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Game Research: Fighting The System
#1
I've been in a bit of a gaming rut.

I've been trying different MMORPGs to find something I enjoy, but haven't really found something I enjoyed as much as in my early time playing. Then I hit a realization while playing Champions Online: I've grown tired of the format itself. Roleplay is a rare exception, when it's consistent. But in this instance I'm referring to the actual games themselves. I get attracted by the settings, but then 15-20 levels in, I just realize it's the same old thing. Kill x number of enemies. Escort this useless NPC that I don't really care about so I can continue the quest line. Gather x number of this item.

So my thoughts have turned back to development as a result of this tedium mixed with an increase in doing web-based software development at work. I have some vague ideas for setting possibilities, but what I want to avoid is making something that will end up like my recent experiences, where a player gets a few levels in and realizes it's the same old thing.

I posed this question in a Skype chat, but I wanted to ask the CotH community at large to get some data and direction to start with. So! The question:

If you could remove/change up to three things about MMORPGs, what would it be?

To start, mine would be:

1) More quests where I actually care about the characters I'm questing for, rather than running arbitrary tasks.
2) Make crafting more fun, where crafting one well-made item in an interesting way is more important than crafting thousands of items in an arbitrary way.
3) Upon creating an awesome introductory experience for new players, that experience should never be oversimplified to make it easier to level subsequent characters, especially at the expense of new players who could benefit from the full experience. In fact, it should be built in a way that a player would actually want to level new characters from zero rather than rush to max level.
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#2
1) Better open world PvP. There is a -need- in these games to protect what you own... and WoW is a game that lacks that badly. If you're going to be crafting and gathering resources make it a significant investment that's possible to be lost. Archeage did it... but it did it around a subpar game that made every other function useless.

2) More customizations. RNG weapons are cool---but allow us to change looks, and the name. Colorizing armor and it's look for IN GAME MONEY. YES. IN GAME MONEY. NOT MICRO-TRANSACTIONS.

3) STOP MAKING EVERYTHING SUB BASED.

Here's the plan for hopefully the future of MMO's. No pay to win, no sub based, none of that stuff.

SELL PEOPLE THE RIGHTS TO SERVERS. -Allow- people to craft the server how they'd like---give them modding tools and options so that we can fine tune the servers and maybe event he story how we want. The game itself could cost the standard price---and the software to run a free server could cost a little more. Include -all- the tools in the server package to create what you'd like within your pre-defined world and engine.

ONLY go after servers if they start to change for your free software. Not for people that do it as a hobby, especially since the premise of this game would be to make it what you want overall.



Basically, we'd have to hold our breaths and hope gaming companies stop being greedy jerks who shovel out crap that they moderate 'cause they wanna pennysqueeze from us.
[Image: desc_head_freemasons.jpg]

△Move along.△


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[-] The following 1 user Likes Harmonic's post:
  • Jonoth
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#3
1) Better open world PvP. There is a -need- in these games to protect what you own... and WoW is a game that lacks that badly. If you're going to be crafting and gathering resources make it a significant investment that's possible to be lost. Archeage did it... but it did it around a subpar game that made every other function useless.

2) More customizations. RNG weapons are cool---but allow us to change looks, and the name. Colorizing armor and it's look for IN GAME MONEY. YES. IN GAME MONEY. NOT MICRO-TRANSACTIONS.

3) STOP MAKING EVERYTHING SUB BASED.

Here's the plan for hopefully the future of MMO's. No pay to win, no sub based, none of that stuff.

SELL PEOPLE THE RIGHTS TO SERVERS. -Allow- people to craft the server how they'd like---give them modding tools and options so that we can fine tune the servers and maybe event he story how we want. The game itself could cost the standard price---and the software to run a free server could cost a little more. Include -all- the tools in the server package to create what you'd like within your pre-defined world and engine.

ONLY go after servers if they start to change for your free software. Not for people that do it as a hobby, especially since the premise of this game would be to make it what you want overall.



Basically, we'd have to hold our breaths and hope gaming companies stop being greedy jerks who shovel out crap that they moderate 'cause they wanna pennysqueeze from us.
[Image: desc_head_freemasons.jpg]

△Move along.△


△△
△△△
△△△△

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#4
Part of me is resisting just saying 'Play PSO2', because sadly, it still falls under some of my personal things I'd like to have tossed out of proverbial MMO window...So without further ado.

1. Don't waste my time. This one has me scowling at the Twilight Highlands from Cata. To get there horde side, you have to ride a zepplin. Sounds alright. How frequent is this zepplin? Once every twenty minutes - A timer which is started by someone who accepts the quest if someone else hasn't done so recently already. Furthermore, all the mobs don't give you exp until about an hour or so into the zone - IE, more padding for that 84th level.

Or how about WoD trash mobs in dungeons and raids? Huge health bars that means a pack of trash can take you about five minutes to kill?

2. Big boss health bars does not mean a hard boss - This could be said about pretty much every end-game boss as of present in most games (Yes, even you Dark Falz Elder despite the flashiness of the encounter). To take a WoW Example, pre-WoD Garrosh has a health poll so big he has to refill it TWICE (We're talking well over a billion HP). The only actual complicated part of the fight? 15 minutes in where one slip up wastes everyones time.

3. More actual challenges - You want to know what I enjoy when it random shows up? Puzzles. Take the potion brewing in Wrath, or the jumping challenges of guildwars2, or the cryptic quests of the secret world. Let me put my noggin to the test. Even if it's just a one off thing like a boss that asks me to play my character slightly differently to the norm, a little variety is the spice of life.

Extra - Either make your game entirely RP friendly, or embrace the fact you're not wanting an RP scene and go full steam. Looking at you ESO. You're not a RP friendly game, don't put /e or chai---

EXTRA EXTRA. IF THERE IS A CHAIR, LET ME SIT ON IT. A /CHAIR IS NOT ENOUGH. SWTOR. ESO. I'M LOOKING AT YOU BOTH.
Spoiler:

'Whats your LuckyDo?'

Desperate for some rp? Try the resident of OOC for a change!

http://www.conquestofthehorde.com/Thread-I-can-has-rp

[-] The following 1 user Likes Avitz's post:
  • Jonoth
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#5
There is actually a kind of game and roleplay that people do enjoy very much and that is not covered by most "roleplaying games" - the crafting roleplay.
Now, people that enjoy crafting roleplay are not so much into fighting and big fighters are not so much into crafting.
But a game that could combine and bring together the crafters with the fighters would actually create a very enjoyable and engaging game.
I am thinking of Port Royale, The Guild and The Settlers.
The game should go beyond the simple button clicking and actually create roleplay situations.
To give a WoW example:
Sewing a Shirt takes a Tailor only 5 or 10 seconds. In 1 min you create several Shirts of the same kind. To get the raw material you have to kill great amounts of NPCs just to make your Shirts and to progress as Tailor.
That way crafting does not create roleplay and it is only a button clicking to level up to make more advanced items that are really of some benefit.
Now in a roleplaying game it would be handled differently.
The player stays actually at the tailers shop sewing the shirt for some time. Perhaps 20 min. At the end he would have crafted one Shirt item.
That gives other players really time to walk by and see the tailor working at his shop - a roleplaying scene could arise.

I really found that no actual game does give that the roleplayers. So I decided to build a Roleplaying Game on the SecondLife Virtual World basis.
The SecondLife Virtual World gives good scripting documentation, persistence as platform and flexibility for own developments.
People also love it for the customizability of the avatars.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Bodolfo's post:
  • Jonoth
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#6
I've been working on multiuser online game in my spare time, and I've been pondering the same sorts of things. I'd like to see:
  1. A game that caters to roleplay. This means that not only the community embraces roleplay, but the very structure of the game is conducive to roleplayers. This is an intentionally broad change, but I'm incorporating things like this by having a unique universe with clearly defined lore and magic systems that make sense (aside from mechanics), character customization (including not choosing a sex/gender but rather pronouns and a variety of body types), and even having monsters be passive so that players can get to a place and roleplay without mob interference.

    Also working on a system that allows you to set title/surname, and set a flag for roleplaying status (in character, looking for roleplay, out of character) without use of an addon.

  2. Mutable world influenced by players. One of the biggest constraints with using World of Warcraft is that any custom lore that players create will potentially impact the vision that Blizzard has for its IP (which is often driven by things that may not be concerns for roleplayers). This is a concern for both official and unofficial servers.

    I want to see a game where there is somewhat regular update to the content (six months or so?) that works with the community to incorporate characters' actions into a living history. So maybe I'm not just Bob, a character created to roleplay with little or no impact in the world, but rather Bob, the leader of an organization that attempted to subvert the rule of a greedy king who was harboring resources and maybe -- just maybe -- got sign off from staff who then, during the next major content patch, ended up having a series of quests incorporated into the game that eventually culminates with the death of said leader.

    Done, of course, by a player-character assassin who was approached specifically to kill the leader. Or not. Maybe she changes her mind. Who knows? Living history!
  3. Removing the grind. I'm just finding it tedious. I'm exploring ways of character improvement, and I really want to avoid the whole kill N mobs for experience model. I was considering maybe a system that returns experience only when quests are completed (and then likely for generous amounts).

    That said, a game that didn't hinge on character level would be amazing. Perhaps level could be tied to increased specialization or character customization, rather than performance? Then we could pair low level characters with ones that are higher, and do so in a way that wouldn't necessarily negate either player's contributions.
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#7
I love the idea of a player mutable world.
I would even go so far that world events should be completely player driven.
I found that at some RP Sims on SL and it was very engaging.
But that system counts with a little flaw as Piroska noticed as well.
What is if Bob takes a break from all this for a time and just doesnt come online for a time?
The whole player world would stand still.
So I was thinking about a system with persistent characters that stay persistent as npcs even if the player is not on.
So Bob, the Baker, would always be on although the player does not play him, and other players can continue their roleplay and the world can continue spinning.
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  • Jonoth
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#8
Thanks for all the replies so far! Keep em coming!

Eliminating character level is definitely something I think a lot about. It kinda goes along with the "more health does not mean harder boss" idea. It reminds me of playing Street Fighter II and other arcade games, where mastering the style of the character is what made the difference. I'd like an MMORPG to do that.
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#9
According to the Initiative to develop a Custom Game World for CotH with the NWN2 Game Engine I started to learn the Neverwinter Nights 2 Game since it has a very affortable price.
Studying all the development tools for Custom Content for the NWN2 Game Engine I found that actually there many posibilities to implement my Game Idea.
A player driven Game World that combines Crafting and Trading Roleplay with Combat and Character Progress.
Those concepts where actually already implemented with the NWN2 Game Engine in the Crossroad Keep Setting and the Storm of Zehir Expansion.
Many still running NWN2 Game Worlds that I have been too have their own implementation of the Crafting and Trading Roleplay.

Now that the Character can actually progress in the Game World Society is a concept that is not yet implemented. We can experience it with the Crossroad Keep Setting in the Neverwinter Nights official campaign.
But I dont want the social Character Progress depending on the approval and recognition of other Players or Game Masters. There are already certain Background Feats within the NWN2 Game Engine that keep track on the Characters Game History.
So the Character will be able to attain those Background Feats to document his afforts in Game and this way his afforts wont stay unrecoginized and unrewards although nobody sees what he is doing in-world. Achieving those Feats and thus progressing socially will give him authority over NPCs and power in-world.

In WoW you get something like a reputation within a Fraction but that results only in hatred and attacks on sight if negative or some lame words like "you are a mighty warrior" but not really in any real social progress or authority.
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