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Imagine an MMO with *no* NPCs at all

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  • LuckyCurseLuckyCurse Member Posts: 394

     

    Originally posted by Teala

    Originally posted by Hohbein


    So I was just reading the 'Living NPCs' thread and it got me thinking; What if an MMO was created with absolutely no NPC content?
    We all know UO (in it's hay day) was loved by a huge number of fans, many of whom are still loyal to the 'old' UO to this very day. Why? Because players were literally forced to interact with one another on an almost constant basis. NPCs had very little use (apart from loot), and most of the game revolved around PvP and player interaction.
    So, imagine an MMO with no NPC vendors, no NPC guards... No NPC monsters. A world in which players would *have* to create their own lives, their own stories and their own quests. You want loot? Go kill another player and loot him! You want to buy some new armour? Go visit a player that's been training crafting and is capable of making it for you. You've been killed by someone and looted? Gather some friends together and go kill him back!
    Okay, so a world entirely devoid of NPC life may be a little far fetched, but I think this is a trick current MMO developers are really missing out on. It seems that the current emphasis is to create a game that'll play much like a single player game in 'co op' mode, with NPC interaction playing an enormous part. I know for a fact that there are a huge number of MMO fans that, having played older MMORPGs when they were first released, miss that feeling of absolute 'sandbox' freedom. An MMO is about players interacting with one another and NPCs really needn't play a large part. I think the first developer to realise this could, potentially, make an absolute fortune.

    Oh yea...that'll fly...NOT!  Been tried before and the game was called AC2.  No NPC's.   Game flopped.  Sorry.

    I realize that others have pointed out how ridiculous this statement is by Teala, but my head hurts when I see idiocy like this.  Seriously, you say in your bio that you are 31 years old, and yet you have no concept that one failure, or even fifty, does not mean automatic failure for all future attempts? You must be a real headache to deal with, I know you have been for me in the mere minutes I've dealt with you.  Ugh.  And the arrogance in which you make your proclamations, that glib tone... Grow up.

     

    - LC

  • wjrasmussenwjrasmussen Member Posts: 1,493

    Originally posted by fischsemmel

    Originally posted by wjrasmussen


    When you say freedom of choice how does restrictions fall into that?



    Please make sense.


    When you say "Freedom of Choice", what do you mean? How do  you feel about restrictions or limits placed upon your "freedom of choice".

     

  • Makaveli04Makaveli04 Member Posts: 39

    It would never work.....

  • ArndurArndur Member Posts: 2,202

    I think guards would be needed becuase there cant be a sizeable defense force on 24/7. And while one could argue that the attackers could be the same mabye some guild would set up a huge raid for like 2am. Some npcs would be needed but not alot.

    Hold on Snow Leopard, imma let you finish, but Windows had one of the best operating systems of all time.

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  • JupstoJupsto Member UncommonPosts: 2,075

    Would be great. I never played UO and it looks seriosuly outdated now, but it definatly sounds like an amazing game. wish it wasn't before my time really.

    problem is the only companies that try these sorts of ideas seem like small poor unheard of companies that could never pull off a quality game (no matter how good the promises sound *cough darkfall, earthrise, mortal online etc* ). while all the big companies tend to go for the big buck and clone wow/eq. wow is 99% of the market, and game companies are just trying to make money.

    luckily some companies whilst compying the general formula add in a little spices to change the recipe somewhat (age of conan/war etc.)

     

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  • AnubisanAnubisan Member UncommonPosts: 1,798

    I have long waited for a game that relied more on player interaction than NPC quests and raids, so I can definitely see the merit in what you are suggesting. Unfortunately, the way the MMORPG player base has become over the years would make a game like this fail very quickly.

    I used to love UO back in the day because I could roam the map and kill anyone I wanted to if I felt like. There was also a real sense of danger that made it very important to approach player interaction with care. If you pissed someone off, they could kill you and take all of your stuff. I and many others simply loved this aspect of MMO gaming and have looked for it in every game since. The main problem with this is that the vast majority of MMORPG players just can't handle a game with any real consequences or danger. They don't want to have to worry about the unpredictable and often unstable behavior of other players. These gamers are content to simply walk the treadmill laid out before them and progress through the NPC content step by step. They freak out and complain when things don't go the way they expect and some random player kills and loots their gear for no reason. The whole reason Origin turned UO in the carebear game it eventually became was because of these complainers and the simple fact that they were losing money each time one of them became upset.

    From a business standpoint, what motivation do developers have to put the power and responsibility back into the players' hands? The development of any game will inevitably gravitate towards the will of the majority (or what developers perceive as the majority) and will cause the more hardcore games to fail.

    Believe me, I wish it weren't the case... but I fear we will never see another game with TRUE freedom until the mindset of the player base changes dramatically.

  • ceinwenceinwen Member Posts: 36

    It'll only work if there are a lot of players and if there's tons of stuff to do other than fighting, like just living out your life in a town by doing tradeskills and such, and probably an option for user generated towns or items.

  • SamuraiswordSamuraisword Member Posts: 2,111

    I imagine this is a terrible idea. I for one would not play such a game.

    image

  • CavadusCavadus Member UncommonPosts: 707

     

    Originally posted by Samuraisword


    I imagine this is a terrible idea. I for one would not play such a game.

     

    Terrible for you.  Those of us who enjoy games that don't lead us around by the nose and force us through linear game play would probably really enjoy an NPC-less game so long as it was smartly done.

    image

  • vajurasvajuras Member Posts: 2,860

    Yeah there are games that are like this. Second Life is basically devoid of all NPC. Think players have tried to introduce so custom bots but never seen them


    Your idea is a bit different from SL. Good concept.

    Reminds me of hAZE. They have NPCs- but no one fights them. See HAZE has a permadeath DP so you only fight mobs if you absolutely must. all items we had to make ourselves. I didnt care for the time based leveling so much but beyond that it was cool. The DP was pretty severe though it was for iron-men, not the faint of heart

  • ASmith84ASmith84 Member Posts: 979

    this would be called REAL LIFE. what is the point in playing a game when you can just live it?

  • fischsemmelfischsemmel Member UncommonPosts: 364

    Originally posted by wjrasmussen


     


    When you say "Freedom of Choice", what do you mean? How do  you feel about restrictions or limits placed upon your "freedom of choice".
     
     
    I mean the ability to make decisions without restrictions. Isn't that obvious?

     

    How do I feel about limits on freedom of choice (in a sandbox game)? They have no place there... which is why I've said that removing NPCs from a game and then calling it a sandbox is idiotic. Removing NPCs removes a choice for players to make, and having the ability to make that choice is part of a sandbox game.

     

    Didn't I say this all, all ready?

  • vajurasvajuras Member Posts: 2,860


    Originally posted by Arndur
    I think guards would be needed becuase there cant be a sizeable defense force on 24/7. And while one could argue that the attackers could be the same mabye some guild would set up a huge raid for like 2am. Some npcs would be needed but not alot.

    There are no NPC guards in 0.0 in eve online. Forces you to rely on your fellow man extensively.

    You just need a few rules like EVE ONline has for sovereignty to stop sleeper-ganking (taking assets while victim asleep)


    I dont mind NPCs being around but would be nice if they were *optional* (like we see in sandbox games which is why I stick to those)


    The OP's idea is highly risky though mainly because most mmorpg gamers are totally skill-less. Usually you want NPCs around for players to bottom-feed on. Problem is NPCs have become worshipped like gods in current mainstream :/

  • fischsemmelfischsemmel Member UncommonPosts: 364

    Originally posted by lkavadas


     
    Originally posted by Samuraisword


    I imagine this is a terrible idea. I for one would not play such a game.

     

    Terrible for you.  Those of us who enjoy games that don't lead us around by the nose and force us through linear game play would probably really enjoy an NPC-less game so long as it was smartly done.

    The presence of NPCs in a game does not mean that the game will be one that leads players around by their noses, or forces them through linear gameplay. Don't talk like that is the case.

  • vajurasvajuras Member Posts: 2,860

    [quote]Originally posted by Teala
    Oh yea...that'll fly...NOT! Been tried before and the game was called AC2. No NPC's. Game flopped. Sorry.[/b][/quote]

    Shadowbane flopped but yet EVE Online succeeded based on similar principles and refinement in the areas SB was weak on

    Sometimes we need for a product to take a fall and fail so others can learn from their errors and improve. After all, this is how World of Warcraft came into being. You blogged on that yourself correct? How Blizzard crushed Sony who was never top dog in the first place?

  • fischsemmelfischsemmel Member UncommonPosts: 364

    If only someone would develop an MMO, fantasy or sci-fi, like Eve but with better PvE. /sigh

  • ianonmmorpgianonmmorpg Member Posts: 248

    Depending upon the game worlds setting and the types of interactions available (required) to the PCs, you should be able to get a game that'll work, but as already pointed out by several previously... You'll need to have a world capable of surviving when most folk log-off... if a game has a large population from another continent then you could well find yourself alone when they clock off.

    I think part of the prob is the nature of NPCs and what we need/get from them in any given game. It seems many of you are annoyed by NPC interactions and so want to kill them all off (fair enough) but couldn't we just give them a re-thought-design and maybe save some of them from the chop (poor little guys). I think many games NEED them... who else is going to mop up?

  • goneglockingoneglockin Member UncommonPosts: 706

    This is a great concept to build a game around.  It would take MMO back to it's orginal purpose- the whole virtual world/sandbox thing.

    Hope you got your things together. Hope you are quite prepared to die. Looks like we're in for nasty weather. ... There's a bad moon on the rise.

  • nethervoidnethervoid Member UncommonPosts: 531

    First off, there are a lot of horrible posts in this thread.  It just proves most MMO gamers would make horrible game designers.

    I like where you're headed with the whole 'no NPC' thing, but I think there are two distinct pieces to the concept that must be addressed:

    1.  NPCs used in an economical system

    I think this has been proven to be a set of NPCs you can do without.  You can swap out all NPC stores with PC stores pretty easily if you take the time to develop the system.  Games that have done this successfully:  UO, SWG, EVE.

    2.  NPCs used in the adventuring system (Mobs)

    I don't think you can get rid of this so easily, at least not in Fantasy MMOs.  This is because fantasy is mainly 'Dungeons and Dragons'.  You must make them NPCs unless you decide you want to have players filling out the actual 'Dragons' part of your game, complete with 'Dragon' eco system and living conditions, etc.  ... Actually that would be pretty sweet, but a HUGE task to code.

    Now as far as questing, well in an NPC-less world, there would be no quests.  The dragon players eating too many of your farmer types?  Quest: go kill the dragon lair and pillage his gold and items.  Players would make all the content in that environment.

    Also in a player generated quest system, you have to make systems where the 'grandmasters' of anything, whether it be smithing or dragon slaying, don't have time to do the menial tasks and also their grand tasks.  This is where the noob steps in to do these menial tasks...for a fee or some kind of apprenticeship.  PROBLEM!  What happens when the game ages, and there are no more noobs?  Hey dude time is running out, but yeah you'd have to work out how to fix those issues.

    An NPC-less game can be made.  With that I mean I could even design the systems that would make it work and work well, but then you've got the problem of:

    - You need a ton of cash, devs, and time to code all of those complicated systems (also you need friggin awesome devs who can code anything: correctly the first time and as light on the processor and ram (server side) as possible.

    - You need players who actually want to think and work to advance, instead of be spoon fed

    Hard to get both of those together.

    This game could come around in about twenty to thirty years.  Or maybe when my grandkids are playing games.  Today's gamers are very, very noob still, so this kind of a game will more than likely just be lost on the mainstream.  They won't 'get it'.

     

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  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 36,365

    I'm not real sure about this idea, but hey, I'll give anything a try once.  But it would have to be a good quality game, and not the normal half built stuff thrust at us.

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  • herculeshercules Member UncommonPosts: 4,920
    Originally posted by Hohbein


    So I was just reading the 'Living NPCs' thread and it got me thinking; What if an MMO was created with absolutely no NPC content?
    We all know UO (in it's hay day) was loved by a huge number of fans, many of whom are still loyal to the 'old' UO to this very day. Why? Because players were literally forced to interact with one another on an almost constant basis. NPCs had very little use (apart from loot), and most of the game revolved around PvP and player interaction.
    So, imagine an MMO with no NPC vendors, no NPC guards... No NPC monsters. A world in which players would *have* to create their own lives, their own stories and their own quests. You want loot? Go kill another player and loot him! You want to buy some new armour? Go visit a player that's been training crafting and is capable of making it for you. You've been killed by someone and looted? Gather some friends together and go kill him back!
    Okay, so a world entirely devoid of NPC life may be a little far fetched, but I think this is a trick current MMO developers are really missing out on. It seems that the current emphasis is to create a game that'll play much like a single player game in 'co op' mode, with NPC interaction playing an enormous part. I know for a fact that there are a huge number of MMO fans that, having played older MMORPGs when they were first released, miss that feeling of absolute 'sandbox' freedom. An MMO is about players interacting with one another and NPCs really needn't play a large part. I think the first developer to realise this could, potentially, make an absolute fortune.

    It will be dead boring tbh

  • Lt.DeadendLt.Deadend Member Posts: 325

    Originally posted by Hohbein


    So I was just reading the 'Living NPCs' thread and it got me thinking; What if an MMO was created with absolutely no NPC content?
    We all know UO (in it's hay day) was loved by a huge number of fans, many of whom are still loyal to the 'old' UO to this very day. Why? Because players were literally forced to interact with one another on an almost constant basis. NPCs had very little use (apart from loot), and most of the game revolved around PvP and player interaction.
    So, imagine an MMO with no NPC vendors, no NPC guards... No NPC monsters. A world in which players would *have* to create their own lives, their own stories and their own quests. You want loot? Go kill another player and loot him! You want to buy some new armour? Go visit a player that's been training crafting and is capable of making it for you. You've been killed by someone and looted? Gather some friends together and go kill him back!
    Okay, so a world entirely devoid of NPC life may be a little far fetched, but I think this is a trick current MMO developers are really missing out on. It seems that the current emphasis is to create a game that'll play much like a single player game in 'co op' mode, with NPC interaction playing an enormous part. I know for a fact that there are a huge number of MMO fans that, having played older MMORPGs when they were first released, miss that feeling of absolute 'sandbox' freedom. An MMO is about players interacting with one another and NPCs really needn't play a large part. I think the first developer to realise this could, potentially, make an absolute fortune.
    If it held a vary large player base then it may work,but the game needs to grow first,and ALOT of people like to swing a melee weapon,and with no NPC to train on and no one to get a weapon from and maby alot of the time no other players around to train on,the fighter type newbs may just hit the uninstall button.

    No one to get a axe from so you can get wood to craft,no one to hook you up with what ever it is you may need to grind the skill your on. alot of players just get board an quit.

    Seen it all go down in ROMA VICTOR.its a land slide domino effect,.

     

  • FennrisFennris Member UncommonPosts: 275

    I want more NPCs - NPCs to follow me around and carry/manage/sell my loot/gear for me, NPCs to cast buffs on my character (instead of having two accounts, one of which is mostly for buffing/carrying), NPCs to grovel (it feels weird and somehow fake when non-npcs do it) and NPCs to guard me (my home, my hunting ground access, my shopo access, etc.)..  Shadowbane is the only game that has tried something like that.  I suppose what I ultimately want is a 3d MMO that also works up to being a Strategy/Wargame;  you really need NPCs for that.

    A game with no NPCs would feel very dead - there are so many parts of a world that most players will not pretend to flesh out or that they would do in a way that makes no sense from a rp/medieval perspective. 

    A medieval Sim game would be ok - as long as it had good pvp combat options. 

    I couldn't care less about being forced to kill hordes of no-AI rats, boars, lizards and golems...  that whole, pointless, no-challenge grind should really be gotten rid of in MMOs as soon as possible.

  • ianonmmorpgianonmmorpg Member Posts: 248

     

    Originally posted by nethervoid
    1.  NPCs used in an economical system ....
    2.  NPCs used in the adventuring system (Mobs) ....

     

    Nethervoid, while agree that it is possible to create a gameworld that ticks along quite happily without NPCs involved in the Economy I think that a complex and 'realish' economy will have a lot of mundane tasks that PCs just wont want to do. I've never been a corn farmer myself but I assure you I wouldn't pay money to pretend to be one (well not for long!). Of course if your game has no need for such folks then yeah, you can bin the lot, just be careful you ensure that PCs are motivated to fill in the gaps. Leaving them no choice but to fill these gaps may well result in frustration and people simply leaving.

    The Mobs can also be removed if you've a rational within your game world that removes the need for such 'kill-me-quick' NPCs.  Which means PvE is limited to hitting trees, hence either no conflict or all PvP, not a prob in itself... just make sure its easy to find folk else you'll be creating a 'walking simulator'.

    PS: No conflict can be an option, but even smiley-me wants to hit stuff now and again.

    PPS: Yeah, I'd happily play a dragon, its a matter of building a sensible economy that permits them to interact with others and not simply hand the world over to them, rather than huge amounts of code (over that required for any other PC race (that can fly etc)).

  • TarkaTarka Member Posts: 1,662
    Originally posted by fischsemmel


    If only someone would develop an MMO, fantasy or sci-fi, like Eve but with better PvE. /sigh



    Then I suggest you check out Jumpgate Evolution which is due out soon.  Think of Elite with mining, up to date graphics and pvp.

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