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Practicalities of a Vampire MMO

rcubanorcubano Gainesville, FLPosts: 68Member

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))

1.  Population.

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.

 

 

TL;DR Summary:

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?

 

Comments

  • mefistofelismefistofelis thesalonikiPosts: 14Member

    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?  

    This can be solved by making a REALLY BIG world filled with npcs.Lets say that for every player they can make 10 npcs so if a server can hold 1000 players the npcs should be 10000 a ratio of 1:10 (of  course i doubt that they can do that).

     

    2. How will they handle day/night cycles practically?

    They said there will be only night....so ghouls are out of the game i think,or they could work only as companions. 

     

    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?

    The sabbat actually favores this kind of  gameplay so i think the players that want to be open about their vampirism they will roll sabbat and they willl be free to killed by the players of the camarilla faction.Any players that will be camarilla and do such an act  they will be marked by the bloodhunt that leaves them with no allies from either side sabbat or camarilla so they will face permadeath quite quickly.

  • rcubanorcubano Gainesville, FLPosts: 68Member

    Originally posted by mefistofelis

    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?  
    This can be solved by making a REALLY BIG world filled with npcs.Lets say that for every player they can make 10 npcs so if a server can hold 1000 players the npcs should be 10000 a ratio of 1:10 (of  course i doubt that they can do that).
     
    2. How will they handle day/night cycles practically?
    They said there will be only night....so ghouls are out of the game i think,or they could work only as companions. 
     
    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?
    The sabbat actually favores this kind of  gameplay so i think the players that want to be open about their vampirism they will roll sabbat and they willl be free to killed by the players of the camarilla faction.Any players that will be camarilla and do such an act  they will be marked by the bloodhunt that leaves them with no allies from either side sabbat or camarilla so they will face permadeath quite quickly.

    1. Good points.  A really, really big city would help a lot.  I don't think it'd solve the problem completely, but this might be a problem that is not solvable in any practical manner.  In Vampire, an extraordinarily overcrowded city would have 200 or so vampires, and capping servers at 200 players is just not feasble.  I'm not looking for 100% accuracy in the ambiance of Vampire, just something that hits somewhat close to the mark.

    2. Always being night is probably the best move, from a practical stand-point. I'd like to see day-time implemented somehow, but this might be impractical for an MMO, and end up causing way more headaches than fun.

    3. I hope this works out.  From my experience in MMOs, the world has a 20:1 ratio of immature nut-jobs:mature players.  I see this as causing a problem, particularly for the Masquerade.  The Blood Hunt list will be a mile long, full of idiots breaking the Masquerade left and right.  SOME people breaking the Masquerade will be mature players who are Sabbat and doing so intentionally, but I think the vast majority will just be idiots doing dumb things with the intent purpose of ruining other people's fun (since those "roleplay nerds" are total n00bs and lamerz).

    Even in Vampire's cannon, Sabbat very loosely obeyed the Masquerade.  If the Sabbat as a group decided to give definitive proof to the world of vampire's extistance, they could do so, and completely end the Masquerade.  While they don't go out of their to hide their existance, neither do they go out of their way to show it. 

    Maybe my cynical outlook is misplaced, but I feel the l33t hacksorz will piss on the Masquerade to a wild degree and ruin the ambiance.  I hope I'm wrong, though.  I am very excited about the game, and I feel as a whole CCP is doing a good job (from what little we've seen), and my hopes are high.  It'll likely be 2-3 years before it's released, but hey, good things take time =)

  • Darkmax23Darkmax23 Van Buren, ARPosts: 15Member
    I think they should make Vampires rare. Make it kind of like Star Wars Galaxies was originally with Jedi's, It took so much to become a jedi, they should do the same with the Vamps. All other classes can several different things......
  • mefistofelismefistofelis thesalonikiPosts: 14Member

    3. I hope this works out.  From my experience in MMOs, the world has a 20:1 ratio of immature nut-jobs:mature players.  I see this as causing a problem, particularly for the Masquerade.  The Blood Hunt list will be a mile long, full of idiots breaking the Masquerade left and right.  SOME people breaking the Masquerade will be mature players who are Sabbat and doing so intentionally, but I think the vast majority will just be idiots doing dumb things with the intent purpose of ruining other people's fun (since those "roleplay nerds" are total n00bs and lamerz).

    Even in Vampire's cannon, Sabbat very loosely obeyed the Masquerade.  If the Sabbat as a group decided to give definitive proof to the world of vampire's extistance, they could do so, and completely end the Masquerade.  While they don't go out of their to hide their existance, neither do they go out of their way to show it. 

    Maybe my cynical outlook is misplaced, but I feel the l33t hacksorz will piss on the Masquerade to a wild degree and ruin the ambiance.  I hope I'm wrong, though.  I am very excited about the game, and I feel as a whole CCP is doing a good job (from what little we've seen), and my hopes are high.  It'll likely be 2-3 years before it's released, but hey, good things take time =)

     

    No you are not at all synical that is the way of things with mmos.I do agree with the above thats why CCP should do enforced role playing servers,keep the immature players to generalized servers.As for the sabbat at the bloodlines game they didnt follow the masquarade rules at all...even though i use that example i must say that i dont really admire the bloodlines game i think it was not up to par with the lore and the feel of white wolf intensions (i still cannot understand how it got praised as one of the best rpgs ever) .Also another good way to handle this is to implement human vampire hunters at the start so the guy that brakes masquarade becomes red to them.

  • Diamond409Diamond409 Ann arbor, MIPosts: 10Member

    Hi again Rcubano, hope you dont mind me throwing my 2 cents in but it is 3 very good questions, after all :)

    1. They said the server will be shard meaning 1 giant server with more then one city. I believe they said you could play a mortal and never be a vampire, if you wanted. So maybe the swg idea of jedi's was right. Not uber rare but not oh so common. I would like to see them do one character per account like swg. Would fix the flux of vampires per account and make it more serious in accountablility. What i meen by this is you couldn't be in multiple factions or clans that way. Nothing is stoping people from having two accounts but still its pay to play so if your playing 2 your paying 2. Be nice if the game understood IP and wouldnt let you trade between the same IP address lol. Be great for marketing :) 2 accounts = 2 computers. Highly doubt it though.

    2. Would be nice if they had day/night. The obvious problem is people playing in other countries and differnt time zones. Who knows maybe people can catch a flight/boat over the pond to london or dublin.  Another nice touch is london has rl london time zone same with say New York. A ghoul in game would add depth and something to play as a companion or in the daylight hours. I am highly against vampires running around in day light. Having to hide when the sun comes up is a great mechanic. Perhaps a a ghoul would be nice, not only as a companion but also something to play in the daylight. Slap a merit point down for one sounds great. This would also be a great incentive for killing a bloodhunted person, or so many rival faction members plans stoped or killed.

    3. As far as the masquerade goes, I think the whole perma-death will take care of itself. As long as its time consuming to skill up think WoW back in the day for a example of skilling up.Instead of a trainer your capped waiting for the exp to drop a point in to raise it to 4 dots. As long as they dont rush us with get 2 exp for killing random cartboard cut out monster, You know or grinding, and face rolling threw starter quests for exp. Exp = dots and should be moderately challanging to get. That stipulation will honestly shunt "gankers" down and rp types should also enjoy the imersion of actually doing something meaningful. Even the "childish types" will not want to break the masquerade for the hell of it. Once they get put down and hit the reroll screan once maybe a couple times it will stop. 

  • SonshouSonshou Detroit, MIPosts: 18Member Uncommon

    The game will have a single shard server but multiple cities connected, for those who have aspirations to become a Prince probably want to find a different city if 1 place is overpopulated by vampires, that will distribute the Vampire population. And no, at launch you won't see many Vampires walking around, you will find PC Humans because everybody will start as a Human and will need another PC Vampire for being embraced and becoming in a Vampire. I suppose the game will have NPC Humans in the cities too, because you need to get blood to gain power in the game (CCP stated that) and people who can watch if you're breaking the masquerade (I'll talk about that below).

     

    Yes, they already said it will be perpetual night, so there won't be Day/Night cycles, even if it could be interesting Day/Night cycle could be disappointing for some players, because they live in a different country and don't have the same tic tac than other places. So, let's say a Russian player could only play when it's Day time in the game. That wouldn't be great for him. Now, the hypothetical case that would be available a way to make it workable would be if the different cities in the server will have their own time but still, that could restrict some players to play in certain cities.

     

    About Ghouls, it would be better if they will be PCs and not NPC pets or companions (a little silly), it would improve the gameplay, roleplaying and social aspect, if not, the game could have a way to turn in a Single Player Online Game. BTW a Ghoul is always useful, no matter if it is day or night, they have supernatural strength, heal and other features which make them better than simple humans but not equal or superior than vampires, that's why both need to maintain their political relationship. They're just not humans drinking Vampire blood. Just think about it, a PC Vampire feels his PC Ghoul is bad to made tasks he assigned to him, then he no longer shares his blood to that Ghoul, maybe the stray Ghoul will probably try to regain the favor, maybe PC Ghoul will desperately go to find a different master. That's more interesting than a NPC pet.

     

    The Masquerade and Humanity Points will be in the game. CCP and White Wolf announced that in "The Grand Masquerade" convention. Humanity will be an inner rule to prevent griefers, so, things like killing humans at pleasure (losing Humanity) and showing your vampire disciplines in public (breaking the Masquerade) will have consequences then a Blood Hunt will be called over that player. The way it sounds the Blood Hunt in those cases will be automatic, so a Prince won't be necessary to call it. In Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was similar to this. If you've lost your 5 Masquerade Points a scene where your vampire is at his sentence with the hands tied and the Sheriff executed him by cutting his head off, is showed. If you've lost your Humanity Points then he burned to ashes because in theory your character became in an uncontrollable creature which caused his dead by attracting attention of Humans and Vampires. If VTM Bloodlines has those options, why not the MMO, which will have PC Vampires to kill that menace to the Kindreds' existence?

  • rcubanorcubano Gainesville, FLPosts: 68Member

    Diamond: Good points. I especially like your idea of limiting accounts to having only 1 vampire.

     

    Sonshou: Also good points.  I think it'd be fantastic to allow PC ghouls.  I'm not sure how they are going to do the "only a PC can embrace you" type thing.  For one, the PC would need the Prince's permission, which would mean it'd be exceedingly difficult (which might not be a bad thing, but if players have to wait weeks or months before being able to play a vampire in a vampire game, tons would quit).  

    Furthermore, it'd mean humans would be actively seeking the Clan they want, and spamming those clan members with requests to be embraced.   Not exactly a good mood-setter for the Masquerade and all, lol.  I personally want to be a Nosferatu, so you can bet I'd be chatting it up with those sewer-rats... I'd keep it as IC as possible, but I'd definitely focus on them to get embraced (which would be an OOC request, but I'd still be doing it!)

  • eric_w66eric_w66 North Richland Hills, TXPosts: 1,006Member Uncommon

    They said you could remain human if you wanted, but that the game *starts* when you die and become a vampire. So I don't think limiting an account to one vampire is going to work as your human "characters" are merely stubs waiting to be made into a real participant in the WoD.

    As for PC Ghouls, while cool sounding, it would work something akin to Monster Play in LOTRO. What if your ghoul is gone for a month on vacation in reality? What if he unsubs? What if you unsub? Too many problems, not enough fun solutions.

  • SonshouSonshou Detroit, MIPosts: 18Member Uncommon

    Well, rcubano, I think the Embrace will work in a different way than the books and won't be necessary to have a Sire from an specific Clan for being part of it then when you'll create your Vampire character you could choose that. Something to add about The Masquerade, the thing related to Camarilla and Sabbat is still uncertain they're considering if they're going to implement that eternal Jihad, so the Masquerade and Humanity could work till this point.



    I must say, eric_w66, if you don't find that funny or amusing, then the game won't appeal to you, being the Social and RPing aspect would be an important part of WODMMO. What if you met a guy on internet and now both of you are Kindred and part of the same Clan and you were planning a mission with him but he no longer appeared and you don't know why? That would be the same situation you're concerned about a PC Ghoul. What if the Prince made decisions which seriously affected your Clan and fellow Kindred. You'll probably try to talk with him maybe you'll try to overthrow him, etc. You'll need to overcome any situation.



    What if the PC Ghoul doesn't want to obey? His Master will try to control him perhaps he will look for a new Ghoul, perhaps he could send PCs to hunt him (in revenge), there's a lot of possibilities in a player interaction. Tell me if you won't enjoy any of those actions even if your main objective was just having a useful Ghoul to make tasks for you.



    I used to play a RTS game, Ikariam. I can say it's a sandbox game, because you have the tools to create your own game inside the game, they are simple tools but useful. I met some guys there I fought one of them then they helped me when somebody with a stronger account tried to attack me and loot my resources later I joined their Alliance. They told me their story about somebody who decided to leave their alliance after they sent him a lot of resources to build his own cities in that way they were expecting to get a new strong ally, but the problem wasn't there, that guy decided to attack other members of their alliance, so a long conflict started, I participated in the final part of that, so I helped to protect our members, that was the policy of our Alliance.



    Then that guy joined a big Alliance, expecting to get protection and brought another player to help him (who was the same player with a stronger account who attacked me that time), we won that battle and posted that on the forum. My friends and I got the respect of that Alliance's leader (because we fought him in the past), he firstly asked why we were attacking his alliance, but after told him what was the problem we decided on both sides the conflict would be limited to an 1-on-1, because one of my friends was more affected and involved in it then a big war was prevented and my friend got a lot of fun, because the other guy was bold but not a great player.



    As you can see I was involved in an interesting situation where it had trust, backstabbing, the new ally, a bad decision, a "he is more my ally than yours", diplomacy and a convenient treaty to resolve the conflict. I've been part of many situations in that game and it's just a Browser Based RTS game. I used to enjoy battles then they changed the system of battles so I dedicated my time to build, expand my account, use diplomacy, teaching and motivating new members for being part of the Alliance. Because they'd join at your alliance but that didn't mean they want to help you.



    I met different players those who became active players, those who helped, those who deleted their accounts and in some cases they ruined some plans, but hey, I was playing my own game if something went wrong I have to live with it (or play with it?) and change my plans.

    BTW, what Diamond409 was meaning about "1 Vampire character" was the option to create 1 character per account and not many of them, in that way a guy/girl won't have the option to create several characters and use them on different Clans and factions to take advantage. I think that would be better than talking with the same person without knowing is one of his many characters.

  • rcubanorcubano Gainesville, FLPosts: 68Member

    Yeah, good points.  In a sandbox-style game, there's a ton of reliance on players.  The Prince, the Primogen, many of the other important power-positions (harpies, scourges, the sheriff, the whip, the seneschal, etc) will all be run by players.  Any problem you'd have with a ghoul not logging in, or defying you, or whatever, is also a problem shared by anything else.  Given the influence of power-positions, like Prince, this problem is much worse for them compared to something much less influential, like a ghoul.

    in the end, I doubt they'll have ghouls as playable.  Even if they did, it'd be rare to see someone playing a ghoul.  The ghoul's only advantage is that he can go in sunlight, which is not an issue in a game that's perpetually night.  I'm sure ghouls will be NPCs, and hopefully you'll be able to make good use fo them.

    It'd be fun if they had a system of using ghouls in a similar fashion as how you use shipmates in Star Wars: Old Republic.  You can call them and send them on assorted small missions.

  • GrayGhost79GrayGhost79 Webster, MAPosts: 4,775Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by rcubano

    Yeah, good points.  In a sandbox-style game, there's a ton of reliance on players.  The Prince, the Primogen, many of the other important power-positions (harpies, scourges, the sheriff, the whip, the seneschal, etc) will all be run by players.  Any problem you'd have with a ghoul not logging in, or defying you, or whatever, is also a problem shared by anything else.  Given the influence of power-positions, like Prince, this problem is much worse for them compared to something much less influential, like a ghoul.
    in the end, I doubt they'll have ghouls as playable.  Even if they did, it'd be rare to see someone playing a ghoul.  The ghoul's only advantage is that he can go in sunlight, which is not an issue in a game that's perpetually night.  I'm sure ghouls will be NPCs, and hopefully you'll be able to make good use fo them.
    It'd be fun if they had a system of using ghouls in a similar fashion as how you use shipmates in Star Wars: Old Republic.  You can call them and send them on assorted small missions.

    Ghouls would make a perfect f2p class type of thing lol.

    P2P players end up at the top of the food chain.

    f2p players end up on the bottom, just above NPC's oO.

  • rcubanorcubano Gainesville, FLPosts: 68Member

    Originally posted by GrayGhost79

    Ghouls would make a perfect f2p class type of thing lol.
    P2P players end up at the top of the food chain.
    f2p players end up on the bottom, just above NPC's oO.

    Brilliant!

  • DashiDMVDashiDMV Not Saying, QCPosts: 362Member

    Or have it where you can build stats with both but only ghouls on P2P accounts can be made into full vampires(PC ghouls).

     

     

  • KatlaOdindottirKatlaOdindottir essexPosts: 144Member

    They alrdy said that it will be one big worldl ala eve rather than a million servers like swtor, also I remember hearing that 1 city will be like 1 system in eve, it's going to rock!

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