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News & Features Discussion  » General: Massey: Why Not A Mystery MMO?

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106 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 5/05/07
Posts: 352

7/28/09 10:30:00 AM#101



Originally posted by Ozmodan

Mosf of these posters don't seem to get it, once someone solves something the solution will be on the net within hours.  So that precludes using solving mysteries as a way to advance your character, those that look things up will always be miles ahead of you.  Even introducing randomness won't help much, just more solutions posted.

While single player mysteries work well as you are playing against the computer, they just collapse when it comes to a MMO setting.

I have not read one suggestion in this thread that works for a game like this in a MMO setting. 


Something that no one has pointed out about Clue is that you play as one of the suspects, but even you don't know if you did it until the end of the game. While you know it's going to be one of these 6 people with one of these 6 weapons done in one of these 9 rooms, you don't know which particular combination it is for that instance.

But I don't think a Clue-style game would make a good MMO.  It would rapidly get repetitive and tedious as you figure out which of the 324 instances you're in. Could definitely be done as an online game, but just in an online gaming parlor.

I do like the idea of a mystery MMORPG. I'd play it, for sure.

I could see it being a skill-based system with a few affiliations instead of classes. Maybe cop, private eye, and reporter. Each affiliation would be part of your character's back story and give you access to different resources. Maybe as a cop you'd have access to a crime lab and as a PI you'd have better connections to the underworld. As you solve cases, you get skill points to go towards diplomacy or intimdation or "eyesight." And maybe you start getting bigger cases, promotions, stories, pay offs...

For team situations, you could get points based on your contributions to solving the case. Everybody gets something once the case is solved, but you get a bonus for finding evidence or scaring off an intruder before he commits another theft/murder.

The big hurdle would be creating new content and foiling spoilers as much as possible.

The less you expect, the more you'll be surprised. Hopefully, pleasantly so.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/17/06
Posts: 70

7/29/09 12:46:17 AM#102

There is only one game that I know of that has really given this idea a go.  Myst online or Uru.   It failed though with a huge fan base still but I think Myst Online's problem was the character models and the UI.  They were just too off the norm of the MMORPG standard and it made the game feel sticky and difficult to control.   The character models were rather plane looking and had horrible hair and customizing was limited.   Then Cyan Worlds ran into money problems and as far as I know still can not afford to bring the game back though they did manage to regain the rights out of a pretty bad deal.   Right now I think the company is living off its phone game versions of its older games.   I really loved the Myst story, its too bad it did not work out.


It is a good idea [the article]  but to pull it off its going to have to be a really polished piece of work.   Just look at all these comments and you see you have to convince people that the way things are is not how they have to be.   Typical humans.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/08
Posts: 19

7/29/09 10:30:12 AM#103
Hello Dana, hello to everyone in the threat!

I just want to ask two questions about this Mystery MMO idea and perhaps to answer them as well:

1. Why a mystery MMO would be a good one?

I think beacause it's something new, something different. We all see that today's MMOs share same features of game mechanics, like: creating a character, level advancement, item hunting, raids, crafting, PvP (unbalanced and sometimes that is close to balance).

1.1 The name is the key
Mystery is something that is lacking in the MMOs! There is no mystery, no single player experience, no secrets. Still, I believe that this is something that can be achieved, if the game world is creating in instances (as Dana said) but not for many people ... 5 maybe 6. If there is no need to create a character, then the players will depend only on their intellect and cunningness. But if there is a character selection and every character has a specific predifined skills, could be more interesting and if there is more than one way to solve a mystery ... well that's a different story! Maybe that's the point, maybe this would be the funniest part, that everyone knows how the mystery can be solved but the combinations to do that are many! Well, this is the hardest thing of developing such game and it's not about numbers, balance of classes and skills ... it's about clever mind games, interessting puzzels with more than one options (if you understand what I mean:))

Well, for me, mystery is a one man experience. I can't share that kind of feeling with noone else, even the closest ones ... but that is just me. The other people have different point of view, different needs.:)

1.2 The Feeling
That's something that can be achieved with good level design, sounds and music and hell yeah, they are very important for a mystery.

1.3 The Setting
For me, a real mystery is an alien planet, ocean depths, or even the human body. Traveling through time is something new for the MMOs too. And please, let there be a new setting, no Star Wars, no Star Trek, no Stargate, no Conan, no DnD, no WoD, no WoW!!! "There is only one salvation - our own imagination"

2. Why a mystery MMO would be a bad one?

My answer is this: There is now action, no competition! Everyone needs a good gameplay, as developers like to say for each game: Easy to learn, hard do master ... I may add: Easy to promise, hard to implement. I bet, most of the forum users here and gamers all over the world like to see a really good gameplay, instead of amazing graphics.

... Still there could be a competition like ranking points according to number of successful missions/quests/mysteries and depending this ranking points a new instances for the player would be available.

So, that is my opinion! :)

The technology of Tau makes us strong!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 1

1/13/10 9:25:52 AM#104

The idea of a mystery game thats mmo based acctually would be extreamly hard to make but would be worth the effort so i agree with you dana.

imagine a game where you can be good or bad like many games that are mmo difference is its not all about fighting or lvling in fact the only thing that you need is your mind.
you start out with an npc crime to solve. basically to learn the mechanics of the game someone came into your home and removed everything while you slept even your bed and you woke up on the floor. cops are baffled so you have no choice but to try and figure it out for yourself hence forth you begin to learn the mechanics of the game using basic items and chemichals to find clues and the like. finally after learning the game and solving your first crime you decide to open up a business for being a detective for rewards and cash
on the flip side if you choose a darker path
you start out viewing a scene where your being invited into a gang of some sort and you have to perform a crime bigger then mugging or something something along the lines of true theft (but of course adding combat to the game and weopons makes this path very interesting.

now as far as solving crimes would go everything you see on tv would be possible when someone commits a crime they leave behind trace evedence from hair to fluids doesnt matter now the crook can clean up there tracks if there intellegence is high enough but really its a full blown battle of wits and knowledge of crimes.

as your playing the game can be based in 1 or two ways you can either commet or solve a crime using an npc and then say if your good and an npc has a crime commited against them there will be a board posted on the crime for anyone to pick up also npcs commit crimes as well so people dont have to be online all he time you can solve crimes for money from them also you can commit crimes between other players basically a full fledged world where you own homes (for free <--- part of the game mechanic and has to be available for free) you can own a business but honestly going deeper and make the game more intruiging would be a do anything say anything world something like second life but with better standard graphics a building system yes but only for homes and buildings items would be bought in game every item is available everything is open to get but can be bought faster in a game shop experience doesnt matter as the only experience you need is what youve acctually done.

as far as more aabout the crime solveing you can do anything from checking cameras (you acctually have to watch the camera and write down information you see) to fingerprints and everything its a literal world

the game is going to be very very complicated to make but i beleive would be worth it in the end



leave me a message on  things you would change and what you would add to make it better this is just the rough idea ive been thinking of and needs a lot of work

now to go a step further on ideas do not say anything like " take such and such out becasue it would be too complicated to make" nothing is too complicated to make. if japan can make a robat to carry patience to another table then we can make a game with anything in it possible leave ideas but no complaints and if you have to complain then complain and give a real reason why.

When life gives you lemon... Squirt life in the eye and demand tangerines


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/11/13
Posts: 1

2/11/13 6:23:35 PM#105

I got here searching for SEED I only remembered the theme of the game this thread revealed the name of it, I'm disappointed to find it has been discontinued before I could try it..another obscure MMOG featured a sponsor the storage company PODS was integrated with the game but it definietly looked pretty good don't know if its not violent or still operating and don't rmmeber the name..I'll find it eventually I think..anyway about the mystery idea that compell me toregister to comment. Besides cyberscowling at the blokes who said its a stupid post I'm new here so I wont use profanity but please go mature a bit...

To the authors idea i want to add/note that you overlooked the obvious solution to cheat and walkthrough proliferation in your solo intance examples..the solution was presented in clue even the board game version, that made the game replayable.. random You will make the persistant world and instance generated content little more than setting themes and platforms to drive/help the plot and to collect the evidence. The evidence itself is randomly selected from a variety of material and sequenced objectives..Some materials would even be dynamically limited edition stuff for holidays etc.  Then also the evidence and outcome does not aways have to be an object either it might be footage or clues such as witnessing a lesser "crime" that is a clue leading to the main mystery..Sometimes you will have the system generate quests based entirely on peer activities. So while yes you want to make the game playable enough to have walkthroughs, the dynamic content will limit the walkthroughs to navigating/interacting with location environments or tutoials on very frequently occurig activities..Also don't count out multiplayer instances yet..Like in clue a handful of players will be tasked to solve an instance mystery and they may be grouped together at certain points but only as the instance progress will some of them become complicit and the other players will begin to have to plot against them..this would be especially usefull when you have distinct class and customizable characters,occupation guilds and player influenced factions. One way you would promote this kind of uncertainty is involving world/server persistent but player influenced factions. The players may have opted join an affiliation of other players within a faction, and this might eventually force them to make questionable choices concerning the other unaffiliated or rivalrous players in the your a bobby cop, your guild is police fraternity, your faction is political conservatives your affiliation if you have one is: abbey street tavern of moes (started by side show bob..another player.).choose working for or against a faction during complex multiplayer instances in addition to their proffesional guild. For clarity I'll use an example hmm..ok: We have a Sherlock Holmes type mmog. All players begin as attendees at a criminal justice seminar headlined by a person who reminds us of Dr. Moriarty or Dr. Watson (or intro could be a bystander at the horrific scene of a crime,public execution or accident..maybe caught in a terrible fire (which later turns out to be a diversion for something more sinister.. so the available character classes  with -profession:and (rpg bonuses) for players to choose at the beggining pre-open world gameplay.

my example here:

Gifted Crafter -apprentice to Watchmaker/Bombmaker(crafting bonus),

Enlightened Socialite/Gentry/Student-protege of: an accomplished Univeristy Scholar/Scientist/Lawyer/Seedy Politician/Tycoon (Charisma,Intellect and income bonuses),

Trained Civil Servant-cadet of: Booby Cop/Firefighter/Brigands.

         as with most MMOGs once they complete the first levels and have begun to get well into their journey perghaps guided to uncover the mysteries behind their killed or otherwise destroyed/discredited "teacher" from the tutorial level, in the course of their scripted leveling adventures they'll find it imperative that they also pursue more routine "daily" activities associated wth the career of their character's the due course of that they'll find it esssential that they join the guild of that profession at which point an insidious player community generated world opens up to them and players would be able to join and form factions: a social way to corrupt and influence even the very nature of career guilds on a deeper level. Soon you'll have a world saturated with player generated intrigue but innoculously packaged and presented by the world and guild instance mission opportunities..I guess in the end it would be a pretty open ended sort've "detective" game where not everyone is actually in the career path of "detective" but everyone is involved in the myseries..don't think you could avoid violent aspects in a game like this but it would be marginalized and very sensational when it happens..I imagine you'll wind up with lots of criminal gang players but thats up to the gamers to decide how ugly the like their server to be.

examples of this kind of game I've heard of but never played are: Republic,Face of Mankind


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/30/09
Posts: 1147

2/11/13 6:25:04 PM#106
There is a mystery/puzzle mmo, it is called Myst Online ;)
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