I am curious. There's a lot of whining, begging and ranting going on about two key-concepts in MMORPGs:
- Overall harshness (xp-progression speed, death-settings, Loot-mechanics: Do you drop everything, free-to-loot.. or not, or how much, etc.)
- To cater to the RP-community ... or to not to cater to them.
From a developper point of view. I would think the main work is to get the engine running, to get the art in, and all that stuff. How hard would it be to just alter some of the "numbers" and maybe a bit more tweaking to the death-system.
How hard is it to have basically the same game running under two or three different rulesets, if by rule-set I mean:
- different xp-progression
- different death-mechanics (e.g. no vanilla-respawn, but something along the good ol' old-school lines, maybe even something a bit more sophisticated, e.g.: you need to get dragged to a priest to respawn. For a fee, of course.)
- Full-Lootable player corpses, or when players are "downed.
This is not to start (yet) another debate about which play-style is preferable. I would just like to know what the sages of the binaries have to say on something like that.
Edit to add: Just to be clear: I am not talking about reverse engineering or modding an existing game. I mean it as a concept for a gaming company, to release the same game under different rulesets (and probably on different servers?).