Sign in to follow this  

MMO's and the disillusioned gamer

This topic is 4394 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 think every serious designer, or game developer has probably read Players who suit MUDS one section of the article really stands out to me.
Quote:
Ways to emphasise ACTING over INTERACTING: * provide a game manual * include auto-map facilities * include auto-log facilities * raise the rewards for achievement * have an extensive level/class system * make commands be applicable wherever they might reasonably have meaning * have large puzzles, that take over an hour to complete * have many commands relating to fights * only allow building by top-quality builders
this section describes almost fully, every commercial MMO available today. the author previously states;
Quote:
ACTING If the graph is redrawn to favour doing-to over doing-with, the game quickly becomes boring. Tasks are executed repeatedly, by rote. There's always monotony, never anything new, or, if these is something new, it's of the "man versus random number generator" variety. People do need to be able to put into practice what they've learned, but they also need to be able to learn it in the first place! Unless the one leads to the other, it's only a matter of time before patience is exhausted and the players give up. Without depth, you have no MUD.
in my view this is the state of the union of existing MMO franchises. A lot of people's first experience with an MMO was Ultima Online. So many that started on this game have claimed that no game to follow ever encapsulated the feeling and enjoyment that UO provided. many former MMO gamers still buy a new MMO from time to time but quickly burn out, stating boredom or an aversion to the "level treadmill" During the haydays of UO many people washed out stating "playerkillers ruined the game for me." but very few boredoms or "level treadmill" complaints. It is possibly due to the lack of alternatives in the market at the time(although MMO gamers that quit today dont often migrate immediately to another), another view is that there is "something in us", that is, some type of experience that you can only have once, and once it is sated you no longer need it.(this is a popular view among the "UO was the best MMO ever" crowd.) Another reality is that of an aging market. Many MMO players today have a house and children, bills to pay, a full time demanding job. During the UO days its constituency was primarily high school and college kids, with more time than responsibility. Lets examine(in my narrow view) some of the prime difference between UO and the existing MMO franchises. To me, the first but not necessarily foremost difference is player killing. Many of todays MMO's disallow or allow only "opt-in" player killing, with very neatly defined lines that is impossible to confuse. Balance this with UO, where there were only a few "safe spots" and these were actually only places where player killing would likely result in your own death as well. The lines where player killing was safe were very gray. Inside of a town? - not very safe to PK , if a guard sees you youre toast. A dark alley in town? - probably get away with it. The edge of town? - 50/50 depending on the guard placement. The middle of a forest or dungeon? - a good place to PK, unless some higher level player with a well developed sense of justice spots you.(see toast) Its easy to focus on the player killer vs no player killer question(which is somewhat the thrust of the MUD article) but it seems that the larger question is the question of fairness, and perceived equality. THE ENFORCED FAIRNESS DOCTRINE-(or, you're no better than anyone else and we'll be sure it stays that way.) Stated bluntly. Todays MMO franchises enforce "fairness". Mobs or Mobiles(the reference to NPC creatures) generally have a consider system, telling you whether you can likely win or not. Games that allow player killers generally have the same consider system for players that they have for mobs. Mobs are visible long before you are visible to them.The common implementation is an aggressive range, or aggro range. Once you get a feel for a creature's aggro range you can walk around him in circles and never be attacked, so long as you don't violate that hidden circle of aggression. This leads to the concept of "farming" mobs for experience points. its not an encounter. its an "opt-in" in exchange for experience points. This allows you to walk around and choose your targets. it eliminates any form of sneak attacks that aren't caused by lack of dexterity or attention. It allows you to navigate a higher level zone by simply dodging about out of range of the mobs range of aggression. This may make sense for a Rhino or a Lion, but not a roving band of goblins or an evil wizard. However it IS very, very, FAIR. THE CONCEPT OF ZONES-(or, the world isn't round it's a bunch of islands seperated by load times) due to implementation limitations and the need to scale, a game world is often broken into zones, which correspond to server hardware in real life. The division of zones are commonly done in a level hierarchy, and at times access is restricted to a person until they reach a proper level. you can expect to find level appropriate challenges in your level appropriate zone, with any exceptions to be well denoted with a flashing neon sign.(or at least a warning in your consider system) LEVEL IS KING-(or, virtual pie for the masses) not only does level often determine your access to certain zones in the game, but it is the undercarriage of the type of actions you can expect to take. this in and of itself is to be expected. the problem becomes "what determines a players level?" again, using the enforced fairness doctrine, the answer becomes ; "applied time in productive work" , meaning, how long you have killed mobs productively. A player with a level 50 warrior is not neccessarily a skilled player. He need only to have played for a long amount of time in a productive manner, or have played for an even longer time in a semi- or pseudo-productive manner. This means that "levels" are a badge of time spent, not necessarily of achievement. Couple this with the often monotonous nature of gaining levels and the term means only that you have access to level restricted abilities and zones. So the reward for your time and effort in building your level equates to access to new zones and perhaps equipment and powers. Here's the rub... every creature you face in the new zone with your new powers will be balanced to assume that you will employ them. netting you nothing but a new graphic effect to the same old goblin genocide. Again.... VERY FAIR. To further irritate the symmetry of scale and enforce fairness. your actions in the new zone have little, or no effect on any other zone. Kill a million monsters? The guys in the zone lower wont know a thing. your ability to affect the world is negligible. sure you can summon hellfire and blow up a goblin from a thousand paces but the guy in the zone below you is still having to defend the town from the same inferior baddies that you defeated days ago. this brings us to the next issue in Bartles' article;
Quote:
Ways to emphasise PLAYERS over WORLD: * add more communication facilities * add more player-on-player commands (eg. transitive ones like TICKLE or CONGRATULATE, or commands to form and maintain closed groups of personae) * make communication facilities easy and intuitive * decrease the size of the world * increase the connectivity between rooms * maximise the number of simultaneous players * restrict building privileges to a select few * cut down on the number of mobiles
in todays MMO you can chat with people on other servers, in other zones or in some rare cases in other games. player on player emotes is the "big thing" in this generation of MMO's server zones being encapsulated effectively cut the size of the world to that single zone. the concept of travel has been largely eliminated, especially after you hit some trivial level.(e.g. travel powers in City of Heroes, Griffins in Everquest 2) due to the lack of suprise required by the ENFORCED FAIRNESS DOCTRINE, life isn't about the journey, it IS about the destination. this makes travel tedious, and thus unnecessary. it is downtime, to be avoided. the author previously states;
Quote:
PLAYERS Putting the emphasis on players rather than the game is easy - you just provide the system with lots of communication commands and precious little else. The more the scales are tipped towards players, though, the less of a MUD you have and the more of a CB-style chatline. Beyond a certain point, the game can't provide a context for communication, and it ceases to be a viable virtual world: it's just a comms channel for the real world. At this stage, when all sense of elsewhere-presence is lost, you no longer have a MUD.
let's combine the two statements by the author; PLAYERS-ACTING
Quote:
If the graph is redrawn to favour doing-to over doing-with, the game quickly becomes boring. Tasks are executed repeatedly, by rote. There's always monotony, never anything new, or, if these is something new, it's of the "man versus random number generator" variety. People do need to be able to put into practice what they've learned, but they also need to be able to learn it in the first place! Unless the one leads to the other, it's only a matter of time before patience is exhausted and the players give up. Without depth, you have no MUD. Putting the emphasis on players rather than the game is easy - you just provide the system with lots of communication commands and precious little else. The more the scales are tipped towards players, though, the less of a MUD you have and the more of a CB-style chatline. Beyond a certain point, the game can't provide a context for communication, and it ceases to be a viable virtual world: it's just a comms channel for the real world. At this stage, when all sense of elsewhere-presence is lost, you no longer have a MUD.
sound like any MMO you've played? PAPER, ROCK, SCISSORS- (or, how i turned my million dollar MMO into a game you can play using only your hands.) This is an allusion to the Tank, Healer, DPS, syndrome. Almost all MMO's suffer from it. By using a paper rock scissors model to create roles for your classes you hinder both imagination and creativity. Lady Locke doesn't have to be the mysterious beauty from the northern lands that worships a powerful barabarian goddess, she can instead just be. "teh he4ler" "We have the meatshield?", "We have the healer?", "We have some damage per second people to reduce downtime?", "Great, let's go farm some mobs for experience and loot." class identity becomes player identity. The classes are balanced to fit these roles, and the biggest mistake then is allowing player vs. player interaction because you must then strike a balance between the classes against each other and against the environment.(THE DOCTRINE OF PERCEIVED EQUALITY) This invariable requires another step towards tedium. YOU BOUGHT A MULTI-PLAYER GAME SO YOU'D BETTER WANT TO PLAY IT THAT WAY.(or, game experience may change while online) specializing and balancing a class-type into a predetermined role for a group also complicates a players ability to play on his own. Imagine playing rock paper scissors using only scissors every time. it wouldnt be long before the game lost its appeal. this leads to the necessity of grouping to be even moderately effective, and in some instances to play at all. Taken all together and you get the following zone-wide broadcast. ("12th level wizard looking for group"), or more likely ("lvl 12 dps lfg") a wizard is no longer a master of the arcane knowledge that lets him combine words and symbols to evoke lightning from his hands. he's a squishy target that can't take a hit against a proper foe and thus gimped on his own, but if a strong warrior tanker will join up with him he's rather good at helping him conserve his mana bar and thus gain experience at a faster rate. Todays MMO's are sorely lacking in the other two aspects of a balanced multi-user environment. WORLD , and INTERACTION. PARDON ME, BUT IS THAT MY +5 FLAMING LONGSWORD OF DESTRUCTION OR YOURS?(or, the non-descript boot that slayed the dragon) this is a direct issue regarding the lack of interactivity. first lets identify the technical problem that causes this to be. how does one create a persistant world that is interactive for the first thousand players, but remains fun and fresh for the next thousand who enter it at a later and post-interacted time? thus far the industry has offered up two answers. First instancing, which in essence is a single unique pocket existance for a particular player or group. this way everyone can attempt the quest to stop the marauding orcs of the Lost Valley. In fact, you can do it again with your buddy tomorrow. If you decide you like the +5 flaming longsword of destruction the chieftan drops, heck just round up another guy that hasn't done the quest and kill him again. Once a few people see how nice a weapon the chieftan drops then you'll have to be sure and do this quest for every time you have a character of appropriate level otherwise you'll be lacking a "must have" piece of equipment. so i hope you enjoy the quest. The industries second answer to the question of interactivity is simple, you dont have it. you have a player based world where you act. the world is a nuisance that must be navigated and interactivity would ruin the game for the next guy that played it. Most games employ a combination of the two. for some the basis of the world is instanced conflict, for others the instanced conflict is the exception. KILL, GAIN EXPERIENCE, LEVEL, REPEAT(or, how to spend 6 hours on a treadmill without breaking a sweat) This section refers to the dreaded "level treadmill". The concept of a level treadmill is caused by a convergence of many factors. The most obvious factor is the tilt of current generation MMO towards PLAYERS ACTING. Bartle spells out exactly what one should expect when a game is skewed too far in this direction and his analysis is dead on. The level treadmill is the industries response for the need to have a long term subscriber base to justify the massive expense a first tier MMO requires in capital expenditure. The larger the amount of upfront investment, the longer the treadmill, and larger the number of subscribers must be to be profitable. The second business component of an MMO is content, and content consumption. It is physically impossible to custom generate content fast enough to present every player with a fresh amount of action on a per play basis. If one could present an endless amount of content to consume then the level treadmill would be less a treadmill and more an elevator. But in order to change the perception of a treadmill, the content must be compelling enough to be the reward in and of itself. LET MAGIC BE MAGICAL(or, if everyone can slam dunk shouldnt we raise the hoop a bit?) There is a dearth of goods, or so says Adam Smith, the conceptual founder of modern capitalism. When this is untrue then an object looses value. So if everyone has the +5 flaming longsword of destruction it becomes a commodity, a staple. so you may be substandard for not possessing one, but only become standard when you have one. Such is the nature of equipment in modern MMO's. The absence of unique items follows the ENFORCED FAIRNESS DOCTRINE, this particular manifestation is caused by instanced encounters and the lack of interactivity with the world. the world, in all but name being a static entity. Not only does any item of value trend towards a staple, but magic; spells weapons, armor, creatures, components, cease to become magical. how amazing is your flaming sword when everyone has one? Where is the magic in your thermo nuclear fireball of excloration when everyone in your class gets it at level 40? If you can judge a book by its cover, then why bother reading the book? Fantasy should be fantastic. When we say "awesome" today, are we truly awe-inspired? Is it possible to revere the commonplace? Should we be expected to? THE DEATH OF DEATH(or, dying is such an inconvenience) When adventure becomes rote, when death becomes an inconvenience, when the many eyed creature of the deep represents a three and one half minute jog back to your smouldering corpse instead of a mortal enemy, how can the developers hope to inspire you? When you consider risk vs. reward you begin to spot something that should have been obvious from the start. The risk is inconvenience, the reward a staple that everyone has or will have. Shouldn't we be allowed to play for bigger stakes? It is boorish to pound your chest and proclaim yourself a master for completing the commonplace. But what are your alternatives? When everything is a function of time played, isnt the only true competition the race to the end? Again, we are not seeing the journey, only the destination. Much ado is made of the "end game" for the popular MMO's. Very few games have a satisfactory top end for those that have fought every bad guy, saved every damsel in distress, and recovered the nicest loot. The absence of content allows you two options. Explore the exact same content with a new character, or find another game to play. SUMMARY(or, i got tired of typing and decided to get some feedback) the current generation of MMO's have been found lacking by the market. Although there are several popular and profitable games being played as i type this, the industry has failed to engage or retain a huge portion of the game buying public. I have raised just a few of the common issues seen today, and i have some ideas to address a few as well. However, i'd like to get some feedback as far as additional issues and possible cures for what ails them. [Edited by - Dreddnafious Maelstrom on November 29, 2005 6:29:55 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Very Good!
But it's all what the 'player' would want.
Companies don't really care about all that (unless you can prove them it would raise the number of players greatly). They just want you to keep playing as long as possible and slowly leeching your money.

They won't innovate when the current 'recipe' works just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nail on the head there really.

My MMO experiences begin and end with UO really. I came to the conclusion that the MM part was largely over-rated, sure there was a lot of people playing, but I'd only ever interact with a handful. When I fancy a multiplayer game now, I tend to play against people I know, it's far more satisfying to beat someone I know, and be able to go and tell it to their face :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Thanks for this, man.I'm attempting a small( 25 or so only) multiplayer game, 3d rpg of course, just for those 25 or so friends i have on a certain yahoo chatroom.



This will be the guide I go by.....(P.S.---I know i'll never , by myself, create anything near even the first EverQuest, i use a 3d rpg builder called well...3d rpg builder.heh.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Definatly agree that this is how almost all MMO's currently are today. But the question we should ask ourselves is how can we make it better?

I personally despise level based combat/grinding. For this reason I fell in love with the insane open ended player skills in EVE Online. I was devoloping something similar to this in concept for my game.

I do not think we can ever truly be rid of the treadmill leveling as long as the overhead and investment of creating and running and MMO remain at there current levels.

The let magic be magical topic caught my interest because I hadn't thought about it before, but know that I have it is so obvious.

I wish I could add more, but you covered pretty much everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As much as we'd like to blame the companies, aren't the players themselves at fault? Every time I see a game that attempts to stretch the boundaries of the treadmill, the forums are immediately clogged with whinging from all the players who's short-term expectations aren't met.

The problem is the faults you mention actually appeal to the newbie -- no one wants the quests to be "used up" by previous players or to watch their more experienced brethren get items that they won't have a crack at. So they clamour for all the "fairness" you mention, unaware of the fact that this will eventually kill their enjoyment of the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bloodspear has been designed for interaction with its world. (Actually because of a lot of the procedural stuff in the background it relies on it).

I'm trying to develop ways to abstract some of this behaviour into the libraries I'm developing (in addition to the million-and-one other tasks) - I think given a decent toolset, a better level of interactivity (and multiple solutions to problems) can be introduced to the market.

Dreddnafious, drop me a PM, I'd like to talk to you privately about some concepts for this sort of thing.

Edit: Bloodspear is my current game project, built on some custom libraries that my team and I are developing. See http://www.bloodspear.co.uk/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by DigitalChaos
wow, that did nail every problem with current mmo's. but here's the thing, you go and fix all those problems and now what? you may just find yourself with a list of other problems to fix.


That's how you can tell between the determined and the defeatist. There are always problems to fix, but I'd much rather we continue to try and fix them as opposed to giving up now since it'll never stop. If we push on, games will just keep getting better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd like to add my congratulations, very well written and thought out post. This would be a valuable addition to the 'article' section, i'm sure a member of staff will be very happy to put it there.

You mention UO a few times, comparing much of the gameplay to the ideal design in 'Players who suit muds'. Firstly, i've played UO and i've gotta agree that current mmo's do not come close to its level of interaction - but that doesn't feel like the right word to use... I have vivid, VIVID memories of things that happened to me in UO, and as many people will testify the most vivid memories are generated from surprising, frightening, extraordinary experiences. Thats something that sets UO apart. It was actually rare for a trip to a dungeon, or journey between cities to go as planned in UO. When I (rarely) play a modern mmo for any length of time, I know exactly what I will do that session and bugger all happens to change that.

Here's a quick point too, even modern mmogs believe in the fun of exploration but when was the last time you were more than 30 seconds from a path? ...A path which inevitably leads to a hugely popular dungeon full of "adventure!" nonsense. By these standards about 80% of UO's famous world map is entirely pointless. But it's not, I genuinely felt like an explorer in the southern swamps.

Anyway, I'd like to expand on those a little more (and write them better) but I've got to sleep! Great post dude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by bmanruler
Definatly agree that this is how almost all MMO's currently are today. But the question we should ask ourselves is how can we make it better?


Actually the big question is: Will it be better? Yes, I do think that a number of players want more to their playing experience, but just look at World of Warcraft. It's almost disgustingly successful and has probably the least content, the most repetition and the lowest level of attention span of it's players (nothing personal, but it's true). It does almost everything wrong in some fashion, but somehow ends up winning in every way that's really important.... 300-500 Million in revenue over the course of a year. No other game in history can probably touch that, period.

Quote:
I personally despise level based combat/grinding. For this reason I fell in love with the insane open ended player skills in EVE Online. I was devoloping something similar to this in concept for my game.


All old-school gamers tend to dislike the level 'treadmill'. For some odd reason it still ends up being the most successful system in the gaming industry, pen and paper, computer, console or otherwise.

Quote:
I do not think we can ever truly be rid of the treadmill leveling as long as the overhead and investment of creating and running and MMO remain at there current levels.


Very, VERY true. I don't care who they are, players want to see some form of recognizable symbol of their investment in time. You can give them skills, you can give them all kinds of abilities, but they want to be able to say "Level 40 Warrior LFG" or something like that. They don't want to spend 5 minutes describing their 'build', they want to have a simple, 3-5 word description of their character that will allow anyone to know what they are and what their basic abilities are.

Quote:
The let magic be magical topic caught my interest because I hadn't thought about it before, but know that I have it is so obvious.


I'd love to implement this idea... tell players "You suck too much to do magic". Yeah, that game would go over well. We saw how well that worked with Star Wars: Galaxies. It didn't. It has to be the perfect example of why everyone must be 'special'. The non-special people are given a few different labels: NPC, Non-represented populace, the invisibles. Most commonly you don't see them in the game. A world with no babies, no general laborers, an almost non-viable population (genetically)... all the 'normal' people are not visible and not truly represented in the game. You can put them in there, if you really want to overload your servers and make your clients run really powerful boxes for little reason.

Quote:
I wish I could add more, but you covered pretty much everything.


There probably is a lot you can add. Get out of the "Old-school RPG gamer" mold and start thinking about the non-D&D geeks (note: I am a hard-core D&D geek, but I know that people don't want to actually game in that style most of the time, just look at some of the amazing games that have failed horribly compared to the pitiful examples that succeeded), because they're the ones that you're going to get paid by. If you want to lose lots of money and time, target the players like you, but just to be honest, I know that poeple like us aren't a big enough market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After quiting EQ2 and WoW, I found an MMO with alot (if not most) of the listed problem resolved. It's a Japanese game called nobol online. It's not so popular, but the design is brandnew with all the issues bothered me resolved. It's my game after UO.

Treadmill:
Yep, it's a level-based treadmill but noone actually cares about levels, except that you need to make sure you wont be too far behind (it's still a problem thou). Actually, you need to suppress your leveling speed often in the different point of the treadmill.

Char uniqueness:
Everyone feels unique. It's a forced grouping game thou. And about uber leet, you dont need to be uber to be good, while you need to have as much money as possible. Anyway, you cant buy everything even when you are rich. Very well balanced.

Zone:
More like UO, you can go anywhere you like, hehe...

Enforced fairness:
Since it's turn-based design. Every battle is exciting and fair enough sudden attacks occur very often. You can pick your target, while you may be picked by the mobs if you are not skillful enough. Very good design.

PAPER, ROCK, SCISSORS:
Classes are very well designed, very well balanced. No dummy classes. The class design is terrific.

KILL, GAIN EXPERIENCE, LEVEL, REPEAT
Time spent in game is very well designed. No rinse and repeat procedure.

Death:
Yep, death is inconvenient. But death is a kind of fun to experience. Good death design.


PvP:
Carebear design. But you can be a true PvPer...hehe..really funny design on this. No ranpent Pking after all.

Siege:
Yep, good part.

Player conflicts
No real player conflicts. I siege my friend's city and and fight and kill each other bravely to serve our own different Kings. But I group with him to hunt right after the siege. This is usually the case. Very good design too.

Crafting and Economy
Yep. Good, terrific.

Quests:
Yep, there are some boring npc quests like in other games. But the most important part is that you have to design your own quests and missions. Everyone will have to, naturally.

EQ2 and WoW are trash games to me, after playing this game nobol online.

Well, if you are curious about the design details, I can go deeper to the area which interests you.

Cheers and apologise for my English

[Edited by - Hawkins8 on December 1, 2005 10:43:03 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For example, here's my own quest list;

Personal:
1) I'll raise my level to lvl40 to become a specialized tank smith, currently I am lvl39.

2) In order to be a tank smith, I need a skill book which can only be obtained at level 40 or up. Moreover, in order to get the skill book, i need to gather 5 groups of special items (dropped by mobs) in specific dungeons. Each dungeon gives only one kind of these special items. Every player starts to collect these items from level 30 up.

3) The war with my neighbor kingdom will break out next week, in order to stay longer in the battlefield, I need to raise my official ranking abit. I need to work out a plan to contribute to my kingdom to gain 500 contribution points. There are different ways to do so, my choice is to produce some quality swords and submit them to my kingdom. This serves multiple purposes, to raise my ranking, to train up my crafting skills, to gain ability points (used to gain char attributes) and to make money......alot to plan ahead. I need also to gather raw materials and to buy some from other players in order to produce those swords...buy coal, charcoal from players, buy gold plates and silver plates from npc, and to mine copper and iron myself.

...

Team:
1) I need to help my team-mate, who is a bard, to get her skill book. Either to fight a specific and dangerous lvl45 mobs and hope for the drop (need to work out a detailed team tactics or die), or pool up 3000 gold to buy from players. Both ways are difficult, as the skill book itself is a rare item.

As a sidenote, our tactics mentioned above will be like this,
Our team of 7 will gather at the ruin house gate, a Ninja is sent to stealth inside the house to locate the target mobs and plot a course with safe spots to reach the target. The bard will play a song to group stealth into the house to the first safe spot, where the group stealth will wear off, at that moment any slide movement of any team mate may draw the attention of a nearby mob and be attacked. Play another song to go to the next safe spot.....till we reach the target.....Sometimes we need to clear an area of mobs as there is not always a safe spot.

2) The same bard requires a value 8 flute in order to cast bardic skills more efficiently, another rare item dropped from specific mobs, which spawn at around every 7 hours. The problem is, there are usually more than 2 groups camping these mobs. We calculate the time precisely and make sure we are the first to arrive at site at the moment the mobs spawn.

War:
1) All the players in our kingdom who participating the up coming siege will get help from our player built war council. Everyday, the council will set up quests, form groups to help players to solve their problems in order to join the war. To get skill books, equipment necessary for the war, to help the lowbies to level up, to pool money and raw materials, to produce armors/weapons for other players, to help to vote for issues which will affect the diplomatic status with allies and other enemies...........there are alot you can involve.

BTW, if we lose this war, our kingdom will be eradicated (that's why players in our kingdom are quite willing to help each other). Yet something even more funny may happen even when we lose, which requires a plan-ahead with my team-mates...hehe..

Anyway, leveling in this game seems to be a side product. To an certain extend, it serves player's various goals along the char development path. Skills and tactics are always crucial instead of levels, noone looks down to lowbie, quite contrary, there are some called high level newbies due to the lack of combat and adventuring skills. A team of 7 with one of these newbies is doomed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Hawkins8




Quests:
Yep, there are some boring npc quests like in other games. But the most important part is that you have to design your own quests and missions. Everyone will have to, naturally.




??? How do people "design your own quests" ????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Hawkins8




Quests:
Yep, there are some boring npc quests like in other games. But the most important part is that you have to design your own quests and missions. Everyone will have to, naturally.




??? How do people "design your own quests" ????


Like I said, a quest is just to set a goal to achieve. It's very beneficial to our team if such a goal is achieved. The next step is to evaluate the class combination required to kill the type of mobs. The team core is composed of a tank smith, a healer (more than just a healer), and a bard (more than just bard). The other 4 slots will depend on the type/level of mobs to fight and what friends do you have and what classes/levels they are. Then you form a team of 7 with different classes.

Then you need to work out a tactics depending on the class combination of your team. Say, if you dont have a bard, you cant stealth to your target mobs, then you need to plot another course to avoid as many battles as possible to reach the target mobs.

Once you have a plan, gather human resources, work out the corresponding tactics, achieve the goal. Isn't it a player designed quest?

As a sidenote, in this game,
healer = healer + the best class to reduce the mobs attacking power.
bard = restore mana + setting up protections + reducing casting waiting time + reducing mobs hitting rate.

Actually every class has multiple roles like this, especially the monks and knights, they switch to different roles in accordance to various situations. In the lack of a smith tank, a knight can be a tank but with a completely different skill set and tactics from that of a smith. In the lack of a bard, a knight can restore mana, set up protections....., at other times, a knight can be a damage dealer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Hawkins8
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Hawkins8




Quests:
Yep, there are some boring npc quests like in other games. But the most important part is that you have to design your own quests and missions. Everyone will have to, naturally.




??? How do people "design your own quests" ????


Like I said, a quest is just to set a goal to achieve. It's very beneficial to our team if such a goal is achieved. The next step is to evaluate the class combination required to kill the type of mobs. The team core is composed of a tank smith, a healer (more than just a healer), and a bard (more than just bard). The other 4 slots will depend on the type/level of mobs to fight and what friends do you have and what classes/levels they are. Then you form a team of 7 with different classes.

Then you need to work out a tactics depending on the class combination of your team. Say, if you dont have a bard, you cant stealth to your target mobs, then you need to plot another course to avoid as many battles as possible to reach the target mobs.

Once you have a plan, gather human resources, work out the corresponding tactics, achieve the goal. Isn't it a player designed quest?

As a sidenote, in this game,
healer = healer + the best class to reduce the mobs attacking power.
bard = restore mana + setting up protections + reducing casting waiting time + reducing mobs hitting rate.

Actually every class has multiple roles like this, especially the monks and knights, they switch to different roles in accordance to various situations. In the lack of a smith tank, a knight can be a tank but with a completely different skill set and tactics from that of a smith. In the lack of a bard, a knight can restore mana, set up protections....., at other times, a knight can be a damage dealer.



OK, you meant 'solve the quests'. I though it might be some kind of system where the players decided from a set of objectives -- possibly even for other players to 'define' a quest (like a guild might, as tests for their membership ranks.....)

Solving the quest like what you describe is no different than every other game that allows player cooperation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think one of the big problems also has to do with the fact that WoW and EQ2 are easier to make, relatively, than the 'perfect' MMO. Theres a lot of design, programming, and ease of use issues that they can avoid by making level treadmills.

There was a game that had been developed up to beta called 'Wish'. It promised live 'questing' by the use of hired helpers, so that all quests would be different based on players actions in the world. Non spawning monsters, town sieges, everything that makes an MMO really a work of art. Soon after the beta started however, the game just disappeared. No one knows why, but my guess is that the amount of work it would take to make this game completely unique, including all of its content being updated live, was just too much for the team and it had to be scrapped.

My guess is that until a group of developers make this game for themselves and the community and not for the money or deadlines involved, we dont have a chance at seeing the 'perfect' MMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
OK, you meant 'solve the quests'. I though it might be some kind of system where the players decided from a set of objectives -- possibly even for other players to 'define' a quest (like a guild might, as tests for their membership ranks.....)

Solving the quest like what you describe is no different than every other game that allows player cooperation.


Maybe, still i found it funier than other games in that,

1) Some rare items requires you to group with friends or guildmates or someone you can trust, as the drop is not known to others. Once someone announces that he got the drop, I know that he's a reliable guy, I'll add him/her to my friend list for the next quest. It's really very easy to make friends in this game.

2) Since the drop rate requires you to go to the spot many times, camping doesn't seem to be so effective, i dont actually know how the possibility designed, I just feel so. As a result, you need to group with different people and various classes since you need to go often but not camping.

(moreover, target monster respawn is ranging from 1 to 8 hours depending on how rare the item is, I guess this is one of factor why camping is not that effective, but by luck and the tricky probability design have more effect on the drop rate)

This requires you to calculate the class combination very carefully, this is the part i feel fun and i feel lacking in other games. Say, the bard is one of the most difficult class to find, so I always need a contingence plan in case of failing to find a bard. With and without a bard, the combat tactics is totally different. Same is the healer, another relatively rare class. When a knight is used as an alternative of a bard, or a monk as an alternative of a healer, the class combination requirement and combat tactics are totally different. I feel that the kind of calculation is lacking in other games.

3) Group stealth is a breath-taking action, people keep making mistakes at the moment when the stealth is worn off, and being attacked by nearby mobs (usually ultra strong to be avoided or just annoying mobs with concessive attacks while our hp and mana are consumed in a previous battle), it adds alot of excitement and fun. I guess this design can only be applied well in a turn-based design.

4) Skill switching in accordance to situation (also a turn-based design feature). You train with alot of skills but each class gets limited skill slots to apply the skills in a battle. Say I have 10 useful skills trained, but I have only 5 slots to apply those skills during a battle. As a result, I have to carefully select 5 out of 10 skills to use in a certain battle (depending on the types of monster to fight) and may need to switch to another skill set to fight the next battle. Even when you fight similar monster types may requires you to adjust your skills to get the optimized/maximized result. Moreover, there are complementary and overlaping skills amongst classes, so the first thing to do before we enter a dungeon is that 7 guys need to show their skills and we compare, removing overlapping skills and add complementary skills. This also undergoes an adjustment process as the battles move on.

5) Team split (also a turn-based feature)
In the case of sudden mob attack, you are not always in full team of 7, perhaps 2 members are under the attack of a group of mobs, while the other 5 are attacked by another group. There are also tactics not just to avoid but also to handle the situation. Say, the first thing is to decide is whether to escape and run, to run is a challenging and risking process. In order to avoid the death of the healer, we need to calculate very well whether to continue the fight or to wait for the other splited team to finish (whether they can finish or being killed needs calculation and communication too). Once it's decided to run, we need to do something to cover the healer such that he/she may escape successfully. If the healer is death, anyone died in the battle will have to return back to his own kingdom and has to run a long way back to the spot (there is also tactics for re-grouping under this situation too).

Other than the healer, we need also to protect the team leader, during the battle and during the escape process, for once the leader is dead, all other members are forced to escape at the same time, which means we may not be able to assist the escape of the healer as we wish.

The point is, you can choose to experience such excitement by setting a goal, or alternatively choose to grind more casually. On the other hand, the goal setting isn't just an optional process. To an individual or certain classes, it's optional, but to a team, it's a necessity, as one of the team member deadly in need of a rare item.

(sometimes there's an easy alternative for him to get the same item, but the team doesnt want him to take the alternative path, we prefer to take a more difficult path simply because we dont want our teammate to betray our kingdom, hehe...kingdom hopping is the alternative if you are not a team friendly player, still it's not easy to achieve without a team, hehe.. realy tricky design - with a guild/team, you will prefer to fight, without a guild/team, the alternative becomes difficult)

In words, alot of tactics, skills and team cooperation. I dont think the kind of design exists as a norm in other games.

[Edited by - Hawkins8 on December 4, 2005 10:01:49 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
current mmo's are not expanding, just looking better
when playing on a level trendmill I play until i know i can do everything
if i devote the time to lvling, once it gets to that point i leave
no use hanging around nothing to look forward to

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Dinner
current mmo's are not expanding, just looking better
when playing on a level trendmill I play until i know i can do everything
if i devote the time to lvling, once it gets to that point i leave
no use hanging around nothing to look forward to


Yep. Still I hope that mmo at least is going to built a good level-skill based model. What I am talking about is a hybrid model combining a skill-based model and a level-based model.

In the game I mentioned in my previous posts, grinding to high level is not the point in the game. The purpose of leveling up is to qualify to obtain the skill books. After getting the skill books, training the skills becomes more important.

Another reason for leveling up in this game is for siege, the more hp and mana the better the survival in a siege.

The weakest part of a level-based game is that no new blood would join the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I dislike how there is no acheivable goal in them. Aand when there is, it is some quest everyone gets to do, and makes no impact at all. On the off chance there is a possobility to do something great, only the high levels get to do it. MMOs so far just plain suck. There has not been one that was anywhere close to goood so far, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meh, I have a more 'casual game' design idea that involves skill-based gameplay (somewhat like UO, not exact). Plus it would involve sieges, castles, guilds, civil warfare, and so forth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4394 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.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this