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Developers Corner 

MMORPG Game Concepts  » Virtual Treasure Hunt/Real Reward

4 posts found
  Mugshots

Novice Member

Joined: 3/27/13
Posts: 3

 
OP  3/28/13 1:45:57 PM#1

My MMO concept involves strong endgame content and stems from everyone’s love of money. Imagine a game where a player could win a substantial amount of money when completing endgame content in the quickest amount of time! A $10 per month subscription fee would be required to play the game. The devs take a portion of everyone’s subscription fee (say 10 to 20 %) and enter it in a treasure pool. The game would be heavily influenced by guild play, and there would be limits to how many players a guild can have on their roster. The first guild or guilds to progress through the content and find the hidden treasure within the world would win the treasure pool and the money is evenly divided up amongst the guild.  

(2,000,000 players) *($ 1) = $2,000,000 treasure pool

($2,000,000) / (25 guild members) = $80,000 per person.

The math above is assuming only 1st place is rewarded. That would be a ton of money for 1 person and could bring forth unforeseeable issues. There could be 2nd, 3rd place rewards or 1st-by-server which would decrease the amount of money rewarded to prevent people from playing this game like it’s their job.

How would I implement it? A treasure hunting endgame would involve several mini-raids until the treasure chest/relic is reached. Each guild is given a task, clue, map, or whatever that would send them on different paths from the very beginning. They would go from clue to clue, map to map, until they reach a mini-raid area. Every guild would have that common location during their journey towards the treasure. The mini-raid could be instanced to prevent world PVP during a boss fight. The mini-raid would consist of mobs, puzzles, and boss fights. Puzzles would be intricate like a maze, pressure plates to spell out a word, etc… and boss fights would have to be learned through trial and error. An example layout would be Maze => Boss => Mobs => Boss and all of that leads to a key, clue, or map to the next location. Then the guild would sail off... going separate paths than other guilds again. Maybe throw in 1 or 2 more mini-raids until the treasure room can be accessed. What to do in between treasure hunts/patches? Achievements, crafting, and preparing for the next treasure hunt.

Pros:

  • Reward to those who waste their lives playing this game.
  • No kiddies! The game would have a mature playerbase because a hefty ESRB rating might be slapped on the box (see first bullet point in cons).
  • The game would have a long life. Treasure Hunts being generated every 3 to 5 months will keep people flocking to it for years.
  • Encourages in-depth guild play and playing with others in general (I’m guilty of not doing this).
Cons:
  • I’m reluctant to say it, but by definition this concept is “gambling”. You pay to play the game with a chance to gain something in return.
  • Some sort of ID or special registration is required to prevent conflict with the government and to provide bank/mailing information for the loot.
  • Must rely on devs to generate content every 3 to 5 months.
  • A poor quality game could actually be successful when money rewards are involved.
  • Only appeals to the hardcore gamer.

I would like to play a game like this. It is something I really haven’t seen in the MMO world.  What are your thoughts and opinions? Focus more on the concept than how I would implement it. Is a game like this feasible?

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13175

3/28/13 4:47:04 PM#2

One problem is that if the only people who can be competitive are those who spend the bulk of their waking hours playing the game, most people aren't going to be interested on that basis alone.

Another problem is that large cash payouts mean people have enormous incentives to find ways to cheat.

As for your hope of "no kiddies", you start by excluding adults with real-life responsibilities.  Guess who is left?  And since when does an ESRB rating mean you get a mature community?

  ghstwolf

Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/08
Posts: 386

3/31/13 2:00:28 AM#3

Often times when something hasn't been done before there is a good reason for it.

Quizzical covers the very small audience well.  Any realistic chance at the prize will require playing the game like a full time job, and a lower bound on the age (say 18 for legal reasons) only leaves a very small niche.

I'll go a step further than he did about cheating.  Consider the new liabilities a system like this creates.  EULAs offer only limited protection and every disconnect, rebalance or ban (temp or permanent) is a potential lawsuit.  Granted, most of these would be thrown out quickly, however, that will still take a sizable legal dept just on the sheer volume.  Testing becomes a huge issue as it would have to be internalized, thorough, and with controls to prevent any improper communications.  Glitches, exploits or leaks would be a serious legal risk.  Hell games with just pride on the line face this and you're adding some pretty serious cash to the equation.

Adding the costs for bi-annual or quarterly reworks, you have an extremely high upkeep on a small niche title.  That is not a good combination for success.  You'd need high revenues to pull this off, so $10/mo is not possible.  If instead you had a high sub (say $30/mo) and the same $1/sub prize you might do better.  A premium price like that would shift your base to somewhat higher income people, which should extend the cycles a bit (they are likely to have lives/responsibilities) and may even reduce your legal costs.  Thats a triple win for you, even at the cost of sub numbers.

  Mugshots

Novice Member

Joined: 3/27/13
Posts: 3

 
OP  3/31/13 9:12:44 PM#4
Thank you for the insight. These responses help explain why this hasn't been done yet by a gaming franchise. I didn't think too much on the fact that cheating could have an impact on a game like this. I'm not that familiar with all the different ways you can cheat in MMOs.