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Dynamic World vs. Player Progression

ironoreironore Utah, UTPosts: 957Member Common

I have talked about this numerous times (ok, so it is pretty much all I ever talk about) even way back here:

http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/473/view/forums/thread/64982/page/1

 

But I just want to state it more simply:

 

Could players ever embrace a Massively Multi-player Online Game in a Persistent Dynamic World as opposed the current model of player progression where you level up and acquire a bunch of stuff and abilities?

In other words, would anyone really want to play in a virtual world where all sorts of things happened and the world was constantly changing and you could suffer great loss and success in a relatively short amount of time, but this was all the point and was an acceptable trade-off for the fun of experiencing a living, breathing world?

OR

Could the current players of MMORPGs just not wrap their heads around the fact that leveling up and getting stuff and basically progressing as a player character (which they are so used to doing) would not be the point?  The point would be playing in this ever changing world and not 'progressing' with a character by going through scripted content.

Thoughts?

IronOre - Forging the Future

Comments

  • TalinguardTalinguard Winchester, VAPosts: 676Member Common

    I think it's possible to build a living breathing world that players explore and interact with.  Especially if the limits that we're normally bound by can be surpassed.  

    Jumping off a mountain and gliding into the valley below, diving deep into interesting oceans, experiencing volcanos, twisters, 2000ft high waterfalls asteroid collisions.

     

    Other possibilities are post apocalyptic worlds, or wolds based on other planets where oceans and snowfall are made of liquid methane, or prehistoric world.  The ideas are endless.

    IMO the world would have to be incredibly detailed in order to hold enough peoples attention to maintain economic viabiliy, but having said that, it would be an excellent technology demonstrator.  A place where developers could concentrate on graphics and physics engines rather that be bog down with balance issues or constraints based on server collision capacity.

    Presentation for new MMORPG economics concept http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 14,247Member Rare
    Originally posted by ironore
    I have talked about this numerous times (ok, so it is pretty much all I ever talk about) even way back here: http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/473/view/forums/thread/64982/page/1   But I just want to state it more simply:   Could players ever embrace a Massively Multi-player Online Game in a Persistent Dynamic World as opposed the current model of player progression where you level up and acquire a bunch of stuff and abilities? In other words, would anyone really want to play in a virtual world where all sorts of things happened and the world was constantly changing and you could suffer great loss and success in a relatively short amount of time, but this was all the point and was an acceptable trade-off for the fun of experiencing a living, breathing world? OR Could the current players of MMORPGs just not wrap their heads around the fact that leveling up and getting stuff and basically progressing as a player character (which they are so used to doing) would not be the point?  The point would be playing in this ever changing world and not 'progressing' with a character by going through scripted content. Thoughts?

    It would work and does work; it just wouldn't be interesting for the majority of MMORPG fans.

    Some examples of it working are:

    • EVE Online
    • A Tale in the Desert
    • Puzzle Pirates
    • Sociolotron
    • Project Entropia

    And now, to commit an act of heresy here, I would like to suggest that many Persistent Browser-Based Games (PBBGs) fit the description of what you are suggesting far more than most MMOs ever could. In them, social interaction is as vital as character/team stats when it comes to diplomacy, alliances and war. Territorial control shifts hands and the political landscape changes as clans are conquered or fracture from within. When you lose a city, it's gone... captured or conquered. Lose all of your cities and you start over again from next to nothing.

    Lords of Ultima, Grepolis and Ikariam are - in many ways - far more of a living, breathing MMO experience than most MMORPGs could ever wish to be.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member Common

    I can definitely see a lot of players being on board with a dynamic world where they could make changes and such, but the epic loss would be a no go for a lot of players.

    If players were in the usual leveling up game like WoW, but the world periodically had a big problem, and if your avatar died during one of these upheavals, you had to start over at a much lower level, would players buy into the game? Most players aren't really even OK with "harsh" death penalties that would require recovering XP or working off a "death meter" kind of thing. I don't know that they would view having to rebuild the stuff in a dynamic world any differently.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • anemoanemo Posts: 980Member Uncommon

    I could very easily see players live in a game where all advancement was mostly customizing skills/abilities/stats.   And that the difference in power tier between 20 mins old and 20 hours old was closer to 50%(rather than a few thousand percent).j

    As for a dynamic world there are a lot more difficulties there:  

    If a player invests in an NPC it's because they like them and find them interesting, giving a different player the ability to kill them off in the name of dynamicism...   Just seems such a shame from a designers perspective since getting a player invested in a few bits and bytes is such an awesome feat.

    While I loved Wurmonline a few things that really irked me was somewhere that was safe the last time I logged out turning into a black lighter death zone with heavy guards after I log in.   Likewise late night raids(that I did participate in so got experience both ways) where the enemy just can't respond seems silly when you're refering to a "world"(need some other kind of mechanic for defense where attackers go against some kind of tower defense game, and human defenders can't interfere except for attacking elsewhere).

    In EvE it's possible to play the entire game and never realize any of the dynamic stuff, except for maybe seeing some higher prices if you're observerant enough(most players aren't).

    Edit:   Essentially what I'm getting at for the MMO to be dynamic and interesting, it's going to be at the bane of more people than the content driver.   IE:  finally changing the ruler of a kingdom would be the end of 40 hours worth of interconnected quests for one group of people, and the bane of a few hundred or few thousand hours of investment by the rest of the community.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

  • ghstwolfghstwolf hampstead, NHPosts: 386Member
    Originally posted by anemo

    Edit:   Essentially what I'm getting at for the MMO to be dynamic and interesting, it's going to be at the bane of more people than the content driver.   IE:  finally changing the ruler of a kingdom would be the end of 40 hours worth of interconnected quests for one group of people, and the bane of a few hundred or few thousand hours of investment by the rest of the community.

    It is a balancing act, but not one that is insurmountable.  The key is to add several time based gates to such a system, that is at after quest 2,4 and 7 in the line, there would be NPC pauses (ex: corrupted guard needs a few days to learn the watch rotation).  Let's say that my example is step 7 with step 8 being an actual attempt, even then the windows of opportunity would be few (say every 8 hrs there would be a 1/2 hr when it could work).  BTW, a failure means starting over from scratch.  And from scratch I mean rep grinding a new NPC to even begin the multiweek questline again.

    Really the problem is that games that do allow such activities generally fail to give ample response time.  Another example would be the destruction advantage: Why is it so hard to expect that building a bridge (huge time/resource commitment) should require a comparable effort to destroy it?  In most games it seems a single player can just swing their sword for a couple hours and it will undo 10s of hours worth of work.

  • WereLlamaWereLlama Lubbock, TXPosts: 244Member Uncommon

    Players like to do multiple things, not just explore.  I know I like to reach goals and then share my successes with others.

    Consider reading this if you have not:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartle_Test

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