With any competitive game, the most valuable and important resource are the players, the community. Without their involvement and interest, the game might as well not exist. In a competitive game, players are the critical element and ultimately, players are the game's 'content'. It's the competitive game's players who brings it all together and at the end of the day makes it fun. A development team can make the game's kernel, its core, fun. A development team can add new game mechanics, maps, etc. However, when it's all said and done, it's up to players to step up, bring their 'A' game and make the competitive game shine.
Fury is 100% pure competition and the competition exists at all levels - individuals, groups, teams, clans and realms, each have their place. It doesn't matter whether you are playing at the Pick-up, Amateur or Professional level. Competition between peers is what sets you and your allies apart. Of course, that competition needs to be fair and balanced. Without that feeling of equality, and a matching system that ensures Pick-ups fight Pick-ups, Ams fight Ams and Pros fight Pros, the community will never take off and a game's quality will suffer.
Successful games and strong communities occur because of a number of things: The game's core gameplay needs to be fun and compelling; the developers need to take the community seriously and treat them with respect; the community needs to love the game and actively work to grow and improve it. The developers are the ones who create the game and set the initial vision and direction. However, as soon as the community starts to get involved and experience the game, the game becomes theirs. It's up to players to express their needs, wants and desires and it's the developer's job to listen closely, understand the community's message and keep the game on the path they want.
In order to really drive community inside and outside the game, Fury's dev team has created one of the more unique server architectures that I know of. In Fury, and like other MMOs, every player has a home Realm (server). Unlike other MMOs, when you go into battle, you're always fighting WITH your Realm members and fighting AGAINST one of the other 20 to 50 Realms on the data center. From the player experience and community standpoints there are massive advantages to this. All your allies are drawn from your realm providing you with a relatively 'small' number of friends (think WoW server populations). Since each opposing team is from one of the other realms, you have a virtually limitless number of opponents (potentially 1 million or more). Thus, you work together with a tight group and fight against an absolutely massive pool of players.
Fury's Realm structure also really lends itself to player rankings, matchmaking and ultimately ladders. Since our matchmaking system matches equally rated players together, it really minimizes the potential ladder abuse and rank exploits that have plagued other games. In any competitive environment, you need confidence that the ranking systems are fair and balanced. If a system can be exploited, that's an immediate turn off. Now I'll give a bit more detail on the ladders themselves.
In the past we've mentioned that Fury will launch with a large number of ladders. We've also mentioned that Fury's ladders will rank individuals, clans and even realms against each other. In order to really emphasize the ladder system and to recognize skilled players and clans, we've created two distinct categories of ladders. The first category is the qualitative ladders and these ladders focus primarily on player skill and by looking at the best performing games within a window of time. The second ladder category is quantitative and emphasizes a combination of skill and dedication. The real benefit of this separation is that the ability to recognize clans of all sizes. Tight knit, elite clans can focus on dominating the qualitative ladders. Massive uber guilds can work to dominate the quantitative ladders. Which ladders are going to be 'the most important'? Which will your peers look to as the ultimate definition of skill? That's entirely up to Fury's players to decide.
So what can Fury's community look forward to in the coming months? Here's a few teasers:
The hope with all of these is to strengthen and grow Fury's community. We really want to see the community talking about Fury; offering feedback and suggestions; hyping the game on lots of boards; and really getting involved in our goal of creating the best competitive, player versus player game to date. The dev team has put all their knowledge, love and passion into it. Now it's time for players to make it their own.
- Adam Carpenter
Lead Designer, Fury, Auran Games