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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Single Shard PVE world with epic travel and exploration - Do you want a world or a game?

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35 posts found
  madazz

Novice Member

Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 1306

5/10/12 9:15:26 PM#21

Sounds good. Reminds me of my first enterance into UO. I didn't mind the stupid NPC's even a little. Finding all the little niche dungeons, a weird portal (or a player one about to fade away that I'd enter and usually die in after lol). 

I will give any mmo a try that encourages exploration and has decent gameplay. 

  gestalt11

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/17/06
Posts: 6169

5/10/12 9:23:50 PM#22

If you think I am gonna play a game that makes me walk to same walk to the store every single day you are dreaming.

 

I used to do a paper route on foot everyday when I was a kid.  I used to have to buy my own sweets by walking 15 minutes to the store and then 15 minutes back home.  And that is not some sort "back in my day" story.  I did it a number of times.

 

It was BORING.

 

The problem with all these ideas is they are fine ONCE.  They SUCK in repetition.

  ArChWind

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/19/11
Posts: 494

5/10/12 10:24:17 PM#23
Originally posted by Eronakis
Originally posted by ArChWind

Nice. But the big questions is...
 
How big is to big?
 
Currently my personal project, done in Bigworlds Indie is 64 Kilometers x 51 Kilometers. It is one seamless continent at that (plan to spread it across 32 servers. It takes 56 Giga-bytes of storage space for the terrain and textures alone not including the any models. To walk from one end of the map to the other (in a straight line) is 17 hours at game speed and to run it takes 4 hours and 16 minutes and sprint cuts it to under 3 hours. So far it has taken me 6 months to get 75% of the terrain processed (of course I work on it one or two hours a day now)
 
I can’t share it as a production game anyway because I been using Oblivion models and Skyrim models to layout the look and feel since no one wants to mess with it since it is unrealistic in size. I mean who would download it when finished if it takes over 100 giga bytes of data?
 
Your map looks awesome but realistically I think it is back to the drawing board.

A How big is too big? That is a very legitimate question. Based on the map size of the world it's 10k by 6.5k square miles. Now that wouldn't translate into the game. It would be much smaller. However, the difference is this world is designed to be on one server where everyone plays on it. There are no multiple servers. So it would have to accomodate a large portion of players. That is a risk because whose going to say that it won't turn out like vanguard? Dead. I don't mind a large world where the population is sparse between zones, as long as there is a good consistent population.

 

Well 10k X 6.5k is small on one server probably not be a big problem. Only draw back is the world would be cramped if you try to get the entire map into it.
 
All I am saying here is if you intend to build a world get a world streaming engine. Sorry if I am taking this OT but I want you to succeed where I failed in the past.
 
Multi-server interconnected land mass is a new thing where it is no longer a shard and requires a bit more in horsepower to run it. Blade servers are damn expensive and if you are distributing populations across them it can be a bit complex. As someone else mentioned Dark and Light was bases on BigWorlds engine and it is is well capable of multi-server zones that are seamless. This includes dungeons and every thing in the world being seamless.
 
As of this time only three engines I know of that are indie friendly that are capable of doing a streaming world.
 
Hero Engine (not free if you intend to go past a certain world size). The rendering is limited so you end up with seamless but loose epic view. You would have to get commercial license to push it to the limits but for a basic game it is outstanding. Cost is 500K to 1 Million .
 
Esenthel engine is capable of pushing seamless to the max but I personally don’t like the fact it does not have a secure built in network structure. For free and under 750 bucks it has a lot of power. It has a lot more indie friendly pipeline than the other two but it still has a ways to go to catch the high end engines in graphics even though it has DirectX 11 it still does not have the output I expect (Old video watch in HD). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4yv_gqVu5s
 
BigWorlds engine is best because it has a layer system and every block in the world is a separate chunk. It has epic view and is not based on vertices for rendering. It can be a bit more difficult to work with but the engine is MMO out of the box without having to add network infrastructure. It has persistent world database and you have the server in your own possession so you can work offline. Again this engine to fully use it will require 500K bucks. but at indie price of 300 for basic and 3000 for the source it can still do multi-server streaming. (old video watch in HD) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3T84H0hSNM
 
Vanguard is a MMORPG. It has the basics of any other MMORPG except it is more group centric. Worlds don’t need levels or very few levels. Worlds are not built as a game but the game is being part of the world.
  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16689

5/11/12 12:35:00 AM#24

Exploration is really fun, but the reason so few MMOs have been made as a single server is that a game like that have to be really huge and have plenty of starting areas or the few you had would fill up and crash the game badly.

The reason that it is so hard to make a game like that today is that modern graphics takes a lot more work than the graphics of the late 90s and unless you copy paste  the same stuff over and over everywhere a game like this with modern graphics would need a huge budget.

  Torgrim

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/15/05
Posts: 2153

5/11/12 6:07:43 AM#25

Dark&Light was suppose to be a big vast world with plenty of exploration, kingdom building, epic pvp fights, buildable cities ect but it flopped badly but the world was the biggest ever created, I think it was the size of Denmark in landmass.

 

You can checkout this old trialer for the game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwY4UgujZ2k

A chinese gaming studio have bought the IP and doing a complete overhaul of the game, I hope they make it right this time.

If it's not broken, you are not innovating.

  Vocadi

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/04
Posts: 194

5/11/12 7:09:40 AM#26

This is an interesting topic and everyone has very valid points. I feel that there definitely needs to be a balance. Exploration and a sense of wonder at a new environment can only go so far.

For example, you go on a trek up a mountain path that could take 45 mins in real time but now your in the middle of no where, your phone is ringing, dinner is ready, dog has to pee whatever and you have to log out.

Was there a sense of acomplishment for that 45 minute walk? Did you find any cool creatures or hidden treasures. Did you see a nifty old ruin that needs to be explored later on? These are all things that need to be considered. Because just walking or travelling long distances to get from point A to point B with few breadcrumbs in between can get old fast.

I recently installed EQ when it went free to play. Decided to check out Highpass hold, so I ran from Qeynos. I forgot how long it actually took to travel on foot anywhere. Almost two hours later I reached my destination. Back in the day, I don't remember the huge zones and all the travelling to be a big deal and in fact I recalled the  zones fondly in EQ. But times have changed for me and I no longer have time to spend hightailing it from here to yonder. 

So, I guess really my point in this is exploration is key, but how its implemented is even more important. Just as in grinding a level fighting mobs is a reward for that time spent, so to must there be equal and tangible reward for time spent travelling and exploring. I feel that the act in itself cannot sustain interest.

 

  Eronakis

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/17/08
Posts: 1982

 
OP  5/11/12 9:14:33 AM#27
Originally posted by Vocadi

This is an interesting topic and everyone has very valid points. I feel that there definitely needs to be a balance. Exploration and a sense of wonder at a new environment can only go so far.

For example, you go on a trek up a mountain path that could take 45 mins in real time but now your in the middle of no where, your phone is ringing, dinner is ready, dog has to pee whatever and you have to log out.

Was there a sense of acomplishment for that 45 minute walk? Did you find any cool creatures or hidden treasures. Did you see a nifty old ruin that needs to be explored later on? These are all things that need to be considered. Because just walking or travelling long distances to get from point A to point B with few breadcrumbs in between can get old fast.

I recently installed EQ when it went free to play. Decided to check out Highpass hold, so I ran from Qeynos. I forgot how long it actually took to travel on foot anywhere. Almost two hours later I reached my destination. Back in the day, I don't remember the huge zones and all the travelling to be a big deal and in fact I recalled the  zones fondly in EQ. But times have changed for me and I no longer have time to spend hightailing it from here to yonder. 

So, I guess really my point in this is exploration is key, but how its implemented is even more important. Just as in grinding a level fighting mobs is a reward for that time spent, so to must there be equal and tangible reward for time spent travelling and exploring. I feel that the act in itself cannot sustain interest.

 

If this idea I have suggested in the OP can be plausible, then the mind set of players of traditional mmo's would have to go out the door. The whole landscape of gameplay would have to change. In some cases on what you've described here would happen.

 

The quest mechanics would have to change from tasks to actual quests. Epic travel would be there, but there has to be some kind of incentive for "epic travel". And to give those incentives they have to derive from quests, which would really be an adventure. They would be scripted events that would happen during "epic" travel that will act as checkpoints in order progress the quest line.

 

I have three different ideas for quest mechanics that could help compliment this issue and might make more sense for questing in general. I see quests acting as chooise your own adventure books. Minor checkpoints lead to a climax and that climax is where the player has to choose what path they take. The choice after that climax would be final. After each climax you would that reward. There are Distinguished quests, Discover Quests and Missives.

 

  • The distinguished type is one continuous quest line that you will start at certain levels depending on the choices you make at character creation, such as racial and class specific quests. These distinguished quests come to an end when your character has a revelation of the central story art what ever distinquished quest there is. These will usually last until end game. The other distinguished quest you will get a little later on in levels that will tell the lore of the world and continue the main plot that is currently taken place. Distinguished quests rewards players with new race or class specific epic items, new materials or designs for crafting classes, ect. These quests will use the whole world.
 
  • The discover quests are types that are scattered out the world which can be hidden as well as un-lockable depending on the route of progress you have with your distinguished quests. (Usually find discover quests through exploration) Discover quests can be distinguished by using the continual choose your own story adventure apporach or simple just missive quests. Discover quests rewards players with new types of materials for crafting classes, and rare items that are unique to the game world. These quests will also use the whole world.
 
  • Missive quests will be the traditional tasks quests that are only limited to that zone they are found in. Most missive quests will be found in cities. Missives are quests usually static and may be repeatable. Missives may also be influenced and player made items as well, by adventuring and crafting classes. Rewards for missive quests are usually compensated with currency, different types of gems, and can create a friendly bond between you and that NPC which could unlock a new quest.
 
I hope this helps and would be a new interested idea to negate this issue.
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

5/11/12 9:34:52 AM#28
Originally posted by Loke666

The reason that it is so hard to make a game like that today is that modern graphics takes a lot more work than the graphics of the late 90s and unless you copy paste  the same stuff over and over everywhere a game like this with modern graphics would need a huge budget.

I would point out that minecraft has sold more copies than SW:TOR.

(I admit it's not really a fair comparison because the business models and prices are completely different, but I think it's enough to justify saying that graphics aren't everything when it comes to worlds; I'm also not saying MMOers should rush out and get minecraft - it's not a competitor for MMOs, just something I like to point to as a proof-of-concept of a completely different way of thinking about maps and resources, the road not taken)

  Volkon

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3813

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

5/11/12 10:09:22 AM#29

Just reading the OP made my computer grind to a halt.

 

You'd either need to have a very static, boring traditional world or the performance issues would be insane.

Oderint, dum metuant.

  Eronakis

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/17/08
Posts: 1982

 
OP  5/11/12 11:19:35 AM#30
Originally posted by Volkon

Just reading the OP made my computer grind to a halt.

 

You'd either need to have a very static, boring traditional world or the performance issues would be insane.

I was talking to a friend in IT last night and he said that with today's technology it could work if 15-20k player capacity. If it goes over that shouuld expect performance issues and servers would shut down. My intent was to try and veer off that multi server path so all the players can get the same experience. Well if we lived in a perfect world this could happen. Unfortunately if this were to become a reality then a multi server would be the only possible outcome to have this big of a world that is seamless.

  Eronakis

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/17/08
Posts: 1982

 
OP  5/11/12 1:35:03 PM#31

To just humor me, what would be some places of interest on the map if you was able to play in this world?

  Toferio

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/26/09
Posts: 1459

5/11/12 2:25:42 PM#32

To OP; just a kneejerk reaction but I personally dislike patchworks worlds, where all biomes are squuzed into one landmass. Splitting them up seems more natural and interesting. I dont really see why you are against having seamless zones splitted up between different serverclusters. I doubt we will see tech capable to host a seamless world without nodes any time soon.

 

Originally posted by Myrdynn

I dont understand how games that were being developed circa 1995 specifically Asheron's Call could have a completely open world, yet 17 yrs later we still dont have another

One reason may be that the tech supporting the game doesnt advance as fast as the mechanics/visuals. 

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12257

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

5/11/12 2:33:17 PM#33
Originally posted by Toferio

To OP; just a kneejerk reaction but I personally dislike patchworks worlds, where all biomes are squuzed into one landmass. Splitting them up seems more natural and interesting. I dont really see why you are against having seamless zones splitted up between different serverclusters. I doubt we will see tech capable to host a seamless world without nodes any time soon.

 

Originally posted by Myrdynn

I dont understand how games that were being developed circa 1995 specifically Asheron's Call could have a completely open world, yet 17 yrs later we still dont have another

One reason may be that the tech supporting the game doesnt advance as fast as the mechanics/visuals. 

That's a good point. You could probably do some truly amazing stuff in a game world with AC's system and graphics requirements. To go to the extreme, look at Minecraft and how much of the world you can render and terraform in real time in a multiplayer environment.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Eronakis

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/17/08
Posts: 1982

 
OP  5/14/12 1:14:46 PM#34

I think that a main reason why I hated this idea to work was to have players experience a world all at once. Where the players would be the prime influence on the world. The players will either get massive rewards or reprocussions based on their decision making as a world of players. World events would be a major factor of gameplay which would lead the world on the path of becoming better or worse.  I suppose it could still work with multiple servers and the world events would have to be triggered at the same time.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19767

5/15/12 1:15:58 PM#35
Game, of course. That is why i am having loads of fun in D3.
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