Chapter 5 â€“ Multiplayer 56
Getting started... 57
Playing the game...... 59
Multiplayer Control Interface 59
Death; or, Waiting to Inhale..... 60
Differences between single and multiplayer................ 60
Arcanum User Editing................ 61
Chapter 5 â€“ Multiplayer
For the benefit of those players who might wish to play Arcanum in the company of friends, our Game has been provided with a â€œMultiplayer Modeâ€? which will permit the player and several compatriots to enjoy a game on a local area network, or even over the Internet. One computer must be set up as the server for the Game, and the other computers are called clients. The operator of the server selects a module for play: a â€œmoduleâ€?, in this instance, is a set of maps, quests, et cetera, which are made specifically for use in Arcanumâ€™s Multiplayer Mode. All of the clients must have a local copy of that module in order to join the server and play. The game does not end when any client Characters die, but continues until the server player quits the gameâ€”which is rather the way all parties work, if one gives any thought to the matter.
On the Main Menu screen, select â€œMultiplayerâ€? as seen in Figure 5-1 to begin a multiplayer session. The Multiplayer Menu allows one to choose from games for network or internet play, and to change oneâ€™s setup as well--see Figure 5-2. If players select â€œNetworkâ€?, they will interact with Arcanum games to found on the local area network (LAN), as seen in Figure 5-3.
Firstly one can search for games by pressing â€œFind Gameâ€?, which displays a list of LAN games (see Figure 5-4) which one can join as a client. These games are listed in the right panel, and clicking on any of these games will provide information on that game in the left panel. One can sort the games by name, type, ping, players or â€œup timeâ€?, simply by clicking on those labels at the top of the list. If a player should click on the green arrow, the game list will be refreshed. One can also filter the list by using the labels at the bottom of the list to remove some of the games. Available filters are as follows:
All â€“ show all games
FFA â€“ show only games of type Free for All
Cooperative â€“ show only games of type Cooperative
Roleplay â€“ show only games of type Roleplay
Bookmarked â€“ show only bookmarked games
A game can be bookmarked by pressing the blue check mark button to the left of its IP address at the bottom of the left panel; the self-same bookmarks can be removed by pressing the red x button. One can also type an IP address directly into the field, to go to a known server.
When one wishes to join a game, it is time to press the large â€œClick to joinâ€? button in the bottom left of the screen. Doing so will indicate that you are waiting to join, and when the server accepts you, you will load the map and drop into play. If the game requires a password, it will be necessary to type the password in the text area to the right of the join button. Games that are password-protected will display a lock icon in the server list.
Back at the LAN menu, there is a second option: one can press â€œHost Gameâ€?, rather than â€œFind Gameâ€?, and make oneâ€™s own Electro Dynamo Machine the server for a new game, as seen in Figure 5-5. A player who takes on this role will need to chose from several options before his Dynamo can become a host:
Game Name â€“ insert the name of your server here
Module â€“ select the module to use for your game
Type â€“ this is a tag for your game, to let others know what type it is. This is useful for those who will be filtering games in â€œFind Gameâ€? menu. There are three types of games: Free for all (players tend to fight amongst themselves), Cooperative (players tend to group), or RolePlay (players tend to act in Character)
Maximum Players â€“ how many players can join simultaneously
Maximum Level â€“ the highest Character level that can join your game
Minimum Level â€“ the lowest Character level that can join your game
Password â€“ you can optionally select a password that a client must enter to join your game; this allows you to keep it private
Private Chat â€“ this determines whether players can privately talk in the game
Maximum Stored PCâ€™s â€“ the number is the maximum number of Playing Characters the server will â€œrememberâ€?. Once this limit is reached, the server will forget about earlier players that have played on it, and if the player returns to the game, his Character begins anew.
Player Killing â€“ whether players are allowed to kill other players
Friendly Fire Damage â€“ whether area-of-effect Spells and Items will hurt people in oneâ€™s own group
When these options have been set, press â€œClick to hostâ€?, and the new server will appear on the list of LAN servers under the â€œFind Gameâ€? menu.
At the LAN menu, one can also change the Character one is playing by pressing the â€œCharacterâ€? selection, as seen in Figure 5-6. Here one can pick an existing Character on the list, or make a new Character by pressing â€œNew Characterâ€?. New Characters are made using the same Character Editor which was employed in single player mode.
Returning to the Multiplayer Menu, be selecting â€œInternetâ€? we will interact with Arcanum games which are hosted on the InterNet, as seen in Figure 5-7â€”although one must first have set up an account for such games (see below for details on how this may be accomplished). On the InterNet Menu, the first three selections are identical to those found on the corresponding LAN Menu, with the exception that the games displayed here are hosted from all over the world, rather than just upon the Local Area Network. If one should choose to make a host server here, oneâ€™s game will be made available to everyone in the world!
There are several additional selections available on the Internet Menu. By pressing â€œChatâ€?, for example, one can enter the Arcanum chat rooms, as seen in Figure 5-8. One can select the Chat Room on the left, and watch the discussion on the right. To join the conversation, type your own responses at the bottom of the screen.
The last two selections on the Internet menu, â€œNewsâ€? and â€œCommunityâ€?, will minimize Arcanum to the Electro Dynamoâ€™s task bar and launch the default browser to find web pages for the Arcanum News and Discussion Forums, respectively.
The last selection on the Multiplayer Menu is â€œSetupâ€?, which allows a player to create or change a WON account, as seen in Figure 5-9. One cannot access the Internet Menu without having such an account. It will be necessary to create a unique â€œLog-inâ€? name and password. If you wish, you may also supply an email address, in order to receive News updates for Arcanum.
Playing the game
While in Multiplayer Mode, playing Characters can work cooperatively, forming parties and adventuring together for mutual protection: see the â€œPartiesâ€? section below. Players can also play competitively, by fighting and hindering one another at every opportunity. Players can begin Quests independently, of course, but most quests can only be completed by one player or group of players; a princess only needs to be rescued once! If one player completes such a Quest, it becomes closed and marked as â€œcompleted by another playerâ€? in the Logbooks of other participants in the Game.
Regardless of whether the players choose to work cooperatively or compete, it is not necessary for them to stay in the same local area, nor to follow a proscribed leader. All players are free to move about the world as they wish. The biggest difference between cooperative and competitive play is whether the players are sharing experience points--again, see the â€œPartiesâ€? section below for further details.
Multiplayer Control Interface
Due to time constraints, Sleeping is prohibited in Multiplayer Mode (see below for further details. Ergo, the Sleep button has been replaced, in Multiplayer Mode, by a Multiplayer Control buttons. This button opens an interface that will allow the host to control certain aspects of Multiplayer Mode, such as whether to allow another player to join the game. All players use this interface to send private messages to other players.
When the player first creates the game, the Multiplayer Control interface appears as in Figure 5-10. If someone attempts to join the game upon this server, his or her Character appears without an icon; instead there is a plus button, which the server player can press to allow that Character into the game, as seen in Figure 5-11. Should this Character be considered undesirable in some way, the server player can also press the rightmost button to disconnect (or ban) the player from his server.
Once a player is allowed into the game, he or she can click on another playerâ€™s icon to send a private message using the Message window, as in Figure 5-12. This assumes, of course, that private chats are allowed on this serverâ€”this may not be the case (see Server options above).
Finally, the server operator can also disconnect or even ban a player from his server at any time suring play by pressing the rightmost button in the Multiplayer Control interface next to the playerâ€™s name. A secondary control interface appears in the Message Window (see Figure 5-13); a disconnected player can reconnect immediately, assuming the password has not been changed by the server operator, but a banned player cannot reconnect from his current IP address.
Players in Arcanum can form parties to share in the experience of kills and quests. To form a party, players use the broadcast commands defined in Chapter Three, section 3-5, â€œSocial Interactionâ€?. Once in a party, all experience gained by a single player is divided equally among all other players in his or party which are in his immediate vicinity. For example, if a party member is awarded 1000 experience points and three other members of that party are standing nearby, then all four party members will receive 250 experience points each. However, any party members not in the vicinity gain nothing.
A player can only be a member of one party at a time. Creatures will react to hostilities instigated by one party member by disliking every player in his or her party, which could cause the creature to attack or flee, depending on the circumstances.
There are two important things to note about forming parties. Primus, players do NOT share followers, so they cannot order about the Followers of another player. Secondus, any Alignment Shift caused by a creatureâ€™s death goes to the player who struck the killing blow to the creature. If a Follower struck the killing blow, the Alignment shift goes to his leader.
Death; or, Waiting to Inhale
When a playing Character dies in Multiplayer Mode, the game does not automatically end his or her session. Because another player may attempt to Resurrect the dead player, the game will continue running until that player chooses to quit. If one is resurrected, one can continue playing in this Multiplayer session. If one chooses to quit, one must make or import a new Character for this Multiplayer session.
Differences between single and multiplayer
There are only a few notable differences in how our Game functions in Multiplayer Mode. Chief among these is the matter of Time, and how it is handled; since all of the players must be kept synchronized in the same time frame in a Multiplayer game, no sleeping is possible, and no World Map travel is possible. Accordingly, the Sleep button is removed and the World Map interface is not available. Players will have to walk or teleport anywhere they wish to go in the game; for this reason only, Multiplayer maps will tend to be smaller than single-player maps. There is no technical impediment to prevent someone from making a larger Multiplayer map, but the creator of such a map should remember that the player will have to walk from place to place, and the time required could become prohibitive.
Secondly, Turn-Based Combat is not available in Multiplayer Mode. Because some players may take an inordinate amount of time to complete their turns, and even distant players unaware of the fighting would be forced into Combat Mode, Turn-Based Combat is made unavailable as a Combat option while the Game is in Multiplayer Mode.
Lastly, there are a few Spells to which playing Characters are immune. These Spells include the ever-popular Charm and Dominate Will: the former will not function because the Game does not control player reactions, and the latter because it would wrest control of the Character from the player for an indeterminate amount of time, which was judged unacceptable (as well as downright unamusing) by the designers. Any Spell to which the player is immune is clearly marked as such in its description in the Appendix.
Arcanum User Editing
The documentation on Arcanum User Editing can be found in the Documentation directory on your Installation Disk.