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MMO Money Magazine

Writings on the business of fun: Virtual Worlds and Real Money Makes Online Gaming a Big Business. My economic view on the world of online games - without the hype.

Author: Inktomi

Æstrolocus: The Beginning.

Posted by Inktomi Tuesday December 11 2012 at 12:33AM
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The Races.

It has been years that this is rolling around my head. Something that hasn't been done before and I feel that is something that the game developers need. A shot in the arm for creativity.

We have seen enough Orcs.

We have had our fill of Elves.

Everything is Human...boring.

Go away Goblins.

Undead. Meh. 

Dwarves are done and done some more.

Half wolf-half man creatures between the races in Darkfall and the Worgen in World of Warcraft, interesting, but never done right.

What do you think about a game where all of the races are built around the horoscopic zodiac?








Psisces (not a mispelling)


The Realms

  Do we need to look for a better selection of worlds? We have them around us. Mercury, Uranus, Saturn all provide an interesting background  we can build for each one of the races.

If you know anything about astrology, each sign is ruled by a planet. Scorpio is from Mars and is a planet that symbolized War. Remember your Greek mythology and Mars was the God of War? The canon is already there and ready used to flesh out these races and worlds.

There are also other astrological systems that can be used to build upon ours. The chinese zodiac is built around animals. The zodiac is also built around elements and different modalities.

Fire, Air, Water and Earth are the four basic elements of the zodiac. As we know from Rift, these elements take on a personality if put into the correct creative hands.


The Ability Pools

Everything has to work out to mathematically across the 12 signs and 4 elements. So that leaves us with the number 3.

Three ability pools. Not trees. Screw ability trees. Because we are not going to go with the traditional experience point unlocks. That just will not do. We are going along the same lines as the open skill system we have seen in Darkfall, Mortal Online and The Secret World. You want to learn it, then you have to earn it. We are also going with the mentoring system in Atlantica Online. Because now we can teach each other skills instead of some lifeless NPC. 

How do you learn from other players? From getting the ability used on you of course. Want to learn fire magic? Take a few fireballs to the face. Want to learn some technological methods, practice experiments. Want to learn some martial skills? Well, knuckle up buster and start swinging.

I was thinking along the lines of three modalities: Fixed, cardinal and mutable. Except we will simply call them magic, martial and science. Each one of these modalites will have skills attributed to the four elements. Now we are getting into the realm of Magic: The Gathering. 

Fire: Destruction. Rules all DPS skills from Fire magic, to Martial Destruction and Fire science that creates bombs.

Water: Rules all healing. Water magic, Martial arts is self healing (nod to the martial artist in Anarchy Online) and Water Science can rehabilitate destroyed land. So, we can farm on it.

Air: Rules all agility and intelligence. Self explanatory. Dodging, buffing and Air science so we can create stuff that flys.

Earth: Rules all strength and defensive based skills. Tanking, growing and summoning earth creatures.

Now onto my last category because I am getting sleepy and need to get to work tomorrow.

The Alignments.

One of the my favorite parts of Dungeons and Dragons were the alignments. Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic. Now we have our three realms. Anything good cannot roll with anything evil and vice versa, but neutral can roll with anyone. INB4 you say, "well we are going to have nothing but a world full of neutrals." 

Well, that brings us back to our abilities. Your abilities depend on your alignments. Oh man, I know. What the hell are you thinking? I get it. But think of the possibilities of choices you make in the world have an affect on your character. Are you a Lawful Evil ( I will definately think of better names but these will work for now) Cardinal Fire magic slinging character with a minor in air which depends on your Lawful status. 

Let's look at your status.

Air: Lawful

Evil: Fire

And you just happen to do enough good things while helping your buddy level and that affects your fire magic. That is going to suck isn't it? But you can't do too many chaotic things to lose your lawful status. Now here is the kicker. How do you balance these alignments? This is where the questing comes in. 


Quests? We don' nee' no steenking quests! Instead we will have acts. You will commit acts. Lawful acts, good acts, chaotic acts etc. These acts are only available from NPC's in certain areas that are ruled by the alignment of the planet and city. I'm feeling that Mars will hold the Scorpite main city which will be a place ruled by chaos and unspeakable evil acts. A place where it is ok to kill other players, non-stop. Sort of like a Darkfall in space.

On the other hand Lionites will have the Lawful Good City of OMG Sparkly-Twinkly-Me and that is where you go if you want to be some goody two-shoes with a big gold mace. 

Does this make any sense to you? Let me know because I am going to be brain-dumping more ideas as we go along. I have been sitting on this too long. Goodnight and thanks for reading. writes:
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