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Landfish

Cheese?

81 posts in this topic

Graphical MMORPGs were the one demon I could not fight. When and if Goblin is ever made, perhaps I would consider it, but until then, no one but you will support my ideas. Oh well.

Has anybody heard anything about Goblin recently? Did it die or what?
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Really? I thought that your ideas on MMORPGs were the most useful ones. Of course they''re hard to apply since MMORPGs are such a commitment with needing servers and all.

I was thinking about the effect of combat when I was watching Titus last night. The concept of death and loss is exemplified in Shakespeare better than any story. When the characters die it means something, it means a whole lot...and the audience feels it. The same concept could be applied to MMORPGs...

My, we have certainly strayed from topic, haven''t we?


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya --nes8bit" -- Nazrix

"If your parents didn't explain this one, I'm not going to." --Felisandria




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The thing I''ve been trying to reconcile is how to allow players to have creative input into the game (actions affecting setting and story) while, at the same time, employing rules and structures in order to keep conflicts dynamic and impartial.

The problem with MMORPGs is the totally clinical interaction between the world and the players. The world or engine doesn''t care who you are or what you want. It really doesn''t care what you do unless you''re practicing skills or killing things while collecting levels and items. Relevant social interaction is limited to cooperating to kill stuff, practice skills and cooperatively gain levels and items. Anything else isn''t the province of the world engine and that tends to stunt meaningful or compelling player spawned storytelling and roleplaying - aside from acting a role "just ''cause" and knowing that it''s a rather futile and meaningless act. This serves to explain a bit of the rift between MMORPG roleplayers and the powergamers. The former are in denial that roleplaying In Character in the context of a MMORPG is just silly. Who cares if you''re a Ranger with a tragic life whose village was burned by Orcs? Your story will never have a point or a resolution because it /never happened/ as far as the world is concerned.

MUSHes, text based online roleplaying, have their own problems. Because of the deeply creative and personal nature of the roleplay IC issues often become OOC, cliques of players form, and powerjockeying becomes as much an OOC activity as an IC one. New players often feel completely clueless and picked on by judgmental old hands whose characters are all powerful and who often control crucial administrative spots. Newbies themselves can also be incredibly disruptive to the creative ecosystem as the strength of a MUSH comes from an assumed culture of cooperation. If newbies abuse the setting or the rules vast tracts of roleplay may have to be retconned, or erased, so that continuity or consent issues aren''t violated. Over time entrenched players often grow jaded and highly selective with their play but unwilling to abandon coveted positions of control over storylines and props. This leads to total stagnation.

There has to be a middle way and I think, again, this comes down to simulating a world, with mortality, economics and flushing toilets and letting the players do what they will. If powergamers can find a niche that roleplayers find highly useful and roleplayers can serve a function that powergamers will recognise as realistic and actually useful then the world simulation is doing its job. Factions and family should be more important than levels and magic dodads. Wages or rewards from players should be more important than scraps of gold from monsters mugged. Form the channels and let human nature take its course. There will be stories aplenty in a world where personal background and goals can be taken into account and made relevant and where an the benefits of an impartial engine, instead of flawed human administrators, can be used to best effect.
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I have to wonder what a graphical MMORPG might be like if you had "angel" admins who were always invisble, giving "karma" to good people, or just good roleplayers. Instead of an exp structure? Hmmm.
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LF-I''d be happy w/ different flavors of cheese, at this point.

I guess to follow out the analogy w/ a Skinner Box, part of what MMORPG designers need to do is get rid of the cage. What I was suggesting is not substituting other soulless activities in lieu of combat, or merely making combat more interesting. I''d rather play a messenger in a real war, w/ all the intrigue and subtlety required of that role, than a mindless butcher, hacking my way up the corporate ladder. But that''s kind of a side issue here, though you know my feelings on what combat in games should be. . .(I think)

Anyway, I think the real problem is the lack of geniune meaning to 90% of your actions in an MMORPG. In a single player game, it might be enough to simply advance your own player/party, if this afforded enough interesting interaction for your game. But this just doesn''t work in an MMORPG environment, or it at least fails to take full advantage of the genre''s strengths. An MMORPG''s strength is in real interaction w/ real people. As LF said, what we have now is essentially two-hundred single player RPG''s being played out on one map, w/ limited interaction between the players.

MMORPGs now attempt grand scale world events, but the problem is that they are always limited to a small number of players, and the situation usually has to resolve itself by everybody''s bedtime. Its kind of the same problem sitcoms have- there''s simply not enough time to develop a really good dramatic situation. That''s why my second and third point really go together. For this kind of thing to work, you''d need dependable people to play key roles. A two month war won''t hold together if the leading generals forget to pay their phone bill & can''t log on for a week. And of course it would be even better if the two month scenario was based around the Archduke''s assassination, and the only other blood shed was the killer''s in a public execution. But to be honest, I think that we''re a long ways off from that, simply because players wouldn''t know what to do w/ themselves in that scenario.

And as the last Anon pointed out, this all has to be supported w/in the game engine. That''s the key point, and the worst problem w/ the current crop of MMORPGs.

If you see the Buddha on the road, Kill Him. -apocryphal
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quote:
Original post by Landfish

Graphical MMORPGs were the one demon I could not fight. When and if Goblin is ever made, perhaps I would consider it, but until then, no one but you will support my ideas. Oh well.

Has anybody heard anything about Goblin recently? Did it die or what?


Remember, goblin is not the only thing that has this sort of demotion of Hack''n''Slash. You can also think about what ''The Learning Experience'' has to offer a player. This is why I agree that prejudice can be used against the player. Just remove cheese from fighting altogether. Make it a requirement that the character needs a balance of skills to get them through the game. If they have an unbalanced nature then they are going to find it more difficult in different points. There is a simple weighting system that you can use (I know this part belongs in Game Design, but here it is anyway). If the character is a warrior (they are more prone to fighting) then the weighting of what they learn when fighting is relatively low. If they are a cleric, then the weighting is relatively hight. If a player outbalances their character in an attribute, then start reducing another attribute. This way they will start wasting away in another aspect. This keeps them in their role and away from doing what they shouldn''t be doing (mindless slaughter).

Ideas?

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          
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This is turning into a design conversation.

We''ll take it up there then. Thread name? MMOPoS
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