Where’s My Game

My thoughts about what a MMORPG should be.

The Rathe Travel Agency

Camping mobs is an all too familiar aspect of EQ.  My longest one ever was playing my bard camping Gorenaire for its acursed white dragon scale.  I camped that dragon for no less than 36 straight hours.  It finally popped and I got my group over there sort of, we logged in one of my friends warriors who solo’d it for me.  After that 36 hours you’d think I’d have gotten something good for it.  Nope, I got a horn maybe and some other junk, but there was no white scale to be found.  I think I might have cried a little bit.  This doesn’t really have all that much to do with my post, but I figured it was a good place to tell that story.

If you didn’t play on The Rathe Server then you probably have no idea what The Rathe Travel Agency is.  The short of it is a group of people that ran a site that controlled the rotations of all the major mobs in the game.  Basically if you were part of a guild that qualified to kill these mobs your guild got put into the rotation.   So like every week or something your guild would have a chance to kill say Rallos Zek.  So on Tuesday at 8 pm, your guild was able to kill that mob without having to camp it for a week and without worry that another guild or group or raid was going to come and steal your mob.  If you couldn’t kill it after like three wipes, I do not remember the exact number or the exact rules, but there was something in effect so that the mob wouldn’t be wasted, the next guild had a shot at it.  Camping mobs as most know is not a fun thing to do.  It is time consuming, boring, and there is always a good shot that another person will come KS you and then run off laughing.

More games need to have this in place, or at least more servers need to have this in place.  It brought order to the game and helped to smooth out some of the chaos.  Let me know what you think about this regulation.  Is it good?  Bad?  What would you change or improve about it.

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July 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Maps

Maps are a big part of any game. With the size of worlds in most games it is near impossible to keep track of yourself all the time and knowing where you need to go. Some games have sign posts, some have landmarks or other indicators of where you are and need to go. EQ didn’t have any maps unless you used a third party program. At least I don’t remember too many maps and if there were any they were player created and not always overly good. EQ2 had maps but I do not remember if they were for all zones and I do not remember if they were overly good either. AoC had maps straight out of the box for almost all areas if not all areas. I think that maps should always be part of a game, but I think they should be handled a little differently.

Maps should have to be earned. You should start out with a map of your starting location and that’s it. Now all maps will have been created by the developers and will be available either by buying them or a preferred method by crafting them or questing for them. It would be cool to have quests to get the maps you need. Maps for big worlds, maps for dungeons, maps of buildings.

Picture this. You assemble your group and inform them to meet at your house at 10:00 p.m. You all show up and crowd around a table. You, the party leader, whip out a map from your backpack ( shown graphically by the way on your back ) and unroll the plans of a castle you want to siege. It shows guard rotations, loot chambers, more important mobs, and you would have the ability to find weak points in order to get into the castle.

Games need to be more immersive. I want to be so fully engrossed in a game that I never want to leave and would never have a reason to leave.

Let me know what you think.

July 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In Game Information

I have always admired the people who play the game initially and figure out where all of the items needed to complete a quest are found. My greatest example is the epic quests from EQ. There were some that were ridiculously long that required crazy amounts of killing and item hunting. I do not really know how these people figured things out like that. I always start out with great intentions of doing all my quests without the help of ogaming.com ( may it rest in peace or whatever happened to it ), Allakazham, and the likes of sites that offer questing information as well as other information that is pertinent to the game. There have been a few different approaches to where you can get information about whatever particular task that you are working on. The first is to offer up nothing in way of in game information. You might have a very minor hint from the quest giver, but that is about where it ends. EQ I think did it like that, there wasn’t very much information given in game and you just sort of hoped that you would stumble along until you found what you are looking for. Then there is the let’s give you so much information that you do not need to provide any of your own thought processes we are just going to do it for you. AoC comes to mind as there were indicators on the map for everything. It showed you the direction of each quest step, it marked the NPC location for the current step, and it showed where you needed to go to return your items or information or anything else that you needed to return. The sort of in between I think was EQ2. It didn’t give you all the information, but it pointed you in a semi right direction and it marked it’s NPCs for you once you got into range.

In game information is a delicate balance like anything else in a MMORPG. Too much information and the game is too easy. Too little information and people will say it is too hard. Not only that but people will spend the majority of their time out of game trying to look up the next step in the quest.

I was reading an interesting article about in game information. They talked about having sages or librarians in game that for a fee could give you information about your quest. I think that is a great idea. Let’s say I have a quest where I need to find someone with a bountiful harvest. I would have no idea what that means. Instead of going out of the game and looking up the information it would be cool to be able to run to the library or a monastery or a school or some other tower or building that housed a sage, seer, librarian, knowledge keeper, book lore, or some person that would be able to give you the information about the current quest. Another thought is I spend hours and hours and hours and hours looking for an upgrade to any thing I own, weapons, armor, spells, you name it I wanted an upgrade for it. So what do I do? I go to my broker or trader or whatever the game has for a marketplace and I enter in my search criteria. Level 20 to 30 chest piece that has agility on it and costs between 1g and 20g. Enter. No results. This scene is all too familiar. The problem with this method is that a player needs to be selling this item, that it needs to be sellable, and the item needs to be discovered. How cool would it be to go to an arms dealer and he/she would know your level, your class, and your race and at first talk would offer you information that he just received from the city about a new shipment of weapons that just came in. Intrigued I would want more information. The NPC would take a step forward lower his head and look around before standing up and whispering, for 10 silver pieces I’ll tell you what city the shipment is going to and the time. Paying him my 10 silver pieces because I want a new weapon, he would slip the 10 silver pieces into his pocket and slide me a piece of paper with the information. That would be awesome. A game that I can be totally engrossed in where I wouldn’t have to leave the game for anything ever.

Let me know what you think, and cruise on over to Tobold’s MMORPG Blog, I’ve only read a couple posts but it seems worth the time.

July 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment