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Dak Lozar

Players as monsters in MMORPGs

52 posts in this topic

I answered a post in Redesigning RPGs! on this forum and I have decided to create a thread on this topic. I have been suggesting a way to allow players to play as "monsters" in our _in design_ MMORPG. This role has traditionaly been an NPC, but, by allowing players to become these creatures you can justify PKing. I''m not sure that it would be PKing, because the other player is a monster and players wouldn''t know if it was an NPC (we would still have NPC monsters) or a PC. What are some of you thoughts on this ideal? Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser
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It's something that needs to be done. The one thing I'm thinking, though, is that your going to need some way to keep the number of monsters in check. If the monster population grows out of control then it could ruin the other players experience.

Here's some ideas on how to do that:
1) Characters in the minority group become stronger to balance things out. So if there are a ton of monsters, then heroes will be much stronger, and vice-versa.

2) Maybe players become monsters based off their actions. So a player might start as a human, and continually grow more and more grotesque and evil as because of his actions. (actually, I'm not sure if this would solve anything, but I really like the idea )

----------------------------------------
Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant and she fell on me? Then it wouldn't seem quite so funny.


Edited by - The Senshi on July 5, 2000 2:11:22 PM
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quote:
Original post by The Senshi
+snip+
2) Maybe players become monsters based off their actions. So a player might start as a human, and continually grow more and more grotesque and evil as because of his actions.


I like this ideal alot.
There has to be some reason for the player to _behave_. If they were to become a monster, which would take them out of the normal loop of play, then this would be a very good incentive.
Would this be irreversable? Or could the player somehow become "human" (or whatever race they were(if you have other races)) again?

quote:

(actually, I''m not sure if this would solve anything, but I really like the idea )
+snip+


Being a monster would remove the player from the normal game loop... they couln''t go into town, they would be the hunted, any player could kill them, as well as other NPC monsters
SO, I think it could be a way to handle players of this type.






Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser
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Hmm, I think the effect should be permanent. It provides a really cool opportunity for roleplaying. You'll actually see monster communities rise up! Hell, maybe they could even organize village raids (*evil grin*).

As you can tell, I like the idea of raiding villages .

If it's not permanent, though, it should at least be really hard to reverse. Maybe you have to go on some sort of horribly difficult quest or something .

In any case, the effects should be hard to get rid of, otherwise they're just a slap on the wrist. And IMHO one of the most important things for roleplaying is real consequences for your actions.

Of course, we should also apply this in the opposite fashion. If your character is really heroic and good, the monsters should notice him a bit more. But the player should also be rewarded for his reputation by shop keepers, etc.

In other words:
Monster: allows you to kill things without consequences, you can do all sorts of village raids and what not. Also justifies player killing. Bad thing is that you become an outcast.

Hero: gain favor with people and shopkeepers, but at the price of higher visibility to monsters.

Of course, players becoming monsters should have some sort of control over how there monsterishness develops . In fact, this would allow for you to make player classes without some sort of artificial "choose your player class" system at the start.

----------------------------------------
Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant and she fell on me? Then it wouldn't seem quite so funny.


Edited by - The Senshi on July 5, 2000 3:02:18 PM
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Hey I just wanted to say I really liked your ideas. What kind of game would this be in? Isometric, FPS, RPG, etc. Or is this just in general.
--klown

It''s go time.
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quote:
Original post by klown

Hey I just wanted to say I really liked your ideas. What kind of game would this be in? Isometric, FPS, RPG, etc. Or is this just in general.
--klown

It''s go time.


My focous is a MMORPG in this instance. I''m sure it would work just as well in an RPG. FPS''s do not deem someone evil because they have "knocked someone off" so, I''m not sure it would work... but, I could be wrong.






Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser
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(landfish arrives in cognito...)

(I use goblin as a generic term for monster. Sorry)

Um, yeah. It really is the next logical step in MMORPG. If there''s a player behind every goblin, goblins will hence be much harder to kill. Like, not worth killing, unless you''ve got a damn good reason. Combine this with goblins having a different economy (i.E. bone money, or something useless to humans) and all of a sudden you''ve killed leveling!

But you haven''t killed the rivalry between the two... by no means.

This would only really work in a final death situation. If goblins are portrayed as expendable, they will be. So when the character dies, they DIE. The family then holds a funeral, and revenge is taken. The player makes another character. So be it.

(Scampers off before anyone catches him posting to GDNet...)
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quote:

Hmm, I think the effect should be permanent. It provides a really cool opportunity for roleplaying. You''ll actually see monster communities rise up!
Hell, maybe they could even organize village raids (*evil grin*).


If the effect is permanent, and the change was caused by the player being _evil_ :p there should be some system in place that keeps these players in the game or coming back, even if they are less than desirable *Note: I only say this because most new games to include UO:Reniasance, have non-PK areas and it seems
to be a less than ideal way to handle the issue, at least to me.
Hehe, this could be very disruptive to the economy if not handled properly.
I do agree, it could be fun... which is why I suggest the ability to be a monster when you start the game. This would save some poor souls from being PKed in the event a player decides to become a monster.

quote:

If it''s not permanent, though, it should at least be really hard to reverse.
Maybe you have to go on some sort of horribly difficult quest or something .

In any case, the effects should be hard to get rid of, otherwise they''re just a
slap on the wrist. And IMHO one of the most important things for roleplaying is
real consequences for your actions.


I suppose the real question is, does a player who has anti-social behavior deserve to change back. If the metamorphosis is a defined progression of changes, in which the player changes each time they have killed another player and the character ignores them, then he can''t change back.
If during the change he decides to "change for the better" then he has a to perform a quest or meet some requirements, in order to revert.
I prefer to allow them to revert at any time before the full metamorphosis has taken place.



Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser
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quote:
Original post by Landfish

(landfish arrives in cognito...)

(I use goblin as a generic term for monster. Sorry)

Um, yeah. It really is the next logical step in MMORPG. If there''s a player behind every goblin, goblins will hence be much harder to kill. Like, not worth killing, unless you''ve got a damn good reason. Combine this with goblins having a different economy (i.E. bone money, or something useless to humans) and all of a sudden you''ve killed leveling!

But you haven''t killed the rivalry between the two... by no means.

This would only really work in a final death situation. If goblins are portrayed as expendable, they will be. So when the character dies, they DIE. The family then holds a funeral, and revenge is taken. The player makes another character. So be it.

(Scampers off before anyone catches him posting to GDNet...)


Ummm, did I miss something... why are you in cognito
At any rate...
I think your right about the monsters being harder to kill. That is something I didn''t even think about yet, but your right. Of course the player would have to start from zero again. Any skills that the player has acquired during his play as a "human" is useless.
Maybe when the character (as a monster) is dead, he doesn''t die, but is transformed back into the character that he started as. With all attributes as they were when he started.

Oh, well off to play Diablo II

Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser
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Dak Lozar:

Landfish? What Landfish? I didn''t see a Landfish...

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake
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Yes when a charactor dies it should remain dead and not re spawn or resurect. Maybe people who have achieved extreame goodness should be able to be revived. but then again who is to say that monsters are bad and humans good?
--klown

It''s go time.
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quote:
Original post by klown

Yes when a charactor dies it should remain dead and not re spawn or resurect. Maybe people who have achieved extreame goodness should be able to be revived. but then again who is to say that monsters are bad and humans good?
--klown

It''s go time.


Right. Who is to say what is good and what is bad? I wathced a show the other night, I think the title was "When bears attack" hehe what a funny title. Anyway, this guy was trying to explain why each of these people had been attacked. The jist of it all was that this is what bears do. They are wild. And when they attack, thats what they are supposed to do. The people who were injured, well I feel for them, but hey, were in their element when we go in the woods. Hmmmm how does this relate to the topic.
OK, say the monsters are good and the humans are bad.
Everyone who does good things would turn into monsters and all the PKs would stay human or some race closer to that limb in the evoloutionary tree I don''t belive in evoloution... I can''t even spell it Sorry for this post... I''m feeling a bit silly.
Been trying to stay in a D2 game and the servers keep going down.... I should be pissed but, I''m just punchy.

I always say that people are inherently evil, they have to choose to be good.



Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser
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quote:

Yes when a charactor dies it should remain dead and not re spawn or resurect. Maybe people who have achieved extreame goodness should be able to be revived. but then again who is to say that monsters are bad and humans good?
--klown



I disagree. Its hard to really develop your character if when it dies, you just have to create a new one.

A bit off topic, but I also think players should only be allowed one or two characters. They can delete the old one and restart, of course, but they shouldn''t be able to have more than two. I just think that this would make it a bit more interesting since you can''t just create throw-away characters to troll around with.


quote:

If the effect is permanent, and the change was caused by the player being _evil_ :p there should be some system in place that keeps these players in the game or coming back, even if they are less than desirable



Yeah, but if they became a monster in the first place, then its probably what they want (and, therefore, not bad for them). I say, if they want to kill each other, let ''em. Just work it into the game somehow.

In other words, turning into a monster shouldn''t be bad, its just a different way of playing the game. That''s what roleplaying is all about .

Flame away!


----------------------------------------
Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant and she fell on me? Then it wouldn't seem quite so funny.
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Although, the becoming a monster thing would be cool, it makes more sense to me to merely choose what type of creature you want to be at the beginning of the game. I know that can be a little cheesy, but I don''t think it would be that bad.

Then, the player would be able to play the role accordingly. If the player doesn''t then there should be some sort of penalty. It would be great if the more intelligent player-controlled non-humans could actually role-play rather than just walk up and start attacking.

Like if there''s a race of creatures that are pretty intelligent, they may try and force the human-types to do something for them.

Just some ideas...

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake
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I see the minds bubbling in this caldron! GOsh this is suc h a great idea. You can see monster communities pop up around the continent. Instead of guilds and such, you can have clans and so forth that include you being some sort of creature. But being creatures and such can be awesome. Sya you are a flying creature like a wyvern. You can do air raids, you are affected by some attacks and not others, you can cross areas that common characters/creatures cannot. Or say you are a water creature. The possibilities are endless. Let''s say that the monster population gets out of control. The town mayor or king can hire someone to go out and hunt some of the monsters, to get rid of them. Taking this into perspective will make it a more real world situation than can be imagined almost! A real struggle, a battle of the fittest! If the monster is stronger, than he is the victor and the town ruler has to find someone else. Towns should be able to be destroyed if so. Armies can be part now. Say someone joins the game and enters the town''s army? Monsters get out of conrtol, the king sends the army to "filter". The king could even recruit people!! It is such a GREAT IDEA! Ill stop and let someone else go.

(Sprinkles some Landfish food on the ground for bait)

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Yeah, I wonder why no big MMORPGs have included such a thing? It's such a great idea w/ so many possibilities....

Underlight had real people playing trainers that taught people stuff...but this would be even better


What about people playing the owners of tavers and things like that? Good idea? Or just plain boring?

Ferinorius:
Try this...



"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake

Edited by - Nazrix on July 5, 2000 11:58:50 PM
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Every so often I'll think of ideas to add to a MMORPG I might someday create (..ok, in about 10 years... after I figure this whole coding thing out), and one day an idea like the ones being discussed came into my head. It goes something like this:

A player thats been killed might be able to embark upon the 'undead path', perhaps by remaining as a spirit and not being ressurected, or maybe with the aid of a player with some sort of necromancy skill. He/she would then start as a ghost, or perhaps zombie or skeleton and would function as a standard monster. Over time, though, through the completion of certain events (maybe killing a certain # of players to satisfy their newfound lust for human flesh... or something like that) they would evolve into the next state of undead-ness.. (maybe with different paths to take, such as mummy, vampire, lich) etc.. eventually they'd be able to gain new forms (perhaps lichs might turn into ancient lichs after a month of playing) and abilities.. its not all the way thought out, but I think its an interesting idea nonetheless (even though it borrows from some other ideas above.. but I thought of this all before I read the post.. I swear eh..great minds think alike or some such thing.) So... what do you all think?

Edited by - A. Buza on July 5, 2000 12:27:03 AM
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I like that idea, A. Buza

One idea I was playing with was that once you die, you could promise to perform a quest of some sort to a god of death or whatever, in return for your life back...
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Further, what about monsters that always travel in packs? couldn''t the player be the whole pack? I think it would be neat to be a flock of bats, or some giant spiders that attack in patterns and try to cooperatively cocoon things. This makes your game strategic for those who want to play it that way, and not for those who don''t. Yay flexibility!
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(A creature resembling the landfish arrives...)

Allow me to explain my reasoning about absolute death. In a system where combat is brutal and death is final, you will find that people will hesitate to enter combat for brash or callous reasons. Yes, this will CHANGE the balance of gameplay we know currently, making things OTHER THAN combat worth doing. Why? Because combat is risky, if not rewarding.

If you are truly building a character, death should not concern you any more than it does in reality. If you aren''t picking fights or making enemies, nobody will kill you for no reason. If they *did*, the consequences would be so dire that the murderer has put himself at risk. When the murderer is killed, the murderer''s player will have to start all over again with a new character (as per final death). If you have an advancement system, this will mean it is even HARDER to kill without reason, because the player is constantly starting anew!

Absolute death would actually strengthen the player-character bond. When you lost a good character, you would greive for her... as would any IC friends you had. I would like to see in-game funerals become commonplace when a character passes away. It would add the feeling of some kind of consequence to action. Also, I would love to play the girl''s boyfriend at her funeral, making the vow to avenge her death. Call me a chivalrous machovist, but that story is just damn timeless!

There are some deeper questions about why you would want to participate in such a risky endeavor, but I think SunandShadow''s thesis (elsewhere in the forum) will illuminate my motivations.

-The Creature Mysteriously Resembling a Landfish
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Re: some creature resemebling something

Are you talking about singleplayer? Thats all fine, usually singleplayers are able to save their games, but perhaps you want to remove saving games?

Are you talking about multiplayer, where the player and all his information is stored on a online server? You have obviously not played alot of online rpg games. Have you heard of lag? Has you internet connection every went down for 24 hours? Or someone picking up the phone when you are on a modem? Or simply AFK?
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quote:
I have been suggesting a way to allow players to play as "monsters" in our _in design_ MMORPG. This role has traditionaly been an NPC, but, by allowing players to become these creatures you can justify PKing. I''m not sure that it would be PKing, because the other player is a monster and players wouldn''t know if it was an NPC (we would still have NPC monsters) or a PC. What are some of you thoughts on this ideal?



This has been implemented in thousands of muds, in different constellations of race wars. I''d reccomend you to check out Duris, there are like 15 goodie races and 15 evil. This is no commercial since i don''t play duris myself.
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Well Now,

I would think when playing a network multiplayer
after completing the game the player can then
choose to play as one of the monsters. A lot of
other games do it so why not an RPG.

STVOY

Mega Moh Mine!!
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I meant to jump in this discussion when it started yesterday, but got sidetracked!

A. Buza basically outlined one of the most successful and enjoyable pen and paper campaigns I ever got to experience.

A well established character of mine had died while trying to finish an extremely important quest. The quest was so important, to others not myself, that my god intervened and allowed me to rise from the dead in an attempt to finish my quest. My reward for finishing the quest? Entrance into the afterlife...

What was really cool about it was that the GM allowed my undead character to raise in "undead" experience levels. Where each new level gained a transformation into an new, but more powerful undead. When I "died" as an undead, then I lost a level of my transformation. One of the biggest banes where clerics of other gods...the fear of banishment before fulfilling my quest was strong. Clerics of my god actually were able to recognize me as "touched" by our god and so provided what aid they could, etc..

I don''t know *how* he determined the experience, and it was most likely arbitrary, but it was very cool. There are LOTS of limitations when you are dead...


I have always thought that being able to play pretty much any concievable character in game would be cool. If you look at some "monsters" as just another race trying to survive, then they really aren''t monsters at all...they just have a different perspective.

I don''t think that races such as Orc or Goblin are inheritly evil (unless the campaign or world requires it), but I could see where they might have racial tenencies.

Another successful campaign that I participated in was as an Orc shaman (magic user). The orc culture the GM described was one where the social order was ruled by the strong. As I gained in experience, it was a requirement to duel (to the death) other members of the social order in order to advance.

However, advancement by cunning or treachery was almost worth more (respect wise) than just overpowering your opponent. Meaning I always had to look over my shoulder for assassination attempts and other acts of treachery while looking for opportunities to attempt some of my own!


Transferring these pen/paper ideas to a computer world I think could be highly successful though extremely difficult. I mean, what if you could mix and match races to form hybrids that were likely unique? Don''t get me started on the success of my half elf, half fire demon character ..

Well, I really rambled waaaay off topic...*sigh* ...

I am enjoying following this thread! It has stirred up alot of emotions / ideas that have been bubbling beneath the surface for way tooo long!









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that landfish mirage brings some good points.

Imagine it. If there was nothing after death except to start a new character, you know how attatched people would be to the game? It is amazingly strong bond we could make if we were in such a living realistic world.

Something I can see coming with this grand game is the thought that you aren''t the sole person here. Let me explain.

Say on the other side of the continent your good friend who started the game with you months back was killed by a murderer around one town. You are on a miniquest or such on the other side of the continent when all of a sudden a messenger boy delivers the news that your comrade is dead, and you are to attend the funeral. This makes the world revolving in a sense. Just because you are in this world doesn''t mean it has to revolve around you like some single player RPGs do. NOt a good example I know

But the thing I''m trying to point out is that it is a close simulation to a real world. Life death, strife, terror, innocence....it goes on and on

And another cool point i thought. Say after you are dead, you can explore/live in a whole other worlld a la Kain:Soul Reaver? You are transported to another realm to live.
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