Friday, June 27, 2008


I'm having some really random MMO thoughts, despite the fact that I hate the genre...

-One of the things I want to try with it is that the entire game is class-less. Which is to mean you don't build a fighter, cleric, wizard, etc, etc. Instead, it's all about stats, skills, and perks.

The base game engine is D100 based-stats plus skills, minus modifiers. PVP and PVC (Player Vs. Character) will include modifiers based upon how well the other guy rolled to resist. You can level stats up as high as you want, but they cost XP. Skills as well, but only up to 25%, then you have to find a tutor for your next qualification (journeyman), then at 50% you have to find a mentor (expert), then at 75% a sponsor (master), and finally at 100% and beyond a God (heh, Elite). Otherwise, no restrictions at all.

Then, we have perks and disadvantages. Perks and disadvantages "round out" a character, and are first purchased, then can be gained through gameplay. There's a reasonable number of "perk points" you can buy at the start of the game, but if you want more, you have to buy disadvantages.

Here are two good disadvantage examples-
*Nemesis. At the level you buy it, every "real" hour in the game means that your nemesis shows up, on an increasing chance. Depending upon how powerful your nemesis is, he could be weaker, stronger, or equal. If he's stronger, it's good to have friends. And, sometimes, nemesis drop interesting stuff. If you want to get more points, buy a PC as a Nemesis. And, wait as he comes to kill you, steal your stuff, and skullfuck your corpse.
*Incompetent. This is a skill penalty (in the form of more XP to buy the skill), and can cover any one skill, set of skills (magery, for example, is a skill set. You buy a particular "branch" of spells, and if you have the skill for it, you can cast the spells you buy), and how much XP more you need to raise the skill.

This allows for some pretty interesting characters-and a wider variety of them.

-Most games control weapons and armor on the basis of levels, a sort of "you must be this tall to destroy the city" control. But, the game I'm thinking about has no levels-so, how do you prevent some total new guy from doing the whole "I paid a Chinese guy $3,000 and he gave me all the most awesome stuff!" aspect.

First of all, to use some items you have to have minimum stats and skills. Buying Divine Blizzard when your Ice Magic skill is only 30% is a waste of money and could get you killed if you tried to use it. Literally, as in "it rips your character's soul apart, generate a new character" thing. Second, some weapons and items require you to get Certified. This is a quest (or you can buy the basic certifications during character creation) and each certification gives bonuses besides the ability to use certian kinds of weapons and/or advanced weapons of each class and type.

And, let's not forget-if you want to use some of the really unique weapons, you have to go on some pretty hellacious quests...

-Having a reputation is very important. All the more so, in this game.

Reputation is something you can track, between the six major and twelve or so minor factions. Having a good reputation means that you can get deals at the various stores, buy cheaper drinks at the bars, and the City Guards will take your side-with a vengeance-in towns that your faction is in control of. If you're in a town that you have a bad reputation with...vendors won't sell to you, bar fights become more common, and the City Guard will beat you up, steal your stuff, and do other horrible things to you.

And, if the reputation of you in a town is really come with a whole bunch of friends, to conquer the town...

-One of the things I hate in MMORPGs is the power gamers that play huge numbers of hours per day, and build hugely buffed characters. And then take them to stomp on everybody else...

So, you have to include some way to fix this problem. Worlds of Warcraft has the answer in the form of multipliers to XP for the time you stay off of the game-and it has to be a real amount of time. It's a neat idea...but, I think it can be done better.

My idea? Your character, in-game, has a job. Doesn't matter what the job is-tho certain skill, reputation, and perk sets will mean that you can take certain jobs over others. What do these jobs do? You earn money, and some XP. Certain jobs let you work on player character-based will create an eidiolon, which interacts with thing as a NPC bot. The catch? You have to be off-line at least eight hours in a 24 hour period. Spend too much time on-line, and your character becomes a freelancer...which means you have to pay rent, bills, etc, etc...and you don't get the nice and nifty XP bit for doing nothing.

-One of the "fun" things in many MMORPGs is creating objects. Then, selling them. Then, repeating the process.

From my perspective, if I want to do that, I'll get a job making widgets. But, some people find this exciting, so....

Manufacturing items is a tricky thing-and, to produce more than the most basic thing, you need a workshop. Of course, some workshops come in a Portable format (with the cute graphics of you opening up a box...and a whole workshop appears right there...), so you can take them anywhere. This lets you make new stuff, if you have the materials. But, if you want to enchant need nothing more than the materials, the right spells, and time.

Of course, if you goof, you bust what you're trying to enchant, so be very careful....

In game terms, each non-expendable items has a number of "slots" in which you can insert enchantments and enhancements. Some enhancements are pretty simple-new gun sights, careful weights on swords to make recovery time easier, that sort of thing. Some are complicated...carefully shaving off enough metal to increase the rate of fire, adding enchantments so that your blade does elemental damages, adding a status-effect to a mace.

And, we haven't even gotten into Artifact Weapons yet...

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