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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How About an Entirely Horizontal MMORPG

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61 posts found
  Rossboss

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/10
Posts: 238

12/05/12 2:43:02 PM#41
Originally posted by Meleagar
Originally posted by Rossboss

I would love this game except that it might get boring as far as standard combat goes unless it's AI that learns from you. What I mean is killing an unending amount of rats/mongrels/snakes would get really boring because their behaviors are entirely predictable.

At the end of the day, killing anything repetitively is boring, but at least with this kind of game you can go wherever you want in the world because it's all the same "level" and fight different stuff, and you don't feel compelled to do so because you aren't trying to level. You can do other things that bring in the materials, tokens or gold you want.

You might be able to go wherever you want in the game but what's the appeal to going there? Exclusive materials, places, people and conflicts. It wouldn't be much of a game if you have no opposition. What would be the point of collecting the materials or cards or money?

I can't see where you find opposition if you entirely skirt the fact that you don't have to engage in any kind of conflict. People would just roam around without having anything to worry about as they craft/collect to their heart's content.

You also said RP potential is enormous, but is there a market for RP in games anymore?

I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.
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  Crazy_Stick

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/28/12
Posts: 1067

12/05/12 2:43:04 PM#42
Originally posted by Meleagar
Originally posted by Crazy_Stick

However, it seems the OP isn’t describing a true MMORPG and is really after something else MMO I am hesitant to label. A video game RPG is defined by forms of vertical progression which is what separates it in part from any other shooter or action game into a unique genre. What they note is a lot of features that aren’t wrapped into a point to make a complete game and could be tacked onto anything really. They don’t make a game by themselves.

There is nothing explicit or implicit in the term "massviely multiplayer role-playing game" or even "role-playing game" that refers to vertical progression.  That may be the narrow, myopic choice developers have decided to utilize, but just as "talkie" used to be synonymous with "musical", the current association doesn't necessarily define the potential of the genre.

Honestly. This is wrong and born of feeling rather than education. Go to school for design.  I don't say that to be mean.

  greenreen

Elite Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1375

12/05/12 2:46:08 PM#43
Originally posted by Meleagar
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Meleagar

 

People engage in all sorts of games, hobbies, sports, and liesure and entertainment activities that have no meaningful vertical progression. I'm not arguing that people shouldn't enjoy vertical progression activities, I'm just saying that there's plenty of successful non-vertical entertainment in the world. It's not like you can accumulate "more powerful cards that most others can't get" in poker, canasta, bridge, spades. It's not like you can go into a domino tournament with your own dominos that have extra dots.  People spent endless hours playing "pong", and other multi-person games that had no vertical progression. Where is the vertical gear or stat progression in football, baseball, or soccer?  It doesn't exist in many FPS games or sports or simulation games. Most standard board games have no vertical progression. People invest endless hours in hobbies that have zero vertical progression.


 

may be not verticle progression, in the sense of accumulating stuff in a MMORPG, but in almost all of the competitive games you cite, there *is* progression, and status plays a role.

In poker, you have amount of money won. In fact, more money you have, you have more psychological power over your opponent since it is harder to "bankrupt" you.

In chess, and bridge, and many competitive sports like ping pong, there is the ELO ranking score. That is also used in many online competitive games.

In baseball, you have your stats (if you play competitive games).

Obviously it is much harder to improve your chess ranking, than acquiring the new armor from a MMORPG dungeon .. but that is the point. Human, in general, crave status, and MMORPG provides an artificial, easy and cheap way to satisfy that need.

...snip

The argument that an MMOG can't succeed without stat progression is just not founded in reality, IMO.

Who said it wouldn't suceed? Don't be confused by what I typed today. I like playing devil's advocate but I think any game can succeed if it is niche and gets enough players to support itself and a staff of about 3. One for the forums and business, one to code, one to make it pretty. If you want to live meagerly, that 3 person outfit could be 1 person. Problem is that you don't want to be that person from earlier statements about not wanting to push the project toward a team and funding.

 

I think what most people are saying is that stat progression is recognized and a simple way to improve that we all have seen. People know that is profitable. Putting the word success in there means that you have to define success then. Is success a popular game with high population or just enough for the developer and friends to play for free. Does success mean the game lasted 6 months or 6 years etc.

 

  Meleagar

Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 407

 
OP  12/05/12 3:10:59 PM#44
Originally posted by Rossboss
Originally posted by Meleagar
Originally posted by Rossboss

I would love this game except that it might get boring as far as standard combat goes unless it's AI that learns from you. What I mean is killing an unending amount of rats/mongrels/snakes would get really boring because their behaviors are entirely predictable.

At the end of the day, killing anything repetitively is boring, but at least with this kind of game you can go wherever you want in the world because it's all the same "level" and fight different stuff, and you don't feel compelled to do so because you aren't trying to level. You can do other things that bring in the materials, tokens or gold you want.

You might be able to go wherever you want in the game but what's the appeal to going there? Exclusive materials, places, people and conflicts. It wouldn't be much of a game if you have no opposition. What would be the point of collecting the materials or cards or money?

I can't see where you find opposition if you entirely skirt the fact that you don't have to engage in any kind of conflict. People would just roam around without having anything to worry about as they craft/collect to their heart's content.

You also said RP potential is enormous, but is there a market for RP in games anymore?

I think you must have gotten the wrong idea. I didn't say that there was no PvE. There will be plenty of PvE. Lots of creatures, boss creatures, dungeon creatures, raid creatures, etc to fight along your way. There will just be no vertical progression.
  ice-vortex

Novice Member

Joined: 5/21/10
Posts: 901

12/05/12 3:42:06 PM#45

Horizontal progression doesn't mean no progression. Horizontal progression is advancement through new abilities that are equally viable in power as previous abilities you obtained.

You can't get away from veritical progression without making it bland, because even if you went horizontal progression with character abilities, characters would still gain an increase in power just because of how flexible the later characters would be compared to new characters.

  Meleagar

Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 407

 
OP  12/05/12 5:24:00 PM#46
Originally posted by ice-vortex

Horizontal progression doesn't mean no progression. Horizontal progression is advancement through new abilities that are equally viable in power as previous abilities you obtained.

You can't get away from veritical progression without making it bland, because even if you went horizontal progression with character abilities, characters would still gain an increase in power just because of how flexible the later characters would be compared to new characters.

If one is simply intent on defining something - anything -as "vertical" in order to justify a claim that there "must" be vertical progression, they can certainly do so. Again, my point is about stat progression either in gear or in characters, which is what is generallly meant by the term.
 

Swapping a +5% fire resistance out for a +2% movement is not a vertical increase in power.

  Ortwig

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1023

12/05/12 5:41:48 PM#47
Originally posted by Rossboss
Originally posted by Meleagar
Originally posted by Rossboss

I would love this game except that it might get boring as far as standard combat goes unless it's AI that learns from you. What I mean is killing an unending amount of rats/mongrels/snakes would get really boring because their behaviors are entirely predictable.

At the end of the day, killing anything repetitively is boring, but at least with this kind of game you can go wherever you want in the world because it's all the same "level" and fight different stuff, and you don't feel compelled to do so because you aren't trying to level. You can do other things that bring in the materials, tokens or gold you want.

You might be able to go wherever you want in the game but what's the appeal to going there? Exclusive materials, places, people and conflicts. It wouldn't be much of a game if you have no opposition. What would be the point of collecting the materials or cards or money?

I can't see where you find opposition if you entirely skirt the fact that you don't have to engage in any kind of conflict. People would just roam around without having anything to worry about as they craft/collect to their heart's content.

You also said RP potential is enormous, but is there a market for RP in games anymore?

Such a game would need some kind of overarching challenge to give  reason to adventure (horizontal or not).  Perhaps it's an unexplored planet.  Perhaps it's the settling of a new terrirory.  There needs to be some major theme going on, which perhaps goes a bit over into themepark territory, but it'll be there where you find your motivation for adventuring. 

  winter

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/08/03
Posts: 2153

12/05/12 5:42:58 PM#48

 the Op seems to call for a world where ones character is totally and completely stagnent. It will never grow or become more powerfull as that would require verttical levels of challenge to be put it.

  So breifly put your character starts with the same amount of power he will ever have. he will never grow stronger and and horizontal content will never grow tougher as one requires the other. Everyone would be able to do everything on day one. there would be no need of crafting as higher level / stronger gear is a vertical inc4rease which would then either cheapen and remove any challenge from the static horizontal encounters or would require the encouinter to be higher (vertical) level to remain challengeing.

   Dorry OP you can't have one without the other. If your premise is all content is equal and doable on day one to your starting character then you wipe out the need for crafting of all but cosmetic items, and wipe out any need to further ones skills or equipement as thats a vertical incrase. End point such a game would be ok for a short term but since there is no growth, no need to attempt to get better because of the static nature of the game and its challenges it would quickly become stale IMo opinion.

  Terranah

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3609

12/05/12 5:48:56 PM#49
I like the idea but in practice that would be a lot to think about at the beginning of a game when you don't know how things play out later.  I think Precu SWG was perfect in this regard, just copy their skill based system and call it good.  Hell, call it great!
  winter

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/08/03
Posts: 2153

12/05/12 5:51:26 PM#50
Originally posted by Meleagar
Originally posted by ice-vortex

Horizontal progression doesn't mean no progression. Horizontal progression is advancement through new abilities that are equally viable in power as previous abilities you obtained.

You can't get away from veritical progression without making it bland, because even if you went horizontal progression with character abilities, characters would still gain an increase in power just because of how flexible the later characters would be compared to new characters.

If one is simply intent on defining something - anything -as "vertical" in order to justify a claim that there "must" be vertical progression, they can certainly do so. Again, my point is about stat progression either in gear or in characters, which is what is generallly meant by the term.
 

Swapping a +5% fire resistance out for a +2% movement is not a vertical increase in power.

 your OP was that all areas and content are doable right out the gate. that one would never need to grow in Power (a vertical aspect) As such why really would i want to switch oput a +2% movement for a 5% fire resistance. the content is doable as it right out of the gate per your OP.

  Seems your really just saying there should be a vertical gear/skill progression with no stat/character progression. If you need gear or skills to do well on some encounter then there is a endgame and a vertical progression. (ie one can't right out of the gate on creation go storm the dark foozle eith a good chance of winning.)

  Meleagar

Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 407

 
OP  12/05/12 5:59:04 PM#51

I reiterate: for those that require vertical stat progression to enjoy a game, this kind of game is obviously not for you. Yes, you will perceive your character as being stagnate and yes, you would feel like there is no reason to do anything else in the game. I'm not trying to sell the concept of a non-vertical game to those that reguire vertical progression in their gaming entertainment

 

  ice-vortex

Novice Member

Joined: 5/21/10
Posts: 901

12/05/12 6:44:16 PM#52

I think games have taken veritcal progression too far, and it is giving a impression of it. Just look at the progression from 1 to 50 in a game. They hand out stats like candy on Halloween to the point that a stat upgrade isn't really special anymore. I look back comparing it to the pre-Luclin Everquest which had a narrow progression of stats. Levels also meant more than equipment, so the power gap between someone fully maxed out and someone that has average gear wasn't that wide.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5359

I dare you to pin a label on me.

12/05/12 6:54:08 PM#53
Not a fan of free mixing of skills. Skill groups (usually known as classes or archetypes) make balancing a lot easier and make for a variety of more distinct builds. They had colors in MTG too.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  ice-vortex

Novice Member

Joined: 5/21/10
Posts: 901

12/05/12 6:57:09 PM#54
Originally posted by Quirhid
Not a fan of free mixing of skills. Skill groups (usually known as classes or archetypes) make balancing a lot easier and make for a variety of more distinct builds. They had colors in MTG too.

I agree with this. Classes are a good way to group together abilities which makes it easier to have balance. When you just throw everything into a pot, available to all, you will end up with combinations that are just game breaking. It also means that since that is the case, some abilities will need to be excluded.

  Ortwig

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1023

12/05/12 7:16:27 PM#55

If there were one part of the game that had vertical progression, I believe it would need to be skills.  If you were doing class-free, you could have grouping of skills that made up "occupations."  So a "thief" might have Sneaking, Hiding and Rear Attack as skills.  Other occupations might have these same skills as well -- a "hunter" for example might have Sneak and Hide, but also Tracking.  I think you make up your universe of skills that cover all occupations, and then draw from that pool to make your occupation.  I guess you could do free for all as well, if you want to leave it open.

The thing is that skill improvements would be easy at lower levels and get harder to improve as you got better with them.  Tabletop RuneQuest and Call of Cthulhu had an elegant way of handling this -- each skill could go from 0-100%, and the chance for a skill to increase after using was the inverse of the curent skill.  So if you had 20% Sneak, you had an 80% chance to improve by 1-3 points.  If you had an 80% Senak, your chance to improve was only 20%.  You could go a bit over 100% in a skill but not much.

With this kind of system, the gear never progressed hugely.  You could find lots of magical stuff sure, but nothing that made you godlike, just different as different situations required.  

What it comes down to, is can a game have vertical progression to a certain point, and then expand horizontally to include a variety of situations that require different abilties, gears and use of brain?  Can it still be interesting and challenging without the gear treadmill?

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7649

Logic be damned!

12/05/12 8:03:26 PM#56
Originally posted by ice-vortex
Originally posted by Quirhid
Not a fan of free mixing of skills. Skill groups (usually known as classes or archetypes) make balancing a lot easier and make for a variety of more distinct builds. They had colors in MTG too.

I agree with this. Classes are a good way to group together abilities which makes it easier to have balance. When you just throw everything into a pot, available to all, you will end up with combinations that are just game breaking. It also means that since that is the case, some abilities will need to be excluded.

While in general I agree - in a good skill system there are logical/necessary groups of skills that must be paired that end up forming what are pretty much classes.

So the whole thing is kind of pointless.

People only seem to remember the Tank Mage in UO - but that was an issue in like... 97-98 they fixed that pretty quick.

By 99/2000 we had a whole bunch of very viable builds people used.

Might as well have been classes.

Now Playing: D3:RoS
Looking Towards: Destiny

  Caliburn101

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/11
Posts: 647

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein

12/06/12 5:18:57 AM#57
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by greenreen

What you speak of is what has kept me up late nights trying to work out and I don't think it would appeal to many.

Humans have a drive to "get things".

It's difficult to imagine mmo gamers not constrantly measuring themselves or their status against all other gamers, isn't it? MMOs are traditionally just shallow little pools of status symbol, their players as vain and prone to strut as teenage boys.

We assume it could work, in the same way the Nirvana or Shangri-la could work, if only it weren't for the damned humans being involved.

It's a shame ANet didn't read a little history before they made GW2.

20th Century Communism - designed to make everyone equal and happy, and failed on a biblical scale due to people wanting to be superior to others in material goods, status, wealth, power - or as gamers measure it - gear, rank, gold and leetness....

  Meleagar

Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 407

 
OP  12/06/12 10:14:58 AM#58
Originally posted by Caliburn101
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by greenreen

What you speak of is what has kept me up late nights trying to work out and I don't think it would appeal to many.

Humans have a drive to "get things".

It's difficult to imagine mmo gamers not constrantly measuring themselves or their status against all other gamers, isn't it? MMOs are traditionally just shallow little pools of status symbol, their players as vain and prone to strut as teenage boys.

We assume it could work, in the same way the Nirvana or Shangri-la could work, if only it weren't for the damned humans being involved.

It's a shame ANet didn't read a little history before they made GW2.

20th Century Communism - designed to make everyone equal and happy, and failed on a biblical scale due to people wanting to be superior to others in material goods, status, wealth, power - or as gamers measure it - gear, rank, gold and leetness....

Except we're not talking about an economic/'social system, we're talking about games. The basic structure of games throughout history has been to create a level, fair playing field so that players could compete (either directly or against some environmental challenge) without any artificial advantages. Unless you would call a game of chess "communist" because everyone has the same, equally-capable pieces to play the game with, inserting an economic/social theory into game theory argument is only a convenient use of straw man.

Football is a very successful game/sport. it is built around the concept of a fair and level playing field, which is why there is revenue sharing among teams and a universal salary cap, a weighted drafting system, etc.  That way, what is being judged on the playing field is not who has the most money, or who has the best equipment, but rather who has the most talent, skill and drive and who has the better team and coaching. There are literally millions of games that have no vertical power progression whatsoever, but are instead founded on the concept of a level playing field where players can pit their wit, intelligence, cunning and creativity against each other.  People spend billions of dollars a year on such games and invest millions of hours.

It has nothing to do with "communism", but rather actual fair competition in a game on a level playing field.

It's becoming more and more my opinion, however, that the power-progression system really only serves one kind of player: those have plenty of time to invest, but not the skill, intelligence or creativity a fair game requires in order to excel in it - so they grind out gear that artificially generates a sense of being an "elite" player for nothing more, really, than spending time at the keyboard staring at the screen.

There's plenty of playera with lots of time to invest that would rather have a fair playing field rather than one that has an eternal slope in it biased in favor of  those that can simply sit at their computer longer than other players.

And, BTW, GW2 was a huge pre-purchase and launch success based upon them representing and hyping the game as a stat-capped, no-grind, no-treadmill game.  In the weeks that followed launch, they were adding servers and had to discontinue digital sales until they could increase capacity.   After week 10 whatever goes on with GW2 financially doesn't indicate anything for the non-vertical market because they turned it into a vertical progression game at that point.

 

  apocoluster

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 1233

\m/,

12/06/12 10:18:17 AM#59
  Play Utherverse...you will be mostly horizontal there  lol

No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

12/06/12 10:37:58 AM#60
Originally posted by Meleagar
Gamer perception is going to be that some sort of vertical progression is necessary (lack of contrary models, the WoW effect).

Whether that's true or false doesn't matter--selling your game, against a general perception, is an EVE-level "keep plugging for a decade until you have a sizable player base" problem, at best. 

At worst, closet niche--you'd better sell it with "you're so dayum hardc0re", or something--the only way niche games historically manage to struggle along.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

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