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MadisonD

MO or MMO, requirements for a specific character

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I couldn't come up with a better title to fit my question/thought so, forgive me, I'll try to elaborate more below.

I recently was playing through Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (for anyone who hasn't, it's one of the most enjoyable games I've played recently, if you're into shooters, it was good enough that even though I prefer FPS, and it's a TPS, I loved it.)

For those who aren't familiar with WH40k, space marines are basically elite units (they were the inspiration for the marines in Starcraft, as well as a lot of other games), and can take on a lot more than your average unit. In Space Marine it's quite obvious in that, you can deal with fights which the ground units (the imperial forces, basically infantry) was unable to do in large numbers, by yourself (or your group of three).

So here's my question, let's pretend the setting is an MO or MMO, and you have your average characters, obviously you can be a soldier (among other things, but we'll focus on soldiers here, or the soldier class if you want to call it that). I find the idea of a much more powerful unit interesting, but I'm thinking there would obviously have to be a mechanic or reason that it was a 'special' unit, otherwise you would have no soldiers, you would only have space marines.

That led me to the idea of something of the sort that players can swear loyalty to a character, and only one character (and assume 1 character per 1 account), and if a soldier has 20, 30, 40 whatever the preset number is, of people loyal to them, they can be an elite unit (we'll say space marine, going with that train of thought). The reasoning behind being something like, that's the amount of support that unit requires to function. That, or in conjunction with there can only ever be X number of those units at the same time (although I think the loyalty base, or something else, would be better than a random hard limit), would mean that you'd still have plenty of 'regular' units.

You'd have the benefit that, say, a large clan/guild might have 10 space marines (assuming they have say, 410 people, assuming 40 people per SM), which would be a severely powerful force (so much so that they would inevitably crush guilds/clans of say.. 100, who only have 2 SMs). In one way I think this would be a positive, it would encourage large organizations, instead of lots of tiny ones. In theory, you could also be clanless and just have 40 people loyal to you, but I wouldn't think that'd be beneficial.

However, that presents a whole different problem, if everyone still wants to be the Space Marine. If everyone wants to be one, you'd have a hard time getting the required # of people to be loyal to you, since they'd want you to be loyal to them, or perhaps their friends to them, and unless you have 40 friends playing, you're never going to get there.


Obviously you don't have to answer all of these, but they're the kind of things I'm hoping to find out:

Do you think there'd still be a desire for people to play as the regular Soldier? Obviously there'd be a balance issue, I assume it would be to give every character type an 'elite unit' they could also aspire to, or maybe not if the lore was fitting and players were accepting of it.

Would you play a game where this was involved? Would you WANT to play that unit, or would you prefer to play a normal unit? Obviously the benefits of being that unit are great, but I assume it'd also be a global taunt, like most things in practice, you'd be a walking target all the time.

What are some other interesting mechanics that could be used to limit the number of them, while still making them attainable? I'm thinking it's preferable to make it based on something like player loyalty, then money, otherwise only the richest of the rich would be able to have them.

What are some elite units of other types that could be offered? I'd envision this as a classless game, but you'd still need other 'types' playable to balance it out.

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I couldn't come up with a better title to fit my question/thought so, forgive me, I'll try to elaborate more below.

I recently was playing through Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (for anyone who hasn't, it's one of the most enjoyable games I've played recently, if you're into shooters, it was good enough that even though I prefer FPS, and it's a TPS, I loved it.)

For those who aren't familiar with WH40k, space marines are basically elite units (they were the inspiration for the marines in Starcraft, as well as a lot of other games), and can take on a lot more than your average unit. In Space Marine it's quite obvious in that, you can deal with fights which the ground units (the imperial forces, basically infantry) was unable to do in large numbers, by yourself (or your group of three).

So here's my question, let's pretend the setting is an MO or MMO, and you have your average characters, obviously you can be a soldier (among other things, but we'll focus on soldiers here, or the soldier class if you want to call it that). I find the idea of a much more powerful unit interesting, but I'm thinking there would obviously have to be a mechanic or reason that it was a 'special' unit, otherwise you would have no soldiers, you would only have space marines.

That led me to the idea of something of the sort that players can swear loyalty to a character, and only one character (and assume 1 character per 1 account), and if a soldier has 20, 30, 40 whatever the preset number is, of people loyal to them, they can be an elite unit (we'll say space marine, going with that train of thought). The reasoning behind being something like, that's the amount of support that unit requires to function. That, or in conjunction with there can only ever be X number of those units at the same time (although I think the loyalty base, or something else, would be better than a random hard limit), would mean that you'd still have plenty of 'regular' units.

You'd have the benefit that, say, a large clan/guild might have 10 space marines (assuming they have say, 410 people, assuming 40 people per SM), which would be a severely powerful force (so much so that they would inevitably crush guilds/clans of say.. 100, who only have 2 SMs). In one way I think this would be a positive, it would encourage large organizations, instead of lots of tiny ones. In theory, you could also be clanless and just have 40 people loyal to you, but I wouldn't think that'd be beneficial.

However, that presents a whole different problem, if everyone still wants to be the Space Marine. If everyone wants to be one, you'd have a hard time getting the required # of people to be loyal to you, since they'd want you to be loyal to them, or perhaps their friends to them, and unless you have 40 friends playing, you're never going to get there.


Obviously you don't have to answer all of these, but they're the kind of things I'm hoping to find out:

Do you think there'd still be a desire for people to play as the regular Soldier? Obviously there'd be a balance issue, I assume it would be to give every character type an 'elite unit' they could also aspire to, or maybe not if the lore was fitting and players were accepting of it.

Would you play a game where this was involved? Would you WANT to play that unit, or would you prefer to play a normal unit? Obviously the benefits of being that unit are great, but I assume it'd also be a global taunt, like most things in practice, you'd be a walking target all the time.

What are some other interesting mechanics that could be used to limit the number of them, while still making them attainable? I'm thinking it's preferable to make it based on something like player loyalty, then money, otherwise only the richest of the rich would be able to have them.

What are some elite units of other types that could be offered? I'd envision this as a classless game, but you'd still need other 'types' playable to balance it out.


I can only see benefits making individuals stronger than other individuals to be on a temporary and short lived basis. In a fantasy setting, something along the lines of items of power. Wielded in battle and if you die the enemy can take it. Have quests to destroy or reasons to hold onto the items outside of PvP conflict to have them possess benefits other than in combat. Perhaps a side stockpiles them and keeps them under lock and key in a keep until they deem them necessary to use in an important battle?

Perhaps it would be better suited to try and have regular players summon/bring forth the advanced unit to fight for their cause, but it wouldn't be played by a player.

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Marines seem like they could be done well as a tank or rogue class which is not better than other classes, but focuses on melee while other classes focus on ranged attacks.

If you want to have regular soldiers that are noticeably weaker than marines, maybe they could be summons, either the spell kind or the battle pet kind.

But if you really really want marines to be more elite than other players, the fairest way would probably be that only people who reach max level as a soldier can reincarnate as a marine.

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I find the idea of a much more powerful unit interesting, but I'm thinking there would obviously have to be a mechanic or reason that it was a 'special' unit, otherwise you would have no soldiers, you would only have space marines.
Each player (and character, but that's the same) has to be special. One is a medic, one a sniper, every single one is special. Each person is the hero of his own story and that's how human's brain work. You *have to* make everyone feel special, that's a big part of playing multiplayer games.

Would you WANT to play that unit, or would you prefer to play a normal unit?[/quote]Hmmm, you mean I have to decide if I want to be the poorly equipped and trained soldier sitting in trenches and dying all the time or the space marine ultra rare shiny armour big gun elite warrior that kills everything with one blow? I don't know, a tought choice... :)

Probably you could make this "work" one way or another, but I don't see how this would increase the overall fun of the game for majority of players.
What exactly is the purpose of this feature (apart from being "interesting")?

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I may have an idea how to make this "fair". So you have a bunch of 41 soldiers. Having 40+ people makes you eligible for purchasing a set of Power Armour, an ancient piece of equipment long lost. The problem is, that there is just one set and 40 people + leader. Now, at this point, either:

1) The people are mature and fair and decide that the best of them becomes the champion, and weekly/monthly they choose a new champion to wear the prized piece and lead the rest into battle (50% chance)

2) The leader steals the armour and keeps it for himself (60% chance). You counter this by revoking the right for the guild to wear the armour if there are less than 40 people per set (since people will be leaving if faced with a douche, the chances drop to 10%)

3) People take turns to wear the armour and everyone is happy (10% chance)

4) People recruit more people, there are less guilds but have many people, and several sets of Armour. Most of the players don't play though (70% chance)

The Power Armour itself may grant some skills, have hard-wired knowledge/systems that elevate the player to new heights. If he is expelled/leaves while wearing it, he will be stripped of it (as he alone does not have a guild/40 people required) and it returns to the clan. Only the leader can give/take the armour.

There is of course a myriad of issues, such as "what happens if the leader is absent", "what happens if someone leaves so that the guild loses the Armour" etc etc. This is not 100% thought through -- it's intended more as a spark/pitch of an idea :)

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How about this:
On the 1st of every month, each major faction holds a tournament of some sort. Any character may enter (but really it's only practical for max-level characters) and the top 20 or so entrants win the honor of being a member of the elite class for that month. The respective players then are able to make a max-level elite character.

If they've already made an elite character, then that character is unlocked for the month.

At the end of the month any elite characters are locked until the player wins the honors again.

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To balance that 1 SM is roughly equal to 100 Imperial Guard soldiers, you can just make a player whom player imperial guard access to 99 NPC's.

Or if imperial guard player joins a mechanized unit, granting access to war machines, even a SM would have trouble dealing with a couple of tanks.

In regards to battle, I think you can safely drop the need to balance every player individually if the game mechanics lends towards larger groups of combatants, for example an army would require a range from the lowliest imperial guard to the mightiest war machine/space marine depending on the situation, making even "low level" players useful (similar to EvE Online).

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