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General: Community Spotlight: My Ideal MMO

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Community Manager Jon Wood kicks off a new weekly series where he looks at a specific issue raised in our community, how you saw it and how he sees it. Check back each Tuesday to see if you're in the Community Spotlight.




"Well, sounds like you want a new game called Life Replacement," said user Aquakitty.

Others though, either offer support. "It sounds a good, but then again lots of people will flame this and say 'Dude, there is something called real life!' But it sounds awesome!" Sahilian wrote. Others offered existing game examples such as EVE, Darkfall and Star Wars: Galaxies.

Personally, I like the idea that what he's striving for is a real-life simulator. After all, isn't that generally what role-playing is at its core? Looking beyond the rules and the complexity of role-playing games, hasn't the point always been to create a world that was like real life but more exciting? It's always seemed odd to me that MMOs have moved further and further from this goal of simulating the real world in favor of holding to well used conventions like levels, classes, experience and the like.

The full article is here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

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Comments

  • UgottawantitUgottawantit Houston, TXPosts: 146Member

    Sounds like Eve to me.

     

  • IngrodIngrod ValenciaPosts: 13Member
    Yeah, but a MMO with conventions and easy to manage by devs dont mean a game without housing, harvesting, a good and useful crafting and economy, player towns and strongholds and bases, player control of resources and territories. WoW and clones dont are the only examples of MMO games with conventions and dev friendly.

    Example: AoC

    Some devs saids that the secret of a skill based MMO is that internaly they nor are skill based at all, a good dev can make a game with all the "dreams" explained in the article and internally controlable by devs.

    The article conclusion is a poor excuse for build MMOs without imagination or invention, only other games clones.



  • paulscottpaulscott WI rapids, WIPosts: 5,613Member
    sounds MUCH closer to wurmonline to me.


    I find it amazing that by 2020 first world countries will be competing to get immigrants.

  • oglemoglem MelbournePosts: 20Member

    Hi all,

    I have always prefered the sandbox model(aka eve)
    to the directed gameplay model(aka wow). Directed gameplay can be "used
    up" where as a sandbox lasts for as long as you find the interactions
    generated , interesting, but sandbox requires investment to create
    content, ie. a new player will be directionless because the game
    requires nothing of them.

    In the future Im seeing hybrid
    models where sandbox style mechanics are applied to the directled
    gameplay style of storytelling. Players are directed to a goal without
    easy linear paths to achive it, this would allow developers to create
    the vision for the game and maintain some control without directly
    limiting player interactions(World of Warcraft pvp).

    ,
    Oglem


  • MesopoliesMesopolies Hillsboro, ORPosts: 51Member
    You know where a player made economey has done very well is in AC. Everything has points. This has evolved over time from SIK's to MMD or Plats. If the game can survive long enough players may be able to create an economy where one never really existed before.
  • Lunar_KnightLunar_Knight Portland, ORPosts: 292Member
     

    I have a lot of ideas on how to make a successful game (some I don't want to share because I hope to use them myself some dayimage).

    Players want control over their world. They want to feel they are apart of the world and have a hand in on what happens in it. Developers need to offer PWC (Persistent World Conflict) which should threaten the players control over cities or land. PWC should be either developer controlled armies or creatures bent on taking over player property. Did you ever build a snow fort when you were a kid, make like 20 snowballs, and then look around for some one to attack you and no one was there? Kind of makes the snow fort and snowballs pointless. The same logic should be used when making player cities. If you build a city that can't be attacked, what’s the point of sticking around. Risk gives things meaning and purpose in and of itself. I will build this city with my guild and woe be to those that dare raise arms against us.

    DEVELOPERS OF THE WORLD, GIVE THE PLAYERS THE POWER TO CREATE AND DESTORY!

    .....................................

    ...but time flows like a river...

    ...and history repeats...

    -Leader of "The Fighting Irish" in DAoC on Hib/Kay-

  • hnamhnam ParisPosts: 1Member
    Sounds EVE to me....
  • severiusseverius sacramento, CAPosts: 1,514Member Common
    The largest barrier to a decent economy in a game is the fact that its a game.

    First, simple quick economics lesson: Value of currency is based upon something with tangible value backing up that currency.  For example in our real world there is gold.  In earlier times it was silver, and before that salt.

    In order for an amount of currency to retain its value there has to be a limited supply of both the currency and that which backs up the currency.

    In games all economy systems are inherently broken because the mint never stops printing money.  Every mob that spawns has some amount of money or certain value of items, every quest taken has a specific cash amount etc etc.  Let's say you find a mob that drops 50-100 *insert currency name here*.  whether 1 player or 1000 players kill that mob 1 time of 1 billion times the game world will continue to pump out 50-100 currency every time one dies.  Everytime a player kills that mob and gets x amount of currency that currency is devalued.

    Look at pre-war germany.  Because of restrictions placed upon them by the US and her European Allies at the end of WWI germany found itself in a crisis.  One thing the government did to alleviate this, it thought, was to start printing vast amounts of currency.  It was so bad that it could cost hundreds of thousands of marks for a single loaf of bread.

    This is what happens in all games eventually.  Sometimes it takes a year, sometimes longer, but eventually players start to amass such vast amounts of currency that an unuseable item can sell for several million units of currency.

    Now is where we come to the crux of the problem.  In order to facilitate a real economy in a game world there would have to be a limit to the amount of currency available, regardless of the number of players, what their actions were etc.  But that detracts from the fun of the game.  How many people would be satisfied to kill Nefarian in WoW and at the end be given an I.O.U. by the game because the general fund had gone dry thanks to the alt or noob that killed a murlock.

    Of course there are ways to replenish the general fund of the gameworld, repairs, travel costs, taxes etc.  But then on the other hand these things arent exactly fun especially when losses to a players bank account can very easily be because of bugs or flaws in game design as much as player error.  Then where taxes are concerned, well no taxation without representation!  Which in turn leads itself to other cancers such as career politicians, lobbyists and pork being added to bills etc.



    image

    image
  • bainsterbainster JohannesburgPosts: 19Member
    You are correct on some poitns but not all.

    "In order for an amount of currency to retain its value there has to be
    a limited supply of both the currency and that which backs up the
    currency."

    The problem with most MMO's is there is nothing to really back it up.

    What the top poster is suggesting and I agree is to put a way in place to "aqquire" raw materials, work them into something of value and then sell it. Nobody said monsters MUST drop money. or coins. etc etc. Why not build a economic system on value instead of money. money is after all just a representation of value. (if you ignore exchange rates:P)

    I would love to play an MMO as a crafter, rather then a figter/ranger etc.

    Imagine being able to go out "farming" for raw materials. coming back to my shop "crafting" weapons, tools, armour etc learning new skills as a crafter rather then a fighter.

    It's not all about running around and killing for everybody.



  • Holyavenger1Holyavenger1 Montreal, QCPosts: 440Member Uncommon
    Without getting in the specifics of what system should be in and what shouldn't be, I'd like to say that for me, the ideal MMO would be done in such a way that when I hop in, it wouldn't feel like I'm playing a game, but like I'm playing a world.

    Says it for the degree of immersion I'd like to enjoy, I guess image





    Fyrr Deerdan - HolyAvenger
    http://www.therepopulation.com - The Sci-Fi Sandbox.

  • TyStevens79TyStevens79 Birmingham, ALPosts: 6Member



    Originally posted by Holyavenger1
    Without getting in the specifics of what system should be in and what shouldn't be, I'd like to say that for me, the ideal MMO would be done in such a way that when I hop in, it wouldn't feel like I'm playing a game, but like I'm playing a world.

    Says it for the degree of immersion I'd like to enjoy, I guess image





    QFT. We need more games like this.
  • AmorphismAmorphism Tel AvivPosts: 101Member


    Originally posted by bainster
    Why not build a economic system on value instead of money. money is after all just a representation of value. (if you ignore exchange rates:P)

    No money uh? Sounds interesting.
    So if you craft, let's say, a great sword. And there's no money, only value. Only a player that has something specifically for your liking will be getting this sword. This could lead to crafters becoming sort of quest-givers "I want 3 dragon skins, 1 storm-snake tonuge, 1 werewolf pelt and this uber-sword is yours!".

    You can combine your idea with something I thought about -
    "Myth Items" - a system that I've adopted from "Earthdawn" with some changes (pen & paper RPG) which basically gives an item extra-value through use for large periods of time, creating a history for it.
    This extra-value can be new magical powers, bonuses, specific-quest features etc'. After a while (a LONG while) a simple crafted sword can become legendary for instance. It's more complex than I described though.

    I wonder what will be an achilles heel of such only-value community.

  • ammieammie leicesterPosts: 109Member

    Interesting article and nice post Severius!

    Lets just supply each server with stone-age axes and see which one invents the wheel or wins the space-race first! Of course there will be casualties along the way. Some servers will blow themselves up, others will die of pollution, starvation and pestilence and many will just go bankrupt!                                                              But maybe, just maybe one server will work it all out and rise to face the final challenge!

                                   Does anyone know what that is? image 

  • bainsterbainster JohannesburgPosts: 19Member

    You're right in that crafters could give quests, or if they want money to buy something they can ask money.
    money is not removed from the game, it's just another value commodity.

    Sounds very interesting .. and I like it. Most of the design writing I'm doing currently on MMO's are centered around creating creating dynamic content and systems that uses user interaction to create gameplay.

    Trying to find ways for the system and users to interact to create new content in a MMO environment is a very interesting concept for me.

    If you think about it, a general system could have farmers, creators and users.

    Farmers are people that "harvest" raw materials. They have spacific skills and tools to get the raw materials out of the environment, be it actuall farming and/or digging or speacial drops from creatures.

    Creators are people that use raw materials to create items for use. they have spacific skills to make items, how they do it I've not given much though, but obviosly you want something action oriantaded, something for them to do ;P

    Users are fighters/rangers etc consumers ;P they just use the items to kill things ..

    the trick is to find a balanced way to distribute workload, items drops and  expendature between the different groups so that it balances out. The system you want to create is one where each need the other two to survuive in the world. This will encourage interaction between groups, attract new players to the game, and create new and interesting play types.

    just my 5 cents worth. :P

    H


  • AmorphismAmorphism Tel AvivPosts: 101Member
    I think that a world without a virtual

    intermediator of value = aka money, can be a great idea.
    In this way you don't really need NPC shops, but if the devs still want there to be, the npc seller should have
    an automatic system that decide what the NPC want in return (no money, remember?) to his commodity.
    All other real-human sellers can be just whimsical, which won't give them much credit by customers or
    fair and more steady which can attract new customers who heard about them.

    Also, I'm in favor of free skills over archtypes professions/classes.
    So I won't suggest seperating the community to - farmers, creators and users.
    Everyone should be able to do anything, in varying degrees of success, based on what skill they put more focus on.



  • bainsterbainster JohannesburgPosts: 19Member
    You are correct. I was geting a little zealous there.

    Making skill only for spacific classes is not the way to go. allowing all to have the same skills and allow usage to dictate skill level is the right way to go.

    Speaking of skills. I came accross a very nice way to determine exeriance poitns on a paper RPG system i was testing for a friend. The basic premise of the system is very simple. You don't learn by succeding. You only progress in a skill once you failed to do something. This makes sence in a way. You don't learn omehting by doing it right. You learn from doing it wrong.

    The other advantage of this system is that it becomes increasingly more difficult to better yourself at a skill which is true in the real world as well. the better you are at something the harder you have to work to better yourself at it.

    and of course it's a very simple system to integrate into math.

    in the papare system if you fail at a task 10 times you gain one point increase in skill. the skill is tested against a 100 die roll. yous tart off with your skill int he lower single digits depending on stats.

    interesting take on it I think.



  • uncusuncus Fonda, NYPosts: 528Member



    Originally posted by bainster
    You are correct. I was geting a little zealous there.

    Making skill only for spacific classes is not the way to go. allowing all to have the same skills and allow usage to dictate skill level is the right way to go.

    Speaking of skills. I came accross a very nice way to determine exeriance poitns on a paper RPG system i was testing for a friend. The basic premise of the system is very simple. You don't learn by succeding. You only progress in a skill once you failed to do something. This makes sence in a way. You don't learn omehting by doing it right. You learn from doing it wrong.

    The other advantage of this system is that it becomes increasingly more difficult to better yourself at a skill which is true in the real world as well. the better you are at something the harder you have to work to better yourself at it.

    and of course it's a very simple system to integrate into math.

    in the papare system if you fail at a task 10 times you gain one point increase in skill. the skill is tested against a 100 die roll. yous tart off with your skill int he lower single digits depending on stats.

    interesting take on it I think.



    I must disagree with the idea that failure increases skill...I took calculusimage  Numerous failures NEVER made me better at calculus.  Wouldn't this also lend itself to exploitation fairly easily?  Tie me up and I'll keep using my drive skill so that I can raise it, since it is impossible to succeed.

    On the other hand, a system like that used in the PnP Runequest game ['80's version not d20], where a successful use of a skill allowed a roll of a d100.  If the d100>= skill level, the skill is increased; if not, the skill remains the same.  For skills over 100, a roll of 100 still advances the skill [at 200, I'd raise the bar to a 100 followed by a 90 - - giving an over 1/1000 chance to increase the skill; at 300, a 100 followed by another 100 or 1/10,000 chance!]

    Another feature not mentioned that I'd love to see is a character that can be ported to different worlds.  Today I want to play a fantasy game, tomorrow i want to play a space opera game, next week I want to play Old West...  Each world would have different skills [with some in common] and only the character, NOT the gear, would transfer [ala Terminator].

    [editted for exploit]

  • uncusuncus Fonda, NYPosts: 528Member



    Originally posted by Amorphism
    I think that a world without a virtual intermediator of value = aka money, can be a great idea.
    In this way you don't really need NPC shops, but if the devs still want there to be, the npc seller should have
    an automatic system that decide what the NPC want in return (no money, remember?) to his commodity.
    All other real-human sellers can be just whimsical, which won't give them much credit by customers or
    fair and more steady which can attract new customers who heard about them.

    Also, I'm in favor of free skills over archtypes professions/classes.
    So I won't suggest seperating the community to - farmers, creators and users.
    Everyone should be able to do anything, in varying degrees of success, based on what skill they put more focus on.






    This pretty much sums up the economy in Ryzom...
  • ghost047ghost047 montreal, QCPosts: 603Member Uncommon
    I read all the post here and I have to say that what others are saying sounds alot like SWG pre-cu to me.

    We had housing, player city, gathering ressources, Crafter were giving "quest", if you wanted something crafted with rare ressource, he was telling you to get the ressource for him and he will craft what you want. The players were in control of the economy and it was well done and very accurate, IMO.

    Damn I miss that game, 33 professions and they all had a purpose in the game.



    Get a life you freaking Gamer.....no no, you don't understand, I'm a Gamer, I have many lives!!

  • NetherbeastNetherbeast Foothill Ranch, CAPosts: 55Member
    While a real world simulator would be interesting, it would be a very niche game. One of the reasons WoW is so popular is that it's a game you can just pick up and play. Real world simulation requires a lot of time investment.

    SWG was like this before the changes. To be a crafter meant owning power generators and harvesters. Paying maintennance, locating the resources, crafting items (that may not sell), auctioning the items or owning a shop which meant more maintenance and shop fees. Sounds cool, but you spend so much time doing all that, you never play the game. Not that there were "Star" nor "Wars" in that game, but you never become part of the world, you just have a job and pay motgages. Having a job and a mortgage myself, I would rather escape from that and play a game.

    And America went off the gold standard in the 70's. This country prints money backed up by promises. Do you think the government hunts down all the paper money for the year 1962 they printed and destroys it and only prints what they destroyed for the current year? Sure they remove money from circulation when they can get to it, but new money comes into circulation every year while no new gold, silver or precious metals are acquired by the government. The gold standard didn't really work anyway and may be the cause of the great depression.





    Give a man fire and he''s warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he''s warm the rest of his life.

  • saurinsaurin Port Washington, WIPosts: 19Member
    Hey everyone havent been on in a while but couldnt resist a chance to give my opinion..

      To be honest I love the idea of a life simulator in a fantasy setting or a sci fi setting. However I think it is almost impossible with out narrowing your range of players. I think the only reason you dont see many sandbox type games is the fact that they take longer to learn and play. As long it takes some time and practice to play companies will avoid these games since most players are casual players and dont have the time or want to take the time to get so involved in their game. (WoW is proof)  The other problem I see is life simulators getting tedious and boring. After all wood cutting for a few weeks then learning carpentry isnt always the greatest enjoyment. (if you do think it is try roma victor)

     I guess over all it would be great to see a company come in and say hey we want all the die hard players and we dont care if we never break 200k players.



    Freemen

  • AmorphismAmorphism Tel AvivPosts: 101Member
    NetherBeast and saurin, you're right of course - cookie cutting will always be more successful and widespread.

    But we got enough world population to fill the lines of the niche-mmo or the more difficult to master type of mmo.

    Here are a few more thoughts I have in this subject -
    * Have you noticed that in most MMO the player is like a radar, picking out huge amount of information, without any
    realistic sense to it? Like Health Bars flying above everyone heads, monsters and humanoids alike.
    I thought that it will be more realistic AND fun to have a bar appearing once you got enough experience (not XP!) with encountering and fighting monsters, and that this bar would be only an estimation. Appearing in Green to Red color, while green represents the HP you know he has, and red just an estimation. Hope the explanation is clear.
    The basic idea behind it is to take all kinds of information that a player picks up in current MMOs, and make them more like skill-based or experience-based. So the player must explore more to achieve knowledge that appears in his GUI.
    Enemy thougness can go into that account, Map locations, how good/bad was your strike/spell effect etc'.

    It's just makes sense that a veteran player has much more knowledge to his disposal, appearing in GUI, than a
    new player.
  • uncusuncus Fonda, NYPosts: 528Member



    Originally posted by Amorphism
    * Have you noticed that in most MMO the player is like a radar, picking out huge amount of information, without any
    realistic sense to it? Like Health Bars flying above everyone heads, monsters and humanoids alike.
    I thought that it will be more realistic AND fun to have a bar appearing once you got enough experience (not XP!)

    . So the player must explore more to achieve knowledge that appears in his GUI.
    Enemy thougness can go into that account, Map locations, how good/bad was your strike/spell effect etc'.

    It's just makes sense that a veteran player has much more knowledge to his disposal, appearing in GUI, than a
    new player.




    I'd rather SEE different graphics instead of Hp bars [except for my own Hp].

    You hit and do damage, you see it bleed; you see it move more slowly, perhaps favoring one leg, etc.

    Both Friend and Foe should do this - makes being a healer more of a challenge.

    Also, Ryzom did something in this vein originally - not the damage, but strength of MOBs was based on size.  Unfortunately, in the last beta phase, they caved and put in star-rankings.

     

    I like your idea of the map changing...maybe starting like an ancient map with many blank areas and crudely drawn, then becoming more detailed as more time is spent in an area.

  • SeanBladerSeanBlader Campbell, CAPosts: 21Member


    These ideal games are always a great deal of fun to read, whether it's because you agree or because you hope to poke holes in the design. What's unfortunate is that the tried and true games, games that we describe as "cookie-cutter" or "clones" will always fill the bulk of the market. These designs that sound ideal to hardcore gamers are too risky on a financial level. Why risk your money when you can go with a "sure thing"?

    Risk vs. reward. That's what the players want, and it's what the developers and producers want. The problem is the bean counters want Return On Investment. We're at a point where there's enough saturation in the market and if you want to draw people away from their tried and true MMO home you need to take that risk. SWG did, and it worked, for a while. Eve still does it to this day. The problem with most games is they try to get a "theme" and then they get stuck in it. People don't want to play a theme.

  • ghost047ghost047 montreal, QCPosts: 603Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Netherbeast

    SWG was like this before the changes. To be a crafter meant owning power generators and harvesters. Paying maintennance, locating the resources, crafting items (that may not sell), auctioning the items or owning a shop which meant more maintenance and shop fees. Sounds cool, but you spend so much time doing all that, you never play the game. Not that there were "Star" nor "Wars" in that game, but you never become part of the world, you just have a job and pay motgages. Having a job and a mortgage myself, I would rather escape from that and play a game.


    I see your point but saying that you are not playing the game or never part of the world I would say you are wrong. In SWG, crafter was the most important profession, no crafter no weapon to fight. We you farm your ressource, you are playing the game and you are part of the community. If you think that it takes too much of your time, just play a fighter instead of a crafter, but for ppl like me and many others who likes being a crafter, we do not want that taking away from us and replace by crafting ala WoW.


    Get a life you freaking Gamer.....no no, you don't understand, I'm a Gamer, I have many lives!!

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