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MMORPG Design

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I know this post will mostly likely get flamed but i am hoping i will get some good idea before it is closed. I am the Head of Designer for Eternal Productions and i am going to start to design a MMORPG. I am wanting to get some idea from people who play MMORPG. I will like some feature you would like to see that have have or have not been in MMORPG before. Thank for you time.

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Try doing research with all the other MMORPG's you know of - find out what people like and what they don't. Of course, there's the problem of people ending up not liking what they asked for, but you should be able to get some useful information. Go to the corresponding websites and the corresponding forums, and see if you can get a sampling of how people would like things to be different about it.

What I hated about EverQuest was the focus on needing to party at higher levels. There are so many power gamers at the higher levels it can get in the way of how a "casual" powergamer wants to play. If I powergame, I would like to do it alone and not have to depend on others to do so. If they are people I enjoy powergaming with, that's something different.

I also hated the spawn camping. At the lower levels (8-15), you had to camp areas that were very popular and people had to take turns. If they agreed, that's fine, but a lot of times there were so many groups waiting to take their turn, it wasn't worth it.

I also did not enjoy kill stealing, where other players run up and do more damage than you and get the XP for the kill, just to annoy whoever they can.


[edited by - Waverider on July 8, 2003 6:16:25 PM]

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Interactive environment and tools. With pencil and paper RPG games you can do a lot with your inventory.
Examples-
- Rope: climbing (used with grappling hook), binding something shut, hoisting a package, snaring an animal
- Torch: light source, ignite flammable surfaces
- Oil: spread on ground to produce flammable surface, enemies slip and fall
- Iron spikes to wedge a door shut or open

How about cold and heat effects so that you don''t have Glamazon Bikini Huntresses running around in the arctic zone?

How about players can build walls, dig trenches, and other things to set up defenses in prep for war?

How about buildings can be destroyed with the right seige engines?

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One game solved it by offering private dungeons, where the dungeon spawns for your party. If another party enters, they get their own. That way, no group interferes with another. I think the outdoor camps should still be available - some people like the crowds and the interaction.

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That''s what a town is for, Waverider.

I have never and won''t ever wait for non-boss monsters to spawn just so I can level up. I paid the subscription to level up my character, not sit in a fucking line.

Killstealers need to be sodomized with a white-hot iron spike. Make the XP system such that only the first person gets all the XP, so long as they did at least 1/n of the damage done to the monster. Why should someone else level up while I burn potions or have to sit and regen?

My favorite feature in MMORPGs would defintely have to be support skills. Helpful skills that target other players and give them hit points, increase their speed or damage or the like. Yes, something like this is a basic feature, but it''s something you can''t be without. There HAS to be a support class, one that makes everyone else''s levelling easier and in turn gets to level up on the party''s shared XP.

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For me, designing within the MMORPG setting has been more than surprising! Fortunately for me, I began designing before MMO(RP)Gs were even commonplace, and as such, I wasn''t as influenced by their unfortunate side effects untill I actually got into UO myself, which just helped me realize just how good my design work was and helped me to refine it even more!

For me, the whole leveling thing in almost all MMORPGs needs a rehaul. It''s just not fun to just sit there and hammer away for endless hours just to get to make a decent item or engage with high level (and somewhat more mature) players - to have solid fun period! Yeah, all the factors that go into leveling sound interesting, but it''s IMHO just bragging rights (in fact, unless there''s a real solid difference between levels, it''s really not even noticed as much of an advantage (wow, I''m level 8 in smithing, I can only make a steel dagger, but I''ll need to go up 5 more levels just to make a sword?! And another 10 to work with Mithiril??!!)).

To me, it''s a cheesy marketing scheme (hehe, they''ll pump a whole year and a half of leveling and payments into this game before they can have any real fun!) that will die with those games.

On the side of skills. What is a skill anyways? It''s something that you can do to be productive right? Well, if I know how to hit metal with a hammer to make a dagger, why can''t I _attempt_ to make a sword? Why must it be, "I can''t make it ''cause I''m stupid?" To me, skill use must almost always be allowed, but proficiency using that skill should make the difference. And by difference, I mean an actuall learning experience, not just "Wow, I can suddenly make a shield now!" After all, it''s a _role_ your playing, not a robot that has suddenly downloaded a program!

Combat. Hit Points. Realism!!! Combat is usually way too lame to interest me any more than leveling up is. Yeah you''ve got the ranged and magic bolt attacks and such, but what''s the point if everything is just so bland you can''t have fun pickin'' a fight. Like others have mentioned, it''s usually the game of waiting at spawn points to hack enough level 8 zombies, taking say 5 hits each, to level up 5 times just to kill them in 4 hits! And that''s just to be ''safe'' enough to go after level 10 skeletons?! BO-RinG! Give me some damn action! Tactics! Even a little thrill?! Possibly reason?! Possibly a tiny influence of doing what your _role_ would want to do in a situation they may encounter?!

I know I''m rambling maddly, though I hope it actually helps you to think on the outside of the box about things.

"There''s times when you wish you could rewrite the history of certain things that have occured, MMORPG-ing is one of those."

- Christopher Dapo ~ Ronixus

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quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
Let people die. If your killed thats it game over start again with a new character.


I can say this right now. No.

People hate starting over, it may be realistic but it''s not fun. However some people strangely like it. So maybe add in a feature where you can be posssesed by a dark spirit or empowered by some magic well or something (biotech upgrade if futuristic) whatever and basically it makes you stronger than average players but if you die it''s permadeath.

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A level 45 could easily kill a level 40, while it is almost impossible for the level 40 to kill the level 45. It is frustrating when you got killed but you can''t kill him back.

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quote:
Original post by Ronixus
On the side of skills. What is a skill anyways? It''s something that you can do to be productive right? Well, if I know how to hit metal with a hammer to make a dagger, why can''t I _attempt_ to make a sword? Why must it be, "I can''t make it ''cause I''m stupid?" To me, skill use must almost always be allowed, but proficiency using that skill should make the difference. And by difference, I mean an actuall learning experience, not just "Wow, I can suddenly make a shield now!" After all, it''s a _role_ your playing, not a robot that has suddenly downloaded a program!



I''ve been trying to find a reasonable system for skill advancement that addresses the issues you described. The best solution I''ve found is to make certain skills "trainable." Under my system, a character can attempt to use any skill as long as he meets certain minimum criteria.

Here''s a simple example with combat skills. Let''s say "punch" and "kick" are the simple combat skills with no requirements. Any character can attempt a punch or a kick. However, there is also a "jump-kick" skill that has a minimum requirement in the kick skill. If the character meets that minimum requirement, he can also attempt a jump-kick, even if he doesn''t possess that skill.

This system can lead to some interesting scenarios in the game. For example, there could be a "Summon Fire" skill that any wizard could attempt. But if he doesn''t possess one of the three sub-skills beneath it ("Burning Hands," "Flaming Missile," or "Fireball"), he doesn''t know which of the three he might cast, or if it will be successful.

I like this method because it allows players to experiment, but also limits their access to certain high-level skills. After all, not any player should be able to shoot laser from his eyes; or to be more specific, unless they meet certain criteria, they should always expect to fail.

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