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Member Since 11 Aug 2011
Offline Last Active Oct 14 2012 07:02 PM

#4981415 What kind of "Quests" would you like in an MMO/RPG, etc?

Posted by on 18 September 2012 - 03:16 PM

Allot of people seem to be stuck on the idea of “how can we make the story more interesting”, but that 1: Isn’t what this thread was about, and 2: Wont fundamentally change anything about the task at hand.

So…if your focus is mixing up the task at hand, then the simple answer would be to create new, more original tasks (gee, what a surprise). When I think about this, my mind immediately goes to mini-games. But, lets get into quests that have relevance to the game’s combat…I would recommend battles with alternate goals and stakes (some cliché examples of these type of missions might be; “protect the king from enemies”, “survive a huge wave of enemies”, “escape from the enemy”, “defeat the enemy within a narrow time limit” and other scenarios where the player’s offensive, defensive and terrene/mobile objectives stray from the norm...be creative).

I’m personally one of those players who couldn’t care less about the plot/story of a quest. I play games for gameplay, if I wanted to be invested more in lore, then I’d read a book.

Of course, the reason that quests in MMOs are so similar and repetitive is because MMOs are all about making as much content as possible; as quickly as possible (hence, fulfilling the word “massive“). Rehashing the same quest concepts then slapping a different story on them saves development time (precious, precious development time!)…If you want your game to see the light of day within the next 10 years, then you too should master the art of cutting corners. I know my rambling is becoming a bit off-topic Posted Image, but in conclusion: you probably shouldn’t be making completely original concepts for each and every quest, but rather; rely on a handful of unique concepts.

Thank you, thats what I was asking from the beginning. Seems people don't understand that quite a lot of players really don't care about the story for every single quest or even the main storyline for a lot of games. It does suck that developers need to rehash ideas and tasks in order to keep players busy, takes too much time and money to come up with all unique content.

#4980261 What kind of "Quests" would you like in an MMO/RPG, etc?

Posted by on 14 September 2012 - 08:16 PM

Thanks for the ideas, grateful for the replies. I got replies I expected. I love the idea of having players give out quests/tasks, but I have thought of what you could do with that and there are so many things that would limit the possibilities of player created quests. When you receive a quest from an NPC you can just drop it at any time or go back and finish it later. Say a player puts a quest that anyone can pick up and do. How many players can participate? How do they get experience like normal NPC quests? What happens if they just stop in the middle of a quest or just log off?

The only way I see player created quests being added is something like a player posting a need for some item and that player would pay each player a specific amount for each of the items, allowing many players to participate in the quest, but it would be like a first come first serve type of thing. But even with this type of quest, the game being an MMO there will of course be an in game item shop. Why put a quest up for other players to participate in if you could simply go purchase the items you need instantly. In order to have in game player created quests the game would need to have that game mechanic in mind before even starting to make the game.

I know that menial tasks can become more thrilling with a back story which can create emotion with specific options and choices, but many people skip over the story. Once they do this it just becomes the same old quests again. It's like telling the player that if they don't read through the story then they are screwed and will get bored quickly. That in no way is a good game. Maybe a good story, but not a good game.

If you were to exclude all story telling elements for a quest and had to rely solely on game animations, mechanics, and game play, what would you make then?

#4880395 Item/Equipment/Monster Rarity

Posted by on 04 November 2011 - 01:10 AM

Thanks for all the feedback

#4867419 Item/Equipment/Monster Rarity

Posted by on 29 September 2011 - 07:00 PM

My 2 cents for what they are worth:

1. I never understood the rarity system. I believe it was a procedural way employed to simulate randomness in order to expand grinding in a multiplayer environment. It requires neither skill nor gut, but mostly luck or playtime, both of which aren't actual interesting gameplay decisions.

2. I believe unpredictability doesn't naturally link to randomness. A rarity system feels like it is strongly relying upon randomness. The idea of dropping ingredients/components at set intervals seems a lot more interesting though it may encourage grinding as well.

3. Strangely enough, your rarity system matches exactly that of Magic the Gathering TCG. And they've been quite successful with it (Legendary is called Mythic Rares, but we get the point).
Ironically however, Magic the Gathering cards are not ranked by rarity to reflect their actual power factor, but their complexity. Simple cards (utilities) show up at common, and will appear in several pro-level decks.
Obviously, this could be applied to your game in this way as well, but I doubt it would make sense. The question you need to ask yourself is, do you really need the rarity system for something?

Overall, I feel like you've assumed that because every game had a rarity system, so should yours.
Game Design is the ability perform problem solving, aka, find solutions to problems that spur from the design. I feel like you're developing a solution for a problem that may not exist.

Also, overcompensating by 'categorization' will have the side effect of making people care less (not) about your actual items, and will rely upon the color coding. The idea here is that they no longer need to think for themselves what they need. Typically, that means any item lower on the scale will have a very temporary lifetime in your inventory (1-5% of the game time you spend, when you're just looking for something better) until 95+% of the items dropped are irrelevant.

I believe the idea here rather would be to find a way to make every item interesting and restricting the player's ability to carry all of them around (is this not why the idea of stash was born?). Specialization of item is one way to achieve this. In Castlevania series, there is a sword with very low power, but the random ability to stone the enemies, which turns out to be quite efficient in many scenarios. Most hardcore players keep a copy in their inventory along with their uber weapons.
Also, some enemies are weaker to spears or swords, etc.

Choosing what to keep needs not to be a decision based on 'the computer told me to keep this through a clever color coding that allows me to waste less time' but rather on 'what do I REALLY need to keep around? What's my general strategy here? What must I keep around just in case?'
And choosing is a risk-reward strategy that actually generates interesting decisions.
And that my friend, is what you should be focusing on :)

I want to thank you Orymus for giving some good input on where to go, but I don't think it works for what I am doing. Strategically picking and using a weapon only works when you can use more than 1 weapon with a specific class or job, etc. A game like Dark Souls (or Demon Souls) would be a good example. Players can choose through a large variety of weapons, spells, and miracles with no rarity or color coded system involved. Each one can be used for specific strategic purposes, but a game where you have a set class and can only use a specific set of weapons limits the players strategy to "I need to have the best weapon for my class and level". Your Castlevania example is the same. If I was creating a concept for a game like Skyrim or Dark Souls then I would probably not use the rarity system since I could use any weapons I wanted. Games like Skyrim or Dark Souls also do not have the thousands of weapons, materials, usable items, etc. that are available in something like an MMO.

Borderlands (diablo is too) is a good example where they use color coding for the rarity of the weapons. I wouldn't say it was a perfect system, but it worked. The rare weapons were not always the best, but it helped to sort through them easily to find out which ones to pick up. The rare guns would usually have better effects, damage, and special stats, but not always. The rare weapons would still sell for more than a common weapon did. Even if a common weapon had better damage it didn't have that cool special effect that the rare weapon had.

What if I could also have the rarity of weapons automatically change depending on how many are available at the time. Lets say there is a "Legendary" weapon. For some reason a lot of players have been able to acquire the materials in order to craft this weapon. Now there are many of these "Legendary" weapons in the market. If too many become available it won't be "Legendary" anymore, but would change to "Rare" status instead. With so many in the market it would decrease in value anyways.

I didn't see other similar games and just decide that my game concept had to have a rarity system too. I looked through my entire document with so many items, monsters, equipment and the way the gameplay works. Then I decided it would just be easier to have a rarity system to make everything easier to categorize and sort through. I came here to find a better way to categorize things, but all I am hearing is to get rid of it, change the color coding to show an items value, level, type or something else instead. I believe that most developers keep using the color coded rarity system because it works better than people think. There are other ways of doing it.

I have to to categorize all the items, weapons, monsters, and equipment with one categorization system (having more than 1 would be a pain and confuse people). Rarity is the best way I could think of categorizing them by.

#4866611 Item/Equipment/Monster Rarity

Posted by on 27 September 2011 - 04:53 PM

But why can't it be up to the players to find what is "rare" and what isn't? It adds to the mystery. Player understanding should be the determining factor when acknowledging the uniqueness of an item, not a developer post-it note(rarity system).

Let the players determine the value of game objects. Putting a rarity system unnaturally increases the value of an item.

My point is that if you are going to use a strong visual identifier like colour, it should *mean* something. I don't find 'rarity' to be a particularly meaningful statistic, it seldom has any real game significance.

I can understand collecting sets or unique items. But do we need to have ten levels of rarity? And is it really important enough to advertise more strongly than other properties?

This is the reason I started this topic, but it does not help to get rid of a solution and make a bigger problem. (This is just an example) Let's say you kill a monster and it drops 20 items. How do you know which ones to pick up? All of them? Do you have to search through them all and find out each individual item you want by looking at the stats and then dropping the ones you don't want? What if you don't have room for 20 items in your inventory and have to cycle through the items a few at a time. Do you have to memorize the names of all the good items just so you know what to pick up? I am just saying that having a color coding rarity system makes things instantly recognizable and allows players to also categorize things instantly. You could color categorize it by types like potions are blue, weapons are red, armor is green, etc. What I am hearing from you is to get rid of it altogether which does not make things easier for the players. Maybe you just don't like it, but people tend to like little features, mechanics, and shortcuts that make games easier. Just think of the fast travel options they use in a lot of games recently. The developers could make an easy option for you to turn off color coding Sandman. Caldenfor you say it adds to the mystery, but I don't understand how. Are saying that if an item drops and it is marked as a rare item or color coded it is not a mystery as to how good the weapon is anymore? You also said putting a rarity system can influence the values of items, but as a developer if you make the item truly rare in the game whether you label it or not, it will still be very valuable.

#4866569 Item/Equipment/Monster Rarity

Posted by on 27 September 2011 - 03:05 PM

In my opinion, you answered your question in your original post. Most games that I have played, which is a common practice throughout the industry, use colors. Colors are easily identifiable. Call them legendary if you want, but players see a golden item and automatically think higher quality because this has already been established throughout many games. I would suggest keeping this standardized system for two reasons. The first being, players already know it and it wouldn't require them to learn a new system. This allows players to focus their concentration on other parts of the game that you could make more innovative. The second reason is because it is easy to learn. New players that might not have ever played a RPG will find it easy it associate color with quality. This goes back to the philosophy, if it is not broken, don't fix it.

The only way I would personally spend extra time developing a new rarity system is if that was my main goal for the game. If the game I was creating revolved around the experimentation of finding a more usable rarity system. I actually just worked on a design where there were different difficulty traps. I placed each trap into its own color category to show how effective that trap was. It is easy for both the designer and player as well as an effective way to display information to anyone reading your doc or playing your game.

I agree and I had this mindset when I made this topic, but I wanted to know if there was any game out there where a different rarity system was used that also worked well.

I also don't really see the point in a 'rarity' system. At the end of the day, what does it actually mean?

Does it mean the item is more powerful? Perhaps in certain absolute terms, but in terms of the character holding it, it's pretty meaningless; the only reliable way to determine whether the item is better than that which I already have is to compare the stats and make a decision based on that. Arbitrary colour coding schemes just muddy the issue.

Does it mean the item is more valuable? Well, if it's not actually useful to me it's just loot, and perhaps if I cared to optimise my dungeon hauling I'd want to ensure I'm looting the highest value/weight ratio items I could find. But then again, it's pretty easy just to display a number telling me how valuable it is.

Does it just mean the item is less likely to be found again? The only reason I might care is if I find the item and I'm too low level to use it; otherwise I either use it or flog it. But then we're just encouraging the player to waste inventory space hoarding items that they think *might* be useful later, and they're too rare to risk flogging until they're sure.

In every game I've played which has had some kind of colour coded rarity system, I've ended up ignoring it; worse than that though, I often find I have to train myself to ignore it as the instinct is to place more value on items marked as rare, even if they're total junk in reality. For this reason, I'm inclined to think it's not merely not a good idea; it's actually a bad idea.

I don't believe that the rarity system in general is bad. I think it all depends on the skills of the game developers to make one that works.

My understanding is that the color coding shows the rarity, not that the item has necessarily better stats or is even worth much. Players could find an item that is rare, but has horrible stats or find a common item that is better. Some people like to collect these types of things or find them just to show them off. Also rare items "tend" to be more valuable and powerful than common items.

I think you just want a system that highlights an item somehow (not necessarily a color) if it is worth a lot of money or is an item your character can use that has better stats than any of your current items. I still think it's all up to the developers because like you said there are several approaches like the items power, how valuable it is, and how likely you are to find it again to determine how the rarity system is set up.

#4863176 Item/Equipment/Monster Rarity

Posted by on 18 September 2011 - 05:55 PM

No suggestions? I have everything rated in this order: Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Legendary. I just want some other words or a better system I could use.

*This is not an aggressive post, but it is certainly not edited to avoid potential misunderstandings. This is just the form of relaying the thoughts on items and their appendages.*

Why does there have to be any sort of system like this?

You found "Ice Sickle of Immense Power".

Cool, awesome. Now why does it have to be "blue" and titled "rare"? I can stand items of "immense power" being tagged onto an item. You can't quite quantify what makes it what it is so you just say... it possesses immense power. It didn't make sense for Agile Dagger of the Monkey. How do you know it is of the monkey? Does it have a dagger shaped like one? Does it fling feces good? Less items, better names.

Don't I know it is rare just because it is so freaking kick ass and hardly anyone else has it? Don't call it rare, make it rare.

I think it is just making players think less. Developers, designers more specifically, should try to implement mechanics that provide a benefit to the players health, mainly through improved brain function. Challenge the mind a bit here and there even if it is on something as simple as making them interpret the game for themselves.

(I didn't see this post as aggressive just to let you know) I totally understand what your saying. I can imagine a system like that for a single player game, but not a multiplayer game. Just about every MMO and multiplayer/co-op game I have recently played uses some kind of a color coded rarity system or a name rarity system. On a game like Mass Effect your method would be fine since you don't even trade weapons with one another. In a game like Borderlands, Diablo 3, and several MMO's it helps to have that rarity system to easily categorize item prices, what item drops to pick up, etc. This way an inexperienced player that doesn't know much about the game will know how rare and awesome a weapon is just like an experienced player would.

It still seems to me like they are trying to treat them as being special/slow/stupid/etc. If a player is inexperienced, why would he have a rare item? If it is due to new players getting "rare" items via random world drops, that there seems like the issue. Who started the color coding?

Color coding just seems like it is dumbing the gear system down and I don't think it should be done. Then again, I dislike gear based play. Allow the players to determine what is good and what is not good by allowing them to gather information about the item. Remember "Item Identification"? What the hell happened to it? Why can every person out there pick up some random item in the wilderness and know exactly what benefits it provides?

I am not saying a form of Item Identification is a must(it is cool though), but if players are incapable of looking at the attributes of an item and determining if it is useful to them or not, maybe they don't deserve to have it. It would be either the player lacks the capabilities to do so or that the developer poorly made their display system/gear system.

I think it is more used as a filter for the Auction Hall search engines because the games are bloated with more items than necessary. I still don't like it and I don't much like game-wide auction halls either, but that is for another topic.

I understand where your coming from and what your saying, but not everyone likes to get into the game thoroughly to know what weapons are rare, what they are worth, where to trade them, etc. I understand when you say that inexperienced players should not receive rare drops, so lets say there are no rare drops. If an inexperienced player somehow acquires a really rare item worth a lot of money, but it has horrible stats and is more of a vanity item, what is going to stop them from selling it to an NPC shop? Once they do find out they will just be angry they didn't know sooner. "Most" players want to have an easily labeled system to know these things instead of searching it up online and getting different opinions on the actual rarity and value of an item. Also the feature of identifying items is really unneeded. Its just a gimmick that makes the player travel all the way back to town just to see if the item is good (unless they have some identify scroll or something), before selling it off. Most of the time it is not a great item and the process of identifying things is just worthless. I believe that the second you get rid of an auction house you are making players that need to sell items sell them in a certain way. I believe that there should be both auction houses, player shops, and other forms of trade. People should be able to choose how they want to sell things. Its like getting rid of amazon and ebay and making everyone use garage sales or pawn shops.

#4861893 Item/Equipment/Monster Rarity

Posted by on 14 September 2011 - 10:35 PM

If you just want to convey the likelihood of the player coming across another of a given item again, color would probably be fine. It's quick, it's instantly recognizable, and it's easy to implement. It can be the color of the item name, or a colored outline around the item itself, or anything similar and still be effective. How you arrange the colors on the rarity chart isn't so important, as players will quickly identify the frequency with which they encounter those colors with their associated rarity.

For monsters, I might not worry about the rarity being so instantly recognizable. It's a lot easier to tell one monster model from another than it is to tell 10 swords that use the same model apart, and I intuitively feel that color coding monsters suggests information about their difficulty relative to my character (or some other pertinent information) than it does information on how often that monster appears. Like above, I'll know a monster is common if I see it a lot, and a redundant interface item would probably confuse me.

I agree with you on both accounts and that is what I was trying to go for.

I seriously don't see the point in common and legendary items. Commons are always trash and you just sell them or break them down for ingredients. Why not just give the ingredients in the first place? Legendaries, you never get ones that are for your class and level except in the endgame if you bother to farm for them after finding out in the wiki what boss has the specific legendary you want.

I understand what you are saying, but I can't see a game not having common or legendary items. It does not matter in my case though as I will not have weapons drops from monsters, but given after completing a quest to kill a specific monster. So players will not be getting hoards of crappy common weapon drops as they play. Players might find treasure in dungeons and the like though. One thing that has always bugged me about a lot of games is when monsters drop money, swords, equipment, coins, or some impossible tangible item. (Other than typical monster drops like fur, teeth, claws, etc)