Evolution of Gaming
I've been playing MMORPG's for quite sometime. I've played games such as Dark Age of Camelot, World of Warcraft, Vanguard and Age of Conan. While playing these games, i've started to notice something seems missing. Where's the evolution? Almost every rpg on the online market to date has a world, but yet none of these worlds truly evolve. Sure they have expansion packs that add new area's or new set's of items and minor touches to graphics. But what about the stagnant world? What truly bores me to death is the replay value of these games. One you hit level cap, you usually get to a point of creating an alt. This is were you find out that your doing the same quests, wandering through the same camps, or entering the same cities and dungeons only to find out they are the same. So with that in mind I thought of a evolution system. Something I haven't yet experienced in gaming yet. Here's the low down:
The System Itself
This system is a system of its own. It basically repaints landscape with new material without using an expansion. It destroys buildings, it closes off dungeons, and it does so much more.
Example 1 - "Say your walking through a city to turn in a quest. When all of a sudden you hear a loud boom. You walk off in the direction of the sound. All of a sudden your standing infront of a blockade and the local mayor building has been destroyed. Npc workers are taking material and putting them in wheelbarrows and moving them out of the city. The very next day you log in to find the mayor building replaced by a brand new upgraded building. It has 2 new rooms and offers a new service."
Example 2 - "You log in one day in the middle of a forest. You decide, what the heck, lets go explore that dungeon you rolled through with a group the night before. You were in there so long the night before, you basically got the dungeon down in your sleep. You can remeber certain spots your able to go solo in. You head towards the dungeon to find out there was a cave in. You go in search of a new way into the dungeon. The entrance has been reshaped on the other side of a mountian due to a landslide. You enter through to find out a new set of mobs has ravaged the area and littered bodies of the previous tribe are scattered across the ground."
Example 3 - "Your walking down a dark path. In the distance you spot a forest and it seems to being raining. A huge thunderstorm cloud looms above. So you decide to venture in. Once inside the forest you find that it is a nice "grind area" for hanging out and gathering some xp. You sit in this forest for around 2 hours and in the meantime its continuing to rain. All of a sudden you notice the ground is no longer soaking up the rain and its starting to cover your feet. Then you hear a loud boom and water comes rusing at you from a local creek that just flooded. You run off outta the forest and claim safe keeping along a hillside. The flood persists for more then 3 days. Once it drys out you come back to find that there are less mobs and it seems off in the distance some new mobs are making there way towards some once non- vacant land."
If you don't have an idea of what i'm getting at, then think about this. I want to see a system developed that persists overtime. It not only contains a game at launch but a game for the future. It's land changes over time. Its people evolve over time. Anything could be added to a system like this. You could have it setup to destroy and regenerate new buildings based on a certain time, such as every 6 days. You could have NPC's and mobs migrate every few months. They could simply pack up right infront of you and move somewhere else. You could have whole cities destroyed by a revolt only to be reclaimed by new owners.
The Real Low-Down
Now there is no doubt a system such as this would be taxing to not only servers but hardware. This isn't an idea that can just be implemented on the fly. I would just like to see developers develop towards areas like this. Quit with the stagnant worlds that one can only replay so many times. Give us a world, not a box. Give us weather systems that feel real, give us enviroments that breath life, give us cities and dungeons that change overtime. Give us a place that could really feel like you could live in. Over time things change, people evolve and areas get replaced. Make this happen in your MMO. Make consumer's want to be in your world. Don't give us just a world, give us a living breathing world. I've seen many developers say there world is this, but have yet to see this. Sure you have a couple butterflies roaming around or a thunderstorm where the rain seems to evaporate into thin air. I love the cities that seem to look the same even after the game being out 4 years. I guess they never evolve do they? I guess those Orcs just love there stagnant life.
I wrote this blog on a whim. I didn't write it to be the voice of a community or company. I wrote this because i had a thought and wanted to share it. I love gaming and enjoy playing mmo's if only for the community aspect. I just thought maybe an idea like this could help maybe that one small developer out there. Maybe that one person who doesn't know it, may in time become a CEO of a gaming company. This is for you. Run with it, and thanks mmorpg.com community for your time.
*I also want to note I am not a English Professor!