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Author Topic: Treasure Maps and Buried Treasure  (Read 3403 times)
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« on: January 30, 2010, 09:57:59 AM »

I feel that one of the major areas which is lacking in Shartak is game-generated content. By which I mean tasks or challenges set by the game as opposed to thought up by players. Whilst the near-unlimited potential for player-generated content is one of the game’s attractions, not everyone wants to interact with others, and the lack of reward other than personal satisfaction for achieving your own targets doesn’t always encourage enterprise. Which is basically a long-winded way of saying you shouldn’t always have to make your own entertainment.

This is intended to be implemented alongside the Spirit Quests suggestion, to compliment and balance it. It could just as easily stand alone though, so there are two possible versions suggested here.

Version 1 (in conjunction with Spirit Quests)

A new item would be added to Outsider Traders’ inventory - Treasure Map. These would be generated randomly, less frequently than backpacks. They would sell for a fair amount, more than backpacks. Only one Treasure Map can be carried at any one time, and they cannot be traded back to the Trader (“I’m not buying that tatty scrap of paper.” etc etc.)

When a Treasure Map is purchased, a buried treasure is generated in a random location on the map, at the maximum depth. Only the bearer of the map can dig it up. To do this, a very deep hole needs to be dug, and then an additional action would be required to retrieve the treasure. “Your shovel strikes something hard, and you can make out the outline of a chest. You haul it out of the hole and break open the lock.” Only the bearer of the map can find the treasure – anyone else just sees a very deep hole.

Natives would require Outsider Knowledge to use a Treasure Map. To find the treasure, the player has to follow the directions indicated by the Treasure Map. This would work in the same way as marked locations on the map; a message would appear beneath the map interface ‘according to your map the treasure is located a great distance to the south-west,’ ‘according to your map the treasure is located right here!’

The treasure itself consists of anything between heavy swords to a blunt cutlass, including varying amounts and combinations of gold, charms, drinks, weapons and so on. The better treasure should be rarer, but not so rare that people are discouraged from bothering. 100XP would also be granted, in line with that gained by trading with foreign traders. The Treasure Map would then be discarded. “As it is of no further use, you crumple up the map and toss it into the hole”

To prevent the island (and thus the database) being littered with treasure that no-one has any intention of finding, Treasure Maps will degrade over time – I would be in favour of less than a week, to prevent characters idling out with them. “You attempt to decipher the map directions, but they have become illegible and you discard it in disgust.”

A statistic would be added to profiles and statistics pages – ‘Treasure Found’ and ‘Top Treasure Hunters’ respectively, to encourage competition.


Maps bought from Outsider towns generate treasure buried near Native villages – this would tie in with the flavour text on the main page.
Maps bought from the Shipwreck would generate treasure on a beach square – what with them being pirates and all.
Pirates would have a slightly better chance of finding better treasure, seeing as how it’s one of their favourite pastimes.
Rather than the treasure’s location being a constant, you would have to click on the Treasure Map item to receive the message - making it slightly more AP intensive but also less intrusive if the treasure hunt wasn’t your main objective at the time.

Version 2 (Stand Alone)

Basically as above, except that Treasure Maps are available from all Traders, and natives do not require Outsider Knowledge to read them.

If implemented, this would provide a challenge for both experienced and new players. It’s all very well setting yourself a target of 100 outsiders killed or 50 tigers, but when the only reward is the XP gained in the process, it can be a struggle to keep your motivation. By being given a clear goal, it gives players something to aim for. Any amateur student of psychology will tell you that structure and clear guidelines are very important to proper development. It would also give a reason to actually bother buying the Digging skill, which along with Haggling is almost completely pointless.

Most importantly, it fits neatly with the theme and mechanics of the game, if I do say so myself, and shouldn’t be a massive burden to code – a relatively simple matter of flags and a few additional item/action codes. Given that the introductory text on the main page of Shartak talks about finding the natives’ treasure and exploring and yet there is no real mechanism for doing this, this would make a lot of sense.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 10:00:09 AM by Iceman » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2010, 03:31:40 PM »

I like it.

Newblings could receive one treasure map from the trader upon completion of their tutorial.

Tom Failur
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2010, 03:51:56 PM »

Quests are things which have been suggested several times and I'm in support of them. Targets set by the game give new players some idea of a possible direction and give experienced players something to do.

However, to keep them fresh would take a fair bit of involvement from Simon or someone else behind the scenes.

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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2010, 08:28:48 PM »

Totally in favor of the version 1 thing. Great idea.

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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2010, 10:02:51 PM »

This has been added to feature votes, together with the Spirit Quests suggestion.
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