I have been an avid gamer for over 25 years now. Started with pong, videopack, c64, amiga
and then on to pc. I’ve played many games, many genres. Through the years I got more and
more demanding for games to keep me entertained. After playing several MMORPG’s for the
past few years, I still haven’t found one that caters to all my ideas of a perfect MMO.
An mmo is the perfect place to cater for creativity … and combining that with one of my
most favorite scifi series of firefly, it opens up a lot of possibilities.
The firefly IP is licensed, but that is a matter of money ;) … the firefly universe,
concepts and factions are so wide open, anything is possible with them.
My following ideas are based on a concept to draw in different niches and mainstream gamers.
Have a game suited for
- Creative people
- Space/land combat
- Heavy interaction with other players
- Loads of content
- Live events, run by volunteers or game masters
- Challenging encounters
- Meaningfull PvP/RvR
To the major game developers (not SOE) reading this ... I hope one day I can experience the following in a bugfree and
A group of people believing that not all planets should be ruled by 1 government (alliance). These people are free spirited and don’t like authority very much. They do tend to form small groups to survive under leadership of 1 person. They make a living from smuggling, robberies and cons while continuously being on the run for the alliance.
When creating a character, you will enter the game just when you board the firefly and find yourself to be a passenger ( could be a bit of background story). You will be dragged into several quests with the crew ( instanced/animated/cinametics/full voice overs) which will eventually make you part of the crew. After yet another series of quests you should have learned enough about the skill-system and different skills in the game. At this point you will leave the crew and the real game begins.
The government that tries to rule all planets. Very disciplined and military rank based organization.
When creating a character, the scenario is somewhat similar to the browncoats, though you will be an Alliance recruit taken onto several missions.
Savage space pirats that only care for death and destruction. They are crazy, cannibals and self mutilate. No ranks … each on his own and all for one!
You start off on a Reavers ship entering small cruise ship, where the crew will be slaughtered and eaten. After that, the ship is yours and the game starts. Being Reaver is simple … you kill, kill and kill more. A really crude class to play, with little background nor learning curve.
The reavers are meant to be a completely different game experience and are fully focussed on pvp from early levels.
The FireFly universe consist of many types of planets.
These are planets that factions would call their home planets. These are not contestable and are well protected. However, opposing factions can still attack and plunder certain area’s. These planets are suitable to build your house, or even a town on. If large enough guild there is even the possibility to craft a space station to live on. (PvP/PvE).
Planets that are contestable by violence and offer loads of resources and pve/pvp content to the faction owning it. (RvR)
Planets that are open to anyone for resources and content (PvP/PvE)
These planets are contestable by reputation. There are 2 types:
1. Personal reputation. You need to maintain a certain level of reputation with the locals to not be attacked by them. Reputation decreases over time (out of eye out of heart) so it needs to be maintained.
2. Faction reputation. The faction that holds the highest reputation as a total get to reap from the local benefits (content/resources/vendors/etc).
Reavers are hated by everyone … they will never be able to gain rep with these planets.
Loads of PVE content, untakeable by any faction. PvP is not possible on these planets (for whatever reason). (PvE) These planets also cater for (live) events and many minigames. There are races to bet on or to participate in, shootouts, poker tournaments, arena’s, baking competitions and much more. Earn your statue on these planets for epic achievements and victories. Have songs written for you (Jaynestown ;) ).
Player created planets.
Give the players a toolset enabling them to easily develop their own planet. That is fully develop landscape, habitats, towns, dungeons, the full chebang. Every few months, people can send in their contributions from which the developers pick one and perfect it together with the contributor. Next expansion, add this planet to the game with something personal of the contributor in it (town’s name, race name, dungeon name). Make sure to already add one player created planet in the release of the game, perfect marketing.
Player created towns
Having housing in place. Guilds can place their own towns, incorporating everything the big cities have, but completely managed by guild members. Also have the ability to run live events in the guilds town by the guilds. Take in ideas for live events from guilds, evaluate and script them, and have a tool in place for them where they can run the scripts to control events. After a while, out of these scripts premade templates can be build for the most recurring and popular events.
There are multiple forms of travelling, both on land and in space.
There are numerous sorts of space vessels, ranging from single person to multi person, combat, cruisers and cargo vessels. Each vessel has certain skill requirements which can be gained by experience.
Travelling to space adds a few elements to the game regarding combat and faction.
To support people that enjoy trading games, have it so that cargo ships can be “neutral” … they are modified so they will turn up on Browncoats and Alliance scans. Therefor they can also trade on all homeplanets (but reavers).
Highly skilled browncoats can also temporarily chang faction of their vessel, while alliance technology is so far developed, they can cloak for a while.
Space combat is possible in most area’s. You can decide to spend you whole gaming career as a space pirate. The only way to travel safe is to insure, hire guards, or use space portals between home planets.
Landing on a planet is not a matter of pressing a button … it is a mini game and takes skill. As soon as you near a planets docking station, you go into immune state so you can’t be attacked anymore (only possible if not already under attack). You need to land the spaceship by yourself taking into account approach speed, angle and spinning of the planet. Doing this wrong you can end up with a lot of damage and loss of goods.
On civilized planets, there is usually a public transport infrastructure to take you around the planet. Think trains and shuttles for fast and far transport. For personal transport there are many different mounts, like horses, quads, amphibian vehicles, hover planes or local mountable creatures (tameable). Some are single, some are multi person vehicles.
Maybe you already noticed from this writeup so far, I was huge fan of old Star Wars galaxies. They had the best skill system, with a vast and logical set of professions though I think it can be perfected a little. In principal, I would use their complete setup of professions, though with a few changes/additions.
- More customizations for housing.
- Stat-less gear, with slots for enhancements.
Crafters that craft a few very succesfull items in a row, will go into an higher state of crafting. This will slightly increase their chances om additional enhancement slots (which are a random chance). Having a few bad crafts will lower the chance.
Each month architects can come up with ideas for new furniture/paintings (ingame tool to design them). Every month a winner will be picked, the item will be added to the game, and the winner will own the patent to that item. This means every time this item is created by anyone, the inventors name will be on it, or they get royalties (ingame credits).
Regarding combat professions:
Add a combat profession reflecting River’s skills. Her mind was brainwashed and enhanced to improve her combat senses.
Reapers do not have access to harvesting/crafting. They will gain everything by salvaging other peoples ships/homes.
Game is NOT gear based, gear just helps a bit.
Gear is there for aesthetics, not statistics.
Quality gear separates itself by having high durability and/or more enhancement slots.
For armor, these are usually resistances and resilience, for weapons extra damage.
Gear decades, but can be repaired by armor/weapon smiths ( can fail though).
Reavers have no gear … they are much tougher then “normal” people can can even enhance their toughness through experience and skills. They fight barehand.
These are your perfect choice when you want full focus on pvp from earliest levels in game.
- All combat is twitch based
- Challenging bosses with a high level of AI that is dynamic enough to adjust to the attacking party. Scripted to not follow one path, but can randomly change.
- No friendly fire
- No potions!!
- Critical hits don’t damage more, but add debuff to player
- You can actively dodge
- Diminishing returns on slows (no roots)
- Use of Cover / LoS
Incentive based … gain benefits for staying alive, not loose something for dying.
The longer you stay alive, the sharper your senses will be. With enheighted senses, you will move quicker in combat and dodge parry more easily.
It needs to be a game where people need each other. Again, SWG had this (almost) completely right. Get buffs from entertainers … heal battle fatigue and wounds from meds/docs. Though make it more easy obtainable.
Techinicians build mounts/ships. Animal Tamers provide company pets and mounts.
Gatheres supply crafters, crafters supply combatants. Combatants fight for territory, loot, crafting parts to supply fracters.
If you managed to read all the way down here, feel free to comment, or add more ideas.