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navaburo

The Myth of the MMOFPSRPG?

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The internet spawned the MMO, D&D gave birth to the RPG, and well, human nature resulted in the FPS. The combination of these is the legendary MMOFPSRPG. This idea is frequently discussed (especially on gamedev.net), and has arguably _never_ been properly implemented. Please post your ideas on why we can't seem to create such a game! I believe the primary reason is that in a first-person game inconsistency is VERY apparent since the game is so much more immersive. Unfortunately internet latency is real and tends to cause such inconsistencies. I could go on, but I think the technical obstacles are discussed well on this thread: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=384016 I am interested in more theoretical ideas on how to fix the problem, and create this "dream MMO" that haunts the thoughts of so many gamers/programmers.

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Heh, it seems I was the first to reply in the linked thread too.

I'm not a network programmer and don't care much for MMOs, so I'm a bit hazy on the details, but I think you've hit the primary reason for why MMOFPS games aren't yet feasible. FPS games usually require fast input to reaction times; translating pressing the "fire" button to shooting a gun to hitting a target. However MMO game s, as far as I know, rely mostly on server side calculations for the gameworld physics. This puts an inherent delay factor from player action to reaction in the game. I'm fairly sure most MMO games have some sort of estimation algorithms to keep players' avatars moving and acting to in-game events, but I'd bet split-second reaction times are not part of the game design (given I don't play MMO games I'd be happy to be corrected on this).

In order to make a MMOFPS, you'd either have to come up with a design that can cope with lag (which would probably break the common gameplay perceptions of the FPS genre), or figure out some way to perform some of the gameplay calculations client-side without it being prone to cheaters and hackers (hard) and being able to combine them with the server's storage of the game world (also hard).

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Possibly the game could be made to allow inconsistencies. It would be a strange world. I might have killed you in my world, and you might have killed me in mine (this is the most extreme example). Maybe a game could be made to harness this strangeness and "soft-sync" clients. If you rely stop to think about it, this sort of system would still be fair, just strange.

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I don't know how well it would appeal to FPS-fans, but you could design the combat mechanics such that endurance becomes more important than twitch and aim. Some options would be less accurate weaponry, few one shot kills, variable number of hits (not necessarily random, in Infantry (granted it's top down) the way energy worked meant that the more shots you dodged the more shots you could eat), etc.

Also, you add RPG onto the end. When I think FPSRPG, I think Deus Ex. This had both less accurate weaponry (somewhat dependent on character-skill) and few one shot kills (I thought the AR was pretty worthless). Actually, I think a lot of latency sins could be covered up with character-skills (as opposed to player-skills) or lack thereof.

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Quote:
Original post by navaburo
Possibly the game could be made to allow inconsistencies. It would be a strange world. I might have killed you in my world, and you might have killed me in mine (this is the most extreme example). Maybe a game could be made to harness this strangeness and "soft-sync" clients. If you rely stop to think about it, this sort of system would still be fair, just strange.


Okay, so you killed Trapper Zoid, and he killed you. Which of those alternate universes would that put Way Walker as an observer in? And with the constant alternate paths being pursued by the large multitudes of clients, how will you keep track of each one? An alternate universe for each client? Or will you try and merge universes. Obviously, you can end a alteration when a client logs off, but which of them will a client log into?

If... I'll use Way Walker, you, and Trapper Zoid again. If Walker just killed Trapper Zoid and vise-versa, and you just logged on, which one is dead on your client? If you then were killed by Trapper Zoid, while Walker was respawning, and in Way Walker's world, he killed you, while Trapper was respawning, who gets the Exp, who were you fighting, and what would happen if one killed you in his universe, and the other was killed by you in his universe a few seconds later?

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I'll not mention Planetside, as it's the true MMOFPSRPG.

Ok the basic idea that kills MMO's is the need to clump. For players to collect in large groups at one place. Planetside had 3 teams and this obviously caused clumping. 2 factions fighting in the same place at one time.

In my experience of designing my mmo:

1. Basically you force people to go solo or be in squads/outfits.

2. Make no landmarks and make tons of I-have-to-fight-there spots around the large map. Either copying the same place in multiple areas or make certain places hard to get to.

3. If there's objectives in the game, make tons of them and place them far apart so people have to choose what to do and not have it so 1000 people go for the same thing causing clumping.

4. Make long range weapons and vehicles. Especially snipers. Being close to another player to shoot should be a disadvantage. This causes players not to clump.

5. Last but not least add cloaking or other stealth things into the game that add incentive for a player to lure from a group and kill things.

The whole idea is to keep people far away from one another. Bandwidth is exponential. If this means giving everyone 10 km sniper rifle, so be it.

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I'll not mention Planetside, as it's the true MMOFPSRPG.

Ok the basic idea that kills MMO's is the need to clump. For players to collect in large groups at one place. Planetside had 3 teams and this obviously caused clumping. 2 factions fighting in the same place at one time.

In my experience of designing my mmo:

1. Basically you force people to go solo or be in squads/outfits.

2. Make no landmarks and make tons of I-have-to-fight-there spots around the large map. Either copying the same place in multiple areas or make certain places hard to get to.

3. If there's objectives in the game, make tons of them and place them far apart so people have to choose what to do and not have it so 1000 people go for the same thing causing clumping.

4. Make long range weapons and vehicles. Especially snipers. Being close to another player to shoot should be a disadvantage. This causes players not to clump.

5. Last but not least add cloaking or other stealth things into the game that add incentive for a player to lure from a group and kill things.

The whole idea is to keep people far away from one another. Bandwidth is exponential as more players clump. Make bullets fast moving and make it very very hard to die in the game. Give them incentive to retreat or want to stay alive rather than dieing.

Oh yah and the major idea, make guns realistic and make ammo very very valuable. No one is going to pop some shots off if they know that they only have 5 clips and are hunting other players for resources. (Kinda reminds me of planetside when I use to vampire players as a cloaker. Kill them steal their medkits and ammo.

One thing I've never liked about MMO games is that the maps are giant rectangles. It would be so much more satisfying if the map was a sphere. Just large enough so that the horizon is our of view but close enough that you could fly around it in a plane and not orbit every 5 minutes.

[Edited by - Sirisian on November 8, 2006 8:52:52 PM]

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Let's look at this like a Venn Diagram:

MMO- Lots of players and allows teamwork with random ppl
RPG- Ability to make your character become stronger over time
FPS- Deep Immersion, Mainly skill oriented

Now lets look at 2 combined

MMORPG- Not to many of these (sarcasm)
MMOFPS- Halo2 is like this and has fast paced game play with others
RPGFPS- FF7 remake is like this haven't played it though

MMORPGFPS- Well to make this you need fluent skill based gameplay where your character can get better as you play and must run through the internet with lots of ppl with teamwork

Hope that helps.

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Quote:
Original post by Servant of the Lord
If... I'll use Way Walker, you, and Trapper Zoid again.


Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

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Quote:
Original post by navaburo
Possibly the game could be made to allow inconsistencies. It would be a strange world. I might have killed you in my world, and you might have killed me in mine (this is the most extreme example). Maybe a game could be made to harness this strangeness and "soft-sync" clients. If you rely stop to think about it, this sort of system would still be fair, just strange.


It's not just the fairness of the rules, but the ability to cheat. It's basically trusting the client, which is a no-no.

On the other hand, thinking about this, made me smile. I thought of what happens when I die (a common occurrence in FPS's) and thought, "What if there's a split, and I don't die in my view but I do die in their's". Well, that's fine, until there're other players, but then I thought, "What if I'm simply a ghost to my killer (I'll 'respawn' after some time) and cannot kill him but nothing has changed for the others". Then I thought of someone not realizing they've been killed and proceeding to shoot their killer. They'd be all like, "OMGWTF!!!?! WHY DON'T YOU DIE?!?!?!", and their killer would be like, "You're dead to me". Ok... moving on.

Yeah, basically, modern physics doesn't do so well as multiplayer game mechanics.

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