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Member Since 26 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Feb 17 2013 12:00 AM

#5016293 Ways to limit a particular role/class in MMOs.

Posted by Caldenfor on 01 January 2013 - 12:32 AM



Rare items can be stolen to duplicate them via insurance claims. This can be abused by players purposely allowing goods to be stolen without any desire to "hunt them back" so to speak. They would abuse it just to duplicate rare goods.

#4980411 Plages to save the World's economy

Posted by Caldenfor on 15 September 2012 - 10:21 AM

As a player I don't think I would much like a random outbreak of "pests" to devour the whole of my collection.

Gear that breaks and methods of "donating" materials/items/weapons/etc that give the players the option to get rid of stuff would be a good start.

#4977453 The Evolution of Social Bonds in MMOs

Posted by Caldenfor on 06 September 2012 - 07:12 PM

Don't worry about sunandshadow, surely likes games, but socializing certainly isn't his thing lol. Yet he posts here quite often... I think he craves social interaction! Sunandshadow, you just need the right MMO!

Lol, I'm a she actually. No worries, I'm used to the assumption that gamedev members are male until proven otherwise; there are probably other female posters I mistakenly assume are male.

I like a little socialization - at a comfortable distance and times of my choosing. Like a messageboard or global chat channel built into a game where I can choose to participate only when the topic is relevant to my interest. Games that allow a player to be involved at a mild level in several interest-based guilds are great, especially if they also allow diceless roleplaying within a private forum or chat channel belonging to that guild. A global marketplace or other trading system within a game can also be a pleasant limited form of social interaction. I love games that let you admire/explore something another user has built/collected and leave a comment. I even occasionally enjoy a PvP arena system that will automatch me with an opponent (I'm much more likely to be interested if it is a turn-based sort of combat like tactical combat or a deck building card game). I just hate the in-my-face way many MMOs want to make basic activities within the game impossible or severely disadvantageous to not do in a group or as a social networking activity.

If an MMO wants me to play it a long time, the features it needs to have are solo achievements, minigames, collection and features for showing one's collections to others, sim gameplay such as crop growing and pet monster capturing and breeding, crafting customization such as being able to manufacture dyes and use them to recolor clothing or get tattooed, or building sculptures or quests/interactive stories for other players to admire. That is the kind of end-game (and mid-game) content I would love to see in an MMO. I think it's funny (in a pathetic way) that a lot of that is done better by the less serious game websites like NeoPets and Gaia Online than by real MMOs.

BTW I'm not arguing that a lot of MMO players are all about the socialization - I know they are. I know people who live for 40-man raids or team pvp or PUGging dungeons. I just feel like that demographic gets all the design attention. XP

Apologies none the less.

I was about to say, then I finished reading your post so you beat me to it; What if there were certain "mundane" activities, aka non-combat/immediate attention not required, that you could play offline through a browser on your mobile/home PC that updated portions of the MMO world.

Example: Use a separate program accessible through any web browser/app store/whatever(not up to date on all available options) that allows you partake in activities that affect you within your MMORPG desktop/laptop .exe game. For example; Your virtual "yard" in the game would be something that you maintain using this external program. You could actually play these mini-games outside of the actual game world to progress within the MMORPG world, but due to the easier and more consistent access via less system requirements to partake in and the more casual nature of the specific mini-game potentials, it can take longer than the average game as it would be a casual game experience from the start. The garden that you grow outside of the game could be updated within the game to show what you have been growing in your garden. -Bolded for emphasis-

#4969081 "Generated" Storyline - theoretical

Posted by Caldenfor on 13 August 2012 - 08:32 AM

I may be slightly off-topic here, but I've never liked the idea of being told a story in a game. It's nice in some cases, but generally I prefer to be the one making the story as I go along. After all, the player is supposed to be the hero, not just some bystander who just happen to play an important part. It's like being told what to do, sure it's a good way to direct the player through the experience, but hold his hand too much and he's likely just gonna quit the game.

Just look at how brutal Minecraft is to the player (I know, but these games do matter to the discussion because they're not as weird as you might think), in terms of leaving him/her to figure out what the game is all about and what they need to do. A similar paradigm can be found in Demons' Souls and Dark Souls too, and I don't see a lot of players complaining over those games to.

But to redeem my comment in terms of topicity:
A random/generated story can be really nice, I think, if it's general enough and doesn't tell too much. I thought the random quests in Daggerfall, for instance, where awesome - even though their syntax repeated themselves all the time with just a minor change to names and objectives.

The bottom line is this, IMO: Plot and story is important to a game, but telling a story isn't just about explicitly telling it through language. Just seeing a monster in a world, for instance, can tell a story onto itself - the demography in this world, biology, history, you name it. But because it's not explicit, it also provides a sense of mystery too - which I think is superior to any dialogue-based storytelling device.

In writing you are almost always told, "Show, don't tell." Which is exactly what you are saying to do. Don't tell the player what to do, let them do their own thing and have the story just happen around them as they go. If they miss out on some things, it was meant to be that way, and you can always funnel them towards a certain location by providing them the desire to go there. Don't tell them, show them why to go there.

#4967956 Mouse Look + Drag and Drop UI

Posted by Caldenfor on 09 August 2012 - 08:10 PM

Some of my favorite games of all time are Ultima Underworld I and II. I liked lot's of things about these games, one of which is how nearly everything was interactive, items can be picked up and dragged into your inventory, you can drag items out of your inventory and drop them in the world. Items can be used on other items by dragging them on top of another. I liked creating treasure rooms where I could arrange my stuff however I liked. Some games since have attempted the same thing, in particular the System Shock and Elder Scrolls Series of games, of which I am also a fan.

However it seems that now days the mouse is reserved for which direction the the character camera faces. Back in the old days of UUW there wasn't much reason to have so much control over the looking (although they did let you use the keys 1,2, and 3 for looking up, looking ahead, and looking down).

For an RPG, particularly an MMO one, I think that this another solid point on why a fixed third person camera for an angled top down like Ultima Online(but all actual 3d). Focus on the world around the character and remove the need for mouse look at the same time. Also returns the usability of chat bubbles which helps place the person you are talking to within context if they are on screen.

#4966274 god games, what happened?

Posted by Caldenfor on 05 August 2012 - 12:02 AM

I abosolutely LOVED Populous II. I am tempted to try and find a download for it. I tried to ensure the safety of my people, but sometimes I just wanted to flood/burn the cities.

I also enjoyed Lords of Magic, not a god game no, but a game where you ruled a kingdom. Fantasy setting that could be close to being a god.

#4963505 Are open pvp + full loot SANDBOX mmorpg's still possible?

Posted by Caldenfor on 26 July 2012 - 09:50 PM

Two options that come to mind, both have issues:

A) Jail = locked out of your character for X amount of time, % chance of breaking out early/probation. Consequence of breaking civil law is that you will be locked up for your crimes. Friends wouldn't turn friends heads in generally to keep them from being locked out. Can still be abused.

B) A constant bounty is placed on the head of a player, but the reward is not cash, sort of "item shop incentives" for not being a criminal. Item shop would not be pay to win, only non-beneficial things. If people want to pay players for these rewards once earned from turning in enough bounties, let the value be determined in game. Thus it isn't a one shot deal where the player's friend can nab the big bounty and then it is worthless to hunt the criminal. Potential to limit number of turn ins per set amount of time. Can still be abused.

Big Aid: Allow tracking. Promotes bounty hunting, but could also be used to track innocent players unless handled through a game mechanic that limits tracked targets to criminals.

#4963050 Are open pvp + full loot SANDBOX mmorpg's still possible?

Posted by Caldenfor on 25 July 2012 - 02:00 PM

So what concessions are you willing to make on your "ideal" game to create an MMORPG(fantasy) that can be successful and enjoyed by many?

An open world for PvPers and PvEers to both enjoy. How can you do it? There are no limitations other than what you desire to put in place for the sake of a successful, enjoyable game experience for the majority of potential players.

It seems most of what is discussed here is the same old discussion on the topic. We know what the issues are, so how do you remedy them?

#4962783 Are open pvp + full loot SANDBOX mmorpg's still possible?

Posted by Caldenfor on 24 July 2012 - 06:09 PM

Free for all PvP does not currently have a place in the MMORPG world, but there will be games that are creative with the restrictions put into place that make a semi-FFA PvP game possible.

Currently if I had my druthers there would be faction PvP and stealing/crimes(not murder). If you become flagged a criminal you can be attacked by any other player so it is the criminal that becomes the hunted, not the innocent players. You could have several different "crimes" for players to commit at their own disgression. This is the true PvPer's last hope and I haven't found anyone to support it yet. Either the PvPer can hunt criminals, or be a criminal themself, and fight off anyone that dares to attack them.

If you remove FFA PvP I believe full loot can still be possible for MMOs as your so called "sheep"(not the nicest/most accurate term ever) would be free from being murdered so they wouldn't be ganked/griefed for their gear without any reprecussion.

#4960327 Ways of forcing players to play together without risk of getting griefed?

Posted by Caldenfor on 17 July 2012 - 10:37 PM

Remove griefing from the equation as much as possible, don't try to work around it.

Oh, the -1 probably wanted me to solve the issues as well.

The issue I have that needs to be addressed is in regards to the MMO portion of the discussion, as multiplayer is certainly quite different.

Scenarios/Battlegrounds: Why rely on them? Is it because you don't feel you can include enjoyable PvP game aspects without them? If you remove them from your plans you instantly remove the capability to grief within them, either through lack of activity or actual ruining of fun.

What do you do instead? Provide an open world experience where the players can interact in various ways, but not in a FFA PvP atmosphere. FFA PvP is a bad idea for an MMO in our current development world.

"But that kills realism! If I see someone I want to be able to kill them." :: Seriously? It is a game. There needs to be restrictions put into place to ensure the enjoyable aspects of a game. There are several different ways to handle player interaction in an open world environment other than FFA PvP. There is the RvR system established by Dark Age of Camelot which can only truly work if PvP lands and PvE lands are almost always separated, potential for realm invasions is too cool to ignore completely. There are simple faction systems. You could rely on Guild vs Guild combat rather than larger factions if you so choose, but for me the solution is a combination of several different mechanics blended to make an enjoyable, yet still risky game world.

For the solution I have in mind I would prefer to save the details for dedicated teams that would see it through to completion. An evolution from Ultima Online without the FFA PvP problems. Being able to steal is a must for the solution to thrive.

#4955165 [Weekly Discussion: Week 2] RPG Genre's flaws - "Grinding"

Posted by Caldenfor on 02 July 2012 - 11:04 PM

I think out of every MMO game that I have played I had the least "grind" experience in Ultima Online. People will be like "no way" and I will stand behind my statement.

The thing with this is that this is "back in the day". I was exploring a world. Trying new things. Avoiding the prospect of being murdered. Britannia was a world. That is what is key in the process of lessening grinds, a world to explore and live in.

Now, the counter to my statement is that Ultima Online was horrifically grindy. It certainly could be. It all comes down to the player and how much they feel forced into "need this NOW" attitude. If they can compete without something they are more likely able to do what they want than be forced to hunt for this "something" just to compete. Crafting created most of the gear back in the day and it was perfectly useful in combat. You didn't have to go hunt down gear just to play.

Removing the "must haves" and replacing them with the "that would be nice" is where to start. No matter what developers do there will always be some form of grind though. Make a world, make it fun, and let the players create their own experience within it.

#4905699 How to keep the trolls out of online gaming

Posted by Caldenfor on 24 January 2012 - 12:29 AM

From what I've seen, you have to keep the community small. If a player has group-identity with the other players in the game, they'll likely behave better, but to build that group-identity the group needs to be relatively small and intimate. If you throw a player into a group too large for them to identify with, there will be no perceived social repercussions for troll behavior. Seems that might be why you can take a WoW player who behaves relatively normally in a guild chat channel, toss him in the Looking For Raid anonymity, and end up with a fsck-wad. He identifies with the social structure of the guild, and that identity tempers his behavior. There is no group identity with the random folks in LFR so the social constraints aren't there.

Also, I wonder how much an effect priming has on the players. You give them a game of murder-death-kill, splashed with imagery of aggression and bad-assery and rage, and of course you are going to prime them to exhibit signs of aggression and rage in-game.

Which leads me to my thoughts of "super big world, decent travel options, no flight". The super big world allows the players to play in "their area" while also being able to play alongside others if they so choose. Decent travel options, I.E. Player controlled porting beyond some hideously restricted 30 minute reuse timer on recall. Being able to bring other players to your location is only a small portion of what could be made available; translocate other, group ports/evacs, translocate self, temporary moongates/portals. There are options, but they have been thrown aside, why not investigate more options? The ease of movement, with some restrictions/limitations(reagents/skill/etc), can make the super big world more traversable and the size is a very small issue. No flight simply to keep players grounded together.

There are just so many different avenues to pursue and some have been relagated to failure rather than analyzed and worked on. Small and crammed is not >= huge and open. I find huge and open easier to comprehend and experience in a 2.5D/orthographic vantage point. Less distractions around you and more focus on what is important, your surroundings. Finding the balance of player to area ratio is not a simple matter, it is heavily determined by design goals, and it is nigh impossible for it not to have a negative impact on at least some facet of your game.

#4901743 How to design a great combat system + mechanics? (PvP)

Posted by Caldenfor on 11 January 2012 - 02:31 PM

You're about to make the thread go off topic :/
I want to give my opinion but then I'd just help making it off topic lol

My apologies, that isn't my intention at all. It takes more than just the specific combat decisions to make good "PvP mechanics", as in where PvP actually fits within the game. If this is not the intention of the thread I can start another one at the OP's request. I was only using WoW, which I generally don't like to do, to try and get into what actually makes for good meaningful PvP and the mechanics necessary to invoke it by using a game that a lot of people have experience with and what jumped out to me as an overall weak PvP product. Battlegrounds and Arenas have their place, but that isn't sustainable, enjoyable, and meaningful PvP.

Or, using the world of EQ1, without the need for tiny zonelines and remove the loading screens as well. The cities had NPC faction restrictions to prevent certain races from entering certain cities, but how can it translate to PvP without the entire world being people just ganking each other all the time? Trying to provide at least some form of casual PvE where you can play in peace with friends should be provided.

#4900447 Help me to raise money for the project.

Posted by Caldenfor on 07 January 2012 - 03:45 PM

Help me to raise money for the project.

*removed link*

Care to be a little bit more elaborate?

#4899790 How to design a great combat system + mechanics? (PvP)

Posted by Caldenfor on 04 January 2012 - 06:56 PM

Most games I've played have had imbalanced or good enough or sometimes even terrible combat systems + mechanics.
Pretty much just one game I think that had a outstanding combat system + mechs.

I won't get into the argument about why I think class based games are doomed to be imbalanced in the 1v1 aspect.
For sake of avoiding that let's assume in this thread that class based games can be balanced as well.

So why is it so rare to find great combat systems + mechanics in games?
I'm sure the designers thought they had created a great great combat s+m.

So this means that most designers are terrible when it comes to PvP.
And I've actually had the opportunity to fight a few devs in different indy games so I know it's true.

So how can we design better combat systems?
First thing I think we all have to just assume is that we designers SUCK at PvP.
Maybe you are great.. But you have to assume you suck.

Another thing before I'll leave it up to us all to start discussing how to design a great combat system + mechanics..
It's already extremely tough to create an interesting, complex, advanced, hard to master etc etc combat s+m..
but if your game has classes in it as well, then you face the additional challenge of balancing these classes.. Which I've never seen accomplished in any game I've played so far.

So if you make a skill based game (no classes) then you only need to worry about creating a good combat system without without sweating about class imbalances.


You then replace class imbalances with skill imbalances. Balance is key to any game, class or skill based. Balancing properly is something that most dev teams aren't super great at.