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About 9 months ago I posted a thread about my Digiverse universe here on the worldbuilding reddit.
Alot about the world has changed since then, the entire way the game works really.
Here is the jist of the world.
Digiverse is a full dive virtual reality massively multiplayer online roleplaying game set in the near future. Like stories in the same genere that have a serious event that creates conflict like .hack or Sword Art Online, Digiverse is a story that focuses on the world, organizations/guilds and players in that world.
The primary moving event is caused by monsters in this world that need to be slain. To understand why certain monsters are a problem, we need to discuss the backstory and the game itself.
A major competitor to the world's most successful operating system created a product that became popular and widely adopted in just a few months. Digiverse was a project developed in secret as a default game for the operating system. The game is a pay to play game with a small monthly fee.
This game uses a simple technology to read the position of the eyes to navigate user interface elements. Playing the game only requires the player to look in the direction they would like to move, and to speak aloud a short list of simple commands.
inventory, close, open, activate, friend, enemy, brandish, silence, throw, hide, cover…etc
All players start with a set of equipment, and have the goal of defeating monsters. Monsters in the beginning of the game are easy to kill, and give basic crafting materials.
Later game monsters are large, powerful, and complex. They have powers and abilities that are unfair to the player and difficult to overcome. The game is about working with others to overcome the challenges these creatures present.
Each time you kill a monster a higher rating than you, your character will gain 1 experience. When you have gained 7 experience, your rating will increase by 1. Your rating determines the stat bonus multiplier for your equipment, your HP, and certain gameplay features like vehicles, player homes, and guild ownership. If you die, you will lose all progress to your next rating point, as well as half of the durability of your equipment. If durability reaches 0, the equipment will be reduced in quality and must be recrafted or upgraded to restore its full potential.
The soft cap for this rating is 1000. After this the power of creatures is no longer linear. This is Digiverse's end game. A rating 1100 monster is twice the stats and damage reduction of a rating 1000 monster. An R2000 creature has 100 times the stats. A server wide effort is required to defeat a monster of this magnitude. Damage would only be dealt to it during criticals. If it doesn't oneshot you during its 8 hour rampage, you would still need to defeat 6 more of them without dying to increase your rating.
Because later monsters simply cannot be defeated alone, players are incentivized to help others gain power to assist them in the late game. Fighting monsters still gives materials to help upgrade gear so progression can still be gained from grinding rating for other players.
On top of this, the crafting system is expansive. Equipment has no upper potential to its upgrade path. Each time an upgrade is made, the stats increase by a small amount, a useful random perk or passive skill is added; and the next rank is harder to achieve than the last. Some of these requirements are obsurd and require trust.
Trade this weapon to another player so that they may use this weapon to kill 10 monsters of a heigher rating. Afterward, is weapon may be upgraded.
Additionally, players can build structures, houses, towns, gathering locations, animal pens, and stables. They can tame these animals to mount them, or small animals to fight alongside players or travel over land, air, or sea. Player housing extends to guild locations and control zones.
Players may control the zones in order to manufacture or produce materials. Players can work together take over zones owned by other guilds. 6 players who share a faction must stand unoppsed next to a control zone for 10 minutes to trigger a 1 hour control timer. If they survive for 1 hour within the control zone against all incoming opposition, they will own that zone. It will need to be retaken by the original owner in the same way. Outside of this system, PvP is not possible. Though player rading of resource caches, convoys, and player owned structures is permitted if not protected.
The zones are spaced regularly between Digiverse's 50 or so biomes and gameplay areas. Each area has creatures and materials unique to it. A lack of fast travel requires a player to use fast and powerful creatures to fly across continents, or to have them shipped from one region to another with the use of NPC or player convoys.
Almost all of the game's content is submitted and created by the players and developers. This is voted on with a karma system based on the player rating. Players can vote in changes to the game for monster and item additions, new game play mechanics, stat tweeks, and balence changes. This is changed dynamically, in real time. No stopping of the game to update. The changed file is streamed directly to the game directory midplay.
All parts of the game are managed by an artificially intelligent deep neural network, called Myror. This logic can determine and modify material displayed to the user to change behaviors or to impart experiences. Since this GAN can read the pplayer's heartrate and eye movements through the heatset. It knows what excites the player, scares the player, what the player finds relaxing, and pleasurable. It can then procedurally generate content from the bank of submissions in order to customize the gameplay experience for each individual serverwide.
This works well until it is discovered that, using the content creation addon for Digiverse, some people falling asleep with the headset on, allow this GAN to read the eye movements and ideomotor response of a sleeping individual to create a creature that said person is visualizing in their dreams or nightmares; submitting them to the public voting system to be included in game.
The Myror then pulls these nightmarish creatures to go up against unexpecting players. They are uncanny valley enough to cause cardiovascular stress on the body through relentless and methodical in game pursuit, leading to a heart attack and death.
Because of the control given to the complex operations of the game management system, the data where the creatures are contained is not an easily removeable file, but part of the layers of artificial neurons themselves. It is now part of the way the GAN determines the best method to inact opposition the players.
It thinks it is doing good by finally giving the player something that by appearance alone, they have to overcome.
Assistance comes to the player in the form of another artificial network, Holo. She allows the submission of more complex verbal commands, player skills, stylish moves, and newly constructed defense structures to be executed; added to the game in the most recent update.