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Teala's Wickedly Cool Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

My Dream MMORPG - "I think it'll knock your socks off!" Part 1

Posted by Teala Tuesday February 10 2009 at 7:23AM
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Long ago in a verse far, far away, in another time and place gamers were treated to the words of an MMORPG producer and they were simply, "I think it'll knock you socks off."   Only to be disappointed in the end.   Ever since that day I have looked for an MMORPG that would really knock my socks off.   Unfortunately none have done so, though many have come close, such as games like Planetside, Dark Age of Camelot, Star Wars Galaxies(pre-NGE), but none have really grabbed me the way I wished they would have.

So in my usual not so casual and rambling kinda of way I will describe to you my dream MMORPG, my perfect virtual game world - unlike anything you ever seen - ever!

Now I will admit I've done my share of bitching, moaning and whining on forums, with the best of the best jaded gamers, for years about the various games as I played them, and many people who have read my rantings on forums from here to the Vault Network over the years know how passionate I am about my MMORPG's.   I am, to put a bluntly, an MMORPG fangirl from hell.    I can rant and rave like no other.  Seriously....I love these games to the point that I often daydream about making my own...let's face it, name me one gamer of this genre that hasn't dreamt of making their own MMORPG - just to show the so called experts how it's done.  

God how I wish I could raise the capitol to make my perfect MMORPG.   Oh and it would be perfect!   I know it would...because I would be in charge and I'd make sure that my game truly did launch with everything I design into it.   What kind of game you ask.   Hang on...because I am going to tell you what my dream MMORPG would be like.

First let me describe the setting.   It isn't fantasy, though magic is in it.   It would have swords..  It would have firearms.   It would have different species, though humans are the primary species, they are not alone.  It would have ships.   Starships to be exact or spaceships if that is your preferable tag for such a vessel.   No not the kind you see in Star Trek, but they would be starships, just different.   There would be planets one could visit and of course space stations and what not.   See where I am going with would be set in the future and be basically a open ended, sandbox, sci-fi space opera MMORPG.   I will describe the various aspects of this game in detail as  I go through and describe my dream MMORPG...just bare with me...I have a lot to say.  

Second it would have true twitch, full blown FPS, type combat.   None of this spamming various hotkeys or mashing buttons in a certain sequence to perform X special move or shot.   I am so sick of these games that come out and tout how their combat system is unique and special and how much fun it is to play when in reality they are just rehashes upon rehashes of games that came before them.   Nope...not my dream MMORPG.   The ranged combat would be like playing Battlefield 2.   Yep, straight and simple.   I like BF2's ranged combat system...that is perfect for my dream game.   As for melee.   Yep, got an answer for that as well.   There was this single player game that was recently released called Mount & Blade.   That melee combat system from that game would "almost" be perfect for my dream MMORPG.   I would however change a few things, like adding a few extra forms of attack, plus it would have an unarmed combat system derived using the Mount & Blade melee combat system.   Melee combat would be kung fu in nature.  You know the proverbial kicks, punches and what not of that style of martial arts and the animations...the animations would be fluid - you'd think you were watching an anime.  Yep the combat in my MMORPG would be the best ever.  

Third, it would have a very unique art style to it.  It would be a 3D game, but look almost like a Japanese
anime, but OMG...the graphics would be awesome bar none.   I would spare no expense on how this game looked.   If you've ever seen the cinematics of the game Lineage II, well that is the kind of graphics detail and richness my game would have, but with an anime flair to it.  

From the clothing and armor to the very hairs of the characters, it would be unmatched in any game to date.  Clothing and armor would not be painted onto your character/avatar like a lot of other games.  Nope.  Not in my game.    Each piece of clothing, armor, jewelry, even the very hair on top of your characters head would behave like it does in the real world.  Real physics would be applied to this game so you'd see your characters hair move if it is standing in the wind, or get wet if it is in the rain.   Also no clipping here.   You know where cloths seem to not fit properly and or a shield slices through the back of your avatars head when you place a shield on their back.  Nope...not in my game.

Am I just dreaming?   Well of course I am silly, this is my dream MMORPG, but you know what, the tech is coming, and it won't be to long before this kind of graphics and physics can be applied to online games.   Every few months or so the vid cards with their gpus and the computers with their cpus exponentially get more and more powerful.   Less then 10 years ago we had 2D scroller games that were the rage.  Then came blocky 3D virtual worlds, and today some single player games we see on consoles and such are all ready showing what can be done with the new vid cards with their ultra fast gpu's capable of millions upon millions of calculations a second - look at games like Half-Life.    So very soon I believe we'll be seeing vid cards that are not 2 times faster or 10 times faster, but thousands of times faster than anything we've seen on the market to date.  Which will allow for my dream MMORPG's type of graphics to become a reality.  


Next - Part 2  - My Dream MMORPG  -  "It'll knock your socks off and blow your mind."


Raston writes:

You lost me at the twitch combat :(

I do wish you luck in your search however :)

Tue Feb 10 2009 8:24AM Report
ThalosVipav writes:

but i like my socks....


same here, twitch combat is just not something I think would work well in an mmo. Mainly because it hasnt been done right yet. If done right its possible it would make for a better experience, but thats a big IF.

Otherwise I agree, so far. Dunno about the melee combat as I have never played the game you are basing off of.

I completely agree with your views on the hardware of the future. Even the progress made from 2-4 years ago to today. The biggest thing is having a good balance between beauty and function. I'm gonna use SWG here as a reference. SWG had the best character creation I had seen, I played with that for a very long time. However, part of the problem SWG had was lag mainly due to the fact that you had so much different information tagged with every character. Get a bunch of characters in a close area and you got slammed with lag. But, as well as vid hardware getting better, I'm sure dealing with high amounts of information over the internet will also streamline to assist and make things like what you are talking about possible. I hope at least =)

Tue Feb 10 2009 9:59AM Report
GamerAeon writes:

Actually as of right now the Hardware DOES indeed exist to pull off near this level of detail and physics albeit on the end all beat all top of the line PCs and Xbox360, PS3 Consoles

However the roadblock you'd hit would be cost, the sheer magnitude of the funds needed for this type of combat driven graphically pleasing game would pretty much rival the US National Debt :)

So if you're hoping to see something like that you can pretty much forget it. The new breed MMOs in development atm like GA (Global Agenda) are pretty graphically stimulating but not like the Cutscenes or FMVs that most games nowadays have at the front of the game as a bit of a teaser intro to it.

Again the cost of such a monster would strangle even a combination of studios, Not to mention the consumer.

Great ideas but even though the Tech DOES exist to make such a thing, cost is a big issue.

Tue Feb 10 2009 10:16AM Report
Teala writes:

GamerAaeon, I think that along with the new systems will come new software and programming tools that will make putting the level of graphics I refer to much easier.    As for the cost.   My game would not be as complicated as you may think.   :)    I will be adding more to my Dream MMORPG soon.   Stay tuned.

Tue Feb 10 2009 10:23AM Report
fansede writes:

 I play the lottery once a month. IF I hit it I will give you a call and we can start a venture together.

Your fertile imagination deserves it. Anyways, keep dreaming. This genre needs it

Tue Feb 10 2009 10:29AM Report
fansede writes:

 You know who else we need for our MMO dev team? Who would you all recommend based what you read on these forums?

Tue Feb 10 2009 10:34AM Report
Zayne3145 writes:

Even though platform technology is advancing, MMO's are still having to work on the antiquated infrastructure than is the interwebs. MMO's can have all the bells and whistles imaginable, but if you're hooking it up to a paper cup and a piece of string, it's going to be horrible to play. This is the main hurdle I see for future developments - especially if games with crysis-like graphics and large scale battles are going to be a possibility. The lag would just melt your face.

Nice idea, though. Shame about the anime. >.<

Tue Feb 10 2009 10:43AM Report
zenaphex writes:

We all dream, Teala. Even I have a dream for a world. Sort of like yours in a way. If you don't have money to invest in a idea, you can still grab other engines to prototype your idea. If you are looking for amazing graphics then I would suggest trying out CryEngine2 via the Sandbox Editor and SDK that is available with the Crysis game. All you need are some development, 3D, illustration, and other various skills to bring it together into a prototype. The Sandbox editor is your, well, sandbox to build and play in. A prototype is better than a simple idea cause simple ideas won't get you anywhere. Check for peoples work to give you some ideas of what it is capable of.

Tue Feb 10 2009 12:32PM Report
ianonmmorpg writes:

Just a quickie about twitch... like it for games where all the characters are equal and its about your skill, but in RPG its not about you, its the characters Role your Playing. Hence just because I've got no hand eye co-ord my character should still kick ass (if they have been skilled up).

Tue Feb 10 2009 12:58PM Report
A.Blackloch writes:

If you tone down the anime part to minimum, I'd like to do some alpha and beta testing for your game. :) You might have just dreamed from my "Dream MMORPG" too.

Tue Feb 10 2009 1:12PM Report
Quizzical writes:

Setting, graphics, but nothing about what the game would actually be like, apart from that it would be an FPS?  If most of the point of the game is the graphics, the game is virtually guaranteed to be awful. 

Tue Feb 10 2009 1:33PM Report
Teala writes:

Quizzical - this was merely part 1 or a multi-part blog about what my dream MMORPG would be like.   Thre is more to come.   ^_^

ianonmmorpg - my MMORPG is all about roles.  In fact, it my MMORPG will redefine the term - roleplay.   Seriously...I got it all worked out.

Zayne3145 - the infrastructure we need is in place.   ::huge grin::

Because my MMORPG is set in earths future, my game will allow for product placement of real products that exist today - like Coke!  So my MMORPG will get founding by using product placement - in a stealthy manner similar to what movies do!  Tada I got founding!  lol

Tue Feb 10 2009 4:02PM Report
lifesbrink writes:

Teala, I have to say, your ideas are intriguing.  If you read my future blogs, I will be steadily noting ideas that I think would make MMO's awesome through stories and practical essays.

Don't ever give up hope of the perfect MMO... I have a feeling in about 20 years, MMO's are actually going to be fascinating ways to play out our entertainment.  For now though, we get primitive crap, due to the fact that so many people operate off of older PC's, and lets face it, graphics are always increasing to outstrip what the majority of people own. 

Patience, we must all have patience...

Tue Feb 10 2009 5:48PM Report
zenaphex writes:

Real-world product placement, eh? Be sure to add the option to punch in "/pizza" in the chat window so you can order a pizza from Pizza Hut directly through the game like in EverQuest 2. :P

Tue Feb 10 2009 7:14PM Report
TenchiMuyo writes:

So, basically a 'Mass Effect' MMORPG? Just more expansive, and slightly more twitchy. I think that would fit your desires pretty decently well. It has humans, plus aliens, many planets to visit and walk around on, ships/vessels what have you, so on and so forth.

Tue Feb 10 2009 10:45PM Report
tried4time writes:

I like where you're headed! I look forward to reading more of your ideas.

I agree that most MMO players/fans likely day dream about the perfect MMO, and if you had 10 different players describe them you'd probably have 10 entirely different games. Some players like twitch style play, some prefer rts type play, and others still prefer realistic simulation type play, and oddly enough many still like the turn based play. However all of these play styles, like mmo's and indeed other single player games have matured over time. Yet these same play styles may well be nothing more than self imposed limitations for the game designers that chose to implement one over the other. I would surmise that’s these play styles are a result of technological limitations, however as you mentioned over the last decade technologies have advanced immensely and continue to do so almost exponentially. One of those key limitations would be the HID/HMI, or Human Interface Devices/Human Machine Interface, we still point and click, and press keys on a keyboard, granted these HID devices have improved significantly over the years, and a niche market has also emerged for gamer specific HID devices, but fundamentally the function is the same.
So if one is going to “dream” of the perfect MMO, why not really dream…

Here are some urls for HMI based on current technology (Microsoft got hold of this one it’s called the “surface” pc now)

Wed Feb 11 2009 12:24AM Report
Jefferson81 writes:

Lokks like this could be a really good sandbox sci-fi MMORPG and you should contact one of thos studios in Texas about this.

If mankind (and womankind) really have invented faster than light travel and have been exploring a large chunk of the galaxy then I think that you should put the timeline somewhere in the 24th century.

Wed Feb 18 2009 2:51AM Report
Jefferson81 writes:

Why the hell can't I edit my comment?

Aaaargh....   nevermind.


Wed Feb 18 2009 2:53AM Report
Jefferson81 writes:

I don't think that we will invent faster than light travelling in this century.

So say that we invent the FTL drive in the year 21XX and you are describing it as we have made contact with many different alien species and explored a large part of the galaxy then I would put it 250 to 300 years after that  FTL travelling was invented.


Wed Feb 18 2009 4:42AM Report
hermitpaul writes:

The issue with graphics is that one must target the majority audience; if each player would require the latest and greatest technology to play a game, very little money would be made!

Physics cards are available these days; PhysX is a device that allows for physics calculations to be taken from the CPU in order to free up more memory for other things.

DirectX10 brought with it new advances in shaders; geometric shaders, which can allow for some interesting effects and the alteration of existing effects to use far less instructions or render passes, therefore speeding things up. As the memory available on one's graphics card increases, the more a game can push its 3D graphics requirements onto the GPU instead of the CPU.

But what does your average consumer have in their machine? 768mb on the graphics card? 512mb? Squashing things when they're as optimized as possible reduces the level of detail.

Detail is important and having items poking through a person can be avoided. I'm no expert, but collision detection is a subject that books have been dedicated to.

And processing power is, indeed, getting better. I look forward to a rig with an Intel iCore processor in it, apparently much faster than a quad-core extreme.

I must say that "real" is not always as good as "fake"; many 3D graphics effects do not use the real scientific or mathematical theories in order to create effects that look identical, if not better: there are often shortcuts that will save on resources.

Cloth animation can be costly and if you're going to have each and every strand of hair as a single object then it's going to kill the graphics. It's my personal belief that only a certain level of graphical detail is necessary and the rest is either showing-off or overkill, because we simply can't catch everything on the screen at once. Yes, we want terrain to be beautiful, lush and verdant.

'Crysis' is one example of a game with fantastic detail. Grass and vegetation is not so dissimilar from hair and cloth; they both wave around in the wind, they're both textured strands, etc.

If everything is very fluid and above or at a solid 60 frames per second, then we won't notice the difference. Optimizing things beyond that is obviously a good idea, but the results won't be obvious at all; the frame-rate will continue to be 60fps.

The more complex the game, the more difficult it will become to debug! The little things may not get noticed right away and that will be detrimental, but then a majority of gamers might not experience that, so how far must one go in order to ensure that there are no bugs in their game, that everything is 100% perfect on every system available?

Your ideas are interesting, but if you don't know much about 3D graphics, game development or the like, then why not invest in a book or two that discuss the subject in detail? I'm personally a beginner myself and I enjoy using C# and XNA for little physics or graphics demonstrations...

nVidia now offers its book on 'Cg' for free on their site, and that's not so far from HLSL, meaning that you could grab a copy of Fx Composer or RenderMonkey and get started creating your beautiful effects and graphics today, for free. There are also numerous articles available on the web that offer help with regards to game programming - it's a very popular topic indeed! :-)

There's also the free XSI Mod Tool or Blender for the creation of 3D models, animation, etc. There are video-tutorials available for both, for free! It's possible to develop assets for a game on your own, though it will likely take ages.

Oh, and before I forget, textures can be created from photographs put through various alterations to make them tilable in programs such as photoshop or The GIMP (free alternative - very good, too).

Your dream MMORPG is certainly different to mine, but mine does not focus so much upon the graphical aspect as the gameplay and unique system of how combat, economy, etc are managed; I'd like to tone down on the amount of repetitive monster killing to gain levels by basically allowing one to complete all sorts of quests and to challenge other players in combat or chess or cards at any "level".

Regarding the ideas for combat, quick reaction times and such aren't available to everyone; some of us are obviously not as fast as we'd like to be. Some of us are also handicapped, meaning that such feats are far more difficult. Perhaps there's another way, which might involve a fairly easy learning curve that everyone can manage?

Sorry for the long comment. I support your rambling and expression of your dream MMORPG and look forward to hearing more.

Thu Feb 19 2009 1:58PM Report
Jupsto writes:

sounds pretty simular to my own dream mmo and many here on teh forums. although ideally mine would be a more dark fantasy, semi historic setting kind of like conan, than sci fi. cell shaded stylised but realistically proportioned graphics are what I would go for. I'm not massive manga fan, sorry.

another game you should play to check out cool mele systems is a hl2 mod pvkii. aparently the is going to be a online multiplayer patch for M&B, EPIC

I'm betting you checking out darkfall since it is a huge open sandbox with a fps combat system. it does look unpollished but it'll be the only game out with simular gameplay described in this blog.

also for people intrested in simular games keep your eyes out for earthrise, fallen earth, mortal online and jumpgate for sandbox twitchy mmo's. I know I will. seems to me like earthrise will be virtually your dream mmo teala, hope it lives up to the hype.

Mon Feb 23 2009 9:26PM Report
Jupsto writes:

oh and interested in your justification for swords in sci fi setting, kind of hard not to mimic the old lightsaber. is magic just like normal typical fantasy magic?

Mon Feb 23 2009 9:28PM Report
Darksec writes:

Your perfect MMO is not necceserily everyone elses perfect MMO.

Perfect one for me would be no elves, orcs or mages etc etc.

Fri Jul 17 2009 4:26AM Report writes:
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