Tuesday, July 10, 2012

[Design] My Ideal MMO: Part 5 - End game content, dungeons and conclusion

My Ideal MMO:

End game content and dungeons:
  Well, you might be thinking after reading through the first 4 posts: 'You haven't mentioned instances or bosses, how will that work in this game?'  Well, it'd be different from most MMO's.  The idea is to keep server populations rather small so that instancing is not required.  What there would be is persistent boss lairs that require teams to group up and go take them down.  What this allows is for giant guilds to attempt the boss with more people than normally would be required if they under gear the content or want to get it down quickly.  Especially on PvP servers, what makes this viable is that if you  die, you drop half your gear.  Even on PvE servers anyone can pick this up, so there could even be thieves on PvE servers who follow raids around and are scavengers of corpses.

So, let's talk a bit first about dungeons and world events, mostly Pre-Endgame.
  -Instead of a few specific instanced areas, there would be massive underground dungeons, island dungeons, volcanic and cavern dungeons and outside dungeons.  These would all be persistent areas in which the content would respawn at specific intervals.  So for a large outdoor end game boss, the respawn rate might be a day, or a few days, or a week for really powerful bosses.  The goal is to keep servers relatively small to say WoW or other MMOs, and make epic boss fights that are a risk to engage.  A wipe to your raid would  mean thousands of gold worth of items strewn across the battlefield for looters to come and get.  Guilds might even try to have a few people stand aside in case of a wipe and collect all the items they can from the corpses.

  The idea is to make it risky.  MMOs these days have no risk.  Just reward.  Sure, players would complain about it, there are lots of complainers, but it adds to the intensity of playing the game.  You would feel actual nervousness or excitement when facing a boss that has the ability to wipe out your hard earned gear.  But at the same time the reward for killing the boss would be worth  the risk.  There would have to be a balance between risk and reward to make the game intense.

  World Events:
  Also, I envision, (going along with the story line) world invasion events, where demons sent by Daemonica would rush at towns and attack them, in an attempt to destroy the cities.  This would be downplayed and less frequent in PvP worlds since Players would be doing most of the city raiding.  In fact there could even be angelic/light type minion attacks on Evil towns by Zoan in PvP servers.

  These would events would add an element of defense to the cities and towns around the world.  Players out on missions across the oceans would have to come back home and help defend if it was left unguarded.

  (Also as a side note:  I imagine houses having HP [lots of it] and being able to be attacked [not entered or looted] and eventually destroyed during attacks.  However as towns grow, their town would have NPC guards that are like mini bosses [get stronger the bigger the town], but aren't endless like WoW guards.  They would have tons of HP and fight alongside the players in defense of the town, but when they died, they would drop a nice chunk of loot and gold and the players would have to pool their money to commission another guard later.  I imagine the payment of guards and other town services as your town grows a large gold sink for the game that can balance out gold income.)

  World events would supplement the bosses and dungeons that are in the game and keep players busy.  The idea though i that there is so much MORE to do in this game than in other MMOs such as leveling crafting and other skills, that  you don't need or really want to be fighting bosses only all the time.  There would be lots of content to get throughout all levels, that you can do pretty much anything (especially on PvP servers).

 Also players who make towns in higher level areas would be subject to stronger World Event attacks.  Such towns would be closer to powerful enemies to farm, but would have to be defended more strongly.

  End game:
  - End game would basically consist of epic world bosses.  Massive dragon lairs with a giant dragon boss, giant enemy NPC fortresses with massive warlord bosses, islands inhabited by only super strong monsters and endless tunnels in a mountain governed by giant rock monsters are just some of the dungeons I can imagine being in the game.  Players would gather up with their guilds and charge out to fight these epic battles and come back with riches should they succeed.

  Since bosses don't respawn very often, servers would need to be somewhat small in order to let all players experience content.  This could also be achieved by debuffing players who kill a boss so that they take double/triple/quadra damage or something from that boss for a few days to let other players do the content since it's not instanced.  This could be for only the most powerful bosses though.  There should be enough content in the game that with 1 day respawn timers on the normal dungeons, most players can experience going out and fighting in these dungeons.  This would need to be balanced with difficulty of the dungeon and the number of players, but I do not think that instancing is the ONLY answer in MMOs.

  All in all, I think that while some of my ideas may not work or be very fun by themselves, if you put them all together you make a meaningful game that is different from anything out there.  These are not all original ideas, not much is nowadays, but I took what I think were great ideas from many different games, along with some of my own versions of these things and put them in these posts for you to read.

  And let's hear some feedback!  What do you think about these posts will not work?  What do you like?  What concerns do you have about server stability, amount of content, production cost for something of this magnitude?  This series is meant to invoke thought about what could be done today in an MMO differently, and bring a conglomeration of good, but non-mainstream ideas into one ideal game.

Thank you for reading my post series and please feel free to contact me, post on reddit, this blog or e-mail me at WakeskaterStudio@gmail.com.


Post 1:  http://spaceblasterx.blogspot.com/2012/07/design-my-ideal-mmo-part-1-world-set-up.html
Post 2:  http://spaceblasterx.blogspot.com/2012/07/design-my-ideal-mmo-part-2-leveling-and.html
Post 3:  http://spaceblasterx.blogspot.com/2012/07/design-my-ideal-mmo-part-3-crafting.html
Post 4:  http://spaceblasterx.blogspot.com/2012/07/design-my-ideal-mmo-part-4-pvp.html

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