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Mob Migration – An element that should be part of all AAA MMO’s
This thought process works the same regardless if there are quests or not, in PVP or PVE.
One of the reasons a game gets stale to me and does not have the longevity that it should, can be accredited to the lack of mob migration. Here is an example:
IN GAME: “I am on my new first time in the game character and the whole world is mystery to me. I love that feeling of new discovery. Now a have a quest to kill 4 fire beetles and I wander around complaining to myself that the dumb NPC did not at least give me the location of the beetles….#@$%. Finally I find them and complete the quest. Whoot, now I am happy and forget about my complaints. I also notice that the beetles dropped a crafting material that I will save for later.
Later that day I decide I want to try crafting and need more of that crafting material so I go back to where I found the beetles and farm them until I have the materials I think I need.
A month later when I am on my alt I know where the beetles are and go to that location. Now the quest becomes trivial and no one needs the materials due to its low grade and abundance. “
As you can see the game is starting to get stale.
Now let’s replay that scenario with mob migration. Now the beetles move around in the area where the quest is given. As you can see not knowing exactly where the mobs are going to be adds to a game’s longevity and it stays fresh longer.
Taking it a step further. Let’s say the zone around the quest giver is tier 1 and the subsequent areas further out are tier 2 and 3. Now the beetles can be in any one of these zones with their appropriate level increases.
IN GAME “I’m running around for an hour trying to find those stupid beetles and now all the mobs are orange con to me. This %$#^ game really sucks. I finally find them and they are all several levels above me. Argggh this is going to suck.”
And I now have a choice, try to finish the quest with the higher con mobs or wait till later and see if they migrate back to a lower con area. Ahh, the possibilities.
Now let’s take this mechanic all the way to end game where my guild crafters are looking for Tier 10 (top tier in this example) beetle materials to have any chance to get us the gear we want. The rarity of these mobs is created by the fact that they are only max tier when in these highest zones and would drop lower end mats if they wander out of the zone. So it is now or never, disreguarding the fact that I could wait for the next sighting. Also my faction is not the only ones who hunt them.
IN GAME: “I finally spot seven of the elusive max level fire beetles and they are all three star group mobs. Not only do I have to put a call out to the guild for backup but due to the rarity we may want to let the alliance know. But I have bigger problems at the moment. There is already a group of Albs pulling one of the beetles. Bastages! So I wait till the reinforcements arrive. Just before we are set to attack a group of Hibs show up and start pulling a second beetle from the other side of the spawn. Spineless Hibs would rather get the materials than fight the Albs (shakes head). Finally my allies arrive and a horn blows and a cry goes out…CHARGE! That was the last thing I heard before we tore into the Albs and the fight for resources began. As a Middie we instinctively knew who the target was without anyone having to tell us. In the end the field was red and there were bodies everywhere. And I don’t remember if we killed any beetles”
So even mob migration can be a key element in PVP and definitely help games stay fresh to all players.
Implementation of Mob Migration - How it can be done and why.
Mob migration can be problematic for many reasons. But here is a brief synopsis of my thoughts.
For starters, what would prevent someone from following the rare beetles after they leave the max zone and report as soon as they re-enter the zone and become the prize again. This would require the second part of mob migration.
An example mechanic could work something like this. Every time the server migrates from day to night the mob server would go down for randomization and when it comes back online the mobs are all moved around in their respective habitats and zones. So with the setting or rising of the sun the mobs would all shuffle around. And in between the mobs all vanishing and returning may be a 5-10 min period where there are no mobs at all. This would create a good opportunity for community dialog.
Now this mechanic would create some unique game play challenges especially if you have just 9 of the required 10 mobs to finish a quest. You will have to find them all over again just to get that last mob. Especially interesting is the fact that they may come back as a completely different con to you.
This principle can be used not only for animal / monster mobs but for NPC nomads that tend to break camp and move with their prey.
So let me know what you think and if you have ideas that may make this even better please elaborate. CU is in its early stages of development and we all want to make this the best game ever and a blueprint for all MMO’s to follow.