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In My Humble Opinion

My ramblings on where the MMO's of tomorrow are going to have to go to keep us all interested...

Author: Melf_Himself

Travelling in MMORPG's

Posted by Melf_Himself Sunday May 11 2008 at 8:43PM
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I’ve decided I am a big fan of taking other people’s ideas, reworking them slightly, and then passing them off as my own work :p

http://mmorpg.com/blogs/vajuras/032008/1373_Long-Travel-Times-Rez-Spot-PVP-and-Victory-Conditions

I read the above blog by vajuras from a couple of months back. In it he talks about long travel times (ie no or limited teleportation) being a good feature for MMO’s in 3 different ways:

 A) In RvR, imagine 2 sides fighting over control of res shrines. By taking over all the res shrines, you can gain control over a particular area, since the other team will have to run a long way to get back to fight you. It creates a natural territory-based PvP victory condition.

B) Localized economies. If there is a particular area with good access to some resource, and other areas with no access, you can create some really interesting trade opportunities for players, as well as whole new professions such as haulers etc.

C) Makes the world feel bigger, since you have to run for quite a while to get anywhere.

An important comment was added by heerobya, which was that it sucks for somebody interested only in PvE for their res shrines to be taken over by a PvP army, and have their game negatively impacted.

 -----------------------------------------------------------------

On to my opinion.

I think point C kind of blows because I really don’t want to spend half an hour traveling to get somewhere. But points A and B are just so much fun, so I’d love to see a game implement them without having point C to bog us down, and without players who don’t want to participate being negatively effected.

I think the problem could be solved with a combination of ideas:

Point A (PvP): I picture the RvR as having large NPC armies, who will admittedly be somewhat cannon fodder, but there would be lots of them. These are accompanied by players, who accomplish the real objectives and direct the NPC armies (maybe players get small npc squads to control based on their rank with the faction).

As vajuras said, have special resurrection shrines that are static and capturable. When you die, if there is nobody around to res you, you res at the nearest shrine owned currently by your faction. Let’s space them a modest amount apart (say, a 5 minute corpse run).

But, have the NPC army ALSO include special npc "resbots". When you die, if you are closer to a “resbot” than to a res shrine, the closest resbot will resurrect you, which teleports you to them. They do this after a short delay (max 30 seconds) as long as they aren't being directly threatened. BUT they consume XXX amount of some finite resource to do so. That way, if a force wants to invade, they will need to equip a LARGE amount of these guys as a kind of supply train (which will make PvE resource gathering an important part of the war effort, as well as hiring mercenaries and buying weapons/armor for npc's). They would be an important tactical conflict point, as the other team would want to take them out, and you would want to defend them very hard.

Both teams would have their little group of resbots to protect, and so you'll have to choose between defending your own and trying to sabotage the enemy's. They shouldn’t be the only point of interest in the landscape though - for example there could also be shrines that when held give your entire force within a particular radius various buffs (offensive/defensive buff/debuff shrines, shrines that alter the amount of time between enemy/ally respawns, etc), as well as resource nodes where you can recharge your "resbots" somewhat.

So, PvP could be kept fairly fast paced but still heaps and heaps of room for tactical play, and it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake and die, because you’ll be coming up again really soon.

But what about teleportation? How do you get to the battle front in the first place? It would be easy enough to have teleport waypoints located in the various cities. When you click on the waypoint, a map can be brought up showing the locations of all your faction’s resbots, as well as your res shrines. You can teleport to either of these from the city, again at a cost of some limited resource.

But what if, as heero said, Joe PvE is getting his res shrines messed around with when he wants nothing to do with PvP? My solution to this is what I’d call a “tiered resource” approach.

ie the “resource nodes” (whether these are mines or uber dungeons or whatever) with the greatest output would be located in the areas of greatest conflict, eg half way between 2 rival factions. There would be other resource nodes stretching all the way back to home base for either team, but with diminishing returns, so that the resource node closest to home base is the weakest.

So Joe PvE and pals would need to choose where to adventure – if their faction is successful, they get the greatest node “hotspot” to adventure in.

Now, you might say, that’s unfair, what if Joe PvE’s alliance has lousy PvP’ers, meaning Joe PvE can only ever do lousy resource collecting? In answer to that, I’d say it should all be tied in together. If his faction are losing the war effort, Joe PvE should gather more resources for the army, and hunt down more monsters so that the army can divert more attention towards the opposite faction.

Point B (localized economy): Obviously, teleportation to and from the “battle front” and to other cities would have to be limited in what you can carry with you, to prevent “taxi-ing” of items.

I think the best option would be to make teleportation more expensive the more items you have on you. You could make “strong magic interfere with the teleportation” (more expensive magic items cost more to teleport), as well as large amounts of weight (carrying lots of, say, steel ingots) or volume (carrying large amounts of, I don’t know, wool :p).

Another (some may say unrealistic) way to do it would be to make items “bind on teleport”. ie if you’ve teleported with an item, you can no longer trade it. A warning box would pop up saying: “Your items will no longer be tradeable if you teleport with them… continue?”

Another way to do it would be to make all items “bind on equip”, and not make inventories able to be teleported. I like the “bind on teleport” way better personally, and the simple scaling of cost with quality/number of items idea better again.

Regardless of the option chosen, I’d allow people to teleport back from PvE land to the closest town if they’re within a certain distance of it… Nobody wants to run an eternity back to town through an area cleared of monsters. Once back in town, if they want to sell their items elsewhere, they can form a merchant caravan to start their way off to another town, or (even cooler), they could subcontract it out to a professional “hauler” who does that sort of thing full time and really enjoys it.

Throw in some border taxes on the main roads and the increasing ability to rob said merchant caravan the further it gets from the main roads, and you’ve got yourself some extremely fun professions added to the mix – bodyguards, bandits and smugglers!

Thoughts?

Barge writes:

Alot of your "resbot"/"res spot" concept sounds alot like an evolved form of how planetside handled it, which worked pretty well for the most part. I like the finite resource part, i think that was the one thing Planetside was missing from a strategic perspective (yes there was a finite resource for defenders, but not one for attackers)

Mon May 12 2008 3:47AM Report
Soara writes:

MMOs are like Ice Cream flavors;

Each flavor is a favorite of SOMEONE
There are flavors that a lot of people love more than other flavors-- such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and there are flavors that few people adore and love. 
Either way, different people like different things -- and that's why we have more than one ice cream flavor in the MMO world.

Traveling can be terrifying to most people -- especially in questing. I have come to love traveling... even as a hardcore MMOer. Out of the many games I've played, I've recently come back to Vanguard for the beauty of the enourmous world.

Mon May 12 2008 4:26AM Report
NovaKayne writes:

Long Travel Times in MMO's is a good concept for making the world feel larger.  The problem as I see it is to not have the Long Travel times included in the lower levels. 

Most MMO;s will want to put starting areas at different sides of the map.  Makes it difficult for low level players to get to their friends that are starting out with a different race.  Since most games do not favor single race groups much it is a VERY limiting factor to start out.

If you add the high travel times to the higher level content then most players will have gained some method of faster travel to the different areas.  This is a better idea, it is far enough away to keep the lower levels out and you still get the feel of LARGE expanses of real estate.

Otherwise you end up with what happened to Vanguard.  The populace was spread out over thre continents and there was so much content for lower levels that the high end players did not have much to do.  Most of the low end content was overlooked or buypassed because you had to travel to more popular areas with friends. 

Now that they have added the riftways into the mix it is a much more enjoyable game however, you are generally omitting large areas of real estate that players are buypassing.  You cannot fill those areas with high level content as they are too close to lower level content that just does not make sense in the scheme of things.

So yes, long travel times are fun and kewl if they are implemented properly and take into account the level of the characters needing to make those long treks.  Otherwise you are going to have lots of areas of no use.

Mon May 12 2008 3:23PM Report
JB47394 writes:

The problem that I see is that travel is incorporated into systems where it is not entertaining.  It is introduced into those systems because it accomplishes some other purpose.  Normally, that purpose is to introduce a delay into the system.

In territorial PvP, travel introduces a time delay to ensure that characters do not return to combat immediately after being 'killed'.  It could be accomplished just as easily by simply delaying the character's return.  Instead of being delayed by running back from a resurrection point, the character is delayed by sitting in limbo.  When he returns, he must return outside of engagement distance and in friendly territory.

In partitioned marketplaces, travel introduces a time delay to ensure that there is an overhead to moving goods from one market to another.  That could be accomplished by using NPCs to move the goods from market to market.  Or by restricting access to markets by mechanisms other than distance, such as race, class, guild or faction.

The purpose of travel is to entertain people who want to travel.  There should be no gain in traveling except to travel.  Players should be able to hire NPCs to do their traveling for them when it is a matter of gain for another game system.  Such as in the market system or if there is a need to get in-game information somewhere distant.

To retain the ability to have players get together with friends even though they may be scattered through a huge world, I'd implement a system that lets players jump to each other's locations.  It would be done in a way that would be quite restrictive, but permit the essential action of friends joining friends.  For example, it could not be used in a PvP area, objects obtained through a ghost stay on that ghost, ghosts must be set up in advance, and so forth.

The idea would be that friends would scatter to the four winds in search of adventure in the huge world.  When they found some and wanted help, they'll call as many online friends as they wanted.  There would never be an issue of leaving friends behind because you'd always be able to invite them to join you.  When they're done, they go back to their original location.

With such a system, I'd also want the entertainment density in any given area to be high.  There shouldn't be one monster lair at a certain location, players kill the monster and then spend another day or two looking for something else.  Each time a monster is found, there should be many different things to do in that area, with travel times kept to an absolute minimum.

If an area is sprawling, then it should be dealt with like a dungeon crawl, where the only time the players are traveling is when they're taking another 10 steps to the next room.  It is when there is a need to repeatedly traverse ground that travel becomes onerous.  Back and forth, back and forth.  That's the annoyance of travel.  Design that out.

Mon May 12 2008 4:22PM Report
vajuras writes:

Ideas sound fine. I do wonder why resbots are present. Let me explain-

First of all, examine BF2142 which flawlessly implements rezspot PVP concept. In BF2142, you can spawn at any Capture point your faction owns. So teleportation was covered that way. EVE is the same, I can jump clone to any location I implant a clone (teleport)

However in an MMO as you see in order to get localized economies to play nicely with teleport you suggested perhaps Bind-On-Equip. I personally think once we move towards things like BoE/BoT we get away from really strong economies because now used items have no value on the market. It just sorts of impedes trading.

Look at EVE Online. I rarely have to make long trips. I can buy a 'jump clone' at 0.0 and have another at Empire (safer space with local law). When you clone jump, u jump butt naked. No items can be teleported with you. It's just your conscinous (sp?).

EVE achieves this:

1) Now I need gear at both locations. This means I will be buying more items. more money leavces my pocket and circulates through the economy

2) I can always sell any good whether I used it or not. So when a vet is ready to upgrade to better items they can sell their old equipment.

 

I think EVE already solved Point B.

Also, nothing against Heero or JB but realize they both are hardcore evangelists for casual play. Localized Economies is something appropriate for a hardcore title. Thus its beyond their area of expertise and more into my field. Just like me, I am no expert on Raiding and other such Hardcore PVE.

So I'm not nsure why we cant just allow players to teleport to any land they wish that their faction owns they will just need gear at that area. We are overloading more money from the player if they have to purchase new items <money sink>. But this loss to their wallet is gain for another. Plus we can reuse PVE content or what have you by requiring them to attain more gear.

 

I am not sure why rezbots are needed is it to keep players in the action? We dont really need them right the goal of rezspot PVP is to get action happening around 'hotspots' (See BF2142). So, if an attacker tries to sneak past frontlines he can but he will be punished and sent back to rezspots his faction owns. This is how EVE Online, BF2142, and other 'capture point' PVP titles work.

Now you can keep the rezbots but now they are a target that we must kill making the title more PVE centric (PVEVP). PVEVP can work. But if we go that route, you might consider dropping the traditional PVE. It might not be needed at all. Because normally you want PVE to get players to "Win" (win-win) and feel like Heroes. We program PVE to lose.

In PVEVP, we might have NPC assistance and if other players not present its okay the players can fight with/against the NPC armies.

So traditional PVE might not be needed

This is why I say for really strong PVP centric titles you really dont need Raiding. This is raiding- if you follow....

This is why I never answered Heero's question (wont PVE'ers be inconveinced)?

Bewcause who cares this is PVEVP if you go this route. So we can reuse all of our PVP mechanics for PVE. The two are intermeshed

 

In this sort of idea Crafters can provide equipment. They can handle the resource gathering. Players might not even need to pay for items but rather earn it for being a member of a military. Or they can be mercenary and buy their own. But if they in the military then Crafters simply make gear and get paid by military. The soliders never interact with the Crafters but rather acquire goods through their military

Lastly, you need permenant item decay. That is only way to get the cycle of need happening. If you cant at least go permenant decay then you can eliminate Crafting and go more FPS-y

Mon May 12 2008 9:21PM Report
vajuras writes:

JB47394 wrote some good points over here. I am remiss to say I dont like anything he says because after a few days I usually see some sense to his writings

So, I think off-hand his comments are good for casual play. But think about FPS games. Even in BF2142 we have pretty serious travel in Titan mode. But this is sped up via Vehicles. Why cant we use Vehicles here? You could have vehicles that requires a team to pilot.

Maybe the 'military' will spawn one every few minutes (ala BF2142) and you can use that for quick mobility

These are things I tend to just assume everyone knows but in my article I could tell no one played BF2142 Titan mode :(

Really, if you going to ever make a 'capture point' game look no further then FPS

And here lies the problem- they have already mastered this so a 100% pvp mmo would have problems trying to compete in that genre. EVE Online accomplished it but it filled a niche that no other title is in (sci fi, space) + has incredible depth beyond PVP

 

So the mixture of PVEVP could be nice. I am interested though if you could elaborate on the rezbots concept I am going to re-read on that.

Mon May 12 2008 9:33PM Report
vajuras writes:

Btw, Savage 2 is another rezspot PVP game that you can checkout. Savage 2 is a mix of multiple genres and emulates same concept exactly (rez-spot pvp)

Usually when I blog on something, I try to stick to concepts that I've already seen flawlessly implemented. That way if someone posts-

"That idea sucks!"

I'm like, "Go play BF2142, BF2, or <insert title here> then come back".

Mon May 12 2008 9:38PM Report
JB47394 writes:

vajuras: "Thus its beyond their area of expertise and more into my field."

<chuckles>

vajuras: "Really, if you going to ever make a 'capture point' game look no further then FPS"

The twist is that MMOs persist the game state while FPS games are both instanced and reset frequently.  An MMO trying that sort of thing is going to have problems, and adjustments will have to be made.  For example, Dark Age of Camelot and Eve Online have both shown how players will organize for off-peak-time raids to capture territory.  After all, if the opposition isn't around, they don't put up much of a fight.  Only the automated defenses are in place and they are a known quantity.

I've never quite understood the Sun Tzu attitude about PvP gaming.  At some point I expect players to start installing viruses on their opponents' computers.

Mon May 12 2008 9:54PM Report
vajuras writes:

In EVE Online you cannot lose terriority to sleeper ganking per se. If that were true, we'd have lost everything we own daily. Instead, there are complex sovereignty rules that govern PVP and it works. 100% persistent PVP that simply accounted for persistent state

When you are about to lose your 'space' you will know in advance and your enemy stands to lose fairly substantial assets (as well as you)

Also, depending on the assets in question- not all assets are gone upon failure. You can come back to retake your assets (like an NPC conquerable station)

EVE is focused on long term warfare and attrition. Empires are not built in a day and within the context of this title, Empires do not fall within a day

Alas, I am but a foot soldier in EVE Online. Read for yourself the complex rules that governs out struggle for Sovereignty:

http://support.eve-online.com/Pages/KB/Article.aspx?id=343

 

Here is a description of Alliances which are akin to RvR however they are more freeform allowing pvpers to form huge player created Nations. WE write our own history and it is these stories that make players infamous even outside the game (like BoB controversy):

http://support.eve-online.com/Pages/KB/Article.aspx?id=342

I have never seen such ruthlessness and loss. I have never seen such tides of a struggle. I have never seen so many kingdoms rise and seen it burn asunder. Alliances have come, and Alliances have fallen....

Mon May 12 2008 11:17PM Report
vajuras writes:

now that I have time I will zoom in on JB's post. But realize I hold his writings in high esteem so here we go:

"The problem that I see is that travel is incorporated into systems where it is not entertaining."

True, Travel is used to accomplish an end. It gets us Impact though. We cant have Impact unless there is change. I cant change anything if I kill you and you come right back. But if I kill you (sorry defeat you) and you cannot come back it gives players authority to govern their terriority

We need Impact for persistent games where players can own cities.

For your games, there is no need for Impact of this nature because player's do not own land in your blogs. And I have read almost all and commented there is no mention of players running Governments like we do in EVE Online.

How can I BE the LAW if I cannot enforce it?

At very least, the defeated must be exiled for a duration. But then we arrive at same thing....

"Instead of being delayed by running back from a resurrection point, the character is delayed by sitting in limbo.  When he returns, he must return outside of engagement distance and in friendly territory."

Im not following this why cant this happen in BF2142 Titan mode or EVE Online? You repop in friendly terriority without waiting in Limbo.

"In partitioned marketplaces, travel introduces a time delay to ensure that there is an overhead to moving goods from one market to another.  That could be accomplished by using NPCs to move the goods from market to market."

I cant judge a new concept. I would respond what could happen is that the prices for items drop dramatically and we arrive at a globalized market. Because I will send out an NPC to make the boring journey. It doesnt cost me time personally. It depends on the number of NPCs I can employ. If we are talking many NPCs then the prices for goods drop

This would require a long blog. I am not a dream killer. Try it, I'll play. I just think the value of goods will drop because you allow me to employ 'truck drivers'

You really should blog on it. See what others think. But think about it you know better then me the value of goods is gonna drop here JB. Because its much easier to transport them. With each Truck Driver you allot me, the more I can distribute goods. Now goods will reach for end regions where I would never ever go much easier. Now the demand is filled much easier because the supply is over....

"The purpose of travel is to entertain people who want to travel.  There should be no gain in traveling except to travel."

Okay doesnt this gives the Explorer emergent personality the middle finger? You are so obsessed with making the game fun for all there is no pain. Thus there is no gain for what most ffind painful. I say let the rare few that enjoys exploring and traveling have fun!

I am a cargo hauler in eVE. I enjoy it, I deserve more rewards for what I do then some other instant gratification gamer. Your idea caters to that type <casual audiences>. Maybe it more higher selling? Not saying its not good, just saying Travel Times has many many benefits

"The idea would be that friends would scatter to the four winds in search of adventure in the huge world.  When they found some and wanted help, they'll call as many online friends as they wanted.  There would never be an issue of leaving friends behind because you'd always be able to invite them to join you.  When they're done, they go back to their original location."

When you make players travel it does forcve them to make new friends in their immediate reguion

Yeah, the players all want instant gratification. They want to be with their friends right now. But when they travel, they see others. Others see them. They make new friends. They interact with other people even if it just in passing

Satisfy the gamer's desire for instant teleport we lose the huge virtual world feeling and become somehting players debate is even an MMO (like Guild WArs)

And take Guild WArs, they had a tiny bit of Travel. And guess where player created professions popped up JB? Runners popped up due to Travel times. They were like escourts that got players to hard to reach areas for a price $$$

"If an area is sprawling, then it should be dealt with like a dungeon crawl, where the only time the players are traveling is when they're taking another 10 steps to the next room.  It is when there is a need to repeatedly traverse ground that travel becomes onerous.  Back and forth, back and forth.  That's the annoyance of travel.  Design that out."

Again, play Guild Wars (for study). it grants players Instant Gratification. It's fun. Casual.

But without travel, we lose that good virtual world feeling.

Your ideas can work but yeah its catered to the crowd that wants instant rewards. No searching. No hassle. Just jump in and play.

I wont criticize it. Just a different thing

Mon May 12 2008 11:53PM Report
Melf_Himself writes:

Thanks for the discussion guys. Apologies in advance for the long read - it's all choc full of ideas, I promise!

@NovaKayne: Interesting point about low levels. On the one hand, an easy way to solve that would be for all noobies to start in the same area, and as they progress they choose a faction, which will put them in different areas. But this kind of runs counter to an idea I have about putting people who enjoy different game types into the same area... for example you might enjoy FFA PvP, well you'll spawn in the cutthroats/bandits starting area with all the other hardcore PvPers, or you might enjoy PvE only, so you spawn in a very highly policed area, etc.

So I'd probably solve it by allowing easy "defecting" to other factions to join your friends, ie you can teleport to their city... you just couldn't ship a whole bunch of items with you when you do.

You mentioned another interesting point - there needs to be content in between the "battle front" and "home base" so that the majority of the world is not useless scenery. For this, I would have constant monster raids on player-owned territory, giving people things to do in land they already control (ie the faction as a whole needs to kill XXX amount of monsters per week to keep the territory from being over-run). The battle-front itself would be the place where you actually fight the other faction (as opposed to random monsters).

@ JB: Increasing respawn time is (to me) less engaging than a corpse run of equivalent length.

Using NPC "Truck Drivers" would be fine under my book.... but it all depends on the cost of hiring them vs the profit of the goods. You have to have the right balance. Using NPC's is also somewhat self-balancing because the chance of success would be lower since they would be easier gank targets for bandits. I would have player haulers able to undercut the price of npc haulers, and able to offer much more security (ie if some guy has the maxed out "pro hauler" title, you'll entrust him with that precious cargo of diamonds, etc...)

I absolutely agree that you need a way for friends to just "jump in" with friends. I love your "scattering to the 4 winds to look for adventure" idea. Restrictions like you suggest sound good. I'd also add that you can not engage in pvp after using "friend teleport" - you'd need to teleport to a "resbot" or res shrine for that.

I also agree about content being rich in any given area, to ensure the need to travel once you've gotten somewhere interesting is low.

@ vajuras: I agree about bind on equip or bind on teleport. I think the "expensive stuff costs a lot to teleport" was the best option that I suggested.

Your suggestion of "make players have a set of items at each tele point" is good, *but* it makes it hard to teleport to a constantly changing battlefront. Maybe the "resbots" could also be "weapon bots" that hand out gear to players based on their rank with the faction, with lots of choices of course. Under such a system I'd make teleportation free, with the cost being the item acquisition.

The other drawback with that idea is that you'd have no set of armor that really feels like "yours"... I don't know, people kind of get attached to certain items. Also, I guess it makes it hard to "jump in with your friends" if you're casual, since you might not have earnt enough item sets to have one in every port, so to speak.

An amendment to the "bind on teleport" idea could be that once you've teleported with an item, the item gets a flag that says "this item can not be traded unless you return to town XXX" (where XXX is the town that you teleported from). This means people can always resell their gear, but aren't restricted in where they travel. This might be my favourite option so far in terms of convenience, but not in terms of realism (not that I care about realism, but some do).

Be interested to hear thoughts on that one.

ABOUT RESBOTS:

I should have gone into more detail with my reasoning here. Basically, I feel that if it takes me more than 30 seconds to get back into the front line action, I will be bored. Anything too much less than this and it's not enough of a drawback.

Now, you COULD space res shrines, say, a 1 minute walk apart from each other, that way if the battlefront is half way between them, you have a 30 second walk ahead of you.... no drama.

But, let's say the battlefront has advanced to the enemy's next res shrine, which you haven't captured yet (instead of being half way between). Then, you have a 1 minute walk ahead of you. Too long for me, I'm very impatient with travelling.

I guess I just figured that having little "mobile res shrines" and having a respawn timer would decrease the amount of down time between deaths (obviously they wouldn't be *right on* the battlefront, but they wouldn't be too far... you could make the respawn timer 0 seconds, and have them dynamically place themselves say 25 seconds from the (local) battlefront at all times).

It also gives some latitude in changing your tactics.... eg maybe the enemy owns all your res shrines in a large area, but you still have some resbots, so you make a push (with the resbots) to capture another shrine...

Another tactic could be to leave you res bots out in the open as bait for an ambush, or to draw defenses away from a particular shrine that you want to take, etc.

I see what you say vajuras about making them a "pve target", which kind of ruins the pure pvp focus of a game if you have to keep killing npc's. You could just make them really easy to kill, and then the players would need to guard them. They don't even have to be npc's, they could even be little magic vehicles (which could be themselves *capturable*, adding another strategic dynamic)

Basically, I'm not inherently attached to the idea of resbots, just want a way for my travel time not to be too long after I die.

I haven't played Battlefield or Savage 2. I think I understand from what you've said how Battlefield's res points worked - how was it with Savage 2? (I'd look it up, but info on specific gameplay dynamics is usually pretty hard to find on wikis)

About vehicles that require a team to pilot - I might jump down again on the "casual gamer" side of the fence and say that even if I'm the only one on my guild online, or if I have no guild, it would still be nice to hop on for an hour, teleport straight out to the battlefront and get into the action straight away. Team-only vehicles would kind of suck for that.

But it would be a cool alternative if you could take your guild into battle on the back of a dragon or something :)

As I said in my reply to NovaKayne above, I'd keep the immersion feel by still putting a heap of content in the "in between" areas, such as constant monster raids, as well as trade routes complete with border security/highway patrol/bandits/smugglers, to keep that "big" feeling of the world. Basically, I want people to be able to travel long distances, but only if they get something out of it, and not just to get to a PvP area (for no other reason than because I'm a pure PvPer in most MMO's, and I hate travelling personally :D)

I agree 100% with what you said about needing some kind of change in a persistent MMO with player-conquerabe cities. You've got to have victory conditions.

Personally, I'd take victory conditions to the ultimate step and make it possible to completely defeat an alliance. You would be able to disband and join other alliances though, with a good conversion rate for transfer of  "alliance rank".

Getting a bit OT, but I'd also have massive server armageddon events, say, every 6 months, followed by a server reset. Implemented similar to Diablo 2's ladder and non-ladder division.

For example, a foreign army invades the world, causing the players to put aside their struggles and unite against a common foe... and after this, a new server world will be made available. The old one won't be destroyed (unless the players lost to the invasion :D), but the ladder rankings etc would shift to characters made on the new world. Probably, the "old worlds" left over from each reset would be merged together to keep the populations up.

Anyway, the point is, without victory conditions, such widespread awesomeness wouldn't be possible. A really ironic point is that such a "hardcore" thing as a server reset is actually *extremely* friendly to the casual gamer - they rarely feel like they're too far behind in items/levels. This is only made possible through the use of victory conditions (of some kind, be it travel or otherwise).

Tue May 13 2008 3:15AM Report
vajuras writes:

Well rezbot isnt bad it's just PvEvP.

It appears what you are thinking of is that You want o be able to get back to the fight fast. Btw, on vehicles of course in BF2142 you can solo pilot any vehicle. But other players can ride with you (like your dragon analogy)

Well the hardcore version of rezspot the goal is to make a fight end. So, once you lose the local rezspot to opposing forces its over. The enemy won and you lost. They get to claim whatever spoils they get and its peacetime at that rezspot. It's their terriority now. Perhaps they get NPC guards and it becomes hella hard to retake. We cant have impact if players can ninja it all when I laydown (would end up like Planetside)

Now, while the hotspot is in conflict the idea was for you to be able to popup over there.And yeah, in EVE Online your Alliance owns the rezspots (space stations, etc) for a long, lomng time so you always have gear there

If you are going for something more akin to Warhammer Online well now it becomes a problem about how to handle these things. In this case, you still dont need BoE. Let them teleport with their Armor and Weapons. It's okay. Just dont let them carry hundreds of items in their inventory

This way we can still have Hauler professions. Perhaps a Hauler pilots a huge vehicle in this game.

Only problem is now a player can teleport someplace and sell what he had on. Well yeah this is a problem for a title that has rezspots that change hands too much. In eVE Online the rules that govern Sovereignty guarantee that space doesnt change hands too fast from what I have experienced.

I'm not sure off hand how to handle this issue for a title that allows lands ot change hands too much. Yeah your idea about assigning military equipment to players is a good solution. And this equipment isnt resellable because its military issue.

So items given to you by military is not resellable. Plus, it can degrade over time. This way, if your Alliance loses to many resource fields you might get lsightly less better stuff. Impact. There is an incentive to take lands for your Alliance so you get best items

Depends on what you want. I suspect you not keen on item decay. If so, then well you might not need Item Decay if you going for casual FPS-y type of gameplay. and thus, you might not need rezspots either- because without item decay we lack long term impact and a storng victory condition

If I cant impede my enemy- then we are merely fighting for 'recognition'. I think PVE centric games already handle that kind of okay

Tue May 13 2008 1:35PM Report
vajuras writes:

Btw the military issued equipment is a form of BoE so I agree with your initial solution. I think the military equipment solution is more realistic and fits more into LORE or a military type of MMO as well.

So yeah, I agree with BoE after all. I guess I just want the solution to make 'sense'. Call it roleplay or realism I guess thats what I like

Good blog, good ideas, I'd play it. Even with the PVE element

Tue May 13 2008 1:39PM Report
Melf_Himself writes:

You're right, I think the military issue thing makes good sense from an RP perspective.

I'm not against item decay, but I only like "soft" item decay.... ie the thing is repairable to some extent by the player when they've got a few spare moments, and can be repaired completely when back in town by a master smith etc.

I'm not a fan of "hard" item decay where the thing just unavoidably blows up after a while.

Good comments, lots to think about here.

Thu May 15 2008 3:01AM Report

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