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SabataS

Member Since 30 Jun 2008
Offline Last Active Apr 15 2012 06:58 AM

#4807341 MMO Worldbuilding

Posted by SabataS on 06 May 2011 - 07:28 AM

Saying that 2D games is "being lazy developer" is just as closed minded as not accepting innovation and listening to players/customers.

Dont judge all games because many of other indie developers produce bad, sometimes horrible games using 2D artwork, this happens simply because 2D is cheaper and more people are able to produce it.

Living sample: Dofus and Wakfu fron Ankama, end of discussion from my side as I dont like this kind of arguments.


#4804248 MMO Worldbuilding

Posted by SabataS on 28 April 2011 - 08:30 PM

I'll return to our topic sometime again sunandshadow, certainly been interesting to discuss the systems and ideas, dont want to publicly post all the rest of them just now so maybe we can discuss them in private sometime later.

Still on topic I am interested to share ideas on how you would work on taking away the fast "get boring" factor from a crafting oriented game that has no combat, I am thinking that one good way would be an entertaining storyline behind the world and NPC players.

At some point I even imagined creating something like monthly mangas/comics revolving around NPC characters, again more on this maybe in private.

The other obvious try is to make the whole crafting game so interesting and addicting that people would never or just take a long time to get bored. Not a simple task...

In game world puzzles, tricky requirements to explore a land? As we discussed before, good or bad I wonder. In any case if you have idea you'd like to share be my guest.

Caldenfor@ I am no expert in that direction that you are going to but do you really need all those classes? Sometimes its better to keep short and expand later, plus I believe it'll be so much harder to come up with different skill trees for each one of them.

Also I believe adding a political, or religious views to a game is a bad idea due to "political and religious racism" however there are many games that are exceptions to this rule. Just make sure not to give one or other "more power"


#4803079 MMO Worldbuilding

Posted by SabataS on 26 April 2011 - 08:32 AM

I agree with that. Although, some MMOs specialize - some are 100% group play and some are 90% solo play. But yes it's hard to predict what will be fun, and a fun feature can become agony due to a bad interaction with another part of the game - a relevant example is games which have a big crafting system, but a player must lose money to raise crafting skill to a high level before it is possible to make any profit. Losing money is never fun, so the who crafting system becomes un-fun.


I think a big crafting system with a lot of different items/products just has to have a significant meaning to it, just having a huge tree with lots of options for the sake of "cool" is kinda lame and pointless... All items must have a use. As for loosing part, dont you think that to create something you need to lose something? Oh but wait I just went against myself, I get it now... high level to make profit, meaning that on lower level the items are just useless material that no one likes, if they were the way I said where all items are "essential" starting from lvl1 - lvl300 then players would not need to lose money right? I think I understand it now.

Yes, I love a worldwide marketplace where I can automatically sell and buy, no need to look at individual shops (hate those in every game I've seen them in) or worse, shout on some channel to find someone to trade with. But, I don't consider trade the important part of crafting. I craft to make stuff for my own character to use - the rest is just junk that I have to make to level my crafting and I'm lucky if I can get my money back out of it. That was one of the things I did really like about ATITD - the focus is on crafting your own house, tools, an obelisk proclaiming your fame, a sculpture showing your creativity, etc.


I want to create a crafting system and a world where different classes of players are kind of dependent on each other, ok let me be honest, they ARE dependent... lets say you have Type A class, Type B and Type C class... so each of them needs items for crafting and besides the basic ones that anyone can get there are those that only one Type of class can create, so they MUST trade for them in order to craft more advanced items that later can be traded for good items/gold or used in quests or whatever. I think this can become a bit problematic for lone wolfs, of course that this system WILL have a global marketplace as well as usual shout system.

So to speak this system of crafting is less of personal and more of global, since you will have to manufacture sometimes just to trade items for those that you need to craft for your house or own use, kinda, I help you, you help me.

I love the Harvest Moon series. :D It's one of my major inspirations in my own designs. They do certainly have an overall storyline: The player's job is to create harmony between nature and humans by growing plants, interacting with harvest sprites, improving the buildings of the farm and the rest of the town, and solving the personal problems of the people. It is also a classic "rags to riches" story where the character begins a poor child and, with work and time, becomes a rich adult with fame, friends, a spouse, and possibly a child. But some games in the series have much more story than others. Save the Homeland probably has the best story.


I am a fan myself, but I dont see that as a storyline, more like a symbolic background, although it fits great in the context and makes it fun! I believe people always love, just love, the feeling of becoming rich, powerful and well respected, in my opinion thats a something MMO should always try to implement, a system to make players feel that they rock in there... that said classic "rags to riches" objective should always be popular.

What I would like to see is the ren'ai (dating sim) aspect of Harvest Moon applied to the story of a more grown up romantic science fiction or fantasy novel. So I think it would be very interesting to see an MMO with a small number of NPCs where the player interacts many times with each of them, building up a relationship (friendly, romantic, or antagonistic). I'd also like to see a game where the customization of the playable character and their possessions is more a part of the story. For example, the player might join an NPC faction and after working their way up in the ranks, be allowed to wear the same tabard NPCs of that faction wear. And perhaps, rather than choosing a class at the beginning, the player's choices within the game would make the character's story branch toward a profession and faction alignment; different choices made on a second play through the game would make the character's story develop in a different direction.


I've been trying to create an MMO "dating" system for a while now and it always ends up not so good... note that when I say "dating" I am not speaking of those adult type things where people are driven other than by their brains and so called "romantism?" I am speaking more of a HM type, where getting a girl is fun, you learn her secrets and help her and all that. The problem I find on MMO is that if we do it with NPC then we end up with 300 people dating same girl... kinda strange to say the least...

As for joining a faction, work on NPC quests and gain respect, thats quite possible and quite easy to do.

What do you think of One Time Quests? Say some quests will have you a notice like " Be aware that by accepting this quest you'll have a time limit to complete it, the outcome of quest will change the storyline and that process is irreversible." So in a simple word quests that have a meaning and that are one time only kind of thing, or maybe not one time but have a very long recovery time so you can try again... Dont know how hard it would be programming wise and how much it'll take of resources since each outcome will hae to be stored for each player... This was my attempt to fix the "meaningless quests" problem that people speak of, now days you dont even read a story... only objective in best case scenario "kill XXXX monsters"...

As for the division of the game into easier and harder areas, if there isn't combat, what makes them hard?


Ok so I'll go deeper in my crafting idea, there are no levels of crafting, you can pretty much craft anything as long as you learn technology and have materials. The difficulty here is that materials must be traded for, are rare and difficult to come by... as well as technology it would be a big tree with multiple choices allowing you to branch out in various direction making all crafters unique since each can produce different stuff and ALL of stuff in game has a use for other crafts. So to say you Craft - Trade - Craft... craft to craft more kinda thing.

What it does is it takes away the problem of "weak" useless items since there no combat you dont need special attributes on crafts like usual games have LVL1 Craft = Weak sword LVL50 Craft = Strong sword, so no one needs weak sword. And now what crafts will be used for then? Well lets say that the world is build like a puzzle, lots of hidden places, locks, runes and whatever... each of them would have requirements, for example to go to forest you'll need to cut trough that huge tree blocking your way, so you need something like a Cutting Robot or whatever, which would be a Crafting Item, something that players can create.... so users who want to visit there would work upon getting it... Other sample would be having treasure boxes with special requirements to open them like you must feed them X items for it to open ... so you craft once more... to build stuff for home you also craft... So the whole idea is, you craft to go further in game, discover more, gain more, build more.

The hard and easy would in exactly that... Hard Requirement to get trough and Easy Requirement... it would be connected to crafting items and possibilities the harder an area the more advanced, tricky and hard to come by items it would require a player to gather and manufacture in order to collect its treasures.


#4802924 MMO Worldbuilding

Posted by SabataS on 25 April 2011 - 09:49 PM

I've played A Tale In the Desert, that's a combat-less crafting-focused MMO. Subscription only, except for the free trial. It was rather boring and unbalanced. The map was much too big for the number of players, the large map had more or less the same resources everywhere so you could explore all you wanted but it was pointless because there wasn't anything unique and meaningful to find (no story, so no story pieces to find either), and trading was horrible because there wasn't any world marketplace or money system. On the other hand, gathering was pretty balanced because it was limited by time, not by rarity. The main resources were wood, grass, dirt, mud, water, sand, clay, slate, and flint, and these resources were easily available almost everywhere. With those resources you could make a plane to turn wood into boards, and a brick frame to make mud bricks, and with boards and bricks you could build storage chests, so everyone's storage was limited by the time and effort they were willing to put into crafting storage. Additionally one of the main activities of the game is growing flax, basically a farming sim mini-game. Flax in turn produced straw, thread, and twine, and those could be processed into rope, cloth, and canvas. So the common resources of the game were enough to keep a player busy for at least two weeks of fairly hardcore play before they even had a reason to worry about the more rare or finicky resources in the game. BTW in ITITD the players did need to cooperate to donate huge amounts of resources to build community utilities like a chariot stop (teleportation point) and guilds often built public crafting workhouses so newbies could use time-saving equipment they didn't have the ability to build yet. I did not like either of these aspects of the game.

Personally, although I'd like to see a crafting-focused MMO, I don't see any reason to exclude combat because it can be a fun minigame. Even multiple types of combat could be good. Combat's only a problem when the whole game is doing the same thing over and over again. But if I was going to design a combat-less MMO I'd want to focus on the interactive story elements to give meaning to all the gathering and crafting - they get boring pretty fast if they seem pointless.

I really don't like MMOs which require the players to actually work together. I like the sense of being in the same world with other people doing the same things as me, but I don't want to have to socialize that much with them. I like to do almost everything myself, and not be penalized for not wanting to do group activities.


See, now the hard part about design is that you just cant please everyone, its sad but a reality in my opinion, best we can try doing is to get everyone to co exist in a game by giving options for lone wolfs as well as social types. That being said its quite complicate to see what feature people will actually enjoy and which they will not, as a player I know I hate many parts of some games... but hey I still play them, most of time...

So my idea of cooperating world with mutable environment is something that will require some deeper research.

How do you trade if you dont like to socialize much? Or marketplaces where you can just place items for sale or buy orders is not exactly what you call "socializing"? Asking to find out how players like you who like being more of lone wolfs behave.

As for storyline, I can understand what you mean by actual MMO problem... they feel "lifeless" no background... what I am currently thinking is that its awesome to have a storyline and all but it doubles the necessary resources for world building since we would need more locations, stories, maybe NPC and so on... cost wise its quite more expensive than creating just an advanced crafting MMO, of course that you cant have that Exploration type if you dont add all that so its something I am still analyzing and considering.
In my idea of exploration however a world would literally be divided by "harder" and "easier" locations with various resources all around the world waiting to be found... this should add more fun to exploration different from what you said about A Tale In the Desert.

Have you played Harvest Moon series? What do you think of them and can you identify a "storyline" or meaning behind all the farming and crafting?


#4802879 MMO Worldbuilding

Posted by SabataS on 25 April 2011 - 06:32 PM

Interesting post, caught my attention pretty well.

What do you think about a possible MMO with no combat whatsoever but mainly directed on advanced crafting options and players interaction between them?

I am working on designing an MMO that I decided to call an Exploration and Crafting type. The concept proofs to be quite complex with a need for advanced logic but its damn interesting to work on, my current difficulty stand in part of balancing the game to be "fair" as we all know there are those players that will just try to abuse resources gathering and lets confess that IS one of the biggest fun spoilers of online games, when those with multiple accounts gather so much material that we get an inflation.

Limiting materials gathering to subscribers or money spenders is an option, however it takes away a big if not all of free players fun.

Setting game to subscribers only is another option to prevent materials abuse, but would we get enough audience to make it fun and populated? I believe free players are an important side of community.

On another note what do you think of an idea where player have to cooperate in an MMO world, lets say to build a bridge over that canyon... the amount of resources would be amazingly huge where various players would need to donate in order to create it for whole game, and once done the durability of it will slowly drop and if not maintained again by players it would fall down, taking away the connection point... so by having too many of those constructions around the world some will eventually fall down... I know this will create a couple of problems like players ending up on other side... and if a game is having members shortening there will be a time when maintaining a bridge would be impossible... so any ideas on this are appreciated.


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