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Multiplayer (2.7)

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Multiplayer is an optional extra feature that allows people to enjoy the online co-operative WolfQuest experience.

Purchasing multiplayer allows players to establish a pack of no more than eight members and participate in various activities throughout the available maps. Unlike the single player campaign, multiplayer offers a free-play environment in one of four game maps.

Whenever a new version of the game is released, the previous version's multiplayer becomes unsupported and is shut off to prevent mixed versions from interacting with each other, preventing players from using older games to bypass any new changes made for optimization, stability or other tweaks in the code. In turn, this encourages players to update and play the newest version so as to continue being able to play online and enjoy new features and improvements with other players. The only (current) exception to this rule is 2.5.1 which remains online and playable, but both user databases are separate.

Unable to start a session or join sessions hosted by other players? Please visit the Current Multiplayer Problems thread. This is usually updated for server-wide problems that affects all players.


Avatar

Main article: Player
2.7 create-a-wolf
It is once again possible to name a wolf avatar (during creation only -- it is not possible to rename an existing wolf!) and gender in multiplayer, however the rules remain in effect for public sessions. Be aware that the events that take place in private sessions regardless of whether playing with friends or strangers is done at the player's own risk. The WolfQuest Team are not responsible for what goes on in an invite-only game.

Players will see wolfname@username when joining someone else's session, or any time another participant joins a host's session. Wolves can utilise one of twenty-five coat colors and variations, with a little extra help from the tinting and brightness bars. Strength, speed and stamina remain customizable.


Sessions


Creating a Session

Creating a multiplayer session is relatively quick and simple, provided playes' computer, firewall and/or router are able to support WolfQuest.[1]

A host may define the game name, chat type, game mode, location, the number of participants able to join their session and the time of day. While playing, time can be changed by pressing Z to enter sleep mode. This will cause a transition for all players, which will be accompanied by a message to show which time of day has been determined. Only the server host may sleep to advance time. They alone possess the ability to warn and kick (which also temporarily blocks) players from their session. Furthermore, they only control the configuration aspects for their own session.


Joining a Session

Most players who cannot create a session are able to join sessions created by other players.

The public lobby will display the game or pack name, how many players have joined the session out of the allocated number of participants allowed to join the server, the host's username, the map the game is based in, game mode and chat type.

The private lobby greatly differs; instead of displaying this information as was once shown up until the release of the second episode, the player must manually enter the game name and password given to them by the host or participants of the session. Please note that game names and passwords are case sensitive.

Public Games are intended for everyone. No exceptions.[2] These servers appear under the public games lobby and can be joined by anyone without any consequences. These games use a filter which prevents the use of disallowed words.
Private Games are intended (and encouraged!) for packs, friends and similar closed groups of players to gather in, without any interruptions from random players and no consequences, essentially being off-the-radar for all but those invited to join. This is ideal if players do not wish to receive an infraction for creating a new open game, but limiting participants to specific players (which is against the multiplayer rules and reportable), which was a consequential last resort due to a bug in version 2.5.1 that was successfully addressed with the update to 2.7. These games are not affected by the filter.[citation needed]

Because they are intended for everyone with no exceptions, saving slots in public servers is not allowed. The WolfQuest Team encourages the use of private games to play with a closed group of players or friends.[3]


Game Types

Game Types allow players to define what their session is all about. Currently, there are only two modes of gameplay:


Pack Life

This is the normal, all-too-familiar session type that allows players to explore, hunt and/or roleplay together within any of the four available maps. This is completely free-roam mode; there are no required missions, quests or objectives besides survival.


Raise Pups

New to 2.7, selecting this mode of gameplay enables the full Survival of the Pack episode and all its missions featured in single player Slough Creek. Played entirely online, players must work together to raise, feed, train, defend and grow a litter of pups with the goal of having at least one surviving puppy by the time the pack has migrated to the summer rendezvous site.

The session ends when the final mission has been completed. During this scenario, there are no designated parents; pups' coats are based on the participants in the session rather than being based off of mates due to the no-mates restriction.


Interactions

Players can interact between one another by way of body language, though these actions are fairly limited. The avatar can wag its tail (J key), howl (H key), play bow (K key), growl (G key) and whine (Y key).[4] Howling will always start or contribute towards an active pack rally.

The chat box allows players to communicate via text input with or without voice chat, and phrase chat.


Pack Rally

Main article: Pack Rally
Strength bonus 2
Unique to multiplayer, if any one player howls, they will initiate a pack rally. Other players must be within range of the wolf who initiated the rally and participate by howling or using interactions to fill the rally bar. If the rally is successful, all players will gain a temporary strength boost for two minutes, which is especially useful during a hunt. Howling consecutive times will not increase the rally any further, but the bonus timer can be refreshed even before it expires. A rally is incremented per player - if one player doesn't join in, then it will fizzle and no strength boost will be given to any player.

Growling and whining do not affect the outcome of a rally.


Activities

Multiplayer pack 2.7

A pack of players in multiplayer.

During multiplayer, a pack of up to five (or less) members may be formed. Activities during multiplayer range from exploration and hunting to roleplay and raising a pack.SC only.

The Slough Creek maps do retain the den-sites, which many players seek out and settle at during multiplayer sessions based in this location. This does not mean mates and mating behaviour is allowed, as anyone reported for doing so may be issued with a warning and/or ban.


Hunting

Players can group together as a pack and hunt prey or try their luck taking down or chasing off predators. Banding together and scavenging is also an option if hunting isn't too rewarding, but beware the scarceness of carcasses in harder difficulty settings as well as the challenge presented by resilient elk as the herd is thinned!


Exploring

Many players like exploring the map with others, whether it's to see what they can find or to find a good place for their wolf to call home. There are numerous Human Impacts to be found in Amethyst Mountain, Slough Creek and Lost River, as well as several scenic locations just waiting to be discovered or to have their views admired.


Role-play

A common sight in the multiplayer lobby are role-play sessions. These range from wolf rp games where players depict wolf behaviour and use (often outdated) pack hierarchy. It is not uncommon to see other roleplay sessions that focus on other species, whether realistic or unrealistic. Cana provided a guide to appropriate wolf roleplay, which can be read here:

How to appropriately roleplay a wolf pack in MP games


Rules & Guidelines

Mp rules (2.7)

A complete screenshot of the multiplayer rules as they appear in-game.

All players are expected to play by the rules set for multiplayer games. Failure to comply is not without consequences.

MP guidelines: http://www.wolfquest.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=93&t=77633

As of 2.7.2, it is possible to report games from the Pack Stats interface and also from the multiplayer lobby. Reports made while in a server will also include a transcript of the chat log for the team's reference. All reports are reviewed by WolfQuest Team Members.
Mp Report (2.7)

The prompt that appears when Report is clicked.




Disciplinary Action

Hosts are able to deal with troublesome players without having to close and restart their session. It is not possible for a host to grant participants with either of these powers.

A warning will alert the defined player that the host does not approve of their behavior or actions, and may act as a deterrent for future problems. Each host has their own tolerance; there is no set number of warnings before a kick will be issued.

A kick will remove the defined player from the session, freeing a slot for another player to join. Be warned that this will block a kicked participant from re-joining and only lasts until the session ends. Players who abuse the function may be contacted by Eduweb.[5]


Account Infractions

Failure to abide by the game guidelines will prompt the WolfQuest Team to take action against rulebreakers and problem players. At the team's disposal are warnings, limitations and bans. At present, these can only be managed and administered at the jurisdiction of loboLoco or Pepper.

Restrictions refers to the loss of privileges applied by the WolfQuest Team due to abuse.
Text chat (and by extension, voice chat) can be disabled for an account.
Accounts can be suspended or deactivated by the team. The account holder is prevented from being able to log in to the affected account.
Warnings and the weight they carry are all taken on a case-by-case basis, each depending on the severity of the infractions a player has committed. If the offense was minor, one warning will be issued; if it was major, a temporary or permanent ban may also be issued along with limitations being enforced.
Either way, warnings act as a deterrent to discourage future misbehavior. An account may receive up to three warnings before it is permanently banned.
Bans are typically permanent and cannot be appealed. The team will only resort to banning if the committed offence broke enough rules (or that enough warnings have been previously instated with no signs of improvement) to warrant this course of action.

Both are account-specific; it is possible to purchase a new key and register a new account after being banned. Steam users may need to get in contact with the team for assistance due to Steam IDs being tethered to WolfQuest accounts.


Mates

Main article: Mate

Mates are not part of the multiplayer experience.[6] Players who refer to another player as their mate or advertising that they are seeking or have no mate can be reported if their interactions and actions together are deemed inappropriate.

As of November 23rd 2016, Eduweb have further clarified their stance on the subject of mates in multiplayer, stating that it is acceptable to roleplay as partners as long as they do not behave in a way that suggests physical interactions. This applies regardless of the species a roleplay is focusing on. Using different terms with the same meaning implied is also disallowed and falls against the rules. WolfQuest is not a dating service!


Chat

2.7 Chat-animated

(Click to enlarge.)

WolfQuest features three different chat options, each granting players a different method of communication with one another in a session. To compensate for the increased capacity, the chatbox has been made a bit bigger.


Text

Text mode officially replaces lexicon, having been shut down some time after the update in December 2015, having been long overdue since the December 2012 update.

While less restrictive than its predecessor, text chat only filters words deemed inappropriate by the WolfQuest Team that are not suitable for young children. While it is common knowledge that the community is composed of teens and adults, the use of profanity or any other rule-breaking behavior is done at players' own risk.

Text chat was initially unavailable in public games when the update launched, due to the long-running history of lexicon's abuse. In recent months, the team have had a change of heart and announced that they will be reinstating text chat in public games, as it was before the release of episode 2.[7] When this patch went live, it also benefitted with the introduction of a new, integrated abuse reporting system, replacing the previous method of collecting screenshots as proof of bad bahevior and sending an e-mail.[8]

Note that players under the effects of COPPA (younger than 13 years old) will not be able to select text chat.


Formatting

Text chat does support formatting or coding to modify how it is displayed. This works like standard HTML or forum BBcode and these options can even be combined.

Effect Input Output Notes
Bold text <b>Type your text here.</b> Type your text here.
Italic text <i>Type your text here.</i> Type your text here.
Colored text <color=VALUE>Type your text here.</color> Type your text here. Replace VALUE
Use color name or #hex code

Anything input correctly will then be previewable in the chatbox before the message is sent. Pressing backspace to erase any part of the code will revert to plain text which will allow the player to edit their message. There is no auto-complete.

A common misconception is that players are "hacking"[9] by making use of this knowledge, but this is false. The game uses a system capable of supporting basic HTML input that has not been disabled by the developers. It would appear that more advanced HTML coding cannot be used.

This section will be updated over time with new findings and supported code.


Phrase

Phrase mode was introduced with the release of episode 2. This mode uses a pre-set list of phrases instead of allowing the player to type in a message. 

This mode was introduced as a back-up in the event that WolfQuest should be discontinued.[10] It was and will continue to be updated to include more subjects and phrases.

This was formerly the only chat type available in public games prior to 2.7.2 and is still the default for COPPA users. It can be used as an optional selection for private games.


Voice

Voice mode is another new feature introduced with the release of 2.7. This chat type allows players to use a microphone to speak with other participants in the session, although players may still use the chat box to input and send text messages to other players if they do not possess a microphone or if they simply do not wish to talk.

Consequently, as it cannot be monitored, entering or talking in a voice chat session is done entirely at players' own risk. Within similar reasons this chat type is unavailable in public games due to legal complications.


Trivia

  • WolfQuest was originally intended as a multiplayer game. This changed as a result of the team spending more time and interest in developing the single player plot, which may have meant there was little time or funding (if not both) to add content to multiplayer for co-op activities, besides hunting and exploring.[11]
  • It has been said before that multiplayer may never have existed at all had it not have been for the demand by players to add in the feature. This is supported by few early topics found in the archive forums.
  • During the development of 2.7, a third game type was available, titled "Wolves vs Elk". This mode would have given players a choice between playing as a wolf, or playing as an elk. As a wolf, the objective would have been to take down the player-controlled elk; as an elk, the objective would have been to survive for as long as possible, or take down a predator. The idea was scrapped due to complications implementing the game mode, so the button disappeared a few builds later.
  • It is now possible for a host to change the time of day during a multiplayer session, without exiting and restarting their game. Like single player, this is accomplished by pressing Z to open the sleep interface.
    • When the host changes the time of day, they will the full sleep animation and normal transition, followed by the get up/stretch animation. Participating players, however, will see a fade transition and a "___ is approaching!" notification informing them which time of day has been selected. For example, if the host selected dawn, Dawn is approaching! will pop up.
  • Interestingly enough, in previous versions of the game, players browsing to public lobby could see the host's username. In 2.7, this was removed because 2.7 usernames are not vetted by WQ admins during the registration process. However, with 2.7.2p7 patch, usernames are once again displayed in the lobby, as an aid for players looking for friends' games (and to avoid players they might wish to avoid).
    • Kicked players cannot re-enter or see the server name, or host username of the server they were kicked out of.
  • A host cannot promote a player to their status if they wish to leave, meaning participating players will be kicked once the session ends. This also means that participants must start a new session of their own or find another game that interests them.
  • As of 2.7.3p2, the ability to define text size has been blocked due to abuse.[12]


References

  1. wolfquest.org • Why can't I connect to all games (getting server errors)?
  2. Cited from wolfquest.org • What should I do if someone won't leave my game? and wolfquest.org • What should I do if people ask/command me to leave a game?
  3. For the in-game news article: http://imgur.com/llyvtbS
  4. WolfQuest manual and in-game tutorial.
  5. wolfquest.org • To kick or not to kick?
  6. wolfquest.org • How do I get a mate in multiplayer?
  7. wolfquest.org • Coming soon: Text chat in public games!
  8. As instructed on the report abuse page- http://wolfquest.org/abuse/index.php and reporting FAQs- 2.5 | 2.7.
  9. http://steamcommunity.com/app/431180/discussions/0/152392786904379258/
  10. Will WolfQuest ever take away the chat lexicon?
  11. loboLoco, 10-Jan-2015
  12. eduweb The chat box would accept font size tags, which changed the size of the text for everyone in the game. A few people abused that by enlarging the font enormously, so it was too big to fit in the chat box and so no text chat displayed at all, which is confusing and annoying to everyone else. So we had to spend some time to block that. Source: http://steamcommunity.com/games/431180/announcements/detail/246972234944707857 8-Feb-2017

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