Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

What Game Worlds Are Missing - The Wilderness

EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,249
edited February 2017 in The Pub at MMORPG.COM
I will remember the day I got an SNES for Christmas and playing Super Mario World changed my life. I immediately wanted to design video games and make game worlds. I already enjoyed map making as it is. From that era to other console games, there was one game play element I was missing. That was to play in a persistent world where I had the opportunity to explore without barriers or nooks and crannies. Everquest introduced me to an open game world with many different areas to explore even though each zone had a barrier and nook/cranny zone entrance. Today, in most MMO's that I have played the Game World to me is very hub oriented and way to cultivated between each hub/town. World of Warcraft is notorious for this sort of thing and some other mmo's are following suite. 

However, there is still something missing in most game worlds and that is simply a wilderness. Let me define that. A wilderness is where a player can trek into a zone and potentially get lost if you go beyond the beaten path. There may not be a village or a town for miles. Who knows what sort of danger or hidden treasure lies within the wilderness? I also play LOTRO, and most of their zones still has some wilderness to them, but it's not quite large enough. (I am sure there are other mmo titles out there, that have some wilderness to them)

I believe a Wilderness is essential to creating a gaming atmosphere for player immersion for the game world. I am fully aware that a Wilderness for a game world may not be the cup of tea for some gamer's because they prefer a lobby game and that is fine. I am sure there are quite a few mmo players who also wish to explore a Wilderness. 

A Wilderness also would mean that quest hubs would be sparse between each other and not every 1-2 minutes of gameplay. Potentially every 7-10 minutes of running time between quest hubs. 

As some of you may know, I am an aspiring Game Designer and have been working on my mmorpg title for quite sometime as a side hobby. I just wanted to share my idea of what a game world would look like with a vast wilderness for players. Below, is the world of Mahdran a middle fantasy theme game world. (A nice blend of Everquest + Lord of the Rings + Game of Thrones). 

I designed this in CC3 a 2D mapping program for D&D GM's. 

I'll ask two separate questions...

1. Do you want an MMORPG with a "Wilderness" to the zones?
 
2. See Poll Below.

I wouldn't mind some feedback on my World Map. 

I am NOT looking for geographical feedback. This game world is as realistic as I could make it. It may seem patchy, that's because of the zone layout. 

What I am looking for:

1. Does this game world show a Wilderness that you want to explore?

2. Does the world map look intriguing to you?

3. Thoughts on naming convention for Zones?

4. What are 5 zones you want to explore?

Legend -- White = Wilderness Zones - Yellow = Dungeons - Dark Blue = Starting Cities - Light Blue = Other Noble Cities - Green = Raid Campaigns - Purple = World Wonders 

http://tinyurl.com/gtrtkl9 <--- World map Link in case link doesn't work when clicked on map.

(Both versions should be able to allow you to zoom in to see a bit more detail)


Image Hosted by PicturePush
Post edited by Eronakis on
«13

Comments

  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Member RarePosts: 1,985
    What do you mean MMOs are missing that? Most sandbox MMOs like Xsyon, Wurm, A Tale In The Desert... have too much wildeness for my taste - I get lost constantly, it's irritating.
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Member RarePosts: 1,985
    shenfrey said:
    Nobody is going to say "I Prefer a smaller game world".
    I've repeatedly complained that the map in ATITD is too large for the slowness of travel/lack of hubs in the fast travel system.
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 18,719
    The Old Forest in LORO as first released, is one of the only times I can think of where an MMO succeeded at creating that lost in the woods feeling. Ironic that they later on felt the need to make it more of a guided experience.

    Yeah being lost in the woods or in a huge and confusing cave complex is something lacking in online worlds.
    "Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community ... but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It's the invasion of the idiots”

    ― Umberto Eco

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Member EpicPosts: 6,601
    Large world's are nice but large empty world s are dead boring.  

    Full it with stuff. But then it gets expensive...  You get the idea.
    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is bad.
  • CaffynatedCaffynated Member RarePosts: 753
    One of the worst things about WoW and later games is the cluttered feeling. There's a short run from one quest hub to the next and every inch of ground between them is covered in mobs (every single one of which is part of a quest). I miss the old school feeling of setting off in search of adventure and stumbling across things. Finding a cave and not knowing this is "Dreary Deep Depths of Darkness level 26 5 man dungeon" as soon as I get close was fun. Maybe it was just a cave with some good mining spots, or maybe it was the mouth of Shame (in UO's case literally the mouth of the Dungeon Shame).

    In old school MMOs the mouth of a cave was like Obamacare. You had to pass it to find out what was inside.
  • MendelMendel Member LegendaryPosts: 5,609
    Real exploration and immersion has one great enemy -- the spoiler site.  Looking up information from a known source removes the sense of danger and being lost.  Invariably, the spoiler sites use a coordinate system from the game and that same information can help guide the player to that 'hidden' location.

    Spoiler sites can be diminished, though, with dynamically generated content.  Generally, though, the generation tools aren't robust enough to create the elements needed for something like a quest without human intervention.  Generating dialog that sounds appropriate within the context of a game's lore is incredibly difficult.  An automated system simply can't create convincing dialog to express an old woman's hatred of the orcs that killed her son and his family, and send you after the orcs.  Things a computer can be good at, like tracking quests well enough to allow personalized quests, need the things a computer can't quite handle well -- names, dialog, dialects, scripting, plot, story, responses, rewards -- and for those, human intervention and creativity is still best.

    About the best a game can achieve today is a giant 'take 1 from column A' type system to choose between a finite set of prepared scenes.  A spoiler site can easily defeat this by listing all the possible scenes, with the identifying dialog intact.  Even a 'columns A, B and C' produces a reasonable number of possible scenes, if the number of options in each column is small enough.  Even 5 options for each column only generates 125 outcomes (5 x 5 x 5), and it is conceivable that a spoiler site could map all these outcomes.  At best, a game can currently only hope to overwhelm the spoiler sites, by throwing development dollars at them.  (Someone has to write/script each of those 125 outcomes).

    Natural language generation is still very far off within MMORPGs.  And that is going to be the key to a dynamic, personalized, non-repetitive game world.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • nerovergilnerovergil Member UncommonPosts: 680
    edited February 2017
    i want a huge map with many mobs to slay. i hate no mans land, i want a civilization, a medieval town and building

    not a walking simulator
  • 45074507 Member UncommonPosts: 351
    A 'wilderness' as you've defined it here is absolutely necessary to create a game world worth being in, but I take issue with your measure for whether a location is a 'wilderness' being the frequency with which you come upon quest hubs. A proper MMORPG, in my opinion, should not have quest hubs. 

    The map looks quite nice, but I fear that you'll either burn yourself out making enough content with which to fill a gameworld of that size, or you'll space content too far apart in the game world (too much 'wilderness').
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 19,332
    Well as i often do i will use a reference.
    Vanguard was huge and it became a very early problem,it made areas look empty,made the game look empty.
    Also what i have seen games do to create that lost feeling is just take a smallish map and wind you around in a circle 10x where if was a straight line would take 3 minutes.

    Yes i love discovery but i want it to be meaningful or even to support the LORE.I feel Super Mario is a really bad analogy because that si the sort of thing i detest in these modern games,they are becoming too silly with ideas that do not support the LORE one bit.Perfect example ,in GW2 that super mario map,to me that looks out of place and just silly.

    What these games lack,at least for me ,is realism,plausible ideas but for too many all they want is silliness,like jumping games and puzzles and races.You know this is SUPPOSE to be a ROLE playing game,not a cartwheel park,although you'd never know it since games have so many characters doing somersaults and back flips.
    I do not think one developer sits there BEFORE making the game and asks him/herself what a world would be like and does it make sense.I can tell what type of developer i am dealing with in the first 2 minutes of a game,i know right away if i want out or continue to see further.


    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • CaffynatedCaffynated Member RarePosts: 753
    You seem really upset about an April Fools joke that was in the game for a week and took up about 5 square feet of space in the actual game world.
  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,249
    4507 said:
    A 'wilderness' as you've defined it here is absolutely necessary to create a game world worth being in, but I take issue with your measure for whether a location is a 'wilderness' being the frequency with which you come upon quest hubs. A proper MMORPG, in my opinion, should not have quest hubs. 

    The map looks quite nice, but I fear that you'll either burn yourself out making enough content with which to fill a gameworld of that size, or you'll space content too far apart in the game world (too much 'wilderness').
    I used a quest hub as an example to distinguished a point about space. A game world with a wilderness ideally wouldn't have quest hubs. I would assume a game world with a wilderness would take the EQ NPC quest approach and have them scattered and as a player you had to find them.

    I do agree that wilderness needs a balance. It can't seem empty and players being sparse. There are ideas to make intriguing content with a large wilderness but it would have to go through rigorous play testing.
  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,249
    Wizardry said:
    Well as i often do i will use a reference.
    Vanguard was huge and it became a very early problem,it made areas look empty,made the game look empty.
    Also what i have seen games do to create that lost feeling is just take a smallish map and wind you around in a circle 10x where if was a straight line would take 3 minutes.

    Yes i love discovery but i want it to be meaningful or even to support the LORE.I feel Super Mario is a really bad analogy because that si the sort of thing i detest in these modern games,they are becoming too silly with ideas that do not support the LORE one bit.Perfect example ,in GW2 that super mario map,to me that looks out of place and just silly.

    What these games lack,at least for me ,is realism,plausible ideas but for too many all they want is silliness,like jumping games and puzzles and races.You know this is SUPPOSE to be a ROLE playing game,not a cartwheel park,although you'd never know it since games have so many characters doing somersaults and back flips.
    I do not think one developer sits there BEFORE making the game and asks him/herself what a world would be like and does it make sense.I can tell what type of developer i am dealing with in the first 2 minutes of a game,i know right away if i want out or continue to see further.


    Super Mario was not an analogy, I was simply stating that is where my love for game design started. I don't know how you got that as an analogy though?

    I do agree that the game world needs to follow a rule set and that rule set is established by lore with substance and purpose.

    I do agree, I sometimes feel like I am not even apart of a game world and I am playing side games in a console game. It is quite annoying, WoW and GW2 do what you describe.

    Vanguards problem wasn't size it was lack of content with the size and a low player population. It wasn't a really true testament to the game or the size of the game because it was released before it was truly finished. Unfortunately, Vanguard is the only MMO that we could compare it too because that's all we have in a way. 
  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,249
    Mendel said:
    Real exploration and immersion has one great enemy -- the spoiler site.  Looking up information from a known source removes the sense of danger and being lost.  Invariably, the spoiler sites use a coordinate system from the game and that same information can help guide the player to that 'hidden' location.

    Spoiler sites can be diminished, though, with dynamically generated content.  Generally, though, the generation tools aren't robust enough to create the elements needed for something like a quest without human intervention.  Generating dialog that sounds appropriate within the context of a game's lore is incredibly difficult.  An automated system simply can't create convincing dialog to express an old woman's hatred of the orcs that killed her son and his family, and send you after the orcs.  Things a computer can be good at, like tracking quests well enough to allow personalized quests, need the things a computer can't quite handle well -- names, dialog, dialects, scripting, plot, story, responses, rewards -- and for those, human intervention and creativity is still best.

    About the best a game can achieve today is a giant 'take 1 from column A' type system to choose between a finite set of prepared scenes.  A spoiler site can easily defeat this by listing all the possible scenes, with the identifying dialog intact.  Even a 'columns A, B and C' produces a reasonable number of possible scenes, if the number of options in each column is small enough.  Even 5 options for each column only generates 125 outcomes (5 x 5 x 5), and it is conceivable that a spoiler site could map all these outcomes.  At best, a game can currently only hope to overwhelm the spoiler sites, by throwing development dollars at them.  (Someone has to write/script each of those 125 outcomes).

    Natural language generation is still very far off within MMORPGs.  And that is going to be the key to a dynamic, personalized, non-repetitive game world.
    You make a great point. Resource sites for MMO's are typically spoiler heavy. It also really determines on the type of player. Some players may not care about those sites and truly immerse themselves in the game. Some don't care and will just look at that stuff to penetrate through content as fast as they can.

    Still though with dynamic content, they still follow a script in some ways even if it does appear random. One reason why I was really looking forward to EQNext was their emergent AI. (I can't remember for the life of me right now what they called it). It was the idea of simply having NPC behavior adapt to player behavior which I thought would've been super intriguing and honestly in my opinion the next step to great PVE content.
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 19,332
    edited February 2017
    I should make a point that i actually am one of the few who loved Vanguard,well enjoyed it ,i never loved it lol.
    Small population,well it was quite populated at the start.Even look at older games like the EQ games,after awhile there are so many zones we hardly see anyone roaming around,even during the hay days.

    I seldom see much in way of assets in these games and terrain will simply be auto generated.
    However,i would love to see more in way of discovery for certain.At this point in time i 100% detest games that want to hold my hand and tell me to look for the next yellow marker over a npc head.

    So yes i want to go out and discover but also do what i want to do.I had all that i ask in FFXI,freedom,kill stuff anywhere i wanted or where ever our group would go.I NEVER had to follow any linear path to the next ? or ! because there were no markers in the game.As well these common game designs lead you directly to each part of a map and even show you on a map with a marker where to go,so it leads nothing to discovery or imagination but HEY,you get XP for a new discovery lmao.


    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,183
    Iselin said:
    The Old Forest in LORO as first released, is one of the only times I can think of where an MMO succeeded at creating that lost in the woods feeling. Ironic that they later on felt the need to make it more of a guided experience.

    Yeah being lost in the woods or in a huge and confusing cave complex is something lacking in online worlds.
    I take it you never went to Yavin, Dathomir or Endor in SWG?

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • TheScavengerTheScavenger Member EpicPosts: 3,321
    Vanguard Saga of Heroes had the benefit of a huge world.

    However, it was mostly flat boring bland landscape. I think it was actually the graphics+art style they chose, it looked kinda ugly to me. It didn't help the world was just a bland open, lifeless landscape. Also, the cities were massive (biggest of any fantasy MMO, though GW2 has really big cities), but the cities also felt lifeless and dead. Some areas of Vanguard were nice, but it was always kinda meh even when I first played it. Probably why I went back and always stopped, it was kinda...ugly. There wasn't any color to it, just drab. Mostly though even if it wasn't for that, the world just overall felt lifeless and dead lol. I thought the cities would be cool, but they were nothing like GW2 cities filled with life and NPC chatter and NPCs moving around.

    So I like a large world with huge cities, but if they do it like Vanguard...nope...boring, lifeless and bland lol


    My Skyrim, Fallout 4, Starbound and WoW + other game mods at MODDB: 

    https://www.moddb.com/mods/skyrim-anime-overhaul



  • centkincentkin Member RarePosts: 1,527
    Sounds a bit like east karana.
  • KeenoKeeno Member UncommonPosts: 56
    Honestly this all come down to maps.

    How will you do your games maps?

    The only way to truly explore something is if you have no idea what your getting ur self into in the first place. So it would be best to not use maps at all or just use a vague outline that your world map does perfectly.

    FFXI EQ EQOA They all did this well finding new things and place felt so good and as you became a better player you began to memorize zones and hidden places and camps making you feel accomplished and that you may know stuff that others don't. And that possibility that there could be so much out there you overlooked or don't even know of yet giving you that drive to keep playing and keep exploring!

    And yea spoiler site will eventually destroy all of this but if you don't have a map it allows the community to get creative and make their own maps of your game slowing down the process of spoiling the game world but all game will get spoiled eventually.

    And when it comes to maps I always like to consider "What if Classic WoW didn't have a map?"

    That trek from Durotar-Ogrimmar to Crossroads and beyond just got a lot bigger and the mystery of not know how far away your destination really is and what you might find between. 
  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,249
    Any thoughts on any interesting places anyone would like to explore in my game world map?
  • Redfeather75Redfeather75 Member UncommonPosts: 230
    edited February 2017
    Eronakis said:
    Any thoughts on any interesting places anyone would like to explore in my game world map?

    I really like the Tectrum Vallis area and surrounding area. I started imagining what it would feel like traveling across the Naji Dunes and seeing the huge rock cliffs and eventually that fort/gate leading into Tectrum Vallis area. Once passing through the gate seeing that pyramid and 2 portal like areas in the distance. Then coming up close and around the pyramid, seeing a 3rd portal area was hiding behind it. It's actually very well designed for pulling in explorers' interest. Great job on that.
  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,249
    edited February 2017
    Eronakis said:
    Any thoughts on any interesting places anyone would like to explore in my game world map?

    I really like the Tectrum Vallis area and surrounding area. I started imagining what it would feel like traveling across the Naji Dunes and seeing the huge rock cliffs and eventually that fort/gate leading into Tectrum Vallis area. Once passing through the gate seeing that pyramid and 2 portal like areas in the distance. Then coming up close and around the pyramid, seeing a 3rd portal area was hiding behind it. It's actually very well designed for pulling in explorers' interest. Great job on that.
    Awesome, thank you! Tectrum Vallis is actually the home of one of my 5 races, the Jakarium. The refugees were locked out of that place for quite sometime. They found refuge in Talduem. Jakarium are ancient architects and are believed that made all of those pyramids in the world.

    Jakarium have stone like texture to their skin and emit a stone grey hue. They have light blue, yellow or light purple eyes. They are very humanoid. Tectrum Vallis is in ancient tongue and most common folk and adventurers don't know how to translate it.  - Just a little lore :)

    By the way, purple text = World Wonder.
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 23,175
    shenfrey said:
    Nobody is going to say "I Prefer a smaller game world".

    In fact some do, they talk of the long time it takes to go from one activity to another. Games must be about activities not travelling. This sort of mentality has led to the ding and bling tinyMMOs we have today.

    Having a world to explore is part of the gaming experience, journey is a worthwhile and interesting an activity.
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 43,604
    edited February 2017
    Scot said:
    shenfrey said:
    Nobody is going to say "I Prefer a smaller game world".

    In fact some do, they talk of the long time it takes to go from one activity to another. Games must be about activities not travelling. This sort of mentality has led to the ding and bling tinyMMOs we have today.

    Having a world to explore is part of the gaming experience, journey is a worthwhile and interesting an activity.
    Many actually prefer smaller worlds or quick travel options to skip the boring parts.

    A large world to explore first has to have a good reason to do, except for one type of gamer tours of the scenery hold little appeal.

    In the real world wilderness is actually quite dull. You can go for miles and miles seeing virtually nothing but more rock, desert, snow, forest with little else of interest.

    I think I would prefer a "smaller world" with more activities than a huge empty one.

    Also, IMO MMORPGS are best when they encourage player interaction and vast worlds can  inhibit this as complained about by some in Vanguard.
    Post edited by Kyleran on

    "True friends stab you in the front." | Oscar Wilde 

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing New Worlds atm

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 23,175
    edited February 2017
    Kyleran said:
    Scot said:
    shenfrey said:
    Nobody is going to say "I Prefer a smaller game world".

    In fact some do, they talk of the long time it takes to go from one activity to another. Games must be about activities not travelling. This sort of mentality has led to the ding and bling tinyMMOs we have today.

    Having a world to explore is part of the gaming experience, journey is a worthwhile and interesting an activity.
    Many actually prefer smaller worlds or quick travel options to skip the boring parts.

    A large world to explore first has to have a good reason to do, except for one type of gamer tours of the scenery hold little appeal.

    In the real world wilderness is actually quite dull. You can go for miles and miles seeing virtually nothing but more rock, desert, snow, forest with little else of interest.

    I think I would prefer s "smaller world" with more activities than a huge empty one.

    Also, IMO MMORPGS are best when they encourage player interaction and vast worlds can  inhibit this as complained about by some in Vanguard.

    I am quite happy taking in the scenery, its not like you have to wait half an hour for the next activity. Even in MMOs with large worlds the maximum you are talking about is 10 mins.

    Interestingly the "journey" can be hailed as ground breaking, this happened both in Elite (size and diversity) and No Mans Sky(?) I think it was. Do the same in a MMO and people talk about "boring parts".
Sign In or Register to comment.