Where’s My Game

My thoughts about what a MMORPG should be.

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.

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July 5, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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