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I'm very excited about a Vampire: the Masquerade MMORPG. I think it'll be great.
This post is going to focus on the practiality of such an MMO in relation to the "feel" and ambiance of it. I'll focus on Population, Day/Night Cycles, and the Masquerade.
((The TL:DR summary is at the bottom of this post))
Vampires are rare. There is, approximately, 1:100,000 ratio of vampires:humans. While this ratio is not important, what is important is that there is no city chalked full of vampires to the point where everywhere you go, there's vampires swarming the place. Sure, in Elysiums and such there'll be a good number at any given time, but walking around the city should not result in bumping shoulders with a vampire every 3 seconds.
Think about the MMOs we've all played, particularly on release. It's swarmed with players, packed full of them. This game will have a city SWARMING in vampires. I see this as a problem, since it greatly detracts from the ambiance of Vampire. During a party at Elysium, it's fine to be crowded with vampires, but in general walking around downtown should not result in being surrounded by vampires.
2. Day/Night Cycles.
Vampires only go around during the night, obviously. The sunlight kills them quickly, plus they're very tired and weak during the day-time. This is one of the biggest reasons why ghouls are such a useful commodity. But how will day/night cycles be implemented practically?
Will it be constantly night-time? Will they have day-time, and force players to hide out in shelter during such times? Perhaps each server has a mirror of the city which is day-time, and only players that can enter day-light (ghouls, humans, werewolves (when they add them), etc) can enter it, and things done there affect the night-time city as well (such as affected havens, control of domain, etc).
I'm not sure what they'll do. But keeping it perpetual night ignores a very important element of Vampire--that vampires' biggest weakness is impotence and fear of the day-time, and requires a clever vampire to have control of her domain via ghouls, domination, or whatever to maintain control and safety.
3. The Masquerade
By far, the most important Tradition is the Masquerade (keeping vampire existance secret from humans). This is no problem in a small group of table-top players who are mature and care about storyline. But in an MMO, you're going to have legions of idiots running around downtown screaming about vampires and using their abilities in front of crowds of humans. How are they going to stop this?
If they're going to rely on the Prince to call Blood Hunts on them, then you're going to have a "Blood Hunt List" the size of Santa's naughty list, which will make the Blood Hunt nearly meaningless, and wholly ineffective. Furthermore, it will make the job of the Prince that of a moderator or adminstrator for the server, rather then role-playing position. He'll log on to 5,603 reports of idiots doing idotic things, rather than dealing with storyline.
In one of the interviews, they said players who break the Masquerade will be "chastized by the powers that be", but I just don't see this detering immature players who don't care about storyline.
In MMOs, NEVER underestimate the stupidity of other players, or their desire to ruin your fun. A game must be made such that idiots doing idiotic things can be ignored by mature players. Ignoring blatant disregard for the Masquerade completely destroys the ambiance of Vampire.
1. Vampires are supposed to be rare, but in an MMO is going to be swarmed in players, and vampires will be everywhere. How will they address this problem?
2. How will they handle day/night cycles practically?
3. How will they deal with the fact that the Masquerade will be pissed on by immature players constantly, which will detract from one of the most important elements of Vampire?