In it's current state, Stendhal is a free-form rpg, with advancement, but no real goals to give meaning to playing the game. Many players like the free-form nature (I personally play the game as an escape from reality and a social environment), but many would enjoy it more with challenges to work towards. The following are some ideas that could make the game more interesting for the more competitive players.
There are currently lots of quests, and you get items for them. Perhaps some quests could give badges, which would be worn on the avatar or affixed to the name, to allow for easy showing off and bragging. This should be limited to only a few (maybe 5-15) of the most important quests, players can wear them all. They should be scattered across the difficulty spectrum, so not just the highest-level players can get them, maybe targeting a new honor-quest for every 20-40 player levels on average.
This would be the ultimate goal of the game for those who choose to pursue it; others could just play the way they already do. This suggestion is based most strongly on the ascension system from Kingdom of Loathing (a very good webpage-based turn-based rpg, but not my kind of game), which is well engineered to encourage players to pursue it by being glorious and being partially non-destructive to the character that all their hard work went into making. In KoL, a player ascends by completing some quest (I'm not sure what it is). A good candidate for final quest, in my opinion, is putting an Amulet of Yendor at the bottom of the Semos dungeon, which already reminds me of NetHack, the greatest game ever (maybe hyperbole, but it's definitely close). A player could win by bringing it out of the dungeon and sacrificing it in Semos City, and while carrying it, the player should be blocked from teleporting, should take damage, and generally have lots of hardships imposed.
A nice thing about the KoL ascention system is "Hagnk's Ancestral Mini-Storage". When a player ascends, all of their stuff goes there, while the player is reverted to level 1. In addition, the player can choose one of their attributes to make permenant through each ascention they go through. In Stendhal's case, I would suggest that the new character after ascention has a special badge for having ascended, gets to keep some stat (when stats get implemented in Stendhal), and also has an additional quest available at a moderately high level (say, 30-60) to recover items from the previous life. This should give players the ability to win, without fealing like they have to "lose" their character and all their hard work.
This idea was born from the roguelike games, which had an extremely steep learning curve, such that the game progressed from extremely hard to extremely easy as the player gained IRL experience. Conducts allow players to take voluntary challenges to make the game harder. In NetHack, a player starts off with all conducts, and drops them as they are broken, and when the player ascends, the unbroken conducts are shown in the Hall of Fame. Here are a few examples of conducts that could be applied to Stendhal. The format is hierarchial, in that each conduct with children includes all of it's children (and therefore if it's shown in the conduct list, it's children need not be). Question marks for conduct mean I couldn't come up with a good name for it (feel free to do so!)
Pacifist - never killed anything
Honorable Warrior - never killed players
Gladiator - never killed monsters (Probably not practical for ascention, but perhaps for people who train only in the arena it could be an honor)
Fistfighter - never fought with a weapon (not included in pacifist because you can fight without killing)
Loner - never fought in a party (detection might be difficult, but I propose that )
Bare Fighter - never wore armor
Faster - never ate
Vegetarian - never ate meat
Picky Eater - never ate unprocessed food (only compound foods, like pies and sandwiches)
Natural Eater - never ate processed food, opposite of picky eater (only basic stuff: harvestables, things that spawn, and meat/ham)
Traveller - never teleported with scrolls
? - never handled money
Miser - never spent money (only counts from npcs: allows for buying items from players)
Respectful - never took items from a corpse
Also, as more features get added to Stendhal, more conducts could become relevant.
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I like them :)
Let me complete the new RP and we will talk about the new features to add to it.
At our real life meeting we talked a bit about achievements.
Now we are collecting ideas at
and development thoughts on it at
We should take what we can from this post to add to those lists.
I'd like to invite everyone to contribute to the achievements by contributing ideas at
http://stendhalgame.org/wiki/Stendhal_Achievement_Ideas. There are several spot marked with todo like titles for the achievements or nice descriptions.