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Holy Fuzz

Realm switching in MMORPGs. (purely hypothetical)

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Okay, so I got fed up with World of Warcraft and eventually cancelled my account. I got fed up because my character I had worked on for so long was in a PVP realm, and I didn't really care, personally, for PVP. The reason I chose a PVP realm for my character is that my friends had collectively chosen a PVP realm and I wanted to be able to play with them, which meant that I too had to choose a PVP realm. The solution, it seems to me, would be to somehow allow characters to venture between different realms. This way people who wanted to play together wouldn't be restricted to the same realm. Obviously, though, there are some problems with allowing characters unrestricted access to all realms. For technical and overpopulation reasons, there needs to be some method of keeping each character within the same realm most of the time, while allowing the character to adventure to other realms on occasion. So I propose, hypothetically speaking, a system whereby all characters may move from/to any realm freely (via portals in cities or something), each character is a "citizen" of one realm, and all of a character's exploits in any other realm are taxed. For example, if a character from realm A adventures in realm B, then his experience gained and money looted are both taxed, say, 20%. Additionally, a character would have to pay a tax on any items looted from realm B that are then brought to realm A that is equal to 20% of their sell-price. There would also be a 20% tax on all items bought or sold from vendors in realm B. Also, in the case of a game like WoW, a player could only auction off items in the realms in which they were collected. PVP honor, though potentially taxable, could either be done on a per-realm basis, or only for the character's home realm. There should additionally be a way for a character to switch its citizenship to another realm. This could be a set, constant fee, or it could vary depending on the population of the realm (realms with lower pops would be cheaper). There would also probably have to be a tax on all of the character's items and money so that switching home realms wouldn't be cheaper than paying the normal tax. So what are people's thoughts on this? - Fuzz

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The concept of 'realms' is a purely technical issue (i.e. inability to build appropriate infrastructure and/or generate enough content to keep all players in one world). I'm not sure that implementing travelling through realms as part of game dynamics is a good idea.

Personally, I don't see why they wouldn't implement "free migration" policy. This way overpopulation would just regulate itself, no?

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Another reason behind realms is some people like PvP and some don't as well as some people like heavily populated servers and others don't...

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You could handle it like the "dark universe" from star trek. People can cross over, but if enough people cross it will destroy the multiverse. As more and more people joing one particular realm, life for those cross-over players would get more-and-more difficult, to encourage them to return to their home realm.

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Guild Wars worked it out pretty nicely. Servers are dynamic and when one server is full a new one is created. Players can choose to change server whenever they like. I think a similar system could be tweaked to fit any mmorpg.

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The best solution for games that have this Realm design would be to create 2 Realms which would interconnect and allow players to go on each and be able to interact with other players from the other realm (Since the realms would interconnect). In one Realm, PvP would be possible, in the other it would not.
This way, all players could talk with everyone else and not have to be limited with what server they want to go on.

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it is also a social issue. They want you to recognize the other people on the realm. If you always played in a random realm you wouldn't know who you could trust, who doesn't know how to do this and that, who has good advice, etc..

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*Begin history lesson* [wink]

Ultima Online did something like this with "facets". Originally there was only one facet (which allowed PvP), after a lot of complaints the world was mirrored to include a second facet which had no PvP.

How well this worked is another story, the original facet emptied out (this was in large part due to housing rush). Hard core “old school” protested that their facet was a waste land (not helped by the fact OSI/EA made it look that way too with graphic changes), OSI/EA made attempts to draw people back by adding content to the old facet only (which only sparked off new complaints from “new” land people who didn’t want to PvP at all, having to deal with PvP in order to access the new content).

UO Stratics or UO for more reading/research.
*End of history lesson*

I don’t know if a tax would help, since most of it would apply when selling off items to NPCs & players would sell off items were they can make the most.

Restricting the use of items to the realm that they were collected from, will divide players (Why goto B realm? All my great armor is A realm & I don’t want to feel like a newbie or spending the time to build up a equal set of armor.)

In my opinion: Had the two facet world been the case from the beginning (along with other things), it would have been more accepted game system. But in UO’s case, doing it after the fact only it caused problems & a drop in subscribers (but that wasn’t only reason, EQ and other games helped cause that too).

I don’t believe that punishing or rewarding players for wanting to one way or another is the answer. A reward as simple as a title in their name can be enough, I’ve seen people spend hours focused on this simple thing. Typically an restriction/tax will be seen by players as such or worse as a punishment.

*Please note before discounting UO, I use UO as reference due to my long experience there & the fact that it is still the longest running MMORPG (despite it’s 2d graphics [wink]). Plus this is more about game mechanics than graphics/features)*

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One server. PvP without consent outside of (most) towns. No carebears. That's the way it should be.

Damn you Trammel carebears!

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