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HART

What is fun? (MMORPG)

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smr    2468
Um, I don't play MMORPG's very often, but a solution to the PK problem seems obvious to me. Handicaps. If you are a low level player and are attacked by a level 120 asshole with the spear of god and adamantium armour, why not give the victim an insane handicap in order to give them a fighting chance. Of course, this would only be applicable to those who are in your nation, clan, army or whatever. It wouldn't be fair to place the handicap on enemy players. Another method: let the PK ability be opt-in. The only way to damage a "friendly" player is if you both have opted in to have the PK ability. Once you damage another player, you must wait a minimum of 24 (or whatever) hours of playtime before you may disable it.

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HART    121
Maega, thanks for that post it was helpfull. ive never heard of that game but it sounds good. i was planning on haveing skill based leveling in my game like you said, if you want to be better with an axe, use it. there are no clases, anyone can go up any of the skill trees. its kinda like SWG, but i will balance the fighting classes be better than they did.

Quote:
original post by Telastyn
If people enjoy grinding away [MMORPG subscriptions say yes] and big chat rooms [IRC activity say yes] then mission accomplished. Personally, PvP in a persistant world is the antithesis of fun. You disagree. *shrug*


did people enjoy Super Mario Bros? hell yeah[people bought it]. but thats not to say that once you make something good, you cant make it better. all MMORPGs up to this point have all followed some basic rules. the level grind and no permadeath being a couple of them. i want to make something new to push the genre forward.

Quote:
original post by Telastyn
There's a fairly famous article about MUDs by Richard Bartle. [diamonds, clubs, hearts, spades ?] [achiever, socializer, explorer, killer ?]

The game you suggest seems to only cater to killers. Killers griefing others, killers "policing" griefers. Nothing for the rest.


yes, ive read the article and considerd it. while permadeath might seem like an idea that only benifits the players that like killing, i think it would benifit other types of players too. i think achievers would benifit by this system, bucause it would actually give them a chance to get compete with each other. currently achievers race for the highest level and then when they reach it, all they reall have to do is hunt for the uber items. acheivers who were able to reach higher levels in the game would be more satified because they would be respected by the other players. but permadeath isnt the only feature of this game, thus there will be plenty of things that the explorer type players can research and descover. as for socializer, well, i didnt really understand the socializer part of the paper. weather these people like polotics, roleplaying or just plain talking to people. if they like politics, no need to worry, this game will have plenty. as for role playing, i think this game provides a pretty good foundation for it. and as for just chatting, well i guess one chat room is as good as the other.

Quote:
originaly created by smr
let the PK ability be opt-in. The only way to damage a "friendly" player is if you both have opted in to have the PK ability. Once you damage another player, you must wait a minimum of 24 (or whatever) hours of playtime before you may disable it.


this is a pretty good idea, however i think it would open the door for people to be jerks without fear of a consequence. i want my game to be tottally limitless for people. i dont want to put restrictions on people hindering them from doing what they want. thats why i dont like the idea of special PvP zones and what not. and thats why i favor skill bassed progression with many many options, people should be able to take there character down whatever path they choose

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capaneus    122
I think maybe you don't need to worry too much about the pvp issue.
If you want to create a limitless world, just define some situation that player can't kill each other and they are free for kill at all the other situations.
Then if you want to limit the pvp action, the basic idea is to let player punish the one who kills. Give them wanted list, let player to hunt the killer. And give him reward if he has killed some one on the list. Define the hunt rule cleverly will sovle the pvp issue. After some time, the world will go to it's own balance.

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HART    121
i dont know if there will be any situation where you cant kill other players, but there will be bounty booths set up. most games have missions that you can get from NPC's bounty booths will be like missions you get from real people.

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Megalith    122
I have played alot of MMORPG's, I tend to play as a "powergamer" with ambition which has led me to make and lead some pretty significant guilds (in AO, EQ and UO these got to quite some size, www.nanoclan.com hosts the site for my latest creation which is the guild Storm in Anarchy Online where im known as Wolfe.)

I learned some things about what players want, need and do which often are things that are unrelated. (Might seem cryptic but everything is cryptic once it gets interesting) :P

Players will say "grinding sux" but on the other hand what would they be thinking about the game if they hadnt been "forced" to grind through the game together? The time it takes of fighting mobs together as a team to reach the endgame in any MMORPG is the tool that the players unknowingly use to become familiar with eachother and the social structures that keep the game enjoyable for a longer time than it takes to learn everything and do everything.

The social structures that a MMOG needs to survive always create conflicts and friendships, without these you wont have a MMOG. The problem here is that one group that internally considers eachother as friends will consider some of the other groups as "enemies" and this will lead to fighting. In most games you are unable to directly fight your enemy (what most call PvP) so the players resort to other "tactics" such as training monsters on them, stealing loot, saying bad things etc. This in some cases goes far enough to where people make up lies about their enemies (when an organised player group with 600 members make up a lie about an enemy player and backs their version of things its very hard to stand against it and prove yourself innocent).

Regardless of how you approach the development of means to settle conflict you'll always end up in a system that can and will be abused by the players. The best sollution is then to give them the tools that will let the players settle their conflicts in the most "honourable" manner.

Introducing perma-death as a sollution to griefing is d00m3d to fail. There will always be one group of players who is stronger (read stronger as having more manhours) and will strongarm another group through whatever means your game provides. An organized group of players could for example decide to set up 10 shared accounts which they play and level on "secondary" computers with the sole purpouse of killing all players outside their own organisation who possibly can reach enough power to become a threat. Even if you remove direct PvP from the game you'll see this group of players abusing other loopholes on your system to bring about the demise of their enemies. Whenever one of the 10 mules die the organised group of players will rebuild a character by working together and share that burden.

If you want perma death you'll have to implement it so only a player who decides to take their risks are safe from perma death until he needs to raise the stakes for some particular occation where he knows that failure means perma death, basically players will need invulnerability to this in all situations except for exceptions.

Grinding "EQ-style" is probably the worst implementation of levelling, despite this horrible sollution to the problem you'll find that all the big current MMORPG's use this system (even UO does but you grind/macro for skill instead of levels). Grinding works to reach the desired outcome, while players grind they bond with eachother and their own characters. The timesink where you sit for 5 minutes to med up mana is a potential socializing event to further bond player with eachother and your game.

The players who have the most time on their hands will become the influential players in any game, they are the ones that everyone always sees online (as opposed to those with less time whom everyone only sees occationally). They are the ones who will teach everyone else where to go and how to do things. Regardless of how you make your system you'll find no other means to "elect" the "royalty" of your ingame community. (You can try to elevate some players to take care of official duties like volunteer programs etc but those players will always pale in comparison with the powergamers and their "legit" path to glory.)

So if you have deicded to do away with grinding what replacement have you found that will give the average player of your game a few hundred hours of gameplay together with a group of others who eventually will become friends?

Oh, and I dont lead Storm anymore as I have a job to take care of nowadays. I still pop by and give them some direction and advice now and then. :-)

/Wolfe

This turned into a little essay ^^

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I would be interested in putting perma-death in a single player game. I always find there isnt sufficient risk factor in single player games, at least in MMOg's you can penalize the player for dieing(taking away their inventory or something) but in SP they can simply reload. You could implement a devilish auto save system but is there anyway to get around the player crashing out?

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Terlenth    300
Probably could do an on end of program thing... where if the program is termanated it autosaves before doing so. But you could probably get around that by the "End Process" route through Task Manager.

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dwmitch    143
First of all, I would like to say that in context PKers aren't necessarily jerks. I was a PKer in Everquest towards the end, but that was because I was on a PvP teams server, and I was a rogue, who you expect to be a petty thug. I didn't do it to be a jerk, I was just playing my character the way a rogue should be played (even though I only ever won one fight).

Now about the limits. There have to be some limits placed on PvP combat, especially if you impliment permadeath. Otherwise you could have a level 50 mage cast necrosis on a level one player and dissolve them immediately.

Everquest handled this by setting caps. A level 20 player couldn't attack anyone over level 25 or under level 15, and players couldn't even participate in PvP until level 6 (could be five. It's been a couple of years).

Now as for the permadeath and name quests, you would lose a lot of players with permadeath and there would be a lot of confusion with name quests. Why work up to level 20 and get a lot of the good spells, thousands of gold pieces (or whatever your currency is), and maybe even a horse, then lose everything but your name when some punk druid roots you while you're trying to run from a puma?

And if you have to go on a long quest for your name, how will unnamed players interact with each other? Names are very important for interaction.

Oh, I almost forgot. It would be interesting to see large scale storylines, such as NPC orcs attempting to taking over a city (not a city with a storyline of having been captured, but an established city that's invaded at random intervals). Maybe even effects from the weather. For example, lightening could cause a forest fire, which would injure anyone who touched the flames, or lightening could hit players that are swimming during a storm.

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Brien Shrimp    176
I dont like MMORPGS. They aren't fun. Sure, I've been addicted to one before, but I wasn't having fun even then, which is why I quit.

My vision of a good MMORPG: No skills and no advancement. How is a game without ginding possible? Why would anyone even play the game? Players should want to play a game because it's FUN to play.

Here's a novel idea: Take advancement out of the equation. NOW design the game. Yeah, you'll probably have to do better than this old formula: "5 players form a party based on their levels and classes, then go have their characters stand around a poorly animated monster and swing their swords at nothing. As if this wasn't lame enough, once they have killed the monster, they have to sit around and do NOTHING until they heal. Oh yeah, and there's crafting in there somehow." MOVE ON. How about a battle system that relies on player skill rather than on character level? How about something else to do besides battle that doesn't reek of last-minute, side-quest, dead-end bullshit? Maybe I'm asking to take the RPG out of MMORPG. So be it. Whatever doesn't make it suck so badly.

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Terlenth    300
A couple of questions about the system you wish to impliment (because I have been trying to figure out how to do something similar for my own piece of mind).

How do you plan on having the characters control the form of the battle?

Do you want them to use projectiles only or are you going to make the only attacks possible predisposed attacks that are based from a mouse click?

Or do you mean to make it so that all attacks and blocks are made from the keyboard (in which case that combat may be too complicated for the player to use properly)

I'm just curious about what you think because of the fact that those questions above are the problems I could come up with from trying to figure out how to impliment that system.

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HART    121
Quote:
Original post by Megalith
I have played alot of MMORPG's, I tend to play as a "powergamer" with ambition which has led me to make and lead some pretty significant guilds (in AO, EQ and UO these got to quite some size, www.nanoclan.com hosts the site for my latest creation which is the guild Storm in Anarchy Online where im known as Wolfe.)




i would like to respond to all of these posts (and i will tomarrow) but its late and i just got my wisdom teeth yanked. i just wanted to say how excited i am to see that the great Wolfe posted here. i used to play AO, and when i played Storm was, and probly still is the largest force to be reckoned with in the game. anyway, just wanted to tip my hat to Wolfe.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by HART
permadeath is my way of dealing with the asshole problem. as i see it now, people like to be jerks because its fun. honestly. but if people could also be a hero, and hunt down the jerks, i think there would be a balance of good guys and bad guys. bad guys would be disliked amoung the community, they would be outcasts not welcomed in citys. but good guys would be welcomed as heroes for risking theyre life to kill bad guys, and as such people would probly help them by giving them discounts to items and such.


Have you considered that permadeath is the ultimate grind?

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Quote:
Original post by fierywater
here is the thing though. the grind solution i thought of, isnt an instant level up. you dont gain xp super fast or anything. it still takes time to build your character and if someone has spent a few weeks on there character, they are going to be careful about what they do and say to other players.


If it still takes time to build your character, and dying now tripps the ultimate downtime generator ... how does that prevent downtime?

Quote:
Original post by fierywateryou have a very good point here. progressing is one of the main things people do in MMORPGs. i did a little thinking(not a lot), and i came up with this idea. what if people have to quest for theyre name at the beggining of the game. this quest takes awhile, not something most people can do in one day. after the quest you are allowed to create your name(this also might make a few people less likely to pick a dumb name). if during the course of the game you are killed by a player, you still have your name, you just loose all your skills. one of the purposes then in this game, would to be to make your name well known. you could either do this by being infamous or famous. on top of the name thing though, there will need to be much more content, goals to achieve, ways to interact with the world, im still trying to think that stuff up.


Keeping on the 'you have worked out a way to prevent all grinding', have you seen that the questing system in WoW has been regarded as grinding? So, this being the case adding a quest just to get your name doesn't sound like the way to prevent grinding.

Not that a quest to get your name couldn't be done in a cool way.

Quote:
Original post by fierywaterpermadeath doesnt penalize just assholes, anyone can die. it just gives them something to actually be afraid of. it kind of adds to the rush of battle too though.


In otherwords it penalizes everybody?

Perma-death is an interesting option, although balancing it in such away that casual players, or heck even hardcore players enjoy it can be troubling.

Some of the flaws I see in it is a group of arsehat players banding together to power level characters to enact their arsehat ways on other people.

I would be interested in seeing some polls with real users on how they enjoy the concept of perma death.

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ArchangelMorph    263
Well to start off with i'd just like to let kno a few things about me:

- i'm pretty much new to MMOPRG's and the only one ihave played so far is Runescape from www.miniclip.com

- this is because i'm a university student and can't financially afford to have the internet at home, I only managed to gain the experience playng runescape because the game is absolutely FREE.. Also the fact that the game doesn't require download or purchase as it runs directly off some online java client means that i could play the game from practically anywhere (even the uni computers, hehehe i'm a cheapskate i kno..)


Ok in my oppinion, one of the things that made Runescape such and interesting game to play was deifinately the variety of skills available to the player to master. there was stuff like fishing, crafting (making jewellery, clothes, ornaments etc..), cooking, wood cutting, mining, smithing and loads more. This mean't that play became much more of a job based affair rather than just levelling up you character to go and fight monsters etc. For the 20+ hrs i played the game, i spent my time earning a living in some trade (mine was mining ore and smelting it to make weapons for sale and also buying uncut gemstones, getting them cut and selling them on for people to use to make jewellery). In the time i played i found that the majority of enjoyment wasn't in the 'powergamer' role but just having the ability to play a very different and unique role in the game world.

I think that a good MMORPG would be one that gives the player the chance to play however they want to. If the player wishes to become a hero and go on quests to become famous and powerful then let the player do so..
If the player wishes to become the greatest fisherman in the land and go out into harsh waters and catch great whites and killerwhales then let the player do so..
If the player wishes to live in a single village, buy a property, convert it into a shop and sell goods for a living whilst going down to the local every once and a while to chat with his mates, then let the player do so..

I think the more 'Roles' you put into a 'Role Playing Game' can only make for a much more rich and engaging experience.

On top of that i think that another good idea would be 'the reduction of NPC's in the virtual world'. what i mean by this is, Have your essencial NPC's that are responsible for various game aspects etc. but allow for more of the NPC role's in the game to be taken up by players..

for instance,
If you have a world with lets say the kings loyal elite guard that hold the peace and make sure that players don't break certain rules in a city.. allow players to train to become these elites.. If a player break the rules then these elites have the authority to deal with the player (maybe throwing him in jail etc..), If the (elite) player tries to abuse his power then he would be cast down from his position and expelled from his ranks..

another example would be to allow players to become shop keepers or to provide a service to the rest of the world which NPC's would normally provide. Maybe give a general store keeper an NPC who goes out and buy's his stock for him from a special NPC warehouse. Allow the (shop keeper) player to, if successful in his trade, buy new properties and expand his business..
Now the role of a shop keeper in a world full of heroes and other, more adventurous roles may be one that the majority of players would dislike and choose not to adopt.. in this case maybe you could create (like runescape) a free service of play whereby players who aren't paying the monthly subscription to play the game could take up these lesser game roles and not have to pay a penny..

This would encourage more people to play the game overall and once a 'free-player' is bored of his game role, he could consider paying the subscription to give himself more options of play and open up more of the game to himself..

Another advantage of this would be that it would allow players to make special relationships with those that provide the services in the game world..
If a player is an asshole and a griefer, maybe shopkeepers who hear of his antics wouldn't trade goods with him..
Another example is if a player gets good friends with a baker, he may get discounted prices, freebies or whatever quality of service the baker wishes to give..

I think these ideas implemented into an MMORPG would lead to a VERY interesting, immersive, and enjoyable experience for many different types of players across the world..

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WiseElben    250
What I like in MMORPGs:
-An advanced class system. (For example, look at the game Ragnarok Online. There are 17-23 classes, depending on the server you're playing. You start out as the Novice Class, then you can decided between 5 1st class (Acolyte or example), then you can choose between two 2nd class (Acolyte -> Priest or Monk). Finally, some servers have the new Advanced 2nd Class (Priest -> High Priest and Monk-> Champion)

-PvP - What's the point of MMORPGs without this?
-Guild Wars - See above
-Houses - I've never played an MMORPG with a housing system, but it sounds like fun.!
-Online Marriges (Its fun! You can give newly weds like a high stat boost for their aniversaries and stuff.)
-Class Balance (This is a must. All classes must be balanced. That doesn't mean that a person using a dagger should be able to beat a person using a bow, which has an advantage.)
-Events! (All communities MUST have fun events. Fun doesn't mean summoning monsters in a large city and people lagging and killing em.
-Mini games (Capture the flag, team battle, or perhaps try to work in the new Splinter Cell multiplayer game in there somehow. XD. etc)

What I don't like:

-Crappy battle system (A FF battle system would not do well in an MMORPG)
-Server lag (Easy nuff.)
-Exploits (If there's a major exploit on a skill or something, disable that skill until you can fix it.)

And many more, but that's all I have time for. Good luck.

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HART    121
Quote:
posted by wolfe
Players will say "grinding sux" but on the other hand what would they be thinking about the game if they hadnt been "forced" to grind through the game together? The time it takes of fighting mobs together as a team to reach the endgame in any MMORPG is the tool that the players unknowingly use to become familiar with eachother and the social structures that keep the game enjoyable for a longer time than it takes to learn everything and do everything.


this is a very good point. i recently started playing a game called eve where you dont level up by doing things, but instead you pick a skill, and after a certain amount of time, in game or not in game, you will get the skill. this is a pretty good idea i think, but since im used to most where you have to constantly be killing things, i found myself a little lost for things to do. i still dont think this means they should resort to the level grind. grinding is such a mindless waste of time, in FPS yougrind through the levels and kill th hordes but that is at least a little bit exciting. in mmorpgs it is mainly a click here and push a button type fighting. mmorpgs should have other content to keep people from getting bored when they arnt grinding. player polotics and NPC attacks on mining villiages and other stuff. i dont wanna take the time right now to come up with a lot of good content ideas but that should be the first thing on the to do list for a new game. and a lot of times the content should come from other players. but the devs should put in the devices for players to make that content. just putting in a good storyline doesnt cut it. although it does help.

Quote:
posted by wolfe
The social structures that a MMOG needs to survive always create conflicts and friendships, without these you wont have a MMOG. The problem here is that one group that internally considers eachother as friends will consider some of the other groups as "enemies" and this will lead to fighting. In most games you are unable to directly fight your enemy (what most call PvP) so the players resort to other "tactics" such as training monsters on them, stealing loot, saying bad things etc. This in some cases goes far enough to where people make up lies about their enemies (when an organised player group with 600 members make up a lie about an enemy player and backs their version of things its very hard to stand against it and prove yourself innocent).

Regardless of how you approach the development of means to settle conflict you'll always end up in a system that can and will be abused by the players. The best sollution is then to give them the tools that will let the players settle their conflicts in the most "honourable" manner.


things need conflict to be interesting. and conflict between people is always more interesting than conflict between peeople and NPCs. and settling the conflict is have to fun of having one. a game needs to provide a good platform for conflicts. and then it needs to provide a way for people to solve them. a game must have both halves to be good. if one team of players picks a fight by ninja looting or kill stealing or what not, another team should be able to deal with them by killing them, or mugging them and taking all there stuff. if you provide a good way to deal with conflicts, like open PvP and permadeath, you can also provide alot of new ways to start conflicts. you could never have a thief or bandits in a game without permadeath. because the bandits and thieves always have the advantage. they can steal from people, but then they stash or sell the stuff and you can do anything back to them. with permadeath. you provide means for way more freedom to be a good guy or a bad guy.

Quote:
posted by wolfe
Introducing perma-death as a sollution to griefing is d00m3d to fail. There will always be one group of players who is stronger (read stronger as having more manhours) and will strongarm another group through whatever means your game provides. An organized group of players could for example decide to set up 10 shared accounts which they play and level on "secondary" computers with the sole purpouse of killing all players outside their own organisation who possibly can reach enough power to become a threat. Even if you remove direct PvP from the game you'll see this group of players abusing other loopholes on your system to bring about the demise of their enemies. Whenever one of the 10 mules die the organised group of players will rebuild a character by working together and share that burden.

If you want perma death you'll have to implement it so only a player who decides to take their risks are safe from perma death until he needs to raise the stakes for some particular occation where he knows that failure means perma death, basically players will need invulnerability to this in all situations except for exceptions.


games without permadeath are the ones where people can get a group of people, twink them out with the best stuff, and then pilliage everyone else. in a game with permadeath, you could do this, and yes, you would kill alot of people, a lot of people would be mad, but you would be just asking to be killed, and then you would loose you uber character with your uber stuff. making large amounts of enemys isnt something you would want to do, thus, you would be careful who you gave the deathblow. however in a game with no permadeath, your guild can be an asshole to
everyone, and it doesnt matter. they could camp a spot where they think you will be comming, wait there for hours, and finally they spot a member of your asshole guild. everyone rushes him roots him and he is dead. big deal. he looses some xp maybe he looses an item, but he respawns. was it really worth organizing a group to camp a chokepoint for hours on end?




ahhh i hope all this makes sense. and i hope theres not too many typos. im really tired and im on pain meds for my missing wisdom teeth. ill respond to the rest later but here is some stuff to read till then ttfn

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tstrimp    1798
I think the major thing missing from most mmorpgs is roleplaying. Sure all of them have a few "role playing" guilds and such but I don't think there has ever been an attempt to make a game for real role players.

I know the main problem in this is there is no real way of enforcing it other than having moderators policing the place making sure everyone is in character, and pretty much any attempt to enforce it otherwise would be manipulated by griefers.

One of the ideas I have played with is a rating system much like the one here. You rate people on their role playing and you have the option of ignoring (or they are automaticly ignored) people who fall below a certain limit (ratings are per account not per character). The obvious way to exploit this is to get a group of griefers together and start giving people negative ratings and each other positive ones. Surely there are people who try to take advantage of the system here, how can somthing liek that be prevented?

There would of course would have to be tolerance for "newbies" which in itself could be manipulated unless you made it perfectly clear to them before they enter the game that there will be penalties for not role playing.

If you could weed out the non roleplayers then I see nothing wrong with PK and perma death. Not very many people would be killed without a reason (theft, political reasons, revenge, etc) and from there even an aura or karma system would work, allowing you to have "good" and "evil" roleplayers.

I guess then you would have the problem of negative ratings for revenge... Aww hell lets face it... mmorpgs are doomed to suck until people grow up, and I think we all know how long that will take.


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Megalith    122
Interesting points :-)

What would belive will cause the permadeath system to have big problems is not based on people using 'uber' characters to grief other players. That wouldnt really go with the mentality of the average grief player so its not much of a risk.

The problems would start once a group of players (who play alot of hours every day) band together and form ganksquads. This kind of group always learns how to reach their desired goals through the patn of least resistance. This means they will not risk more than the least possible. We can toy with the idea that you can use a 2 day old character to train a group of high level monsters on an 'uber' character and thereby kill him in a dastardly manner. The grief gamer will together with his friends make an army of young characters and see how much death they can dish out before their tools have been spent. If it fails they will raise the stakes and maybe level alt chars to somewhat powerful levels with the intentions of getting rid of those they dont like.

This kind of group would also avoid making themselfs trackable through the game by using only external communications whenever a link to their real characters otherwise might be detected by the players outside their little crew.

Ultima Online used to have systems where perma-death wasnt very far from players reality. This only became an issue if you equipped your char with the best gear you had (if you had some great magic armor and weapons). Getting the best magic stuff in UO can be compared to levelling a char to the cap in most MMOG's so if you died you lost alot of work. The path of least resistance in this case was to make a number of "expendable" chars with expendable gear and team up to take out the players who were playing "legit" and using their uber magic armor. When you killed other players your expendable chars were "spent" but you had a good chance of getting loot that would compensate the loss by a great lot in the process.

There will always be a path of least resistance and it will always be used by all involved parties in any conflicting situation.

I dont think you'll be able to come up with a MMOG system that leads to a fun socializing game while also including permadeath unless if the permadeath is triggered by some very specific player actions (kinda like jedi in SWG). Or maybe you can make a system with a great lot of resistance in it for everything leading to a permadeath, but then you also give the players the means to avoid it, and you can be sure they will. (Altho some player eventually delete their chars even after reaching max level and getting the best gear etc, so it would happen occationally.)

Anothe long reply :-)

/Wolfe

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Dak Lozar    122
Quote:
Original post by Lupus83
Unfortunately, most (all?) MMPORPG's follow the simple equation: free speech + anonymity == asshole. 60% of the players in an online game will be jackasses. That takes a lot of the fun out of it imo.


While this is probably a correct assumption and may even be the experience that most of us have had at one time or another I think that this adds a level of realism to MMO's that people that are "playing a game" just don't really want to deal with.

In RL some people are butt-heads. But society has rules that keep things in balance - in an MMO there just isn't enough "game rules" to keep things in balance. In RL, if someone wants to encroach upon anothers rights there is generally a rule or law that gives the victim the ability to 'defend' themselves. In an MMO, your only recourse is to report the offender and hope that the admins/GMs/support staff decide to 'punish' the offender.

While I was with Elysian working on Ages of Athiria we coined a phrase that really became or mantra - "We design the tools, the players create the rules." Essentially, players could form guilds, a couple guilds could come together and create cities and once a city was established the members of that city could create rules/laws. If a group wanted to create an area that had laws that effected in game social behavior they could do so via the 'tools' that the creation of a city opened up to that group of players. Anyone that broke the rules would face the penalties that were established by that city - be they a citizen of the city or a visitor. Conversely, if a group of guilds decided that they wanted a 'lawless' city then they had that option. You can read more about what they are doing on the website...

We were trying to give the players the ability to govern themselves... that, I believe, is what is missing from MMOs.

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zircon_st    229
My two cents;

Dark Age of Camelot is the most fun MMORPG I have played yet - but only on the PvP servers. Having been an "EQ addict", I cannot stand grinding for long periods of time. That said, I think grinding is necessary; just not TOO much. DAoC has too much for my tastes, I think; perhaps cutting down the time required to level to 1/4 of what it currently is would be adequate. It is an even greater problem on the main servers, where you really can't have any fun fighting other players until level 40+ (preferably 45+). But when you do get there, the adrenaline of massive group-based combat is fantastic.

Getting back to the PvP servers, I find the concept to be fairly well executed in DAoC. There ARE a handful of safe zones, as well as invulnerability timers and 'reward' timers; I've never had a problem with being hunted down by the same person over and over. There are assholes who kill low level players all the time, but the only reason they can do that is primarily because of poorly designed skills (such as "turret" skills that simply fire at any nearby players). The fun I've had fighting groups of other players with friends of mine is incredible. The only downside, again, was the grinding required to do it.

This also brings up the issue of player skill. I believe there are two types of player skill; character building, and real time (combat). When people say the want more "skill" to be involved in MMORPGs or RPGs, they really mean real time skill; in other words, they want more twitch action, in the style of an FPS or action game. I believe that the two are not mutually exclusive, and that character building skill cannot be ignored. Diablo 2 is the best example of a balance. A player who collects equipment and knows the best gear to use on any given character might be able to dominate single player, but they will lose in PvP combat all the time because they lack the real-time skill required to fight fast-thinking players. Conversely, someone might know the ins and outs of combat, mastered the mouse and keyboard hotkeys for skills, and know the best strategy vs. any number of character classes, but given a poorly designed character, they will also fail.

The same balance needs to apply to MMORPGs. I don't believe victory should be based entirely on what level you are, or your stats, or your gear - DAoC leans towards this. On the other hand, victory should also not be based on how many hours you've spent figuring out a sequence of keyboard and mouse clicks to most quickly defeat an opponent - Ultima Online leans in this direction. Ideally, the way you design your character should play a part in determining your base advantage in PvP combat. If you design a fighter with lots of intelligence-boosting equipment, that is going to cause you trouble if you didn't learn any spells. But in addition, real-time skill should also play a part; how should I manuever around my opponent? What skill should I use in reaction to the spell my opponent just cast? How can I use (NOT EXPLOIT) the terrain to my advantage?

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HART    121
in response to megalith:

you are right about the ganking. that could be changed by making it so higher level players cant be hurt by lower characters because of theyre evade/armor, but that is also something i wanted to stay away from because i dont want one high level character to be able slaughter teams of noobs without fear of the consequences.

i did play SWG, but i never got to jedi. the permadeath was apealing to me but it was discouraging to know that if i did get jedi i would be hunted by people who would have no fear of being killed by me, while i would have to face permadeath if they killed me. thats not the reason i quit though. the game had good fundamentals except for the unbalanced combat classes. however the reward for PvP was far to minimal. you couldnt loot people and maybe i was missing something, but it seemed to me like the was no bonus for owning a faction base. i liked how in anarchy online when you owned property you could put up towers that gave you bonuses to your skills. it actually gave me a reason to want to own a base and towers.

in response to tstrimp:

you are right. role playing is missing from mmorpgs. but i dont think that this is the players fault. it is the fault of the game. players shouldnt have to make up scenarios to role play in text. the game should be set up so that it is fun for a player to take on the role of his character while playing. and i dont mean playing the role of a baker of a plumber. people always say that they want to be able to play any role that they would be able to in real life. but this is BS. role playing games are not about doing things that you can do in real life, they are about doing things that you cant do in real life. if you wanna be a baker or a plumber, go play the mmorpg The Sims. i want a game that is based on aliances and enamys, wars and treatys, polotics and bandits.

i made a post a bit ago about role playing in MMOs and if you wanna read more you can go see it at this link
http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=263888

in response to Dak Lozar

i was thinking about how a system where players can rule there own game world earlier today. here is one feature that i came up with

I dont really like player citys. it is good to give players a greedom to do things, but i dont really like having too many citys in a game world. also players dont usaully design them as well as if they were already implemented by the devs. but i would like it if guilds would be able to have control of citys. now they wouldnt really be able to control the players directly, like autamatically taking taxes from them. but they woud be able to set a tax, and the people in their guild + the npc guards of the city would enforce the tax and the other laws that players could set up. guild could fight for control of the city and the ruling guild would be able to set taxes for using different features of the city. the ruling guild could also set the NPC gaurds on a certain strictness though, like if a guard sees a player who has a certain amount of lawlessness(something players get for doing bad stuff like player killing and what not) they attack him. the ruler could also pay people for bringing in a player how has a certain amount of lawlessness.

this sint refined at all cause i just threw it together. i dunno maybe its too complicated to implement but its an idea.

and in response to zircon_st

i dont like the idea of making twitch skills necessary for being good at an mmorpg. strategy and wit is a good thing for mmorpgs combat and the more the better, but it is a tuff thing to implement. there should also be a lot of skill and strategy involved in designing your character for combat. making a combat system that is fun and exciting is a pretty tricky thing to do though and im still working on my ideas in that area.

once again, i hope all this makes sense.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
Heh!

So, people can not play your game, and be the same level as everyone else. Or they can play your game, and die; starting the not playing all over again.

I mean, perhaps I'm missing something terribly essential, but MMORPGs have had "karma" before. Good guys can PvP without consiquence and bad guys can not go to cities. What ends up happening is a few bad guys get so good or so much stuff they just sit outside the cities killing everyone with uberstuff only they have access to. [as I assume the uber-weapons won't be in the newbie spawn area...]

Permadeath has never, ever been an asshole solution. It's only been a tool they can wield with great savagery.





Real simple solution (that too many games never figured out for some reason) -- a simple switch that makes it so another player cant kill/hurt you (or your pet/lackeys).

To prevent misuse you can only switch modes once a week (to prevent a killer from activating it before an opponent can revenge kill him).

PVP could still be allowed with the switch on in special arena
areas (or a duel mode which stops just before death but still indicates who would have won)

May need a few other related mechaisms to prevent a griefer from interfering with every thing you do (but they cant do insta kill
attacks any more and they have to mess around long enuf for a GM to show up)

Having plot related mini-scenarios that only the player or his party can enter might be one way of minimizing interference.

Having better server recording logs so that a GM can play back
and have evidence against griefers (and a declared ban policy ...)







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bahab    122
Quote:
i recently started playing a game called eve where you dont level up by doing things, but instead you pick a skill, and after a certain amount of time, in game or not in game, you will get the skill. this is a pretty good idea i think, but since im used to most where you have to constantly be killing things, i found myself a little lost for things to do. i still dont think this means they should resort to the level grind


But there is still a grind … The difference between Eve and other MMO games is that now you can grind in your sleep.

What does this mean? It means that everybody levels at the slowest common dominator … Which probably isn’t the best alternative either.

Quote:
mmorpgs should have other content to keep people from getting bored when they arnt grinding. player polotics and NPC attacks on mining villiages and other stuff.


You are right, but it isn’t like the developers don’t share the same beliefs as you either. The problem comes down to (as far as I can tell) to two major points:

Man Power; Creating dynamic and engaging content that is fun and interactive is amazingly hard. Things that are amazingly hard are extremely time consuming. Well I suppose you get the idea now; Developers do want to add all this cool stuff into their MMO’s, it just isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Server Resources: While it is true that Servers are getting pretty cheap, it really doesn’t take a lot of effort to totally suck the life out of won. Get some AI Orcs attacking Qeynos every few hours … sure no problems. What happens if you want to have content that is equally spread around all 2000+ inhabitants at any one time? Do we have NPCs attacking minor fringe towns every 2 hours or is it dynamic/quest dependant?

There is a third problem that you introduced which sits on top of all of this; Player Politicise. In EQ there is a little server called Tarrew Marr. This Server is filled with some of the largest drama queens in the known universe (I used to be one of them :P). Who was blocking content from whom, and who was more uber than whom filled official forms, and guild chats many a night. So the simple answer is that Politics exists wherever humans interact.

However I suspect that you want to enable politics into the game in some sort of formal view point. Like becoming governor of a town, or using your political might with NPC lords to restrict the flow of money into rival guilds hip pockets. This is a worthy goal, but it moves into Man Power … Designing a political system that assists us in our real life politics is amazingly complex, and we deal with it every day. How can players abuse the system? What should we let players control or influence? How will these influences effect NPC’s or PCs of opposing factions?

The list keeps getting longer :)

Quote:
games without permadeath are the ones where people can get a group of people, twink them out with the best stuff, and then pilliage everyone else. in a game with permadeath, you could do this, and yes, you would kill alot of people, a lot of people would be mad, but you would be just asking to be killed, and then you would loose you uber character with your uber stuff. making large amounts of enemys isnt something you would want to do, thus, you would be careful who you gave the deathblow.


I agree on the face of it permadeath solves a lot of problems. However, I don’t agree that permadeath so heavily outweighs respawning that it is the better choice of the two.

Firstly PermaDeath is exploitable as much as any other game dynamic. It doesn’t take much effort for people to make bots designed to powerlevel alts. Permadeath doesn’t stop people from loading them down with the phatty of phatty goodness. Permadeath doesn’t stop people from being arsehats. All it does is make them sneaky.

Permadeath doesn’t protect casual players from being PKed … in fact it punishes them when they get PKed by an arsehat. Permadeath doesn’t make it easier to level … it punishes them by giving them the ultimate grind (Grats Bob, you’re dead … start from level 1!). Permadeath doesn’t make good equipment any less good.

I know of many people who have made alts on separate accounts and power levelled them to very high levels, only to be a spy or just an arsehole. Why would someone spend so much time doing that? Who knows … arsehats are arsehats. How often do arsehats do this? Entire Guilds used to cockblock major sections of content from everybody else for as long as possible, just so they couldn’t advance. Imagine how much fun they could get if they could permakill them?

Don’t get me wrong, there is probably some sort of market for permadeath in MMO’s. It was pretty popular on BattleNet. Although that being said, Battlenet is vastly different to the way almost all MMOs are designed.

So I agree that permadeath can be fun, I disagree that it solves grinding or arsehat players.

Adam

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solinear    145
My ideal MMOG would involve the following:

Skill-based system. Your 'class' would be determined by pooling your skills and using them to determine what you are best classified as. Level would be similar, a numerical label showing how powerful you were, relatively speaking.

Faction based political system. You kill PCs, you have faction effects with everyone that they are friendly with and unfriendly with (well, maybe not everyone, but the top 5 or so...)

Complex NPC AI. I am SO sick of seeing NPCs that are strict 'script' NPCs, just waiting for you to say certain keywords to respond with a scripted response.

Players affect the world. Someone mentioned this earlier, though I think that he didn't think about all of the implications. You might clear out a fortress, but NPCs are going to come back. Maybe not spawning right inside, but their polical faction should be sending troops to recapture the fortress that you just overcame. Nobody lets a military strongpoint go freely without trying to recapture it. But if you can hold it, it should stay in your control (or your major political faction's control) until the enemy can recapture it... and they will try.

Wide variety of play styles supported. If you just want to run around doing tradeskill stuff (blacksmith, woodworker, etc...) then the game should support those playstyles. If you want to be a politico (messenger, advisor, spy, etc...) then you should be able to play that style of game.

Player actions have implications. If you want to commit mass murder of PCs and be a 'grief' player, then eventually the NPCs will stop waiting for you to come to town, they will hunt you down no matter where you go.

Characters tied to player. If you want to be a griefer, then you'd better have multiple accounts because all characters on an account will be tied together in some way. Maybe be a reference on a web site or maybe through the game, but grief players should never be given anonymity. There should be repurcussions for the PLAYER, even should the character be able to avoid them for some time. It's one thing if you are killing players of opposite factions, but it's another when you kill indescriminately.

Best items tradeskilled. If you have in-game affects for actions, then there won't be guaranteed 'drops' from creatures, as those creatures won't be there ever again potentially. The best items should be tradeskilled or at least tradeskillable. Someone somewhere made everything, so it should be possible for player characters to make it.

Game built around character cooperation. Any MMOG is going to have social groups created, this should be the cornerstone of a successful one. Do everything you can to reinforce player interaction, from allowing them to use offline (out of game) communications methods with characters in game (like an instant messenger for the game), including sending messages (like e-mail) to other characters in game, so that they will receive their messages when they get back in-game. This would be excellent for tradeskillers who aren't always online to receive orders for items.

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SuperSpy    122
I think that one of the main problems with permadeath in MMORPGs is that it's too darn easy to die in them. I'm sure everyone who's played EQ has had a really bad day where they died like four or five times within a matter of hours.

Why is death so common? Because death is the only victory condition. If I start fighting an orc, that orc isn't going to stop beating on me until either I'm dead or he is.

What if death wasn't the only measure of defeat? Let's say when your HP reaches 0, you just go unconscious. AI enemies are victorious, and they continue along their path. After a few minutes, you become conscious again and you find a place to hide until you can recover your health. Maybe in some cases (i.e. like with a strong finishing blow) you do perma-die, but with some other meathods of defeat to resort to, you can balance how often that happens in Player vs. Environment scenarios.

For player vs. player, you could implement some interesting mechanics. For example, if you defeat another player, they fall unconscious. Once unconcious you have the choice to finish the job and perma-kill them. However, if you do decide to end their life, their body despawns and you loose the ability to loot them. On the other hand, you could loot them (and depending on the balance of your game, maybe you can only loot one item, just worn items, just money, or whaterver you work out). Once you do, you loose the option to finish them off. (When the victim becomes conscious again, they would then be protected from PvP for a period of time to prevent corpse camping exploits.)

Anyway, just some ideas to make the idea of permadeath more swallowable to legit players.

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