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All Posts by MikeJT

All Posts by MikeJT

5 Pages « 1 2 3 4 5 »
83 posts found

I was thinking how could you make professions interesting in an MMORPG that is first person.

The way I thought about is making a little mini-game out of it.

Just say you were a blacksmith.

To make a sword you would need raw materials (an iron ingot), a pair of tongs to hold it with, a hammer, an anvil, a hot forge, and a sharpening stone, and maybe a file, depending on the item you would making.

You would equip the hammer in your dominant hand and the tongs in your off hand, then chuck the ignot into the forge to start it heating up. When it got to the right temperature, you would click the 'left hand' (alternate action) button to pick it up with the tongs, take it over to the anvil and click on the anvil to put it in position to start work.

Then the game would come up with a 'sword making' minigame overlay. You would select the item you want to make from the list, and then on the screen, dots would appear on the hot ingot. Your centre screen cross hair would turn into a circle, and you would click on the dots, and the hammer would fall on the dot, so long as the dot is within the circle. When you click on the dot, your circle would get smaller breifly and then return to normal size. As the peice of worked material gets longer, the dots are further apart and you have to aim for each dot independantly.

The further you get into the production of the item, the smaller the circles would get too, to reflect that the early shape of the blade is alot simpler.

As your blacksmithing skill increases, the size of your circle increases, the speed at which it recovers to normal size increases, and the amount it shrinks by with each strike reduces.

The more complex the items you're making, the smaller your circles will be.

So at lower levels, although you know 'how to make a sword', it is harder to rush through it. You can make a really hard to make sword, but your circle will be so small that it will take hours for the player to make it manually.

At higher levels, the circle would be so big that for simpler items, you could basically just sit there and click with only minor aiming.

With each progressive click, you would see the item start to shape, and could even interrupt production of an item and return to it later. Occasionally, you would have to return it to your forge to reheat it.

At certain stages of production, you could even change what you are making, if you're not too far into production. This means a player could prepare 50 'sword ingots', ready to be shaped into the sword type of someone elses choosing. They could even employ an apprentice (PC or NPC) to get the ingots to this stage, ready to be worked into swords.

Stats would also determine the size of the circles, and the amount of work done with each blow.

For example, in the early stages of forming the shape of the sword, strength will allow you to get the work done quicker. Bigger items with less fine details, like longswords, claymores, axes, warhammers would require more strength. But dexterity determines the size of your circles, so more complex weapons would be better left to a person with higher dexterity, because strength wouldn't matter so much.

Forges would have to be kept hot too. So the person producing would have to stop occasionally to refuel the forge and pump the bellows. Or they could have their apprentice pump their bellows instead, to keep the forge hot for multiple smiths.

If you lived next to a river, you could have a water wheel set up, hooked up to a drive shaft, gears, and a level system to automatically pump your bellows for you.

All trades in the game would be done like this, little minigames within the game, that other players can actually watch you do. They can watch as a lump of metal gets formed over time into a sword, or as a peice of stone gets cut from a quarry wall, or as a raw gem gets grinded, cut and polished into a beautiful gem, or even as someone mixes a potion.

Professions would be designed to be an interesting part in the game. If players are smart they can focus their skills on the highest level tasks and delegate the lower level tasks to lower level players or even NPCs. They could 'train' NPC's to do things.

This way, a player isn't spending all their time hammering out swords from an ingot. They get an apprentice to hammer the ingots to a certain point and then finish the product off themselves when it starts to get more complex, meaning it never gets to easy and it's still a challenge.

Originally posted by Axehilt

 


Originally posted by MikeJT
Has anyone heard of any system that is remotely like this?

 

Yeah, COX. The system really isn't complex at all.

Complete a mission and a dialog line about that mission gets tracked by the MMO. When your character is near Townsfolk, they choose one of the dialog lines to say (more recent dialog lines get said more frequently.) Like, "I'm sure glad Doctor Fallout cleared out that Fifth Column base!"

The dialog is awesome and helps the immersion of the game, but doesn't make your actions feel like they have particularly lasting impact.

Lasting impact is tough to do in an MMO because the more frequent you make something the less players will feel it matters. And the more important you make something, the harder it is to have a massive amount of players doing it. In a non-massive game it'd be easy and we could do momentuous things all day long and be fine, but when you have hundreds of people on a server all at once it's trickier.


 

Well I think making NPC's discuss your actions would only be the first part of a larger AI system that gives players actions meaning.

Whilst players would hear tales of deeds, those tales would also spread out, get intermingled with other peoples deeds, and possibly even end up being heard by higher levels of government.

For example, if two people wore similiar clothing and armor, and both did heroic deeds around the same region, and neither bothered to stop to talk to villages after that heroic deed, then their stories would become intermingled, and you wouldn't hear about 'player x did this' and 'player y did this', but you would hear 'a mysterious warrior did this and that'.

So you would hear these legends emerging across the game world. This would even influence the way players played the game. For example, if you hear about 'a great swordsman' who's been going around doing good deeds, you might seek him out to train with him, or challenge him to a duel (not to the death, just a friendly match). It might turn out however, that this 'great swordsman' is actually you, and 10 other people who wear similiar armour to you. After all, a full set of plate, a sword and a sheild wouldn't exactly be a 'unique' thing.

It would only be when you start putting a crest on your sheild or cuirass that you would really be differentiated from those other warriors.

That's the other thing that would be great - the NPC's should recognise different crests - and the game should allow for emblem and crest customisation (like the system in a new game coming up - APB).

But talk is just talk. Hearing NPC's talk about players deeds is only one thing that would be necessary. I really think that a permadeath game would have to mean the end of the instance. If you want players actions to have lasting results, then you can't have instances in the main game world. If  a player does something, and then 2 hours later it's just back the way it was before, then there's no lasting effect.

So really, what you need, is a gameworld that is robust enough to handle player interaction. You need the world to be big enough, relative to the number of players, that without a combined effort, nothing can be completely eliminated from the game world. Without sufficient size, the game world would become stagnant, and newer players wouldn't have anything to do (and possibly experienced players with higher level characters).

For example, if one player goes out and decides to go around killing every wolf he sees, this shouldn't be enough for the entire wolf population to get eliminated. The game would be big enough, and the wolf population big enough, to recover from the effects of the actions of multiple people. The AI would have to 'learn' that certain areas are too dangerous, and move on to other areas. Wolves would have to run if they got sufficiently injured, not just fight to the death like in most games (I don't think a wolf would fight to the death in reality, either). I would even go as far as to say that the NPC government might make it 'illegal' to kill wolves if their population gets too low, with the rationale that, for example, they keep rabbit populations down, and rabbits are a major problem for farmers.

Even after introducing a big enough game world for the game not to become stagnant, there still needs to be something to feed conflict, that is significantly robust that to stop that conflict becomes an epic challenge that no single player could ever do by themselves.

Being a 'massively multiplayer online game', this challenge would need to be a 'massively multplayer orientated goal'. Infact, there would have to be multiple sources of conflict that can rise up periodically, and be near impossible to completely eliminated. The 'endgame' content would essentially need a concerted effort of all players to achieve.

Examples could include things like a distant continent with a mysterious people who periodically try to invade the mainland of the gameworld. To completely eliminate them, players would need to sail across the high seas and invade their continent in an armarda of warships. Alternatively, there could be another dimension from which creatures periodically enter the game world in small numbers, which is uneventful, but occasionally open up portals to the main dimensions and pour through enmass. The players can travel to that dimension and completely destroy it, but it would require mass armies to do so.

Then on top of all of that, the game needs a way of enabling players to achieve absolutely epic quests. For example, quests that would require more man power than every single player on the server could provide. Players need to be able to establish armies, and command them to acheive epic goals.

Finally... players need to be able to partake in decisions which effect the gameworld, that aren't purely combat based. For example, a player might be able to establish trade routes which become mutually beneficial to all people along that trade route. Different areas need to have different absolute and relative advantage in different areas of production, and by minimising opportunity costs in any one region, the player might be able to do something like improve living standards of the people of the land.

I think you should put something in writing as soon as possible.

Write up the words to the song in an easily followed format.

Then explain some of the terms in it, like what a 'raid' is. Explain that the term 'shaman' is used only in the context of the video game.

Explain that the game has no connection with any real world religion.

Then explain to your boss that your co-worker is a douchebag, and then take a dump in his coffee and quit your job.

Lag seems to be a major concern for a lot of people who've been discussing this topic.

I think the first thing that a game with permadeath would have to have is a system whereby AI can take over if the client stops responding. That is, if the server suddenly stops receiving packets from you (eg. your power goes out for no reason, or your net connection fails on you) then AI will take over and your character will continue to fight or run away until the time restriction for logging out of the game runs out. Of course this time restriction needs to be there to stop people from just killing their net connection when they get themselves into a fight and then realise they're not likely to win.

Of course, I think that the server would need to keep track of client time-outs for each player. That way, if a certain player keeps conveniently loosing their internet connection every time they get into a fight against someone they're not likely to win against, the game would increase their log-out time so the AI would have to survive a little longer with each successive drop-out.

Despite all concerns, I think that 'lag' is hardly a reason to abandon the idea of permadeath entirely.

I think the main reason that it won't happen any time soon is that the total size of gaming market and the size of the hard-core RP market isn't great enough to warrant the decision to have permadeath in a game.

It comes down to a purely commercial decision.

There are people who are definitely not going to play a game because it has permadeath, but I doubt there are many people who are definitely not going to play a game because it doesn't.

However, like people have said, if the game is done right, it could be one of the best MMORPG's ever made and be much more involving for players compared to the current offerings.

The key factors that a game with permadeath needs is a world where players actions have lasting effects.

I think I should add (and I think I've previously mentioned), that the game should have substantial, and interesting, gameplay opportunities that don't just involve combat. Advancement of your character should not be limited to combat. There should be opportunities to make decisions and take actions that affect more than just your own character.

Introducing permadeath is not at all a challenge. The real challange is creating a game world where players actions are significant enough to make death meaningful enough for players to reflect on the life of their character instead of focusing on their death.

To achieve this, you would need a highly robust AI system which means NPC's can remember your character, and their actions, and communicate those deeds to other NPC's and players as well.

The only issue with trying to do that is that you can't exactly voice the NPC's. Is that of major concern? Not really.

It could follow as simple a structure as this:

If an NPC sees a player take a certain action, then the NPC will 'remember' certain things, like: "Player killed WOLF"

This would be somewhat meaningful. However if the wolf was attacking someone before you killed it, then the AI would remember "Player SAVED PERSON, from WOLF", which is more meaningful.

The AI would then say things like "I saw [player name if known, else "a man/woman/other descriptors] save [character name if known, else "a girl/boy/man/woman"] from a wolf."

The NPC would say these things to other NPC's, which would generate queries from other NPCs, and conversations would happen.

The NPC would say these things with decreasing frequency until the deeds are 'forgotten', unless the player takes other actions to reinforce the stories in their head. Sometimes, a NPC bard may sing about a characters deeds.

The person that a player saved will continue to tell the story of how they were saved for much longer than witnesses to the deed.

I'm not a programmer. But I know people who are. When I've told them about this idea they've expressed to me the complexity involved in programming such a system, but said it could be done.

I think the key point is, that if it was to be done, it can't just be applied to a single game. It's a system that needs to be designed and then licensed out to other game makers.

Has anyone heard of any system that is remotely like this?

 Edit: Edited due to me completely forgetting to finish a paragraph!

 

Originally posted by shukes33

Myself i would love it..even more now after playing Darkfall.

As long as you could keep some kind of history of your characters achievments..maybe a family hierloom that gets passed down to your next character...maybe a higher resistance to disease's due to a heredital passdown from your fathers constant battles against the dark magic of the necromantic mage attacking his home town for years. Maybe a handed down sword. That way it would even encourage heroic acts.

Just an idea!

 

Of course the longer your character survived the better the hierloom/skill/spell/whatever. this would encourage people to try not to die too.


 

I like your line of thinking. I think the key point is that an action is not truly heroic if there are no consequences to a player failing.

There are no heroic actions in World of Warcraft. No one is going to talk about the fact that you died in a dungeon once. No one cares.

In Fable II on Xbox 360, you can have a sculture of yourself erected in town for your heroic deeds. I can imagine, in a MMORPG with permadeath and actions that have a real effect on the game world, that you could even have a statue of yourself erected in a town square, by the NPC's, if your heroic deed is great enough.

If would be awesome to have a 'hall of heroes' in the main city of the game, and watch it fill up with statues of characters of players who've done truly heroic deeds. It would almost become an achievement in itself to die.

It would even help minimise the sting of loosing a character you might've poured months of gameplay into.

Of course, the glory wouldn't only be for the dead. It would be great if the king rewarded people for heroic deeds, and if players could hype up a single persons deeds enough (even make up stories!) they could run a little scam and make themselves out to be huge heroes. Of course if they got found out they would be shunned by all of society!

First thing I should say in this thread is that it's not for people who don't want perma-death. If you don't want perma-death, stop reading now.

The reason I would like a game with perma-death is because I think it gives your characters actions more meaning. For example, saving another players life whilst sacrificing your own, is meaningful. Giving your life in defense of a town under attack by a horde of undead, is meaningful. But that being said, your actions actually need to have an impact on the game world for them to have meaning.

In a game like World of Warcraft, permadeath is pointless because dieing in an instanced dungeon doesn't make that dungeon any different the next time a player comes to it and the instance is restarted. So really, when I say I want an MMORPG with perma-death, what I'm really saying is that I want a game where my actions in the game world have an effect on that gameworld.

I want a game where the results of my characters actions can be seen when I start a new character. For example, a character (NPC or another player) is alive when they'd otherwise be dead. Or, a town is standing when it otherwise would've been burnt to the ground.

If a players actions have no affect on the game world, then perma-death is essentially pointless, and I don't want it as much as the average "perma-death is a ridiculous idea" naysayer.

How about instead of just rolling another character roughly based on the stats that your current character has, you roll multiple characters when you first start playing, and those characters follow you around in game and work with you. You have the option of jumping into their heads at any time and playing as them, but if you want them to follow you around in game they will do that too.

If they follow you on all your adventures, they will have roughly the same skill level as as you, so if your character dies, you can just jump into their heads. Of course, they can die also.

And if you can't get them to follow you around in game, the least the game could do is allow your character to write a 'last will and testament' and just will all your assets to another character of yours.

At the very least then, you don't lose all your assets, you just lose the assets that are too difficult to retrieve (eg. anything that your character was carrying when they got eaten by a dragon).

I think the key point with permadeath is that you have to make it so that either a) players don't get too emotionally attached to any one character, or b) that there is still plenty to keep the player engaged and interested in the game when they're not putting their life at risk in the depths of an ancient dungeon.

For permadeath to be accepted, there has to be more to the game than swords and sorcery. There needs to be meaningful professions, meaningful interactions with other players, meaningful decisions that a player can make that affect more than just the player themselves. Character advancement must be achievable by something other than combat.

Of course people aren't going to accept permadeath when the only way to advance a character is to go out and kill things.

Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by MikeJT
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by MikeJT
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by MikeJT

I first experienced The Elder Scrolls with Daggerfall. Absolutely loved that game.

I've been playing Oblivion recently and it's rekindled my love of Tamriel. Now I'm just thinking: "How awesome would a Elder Scrolls MMORPG be?"

Or should I say, how awesome COULD it be.

Surely there's millions of other people thinking along these lines?


 

To be honest I think all of the above. That is what Elder Scrolls is. The problem is that you can't have 200 emperors or 300 nevarines.


 

No, you can't have 200 emporers. But if you read "A Brief History of the Empire" in Oblivion, you will realise that for most of the 3rd Era, the entire Kingdom was in a constant state of warfare over the rule of the empire. You will realise that the wealthiest people in Tamriel hold positions on the Elder Council.

Then, the Empire is divided into regions, with regional governments, each region has numerous Kingdoms, Duchies, etc.

It would not be impossible then, for a player to rise to one of the positions on th Elder Council, for example. Or to become a Count, or Duke, or just a member of the local council of a small town.

Whilst the government might start off as mainly NPC's, an Elder Scrolls MMORPG could allow players to gradually work their way up in power and influence. So yes, there could only ever be 1 player as emporer. But that player as emporer would have to prove his legitimacy as emporer.

His legitimacy could be challenged by other players, or other players could simply gain more power and influence within the realm to the point where people are willing to go to war to put them on the emporers throne.

This is where the PvP element could arise from.

Not only that, but it could bring significant role-playing opportunities, such as trying to quell political upheavel, or even attempting to start an uprising against a government.

Finally... amist all of this political rivalry, other players who choose to can be doing things less publicly, for example, starting their own daedric cults and subverting the rise to power of other players. This could include attacking the trade ships and caravans of other players, infecting their crops, robbing their businesses.

This is why PvP is almost a neccesity.


 

That wasn't my point. I was talking about "the emperor" or "the nevarine".

However, if they wanted to adopt a lineage 2 style game in that one can take and hold castles then YES I would be more than for that.

Seriously.


 

Great. :-) And it wouldn't just be about 'taking and holding' castles. You could probably band together a troop of 20 highly skilled people and stage a coup in the dead of night, killing the guards under the cover of darkness (most of them whilst in their sleep) and assassinating the count. But if you can't hold the seat of power with legitimacy, then the Imperial Legion will take it back the next day. You would actually have to build up political support with high levels of government, and rapport with the citizens of the area, to force a count to abdicate and ascend to his position. You might, for example, need to be a Knight-Errant knighted by another popular count who doesn't quite like the count of the town you're trying to take power in.


 

I actually don't agree with that. Not that there aren't people who would like it. But that whole "I have to have people on 24/7 in order to make sure I can defend myself" mentality is not to many people's liking. I think Shadowbane was like that.

Because then in the end it becomes a cheap mechanic. There is no real gameplay when you have your enemy out of game and asleep and someone decides to pull a fast one.

i don't believe that hardcore gameplay mechanics work except for the few who are dedicated to them. That goes for things like perma-death, or stealing from someone's house or looting players. Others might like that but I HIGHLY doubt the fanbase for an elder scrolls game would go for it. Especially since there are people who hated the more visceral combat that Oblvion brought. I doubt that Bethesda would even consider it.

Not on board.

I have to also agree with the above point of fatigue on circle strafing. That IS something that should be in all pvp games.

My opinion of course.


 

Well I think that comes with the whole responsibility of being a Count. You would need to be on more than the average player (to hold public audience, and attend to government matters) but it wouldn't be all consuming. Firstly because when you are in the position of count you get a whole regiment guarding you. Secondly, just like any other player, when you go offline you dissappear from the game world, so you wouldn't need to have someone guarding you when you're offline.

Even if someone did manage to take over whilst you were away, the key point is that they will still need to prove their legitimacy as ruler, or have the imperial legion knocking at their door very quickly. If someone attempts to assassinate you, then they would be outlaw for the rest of their characters life.

The key feature I'm looking for in an MMORPG (not just an Elder Scrolls MMORPG) is that decisions should have lasting consequences. If I wanted to play a game where my decisions have no lasting consequences, then I would play a single player game where I can just save and reload so I can see how my decisions play out before committing to them.

Becoming a count would definitely have it's rewards and benefits, but it would come with consequences too. Only with perma-death will those consequences mean something.

But I understand what you mean. Perma-death isn't for everyone. I would like to say, that if would be great if you could have servers for perma-death players and servers for non-permadeath players. But that just splits your audience between servers, and makes it even harder to manage the servers and keep up with player demand.

Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by MikeJT
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by MikeJT

I first experienced The Elder Scrolls with Daggerfall. Absolutely loved that game.

I've been playing Oblivion recently and it's rekindled my love of Tamriel. Now I'm just thinking: "How awesome would a Elder Scrolls MMORPG be?"

Or should I say, how awesome COULD it be.

Surely there's millions of other people thinking along these lines?


 

To be honest I think all of the above. That is what Elder Scrolls is. The problem is that you can't have 200 emperors or 300 nevarines.


 

No, you can't have 200 emporers. But if you read "A Brief History of the Empire" in Oblivion, you will realise that for most of the 3rd Era, the entire Kingdom was in a constant state of warfare over the rule of the empire. You will realise that the wealthiest people in Tamriel hold positions on the Elder Council.

Then, the Empire is divided into regions, with regional governments, each region has numerous Kingdoms, Duchies, etc.

It would not be impossible then, for a player to rise to one of the positions on th Elder Council, for example. Or to become a Count, or Duke, or just a member of the local council of a small town.

Whilst the government might start off as mainly NPC's, an Elder Scrolls MMORPG could allow players to gradually work their way up in power and influence. So yes, there could only ever be 1 player as emporer. But that player as emporer would have to prove his legitimacy as emporer.

His legitimacy could be challenged by other players, or other players could simply gain more power and influence within the realm to the point where people are willing to go to war to put them on the emporers throne.

This is where the PvP element could arise from.

Not only that, but it could bring significant role-playing opportunities, such as trying to quell political upheavel, or even attempting to start an uprising against a government.

Finally... amist all of this political rivalry, other players who choose to can be doing things less publicly, for example, starting their own daedric cults and subverting the rise to power of other players. This could include attacking the trade ships and caravans of other players, infecting their crops, robbing their businesses.

This is why PvP is almost a neccesity.


 

That wasn't my point. I was talking about "the emperor" or "the nevarine".

However, if they wanted to adopt a lineage 2 style game in that one can take and hold castles then YES I would be more than for that.

Seriously.


 

Great. :-) And it wouldn't just be about 'taking and holding' castles. You could probably band together a troop of 20 highly skilled people and stage a coup in the dead of night, killing the guards under the cover of darkness (most of them whilst in their sleep) and assassinating the count. But if you can't hold the seat of power with legitimacy, then the Imperial Legion will take it back the next day. You would actually have to build up political support with high levels of government, and rapport with the citizens of the area, to force a count to abdicate and ascend to his position. You might, for example, need to be a Knight-Errant knighted by another popular count who doesn't quite like the count of the town you're trying to take power in.

Okay... I know this thread is old but I'm gonna give it a bump and put forward two ideas.

For a successful Sand-box MMORPG, three things are necessary.

The first, is player run journalism (moderated by game masters) that will report the going-ons within the world to acquaint people with the world when they enter the world. This means that new players aren't completely oblivious to everything that's going on. This journalistic enterprise would have to have space for what essentially would be 'job ads', which both NPC's and players could post in. There could also be business and association advertising in it. To encourage players to actually run this, there would be a solid NPC society, that would be for 'freedom of the press', and if players try to eliminate it, the population stands up against it, and a new 'freedom of the press' society is formed (with developer intervention).

This would generate quests for new players. For example, if I'm an alchemist, and I require mandrake root for my potions, I could put an ad in the paper saying "seeking a supplier of mandrake root, please contact MikeJT to negotiate terms". Someone else could say: "Seeking an apprentice blacksmith."

The second thing, is that the size of the world compared to the number of players needs to be balanced so that nothing is completely eliminated without some sort of organisation between players. For example, animal populations are never completely eliminated.

The final thing, which is in a way related to the second, is that players shouldn't be able to improve their skills by grinding. The first time you kill a wolf, it will advance your skills by x. The second wolf you kill, you will advance in skill by 0.99x, then 0.97x, the 0.95x, then 0.90x, etc. You can only get so good at killing wolves. Eventually, there is no skill benefit to you killing a wolf. Furthermore, you should have species specific skills, and weapon specific skills.

For example, using a sword to kill a wolf will be different to using a sword to kill a human. So whilst killing 100 wolfs will make me an expert wolf killer, it won't make me an expert swordsman, nor will it make you an expert at killing zombies, or killing orcs, or whatever. That requires you to engage in combat with humans/zombies/orcs/whatever. Killing a zombie with a sword is also different to killing a zombie with a mace, but once you've learnt how to kill them with a sword, learning to be a master zombie killer with a mace will be alot quicker and easier.

Essentially, to become a master at anything, you would need to find someone better than you at it, and train with them (or in the case of combat skills, face them in combat or spar with them).

What does this mean? It means that the devs can put into the world NPC's that are 'The Greatest Swordsman in the World', 'The Greatest Blacksmith in the World', 'The Greatest Archer in the World', etc. Of course, if you just approached 'The Greatest [INSERT SKILL]' at level 1, they would laugh in your face and tell you to go away. This means that a player would 'quest' to become a great swordsman. Or 'quest' to become a great blacksmith.

The only way to become better than the best, would be through years of 'study', which the player can assign his character to do whilst offline, but this would only yeild minor advancements in skill over very long periods of time.

Originally posted by Abrahmm

The real problem isn't that they keep adding new content for end game only, but that there is an "end game" in the first place. The problems many games have is that they make you progress so much that content becomes trivial, pointless, and useless once you pass the targetted level range. If they designed the game so that ALL of the content was always useful to the player, well that would solve your problem completely. Any new content added to the game wouldn't be for "end game", or for "lower levels", it would just be content, for everyone.


 

Agreed. And I think this stems from the fact that alot of these games have a 'static' world. Player actions don't actually affect the world in any great way.

Like other people have already pointed out, it's really a business decision.

If 90% of the players have their characters levels maxed out, then they need to create more game content for those players or they will lose subscribers.

The only other option, is to create new content so that players are encouraged to start over from level one. Going through the same 50 quests every time you start a new character isn't exciting (although for some players the pure challenge of levelling characters is exciting enough).

If developers are going to start making expansions that have more than just end-game content, then they need to be convinced that it will attract new subscribers, get old subscribers to resubscribed, or maintain current subscribers. For games like WoW with a 90% level 65 or up subscriber base, it is extremely unlikely that non end-game material will do that.

However, if there are enough players like yourself that are willing to walk away from the game entirely because you're not getting what you want, then they might start standing up and paying attention.

Food plays a role in most MMORPG’s. It helps us regain health or energy, however the game works, and much like in real life allows us to do more stuff. Games have even gotten to the point where there is a cooking skill, like in World of Warcraft, where higher level characters, combined with rare ingredients, can produce food with lasting benefits.

However, unlike in real life, food is not a necessity in most MMORPG’s. Making food a necessity is not even considered for most developers as something such as eating, which we do every day in our real lives (or at least we should do), is considered too mundane to transfer across into our virtual lives, and is simply just a distraction from all the adventuring we should be doing.

However, I’m going to argue that food can be used as a motivator in an RPG sense, as well as something that can create tension, conflict, and role-playing scenarios.

We can all agree that the action of eating is fairly mundane. We aren’t going to get excited in an MMORPG by having to stop to eat. The lack of our sense of smell and taste in games isn’t going to have us exploring the game world seeking out new culinary delights (although in the future it might - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/article6162217.ece). However, the very act of procuring food is what can be used to drive player involvement in an MMORPG.

In reality, most of us can simply walk down to the local shopping centre, and the choice and abundance of food is apparent. It is generally very cheap and widely available. The western world has come to the point where most businesses can spoil almost as much food as they sell.

The majority of us in the Western world don’t have to worry about where our next meal will come from. We aren’t concerned about food supply, or its quality. We just know we can get it when we want it.

This is what adds the opportunity for MMORPGs to use food as a new way to involve players in the world they are playing in.

Food supply can be threatened on both a local, regional, and global scale, giving players something they need to defend. Furthermore, it adds a drain to player wealth. In many games, players can accumulate mass wealth and never have to spend any of it. Introducing food as a necessity will create a drain for all that wealth, albeit a minor one.

It will also open up a new opportunity for commerce within the game. A player may be able to own a farm, or simply purchase food from a market where it is abundant and cheap, and transport it to a town where it is rare and expensive. Local tastes and what is most easily produced locally may differ, and therefore players may profit from buying what is easily produced but otherwise unwanted and transporting it to where the local tastes value the produce more highly.

Conflict can also be generated by making food a necessary item. If a ship at sea is attacked by pirates, and all the food is ransacked from the ships hold, then only what can be hidden from the pirates will be available for players to eat. Do you hold out on your fellow adventurers by hiding the fact that you have food whilst they don’t? Or do you ensure that the food is rationed fairly? On a larger scale, if a neighbouring town has had their crops ruined by a severe storm, do you take pity on them and supply them with aid? Or do you let them starve to punish them for their failure to stock emergency food supplies?

It also enhances other conflict, by giving a sense of urgency to situations. For example, if a city is being sieged, you know you must break the siege before the entire city begins to starve to death.

Finally, it creates an opportunity for players to actually sit down and talk. By forcing the player to stop to eat, it creates an opportune time for them to share stories, plan, joke, organise trade, and discuss matters of importance within the game world.

Forcing the player to stop to eat would go mostly unnoticed for players, so long as food supply is plentiful. It would have very little impact on the game mechanic most of the time. However, for the reasons mentioned above, it would still create opportunities for a more in depth player involvement in the game world.

Thoughts?
 

Originally posted by Thunder

I would also love to see Elder scrolls online:

 

- sandbox with 1 server only like EVE online

- 8 realms fighting each other like Albion, Midgard and Hibernia in Dark Age of Camelot. If 8 realms are too much just make alliances of kingdoms e.g.: realm a - High Rock, Skyrim, Hammerfell realm b - Black Marsh, Morrowind, realm c - Elsweyr, Valenwood, Summerset Isle

- leveling zones in every "realm"

- fight for border kingdoms and relics. Whoever has relics can fight for dominance in Imperial Province that gives players bonus exp, better prizes (lower taxes), access to special dungeon, etc

 

 


 

The way I envision it, there wouldn't be a set battle going on. No set factions. It would depend on what the players do. Ofcourse, the server moderators can influence things either way, and the players can also do their part in influencing what happens.

Any two regions could be at war with each other at any point in time. Or there could be two regions ganged up on one. Or there could be complete peace across the whole of Tamriel.

Kingdoms could try to break away from the Empire to gain independance, due to say, high taxation from the Empire. Depending on the Emporer of the day, they might just let them break away, they might lower their taxes and agree to give them more services, or they might send an army to replace the King with someone who's more friendly towards the Empire.

I was wondering what you meant by 'levelling zones'?

Oh and 1 server could work, but personally I would prefer 1 server per region. I live in Australia, so the minimum pings I get between here and the US is about 250. If the first person combat of Oblivion is in an MMORPG, I would want a maximum ping of 200, not a minimum ping of 250!

But I agree the fewer servers the better. If they could have a server for North/South America, a continent for Australasian region, a server for Europe, and a server for Asian, that would probably meet demand globally. Ofcourse there'd be nothing stopping you from playing on another regions server if you so choose.

Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by johnspartan
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by johnspartan

I'd love a Elder Scrolls MMO if it didn't have the crappy FPS combat.

Sure, I guess it adds "immersion" being 1st person but I'll take fun > immersion any day


 

Well, that's a difference of opinion.

I found it exceptionially fun and probably one of the best game experiences I've had in a long time. Especially since I have a mod that adds to the realism of combat.

Slugging it out on the battlefield, for me, is fun.


 

Just as "fun" for me as circle straffing and lag + bad collision detection in melee FPS...

Much prefer tactical combat personally.


 

I would have to agree with you there, circle strafing and bunny hopping is ridiculous.


 

Ahh but you have to remember that people would have fatigue in an Elder Scrolls MMO. If you are constantly running around in circles and jumping, your blows would become gradually less effective due to fatigue.

Secondly, when you are moving, you have a greater chance of getting knocked down by a blow (taking into account your agility stat).

So someone who planted their feet and raised their sheild against a bunny-hopping-circle-strafer would probably take minimal damage from them, and then would just lay in a couple of good blows to knock them off their feet, then lay into them when they're on the ground and keep knocking them around as they're trying to get up.

The only reason why bunny-hopping and circle strafing is such a problem in most FPS's is because the game mechanic allows it. Who can seriously jump nearly their own height whilst loaded down with body armour, serveral guns, and 200 rounds of ammo? No one. That's who.

Originally posted by Brixon

Well I like the idea of an ES MMO, but I don't think perma-death with work. Sure maybe some people might be willing to have that, but most people will not. They would have to have a seperate sever for the perma-death crowd.

To the OP, when you play Oblivion do you start a new game everytime you die?


 

No, I don't. Although I haven't actually died much, and usually when I have died, I've known I'm getting myself into a situation that will be exceptionally difficult and gone ahead anyway knowing that I can just reload.

Single player games and multiplayer games without serious consequences to death don't encourage the players to take calculated risks and proceed with caution.

However when the consequences of death become more serious, the way a person plays the game changes. Think about games where there are only so many places you can save, or multiplayer games where you have to wait ages to respawn if you die. Gameplay style changes to reflect the imposition of consequences.

That being said, it could be interesting to play Oblivion in that way. Only save when I stop playing for the day and start a new game whenever I die. It would certainly change the way I play the game.

Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by MikeJT

I first experienced The Elder Scrolls with Daggerfall. Absolutely loved that game.

I've been playing Oblivion recently and it's rekindled my love of Tamriel. Now I'm just thinking: "How awesome would a Elder Scrolls MMORPG be?"

Or should I say, how awesome COULD it be.

Surely there's millions of other people thinking along these lines?


 

To be honest I think all of the above. That is what Elder Scrolls is. The problem is that you can't have 200 emperors or 300 nevarines.


 

No, you can't have 200 emporers. But if you read "A Brief History of the Empire" in Oblivion, you will realise that for most of the 3rd Era, the entire Kingdom was in a constant state of warfare over the rule of the empire. You will realise that the wealthiest people in Tamriel hold positions on the Elder Council.

Then, the Empire is divided into regions, with regional governments, each region has numerous Kingdoms, Duchies, etc.

It would not be impossible then, for a player to rise to one of the positions on th Elder Council, for example. Or to become a Count, or Duke, or just a member of the local council of a small town.

Whilst the government might start off as mainly NPC's, an Elder Scrolls MMORPG could allow players to gradually work their way up in power and influence. So yes, there could only ever be 1 player as emporer. But that player as emporer would have to prove his legitimacy as emporer.

His legitimacy could be challenged by other players, or other players could simply gain more power and influence within the realm to the point where people are willing to go to war to put them on the emporers throne.

This is where the PvP element could arise from.

Not only that, but it could bring significant role-playing opportunities, such as trying to quell political upheavel, or even attempting to start an uprising against a government.

Finally... amist all of this political rivalry, other players who choose to can be doing things less publicly, for example, starting their own daedric cults and subverting the rise to power of other players. This could include attacking the trade ships and caravans of other players, infecting their crops, robbing their businesses.

This is why PvP is almost a neccesity.

Originally posted by wodvamp
Originally posted by ZorakGhostal

Sure I'd love to see an Elder Scrolls MMO, but so many things could go wrong wtih trying to translate a single player game into massive multiplayer...it would be very tricky and I'd be interested but cautious.

Also have to agree about oblivion... huge disappointment for me, only playable with major game changing mods... if whoever is responsible for oblivion is going to make the MMO version.... nevermind.


 

Actually, the one reason I like ES so much is because it's a single-player game. Dont get me wrong, I like WoW and MMOs but sometimes I want to play a large, freeform game BY MYSELF and without some sodding noob spoiling it.

 


 

Another reason I'm a big advocate of permanent death - the noobs get sick of dieing so often and eventually quit. In games like WoW death has only minor consequences, and they just keep on playing. It's big carrot, little stick.

Introducing permanent death is big carrot, big stick. There's alot of things to achieve, alot of things to do, alot of experiences to be had - but at some risk. It's at even greater risk than playing an Elder Scrolls game in single player because there's no save and reload option.

It acts as a moderating influence in PvP as well. The more powerful your character becomes the less likely you are to flaunt that power and abuse it - because you worked so hard to acheive it you're not just going to run around beating on noobs, because eventually they'll gang up and kill you.

If you murder someone in the game (which is against the law of the land, not against any server rules), you don't want your player to rot in virtual prison for 25 years (maybe 8 years real time) or until someone decides to bust him out (although that could be a fun objective for your second character!). And no matter how powerful you get, there will always be someone to come after you, or an army to march against your castle.

Permanent death encourages players to use their power wisely in the game world. If they get powerful enough and decide to raise an army of undead to conquer the world, then they do so at the risk of loosing a character they might have built up for years. Not just levelled up to 80 over a couple of weeks like the last 5 characters they had.

Originally posted by storm-dragon

Depending on who was publishing it, I would be first in line for an ES game, but I just get the feeling it would be more of a social MMO than the traditional raid centric MMO.


 

You can have raids in a social MMO. I would just prefer to play a game where those raids are realistic. ie "No one's been to this cave in 3 months and recently people have been dissappearing on the road between x and y, with the cave right in the middle. Go check it out."

But it would actually be 3 months in game time (so maybe a month in real time) since a player has actually been there. It's not just a never ending spawn point for monster x so when a player goes to quest dispenser a and hears the same story 2,000 players before him have heard he gets some baddies to fight, it would actually be the case that some whatevers have decided it would be a nice place to nest/gather/congregate (based on an in game AI or whatever) and moved in because it was quiet.

If players check it daily no monsters will ever show up. If there are good border patrols for an entire region, monsters will never be in that region again.

I want an MMORPG sandbox world. Not a bunch of spawn points regenerating monsters no matter how frequently someone comes along and slaughters them.

I think the brilliant thing with TES is that there's plenty of opportunity for PvP conflict, driven by the history of the game and the incumbent governments, but if the PvP action gets too chaotic (entire armies marching to war against each other) then the server moderators can just throw in a daedric cult bent on world domination to give the players something to unite for. It goes from PvP to PvE.

Of course, I think for this to really happen... the game needs permanent death. If no ones really going to loose their character and everything they've worked for, then no one's going to be willing to form alliances and work together to get out of a really bad situation.

EDIT: Raids are boring. You know what's going to happen already. I'd rather be escorting a defenseless family down a treacherous road. Or being part of a crew on a merchant ship sailing from harbour to harbour trading goods.

Originally posted by rounner

If the game is developed by whoever designed Oblivion game mechanics, count me out.


 

You're counted out. The quota for people who suck at good games is already filled.

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