Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
robert4818

MMO Concept problems

This topic is 4842 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I've noticed a few things when people decide to post thier own MMO Ideas. One of the biggest things I see is they say I want to make a game where you do X. And alot of times X is a very narrow concept. X as a narrow concept isn't exactly bad. But the one thing i've noticed is that most people want to take whatever X is make it into an MMO that pretends to be in a normal world. Lets take City of hero's. Its a fun game, but one thing I've noticed is that it's X was "Lets create an MMO where everyone is Superheros." Its a great concept. And the game is fun. But one of the biggest problems was the lack of forsight in the game. What do I mean. We have a game where there are 2000 superheros...and about 20 super villans.... Everyone (NPC) acts as if these Superheros are a rare thing to see. The story provides superheros being around for well over 60 years...yet people in the world act like seeing a superhero is a big deal. All of these things leads to a big break in immersion. What should have happened is that the game should have develop a game and game world where superhero's are pretty common. Then let thier imaginations run wild on the different ways things could go... Someone posted an Idea on a Mafia based MMO. If they want to re-create a 20's era world with a normal amount of Mobsters...then this idea really wouldn't work. Sure 2000 people out of an entire city isn't much...but you have to remember in the game players don't really see alot of the "other people" so it will seem as if EVERYONE has a mob connection. It will break immersion IF the world is purported to act like the real world and the players are just the minority. Now if on the other hand if the game is designed around a 20's style world where it is a truly mafia controlled world, and everyone is mob related...then the player will fit right in. But alot more work needs to go into building a world designed around everyone being a mobster. The lone person/group act works well in PnP RPGS or Solo RPG's...but it does not translate well to MMO's. You have to design a world around a situation where the Players are normal (even if slightly rare.) This is one reason why there ARE an abundance of Fantasy or sci-fi based MMO's. Its easy to imagine alot of knights and wizards around and design a world around that. Its also easy to design a Sci-fi world where the world reflects the commonality of the players.. Creating a near-time game where the players are Overly special tends to break immersion...you need to bend the game to where the players are not too special compared to the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
So true, and very well said. However in some fantasy games, Horizons comes to mind, the players were special, they were called the chosen and people were suprised to hear that poeple were the chosen. Now this wasn't a big deal for Horizions because it had so few players anyway, but if it had a large playerbase it would have seemed like everyone was special.

People want to be special, yet as you rgihtly say, immersion is lost when everyone is special. That is why I think you should have to WORK to be special. In the MMO I am leading everyone starts off all as powerful as each other, which is more powerful than some NPCs and less so than others, yet nothing for alarm amongst any. Now if they make a name for themselves, they will be recognised and then they will be special. But it will be more like "you're the person who slew the King of Altrusia!!" more than "your a superhero!!!!" when everyone around is a superhero.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well said. New Yorkers may get a thrill out of seeing Spider-Man grapple with a mugger, but they don't think twice about the hardhat smoothing asphalt over a pothole. When crimes and villains are as common as potholes, and heroes thwarting them are as common as road crews, it'll be business as usual when these things happen, and personal-injury lawyers will run adds saying, "Have you been hurt in a struggle for world domination? Have you been caught in the blast radius of Doctor Iceman's freeze cannon? Before you contact your insurance company..."

I'd like to see a game world where the grind is viewed by NPCs as a sort of sweatshop system, and heroes are the oppressed and abused slaves of society, the only source of monster-produced gold and a blight on the ecosystem. That would amuse me terribly. But it wouldn't be much of a game.

Ultimately, MMO worlds are built to gratify the players. If that means that girls swoon every time a player walks past, and the mayor produces a Key to the City every fourteen seconds, then so be it. Nobody really expects to be convinced that an MMO world has a working NPC economy, or that there are enough farmers and blacksmiths and enchanters to keep half a million warriors equipped with gear that they upgrade or break or discard every few hours.

Sometimes it works. You can believe that there's a galactic empire supplying the troops in PlanetSide, or that there are dozens of planet's worth of factories building the mechs in Mechassault 2. If I'm on a starship, flying to intercept an enemy armada, I can believe that the "supply ships" that spawn just outside sensor range every so often really are coming from a colony world across the solar system.

That's fine. But on the ground, with the whole world laid out before me, It's impossible to expect realistic ratio of farmland to devil-haunted swamp, or a convincing population of people that don't actually do me any good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ICC. I agree with your agreement of my statement :)

It all boils down to presentation and basically atmosphere.

Overall I think City of Hero's does a poor job with atmosphere. The city has no feel, nor does it have any affect on the game except to act as a game board. Its not so much that level design is bad..but somehow the game feels...Steril.

The player will accept some things at face value...like how two or three farms covered in man eating monsters...somehow manages to feed an entire country...

But there are somethings that just don't work. Someone is creating an X-Men MMO. The good part about this idea is that the X-Men world is already designed around the fact that mutants exist, are semi-common, and such. There are many different factions and motivations. There are different sides of the issues. And all together the whole world is built up alot better than City of Heros.

Granted X-men was around a long time before city of hero's...and therefore has alot more time to build up its world.

If anyone ever played Shadowbane. The game's backstory was awsome. There was so much potential in the way the story was written for a very interesting game. However, when it came to implimentation...they didn't really use it.

EQ games...One thing they do have going for them IS the atmosphere. There are numerous NPC's. You can interact with them...and they don't necisarrily act as if you are the one and only person in the world who's fighting.

As ICC said somethings we can accept...the blacksmiths that no one can see. The bug the size of a turtle carrying a chest the size of a golden lab.

But sometimes there is so much work tossed into the mechanics of the game that the world gets sorta left out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Immersion versus gameplay is a tough balance. The problem with fantasy/wish fulfillment is that it's only supposed to capture the highlights-- reality without the blemishes. I think you can give yourself a complex worrying about making the game world's fiction airtight. It can lead you down a lot of rabbit holes trying to fix things that likely 90% of your player base will never even give a damn about.

I'm not saying focus on mechanics to the exclusion of all else, but the mechanics will be with the player longer than the story ever will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!