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A blog

Well I was thinking about rambling on about certain aspects of a genre that I've experienced, and where I hope the genre moves forward a lightyear.

Author: nomadian

My ideal kind of system for mmos

Posted by nomadian Saturday November 8 2008 at 6:15AM
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Ok first of I'm imagining a world like Everquest.(or maybe WoW)

Current system is 80 odd levels with a load of unused content and also new players with noone to group with because everyone else is at the cap.

Now, my kind of system would still have levels, the only difference being there would only be 20 levels- like Guild Wars.  My reasoning for this is because acquiring all your abilities at once would be overwhelming and it would give a level up for a person to learn their class and acquire their abilities so that they begin to incorporate them into their play etc.

From level 20 people progress via an alternate advancement like system(see Everquest) You have in the way of additional bonuses, enhancements to abilities, and also new abilities via this system which you could maybe imagine is like the WoW talent tree. You must earn preceeding advancements before you can acquire later ones. There maybe in the region of 2000 advancement points.

WIth levels not being a divisor and everybody is more or less able to group up following reaching level 20 you now have almost a whole world to group anywhere a group would want(or solo).  All the content maybe used and new players aren't alienated from the game as once they've reached that level 20 they can join in the game as well. Or so the ideal is if I'll try explain this next bit and wonder if it creates the same problem.

With this design there would be different ranked dungeons people could play.(which could possibly be needed to be unlocked via advancing via dungeons or keys or something, or maybe just open to everyone) And obviously the more advancement points you got the stronger you will be and more likely to tackle the strongest dungeons.

My question now is this- is this a compelling alternate kind of design for games like Everquest or WoW that puts levels aside concentrating more on openness and freedom for people to group wherever they liked-Deadmines at max level? No problem. Blackburrow, Guk, KC, OS everyone at max level and is plausible content to group in. 

You got to imagine the whole world(of Norrath or Azeroth) with basically no levels- but with different mobs of different difficulties that more advancements will have better chances to handle. What shortcomings could this design have with a real application. My thought is that people with more advancements will want to group with similar people with similar number of advancements- therefore perhaps recreating the level divisor problem- but the difference being anyone can group up and gain xp anywhere.





Guilds and their limited use by mmos..

Posted by nomadian Monday November 3 2008 at 4:42PM
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Ok yes there is raiding but I'm talking about  this situation:

There's a guild, it has all these levels from 1 to 55 lets say. A madeup conversation.

"Anything planned Guild leader?"

Guild leader thinks to himself/herself what guild activity can we do with so many players over so many different levels- it'll be so much easier if everyone was level 70 then we can all do raids.

"People need to level up, we need more 70s in the guild"

People aren't happy with this though so I know I'll do the umpteenth popular mention of raiding crossroads.

"Lets go crossroads!"

Now why is it like this that a Guild is simply a chat channel and a vehicle for finding groups for those that are similar level? Why can't guilds be involving for players at an earlier level? (and be rewarding for them- some people skip say crossroads as it's just a distraction that has no benefit)  I know levels is the focal problem here and that could quite easily be another massive debate that are very frequent here, but surely there are ideas for this shortfall in design to make guilds actually guilds..

There was an option back in the day in Everquest where you could be at war with other guilds. Not everyone's cup of tea being pvp-focused admittedly but I wonder why that's not been made more use of. in various mmos. I mean imagine two guilds being at war in a mmo- and people calling in guild chat of rival guildie locations. That is fun and makes the guild more of an exciting and involving unit.  There are PVE ideas also like joining up to control say a gnoll population that has got out of control, or to be hired by a city to defend against attacking kobalds.. I'm sure there are other ideas as well. 










My yearning

Posted by nomadian Saturday October 4 2008 at 11:26AM
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My yearning : A mmo where I can play with friends or other people, where doing something like a dungeon or an instance revolves around more than just getting mobs' hp to 0 over and over. WoW for instance, all the tricks it has is basically boil down to the same dull thing, just varied a bit with the difficulty and the number of mobs.

An ideal is a sort of dungeon/instance with many sorts of perks/tricks for players. Chests is a good example which is already present and is a good one, but  other kind of things that may have a short-term bearing on the whole adventure would be fun.

Additionally challenges like Everquest had where you could choose a challenge along the lines of assassinating a boss, collecting a certain amount of items, or rescuing a certain npc. While this was 'marioizing' Everquest, it did sort of have an appeal that with an assortment of other missions that have a little more complexity would  be enjoyable to play with some buddies.

Another desirable ideal is being involved in pvp teams versus each other in a Dota like format. When I refer to a Dota like format I'm referring to RoC version.(not the excessively popular Allstars version)  Dota's appeal on this format(WC3)  was very much on strategy;  you're advancing, you select what advancements what may give you an edge at your current level or towards the later objective of sieging the opposing team's base, you select what items you buy choosing what stat to enhance and what items to buy before potentially dieing and losing a certain amount of your gold.

It would be very hard crossing this into mmo territory when you have short-term enhancements, rather than persistent items and fixed abilities instead of developing. But this structure incorporated a little more structure than with say WoW by instead of having 5 people all together, you may have them apart with different objectives but still possessing teamwork. And instead of zerging like battlegrounds where numbers mean everything to who triumphs, you may have a little more structure whereby individual players can have an impact.  In Dota, players maybe holding onto a lane, defending their base, sieging, or hero-killing, there was both individual and team importance that could contribute to the outcome of the game.

Didn't want to focus too much on Dota because it does have it's flaws, but it was a very interesting pvp and group structure very different from mmos with their battlegrounds or their 5/6 people grouping together killing perhaps one mob at times.