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To be honest, I'mnot sure but I have an idea i want to run with. The Idea is this: To write the first hand account of creating a true MMORPG 2.0. In a rapidly changing genre, something has been forgotten. FUN! as has something else. Role-playing. =)

Author: Amblin

Magic vs Combat Magic in MMO's

Posted by Amblin Thursday February 14 2008 at 7:00AM
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Hi folks,

 

Wel this is a quick post to be updated later with more flesh to it's meagre bones, howver I wanted to briefly touch on Magic in MMO's.

It sucks. In RPGs being a wielder of magic meant you were capable of far more than fireballs and frost novas. You could change the weather, Purge evil, transform the landscape and the minds of it's citizens.

Today's MMOs are all about combat magic and battles, Roleplaying is a secondary if not the last concern in design.

It is time to re-instate the power to magic and giving the truly powerful real power and all the choices and risk that comes with it.

I am thinking of cantrips and sleight of hand, followed by magic by focus items, them magic by gesture and words, followed by magic by thought alone. Spells would be either from each discreet 'level'or by a combination of 2 or more of the levels of magic.

Non combat and some in combat magic would affect the world permanently.

The prices for weilding such power would be a balance between skill/choice/risk.

Get some Perspective!

Posted by Amblin Thursday February 14 2008 at 6:50AM
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Hello again,

Well here's hopefully the start of my regular posts on MMO design, which at some point in the near future will be collated into a design document to make a new MMO.

Now today's ramblings are on a subject that has been on my mind for the past few weeks. Perspective.

What does Perspective mean to me in a MMO sense? Well I have been thinking along the lines of a one size fits all MMO. However how do you make such a behemoth? Nearly everyone has a different taste for the style and looks of an mmo they want to play. some prefer elves, other mechs. Some people like westerns, some sci-fi, some period drama's, some prehistoric and anything in between.

The answer I am beginning to develope is to perhaps create a number of styles for one underlying MMO. So that two players, one a sci-fi lover, the other a western lover for example would play the same game but experience two different visual and contextual versions. However this leads on to something else.

What if rather than just having differing textures and models/text, you had overlaying worlds? A very obvious example would be say the spirit world co-existing with the physical world but with limited communication/contact.

Imagine the possibilites for cross-world missions, where you need to get someone on the 'other side' to carry out a stage of a quest/action on your behalf. This could instigate player created and player driven quests. Or having to find a means to 'crossover' to complete a mission?

I'm beginning to think along the lines of Dante's Inferno with it's Nine? levels of Heaven and Hell with Earth in the middle as a concept to work on further.

So over to you folks, do we need more perspective on MMO games?

 

The Cut & Thrust of it.

Posted by Amblin Wednesday February 13 2008 at 7:08AM
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Well folks, I thought I'd post a quick blog during lunch to talk about combat in MMo's, specifically Age of Conan.

Most reader will already be used to the skill bar version of combat, prevelant in MMo's. While this suffices for most, it leaves me cold. I want real combat, with me at the helm, not taking a back seat to preloaded animations.

Now, AoC promises revolutionary combat, so called free form fighting. However a closer look at the released information and videos, so the same skill bar combat plus an added directional attack button.

This is a far cry from the original vison and has been changed to allow for the greater majority to get to grips with combat. Fine, no issue with that one.

However, the fundemental element missing from all combat in MMO's is choegraphy. By this I mean limits on movements and a system for controlled reaction and count-action for players. Currently there is too much freedom and this has created melee combat flows of stun, circle, circle, stun, circle, circle etc.

In PvP in AoC and most other MMO's combat is based on distance form the target and the direction they/you are facing. This is ok, until it's 2v1 or 3v1 etc. Then the single player is dead 99.9% of the time although they may not know it yet. The reason is because 1 player cannot position themselves adequately to properly defend themselves due to a badly designed freedom of movement system.

The very thing I beleive most players want is great looking, exciting combat that has pace, flow and momentum, just like the movies. When you played swg, didn't you want epic saber duels ala phantom menace or return of the jedi? What you got in reality was constant circling and running away.

To achive a good, paced combat system requires control and limits, not just on skills, but movement. It is from the combination of movement and pacing of attacks that the dance of war is born.

Pace is important too, you should get the coice of how hard you attack, by adding momentum to attacks. To mush power and you over swing and allow the opposing player to dodge/counter etc. use too little allows easier parrying but opens up feints etc.

Also flow is something missing in combat. You know that in medievel time full plater wearer would fight for about 5 minutes on average then retire and another would take their place so they could catch their breath. Just the same, MMOs should have flow between the winning player in combat and like wise provide opportunites for the loser to regain the upper hand.

In AoC Prepare to be disapointed, combat has a few new buttons but it isn't a step forward, it's just a side-step to mediocrity.

Anyone that is trained in using weapons will tell you fighting is a dance, it has flow and timing and is all about control, something that must be added to any MMO combat system if players are to get the chance to really enjoy swashbuckling their way through the enemy.

What do you think?

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