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JoeBoris

Good MMO characteristics

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[font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"]Hey everyone, I'm just getting back into game development after a short break and I've been thinking about a lot of design concept and stuff. I'm gonna try to keep this short so it doesn't get boring. I've been putting together this list of stuff that I think EVERY multiplayer game (or at least mmo) should have. Some popular games are very strong is a few of these areas, but come up short in the rest. Let me know what you think of the list and if you have any additions or anything. and btw they are in no particular order [/font][/font]
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[font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"]1. Customization[/font][/font]

[font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"]This includes stuff like the ability to design and change your character's appearance and more, in order to set you apart from everyone else [/font][/font]
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[font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"]2. Multiplayer competition and cooperation[/font][/font][/font]
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[font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"]This is VERY important to me and many games like FPS's for example strive on this alone. Back when Halo 2 was still online, what kept me playing was how incredibly competitive it was. If you wanted a high rank in team slayer you had to go in with a group of skilled players and everyone had to be focused and working as a team [/font][/font][/font]
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[font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"]3. High stakes and big rewards [/font][/font][/font]
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[font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"]This is mainly in reference to mmos like Eve online or even runescape. If you screw up and get killed, you lose EVERYTHING you have on you. But on the upside, if you manage to score a player kill yourself, you get everything they had on them. This makes for much more intense pvp and can make games a lot of fun[/font][/font][/font]
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[font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"]4. Fair play[/font][/font][/font]
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[font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"][font="Arial,"]All I mean by this is that every player should start on a level playing field with equal opportunities and chances of success. This is a given for most games, but some have issues with "balance" between classes and others sell the best in game items for real life money (imo this ruins the game). [/font][/font][/font]


[font="Arial,"]5. Variety [/font][font="Arial,"]
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[font="Arial,"]There should be a LOT of options and decisions for players, everything from playable classes to gear, ships, weapons, etc.. This is a tricky one though because this can sometimes interfere with the fair play aspect. For example in call of duty if you want to win, you can decide to get the ak47u (or whatever its called) and all the ninja crap then just hide in a corner and own everyone as they walk past. Of course that's really gay so not many people will want to do it. Unfortunately this takes away the competitive aspect of the game. Now it's more about who can get the most "360 no scopes" and crap, instead of who can cooperate best with their team and win.[/font]
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[font="Arial,"]6. Emphasis on both strategy and skill[/font]
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[font="Arial,"]Many games have a lot of one or the other, which is fine, but it's nice to have both. For example a browser game I used to play called Tinywarz was all strategy. You set up your crews with ships fitted with different weapons for different scenarios and strategies and dropped down on a planet to fight. A game like guitar hero, however, is all skill (or at least memorization). A good game with both strategy and skill is world of warcraft. [/font]
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[font="Arial,"]7. Appealing graphics and sound[/font]
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[font="Arial,"]This one is pretty self-explanatory. World of warcraft is a good example in this category, too. The graphics and music are beautiful, particularly in the burning crusade and wrath of the lich king expansions. [/font]
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[font="Arial,"]Anyway, this is just really general stuff, let me know what you think[/font]

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Maybe a bit cliche, but a game has only two goals. To bring fun for the player and money for the developer. No other goals exist. All features has to bring us closer to one of these goals. That's something that should be kept in mind before we list any more detailed rules of a good game.


[quote]3. High stakes and big rewards

This is mainly in reference to mmos like Eve online or even runescape. If you screw up and get killed, you lose EVERYTHING you have on you. But on the upside, if you manage to score a player kill yourself, you get everything they had on them. This makes for much more intense pvp and can make games a lot of fun [/quote]I thought it was a dated concept not used nowadays? Not only you die but in addition you lose stuf... That's a bit to much.

[quote]4. Fair play[/quote] You should not. Sooner or later you will be facing a choice fun vs fairness and you can't choose all the time fairness because the game will be totally boring. Which you already mentioned in: "5. Variety :This is a tricky one though because this can sometimes interfere with the fair play aspect." :)

[quote]6. Emphasis on both strategy and skill[/quote]I totally disagree. I'm not a monkey with excellent reflexes and I don't want to play arcade. Especially if it was advertised as strategy.

The rest seems OK, althrough I wouldn't necessarily put these in that order.

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[quote name='Acharis' timestamp='1318889454' post='4873653']
Maybe a bit cliche, but a game has only two goals. To bring fun for the player and money for the developer. No other goals exist. All features has to bring us closer to one of these goals. That's something that should be kept in mind before we list any more detailed rules of a good game.


[quote]3. High stakes and big rewards

This is mainly in reference to mmos like Eve online or even runescape. If you screw up and get killed, you lose EVERYTHING you have on you. But on the upside, if you manage to score a player kill yourself, you get everything they had on them. This makes for much more intense pvp and can make games a lot of fun [/quote]I thought it was a dated concept not used nowadays? Not only you die but in addition you lose stuf... That's a bit to much.

[quote]4. Fair play[/quote] You should not. Sooner or later you will be facing a choice fun vs fairness and you can't choose all the time fairness because the game will be totally boring. Which you already mentioned in: "5. Variety :This is a tricky one though because this can sometimes interfere with the fair play aspect." :)

[quote]6. Emphasis on both strategy and skill[/quote]I totally disagree. I'm not a monkey with excellent reflexes and I don't want to play arcade. Especially if it was advertised as strategy.

The rest seems OK, althrough I wouldn't necessarily put these in that order.
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Thanks for your feedback! Firstly I'd like to clarify that all of this is just my opinion. idk if I said that originally, but I'm not trying to lay down "rules", I'm just trying to give my opinion. That said, it's helpful to know that not everyone shares my opinion on high stakes style games. I guess that's why it's an option in most games. I love it though, because it's so much more rewarding that way. Anyway, the same goes for emphasis on both skill and strategy. I know there are great games that rely on either one or the other, but my ideal game includes both.

As far as fairness goes, I TOTALLY understand what you mean. WoW has gone straight downhill because of whiny casuals who convince blizzard to make the game easier, by both nerfing raid bosses and taking out rating requirements on pvp gear.

Thanks again for your feedback and btw, I noted that these were in no particular order. Just the order that they popped into my head

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The "High Stakes" gameplay style hit me hard on the face way back when... Me and my friends decided to give the trial of EVE a try. It was on the 13th day that I said to myself "hell, this game is nice. We got some nice gear and money, time to investigate some desolated sectors. And maybe I'll subscribe after the trial is over!". We got wiped by a single EMP+ cannon salvo from a lone ship. We lost everything, that being almost 2 weeks of constant play. That did not encourage me to actually put money into the game -- although from the receiving end (devs and publisher), it is a perfectly sound strategy to keep the player playing, making him regain all he has lost and linger till the next subscription tick.

I'd rather be given a choice, like in Diablo II. I never tried the hardcore character option -- I relied on death way too much. But I guess there were those who enjoyed it and could brag about having a high level char that didn't die once on Hell difficulty.

The problem with modern mutlipayer games is exactly money. People are reluctant to invest in something new, while something totally proven, working and generating profit can be taken off the shelf. At the same time, it is those new (or non-standard) things that draw an audience and generate income. Devs seem to fancy adding small mechanics, hooks that would draw the eyes of potential customers. WoW might've toned down due to the fact that there were more casuals than hardcores, and by lowering the difficulty, could net a broader range of gamers.

Eastern MMOs are very good at that -- although being almost the same, each has its own story, subtly different mechanics and varying fun factors.

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Full loot is not an impossible mechanic to impose properly. In order to make it work though, FFA PvP should be lessened if not removed from the game. Let the player take the risk of taking actions that could lead to them losing their gear rather than making them bait for a bigger fish to steal all of their goodies.

It all depends on your genre, your target audience, and how well it would work with the rest of the game. Full loot can work though, even on a broader scale.

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primary statistics and secondary statistics.

For instance: Mind(focus and intelligence), Body(strength and speed), Spirit(Will and piety).

Primary skills being required for world interactions: Moving a rock, getting NPC responses, gear requirements, learning an ability, and similar. and have primary statistics be the logarithmic(fast start, then leveling off) growth of the secondary skills. Balanced so that someone who is slightly below average in all statistics can get access to most content.

Secondary statistics used for multiplier actions. Basically increase power of abilities(hit harder with X) and similar.

Basically it's designed to allow people to min max. However it keeps you from seeing some things on that character.

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I never understood the point of primary/secondary stats.

Speaking as a gamer rather than a developer here;

You start a new game. You've never played this game before. An item drops; "Wizard's Robe of Intellect". The stats read +5 intellect.

This means nothing. I just reeled off 6 words and none have any meaning to you, short of comparisons you can draw from other games (such as assuming intellect makes you better at magic).

However, let's say in the game, intellect increases your spell damage. Would it not be better to just drop the "intellect" stat entirely and have this?

Wizard's Robe of Intellect
+5% spell damage

Granted, % based stats don't work in all games. WoW for example had to drop them due to scaling issues. However % stats are infinitely clearer than arbitrary "8625 armour, +5 intellect, +3 healing" to a new player, and even older ones (I've played WoW for 6 years and still have no clue how much of a damage increase 300 intellect is).

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[quote name='Eiviyn' timestamp='1319004160' post='4874157']
Granted, % based stats don't work in all games. WoW for example had to drop them due to scaling issues. However % stats are infinitely clearer than arbitrary "8625 armour, +5 intellect, +3 healing" to a new player, and even older ones (I've played WoW for 6 years and still have no clue how much of a damage increase 300 intellect is).
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In 6 years it didn't occur to you to hover over Intellect and read how much Magic Power that generates? Then, hovering over Magic Power, you are presented a solid number that shows just how much that gives. Fascinating stuff, IMO.

The primary stats are there for a reason -- they group certain effects so that the player doesn't have to keep track of too many variables. F.e. as fine as Allods Online was, it had way too many stats to keep track of, each influencing a lot of variables. WoW reduces the number of those stats to some degree. Of course, we could just have it all boiled down to the Diablo 4 stats of STR, DEX, MAG and VIT (or were there 5?), but in this day and age we like to be able to perform lots of actions, that do not necesarilly fit into those 5 categories.

As long as there is a logical, non-hidden connection to the final output of the stats (dodge rate, damage etc) it doesn't much matter if you use hard numbers of arbitrary stats/variables or just increase the output variables. I like to see +5 AGI rather than +0.1% dodge rate, +0.2% accuracy, +0.01% atk speed, +1% ranged damage given it is a sunny afternoon on a Monday.

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[quote name='Zethariel' timestamp='1319007216' post='4874175']
As long as there is a logical, non-hidden connection to the final output of the stats (dodge rate, damage etc) it doesn't much matter if you use hard numbers of arbitrary stats/variables or just increase the output variables. I like to see +5 AGI rather than +0.1% dodge rate, +0.2% accuracy, +0.01% atk speed, +1% ranged damage given it is a sunny afternoon on a Monday.
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I guess that just comes down to the player's personal opinion. I played a browser game called tinywarz that said the exact base damage and the % increase for each mod and other factors like range, and I liked that a lot. It made the gameplay much more strategic so you could plot out exactly how you were going to kill your enemy (assuming you knew what ship they were using and what mods they had). This guy kept killing my ships over and over on the same planet every time i deployed, so i finally got fed up with it and custom designed a ship and crew fit to take him down specifically >: ) and I did it too!

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[quote name='Zethariel' timestamp='1319007216' post='4874175']
In 6 years it didn't occur to you to hover over Intellect and read how much Magic Power that generates? Then, hovering over Magic Power, you are presented a solid number that shows just how much that gives. Fascinating stuff, IMO.
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Intellect provides 1 spellpower per point.

Each spell has a spellpower coefficient. Shadow Bolt has a coefficient of 0.857, pyroblast 0.115 (0.13 with talents) and so on. Nearly every spell has a unique coefficient, one you could only reasonably know by checking 3rd party sites. Values taken from patch 3.3.

So 100 intellect will increase your shadow bolt by 86 damage. This is before talents take effect. For an affliction warlock, 100 int increases bolt damage by 112. For demonology, 100 int returns 99 damage increase, unless you're in demon form where it gives 119. Oh then throw in mastery, which increases the damage by a % and throws off the final increases even more.

Basically, 100 int gives a seemingly random increase depending on a huge amount of factors that are completely unrelated to your magic power.

My point is that "100 intellect" tells you nothing and can only be compared vs other gear in the game (which may be a valid reason to use this method alone), while "+5% spell damage" is clear even if you've never played the game before.

Of course, both have merits, but I prefer the latter.

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[quote name='Caldenfor' timestamp='1318954310' post='4873967']
Full loot is not an impossible mechanic to impose properly. In order to make it work though, FFA PvP should be lessened if not removed from the game. Let the player take the risk of taking actions that could lead to them losing their gear rather than making them bait for a bigger fish to steal all of their goodies.

It all depends on your genre, your target audience, and how well it would work with the rest of the game. Full loot can work though, even on a broader scale.
[/quote]


Yeah you're right, there should at least be some sort of regulations so that you can always have a chance to defend yourself without having to rely on others to help you, unless you make the decision to take the risk

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