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Tert Comments on MMOs

I have my ideas on what the perfect MMO could be and I'd love to see what everyone else thought. Thanks!

Author: Tertiary

Homework is Fun! A Paper for English 100 Concerning the MMO I am Designing:

Posted by Tertiary Wednesday October 10 2007 at 11:43PM
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So, here's the deal.  The doof in class that went over my paper was an idiot.  I have a great deal more respect for the gaming community in general than her and I'm curious if y'all can help me out a little.  I need references, but I can do that myself...  what I need from y'all is to see if I wrote anything that was blatantly wrong or if I defined anything in a manner that can be made even more infantile than already presented (ie. if you see something you can explain more simply, let me know!)  Appreciate the help.  Oh, and ignore the title...  that won't be the title of my game...  I just needed a title so I wasn't writing 'my game' and 'the game' all over the paper.  Thanks again, let the slander begin!

World of Essensia
Games have existed as a form of entertainment since time unmemorable. As technology has advanced, so has the way we play games. The Internet has created a whole new way for people to join one another in playing games, the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG.) In these games the person playing them (the player) creates a role for himself in a computer controlled world through an avatar, or character, that is usually able to do fantastic and often unrealistic things. However, in many of the recent titles in this genre, extended game play becomes boring as the player is forced to repetitiously kill the same creature or participate in the same unintuitive crafting exercise with nothing else to occupy their time. World of Essensia, a title I am developing, will reduce the monotony of the multiplayer online gaming environment by introducing more options to the player: a rich history and world that the players may interact with and change, a variety of actions to perform with or against the computer controlled aspects of the game, and the ability for the players to submit their own ideas on how to improve the game.
The history of Essensia was turbulent, but mostly irrelevant. Whatever the latest catastrophe, the remaining populace has forgotten everything it once knew. There are some remnants in books and other texts that mention aspects of the worldwide war that consumed all but a handful of major cities and the memories of the world. Other texts mention wonders the people can’t even imagine, much less reconstruct. This knowledge is only what has been found in the remaining cities – there is more in the world waiting to be rediscovered.
Currently, the world has recovered. Seventy years have passed since The Last War ended with worldwide amnesia and civilization has begun to tame the wilderness anew. The cities that survived have several outlying communities, and the smarter and more industrious races have built new capital cities. As the heroes of the last seventy years retire, it is time for new blood to venture into the wild and conquer it.
The player’s characters will help shape the course of events from this moment forward. Charting new lands, building new cities, developing alliances or wars, or finding the lost history of the world depends on them.  The old heroes will not leave the world completely and their efforts will be seen, but it is the players who will truly shape the future.
            The key aspect of World of Essensia is customization. From the moment the game is started, the player has complete control over everything they see and do. Every visual aspect of a character can be manipulated. The statistics that govern how well the character can accomplish different tasks are detailed so that it is possible to decide exactly where its character’s strengths and weaknesses are. In a popular game in this genre, World of Warcraft, your character is largely defined by his class, or profession. World of Essensia breaks out of that mold and allows the player to choose what aspects, skills, or abilities will define their role in the game.
            Perhaps this is beginning to sound complicated? Remember, customization is the key feature in World of Essensia! If all the details and minutia aren’t interesting, make the game easier to interact with. The user-interface, or the means by which a player interacts with the game, will have a sliding scale from simple to complex that allows the player to decide how much detail they wish to invest in all aspects of the game, from combat to crafting.
            Speaking of crafting, World of Essensia introduces a never before seen feature that will allow the player community to customize the world more than any previous MMORPG. In World of Warcraft the player opens a menu and decides what object they will create. If they have the proper materials they press a button and, after a short time, the object is made. Simple and efficient, as are most of World of Warcraft’s features, this method is good enough for many gamers. The problem is that those who enjoy the crafting aspect of a game want more detail. Wouldn’t it be more interesting to create a unique item with the crafter’s sign or seal on it? On the simple end of the user-interface, World of Essensia will be similar to World of Warcraft. But, move the slider to make the user-interface more complex and the player is now able to customize the object visually and statistically (the latter meaning they are able to have the item give unique bonuses to abilities and skills.)
            But, how does a character get to the point where they can create completely unique object? As mentioned earlier, World of Essensia follows a less common path for character advancement. Players have access to all the skills, abilities, and spells in the game from the start. How well they can use those skills is initially dependent upon the corresponding statistic (In World of Warcraft: Strength, Intellect, etc.) So, how do skills improve? Use them. The more a task is performed, the better it can be performed - just like real life.
            For those unfamiliar with online gaming, it is commonly difficult to advance because of congestion in ‘starting areas.’ When players begin the game they are sent to an area with creatures or activities that are appropriate to their abilities. The problem is: Everyone else is sent to the same starting area. To combat this problem, World of Essensia’s landmass will be roughly equal to Earth’s. Most MMORPGs use multiple instances of a single world and spread the players throughout those instances. A single world of this sort is called a ‘server’, because it is hosted from a single computer server. While this is a viable solution it limits the population of each server, and that limits the number of people who can interact with one another. World of Essensia will be a world in more than just name.
            Expanding on that concept, World of Essensia allows the players to alter the landscape of the world to suit their needs. Player cities and structures will be an important part of the game. Some areas will need to be unlocked by building a bridge across a terrain feature, as seen in another MMORPG title, Horizons. The players will be able to build mines, lumber mills, and other buildings to help store and refine materials. Housing is available for storing their personal things as well as giving them and their friends someplace to hang out in a setting that they have created. Castles, walls, and other fortifications will also be available to help keep cities safe from intrusion by monsters… and other players.
            While World of Essensia will be employing various means to allow someone to play without worrying about another player killing them, destroying their home, or stealing their things, player versus player will be an integral part of the game. Without player versus player the game can be played normally, without any penalties, which allows casual players to enjoy the experience as much as anyone else. If they choose to participate in player versus player, however, they are able to receive bonuses to various aspects of their game play.
            Realm versus realm is another aspect of player versus player that was introduced by the game, Dark Age of Camelot. This feature allows factions, groups, or guilds to compete in large-scale battles and wars and receive bonuses similar to those available for participating in player versus player. Many of those that participate in player versus player might choose not to participate in this feature, those who participate in realm versus realm similarly are not forced to participate in normal player versus player combat.
            The experience everyone is most likely to have at some point in the game is player versus environment combat. The environment, in this case, is any creature or aspect of the game that is controlled by the computer. In every MMORPG to date the environment has been primarily reactive. The character attacks a creature or travels too near it and it attacks them if it is unfriendly. In World of Essensia the environment will be proactive. Not only do players risk attack if they venture too near enemy territory, if players attempt to build their own settlements near enemy territory then it is possible the entire settlement will be attacked. Friendly creatures might approach players to ask for help, too. It’s important that the players don’t feel like they’re being picked on, because the computer will tell creatures to attack one another, too!
            That brings us to what is, in most situations, the end. Death, in World of Essensia, is permanent. In most games the player faces a minor penalty and then they are shortly back on their feet killing helpless monsters. This is likely to be the most heatedly debated concept with arguments such as how attached to characters people become and how often games ‘lag.’ Lag is when your computer tells the game world something, but the game world doesn’t get the message and it is currently one of the largest causes of death in MMORPGs. Fear not! Player characters are not as easy to kill in World of Essensia as in those other games. And, when they are incapacitated they are not necessarily dead. There are other features in place that will make this aspect of the game less frightening than it at first seems.
            Once the game is released that won’t be the end of its development.  The development team will release regular monthly content updates, the world will continue to evolve, and history will continue to unfold. Also, as in the beginning, so in the end: Customization is the key feature of this game! Every month the player community will be allowed to submit ideas for new content and vote on which ideas should be introduced. The players decide everything in World of Essensia.
Cathalaode writes:

Hmmm, just my opinions, but

PvP, I think that you should have it turned on based on where you are. Or go with a system closer to W.E.L.L. Online's system.

Perma-death, seems too harsh in a game that's designed like yours. The only way perma-death would work is if you took out character advancement, and varying levels of item quality.

World seems way too big, never going to see anyone and horrible lag. It would end up like D&L's world, huge but empty.

Unlocking terrain seems like a bad idea too. I would go with making it harder to get to, swimming it or taking a boat should be able to work in my opinion.

It seems like you're adding RvR just for the sake of it. That's the kind of thing you base a game around. If you are going to go in the PvP route, then focus more on it. Otherwise, take it out.

That said, I do like some of it, such as;

The unique crafting. I ought to make things more interesting, actually being able to put your own brand of stuff together.

Player build structures. A good way to stimulate the community, and customize the world.

Skill based advancement. It'll be harder to balance, but it should mean for more customization.

 

I think your game has a stronger PvE aspect, so you should focus more on that.

Thu Oct 11 2007 1:01AM Report
Cathalaode writes:

Got some good ideas though.

Thu Oct 11 2007 1:02AM Report
Flerondin writes:

Im only gonna say bad things. there are some good things, but unworthy of mentioning.

 

 

1. you are an idiot (sorry, had to say it) because you gave unlicensed and unregistered idea on the internet, where everyone can see it and copy. No law in any country can stop me from taking this idea and make the game, and leave you without nothing. But I won't... read No 2.

2. Idea is dumb (story)

3. You are developing? By your self, or do you have 100 programmers and designers (voice and graph) and 20 ppl for maintaining servers, etc.... and 10 mil. dollars to pay for them? I really wanna know the answer, so please, tell me.....

 

And in conclusion, it takes more then just fantasy name, great idea and 100 times used fantasy genre to make a good game.

Good luck with your game

 

P.S. Not that i am insulting you, or discouraging you.... in your life you will find alot of criticism about your MMO in development. i would, but won't give you much advices, because it would be better to work alone, at least for you.

 

P.P.S oh yeah, if your game will ever find it's place on shelves, count on me, I will try it. Why? just to see if you made it =) hehe

 

 

Thu Oct 11 2007 2:03PM Report
Flerondin writes:

Oh I forgot, about you RvR.... just don't call it RvR, Mythic has license on it. So if you don't wanna have problems, drop it, or choose another name for it. You can use it, but not for commercial uses.

and again, tell me about your great plan to develop this game... you have a team? money?

Thu Oct 11 2007 2:06PM Report
Tertiary writes:

So, I wrote something long and the I was logged off... Really have to get back into the habit of type crap in word and then copy/pasting it.  Whatever.  If you're interested in more details that might address some of your rather strange concerns, see previous posts and comments.  Pretty sure I posted the thread I discussed my idea for handling death somewhere.

I'm not an idiot...  quite the opposite:  I'm realistic enough to conjecture that if this game is made... it probably won't be by me.  It will cost -a lot- of money to make... I don't have a lot of money.  It will take a lot of time to make...  I don't have a lot of time.  So, if someone else can take my ideas and use them to make a great game....  great.  Let me know what the game is and I'll try it out and watch the community to see what they think... hell, maybe I can make the ideas better after receiving mass input like that.

PvP, RvR, everything else:  Whatever.  I haven't gotten very far in designing those aspects...  what I have, as I already said, is on the previous blog.  Even if I had gotten very far, both of those require their own posts, doncha think?  *shrug*

I guess my biggest concern is: Did you read the opening line?  I'm not asking for opinions on the game, I already did that in the previous blog posts here...  I'm asking for input on this as a literary piece.  Notice the headline:  'Homework.'  I was wondering if anyone could catch any discrepencies between what I wrote... and reality.

Anyways, I only had five pages... and there is no way I could even explain the three major aspects of the game I choose in five pages.  To explain everything would take up a book...  and you'd have to read all of it before you could say one aspect or another wouldn't work.  All aspects I've developed so far are so intermingled that you can't gauge the scope of one without knowing all of them.  I used broad strokes to explain what I thought were the most important aspects of the game.  Essentailly:  Lore, Combat, Customization, and Post-Release Development.  And, the strokes were VERY broad.  This is something meant for the laymen, for the people who know next to nothing about MMOs and could care less about them.  I have more papers I'm supposed to write down the line in this class... Maybe I'll write one that you guys will like more later.

 

Keep in mind if you DO look at the outline I posted on my previous Blog: That is rough, too.  Rough and already long enough that I had to post half of it in a comment.  Also, it looks like crap on any computer but mine.  No clue why... sorry about that.  *shrugs*

Thu Oct 11 2007 9:31PM Report
Tertiary writes:

Oh, one more thing:  I used the word 'developing' because it is the simplest way to say what I am actually doing... Not because I am actively developing this game.  If you know a better word to say, 'Gathering random ideas together and organizing them into a cohesive whole' let me know and I'll sub that in.  I don't have room to write that whole sentence... I already have to cut out half a page...  Five page limit... bah!

Thu Oct 11 2007 9:34PM Report
Flerondin writes:

I like you answer Tertiary.

I've read all you wrote. I understood what you wanted to hear, but I went off topic to discuss something else. Thanks for your answers.

And i didn't say You are an idiot, i sad You are an idiot for posting idea on the internet. it is not registered as law protected intelectual property and could be stolen.

Good luck ''developing'' your MMO ;)    =)

Fri Oct 12 2007 8:48AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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