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MMORPG Game Concepts  » A different way for character advancement

15 posts found
  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2305

 
OP  8/06/09 4:17:52 PM#1

I was thinking of making a game where there are no levels, and no character skills. Instead players are granted temporary abilities for achieving certain goals, although I would have some permanent progress, like real limited increased attribute points and such.

That's the jist of it.

 

What do you guys think? Could it work?

  User Deleted
8/06/09 8:48:09 PM#2

I'm designing this in a different form.   Basically as you raise skills you earn points for investing into abilities.   Abilities themselves basically take up so many points from a skill(some cases multiable).   if you unlearn the ability you get those points back.

You also earn your abilities in much the same way you're suggesting.   Finishing a quest, paying a teacher, observing a monster, and similar.    I'm also considering the ability for players to be able to teach other players the abilities they've made/learned, and to be able to learn from other players in a manner similar to how they would from monsters.  

Basically tying all the abilities to a skill based ability point system was the compromise that I made for people to permently be able to know abilities.   And something that would also offer balance by limiting how much people can know.

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

8/06/09 11:11:56 PM#3

You know...

...if there was a way to have this leveless, barren spec-type thing - and attach a cashshop, there might be something to it - or you might hit the line and completely alienate customers. For instance, say there is in-game money that buys your way through fighting, etc, to level up through gear or some other kind of advancement. Things that without them, you are as base as any other player. While you have those items, you could have temporary CS items that do the same thing, but if you had it priced so low while having equipment selection so various - you might just be able to rope em in. Say you could buy individual items and stuff for dimes on the dollar and they lasted a good two-weeks max, and your whole outfit may cost a couple bucks. If it cycled fast enough, and it costs that little, it might make people more active in playing to milk the timers left on items and look out for CS sales/deals - and this would be the perfect environment for it.

Sorry if it seems evil, but thats marketing, need to show up to work with an axe.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2305

 
OP  8/07/09 6:30:29 PM#4

Thanks for the replies guys.

Sounds like a neat system Paul.

 

I don't want to go into it too deeply but the system I have could actually be considered kind of communist in access to abilities, but not totally. As in, players wouldn't be working for their own abilities alone, but more for their race/faction/alliance. Although some rewards are solo player specific.

 

I'm not positive on this, but I don't know if I'm even going to have gold in the game. I think it would be kind of interesting to see where things go if players only traded materials for materials/items for items.

 

On the cash shop thing... weelll, I don't have a huge problem with cash shops but I think western players in general do, and it has been shown that games without cash shops can also attract eastern players, so I'm leaning more towards no cash shop. I already have a way for players who don't play alot to be rewarded equally to those who play omgwtf amounts of time. The players that don't play alot just aren't in control of when they are rewarded. I think with what I have planned so far, a cash shop would bork things to all hell. It would kinda negate a fair portion of the gameplay.

  User Deleted
8/07/09 6:35:24 PM#5
Originally posted by jusomdude

I'm not positive on this, but I don't know if I'm even going to have gold in the game. I think it would be kind of interesting to see where things go if players only traded materials for materials/items for items.

 

The most common valuable/tradable item would just become the currency. An example of this is Asheron's Call. The playerbase had pretty much outgrown the currency system, so they started using valuable harvestable items as currency.

 

 

  Eronakis

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/17/08
Posts: 1980

8/09/09 2:49:03 AM#6

I really like the idea from learning abilities/skills from other creatures, was wondering how that could work out and be balanced at the same time.

  User Deleted
8/09/09 8:25:21 PM#7

I would like to point out 1 major issue with this form of idea within the MMORPG genre. It appears to lack the persistence feel which most MMORPG's are in fact, a persistent world. This concept can work if the game is to be designed around instancing like Guild Wars etc. but if this is going to be contained within a persistent rpg setting, I believe it robs a good portion of the persistent feel in the game. Maybe if more limits were applied such as you can only change your abilities once a week or something, you might retain this persistence. However, if I can switch my abilities from combat focused to craft focused or gathering resources focused, I'm going to have little reason to even interact with other players aside from things already out there like group combat. Ultimately, it depends on what context we are placing this system within and what other systems are going to be there? I believe this idea can work and be nice for people that love being able to do anything they want whenever they want but I do not believe it can work (or at the very least, not very well) within a MMORPG that is persistent.

  grimfall

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/25/07
Posts: 1151

8/09/09 8:29:12 PM#8

Another way to do it, which would make more sense to me, is just to award temporary equipment that wears out or breaks.

  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2305

 
OP  8/09/09 8:47:15 PM#9
Originally posted by Jairoe03

I would like to point out 1 major issue with this form of idea within the MMORPG genre. It appears to lack the persistence feel which most MMORPG's are in fact, a persistent world. This concept can work if the game is to be designed around instancing like Guild Wars etc. but if this is going to be contained within a persistent rpg setting, I believe it robs a good portion of the persistent feel in the game. Maybe if more limits were applied such as you can only change your abilities once a week or something, you might retain this persistence. However, if I can switch my abilities from combat focused to craft focused or gathering resources focused, I'm going to have little reason to even interact with other players aside from things already out there like group combat. Ultimately, it depends on what context we are placing this system within and what other systems are going to be there? I believe this idea can work and be nice for people that love being able to do anything they want whenever they want but I do not believe it can work (or at the very least, not very well) within a MMORPG that is persistent.


 

I was planning on having a delay after someone deletes a character. Attribute points are permanent once they are assigned. And, there are no classes, so everyone of a certain faction will be able to use the abilities that their faction has been rewarded... There are a few limits though, but I won't get into that. Players will probably have access to a wide array of abilities most of the time, although they are not guaranteed. Players will be mostly grouping for PvP, and challenging world mobs. Crafting and Items are also a whole other thing, players will have to rely on others for making real good weapons/armor/etc.

There are going to be many more systems, this is just one of them.

Why do you think it takes away persistance? The characters are still there and their attributes, the world is still there, crafted items last awhile, maybe some even last forever, and if all goes as planned, player marks in the world will still be there, such as buildings. As I said before, most players will have access to many of the abilities most likely all the time, although some may be a little more rare and/or limited in their usage.

  User Deleted
8/10/09 12:11:59 AM#10

Well, I was taking your idea of "temporary abilities" as just that. Purely temporary abilities, abilities that are given then taken away. This might be cleared up a bit if I'm not sharing the same view as you, however, the persistence is taken away when there is no cleared defined roles that a person can really develop into, even if it is a sandbox and you base this game on a completely free world. If their abilities get given and taken away constantly, all they have is their primary characteristics, it would provide a lot of variety but will take away anything specific in the game that the player might enjoy doing.

Sure, you can give them an ability to swing the axe harder than the next guy, but what is the player going to do when you give him some axe abilities he really likes using to wail on NPC's/Players and then it fades away/gets taken away and all he really wants to do is experience that axe wailing again (this is where I might not understand what exactly you mean by having temporary abilities)? Thats why I said it really depends on the system and everything else, but right now I just don't see it.

What will character development be like and what goals will be set for the player? Is character development going to take a backseat to many other things? As a player, I like to have single sole character I use, most of the time, and be able to identify myself with it. People on WoW know me as a Tank and like to ask me to tank instances for them, people in EVE know to go to me in regards to hauling/Trading requests/questions. How would a character fill a niche within an open environment if not allowed to learn, maintain and further develop a set of abilities? If a character cannot have a sense of role/identity to fulfill and a player plays the game through these characters without permanent abilities to identify themselves with then what really is going to identify them? High strength and low intelligence attributes? That doesn't seem to provide much options in terms of providing a niche for characters to identify themselves with. What will the reasoning behind having temporary abilities be? Will it be something like a mission is presented and your handed the tools you need for this particular mission and see how efficiently you can accomplish this mission?

Again, I'm having a hard time sharing the vision of this being applied to a persistent game. I can see it used for instancing easily and I'm thinking much like Guild Wars where you are limited to a 8 abilities and then set out to do mission instances/quests in instances. However, if its going to be set in a world where actions affect the environment permanently, then I believe many other things will have to be just as permanent, one being the character and their identity/roles or whatever you want to call it.

  Repulsion

Novice Member

Joined: 4/06/09
Posts: 175

Hadouken.

8/10/09 5:40:44 AM#11

I think it sounds like a great concept, but it'd be very game specific, at least as far as story goes.

 

You could be "gifted" by the gods with power (abilities) for a limited time, and then you must return to the temple and pray for more abilities, etc.

Or, like in Bioshock, sorta like Plasmids, except as you used more of your whatever, they eventually went away (instead of being able to be recharged.)

 

I think this is a great idea because it allows players to experience different flavors of whatever they want to do. If you have "core" attributes, that in itself is some drive for a character to get stronger. Even if they specialize in a certain task (aforementioned Axe Swinging) and want to do it again, they can do that, just pick up the ability again. Or, say they need to fight a certain boss, okay, well, the Axe Swinging might not work so well for me, but using a polearm and staying at further range might do me some good. Still would be enhanced by Strength as a core attribute, but work in different ways. Or, being able to specialize into a pure dps, or a pure tank at a whim.

This brings me back to what WoW decided to do, with respeccing, and again with dual speccing. But it's in a completely different form. Your world would have to revolve around your abilities.

 

Anyway /shrug.

  User Deleted
8/10/09 5:56:16 AM#12

Yeah, I think it could work.  A lot depend on duration.  If short (an hour or so) then it's not much different from a buff quest that grants stats for a limited time.  I've never seen this done for longer periods (say 24 hours of clock time, or 24 hours of gameplay), but as long as the engine understands persistant "follows through death" buffs, I can see it working.

Maybe you'd prefer to have the buff NOT persist through death?

I could see something like this happening:

1. complete achievement 1, get BUFF 1

2. completing achievement 2 is now much easier because of buff 1, get BUFF 2

3. complete achievement 3 is now easier because of buff 2, GOAL!

In theory your "permanent advancement" part could be done with gear (if you wanted).  Say have 10 tiers of gear per class (if you even have classes).  No levels, but very real progression.

Ken

 

  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2305

 
OP  8/10/09 3:21:32 PM#13
Originally posted by Jairoe03

Well, I was taking your idea of "temporary abilities" as just that. Purely temporary abilities, abilities that are given then taken away. This might be cleared up a bit if I'm not sharing the same view as you, however, the persistence is taken away when there is no cleared defined roles that a person can really develop into, even if it is a sandbox and you base this game on a completely free world. If their abilities get given and taken away constantly, all they have is their primary characteristics, it would provide a lot of variety but will take away anything specific in the game that the player might enjoy doing.

Sure, you can give them an ability to swing the axe harder than the next guy, but what is the player going to do when you give him some axe abilities he really likes using to wail on NPC's/Players and then it fades away/gets taken away and all he really wants to do is experience that axe wailing again (this is where I might not understand what exactly you mean by having temporary abilities)? Thats why I said it really depends on the system and everything else, but right now I just don't see it.

What will character development be like and what goals will be set for the player? Is character development going to take a backseat to many other things? As a player, I like to have single sole character I use, most of the time, and be able to identify myself with it. People on WoW know me as a Tank and like to ask me to tank instances for them, people in EVE know to go to me in regards to hauling/Trading requests/questions. How would a character fill a niche within an open environment if not allowed to learn, maintain and further develop a set of abilities? If a character cannot have a sense of role/identity to fulfill and a player plays the game through these characters without permanent abilities to identify themselves with then what really is going to identify them? High strength and low intelligence attributes? That doesn't seem to provide much options in terms of providing a niche for characters to identify themselves with. What will the reasoning behind having temporary abilities be? Will it be something like a mission is presented and your handed the tools you need for this particular mission and see how efficiently you can accomplish this mission?

Again, I'm having a hard time sharing the vision of this being applied to a persistent game. I can see it used for instancing easily and I'm thinking much like Guild Wars where you are limited to a 8 abilities and then set out to do mission instances/quests in instances. However, if its going to be set in a world where actions affect the environment permanently, then I believe many other things will have to be just as permanent, one being the character and their identity/roles or whatever you want to call it.

All players start out with a basic ability set... these are things like melee attacks, which there are different ones in the system I have planned. Players stats are what limit what kinds of weapons they can use. But if they can use the weakest of that type of weapon they can also use the strongest. Different weapons have different advantages/disadvantages. Players are primarily identified by their stats, and their faction rank. They will also be identified more by them as a player, and not so much what their character can do.
 

The rewarded abilities are more supernatural type things, like a Ryu Hadoken, so, if a player loses access to it, then it's tough titty until he can get access to it again.

I don't share your idea of what makes a game persistent, I guess. I apologize that I can't answer all your questions but I don't want to reveal my entire game design. You're referring to what has already been done. I'm working on doing something new here.

  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2305

 
OP  8/10/09 3:23:39 PM#14
Originally posted by Repulsion

I think it sounds like a great concept, but it'd be very game specific, at least as far as story goes.

 

You could be "gifted" by the gods with power (abilities) for a limited time, and then you must return to the temple and pray for more abilities, etc.

Or, like in Bioshock, sorta like Plasmids, except as you used more of your whatever, they eventually went away (instead of being able to be recharged.)

 

I think this is a great idea because it allows players to experience different flavors of whatever they want to do. If you have "core" attributes, that in itself is some drive for a character to get stronger. Even if they specialize in a certain task (aforementioned Axe Swinging) and want to do it again, they can do that, just pick up the ability again. Or, say they need to fight a certain boss, okay, well, the Axe Swinging might not work so well for me, but using a polearm and staying at further range might do me some good. Still would be enhanced by Strength as a core attribute, but work in different ways. Or, being able to specialize into a pure dps, or a pure tank at a whim.

This brings me back to what WoW decided to do, with respeccing, and again with dual speccing. But it's in a completely different form. Your world would have to revolve around your abilities.

 

Anyway /shrug.

You're on the right track with the gods thing, but what I have planned works a little differently. As far as the spec thing goes, mine is pretty different, I'll have to test it to see if it'll work out well.
 

  User Deleted
8/11/09 4:14:34 PM#15
Originally posted by jusomdude

All players start out with a basic ability set... these are things like melee attacks, which there are different ones in the system I have planned. Players stats are what limit what kinds of weapons they can use. But if they can use the weakest of that type of weapon they can also use the strongest. Different weapons have different advantages/disadvantages. Players are primarily identified by their stats, and their faction rank. They will also be identified more by them as a player, and not so much what their character can do.
 

The rewarded abilities are more supernatural type things, like a Ryu Hadoken, so, if a player loses access to it, then it's tough titty until he can get access to it again.

I don't share your idea of what makes a game persistent, I guess. I apologize that I can't answer all your questions but I don't want to reveal my entire game design. You're referring to what has already been done. I'm working on doing something new here.


 

I think everyone in every game is more or less identified in some way by the player. Like I'm sure no matter what MMO you're playing, you know the name of that one guy who's the biggest and most outspoken douche in the game and along with all the other characters he plays. I guess put in the context of supernatural abilities, I can easily see how the usage of temporary abilities can be used as a reward or limit. There are a myriad of context you can use to actually provide a reason for this, but I guess that wasn't my question.

I will elaborate more on a question I asked before, what is the reason behind JUST having the temporary abilities itself in terms of the design of the game? (I can understand if you feel it will reveal too much and prefer not to answer and really just looking for really general answers). Why not allow a character to have a set of abilities such as ways to utilize those different kinds of weapons in more ways than just shooting a gun or swinging a sword AND provide the super natural abilities in whatever temporary context of your choosing?

My ultimate point was if your making all abilities temporary (aside from just a base set of abilities that everyone has), you will be taking away a permanent aspect of a character in which people would like to form some kind of identity or niche with. At least we know if you provided at least some form of permanent abilities, you will at least maintain a dynamic in terms of development rather than take it away and turning characters a little more generic.

I think if you included even some rough skill system that involved permanent abilities and still maintained the temporary supernatural ability, you can still retain much of what you intended to do in the first place. Why not provide abilities that represent much of what you can do in the real world and still grant the temporary supernatural abilities? At least Bob can say he can be a sword specialist and be better at using the sword than the next guy (forming a niche within the community) and Joe can utilize his advantages with pistols in his group because he's the go-to pistolier guy within his guild/clan/cult. It really can be kept as simple as specialized uses with weapons (seeing that it appears to be the other focus within the game in terms of your game design).

Personally, I find it important to find ways to identify myself through my character (not sure if anyone else does or if this is a common thing), and I wouldn't feel as interested in the game if all I have to really identify myself with and separate myself from the next guy with are primary attributes and my own personality/style. Its already natural that our personality comes out as human beings within our characters anyways. And for some reason when I think of this idea, Team Fortress 2 comes to mind. You pick a class with each class having different attributes to various things, some better than others and have access to a weapon thats special for that class and you go at it. Nothing differentiates yourself from the next player besides your own class preference/style of play (and the attributes it comes with), FPS skills and the attitude you take towards your own team and enemies.