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Cathal's Blog

Well, I was sitting around one day and I figured, I may as well start up a blog. Were you expecting something more?

Author: Cathalaode

Revitalized Dream MMO Pt2: Abilities.

Posted by Cathalaode Wednesday August 12 2009 at 5:28AM
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Who really likes the traditional formula of auto attack, special, wait, special, wait, special, special, next? It's all just math, my attack vs their defense, and vice versa. Whoever's better at addition wins. I mean, it'll do. I'll admit it's not my biggest problem with MMOs today, but why settle for alright, when better is just as simple.

Part 1: Combat.
If you've played mount and blade, just skim this. The basic idea is that holding the left mouse button charges the melee attack (releasing fires the attack), and holding the right mouse button hold up your block. The direction you're moving will give you an attacking direction. Blocking with a shield, and parrying with a weapon are very different affairs, and they have their up's and downs. With a shield, you will block from any direction, and making a successful block will not lower your guard. Additionally, the act of blocking in itself costs less stamina, but it costs extra stamina to both raise your guard, and hold your guard up. Parrying on the other hand, is very stamina efficient, but every time you successfully block an attack, or are hit, your guard goes down, but just for a second. Also, in order to parry successfully, you must initiate your parry after the attacker pulls back his weapon to swing, and before he hits you. Parrying is faster, and costs very little stamina to pull up your guard, but it costs a fair amount of stamina every time you successfully parry an attack.
To bunnyhoppers: Just as a countermeasure, there will be a stamina drain while running in combat. And also, natural movement will be switched to walking. Press shift to run in combat. Simple as that. But you will gain a damage buff for attacking while running.

Armor: Armor will, instead of reducing damage, act as a kind of automatic shield. Blocking an attack with armor will hurt stamina more than health. Instead of a plain armor rating, it will have a few stats. Armor coverage, Armor protection, and Protection type. Armor coverage is how likely your armor is to block oncoming damage, for simplicity's sake, this is just added together with all your other equipment to make one general pool of coverage. Protection type is what kind of damage your armor covers, chain covers slashing, quilted leather covers peircing, plate covers everything, etc. Chainmail will offer minimum protection against archers, but is great in hand to hand combat. Armor protection, is how much your armor will protect you against it's protected damage type. This, again, is pooled together with all peices of armor of the same type. Also, all armor will offer a fraction of it's protection against foreign damage types.
Weapons: Weapons will also be more complex than usual. Primarily, there will be a major difference between weapon types. Damage from one type of weapon will not be the same as damage from another type. Swords will be faster at countering, and will have decent damage in both slashing and peircing. Daggers will be unable to parry, but will be very fast at attacking, and will have decent damage. Axes will be good at dealing damage through armor. Polearms will have a very long reach, and will be able to attack with the sheild up with proper skill, but are slow, ineffective in closer range, and cost a fair amount of stamina. Wrapping up the melee weapons are the clubs, they will be very good at dealing damage through armor, and will cost the enemy's stamina greatly.

Combat Stances: One you train a combat skill over level 50/100 you will gain a specialized combat stance specifically for that skill. Each stance will have a set of abilities that can be used while in that stance. It is important to note, that you cannot use an ability unless you are in the correct stance. You will be able to select any two abilities that are available for your stance as Active Abilities. While you are in your combat stance, pressing "E" will trigger the first Selected Skill, and holding it will ready you for your second Selected Skill.


Mage Spells: Magic will be broken down between schools. Fire Magic, Earth Magic, etc. These schools will act somewhat like a combat stance. Each school will hold a plethora of spells, of which 2 will be chosen as Active Spells. One strong Active Spell, and one basic Active Spell. Just like in the game TESIV: Oblivion, "C" will be the button that does all of the casting. If you tap the casting button, you will cast the basic spell, and if you hold it, you will charge up the powerful spell. For example, you might have Fire Magic activated with you basic spell being a fireball, and your powerful spell being a cone of fire. The basic spell will be faster, and drain less mana than the faster one, but will have a smaller effect. Schools can be changed in a fight, but the Active Spells cannot.

Priest Spells: Priest spells are used identically to Mage spells, and only differ in their function. Pretty simple.



Now that the functioning of combat, and the use of abilities is done, I propose that we move on to the integration/obtaining of abilities, and the customization of them. Assuming that there are no significant objections then... This bit is more important than it may seem, because of the leveling system I have implemented. For a very brief summary: a player class will be created by the guild, and all guild members will become a part of said class. As such, every player within the same guild will, obviously, be the same class. Since you're average player will often group with members of their own guild, there has to be a way to stand out substantially from the other members of your guild. Any skills below the non-guild cap do not need any customization, and as such, all of this will take place after the non-guild cap has been breached.

Obtaining Abilities/Spells: Once a player passes their non-guild cap on any skill that offers abilities, an ability tree will become available. This tree will be somewhat similar to the weapon customization trees in Dead Space, but larger (And clearly it has abilities as well on it). For those of you that haven't played Dead Space, it's a pretty simple mechanic: There is a branching tree that is composed of slots, most of the slots are blank, but some of the them have upgrades (in this case abilities) that you obtain by reaching them. Every time a player increases his skill in that field, he is able to fill in one slot. Spells and abilities are gained the same. (The purpose of this is to make sure that not everyone uses the same abilities).

Customizing Abilities/Spells: (Again, abilities and spells work the same, it's just easier to say ability than Ability/Spell/Whatnot every time) Once a player obtains an ability, a customization screen will become available for it. Abilities are customized by increasing it's power in a number of fields. When an ability is used, it will gain levels. Every time a level is gained in an ability, the player will receive a point they can spend on one of it's customization fields. Abilities have a maximum level though, and will only be able to fill just over a quarter of their available slots. For example: a player is customizing their Fireball spell, There are 4 fields in which they can advance their spell, Damage, Duration, Range, and Mana Cost. If each field is out of 100, then the spell will be able to gain a maximum of 150 levels. (This is important to further distinguish players within the same guild)
 

The Skeleton in the Sandbox. Leveling

Posted by Cathalaode Wednesday August 12 2009 at 1:43AM
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If you just want to get to the point, skip this wall of text right here, because it's really just an introduction. But if intro's are your thing, or you just want to see where I'm coming from read it. I won't judge.

From what I've heard on this website, the general concensus is that people want their MMO sandbox flavoured. The people are saying that they're tired of linear, class based leveling. They're tired of restrictive, and funneled gameplay that promises stellar endgame content, and then builds an entire game to keep the players away from it. Instanced zones that are meant to cut the world into easy to swallow chunks, because who wants to explore a massive world if there's no carefully lined out content in it? I do. It seems to me that MMO developers have forgotten something important about MMOs. They've forgotten why we play them. We don't come to play them because they have carefully written story lines, carefully crafted worlds, or even just for the PvP, because frankly, MMOs don't have a great track record in any of those fields... If I wanted a story, I'd play a game like Mass Effect, or if I wanted PvP I'd play CoD4. We come here to interact with other players, and to build a world. An MMO's strongest point is that it's interactivity makes it unpredictable; You can be wandering around, killing monsters and run into an enemy player. Name one other kind of game that can happen in. Name one other kind of game where a guild can build a city, raise an army and wage war on another guild. Name one other kind of game with an economy that evolves in real time, or one other kind of game where a player can do anything he or she wants to do. A game should have less rules, and more decisions.
So let's get right down to it here. I'm planning an MMO, but I don't have the resources to make it. I'm just hoping that somewhere in the 7 or so readers I'll get for this someone will change the way they look at MMOs. And in this post, I want to get right down bones of my idea. I've never been great with following my own orders though, so wherever it ends up is up in the air right now.
 

Feel Free to skip passed this too, this is just the rationale.
Since in a sandbox a player should be able to define himself by his actions, and a guild should be able to shape the world, inherent factions have no place, and as such, races have no real importance at this point, we'll move right on to the class system. Afterall, the most important part of the game is the player, so we may as well start with them. Now, we want the player to be able to be whatever he wants to be, so classes are out. At the same time we still want him to develop his character, so the obvious alternative is a skill based system. Personally I'm not a huge fan of the standard skill based system, as they are rife with flaws. Every player turns out to be a Stealthy Battlemage, who also rocks at crafting. It's just that the logical path to go down is every single one at the same time. But I've found a way to keep variety in the game, and it also has the bonus, of allowing a player to respec his character into any class he wants. That system is a guild based progression.


Let's say that there are 100 possible levels to every skill. Naturally a player can bring them up to level 50 regardless of their guild, with the exception being magical skills, which can go up to 15, just because I think that magic should be more of a rarity. Now, a guild would get to chose what kind of Archetype they'd like to train their members in: Fighter, Rogue, Priest, Mage, Craftsman. From here they choose any 4 skills from their Archetype and 1 skill from any list they want. These skills can be maxed out. So if me and my friends start a guild, we might pick the skills Heavy Armor, One Handed Sword, Sheild, One Handed Axe, and Dark Magic. There you've essentially created the Dark Templar from AoC. That's the player essentially making the same content Funcom spent a month on in 30 seconds. And if the player wanted they could swap out Heavy Armor for Light Armor, and maybe instead of Dark Magic they pick Poisons, or maybe even Stealth. You can make whatever you want, and keep the variety in the gameplay. To respec, all you need to do is join a new guild. For all effects and purposes your skills would drop down to their new maximum. In case you regret your decision, your old skills would be remembered, but they would degrade over time. For example if you switch guilds and your new guild doesn't have the sheild skill selected, you would perform as if you were still at level 50 shield, but your skill would still be at 100, and tommorow it'd be 75, then the next day it'd be at 50. And that pretty much covers leveling.

I am Cathal, come back from the dead. Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all.

Posted by Cathalaode Tuesday August 11 2009 at 11:27PM
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Hey, hows it going. Long time no see. What's it been, like 2 years? ...Well, I figured that I have some more time on my hands, and I've gotten a tighter grasp on my brain. I guess you could say I've grown up a little. You'd be wrong, but you could say that. Anyways, getting to the point here, I've finally gotten back around to all of this MMORPG business. And just for a little recap on who I am incase we've never met, or if you've forgotten me (Don't worry, I'm not offended.) this is who I am.

I've been an gamer for as long as I can remember. Since I was in diapers actually. I've always had a fascination with the rules of games, and I've been making and altering them since pre-school. Most kids use lego to make little houses, I used it to make game boards. I got into MMOs when WoW came out (But don't hold that against me.), and there have been a number of MMO's that I've played; WoW (Obviously), Guild Wars, EQ2, LoTRO (Briefly), AoC, and pretty much every 10 day trial in between. The only thing that they've all had in common is that they've all left me wanting something more. Since then I figured that, although I clearly do not have the ability to develop my own MMO, I would post my ideas on here hoping that someone who does have the ability will read them. And now, I'm going into university, still as interested in games as I was when I was trying to figure out how to work my Sega Pico.

But the real reason that I'm on here isn't just because I have more time on my hands. I spent most of the time I was away playing MMOs, and further expanding and revising my ideas. I think I've thought up an MMO that goes deeper than the traditional MMO. And now my plan is to show it to you. Stay tuned, and if you have any feedback on my future posts, feel free to speak up. No plan is perfect.

My ideal MMO Re-Cap + Re-Revised Death System

Posted by Cathalaode Saturday December 22 2007 at 2:35PM
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Well, it sure has been a while since I've updated this beast. As the title suggests, this is a recap of some of my previous entries, with the inclusion of a new death system idea.

 

 

PvP Key Zones

            The entire game world would be divided up into objective based areas. Those areas would include cities, towns, and extra regions. They will all have key features that you need to capture. There are multiple ways of gaining these, such as buying them or taking them through force. The way in which you take the location changes the amount of influence you gain from it. Influence radiates outwards, the more you have the farther it pushes. If your influence takes over most of the zone, it belongs to you.

At first, all of the world will be divided into extra regions. Some of which will be available to be turned into cities or towns. Others will be forced to stay the same, but they will be very large. Extra regions will contain resource nodes, which are required for taking the zone and acquiring resources. Extra regions will have no extra advantage, except for expanding your borders, taxing the towns, and collecting tariffs from those who control the resources. One faction can have as many extra zones as they can manage.

Secondly come the towns. They will have a few key points, but with little real value. An example of this is, if you take the town hall you can change the laws, or if you take the armoury you gain control of all the weapons and armour. Towns provide a steady income of money for those that control the area. To capture a town you have to take all or most of the key points, including the town hall. Towns spread influence into the extra regions. One faction is limited to having five towns.

Lastly come the cities. They are basically several towns divided up into one. Cities are divided into districts, which are decided by the concentrations of NPC activity. If an area has a large quantity of stores or merchants, it becomes the merchant’s quarters. If it has a large dock, and has many ships delivering goods it becomes the harbour district, and so on. Each of these districts is divided into several key locations, such as the docks, the guards’ post, or the inn. These have generally the same effects as their town equivalents, but will work on a larger or smaller scale, based on what it is. Taking a city spreads influence outwards into nearby towns and extra regions. One faction is limited to having one city.

            All key locations can be sold in the name of the governing body, to another faction. For example, an inn can be run by a smaller faction, while still being owned by the faction from whom it was sold. A small company can control a lumber mill in an extra region, with it still belonging to the main government. Or a city can be run by another faction, while still belonging to the main faction. One faction can work this way within multiple other factions’ borders.

            A faction could also work subtly, within a city, town or extra region. To do this, they would have to set up a secret base in one of the buildings, and gain influence through secret means. Their influence wouldn’t show up to a faction who did not know that the influence was being gained. For example, if a group of thieves set up a secret base and bought off a lot of the guards, they would be gaining influence in the district and the original owners would not be able to tell that it was happening, unless they specifically looked into it.

  1. World
    1. Cities

                                                               i.      Districts

1.      Examples:

a.       Harbour District

b.      Merchant District

c.       Guard District

2.      Key Locations

a.       Examples:

                                                                                                                                       i.      Light House

                                                                                                                                     ii.      Barracks

                                                                                                                                    iii.      Tavern

                                                                                                                                   iv.      Fortress

                                                                                                                                     v.      Prison

                                                                                                                                   vi.      Bazaar

    1. Towns

                                                               i.      Examples:

1.      Any village

                                                             ii.      Key Points

1.      Examples:

a.       Inn

b.      Town Hall

c.       Armoury

    1. Extra Regions

                                                               i.      Resource Nodes

1.      Examples:

a.       Forest

b.      Quarry

c.       Fields

                                                             ii.      All areas outside of towns and cities are divided equally into extra regions

 

Skill System Hybrid

            The each character would have a large variety of skills, each with their own set of sub skills. Each time you perform an action, your level in its respected skill increases. The further the skill increases, the more powerful it becomes. The more powerful it becomes, the less that levelling it will do. Skills level until they reach level 10 000, but they are not a deciding factor. For example, someone with 1000 levels in Long Blade skills may lose to somebody with only 100 levels. Though the advantage would go to the player with 1000 levels. Certain skills give you new abilities over time, such as Investigation. For example, if you have level One Investigation, and you were to search for evidence, you might only be able to find somebody’s cause of death, whereas if you had level 100 you might be able to tell when they died and certain aspects about the killer. Or if you had level 1 Cooking, you might be able to put certain raw foods together, but if you had level 100 Cooking, you would be able to put meals together.

            Skills deteriorate over time if not used. Gaining magical skills makes you deteriorate levels in other skills faster, even if they are being used. Gaining a level in one magic skill causes you to lose skill in the other one. The higher your level in a magical skill, the weaker your other skills become. But to balance this, magic would be very powerful. As such, you shouldn’t really have an expert swordsman running around who can cast extremely powerful spells.

 

Example System:

  1. Short Blade
    1. Thrust
    2. Parry
    3. Slash
  2. Long Blade
    1. Thrust
    2. Parry
    3. Slash
  3. Axe
    1. Slash
    2. Parry
  4. War Hammer
    1. Smash
    2. Parry
  5. Pole arm
    1. Slash
    2. Thrust
    3. Guarded Attack
  6. Bow
    1. Accuracy
    2. Draw Speed
    3. Moving Shot
  7. Mounted Combat
    1. Mounted Archery
    2. Mounted Thrust
    3. Mounted Slash
    4. Mounted Defence
  8. Armour
    1. Heavy Armour
    2. Medium Armour
    3. Light Armour
    4. Shield Block
    5. Shield Bash
  9. Cooking
    1. Cooking
    2. Brewing
    3. Spices
  10. Building
    1. Construction
    2. Architecture
    3. Ships
  11. Engineering
    1. Explosives
    2. Clockwork
  12. Alchemy
    1. Potions
    2. Poisons
  13. Texts
    1. Ancient Texts
    2. Codes
  14. Crafting
    1. Weapon Smith
    2. Armour Smith
    3. Carpentry
  15. Stealth
    1. Ambush
    2. Subtlety
    3. Disguise
  16. Earth Magic
    1. Nature Magic
    2. Beast Magic
    3. Elemental Magic
  17. Death Magic
    1. Reanimation
    2. Blood Magic
    3. Spirit Magic
  18. Enchantment
    1. Runes
    2. Empowerments
  19. Investigation
    1. Tracking
    2. Investigation
    3. Interrogation
  20. Athletics
    1. Sprinting
    2. Acrobatics
    3. Climbing

 

Combat

            Combat would be more realistic. Each character would have around 100 health. A level 10 000 attack would do around 100 damage if unblocked, and not cushioned, but a level 1 attack would do around 20 in the same conditions. A stealthy arrow could do up to 100 damage from an extremely skilled character in ideal conditions.

            Blocking would be manual, and only guard your front. Attacking would be manual and damage whatever your weapon or spell hits. Attacks parry automatically if both sent at the same time. Scenery would stop an attack. Velocity would increase damage (running at your enemy is what I mean there). Attacking would drain stamina, as would blocking, sprinting, and jumping. Stamina would not regenerate while moving, jumping or attacking.

            Attacks would work out like Mount and Blade combat system. Looking up would draw back a downward swing, looking down would draw back a thrust, left would draw a left to right slash, and right would draw a right to left slash.

            In combat there would be full corpse looting, and there would be counters to this (see economy section). Weapons and armour would that are currently equipped would not be lost.

            PvE monsters would range from easy to epic. They might be a wolf (which could easily kill an unprepared player), or a horrible monster, which would kill entire parties, all of this would be spread out in the same zones (one zone wouldn’t be all easy monsters, and the next more difficult. They’d all be in the same general areas).

 

Economy and NPCs

            To help stimulate the economy in the game, trade skills would be an important part of the game. Cooking would be important to feed the NPCs and Players (mandatory, but scaled back player eating would also improve the social environment), crafting would be important because players would need to replenish their equipment, enchanting, alchemy, and engineering would be important because they would give players and edge in combat, and building would be important so that cities and towns could develop.

            Cities would be required to have a strong economy so that their citizens could pay their taxes, merchants could pay their tithes, and that money would go to paying the armies, developing the cities, and keeping the faction head’s pockets fat. A city would be just as easily destroyed by an economic war.

            NPCs would have to fulfill their basic needs, thus improving the economic system. Also NPCs would fill in to take the roles of merchants, soldiers, and the like in cities where there were opportunities. To keep the economy growing, there would be many more NPCs than players, all with their own personality traits. Every NPC would have a job. If there were no player requesting to do specific things, an NPC might step up to the plate and do it. For example, if the city have no taverns, and the NPCs are saying that they want something to do after they are done working, and no player builds a tavern, and NPC will buy the land deed from the government, and build one.

            Crafting would be flexible as well, with every craft able item being composed of different slots, in which any item that could fit would be put. Putting in a different item would have a slightly different effect on the final product. For example, making sword’s hilt out of metal would make it more durable, but more heavy. Or putting berries into a meal might make it taste better thus giving you a better stat boost, but you could also save the berries for something else in which they would have a better effect.

 

Natural Player Quests

            Because of the PvP key zone idea, the economy, and the fact that this game revolves entirely around player factions, the individual or faction would decide the quests in this. There would be no “traditional” quests, outside of being paid by a faction to perform a certain task. With the way crafting and spells work, a specific crafter might hire you to go out and collect a rare scripture or ingredient. The idea is for the players to run the world, like Face of Mankind in its glory days, except without set factions. It would all fall into pecking order. For example, a merchant is successful in his crafting because he is good at it; he makes more money off of his works, and can then hire better players to get him more valuable ingredients. A medium level crafter would have to hire an average player to get him the ingredients he couldn’t buy from the store (he gains crafting experience from making more difficult items and the mercenary gains experience from his adventure, and money as well). Lastly, a novice crafter would buy all of his ingredients from merchants, because they would all be cheap, and commonly found; he would lose less money and gain experience more quickly.

 

Re-Revised Death System

            Since the idea of perma-death turned people off, and so did the idea of working people towards perma-death through constantly dying, I figured that the idea of permanently losing a character would have to be out entirely (you can’t have a game without players). The idea of a death you would want to avoid is still a must in my opinion. My new idea is that, since this is a skill-based game, you should take a large loss in all of your major skills. For example, a player whose major skills are Long Blade (1000), and Heavy Armour (1000) dies, both of those skills go down to 900. Or say, an archer who only has Bow (10000) would have it go down to 9800.

            This player would respawn at the nearest friendly/neutral altar, with all of the items that he had equipped. Altars would be player built, and would be placed in towns, and cities. Usually they would be in a temple, but certain factions would be able to put them in other buildings, such as hideouts.

             A player who dies would also lose durability in all of his items.

My revision on perma-death.

Posted by Cathalaode Saturday November 3 2007 at 2:22AM
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Here goes.

 

Original Idea:

Step One: You Die

 

Problem with that is that it's unforgiving like a mother fu... nk... Anyways. The gameplay gives you a reason to run (Good), but more reason to want to kill (Get the bastard). I see that this is going to turn into a ramble-fest, so I'll cut right to the new idea.

 

New Idea:

Step One: Death

Step Two: Take a hidden roll to check against your Constitution/Willpower.

Step Three: Take a permanent defect from the fight, along with a level loss.

    Permanent Defects include: Bad Arm (Less effective arm), Limp(Slower movement), Soft Spot(Higher crit chance against you), Stubborn Limb(Limb will go from fine to handicapped randomly), Loss of Limb(Inability to use said limb), Loss of Eye(Higher perception checks), etc

    Once an amount of defects have been gained, that is equal to (and maxing out at) 1/10th of your level, you will instead begin to lose 2-4 extra levels per death; which brings the level loss to 3-5 levels per death. If you do not have enough levels than you will permanently die.

 

This way, when you die (which you will), you will still be given a major and permanent reason to avoid death, but you won't lose all your time and investment because your keys locked and you went off a cliff, or you got knife in the throat when you weren't looking. There's still a way to die permanently, but it gets harder to reach the more you put into your character. It shouldn't be too unbalanced for the higher levels, because the higher your level the more likely you are to have died multiple times.

I'd like to hear some of your comments.

Your dream MMO

Posted by Cathalaode Tuesday October 23 2007 at 10:55PM
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Well, since I have all the stuff that I really think would make an awesome MMO, and I'm probably only going to make another entry before I start something new. But before I do that, I have three questions for you.

 

1) This one's a quickie. What do you think of my ideal MMO so far?

 

2) What aspects would you add/change in my ideal MMO, any reasoning at all would be great.

 

3) Here's the big one. Give me a brief description of your  ideal MMO. Is it Sci-Fi, Low Fantasy, High Fantasy, Steam Punk, Medieval, Modern? Would you have Open PvP, instanced PvP, Perma Death, Only Duels, No PvP at All? Would it have a linear story progression, would it have no story, or would it be somewhere in between? What would you do to stimulate the players into taking part in the world? What would be in your end game? What would make your game stand out? Etcetera... Just tell me what you want, share your ideas.

Three Pistols

Posted by Cathalaode Sunday October 21 2007 at 1:33AM
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Well, this is completely different from MMORPG's, but worthy of mention. The Tragically Hip are awesome. Just thought that I'd let all you non-Canuks know. Check them out if you like, well... music. I just got back into them, and now they've been the soundtrack to my day for 2-3 weeks straight.

If you don't like them, then fair enough, I can just not talk to you anymore.

My ideal MMORPG (part 4-4.5)

Posted by Cathalaode Saturday October 20 2007 at 11:12PM
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Oh Vajuras, where would I be without you. I was reading his blog post... I was skimming his blog post, when I came across him saying something about Perma-Death. Like usual, I didn't have the fortitude to read more that every other word or so through all the creative juices. But, like whenever I read one of his posts, I end up thinking up a new entry for my blog thing. So here's my Idea, this one is actually not that big.

 

Death Penalty.

    To start off with, I'll break it to you nice and quick without beating around the bush too much. You know, like I'm doing now. And right there too. Now to avoid some sort of life destroying paradox, I'm gonna stop right there. Perma death is the death system for my ideal MMORPG, but you probably guessed that already. Normally I don't like perma death, but I think I found a way around most of the negatives. Which I guess is gonna make this a two or three parter. To start, you need to give the people some sort of compensation for leveling up their guy. Otherwise there'd be no real drive to do good even if you know that you're going to die, and so that you have a real reason to level your guy up. For said compensation, I'd choose a bonus for new characters in their starting experience. Also, leveling can't be that big of a deal. The difference between levels should be absolutely minimal, but you should be able to level up for lots of levels. Like WoW's 1-70 grind would be the kind of top level. To ease up the world for it, there would only be zones for up to around level 20 in their WoW equivalent, after that it would be PvP leveling, with the occasional boss monster. A way to resurrect would be absolutely necessary, but to stop everyone from being able to do so the game would have to be relatively class based. I'm still a believer in skill based so I'd probably stick to my hybrid idea, which I've either already talked about, or is a hint at an upcoming post.

    Halfway breakdown: Perma-Death, Little distance between levels, Far advancement (length of leveling would be like the 1-70 of WoW, distance between a max level and a new char being about WoW's 1-20), Monsters would only be up to a certain point (WoW lengthwise: lvl 30, strengthwise: 10), Limited but possible resurrection, and a skill/class hybrid leveling system.

 

    Now for the second half. Since we have all the stuff that it would we would have to do out of the way (I think), let's start on what it would let us do). Larger, emptier worlds for larger battles. Since the system is going to bring up a lot of animosity, and joining a guild will be a must for protection reasons, the players are going to be in clumps (mostly fighting for power thus adding to the animosity), this means that guild battle's will be huge and thus require more room. This then let's us put in more adept guild cities, since player will need protection, they'll need cities, and if you're going to need anything that badly, you should be able to make it worth spending your time protecting, and easier to protect. So, add more buildings, more building spots, and stuff outside that you would want to fight over. And all that other stuff from my first "my ideal mmorpg" post. Also, like Vajuras mentioned, it would allow you to make a bounty system that would be harder to exploit. It would also enhance the use of activities that a guild may partake in, since they are so much more important. Naval trading route's, and the like could be introduced because of the enhanced guild usage. I knew there would be something I'd forget to add. As for starting areas, I guess that you would have to be able to chose where you want to start to avoid griefers. Back on track then, if you are going to have a character that is able to kick some serious ass, then you may as well implement magic in it's full glory. Having a necromancer that can summon hordes of minions, or a sorcerer who can spring up walls of fire strong enough to kill dozens of lesser soldiers. This though, means that you would also need some freaking black knight sort's of characters, no big deal though. Individual balancing would be less important though, group balancing would be important on the other hand. Meaning that priests don't need the ability to kill to much, because they can heal and resurrect. Now that's priceless.

 

Second Half Breakdown: Bigger and more empty world, my first ideal mmo post but with lots more regions, detailed and important cities, have to have fun in your cities, cities need to be strong, a bounty system, Outside of guild activities such as having trade routes and government policies, pick a starting area, enhanced classes, cooler more deadly spells, balancing by group.

 

    Just for good measure, I'm going to throw in a third half. Mostly to one up those 110%ers. I'm going to go into a little more detail on that crazy spell stuff I was talking about. I think that mages should kick ass at the higher levels, but kind of suck at the lower ones, whereas melee classes should start out good and work their way to kickass. Since I've got reason out of my way, let's get into detail about those spells. Firstly, I think that spells should be relatively customizable. Not quite like Morrowind/Oblivion, but more along the lines of taking a spell and increasing the potency of a certain effect. Such as having a necromancer be able to bump up a spell to being able to reanimate someone as a minion with 150% of their normal stats, instead of say 50%. That being a huge F'ing increase, something special would have to be done to achieve that advancement, and needless to say somebodies gotta die. I was thinking that some sort of large monster that would take ten or so people to kill, would be guarding it in some remote mountain somewhere. There would obviously be more that one place to get it, plenty of different monsters to slay, all for the same chance for enhancement, you wouldn't need to actually kill that monster, you could just buy one from someone that has (or someone who killed him). But the idea is that that would be the extent to which PvE raids would be, just that one monster that could kill 10 or so higher level guys, or like 40 new characters. The focus should always remain on the player, and how the players intertwine.

 

In the words of the Tragically Hip, but then to be butchered into talking about the generic form that MMOs have taken:

"Bring on a brand new renaissance
Cause I think I'm ready"

My Ideal MMO (pt3)

Posted by Cathalaode Tuesday October 16 2007 at 12:41AM
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Well, now that I have the only "perfect mmo whatchamacallit" here (If you also have one then I either forgot or ignored it for emphasis), I figured that I'd post my third piece. If you want to know what it's about, then just tilt your vision a few degrees down. I'm not giving you any hints... except for the title. It's not fully fleshed out either.

 

Natural Player Quests

            Because of the PvP key zone idea, the economy, and the fact that this game revolves entirely around factions, the individual or faction would decide the quests in this. There would be no “traditional” quests, outside of being paid by a faction to perform a certain task. With the way crafting and spells work, a specific crafter might hire you to go out and collect a rare scripture or ingredient. The idea is for the players to run the world, like Face of Mankind in its glory days, except without set factions. It would all fall into pecking order. For example, a merchant is successful in his crafting because he is good at it; he makes more money off of his works, and can then hire better players to get him more valuable ingredients. A medium level crafter would have to hire an average player to get him the ingredients he couldn’t buy from the store (he gains crafting experience from making more difficult items and the mercenary gains experience from his adventure, and money as well). Lastly, a novice crafter would buy all of his ingredients from merchants; he would lose less money and gain experience more quickly.

My ideal MMORPG (pt2)

Posted by Cathalaode Monday October 8 2007 at 5:28PM
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Economy and NPCs

            To help stimulate the economy in the game, trade skills would be an important part of the game. Cooking would be important to feed the NPCs and Players (mandatory player eating would also improve the social environment), crafting would be important because players would need to replenish their equipment, enchanting, alchemy, and engineering would be important because they would give players and edge in combat, and building would be important so that cities and towns could develop.

            Cities would be required to have a strong economy so that their citizens could pay their taxes, merchants could pay their tithes, and that money would go to paying the armies, developing the cities, and keeping the faction head’s pockets fat. A city would be just as easily destroyed by an economic war.

            NPCs would have to fulfill their basic needs, thus improving the economic system. Also NPCs would fill in to take the roles of merchants, soldiers, and the like in cities where there were opportunities. To keep the economy growing, there would be many more NPCs than players, all with their own personality traits. Every NPC would have a job. If there were no player requests to do specific things, an NPC might step up to the plate and so it. For example, if the city have no taverns, and the NPCs are saying that they want something to do after they are done working, and no player builds a tavern, and NPC will buy the land deed from the government.

            Crafting would be flexible as well, with every craft able item being composed of different slots, in which any item that could fit would be put. Putting in a different item would have a slightly different effect on the final product. For example, making sword’s hilt out of metal would make it more durable, but more heavy. Or putting berries into a meal might make it taste better thus giving you a better stat boost, but you could also save the berries for something else in which they would have a better effect.