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Andrew Russell

What is an MMORTS?

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Just off of the top of my head I could see it working (design wise anyways). It would work well for a setting such as Pioneer america, where thousands of people are fighting for land and resources. I believe that would constitute as massive

EDIT: that being said I have never actualy heard the term.

If you take a RPG (Role Playing Game) and remove your direct attachment to a player or players, you often times have a strategy game. (although occasionaly you could have a beat-em-up in the case of a hack-n-slash, or an FPS in the case of RE. MMORPGs often in fact have a RTS aspect of it with their inbread economys and player ownership or such. MRTS's such as Artifact have been developed by your own board members. Who says you can not expand that? It would be an MMORPG without an attachment to a charactor. So instead, make it a family, an empire, a civilization, etc.

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A MMORTS could work if you have more than one player on a team. You could have many "generals" leading different batallions in a massive army, for example.

The only MMORTS design I've mused upon was a sort of 4X game, where every player controls their own pocket dimension. But that was just me trying to think how you get around the problem of having players dropping in and out of a game in progress; my idea probably wouldn't have worked.

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Personally, a MMORTS game sounds a lot more attractive to me than an MMORPG game. [smile]


The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear MMORTS is an online Starcraft game, where many many players are playing together. Imagine that the sides a player could chose from were strictly zerg, protoss, and terran. Then each player on each team has their own base, and the objective is to basically gain more and more ground until you subdue the enemy (after which, the MMO map resets and the game starts again). But yeah the whole batallions/generals thing sounds something along the right track. I think there's potential for some good (and original!) ideas here, but I'm sure an MMORTS would be just as hard to develop as a MMORPG (if not even harder).

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There are some UMS ("Use Map Settings", which allow for custom player-defined rulesets) maps for Starcraft that allow a player to control just a handful of units in a competitive arena. You can choose five marines, or three marines and two medics, or a siege tank, or two goliaths, or a goliath and two SCVs, or two lurkers, or whatever.

If you let each player command a small squad of units or a specialized unit, then dozens of players can compete in an RTS match. It would probably lead to hardcore micro and some awkward situations, but I think it could work. It would, of course, preserve RTS controls.

I think that would be a lot of fun, and not just PvP. I think a little team, akin to the units in Ogre Battle, provides a dynamic vessel for levelling, upgrading and developing.

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2 things depending on your definition of MMO

1. If you define it as number of concurrent players in a game: Then it is simply something that has been described in previous posts. Similar races/side/factions in alliance fighting against the opponents.

2. If you define it as the relationship of players in a game: Then it is something that is persistant in terms of the overall goals.

Now to explain #2 in depth. One of the Command and Conquer games, I'm thinking Red Alert 2 or Generals has this multiplayer option to where you play online in a "World Domination" type of scenario. So for example, you start by joining a side, you then battle each other side for territory. The map is of the world, so as you battle in various locations, whoever wins those individual battles, wins that location for the world for their team.

Another example is in War of the Worlds, an older turn based RTS game. You compete with the martins to control all of Earth (well just a mini part of it more or less for the game). The main point in the whole MMORTS is that you have that element of persistance. In typical RTS games, each player is more or less just an individual with a record. In a MMORTS, that is not there, it's a 'team' thing.

Just my opinion on what Iron Chef Carnage has mentioned, that would be a MMORTT (real time tactical). The whole thing that makes RTT different from RTS is the element of "Resource Gathering" (well the general accepted ideology of it more or less [wink])

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I think it's just part of a trend of people adding "MMO" to their other favorite 3-letter acronym, and then letting their ideas stop there. "It's an MMOFPS!!! What could possibly be bad about that? I'm a genius!"

Well, more seriously, I would like to see one if a project ever gets completed, but the ones I've heard of either fall apart when they realize they don't have any actual plans for gameplay past the original thought of "So many people playing Starcraft at once", especially when they realize Starcraft would fall apart with that many people. The ones that are on the horizon that let you control one or two units as aprt of an army aren't really RTS to me; they are MMORPGs under a different name. RTS's are supposed to be about the big picture, commanding the army and harvesting resources and building buildings. If the game ends up saying "Yeah, all that is happening where you can't see it, but you get to control this one guy and shoot things," then it's not really an RTS anymore. Some games try to get around this by saying that one person can be a commander and a hundred other people will be his soldiers, but I can't really see thousands of RTS fans buying an MMORTS and only 1% of them wanting to do the RTS part of it.

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I think another way would be to team up different players on different sides of a strategic map. Command & Conquer: Renegade does this with great success. 2 teams try to destroy the others base by 'buying' soldiers and vehicles purchased with credits that are harvested by an NPC vehicle. Its FPS in interface, but completely tactical in gameplay, complete with base rushes and troop vs troop attacks. You could say this game was the predecessor to the Onslaught games of UT2K4 and the Battlegrounds of WOW.

The thing is, this works so far on a simple 'online' level. The biggest maps hold 64 players and have a time limit, so its hard telling how well it would translate into the MMO genre. It might work if you add more bases for players to destroy. Or if there were more 'sides', but that would require an added amount of diplomacy that can always go bad. But if you simply split the sides up into good vs evil, you can potentially have as many bases or countries that you want.

It could work. :D

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Hmmm, once you start going into that realm of FPS it somewhat bends the rules, its very difficult to guide a players actions so the strategy kindof flies out the window unless your fighting with veteran players who know how to get things done. C&C: Renegade is more like Planetside on a smaller scale when you think about it.

When i think of MMORTS, i think of me controlling a small band of units from an overhead or isometric view. Something like Conquest: Frontier Wars, or Eve Online comes to mind, with Sectors that you can warp to in a tree network.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Roots
Personally, a MMORTS game sounds a lot more attractive to me than an MMORPG game. [smile]


The way I read that in my head:
"Personally, a mortis game sounds a lot more attractive to me than a morgue game. [smile]."

Kind of macabre, but it made me giggle. [grin] Maybe I should stop trying to pronounce these abbreviations...

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Although I'm not (yet?) an MMO fan, I'd drool over the prospect of a game where you're character is the town or city. It could involve hundreds of communities creating dozens of alliances, but to keep things interesting I'd make it heavily PvE in the form of the land spawning constant squads and battalions of beasties (undead/robots/whatever). I'd limit the PvP to fuedal like "honorable tournament combat," though (where you have to agree upon time, terms and place of battle). This would keep you from logging in to discover your entire township in flames.

I think it'd be really cool to be able to send armies and agents anywhere throughout the world map. You might have spies in one town, advisors helping train your allies troops, skirmishers messing up an enemies supply lines, and a few battalions heading off the closest AI horde (or stalling just long enough to betray an ally).

Of course I think an Alpha Centauri sci-fi scenario would rock: Hundreds of shipwrecked communities on a deadly alien planet that could become interconnected and advanced over time would be very fun. Maybe the servers could play out rounds and reset the world, or players could level their communities up to colonize other "planets" (servers).

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Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Although I'm not (yet?) an MMO fan, I'd drool over the prospect of a game where you're character is the town or city. It could involve hundreds of communities creating dozens of alliances, but to keep things interesting I'd make it heavily PvE in the form of the land spawning constant squads and battalions of beasties (undead/robots/whatever). I'd limit the PvP to fuedal like "honorable tournament combat," though (where you have to agree upon time, terms and place of battle). This would keep you from logging in to discover your entire township in flames.


This sounds a bit like my ambitious game design, "Project Hamlet", the village sim! Except it isn't MMO (isn't even multiplayer), and as of yet I haven't included any other villages in the design. But the squads of beasties will be in it (I'm using Majesty as a bit of a template here).

But your bit about "honourable tournament combat" is the thing I'm not sure how to work around in a theoretical MMORTS. Although I'm not much of a multiplayer gamer, I've read how you have to deal with people logging out of a multiplayer battle prematurely. How can a MMORTS deal with players logging in and out all the time?

The design I was thinking of with "pocket dimensions" would fit into your idea, Wavinator. The idea was to have a city in your little dimension, which you could work on off-line. Then you could log on-line and deal with other pocket dimension cities as you wished. I guess you could add a pocket battlefield for your armies to fight in. But the scope of such a game is way beyond my abilities and time, and would be very hard to keep balanced.

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