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Legend of Zelda as an MMORPG?

HelleriHelleri Member UncommonPosts: 930

To be clear: No one that I know of is currently making Legend of Zelda into an MMORPG (in case I gave a few fanboys a minor stroke with the title)...


Recently, in reflecting on the idea of a different type of progression system for an MMORPG (Some threads I have seen on here got me thinking about this a lot); I was thinking about games from my childhood that departed from the common 'level up through experience gain' system that is most commonly employed today.


That brought to mind as a prime example "The Legend of Zelda".


For the benefit of those who don't recall the game well (or didn't play it -does that kind of person exist?)...


You didn't really have a level, trekking around as Link. There was a lot of actual skill involved in the combat. As you found heart cases, your health tokens grew in length. Which made it so that you could take more hits. However, this didn't help you much if you were simply bad at avoiding getting hit in the first place. Because, your base resistance to attacks didn't truly change much over the course of the game.


Better gear helped you attack with greater effectiveness and from further away. But, there were no strict ability prerequisites for having or wielding more powerful weapons accept obtaining them. You could even access more difficult areas simply by getting the right tools for the job. And, this didn't require that your character have for instance, a climbing or rafting skill.


All of this...And, I never felt like I wasn't getting better as I went along. What was interesting for me about the system of progression in Zelda, is that it operated under a presumption of excellence; That given the right things at your disposal, you could do far better without technically getting any stronger. And, that the only change in ability necessary to beat it came from practice.


I had plenty of childhood friends that didn't hunt down every single heart case. That only gained a couple incidentally. They rarely had a need to take advantage of the fairies in the game either. Because, they were good enough at actually controlling the character and keeping a situational awareness, that they simply didn't need much more health then they started with. Years down the line this is now known as the 3 Hearts challenge (beat the game with 3 hearts).


Now, to keep it simple, I am speaking strictly in the MMORPG frame of reference here, when I ask these three questions (so things like Minecraft are not what I am asking about here - I view that to be a multi-mode, multi-player, simulator):

- Have you played an MMORPG that uses an exact or very similar system of progression; And if so how did you find the experience and why?

- Would you play an MMORPG with this type of system of progression; And, if not why?

- Any major pros or cons you can see to an MMORPG implementing such a system (either from launch or as a modification to an existing system that already closely resembles it)?



  • Flyte27Flyte27 Member RarePosts: 4,574

    I've been playing Legend of Zelda a link between worlds and it's fairly similar to the original game.  I would play a game like that if it was made by Nintendo.  I know they made a Dragon Quest X MMO in Japan, but it hasn't come to the US.

    The Legend of Zelda has always revolved around Link and his puzzle solving skills.  It would be difficult to imagine how they would twist the story to center around many different characters (not saying it can't be done). 

    It would be really difficult to make an MMO based on the type of puzzles you find in the single player game.  I guess it could be done via instancing, but that would somewhat defeat the purpose of it being an MMO.  I'm not sure how many people would have the patience to play a puzzle solving MMO.  Most people here seem to want to get to the fighting (which is usually pretty easy these days).   

  • HelleriHelleri Member UncommonPosts: 930

    I didn't really see LoZ as a true puzzle game. At least not the first one. It was more of a simple obstacle game with combat. You used obstacles to put a buffer between you and enemies. You moved, went around, or over came (with the use of tools) obstacles that were in your own path. There was nothing really all that tricky about it, accept a lack of information given on exactly what to do.

    It's a pretty simple formula, You want to leave the newb area but there is some steep rough terrain in your way (terraced ledges maybe)?

    - Well you can go around which can take a long time and may wind you up dead from the sheer volume of enemy encounters you have over time.

    - You could harvest some materials and make a rope that will really only be good for getting over the terrain once before it is too worn from scraping on the surface of the ledges.

    - Or you can push the right stone aside, enter the dungeon, defeat the enemies, and claim the climbing boots in the treasure room.

    - Heck you could even just grind coins on monsters outside the dungeon until you have enough to buy a rope or climbing boots off of another player.

    You don't even have to instance the dungeon. Just the reward. And, the dungeon can reset the instanced reward when a player leaves it. Some players might choose to just grind those first couple rewards and sell them to players who have other means but don't feel like doing the dungeons. Monsters can be on a constant respawn too so no one can party crash you with this method after you have done the hard part...Simple obstacles. A multitude of methods to overcome them.


    You can add different levels of complexity as well. Lets say to start with there are 3 types of obstacles. Find your way around (maze), Find your way through (tool), remove obstacle (pushing it, finding a button, lever etc.). In the newb area there could be 3 dungeons, each for entry demonstrates one type of obstacle (don't even need npc's telling you what to do, figure it out or another player can just tell you how).

    Immediately outside the newb area can be a dungeon that uses all 3 types. Further beyond that you encounter dungeons that require more then one player (say standing on a tile) to enter. Maybe some require that 3-5 people are doing different things at once. This makes for partying. And, maybe for those that want to solo it, they can go into solo dungeons where they get to rescue pets or find bags that they can fill with sand to set on tiles.


    As for combat:

    It is simply the fourth variable. The moving obstacle that you may have to kill in order to get the treasure. You don't get experience from it. You may get a drop in addition to that little chest in the back of the room.

    You can make it interesting to show a players level of experience. Simply have a right click profile. It can have almost a poke'dex in it, showing things they killed, and how much of each, total enemies killed, total players killed, total treasures found and which ones, and how many of those...all tabbed out. Could even have hours played - days old. Instead of an arbitrary level people could see what you have actually done (of course you could selectively tick things in your profile to private or friends or something).

    Maybe add consensual over world PvP. And, also non-consensual PvP to areas that have higher rewards. Players with better gear have a natural advantage sure. But, if some low level is simply pro at not getting hit but always landing them. Even a newb can take out an experienced player who has only put time in but never gotten any better. None of it has to be all that complex. Gear +1, experience +1, Simply being a badass +2. If you die, you loose the stuff you had on you to the player that won (gives you a reason to revisit some dungeons). Items you bank are safe on death.




  • DauntisDauntis Member UncommonPosts: 600
    I could see a Hyrule Online. I think that the lore thus far focuses on Link, really is irrelevant. There is afterall LOTRO and you don't play members of the fellowship. Surely there are more people having adventures around Hyrule than just Link.

    Help support an artist and gamer who has lost his tools to create and play: http://www.gofundme.com/u63nzcgk

  • HelleriHelleri Member UncommonPosts: 930
    You know I was thinking of more like...just an MMORPG that has a system of progression like the first zelda game. But, when you say "Hyrule Online"...I like the sound of it.


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,985

    The game you're looking for already exists.  It's called Spiral Knights, and it's actually quite good.


    Perhaps it's not an MMORPG to a purist, as combat only takes place in instanced areas with a party size cap of 4.  But I'd argue that Zelda 1 and 3 had a strong influence on the game's combat and gear mechanics.

    And, as an added bonus, it's professionally done and available today without any trademark infringment, rather than just having some amateurs with a Kickstarter and a lawyer to defend against the inevitable claims of copyright infringement.

  • HelleriHelleri Member UncommonPosts: 930

    Well...I played it. Aside from the performance issues, It's a pretty fun little game. Crashes constantly though. Seems to be a common complaint from a bit of google searching. I can see that zelda influence (from later games at least), as well as a little mega man in there. But, it does actually have an experience level gain system through the collection and application of "heats". Collect so much; level stuff up. Not so, linear. But, it is tiered play. And, you are right in that I would not call it an MMORPG. Has a highly segregated population, along side heavy instancing. An MMO sure (in-so-much-as WoT is an MMO); An MMORPG...No.


    Even with an experience gain level system, it's subtle enough about it that it does come pretty close to the basis of what I am talking about (though none so much in the details). Overall good example. And, notice something: With scaling the game down to its simplest possible elements, take note of how fun it is. The bright colors, cartoon-ish looking, get up and move music, simple intuitive interface and combat. It really is just a joy to play (when it's working).




  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,985

    Heat on gear basically pushes you to use gear for a while before you can craft it to a higher star level.  Outside of new players and people who spend ridiculous amounts of money to buy a bunch of new gear in a hurry, nearly all of your gear will be max heat (it caps at level 10) nearly all of the time.  Heat is distributed among any equipped items that aren't max heat yet, so eventually, basically all of your gear is max heat, you buy something new, and all of your heat goes toward that new item--which gets it to max heat pretty fast.

    The real way that gear improves is the star ratings.  You buy two star gear cheaply, or perhaps three star gear less cheaply, then have to craft it to a higher star rating repeatedly to get to five star gear.  Crafting requires crystal energy, which is bought for real-life money, which is the game's business model.  But once a piece of gear is five star, you can keep it there forever.  Gear really needs to be at least 4 star to be viable in tier 3 (depths 19 and below) and at least 2 star to be viable in tier 2 (depths 9 and below).  Higher star equipment gets "leveled down" when in lower tiers, so while in tier 3, a five star weapon might do 50 times as much damage as a one star weapon, in tier 1, it might only be twice as much damage.

    But using gear that fits what you need to do is a huge deal, too, as is using it appropriately.  The right four star item for the job will work much better than the wrong five star item, even if the latter has full heat.  The effect of player skill easily overwhelms gear differences, too, unless your gear is too low level for your tier.  A good player can sometimes clear entire levels without taking damage.  Tier 1 is pretty forgiving, but by tier 3, you may well die in about 3 hits.  Or one hit in some corner cases, though that's pretty rare if you're in 4+ star gear.

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