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Wutalife37

Character Development

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Imagine an MMORPG that has player-killing, and only player-killing. There are no monsters to go fight, only other players. However, there''s a problem with this. Level 90 characters can still fight level 10 characters. The gameplay would be unbalanced because all players aren''t equal. However, if everyone couldn''t advance then there would be less reason for the purpose to play. Is it possible to retain character development without letting characters gain an advantage over each other?

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The simplest way to do this is by making the higher level not matter as much. Lock all weapons and attacks at the same level of damage. Lock all character's hit points at the same number throughout their whole lives -- maybe giving tiny bonuses occasionally.

Within the combat environment, each character has a probability to hit the opposing character according to whether his combat skill is greater than the other. For the character to hit an enemy of lower skill, there is a 60% chance of success. For a character to hit an enemy of higher skill, there is a 40% chance of success. If the two combatants are of equal skill, there is a 50% chance of success.

This way, no matter how much higher-level a character is than another, there is only a 20% difference in their chances to kill each other.

For a good reference of just this type of thing, see Dying Lights (http://www.ghazporkindustrial.com/)

Another (more silly) solution is to add arbitrary rules explicitly for helping-out the underdog: Something like:

1) Attacking too-low a character makes you an outlaw or looses you popularity.

2) Or make it so that critical hits kill -- regardless of what the hitpoints of the target are.

3) Klepto Blizzard's "Thorns" aura.

Things like that can make it so the newbs don't get totally trounced by the Obsessive-Compulsive.


- = - = - = - = -
Good is the enemy of excellence.

[edited by - ishpeck on January 5, 2004 7:08:37 PM]

[edited by - ishpeck on January 5, 2004 7:20:04 PM]

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You can have different areas of the game where only certain people can go. For instance, area A can only be accessed by people level 10 and under, while area B can only be accessed by people level 11 and up.

While I'm at it, I think it'd be pretty cool to have a game where you go out and capture monsters and breed them to battle each other. Kinda like how you can battle your creatures in Dragon Warrior Monsters, or Pokemon, just not... Pokemon-ish.

Edit: Added second paragraph.

[edited by - orionx103 on January 5, 2004 7:17:42 PM]

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quote:
You can have different areas of the game where only certain people can go. For instance, area A can only be accessed by people level 10 and under, while area B can only be accessed by people level 11 and up.


One of the earlier MMORPs (the Realm) did that. I hated it it. I strongly discourage it for the following reason:

The entire objective here is to ENCOURAGE NEW PLAYERS to play the game. Telling them: "You can''t do that until you''re a level 1038974890189" just discourages them from even trying to advance their character. You can make it easier for new players to break into the game more by providing less necessity for everyone in the game to be obscenely high level.

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Or possibly if you had it so that characters fighting could only be level x+n, where x is the lowest level character and n is some constant. This would still give the lower character a chance. Work this in with what the other guys said above!

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Or perhaps you could allow players to fight -- just not always to the death.

You could give the lower-level character XP whether he wins or looses. After all, you can learn a lot from your mistakes.



[edited by - ishpeck on January 5, 2004 7:34:40 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Wutalife37
Is it possible to retain character development without letting characters gain an advantage over each other?



I doubt it.

Development would have to be completely meaningless or separated from combat.

Even allowing victors treasure or items will be used to gain an advantage over others.

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There's an MMOFPS game called PlanetSide that did a pretty good job of encouraging character development while not providing a real advantage. They had certifications for different weapons/vehicles/skills. The higher your level, the more certifications you could have. Since everyone could use the same weapons/vehicles/skills at any level, the only advantage that the player had was versatility. When you're fighting 100 different people, their versatility means nothing to you. All that matters is your versatility, and so the system was amazingly successful.

So it is definitely possible. It's just that the method above would not apply well to my game, so I need another idea.

[edited by - wutalife37 on January 5, 2004 7:56:14 PM]

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The reason you''re seeing these problems with PK''ing is probably because you''ve got your mind set that a MMORPG has to be set in a specific way. For example, a (mmo)rpg doesn''t HAVE to have levels, there are level/experience-less rpg-systems...and even if there is levels, they don''t have to give a player any considerable higher chance of killing a lower-level character..

-Luctus

Statisticly seen, most things happens to other people.
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Guest Anonymous Poster
You could always try basing it on skill. I.e. if you play the game for a week you are crap because you haven''t learnt how to fight, after a few months you get better. Of course you''ll need more than the standard RPG point and click attack to provide players with the opportunity to get better and better as they learn.

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