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Meatsack

Being Relevant in a MMO

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MMO:s are pretty expensive to make. Adding any form of restrictions on how and when the player may play limit player influx and probably make them bounce away before they get stuck. 

 

I think player content is one way forward. Let players set up challenges/minigames for other players and have some form of mutual award system. People like to be creative and a small tournament in the shape of a minigame can bring people together. 

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Ugh, not this thread again.

 

Now hold on...  I don't think you are hearing my point.

 


Why do people keep thinking the "solution" to MMOs is different content for different players?  It's not.

 

I whole heartily agree...  because that's not what I'm saying.

 


What players are really satisfied by is feeling that the game is telling them a story focused on them

 

Exactly right!  And that can't happen in a traditional MMO where the story isn't unique to that player no matter how much they want to kid themselves about it.

 


If anything it should be the other way around, players need protection against other players screwing up the story the game is telling them about their character's adventures.

 

Aaaaaand that's what I'm trying to solve with the small-population server idea.  Don't get all hung up on the quest-locking idea I had earlier.  It was just a tangential thought passing through my mind at the time.  I was writing that post as a somewhat continuous stream of thought (a la Finding Forrester).   The small-pop server is really where my inspiration for writing that post came from.  

 

I'm going to make a wild assumption here that everyone is still assuming that the ModMO idea I'm posing still means playing with random strangers.  Well... it can if that's your thing, but for me, I'd rather play something like this with friends and acquaintances.  It's not that content would be locked for my play experience, but that I could and would work with others that I actually know and give a crap about to make a real impact on the game world.  That, and the story can be dynamic, even rogue-like.  Like the games I mentioned, my ideal game would be like a ModMO sandbox without all the annoying real-world strangers screwing things up for me.  If anyone's going to screw things up, I'd like it to at least be someone I know...  tongue.png

 

TL;DR:  I want a big game with a small population so I can feel like my character actually matters.  (Like the Elder Scrolls + a few friends!)

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Well, personally I think the "answer" is more interactive storytelling in MMOs.  And good interactive storytelling pretty much requires there to be no randomness in the base game given to players - instead the only difference in players' experience is a side effect of the game responding to their choices and actions.  Randomly generated quests are the root of all evil as far as interactive storytelling goes.  Well, other than budget limitations for creating interactive content and bugs in the game's ability to track and respond to what the player has and hasn't done (I'm looking at you Skyrim).

 

Personally I've found that playing MMOs with people I know in real life doesn't work at all; we don't like the same kind of MMO or the same type of play within an MMO, we can't stay synchronized as far as leveling goes, and it puts unnecessary burdens on a friendship to try to synchronize our schedules for crap like dungeon runs.  I like soloing, I like doing an activity within sight range of someone else doing the same activity, I like having someone to chat to about the activities of the game and someone to trade with in the marketplace; other people make the game feel real, but I don't really want to play co-op with them for more than 15% of the time I'm playing.  I don't like sandboxes, and my ideal MMO would have a more or less linear core, with the sandboxy part limited to personal property development and pet breeding and such.  That's just me; I just figured I'd explain where I'm coming from.

Edited by sunandshadow

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This totally breaks the model of the MMO though. It is by and large an "endless repetition" genre of game, and "completing" the game by finishing everything in a given server destroys that.

There are some existing MMOs which are cyclical.  Whenever a server is completed a new one is opened (or in some cases a new one is opened on a regular schedule every month or two) and players race to be the first to accomplish various things in the new server.  In some cases the player's customized personal property or appearance is saved when the rest of the server resets.  Some parts of the new server have been randomized and must be rediscovered.

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Agreed (with Iron Chef) this could be a fun new take on the MMO structure.

 

MMOs are quest based, some quests being quite meaningful and other which are worthless tasks. Player's follow the HUD or map and carry out their quest to drive the narrative forward. Instead of having important heroes doing pointless tasks it might be fun to explore more pointless characters... Maybe the idea of a paired down MMO is reasonable by playing out a branched chapter of a branched story allowing players to drop into the roles of the existing characters written to play out the adventure of a chapter in the story (be it a major character or a minor characters). By the end any branched outcome of a chapter is driven by the actions of players. If no player jumps into the positions the whole chapter can be played out by the NPCs as it's written, the player driven actions will have meaningful consequences to the stories outcome.

 

The outcome could drive and trigger parts of up coming quests and tasks like any branching RPG. I don't play a lot of MMO RPGs but this would really enable the episodic content structure for players, since each chapter could be populated with hundreds if not thousands of characters both meaningful and filler to flesh out the chapter's world. Allowing players to enjoy  serious(primary characters) or casual(tertiary characters) gameplay when they choose which character to jump into for a chapter. Players could start chapter's they've purchased and play in private or public games choosing the characters they'd like to explore. The tasks, adventures and quests could be driven more by the internal decisions of the character (like internal monologue) still prompted by character socialization but more so as  a decision made by the character to go get something done.

 

To handle trolls and other grief, each quest can have multiple outcomes all triggering the plot to drive towards one of a few major outcomes. This would be a dizzyign exercize to try and write with even a small cast of characters but I still think it would be a lot of fun and it could still enable a lot of MMO staples like rare items custom leveling and etc. These elements could enable players to unlock certain quest endings they hadn't experienced before. So instead of just multiple endings you have multiple endings based on prerequisites. Many of which that could encourage cooperation and more socialization (which I get the feeling is the root cause for this topic). I want to play this game. How about you?

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If Skyrim had a co-op mode it sounds like that would be most of what you want.

 

That's probably closest to the truth, right there.  I'm not even going to give Elder Scrolls Online a fair chance because of the "Massive" portion of its multiplayer aspect.

 

 

 


I don't like sandboxes, and my ideal MMO would have a more or less linear core, with the sandboxy part limited to personal property development and pet breeding and such.  That's just me; I just figured I'd explain where I'm coming from.

 

To each their own, right?  My favorite MMO to date was Star Wars Galaxies (Pre NGE. The CU didn't bother me so much).  Very sandboxy, randomly generated missions, and a core storyline if you chose to follow it.  You'd think I'd like Minecraft, but I don't.  Too much sand, not enough box.  I don't want to build EVERYTHING I own from the ground up...  dry.png

 

EDIT:  Also, I don't care for modern day settings.  I live in modern day.  I want to escape from modern day.  So my ideal settings are Futuristic Sci-Fi or Mythological Fantasy.

Edited by Meatsack

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