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SpittingTrashcan

Does anyone want to talk about MMORPG design?

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Good forum users, Recently I posted an extremely lengthy paper on a topic I thought had been insufficiently covered: dealing with players who abuse massively multiplayer online RPGs through better game design. If you scroll down, I believe it is still visible at the time of this current post. I got no feedback whatsoever. No praise, no flames, no counterarguments, nothing. Has this topic just been rehashed so many times that people have become tired of telling new users to "refer to previous posts"? Or was my post just so long that nobody wanted to read the whole thing? If you don't want to respond to that post, please respond to this one. Is anyone interested in this topic? Would multiple posts, each covering a different aspect, work better than one long paper? Should I shut my yap and go to the archives, to learn from my predecessors, or are my ideas so revolutionary they leave everyone speechless? Honestly folks, I just want a little feedback. Thanks in advance. You can't have "civilization" without "civil". Edited by - SpittingTrashcan on November 16, 2001 1:41:38 AM

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I read it, it was interesting. I didn''t have anything to say, because it pretty much seemed like you''d covered it all.

All your bases belong to us (I know. It''s irony.)

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I read the post and found it interesting.

In one developing game I''m following - Adellion - there will be perma-death. Your character has two near misses but the thirds time he''s dead. In that sort of environment the DDI is unlikely to flourish.

In the game I''m helping to develop - www.star-fortress.com - we haven''t come to any conclusion but are unlikely to have perma death. Obviously we need to deal with DDIs but it''s very early days yet.

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CRYDEE:

That''s my personal solution as well: Permanent Death.

I think a well instituted permanent death system is THE solution to grief player syndrome.

But... how to design a functional Permanent Death system is another dilemma.

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I agree with Oluseyi in that it was rather long but I read it throughly. I for one believed that you covered all that there was to be said about the general MMORPG and DDIs. Was a very good article I think.


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hmmm... just a quick idea:
perhaps you could keep track of how much a character is used for annoying other players (whether it is based on complaints, number of bounties in lifetime, a general "karma" value that changes when the player either kills in a town or helps hunt down a bounty, etc), and the better this value, the less likely a death will be permanent.
it needs a lot of work for the details, but do you see what i mean? grief players would be more likely to perma-die on their third death, whereas players who obeyed society''s rules would get an extra chance or two.

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
The perm death thing is a big iffy, let me explain my view. Most role playing games take months and months to build up your character. Usually one wont keep playing your game if their months of work on their character comes to a halt because of a perm death. While the ideas of EverQuest ( the higher the level you get the longer your corpse stays in the "world") are excellent. Yet that is their way they wish to handle death. I''m just trying to get to the point of saying a perm death in a MMORPG is a bit strong. Depending on how long it takes to build up. ( Took me 11 months to get my character on everquest from level one to fifty nine --- would hate it to die and have it be a perm death --- I would go nuts - )

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I agree with the Anonymous Post above about Everquest. I have to redevelop a character over wouldn''t be fun if it takes a long time to reach a certain level. Also, players wouldn''t take chances if they knew they would permanently die.

I say, only allow grief players die permanently. I''m not sure how you would determine who these players are though. If they cast any neutral or offensive spell on another character, flag them as a grief/pk player. If they get killed in the battle, make it a permanent death.

Also, I don''t like the Everquest system for items. If someone dies, they should have the risk of losing their stuff. I liked UO version of the death system.

One more thing, I think pks are an exciting part to any game. In UO, one of the interesting part of playing was the worry that someone might try to kill you. When you ran into a room with a bunch of people, you got a bit worried. I''m not talking about the lame pkers that trap a doorway or portal and you die instantly.

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While you did bring up some good points in your earlier writing, you also wrote a paper. I found it hard to read, (especially hard to skim through, if I found a particular section boring) and so just wasn''t interested in delving deep enough to offer a decent reply.

I think the best solutions are the ones that fit the world. If the game consists of little fronteer cities, then yes, the strong can go running over people. If the game consists of large governments, then they can have a system of laws that the player must deal with.

And, then, at the root of the problem, no one has really come up with a good solution for human nature yet.

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I think at least part of a great solution to grief players in a MMORPG is to actually design the game so it needs such players...but of course this would be a radical departure from the typical trappings found in most RPGs (hence I can''t seem to get many hardcore RPG players excited about the game I have been designing)

I also think many current solutions to the problem create "catch-22" situations...if a player can get someone causeing him grief kicked out or even banned...then what is to stop a bad player from accuseing innocent others causeing them to get kicked-off/banned?...the more "checks-n-balances" features you add to counter such actions the more "loop-holes" develop to get around them...the most effective solution is to remember the KISS principal (Keep It Simple, Stupid)...Such undesireable players will always pop up into such games...it''s part of human nature (not defending them..just a simple fact given a large and diverse group of people...at least a few of them will be more interested in tormenting others then playing the game)...the simplest solution is to take advantage of such players...use thier unusual "skills" to the advantage of the whole game playing experience...how?

1. drop the Tolkeen/D&D RPG trappings...the pen-n-paper RPGers have enjoyed games for years that have nothing even resembleing a elf, dragon..even some concept like magic in them...create new worlds.
2. forget about real world realisam...but concetrate on the game world realisam as it relates to the gameplay...remember the golden rule of game design: "gameplay before graphics"
3. design for diversity...allowing the player to use 100 different swords is not diverse if each only causes a few more damage points then the last...You must try to design in more original terms then that.
4. design in as much game balance as possible...but remeber that applying genaric attributes to a variety of objects (example: slow but strong / fast but weak) can break rule number 3 above...a no-no.
5. remember that the game is a RPG...as a game designer you should be thinking not only in terms of the actions the player may take...but also the actions of EVERYTHING else...if you can''t put yourself (while designing) into the role of every game entity then why are you designing a RPG?

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I read it, and replied. More patience! But yeah, a lot of what you said has been covered many times. I believe that myself, Silvermyst, and Tom covered the issue quite well a couple of months back. And the issues have been quite well documented in MUD circles. (Because remember, MMORPGs are just muds with graphics.) It might help you to do some research there and at least familiarise yourself with the terminology.

Also, yes, long papers tend to put people off. This forum is more of a brainstorming environment than for publishing papers. Better to put your abstract or hypothesis up front, with a minimum of justification, and save the rest for the discussion proper. Not that I''m saying you can''t post the long stuff of course: it''s just that you''re more likely to get a response if you make it short and to the point. See the way Wavinator presents many of his new threads for good examples.

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Good forum users,

Thanks for the feedback. I''ll try to post shorter, clearer ideas from now on. I''ll also look into past discussions. However, I think this topic is hardly dead, and I will probably discuss it more. I hope you all will continue to show the interest and civility which marked these replies. Again, thanks much.

As for the issues posed in this thread, I''ll deal with them, one at a time, in later posts. I have many, many ideas, and I hope at least some will be useful

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If you''re interested, I''ve been hosting a conversation in the game design forum on www.gamedeveloper.net on putting Roleplaying into MMORPGs.

We''ve also been discussing other aspects of MMORPGs.

I''ve been in a lot of discussions on this topic and I have a lot to say, but not many to say it to.

--
Relee the Squirrel

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Yea i read that big post( I think it was your post ) and have come to the conclusion to include the bounty system( which I have seen 2x before ) and something else. My mmorpg consists of experience gaining from only pks and training. Hence if you kill another player cheaply your experience gain is small, therefore in order for you to keep up with others you have to devote your time mainly towards "fairer" fights. A little hard to explain on the boards, but anyhow. I have played with the point system, got booted from several places just because I wasn''t on the peoples team who were playing, or just because I killed a couple of them. Balancing is very important. I''d follow your posts if you wanted help and emailed me. I have trouble "watching" posts on here, doesn''t seem to tag them for me. Much easier to move around in one post too since I don''t check them often. Any dbz fans out there interested in helping me with small portions of a dbz mmorpg?

"Practice means good, Perfect Practice means Perfect"

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