First, Happy New Year to everyone at MMORPG.com! As always, my thanks to both the fine folks behind this site as well as those of you who are taking the time to read these tales. At the conclusion of Part III of the Trials of Nuada Airgetlám, our hero has apparently attained everything he sought when he first set out for The Depths many years earlier. His arm has been restored by the mysterious merchant/crafter, he has a new sword, and other than a bit of indigestion from eating a living spider, he is ready to continue his quest to retake his throne. His companions though, have paid some of the bill for the merchant’s seeming largess, and that’s the subject of this blog post.
This episode, like all the others before it, incorporated a number of possible game-related mechanics. One of the most important was Nimue’s use of a “death curse” to save Nuada from the incoming “bouncing baby hellions” in the green tunnel. While the concept of this type of curse in not new in literature, it hasn’t been used often in MUDs/MMORPGs, which I think is a damned shame. While it will need a lot of balancing/tweaking (like every other possible powerful mechanic), I see it as a very useful addition to our game, and one that can be a lot of fun for players. As some have speculated on our forums, it shouldn’t be cheap and easy (otherwise why bother?), but as I said there, its power will be tied to what you are willing to sacrifice. While perma-death is not a truly viable option, some Founders have speculated that using a death curse might restrict use of the character for a certain amount of real-world time. I couldn’t agree more.
Another element they picked up on was Nimue’s use of her own health to power her spells. As above, this isn’t a new idea, but is one that will be a core concept in our game. Unlike most/all other MMORPGs though, if you are using your health to give your spells/abilities a boost, don’t expect a healer to be able to restore you completely . This type of damage will not be treatable through magical means; it will only be repaired over time. For those of you who might be asking, “Hey, is this one of the ways you plan on combating/not requiring buffbots?” you would be spot on. It’s not a complete solution in and of itself, but it does close down one possible exploit.
The third key bit was the NPC forge inside The Depths. As I’ve said a number of times, there will be PvE encounters and NPCs in our world. Most won’t be challenging, but some, such as NPC guards or creatures like the forge, will be quite tough. You will not level off them and they will not drop loot, items, tokens, etc. Rather, they will be there to protect certain areas/items within the game as well as to serve as the source of some materials for crafters (skinning creatures for example). For those who might be worried this is a way to introduce grinding for crafting or raiding, all I can say is that I promise every spider will have the normal compliment of eyes and legs... unless of course, you burn them to crispy critters. :)
While there were quite a number of other things introduced, the only others I will mention here are the Cadaver Grass and the PG13+ nature of this place. Of course, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Again, thanks for taking the time to read these stories; I hope you enjoy this one as well!