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General: Most Overused MMO Conventions

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  • sacredfoolsacredfool Member UncommonPosts: 847
    Originally posted by PhelimReagh

    Originally posted by Simsu


    I hope next week, or whenever, you'll have a list of underused mmo conventions, because as a stand alone article this is really kinda lacking, imho.

    I'm going to have to go "plus one" here (though I hate that).

     The MMO community is the best at saying what sucks, but guess what? Coming up with the alternative is the tricky part.

     The alternatives to these overused conventions are hard to find, and practically impossible to find done right.

    Sigh... the article could have, and possibly should have been called "Trademarks of MMORPGs". At least this was the intention of the author. IMHO ;) , he unnecessarily used such a negative title :S

     


    Originally posted by nethaniah

    Seriously Farmville? Yeah I think it's great. In a World where half our population is dying of hunger the more fortunate half is spending their time harvesting food that doesn't exist.


  • PedrobPedrob Member Posts: 172

    I agree entirely with the article, on the Fantasy one you should have added that killing undead, any undead is also way over done.

     

  • smoothmoovssmoothmoovs Member Posts: 36

    Global Agenda fanboi?

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 34,381

    I'm pretty tired of blind, deaf and dumb NPC mobs, especially when they are humanoid.

    How many times have you killed a camp of goblins and as long as you pull them carefully, none of the other ones can see your attack and they let you pick them off one by one.

    I much prefer BAF mechanics where the entire camp would come (which forces your to have crowd control) and fits into the story better. (but isn't real great for solo play I'll grant you.)

     

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

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    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

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  • GravargGravarg Member UncommonPosts: 3,423

    HAHA good list.  Only thing is I thought KTR quest would be much higher on the list, probably number 1 or 2 (under 8 year old kids thinking they're big and bad, since they can kill a single person in a party of 20!).  That quest is waaaay overused.  That's the only thing that kept me playing WoW (damn acronyms!) so long.  It seemed with every update there was at least one quest that was an odd ball, that usually noone outside of Blizzard had even thought of.  I finally quit that though hehe.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 27,356
    Originally posted by Kyleran


    I'm pretty tired of blind, deaf and dumb NPC mobs, especially when they are humanoid.
    How many times have you killed a camp of goblins and as long as you pull them carefully, none of the other ones can see your attack and they let you pick them off one by one.
    I much prefer BAF mechanics where the entire camp would come (which forces your to have crowd control) and fits into the story better. (but isn't real great for solo play I'll grant you.)
     



     

    I agree with this. Warhammer is sort of notorious for this. There will be two npc's facing each other, talking (in context to their actions) and you could pull one an the other wouldn't notice.

    What the heck is up with that!?!?!?!




  • Rayx0rRayx0r Member Posts: 2,902

    speaking of shortening everything in MMO's. 

    the one thing that always made me laugh is when people shorten Shaman to Shammy

    image

    “"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a robot foot stomping on a human face -- forever."
  • NesrieNesrie Member Posts: 648

    I love fantasy games, keep them coming!

    Oh the oversized weapon things seems more targeted at games coming out of eastern asia which is stylistic, not my style mind you. I think it's silly too, but not enough to keep me from playing.

    Skill or levels, classes or tasks or equipment... whatever works I say. No real dislike here for me.

    parrotpholk-Because we all know the miracle patch fairy shows up the night before release and sprinkles magic dust on the server to make it allllll better.

  • pojungpojung Member Posts: 810

    An enjoyable article, but one I feel ignores the 'why's of why these 'issues' have come around.

    Let's explore a bit deeper.

    7. Grocery list quests. Well shoot. This is nothing more than a timesink. It's an excuse to redundancy. This obviously needs to go. Killing a swarm of invading insects that threaten the town's safety and keeping a tally of baddies downed isn't a bad thing, and to receive due credit for efforts... provided the senario isn't ongoing, and that the same senario doesn't repeat itself throughout space (in uncountable other locations in the game world) and time (from picking up the game until quitting it).

    6. Ah, the much disputed holy trinity. The fact of the matter is this: you can't get rid of it. There is no 'brilliant designer' that will successfully breach the concept. It is the *lowest common denominator* of what makes games, real life war etc work.

    How does it work? Let's examine:

    I have health and you have health. We both have an ability pool that empowers us. The most basic way to phrase combat is: to reduce an opponent's health pool to 0, while retaining a health pool greater than 0, through the usage of one's abilities.

    This most simple concept divides itself 3 ways: the ability to take away from someone's health (damage), the ability to restore someone's health (healing), and the ability to be the template for someone else's damage/healing (tanking).

    Everything else comes down to these 3 concepts because they are the *lowest level of mechanics* possibly achieved. Buffers, debuffers, crowd control etc all serve these 3 purposes and are merely derivatives of the other 3 functions. If I crowd control someone, I in effect prevent them from tanking, or healing, or damaging, which in turn gives someone else *more of* an ability to tank/heal/damage because their contribution is nonexistant (ratios). This applies to all.

    A good designer might color each role unique, making each a feel of its own, but there's no escaping the model, because it's already in its most perfected state.

    As the old adege goes: 'if you can't get out of it, you might as well get into it'. Developpers should try harder at making the 'holy trinity' more interesting, rather than seeking ways to avoid it. The latter is futile.

    5. Fedex quests.... spinoff of number 1. Timesinks. One or two could carry purpose. Repetition of the concept drains interest from its ingredients.

    4. Fantasy. Sci-fi. Post-apocolyptic. Real-world... merely a backdrop. Granted, some variety would be nice. It's no so much fantasy that is bad, but the fact that so many developpers are going with 'Twilight' or 'Harry Potter' mediocre quality fantasy than a 'Tolkien' or 'Lewis' outstanding quality fantasy that is rich, insightful, fresh, and fun. It's the half-hearted attempts at the sector that ruin it for the rest. Typical of bandwagon mindsets, however.

    3. Oversized items. There is nothing wrong with these. It involves a superior understanding of why.

    How do people draw simple cubes? They draw them with a flat face, but a sideways, 45deg 3rd dimension. Why would an artist, ALL artists/mathmaticians draw cubes that aren't realisticly proportioned? Because it reads better on the eyes. The mind registers 2D concepts and translates them to a 3D environment. As such, artists understand certain details or aspects of artistry need to be downplayed and others emphasized.

    Obviously, 1H weapons that clip the ground are a tad... over-exagerated...

    2. Levels. Nothing wrong with this, provided it is done right, and properly reflects why levels were used in the first place. We've strayed from their meaning, much like the MMORPG genre has strayed from what makes it great. The old let's feed people sugar instead of hearty meals because it's cheaper and the taste is great. Eventually too much of a fabricated diet or concept leaves us without the means to properly enjoy the substance because of compounding.

    Levels used to be indicative of quality. Because of the mind's processing of this concept, developpers have cheapened the meaning  by giving it to everyone. Now, a max level is guaranteed, and the player feels like they've accomplished something. In reality, nothing was accomplished. The dev played off the knowledge of how the brain's reward system works and has fed the player sugar.

    Give us levels with meaning again. Where someone who is lv99 actually was good enough to get there. Part of the problem is the concept of a 'max level' which leads to current concepts of 'endgame' which then further compounds, and distances, the level from its true meaning.

    1. Well, I'm with you on this one, Bob. ROFLBURGERZOMGOSHLAZERSPEWPEW.

    If there's one thing that ruins the e-social scene more, not just MMORPGs or gaming in general, it's conversations with improper grammar and vocab. Not being able to carry a simple and clean conversation with someone is again, something that compounds and drains the environment from what is hearty and wholesome.

    Try having a mature conversation with nothing but acronyms. But why can't I just 'blow steam' and not? Sure, do that, and find out for yourself rather than play devil's advocate on a forum... and you'll know why.

     

    Good article, however. I enjoyed it.

    That is exactly right, and we're not saying NO to save WoW, because it is already a lost cause. We are saying NO to dissuade the next group of greedy suits who decide to emulate Blizzard and Cryptic, etc.
    We can prevent some of the future games from spewing this crap, but the sooner we start saying no, the better the results will be.
    So - Stand up, pull up your pants, and walk away.
    - MMO_Doubter

  • maplestonemaplestone Member UncommonPosts: 3,099
    Originally posted by pojung



    Levels used to be indicative of quality. Because of the mind's processing of this concept, developpers have cheapened the meaning  by giving it to everyone. Now, a max level is guaranteed, and the player feels like they've accomplished something. In reality, nothing was accomplished. The dev played off the knowledge of how the brain's reward system works and has fed the player sugar.


    The concept of levels in MMOs goes back to the D&D levels which has its roots in veteran/elite tokens placed on units in wargames to indicate it had survived long enough to be considered battle-hardened.

    What it sounds like what you want is a levelless system so that a character only gains skill by the player learning to play the game more effectively.

     

  • upallnightupallnight Member Posts: 1,154

    I 100% agree with hating levels.

    Every game I've ever played with levels in it turned into me not being able to play with someone I talked into joining me later on.  I was forced to start a new character to play with them.  Then, a month later, another friend wants to play.  Guess what, I gotta start over again.  Now I've got two new characters at level with two separate friends who will probably never be able to play with each other and I'm in the middle of a tug of war for time.

    Please, use some of the creativity that designers are supposed to possess to do away with this most hideous of methods.

    --------------------------------------
    image image

  • TheCalamityTheCalamity Member Posts: 58

    My biggest pet peeve with MMOs is that almost all of them are not "worlds" -  the same quest gets repeated by a thousands of different people and the NPC never seems to notice.  That's all fine and well in single-player games and novels where everyone has their own private universe in their imagination, but it grates on me when it's a shared, persistent universe.


    I totally agree, it just annoys me that <insert npc> says "congratz at saving <insert place> from <insert thing>" throw in a clip with npc's cheering for you, then another guy does the same quest with the same result...WTF. Only thing in an mmo is that theres no way around it, which is almost as annoying.

  • pojungpojung Member Posts: 810
    Originally posted by maplestone

    Originally posted by pojung



    Levels used to be indicative of quality. Because of the mind's processing of this concept, developpers have cheapened the meaning  by giving it to everyone. Now, a max level is guaranteed, and the player feels like they've accomplished something. In reality, nothing was accomplished. The dev played off the knowledge of how the brain's reward system works and has fed the player sugar.


    The concept of levels in MMOs goes back to the D&D levels which has its roots in veteran/elite tokens placed on units in wargames to indicate it had survived long enough to be considered battle-hardened.

    What it sounds like what you want is a levelless system so that a character only gains skill by the player learning to play the game more effectively.

     

     

    I believe that talking on this would result in nothing more than talking past each other. We're saying the same thing.

    Levels referenced a degree of skill, veteranship. The act of going from lv9 to lv10 wasn't a guarantee. When it's a guarantee, the levels themselves hold no meaning. They're abstract, and more like milemarkers. The US military offers the ranks of E1 through E4 as guarantees. But there is no guarantee in going from E4 to E5, although most do given sufficient time. There is less guarantee, and less actually do, go from E5 to E6 etc etc. Each number holds a significance. Just like in PnP DnD where rounding a corner and meeting an ogre's bash could potentially put you under at lv8 and you never see lv9. Actually going up in level holds significance.

     

    A level-less system or not is actually outside the confines of the level system I touched on and you discussed. It's possible hold a level system inside of a seperate system that measures player effectiveness or the like. The concepts aren't mutually exclusive.

    That is exactly right, and we're not saying NO to save WoW, because it is already a lost cause. We are saying NO to dissuade the next group of greedy suits who decide to emulate Blizzard and Cryptic, etc.
    We can prevent some of the future games from spewing this crap, but the sooner we start saying no, the better the results will be.
    So - Stand up, pull up your pants, and walk away.
    - MMO_Doubter

  • thepatriotthepatriot Member UncommonPosts: 290

    Acronyms come from the Pen & Paper days as every RPG tried to title itself into a snazzy acronym (D&D, V&V, T&T).

  • HeallunHeallun Member Posts: 149
    Originally posted by upallnight


    I 100% agree with hating levels.
    Every game I've ever played with levels in it turned into me not being able to play with someone I talked into joining me later on.  I was forced to start a new character to play with them.  Then, a month later, another friend wants to play.  Guess what, I gotta start over again.  Now I've got two new characters at level with two separate friends who will probably never be able to play with each other and I'm in the middle of a tug of war for time.
    Please, use some of the creativity that designers are supposed to possess to do away with this most hideous of methods.

     

    EQ2 Mentoring and CoX Sidekicking alleviated this well (I'm rather curious as to why WoW hasn't picked this one up).  I'd say the biggest reason would be ...there's no reason to lower your level in WoW.  Your partners still get minor xp (and at the kill-rate of an 80, well, its even faster for the lowbie).

    EQ2 does it quite well that mentoring inreases the xp gained of the lower person, and for -most- people they can still grind out the AAs (which now cap at 200).

    That said, something about EQ2 just didn't grab me.  I wanted to love it, I really did, but everything I did felt meaningless (and with 90% of the server's population at cap, it can be awfully lonely).   --Also, didn't you used to be a R&P poster?  We have some real crazies there now and need a few more voices of reason :P

  • darkb457darkb457 Member CommonPosts: 47

    Yeah, S4 League is really bad for number 3. The handgun is the size of a freakin' flamethrower!!!

  • maplestonemaplestone Member UncommonPosts: 3,099
    Originally posted by pojung


    Levels referenced a degree of skill, veteranship. The act of going from lv9 to lv10 wasn't a guarantee. When it's a guarantee, the levels themselves hold no meaning. They're abstract, and more like milemarkers. The US military offers the ranks of E1 through E4 as guarantees. But there is no guarantee in going from E4 to E5, although most do given sufficient time. There is less guarantee, and less actually do, go from E5 to E6 etc etc. Each number holds a significance. Just like in PnP DnD where rounding a corner and meeting an ogre's bash could potentially put you under at lv8 and you never see lv9. Actually going up in level holds significance.

    Hmm ... you are right that we may end up talking past each other.  But I'd like to try to pursue this a little further ...

    Normally when I see people make the "Incredibles argument" (if everyone is special then nobody is special), there's an implicit assumption that the person making the argument is one of those special people and that nobody else deserves the highest ranking in the game.

    But it sounds like you're talking more about facing the risk of permadeath (or at least a cap you risk hitting that slows a character's progress to a stall)?

    I do think that there is a niche out there for a game where you play a guild rather than a single character - and each adventure is a red shirt from your guild who gets to have a nice little career, but is doomed to eventually meet a grisly fate or retire on a comfortable pension.  If you ever played the old XCOM game, I thought that was a wonderful squad-level game where you could get quite attached to individual characters and their advancement through the ranks, but they were all ultimately expendable and even your most experienced merc could get blown to bits by a random plasma blast to the head while your game as a whole continued on.

  • AladyleynaAladyleyna Member Posts: 269

     #7 Kill Ten Rats

    I guess I could talk about this point and the fedex quests together, since they do come together in the point I am trying to make. I admit that I get rather bored with quests of the above variety, mainly because they're so monotonos. I'm basically clicking on the same skills ten times, and it bores me to tears. That's the main reason why I get so bored with the games I usually play. Though interestingly enough, if the gameplay mechanics are more than clicking the same skill ten times (like turn-based combat in Atlantica Online for example), I tend to play longer.

    However, what I feel that Guild Wars did correctly is in this regard. Yes, you still have to kill monsters, but the quest is arranged in such a way that the mobs literally swarm around you, and the skills you click end up becoming less predictable. You actually have to adapt to the environment and use skills that most suit what you need to do. Though I have to admit that Guild Wars does a lot of fedex quests, but the fighting of 'rats' takes place while going from point A to B, and I feel that it is more interesting that way.

    However, Guild Wars still has those extremely obvious 'kill 10 rats' quests, though thankfully, there isn't much of them. 

     #4 Fantasy

    I have to agree with this as well. I'm getting rather bored with fantasy games lately, all the magic and swords and bows and arrows and all that. Perhaps I just need a change in environment, and that is why I'm really looking forward to KOTOR. I'm in the mood for a good science fiction MMO, and in addition to that, I had recently watched Star Wars as well, and it's brought a whole sledgehammer of memories for me. And, maybe it's time I tried my hand at first person shooters. My brother says that they are extremely addicting.

     

     #1 Acronyms

    I don't mind acronyms actually. Sometimes, when you're in a hurry and you really need to type fast, those come in very handy. 

     

    Main characters:
    Jinn Gone Quiet (Guild Wars)
    Princess Pudding (Guild Wars)

  • flydowntomeflydowntome Member Posts: 106
    #Originally posted by schawo


     You should play EVE.
    #7: There are no ktr missions. You will have to kill npc, but not in ktr style. You will be dropped in the middle of a conflict, and you will have to be smart or clear the field.
    #6: There are no classes, and obviously no trinity.
    #5: There are Fed-Ex missions, but you can choose agents, which never give you any.
    #4: There Are No Elves. Period.
    #3: There are no fancy stuff on your ship, thus no oversized ones.
    #2: Levels? Haha.
    #1: EVE. You can shorten it to E, if you want :), but I think it is short enough for the most stroppy ppl, as well.

     

    #7  It's kill one hundred ships. Over and over again, till you go mad with it. People do level 4s half-afk, that's how dull they are.

    #6 Oh BS. Some clases are:

    Logistic Ship, Intereceptor, HAC, Tackler, EWar ship, DPS, Bait. EvE has just as rigidly defined roles as in any other game. The classes are the ship types because they are designed to focus or be used for specific roles.

    #5 There are only 3 or 4 types of missions in the entire universe, and most agents are a mix of types, with the choice usually being kill ten rats, mine useless rocks, or fed ex. The only way you can avoid fed ex is by picking a certain type of agent and doing combat only.

    #4 Nope, no elves.

    #3  Everyone has the same looking ship. If you have an Incursus, every single Incursus looks the same. 

    #2  You have levels, they are called SP-skill points. Same idea of progression, just tied to real time.

    #1 SP HAC BoB DPS RR NOS KOS NBSI NRDS PLEX 0.0 are a few of the acronyms we use, off of the top of my head.

  • pojungpojung Member Posts: 810
    Originally posted by maplestone

    Originally posted by pojung


    Levels referenced a degree of skill, veteranship. The act of going from lv9 to lv10 wasn't a guarantee. When it's a guarantee, the levels themselves hold no meaning. They're abstract, and more like milemarkers. The US military offers the ranks of E1 through E4 as guarantees. But there is no guarantee in going from E4 to E5, although most do given sufficient time. There is less guarantee, and less actually do, go from E5 to E6 etc etc. Each number holds a significance. Just like in PnP DnD where rounding a corner and meeting an ogre's bash could potentially put you under at lv8 and you never see lv9. Actually going up in level holds significance.

    Hmm ... you are right that we may end up talking past each other.  But I'd like to try to pursue this a little further ...

    Normally when I see people make the "Incredibles argument" (if everyone is special then nobody is special), there's an implicit assumption that the person making the argument is one of those special people and that nobody else deserves the highest ranking in the game.

    But it sounds like you're talking more about facing the risk of permadeath (or at least a cap you risk hitting that slows a character's progress to a stall)?

    I do think that there is a niche out there for a game where you play a guild rather than a single character - and each adventure is a red shirt from your guild who gets to have a nice little career, but is doomed to eventually meet a grisly fate or retire on a comfortable pension.  If you ever played the old XCOM game, I thought that was a wonderful squad-level game where you could get quite attached to individual characters and their advancement through the ranks, but they were all ultimately expendable and even your most experienced merc could get blown to bits by a random plasma blast to the head while your game as a whole continued on.

     

    1. You are absolutely correct with your label of 'incredible' argument. In a world of black and white, I can wear red to 'stand out'. If everyone else wears red, it no longer stands out. Etc etc etc. Your assumption is halfway there. I'd label myself as an 'elite who supports the rank of highest elite'. My RL history is one of 97 percentile's during high school and college, national-level swimming, and in the MMO ranks, a 30th highest warrior dps posting on Brut. Meaning: I know what it takes to succeed, and I know the sacrifice and dedication involved, 'swim in the finals but don't make the podium'.

    I don't make the claims for personal glory, but because I'm afforded the understanding of experience in how purpose and meaning are achieved, not given, and that these concepts are co-dependant.

    2. Perma-death is an example of 1 limiter. You have 3 concepts at play: event-oriented (kill 10 rats), time-oriented (kill rats for 10min) and skill-oriented (the merging of an event with a time: kill 10 rats inside of 10min). These 3 concepts need to be orchestrated to enforce a value upon the number in question. If getting to lv10 required merely killing a total of 100 rats, of which each level required 10 rats, all of your 'levels' are void of purpose because there is nothing about them that is demanding.

    You need a standard. That's what levels reflect, so that is what they should require. Now, I say 'reflect' but perhaps it would be more suitable to state 'reflected'. Risk is a derivative of standards. Achievements should require standards. These standards should involve risks in undertaking.

    3. Can't say I can share your insight via XCOM, but believe to understand the concept you're trying to illustrate. The attachment is because of risk and standards, but yet those risks and standards weren't so involving that restarting wasn't unpleasant. Not that restarting wasn't unpleasant, but that it wasn't unpleasant *enough*.

    That is exactly right, and we're not saying NO to save WoW, because it is already a lost cause. We are saying NO to dissuade the next group of greedy suits who decide to emulate Blizzard and Cryptic, etc.
    We can prevent some of the future games from spewing this crap, but the sooner we start saying no, the better the results will be.
    So - Stand up, pull up your pants, and walk away.
    - MMO_Doubter

  • ishistishist Member UncommonPosts: 212

    Missed the one I hate the most. People's habit of calling their characters "toons". It might be  the perception that people really don't take pride in their characters anymore, but that term really makes my reptilian brain hiss. It seriously make me want to throttle whoever said it. More often than not it's utterance earns an instant ignore from me. 

    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. - Douglas Adams

  • tapeworm00tapeworm00 Member Posts: 549
    Originally posted by pojung

     

    "6. Ah, the much disputed holy trinity. The fact of the matter is this: you can't get rid of it. There is no 'brilliant designer' that will successfully breach the concept. It is the *lowest common denominator* of what makes games, real life war etc work.

    How does it work? Let's examine:

    I have health and you have health. We both have an ability pool that empowers us. The most basic way to phrase combat is: to reduce an opponent's health pool to 0, while retaining a health pool greater than 0, through the usage of one's abilities.

    This most simple concept divides itself 3 ways: the ability to take away from someone's health (damage), the ability to restore someone's health (healing), and the ability to be the template for someone else's damage/healing (tanking).

    Everything else comes down to these 3 concepts because they are the *lowest level of mechanics* possibly achieved. Buffers, debuffers, crowd control etc all serve these 3 purposes and are merely derivatives of the other 3 functions. If I crowd control someone, I in effect prevent them from tanking, or healing, or damaging, which in turn gives someone else *more of* an ability to tank/heal/damage because their contribution is nonexistant (ratios). This applies to all.

    A good designer might color each role unique, making each a feel of its own, but there's no escaping the model, because it's already in its most perfected state.

    As the old adege goes: 'if you can't get out of it, you might as well get into it'. Developpers should try harder at making the 'holy trinity' more interesting, rather than seeking ways to avoid it. The latter is futile."

     

     

    You are assuming that the only conceivable form of resolving a combat is via the drainage of hit points. Why not design a form of combat that is solved in other manners? It's an example I won't take to its final consequences and implications, but it superficially serves as a way of sparking ideas outside the traditional combat form: Monkey Island's pirate duels. There are, of course, "hit points" in the sense that after a certain number of correct questions and responses you win the duel, but the form of winning is otherwise pretty unrelated to what one would commonly conceive as a form of resolving the combat: you pose an insult, and the enemy must turn it around with his "wit", then the enemy poses an insult, and so on. It's got absolutely nothing to do with how RPGs/MMOs treat the hit points element. As I said, I won't design a game idea around this, but the possibility to do so is there.

    Another example comes from the FPS world. Twitch reflexes have a dominant place in them, of course, but take a game such as Aliens vs. Predator, in which each of the three different races hold a diversity of mechanics to kill the other. They're all damage dealers, do it in different forms, and must be played in equally different styles to succeed. They can all heal, but do so in different ways, as well, and is usually pointless to do so since you're almost always dead within seconds. If anything, Aliens vs. Predator is the perfect match-up between a Role Playing Game (there's no way around it, you gotta play differently for each race) and a shooter. A game, then, can be balanced purely around DPS; RPG-styled ones like Devil May Cry or whatever could also serve as an example.

    That there is a need for symmetry in game design (if you can take hit points away you must also be able to give them) is only a comfortable illusion. I do believe that maybe someday there will be a "brilliant designer" that will effectively breach the concept. It's just that it's a lot harder to do than what you, who are totally correct in doing so, say has already reached such a state of perfection. Well, now that it's perfect and tyrannical, it's the exact moment and opportunity to be taken down. :)

  • ishistishist Member UncommonPosts: 212
    Originally posted by tapeworm00

    Originally posted by pojung

     
    "6. Ah, the much disputed holy trinity. The fact of the matter is this: you can't get rid of it. There is no 'brilliant designer' that will successfully breach the concept. It is the *lowest common denominator* of what makes games, real life war etc work.
    How does it work? Let's examine:
    I have health and you have health. We both have an ability pool that empowers us. The most basic way to phrase combat is: to reduce an opponent's health pool to 0, while retaining a health pool greater than 0, through the usage of one's abilities.
    This most simple concept divides itself 3 ways: the ability to take away from someone's health (damage), the ability to restore someone's health (healing), and the ability to be the template for someone else's damage/healing (tanking).
    Everything else comes down to these 3 concepts because they are the *lowest level of mechanics* possibly achieved. Buffers, debuffers, crowd control etc all serve these 3 purposes and are merely derivatives of the other 3 functions. If I crowd control someone, I in effect prevent them from tanking, or healing, or damaging, which in turn gives someone else *more of* an ability to tank/heal/damage because their contribution is nonexistant (ratios). This applies to all.
    A good designer might color each role unique, making each a feel of its own, but there's no escaping the model, because it's already in its most perfected state.
    As the old adege goes: 'if you can't get out of it, you might as well get into it'. Developpers should try harder at making the 'holy trinity' more interesting, rather than seeking ways to avoid it. The latter is futile."


     
     
    You are assuming that the only conceivable form of resolving a combat is via the drainage of hit points. Why not design a form of combat that is solved in other manners? It's an example I won't take to its final consequences and implications, but it superficially serves as a way of sparking ideas outside the traditional combat form: Monkey Island's pirate duels. There are, of course, "hit points" in the sense that after a certain number of correct questions and responses you win the duel, but the form of winning is otherwise pretty unrelated to what one would commonly conceive as a form of resolving the combat: you pose an insult, and the enemy must turn it around with his "wit", then the enemy poses an insult, and so on. It's got absolutely nothing to do with how RPGs/MMOs treat the hit points element. As I said, I won't design a game idea around this, but the possibility to do so is there.
    Another example comes from the FPS world. Twitch reflexes have a dominant place in them, of course, but take a game such as Aliens vs. Predator, in which each of the three different races hold a diversity of mechanics to kill the other. They're all damage dealers, do it in different forms, and must be played in equally different styles to succeed. They can all heal, but do so in different ways, as well, and is usually pointless to do so since you're almost always dead within seconds. If anything, Aliens vs. Predator is the perfect match-up between a Role Playing Game (there's no way around it, you gotta play differently for each race) and a shooter. A game, then, can be balanced purely around DPS; RPG-styled ones like Devil May Cry or whatever could also serve as an example.
    That there is a need for symmetry in game design (if you can take hit points away you must also be able to give them) is only a comfortable illusion. I do believe that maybe someday there will be a "brilliant designer" that will effectively breach the concept. It's just that it's a lot harder to do than what you, who are totally correct in doing so, say has already reached such a state of perfection. Well, now that it's perfect and tyrannical, it's the exact moment and opportunity to be taken down. :)

    I hopped in on the end of this discussion but I have to add that your point is only reinforcing the point you replied to. 

     

    Monkey Island example -

    HP = number of rounds required to win with each round equaling 1 HP

    Abilities = insults

     

    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. - Douglas Adams

  • sadeyxsadeyx Member UncommonPosts: 1,555

    William Murphy... dude...

    You should play more Eve! 

    No, Kill 10 x

    No levels

    No Elfs

    No Tank n spank.

     

    Its almost as if your article is an advert for Eve, lol.

  • 3nimac3nimac Member UncommonPosts: 63

    Acronyms are one of the things i love about MMORPGs and internet communication. I don't know, for some reason they are just fun to use.

    Acronyms FTW!

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