Friday, November 23, 2007

Where am I?

I know, I know, I haven't been very faithful in posting. Truth is, I'm posting my new ideas on the Metaplace forums. Give it a look someday, you can discuss new ideas with the brains of tomorrow's MMORPGs.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Multiplayer Crafting

What happens when you want to make a lamellar armor, but only have smithing skills? Without leather working skills, making an armor combining leather and metal pieces would be tricky, at best. While you could theoretically create parts of the armor beforehand, and then leave them in the care of a leather worker to complete the process, such cooperation would most likely imply waste and inefficiency. A better method would be to work together on a single item.

What happens, then, is that one player initializes the crafting, and asks the other player for help. Together, they smith and weave away, using their combined skills and resources to create the masterpiece, their efforts rewarded with an item they both can be proud of.

This could be used for other collaborations, of course. A master smith could get help from an apprentice; the apprentice gets to work on their skill, and get paid for it, while the master gets some assistance, making the crafting minigame that much easier. Enchanters could easily work in parallel with other crafters so that their enchantments can be placed on items of greater power.

It might be wishful thinking, some would think, but I think adding multiplayer crafting would really help the genre progress forward as a true multiplayer game, instead of a multiplayer solo game.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Where Does It Come From?

The enemy? Where does it come from? Ho, it just appeared there, you say? Because the last time it died was exactly 30 minutes ago? Well, that's inconvenient, our soldier died 18 minutes ago; we'll have to wait another 12 minutes before we're saved. Let's hope there's a level-appropriate adventurer nearby who will accept the quest, otherwise we're all going to take a 30-minutes trip to limbo. T'would be a shame, really.

Yeah, OK, not quite subtle, but I got the point across. Mostly. I think.

Where do these enemies come from?
And, while we're at it, those allies? They just spawned there, it seems. That doesn't make sense. Everything should come from somewhere. And I do mean everything. There is no infinitely respawning enemy. There is no infinitely respawning quest reward. And there is no infinitely respawning iron node, herb patch or vendor item. If you want herb, you either get it yourself, or hope someone has harvested some recently. And if you want to kill some goblins, you don't go to goblin camp #121; you go search for them. Get some rumors, while you're at it, it would probably help.

So where do evil goblins come from? The goblin frontier, most likely. What is the goblin frontier, you ask? Ho, you didn't? Should have, it was a good question.

So what is the goblin frontier? It's where goblins come from. More importantly, it's the place that has a very large amount of goblins. Short of a massive invasion force, you cannot as much as hope to push them back a little. If you do amass a massive invasion force, however, then you may stand a chance. Hit them hard enough, and they will be forced to move back and rebuild, leaving their precious land behind, ready to be conquered; lucky for you, you just happen to have (what remains of) a massive army around. So your investment paid off, and now you have some more land to call your own.

Even if the invasion fails, however, it would not have been in vain. Any force standing a chance against the enemy army would most likely deal massive damage to their organization. Such damage is sure to take a long time to repair, meaning that invasion forces, settlers and adventuring parties from that organization will be in shorter supplies for some time, leaving you with an easier defense and the enemy with less spoils from the conquests.

The same would happen in player versus player. If you want the evil player-run city to disappear, you amass an army; the difference being that players aren't always online, so you have to find a mean to organize a raid that gives a fair chance to both parties. Until you do, you can just go scouting for goblins, or maybe ore veins. It beats grinding on foozles, for sure.