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A few ideas for future mmos

I come from a long history of online gaming going back to the text based muds and whatnot. Several very interesting ideas that are completely lost on mmo designers and developers were used very effectively in muds. I want to discuss two of them.

Author: feardeath

Random items

Posted by feardeath Thursday October 4 2007 at 4:40AM
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No mmo I am aware of has implemented this simple idea as a way of keeping players interested while they do the invariable level grind to whatever the level cap is.  One way to address this is by creating what are known as random items.  They work simply.  Each item has some chance of getting a bonus.  If it gets that bonus then it has some chance of getting a second bonus. If it gets a second then a chance for third etc.. with no actual end to the number of bonuses except that the chance decreases slightly until it is very unlikely for a 3/4/5th bonus.  These bonuses can be good or bad, meaning if you want a stat called strength, the item might be +1 or -2.  The ranges used are inline with game mechanics.  The point being that an item might have 4 bonuses that read : +1 str, -2 str, +1 str, +2 str for an item total of +2 str.

Also these items are given names generated from several tables of descriptors like diamond gold shining blue etc so that each item is not known for its bonus until after it is collected.  These descriptors could easily be set to match visual representations.

This gives people grinding away on turtles a reason to look at the items they get. 

Also in games that featured random items it would often be possible for random items to have limited duration auras or abilites.  Some rings came with charges that could be used to cast spells and the like.

Basic ideas like this give players more reason to want to collect varied items.  You give them a grind within a grind.



Object persistence

Posted by feardeath Thursday October 4 2007 at 4:33AM
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When a player intereacts with any npc or object in a game, that interaction should lead to some other action.  If a player drops an item, that item should persist.  An example of a bad implementation of this is Wow and how ingame pvp deaths can result in skeletons being left behind.  Why is this done poorly?  A better implementation for this would leave player skeletons for weeks or months instead of days or until the next reboot.  This is behavior is also seen during the ancestors day celebration where whored players can leave candles at the altar of grom.  These candles burn slowly and eventually vanish.

The problem with these objects is not in the objects themselves but in the fact that they are the only ones of thier kind.  Players should be able to litter the world up with artifacts of thier presence.

Players actions should add up to create in-game changes.  If 500 players kill the giant red turtle, maybe there should be giant-red turtle soup for sale nearby.


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