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Simulation vs. Game

KenFisherKenFisher Northwest, INPosts: 5,035Member Uncommon

I've been active in SunAndShadow's thread, where they're co-designing a game.

 

Part of that thread got me thinking about how much "game" actually needs to be in an MMORPG.  What I'm kicking around is the potential of having the mechanical elements of an MMORPG, with no storyline and minimal lore as back story.

 

The core concept I'm working on is Simulation versus Game.

 

The way I see it, there are already people, myself included, who completely skip quest stories, focusing primarily on "what do you want me to do", and "where do I turn it in once it is done".  If storyline is not essential for these people, perhaps it can be completely removed.

 

I see gameplay (simulationplay?) as:

Explore until you find something to fight -or- follow a breadcrumb from an NPC suggesting where to go

Fight until you find something interesting -or- fight until the area is cleared

Do something with the interesting item (sell it, equip it, turn it into an NPC for reward)

Progress as a character

Rinse and repeat

 

New areas open up based on character progression, and areas unlocked by items.

 

Since areas are not locked static based on hard-coded quests, in theory the world population could be procedurally generated, so long as the drops still work correctly.  One visit a cave might be loaded with spiders and rats.  Once cleared, the same cave might be inhabited by vampires.

 

The way I see it, other than breadcrumbs provided for the exploration-impaired, the world would be entirely simulation.

 

As for could such be engaging for a player, I think it could providing combat and progression kept the pace moving quickly enough to avoid boredom.

 

Of course it is niche.  People who need a PVE story would hate it, but people who skip stories anyway might not have an issue.  Although I'm not a PVPer and not qualified to design PVP, I don't see lack of PVE storyline being a negative for PVPers.

 

Could the formula be:   Simulation = HackAndSlash + farming + gathering + crafting + trading ?

 

Let me know what you think.  I'm genuinely curious.

 


Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.

Comments

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member
    Originally posted by ZombieKen
    I've been active in SunAndShadow's thread, where they're co-designing a game.   Part of that thread got me thinking about how much "game" actually needs to be in an MMORPG.  What I'm kicking around is the potential of having the mechanical elements of an MMORPG, with no storyline and minimal lore as back story.   The core concept I'm working on is Simulation versus Game.   The way I see it, there are already people, myself included, who completely skip quest stories, focusing primarily on "what do you want me to do", and "where do I turn it in once it is done".  If storyline is not essential for these people, perhaps it can be completely removed.   I see gameplay (simulationplay?) as: Explore until you find something to fight -or- follow a breadcrumb from an NPC suggesting where to go Fight until you find something interesting -or- fight until the area is cleared Do something with the interesting item (sell it, equip it, turn it into an NPC for reward) Progress as a character Rinse and repeat   New areas open up based on character progression, and areas unlocked by items.   Since areas are not locked static based on hard-coded quests, in theory the world population could be procedurally generated, so long as the drops still work correctly.  One visit a cave might be loaded with spiders and rats.  Once cleared, the same cave might be inhabited by vampires.   The way I see it, other than breadcrumbs provided for the exploration-impaired, the world would be entirely simulation.   As for could such be engaging for a player, I think it could providing combat and progression kept the pace moving quickly enough to avoid boredom.   Of course it is niche.  People who need a PVE story would hate it, but people who skip stories anyway might not have an issue.  Although I'm not a PVPer and not qualified to design PVP, I don't see lack of PVE storyline being a negative for PVPers.   Could the formula be:   Simulation = HackAndSlash + farming + gathering + crafting + trading ?   Let me know what you think.  I'm genuinely curious.  

    There needs to be a permanent way to affect the world, even dropping an item on the floor of your house for the perception of a sim. I would personally separate the pve into 2 groups that  made  people pick one and make pvp the focus of the game. Without breaking the pvp crafter bond.

    If your going to use standard mechanics we are used to.

    edit: sorry I didn't see this was in the dev forum. Excuse my post please.

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • LeGrosGamerLeGrosGamer Canada, QCPosts: 210Member
     Check out Shattered Galaxy, it's all about fun and pew pew. I don't recall the game having any quests. The game got left out by Nexon and is currently on life support with nothing being added since 2006?      It's sad because it had a crap load of potential, still does actually. Just need some loving. :)
  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLPosts: 22,623Member Epic
    Most early mmorpgs were designed much like you have described, until WOW and a few others came along and replaced the gameplay with quests. What am I missing here?

    "Winning" at EVE Online since May, 2007! 

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon


  • xeniarxeniar Posts: 805Member Uncommon

    i do not hope that you are cutting back on lore entirely.

    the world needs lore otherwise your world is a wierd place it has to make some sense and has conections on locations certain dungeons etc. it needs to have some kind of backstory.

    you can put in a few grand quests in where you can touch upon that lore. but they should be long questline withs rewards like EQ getting your epic weapon.

    Quests =/= Lore they are 2 diffrent things.

    Lore defines your world.

    quest and storylines try to tell you a story.  /quests in most cases are mundane tasks. a MMORPG can do without because the players are what makes the world goes round.

     

  • ViperDragonViperDragon LlandudnoPosts: 101Member Uncommon

    I think it's a refreshing way to look at it.

    Take Second life, for example.  An online world, obviously not a game, but it has many MMORPGs within it, most of them containing no storyline.  In SL, it's all about simulation instead of game.

    Done right, you have a chance to make it feel very immersive.

    A great list of free games (mostly MMORPGs): http://www.mytop10games.com/

  • MendelMendel Marietta, GAPosts: 1,297Member Uncommon

    I've long thought that the MMORPG needed something more like a Fantasy World Simulation than a Game.   But I think I differ from the OP on definitions of Simulation and Game.   Both describe how world-physics are invoked; a simulation being raw mechanics; a game describes physics plus goals (rewards).   A Simulation does not change as a Character progresses, a Game can.

    Neither definition involves lore nor storytelling, so my vision again differs significantly from the OP's.  I think I could effectively argue that storytelling is vital to any endeavor that wants to claim it is RP, and that lore is essential to any form of world, persistent or otherwise.

    Despite my differences with the original premise, this is an interesting topic.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILPosts: 906Member
    Originally posted by xeniar
    i do not hope that you are cutting back on lore entirely. the world needs lore otherwise your world is a wierd place it has to make some sense and has conections on locations certain dungeons etc. it needs to have some kind of backstory. you can put in a few grand quests in where you can touch upon that lore. but they should be long questline withs rewards like EQ getting your epic weapon. Quests =/= Lore they are 2 diffrent things. Lore defines your world. quest and storylines try to tell you a story.  /quests in most cases are mundane tasks. a MMORPG can do without because the players are what makes the world goes round.  

    Well you can make discovery of lore the power instead of gear. The motivation is power but the process is the revealing of the lore and using it to 'play'. You would have to ensure a few things to keep the power from concentrating, like splitting up pve.

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

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