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r1ft Gaming Blog

A mirror of my gaming blog at r1ft.com. The jaded game designer turned corporate lackey. Feedback is always welcome.

Author: Daedren

Your Ideal MMO - Part 1 - Classes, Backgrounds and Character Customization

Posted by Daedren Wednesday May 7 2008 at 10:14AM
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Designing a game, much less a MMO, is no easy task. Developing a game of such magnitude is not a small endeavor. So, while I continue to mull over the other complications of designing such a game, I'd like to ask my readers for their input on the subject.

This will be an ongoing series, of sorts - in which, at the end, a good idea of information will have been gathered and put to good use. I've always thought that the community, as a whole, is largely unappreciated by developers. Why not listen to what players want?

Anyway - On with the show!

* * *  * * *  * * *

Part I - Classes - Backgrounds - Character Customization

Disclaimer: We are using the assumption of a skill based progression system here. Oh, and we're going Post-Apocalytpic. ;)

The questions I ask are these:

1. Do you prefer a "Class" system or a completely open progression system, and why? (For example: You can be a "Soldier" and get certain abilities, or you could progress through Soldier-type skill trees and get them, sans "Class")

2. Should backgrounds and/or race choice affect your gameplay dramatically? Should you be rewarded and penalized severely for choosing a specific race or background?

3. Is it ok to have certain backgrounds / races to be more powerful in certain aspects of a game?

4. How much character customization do you want in a game? What are some main features that you'd like to see?

5. Should you be able to change your characters appearance in the game world? New face, new body, etc - or should it be limited to only cosmetics like hair color / tatoos?

6. How do you feel about certain actions within the game world causing permanent scars or disfiguring on characters? (Hello, vat of acid...)

Any other comments on the subject are highly welcome.