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Member Since 04 Dec 2011
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In Topic: Bricking up the exit: Denying completion of the Hero's Journey

28 May 2016 - 04:09 PM

I can see the appeal of an ending, although that's not something that I personally look for in games. I think the biggest problem in designing this conclusion/ending mechanic is making it feel significant, but still allowing the player to come back later on (especially if there's an expansion to the game later.) MMOs really have an interest in keeping players playing, so I think any kind of ending is also going to have to leave the door open for players to come back, and probably even encourage some players to replay the game more.


Perhaps some sort of highscore entry could work? Each character gets one opportunity to "finish" at a point of their choosing and they see a cutscene and get a special in game title depednding on their achievements (lore wise, the idea of "finishing" could be the player retiring, or maybe it marks their graduation from training adventurer, maybe it's signified by receiving knighthood or induction in some special guild, or so on.) In any case, when a player chooses to finish, all their achievements are tallied and they can see how well they did according to various metrics: total wealth, all the dungeons they've beaten, PvP K/D ratio, and so on.


This way you could have a way to put a capstone on your character if you want to quit, but it would also encourage other kinds of players to make multiple alts: go for a highscore of fastest to max level, lowest level to beat a certain dungeon, make a pure crafting character, and so on. It could even use a roguelike inspired feature where each character that finishes would give the player's next character certain starting bonuses, or maybe some kind of account wide flair for your other characters.


A bit of a tangent, but as a side benefit to the roguelike idea above; one of the other problems this might address is that in MMOs that fall out of popularity, the population tends to get concentrated at max level endgame content, so players who pick up the game years after release don't have anyone to group with until they get to the endgame too. That was one of the problems I saw a lot of in Age of Conan where as the population dropped it became impossible to find groups for all but the highest tier dungeons; they eventually added some achievements but there was never really enough of an incentive for most players to collect them. Encouraging the hardcore players to properly play through low level content again would probably be good for the community in this case.

In Topic: Bricking up the exit: Denying completion of the Hero's Journey

26 May 2016 - 10:35 PM

I don't know, I think these games do tend to have a conclusion if you're looking for one. MMOs tend to have main questlines with milestones when you reach max level or beat the highest tier raids, it's just that there's almost always more to do afterwards (and expansions to extend the storyline) if you want to keep playing. There is actually a sizable chunk of players that stop playing once they hit max level since they aren't interested in raiding or pvp.


Even ignoring economics, the nature of MMOs usually requires them to maintain a healthy population so players have other people to group with, fight, or otherwise interact with, so I don't think there's any incentive to provide a definitive "ending" so players would be encouraged to stop playing.


Additionally, I think story is just less important to most open world games. For most people, the main appeal is going to be the gameplay itself, and as long as there are new and fun things to do, there will be a reason to keep playing. (I for one never finished the main questline in Skyrim, still played it much more than most RPGs and had fun exploring the world) The real "end" for a lot of players is either when you get bored or when you can no longer improve your character because you've beaten all the dungeons and you have all the best gear.


Besides, just from a narrative perspective, it's harder to use a standard RPG main quest in an MMO: "You are the chosen hero who is destined to save the kingdom… except for those thousands of other people doing the same thing." Not to mention that you can't ever really defeat the bad guys for good because in MMOs mobs have to respawn and instances reset so you and other players can fight them again. MMO stories are more believable when they focus on your character's personal journey of self improvement, and that kind of story ties in well with leveling up.

In Topic: XNA Width And Height Problem

06 May 2016 - 11:38 PM

Is your monitor 1280x960? That would be explain the mouse coordinates.


As for the screenshots, are you using the keyboard shortcut for printscreen? If so, that doesn't work with XNA games in fullscreen, you'll have to use a program like fraps or add in code to save it in the game such as: http://xboxforums.create.msdn.com/forums/p/67895/594286.aspx

In Topic: "Supply depots" for medieval game?

03 May 2016 - 09:52 PM

Houses would make sense, that's what Age of Empires does after all. I think it's also fine to have other buildings such as farms or barracks double as population buildings. Battle for Middle Earth 2 for example did that with their resource buildings (they're called farms for the human faction, the others factions' buildings are called different things but they're otherwise identical) each resource building you built also increased the population cap, so most of the time the player wouldn't have to worry about increasing the population cap because you were going to build the farm structures anyway.


I think the same kind of thing would make sense if applied to barracks or other military structures, so each barracks, fort or castle (or whatever other relevant structures you have) could provide supply in addition to being a production structure or whatever else it does. It could even work where any kinds of civilian buildings you control count as supply buildings. The soldiers you recruit were probably already living in the city and if they weren't, it wouldn't be unusual in a medieval setting for the civilian population to be forced to feed and house the soldiers anyway.

In Topic: Soulbound Items in MMORPGs

01 May 2016 - 11:24 PM

I think it's mostly to do with encouraging players to play certain content themselves and for making it harder to buy power. In a game where items are bound to the character when they drop, then you know that if you see someone wearing that item, they're at least competent enough to have run the dungeon where that item drops. Higher level dungeons tend to be more complicated as well as requiring better armor/weapons, so you really want players to learn from the lower level ones before they attempt the harder ones. It's not fun for anyone when a noob buys top tier equipment and joins an advanced group without understanding how to play the character.


Personally, I think a mix of bind on pickup and tradeable drops makes the most sense. Bind on pickup drops are important for encouraging players to progress through content in the right order, but if everything is bind on pickup then well geared players lose their incentive to run lower tier content. Whatever stage of the game you're in, there's typically only a few instances that are worth running at any given time because the others are either too difficult or the drops are worse than what you already have. (It's boring if you're stuck repeating only the same dungeon for a long time with no variety, and it's a waste of content if you advance past dungeons without playing them much if at all.)


The principle I'd suggest is that at any stage of gear progression, the player should be able to spend game money to improve their power level, (such as using valuable tradeable consumables or adding tradeable gems to BoP armor) however without getting bind on pickup gear a player should still be less powerful than an equivalent player that does run those instances. One could also argue for limiting tradeable drops to cosmetic items and other items that aren't combat related, but without items that are useful in relation to the game's primary mechanic (which is usually combat, although in some MMOs it could apply to some sort of crafting skill as well) a lot of players won't care - tradeable items need to be useful for players to actually want to buy or farm for them.