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Do you think this is as far as MMORPGs will evolve?

EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
edited December 2007 in MMO Extravaganza
Just like everyone else in the MMORPG community I have been waiting for that next revolutionary mmorpg that was like UO and Everquest back in the day but I am starting to think it will never happen. Is it even possible to create this dream universe that we all envision where there is full PK anywhere with out it being anarchy? Where the combat system is not the same one that has been used for the past 10 years. Yes, the combat systems are much better but still nothing new from scratch. Right now the best thing we have is WoW which just combined all the good things from other games into one.

Am I the only one that imagines a world were governments are formed just from real people and maintain order in the world keeping Pkers from running crazy? The end of useless drops that are to sell for money, I blame everquest for that. So do you guys think this is as good as it is going to get?

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    RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    D&D->MUDs->EQ/WoW/Etc

    So we've got tabletop gaming, tabletop gaming across the internet with text, and tabletop gaming across the internet with graphics and mouse support.

    I'm absolutely positive that we'll find a new way to play D&D within the next ten years.

    Tabula Rasa + Laser Tag = The new hotness?

    Ringo on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The move towards VR is pretty close to inevitable for MMOs, after people get used to playing it that way with the Wii.

    Touch screens will also revolutionize MMOs, given the chance.

    Then you have head sensors and all that.

    Force feedback, of course, will eventually get in there. And maybe something using racing game pedals.

    The main thing will be designing games that aren't a social or health hazard, so that they can be more comfortably embraced by the population at large.

    Incenjucar on
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    KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I'd love to see a MMO strategy game, you know, like Civilisation but with um, tiered armour and dragons.

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    MarioGMarioG Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Animal Crossing is the future of MMOs.

    MarioG on
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    EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    The move towards VR is pretty close to inevitable for MMOs, after people get used to playing it that way with the Wii.

    Touch screens will also revolutionize MMOs, given the chance.

    Then you have head sensors and all that.

    Force feedback, of course, will eventually get in there. And maybe something using racing game pedals.

    The main thing will be designing games that aren't a social or health hazard, so that they can be more comfortably embraced by the population at large.

    lol .hack//sign

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    DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I don't think MMOs will evolve much until the advent of virtual reality, but when that happens, it'll take off.

    Dhalphir on
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    delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    To determine the next big step in MMO evolution, we have to determine what set WoW so far apart from other MMO's that it became mainstream (or at least moreso). This boils down to two basic factors:

    1) Accessibility/ease of play allows everyone in - Average Joe citizen can buy WoW, log in, make a character, and what is the first thing he sees? An NPC with a ! over their head. Immediately, the casual player knows that he can interact with that NPC and is then given something to do with a tangible reward. This then leads to other nearby NPC's who provide more to do, and so on and so forth.

    2) Production value/art style creates a sense of immersion - No other game in the history of computing has had more spent on development than WoW. As the old adage goes, "You have to spend money to make money." By having such a huge budget, Blizzard was able to create the greatest game on the market. They could spend that extra time on art direction and storyboarding that makes the world that much more immersive, and that is how people stay hooked. WoW is, in this sense, the Titanic of MMO's.


    THis brings us to the question in the OP: how will games evolve in the future? I believe this to be possible by continuing to address the two points above.

    Accessibility can be improved in a number of ways, by creating a VR-interaction environment, a la Wiimote+Nunchuk and motion capture, or by adding voice recognition/voice chat, or any other number of input tweaks. However, my opinion is that the greatest accessibility innovation will integrate probably the most popular and largest growing part of the internet: social networking. Imagine for a moment a version of myspace that is, in and of itself, an MMO. Current games somewhat cater to this, with guild creation and whatnot, but the next-gen MMO will need to essentially have an in-game webpage for a character to post whatever the heck he wants, be it items up for auction, items wanted by the player, group requests for an instance, real-world art/photography/music, or emo poetry. This networking will also need to be accessible by the player when he is not actively playing the game.

    Production values can really only go up in one way: by spending more money. This does not mean all MMO's with large budgets will be innately good, or that low-budget MMO's will be bad. (There will be a Waterworld MMO at some point in time.) But to have a player base in the 100-million range, you must spend the money to create a network that will keep so many people playing for the five year lifespan of the game.

    Anyways, that's just a little bit of how I feel the MMO industry is headed, and I am nowhere near any sort of industry voice, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

    delroland on
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    MarioGMarioG Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    In the future mmos will have systems where you stand in a circle and connect plugs to your limbs and forehead. It will sense brain waves and shift them around to cause a holograhic illusion connected to databases with other brainwaves which are other people. And all actions are through thought although it feels like you are making real movements.

    MarioG on
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    Chad SexingtonChad Sexington Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    MarioG wrote: »
    Animal Crossing is the future of MMOs.

    I can't tell whether this is said in jest or not, but it very well could be.

    Chad Sexington on
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    MarioGMarioG Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I was being totally sincere.

    MarioG on
    Kay wrote:
    Mario, if Slenderman had a face, I would punch him in it.

    Hey, I have a blog! (Actually being updated again!)

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    ArchsorcererArchsorcerer Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    A Tauren shaman selling seashells to Tom Nook. :lol:

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    MarioGMarioG Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Tom Nook is god.

    MarioG on
    Kay wrote:
    Mario, if Slenderman had a face, I would punch him in it.

    Hey, I have a blog! (Actually being updated again!)

    3DS: 0860-3240-2604
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    JAEFJAEF Unstoppably Bald Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
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    Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    This makes me think of the question:

    Do you think WoW's success promotes or retards the evolution of MMOs?

    For instance, because WoW is the benchmark now for success, are MMOs, particulary RPGs going to just try to create WoW clones with a gimmick, thereby reducing the actual variety that goes into big budget titles (Publishers looking for a return on investment will likely want to copy something already successful instead of taking a chance on something new)?

    Or is the success of WoW bringing not only a larger demographic into the market as possible customers, but a larger number of developers wanting and willing to create something new?

    Nova_C on
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    ArkadyArkady Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Right now I think the biggest thing holding mmo's back is technology. Granted, I'm little more than a layman when it comes to the hardware side of gaming, so I could entirely be wrong. That said, it's my understanding that things like advanced (bioshock caliber and beyond) AI and physics engines take up a completely ridiculous amount of hardware resources. And while this is certainly manageable in a single player game on a PC, or even a relatively small multiplayr game, I get the distinct suspicion that having to carry out these routines on the level required by an MMO are simply out of reach of our current tech.

    Or hell, maybe MMO devs just don't give 2 shits about AI. Again, not an expert. I do feel that I can say with some certainty that this isn't as far as mmo's will come, even if the next big leap doesn't come until world of warcraft 2: this time minus the festering pit of hate that is the forums.

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    reVersereVerse Attack and Dethrone God Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Arkady wrote: »
    Or hell, maybe MMO devs just don't give 2 shits about AI.

    They really don't. What's the point of having complex AI when simple

    1) if Player comes within 20 yards, Attack
    2) whenever cooldown is complete, use Spell
    3) When health is below 20%, Flee

    is more than enough.

    reVerse on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Just like everyone else in the MMORPG community I have been waiting for that next revolutionary mmorpg that was like UO and Everquest back in the day but I am starting to think it will never happen. Is it even possible to create this dream universe that we all envision where there is full PK anywhere with out it being anarchy? Where the combat system is not the same one that has been used for the past 10 years. Yes, the combat systems are much better but still nothing new from scratch. Right now the best thing we have is WoW which just combined all the good things from other games into one.

    Am I the only one that imagines a world were governments are formed just from real people and maintain order in the world keeping Pkers from running crazy? The end of useless drops that are to sell for money, I blame everquest for that. So do you guys think this is as good as it is going to get?

    Obligatory EVE response to 'I wish MMOs had x' OP.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Nova_C wrote: »
    This makes me think of the question:

    Do you think WoW's success promotes or retards the evolution of MMOs?

    For instance, because WoW is the benchmark now for success, are MMOs, particulary RPGs going to just try to create WoW clones with a gimmick, thereby reducing the actual variety that goes into big budget titles (Publishers looking for a return on investment will likely want to copy something already successful instead of taking a chance on something new)?

    Or is the success of WoW bringing not only a larger demographic into the market as possible customers, but a larger number of developers wanting and willing to create something new?


    I think everything that NCSoft has done (and is doing) is attempting to provide an alternative from WoW. The fact that they keep putting more games on the market leads me to believe that they have so far been financially viable, and will stay that way for some time. So no, I have no fear of WoW clones being the only choices available.

    However, I am sure that they will begin to saturate the market. I'm sure BioWare's MMO is going to try to replicate all the things that they feel WoW does well, in addition to as much innovation as they can pack into the game.

    Really it's the EQ clones that we have to be wary of. MMOs that just throw shit together for the minimum amount of cost, and hoping to dupe enough players to turn a profit (SOE I am looking at YOU). These are the kinds of games I hate.

    Ringo on
    Sterica wrote: »
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    DefunkerDefunker Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    WoW had one great thing going for it from the start, that many people neglect to account for: it was part of a very widely known and respected brand.

    Was that the sole reason for its initial success? No. But it definately was a huge catalyst.

    The next two big things to change in MMOs - more advanced AI, and more interactive combat (no more auto-attack).

    I think these two things haven't been done yet due to technical limitations, as opposed to a lack of trying from the devs.

    Defunker on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2007
    Defunker wrote: »
    more interactive combat (no more auto-attack).


    Obigatory Ev...errr, hang on. Check that. Obligatory Planetside and Tabula Rasa response.


    Also, isn't the entire point of an MMO that AI is redundant? A good MMO should be focusing on more PvP, not more believable PvE. They should play to their strengths and exploit their primary characteristic, a population of genuinely intelligent players, rather than try to 'do single player games only online'. Sometimes I play MMOs and figure I might as well be playing a single player game with a chat program running in the background for all the other players make a difference to the gameplay.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    KungFuKungFu Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    "everything that will ever be invented has already be invented"

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    EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    Defunker wrote: »
    more interactive combat (no more auto-attack).


    Obigatory Ev...errr, hang on. Check that. Obligatory Planetside and Tabula Rasa response.


    Also, isn't the entire point of an MMO that AI is redundant? A good MMO should be focusing on more PvP, not more believable PvE. They should play to their strengths and exploit their primary characteristic, a population of genuinely intelligent players, rather than try to 'do single player games only online'. Sometimes I play MMOs and figure I might as well be playing a single player game with a chat program running in the background for all the other players make a difference to the gameplay.

    Thats the way I feel anymore also. Most mmo's have steered away from games that require grouping because people complained about having to sink too much time into games that require grouping but whats the point of an MMO if you are just going to solo everything. I think from the early levels, around 10 you should need a group to do stuff. Thats what DAOC did, as soon as you hit 10 it was groups from here on out.

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    EWomEWom Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I think WoW actually did it right, in that grouping is not mandatory. You can quest and level solo, but to do the dungeons, raids etc you have to have groups.


    I played EQ for long enough, where unless you were one of 3 classes, you couldn't do shit without a group, and then again, if you weren't one of 3 different classes, you couldn't get a fucking group (LOLHolyTrinity!), so you sat there all the fucking day long LFG. That was not a lot of fun.

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    RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Sidekicks

    Ringo on
    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG
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    DefunkerDefunker Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Defunker wrote: »
    more interactive combat (no more auto-attack).


    Obigatory Ev...errr, hang on. Check that. Obligatory Planetside and Tabula Rasa response.


    Also, isn't the entire point of an MMO that AI is redundant? A good MMO should be focusing on more PvP, not more believable PvE. They should play to their strengths and exploit their primary characteristic, a population of genuinely intelligent players, rather than try to 'do single player games only online'. Sometimes I play MMOs and figure I might as well be playing a single player game with a chat program running in the background for all the other players make a difference to the gameplay.

    I couldn't actually disagree with you more. The simpleton AI in most MMOs is the single largest drawback to the genre. The simple AI really does make the vast majority of gameplay trival, to the point where most people consider it more of a... what do they call it... grind.

    And while you can argue that the grind is what people are ultimately looking for in an MMO, I'll argue that it's just bad game design that has unfortunatly become all too acceptable - a good game should challenge you; a good game should make you think. I'm not saying a game has to be non-stop balls-to-the-wall difficult; games should have their high points and their low points, as does any form of entertainment.

    But a game should never be reduced to killing 500 boars (fireball, fireball, fireball, loot) in a wooded area to gain an essentailly meaningless level. For sixty levels.

    Also: Optimally, PvP and PvE should not be considered seperate parts to a game.

    I played Tabula Rasa. That is not interactive combat. The only difference between it and any other MMO is that you mouse over a mob to select it, rather than hitting tab. All hits are calculated with a dice roll.

    Defunker on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2007
    You don't disagree with me, you miss-understand me.

    In EvE, firstly there is no level grind, so killing things for xp isn't a factor at all. In fact, you can completely avoid any direct interaction with NPCs if you so desire. You can make money via trading on the market (the best money is made from trading in the sort of goods that only other players buy and sell) and you can use that money to buy and fit combat ships for PvP warfare (which in itself can be profitable).

    As such, the NPCs AI is basically irrelevant because you'll never encounter it. This is what I mean by playing to the MMOs main strength of a large population of real players. Retarded AI is only a problem with most MMOs because the designers didn't have the conviction to follow through the concept of the MMO genre to it's logical conclusion.


    As for Tabula Rasa, that's nitpicking. Battlefield 2 relies on a certain amount of 'dice rolling' to determine hits, because it uses a randomised cone of fire so it's impossible to ever accurately predict exactely where your shot will land. Is that not interactive combat either?

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    DefunkerDefunker Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    You don't disagree with me, you miss-understand me.

    In EvE, firstly there is no level grind, so killing things for xp isn't a factor at all. In fact, you can completely avoid any direct interaction with NPCs if you so desire. You can make money via trading on the market (the best money is made from trading in the sort of goods that only other players buy and sell) and you can use that money to buy and fit combat ships for PvP warfare (which in itself can be profitable).

    As such, the NPCs AI is basically irrelevant because you'll never encounter it. This is what I mean by playing to the MMOs main strength of a large population of real players. Retarded AI is only a problem with most MMOs because the designers didn't have the conviction to follow through the concept of the MMO genre to it's logical conclusion.

    Someone said it before; (and I'm sorry for not quoting) MMOs need to be accessable - this means that weither I'm logging on at prime-time, or at 4:00 AM Wednesday, I need to be able to play the game at it's best (or at least to an acceptable degree of good). Obviously fewer players will be around to do battle with, therefore we need a competant AI to provide a challenge.

    You can't have an MMO with the opposition composed entirely of other players, because there's a very real possiblity that there won't always be enough other players. Empty worlds are not good worlds, considering this is supposed to be a MASSIVE multiplayer game. It's a pretty common complaint in otherwise great games that the world just felt too damn empty. Remember: Shadowbane.

    Gamers yearn for that massive feeling: Of fighting on a battlefield with five battalions storming a cruical strategic location. This means advanced AI, and lots of it. Right now, this isn't do-able. Your average consumer's computer can't handle that many polygons moving around and server infanstructure just isn't that great. But I think we'll get there.
    As for Tabula Rasa, that's nitpicking. Battlefield 2 relies on a certain amount of 'dice rolling' to determine hits, because it uses a randomised cone of fire so it's impossible to ever accurately predict exactely where your shot will land. Is that not interactive combat either?

    Every single shooter relies on a certain amount of dice rolling, seeing as most weapons in shooters aren't perfectly accurate/penalize for movement while shooting, ect.

    What seperates Tabula Rasa from a true shooter, is that dice rolls account for the entirety of a player's chance to hit, and don't account for a player's skill at aiming at all. No doubt this was done for technical reasons.

    I don't feel that it's nitpicking, because this small difference in game design has an overwhelming effect on gameplay. This isn't really something worth arguing though, as we're getting into arguing more about individual games, then about problems with the genre as a whole.

    Defunker on
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    PoketpixiePoketpixie Siege Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I'm sure there's a lot of things developers would love to do but can't because of technical limitations in time, money, and technology. I do think Blizzard has the right idea about accessibility. Too many MMOs out there put out games that are graphics hogs and they won't run very well on my machine so I don't play them. Another thing that Blizzard got right was the questing system. It gives you a *reason* to go kill stuff and that makes all the difference in the world. They seem to lose sight of this every so often though when they take it to absurdity as with all the rep grinding. That's no better than mindlessly grinding out mobs for exp...it's not compelling gameplay. But an npc with a grand quest....now that's something interesting!

    The problem is eventually the content gets stale. You can only do it so many times....and players will go through content faster than it can be created. The solution....some sort of randomly generated or player driven content. This is a more difficult technical hurdle to overcome but it could be one solution to keeping content fresh.

    I'd like to see better AI and more interactive gameworlds but that requires new and better technologies to make it feasible. I'd also like to see other objectives in game besides leveling and gear collecting. I think this will be what helps move the genre forward.....finding a different paradigm besides the traditional level/loot treadmills. The problem is coming up with an alternative kind of achievement and reward system but I think it can be done. There needs to be more things to do than just run around and kill stuff for loot.

    Planetside was an attempt at something different....an MMO that plays more like an FPS. The concept still needs a lot of refinement to make it work but being able to jump into a persistent world...not needing to level or gear up but just jump in and play...is very appealing. I think Planetside was too limited in scope and lacked sufficiently compelling gameplay but it's a step towards something different.

    Give it time.....the genre will continue to evolve. I think they've only begun to scratch the surface of what's possible.

    Poketpixie on
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    MarioGMarioG Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I want animal crossing to be an mmo and launch a pc version. Imagine how large areas will be. No longer will there be small rural areas. instead hundreds of cities on a huge ass map. And theyre cities with working electricty. No town hall and two stores only crap.

    MarioG on
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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    MarioG wrote: »
    I want animal crossing to be an mmo and launch a pc version. Imagine how large areas will be. No longer will there be small rural areas. instead hundreds of cities on a huge ass map. And theyre cities with working electricty. No town hall and two stores only crap.

    It would be a really cool social MMOG. Add in a few hundred more items and add something like an auction house and you'd be set.

    Zombiemambo on
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    MarioGMarioG Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Itwould surpass the sims. Which already sucked balls in the first place.

    MarioG on
    Kay wrote:
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    Hey, I have a blog! (Actually being updated again!)

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    EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    Why isn't there any mmorpgs with killer graphics? All the good looking games seem to be FPS but I want an mmorpg that looks real that I can get into. That is one thing I still didn't like about WoW was that it looked cartoony.

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    MarioGMarioG Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    What about Animal Crossing?

    MarioG on
    Kay wrote:
    Mario, if Slenderman had a face, I would punch him in it.

    Hey, I have a blog! (Actually being updated again!)

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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Why isn't there any mmorpgs with killer graphics? All the good looking games seem to be FPS but I want an mmorpg that looks real that I can get into. That is one thing I still didn't like about WoW was that it looked cartoony.

    Because you're talking about incredibly busy games. Tons of data is being sent back in forth between the players and servers. This is why I think we haven't moved into a real-time combat design because it's going to incredibly intensive on all of the machines involved.

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    MarioGMarioG Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Tom Nook: Dictator of Nook-World.

    Thats the new setting if its an mmo. Tom Nook is the new ruler of the world and he named it after himslef. Pretty much everybodys living in an oversized nookingtons.

    MarioG on
    Kay wrote:
    Mario, if Slenderman had a face, I would punch him in it.

    Hey, I have a blog! (Actually being updated again!)

    3DS: 0860-3240-2604
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    The One Dark KnightThe One Dark Knight Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The #1, and I mean numero UNO thing in MMOS is immersion.

    Immersion is what keeps you hooked. I hear a lot of people when the play a new game saying "Oh, I played it for a few hours, it was fun, but not enough to keep me playing". Like all good stories, you need to get people absorbed into a living, breathing, tangible world. That's one thing I think MMOs could work on. Making a world that people will care about.

    It's exactly what people want. They WANT to get involved. People often argue that they want to go back to a high risk PK oriented MMO. I think it's because they want to make dying seem like a big deal. In WoW, there's more of a game element: you die, you just run back to your corpse. But that's one way of making people really CARE about their character.

    Another thing: player created content. I haven't played EVE yet, but I plan to. The thing that gets me is the level of immersion in that game is INTENSE, because the power blocs, wars, storyline, and economy are ALL player created. People really get into that game specifically because they feel like they can make a difference.


    The thing that got me about WoW and other MMOs that are copying it is that you get ferried along this storyline like you're a side character that doesn't really matter in the long run. You're not a living, breathing part of it. When a boss gets killed in Wow, it's no big deal, because they'll just respawn in a day or two. There's no massive, world altering events, and no room for players exploring on their own. One of the coolest things to me in WoW was finding little cave areas that had no other purpose but being there and had a big named monster inside. Because I wasn't ferried there by some questgiver, it felt awesome to have discovered these areas on my own. Quests just put me off in how direct they are, you know? Adventuring should be spontaneous and intuitive.

    The ideal goal of an MMO, in my opinion, would be to create a world where you don't just feel like a guy at a computer, but you are Thraskar, the orcish sellsword, making his way down the dusty streets of the GRIM CITADEL, carrying your SIX DEMON BLADE that you slew the ancient demon nagroth to obtain. It doesn't have to be RP oriented, it just has to feel like that. People have to feel like things matter.

    The One Dark Knight on
    [END]
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    PoketpixiePoketpixie Siege Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    A lot of people talk about making death 'matter'....seriously, I loved UO but I will never play another game that lets people loot my corpse.

    Poketpixie on
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    The One Dark KnightThe One Dark Knight Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Yeah, I'm not supporting that, but I'm just saying thats one way of creating immersion.

    The One Dark Knight on
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    WoW's sort of moved toward giving you more involvement in the world, with contested objectives in PvP zones (and they're getting a lot better at implemention, unlike silithus back in the day.) The new daily quests also sort of give you the feeling that things are happening in the world, even if it's just more dungeons.

    I think it'd be neat in WotLK if there were cities you contested with the NPC undead forces. Like, the dead would slowly encroach and sometimes lay seige/occupy these towns, and you'd have to drive them back to access those resources.

    Ideally you'd have alliance/horde contesting the towns exclusively, but population imbalances would make that impractical.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    hold your head high soldier, it ain't over yet
    that's why we call it the struggle, you're supposed to sweat
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    The One Dark KnightThe One Dark Knight Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The problem I have with WoW's 'world pvp' right now is it's essentially hollow. There's no real motive to do it since the rewards suck and the honor isn't that good. Ideally people will fight because they feel motivated enough.

    Ok, now take that situation (undead taking over a city), and make the city like a massive, cross factional battleground. You can use parts of the city if you gain control over them. Now get the world involved in it with lore, NPCS, etc, all telling you the importance of taking that city. Imagine how much more interesting that would be than simple NPC attacks. Not to say that NPC attacks would still be awesome.

    One of the other problems I have with WoW that I don't think should be repeated in other MMOs is the emphasis on tiered PvE combat. WoW is NOT a pvp game. If it was a pvp game then with a sufficiently large force you'd be able to raze towns to the ground and they'd stay that way for a good day or two.

    You have to ramp up the stakes, otherwise people won't care. People DON'T care about world pvp in WoW because there's nothing in it for them, and even if they feel like attacking some town it's pointless because guards will spawn in such horrifying quantities that barring a 40 man raid it's nigh impossible to take most towns in the high end areas. Not only that but NPCs will actually respawn in all of 5 minutes. It's a hollow victory.

    What should happen is you can set fire to the fucking buildings, slaughter everyone in the town, salt the fields and proceed to the next one until your enemies bring a sufficiently large force around to smash you in the face and beat you bloody back to your own fortresses. You HAVE to make it inconvenient to lose stuff, otherwise people won't care. That, or make a sufficiently awesome rewards system to get people motivated. In Camelot, I believe, there were relics you could capture that gave factional bonuses. Factional. When you had one of those, it made a difference, not just a few more honor points.



    That said, I also don't like WoW's emphasis on devoting huge chunks of your day to boring, repetitive tasks or slogging through the next boss fight just so you can get gear that will become obsolete as you move up the ladder. It's an ultimately hollow purpose. It really isn't based on skill level at all, just how much time you have to give up.



    PVE RANT:

    Here's how a raid boss should work in my personal view, nobody should TELL you that 'Oh, go kill so and so raid boss in so and so instanced dungeon'. Say there's a dragon for example. Nobody knows where this dragon lives. It's up to you to find out for yourself. Rumors of this dragon will spread throughout the realm. Kings of various cities will post bounties for the dragon's head. Peasants will quail in fear of it's name.

    This dragon will be a dynamic monster. He will occasionally fly down and attack some random town, carrying off livestock/killing guards, burning buildings and peasants, etc. Players can attempt to get him then. They can all show up as they see him streaking by overhead and hope to kill him by sheer strength of numbers, or coordinate an attack. When the players beat the dragon, he won't die per se, but rather fly off, wounded. The mayor of the town (presuming he survives), will rewards players with money, and everyone involved can get exp. If the town is burned in any way, villagers will actively repair it (there will be scaffolds, etc), and the players will gain reputation with that town. This provides a way for casual players to gain experience off raid encounters. It'll be an open, non instanced raid that anyone from any level can help with.

    However, if by chance some player stumbles on the dragon's lair, which will be a difficult to find, in game location, they can then bring a massive raid and actually kill the dragon. It will still be noninstanced, but it will need to be an epic, coordinated effort by some of the game's best heroes. When that happens, the dragon will actually stay dead. Only one player will get to hack off it's head and bring it into town, but any players in the same raid will automatically gain a share of the reward regardless of when that player turns it in. There would be an actual graphic (ie, the dragon's head would literally be lashed to a cart or something).

    The dragon will remain dead for a couple of weeks, but after a while, another dragon with a completely different name/possible color scheme will begin havok anew).

    Stuff like that would be awesome.

    The One Dark Knight on
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