“It’s easier” is NOT an excuse

It just means your lazy.

I got to that article, from the article that linked it, which I got to from Syncaine’s post today. This guy in the video is hitting the high-points of what turns me off from modern MMOs, and all in a handy 5-minute clip.

“Story driven”

“Character based”

“Easier to balance”

“Solo”

“Your story”

“You’re the hero.”

I loved Skyrim. I’ve gone back and started to replay it with an archer character the last week or so when I’m not sucked into EVE or DoTA2. The industry really needs to realize that the drivers in a single-player heroic story don’t port over to the MMO genre. Period. The qualifiers for what defines the MMO genre is counter to the heroic journey in a single player experience.

What would make Elder Scrolls Online awesome:

  1. Take Skyrim, and cull a chunk of the NPCs.
  2. Allow players to build their own and destroy other player’s structures.
  3. Iterate this concept across a land-mass about 8-16 times larger than Skyrim for the entire world.
  4. Create limited resource “choke-points” required for player creation across the entire world.
  5. Throw in some territory control systems.
  6. Expand a bit on the skill system.
    1. More skill types
    2. More specialization
    3. Points expenditure would need to be re-examined.

Other than that, you’re basically in the clear. You wouldn’t need to add a lot of extra quests, or developer directed content. If you made that above, you would probably see a good surge of player initially, and if you did what you’re supposed to with my $15/month, you’d keep developing and adding new SYSTEMS to the game world. Not just new quests and skins.

After 6 months or so, you could start releasing ways to better harvest/refine resources. An eventual expansion could be sea-faring adventures (player created ships of course). Expanded territory control requiring actual scouts with stealth-like capabilities to keep an eye on roads into-and-out of your hamlet/region to prevent intruders from getting a foot-hold. Maybe even an NPC worker population that can be attracted to your land because you have better pay and living conditions than your neighbors.

Players in this game could decide if they wanted to be craftsman, and make the best goods possible. Perhaps setting up shop somewhere and making enough money from their trade to eventually build a seat of power for themselves. Or adventurous types could seek out deep dungeons filled with increasingly nasty enemies the deeper they get (typical dungeon crawl). Control of territory would mean regular access to these dungeons and the rewards therein. Tie in precious metals and goods deep inside as well, so that the creators of the world would share a dependency with the destroyers in the world.

Obviously PvP and item degradation would be an absolute must. In my vision, your gear would be lootable by others AND would break down to the point where it’s unusable eventually, and probably a chance for outright destruction. That spear the troll hurled at you hard enough to skewer your ticker behind your breastplate means that hole is probably never going to be patched properly.

Anyway, enough rambling. That video was bullshit and indicative of everything wrong in the industry. “It’s too hard an it’s been done, so why bother to change?”

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About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

3 Responses to “It’s easier” is NOT an excuse

  1. Drew says:

    The moment you put “loot player equipment” into the equation, you’ve dropped the player base likely by 90%. (Side note: I would play a PvP-MMO Skyrim, there are just a lot of people who won’t – see Darkfall/Mortal Online.) No developer in his right mind is going to pay the IP fees to use Elder Scrolls and make a niche game; they’re just not. Hence the reason we’re seeing the “safe” play here of making a game more like WoW but with 3-way faction (non-loot) PvP.

    I really do like the idea of item degredation, though. It’s implemented in Fallen Earth, although not nearly enough for the economy, IMO. GamersFirst has some work to do on that front.

    • Shadow says:

      I’m okay with loosing 90% of the assumed 5 million playerbase. That a strong 500k players. That’s only niche by the hyper inflated ideas of what the market contains. Hell, the ~300k of EVE is so profitable that CCP released 17 unpaid expansions, has a GIANT fanfest everywhere, hosts and transports a player poltical party to them at least once a year, and recently sent an object into low orbit.

      The problem is with the belief that niche = bad AND unprofitable.

      Actually, I’m going to respond further in a post I think. Light bulb!

  2. Pingback: An economic MMO bubble « Shadow-war

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