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lessthanjake

Very Detailed MMO Ideas

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Hi, so I had some game design ideas regarding MMOs that I am looking for feedback on/wondering why they have not been implemented. Let me also say, I am NOT creating a game. All of this is purely hypothetical.

1. ECONOMY AND TERRITORY LINKED TO GAMEPLAY

Sometimes there just doesn't seem to be a reason to continue playing an MMO beyond the social aspect and the desire to level up. Those are certainly sufficient factors, but I think there could be so much more. I think the economy of a game could and should be tied strongly to gameplay adding to immersion and giving gameplay more of a point. Simlarly, a complex territory-based MMO would give gameplay more of a point. Here's what I have in mind:

A game could be a gigantic faction Realm v Realm with a bunch of different territories. "Control" of each territory would provide a certain stream of crafting resources and gold. The gold would be distributed to each player daily in proportion to their activity in the game (measured by how much they played and contributed in the last 24 hours). This would essentially be the players' salary, of sorts.

The crafting resources would not be grinded for. Instead, the resources from each territory a faction held would go into warehouses of sorts each day, from which players could buy the resources. These resources can be thought of as the output from the NPCs in the territory. In order to stop wealthy players from just buying up all of the resources constantly, there could be a limit on per-day resource purchasing. A wealthy player with a high demand for resources could, of course, buy resources from a poorer player who already bought his share for the day; that would, however, be the poorer player's choice, which is better IMO than leaving newer/poorer players shut out of resources.

Since there's no grind for crafting goods, the feeling of achievement would need to come simply from planning to make and making the goods (and possibly from participating in the taking of territories with resources you need). To that end, (and I suppose this is slightly off my main point here) I would make high level goods take a lot of resources to be able to make. That is, if you bought your resource quota each day, it might still take months to be able to get the resources to craft an absurd Uber Greatsword of Slaying +10. People could get together in crafting guilds to pool resources together to make high level items more quickly though. I believe this system would give people more pride in the goods they craft. Things crafted would be meaningful to the crafter because they would have needed to plan the crafting of the good for a while in advance; the ultimate creation of the item would represent an achievement for the player. And hypothetically, at least, this shouldn't cut into crafters' profits because they'd inevitably end up with a higher premium on the good based on how long it took to make it (the other way of thinking of it is that high level items would be really rare in this sytem, and rare things are more expensive). I think it's also best if items are transmutable back into resources for various reasons I won't get into here.

In any case, the point here is that a faction would have a reason to fight its Realm vs Realm battles. Control of a territory would mean more gold and resources, and more gold and resources would mean better gear.

You could easily even tie incentives for PvE and other modes of play into all of this. "Control" of a territory could be determined based on a lot of different factors. A portion of it would, of course, be based on controlling "keeps" and other such things in PvP areas of a territory. However, other factors could and should come into it. The number of quests a faction does for the NPCs in the territory could also factor into it, as could a faction's record in instanced PvP during the time period. This is easily believable as quests for NPCs would make the populace like them and affect control, and instanced PvP are like small battles.

There is also another important factor for control, which would be cultural affinity. It makes sense that it's easier to control somewhere closer to you culturally. Areas closer to a faction's capital would be harder and harder for other factions to control (ie. the home faction would get a huge bonus in the control calculations). This should help stop one faction from dominating (as might the use of 3 factions instead of 2).


2. INCLUDE A DETAILED RANKING SYSTEM

There's another, much more simple way to give people more reason to do things. I think there should be detailed ranking systems for virtually every activity in the game. For instance, there might be some sort of formula of damage, kills, buffs, debuffs, heals, capturing of points, etc that measures someone's overall contribution to Realm vs Realm play. You would be able to look up who has the highest total score in the server/overall game in various different timeframes. There would, of course, also be less complex rankings, such as rankings simply for kills or more healing in different game modes etc. You could even get really specific, such as ranking those with the most kills with a certain weapon or those who crafted the most of a certain item. I don't think this would be entirely difficult to implement, but it would give any type of player incentive keep playing more and more, trying to move up whatever rankings they care about.


3. GIVE PLAYERS GOVERNING POWER WITH A SORT OF FEUDAL SYSTEM


Another idea I find interesting is giving players some sort of governing power over their world which they can compete for. Under the territorial system mentioned, each faction could have a "king" and each territory could have some sort of ruler, making it much like a feudal system. The King would be the leader of a ruling guild. He would have some actual governing power. For instance, he could have the power of "taxation." This taxation would be on the NPCs. The more you tax, the less resources the faction gets (basically because high taxes = lower incentive to work = less goods produced by NPCs) and possibly the less gold each player gets in their daily "salary". At the same time, higher taxation will leave the King with more gold in the government's coffers. He/she can use this gold in a variety of ways. The King could do things like buy improvement to iron mines to increase the future output of iron (and there might be some sort of decaying system whereby things like mines would steadily produce less and less unless upgraded). The King could also buy mercenaries (NPC, but also possibly players from other factions) to fight for his or her side in Realm vs Realm for a given time period. There could also possibly be assassins. These NPC assassins (possibly player assassins too if this could work) would be tasked with trying to kill an opposing faction's King. If the King is downed by an assassin, his faction loses morale (translating to decreased stats in PvP for a certain time period). The King would also be allowed to negotiate trade agreements with other factions. That is, if another faction has territories containing certain resources that the King wants his faction to have, and vice versa, the kings could come up with an agreement to swap a certain amount of the given resource each day. At an extreme of this, they could ALSO enter into entirely free trade with another faction. That is, the gold and resource streams of the two factions are combined together and divvied up amongst the population of both groups.

Vassals would be leaders of guilds conrolling territories within a faction's land. These vassals would receive their own set of power and bonuses. For instance, the guild might get a lot more gold per day, have a higher resource buying quota, and have significant combat bonuses in their territory. The vassals would also have the option to use their extra money for mercenaries and assassins just like the King can.

Each week (or something like that) there would be an opportunity for a new vassal guild to challenge the King's guild for the throne. The right of first refusal in this challenge would go to the vassal guild with the most overall activity in the prior week, and if they declined the chance, it would go down the list. The challenge would be something like a 48 hour conquest fight over the King's keep or something like that. There would be some interesting things thrown into it though. First, the King and the Vassals would not just be able to buy mercs for RvR battles against other factions. They could buy mercs to be used in this battle for the throne. Similarly, Kings could buy assassins to assassinate rival heads of vassal guilds, which would limit their effectiveness in one of these battles, and vice versa for the vassal buying assassins on the King. Vassals could even look to assassinate other vassal heads because the known stat decrease applying to an upcoming battle for the throne might lead a guild to refuse its chance to fight (because there would be some sort of not-insigificant period of time after a failed attempt at the throne in which a guild could no longer make an attempt, so you don't want to try when you think you have no chance) allowing the assassin buyer's guild to try instead. There would also be a mechanism to have the whole community involved in these battles. The decisions of the kings would have a significant effect on many players, so prior to a battle for the throne, there would be a period in which each member of the faction could express their allegiance in the coming battle. The side with the higher support would gain higher stat bonuses in the battle (the size of the bonus depending on just how high the support is). This mechanism would add some democratic elements to the King's decisions, and also just incentivize powerful guilds to not be douches to everyone.

Meanwhile, there would be similar battles for the various vassal positions every week or something (obviously on different days than the fight for the throne so they don't coincide). In this case, the non-vassal guilds with the most activity in the previous week would be able to choose what territory (if any) they want to challenge for. Once they choose, the next guild in activity would choose and so on. Most of the same principles outlined above would apply. I think it would also be an interesting mechanism to require a vassal to have been in power in their territory for a certain period of time in order to be eligible to challenge the King.

The point of this whole thing is two-fold. First, it gives players governing power over the world in some way. Second, it provides a new and creative endgame for hardcore players; instead of raiding (or in addition to raiding), experienced players could endlessly fight for control as their endgame.
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I know this was a long post, but what do you guys think of these ideas?

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The problem with a feudal-style system where there is a king is that it sucks for everybody except one person. This doesn't map well to the "multi" aspect of a MMO.

Real feudalism didn't survive because it sucks for everyone except a handful of people (who eventually ascended the scaffold).

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[quote name='samoth' timestamp='1343068811' post='4962324']
The problem with a feudal-style system where there is a king is that it sucks for everybody except one person. This doesn't map well to the "multi" aspect of a MMO.

Real feudalism didn't survive because it sucks for everyone except a handful of people (who eventually ascended the scaffold).
[/quote]

Your correct in saying it might suck for all the other players, but to me I want a challenge and say This are hard in the kingdom I'm in because the ruler is a bad person. To me that would just be a calling to make it up to the top tier ranking and fight for the kingdom. I say its a good idea if it was completely dynamic and everyone was fighting to be king in a certain realm. I applaud your ideas on immersion lessthanjake. It would just have to be all player driven. Which would be exponentially hard to do.

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