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Ameridat
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel Q2 2013)  | Pub:XAP Games
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Wizards and Champions Forum » General Discussion » April Update: WAC and PVP

11 posts found
  User Deleted
 
OP  4/02/13 1:43:06 PM#1

It's been a few weeks since anything has been posted.  Allow me to catch up on information.

 

I'm not a PVPer, never have been.  I've tried PVP in games before I started MMOs, and really sucked at it.  It just doesn't fit with my personality.  I end up getting all hostile and snitty when PK'd, the kind of guy who looses his cool and rage-quits in a huff of emotional turnmoil.  Even when playing games that were designed for PVP (like Q3A) I'd only ever play botmatch, treating the game as cooperative PVE.

 

I started MMOs in WoW, and on a PVP realm because that's where my friends were.  It didn't take long for me to realize that I didn't like open-world non-consensual PVP.  I quit that realm and moved my toons to a "normal" realm to get away from it.

 

It's difficult for me to design / create an MMO where PVP would be significant.  WAC's current design (open-world, no instancing, no forced faction alignment) just screams to be designed around open-world PVP... the same kind of PVP that I hate.

 

To try and get past this issue, I've been playing [something] (not allowed to speak of it on MMORPG.com) where open-world PVP and random ganking is the norm.  And what I've come up with is that PVE in a game with open-world PVP is  1) something that you do to advance your character to make it stronger in PVP, and 2) something you do when you can't find random questers to kill or when there's no PVP raids going on.

 

Playing this game hasn't really helped me get past my issue, but it has sort of shed some light on MMORPG design.

 

If you take a 2 faction game that's designed for open-world PVP, and strip out the open-world PVP, what you are left with is a PVE RPG that isn't really very good.

 

1. Roll a character, picking race and class, with faction assigned by race.

2. Level up the character running from quest hub to quest hub, doing boring tasks for NPCs.

3. Skill up crafting, raise money selling loot, buy gear and training as needed.

4. Run a few dungeons along the way, with PUGs or guildies, if you're lucky enough to find a functional guild.

5. Hit level cap, run the same battlegrounds or endgame dungeons over and over trying to max out the character with BIS gear.

 

Not being sarcastic here, but what's the point?

Also, where's the "massively multiplayer" aspect of such an MMO?

 

In summary, here's what I've come up with:

 

Take out the open-world PVP from traditional MMORPG design

and all that's left is a PVE RPG that is a lot of work,

not very much fun to play, and has

very little "massively multiplayer" content (things to do).

 

This has me rethinking Wizards and Champions design.  The two directions I'm looking at:

 

1. If cooperative PVE is the main focus of design, I need to create some sort of new "Massively Cooperative Online RPG" framework (possibly similar to Guild Wars 1 PVE) because the standard MMORPG framework doesn't make for good PVE.

 

2. If PVE is dropped as the priority, then PVP should become the priority, and go full out as an open-world PVP centric game.  The biggest drawback is that personally I'm the WRONG person to be designing a PVP game, because I really dislike PVP.

 

No clue where this is heading.  Damn the design side is tough.  I'd much rather be coding.

 

  Stizzled

Tipster

Joined: 9/13/07
Posts: 1025

Kill Your Heroes

4/04/13 7:24:33 AM#2

Well, the big question is, given the limitations of the engine your using, what kind of game can you produce? Obviously almost any engine can be modified to do just abot anything that a dev wants, but it's an incredible amount of work (depending on the engine), especially for one person.

 

When I think of PvE content I think of well written and well scripted quests and quest arcs. Is that something that's possible? Can you have heavily scripted quests or events, or even dynamic and random events? How about player created quests and events?

 

Another thing to consider is the world. How interactive can you make your world? How detailed are you willing to get with the world/zone design? Good quests need to take place in good looking areas (not necessarily graphically, but aesthetically).

 

Basically, with enough hard work, could you provide something more than a lot of 'Kill 10 Rats' quests and random mobs to grind on?

 

As for PvP, I don't know. There are so many diferent kinds of PvP and everyone has their preference. There really is no one type of ultimate PvP, though I think that both the 3-faction RvR and the FFA proponents would cry the loudest that theirs are the best. However, if you look at what kind of PvP is most popular it's the Battleground style. Games like League of Legends, World of Tanks and so on chose to focus entirly on Battleground PvP and have gotten millions of players.

 

So, I guess you have to ask yourself if your limited in any way on what style of PvP you can make, and if not which PvP crowd do you want to attract? Most importantly, which PvP crowd is less likely to chew up and spit out a micro-budget indie PvP game?

 

(P.S. I'm quite curious what game you've been playing. Perhaps you could PM me the name?)

  User Deleted
 
OP  4/08/13 8:54:13 PM#3
Originally posted by Stizzled
 

Basically, with enough hard work, could you provide something more than a lot of 'Kill 10 Rats' quests and random mobs to grind on?

(P.S. I'm quite curious what game you've been playing. Perhaps you could PM me the name?)

 

Picked these two, otherwise I'll write a rambling book.  This is my third try at replying, hoping it turns out better :-).

 

I think there could be more than kill 10 rats, or at least something different.  I keep looking back at classic Unreal with a storyline cattle-chute adventure with maze-like but linear level design.  Before team deathmatch became the rage, these were popular in FPS as single player and to some extent cooperative gameplay.

 

Since modern MMOs seem to be trying to reproduce SP style gameplay in an online environment, I'm kind of figuring, why not give the old angle a try.  In my mind it sort of works out like Guild Wars 1.  SP + Coop dungeon runner with eSport PVP.

 

I liked basis on Morrowind style gameplay, but MMO-ized it keeps feeling like it want's to be like MO / DF1.  Not sure if that's what I'm looking for, nor do I have the resources to do one well even if I wanted to.

 

Playing?  Vanilla.  Hehe, remember your wolf, sheep dog, sheep analogy?   I've only seen a few sheep dogs, but plenty of wolves.  And I make a damn fine sheep.

 

I'm working out a couple of major RL hassles at the moment (one a painful burglary).  Not throwing in the towel just yet.  Tempted to port the whole mess over to an Android engine and put it on Google Play for free with optional donation.

 

Ugh, not much better than the other tries.  Pardon the ramble and thanks for the feedback.

 

  Stizzled

Tipster

Joined: 9/13/07
Posts: 1025

Kill Your Heroes

4/08/13 11:27:16 PM#4
Originally posted by XAPKen

 

I think there could be more than kill 10 rats, or at least something different.  I keep looking back at classic Unreal  with a storyline cattle-chute adventure with maze-like but linear level design.  Before team deathmatch became the  rage, these were popular in FPS as single player and to some extent cooperative gameplay.

 

Since modern MMOs seem to be trying to reproduce SP style gameplay in an online environment, I'm kind of figuring, why not give the old angle a try.  In my mind it sort of works out like Guild Wars 1.  SP + Coop dungeon runner with eSport PVP.

 

I liked basis on Morrowind style gameplay, but MMO-ized it keeps feeling like it want's to be like MO / DF1.  Not sure if that's what I'm looking for, nor do I have the resources to do one well even if I wanted to.

 

Playing?  Vanilla.  Hehe, remember your wolf, sheep dog, sheep analogy?   I've only seen a few sheep dogs, but plenty of wolves.  And I make a damn fine sheep.

 

I'm working out a couple of major RL hassles at the moment (one a painful burglary).  Not throwing in the towel just yet.  Tempted to port the whole mess over to an Android engine and put it on Google Play for free with optional donation.

 

Ugh, not much better than the other tries.  Pardon the ramble and thanks for the feedback.

 

It could work, I think your problem has always been trying to go too big. The scope of your games has always been massive, and it's just a hell of an undertaking for one person.

 

Your very first interration of WaC, at least the first one that I played, where there were x number of dungeons, and the over land farming zones all connected was by far your most feature complete version. It was turning out quite well too. It was once you made the decision to switch to full on open world MMO that you started spinning your tires trying to make things work, and then make them fun. So, I think that if you were to go back and flesh out some of your original ideas and focus on something smaller and designed around fewer people that you might pull yourself out of the rut.

 

As for switching to Android I can't really offer any advice in that department. My expertise don't extend much farther than C# and XNA. If it's easy enough, go for it. It would certainly open you up to a rather large base of people (who wouldn't expect a big budget AAA game).

  Trokarn

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/09
Posts: 68

4/10/13 8:21:59 PM#5
I agree that if a port to Android is relatively easy, it could do well on google play. There would likely be more people reached faster with that method. Although, if it would require another rescrapping of the game, then perhaps just lessening the scope of the game a bit would be the better path. I don't know the current state of the game, but I did enjoy the features and simplicity of the old design of WAC before it was scrapped, which a similar design I feel would do well on Android. Extensive and complex mechanics don't always work out, so I would personally enjoy an iteration similar to what I have once played from you with some improvements.
  willstelter

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/28/09
Posts: 19

4/13/13 11:44:01 AM#6

Alright, let me give some thoughts and input. A little background first: I've been playing online/multiplayer games since Diablo 1 essentially. I was about 5 when it came out, so I love the aRpg style of randomization/crawling. I played until Diablo 2. Then, I got into Ultima Online. I loved the freedom of it, to create and design a characted that fit your playstyle, and whatever you wanted to do within the world was fairly possible. This with the randomized loot was a plus for me, even with the introduction of artifacts and minor arties in AoS. I loved the open world - FFA  looting (unless you had insurance - esuring a pker had some reason to kill you, minus the gold and whatever else might be on you). Ultima Online was a world influenced and shaped by it's players - and lots of fun. From there, I played WoW on and off for about 3-4 years (ouch). I loved Vanilla, thought BC was even better, and hated everything after. Balancing and meaningful pvp just went out the window, and the introduction of daily quests hurt my brain (ie became a time sink of time sinks). From there, I went back to Diablo 2 for a year. During this time I tried LOTRO, and DDO, - which seemed to instanced and hubbed for my tastes, as well as lack of meaningful PvP. Then Darkfall - which I have to say, could have been a really good hit. The Devs. missed the point of having a skill cap so players weren't distinct copies of one another with the exact same skills. Also, they didn't punish hackers and cheats. Otherwise, it was a fun PvP and meaningful PvE game. From there, I played Minecraft - hosting my own servers out of pocket (mostly vanilla with little addons) as I loved the open world PvP. Tracking players down as another player due to clues they've left in the world is some of the most fun I've ever had. I tried Diablo 3, but hated the itemization limiting as well as the item level brackets that made it impossible to progress. I played Guild Wars 2 after release, until cap. I like the game, but I can't find anything to keep me interested. Maybe it's the lack of friends in-game. I played Tera til about level 45 after it went Buy To Play, and It's a good game, but lack of friends made it less enjoyable to go and grind. Now, I dabble in Path of Exile (fantastic aRPG), Order and Chaos online (Android version), and might log into GW2 from time to time. 

I've also been a console player for a long time. FPS games like Halo, as well as Morrowind series, Dark souls, etc. 

I'm generally a PvE and PvP player. I like to do both, but it's hard to say which I prefer. A good blend of character progression with meaningful PvP is my cup of tea. The risk versus reward factor of engaging another player is the thing that's hard to balance. Games have done this in many ways, from flagging in certain zones, guard towers, murder status (lack of protection), and things like item insurance in UO. I thought UO did a good job of balancing risk versus reward when going Red (murderer) disallowed you from entering towns and trammel, but at the same time - the risk could have been greater. As far as item insurance goes, Reds could have had an increased rate on items - ie more gold lost during a death. 

The hard thing to balance is making the risk worth the reward, and likewise the penalties associated with PvP appeal to some players. Generally this would split groups into two sides, blues and reds, or PvE'rs and PvP'rs, but that doesn't have to be true. Meaningful PvE will still attract PvP'rs just like meaningful PvP will attract PvE'rs. 

To accomplish this, I'll give some points to consider in balancing both.

 

1) Full Loot or Not? - Full looting will influence players to kill one another to gain their items, but when balanced with a negative like murder status could work. Could also include insuring items with in-game gold - murderer gains gold on kill, and reds have a higher rate. Could balance both, insurance and item looting. 

2) Meaningful PvE - I loved how this version of WaC randomized its loots, as well as giving each player the ability to customize and build their character as they wanted. In UO you had a wide array of playstyles, as well dedicated crafters - supplying the world with player made loot, as well as repairing items for players. Harder mobs bosses and better drops will create player interaction, in bot the PvE and PvP sense. 

 

If I was going to design a game, it'd be open world (with dungeons and towns - player housing? player vendors?), focus on item randomization (crafting and drops are both meaningful), skill cap for thoughtful progression (lack of cookie-cutters), PvE can be solo and group based (for better drops or events), and PvP is free for all, though balanced with negatives (risk over reward types that influence player interaction without separating them into hardcore PvP'rs and PvE'rs). The thing that lets games like this propser is a lack of meaningless grind (found in games like WoW) and instead a focus on increasing your character through doing what you like. 

 

Sorry if this is hard to read, and wall of text, but tried to make some interesting design points. 

  Benedikt

Tipster

Joined: 12/12/04
Posts: 1315

We live for The One, we die for The One.

4/13/13 11:56:46 AM#7

sure, pvp can build community more then (usual) pvp - question is what community. do you know what 4 most used words in LoL are? 1. ks, 2. noob, 3. report, 4. feeder.

imo best way to build community is to make it pve only, but with pve working as pvp - massive attacks of pve mobs on player cities, mobs cooperating, calling for reinforcements, mobs stronger then single player etc.

  willstelter

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/28/09
Posts: 19

4/13/13 12:21:21 PM#8

Hmm, I'm confused by your comparison of an open world PvP/PvE game to a  multiplayer battle arena game? Sure there are similarities, but in the long run, not so much?

The entire PvP community is not whiny little children. There are some intelligent people who like to test their playstyle against others. 

The reason I'm suggesting a balanced PvP aspect is because I think it would be less out of reach (for an indie-dev. game) than what you're suggesting with scripted PvE encounters, non-instanced (Im assuming) towns that can be seiged by mobs, etc.

Building an entirely PvE community does this? - level char, craft, max level, gear up, roll new char. 

Balancing both gives benefits of both, as well as interaction between the two rather than excluding either. 

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12112

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

4/13/13 12:33:44 PM#9

My advice regarding adding PVP to your game is to either bring on team members who have familiarity with PVP design or drop it altogether. 

FWIW, you've never designed a game with PVP before and you don't even like it. Do you honestly think you can create a functional and engaging PVP system?

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fovoroth

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12112

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

4/13/13 12:35:31 PM#10
Originally posted by Stizzled

It could work, I think your problem has always been trying to go too big. The scope of your games has always been massive, and it's just a hell of an undertaking for one person.

Your very first interration of WaC, at least the first one that I played, where there were x number of dungeons, and the over land farming zones all connected was by far your most feature complete version. It was turning out quite well too. It was once you made the decision to switch to full on open world MMO that you started spinning your tires trying to make things work, and then make them fun. So, I think that if you were to go back and flesh out some of your original ideas and focus on something smaller and designed around fewer people that you might pull yourself out of the rut.

Nailed it.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fovoroth

  User Deleted
 
OP  4/16/13 3:19:06 PM#11
Originally posted by Loktofeit

My advice regarding adding PVP to your game is to either bring on team members who have familiarity with PVP design or drop it altogether. 

FWIW, you've never designed a game with PVP before and you don't even like it. Do you honestly think you can create a functional and engaging PVP system?

 

Honest answer.  No I don't think I can.