Posted by Vigorousjammer (2490 posts) -

I've been thinking about MMO's recently, and how quests are usually set up in them.

Normally, with so many players on a server, you end up seeing many other players doing exactly the same quest as you, and it kind of takes you out of the experience.

I've been thinking about how this can be improved upon, but I don't know how you could keep that many players on one server and keep everybody doing something different.

Perhaps quests could be randomized like loot, where multiple parts come together, both in terms of the enemies you're killing, the location you're going to, etc... however, this probably wouldn't be very good for important story quests... as they might not make much sense.

Anybody have any other possible ideas, not just about this, but on any aspects of MMOs that you'd like to change?

#1 Edited by Vigorousjammer (2490 posts) -

I've been thinking about MMO's recently, and how quests are usually set up in them.

Normally, with so many players on a server, you end up seeing many other players doing exactly the same quest as you, and it kind of takes you out of the experience.

I've been thinking about how this can be improved upon, but I don't know how you could keep that many players on one server and keep everybody doing something different.

Perhaps quests could be randomized like loot, where multiple parts come together, both in terms of the enemies you're killing, the location you're going to, etc... however, this probably wouldn't be very good for important story quests... as they might not make much sense.

Anybody have any other possible ideas, not just about this, but on any aspects of MMOs that you'd like to change?

#2 Edited by Mahonay (828 posts) -

DO SOMETHING BESIDES THE FUCKING TRINITY. Also, something that is not the quest system that every MMO now uses. Give me gameplay that is fundamentally different. I shouldn't be able to play for 2 minutes and go "oh, this is a MMO".

This is my main beef with the MMO genre. Everyone has been making the same game since WoW. I don't understand how these games are appealing to anyone at this point. I suppose the social element is still strong enough to keep it going currently.

#3 Edited by Vigorousjammer (2490 posts) -

@Mahonay: I'd agree with that, especially the part about the Trinity, which is SO incredibly overused.

As for differing gameplay, I just feel like more and more things that you can do in single player games, or smaller 4-player multiplayer games get a whole lot more complicated when it comes to doing that for thousands of players on a single server.

I mean, I'm sure at this point, we could see real-time combat on a 1500-player server, that is latency free.

But, single player games are generally so structured for one player's actions triggering specific events, that really, some sort of quest system is the only thing that makes sense to me in any multiplayer game, and I'm curious how you would replace it.

#4 Edited by Karkarov (3056 posts) -

Combat actually has to become action oriented. Imagine Demon's or Dark Souls just less forgiving with a little more variety. Vastly less emphasis on gear. More freedom in gameplay, by which I mean player ability to effect the world. Let players kill an npc if they want, and I do mean kill. Let people build their own homes/towns/whatever. You need more "stuff" to do. Raiding isn't that fun except for a very small portion of mmo players, pvp appeals to alot of people sure but turns off twice as many. There needs to be something "else".

is right, get rid of the freaking trinity. In fact, get rid of healing/tanking entirely. Make it so every "class" or weapon is about killing the enemy and the only real difference is in playstyle and player preference. Make the enemies actually have a brain. One thing Guild Wars 2 does right is the hp, when the fight is over you just regen back to full. While I am at it, get rid of "classes" too. Every person who cares about mmo's needs to seriously consider the Secret World because it simply gives the player the choice and says you can build whatever character you want however you want it. Isn't that refreshing? Secret World also does character appearance right in that "stat gear" has no actual visual element on your character and your "armor" is simply the clothing you choose to wear.

#5 Posted by Vigorousjammer (2490 posts) -

@Karkarov: I've actually really been considering picking up The Secret World, but the monthly fee is something I don't want to pay for any game ever again.

I'm not saying Secret World has to go Free to Play for me to play it, but if they switched to a Guild Wars 2 business plan, I'd buy it right now.

#6 Posted by Spoonman671 (4588 posts) -

Make them like you would any other game, then add a lot more people.

#7 Posted by Karkarov (3056 posts) -

@Spoonman671 said:

Make them like you would any other game, then add a lot more people.

Yeap in some cases this is dead on. If skyrim were fully third person, had the whole world open, better combat, a metric crap ton more content, and a much slower progression speed it would make a great mmo.

#8 Posted by Hamz (6846 posts) -

Always felt the ability to "retire" from adventuring and just buy a plot of in-game land to build a farm, homestead or shop would be a fun break away from the very combat focused nature of most MMO's. Being able to set up a shop and sell stuff to other players such as ingredients or potions etc would be a nice change of pace. Allowing players to branch into a more merchant or economy driven nature would be cool, especially if you could sort of give quests to other players through a form of in-game bulletin board.

"From Hamz, offering 100g for stacks of 10 wolf pelts" sort of thing.

#9 Edited by Vigorousjammer (2490 posts) -

@Hamz said:

Always felt the ability to "retire" from adventuring and just buy a plot of in-game land to build a farm, homestead or shop would be a fun break away from the very combat focused nature of most MMO's. Being able to set up a shop and sell stuff to other players such as ingredients or potions etc would be a nice change of pace. Allowing players to branch into a more merchant or economy driven nature would be cool, especially if you could sort of give quests to other players through a form of in-game bulletin board.

"From Hamz, offering 100g for stacks of 10 wolf pelts" sort of thing.

Oh my god, a side activity in the style of Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale put into the world of an MMO would be INCREDIBLE. You could haggle with other actual players, and keep track of various trends in the values of things, just based on how many people are buying those type of items. It would be great!

I think the main thing about any of this is the balance with the userbase, though... If you implemented this idea, then got too many players on one server, it can end up being littered with shops, and not enough players would stop at your shop. I guess one solution for this would be a high bar of entry, this way people who just started playing won't be able to make a shop. Another solution would be to create so many of these side activities, and make them all fun to do, so not everybody is just focusing on one side activity, and then there ends up being a good amount of variety.

As for what others have been saying about a player's ability to alter the world and shape it, build new towns, homes, etc: while I like the idea, I'm also trying to think about how easily players could grief other players in this aspect. If you're able to destroy a town, would you be forced to re-build it differently? If not, would the world eventually become a barren wasteland with nothing left to do?

I think we can look at Minecraft in this respect, or to a lesser extent, LittleBigPlanet. Make the tools easy to use, make it accessible so that nearly anybody playing the game can build something from scratch if they really had to... and most of all make it fun to create something. Lots of people never want to make anything for any game because it becomes a chore... I'm not sure how you could make it more fun, but it would need to be in order for people to use it.

However, going back to Minecraft, even if you're just playing on a small server with 15 people or so, you can expect some of those people will want to destroy your shit. This would be an even bigger problem for an MMO, because everybody would be destroying everything. Let's say... Player X builds a super awesome town, and it took him, like... a whole weeks worth of playing to do it. Now, Player Y comes along and fucks his shit up. After putting in all that time and effort, just to have it ruined, do you think Player X will want to play the game anymore? Possibly... but likely, he's just going to quit and never play it again.

I'm thinking maybe one solution would be that you could set up NPC guards that make it increasingly difficult to attack a player's buildings unless you get a large group together. Another solution would be to have different levels of materials for building, so if you use a better quality material, it takes longer to destroy a building (the best example of this is obsidian from Minecraft).

Wow, this became a long post... what do you guys think of these ideas?

#10 Edited by TyCobb (1961 posts) -

@Hamz said:

Always felt the ability to "retire" from adventuring and just buy a plot of in-game land to build a farm, homestead or shop would be a fun break away from the very combat focused nature of most MMO's. Being able to set up a shop and sell stuff to other players such as ingredients or potions etc would be a nice change of pace. Allowing players to branch into a more merchant or economy driven nature would be cool, especially if you could sort of give quests to other players through a form of in-game bulletin board.

FFXI had this and I wished more MMOs would include this feature. You had your own Mog House (only you could go in and it was instanced) that you could add furniture which affected some of the game/crafting mechanics. You could also add pots and plant plants which would eventually yield crafting materials after a few days.

Your character could also be set up to automatically sell stuff to anyone who walked by you. If you set up a Bazaar on your character, you could set prices on items in your inventory. Anyone who inspected you could click the Bazaar button and see what you had for sale. People would create multiple accounts or leave their character logged in over night to sell their goods. It was a great way to make money because travel time in that game took forever. I would make a ton of food and travel to distant areas where people were partying. If they ran low, they would just buy stuff from me while I was at work or sleeping. They would also know I was selling food because I would be decked out in my culinary uniform.

#11 Posted by Dagbiker (6957 posts) -

The problem with mmos is that they have to some how make a lot of content for the game, relativity cheaply. This comes at the expense of creativity, and leads to quests like "Kill X amount of Y" quests.

#12 Posted by That1BlackGuy (217 posts) -

I understand that there is a proven formula that works and that's fine. However, switching things up and trying new methods to engage the player(s) certainly wouldn't hurt. Integrating and streamlining the single-player experience within an MMO environment would be pretty cool, also region specific perks/challenges, journey doc and sharing, business creation, organic growth (without classes), subordinate building, etc. A huge problem with MMOs is that they get redundant rather quickly (for me) and combat dynamics are usually formulaic (though admittedly I loved Tera's battle system) I'm" also not a fan of PvP so that really doesn't hold me over like it does for others. The recent oversaturation of the genre doesn't help either so even if titles break away from the formula, they'll likely get buried with all the others.

#13 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

No bars for spells, attacks, and other miscellaneous bullshit.

#14 Posted by Inkerman (1451 posts) -

Give control to the players, let the players make the world. EVE did this brilliantly. Also if you making a PVP MMO with two or more different factions, then make it possible for real changes in the game, not just static faction zones and contested zones. Imagine an FPS the size of WoW's map, and scattered like towns were certain things which would give advantages to that team, oil wells, mines, fortresses, etc, and there was a constant war over these resources, as well as over the general wilderness itself, and guarding and protecting these resources required real coordination from each team.

#15 Posted by ajamafalous (11938 posts) -

I only skimmed the first few posts, but this thread sounds like it should've been titled "How can we change MMOs so that people who don't currently like MMOs will like them?" 
 
 
I enjoy the genre the way it is and don't really like any of the ideas I hear when people who don't like MMOs start talking about ways to 'fix' them.

#16 Posted by Giantstalker (1604 posts) -

I'd like to see more games trying to implement a lot more realism. Not just in their settings or worlds but in combat systems as well.

#17 Posted by wemibelec90 (1603 posts) -

No monthly fee is pretty much required at this point to survive. Any MMO forward that has one is already going to have one foot in the grave.

I would like to see more diversity in the types of games and the locales of MMO's. I'm a big fan of the RPG stuff but FPS games like Planetside are pretty fun too. The setting is the key thing here. It seems like nearly every MMO has the fantasy setting and it gets really tired after awhile. Secret World is the most interesting world I've seen in one of these games but it has that pesky monthly fee. If it didn't, I'd still be playing it.

#18 Posted by PenguinDust (12481 posts) -

@Hamz said:

Always felt the ability to "retire" from adventuring and just buy a plot of in-game land to build a farm, homestead or shop would be a fun break away from the very combat focused nature of most MMO's. Being able to set up a shop and sell stuff to other players such as ingredients or potions etc would be a nice change of pace. Allowing players to branch into a more merchant or economy driven nature would be cool, especially if you could sort of give quests to other players through a form of in-game bulletin board.

"From Hamz, offering 100g for stacks of 10 wolf pelts" sort of thing.

Maybe I am misremembering, but I think Ultima Online had something like this. I always thought it would be cool if you could open a business, stock it up while online and let your hired NPCs or maybe fellow players sell items when you're offline. Every MMO has vendors who buy and sell items, but how about letting the player community take over that roll entirely. I like the idea of building a house that any player walking by could see. Perhaps even steal a few items from when I'm not paying attention. That might cause more problems though. Why invite that type of behavior? Then again, if a developer could make that a game play feature... There used to be a series of comedy-fantasy books called Thieves World. I think it might be interesting, if everyone in the game world was always stealing stuff from everyone else. Chaotic, sure but it would certainly be different than the norm.

#19 Posted by Draxyle (1822 posts) -

My big problem with many of them is that they're dropping the massively multiplayer part out of the MMO. The fact that you can play some of these without interacting or being impacted by another human being seems crazy to me, and they're being designed around that now.

These MMO's need to feel like a world you're living in. The actions of your server-mates should be having an effect on what you experience. There needs to be competition, collaboration, etc. You need to feel like you're leaving your mark on the world in some way. I'm not even entirely sure what I'm asking for in specifics. I just hate this over-instancing of everything that makes it all feel mechanical and staged.

Also, if I have to collect or kill X number of things for a quest, they have failed. That is not a sidequest, that is a chore.

#20 Posted by Sufferthorn (19 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

Give control to the players, let the players make the world. EVE did this brilliantly. Also if you making a PVP MMO with two or more different factions, then make it possible for real changes in the game, not just static faction zones and contested zones. Imagine an FPS the size of WoW's map, and scattered like towns were certain things which would give advantages to that team, oil wells, mines, fortresses, etc, and there was a constant war over these resources, as well as over the general wilderness itself, and guarding and protecting these resources required real coordination from each team.

This, and i've always wanted to play EVE, but i just don't have the time for it, it would consume way too much of my hours.

I'd like to see that and a sort of forced hierarchy. With a PvP game, make it so that the guy with the most kills on his faction rules as King, and is able to declare war or make peace with the other rulers of a faction, securing that lands resources, this of course would require multiple factions (maybe 7 or so).

Along with this, it'd be nice if you didn't have to be tied down to a faction, you could "leave" your faction and become a renegade of sorts, scavenging and stealing to survive, crafters and farming players would have to be warey of such players. (This would require the possibility of stealing resources/money off a player) of course it would be bad if these players could steal your mega-awesome-sword-you-worked-2-years-to-get, and would cause rage, but stealing resources and/or money would seem perfectly acceptable to me. I'd be more careful when going out into battle.

I've always wanted to play a Thief and go steal anything that wasn't nailed to the floor. But it would have to be implemented properly, and it is quite a possibility if people don't rage-mode the way devs tend to do about little mechanics like that.

Real-time fighting would be nice as well. I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult to implement an Oblivion-style combat or something, letting those who are Archers to snipe from a distance, Warlocks and Wizards with the most powerful spells would be feared, Warriors would be fear-less shock troopers who dare charge into the face of an arrow or spell.

Or like you suggested....an FPS would be amazing. Soldiers fighting constant war over each resource and being unable to gain certain advantages without them.

SO MANY POSSIBILITIES

but none are willing to take the risk and create such a game....but if anyone ever does it properly, they will make $Millions

#21 Posted by Mcfart (1596 posts) -

Simple. Completely innovate the gameplay. World of Warcraft took the classic Everquest style gameplay and perfected it. All these other MMO's that are trying to overtake World of Warcraft by imitating it are just retarded, because Blizzard can just go "oh, we like these small refinements you made. We'll put them in our game, and make them better".

Why does an MMO have to be the semi-turned based action bar style gameplay? MMO is "massively multiplayer online", so take another gameplay style and make that an MMO. That way, it would be different and World Of Warcraft can't just rip off the best features in the next patch since it's a different type of game.

#22 Edited by EXTomar (4633 posts) -

I love this topic so here are my thoughts:

- Improving feedback.

All MMOs have a distinct problem of trying to "read the ui". If we want dynamic and fast combat a player can't spend time reading tool tips and deciphering what the state of their character is let alone the state of the target they are fighting. Basically you attack a monster. Did you hit it hard or hardly hit it at all? The only feedback we seem to get is a number that floats away in red and a part of a life bar goes away. If a giant picks up there foot and is going to stomp the ground where anyone who is in the wrong place (under the foot) takes massive damage, it is often hard to tell where that spot is until it is too late. The only defense is to just run completely away. The game that helps convey this information better is going to be "next gen".

- Other Player Housing and Other Property.

Something that is incorporated into the game world but not terrible to sustain or improve. Like armor and weapons, it needs to be something to show off without interfering with any other player.

- More Out of Game Tools

Having things like calendars and auction houses are okay but I want to see things like actually being able to do tradeskills out of game would be handy Along those lines things like "Tell your player to move to another city" so when you login hours later they are wherever. Anything that can be done asynchronously could be a candidate.

- The Trinity Isn't the Problem; Monster AI/Behavior Is The Problem

People complain about "The Trinity" but fail to understand why it is necessary. Monster behavior is still somewhat crude where they barely recognize opponent class-specs let alone position or disposition. Without that awareness the game needs rules like "agro" which means you need a tank. If you need a tank then you need healer to offset gaps in their defense. If you have tanks and healers then you need DPS to speed up the fight.

#23 Posted by Rohok (554 posts) -

Sandbox is the only way to improve them. These stupid, linear, combat focused MMOs are just crap. SWG was probably one of the greatest MMOs of all time, and yet, MMOs are moving further, and further away from the sandbox model. Why does total and complete freedom and customization seem to only appeal to a small crowd? It just doesn't make ANY fucking sense at all.

#24 Posted by tekmojo (2300 posts) -

The game needs to feel like a living, breathing world.

#25 Posted by Inkerman (1451 posts) -

@Sufferthorn said:

Give control to the players, let the players make the world. EVE did this brilliantly. Also if you making a PVP MMO with two or more different factions, then make it possible for real changes in the game, not just static faction zones and contested zones. Imagine an FPS the size of WoW's map, and scattered like towns were certain things which would give advantages to that team, oil wells, mines, fortresses, etc, and there was a constant war over these resources, as well as over the general wilderness itself, and guarding and protecting these resources required real coordination from each team.

This, and i've always wanted to play EVE, but i just don't have the time for it, it would consume way too much of my hours.

I'd like to see that and a sort of forced hierarchy. With a PvP game, make it so that the guy with the most kills on his faction rules as King, and is able to declare war or make peace with the other rulers of a faction, securing that lands resources, this of course would require multiple factions (maybe 7 or so).

Along with this, it'd be nice if you didn't have to be tied down to a faction, you could "leave" your faction and become a renegade of sorts, scavenging and stealing to survive, crafters and farming players would have to be warey of such players. (This would require the possibility of stealing resources/money off a player) of course it would be bad if these players could steal your mega-awesome-sword-you-worked-2-years-to-get, and would cause rage, but stealing resources and/or money would seem perfectly acceptable to me. I'd be more careful when going out into battle.

I've always wanted to play a Thief and go steal anything that wasn't nailed to the floor. But it would have to be implemented properly, and it is quite a possibility if people don't rage-mode the way devs tend to do about little mechanics like that.

Real-time fighting would be nice as well. I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult to implement an Oblivion-style combat or something, letting those who are Archers to snipe from a distance, Warlocks and Wizards with the most powerful spells would be feared, Warriors would be fear-less shock troopers who dare charge into the face of an arrow or spell.

Or like you suggested....an FPS would be amazing. Soldiers fighting constant war over each resource and being unable to gain certain advantages without them.

SO MANY POSSIBILITIES

but none are willing to take the risk and create such a game....but if anyone ever does it properly, they will make $Millions

Honestly I think the closest thing we have now is DayZ mod, and maybe with more players they could form armies and factions of sorts, although DayZ is brutal as shit.

#26 Edited by Vigorousjammer (2490 posts) -

Oh, I just thought of something, actually.

Permadeath.

Permadeath would probably stop a lot of high level players from haphazardly griefing other players due to the fact that they might lose their character altogether.

It would make destroying a town a much more difficult task if the person who built the town has proper defenses set up.

Combine this with a good combat engine that feels like a single player 3rd person action game, as well as letting players build houses, shops, towns, and NPCs to flavor the world, and I think you've got a winning combination.

#27 Posted by Mattalorian (594 posts) -

MMO combat is heavily restrained by latency issues in today's online games. The action bar is pretty much the only way to do combat in big, open world environments where there's always a bit of lag. If you're going to have a real combat system that isn't repetitious or stale, you need to instance the hell out of the game so that it's basically 1-4 players in a combat area (like Phantasy Star Online). That's totally fine for what it is, but at that point it's not really an MMO at all. I think the reason we haven't seen large-scale MMO's with combat resembling Darksiders or something is because it's just not possible. You need a lightning fast connection speed, and if you've got thousands of people on a server, that isn't going to happen.

At this point, I think MMO's aren't going to get much better until connection speeds get faster and large-scale online gaming becomes more sophisticated.

#28 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

Not associating MMO with RPG? Planetside 2 anyone?

#29 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

@Mcfart: I think you mean age of conan.

#30 Posted by Brodehouse (9776 posts) -

I always love when people flip out about the trinity, considering it's existed as long as role playing games have. Fighter-Thief-Cleric. The only thing you can do is make a mezzer/debuffer as a key party thing ... so Magic-User. People want to move away, but the entire point of playing a role playing game with allies is to combine your specialized abilities and be stronger working as one than you would alone. Guild Wars 2 does away with the trinity, and all that results is that every class plays the same. I'm a warrior, I don't feel like I have any specialized abilities that I need to learn in order to help everyone else, I run up to things and I hit them. Just like I would play any other class. The goal is not to eliminate these specialized skills and classes, removing each player having a specific role to play; it's to give the right mix of depth and accessibility. 20+ skill hotbars aren't it, and removing all specialties from each class in favor of 'every man for himself' doesn't either.

As for sandbox-v-themepark... I play games to play them. The core internal gameplay has to be fun for me to want to stick around for more than 5 hours. I don't care what it's 'possible' that I can do. I need to be having fun.

I was thinking about it the other day while I was playing Minecraft. The problem with user content generation is that no one else cares about your thing, and you don't care about other people's. The reason this kind of thing works in Eve is because it's based on corporate lines. People are working together to build something, rather than a bunch of people building their own things (once again, the core concept of group play in RPGs). Give each guild in a game a portion of land that they can customize. It won't even matter if other players can see it, as long as people within the guild can see it. We talked about it on SWTOR, a big capital ship that we could dock at and use as a transport hub would give a physical connection between the guild and the world. Having our own ships is nice, and personalizing them is fun too... but shared experiences are more rewarding than personal.

#31 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

I always love when people flip out about the trinity, considering it's existed as long as role playing games have. Fighter-Thief-Cleric. The only thing you can do is make a mezzer/debuffer as a key party thing ... so Magic-User. People want to move away, but the entire point of playing a role playing game with allies is to combine your specialized abilities and be stronger working as one than you would alone. Guild Wars 2 does away with the trinity, and all that results is that every class plays the same. I'm a warrior, I don't feel like I have any specialized abilities that I need to learn in order to help everyone else, I run up to things and I hit them. Just like I would play any other class. The goal is not to eliminate these specialized skills and classes, removing each player having a specific role to play; it's to give the right mix of depth and accessibility. 20+ skill hotbars aren't it, and removing all specialties from each class in favor of 'every man for himself' doesn't either.

As for sandbox-v-themepark... I play games to play them. The core internal gameplay has to be fun for me to want to stick around for more than 5 hours. I don't care what it's 'possible' that I can do. I need to be having fun.

I was thinking about it the other day while I was playing Minecraft. The problem with user content generation is that no one else cares about your thing, and you don't care about other people's. The reason this kind of thing works in Eve is because it's based on corporate lines. People are working together to build something, rather than a bunch of people building their own things (once again, the core concept of group play in RPGs). Give each guild in a game a portion of land that they can customize. It won't even matter if other players can see it, as long as people within the guild can see it. We talked about it on SWTOR, a big capital ship that we could dock at and use as a transport hub would give a physical connection between the guild and the world. Having our own ships is nice, and personalizing them is fun too... but shared experiences are more rewarding than personal.

Is flagging something for 'Reasoned an well thought out' a thing?

#32 Posted by demell (10 posts) -

I'm not a big MMO player myself. I got into WoW for a bit in college (think I got to about a level 30-ish Druid) but after that military life is not conducive to a game that requires a bit more constant attention than say Grand Theft Auto. Since most of this thread is a "how would you do it" style discussion, here's the kind of MMO I'd like to see:

In a vein similar to Star Ocean or similar sci-fi mixed with fantasy based title, humanity begins a forced expansion into space because of the Earth's resources running low. You were part of the colonization program and along with thousands of others placed on a ship bound for another planet. Things go wrong, your ship and the four or five others in your convoy don't make it to their destination and instead crash on an entirely unknown planet. You and the remaining survivors must now rebuild civilization and conquer your new environment in order to survive.

- Your starting location is one of the four or five crash sites and the small garrison-style town that sprang up around it.

- There are no classes, you start as a blank slate able to branch out as you see fit. Stats are improved by leveling up through experience. Skills are gained by equipping weapons and items and gaining active and passive abilities from them. As you use weapons or wear items your proficiency with it will improve and let you access more active and passive abilities. Active abilities become stronger through use.

- Traditional quests such as "get me x of that" or "deliver to this person" are gone. Leveling is based on exploring and conquering the environment as well as answering player created requests. For instance, a player that wants to only be a craftsman may put a request out to get 10 pieces of an ore from a specific area. To receive the quest you have to first answer the request (that way 300 people aren't going for the same thing), go get the materials (which will gain you experience for fighting your way there and extracting the ore) and then bring it to that specific person. The game system can be set-up to award players experience (currency only comes from the player that asked for the service) based on the area of the map the request was about.

- Much of the gameplay is based on controlling the world (about equal in size to WoW) by either helping your ship/garrison town expand or going off on your own and starting your own society. Player created towns and services can be built anywhere there is available space (any you have the right money and materials). But it can also be destroyed. So you may work for months to create a small town only to have a larger faction burn it to the ground. But growing that town and fighting against other players nets you experience.

The real difficulty in this game is that if you really want to get into it and build within the world you'll need to devote a lot of time. That has the chance to turn off more casual gamers but is definitely a way to keep the game fresh and changing for hardcore players. Casual players can still get a lot out of this, as there will always be raids, large areas to explore and hunt in, requests being put out from other players, and maybe even the ability to gain a home or shop in the larger, more stable starting locations. So a casual player (like me) could log in, fulfill requests for a bit, go exploring in a new area, and end the day helping a large group go harass or ransack another town and call it a day without feeling like they are outmatched by hardcore players.

#33 Posted by Erk_Forever (157 posts) -

@demell: Ultima?

#34 Posted by Karkarov (3056 posts) -

@Vigorousjammer said:

As for what others have been saying about a player's ability to alter the world and shape it, build new towns, homes, etc: while I like the idea, I'm also trying to think about how easily players could grief other players in this aspect. If you're able to destroy a town, would you be forced to re-build it differently? If not, would the world eventually become a barren wasteland with nothing left to do?

Simple, you just steal from Age of Conan another highly under rated mmo. In age of conan you could build your own fortress or town as a guild, and while it was cool some of the mechanics were shoddy. That doesn't mean that some of the idea's weren't good though. For example once your fortress town was built once every like two weeks you had to have a "defense schedule". Basically you had to block out a piece of time that was at least like an hour long to "defend" your base. If you didn't do it you forfeit the rights to the land and lost it, but you could also schedule it in a number of ways. You could put it at low pop hours so the odds of someone showing were low, you could schedule it when your entire guild was on so unless someone brought a serious force you were going to cream them, etc etc. Outside of this window people outside that guild simply couldn't attack the fort, they could go there, maybe even enter depending on the owning guilds settings, but they couldn't "attack" anything.

Lastly an mmo is not minecraft. In an mmo a full on "town" should take months of effort and an entire guild, not an individual. MMO's need more single player conventions but they aren't single player games.

#35 Edited by Vigorousjammer (2490 posts) -

@Karkarov said:

@Vigorousjammer said:

As for what others have been saying about a player's ability to alter the world and shape it, build new towns, homes, etc: while I like the idea, I'm also trying to think about how easily players could grief other players in this aspect. If you're able to destroy a town, would you be forced to re-build it differently? If not, would the world eventually become a barren wasteland with nothing left to do?

Simple, you just steal from Age of Conan another highly under rated mmo. In age of conan you could build your own fortress or town as a guild, and while it was cool some of the mechanics were shoddy. That doesn't mean that some of the idea's weren't good though. For example once your fortress town was built once every like two weeks you had to have a "defense schedule". Basically you had to block out a piece of time that was at least like an hour long to "defend" your base. If you didn't do it you forfeit the rights to the land and lost it, but you could also schedule it in a number of ways. You could put it at low pop hours so the odds of someone showing were low, you could schedule it when your entire guild was on so unless someone brought a serious force you were going to cream them, etc etc. Outside of this window people outside that guild simply couldn't attack the fort, they could go there, maybe even enter depending on the owning guilds settings, but they couldn't "attack" anything.

Lastly an mmo is not minecraft. In an mmo a full on "town" should take months of effort and an entire guild, not an individual. MMO's need more single player conventions but they aren't single player games.

Um... need I remind you that Minecraft has a fairly extensive multiplayer mode? In fact, I've spent more time playing Minecraft in multiplayer than single player. I'm not saying everything should be made entirely out of blocks or anything, but some of the things Minecraft does could be replicated in an MMO that's focused on building stuff.

That being said, a "Defense schedule" sounds odd and arbitrary. I'd rather it be something like Trenched, 3rd person combat with the ability to set up towers. Except instead of waves of NPC enemies attacking, it would be a constant possibility of human players attacking, and if you have other people who want to team up, you could get a group together, or possibly an army! Or you could attempt to solo it. The important part is having choice in the game, restricting players in a game about creating stuff is kind of counter-intuitive.

Perhaps for the building aspect, in order to ensure player-created towns are always going to be made, you could take a page from Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts. You can have stock town blueprints that you could simply plonk down and have constructed, or... you could build your own town from scratch, for all of the creative players who want to make something interesting. The problem that arises from this is having too many towns popping up from too many players and a server simply getting overloaded with crap. Although, perhaps if you require players to collect materials beforehand (wood, iron, stone, etc.) it would be easier to stop the server from being overfilled with a bunch of crap.

#36 Posted by Vigorousjammer (2490 posts) -

@Mattalorian said:

MMO combat is heavily restrained by latency issues in today's online games. The action bar is pretty much the only way to do combat in big, open world environments where there's always a bit of lag. If you're going to have a real combat system that isn't repetitious or stale, you need to instance the hell out of the game so that it's basically 1-4 players in a combat area (like Phantasy Star Online). That's totally fine for what it is, but at that point it's not really an MMO at all. I think the reason we haven't seen large-scale MMO's with combat resembling Darksiders or something is because it's just not possible. You need a lightning fast connection speed, and if you've got thousands of people on a server, that isn't going to happen.

At this point, I think MMO's aren't going to get much better until connection speeds get faster and large-scale online gaming becomes more sophisticated.

I agree, but it's also only a matter of time. Just look at Google Fiber Internet! Once that's everywhere, we'll be set. They're going to be offering 1gigabit connections for $70 a month (That's 128MB/sec or 1024mb/sec)

Once they go on a large scale, you'd have to imagine other companies would have to lower prices in order to compete and keep their customers, and then everybody will be paying absurdly cheap prices for fast internet.

I give it 3 years.

#37 Posted by Village_Guy (2534 posts) -

So... we want Planetside 2 with Strategy elements relating to building bases and defenses? Actually that sounds pretty cool...

#38 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

I think the Souls series, and Journey, have the answer. Just more seamless. A concept of random player encounters, in an otherwise singleplayer experience. That would go great with the next Elder Scrolls or Fallout game. Can you dig it?

DayZ too is quite interesting too, regarding the question 'where could MMO gameplay go?'.

#39 Posted by Karkarov (3056 posts) -

@Vigorousjammer said:

Um... need I remind you that Minecraft has a fairly extensive multiplayer mode? In fact, I've spent more time playing Minecraft in multiplayer than single player. I'm not saying everything should be made entirely out of blocks or anything, but some of the things Minecraft does could be replicated in an MMO that's focused on building stuff.

No, it is a single player game that can be played multiplayer. Multiplayer is not mmo. In minecraft you are worried about what 15-20 other guys maybe messing with your stuff? In an mmo you are worrying about hundreds, if not thousands of other guys. Is it arbitrary? Yes. But it is an mmo, if you allow free reign always on do whatever you will find like you said, no one will play it. Also for the real next gen of mmo's to ever come into being the idea of the game being about "this thing" can not happen. If it can't do PVE, PVP, Player Driven Economy, and have a Dynamic World all at the same time all of them being well designed and well made then it may as well not be developed because games that do any one of those things well already exist.

Minecraft only does one thing well and it's method of doing it doesn't work in an MMO. Otherwise we would have mmo's just about building stuff. Oh wait we did, it was called Horizons: Empire of Istaria and it bombed.

#40 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

change the questing a lot. i hated kill this many boars. get this many crystals from that cave over there.

i hated the ganking that went on in the game. stranglethorn vale i think the place was called was known for ganking. it was pretty bad when i played it. it got annoying after a while of trying to quest and the guy keeps killing me. i don't mind this story but when i got burning crusade a guy out leveled everyone and ganked the 60's. he had a flying mount already and so he flew and then killed me.

#41 Edited by Vigorousjammer (2490 posts) -

@Karkarov: What about Ultima Online? As I recall, you could build stuff in that, and it was very popular at the time. For a more recent example, just look at Eve Online.

Also, saying that you can't take ANY ideas from a single player game and use them in something that is massively multiplayer is ridiculous. Sure, there's plenty of ideas from single player games that wouldn't work in an mmo, but there's plenty that would as well.

I do agree with you about worrying about other Minecraft players messing with your stuff in multiplayer, and it's a problem in that game, but if the game was focused less on the act of placing blocks, and more simply on the combat. The game could let you build, and let you change the world dynamically, you'd simply expect other people to attack your stuff. Really, the only thing one would have to do is make it easy enough for players to build something, and make it hard enough from somebody to knock it down. Balance tweaks would be necessary to get it right, but I still think it's a great idea.

Really, in the game I'm imagining I think the building portion would be less like Minecraft, and more like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Skate Park Editor. (i.e. placing pre-made parts on a grid)

This, combined with players collecting resources to build these parts (somewhat like the Civilization games) and a fun, deep combat system and level tree (such as Baulder's Gate) would make an excellent game if done right.