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I posted this in another thread but i would like to explore it further so im reposting here.. Its a way to have a mmo without concepts like money, experience and levelling.
Moneyless economy at the start
the game has something called "orders". There is an order for each type of profession whether it is a tailor, cook, fighter, mage, log cutter, or blacksmith.
the defining feature of the order is the request system. All the request system does is hook up combatants with crafters and vice versa to make equipment and supplies that are needed ingame.
as a fighter well say i can go out in the world and collect materials from monsters that i will need to make a sword. Ill take these materials and submit a request for fabrication. My request goes to the order, so every blacksmith in the game can see my request and fill my order. The reverse is also true. As a blacksmith i can put in an order to the fighters order for supplies needed to make a certain item, which i am capable of making..say that sword.
To the blacksmith all they see is " sword required for fighters order", and they complete the request. There would also be a failsafe after a couple of days so that an npc will complete your order should no make the sword.
this would not only apply to swords, but bridges, houses, castles, upgrades for pvp guards and anything in the game that needed creating. Think of the server more like an army if you will. They dont care about money, they want results on the battlefeild.
so in addition to player orders there would also always be npc orders for items to keep the system liquid and these items would upgrade town guards, castle guards, keep guards, pvp defences, and anything else that can be upgraded. Of course all these "tasks" require materials..
which leads me to the donation system. Since theres no money what will players do with all that treasure. Anything they dont need can be donated to the common good of the server. Each npc order will accept the types of materials required to make their specific items, and there will be other npc orders that will accept anything as a catch all. Donatins will improve your standing with whatever npc order you donating to, and this will improve the services that you can receive as a player.
no..this does not give you phat l33t likes wows faction grinds. This works by the incentive order system where the higher the standing the more incentive the other tradesman (or vice versa) is given to complete your order.
Each player will have tabs in their "book" once for each order, one for their guild and one for the server. Some orders may be merged for simplicity. This will ensure that players always have a large number of tasks they can accomplish (or ignore) if they wish to do so. No tasks is one way though. a blacksmith that completes an order for armor for the pvp keep indirectly helps the combat players to fight and pvp the opposite is also true.
Materials is key
Once you have a system of essentially player generated tasks, the core of all these tasks is essentially materials required to fuel these tasks. I like the notion that materials are more different than better..gold has its attributes (such as deflecting heat) but so does every material, so no material is technically the ultimate material. So i wouldnt have gold platemail..i would have gold platemail with bone spikes for attribute x, silver buckles for attribute y, and emeralds for attribute z.
So then materials are worth based on their effect, and not some assigned number. Gold is awesome vs fire but worthless vs ice and so on. Players may try to make their own economy with these materials as a base, and that is ok if its the players that will it. This might be different on every server though, so the goldfarming people might have a hell of a time doing their thing. Also harvesting of materials is dependant on the skill to harvest them ( bone comes from skeletons/undead...wood comes from chopping trees..). The cool thing is that more materials would be added to the game all the time and the rarity of materials would rise and fall. Today gold is hard to find and bone is not...tomorrow the opposite may be true.
Gaining new skills
i see advancing your character to utilize a similar system. Every player would simply have to find the particular skill scroll to get it going, and this could be found in a treasure chest, off a monster, could be crafted by the above system (if you have the correct ingredients) or simply learned by being repeatedly exposed to the skill.
Once you have figured out the skill it then simply becomes use based ( and we dont care how you use it, thats your business) and it progresses slowly by use from beginner to grandmaster. Other than by use, being in an order is the only way to speed up skills, and only skills belonging to an order are sped up.
once you hit grandmaster in a skill, any skill, you get the ability for skill modulation. This means that you can change the parameters of the skill, adding more of something takes away from the rest. The modulation skill also progresses from beginner to grandmaster.
You can only be in one order at a time, and the order your in slightly speeds up the learning of all skills associated with that order and gives you a small amount of points that you can use to improve skills. You can still learn everything else but it will be slower and they wont be subject to the order bonus. The order bonus is not large but it affects everything across the board that is relevent to the order.
Order has the limitation that you are slightly limited on what non order skills you canuse. If there were 10 skills to equip at any one time, 5 of these would be reserved for your order and the other five could be anything.
This system ensures that players have access to the greatest amount of content available (i.e all of it), but also very gently guides them along the basic orders (you could change orders) to ensure that it wasnt completely random.
So you might have to play a long time to completely unlock every skill and grandmaster it, and then grandmaster the modulation of it and then determine the best order and best setup of your skills...but its still just a skill, and doesnt make you inherently more powerful than anyone else..just more flexible, which i believe is the key to long term playability. The cool thing is that you dont have to get all the skills. You just go after the ones you want and improve them. Get the ones you need first, collect the others later. limitless gameplay here.