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New games or same old junk

Posted by ghstwolf Tuesday January 6 2009 at 8:22PM
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I've got a confession, I'm bored. I look at all the up coming games and I'm still pretty bored. Sure there are games I hope will entertain me for a while, but really I'm bored of this stagnant genre. <you: Great another bunch of QQ> Not really though, because I started thinking about why I'm bored. I started listening to some pretty bright people with some unique ideas that would really change the genre.

My conclusion was the reason I'm bored is that no matter the game they all play the same. Classes-hard coded or built by selection in a skill system, Progression- tied to an XP system or repeatedly performing an action, and often mind numbing and pointless game play. I want some new options, and not just retreads of these old ideas. I want a game that makes you adapt on the fly. <PvPer: that's why PvP is awesome> Not at all, PvP is still built very mind numbing. You already made the small changes (gear and hot bar/ key mapping) ahead of time, and the only changes are in kill order. Thing is everything becomes a routine, you have a list of who/what to kill first and odds are you have an unchanging rotation of skills to do it with.

Instead I want to do something rather dangerous, trust players to get better on their own. Design a game that in some way forces players to draw on and improve their own personal skills. The real trick to this is to make in nearly impossible to wiki the game, so normal investigation is out. Puzzles are ok but become an nuisance if used constantly, same for most mini games.  As such only very specific tasks would use either of those and nothing that would be used daily.  I picture lockpicking, hacking and decyphering as such tasks.  Any in game growth would simply make the mini game faster or in some way "easier": for example Maybe hacking firewalls is presented as a breakthrough style game.  In game improvements might give you more misses or a slightly higher "superball" %, these would help only marginally keeping the primary focus on a player's skill.  I would stick to familiar games and do my best to have them make a bit of sense in relation to the task.

Combat would have that same ideal.  "Crowd Control" would be about controlling the battlefield, not stuns, roots and what not.  I want the battlefield to matter, for heavy jungle undergrowth to make long range combat impractical if not impossible, for deserts to make stealthy movement difficult to impossible.  I want outcomes decided by who can use tactics and the enviroment most successfully, not levels or how much grinding you did on that skill.

Ok I'll stop before I bore you completely <as if you aren't yet>.  Next time I'll try to deal with some "exciting" ideas, or maybe just focus on one "game changing" idea.

Palatar writes:

I agree, the worst thing about retreading the same stuff over and over again in every MMO is the time and money it takes to churn it out. First the years of development time wasted on making a new bell that works just like the bells in all the other MMOs, but this bell rings with a gong and not a ding dong like that other MMO. Then comes the first expansion and of course the bell has to be changed in some way for balance reasons. All this time working on and changing the bell when it has nothing to do with the adventure.

How about an MMO with a very simple but effective combat system that never changes, no levels or skills ( kind of like  Left4Dead) and all the developers work on is adding adventure and items. No tweeks ever needed for balance reasons because everyone can use everything and whatever you add can be used by everyone. Magic should never be inate. If magic is to be part of the MMO it should be part of the world and not the character. You pick up a rock of lightning and it shoots off a lightning bolt at your target. You only have two hands and if you want to use two rocks of lightning then you can, but if you want to use a rock of healing you have to put down one of the rocks of lightning to equip it. No one can be anything more then what they can hold in their hands. As a developer all you have to do is give the players plenty of things to hold and use. The rest of the development effort can be used to make adventures.

Tue Jan 06 2009 9:37PM Report
zelldevil writes:

@both people

Well, i see what you mean ghstwolf and i agree that most of this stuff is very boring, its been a couple of months now since i've actually delved into an mmorpg.  Yet at the same time I dont think you're looking for an mmorpg, and are in fact completely describing somethign else.  For example, if what Palatar is saying is what you're looking for that isn't an mmmorpg at all.  L4D that an mmorpg?  no.  And in Palatars second paragraph i can already tell you a great game exactly how you describe, its old now so no one plays it, but Nox.  whatever equipment you had, completely changed character, if you had a magic staff, there's your spell.  etc 

ghstwolf, maybe you should look elsewhere for you're enjoyment there are several other great games out there outside the mmorpg genre. 

Wed Jan 07 2009 3:19AM Report
ghstwolf writes:

It could be that what I'm looking for isn't coming to MMOs for a long while.  Honestly I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for, well besides that personal "dream game" I'm pretty sure most gamers have.

For some reason though, questioning the conventional systems seems like fun.  I haven't really picked a system to "pick on" and offer some off the wall alternative for yet.  Craziness and maybe a few "that could be fun" ideas will be on the way soon.

Wed Jan 07 2009 4:11AM Report

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