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r1ft Gaming Blog

A mirror of my gaming blog at r1ft.com. The jaded game designer turned corporate lackey. Feedback is always welcome.

Author: Daedren

Your Ideal MMO - Part 1 - Classes, Backgrounds and Character Customization

Posted by Daedren Wednesday May 7 2008 at 10:14AM
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Designing a game, much less a MMO, is no easy task. Developing a game of such magnitude is not a small endeavor. So, while I continue to mull over the other complications of designing such a game, I'd like to ask my readers for their input on the subject.

This will be an ongoing series, of sorts - in which, at the end, a good idea of information will have been gathered and put to good use. I've always thought that the community, as a whole, is largely unappreciated by developers. Why not listen to what players want?

Anyway - On with the show!

* * *  * * *  * * *

Part I - Classes - Backgrounds - Character Customization

Disclaimer: We are using the assumption of a skill based progression system here. Oh, and we're going Post-Apocalytpic. ;)

The questions I ask are these:

1. Do you prefer a "Class" system or a completely open progression system, and why? (For example: You can be a "Soldier" and get certain abilities, or you could progress through Soldier-type skill trees and get them, sans "Class")

2. Should backgrounds and/or race choice affect your gameplay dramatically? Should you be rewarded and penalized severely for choosing a specific race or background?

3. Is it ok to have certain backgrounds / races to be more powerful in certain aspects of a game?

4. How much character customization do you want in a game? What are some main features that you'd like to see?

5. Should you be able to change your characters appearance in the game world? New face, new body, etc - or should it be limited to only cosmetics like hair color / tatoos?

6. How do you feel about certain actions within the game world causing permanent scars or disfiguring on characters? (Hello, vat of acid...)

Any other comments on the subject are highly welcome.

 

 

 

 

WolfClaws writes:

I'll just touch on Character Classes...  I like to have a character class who can hold their own  in a fight, cast offensive/defensive spells, maybe a tad CC, and have utility skills that could be used to affect the game world.

Unfortunatly, you cannot have that in premade classes.

On the flip side with skill based "classes" a la Ultima Online and Oblivion (Elder Scroll Series) you run the serious risk of gimpling your character beyond usefullness.

Which is why game developers came up with "feats' or whatever you want to call them.  This gives players the ability to customize their character... is it good?  Bad?  It is what it is... And until a game world can cope with what I want ,I have to settle for second best.

Wed May 07 2008 11:42AM Report
nexian writes:

My opinion upon the 6 questions you ask are as follows

1.I think that class progression is too limited to satisfy someone, but on the other hand a completely  open progression system gives too much space.I like my characters to be well balanced in a certain aspect, for instance if i choose to fight via weapons my character should be very limited in magic or sorts, but after i choose weapon mastering i should be able to choose in which weapon to specialize (that does not mean that my character should be able to use only one weapon) i think you get the idea :D

2.I think background and/or race choices should give certain affinities and weaknesses which will be of great but not drastic value.I like a game that has a certain amount of reality in it.For instance if i choose my character to be a human, he should have a lower accuracy during night time because of the low visibility and things like that.But i repeat the gameplay of the player should NOT be affected dramatically but this choice

3.I think yes.I think i answered this one above

4.I like to customize a lot.I think it gives the player pleasure to define how his/hers characters will look.

5.I think the character customization during the game should be limited.Hair styles/colors, tattoos and etc are enough

6.I like the idea of scars, burns and stuff but i don't think that it will be appropriate in a MMO

thanks for reading :D

Wed May 07 2008 12:23PM Report
Nightbringe1 writes:
  1. In a post-apocolyptic era I would lean more towards the open progression idea, but I would probably lean towards having the character choose early on which skillsets he was gioing to specialize in to keep cherrypicking to a minimum. Something to consider when setting up the skill tree, how group oriented is the game? If heavily group oriented, then the early specialization choices would need a strong impact to encourage inter-dependancies among group members. If solo orientated, then the ability to be strong in most aspects becomes more important, with only small bonuses for specialization.
  2. Backgroup / race should have a small but definate impact on gameplay, with most of the impact either being role orientated or situation specific. i.e. The big brute should hit a little harder (via higher starting str) while the nimble guy is going to have bonus to agility based skills and the cat guy might see a little better in the dark. None of these are game altering, but the affect is noticable.
  3. As long as it is situational and they have a compensating weakness, then yes. i.e. Big Brute hits harder but his lower willpower makes him more vulnrable to psionic attack.
  4. I am a huge fan of customization, the more the better. As far as customization though character progression, the trick is to make sure most (but not necessarilly all) of the choices are a desireable means of advancement. i.e. I may not be able to reach my goals the same way you can, but I will eventually get there. Some choices must be better situationally than others.
  5. Limited only to cosmetics. sorry but that 6'10" guy does not change to 5'2' just because it's more convieniet in tight quarters. You are who you are, live with it.
  6. Interesting concept, but would eventually resulty in everyone running around looking like Two-Face. People are going to get hit with those attacks, resulting in everyone accumulating those scars. An additional point, character appearance is often a point of pride for people. You could make the addition of certain scars an option as teh character progresses though, with the choices being either permanent or difficult to remove (plastic surgery anyone )
Wed May 07 2008 12:38PM Report
Gnomig writes:

1.      Do you prefer a "Class" system or a completely open progression system, and why? (For example: You can be a "Soldier" and get certain abilities, or you could progress through Soldier-type skill trees and get them, sans "Class")

I prefer class based systems that give the player bonuses in class-appropriate areas.  Why? Because a completely classless system is very MMO-untypical and a bit tedious to start off with – classes are helpful to orientation to what may be relevant or irrelevant for a character. I’m still very much of the opinion that all skills should be accessible to all characters. Why should a mage not learn to sneak around? But then again it should be easier for thieves to train that skill.

2.      Should backgrounds and/or race choice affect your gameplay dramatically? Should you be rewarded and penalized severely for choosing a specific race or background?

Yes they should. Races should mean more than just another set of appearance for your character in my opinion. Rewards for picking a specific race should be moderate to keep the game balanced. Nobody likes to play a game where really everybody’s the nightelf rogue…

3.      Is it ok to have certain backgrounds / races to be more powerful in certain aspects of a game?

Of course – but then they should be penalized in another aspect of the game. Still the reward for picking a race shouldn’t be so big that there’s no incentive left to play another race in combination with a certain class. It would be rather annoying to play a game where really every tank is a dwarf or every ranger is an elf e.g..

4.      How much character customization do you want in a game? What are some main features that you'd like to see?

Character customization is one of the key elements of an MMO for me. It is THE tool to make an avator that is truly yours, a toon you can identify with in a way. Give me as much sliders as possible and I will spend hours and hours just creating toons ^^). No, really a good character creation is essential to a good MMO as far as I’m concerned :)

5.      Should you be able to change your characters appearance in the game world? New face, new body, etc - or should it be limited to only cosmetics like hair color / tatoos?

That should be limited to hairstyles an things you could change in real life too… if you tattooed your face then so be it.

6. How do you feel about certain actions within the game world causing permanent scars or disfiguring on characters? (Hello, vat of acid...)

Great! That would be a great way to tell a rookie from a vet. As long as it’s not disfiguring the character so much that it’s player doesn’t like it anymore and stops playing, everything is ok. The more I think about it the more i like it :)

Wed May 07 2008 1:55PM Report
JB47394 writes:

The key for me is being able to get to the game's entertainment.  I don't care about the cosmetics.  I don't care about playing G.I. Joe Dress-Up.  I don't want unnecessary restrictions on my access to the game.  Don't force me to pick a race, class, profession or whatever that means I forever cannot do certain things in the game with that avatar.

Wed May 07 2008 2:01PM Report
bloodsage writes:

AS for the first comment, why cant we have both?  You choose your base class say....warrior.  As a warrior you have a certain primary secondary and tertiary skill sets that you can learn.  Then as you level, and further refine your character you can apply bonuses to certain skill sets such as weapon specialization, instead of just rifle, your really effective with ballistic weapons, or instead of say first aid, bandaging (quick heal for more the average) or doctoring (slow HOT type of heals that can take characters from death to full health).  You get the idea.

Wed May 07 2008 3:34PM Report
killertim writes:

1.     Do you prefer a "Class" system or a completely open progression system, and why?

 Open progression appears to be more fun. In the end players will gravitate to what does the most damage and is less likely to die templates. The Class is just a shortcut that lets the designer gimp the most obvious power templates. 

2.     Should backgrounds and/or race choice affect your game play dramatically? Should you be rewarded and penalized severely for choosing a specific race or background?

Same as the previous question. Changing what is allowed because of the opening choice creates differences in the environment of the characters. Funny, I was just reading about the human nature to conform and really people would expect a choice to lead in a certain direction, not for it to have no effect at all. Even if this was open most characters would follow an accepted path, and those that did not would “stick out”.

3.     Is it ok to have certain backgrounds / races to be more powerful in certain aspects of a game?

Sure for backgrounds, makes sense that the environment of the character would instill some cultural prejudice and acceptance. Since you chose a post-apocalyptic environment, race of humans have no meaningful changes that would affect a game play. 

4.     How much character customization do you want in a game? What are some main features that you'd like to see?
5.     Should you be able to change your characters appearance in the game world? New face, new body, etc - or should it be limited to only cosmetics like hair color / tatoos?

Well given the constraints you gave. I think having the ability to choose the racial look of the character as well as sex and body type would be minimal.   It should be easy to change the appearance of your characters color at least and gear changes are certainly expected.   I think Spore will introduce the concept of the user generated graphical content to MMOs and I look forward to that.

6.     How do you feel about certain actions within the game world causing permanent scars or disfiguring on characters? (Hello, vat of acid...)

How about PKers getting blood dripping hands, PKKers getting halos, and players on server more than an hour getting fat and fatter every hour till they can’t move.

Wed May 07 2008 4:07PM Report
Nightbringe1 writes:

@Bloodsage

I was always rather partial to the way the PnP game Rolemaster implemented  classes / skills / levels.

Anyone of any class could learn any skill at any time by spending development points aquired by leveling. Of course, it cost a warrior a few more development points to learn that spell list than it did the elementalist. By the same token, there was nothing stoping the elementalist from becoming proficient in the weapon of his choice, for a cost.

Wed May 07 2008 6:19PM Report
Melf_Himself writes:

1. Do you prefer a "Class" system or a completely open progression system, and why? Classes are necessary in the game for 3 reasons:

a) For "tactical transparency" in PvP - that is, being able to analyse the composition of your enemy and decide tactics on the fly. If you can't tell what roles your enemy is going to play, you lose this important dynamic of PvP.

b) The learning curve in classless games is very steep. You have to do days of forum research before coming up with a character, etc. Those that don't and just try to play the game "their own way" invariably get jibbed and make a bad build. This ruins their enjoyment of the game when they're labelled "noob!" and other people's enjoyment when the "noob" drags down their group. These problems are definitely still present in class based games, but are not as rampant.

c) Skill balancing is difficult enough in pure class based games. When any character can use any skill, there are far more combinations to balance, and so the game will be much more difficult, if not impossible, to balance.

2. Should backgrounds and/or race choice affect your gameplay dramatically? Should you be rewarded and penalized severely for choosing a specific race or background?

Massive differences between races is unbalancing. See starcraft - 3 races to choose from, all look and most importantly feel different to play, but all are just as good vs the others at a variety of skill levels. The same thing needs to be accomplished with MMO race selection.

3. Is it ok to have certain backgrounds / races to be more powerful in certain aspects of a game?

Again back to starcraft - zerg are better at producing large numbers of units, but their units are weaker, compared to protoss who can't churn out as large numbers, but their units are stronger. As long as the pros/cons are balanced so that the overall power level remains the same (ie one race isn't the "best" and always chosen), no problems.... but actually achieving that is a different kettle of fish.

4. How much character customization do you want in a game? What are some main features that you'd like to see?

I'm sure everyone else will tell you they want so many options that they want to be able to adjust their character's nostril hair length. The thing about sliders in character creation is:

a) Your character always ends up looking ugly. I'd much rather a wide selection of premade faces/bodies

b) I'm no programmer, but If everyone's appearance is extremely customizable, I imagine that load times are going to be longer going into big cities, or worse encountering a large player army in the wilderness. This is thought to be the reason that Second Life is so laggy.

So I say, meh to character customization. You spend 90% of your time looking at the UI anyway, let's be honest.

5. Should you be able to change your characters appearance in the game world? New face, new body, etc - or should it be limited to only cosmetics like hair color / tatoos?

Yes, I've been known to reroll a character if I see a hotter one running around in town :p A change of hairstyle is at least realistic. Maybe make face changing more of an epic quest... perhaps you are wanted for murder and need a disguise, lol :p

6. How do you feel about certain actions within the game world causing permanent scars or disfiguring on characters? (Hello, vat of acid...)

Ah, good ol' Fable. It's fine, as long as you can have them removed if you want to.

Wed May 07 2008 7:12PM Report
Spirer writes:

1. I would prefer an open system, but I also understand that those are harder to balance. I would rather have classes than a unbalanced open system ;)

2. Races and background should provide tweaks to the character, there should be no game breaking abilities, like we have in WoW for example, where certain races are just much better than others. I like the Everquest 2 races thing, with unlocking racial abilities with levels and being able to chose which ones you get.

3. A good clever setup should give a marginal bonus, it again shouldn't be game breaking.

4. I don't like sliders that much, but would prefer a bit more than just WoW has. Ability to choose gear looks would be my main point, I want to look a certain way, not like a bloody clown with lots of different gear mixed up.

5. Only cosmetic stuff

6. Sounds great, but when everyone has the same scar it loses a bit of the appeal, let that come into play at char creation.

Other comments:

Skill >> Time

Fun >> Grind

 

Wed May 07 2008 7:22PM Report
undeadmojo writes:

I've always liked Open progression systems but they always seem flawed in that players will tweak them to max damage over other classes and in the end the Devs end up nerfing or buffing a class or classes. There should be a set tolerance in no matter what skills or stats you have to begin with or develop.

Let me try to explain that. Say I started off with a basic caster class. Now it generally goes without saying that physically those classes are not as agile and strong as a rogue or warrior "the typical melee sort". But as suggested by Gnomig about a mage doing the sneak thing usually done by a rogue, the mage should have to spend time developing his agility.

I've never been a fan of doing instant respec's as in WoW. To me that cheats the real player in trying to master something. If I was a mage, and I wanted some warrior skills then as a 90lb weakling I would have to bulk up. That takes time even if you take steroids. As my Strength builds and I spend less time at other things such as thinking maybe I lose a little intelligence.

Those things no matter what skill you attempt to learn should be governed by how often you attempt them. You don't become a pole vaulter overnight nor a swordsmen. You should never expect to go up to a trainer (npc mentor) and instantly learn something.

Rather than picking and choosing a class, maybe there should just be things you can do in the game no matter who you are at the outset. At first you will have greater number of failures. The more times you try the move you succeed. This would even substitute the need for levels. You wouldn't need levels or even "epic" gear. You really only get "epic" by being diligent in your expertise at things you do in the game.

It might sound like that become repetitive, but hey I think I would rather do a 1000 jumps, slashes, spin-kicks or conjures / casts than have to worry about getting from level 1 to level 70.
If you get bored with doing those there's nothing to stop you from no longer casting bolts of ice to picking up a dagger and trying your odds at backstabbing someone.

As far as races or backgrounds go, that shouldn't matter. Maybe gnomes might be more nimble at sneaking but that shouldn't stop a large overgrown ogre from attempting it. Given that things such as size is really the determining factor of a successful sneak than a passive race trait. But a ogre would be good at smashing down a door than a gnome who had no lock picking skills. Physical and mental traits of a class should determine their success rate to a variable margin based on what they are actually trying to do given their limitations. A ogre might have limited intelligence but if he spent the right amount of time he might be able to concentrate and perform a magic of acceptable limits. But like I said earlier he would probably sacrifice so much time in this endeavor that he would lose strength in the long run.
If a orge on performed crushing blows all day everyday, then he should get a bonus. If a Elf ranger hunted at night every night, his eyesight and aim should give him a bonus. Action driven rather than picking something off a chart.

I don't really care about altering my character after the beginning, although I do like the idea of the character being alter due to events, i.e... acid in the face. Maybe even aging in the game as well to a limited extend. For every year of real time playing your character should age say in dog years. Just a idea.

For those of you who skipped the ramblings of my post, to sum it up:
Character development in my opinion should be action driven not something you pick off a chart or talent tree. That in itself is only limited by how often you attempt that action. The more you try the more you get better at it. The amount of success rate you would never see in your character sheet. You would just know that your successful attempts seemed to be kicking someone's else's ass more often than not. Of course defenses against some sort of attack would work the same way. How often you defended against say a slash from a blade would determine you hidden ever adjusting success or failure rate for that action.

That's my thoughts. I would rather be known for how good I am at something than "oh I'm level 70 and I have a epic staff"

Undeadmojo

Wed May 07 2008 8:02PM Report
shirlnt writes:

1. I like skill trees where one can unlock "classes" and choose which skills they want.  If a person wants to do a "pure" class then they master the skill tree for that class.  If a person wants to mix skills, they can.  This does take a certain balance within the skill tree so people don't search for the "perfect build" by getting the defense skills from the class with the highest defense and the offense skills from the class with the highest offense.

2.  It should not have a dramatic effect on gameplay but races can come with certain benefits.  I also do not think that races should be faction bound or that factions should be unable to interact.  Both cut down on the "roles" one can play and the choices one faces.  Did I grow up a certain race but not agree with what they stand for?  Am I rebellious and want to side with the other faction just to rebel?  My close friends or family are a part of the opposing faction, do I rat them out or protect them? To whom do I remain most loyal?

3.  As long as each race has something it is "most powerful" at and it does not limit ones choices (dwarves might be the best miners but I could pick another race and choose to mine and perhaps become as good a miner as a dwarf but with a bit more "practice")

4. Big fan of character customization from the little sliders in developing the character's looks to the profession choices one makes to the choices in what to wear.  I want to be able to spot my character amongst hundreds with just a glance at the screen.

5.  Like being able to make changes to character as long as one can't change species or character name. (character name should only be able to change if you've filed a harassment case against another player which has been proved valid and the name change is approved by GMs)

6. like this idea as long as it isn't totally permanent. Being out in the sun makes one tan but staying indoors or only coming out at night eventually turns them white. Scars may fade over time esp. if one continues to apply ointment to the scar. Weight and muscles vary according to activity one engages in.  Medics may be able to perform plastic surgery (could have it require certain resources so it has a cost and isn't a "quick fix" so players aren't careless about getting disfigured, "oh, it doesn't matter if I get acid burn, all I've got to do is find a medic and poof with the click of a button it's gone for free" but "hmm, I need to be careful because I don't want to waste my funds and I'm going to need to hunt down someone with the resources or find the resources myself if I want to get the burns fixed").

Wed May 07 2008 8:11PM Report
vajuras writes:

1. Open progression however, I prefer a system where you can dynamically alter base attributes. This way you can fix a gimp choice.

2. I'm indifferent to races. I guess I would prefer to be able to learn any racial ability on one avatar

3. I suppose it is okay. Races are just another way to achieve Classification

4. I want alot. Spellborn and City of Heroes. Thast level, the max

 

6. Interesting concept will have to think on that

Wed May 07 2008 8:16PM Report
Tatum writes:

1. Open system.  Class systems are almost always too restricting, too generic, and too narrowly focused.  A skill system, with plenty of depth, has WAY more possibilities for unique characters and customization.

2. Ideally, yes.  Things like this are often considered to be just "fluff" or even annoying by some players.  I couldnt disagree more.  IMO, these types of features add loads of flavor and depth to a game.  You remove enough of these features and you end up with the type of bland, sterile, lifeless MMOs that we have right now...

3. Yes.  Really, this fits in with number 2.  Things shouldnt be perfectly balanced in all situations.

4. As much as possible.  You dont need a massive amount of facial features (like Oblivion), but you do need plenty of room to adjust body type, size, hair, clothing, etc.  Taking things even further, Id like to see MUCH more stat and spec customization than we have now.  I really do want to create a unique character or at least one that fits my play style.

5. Id say, your appearance should change, at least a little, as you play the game.  Scars, tatoos, hari, body type and size...

6. Guess I already answered this. 

Wed May 07 2008 8:22PM Report
vajuras writes:

Reply to Melf_Himself:

a) For "tactical transparency" in PvP - that is, being able to analyse the composition of your enemy and decide tactics on the fly. If you can't tell what roles your enemy is going to play, you lose this important dynamic of PvP.

My reply: You dont need Classes for that at all. EVE Online achieves tactical transparency via Equipment. Same with FPS games (I know you have a Redeemer cause you carry a big gun). Other genres achieve Tactical Transparency completely without need for Classes. Also, they remove Hidden Potential making PVP way too straight forward and predictable. Somethings should be visible, but not everything

 

b) The learning curve in classless games is very steep. You have to do days of forum research before coming up with a character, etc. Those that don't and just try to play the game "their own way" invariably get jibbed and make a bad build. This ruins their enjoyment of the game when they're labelled "noob!" and other people's enjoyment when the "noob" drags down their group. These problems are definitely still present in class based games, but are not as rampant.

It still happens much worse in a Class based game. Your Class can be nerfed into uselessness and there is nothing you can do to fix. In a skill-based game you can fix this by learnng new skills and dropping old ones.

Also, many of us find it fun to play around with spreadsheets and what have you to find a great build. Lastly, many players love steep learning curves (See EVE Online). It's great for explorer tyope gamers that love to play with different builds and tryout different options

c) Skill balancing is difficult enough in pure class based games. When any character can use any skill, there are far more combinations to balance, and so the game will be much more difficult, if not impossible, to balance.

You can also gain the simplicity of Classes via equipment and limitations (like EVE Online),

Seriously, skill-based games completely and totally overlap Class based titles. There is nothing a Class based game can do that a skill-based game cant easily do

A skill-based game can display a tag over your head and declare you are a "Warrior" if you learn the appropriate skills and attributes

A skill-based game can limit you tactically via Equipment and Builds with ease

A skill-based game can be way simplier then Class based game (see Crackdown xbox 360)

Skill-based games can completely encompass a Class based game but Class based games lack the flexibility to do the same

 

 

Wed May 07 2008 8:27PM Report
Nightbringe1 writes:

A pure skill based game is entire orders of magnitude for the developers to balance though.

The players WILL find skill combinations that are over powered way beyond the developers intentions, as WILL have to be nerfed. It's inevitable

Min / maxing is far more rampant in a pure skill based game. Eventually a small number of uber skill sets will be found and anyone that does not use one of those will be considered a noob. You now essentially have your classes.

Skills, once learned should not be changeable, you spend your entire career learning to shoot a rifle, what do you mean you wnat to trade that skill you spent months gaining in for martial arts?

 

Wed May 07 2008 9:20PM Report
vajuras writes:

In real life you can forget how to do things if you dont use it. Its called "Use it or Lose it"

Also, EVE Online devs achieved balance through Equipment. Battlefield 2142 same way.

Anyone that says skill-based is much harder to balance for sure hasnt p[layed EVE Online I promise you that

A skill is simply a tool. Why does knowing how to use a rifle is so unbalancing? If you dont have a rifle in your inventory, what does it matter?

Wed May 07 2008 9:27PM Report
vajuras writes:

So say we have a game that has Rifles, Swords, Bows, Axes, etc.

If a player masters all of them, why is this so unbalancing? A skill should be just that- knowledge

A player shouldnt be able to carry a Rifle, Sword, Bow, Axes, and every other item in the game at sametime. EVen so, he shouldnt be able to use them at the *same time*

That is where you balance your game

Developers shouldnt be worried if I can learn any skill in the game. You limit my options via Equipment. Loadouts.

Works for FPS games just fine. In Battlefield 2142 I can unlock any skill in the game. Game is balanced just fine.

 

Wed May 07 2008 9:30PM Report
Melf_Himself writes:

vajuras: My experience with EVE extends only to the 14 day trial. But the way I understand it, there are different types of ships in the game. These ships control which skills you can use.

In the same way, picking your class in other MMO's controls which skills you can use.

I submit to you that EVE is actually a class based game!

The only practical difference is that in EVE there are multiple classes available to the same avatar, as opposed to having to make a different avatar for each in most MMO's. I prefer this system since it means you don't have to reroll another character if your team wants a particular role, you just train the skills and buy the ship (class).

In the end, call it what you like, it doesn't matter. But there does need to be SOMETHING in the game to limit which skills are being used together. There are other "skill-based" games out there that don't have such restrictions. THOSE games are the ones that are really a balance nightmare.

Thu May 08 2008 4:46AM Report
Drolletje writes:

1. I want a system where you can choose a base class (3 or 4) and then specialize further via a skill-based system. That way, the roles are defined very broadly and you can spec as you like within your class to create a unique character.

2. Race (or anything cosmetic) should not matter functionally. It would however be interesting if you could choose a certain 'background' for your character that aids in one way or another. It would be great for roleplaying and would also offer another means of making your character unique, seperate of classes/skills

3. It would be good that certain backgrounds are better in certain situations, as long as there is no 'best' background.

4. Character customisation now is extremely focused on looks. I'd like to see some other means of customisation such as speech, character history, psychologic/mental details, ...

5. Do whatever would be possible in the world you are creating: face changes are fine in scifi settings, but not so in fantasy/medieval.

6. I'd like to see that your character is really impacted by the acid/fire/whatever is thrown at him, but all these effects should heal over time.

Fri May 09 2008 1:50PM Report
Azmaria writes:

Woo, guess I'm a little behind on replying to this, but it sparked some interesting ideas.  Going of undeadmojo's post of having to work for things, I'm all for it.  Why not take it further and have the player really train to learn skills rather than go to a NPC and purchase them instantly?  It would take some time (more as the complexity of skills went up, but that time could also be lowered by having experience with skills that were related) and effort, but personally I'd feel a bit more proud about my character when he busted out some wicked advanced move that took a while to master than being level 50 and using the same skills that everyone at that level has bought. 

 And on that note of mastery, when a player is trying to learn a skill, let them have the option of trying it from the start with a percentage change of success.  When they start, it's going to be pretty low and only through sheer luck will they actually pull it off.  However, through training of the various aspects (solo or with trainer - training w/ a trainer would make things more effective) the chance of success would rise.  And once they hit 100% chance of success, allow more skill progression by letting extensive experience with the move increase its effectiveness.  Just like in reality, an untrained person trying to, say, do a hurricane kick will probably fail in a most spectacular way (often with some injuries, too).  However, you get a martial artist who has been doing stuff like that for a long time and they will not only be able to pull it off, but will be able to do it in a way that will cause more of the hurting to the recipient to occur.  In a non-combat example, an experienced rock climber is going to be able to pound their way up rock faces in less time than someone who has never done it. 

As for classes/skills (sorry for the long post  <_<) my vote is for an open progression system where your background (were you a doctor, soldier, researcher, etc?) affects which skills you could pick up easier.  A soldier could pick up martial and ranged skills with more alacrity (and probably would start with some of these) than a doctor or researcher, but those two could certainly learn those skills as well.  What I'm trying to say is have the background of the character (chosen at creation, hopefully much more diverse than the few examples I threw out earlier) affect what starting skills your character will have. 

Thu May 15 2008 9:36AM Report
cbjaker writes:

there are just not much time for me to get me some more gold, no to mettion the good weapons. so i'd like to buy some lotro gold from http://www.lotro100gold.com , this site was great..

Tue May 27 2008 12:57PM Report
KamiKazeTG writes:

1.I've never understood the skill trees or classes style of game. I'd say completely open structure no trees or whatnot. Just a list of skills that you can train and certain ones that you train could add a bonus to other ones. For example: Strength can be trained by swinging your heavy two-handed sword, while each point of strength adds back to two handed sword skill. But, you don't need to learn One-Handed swords in order to unlock Two-Handed swords..or whatever. I really really hate that unlocking/skilltree BS. What kind of logic dictates that you must learn something remotely related to something else before you know the other exists?

2. I'd say your background/race/faction directly correlates to what quests and/or missions you will be asked to take on. Why ask a Paladin to take on a job robbing a bank when a Thief would be better suited. That's not to say you couldn't change your notoriety at will with some effort. I don't see anything wrong with a famous thief turning into a Do-gooder. It happens IRL and in the movies all the time.

3. I'd say it's downright insane not to give certain backgrounds/races advantages over others. Obviously someone that has sharper eyes should have better accuracy than some dumb barbarian that refuses to wear glasses =P

4. It's VERY important to be able to customize your character at the very least to the point that you never see two of the same person. I know one of the reasons I got tired of playing CoH was that all the costumes/powersets had been done before so I was not exploring anything new. Most of this can be done through special items/loot etc but I think things like spells and abilities should be fully customizable. I mean if you're a great wizard creating a spell..shouldnt you get to decide what it looks like?

5. I think anything that is feasible in your game world should be allowed. Like a game with genetic engineering or fairly futuristic should allow face/body changes but how would that be realistic in a medieval game? However facepaint and tatooes would fit nicely.

6. I'd say refer to #5 if its feasible that these would not be permanent in a world with full restoration magic or genetic engineering I don't see why it would be permanent. I could see people leaving them just for dramatic effect too however.

Fri Jun 13 2008 4:17PM Report
cosimusta writes:

1.  Classes.  I don't dislike open ended progression, I just like classes more.  I like to essentially be playing a role, although not without some versatility.

2.  Yes, I want a dramatic impact.  It creates more variety in the game for me, let's make playing one race a different experience than another simply because of race.  2 soldiers, 2 different races, 2 very different experiences sounds good to me.

Penalties for some race picks? sure.  But advantages too, I don't think you should pigeon-hole a race into sucking by comparison no matter what.  Post-apocalyptic eh, well then the cyborg-zombie race has a much higher gunfire immunity, but they can't go into the human cities without the NPCs jumping em.  Balance shmalance, fun comes first(why is fair and balanced considered more fun anyways?).

3. Yeah.(See 2.)

4.  As far as looks go, more customization is better.  As far as customization for skills/talents/armor/items goes,  I wanna say more is better, but I generally don't like when gear can make you into an unstoppable force.

In depth customization of your character/gear to fit you more into your own play style instead simply giving a blatant advantage of more dmg and more hp, would be ideal.

5. Cosmetic.  I like for my character to have some identity besides his name tag.  After all, who knows how many people are playing that one account.  People might only know him because it seems to be the face of the person who kills them all day.

6. Hello vat of acid on my character's face when I didn't see it coming and spent hours sculpting him is a reroll, and not fun.  It seems like you've got your own idea for a game here though.

Maybe everyone starts as human, and the more dmg/deaths you take along the way when scaling up your character, the more bionic arms and legs you need.  So, someone who played conersvative will still look relatively human but maybe with a robot arm and an eye-patch, and leeroy jenkins over there looks like Number 5 from Short Circuit.  I would go along with that!


Comments:

Creativity, fun, and innovation FTW.  I'm not necessarily looking for cookie-cutter MMOs, but I don't turn them away either.  I really am not much of an RPer, I'll quietly go along with it every so often, I have fun poking fun at people for anything I can make fun of them.  In truth, I got no beef with RPers, it's just not so much fun to me.

I do however, love any feature that helps me immerse myself into the game world.

-Make the PvP fun

-Make end game content tied to some kind of user controlled/created content(keeps) to avoid relying on simply raiding for better and better gear(not everyone likes raiding all day every day)

-Make me feel immersed, I could go on forever about this, but overall it's a mind set the developers will have to have because it's in the tiny details as much as the big features.

Fri Aug 22 2008 4:34AM Report

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