History SoYouWantTo / WriteAMinorMMORPG

6th Oct '16 7:39:45 PM nombretomado
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There are essentially two camps for gear -- "Everquest Style" and "Asheron's Call Style", with EverQuest's style being vastly more popular. In EverQuest style itemization, monsters and bosses have very set item drops. Sir Squishybits the Paladin of Cheese is always going to drop a random item from a set table -- his Cheese Hat, his Sword, his Shield, etc. This has a few benefits and drawbacks: You can itemize every single item and min/max the risk vs reward -- but you have to itemize every single item and min/max the risk vs reward. Players will know exactly what areas and bosses to fight in order to get items they can use, but will also know that once they have gotten all the items they need off the fan created loot lists, they won't have anything left to do there.

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There are essentially two camps for gear -- "Everquest Style" and "Asheron's Call Style", with EverQuest's VideoGame/EverQuest's style being vastly more popular. In EverQuest [=EverQuest=] style itemization, monsters and bosses have very set item drops. Sir Squishybits the Paladin of Cheese is always going to drop a random item from a set table -- his Cheese Hat, his Sword, his Shield, etc. This has a few benefits and drawbacks: You can itemize every single item and min/max the risk vs reward -- but you have to itemize every single item and min/max the risk vs reward. Players will know exactly what areas and bosses to fight in order to get items they can use, but will also know that once they have gotten all the items they need off the fan created loot lists, they won't have anything left to do there.
29th Jul '16 9:00:24 AM HighCrate
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* The MMORPG genre is getting big enough that it has its own in jokes, tropes, lingo, etc. A parody or comedy MMORPG may also be a hit. It would not have to be exclusively MMORPG in jokes -- imagine a tongue-in-cheek romp through a fantasy world, like ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' and ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' did for fantasy novels. DangerouslyGenreSavvy [=NPCs=], [[PaintingTheMedium the UI breaking down from critical hits]] (and [=NPCs=] accidentally walking into your quest log), quests dripping with sarcasm, the possibilities are endless.

to:

* The MMORPG genre is getting big enough that it has its own in jokes, tropes, lingo, etc. A parody or comedy MMORPG may also be a hit. It would not have to be exclusively MMORPG in jokes -- imagine a tongue-in-cheek romp through a fantasy world, like ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' and ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' did for fantasy novels. DangerouslyGenreSavvy GenreSavvy [=NPCs=], [[PaintingTheMedium the UI breaking down from critical hits]] (and [=NPCs=] accidentally walking into your quest log), quests dripping with sarcasm, the possibilities are endless.
10th Dec '15 8:00:52 PM Dravencour
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Another issue that needs addressing is PayToWin syndrome. While it is nice to offer bonus stuff to players willing to spend some real-world cash on the game and help keep you in business, giving the paying players too much of an advantage, especially if PlayerVersusPlayer is a big draw, will drive people who aren't rich or willing to spend crazy amounts of money on the game away.

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Another issue that needs addressing is PayToWin syndrome. While If you're creating a Free to Play game, while it is nice to offer bonus stuff to players willing to spend some real-world cash on the game and help keep you in business, giving the paying players too much of an advantage, advantage over non-paying players, especially if PlayerVersusPlayer is a big draw, will drive people who aren't rich or willing to spend crazy amounts of money on the game away.
9th Dec '15 2:12:22 AM jormis29
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AsheronsCall style loot is infinitely more random. There are very few set drops, instead items are randomly assigned characteristics per a point system. For example, in Asheron's Call, a weapon that drops might be assigned a base type (Sword), subtype (Broad Sword), adjustments (+5 to hit, -5 to parry), element (Fire), enchantments (Heart Seeker 3, Bloodletter 4), activation requirements (Arcane Lore 250), material (Jet), gems (a Ruby and a Sapphire), and mana (1000 max, 5 per minute). Each of these characteristics are given a point value, a given encounter drops a certain amount of gear. This has a few interesting possibilities - you do not have to itemize the gear in your game, save for specific special items. Also, You can tune bosses, treasure chests, and encounters around a points system, allowing players to never run "out" of content in a given area -- there's always a chance that a boss will drop something you can use. However, it tends to devalue the individual items over time.

A third option is a hybrid, such as what WorldOfWarcraft does. Warcraft has very specific (Everquest style) drops from bosses, with specific drops that appear off certain groups of enemies. However, it also has pseudo-random items that drop off of random enemies, so called "junk greens". Unlike true randomization, these items have a base type based on level and a suffix that gives a very specific set of bonuses based on a point system. Even the set items are based on this point system, with a given item having a certain amount of abilities that adds up to a specific total in points. Warcraft does add a "rarity system" to the mix, higher rarity items of equal levels have a higher points total. This rarity style system would easily be back-portable to true AsheronsCall style random items as well.

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AsheronsCall ''VideoGame/AsheronsCall'' style loot is infinitely more random. There are very few set drops, instead items are randomly assigned characteristics per a point system. For example, in Asheron's Call, a weapon that drops might be assigned a base type (Sword), subtype (Broad Sword), adjustments (+5 to hit, -5 to parry), element (Fire), enchantments (Heart Seeker 3, Bloodletter 4), activation requirements (Arcane Lore 250), material (Jet), gems (a Ruby and a Sapphire), and mana (1000 max, 5 per minute). Each of these characteristics are given a point value, a given encounter drops a certain amount of gear. This has a few interesting possibilities - you do not have to itemize the gear in your game, save for specific special items. Also, You can tune bosses, treasure chests, and encounters around a points system, allowing players to never run "out" of content in a given area -- there's always a chance that a boss will drop something you can use. However, it tends to devalue the individual items over time.

A third option is a hybrid, such as what WorldOfWarcraft does. Warcraft has very specific (Everquest style) drops from bosses, with specific drops that appear off certain groups of enemies. However, it also has pseudo-random items that drop off of random enemies, so called "junk greens". Unlike true randomization, these items have a base type based on level and a suffix that gives a very specific set of bonuses based on a point system. Even the set items are based on this point system, with a given item having a certain amount of abilities that adds up to a specific total in points. Warcraft does add a "rarity system" to the mix, higher rarity items of equal levels have a higher points total. This rarity style system would easily be back-portable to true AsheronsCall ''VideoGame/AsheronsCall'' style random items as well.



* Although most of it's remaining fans would take objection to it being called Minor, ''AsheronsCall'' remains a small scale MMORPG that does quite a few things right. The game is concentrated on one small map in the greater world at large, the enemies are weird subversions of MMORPG tropes, and the game is designed to be very easy to update, so the developers do so once a month -- and have for the past decade.

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* Although most of it's remaining fans would take objection to it being called Minor, ''AsheronsCall'' ''VideoGame/AsheronsCall'' remains a small scale MMORPG that does quite a few things right. The game is concentrated on one small map in the greater world at large, the enemies are weird subversions of MMORPG tropes, and the game is designed to be very easy to update, so the developers do so once a month -- and have for the past decade.
21st Jun '15 10:06:12 PM nombretomado
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* KingdomOfLoathing has managed to make itself last six years thanks to not taking itself seriously at all, and despite the fact that most of the playerbase has actually beaten the game several times.

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* KingdomOfLoathing ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' has managed to make itself last six years thanks to not taking itself seriously at all, and despite the fact that most of the playerbase has actually beaten the game several times.
19th Sep '14 4:58:03 PM Elusivehawk
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* There are a decided lack of scifi [=MMORPGs=] -- and those which do exist are almost exclusively spaceship games. A science fiction MMORPG may be able to carve its own niche in today's overcrowded market. Similarly, a over the top kung-fu mmorpg (think the Xiao Xiao animations turned video game) would also be sufficiently different.

* The MMORPG genre is getting big enough that it has its own in jokes, tropes, lingo, etc. A parody or comedy MMORPG may also be a hit. It would not have to be exclusively MMORPG in jokes -- imagine a tongue-in-cheek romp through a fantasy world, like Literature/{{Discworld}} and Literature/{{Xanth}} did for fantasy novels. DangerouslyGenreSavvy [=NPCs=], [[PaintingTheMedium the UI breaking down from critical hits]] (and [=NPCs=] accidentally walking into your quest log), quests dripping with sarcasm, the possibilities are endless.

* Outside of ''{{Everquest}}'' and ''WarhammerOnline'', the earlier of which made it's faction system simply another form of grinding, very few MMO[=RPGs=] allow characters to join evil groups. Even WarCraft's Warlocks, Undead, and Blood Elves are mostly KnightTemplar and {{JerkAss}}es. A potential subversion would be to have the player characters be mostly or truly evil, fighting not for heroism but for outright personal gain.

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* There are a decided lack of scifi Sci-Fi [=MMORPGs=] -- and those which do exist are almost exclusively spaceship games. A science fiction MMORPG may be able to carve its own niche in today's overcrowded market. Similarly, a an over the top kung-fu mmorpg MMO (think the Xiao Xiao animations turned video game) would also be sufficiently different.

* The MMORPG genre is getting big enough that it has its own in jokes, tropes, lingo, etc. A parody or comedy MMORPG may also be a hit. It would not have to be exclusively MMORPG in jokes -- imagine a tongue-in-cheek romp through a fantasy world, like Literature/{{Discworld}} ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' and Literature/{{Xanth}} ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' did for fantasy novels. DangerouslyGenreSavvy [=NPCs=], [[PaintingTheMedium the UI breaking down from critical hits]] (and [=NPCs=] accidentally walking into your quest log), quests dripping with sarcasm, the possibilities are endless.

* Outside of ''{{Everquest}}'' ''VideoGame/{{Everquest}}'' and ''WarhammerOnline'', ''VideoGame/WarhammerOnline'', the earlier of which made it's faction system simply another form of grinding, very few MMO[=RPGs=] allow characters to join evil groups. Even WarCraft's {{VideoGame/Warcraft}}'s Warlocks, Undead, and Blood Elves are mostly KnightTemplar and {{JerkAss}}es. A potential subversion would be to have the player characters be mostly or truly evil, fighting not for heroism but for outright personal gain.



** Being able to craft distinct characters and then put a few of them into an adventuring unit is something that ought to be explored. How many times have you played ''WorldOfWarcraft'' as a soloist and wished you could easily switch between characters - to gather resources your one character couldn't gather, or to survive battles that would normally require teaming up with other players?
*** If you care to explore this design space, which only ''GranadoEspada'' has at this point, beware your first pitfall: micromanagement. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' had the excellent "Gambit" system, which was basically allowed you to program your characters, but you'll still need to map hotkeys well enough that The Player can grab any skill he wants at any time. Gambits weren't sufficient for ''FF12'''s FinalBoss, they will ''not'' be enough for [[WorldOfWarcraft Kael'thas]]. The UI and graphical presentation would need to be modified to display the information of multiple characters, as well as to let you ''find'' those characters in the scrum, since the camera can't follow all of them (or can it?). For that matter, think of the hardware limitations. What would happen to framerate and latency if all 40 raid members were represented by a 3-person party? What about a ''4''-person party? There are some technical questions you'll have to face, but in terms of ''gameplay'' this design space still begs to be mined.

* Another subversion to the standard formula is the ClassAndLevelSystem -- doing away with it, replacing it with a PointBuildSystem such as the one used in AsheronsCall, may be a refreshing change. You can have your cake and eat it too -- you could have premade "classes" that are just templates of skills, you could have rigid classes that allow characters to break the rules a bit -- for example, allowing a Paladin to buy the Sneak skill (Shadowbane did this with limited success), or you could have rigid class skills but allow the player to decide which ones to specialize in.
** Just beware Crippling Indecision. Some players jump up and down when given the chance to customize, while others prefer at least some broad outlines. Besides, there's the question of mis-clicking, or of putting points into something that turns out to be useless for you. A lack of "Undo" option makes sense from an in-universe standpoint—"Oh, it turns out I didn't need to be that strong, so I'll decrease my muscle mass and instead grow some extra neurons!" Yeah right.—but can be forbidding to the player. Finally, when doing a skill grid, remember that you need a ''lot'' of variety. Anyone who played ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Final Fantasies VII]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII VIII]]'' or ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII XII]]'' can probably tell you horror stories about how homogenous their characters ended up being.

* Fiddling with any of the "required MMORPG tropes" is also a given. How about wizards who just don't use mana -- instead, they are balanced around runes, or cooldowns? How about a MMORPG without hit points, instead using physical conditions (broken arm, bruises, etc) to represent the character's health? Or an MMORPG without combat healers, where the boss fights have to be designed around a group makeup other than the standard tank-heal-DPS trinity? Or a MMORPG completely devoid of fantastical elements -- no magic, no dragons, just bandits, swords and crossbows?

to:

** Being able to craft distinct characters and then put a few of them into an adventuring unit is something that ought to be explored. How many times have you played ''WorldOfWarcraft'' ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' as a soloist and wished you could easily switch between characters - to gather resources your one character couldn't gather, or to survive battles that would normally require teaming up with other players?
*** If you care to explore this design space, which only ''GranadoEspada'' ''VideoGame/GranadoEspada'' has at this point, beware your first pitfall: micromanagement. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' had the excellent "Gambit" system, which was basically allowed you to program your characters, but you'll still need to map hotkeys well enough that The Player can grab any skill he wants at any time. Gambits weren't sufficient for ''FF12'''s FinalBoss, they will ''not'' be enough for [[WorldOfWarcraft [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Kael'thas]]. The UI and graphical presentation would need to be modified to display the information of multiple characters, as well as to let you ''find'' those characters in the scrum, since the camera can't follow all of them (or can it?). For that matter, think of the hardware limitations. What would happen to framerate and latency if all 40 raid members were represented by a 3-person party? What about a ''4''-person party? There are some technical questions you'll have to face, but in terms of ''gameplay'' this design space still begs to be mined.

* Another subversion to the standard formula is the ClassAndLevelSystem -- doing away with it, replacing it with a PointBuildSystem such as the one used in AsheronsCall, ''VideoGame/AsheronsCall'', may be a refreshing change. You can have your cake and eat it too -- you could have premade "classes" that are just templates of skills, you could have rigid classes that allow characters to break the rules a bit -- for example, allowing a Paladin to buy the Sneak skill (Shadowbane did this with limited success), or you could have rigid class skills but allow the player to decide which ones to specialize in.
** Just beware Crippling Indecision. Some players jump up and down when given the chance to customize, while others prefer at least some broad outlines. Besides, there's the question of mis-clicking, misclicking, or of putting points into something that turns out to be useless for you. A lack of "Undo" option makes sense from an in-universe standpoint—"Oh, standpoint, ("Oh, it turns out I didn't need to be that strong, so I'll decrease my muscle mass and instead grow some extra neurons!" Yeah right.—but neurons!") However, it can be forbidding to the player. Finally, when doing a skill grid, remember that you need a ''lot'' of variety. Anyone who played ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Final Fantasies VII]]'', ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII VIII]]'' or ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII XII]]'' can probably tell you horror stories about how homogenous their characters ended up being.

* Fiddling with any of the "required MMORPG tropes" is also a given. How about wizards who just don't use mana -- instead, they are balanced around runes, or cooldowns? How about a an MMORPG without hit points, instead using physical conditions (broken arm, bruises, etc) to represent the character's health? Or an MMORPG without combat healers, where the boss fights have to be designed around a group makeup other than the standard tank-heal-DPS trinity? Or a an MMORPG completely devoid of fantastical elements -- no magic, no dragons, just bandits, swords and crossbows?



Western HighFantasy and Scifi are the meat and potatoes of the genre right now. With the rise of Korean MMORPG players (which outnumber American MMORPG players by something around a 10 to 1 ratio -- and rising), more and more Asian Fantasy MMO[=RPGs=] are arriving on the scene. LowFantasy games are still relatively uncommon, as are {{Scifi}} games.

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Western HighFantasy and Scifi are the meat and potatoes of the genre right now. With the rise of Korean MMORPG players (which outnumber American MMORPG players by something around a 10 to 1 ratio -- and rising), more and more Asian Fantasy MMO[=RPGs=] [=MMORPGs=] are arriving on the scene. LowFantasy games are still relatively uncommon, as are {{Scifi}} games.
28th Oct '13 6:00:47 AM TwoGunAngel
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Added DiffLines:

Another issue that needs addressing is PayToWin syndrome. While it is nice to offer bonus stuff to players willing to spend some real-world cash on the game and help keep you in business, giving the paying players too much of an advantage, especially if PlayerVersusPlayer is a big draw, will drive people who aren't rich or willing to spend crazy amounts of money on the game away.
29th Aug '13 10:14:09 PM JIKTV
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Also avoid MisplacedWildlife, lest you fall into YouFailBiologyForever.

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Also avoid MisplacedWildlife, lest you fall into YouFailBiologyForever.
ArtisticLicenseBiology.
15th Jun '13 7:16:38 PM TwoGunAngel
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Also avoid MisplacedWildlife, lest YouFailBiologyForever.

Deciding if you are going to have set zones or a more free-range map is also important. Having zones allows you to instance (create pocket versions of content) for groups, this avoids any messy drama with dozens of people competing against each other for limited resources, but also cuts players off from people outside their circle of friends. Having instances also means you can have dungeons be [[HyperspaceBase larger on the inside than the outside]], depending on how "realistic" you are aiming for, this may be a good or bad thing.

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Also avoid MisplacedWildlife, lest you fall into YouFailBiologyForever.

Deciding if you are going to have set zones or a more free-range map is also important. Having zones allows you to instance (create pocket versions of content) for groups, this avoids any messy drama with dozens of people competing against each other for limited resources, but also cuts players off from people outside their circle of friends. Having instances also means you can have dungeons be [[HyperspaceBase larger on the inside than the outside]], depending on how "realistic" you are aiming for, this may be a good or bad thing.
thing. It can also allow for more ActionRPG style gameplay rather than the traditional open-world MMO.
25th Feb '13 7:57:04 PM nombretomado
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*** If you care to explore this design space, which only ''GranadoEspada'' has at this point, beware your first pitfall: micromanagement. ''FinalFantasyXII'' had the excellent "Gambit" system, which was basically allowed you to program your characters, but you'll still need to map hotkeys well enough that The Player can grab any skill he wants at any time. Gambits weren't sufficient for ''FF12'''s FinalBoss, they will ''not'' be enough for [[WorldOfWarcraft Kael'thas]]. The UI and graphical presentation would need to be modified to display the information of multiple characters, as well as to let you ''find'' those characters in the scrum, since the camera can't follow all of them (or can it?). For that matter, think of the hardware limitations. What would happen to framerate and latency if all 40 raid members were represented by a 3-person party? What about a ''4''-person party? There are some technical questions you'll have to face, but in terms of ''gameplay'' this design space still begs to be mined.

to:

*** If you care to explore this design space, which only ''GranadoEspada'' has at this point, beware your first pitfall: micromanagement. ''FinalFantasyXII'' ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' had the excellent "Gambit" system, which was basically allowed you to program your characters, but you'll still need to map hotkeys well enough that The Player can grab any skill he wants at any time. Gambits weren't sufficient for ''FF12'''s FinalBoss, they will ''not'' be enough for [[WorldOfWarcraft Kael'thas]]. The UI and graphical presentation would need to be modified to display the information of multiple characters, as well as to let you ''find'' those characters in the scrum, since the camera can't follow all of them (or can it?). For that matter, think of the hardware limitations. What would happen to framerate and latency if all 40 raid members were represented by a 3-person party? What about a ''4''-person party? There are some technical questions you'll have to face, but in terms of ''gameplay'' this design space still begs to be mined.



** Just beware Crippling Indecision. Some players jump up and down when given the chance to customize, while others prefer at least some broad outlines. Besides, there's the question of mis-clicking, or of putting points into something that turns out to be useless for you. A lack of "Undo" option makes sense from an in-universe standpoint—"Oh, it turns out I didn't need to be that strong, so I'll decrease my muscle mass and instead grow some extra neurons!" Yeah right.—but can be forbidding to the player. Finally, when doing a skill grid, remember that you need a ''lot'' of variety. Anyone who played ''[[FinalFantasyVII Final Fantasies VII]]'', ''[[FinalFantasyVIII VIII]]'' or ''[[FinalFantasyXII XII]]'' can probably tell you horror stories about how homogenous their characters ended up being.

to:

** Just beware Crippling Indecision. Some players jump up and down when given the chance to customize, while others prefer at least some broad outlines. Besides, there's the question of mis-clicking, or of putting points into something that turns out to be useless for you. A lack of "Undo" option makes sense from an in-universe standpoint—"Oh, it turns out I didn't need to be that strong, so I'll decrease my muscle mass and instead grow some extra neurons!" Yeah right.—but can be forbidding to the player. Finally, when doing a skill grid, remember that you need a ''lot'' of variety. Anyone who played ''[[FinalFantasyVII ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Final Fantasies VII]]'', ''[[FinalFantasyVIII ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII VIII]]'' or ''[[FinalFantasyXII ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII XII]]'' can probably tell you horror stories about how homogenous their characters ended up being.
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