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Are open pvp + full loot SANDBOX mmorpg's still possible?


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#61 Exodus111   Members   -  Reputation: 148

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:56 PM

/looks at the topic name/There is no PK's in free pvp sandbox games. So there can be no penalty for something which doesn't exist.
Permadeath - it is too severe. Because in pvp game you die alot and heavy penalty will interrupt ingame life (ever-lasting battle, coz this is pvp game, better to say) severely. For example there is full loot in EVE, but ships and modules are mostly cheap, and you may die 5-10 times a day


My point was directed at all the suggestions involving in-game incarceration, or a PK debuff of some sort as a sort of limiting factor to balance the playing field.
It wont work, because players have an incentive to find a way around it, and they will.


This game is casual and carebear like any other casual mmo. Free PvP game starts from big open world without any carebear hideouts.


The point here is trying to create game with open pvp, that would actually work.

Full open PvP from the start, would mean that u would die immidietly. There would be someone next to u, as u started the game just killing new players as they entered.
Before the game would load u would be dead.

Unless u can start the game in different, more random, locations, giving u a few minutes to load and trying to familiarize urself with the game before dying to a roaming group.

In this setting there is no character progression, or at the very best an unfair character progression, because those ppl who started the game in pre-launch would have a progression advantage over everyone else.

So in a game like that character progression is really just in the way, and might as well be removed or minimalized.
The game would also suffer from any advanced combat mechanics, specifically in the player control, and would work a lot better with a much more intuitive combat system then most MMO's, or indeed RPGs.

With no character progression, and a focus on intuitive combat mechanics, u might as well forgo the whole idea of an MMO and just make another multiplayer FPS.


The point is there has never been an MMO that FOCUSED on world pvp, only MMOs that allowed them, u need to build an MMO around the idea of an open world PvP setting that would work as a whole, not exclude all other features, cuz ud just end up with a shooter really.

-Exo

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#62 Zouflain   Members   -  Reputation: 532

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:05 PM

*Sigh* this thread again. Forgive me if I get a bit testy, but there's some obvious falsehoods that keep getting repeated. I don't mean to pick on you, Exodus, you're just the last person who repeated some of them. I may say "you" but I mean the people who keep making these arguments despite blatant evidence against them.

The point here is trying to create game with open pvp, that would actually work.

Full open PvP from the start, would mean that u would die immidietly.There would be someone next to u, as u started the game just killing new players as they entered.
Before the game would load u would be dead.

Unfortunately this is just patently wrong, and it's not difficult for a full anyone/anywhere pvp game to remedy this. I mean no offense, but it really seems like you haven't investigated the actual mechanics behind the variety of games (past and present) that have had exactly such a system and have not involved dying immediately. Eve Online, for instance, allows you to target someone the moment they enter space in their poor little noobship and instapop them with smarties (that is, kill a nooby the very first second they're in space in the super-high security zone), but this doesn't often happen. Why? Because the game makes it financially silly to do such a thing and, doing so is typically more profitable for the noob (who can respawn and loot your wreckage) than you. Good design mitigates griefing and does not require you to lose anyone/anywhere pvp.

In a game with truly open pvp, permadeath and full loot, attacking a noob would be devastating if there were just a few guards around who attacked aggressors (ala Eve's Concord/sentries, or Darkfall's guards). The noob loses the time it took him to load up. The idiot griefer loses all the gear it took him to get to where he was.

In this setting there is no character progression, or at the very best an unfair character progression, because those ppl who started the game in pre-launch would have a progression advantage over everyone else.

Not really. In general, it's not the beta or pre-launch players who lead in character progression, it's those with a lot of extra time on their hands (for instance, I was a GW2 pre-launch player and I still have yet to hit level cap) or those who are more efficient if it's a grind based game. In games without progression, like almost every FPS out there, then players are naturally divided into categories by skill/experience. Neither set up is inherently "unfair."

And ironically, it's the pre-launch players who write the guides for all the post-launch players to follow, and by doing so, drastically improve their efficiency. Pre-launchers are actually at a slight disadvantage, because they have to discover everything by trial and error without anyone to tell them "don't bother doing quest X, it takes 16 hrs and gives you 0.2 gold."

The point is there has never been an MMO that FOCUSED on world pvp

Darkfall. Haven and Hearth. Eve. Dear god the dev blogs on Eve go on and on about how integral blowing each-other's faces off is to the economy. And the economy! It's like Adam Smith's wet dream. Stop making these statements, please. Please?

#63 Exodus111   Members   -  Reputation: 148

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:30 PM

U can use me as example thats fine, but understand that I was reffering to the comment made by the poster above me who said "Free PvP game starts from big open world without any carebear hideouts." So u kinda jumped into them middle here.

That means Darkfall is out, since it had (No guards) but lightning towers protecting towns, old UO is out, as is Mortal Online and Shadowbane as all of those had guarded beginner zones as well.

Eve is different by virtue of its core game mechanics.. which brings me to this....

Unfortunately this is just patently wrong, and it's not difficult for a full anyone/anywhere pvp game to remedy this


The key word being REMEDY, like in the example I originally posted two posts up, as I said the idea of an open world PVP needs to be a part of a bigger whole.
Eve Online is a game about player politics and large scale sci-fi trade.
Darkfall is a game about guild vs guild poltical warfare where owning and siegeing player towns is the core mechanics of the game, world pvp is an incidental, necessary but certainly not primary part of both of these games.

Darkfall is also a good example of late comers being utterly useless after the initial push, which is another effect of this mechanic that needs to be handled. (Darkfall made it worse by it skill system though).

And when I say that the early players will have an easier time on the server, i mean those that are "hardcore" players, not all of them will be, but those that are will have a benefit no other players can ever match. This is true for all MMOs, even something like wow. Early players get there first, and has an advantage in building their guilds and so on.

-Exo

#64 JoshNet83   Members   -  Reputation: 137

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:29 AM

Since I am developing a game that is specific to this topic, I figure I would weigh in on my design choices for this genre:

The problem with permadeath/open pvp:
The problem with most people's thinking on permadeath/pvp is that it's applied to a game that's very similar to 'modern MMORPGs'. They feature long grinds, repetitive game content, lack of 'low level fun', dying due to lag, griefers, etc. It also spawns 'take no risks' gameplay habits. Players will hide in safe areas, fight only low-level creatures, and generally avoid any risk of death. Permadeath can only be successful in games that are designed from the ground up for it. It brings numerous problems to the table that most online games have not solved. As a result, permadeath/pvp often hampers a player's ability to enjoy all of the game's content. The infamous 'rage quit' often occurs as a result of losing a high level character, which damages the overall playerbase and puts a sour taste in the victim's mouth.

Solutions I am implementing to overcome the negatives of permadeath:
For the most part, any 1 or 2 of the below solutions fall apart without the rest of the features to counter-balance each one. Making a permadeath game fun and rewarding is a careful balancing act.

1. Accept that players are going to die a lot, and reward them for doing so. This is the 'roguelike/realm of the mad god/arcade' solution that is often implemented. When a player dies, give them a 'score' and show them their achievements. Unlock new play styles, encourage them to try new character combinations, and provide new ways to enjoy the game. This will often create a 'okay, just one more time' mindset that will keep a player hooked to try to unlock new things each time they play. Moreover, if a player is scored and put in a 'hall of fame' list, they have some bragging rights and some remembrance of their character that they can show off to their friends even after death.

2. Implement a combat system that allows a character to defend himself in the event of disconnects/lag/AFK. This is one of the trickiest solutions, and not always recommended. Automated combat routines can be a cool feature though, when implemented properly. The idea is that if the player is not entering commands, his character will still continue to perform 'auto combat' routines. These routines could either be designed by the player themself, or by the game's creator. In my own online game, I have provided a scripting language that allows players to fully customize their character's combat routines. In traditional RPGs, this system is relatively easy to implement, though it may never be as smart as a 'real player'. However, for action-based 'twitchy' games, this solution may not work.

3. Design a game world that is equally fun and challenging at 'high level' as it is at 'low level'. Sandboxes are the perfect environment for permadeath games, because they often let the player loose to do anything that they feel like doing in the game. It is important to ensure that there are very few repetitive activities that encourage constant 'grinding'. Huge timesinks that grow a player's character will only infuriate them more so if they end up dying. Moreover, when they create a new character, they should be able to jump back into activities that they WANT to do, rather than repeat activities that they don't want to do. Advancement in the game should be based more on material possessions and 'the way they play their character' rather than 'I killed 1000 orcs'. There should also probably be diminishing returns on the character's growth, so that 'new characters' can close the gap with older characters a lot faster. (but still allow older characters to grow in 'strength' slowly)

4. It's important to encourage the player to still 'take risks'. If the player can advance simply by doing low-risk activities, there is much less incentive for them to take risks that could involve losing their character. There should be plenty of 'high risk' activities in the game that offer the player rewards that are not obtainable through low-risk means. The risk for these tasks should be clear, so that the player feels responsible for their decisions, rather than being punished for unknown random gameplay mechanics. Finally, for players that take these risks, the game should broadcast their achievements to give other players something to aspire to. In other words, high-risk actions should be visible to others.

5. Killing other players should have consequences. However, the consequences should not be so negative that it completely hampers a player's will to fight other players. In a permadeath game, the consequences will often be that if you kill by the sword, you will die by the sword. If you kill other players, chances are that someone will kill you as a result and you will lose your character. Something that I believe works is a 'bounty system', which encourages other players to seek 'murderers' to claim bounties. There could also be bonuses/incentive for a player to create a new character to hunt down and get revenge on his killer. Lastly, everyone in the game should have a fighting chance. It should be possible for groups of players to take down any single player, even if the group are 'newbies' compared to a single veteran player. This will prevent extremely 'high level' players from camping or griefing new players.

6. Losing all of your items should not be a huge deal. One of the games that did this properly was Ultima Online back in it's prime. It hurt to lose all your stuff, but you could be back on your feet within an hour usually. This is because there were diminishing returns on the quality of equipment. The difference between a 'Sword' and a 'Sword of Power' was decent, but you could still kill many things with a plain sword. Rare and awesome equipment should be present in the game, but it should not be so powerful and rare that it is completely demoralizing to lose it. As I said earlier in this paragraph, Ultima Online was an excellent example of the careful balance between items and equipment impacting full-loot gameplay.

7. Recreating a character should take less a minute. They should be able to 'save the template' for the last character to easily get back into the game. They should be able to easily use the same character name and appearance as well. Death may take all of their character's acievements, skills, and property, but it's important that they get back into the game without a click-fest. Moreover, once inside the game, they should not be forced to perform any tedious 'newbie tasks' that actual new players may have undergone. These can be account flags or options to bypass tutorials, newbie quests, and so forth.

If you agree on any of my above points, please follow my progress as I develop 'Topia Online' ( http://www.topiaonline.com ). I am exhibiting many of the above examples in this upcoming MMORPG.

#65 Jon Gregory   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:58 PM

I think so, and I am currently working on a project to do it right. It will be hard work but I have hope that I can save this niche, wish me luck. :)

#66 Platinum_Dragon   Members   -  Reputation: 162

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 07:31 PM

In http://topiaonline.w...paces.com/Races, you have Beholder and Mind Flayer which are trademarked by Wizards of the Coast. Are you trying to get your team sued, or will you pay for rights to use them.

Anyways, a permadeath style gameplay should minimize levels and focus character progression based upon gear. Gear should be the focus over character levels because it's easier to grind gear by luckily kill another player than to spend time leveling up. Thus, players will be "forced" for form safety groups. Factions will develop.

Edited by Platinum_Dragon, 10 November 2012 - 07:35 PM.

I use QueryPerformanceFrequency(), and the result averages to 8 nanoseconds or about 13 cpu cycles (1.66GHz CPU). Is that reasonable?
I though that the assembly equivalent to accessing unaligned data would be something similar to this order:
  • move
  • mask
  • shift
  • move
  • mask
  • shift
  • or
So it seems reasonable to say that it takes 14 cycles for unaligned data since we'll have to do the series of instructions once to access and once to assign?

#67 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3551

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:25 PM

What you are really talking about is in game murder that gets very close to griefing, if you want to support that kind of "gameplay" you have to find a way to make it fun for the victim

Basically you need to:
1) Allow the "Sheep" to choose when to put themselves as risk. (Having free pvp everywhere is a bad idea)
2) Reward the "Sheep" for playing the "Sheep" role, (i.e , putting a non combat oriented character in harms way)
3) Keep the cost of losing small. (Don't mix wow style equipment farming with free loot pvp).
4) Give combat oriented characters a reason to hunt down murderers or protect the "Sheep" in a way that isn't exploitable, (Most bounty systems fail because the murderers tend let their friends kill them for the bounty, you'd need a better system)

My suggestions are:

1) Don't have free pvp everywhere, keep the some/half/most areas safe.
2) Make it rewarding to gather resources (a task that shouldn't be possible with a purely combat oriented character) in the pvp zones, (more or higher quality resources)
3) Make it possible for guilds or factions to control land in the pvp zones, (build guardposts, hire npc guards, etc) and fight for resource control, (This pushes the "wolves" towards a bandit ,commando or mercenary role)


This is how Dark Souls is set up.

When you reverse your hollowing (you play as an undead) and revert to human form, it allows you to summon NPCs or other players for help, kindle your checkpoints so they give you 10 potions instead of 5, and dramatically increases the loot drop rates from enemies. It's always in your benefit to stay in human form.

However, it also allows other players to invade your game! That's the risk you take. At any time while you're playing, you can get a message that another player is invading your instance of the world as a black phantom, and they actively hunting you down. You never know who it is, or how powerful they are relative to you. You just tun a corner and there they are standing there glowing red.

Then it's a fight to the death. If you lose, then you lose your human form and all your souls. But as usual, you have one chance to go and pick them back up.

I think it's a fair risk. The other day someone came into my game, helped me beat a tough boss, and helped me beat an NPC invader, and now I'm using the loot from that as my main gear ever since. staying in human form is a good risk vs reward thing.

And if you don't like it, just don't return to human form. I usually bank my humanity items until I need them to upgrade checkpoints anyways, so I'm invisible to random invaders.

#68 wodinoneeye   Members   -  Reputation: 775

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:10 PM

UO lost approx 30 million dollars because they were poor at creating any kind of solution to the griefing problem over the period of years
$10month * 12 month * 5 years * 50000 players (new players continuously dropping out of the game early largely because of griefer issues)

No skill was involved in doing newbie killing, so any idiot could do it with impunity, The only solution the company came up with was duplicating the whole world map to have a PvP allowed one and a PvP blocked one. The 'PvP 'world' was virtually deserted.

The 'wolf vs 'sheep' oriented game doesnt work if there are no 'sheep' (and the person who called them hyenas is close to the truth - but in my opinion they were more immature/mental deficients and the disinterested people who ran the game who facilitated their dim behavior 'idiots').

Real wolves then chase out the PvP-wannabees (the cowardly curs) and virtually noone is left paying.(not a great business model).

Edited by wodinoneeye, 15 November 2012 - 06:12 PM.

--------------------------------------------Ratings are Opinion, not Fact

#69 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:15 AM

I think in summary so far we can say that it's not possible to have popular game if it's full loot and open open pvp.
It's possible to get a small playerbase of sheeps into such a game if you add a lot of good pve features to it and makes it uniue and different to other games.

Like haven and hearth or upcoming salem.. the only mmorpg that is doing well in this genre imo.
It appears they have "a lot" of sheep in that game.
It's still a niche game though with just a microscopical fraction of the amount of players that a consent based pvp system game.
And as soon as someone makes a similar game to h&h or salem but without open pvp or permadeath then they will lose the sheep leaving it with a micro amount of wolfs just who will stop playing soon after as well.

Also it's not true what some people are saying about wannabe wolfs and real wolfs..
as in that wannabe wolfs only hunt sheep but stay away from real wolfs.

They arent really scared about fighting against "real" wolfs.. its just not as fun.
I cant explain why exactly it just gives a much better feeling killing a helpless innocent player whos having so much fun mining ore or killing some mobs.
call it shadenfreude if you want lol

i am looking forward to world of darkness still but damn they are taking their sweet time developing it.
really wonder how that game will turn out.

#70 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 29729

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:18 AM

I think in summary so far we can say that it's not possible to have popular game if it's full loot and open open pvp.

At the time it was mentioned on the first page, DayZ (full loot, PvE, completely unrestricted PvP, permadeath) had 800K players in alpha. Now it's up to 1.3M players in alpha. At $30 to play, that's about $40M worth of popularity Posted Image

#71 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 933

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:14 PM

I think in summary so far we can say that it's not possible to have popular game if it's full loot and open open pvp.

At the time it was mentioned on the first page, DayZ (full loot, PvE, completely unrestricted PvP, permadeath) had 800K players in alpha. Now it's up to 1.3M players in alpha. At $30 to play, that's about $40M worth of popularity Posted Image


I think the distinction people are missing is comparing other kinds of MMOs to MMORPGs. DayZ is actually more of an MMO than most post WoW "MMORPG" games, but its far LESS of an RPG. In fact its not really at all.

No one in DayZ EXPECTS to live for ever, IE make it to level 80 in an MMORPG. And from my understanding there really isn't a leveling experience. I didn't really look into it too deeply.

There is really nothing a week or month old player in DayZ can't do that a 5 year player can do.

Losing everything is much more significant in an RPG game, even if its only gear and not 10% experience drops and what not.

#72 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 29729

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:09 PM

I think the distinction people are missing is comparing other kinds of MMOs to MMORPGs. DayZ is actually more of an MMO than most post WoW "MMORPG" games, but its far LESS of an RPG. In fact its not really at all.

RPGs are games where you act out the role of a fictional character. Character based naratives often involve "character progression", where the character changes throughout the story. In many RPGs, this is implemented by an XP or "levelling" system. So, XP is a common trope in the RPG genre, but it in no way defines it. What defines it is role play.

For example, Realm of the Mad God is a perma-death MMO with experience/levelling/inventories, but there's no real role playing. Your character makes progress, yes, but the core mechanic is a "bullet hell" game. At no point do you have to act our the role of a character.
DayZ's core mechanic is a survival horror FPS, with character progression via an inventory. However, whenever you encounter another survivor, the game is all about role play. Unlike most FPS games that just let your control your body/arms, it also lets you independently turn your head from your arms, and talk from your character's mouth, which allows for a great deal of acting. Some people choose to role-play as bandits who rob others for essentials before letting them go with their basic gear, others role-play crazed axe murderers, others role-play heroic medics responding to calls for help, others role-play the selfish loner who shoots his new friend in the back for a can of beans, others role-play kidnappers...
Searching for DayZ stories threads brings up so many interesting characters, plots and quests, for a game that's supposedly not about role playing ;)

There is really nothing a week or month old player in DayZ can't do that a 5 year player can do.

Yes, so basically you can hit the "level cap" in about 12 hours instead of 12 months. That's a somewhat sensible design choice when you're making a perma-death game where the average life expectancy is 1 hour. If it took 12 months to reach the 'level cap' it probably wouldn't be very popular.

Edited by Hodgman, 23 November 2012 - 10:35 PM.


#73 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 383

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:20 AM

DayZ still provides an example of how it's done right. Just make a level system where you get xp for scavenging instead of normal means, and make it so that leveling has as much as an effect as getting better equipment currently does, and several more tweaks, and it'll satisfy the requirement.

However, that doesn't change the fact that an rpg is not defined by its roleplay.

How brilliant of you. You noticed that the acronym was originally for role-playing game, and then you took role-playing for its literal meaning, and thought that despite the fact that everyone else meant something else when they used the term rpg, that an rpg was all about a mechanic vague enough to define pretty much every game out there.

We all know that when the poster referred to an mmorpg, he wasn't talking about the roleplay. You're just trying to "correct" him. Please, lurk moar. We've already been over this.

#74 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:11 PM

Sinze we have come to conclusion of that it's not possible.

We could venture further into the subject of what kind of pvp system or how to design it so it's "the second best" of open pvp with player looting.
that you could predict to become a popuplar AA mmorpg with sheep and wolf

Edited by glhf, 24 November 2012 - 05:25 PM.


#75 paulscott   Members   -  Reputation: 156

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:38 AM

It is very possible, you just can't design your game for the predators and scavengers.

You need to design it for the "prey", they need to see open PvPer and loot loss as a benefit to themselves. Truly controlling territory, increasing the importance of crafting, changing how politics work, and similar. Funnily enough your "prey" gladly ends up more hardcore than predators and scavengers since they're perfectly happy removing banking and safe storage mechanics, living in MMO worlds where they can be attacked while offline, and losing a pretty high level of investment in facilities/equipment rather than just gear.

#76 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3551

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:42 PM

It might work in a Mad Maxx style world, or zombie scenario because everything is in ruin, and it's all finders keepers.

But the concept is flawed for several reasons.

First off---

The so called victims are supposed to be scavenging stuff. Well, that's an investment. People in general make low risk investments that are likely to pay off in the future. Saving up and buying a house is a safe investment because even though anyone can kick down your door and burn it to the ground, we have checks and balances to stop that from happening. The odds of losing your investment here are low, and even then, you have insurance. Any investment that has a high risk of not paying off down the road, or is likely to just disappear, is a bad investment, and a waste of time, energy, and resources.

Second---

There is no reason for the behavior of the PVP player, online or off. It's behavior that is incompatible with the concept of of any life form. The goal of any life form is to survive, adapt, and reproduce. Any time something stands in the way of that goal, the life form will band together and eliminate it. Doesn't matter if you are a person,an ant, a polar bear, or a virus. The second a member of any community goes into business for itself and takes any action that is contrary to it's survival or reproductive abilities, it's over for them. The only exception is when there is some kind of artificial barrier that stops nature from taking it's course.

This is anti-social, defective behavior, and the consequences are permanent.

So you'd have a situation trying to simulate people taking on high risk, no payoff investments for the amusement of people who enjoy consequence free incorrect behavior. It doesn't add up, so it doesn't catch on.

#77 paulscott   Members   -  Reputation: 156

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:11 PM

If you've played any online empire building game you'll see that generally it doesn't turn into a mad max world. You'll see pacts and factions form, sometimes chivalry, and all sorts of social goodies. Mostly from just two reasons a high level of investment AND players are always online even when not logged in. If you can get these two reasons in something a bit closer to a traditional MMO it opens up a lot of lee way in the PvP environment.

#78 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4718

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:49 AM

Permadeath is interesting. [...] another character that is lawful, can just play his other character

That, and more seriously, griefers will attempt to trick people into being flagged as aggressors so they lose their character, permanently.

Also, imagine someone having access to someone else's character. This might happen when people share accounts, which is against the ToS in almost every game but still happens more or less regularly. If your character is muted or banned from gameplay for a day ban because your roommate called someone names or kept spawn-killing newbies, that's one thing. If he loses your best armour, that's another. If your character is permanently dead because your friend tried to gank a digger and was unlucky enough to have a bypasser defend the other person, it's yet another story. That's the fabric drama is made of, both on the forum and in real life.

Also, what happens in the light of character hijacking due to guessable passwords, social engineering, or just normal human stupidity? This, too, happens more often than one would believe. Now, if someone steals all your gold and your Sword of flea killing +8 on your level 150 character and customer support tells you "sorry, we cannot replace lost items", then that's a high price to learn choosing a better password next time. If you get a temporary ban because your character was used in another scam, that's also something you'll probably learn from.
However, if your characer is gone forever because your guy was killed in a PvP fight when you didn't control him, and it's just the way the game mechanics work, then it will be a real challenge encouraging you to pay you money for that game again, ever.

#79 BCullis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1813

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:59 PM

I can appreciate a high-risk game environment, that's what most FPS multiplayer is based on anyways. I think Hodgman put it best when analyzing DayZ: the level cap doesn't represent a huge investment by the player, so having accomplished something in gameplay only to lose the avatar of that accomplishment doesn't come with quite the sting of losing the embodiment of 6 months of your life.

The takeaway from this whole discussion should include: permadeath/open pvp/free looting CAN work, but it needs specific environmental and gameplay factors to foster a continuous playerbase.

Your standard MMORPG fare (at least, before the F2P boom) rewarded people for longevity of playtime, because the developers made more money the longer you paid for your account. That meant a lot of the trophies and sought-after "wins" were cleverly disguised time sinks. Ridiculously low drop-rate items, 250-step recipes and raid ladders, etc. No one (without the guarantee of victory) would take that much of an investment into a battle with the potential of losing it, or wear it around if a poorly timed connection lag coincided with a bandit raid on their house. So for most MMORPGs, full-on pvp just doesn't fit.

Designing specifically for the potential of unrestricted hostility means lowering or recalibrating the investment level. In DayZ you can revel in a long-lived character that's been around for *gasp* an entire day! Another thought is to have short-lived persistence: the game world resets every month, bringing everyone back to 0, and perhaps your accomplishments in the last life net you some manner of (non compounding) bonuses but nothing overpowering.

I think the resistance by most "carebear" players (a group I'd easily fall in 9 games out of 10) stems from the thought of unchecked infliction of loss on their achievements. People do primarily play games for the escapist element: challenges and heroics in a system you can learn and eventually master without losing anything but time, with no repercussions in reality. Getting mopped up in an FPS deathmatch is a loss of up to an hour or so. Getting your 3-year strong-bond MMO hero wiped out because someone found you while you were mining or up getting a sandwich: that potential just adds stress to a recreational activity.

Those are some loosely connected thoughts, I'll just stop here.
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#80 Maclav   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:01 PM

This, so much this.

It is very possible, you just can't design your game for the predators and scavengers.

You need to design it for the "prey"



Another thing that I find missing is that it should be much easier to run away from an encounter than it is to kill someone. If you are out in the world, you should have a reasonable expectation of making it back. This means that even if you are only moderately skilled and are jumped by PvPGodIncarnate, that you have a good chance to get away intact with nothing but a bruised ego.

The "sheep" must feel like they have tools to deal with and escape non-consensual PvP situations reliably. The Wolves should be the ones working their ass off for the kill.

Edited by Maclav, 28 November 2012 - 12:02 PM.





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