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Single Shard PVE world with epic travel and exploration - Do you want a world or a game?

EronakisEronakis Louisville, KYPosts: 2,188Member Common

For many of us we want to be immersed into a world not a game. Let me open up the window for you. A world is something that a character feels apart of, NPC's that don't feel like props, no instances, zones do not have mountain barriers surrounding them, and a reduced amount of fast travel. We want to explore and we want to explore with alts that will find new locations and areas in which our mains did not find before. A new adventure. A place where exploration is rewarded.

 

An explorable seamless world that is hosted on a single shard server is the next step in mmorpg progression. My idea is that it would not be eve where each sector is a zone with a loading screen. Rather a world that the only boundries are environmental by either foot or flight. This idea is for a top heavy PVE world.

 

Exploration is something that many players long for. They want to be immersed into a world when they log in. Exploration should be something where you can have multiple alts before you can explore and experience the whole world. I want to explore the nooks and crannies of different areas.

 

With having a colossal world, travel becomes an issue. If instant travel is frequent then it negates the principle of having a single shard world with lots of exploration. There should be instant travel but very minimal, and if a player finds it, they should be rewared. Instant travel should be rare. Therefore, I think that epic travel would be something to look forward to, a different way to look at travel through gameplay. Epic travel would spark a new kind of gameplay elements, instead of camping mobs you would feel like you're actually on an adventure. The Epic Travel it self could be that adventure. It's not the destination, it's the journy.

 

This would happen in a perfect world, but we don't live in a perfect world. With the current technology I don't think this idea can be cost effective or be implemented without having server tension issues.

 

To help negate server tension and server maintaince on one single shard server, what if there was one "Mother" server and 3 sub servers. The world would be broken up in East, Central and West. Each of those three sectors would be a sub server that is connected to the "mother" server. The Mother server would allow the world to be still single shard and allow players to communicate. Ideally, if there is a loading screen it would be entering one of the three sub servers, (East, Central or West). Would this idea or something along these lines even be plausable?

 

I have described briefly what I think would consititute a world and I hope that the world map below would be the kind of world that players are looking for. So what do you want? A world or a game?

 

Enter Mahdran: http://www2.picturepush.com/photo/a/8226335/img/Maps/Mahdran-Version-3-Final---E3.jpg

 

Red Text = regular hositile area

Blue Text = Starting cities or territories.

Black Text = Interior or Exterior Dungeons

Green Text = Raid Campaigns

Purple Text = Other friendly cities or World Wonders

Brown Text = Untravelable by foot or flight

 

**Because I can't draw, I used a mapping program called CC3, so map graphics would not reflect in game graphics**

 

 

 

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Comments

  • oblitrifyoblitrify Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 14Member

    One of my favorite things to do in an MMO is explore. Most of my characters have not reached the end-game and aren't max level because I spend time looking around. I love to find hidden places that are off the beaten path. It gives me a sense of acomplishment. I would love to spend time in a world like the one you've described and shown with the map. What an adventure it would be! 

  • MyrdynnMyrdynn Beaumont, CAPosts: 1,516Member Uncommon

    I dont understand how games that were being developed circa 1995 specifically Asheron's Call could have a completely open world, yet 17 yrs later we still dont have another

    VG, Horizons all had this too, but I meant modern day

    edit: also you should take out that land bridge in the far west, that island looks like a great starting or tribal land

     

  • DJJazzyDJJazzy louisville, COPosts: 2,053Member

    I just want a fun game. I already have a real world to explore and it's better than anything a video game could ever conjure up.

  • MyrdynnMyrdynn Beaumont, CAPosts: 1,516Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by DJJazzy

    I just want a fun game. I already have a real world to explore and it's better than anything a video game could ever conjure up.

    if you have unlimited resources, and arent afraid of being killed in half the world for being american then sure

     

  • LarsaLarsa NurembergPosts: 990Member

    Originally posted by Myrdynn

    I dont understand how games that were being developed circa 1995 specifically Asheron's Call could have a completely open world, yet 17 yrs later we still dont have another

    ...

    Many games these days could have what you're asking for. No problem at all. But the majority of players doesn't want it. The most important feature of a game these days has to be convenience, because convenience sells.

    Why make a large map when the players complain that they have to travel for 5 minutes to meet-up with their guildmate?

    I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  • MyrdynnMyrdynn Beaumont, CAPosts: 1,516Member Uncommon

    true, can have stuff like AC had though

    Guild recall, portal summons, subways etc

    when my friends logged in it was like hey where you at.  Oh I am at Black Death Catacombs, let me come summon you a portal.

     

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    I have to admit that I get a lot of entertainment out of just pulling up minecraft, starting a new world and just wandering off in a random direction to see what wonders RNG assembles to show me.

  • ArChWindArChWind Some Place, WIPosts: 618Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Eronakis

    For many of us we want to be immersed into a world not a game. Let me open up the window for you. A world is something that a character feels apart of, NPC's that don't feel like props, no instances, zones do not have mountain barriers surrounding them, and a reduced amount of fast travel. We want to explore and we want to explore with alts that will find new locations and areas in which our mains did not find before. A new adventure. A place where exploration is rewarded.

     

    An explorable seamless world that is hosted on a single shard server is the next step in mmorpg progression. My idea is that it would not be eve where each sector is a zone with a loading screen. Rather a world that the only boundries are environmental by either foot or flight. This idea is for a top heavy PVE world.

     

    Exploration is something that many players long for. They want to be immersed into a world when they log in. Exploration should be something where you can have multiple alts before you can explore and experience the whole world. I want to explore the nooks and crannies of different areas.

     

    With having a colossal world, travel becomes an issue. If instant travel is frequent then it negates the principle of having a single shard world with lots of exploration. There should be instant travel but very minimal, and if a player finds it, they should be rewared. Instant travel should be rare. Therefore, I think that epic travel would be something to look forward to, a different way to look at travel through gameplay. Epic travel would spark a new kind of gameplay elements, instead of camping mobs you would feel like you're actually on an adventure. The Epic Travel it self could be that adventure. It's not the destination, it's the journy.

     

    This would happen in a perfect world, but we don't live in a perfect world. With the current technology I don't think this idea can be cost effective or be implemented without having server tension issues.

     

    To help negate server tension and server maintaince on one single shard server, what if there was one "Mother" server and 3 sub servers. The world would be broken up in East, Central and West. Each of those three sectors would be a sub server that is connected to the "mother" server. The Mother server would allow the world to be still single shard and allow players to communicate. Ideally, if there is a loading screen it would be entering one of the three sub servers, (East, Central or West). Would this idea or something along these lines even be plausable?

     

    I have described briefly what I think would consititute a world and I hope that the world map below would be the kind of world that players are looking for. So what do you want? A world or a game?

     

    Enter Mahdran: http://www2.picturepush.com/photo/a/8226335/img/Maps/Mahdran-Version-3-Final---E3.jpg

     

    Red Text = regular hositile area

    Blue Text = Starting cities or territories.

    Black Text = Interior or Exterior Dungeons

    Green Text = Raid Campaigns

    Purple Text = Other friendly cities or World Wonders

    Brown Text = Untravelable by foot or flight

     

    **Because I can't draw, I used a mapping program called CC3, so map graphics would not reflect in game graphics**

     

     

     

     


    Nice. But the big questions is...


     


    How big is to big?


     


    Currently my personal project, done in Bigworlds Indie is 64 Kilometers x 51 Kilometers. It is one seamless continent at that (plan to spread it across 32 servers. It takes 56 Giga-bytes of storage space for the terrain and textures alone not including the any models. To walk from one end of the map to the other (in a straight line) is 17 hours at game speed and to run it takes 4 hours and 16 minutes and sprint cuts it to under 3 hours. So far it has taken me 6 months to get 75% of the terrain processed (of course I work on it one or two hours a day now)


     


    I can’t share it as a production game anyway because I been using Oblivion models and Skyrim models to layout the look and feel since no one wants to mess with it since it is unrealistic in size. I mean who would download it when finished if it takes over 100 giga bytes of data?


     


    Your map looks awesome but realistically I think it is back to the drawing board.

  • SoulOfRazielSoulOfRaziel Porto FerreiraPosts: 405Member Uncommon

    To me explore new areas is one of the things i love to do in any MMORPG 

    image

  • SintinelSintinel Orange, CAPosts: 11Member

    The world vs. game discussion is one I think really needs to be discussed more often. I certainly am on the side of a world over a game. 

    I love the idea of exploration, one of the main things that got me into Vanguard when it came out. There is one big problem with exploration these days though in games. If you're running along a path and see some structure up on a hill that you want to check out, you fight your way up to it and it's either a quest hub with merchants and stuff that mean nothing to you unless you want to clear some room in your bags and some and hopefully the quest are for your level. Or it's just some random fluff structure which is cool in a way. Finally, there is the possibility of it being a MOB camp, which will most likely be too easy for you or too hard. Or there won't be a reward for killing any of them unless you have some quest you don't know about.

    What I'm saying is that there is a lot of work to be done before we can just make a big world and say it's a world for exploration. Finding locations should be more than just finding a place to sell junk, pick up quest, or take some screen shots.

    What if player buffs are really rare and tavern food provided some of the best, so finding a tavern meant buffs?

    Vanguard had a diplomacy system that was pretty fun, running into a random NPC camp usually meant you could parley with people to raise some faction and get buffs/rewards.

    There just needs to be something I think. And it's tough to think of stuff, because any "hidden" rewards will just be plastered all over forums like this and then everyone will be finding all the fun locations

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    Game first, world second. Game is what matters, fiction is just a skin on top of it. It can be anything. A good game with a bad fiction is still a good game. A bad game with good fiction is waste of IP.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • ZylaxxZylaxx Erlanger, KYPosts: 2,574Member

    Originally posted by Myrdynn

    true, can have stuff like AC had though

    Guild recall, portal summons, subways etc

    when my friends logged in it was like hey where you at.  Oh I am at Black Death Catacombs, let me come summon you a portal.

     

    Truely the best way to do fast travel IMO.  its like "Yea I can teleport way up north if I had the correct bind or tie but what if I wanted to go way out west?"  Limiting the fast travel to only a few select skills which requires binding i nthe first place gives the illusion of convenience without ruining the sense of scale.

    Everything you need to know about Elder Scrolls Online

    Playing: GW2
    Waiting on: TESO
    Next Flop: Planetside 2
    Best MMO of all time: Asheron's Call - The first company to recreate AC will be the next greatest MMO.

    image

  • RLSekulichRLSekulich Chapman, KSPosts: 12Member

    As to the general idea of the thread, you may be interested in following a game in development called Embers of Caerus.  The world is going to be absolutely massive.

    Here's one of the developer posts on the topic of size:  http://www.embersofcaerus.com/forum/showthread.php/1127-How-will-risk-and-reward-be-balanced?p=19281&viewfull=1#post19281

    And that's just a mention of one continent.

  • xxpigxxxxpigxx Harlingen, TXPosts: 412Member
    that is one ambitious game.

    I really hope they can fulfill their dreams, because I would pay 100/month to play that.

    Wow.
  • nolic1nolic1 Kingman, AZPosts: 687Member Uncommon

    I could really get into a game that had more exploration. I remember Vangaurd when it cam out this huge semless world that ended up being this huge world that had tons of quest hubs and then it became this follow a certain path game. When I went back a few years ago I asked in world why no one was in the desert area way to the south and I got told that areas not the area you want to be in you want to be here near the spider caves near this outpost all the way in the north I was like what this areas my lvl so I stayed there in 4 weeks time adventuring in that area doing quests and exploring I saw one other player and guess who that was yep my gaming friend who followed me to the game. So we stayed in this area till I dont know like lvl 25 then went to Kojan or what ever its kalled the oriental place and started questing in some huge temple there and we loved it. But the world felt really empty so we left and moved onto another game.

     

    I dont mind empty worlds or anything I just like to see others in game from time to time. Adventuring in an mmo should be the main thing. They say mmo's came from tabletop gaming but they dont feel like it alot of the time. EQ did at first so did UO but now adays its not like that and I have come to deal with it. I mean even DDO when I first heard about it before we all knew how it was alot of people where saying this games going to be cool with its new unexplored world then we get in it and it was not huge its very umm instancy and just does not scream D&D except for the dungeons which they could of put in a huge going world and been a blast. But no they went the other rout and made instance D&D which its still fun just not D&D to me.

     

    I want a game with a huge world no easy map just a world map no compass map ethier. Where you make your own path in the world you go off and creat your own adventures. If they have pvp thats fine if its just that if its FFA have its own server for it. FFA I dont play games to loose the gear and such I worked for. I would also like for a wizard to teleport  it does just that teleports you not some stupied town portal spell but true teleport. Like it opens the world map you point you click and off you go. I dont no if I would have a classless system or if it should have classes but ethier way if it does no trinty crap drop that off before you make the game. In D&D yeah having a cleric was nice but they were not always needed maybe in Barrier Peaks or Tomb of the Lizard king type thing yeah but just out and about no.

     

    But yes bring on a MMO's that has a huge explorable world and tons of adventure and I would be all over it.

    image
    To me I enjoy gaming I dont play to be uber I play to have fun. If a game is not fun to me guess what I move on and play something else till I find one that is. When I find that great game and not sure if in my life time there will be one I hope it has everything I want in an mmo.

  • EronakisEronakis Louisville, KYPosts: 2,188Member Common

    Originally posted by ArChWind




    Nice. But the big questions is...


     


    How big is to big?


     


    Currently my personal project, done in Bigworlds Indie is 64 Kilometers x 51 Kilometers. It is one seamless continent at that (plan to spread it across 32 servers. It takes 56 Giga-bytes of storage space for the terrain and textures alone not including the any models. To walk from one end of the map to the other (in a straight line) is 17 hours at game speed and to run it takes 4 hours and 16 minutes and sprint cuts it to under 3 hours. So far it has taken me 6 months to get 75% of the terrain processed (of course I work on it one or two hours a day now)


     


    I can’t share it as a production game anyway because I been using Oblivion models and Skyrim models to layout the look and feel since no one wants to mess with it since it is unrealistic in size. I mean who would download it when finished if it takes over 100 giga bytes of data?


     


    Your map looks awesome but realistically I think it is back to the drawing board.

    A How big is too big? That is a very legitimate question. Based on the map size of the world it's 10k by 6.5k square miles. Now that wouldn't translate into the game. It would be much smaller. However, the difference is this world is designed to be on one server where everyone plays on it. There are no multiple servers. So it would have to accomodate a large portion of players. That is a risk because whose going to say that it won't turn out like vanguard? Dead. I don't mind a large world where the population is sparse between zones, as long as there is a good consistent population.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,316Member Uncommon

    I want a game within a world.  I want fun, engaging entertainment within a world.  Some day I just want to relax and follow a quest, other days I want to build the castle over the hill to hide the entrance to the mine.

    I want both.  I don't buy into the either/or argument.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • adderVXIadderVXI st cloud, MNPosts: 639Member Uncommon

    Didnt any of you guys play Dark and Light?  That had 40,000 Sq Kilometers of explorable area.  Yes i said 40k!  It was huge, dynamic weather.  Seasons, snow that would pile up and melt, lakes that would freeze.  Amazing!  The combat was horrid...  I actually miss that one a bunch.  There are still youtube vids i watch sometimes.

    Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

    George Washington

  • EronakisEronakis Louisville, KYPosts: 2,188Member Common

    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

    I want a game within a world.  I want fun, engaging entertainment within a world.  Some day I just want to relax and follow a quest, other days I want to build the castle over the hill to hide the entrance to the mine.

    I want both.  I don't buy into the either/or argument.

    I want both as well. However, for the gameplay of the world aspect, I want it to feel like a world. That doesn't negate the fact that because it's a world doesn't mean it doesnt have engaging gameplay.

  • madazzmadazz A town, ONPosts: 1,564Member Uncommon

    Sounds good. Reminds me of my first enterance into UO. I didn't mind the stupid NPC's even a little. Finding all the little niche dungeons, a weird portal (or a player one about to fade away that I'd enter and usually die in after lol). 

    I will give any mmo a try that encourages exploration and has decent gameplay. 

  • If you think I am gonna play a game that makes me walk to same walk to the store every single day you are dreaming.

     

    I used to do a paper route on foot everyday when I was a kid.  I used to have to buy my own sweets by walking 15 minutes to the store and then 15 minutes back home.  And that is not some sort "back in my day" story.  I did it a number of times.

     

    It was BORING.

     

    The problem with all these ideas is they are fine ONCE.  They SUCK in repetition.

  • ArChWindArChWind Some Place, WIPosts: 618Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Eronakis

    Originally posted by ArChWind




    Nice. But the big questions is...


     


    How big is to big?


     


    Currently my personal project, done in Bigworlds Indie is 64 Kilometers x 51 Kilometers. It is one seamless continent at that (plan to spread it across 32 servers. It takes 56 Giga-bytes of storage space for the terrain and textures alone not including the any models. To walk from one end of the map to the other (in a straight line) is 17 hours at game speed and to run it takes 4 hours and 16 minutes and sprint cuts it to under 3 hours. So far it has taken me 6 months to get 75% of the terrain processed (of course I work on it one or two hours a day now)


     


    I can’t share it as a production game anyway because I been using Oblivion models and Skyrim models to layout the look and feel since no one wants to mess with it since it is unrealistic in size. I mean who would download it when finished if it takes over 100 giga bytes of data?


     


    Your map looks awesome but realistically I think it is back to the drawing board.

    A How big is too big? That is a very legitimate question. Based on the map size of the world it's 10k by 6.5k square miles. Now that wouldn't translate into the game. It would be much smaller. However, the difference is this world is designed to be on one server where everyone plays on it. There are no multiple servers. So it would have to accomodate a large portion of players. That is a risk because whose going to say that it won't turn out like vanguard? Dead. I don't mind a large world where the population is sparse between zones, as long as there is a good consistent population.

     


    Well 10k X 6.5k is small on one server probably not be a big problem. Only draw back is the world would be cramped if you try to get the entire map into it.


     


    All I am saying here is if you intend to build a world get a world streaming engine. Sorry if I am taking this OT but I want you to succeed where I failed in the past.


     


    Multi-server interconnected land mass is a new thing where it is no longer a shard and requires a bit more in horsepower to run it. Blade servers are damn expensive and if you are distributing populations across them it can be a bit complex. As someone else mentioned Dark and Light was bases on BigWorlds engine and it is is well capable of multi-server zones that are seamless. This includes dungeons and every thing in the world being seamless.


     


    As of this time only three engines I know of that are indie friendly that are capable of doing a streaming world.


     


    Hero Engine (not free if you intend to go past a certain world size). The rendering is limited so you end up with seamless but loose epic view. You would have to get commercial license to push it to the limits but for a basic game it is outstanding. Cost is 500K to 1 Million .


     


    Esenthel engine is capable of pushing seamless to the max but I personally don’t like the fact it does not have a secure built in network structure. For free and under 750 bucks it has a lot of power. It has a lot more indie friendly pipeline than the other two but it still has a ways to go to catch the high end engines in graphics even though it has DirectX 11 it still does not have the output I expect (Old video watch in HD). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4yv_gqVu5s


     


    BigWorlds engine is best because it has a layer system and every block in the world is a separate chunk. It has epic view and is not based on vertices for rendering. It can be a bit more difficult to work with but the engine is MMO out of the box without having to add network infrastructure. It has persistent world database and you have the server in your own possession so you can work offline. Again this engine to fully use it will require 500K bucks. but at indie price of 300 for basic and 3000 for the source it can still do multi-server streaming. (old video watch in HD) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3T84H0hSNM


     


    Vanguard is a MMORPG. It has the basics of any other MMORPG except it is more group centric. Worlds don’t need levels or very few levels. Worlds are not built as a game but the game is being part of the world.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,962Member Uncommon

    Exploration is really fun, but the reason so few MMOs have been made as a single server is that a game like that have to be really huge and have plenty of starting areas or the few you had would fill up and crash the game badly.

    The reason that it is so hard to make a game like that today is that modern graphics takes a lot more work than the graphics of the late 90s and unless you copy paste  the same stuff over and over everywhere a game like this with modern graphics would need a huge budget.

  • TorgrimTorgrim GothenburgPosts: 2,088Member

    Dark&Light was suppose to be a big vast world with plenty of exploration, kingdom building, epic pvp fights, buildable cities ect but it flopped badly but the world was the biggest ever created, I think it was the size of Denmark in landmass.

     

    You can checkout this old trialer for the game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwY4UgujZ2k

    A chinese gaming studio have bought the IP and doing a complete overhaul of the game, I hope they make it right this time.

    If it's not broken, you are not innovating.

  • VocadiVocadi SH, MIPosts: 205Member

    This is an interesting topic and everyone has very valid points. I feel that there definitely needs to be a balance. Exploration and a sense of wonder at a new environment can only go so far.

    For example, you go on a trek up a mountain path that could take 45 mins in real time but now your in the middle of no where, your phone is ringing, dinner is ready, dog has to pee whatever and you have to log out.

    Was there a sense of acomplishment for that 45 minute walk? Did you find any cool creatures or hidden treasures. Did you see a nifty old ruin that needs to be explored later on? These are all things that need to be considered. Because just walking or travelling long distances to get from point A to point B with few breadcrumbs in between can get old fast.

    I recently installed EQ when it went free to play. Decided to check out Highpass hold, so I ran from Qeynos. I forgot how long it actually took to travel on foot anywhere. Almost two hours later I reached my destination. Back in the day, I don't remember the huge zones and all the travelling to be a big deal and in fact I recalled the  zones fondly in EQ. But times have changed for me and I no longer have time to spend hightailing it from here to yonder. 

    So, I guess really my point in this is exploration is key, but how its implemented is even more important. Just as in grinding a level fighting mobs is a reward for that time spent, so to must there be equal and tangible reward for time spent travelling and exploring. I feel that the act in itself cannot sustain interest.

     

    image
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