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Iron Chef Carnage

Instanced adventure scenarios - multiplayer

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I've been reading some Conan lately, and it seems to me that 90% of his stories start out with him traveling casually across some wilderness and suddenly being beset by beasts or men, or stumbling across some gorgeous babe in peril. This sort of thing is unlikely. After all, the "girl being chased by cannibals" scenario takes place over the course of about four hours, at which point the girl dies, and it's bizarre that Conan happens to be trotting past on a warhorse with a lance and axe within that window. So what if an MMO were to use some kind of match-making algorithm to insert characters into instanced scenarios based on their skill level, equipment and disposition? Let your conduct give you a personality profile, and then when you leave a "city", you declare your adventurous intent. Multiple players, based on their various properties, could be dropped into shared instances where they can work together or against one another as they see fit. Say you're a soldier-type character, going to walk from Azcazene to Bartlestown through the Pointy Mountains armed with a bow and carrying a salve for poison. At that point you walk through the gate and into an instanced Pointy Mountains scenario. You have some guys in your "buddies" list, and one of them--a thief character--has just set out from B-town to hunt treasure in the mountains, and another guy in his party is a newb with a pack mule for carrying booty. When they leave town, they enter your Pointy Mountains, and if your two parties get close together, a scenario is treggered where they are set upon by something that's best disposed of by a soldier with a bow and antidote, and/or you stumble upon a relic that has no value to you, but that your thief mate will be able to recognize as a key to some trove of loot. If, during this event, a characer on your "enemies" list, with a penchant for PKing, departs from A-Town with a "make some trouble" intention, he has a chance to spawn into your world and mix it up with your team. Maybe he'll kill you and take the treasure, maybe he'll get beat up by the monster that you're suited to beat, whatever. More people makes it more complex, obviously, but some strong heuristics for matching players and situations based on numerous factors could keep it from become stale, repetitive or, worst of all, meta-gamable.

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How would it handle having one or more of the 'thrown together' players bugout/logout when they decided they didnt like the scenario that the game decided to stick them in. Random grouping will no doubt lead to problems of distrust and non-cooperation (intentional or just via ineptitude).

Sure it gets around the frequent problem of not having enough friends on at the same time to make up a decent party, but semi-random people usaually dont make a party either.

Strict mechanisms to divide up loot fairly and to get players to stick around (incentive) for the hazardous parts would be needed.

The scenario instance wouldn't (shouldnt) have to be very long and maybe you could have an escalating payoff the longer they stay together (and actually cooperate) through a sequence of linked scenarios.


There may be a problem with matching/mutating the scenario to the various players abilities (and compensate for many players inability to efficiently make use of the abilities their stats enable).

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Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
So what if an MMO were to use some kind of match-making algorithm to insert characters into instanced scenarios based on their skill level, equipment and disposition?


In pen and paper RPG this is called "random encounter". Some encounters are described as "five swamp creatures with two levels less than the players". I never played a MMORPG but I thought they would have implemented such an old and fitting idea

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