It would make immense sense to also have that skill cap raising ability trainable on Jace Soral a bit NW of her.

12-23-2016, 12:55 PM
### Links: Relevant Prior Threads

01/2016: Plans for "permanent" animal curse forms (http://projectgorgon.com/forum/general-gorgon-discussion/1406-plans-for-permanent-animal-curse-forms)

01/2016: Druid: Animal forms (http://projectgorgon.com/forum/general-gorgon-discussion/1475-druid-animal-forms)

07/2015: Permanent spider/cows (http://projectgorgon.com/forum/general-gorgon-discussion/611-permanent-spider-cows)

03/2015: Critter Central: A Guide to Animal Life (upd. 1/6, old) (http://projectgorgon.com/forum/general-gorgon-discussion/301-critter-central-a-guide-to-animal-life-upd-1-6-old)

03/2015: Cow Feedback: What needs to happen to even them out. (http://projectgorgon.com/forum/general-gorgon-discussion/308-cow-feedback-what-needs-to-happen-to-even-them-out)

12-23-2016, 01:20 PM
Ok i wont claim read all that you wrote put few things:

1)Animal forms as mounts - this actualy was mnetioned by Citan as soemthing he wants to do.

2)Pernament animal forms - this also was discused some time ago - and iirc conclusion was that it wont be a thing,at least for now. IF it ever will be - only at very high lv.

3) Druids and deer form - and yet again soemthign taht wa sdiscused - pretty much citan siad waht you did - that givign druids ability to turn into deers was mistake, becasue it prevents him from givinh nice things to eitehr beasue thyw owul be avibel to other too. So yeh we can expect change here at some point.

4) Hanging out with cows - well this might not be bad idea...

12-25-2016, 03:01 AM
Most people like to do everything on a single character, and permanent animal forms prevents that as an option. I've been over this before, but I find that being able to switch in and out, even with the 3 hour wait timer, just isn't as immersive nor fun as it could be. I really think there's a lot of potential there - and it's been discussed plenty before.

I'd like to think that playing as an animal would offer a unique experience, and I'd really like more reasons to play - but starting new characters and leveling up skills like alchemy and carpentry again just seems tedious. I personally imagine playing as an animal would mean needing a lot of help from other players to overcome your shortcomings. Right now the limitations still feel like nuisances rather than immersion.

My best experience was being cursed as a newbie (the cow curse at the time was in the dungeon you started in), and actually being unable to decurse myself; the drive was there, and I had to adapt to an unusual situation. It was a load of fun, and got me hooked on the game.

Unfortunately, as time goes on the game - while it still has its charm - eventually ends up being a cliche of grinding for materials, crafting items, and running dungeons. I miss that initial experience, and sometimes I feel the game is drifting away from it.

That's not to say it's for everyone. And I prefer that honestly; it creates variety. I realise everyone wants to do everything on one character, so I wouldn't saying ever locking animal forms behind permanency would be a good move, but at least having that option - or making it significantly harder to stop being an animal once you're cursed (and I feel like being cursed trumps transforming willingly but that's another topic all together) would go a long way for me personally.

That said, the game needs to cater to the majority. I like to go with the flow, and I really enjoy when things happen to your character (from being imprisoned, transformed, cursed) rather than your character mindlessly powering through the world.

There's a tremendous amount of things that can be done with animal forms, but the question always comes down to "is it worth it?" It's not something everyone will want to experience.

I personally like the idea of permanent animals being able to contribute unique resources to trade with humanoid PCs, but I've been over this elsewhere. You seemed to have touched on similar ideas here, though.

As for Deer form, I believe Citan mentioned something about not being sure if that was a good idea - giving it to druids, that is. I really curses on the whole are often trivialised, which can really detract from the experience. Deer form in particular is exceedingly difficult to remove via decursing, but there's two simple ways to get rid of it.

Anyway I'll stop here for now, I could go on about this sort of thing for ages. I really hope something happens to flip the table, though. I really miss my first two months with the game.

12-25-2016, 09:50 AM
Copying a reply I just posted on the old forum thread (http://projectgorgon.com/member-forum/forum/support/3462-newbie-beast-form-suggestions-cow-mostly#17764) before reading Oxlazr's comments here as it seems apropos:

A fair point.

I think the gap between our opinions is simply one of the role we feel cursed animal forms should play in the game. I'm really far too new to speak with any authority, but my initial impression is that they were intended to be more 'curses' than 'classes'. The resulting suggestions will be far different than if you view it more as a 'class' than a 'curse'.

Using a level-limited mechanic that requires permanence past a point would still allow people to flirt with something like being a druid or lycanthrope, but stop short of trivializing or normalizing what (from my point of view) should still be considered a curse. The suggested timed delay (where the level cap gradually extends until passing 50 only when the curse becomes permanent) also allows more interesting things to be done earlier than 50 (the mount/steed idea, as a potential example) without having to take into account that anyone over level 20 can run and get themselves cow-cursed inside of 5 minutes, then clear it after the utility of the form fades in a similar amount of time.

I generally agree with you though that 'surprise' permanence would be a bad thing.

12-25-2016, 07:31 PM
Erf, so many ideas for one thread x-x

I wouldn't like beast forms to be randomly permanent.

12-25-2016, 08:41 PM
Erf, so many ideas for one thread x-x

I wouldn't like beast forms to be randomly permanent.
Sorry for the mass suggestion dump. I'm up to 54/50 cow/druid now and have been keeping four different lists of observations and thoughts as I've played through: 'cow', 'druid', 'first look' and 'GUI'. Of them, the 'cow' list grew quickest because I found it interesting in how different the idea was from other MMOs. The curses in general are quite compelling to me in Project: Gorgon.

In retrospect, I probably should have broken the thread out into a number of threads. The 'permanence' could have been its own and covered the related skill ideas. The 'herding' suggesting probably could have stood on it's own and got more eyes on it. The 'milking' suggestion was fairly self-contained, as were many of the smaller observations.

As for permanence (since you commented on it), what's your opinion on progressively permanent forms (as described above)?

12-26-2016, 10:32 PM
As for permanence (since you commented on it), what's your opinion on progressively permanent forms (as described above)?
That was the part I didn't like.

I like the milking idea; there could be some better balance between patience and clicking and batching. Transmutation has this 'feature', too.

I also don't think that Druids have Deer Form is a big deal - as long as they have to jump through the same hoops to learn the Deer moves and XP that everyone else does, that they can TF to a Deer doesn't really matter. If you want to give a bonus to non-Druid non-were animals, then they could just have a bonus based on not having that ability (or abstaining, like teleportation and veganism)

Herding is a cool idea - an animal adjunct to the lonely/grouped statuses.

12-27-2016, 10:25 AM
That was the part I didn't like.

I like the milking idea; there could be some better balance between patience and clicking and batching. Transmutation has this 'feature', too.

I also don't think that Druids have Deer Form is a big deal - as long as they have to jump through the same hoops to learn the Deer moves and XP that everyone else does, that they can TF to a Deer doesn't really matter. If you want to give a bonus to non-Druid non-were animals, then they could just have a bonus based on not having that ability (or abstaining, like teleportation and veganism)

Herding is a cool idea - an animal adjunct to the lonely/grouped statuses.
It certainly makes sense that the two areas we'd find disagreement on are the issue of permanence and druidic deer form, as they both have very different appearances if you're coming from the point of view of 'animal form as a curse' or 'animal form as a class'. Those two topics aside, I'm beginning to wish I would have kept it just to the 'herding' and 'milking' suggestions.

I rather liked the herding idea as an extension of the hang out mechanic, and one which offers a bit more textual content without needing a whole lot more graphical or mapping work. I suspect it would also be applicable as a learning mechanism for other animal forms, just utilizing appropriate animals elsewhere instead of the Dairy Cows.

The milking idea itself was less about the specific mechanism and more about making it a bit longer between 'uses' and having it be something a player couldn't carry around with them (such as how the current collect milk ability allows). Once you require a player to run to an NPC somewhere (even if they were common) or find another player to help out, it opens opportunity for a timed debuff like the one suggested. The suggested debuff could be viewed as the downside to cows otherwise being very fast most of the rest of the time.

01-11-2017, 02:06 AM
As someone who wants to, as a long term goal, Max out all the animal forms, and use them all in some capacity, perma animal forms would mess with that. I would however be ok with permanently being an animal more generally. Meaning I can switch between forms with juices but cant go back to non animal form

04-01-2017, 09:29 AM
Very late reply to this thread, but as a recently transformed and leveled up cow I'd like to add my thoughts.
Should be a choice one makes and be required for the top end skills. At some point you've either fallen in love with the form and decided it's time to try something else. To continue to progress past a set point could set permanence( with warning of such of course). I would personally love to remain in this cow form for the remainder of my time in PG. To be rewarded with more advanced skills for being in a permanent form would encourage more players to do so. Also allowing myself and others of the same mindset to help uncurse those who do not wish to be animals without losing our own forms. The basics could still be the same for the players who choose to be temporary animals. that has benefits of it's own. There are always words of power illusion forms that can be used to talk to npcs that will have nothing to do with animal forms.
How far must you stretch your imagination to see a cow using a drum. I can see it. Since the release of bards I've been flooded with instruments, none of which are usable to a cow. However a drum...it can appear to be set on the ground, and a tapping hoof to play. Thus allowing animal bards. Or the participation in the musical bands that pop up.

04-01-2017, 09:59 AM
Why should permanence be required for the top end skills? I never understood this. It's not like Lycans or Druids are locked from half the world, or can't pick up a new weapons skill as it's released. The animal form is like a weapon, just a really ungodly unwieldy one.

You can't use the skills without the form, and it's not like it's not pretty inconvenient to change around. Animals already gets hidden buff/debuffs for hours based upon food choices and switching forms.

04-01-2017, 10:41 AM
Perhaps not all the top end skill, but a bonus skill set to those who wish to be permanent animals. Playing a part time animal should still be feasible.I.E, still able to achieve lvl caps and use appropriate gear.
Lycans have it made, best of both worlds except 3 days a month. Druids 2-3 times a day sometimes must drop what they're doing and participate in saving the zone targeted. Animal forms are not merely a weapon though. They are more a race if played in a permanent fashion. I haven't played through all animal forms yet, but with the exception of being a vegetarian I have yet to see a buff for being a cow. That doesn't help me in combat,or give a bonus, but in fact limits the foods I can eat if i want to milk myself that often( not a cheese maker yet so not priority)

04-01-2017, 12:18 PM
...but with the exception of being a vegetarian I have yet to see a buff for being a cow. That doesn't help me in combat,or give a bonus, but in fact limits the foods I can eat if i want to milk myself that often( not a cheese maker yet so not priority)It's still a buff. And the game is still alpha.