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John Smedley On the Future of MMOGs

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the quite-a-letter dept.

Role Playing (Games) 193

RosethornKB writes "John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment, wrote a letter about SOE's look to the future. In it, Smedley asks some questions about virtual children, skill based combat and player created content. KillerBetties.com posts a response to his questions. From the article: "What if you could have families in MMO's? Virtual Children... What if your characters could have children and pass on the family name...This is a very vague idea and I'm not sure if he words it that way on purpose or not. The concept of Virtual Children and passing on the family name isn't new. For example, upcoming Limitless Horizons MMO Mourning has had it in their design since the game first was announced. Their system is actually very interesting in theory."" Grimwell.com has commentary on SOE's recent activities.

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I'm really not sure what the future holds... (4, Insightful)

Goronmon (652094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653436)

Its tough to know what the future of MMOGs hold when you consider how little the genre has changed since the Everquest days. I mean, really, look at the gameplay elements of the first 3d games, Everquest and Asheron's Call 1...the games coming out today play almost the same exact way. In fact, you could almost consider games today a step back, since in AC1 you could at least dodge projectiles and spells if you wanted to.

I mean, yeah, sure, the games have gotten better, but mostly in terms of graphics. The core of these games is still about creating a character, running at mobs and hitting a bunch of icons on the interface to use different skills. Aside from the gameplay, the environment is still about the same. Quests are getting better, but they are still as simple as "Go here and kill this." with some little variation thrown in.

Another pet peeve of mine is character creation where you have to choose your characters skill set before you even get to play the game. I wish a game was open-ended where you could dabble in different areas as you went on, before deciding what to actually stick to. I want game rules like PvP that are determined by in-game repurcussions, not by hard-coded limits by the developers.

I guess I just see tons of this untapped potential for MMOGs that just isn't being realized. Everygame seems to tought its one big, new "feature" that is really just a mild improvement on what was done previously.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653463)

What are you talking about? You can dodge projectiles in World of Warcraft AND EverQuest. Open ended? You mean like the talent system in WoW? Or the Alternate Advancement system in EQ? I get this feeling that you haven't played either of these games and are just trying to karma whore.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653509)

You can't dodge anything in World of Warcraft. You can't move out of the way of anything, if someone casts a fireball on you it's going to hit you unless you resist it, you can't out run or 'dodge' by moving your character.

Talents only affect you after you've made your choice, you can't change from being a Mage to a Priest or Hunter after you've created the character, that's what he's talking about, you reject.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11654150)

You can dodge spells if you notice when the caster starts casting and you run straight at them and through them and then keep that up. Chances are the game will at some point declare the cast out of LOS and the spellcaster will be interrupted. Keep doing this as melee, and you can usually kick any spellcasters ass.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (5, Insightful)

Durinthal (791855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653533)

Funny.. a lot of MUDs have been around for years that have the skill development after creation deal, not to mention the virtual family concept mentioned in the article. I'm honestly wondering why they're still so much more detailed than visual MMOs.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (1)

slashrogue (775436) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653974)

I'm guessing that last sentence was meant in jest, because it's pretty obvious to me: it only takes a semi-decent writer to make something happen in a MUD, whereas a visual MMO requires skilled modelers and animators. Also, guess which category of people is most likely to do their work on the cheap?

What If We Could Have A President: +1, Patriotic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11654301)

Who wants peace instead of war [whitehouse.org]?

Thanks for your consideration ,
Kilgore Trout, CEO

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11654352)

Simple, because they're visual. For example, building KDE for Linux requires a lot more extra work than building bash. (Yes, bash is complex and has lots of features, but face it, KDE is just more code.) The visual part just adds a great complexity. Lots more you can do, but it requires lots more work.
Besides, I'm pretty sure even game developers hardly have a clue what MUDs are.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653586)

Actually, Ultima Online was based around the exact kind of skill system you're talking about. You started with some starting skill points which you allocated, but everything else was up to you to develop. REALLY open ended, and one of the reasons I kept coming back to play it after EQ and everything was big, that and the trade skills.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (4, Informative)

Jameth (664111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653623)

You'd be right about them being largely unchanged if you started at EQ, which really isn't reasonable if you consider how successful UO was. It may be dead now (only 21 servers and an average of around 20,000 players on at a time, not including the free servers), but UO was huge in its day and really kicked off the MMOG market.

So, Ultima Online had:

PvP with in-game repurcussions that worked adequately (bounties, murder counts, reputation, etc...)

Skills that were determined during gameplay (you have a percent score for each skill, you can start with three skills with a total of 100 points and none over fifty), raising in skill level just by using the skill, rather than by putting points towards it.

Statistics (Str/Dex/Int) determined the same as skills.

Skill and stat atrophy (it was fine once they let you control locking and so-such) so that you could not get infinitely good by mastering every skill, but rather had to find your own balance and maintain it. However, you could freely switch skill lines with only a little work.

Whether for better or worse, MMOGs have changed a lot since the beginning.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (1)

MetaPhyzx (212830) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653651)

I'm not a huge MMORG gaming fan; probably due to the number of MMORG's aren't geared toward what i would play. After a while.. Asheron's Call, Everquest.. World of Warcraft, Planetside... Sims Online... all kind of blend together. Most seem like absolute fantasy, which I'm into but not to where I feel the need to create virtual lives..

Now something politically oriented, nation building, projecting military and diplomatic power...

I remember there was one I'd be interested in like that... called Sovereign... but it got shelved.

Or is there something of the sort out there...?

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (2, Informative)

RosethornKB (846283) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653662)

Try A Tale in the Desert [ataleinthedesert.com] :)

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653732)

He said nation building, not a fight against a hideously bad interface for relatively little reward aside from the esteem of your fellow cult^H^H^H^H'community' members.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (1)

Bluetick (516014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653689)

That sounds like Shadowbane actually. Or at least what it wanted to be, how close it got to it's original goals is debateable. I hear that with the expansion packs available it's finally the game it wanted to be.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (1)

PocketPick (798123) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653683)

Personally, I tend to think that MMORPGs are stale simply because thier based on the premise that 'gotta-catch-them-all' mentaility. Only today could we claim that it's entertaining to walk around for 20 hours, beating some stupid creature endlessly with 'The Rod of ' while hoping he'll drop the 'Werewolf's Bane of Transexual Nothingness' or some other stupidly named item.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (1)

ScuzzMonkey (208981) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654294)

Good point. He talks about it being mass-market entertainment, but people with mass-market experience don't expect to get the same audience for "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" as you do "Monster Garage." They may be trying to spread the experience so thin that it just winds up being lame for everyone.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (2, Informative)

Attaturk (695988) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653802)

I wish a game was open-ended where you could dabble in different areas as you went on, before deciding what to actually stick to. I want game rules like PvP that are determined by in-game repurcussions, not by hard-coded limits by the developers.

I feel (see sig) obliged to point you in the direction of this [roma-victor.com], which certainly fits that description.

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (4, Interesting)

ajs (35943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654139)

What the future holds for MMOGs is uncertain, as you say, but it certainly will not involve SOE unless they do something dramatic to demonstrate to the gamers of the world that they have changed.

I played EverQuest for four years, and in that time it went from a fairly story-driven game with GMs who at least made an effort to incorporate players into the storyline to a pay-per-dungeon-crawl that had almsot no GMs and very little customer-focus (they changed this a bit just before I quit, but it was far too little, far too late).

When EQ2 came out, almost everyone I knew was in one of two camps: the "I've never played EQ, so I don't need to start" camp and the "another SOE game?!" camp.

For those who wish to learn from SOE's mistakes: yes, customers whine, cheat and otherwise behave poorly, but keep in mind that that ill behaved mass of complaints is your revenue stream, and treating them without a modicum of respect, and more importantly treating them GAME without a great deal of respect is the fastest, easiest way to lose your player base to the next game to come along.

Hope this is helpful to those of you working on the next generaion of game.

-Perlmonkey AKA Deepone

Re:I'm really not sure what the future holds... (1)

doorbot.com (184378) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654397)

Another pet peeve of mine is character creation where you have to choose your characters skill set before you even get to play the game. I wish a game was open-ended where you could dabble in different areas as you went on, before deciding what to actually stick to.

You might like Star Wars Galaxies. The only limitation to your character is their name, species, and gender. Everything else is customizable after the fact, including character stats and profession choice. You are free to drop your starting profession (artisan perhaps) and start the marksman or scout profession. There are elite professions and hybrid professions to try as well as you master the "base" professions.

Although I do have to admit my favorite part is the new gameplay with Jump To Lightspeed... TIE fighters, X wings and YT-1300s really give the game a "Star Wars" feel -- one could argue that the ground-based game is just a futuristic Everquest.

Not to rain on your parade, but... (3, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653468)

I know we all have joked about "Evercrack", Everquest-Widows, etc... But at some point do these games become really harmful to the average person? I mean when you can start being able to have virtual families including virtual inheritance, we might be crossing the veritable rubicon of unhealthy gaming.

I've never even considered playing an MMORPG because I know I would become addicted in about 3 seconds. Maybe that's just me.

Frankly.. (1)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653500)

The slide to creepy began with the introduction of gender in MMORPG. 98% pasty white males in real-life to a roughly 50-50 mix in the game world... well, you do the math.

Re:Frankly.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653629)

Or 100% uninformed stereotypes to 0% fact, yeah, do the math!

Two of the six players in my City of Heroes group are female, that's 1/3.

Try finding some stats that aren't pulled fresh from your trolling ass.

Re:Frankly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11654232)

I think you mean 2/6 players in your COH group CLAIM to be female. Who knows what the reality is.

Re:Not to rain on your parade, but... (1)

gronofer (838299) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653538)

The only way to win is to not play.

For every "level" you get in one of these games, you will lose one in real life.

Would you like to play a game? (2, Funny)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653653)

The only way to win is to not play.

Ok Joshua.

For every "level" you get in one of these games, you will lose one in real life.

Damn, and I was really working twards level 255 at Java Programming and I just lost it for level 25 paladin at WoW. Oh well, at least I have my holy light spell to keep me happy.

Re:Not to rain on your parade, but... (1)

Bluetick (516014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653642)

I remember reading an article about how playing MMORPGs can release neurotransmitters like seratonin and dopamine. In moderation, that might not be such a bad thing, since most pleasurable activities do. But I would think that doing it to excess could have some nasty effects on your brain's chemistry. I should say it's not really just mmorpgs, the same thing could happen with just about anything.

There are drugs they use on drug addicts which can block these neurotransmitters so that they lose all interest in that drug. In that movie Supersize Me, they had a doctor talk about when they gave that drug to a chocoholic the person would lose all interest in chocolate. I wonder if that would work on mmorpg players.

Re:Not to rain on your parade, but... (1)

katarac (565789) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654119)

I wonder if that would work on mmorpg players.
Maybe, but many times these games aren't something you just get on and play, they're avenues to a community and friends that you may really care for. You may lose interest in the game itself, but what about the guys/girls you talk to in ventrilo or team speak every night? Maybe if you don't want play the game you'll just drift away from them and it won't matter, but it's something to consider.

Re:Not to rain on your parade, but... (3, Interesting)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654327)

Nah ... mmorpgs are not harmful. games are not harmful. it's the GTA argument all over again.

people are responsible for their own actions. When people sit down to play these games, they are making a choice. I agree that the designers construct these worlds for the purpose of treadmill running, but at the end of the day, its your choice to play them - each and everytime. (you being used in the general, as opposed to you personally).

I'm guessing, if you interviewed the real hardcore addicts, you'd probably find the game being used in place of other things (ie, can't deal with the wife and kids or, can't deal with classes). As for the true addicts, I bet that if it wasn't the latest MMORPG, it'd just be something else like fantasy football. Just my thoughts.

So, in a MMORPG... (4, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653484)

...when she walks out and leaves you she takes the kids, half your gold and the pet dragon, just like in real life?

AWGH (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653492)

get rid of these fucking talking ads on slashdot! what the fuck!

Re:AWGH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653547)

Hahahah, loser.

i give up on $ony (2, Interesting)

mpower1 (858744) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653504)

after playing EQ for 4 years I have given up on any quality games from $ony. Their customer service does not exist and they do not listen to their players. It got to the point that it turned my off of all MMORPG's, good thing WoW came along.

Re:i give up on $ony (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653529)


Re:i give up on $ony (1)

Vacuous (652107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653560)

Ironically, many WoW players would say the exact same thinig about Blizzard and WoW.

Re:i give up on $ony (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653598)

I know that's why I play games:

1. Customer Service
2. Company's responsiveness to the players

It's not for fun and entertainment value at all.

Re:i give up on $ony (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653784)

It's not for fun and entertainment value at all.

Obviously not, otherwise people wouldn't play MMORPGs.


bigger (2, Informative)

alfrin (858861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653525)

As MMOG get bigger so does the average person, more they want to explore the virtual world the less of they'll want to explore of the real world, Eventually they won't even want to venture past the dreaded kitchen..

Future: "Clone more text mud features" (3, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653531)

Pretty much. I mean he admits it at the beginning. This stuff is not new, and if you want to know if a feature is going to work or not, one of thousands of text-based games has probably implemented it in the past.

Re:Future: "Clone more text mud features" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653778)

I'd like to know why we haven't seen some kind of free/open 3d gui mud software come out yet. Enforcing low speeds and polygon limits can ensure that the requirements will not become excessive. A lot of people out there have the bandwidth for this kind of crap. It would be nice if everyone did themselves a favor and implemented a world portal system as well, which would make partitioning and scaling as easy as possible.

A simple server that accepts user input (either geometry, commands (like scripts), or forces exerted against objects in the world and returns the results in the same format, and which unfortunately must do all of the work involved in handling occlusion and the like, could really produce pretty good results. It doesn't have to be fancy to be interesting and worth using, especially if you can fiddle around with physics and so on within your domains.

Want to see the future today? Guild Wars... (1)

twoes00 (839980) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653557)

Want to see the future of MMOGs today?

Guild Wars Website [guildwars.com]

Check out Guild Wars, ArenaNet's (ArenaNet was founded by a group of former Blizzard employees) revolutionary MMORPG (or CORPG). Its the first of its kind, in that it charges $0.00 per month, and also presents the bulk world in an instanced perspective.

Currently in development, Anet has offered players monthly "preview events", in which practically everyone can test the game. Not only does it serve as an excellent stress tool, but allows GW to gain new fans and excitement. In my opinion, a brilliant stretch on the Open Beta idea. I belive the next one is scheduled for Feb. 18, 2005. So head over to the site for more information...

Basically, Anet is giving us a glimpse of the future, by focusing on casual players with its fast-paced PvP, which anyone can pick up and play via PreMade characters, charging 0 monthly fees, and allowing players to go on instanced quests.

The future is in X company's ability to get the attention of casual players, not just hardcore roleplayers. And this is exactly where games like WoW and GW are going...

As unfortunate as it may seem, the idea of families and living online has been tried by EA & Maxis, in Sims Online, which proved to be a devastating failure. But personally, I feel it is still possible to make such an idea a success. The only problem would be to harness the attention of casual people, a task which currently seems very difficult. And as we all know, if something isn't liked enough by the public, companies (especially in the gaming business)are going to ignore it.

Re:Want to see the future today? Guild Wars... (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654411)

Granted I'm still going to buy it, with no monthly subscription whats to lose? But it just doesn't seem to have an RPG / non-combat side to it that I am looking for in a game...

Magic in MMORPGs (5, Interesting)

Dogun (7502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653564)

Here's a quick one for you: How many of you out there choose mages as your first character EVERY SINGLE TIME? Probably a lot of you.

You know what I'd like to see?
A MMORPG with a magic system that wasn't geared toward combat, or ease of use. Something so incredibly complicated that you have no idea what's going on. For once, I'd like to see the PLAYER learn magical theory. And the magical theory to be entirely player researched, and incomplete.
A magic system that lets YOU design spells, but all the knowledge you need to do so comes from experimental error. A magic system that KILLS you if you screw up badly enough.
Obviously, that would be one of the greatest challenges ever to create, but I'll tell you right now, I'd quit my job if I had one and play that 24/7.
Who's with me on that?

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (3, Interesting)

yderf (764618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653627)

I totally agree.

I was diappointed in Evercrack because every magic class was the same within their class. Everyone knew exactly how a cleric should be played or how a wizard or enchanter should be played. There was no room for uniqueness.

I played Gemstone, and even though it was a MUD it had a better general game design than any graphics game I've seen. It would be nice if they could make magic so customizable and unique that the programmers didn't know the limits or all the possibilities.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (3, Interesting)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653634)

This exists already; it's called the internet, plus the programming language of your choice.

A somewhat more structured framework would be interesting. Something like CoreWars, but updated for the modern day.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (2, Interesting)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653666)

I've thought the same exact thing for a long time. Asheron's Call was the first game to even attempt something like it, but it was ruined because inevitably, all the formulas got spread around on the internet.

What I'D like to see personally is something involving a new peripheral gadget that might be gloves, or a wand or something that could sense movement, and could detect somatic components of spells so that you actually had to learn the movements for spells.

Then magic isn't just down to "ok, put ingredients a,b,and c in the box, hit combine, and there's your new spell. You might learn what movements are required, but it might take you a long time to actually master them well enough to use in combat. And variations on those movements could affect the spell in a variety of ways from duration, range, damage, effects, etc. You could even botch.

And as fruity as this might sound, I think it would rock if there was a Harry Potter MMORPG that had this. Players are students in Hogwarts and need to learn magic, and go through student life there. I'll bet it would be a HUGE hit.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653725)

Any harry potter game worth playing would necessarily contain speech recognition and a wand controller. The wand would recognize gestures and the voice recognition system would require proper enounciation. You could get by without the wand by using joystick or mouse gestures but I think it would be a big mistake and cheap little accelerometers can do the job. Kids would just up and die over the chance to actually flick the wand, speak the name of the spell, and direct it appropriately, and for that matter I'd be pretty excited about it, if the game it were wrapped in weren't so utterly likely to be a load of pap.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654395)

I wonder if anybody has done work into such a peripheral device.

But the voice recognition would be hard, because you have to accomodate for accents, and I think this game would have trouble with an American English vs British English accent.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (4, Insightful)

Jameth (664111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653675)

The problem is that, if you can design the spells it will all just end up in a tutorial online.

The better solution is to just make spells which are more complex to use, as many single player games have. Unfortunately, most complex usage spells require low latency because timing and so-such are often vital for them.

I would personally prefer a magical system which incorporates magic into the world, rather than having it bolted onto the side at random. That is, usually they just say, "It's a world like ours, with magic," rather than making it a world which heavily uses magic. Why don't crafters use magic? Wouldn't fire spells help a blacksmith? Why don't warriors incorporate small spells into battle to give that extra little umph to a swing here and there? What about the city planners? How many of them, used magic to make a place that was truly efficient?

And, remember, above all, that it is a game. Thus, making it fun is paramount. I think that a strongly interwoven magic system with many spells which can be used cleverly can be very fun. I don't think a system where you accidentally blow your head off because you're the only person not reading the mage's strategy guide is such a good idea.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653775)

I think there's a good compromise between the two ends. Namely, create a programming based magic system (blurring yet more the distinction between magic and code :-) or perhaps something based on mathematical or perhaps philosophical grounds. But the average user would employ proven spells as distinct units. So there's room for your wild-eyed experimentalists and for the normal user who's not interested in ludicrously complex systems.

This also allows room for spell combos that could work together in interesting ways. I first heard of this sort of idea more than a decade ago so someone somewhere has worked on the idea before.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (1)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654165)

Namely, create a programming based magic system (blurring yet more the distinction between magic and code :-)

That sounds eerily like a magic system I came up with (and never wrote down) a couple of years ago. Basically, instead of coding for a computer system, the mage would be coding for a magical system--"programming reality", so to speak.

I also remember adapting some physics principles to magic--using Magical Potential Energy and Magical Kinetic Energy (MPE and MKE for short) as a logical explanation of MP/Mana/whatever else it's called.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653682)

A MMORPG with a magic system that wasn't geared toward combat, or ease of use. Something so incredibly complicated that you have no idea what's going on. For once, I'd like to see the PLAYER learn magical theory. And the magical theory to be entirely player researched, and incomplete. A magic system that lets YOU design spells, but all the knowledge you need to do so comes from experimental error. A magic system that KILLS you if you screw up badly enough. Obviously, that would be one of the greatest challenges ever to create, but I'll tell you right now, I'd quit my job if I had one and play that 24/7.

Belive it or not, some of us don't want that much complexety in a game. When a MMO becomes "work" like real life work then it isn't fun. Part of the fun (and addictive quality) of MMO's is easy advancement. Sure, it might take awhile, but the path is simple. Kill shit/craft shit/cast shit.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (1)

Dogun (7502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653780)

And who is to say that a magic system that complex would make what you prefer to do impossible? Don't feel like learning magical theory? Have someone make you an item that lets you throw silly sparks around at your enemies through use of a use magic items skill - channelling or whatnot.

Obviously a magic system of this sort implies a skill system, rather than a level system.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (2, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653814)

I was just looking over core wars -- it's seems to be some kind of virus creation lab using fantasy terms as a metaphor. Imps, dwarves, etc. are 'warriors' that fight to control memory space.

But I would like to see a magic system like the one you describe -- where it's more like a powerful programming language. My guess as to the best way to do this is to have the server host the virtual environment and give players some kind of API to affect qualities of the environment. Players would write their own programs and scripts, share them, sell them, etc. What fun!

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (1)

johannesg (664142) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653863)

"Dragons Breath" on the Amiga had a spell system that allowed you to make your own spells, pretty much as you suggest. I never played the game myself, but my little brother was constantly brewing up new plagues and stuff. He got quite good at it, too.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (2, Interesting)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653922)

Morrowind had a system that let you design spells. Kind of.

Choose duration, power, touch or ranged. The problem is that they didn't go far enough. There was no point in making a spell that burned, because making a spell that did 30 points in one blast, cost the same as one that did 15 per second during 2 seconds.

There was the lack of effects too, I'd like to have been able to choose the effect to be used.

I actually thought about how this should work. Came up with the following:

Casting should begin with a powerup stage, where you gather the required power. The more powerful, the more time it takes. Big spells would involve long incantations, with a proper request for help from the appropiate deity. If it sounds like it's from Slayers, it's because it's pretty much from there.

The second stage would be optionally modifying the original effect, like for example choosing to compress a fireball to make higher damage in a more localized area. Or add the possibility of controlling the direction during flight.

The third stage would be adopting the proper position for casting the spell, depending on where you wanted it to go.

Finally, release it, maintaining concentration during the required time.

With a decent implementation, it should be possible to make a quite cool system, where different effects can be combined, power/speed/damage/radius can be adjusted.

Re:Magic in MMORPGs (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654143)

Well actually the design stuff has already been done.

It's called GURPS.

LOOM? (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654242)

Maybe something to do with music can be a good idea.
You can have people writing music to convert wood to rocks, or rocks to wood, or to start fire, etc.. then combine everything.

LOOM whas very amusing. Why not again?

Personally... (3, Interesting)

astebbin (836820) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653567)

...I see two posible futures for the MMO(RP)G genre, each with distincively different results and social implications.

#1: One company emerges from the fray victorious, and becomes the Microsoft-esque supergiant of massively multiplayer online games. It happened with EA and the NFL, and I think that it could happen again with RPGs through the means of the merging of Blizzard-SOE along with few patents in just the right places. Thisscenario would open itself up to more global connectivity, with Japanese gamers playing alongside their American friends and the US no longer hating the French since they've got all the best healers and spellcasters (what? it coudl happen...).

#2: Gamers, fed up with big-name companies giving them lousy customer service and blase customer support, band together and create a variety of independent MMO(RP)Gs in a fashion similar to the Protestant Reformation breaking away from the Catholic Church and forming many splinter groups each with different and unique approaches to the same common issue. Already there's the assumption that if you like MMORPGS and live in Korea, you play Lineage II, and that if you live in the US you play EQ or WoW, and that if you live in Europe you play EQ and don't know what WoW is all about... this phenomenon could become even more regional in the days to come, with people in Virginia playing something different than those folks out on the West Coast and vice-versa... this scenario would lend itself more to isolationism and modular commnities with one area having nothing to do with the other, and each group of gamers living in their own seperate world.

Just the thoughts of an ex-EQ addict who's been monitoring the industry... and to all of my friends still hooked on EQ, I say: "Camp out right now and go for a walk... the Planes of Power will still be there when you get back, but you may have missed a million opportunitees in the real world". As much as I love online gaming, it's still no substitue for real world experiences; However, it's still ok as long as you balance playtime with human-to-human facetime.

Re:Personally... (1)

Taladar (717494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653672)

#1: One company emerges from the fray victorious, and becomes the Microsoft-esque supergiant of massively multiplayer online games. It happened with EA and the NFL, and I think that it could happen again with RPGs through the means of the merging of Blizzard-SOE along with few patents in just the right places.
No offense but sports games are so much more simple and boring (from the programmers point of view) it is no miracle there is only one company left who wants to make them. Basically they only advance in graphics and get some new rows in their database tables for current teams and players.

Re:Personally... (1)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654413)

Don't forget, MMORPGs are services, not products. Marginal costs of production, unlike software, are not zero. It's not necessarily a natural monopoly--the more players you have, the more load you have on servers. Of course, fixed costs aren't zero, and if some company ever manages to handle a growing player base properly, network effects will be important (you want to play on the server all your friends play on.) But not all important, because as games phase in popularity players are tempted to switch to games with newer features.

I imagine there will always be some demand for fringe MMOGs--like Second Life or A Tale in the Desert. Just like the rest of the internet, people are fragmented by interest as much as by geography.

On the other hand, if people stared playing latency dependent MMORPGs, geography could actually start being a big deal.

How about bring 'game' back into virtual worlds. (3, Insightful)

PocketPick (798123) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653580)

Are MMORPGs really an piece of entertainment software or a financial enterprise and glorified chatroom.

When we trade characters in order to provide for our own financial well being in reality, or complain about having to 'go to work' and 'Grind EXP', is that game still a game? Virtual children? Virtual families? What happened to making games more fun, or more accessible?

Re:How about bring 'game' back into virtual worlds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653658)

Are MMORPGs really an piece of entertainment software or a financial enterprise and glorified chatroom.

A little bit of both. But consider than many people use Slashdot as a replacement for human contact, and use it as a chat room. MMORPGs just let you kill stuff when you get bored with chatting with someone.

Re:How about bring 'game' back into virtual worlds (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653698)

You'll be modded flamebait, but you do have a point: this is the exact same reason i never liked MMORPGs. When a game becomes a mostly a chore, it's no longer fun. I work on a cybercafe and i see it all the time - people come and sit for hours to do a quest of some kind, not because they enjoy it, but because they have to. Maybe it gives a sense of accomplishment, i don't know.

I discussed it with a friend, and he boiled it down to those games being addictive, like in a drug. You just need your fix, it doesn't matter if it's fun or not. You just gotta grind another level, or get that strange item. Watching people sit in front of a computer clicking the mouse in the same spot for hours makes me wonder if he's right sometimes. I still don't know, honestly.

Re:How about bring 'game' back into virtual worlds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11654216)

I've gotten into that argument before with someone. It does give them a sense of accomplishment, enough such that if another game doesn't require the same amount of time, it's "not as fun."

There are a lot of people out there who absolutely can't stand World of Warcraft because they see it as giving advancement too easily. It robs them of their sense of "I'm better than everyone else because I spent 5 days leveling my wizard and they've only spent a couple of hours."

Someone leveled to level 60 in WoW in the first week it was out. He literally played non-stop to be the first to 60. How pointless is that?

You can try and point out that this is destructive, that there are other, better uses for time, that wasting time doesn't make something challenging, but they don't care. The powergamers WANT a game to take a long time for advancement. It gives them more of a rush when they complete it. For them, killing twenty purple slimes really is more fun than killing ten.

WoW is an interesting experiment in trying to please both crowds at once. My bet is that it will fail, and will wind up catering to the powergamers at the high end and add new abilities and skills that are simply a long grind, just like every other MMORPG out there.

We need more bandwidth (4, Insightful)

nate nice (672391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653583)

We seriously need more bandwidth in these games. And if throwing more bandwidth isn't likely anytime soon we will need to develop better algortihms and design better systems for ensuring players have low latecny when encountering large amount of other netoworked players.

All too often when a player is near a large group of other players they are hit with a large lag spike making large scale PvP frustrating and frankly, not fun.

It is this single issue I believe these games need to address before moving onto anything else really.

We'll see how Blizzard tackles it with their battleround concept of making an instance out of a predetermined largescale PvP arena, but even if this works it needs to go further. We have to figure out how to make flash mobs of people interact like anything else without the high latency that is a characteristic of all these games.

Fraom DaOC, Shadowbane, WoW and the few other I have played or observed, it seems this is the one consistant plague they all have.

I offer no solutions as I haven't thought to hard on how to solve this problem and even if I did it's possible my ideas would be naive considering I don't have experiance designing or developing these types of systems. However, from a players viewpoint, I can assure you this is a problem.

Re:We need more bandwidth (1)

Taladar (717494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653691)

All too often when a player is near a large group of other players they are hit with a large lag spike making large scale PvP frustrating and frankly, not fun.
Simple solution: Dump PvP, spares you (as the gamemaster) lots of other problems as well.

Re:We need more bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11654331)

Yeah, not having any players definitely lightens up the bandwidth requirements.

Re:We need more bandwidth (1)

Jameth (664111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653700)

If I were a game designer today, I would come at the problem from the opposite end: I'd make a system where the gameplay provokes smaller flash-mobs. That is, it would be directed towards groups of 8-12 players fighting 10-20 monsters at a time, but directed away from groups of under six or over fifteen ever even happening.

People usually seek out the large groups in part because the game is designed to encourage them. This wouldn't be so extremely true if the game achieved its highest entertainment level at a more moderate crowd level.

Re:We need more bandwith (2, Insightful)

LearningHard (612455) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653816)

It has got much less to do with bandwith available then it does with the processing power available on the server side. When a large group gathers in one area it drastically increases the server load. I think it has to do with the way the load balancing works. In AC1 I know it was because the load balancing was in vertical "strips" along the map. If there was more than the expected amount in one strip the whole strip could experience server-side lag. It really sucked when you were hunting on the same strip as old arwic or ayan baqur where tons of people gathered because sometimes you would get caught in the lag and die to monsters even though you were on the other side of the continent.

Why is it? (1)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653644)

That everyone says MMORPG players have no life? How is playing an MMORPG different from playing Counterstrike or any other game, or doing anything else for that matter? Also, it's not like $15 per month is very expensive. If you think it is, try going to a movie some time. Depending on how much you play (I admit I'm rather addicted to WoW) it's a pretty cheap method of entertainment. That being said, I only play it because I have nothing better to do with my time.

Re:Why is it? (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653810)

### That everyone says MMORPG players have no life?

MMORPG players can of course have a life, the thing that MMORPGs however offer that other games doesn't, is an alternative life in a virtual world. In CounterStrike you play a few rounds, exit and are done, your character doesn't evolv and doesn't persist, it gets reset each and every game you play. The whole 'world' is made up of a few very small maps compared to the large ones that MMORPGs offer, so there is nothing to explore, no special events to happens, its always the same, just tactics and player change.

On the other side you also have clans in Counterstrike, which work somewhat similar like a party in a MMORPG, however such stuff isn't part of the game itself, but something the community does outside of the game, in a MMORPG most stuff can be done in the game itself.

Not saying that MMORPGs necesarrily are more addictive than casual games, but the persistence of the world makes them quite a bit different from a random round of CounterStrike or SuperMarioBros.

different genre for MMOGs? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653647)

I've checked different MMOGs out but one of the big reasons I've never played one is because I'm not a big fan of either fantasy or sci-fi.

Has anyone ever heard of a MMOG with a more "real" based environment? IMHO on the of best multiplayer online games has got to be BF1942 because of the sheer size of some of the maps and thus the strategy required to position ships, tanks, and airplanes to conquer a map. But imagine if they could create a MMOG of this? Imagine if western Europe was one big gaming environment?

A MMOG of BF1942 could also bring some much needed teamwork not often found on public multiplayer servers. Imagine if you started as a grunt and slowly had to gain experience in order to advance in rank and specialty? Instead of just running headlong into battle, you'd actually have to listen to your commanding officer.

Has anyone else considered this or has it ever been attempted? MMOG seem like they could be great fun, but I don't have any desire become a wizard and chase goblins.

Re:different genre for MMOGs? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653736)

Also a good point. No one seems to think outside the box; i also hate the whole D&D fantasy thing. A game like the one you describe would be interesting and i'd surely give it a try.

Re:different genre for MMOGs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653800)

A few of them:

Second Life, There.com (mainly defunct, granted), Sims Online. Motor City Online was, of course, cancelled. Habbo Hotel.

And it sounds like what you're talking about with a BF1942 MMOG is World War II online, which launced a couple years ago.


Re:different genre for MMOGs? (1)

Attaturk (695988) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653841)

Has anyone ever heard of a MMOG with a more "real" based environment?

I feel guilty plugging away in this thread but your answer really does lie in my sig. :)

Re:different genre for MMOGs? (1)

Farzap (855591) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653847)

There is one out there you could try. Planetside by SOE is a FPS in a persistent world. It was fun for a while, but I like the fantasy based MMOG's better.

World War II Online (1)

ScuzzMonkey (208981) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654424)

Basically what you are describing, complete with teamwork like you wouldn't believe (provided you bother... it isn't called team"work" for nothing, there is work involved), a much more realistic environment (ordnance interaction is not probability based, but rather directly calculated physics based on real-world armor and armament measurements) and a HUGE environment (by far the largest contiguous land space in any existing MMOG--all of WoW would fit into a small chunk of Belgium).

Where they fall down has been providing better tools for team organization and roles, but they are getting better. A new box release is scheduled for 2nd Quarter '05 and the North Africa theater should be out by early next year.

It's entirely skills based, too, which is a twist for a lot of traditional MMORPG players, but extremely refreshing... you can be a day one player, but if you know anything about marksmanship and basic infantry tactics (realistic, not bunny-hopping) you can go out and pwn 3-year veterans in your first five minutes. It's all about what you do and how you work together, not how long you've been playing and what drops you've camped.

Noob Children (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653703)

What if you could have families in MMO's? Virtual Children... What if your characters could have children and pass on the family name...This is a very vague idea and I'm not sure if he words it that way on purpose or not. The concept of Virtual Children and passing on the family name isn't new

I always thought it would be cool to have perma-death in MMO's but to be "Reborn" into another family. New players, or players who died would be "born into" a family of high level characters.

MUDs pioneered children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11653705)

Medievia [medievia.com] has a system where heroes can create children and either give the character to a newbie or play those children themselves. Upon heroing a child, the parent heroes stats are boosted.

MUDs (1)

voteforkerry78 (819720) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653706)

In a MUD (multi-user dungeon, a text based mmorpg) called Achaea, this has already been done. Or at least marriage. And i've heard of virtual dates in EQ and WoW. The more life like the make virtual life, the cooler.

Please sir, might I have MORE? (1)

MorboNixon (130386) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653750)

So would that make IGE branch into the Orphanarium business? Babies for sale?

You want new spleen? Cheap prices! We're IGE, quickly destroying everything good about MMORPGS.

Player-Built Dungeons (1)

Jameth (664111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653773)

What if players could build fantastic dungeons that become part of the worlds we create with tools we give them? How would that work exactly?

... In all likelihood, if an MMO allowed this, it would be instanced content with limits. A player could create a dungeon or a section with tools provided and other players could enter and play through that content ...
I think they're looking at the problem from the wrong direction. It's not, "What if players made dungeons like those that the game-makers made," it's "What if players could compete directly in a way that made for a dungeon-like experience when having PvP combat." It requires some fundamental redesign to a game system to have PvP combat result in liveable, enjoyable gameplay that resembles standard gameplay, but it is not impossible.
  1. Make characters survive more and make combat more diverse than 'auto-attack'. This way, fighting one person becomes a major and entertaining endeavor. To achieve this without losing out to latency problems, possibly use character combat styles which are just some scripting, then allow players to write their own scripts and swap scripts on the fly.
  2. Reduce the dependence on loot. If you are killing people for their loot, it becomes too painful to lose combat. Instead, add side-benefits in the way of fame, skill increase, and added abilities. Just make fame and so-such much more vital, and make the abilities more complex so that they actually somewhat resemble loot (extra options in scripts, etc...)
  3. Allow players to alter the world. This is usually a problem because the world is static, so make it non-static. Remove all towns (they aren't really needed if yo aren't going for loot) and make the world grow to accomodate players. Then let players make buildings, traps, and so-such, but with limitations.
  4. Make pets better. Make it so a player's combat with another player isn't just one-on-one, let them train creatures as well, but once again within limits. Make the creatures more like complex traps than actual armies (if they don't have the huge life amounts that players have, they are more of inconveniences in combat than major foes).

Smedley (3, Insightful)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653822)

Who is Smedley trying to kid - the future of MMOs, at least in the short term, is to keep cloning EverQuest until it's no longer profitable or some independant does something better and gets the ball rolling in a different direction (my fingers are crossed for DDO [www.ddo]).

Look at the big-name MMOs for the past 5 years or so: EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, Anarchy Online, Lineage, Lineage 2, Final Fantasy Online... every single one of them is, fundamentally, the same game. Sure, the Asian-market games tend to have a sadistic streak, but beyond that, they're all about grouping up, camping, pharming, looting, wash, rinse, repeat.

Their combat systems are downright shallow. Their characters are less characters and more like animated spreadsheets. They're about spending hundreds or thousands of hours killing progressively larger bats, rats, and snakes to attain the privelage to spend more time killing even larger bats, rats, and snakes.

There's no thought. Combat and gameplay is so mind-numbingly formulaic that there's nothing to get the adrenaline going, and there certainly isn't enough happening to engage the mind.

Why can't we have a MMO with a combat system like Jedi Academy? Why, when mecha fans are some of the most hardcore gamers on the planet, has there not been a mech sim MMO?

Like I said, I have high hopes for D&D Online, but I don't foresee MMOs radically changing any time soon. It's just going to be EverQuest: Again: And Again: And Yet Again. ...at least until someone realizes that there's a huge group of people that aren't twitch gamers, but are bored half to death by the current incarnation of MMOs, and makes something that might actually entertain them.

My 2 cents on MMORPGs (3, Insightful)

Mitaphane (96828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11653867)

I've never really throughly played an MMORPG so take that it consideration before reading. It seems to me though that a big problem with Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games is that a lot people don't notice "Role Playing" part of it. Most MMORPGs I've seen are way too heavily focused on virtual combat. There's so much potential for a "virtual world" It's so sad that most of is spent in the endless cycle of "Kill more shit to get better stuff to kill more shit..." Of course hack-n'-slash dungeon crawling can be fun, but you can play Diablo II if you want that. MMORPGs should have a hack-n-slash element but it should have more...

A merchant class in a game world should have very little to do with combat. He should be able to hire people to defend him. Moreover, his ability should be gained by knowing people(like a game with a sort of built in social networking mechainic) and things.

A dancer/entertain class should play like rhythm games such as DDR.

I could go on but you see my point...A world that has 80% of it's population wandering the lands killing various creatures is pretty boring if you ask me.

Yes it would be very complex to create a game that played very different based on all different classes. Yes it would be hard to set a complete game world with all these classes interacting with one another. But for the $10-15/Month people pay for MMORPGs I don't think that's too much ask. Especially when someone can pay a flat $30-50 for a copy of Diablo II and get a similar experience on BattleNet. Then again, I don't have much first hand experience about MMORPGs. I just know what I see...

Re:My 2 cents on MMORPGs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11654197)

Already been done. Ultima Online lets you have a merchant character who does not need to fight, who can hire a small army to defend him and his property. You can be a fisherman, a musician, or whatever. All of these characters can be play within their roles with very little combat.

Its been done but.... (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654312)

Every game I've seen that adds non-combat opportunities are horribly abused. They are easily very easy to obtain like professions in WoW where everyone does something so no one can do something special. Or they are so dull that they're only used on an Alt to boost one's main character. They need to make these things engaging yet unique that you can play one as a main character, not just an alt, and at the same time not easily obtainable so that everyone and their mother can do it.

dynasties and karma? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654005)

One thing I think would be interesting here is a game developing the concept that a character is expected to die eventually. No infinite respawn environments.

One possible approach to use here is the idea of dynasty. Namely, that all the characters of a player are somehow in the same family or perhaps interpreted as having some common guardian or godling (the player in question). Here I'm thinking of crude internal viewpoint rational for why the player plays several characters and has any interest at all in running their lives. For example, perhaps the player is a "guardian angel" type who "helps out" (ok, she/he plays) characters with a particular philosophical bent or is an ancestral spirit who helps out the family due to loyalty or some less noble reason.

If there were a game based on, for example, the Meiji period in Japanese history, then each player might run a family subunit which might belong to a noble faction (for example, emperial family, Shogun, or a samurai noble), zaibatsu (family operated conglomerates), yakuza or mere bandit group, secretive ninja clan, or perhaps a small, modest family just making ends meet on their own. Things like marriages and other pacts, political intrigue, and the slow march of progress over many decades would make the game very subtle compared to the usual fare. Individual characters would be expected to die, either of accident, disease, or old age. Tragedy happens.

But a well-played character would boost future characters run by the player. That is, some sort of karma system. Perhaps, karma could be calculated by who pays tribute at the shinto shrine of the unfortunate deceased? That also brings a whole new meaning to the idea of professional mourners, and I imagine there are other flaws in such a system apparent to most slashdotters. But it would fit the milieu.

Already done (2, Informative)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654062)

Virtual families already exist in Second Life [secondlife.com]. For example my character has a virtual mother, and one friend who married ingame has modified her character to look pregnant. Another friend who married and later divorced ingame has adopted another player as her son, etc... And there is a field in character profiles for your partner, be it husband or wife or whatever-you-call-it.

Blockland (1)

istewart (463887) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654152)

Some guy wrote a game based on the Torque engine called Blockland. You are a little Lego man, and the entire purpose of the game is to build Lego buildings. I honestly think that that could be a revolution in MMORPGs, if you even want to call it that. How about letting the players build from the ground up?

The only description resembling a webpage that I've seen is on the Something Awful forums, but that site requires a subscription account. If you can access the thread publicly then I think it has a download link.

More epic stuff and more emotes! (1)

5n3ak3rp1mp (305814) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654307)

I'm playing World of Warcraft lately (lvl33 elven hunter), which is not that bad a way to spend gaming time, if you have some free time in your life to begin with. Fun stuff for the most part.

But I wish there were even more creative (and epic) quests in the game. I want to be on some quest where I HAVE TO go to some holy fire pit or something, in just 1 place in the game world, in order to forge some insane weapon (with ingredients procured with difficulty already), I have to fight some big mothers on the way who yell all sorts of intimidating/funny taunts as we fight, I want to literally be yelling at the screen as i charge valiantly into battle with my compatriots, I want MORE and BETTER battle animations and more in-game taunts and emotes (WoW is already pretty great with these, but it just makes me want MORE), I want to be able to pat the ass of the guy who just saved mine like they do in football games, I want to be able to pat gnomes on the head affectionately (maybe give them the ability to kick me in the shin in order to keep things balanced), I want to be able to taunt by waving my crazy Steel Fishing Rod of Death around my head threateningly, I want to be able to hug people in-game, etc.

Actually, Blizzard, don't bother with these things, your fun game threatens my having-a-life enough as it is ;)

What I'd like to see... (1)

doorbot.com (184378) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654334)

Is more player-created content, and I don't mean SWG's crafting system or any RPG's roleplay system.

What I'm looking for is an open-source 3D MMORPG. This way, content can be added easily because the system itself would be documented and open; one company wouldn't hold their subscribers "hostage". Someone hosting a game server could decide how much content to make available on their server, so you could run your own for, say, 20 users or (gasp) pay a commercial provider who is maintaining larger servers (and larger worlds) where thousands of users can play at once.

I know there are a few open source MMORPGs out there. A quick Google search turns up:
www.genecys.org [genecys.org]
www.nevrax.org [nevrax.org]
eternalsun.info [eternalsun.info]
www.planeshift.it [planeshift.it]

Looking for an innovative game play CoH (1)

pbaer (833011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11654365)

That also has a company that cares? Then you should try City of Heroes. It has the most character customization of any MMORPG I've played (WoW, EQ, DAOC, GW).

-160 colors to choose from, with most clothing supporting a secondary color.

-Low downtime, with travel powers for getting around fast.

-No worthless classes

-High amount of character power customizability. Ex: I want to play an offensive mage. I then decide do I want to play one that's single target, AE, hybrid or is CC heavy? I can do all of that within the same class.

-Specilize in spells not spell lines. In most traditional MMORPGS you want to be good with fire you put points into fire. Want to be a healer put points into rejuvination/mending etc. In CoH you spec spells instead. This allows for more player differentation. Also since
all spells remain useful throughout the characters life you'll still be using your level 1 spells at level 50.
-Great customer service. If I have a probelm I /petition it and I am normally contacted within 15 minutes. On a slow night it could be around 30 mins. Furthermore I have never had them unable to solve my probelm.

-Devs care. They constantly post on the official forums anwsering questions about the game and ask players their opinions about a certain class or powerset or power and then take it into consideration when making changes. Furthermore they don't hesitate to admit they were wrong and undo a change if it was over the top.

-Variaton among the same classes with same power sets. Ex: Dark Melee/Dark Armor light tank that is based upon pure damage. My friend's Dark Melee/Dark Armor light tank could be more crowd control focused. And the best part? Both are equally viable.

-Game events. There are numerous events that the Devs create. There was a Rularuu invasion, trick or treat on for halloween and a Winter Lord invasion around winter.

-Constant updates. You may be thinking so what? It's an MMORPG they are all updated. Not on the scale CoH is. About every 2months they come out with new issues that are a huge patch. They introduce new zones, mobs, zone events, pvp (To come), powersets (to come), crafting (to come), and classes.

-All characters can solo resonably well. The only class that currently has trouble soloing in the low levels are controllers (CC class) but they are being looked at. Note this does change in the mid-game.

-Limited grind, with fast leveling, involved missions, and treats along the way (capes, auras, titles etc.)

-Entertaining combat system. It's fast, rewards creative thinking (what if I take 3 mins to lay a mine field then draw that pesky mob on top of it that I otherwise couldn't kill?). Enemies are varied and have powers of their own that the use against you. It's not the standard hit auto-attack and wait. Plus you fight groups of villians making it more exciting/challenging.

- No items. For some this is a + as it makes the came very casual friendly and gurantees there will never be a Loot expansion that could ruin the game (think ToA for Daoc)

- ATM nothing to do other than fight. Crafting should be added in 3-6 months.

-No end game. They are working on this with the soon to come addition of PvP and more raid content.

That's just skimming the surface though, if you're really interested go to www.cityofheroes.com the official CoH website for more info.

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