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PyroDragn

FFA PVP 'Ironman' MMORPG

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Free For All Player Versus Player "Ironman" MMORPG.

I'll clarify the terminology just in case some people don't know:

MMORPG - I think everyone knows what this is. Massively multiplayer online role playing game. Lots of people playing an RPG on the same server.

Ironman - This isn't a game about Ironman. This means that your character has one life. When you die, you're dead, game over.

Free For All Player Versus Player - Players versus each other, Free For All meaning everyone can attack everyone/anyone.


Could something like this work? I've always been a fan of the Ironman concept. Trying to strive for a goal with the thought that one error could cost you everything. Where death is a major variable. But finding a game with a balance between it being a challenge, and being a frustration is nigh on impossible. With the added threat of a douchebag just murdering new players you get from FFA PvP it makes it a real difficulty.

Now, the way I'm envisioning this in its basic form is multiple servers with limited population per server. For argument's sake, we'll call it 1000 people per server. Players progress and level, try to avoid dying. As the game progresses, the server population drops. People establish themselves as front runners, better gear, etc.

To try and limit the doucebaggery there would need to be some sort of restriction or immunity at the starting phase. You cannot attack players or be attacked for the first X amount of days/levels whatever.

Now, the ironman-ness. When you're killed, you're removed from the server and you go into a holding pattern. For all intents and purposes on that server, you are dead. All your gear is left behind, and you start afresh.

The survivors on each server will need repopulation so the servers would also have different bounds for this. Say, if there's less than 250 people remaining on the server (one quarter of max population) then the server is eligible for repop. Once there's enough people in the holding pattern from all the servers they are all amalgamated and the server is refilled (prioritising the people that have been dead the longest).


What do you guys think? Could it work? The biggest limiting factor I can see is getting a large enough active population. What else could be a potential flaw? Would people be interested in an MMO where death means death?



Edit: Further Detail from further consideration

While I've been musing on this I've decided to take it forward and try and develop it into a fully fledged GDD. At the moment concentrating on basic gameplay and mechanics before I work on details and move onto background, lore, and plot. I'm doing this, currently, as a design exercise. I do not have a team in place to build this. It is an ambitious game, I know it is, so you don't need to say "go with something simpler." Perhaps once I've completed the GDD I'll think about getting a large team together to try and build it, but that is not certain, and not going to happen in the near future.


Combat and Gameplay

These are the main points, I'll go into detail for each heading below.

  • It will be a Fantasy RPG.
  • 3rd Person full 360 degree rotation.
  • No classes. No magic. No (significant) ranged abilities/builds.
  • Twitch based combat, and skill oriented.
  • Gear based character build. No levels.
  • FFA PvP, with Friendly Fire.

    Fantasy RPG

    Medieval fantasy setting, I think most people have an idea about what this means. It'll be a completely new world, not set in our world. There probably will be multiple races, but differences between the races will be almost completely just aesthetics. One race will not have an advantage in terms of combat. Possibly the different races will have differences in other non-combat aspects such as different proficiencies with crafting or unique non-combat skills.

    3rd Person Perspective
    This will be the default view, though this is subject to change (depending on how well the combat works). The camera will definitely be 360 degree rotateable as you maneuver around the world. I don't think this is really any different than most people would have expected for an RPG, it's pretty default. There'll be a wide range of scrolling view from close "over the shoulder" to "3rd person Isometric" and right up to "Top Down" perspective.

    No Classes
    This is in the sense that you do not create a character and decide he is going to be "A Mage" or "A Rogue." There will be different playstyles, but not the typical ones I think, and not determined through 'class selection' everyone starts on equal footing, and no-one will have a pre-determined advantage vs anyone else.

    No Magic
    This means, no casters. There will probably (almost certainly) be magical items, but there will not be any mages. This is primarily because I envision casters as "squishy ranged attackers" and I am against ranged-focused play in this game (which I will explain shortly). There is a possibility of having magic focused melee combat, but at the moment it seems unlikely.

    No Ranged Builds
    No hunters, no casters, no rangers. Whatever you call them, no-one who kills enemies from far-far away. This is to balance the FFA PvP aspect. A group of 5 hunters for example, could ambush other players quite easily. 5 simultaneous high powered attacks from range, and the victim doesn't have much chance, and not even much chance of killing one of the attackers. If everyone is melee, then if you want to kill other players, you have to at least put yourself at risk to do it.

    Some one-off lesser ranged attacks may be introduced. The occasional throwing knife for example. This will depend entirely on whether I can balance them in without them becoming overpowered - particularly in an ambush situation.


    Twitch Based Combat
    If you want to dodge an attack, you have to move out of the way of it. If you want to hit an enemy with an attack, you have to aim. It won't be a "Select Target, press attack" style of game. This will hopefully turn survivability towards skilled players rather than those who get lucky with crits/dodges. Towards that end, there will be very little RNG involved in the combat, ideally none at all.


    No Levels
    There will be no traditional leveling with regards to base stats, you do not gain health or become stronger as you level. There will be no level 80 going around smiting level 10 newbs. In any one on one fight, you should have a reasonable chance to win (assuming comparable skill).


    There will be leveling however in the sense that, as you 'level' you gain the ability to wear/equip better gear. This will be the main leveling focus, but if you do not attain better gear, it will mean nothing (a gear-level 80 in starter gear will be exactly the same as a brand-new player in starter gear).

    Even with the highest gear possible, you will not have an overwhelming advantage against any other single player. If I can get the balance right.


    I am also planning a skill/talent based system to grant players new abilities as they 'level' to add an extra dimension to character progression.

    Gear Based Build
    Since there are no classes, this is truly where the diversity comes in to play. To those of you that play Guild Wars 2 I know this will sound very similar, that's because that's where I got the idea from and it seems like a good way to have balanced players while allowing personal playstyles to emerge.

    Note, I do not have exact details figured out, so numbers below are an approximation just now.


    Equipping a weapon will grant you several abilities associated with that weapon. A two handed weapon will give you 15 abilities. A one handed weapon will give you 10 abilities. Abilities will be equipped in the action bar, in slots 1-5.

    In the case of a 2H weapon, all 5 slots refer to the one weapon.


    With a one handed weapon it is slightly different. Slots 1+2 refer to the left hand, slots 4+5 refer to the right hand. If one hand is empty you may place all abilities from the one weapon into slots 1-5. Slot 3 can be used for the weapon in either hand, or for a combination ability which will be available through different pairs of 1H weapons. (Hopefully that makes sense)

    Abilities and weapons cannot be swapped while in combat. Abilities will be defined as "Main Hand", "Off Hand", or "Either Hand", as you level some of these definitions may change as Main or Off hand restricted abilities change to being allowed in either hand. Any one handed item can be used in either hand (a one hand shield is not restricted to off-hand only), and you define your 'handedness' during character creation.


    As you level and gain the ability to wear better gear, you gain the ability to wear more than "2 hands" worth of weapons and the ability to define stances so that you may swap abilities and playstyle on the fly. For example wearing twin swords as well as a shield, to swap during combat for defense or offense. Initially I imagine this extending to "Up to 5 hands worth" (two 2H weapons and one 1H, or five 1H, or some variation).

    The weapons I have planned currently are:
    Daggers (1H)
    Fist Weapons (1H)
    Swords (1H)
    Greatswords (2H)
    Mace (1H)
    Greatmace (2H)
    Axe (1H)
    Greataxe (2H)
    Shield (1H)
    Greatshield (2H)
    Truncheons (1H)
    Polearms/Staves (2H)

    This may further subdivide into smaller categories with individual skillsets, but as yet undetermined. An example might be: Mace, Flail, Club.

    Yes, there's a 2H shield. This would be pretty poor in a solo situation, but I think it might add useful co-operative style.
    [indent=1]
    Armour

Armour would come in the typical subdivisions, Light Armour (Cloth), Medium Armour (Leather), Heavy Armour (Mail). Everyone can wear every kind of armour. Light armour would allow speed and maneuverability with weak defense, while heavy armour restricts movement and offers great defense.
Players will have the 'typical' inventory system for armour, Helm, Chest, Gloves, Legs, Boots, Shoulders, and you will be able to mix and match armour types. Wearing a full cloth set, but a chainmail chestpiece would allow reasonable maneuverability whilst giving greater protection to your torso. Different weapon abilities will also be dependent on meeting movement requirements - most basic abilities won't be restricted, but you won't be able to execute highly athletic abilities while wearing full plate armour, for example.

FFA PvP with Friendly Fire
PvP will be always on outside of safe zones. Town hubs and strategic areas will be considered a Safe Zone whereby you cannot harm another player or be harmed by another player. There are two exceptions to this. If you are flagged as a Criminal, another player may attack you. This will be done by the opposing player targetting you, and toggling their aggressiveness. If someone decides to try and attack you, you are then able to retaliate and defend yourself.
If you are outside of a safe zone, you are vulnerable to be attacked and you are able to attack anyone else outside the safe zone. This includes friendly fire, in that, even if you are partied with another player any attack may still damage them. If you are working with another player therefore, you need to watch where you're swinging your weapon. Edited by PyroDragn

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What do you guys think? Could it work?

Yes, it already works for MUDs, but no, it will not work for a modern MMORPG IMHO.


The biggest limiting factor I can see is getting a large enough active population.

This will be the killer argument. Once it attracts the wrong people (wolves) the victims (lambs) will be driven off en mass.

From a game experience view, EVE online is a good example of what will happen. EVE online is not a pure PvP perma-death game, but you can loose much (your ship, part of your char) in certain areas and in these areas it is really hard to survive as not clan/guide member (groups of griefers awaiting you at the jump gate to kill you in milli-seconds).


What else could be a potential flaw? Would people be interested in an MMO where death means death?

Perma-death in a PvP environment will have a very hard start, because there is nothing more annoying than an unfair perma-death.
Best to weaken it or restrict it to certain areas to attract at least a larger community and don't ever let a server starve. I would bet that at least half of the population of a starved server will never return to your game. The line between punishment and challenge is very thin and should be controlled by the player. Edited by Ashaman73

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Hope I'm not hijacking the topic with my question, but why not creating an MMORPG that has both game styles, the nice one, and the one with PvP perma-death? Advanced players could put their skills to test by entering PvP campaigns. Campaigns will be open until only one player is left, and the winner will get some item/power for the normal game style. Bad idea?

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Yes, it already works for MUDs, but no, it will not work for a modern MMORPG IMHO.


Could you say why you think it wouldn't work for a typical MMORPG?


From a game experience view, EVE online is a good example of what will happen. EVE online is not a pure PvP perma-death game, but you can loose much (your ship, part of your char) in certain areas and in these areas it is really hard to survive as not clan/guide member (groups of griefers awaiting you at the jump gate to kill you in milli-seconds).


This is a key point I think. Trying to make a death seem 'fair' to the player. Limiting deaths for the newer players is the obvious first step. Safe start zones, low level/new player immunity etc. Some people are always going to say some deaths are unfair. Taking the EVE example above. If you're ambushed by a clan in a particular zone, is it unfair? If it's a zoning death, then maybe, but excluding LAG and such examples I don't think it is. The other players would have had to find guys to work with, co-ordinate etc.

Limiting griefing is something that is a major problem in any PvP scenario. What suggestions are there that people have seen or have an idea about implementing to combat griefing?


Perma-death in a PvP environment will have a very hard start, because there is nothing more annoying than an unfair perma-death.
Best to weaken it or restrict it to certain areas to attract at least a larger community and don't ever let a server starve. I would bet that at least half of the population of a starved server will never return to your game. The line between punishment and challenge is very thin and should be controlled by the player.


Not letting a server starve is something I have been thinking about. Trying to regulate server population while trying to convey the effect of death upon the server, ie actually having a noticeable effect. I think the biggest problem isn't going to be about removing 'dead' players and repopulating. A bigger issue is going to be controlling the population of inactive players. How to tell when a player has 'stopped playing' and therefore free their space on the server. Slowly things will clog up with inactive accounts and that could starve a server more readily than a life/death cycle where everyone is theoretically active.


Hope I'm not hijacking the topic with my question, but why not creating an MMORPG that has both game styles, the nice one, and the one with PvP perma-death? Advanced players could put their skills to test by entering PvP campaigns. Campaigns will be open until only one player is left, and the winner will get some item/power for the normal game style. Bad idea?


It isn't a bad idea in itself, but I think creating a game that could do both would be harder than doing one or the other well. Having a game that is effectively balanced for a 'constant fear of death' (because of ironman rules) wouldn't work for a typical MMO if there isn't a severe penalty for death. At the same time, having a huge progression and combat structure that is challenging with typical MMO rules would increase frustration if you introduced ironman rules. I played a couple of self imposed Ironman characters in WoW and the highest I managed before my first death was level 52. With a normal playstyle I would never make it to level 85 without dying.

If you make them voluntary aspects of the same game, then you're effectively doing as above but also making a standard MMO to go alongside it. Either of which would presumably work as a standalone game. I'm just looking to do one piece.

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I'm seeing some strong DayZ parallels here. In fact, I made a suggestion on the DayZ boards that's very similar to what you're saying here. It was promptly shouted down, but I get where you're going.

I could use some clarification:

Is it possible to go from a holding pattern into the same server you just left? If you can bounce back into the same server, the game will have corpse-runs and clans that do not die, it would just add a respawn timer. I'm against this. I think that clans should have to recruit on their server and should have to replenish their ranks or die to attrition.

If you can't rejoin the same group of people, how will clans stick together? You might not want out-of-game clans to stick together, for whatever reason, but they'll be searching for ways to do so from the very first day your game is out. Maybe if one guy dies, the rest of the clan will go grief until they get killed, so the clan can all respawn together, which would do harm to the game community.

Can you have characters on multiple servers simultaneously? Could I have a few different guys running, so I could be the sociopath on one server and the farmer on another and not have to risk my awesome combat dude in menial toil, but still get to experience all the game content? If so, a lot of those finite player slots will be locked up with idle characters, deflating server populations.

WIll the map and world be the same on every server? Will a server open like The Hunger Games, with a newb-dump in a predictable spot followed by a bum rush to high-value grinding spots? DayZ's got a well-known map, with well-known top tier loot spawns and well-known ambush spots. The best loot military spawn has one door, and there's a great place to sit and camp that door, waiting for someone to go in or come out of it. There's also a good spot to get eyes on that first ambush point and snipe the ambusher. Furthermore, there are a couple spots that can watch over the sniper nest. So when I want to check that loot spawn, I've got a twenty-minute job of climbing a nearby hill with my binoculars, glassing the overwatch positions, moving to one of them, glassing the sniper post, moving to it, checking the ambush spot, then moving to the ambush spot to see if anyone's in the building before I go roll the dice on loot spawns. That's just because everyone knows every inch of that map. If you couldn't be sure where the good stuff was the second you logged into the server, and you hadn't memorized every bush and rock in the area, that sort of thing wouldn't happen.

How will character progression work? Are you going to be grinding creeps DotA-style and gaining XP? I don't like the idea of dying, then having to start fresh on a server that's chock-a-block full of max-level demigods who can find, chase and kill me without any trouble. I like DayZ in this regard. It's loot-based, but the difference between a military sniper rifle and the hunting rifle is that the scope is slightly fancier. A .30-caliber bullet performs the same for the Ghillie-suited sniper on the hill with his M24 as it does for the fresh spawn who found a WWII relic leaning in the corner of a farmhouse. You rapidly ascend to about 60% effectiveness by finding a map, a primary weapon and some binoculars, and then you grind slowly up from there, until you have top-level military weapons, camouflage, a GPS, night vision, and some buddies with a working car. It's a big difference, and you feel achievement at every step, but you can be competitive a few minutes after you respawn.

Finally, how about ganking? Can a four-man team smash newbs without any danger? Can the newbie get a kill against those odds, making death squads vulnerable? If there's a winning PvP formula, your players will find it in short order. I say make it brutal, let players die and not fully understand why. They'll cry on the forum, they'll cry in chat, they'll ragequit. Let 'em. Make the game for bad mothers, and see how many stay.

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This could work if done properly. The key would be to include skills to help escape danger (i.e. LoL) and to make it simple to band together for protection in such a way that they can defeat higher-level players with defensive structures.


Hope I'm not hijacking the topic with my question, but why not creating an MMORPG that has both game styles, the nice one, and the one with PvP perma-death? Advanced players could put their skills to test by entering PvP campaigns. Campaigns will be open until only one player is left, and the winner will get some item/power for the normal game style. Bad idea?


I would imagine that no one would go onto the pvp servers. Reportedly, that was the Downfall of Ultima Online. Also, the OP mentioned that the pop would never reach 1 as new players would be added.


I'm seeing some strong DayZ parallels here. In fact, I made a suggestion on the DayZ boards that's very similar to what you're saying here. It was promptly shouted down, but I get where you're going.

I could use some clarification:

Is it possible to go from a holding pattern into the same server you just left? If you can bounce back into the same server, the game will have corpse-runs and clans that do not die, it would just add a respawn timer. I'm against this. I think that clans should have to recruit on their server and should have to replenish their ranks or die to attrition.

If you can't rejoin the same group of people, how will clans stick together? You might not want out-of-game clans to stick together, for whatever reason, but they'll be searching for ways to do so from the very first day your game is out. Maybe if one guy dies, the rest of the clan will go grief until they get killed, so the clan can all respawn together, which would do harm to the game community.

Can you have characters on multiple servers simultaneously? Could I have a few different guys running, so I could be the sociopath on one server and the farmer on another and not have to risk my awesome combat dude in menial toil, but still get to experience all the game content? If so, a lot of those finite player slots will be locked up with idle characters, deflating server populations.

WIll the map and world be the same on every server? Will a server open like The Hunger Games, with a newb-dump in a predictable spot followed by a bum rush to high-value grinding spots? DayZ's got a well-known map, with well-known top tier loot spawns and well-known ambush spots. The best loot military spawn has one door, and there's a great place to sit and camp that door, waiting for someone to go in or come out of it. There's also a good spot to get eyes on that first ambush point and snipe the ambusher. Furthermore, there are a couple spots that can watch over the sniper nest. So when I want to check that loot spawn, I've got a twenty-minute job of climbing a nearby hill with my binoculars, glassing the overwatch positions, moving to one of them, glassing the sniper post, moving to it, checking the ambush spot, then moving to the ambush spot to see if anyone's in the building before I go roll the dice on loot spawns. That's just because everyone knows every inch of that map. If you couldn't be sure where the good stuff was the second you logged into the server, and you hadn't memorized every bush and rock in the area, that sort of thing wouldn't happen.

How will character progression work? Are you going to be grinding creeps DotA-style and gaining XP? I don't like the idea of dying, then having to start fresh on a server that's chock-a-block full of max-level demigods who can find, chase and kill me without any trouble. I like DayZ in this regard. It's loot-based, but the difference between a military sniper rifle and the hunting rifle is that the scope is slightly fancier. A .30-caliber bullet performs the same for the Ghillie-suited sniper on the hill with his M24 as it does for the fresh spawn who found a WWII relic leaning in the corner of a farmhouse. You rapidly ascend to about 60% effectiveness by finding a map, a primary weapon and some binoculars, and then you grind slowly up from there, until you have top-level military weapons, camouflage, a GPS, night vision, and some buddies with a working car. It's a big difference, and you feel achievement at every step, but you can be competitive a few minutes after you respawn.

Finally, how about ganking? Can a four-man team smash newbs without any danger? Can the newbie get a kill against those odds, making death squads vulnerable? If there's a winning PvP formula, your players will find it in short order. I say make it brutal, let players die and not fully understand why. They'll cry on the forum, they'll cry in chat, they'll ragequit. Let 'em. Make the game for bad mothers, and see how many stay.


One would have to make clans rely on clan structures (i.e. clan headquarters) that can be destroyed but won't be if any of the members actually log on to help defend (although attackers may also have to hold it for extended periods of time).

Ideally, the world would be vast and the player who dies is forced to respawn randomly (probably far away), although from what I understand the player couldn't rejoin the server until repop time anyway. However, if the player somehow is on the same server and the same place and should otherwise be able to join the clan, then let him.

Also, I would imagine you would play consistently on the same server, but if you die you get to try another playstyle on another server.

Having randomly generated maps would be ideal.

I imagine that there would be some form of leveling, but resourcefulness would be a major factor, so a little less like Dota, but while equipment would make a big factor, a low level-character could only get high-level equipment from someone who spent the high-level process of obtaining it.

I imagine that, not only should there be methods of escaping ganks, but that players could group together to get the gankers.

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Hmm, what about perma-death random map multi-server with restart? So basically people can join a server up to day x since restart, and on day y it goes into armageddon mode (massive player vs npc and environment showdown). If you die you simply get reincarnated on an open server. The advantage would be a limit on spawn camping and n00b pwning because there are no permanent stats or map features. But you would need to give long term survivors stuff for bragging rights to compensate for enforced death. If you make it to armageddon you get special perks your next life, e.g. new skins, keep your old character appearance and name, maybe keep x% of your previous stats.

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Is it possible to go from a holding pattern into the same server you just left? If you can bounce back into the same server, the game will have corpse-runs and clans that do not die, it would just add a respawn timer. I'm against this. I think that clans should have to recruit on their server and should have to replenish their ranks or die to attrition.


Ideally no, you wouldn't just bounce back to the same server you were just on. Even more ideally it track the last few servers you were on, or at least have a minimum waiting period, or both. For example: you cannot be repopulated onto any of the last 5 servers you played on, and any of the last servers you have played in the last week (ie, it'll take you at least a week to get back to a server you've previously been killed on). Both of these restrictions are reliant on having enough population across the servers to be able to do that. If you have barely enough population for one or two active servers then you aren't going to be able to restrict things in that way.


If you can't rejoin the same group of people, how will clans stick together? You might not want out-of-game clans to stick together, for whatever reason, but they'll be searching for ways to do so from the very first day your game is out. Maybe if one guy dies, the rest of the clan will go grief until they get killed, so the clan can all respawn together, which would do harm to the game community.


I think, allowing a limited number of people to group together within the 'Holding Pattern' so that when a repopulation occurs they'd be on the same server, is a viable idea. This would allow, say, a small group of five friends to respawn together but restrict the ability for large scale clans to try and take over a server. If an entire clan wants to commit suicide to try and get respawned together then you're not going to be able to restrict that. You could make it less desirable to try (limit the number of repopulation events that occur, or at least having a cooldown period for account respawns). This would discourage larger guilds from forming, since you have no certainty of making it back to the guild, but as a positive spin it would encourage closer knit smaller groups and guilds to band together and try to survive as a unit (or one would hope).


Can you have characters on multiple servers simultaneously? Could I have a few different guys running, so I could be the sociopath on one server and the farmer on another and not have to risk my awesome combat dude in menial toil, but still get to experience all the game content? If so, a lot of those finite player slots will be locked up with idle characters, deflating server populations.


No. One character, one account, one server. Mainly for the purpose of trying to limit inactive characters taking up population space but also to highlight the 'risk' that the one character is facing.


WIll the map and world be the same on every server? Will a server open like The Hunger Games, with a newb-dump in a predictable spot followed by a bum rush to high-value grinding spots? DayZ's got a well-known map, with well-known top tier loot spawns and well-known ambush spots. The best loot military spawn has one door, and there's a great place to sit and camp that door, waiting for someone to go in or come out of it. There's also a good spot to get eyes on that first ambush point and snipe the ambusher. Furthermore, there are a couple spots that can watch over the sniper nest. So when I want to check that loot spawn, I've got a twenty-minute job of climbing a nearby hill with my binoculars, glassing the overwatch positions, moving to one of them, glassing the sniper post, moving to it, checking the ambush spot, then moving to the ambush spot to see if anyone's in the building before I go roll the dice on loot spawns. That's just because everyone knows every inch of that map. If you couldn't be sure where the good stuff was the second you logged into the server, and you hadn't memorized every bush and rock in the area, that sort of thing wouldn't happen.


I was envisioning it simply with every server having the same game world. If I could have a unique procedurally generated map for each server that would be great. It would add a nice extra dimension to that feeling of 'starting from scratch' if you die, and those people that do survive for a longer period on the one server get the advantage of exploration.


How will character progression work? Are you going to be grinding creeps DotA-style and gaining XP? I don't like the idea of dying, then having to start fresh on a server that's chock-a-block full of max-level demigods who can find, chase and kill me without any trouble. I like DayZ in this regard. It's loot-based, but the difference between a military sniper rifle and the hunting rifle is that the scope is slightly fancier. A .30-caliber bullet performs the same for the Ghillie-suited sniper on the hill with his M24 as it does for the fresh spawn who found a WWII relic leaning in the corner of a farmhouse. You rapidly ascend to about 60% effectiveness by finding a map, a primary weapon and some binoculars, and then you grind slowly up from there, until you have top-level military weapons, camouflage, a GPS, night vision, and some buddies with a working car. It's a big difference, and you feel achievement at every step, but you can be competitive a few minutes after you respawn.


I was thinking about this too, and along the same lines. Progression would be primarily gear based. No levels, or at least not in the typical sense. At the same time, I don't want people to be ganked by some random fellow who's bought the "Hyper-Mega-Death Axe of Superslaying." The way I see it is that it would be skill oriented, and better gear would give you an advantage, but not an overwhelming one. I think that as you 'level' you would unlock the option for better gear, so that you couldn't simply be geared out to the max by your friends who happened to be on the server (or those idiots that buy 'gold' and gear themselves up that way).

It's definitely a juggling act and something that needs consideration. I'm working out some details and I'll post something later this week to see what people think, but in the meanwhile open to suggestions.


Finally, how about ganking? Can a four-man team smash newbs without any danger? Can the newbie get a kill against those odds, making death squads vulnerable? If there's a winning PvP formula, your players will find it in short order. I say make it brutal, let players die and not fully understand why. They'll cry on the forum, they'll cry in chat, they'll ragequit. Let 'em. Make the game for bad mothers, and see how many stay.


A four man team against newbs. There'd be restrictions in place to prevent out and out ganking, introductory safe zones etc, but we'll go with the 'newbs first venturing into a dangerous area.' A single newb? The newb is probably going to die, but if he's any good he's going to kill one of the other guys. If he's really good maybe he'll kill two, or more. That's the way I see it anyway. Whether it can be balanced that way is another story. I'm not going to go too far into the combat system, basically because I haven't figured it all out, but also because I want to write about it in depth later.

and yeah, make the game for bad mothers. If you're going to whine about dying, don't play an Ironman game.



This could work if done properly. The key would be to include skills to help escape danger (i.e. LoL) and to make it simple to band together for protection in such a way that they can defeat higher-level players with defensive structures.


Help people escape danger, sure. But don't make it too easy. Can't have people bubbling and hearthing every time they get in too deep. "Oh, there were three wolves when you were only expecting time, so now you're going to die? Well, pay attention next time."


One would have to make clans rely on clan structures (i.e. clan headquarters) that can be destroyed but won't be if any of the members actually log on to help defend (although attackers may also have to hold it for extended periods of time).


Ideally there would be clan structures, or just smaller personal structures. I am a -huge- fan of customisability in a game, and in a game like this if you can get to a point for example of saying "Our clan has 50 members, and a castle" I think that'd be great. Controlling structures would have to come into consideration however as you wouldn't want them popping up all over the place, then being abandoned as their owners get killed off.


Ideally, the world would be vast and the player who dies is forced to respawn randomly (probably far away), although from what I understand the player couldn't rejoin the server until repop time anyway. However, if the player somehow is on the same server and the same place and should otherwise be able to join the clan, then let him.

Also, I would imagine you would play consistently on the same server, but if you die you get to try another playstyle on another server.


You would play always on the same single server. You have one life on that one world. When you die you (eventually) get respawned onto a different server.


Having randomly generated maps would be ideal.

I imagine that there would be some form of leveling, but resourcefulness would be a major factor, so a little less like Dota, but while equipment would make a big factor, a low level-character could only get high-level equipment from someone who spent the high-level process of obtaining it.


As noted above, Generated maps ideal, yes. How realistic it would be, I'm not sure.

Equipment a main factor, no traditional leveling. Details forthcoming for critique later.



I imagine that, not only should there be methods of escaping ganks, but that players could group together to get the gankers.


A low-level/geared player against a high end geared player of equal skill, should have a chance to win. If that's done right, then ganking inherently carries more risk and hopefully people will be less inclined to 'gank.' It wouldn't be a solely PvP arena style game. People will quest/adventure together in PvE too in the typical RPG style. 'Gankers' would be identifiable through some means, for example, if you attack a player unprovoked then you get marked. Then the innocents can band together to drive out all those criminal ganker types.


Hmm, what about perma-death random map multi-server with restart? So basically people can join a server up to day x since restart, and on day y it goes into armageddon mode (massive player vs npc and environment showdown). If you die you simply get reincarnated on an open server. The advantage would be a limit on spawn camping and n00b pwning because there are no permanent stats or map features. But you would need to give long term survivors stuff for bragging rights to compensate for enforced death. If you make it to armageddon you get special perks your next life, e.g. new skins, keep your old character appearance and name, maybe keep x% of your previous stats.


I like the idea, and it would make balance simpler with less inclination towards trying to balance the older players against the newer ones since everyone effectively starts off on the same foot each time. But in this case, it's not really what I would be going for. I want the idea of people striving for long term survival on a server.

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Hmm, that's a shame. I liked the idea of never returning to a world you'd played before, because it would keep it fresh. But that doesn't work unless worlds get closed at some point.

As far as procedural, you could go as simple as the L4D approach, e.g. 99% of world is fixed, but you can add or remove obstacles which change pathing and therefore tactics. You could also randomly pick spawn points from a list of candidates, and randomly select which weapons are available. Also a fixed set of buildings could be randomly placed on any large flat area.

if a world is permanent... hmm.... maybe you could make small changes in unpopulated areas of the map (when pop is low) to keep it fresh. Might come across weird. As an anti-gank tool, maybe when you next get reincarnated on that server you have some ability to sense your stolen property, e.g. by looting they set themselves up as targets?

For structures, you could have ruined buildings that can be fixed, and if abandoned go back to being ruins. Rather than new buildings.

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Will PvP be a primary source of resources for players? Will it be possible to live entirely by harvesting players? I've always been a fan of supporting that sort of lifestyle, where carebears can grind for loot and then be harvested in turn by PvP gankers, but it has to come with some serious balance. Predators must be able to starve, and just as the lion cannot live on grass, the dedicated PvP player must be somehow prevented from directly obtaining resources.

In EvE, you could pirate all you wanted, but less skilled pirates could just hop into a mining barge or haul some freight to make up for losses incurred in unfavorable fights. I never liked that, because PvP became a sort of leisure activity, a rich man's game, and the best and most successful PvPers were also captains of industry and market warriors, making their fortune carebearing and going out to murder weaker players when it was convenient and amusing for them.

I like the idea of having to pick one or the other, either through a rigid class system or a skill assignation system that prevents a single avatar from being effective in every field of endeavor. If you want to be a lion, you have to be a successful hunter, or you cannot survive. If you want to be a gazelle, you have to eat the grass and avoid the lions, or you cannot survive. Picking out the weak and sick prey would become important, and the predator's life would not be the easiest, nor the least frustrating, nor perhaps the most fun. Make it an ecosystem, where over-saturation of either predators or prey will influence the success rate of a given play style.

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