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BadSpock's Logical Conclusions.

My random thoughts about MMORPGs. A bit of critique, suggestion, debate, and insanity. Enjoy.

Author: BadSpock

Server Rule Sets

Posted by BadSpock Friday October 19 2007 at 2:16PM
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UO had it right.

Alternate rule sets on servers are is only way IMO.

+You need PVE friendly servers -

-Only voluntary PVP under controlled conditions (like battlegrounds/arenas/duels), minimal grind, very solo-friendly. The EQ2, WoW, LOTRO type of "normal" servers. It's obviously popular.

+You need "hardcore" PVE servers -

-Only voluntary PVP under controlled conditions (like battlegrounds/arenas/duels), slower leveling pace due to things like XP loss on death, slower gain rates for skills, less XP for quests / killing mobs, etc. More difficult mobs (more health, more damage, etc) to encourage/enforce grouping and more difficult soloing

Travel options SHOULD BE THE SAME. There is nothing "hardcore" about having to ride/walk for an hour to get somewhere. If anything, UO had the most "EZ MODE" travel system ever and it was the best. You could create Runes bound to a location and teleport their at will. No mage skills? You could buy and use Rune Scrolls and Teleport Scrolls.

+You need PVP friendly servers -

Same as "normal" PVE servers, but also with open PVP between rival groups/factions like on WoW PVP servers

+You need "hardcore" PVP servers -

Same as my "hardcore" PVE servers but with the PVP rules of the "normal" PVP servers listed above and limited item loss on death. If you have 12 slots for armor+weapons+items, make it so only 3-4 or so can be "protected" from player loot with an insurance type system at a financial cost to the player.

This only works well if you give XP toward leveling for PVP actions/killing other players.

Roleplaying versions of these servers types are also needed.

Now, splitting your servers has risks and rewards. You need to have a very large population in your game in order to make it work. Otherwise, the more "uncommon" servers like the hardcore servers and the Role Play servers will be sparsly populated. Obviously, you can play around with server merges and creation/removal based off of player demands to achieve an acceptable level of players on each server type.

Ultima Online was doing this way, way back in the day. The Trammel / Felucca split was pretty much like playing on two different servers by today's standards, and they had Siege Perilous for their "hardcore" server.

Obviously, the rules and numbers are debatable, but the point is give players options.

But who would play on the "hardcore" servers? Why not just play on the "normal" servers and grind/farm/power level yourself to the top and then dominate the game? Why go through the hardship of the more difficult servers?

If you are asking those questions, then you belong on the normal servers.

The point is, give players choice. Freedom. You can't create a "hardcore" game and expect it to do as well as the more "mainstream" titles. It's just not going to happen.

You also can't continue to make carbon-copy cookie-cutter games that so many players find "too easy."

What you CAN do is create a game that has server rules for both. Enjoy.

Dionysus187 writes:

I'm a big fan of rulesets myself. What makes me think about some people is when they outright don't want alternate servers. Do they think people who would play on one of them would just play on theres, rather then just NOT play? Funny to see pro-PvP people not want PvE servers as if 100% of those possible players would go to PvP server and just act as fodder.

If you had a PvP server with 1000 people and PvE server with 1000, and shut one of them down, you'd be lucky to see 1/4 of those players keep playing on the other server.

Fri Oct 19 2007 3:23PM Report
vajuras writes:

I agree. did you omit RolePlay Servers? They need their own server worse of all

Ideally I would love to see something like EVE Online done whereas we're all on one server and everyone is happy. But not all games is structured like eVE Online

I suppose what you say makes sense. its a shame not everyone understands each other gaming style hence why you see people go "they dont need their own server!"

But roleplayers I know surely do with all their emotes and realistic behaviors.

Fri Oct 19 2007 8:50PM Report
vajuras writes:

Ah you did mention that I need to upgrade my reading skils. I'm always so swamped at work I sometimes have to speed read and then re-read later. so dont freakout when u see my go back to an old blog and post hah

Fri Oct 19 2007 8:52PM Report
Kyleran writes:

You mention the UO Trammel split..... which many hardcore UO fans say destroyed the game for them...since it permitted the "carebears" to get away from them.  This left the hardcore all alone on their FFA PVP server and it turns out...they didn't care for it all that much.  Many "hardcore" players prefer to prey upon the weak rather than the strong unfortunately.

I used to play on DAOC's Mordred server, and it just never had a lot of popularity (the 2nd FFA PVP server Andred was shut down after being open about a year and the players consolidated with Mordred)

Whats really strange is that I'm a carebear. Yep, I rarely kill other players unless they are bothering me and my friends, or I'm part of an organized raiding group.  But I find the challenge of leveling up on a FFA PVP server makes the PVE portion  more entertaining, because you can pretty much know your going to win a Pve fight... but toss in the random gank and it adds to the possibilities.

Besides, I hate not being able to gank asshats on my own side, which invariable happens in a RVR environment.

But I do favor alternate ruleset servers, I think DAOC did them the best back in the day, not sure if any company will pick up the standard now days. 

Hate to say it...but I'd go give WOW another chance if they'd just open a FFA, PVP server..... with some sort of looting penalty...maybe like Shadowbane had...where you drop the contents of your bags....

Sat Oct 20 2007 12:51PM Report
gmtristan writes:

Instead of identifying players via their types, I think it is best for companies, especially the community managers to identify the communities and their leaders. I mean, try to find out the groups you define as "hardcore", those who are into PVE or PVP and then talk to them to find out what their needs and wants are. This is crucial before assuming if and when any server split will be made.

As head of marketing for Level Up Philippines, we had to do this for Ragnarok. Since hardware was not optimized, we had to merge most of the servers. Now, we have a Free server catering to those players who want to play that way. Hard lessons are learned and experience is the best teacher.


Sat Oct 20 2007 3:42PM Report
BadSpock writes:

Kyleran- well put. "Hardcore" PVPers (gankers) tend to become upset when you take away all the "cattle" and force them to fight the other wolves. Hence why I loved the Trammel split, because most of the PKs went over to Siege Perilous (where I also played) so having both rule sets and characters on both really gave lots of freedom and choice. I was allowed to choose my play style for the day.

Vajuras- lay off the coffee! jk. Role play servers are very important. Even if not strictly enforced, your "average" MMO player will naturally gravitate toward RP servers if that's their thing, or away from them. Some live and die by it, to others, it's kind of silly.

gmtristan- very good point, to me though that's the point of testing and beta phases. Give the players multiple server types in beta, see where players go, see where they go on release, and adjust your server count/size accordingly. As I said, it only can "really" work in a game with a very high population and with a company that has the resources to manage/update the different server types.

So is Ragnarok 2 as good as 1? :)

Sun Oct 21 2007 10:44AM Report
BadSpock writes:

oh yeah, oops.

Dionysus187 - yeah it's funny the level of ignorance that some players possess. They think that if the game provides for PVP or more 'harcore' game play that they'll be forced into it. Obviously, it's true in some games that don't have different server types. Hence why I'd like to see a game with more choice of rule sets for their servers.

No player or dev should force you to play a certain way. Give players options/choices and see what they do, then go from there.

Sun Oct 21 2007 10:52AM Report
BadSpock writes:

haha now it looks like you said that, sorry! i just copy/pasted your name Dion because I was too lazy to scroll up and down to make sure I'd spell it out right lol.

i'm so dumb it hurts sometimes

Sun Oct 21 2007 10:53AM Report writes:
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