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Editorial Role Playing (Games)

The Ultimate MMORPG 76 has up an editorial looking at one man's vision of the perfect Massively Multiplayer Game. From the article: "I have read about the new games on the horizon, and they seem to all have one thing in common: They focus on a few key features, and leave out brilliant concepts that have already made it in to modern games. That means that in order for the players to get all the features they enjoy in a game, they would have to play more than one MMORPG, if not many MMORPGs. I do not know about you, but I struggle with playing one at a time."
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The Ultimate MMORPG

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  • by hobotron ( 891379 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @07:51PM (#13119054)

    Why dont you concentrate on things that make all mmorpgs suck?

    SomethingAwful [] has a hilarious yet very insightful look at your typical mmorpg.
  • No sh*t Einstein (Score:2, Insightful)

    He makes some good points but nothing groundbreaking. Common sense would dictate that if u took all the best traits from many similar games and combined them (correctly) it would make a great game.

    Also something tells me if it was that simple to make the perfect MMORPG someone would have done it.

    Some things such as his comments about classes i just plain disagree with. If people were allowed to train in any skill they wanted then everyone would be running around endgame as masters in all fields. Although
    • They should make a "Time Traveling" MMORPG. That way you combine the

      best of the past... knights and medieval garbage
      best of present... WWII, Bush wars
      best of the future... military cyborgs.

    • Some things such as his comments about classes i just plain disagree with.

      While in complete agreement with the parent post, it just goes to show that one person's idea of perfect isn't necessarily someone elses.
    • Asheron's Call, PlanetSide, and to a lesser degree City of Heroes (broad classes, but lots of choices available within each - tho originally in beta it didn't have classes but people gimped themselves so they added classes so people "couldn't")

      Asheron's Call, for any fault you may have with it, has a very well put together character creation system. Nowdays they've even fixed most (not all) balance problems and you can excel in the game as a pure-melee (only item magic), pure mage (item, critter, life, and
    • > If people were allowed to train in any skill they wanted then everyone would be running around endgame as masters in all fields.

      That's a fallacy, as UO proved.

      Secondarily, if someone wanted in invest ALL that time, why should they prevented from doing so?

      Classes are ass backwards -- your class defines what you can and can't do.
      The player's skill *should* define what he can and can't do.

      That said, class based games, can be quite fun, as they provide a focus for char development. I enjoy DnD, D2, Wo
      • Well im just going from what i know. The only 2 MMORPG's I have ever played are EQ and WOW. Although i would love to be able to let my druid wear mail and swing a sword it would suck a lot of fun out of the game if every player 50+ could run around and do everything.

        What fun would it be playing a priest if the warrior in your group could just instant heal himself whenever he gets low. What if a mage could go stealth and stab you in the back.

        The fun of WoW is that every class has their own skills and talen
  • by Achoi77 ( 669484 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @08:15PM (#13119229)
    Ok, so according to TFA, here are the main ingredients:

    Character Customization
    Player Housing

    You know, when I was keeping up with info on the *new upcoming gaming genre* of UO (back in 96), I had all kinds of visions of what an MMORPG was supposed to mean. I wanted to see an actual thriving world with actual thriving NPC's (with some semblance of an AI)running it. I expected to see AI driven dragons roaming around the Far East Plains, and I expected to see AI critters stay far far away from the Far East Plains as the dragons will summarily eat anything that crosses it's path. I wanted to see in-game AI driven politics between in-game AI driven factions (that we can participate in and possibly manipulate).

    I wanted to see an actual world. A living breathing city filled with NPC's with a some kind of reason for it's existence, whether it's making food or forging armor or growing crops. A city where NPC watchmen come out at night at 6pm and start lighting the street lamps. A city where a sudden drop in player subscriptions will NOT affect the economy and outlook of a city. A place where players can truly build their own citys, with NPCs slowly populating it.

    Sadly, I got none of that.

    Instead, we have games where the R in RPG does not stand for 'ROLE,' but instead stands for ROLL (you know, like as in rolling the dice? I crack myself up). MMORPGS have turned into nothing but a numbers game, with higher end content requiring nothing more than the cooperation and coordination of multiple players juggling the right numbers at the right time simultaneously.

    I have yet to see an MMORPG I've truly thought of as a role playing game. :-(

    • Very well said. For me, UO is still the pinnacle of MMORPGs. Nearly everything after has been "Everquest with more shiny things". I want a game that's fun, not merely addictive.
    • I hear you. Not one game to date (that I know of) even bothers asking the simple question "why do we have rules in this game?" Why can't I sneak up and assassinate the king? Why can't I form a revolution to topple him from power? Why can't I change the landscape by damming this river? Simple stuff like this. All it would take is a creative and fair-minded writing/programming staff that can react to player actions.
  • It's a small thing, but the thing that most impressed me recently in MMORPG design was City of Heros' boss/lieutenant/minion breakdown of the mobs in a group, along with populating each group with, rather than the 1, 2, or 3 or so mobs common to the EQ paradigm, 6 or 10 or 15. Minions were little trashy things, no match at all for the PCs and only dangerous in large groups (which would occasionally be provided), while bosses were nearly a PC's equal or more. It was a very nice change from the pacing of ma
    • I think the whole "mob" concept needs to be drastically reworked. The idea that I can be 51 yards away from something and it can't see me, but if I move one yard closer he and all his buddies charge at me is LUDICROUS.

      How about a real AI system? How about mobs with actual line of sight and knowledge of their surroundings and tactics?

      I think challenging and intelligent AI would go a long way to alleviating "the grind".
      • Feel free to present a panel on practical AI programming techniques to achieve this result at the next GDC.
        • Far be it for a consumer or end-user to request a feature.

          Semi-Intelligent AI has been done for years in first-person shooters and real-time strategy with steady improvements through the years... why is it so hard to assume any of that would trickle down in to larger networked games like MMORPGS?

          MMORPGS have been using the same basic AI since the 1990's.

          You explain to me why it's not possible first, then I'll get to work on my GDC panel, mmkay?
          • Because:

            a) FPS AI is often not much more advanced than what you're describing.

            b) The resource contraints of an MMO are *vastly* higher than an FPS - Try getting UT2k4 to play with 7000 bots. I've read reports that pathfinding alone eats something like 30% of the CPU in an MMO server.

      • The point for that is that if all mobs behaved like one large, coordinated army they'd simply annihilate the PC population.

        I already hate it that when you attack one of certain mob classes you have to deal with an entire group of them, having the entire group hunt players and spot them on the entire map (e.g. you run around a corner suddently ten groups of five wolves each run at you, tearing you to pieces before you've taken down one of them) is nasty. The mobs outnumber the players and if the players wan
  • by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @08:57PM (#13119569)
    I personally completely disagree with the article. The articles argument is basically that in order to build the ultimate MMORPG, you just need to combine all the best points of the current MMORPGs. This is complete and utter crap.

    MMORPGs are currently suffering from unoriginality. No, I am not talking about the setting. I am talking about core game play. MMORPGs boil down to one thing. If you don't think watching your levels go up and collecting better equipment is awesome, you are going to hate any MMORPG, even a combination of them all, in a few months, if not weeks. What MMORPGs need are some fresh ideas. The sad truth is that to this day UO has a monopoly on originality. How can a game nearly a decade old have more originality then all the current crop of MMORPGs combined?

    What MMORPGs need are some real changes. I suggest the following.

    Kill the exponential power curve: What kills 99% of most MMORPG content? The power curve. The fact that a level 50 could go to sleep and a level 5 couldn't even land a hit destroys the ability to produce content, slaughters the enjoyment of casual players, renders PvP impossible for anyone not at the cap, and results in a content being completely inaccessible to most players. Further, the exponential power curve really is just a substitute for content. You drive players forward to mindlessly kill NPCs because they think they are working their way up the curve. Kill the curve and find another way to entertain your players.

    Dynamic Worlds:
    No, I do NOT mean monthly or even weekly events. I don't mean GM run stories. I mean true living and breathing worlds. Start an undead army in the artic of your world and have it march south into inhabited regions. Have it physically march. Have it set up camp at dawn, and march at night. If it comes to a city, have it lay siege. If it runs across a corpse, have it raise the corpse into another soldier. The army might not be completely running on auto polite. A GM might lay out way points for it follow each week. From that point on though, the army moves on its own. Make it a long term event. So, at any point, you could ride out from your city, kill some forward scouts, then run off. If someone tries to 'camp' the army, make it behave realistically and swarm. If people in small groups are only willing to do hit and runs, then you did something right.

    Build the world to be as dynamic as possible. This should be priority number one. Build it so that GMs can jump in and tweak things, but the real goal is build a world that naturally constantly changes. This in it of itself should do a lot of content building for you.

    Let Us Lose:
    You know the worst thing about MMORPGs? The absolute inability to lose. If you play for a month in any MMORPG, at the end of the month, you will be better and more powerful then you were the month before. This translates into two things. First, you degrade any sense of accomplishment. Second, you condition the player to go absolutely nuts whenever he does lose. Imagine the army of undead scenario again. What if the army kept marching and took over city after city? What if it boiled down to just a few cities left and they were forced to pool their resources to make a last ditch stand? What if they could actually lose and have the entire world taken over and the force the game to reset? That would surely suck, but I bet most people would kill themselves to be apart of the final battle to save the world, and I bet they would feel pretty damn good if they actually won. Any real sense of accomplishment is lost in MMORPGs due to the inability to actually lose. Let people lose.

    Politics, Wars, Survival, Wealth - Dear God, Anything But Grinding:
    Build a game with TRUE content. Arenas for PvP, politics for socialites, trade empires for merchants, and some mundane hunting to fill in the niches. If people run off to go kill stuff to get exp and l00t, something is deeply wrong with your game. Bui
    • *High five*

      These are good. I think the point about losing is a significant thing that people don't actually think about enough.

      I want the world to actually be affected by the events of the game...hence the persistant universe, not just a persistent character.

      If I put Villain X behind bars, he should be there for at least a week. Not something where in another 5 minutes he's back at full strength, base, minions, etc, included.

      Until an MMORPG can wrap their heads around that concept, count me out for a
    • This translates into two things. First, you degrade any sense of accomplishment.


      Instead, we have games where the R in RPG does not stand for 'ROLE,' but instead stands for ROLL (you know, like as in rolling the dice? I crack myself up). MMORPGS have turned into nothing but a numbers game, with higher end content requiring nothing more than the cooperation and coordination of multiple players juggling the right numbers at the right time simultaneously.

      These statements embody the problems with the curre

    • Dude, I read this, and I wanted to scream "HALLELUJAH!"

      Seriously, this is what it should be. Pretty much everything you said revolved around making a world, and then handing it over. Persistance is killing MMOs right now. As you rightly pointed out, when you achieve nothing but a number, you really just achieve nothing.

      I love the idea of giving the player's something to lose, and something to risk. Use the politics system, put it to a vote! "Do we march on [enemy city]? Our losses could be grave, and our
    • Consider this from the perspective of someone who is NOT in the game 20 hours a day. If you've got six hours to play per week, and you diligently grind your way to level 15, then find your character doesn't exist one day because a force you hadn't even heard about and couldn't have stopped any more than you could spit out a hurricane has crashed the server, are you more likely to feel like a hero in a fantasy epic or like "#$&"#$"#&#$&' Why the #"$%#$'"#$"#%&#"$ am I playing this game?" Mu
      • Really, they need to set specific times for events/ village raids/ plundering to ensure it working. Otherwise, it turns in to people waiting for everyone else to log so they can destroy. Just make sure to set some of these specific times at the same time (so a single clan cannot destroy all villages) and make sure that time for other events (such as the march of whatnot) doesn't interfere with other events.
      • I think a good possible solution to this may be to have a seperate server/realm/shard/whatever that you can copy your character to. Blizzard/OSI/whoever sets up a server that is completely handed to the players. With their copied players, they try to take over towns and cities, but with the threat of permadeath and resource loss looming. This way, they still have their character on their normal server, but can have fun in a totally consumable world.
      • "Consider this from the perspective of someone who is NOT in the game 20 hours a day. If you've got six hours to play per week, and you diligently grind your way to level 15, then find your character doesn't exist one day..."

        First, kill grinding and that one sense of 'loss' can be elminated.

        As to the crux of your point, there are ways around it. Not wanting to make characters disappear doesn't have to be a show stopper. If the evil undead army sacks your town while you are out, have everyone who had qui
    • Imo, this stuff will be done in muds, if they haven't been already. I too like the idea of killing the curve which locks content and empowers veterns versus newbs. However, I think it might be hard to do, since people expect it, and it kills a nice definable goal (which isn't to say that it can't be replaced). Bartle has discussed the idea of changing features, and he said it's a bit doomed. So financially, it might not be very good, and mmorpgs will avoid it.

      But the muds don't have to.

      I like the idea of
    • by E-prospero ( 30242 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:41PM (#13120321) Homepage
      Kill the exponential power curve: What kills 99% of most MMORPG content? The power curve.

      Can't agree more with this one. Interestingly enough, it's also true of pen & paper RPG's.

      One of the reasons I always preferred games like Shadowrun over D&D (ignoring genre differences) was the combat/leveling system. Shadowrun wasn't unique - other games had similar systems.

      In D&D, your hit points just keep increasing as you level up. A level 1 warrior didn't stand a chance against a level 20 warrior, no matter how many lucky rolls you got. When you only have 10 hit points and a 1d6 short sword, a gentle breeze can kill you; what chance do you have against an opponent with 200 hit points, 3 attacks per round, with a weapon that does 1d12+5?

      Shadowrun acknowledges that this is not how the world is. Every human is pretty much the same - hit them on the leg with a sword, and the leg will be damaged. Hit it hard enough, and it will fall off. What makes the difference is experience - an experienced warrior will know how to use a sword to make sure that the sword hits well (or conversely, to deflect the blow). Therefore, everyone had a set, small number of hit points. Lose 1, and you are lightly wounded. Lose 3, and you have a bad injury that is probably affecting your ability to fight. Lose 5 and you're in a come. 7 and you're dead. (might be off with the exact numbers here; it's been a while). And two minor wounds don't equal a major wound - none of this 'pecked to death by ducks' stuff that D&D promotes.

      Development of experience became extremely important. Experience (plus a little luck) was what determined whether your attack defeated their defence. Experience could become very specific - you could develop experience in the use of a class of weapon, or skill in a specific type of weapon, or in the use of a particular instance of weapon; the more specific your experience, the better the bonuses, but the harder it is to get the experience, and the greater the penalties at using a different weapon. You could get a bonus if you aimed your weapon, at the cost of the time it took to aim.

      As a result, a level 1 player could reasonably attack a level 20 player with expectation of victory if they were feeling lucky, or if they were clever about their attack (eg sneaking, sniping, etc). One hit can be fatal, if applied correctly and not defended.

      This approach to hit points/power also helps to encourage non-combat alternatives to gaming. When you have a hundred hit points, going into battle becomes 'just one of those things'. If you lose a few hit points, who cares. If things start looking bad, then you run away. And since you have so many hit points, you have plenty of time to make that decision. However, if a single lucky/experienced shot can kill you, you start looking at alternatives to battle, unless you are certain you can win, or you are certain you are much better than your opponent.

      The simple 'level up, get hit points, become invincible' rules of D&D seem to be adhered to by all the MMORPGs that I have seen. I can't wait until game developers learn from the lessons that old pen & paper guys learned years ago.

      Russ %-)
      • by Reapy ( 688651 ) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:45AM (#13124842)
        Well said, and I'd like to expand on this a bit.

        The most ideal mmo that would allow a developer complete freedom to do as they wish within the world, would involve no levels and no "skills" or "experience" or what ever you want to call it.

        You have to develop these things within the player, and not the avatar.

        If you want to use a sword, the player has to learn how to use a sword. In an unlimited bandwith situation, using a sword would involve learning attack sequences and defense techniques and moves to agument the attack, perhaps similar to jedi outcast or any kind of fighting game.

        But in the real world, this can involve the sword having different styles and techniques, strengths and weaknesses. Combat could be a branching path of a puzzle game, where each player would choose an attack, see it animated, and choose their next move. In this way you could almost script fights, but being victorious would invovle playing to your weapons strengths against the opponents, and understanding the combat system overall.

        Importantly though, when a player picks up this weapon, he should have access to it's full abilities.

        Now the developer can create tons of new weapons with different advantages and disadvantages to use. It is important here if access to weapons are limited, that none of the difficult to obtain weapons are significantly more powerful then the starter weapons.

        So now there is a system in place where, given access to most weapons, a PLAYER who knows the combat system backwards and fowards, can get into the game and start defeating players and monsters within a few minutes.

        What this means is that a player can die and start again with no equipment, or create a new character, and still be a strong player.

        A player should never fear losing a character, or 300 hours of "work" put into their character. If they carry that skill in their head, it can never be taken from them.

        If you remove level and skill restrictions, all content is accessable to every character as soon as they enter the game.

        Moving on to roleplay, I know people have this ideal of rpgs where everyone is in character, pretending they are within a game world. When getting online, this is not the truth, and is a very rare case when people want to behave this way.

        The reality of the situation is that players want to persue goals and achieve in a game. In a mmo, this usually involves acheiving goals that makes the person stand out from other players.

        So when you put something like a rank in a game, or a hard to achieve goal, everyone is going to persue it.

        The only way to acheive roleplaying, therefore, is to create a reward system based on it. A way to do this would be a rank system based on how well you behave as a typical member of your race.

        Example: Dwarves drink a lot, swear a lot, hate gnomes, and perfer using axes.

        Let the players know these rules and how they are judged. Let them know a player can gain one point ever hour, and one point only.

        So if a dwarf wants to be more dwarf, he'll curse a bit, stop by the inn for some ale, grab an axe, and start chopping a gnome pc's running around.

        The reward for being more dwarf should offer a small small combat advantange, and larger pestigue values. In this way the people looking to become a stronger fighters persue being more dwarf, and at the same time get a small prestigue bonus from it. We still want the beginner to be able to achieve victory given they know the combat system though, so again careful balance must be made.

        So for each race there would be wildly different behaviors that would reward the players, which would make the game world very interesting. It would lead to a gnomb pc running by a tavern, a crowd of dwarves there getting their drinking on, would spot it, yell out Maggotpie GNOME, and chase it down and attempt to kill it. They were drinking, used "foul language", and killed a gnome. They are all set for the hour.

        Using these rule
    • Where do I sign up? Both to code and to play. No, seriously. You have my money and time.
    • Let me explain why online RPGs aren't so easy to develop. In essence, players don't know what they really want. I know this is going to piss off a lot of people, but let me explain.

      Let Us Lose

      See, you say you want to be able to lose. The problem is most players don't want to lose. In my own game, Meridian 59 [], you can lose. If you die you drop your inventory and lose a percent in a variety of your skills. This means that if you die repeatedly, you can actually go backwards in character progression. Luckily, the game isn't quite as equipment-focused as other games are, so losing your inventory isn't as bad as it might be in other games. Plus, the monsters are dumb and it's fairly easy to get out of a bad situation if you are smart about playing, so multiple deaths isn't all that common.

      Yet, when people look at this they cringe. They don't want to be "punished" by the game. Many will complain that they don't want to "lose" the "work" they put into their character. They want to gain power then enforce that power on other people without consequence. I have to admit, this is a compelling argument. It sucks to have a limited amount of time to play these types of games and it kinda sucks to have to spend a lot of your limited time rebuilding from your previous losses. It doesn't feel "fun" to rebuild, even though it is part of the a game that is fun because there's the risk of meaningful loss.

      And this is just one issue like this. There are multiple other issues like this that keep developers from experimenting too much. Frankly, people are used to the way the games currently are, and until people are willing to pay for other types of games we'll see more and more clones made.

      And, this is what it really boils down to: what will the market support? We already have people trying cool and innovative games, but they fall to the wayside. Meridian 59 has a very well-balanced and unique character development system in an original world. But, I suspect that most people clamoring for "innovation" won't be able to look past the outdated graphics long enough to see the cool PvP system at the core. It's all well and good to hope that one of the high-budget games will do something innovative, but let me put it this way: If I were given a budget of $30 million and told to make an online game, I would do the safest game possible. I would take almost no real risks, because it's my job and reputation on the line if the game doesn't make back its investment.

      And, frankly, this is the smart thing to do. World of Warcraft followed the usual Blizzard technique of synthesizing the good parts of other games, polishing the gameplay and presentation to an amazing degree (ignoring issues like stability for now), and releasing a fun but hardly original game. World of Warcraft now boasts 3.5 million players worldwide (1.5 million of those Chinese), and is the most successful western online RPG ever. They followed the safe road and were rewarded for it. Unlike half a dozen other games I could mention that offered more innovation and have essentially faded into oblivion.

      Once again, the developers do what the market tells them to do. They will provide the type of games that people will pay for and that will make a profit. Until the people who want innovation show themselves to be a large enough force with enough money to make a difference, we'll continue to see the types of games we have previously.

      Listen, personally I agree with you, but people haven't been falling over themselves to financially reward my company for running a game that tries to buck the trend. And, if you're not supporting my current title with a bit of innovation, I'm not going to have the resources to do any other titles with more innovation. Hell, I'd love to do a game full of politics and set in something but a medieval fantasy setting, but I don't have the resources to do that anytime soon. And if you're waiting for one of those $30 million budget games to do something innovative so you can have your pretty graphics, too, you're going to be waiting a long, LONG time.

      My thoughts,

      • When I was at DiGRA [] I had the opportunity to be somewhat of a fly-on-the-wall with many game developers, academics, fanboi, and the like, listening intently to their opinions about innovation, story, humour, gameplay, balance and all of the multitudinous things that revolve around making good games.

        The concept of Innovation was a pervasive shadow lurking beneath all of the interesting discourse. "Oh innovation, where hast thou gone?" "Oh woe and woe, the big media have spit us out!" And its no less true

      • I am a WoW player. I'd never played a MMORPG before, nor had I shown much interest in them. But I liked Blizzard's previous games (Diablo being the most relevant one) and thought I'd try WoW. Now that I have, I like it but I recognise that it's not perfect. Now that I've tried a MMORPG I'm more interested in the alternatives and keep a watchful eye on what people say about other games for when I stop playing WoW, so that I might transition across.

        I think what could end up happening is that WoW provide

    • You are pretty close, but you are missing a few key features/ideas. Though I do sincerely appreciate your position. The idea of the dynamic world is close, but not quite ultimate/ideal. (I won't explain why or how) From my personal experience, the problem with MMORPGs that prevent Role Playing is that no one truly has a role in the outcome of the environment/world. This should be the basis of everything, no matter your "level". If the user cannot affect his surroundings, he/she is not reaching the tru
    • There needs to be some way on Slashdot to moderate the occasional, ultra-exceptional post up to about +10, give the post it's own front-page article, something to distinguish it from the hundreds of "ordinary" +5, Insightfuls that get rated every day.

      I can't give you any more points, so I'll just reply with this pointlessly wordy "me too" - this is such a post.
    • Would also be a hell of an RTS or Civ-type game depending on what elements were PC controlled and what was farmed out to a good tech tree. Heck, it would make a good scaled-up / persistent world Tribes-type game.
    • i'm building a proof-of-concept game (FOUND Desert Island) [] for casual gamers.

      the whole idea is to do away with grinding, in fact grinding will hurt the gameplay, and it does seem to address few of your points, like:

      1. the island regrows/heals itself based on player's involvement

      2. everyone dies, sooner or later

      3. besides the normal hunting/gathering, players can reproduce offsprings
    • Nice theoretical presentation, and compelling reading -- probably more compelling than any implementation of such a game will be.

      First off, innovation is well and good, but innovating is not the same as entertaining. So the statement "the market doesn't support innovation" isn't quite accurate. The fact is that innovations that are also entertaining are few compared to the innovations that just don't work game-wise.

      Second, current MMORPGs base their success on two principles: A) every player gets the fe
    • "The army might not be completely running on auto polite."

      That'd be good, otherwise it wouldn't be particularly exciting.

      "Pardon me, if I may trouble you for just a moment... we're an undead army on a quest to destroy all living creatures. Would you mind if we killed you and stole your soul to fight alongside us? I don't want to be a bother..."
    • I think you are looking for something like Shadowbane [], but I don't think you really want what you think you are looking for.

      What you describe is a system where you personally have the ability the change the face of the world, but the implication of this is that all players have the ability to change the world - including people with way more time on their hands than you, and people with far more miscievous intent than you. I imagine such a game would devlove into a wasteland ruled over by roving gangs, wh
    • They should have posted this reply instead of the mindless drivel that was in the article - he posted complaints and a lot of SWG love, but nothing new and no alternatives. Your post is pretty well written. From my perspective, what I'd like to see done: 1. I'd like to see an MMORPG framework created that would allow people to create servers themselves and would be able to set rules, download and install mods, maps, etc and charge what they want for people to connect. This way a lot of rules, etc can be tr
      • Your idea gave me an idea. Imagine this: Similar to what you said, offer an MMORPG where players could create their own content and rules. Hell, this is what NWN is. I am not sure if you were implying this or not, but the next step is to house the actual servers at the MMORPG makers location.

        So, basically, the "product" the MMORPG maker is making is a tool to build MMORPGs, and scalable servers. So, Joe six pack could build his own rule set and invite his friends. There are never more then 30 people
  • by rlbond86 ( 874974 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @09:20PM (#13119715)
    Progress Quest []
  • The answer is to let characters develop free from classes and restrictions. Let people call themselves whatever they want, and let them earn the skills to back up their chosen title. Do you want to be a swordsman? You had better start swinging your long sword around and gaining skill with it.

    I have played games with this system and it's boring. In the real world, it ends up being not much different than a dual class system.

    You end up getting stuck with your choices. If you're level 73 and you want to
  • by grumpygrodyguy ( 603716 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @09:50PM (#13119960)
    The hardest problem in online gaming today is to create a system where players can be continuously rewarded for their time but maintain game balance so that certain player types don't become overpowered. Unfortunately these two forces are counteracting.

    WoW did a great job of creating balance, but a lousy job of fostering player growth(60+ game sucks). Everquest did a decent job of finding a happy median between the two, but the high level game became very very slow.

    Expert gamers are all about finding exploits to increase their power, a good MMOG must reward savvy players, but at the same time protect other players and the economy from being exploited...usually it's the stuff designers never considered or intended that end up causing the most problems. All in all it's a very difficult problem to address.

    That means that in order for the players to get all the features they enjoy in a game, they would have to play more than one MMORPG, if not many MMORPGs.

    Ultimately, more features == more exploits.
  • -Character Customization, Crafting, Player Cities/Housing, and Class/Skill System from Star Wars Galaxies

    -Combat system from Neocron

    -Quest system from World of Warcraft

    Eh... it would probably be a good game. I'd personally like to see all that with a seamless world, a dynamic monthly story arc and unique flora and fauna like Asheron's Call (no elves or orcs, please), decent NPC AI, a realistic economy (limited supply, anyone?).

    Oh yeah and gameplay good enough to justify paying another monthly bill.

  • The fact that people have different opinions and an MMORPG is composed of people, means that there is no such thing as a perfect MMORPG.
  • I present.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dr. GeneMachine ( 720233 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @11:53PM (#13120725)
    EVE online []
  • It's interesting that virtually all the things he picked for the ultimate RPG's come from the bottom of the barrel.

    He had love for: SWG, Neocron, Shadowbane.

    He had no love for: WoW, EQ 1/2, CoH.

    Strange that the subscription numbers for the games he has no love for are far superior to those that he does like.

    Ok, so a bad game can have good elements, but come on, doesn't WoW do at least one thing right (2 mill. subscribers would tend to say yes)?

    honestly I think all of his ideas are, at best, perks. And
    • I've played them all, with the exception of Shadowbane, and I think he is absolutely spot on, and I think most of my friends (the ones that have played at least WoW, SWG and EQ at least) would agree.

      SWG has the best crafting system, massive customisation and elements like the player housing and cities are the best bar none. However, the combat is poor and the classes are unbalanced, the skill tree system is so-so and a quest system is basically non existent (and the 3D engine is dubious).

      He did compliment
  • It's one thing to write an article about how, if you put the best features of every game into one game, and made them all perfect, you'd have the best MMOG ever.

    It's something else completely to reasonably expect any development team to be able to create such a design. It takes several years to make an MMOG that does just ONE of those features very well, let alone every feature under the sun.

    None of this to mention that all the author does is select which games currently do the best at gameplay element
  • "That means that in order for the players to get all the features they enjoy in a game, they would have to play more than one MMORPG, if not many MMORPGs. I do not know about you, but I struggle with playing one at a time."

    Struggle no more, my friend. I have a game with all the features: economics, politics, sex, violence, war, crime, education, entertainment, sports, art, great music, every job imaginable, every object, thousands of players in every part of the map... You name it! It's called a life. You
  • It realy is a simple solution yet no one seems to get it. Separate PvE and PvP into two non-linked parts of the game, or loosely linked. Offer caps on PvP so that everyone can play and not just hardcore players so that skill is the main factor in a win, unlimit PvE so people can wander/hunt/farm/etc. till their hearts content with no direct impact on other players, do not try to "build" a world and cheesy quests... instead let the players manipulate the world. Instead of some gay quest, let me create a ques
  • I want to end the constant upping of levels/abilitys (endgame inflation to end?).

    I have two ideas that seem oxymoronic at first but I think in the end fit together nicely. One players need to make a mark in the game, they need to contribute to the landscape (phsycially and historically to the game). Two players need to die/be lost the server should be "reset" so that first adapters, and power players aren't always at the top sucking up time from developers (power inflation), don't disseminate all the ube
  • There are two related forms of entertainment that often overlap: puzzles and games. People who like puzzles expect to put in time, potentially a long time, but eventually they want to solve the puzzle.

    People who play games, otoh, are going to go in knowing that you win some, and you lose some.

    MMORPGs right now try to cater to both, with the end result that puzzle solvers get frustrated if they "lose" and gamers get frustrated trying to "solve" the puzzle.

    I hope the next big game to come out decreases th
  • plz don't mod down. I was banned for a month because my posts were modded down, and now I'm testing to see if I can post again. I picked an older article to do my test in, instead of a bran new article.

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan