Search Unity

What Do You Look for in an MMORPG?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by NoobFPSDude, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. NoobFPSDude

    NoobFPSDude

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Posts:
    62
    Hello, unity community.

    I am planning to very soon start building an MMO based on how EQOA worked. Everquest Online Adventures was my favorite MMORPG of all time and, really, nothing comes close to the same experience. What I am trying to get at is, why? Why was EQOA fun and I can't get the same enjoyment from any other MMO. What do you look for in an MMO that makes it fun?

    Another but not unrelated question - How developed of a story do you look for in MMOs? I found that EQOA really didn't have much of a story at all. Maybe some lore on why certain stuff is different, but certainly not a start to finish story. Same goes for more current MMOs like Wow, I see a lot of pointless lore that hardly adds anything to the game other than background info, and certainly no definitive story for the player to experience. How much should the focus be on lore in an MMO, do you feel? I am a long way from even talking about the finished product, and mechanics and necessities most certainly will come first when building the game, but I still would like to know these things. At the very least it's a nice friendly discussion on why certain MMOs are so fun. :D
     
  2. DanSuperGP

    DanSuperGP

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Posts:
    383
    My favorite thing about MMORPG's is that rookie independent developers think they are capable of making them. This inevitable leads to the sweet sweet tears of crushed dreams, which are my greatest sustenance.
     
    theANMATOR2b likes this.
  3. NoobFPSDude

    NoobFPSDude

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Posts:
    62
    I should've written small-scale mmorpg, perhaps just more of an orpg, nothing massive about it. A couple hundred to a few thousand people per server, nothing like WoW with 10-15K people per server. Yes, I know I probably am another one of those "I want to build a near-impossibly ambitious game with little experience" guys. But I want to at least try. Plus, I know that developing the aspects of any game, especially MMOs, take time. I don't believe there's a "Make MMO" button in Unity. Thirdly, I am trying to start a friendly discussion. If you have nothing to say other than discouraging, mocking words, please refrain from saying anything at all here. Criticism I can take, but jokes and mocks about my capabilities... I would appreciate if they were not here.
     
  4. DanSuperGP

    DanSuperGP

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Posts:
    383
    Ah, but you see, that was a real honest answer. I don't like MMO's, they are huge time sucks. It really is the only thing I like about them.
     
  5. NoobFPSDude

    NoobFPSDude

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Posts:
    62
    "Time sucks" both in the gaming world AND the development world. :D
     
  6. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Posts:
    3,823
    (Insert standard MMORPG thread mock here.)

    Seriously, though. Let's assume for a moment you can write a server that handles 128-2048 users per server seamlessly, and create quality content (I'm actually assuming this is the case, for discussion's sake.) What about data centers to host your game? What about your dev hardware? How will you solve the cheating and RMT problems associated with a fresh MMORPG? As a fellow newcomer, I'm sure you don't have that much cash on you. You'll need significant money from somewhere to make this game happen. And that's just to get off the ground.

    How will the game make your registered company money? There's a lot of ideas flying around that the subscription MMORPG - like EverQuest - may be dead due to the proliferation of 'Free' and 'Free to Play'. How will you hire community management (you've got to ban trolls somehow) and a legal team (lawyers aren't cheap.) In short, let's assume you successfully make the game. How will you keep it running? How will the game achieve profitability?

    I honestly don't think that Unity is necessarily the best tool in this case - since you want to make an MMO, and are confident enough to do it, you need the right tool for the job, and I'm assuming you've got answers to those questions, and thus the requisite money to throw at them. I suggest giving the Hero Engine a shot, it was used by Star Wars: The Old Republic, among others. It will help speed up your process so it's not quite as costly (though, you'll still be spilling money, but then too, I'm assuming you're at least a millionaire. So, good luck!)

    Finally, you have talked about this, but consider that the Anti-MMO sentiment in this forum isn't around to disparage newcomers. MMOs are hard. MMOs are expensive. Even AAA developers often find themselves unable to "do them right." What's worse, we've all heard it a hundred times before (I'm gonna make the best WoW clone! The best Sword Art Online fan-MMORPG! The best Final Fantasy VII MMORPG!) I'm pretty vocal on this, but it's less to disparage and more to convince you to try something you can realistically do.

    As an alternate suggestion that will still help you towards your dream game, start with an Eastern RPG - ORK will help you set up a JRPG easily and let you start learning to craft them. Doing this will help you achieve your MMORPG dream, as you'll start getting a bigger and better code base, as well as establishing yourself with an independent IP.

    EDIT: There's also a "Dream MMORPG" thread where you can read other's ideas and wants, and even expound upon your concept. It sounds like you'd have something to contribute to that thread, so I suggest at least giving it a read. Sometimes typing out your idea can help you figure out how to make it real.
     
    Ryiah and DanSuperGP like this.
  7. NoobFPSDude

    NoobFPSDude

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Posts:
    62
    I guess it's true that it would be very hard. In fact, IIRC, EQOA actually shut down because of financial issues. I am not sure how financially well SOE is doing, I am not on their money management team. LOL. But, I figure since most of their games are Free to Play, they must not be doing great. Usually FTP is a last resort, to have the game die out with a bang, so to say. They say FTP is their policy, and even their newest game EQ: Next is gonna be free to play. Brings to question, JUST policy, or do they have that low of an expectation for the game?
     
  8. DanSuperGP

    DanSuperGP

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Posts:
    383
    Sony Online Entertainment was just sold off to an investment firm called Columbus Nova, and is no longer a part of Sony. They've been rebranded as Daybreak Games Company.
     
  9. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,452
    I typically look for a big name. Something like 'Blizzard' on the front does it for me.

    I also look for games my friends are playing.

    Big advertisements also help.

    But in all seriousness, your marketing department should be a huge help. They should already have there finger on the pulse of your exiting gamers. As your existing following will be the biggest source of players for your new MMO, you should consider their interests. Your marketing department should also have a finger on what the competition are doing.

    You can't make and MMO on your own
     
    Gigiwoo likes this.
  10. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    14,301
    HeroEngine offers a service called HeroCloud that handles hosting and RMTs. I'm going to assume it handles cheating as well but I haven't found an exact statement regarding that on their site. You'd want to inquire with them on that specific issue.

    Cost is $99 per year plus 30% of your game's revenue.

    http://www.heroengine.com/herocloud/
     
    AndrewGrayGames likes this.
  11. khanstruct

    khanstruct

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Posts:
    2,865
    Once upon a time, I worked with the people that now own/develop HeroEngine. Believe me, it's not worth it. It has some awesome collaboration tools for development, but you'd be paying for it in spades trying to work around its shortcomings. If I had a nickel every time they said "that's not one of it's strengths", I'd be able to fund an MMO by now.

    And for the record, SW:TOR wasn't built with HeroEngine. You'll notice that HeroEngine is very careful with their wording, saying that "it was licensed for Star Wars" and, "it was vital to the success of Star Wars". Bioware immediately stopped accepting updates from the engine. They then salvaged some of the code and tools from it to make their game. There's a reason ST:TOR doesn't have the HeroEngine logo anywhere on it, and they almost never talk about it.

    EDIT: In all fairness, I haven't touched HE in years. It may have improved. But you would think that if MMOs were as simple to make with their engine as they claim, they, themselves would have finished at least ONE of the MMOs that they announced. Hero's Journey, Echoverse, something by Second Star Interactive (which no longer exists), or my team's game, X-Shift.
     
    AndrewGrayGames and Ryiah like this.
  12. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    14,301
    The Elder Scrolls Online took a similar approach. They used HeroEngine to develop a prototype and then quickly abandoned it for their own solution. I would only recommend HeroEngine for an individual because, at least in the majority of cases, they simply are not going to be capable of building their own solution.
     
    AndrewGrayGames and khanstruct like this.
  13. ostrich160

    ostrich160

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Posts:
    679
    my favorite MMO's arent MMORPG's. It seems to be the case that people thing that an MMO is pretty much an MMORPG.

    My favorite MMO, as I've said before is my favorite game, is EVE online. I love the player driven aspect. The world design (or rather, universe design) of EVE online takes this really unique approach of being completely indifferent. A lot of people say the world of eve is hostile and harsh, it isnt. The world is kind of dead, it leaves it to the players to decide how hostile it is. And it ends up being very hostile.

    Also the political aspects are fantastic. I was in the battle for 6VDT, which was fantastic.
     
  14. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Posts:
    7,779
    Disclaimer - I'm the one guy who has never played WOW. If MMO's were more like off line RPG's I'd probably have jumped into the MMO realm @ Everquest, but alas they aren't. I could see playing an online multiplayer version of Baldur's Gate being fun but the raid and tanking gameplay aspects of mmo's just isn't appealing to me.
    I initially thought Destiny was going to be a game that broke the mold from the marketing material upselling fun sounding single-player play, but when it came out, the reports on the marketing overselling that aspect was evident.

    Though I haven't played WOW I loved the Warcraft games and a lot of lore you talk about began in those games. I've kept up on the lore and wow story, for the most part. I see very little pointless lore from a story telling point. You may be speaking about the in game short fetch quests and other meaningless relationship story elements, but consider the pointless troll story arc which morphed into a major part of the wow lore. Didn't one of the trolls eventually become the horde leader?
    If the numerous writers never decided to follow this 'pointless' story arc the wow lore would look a lot different and a lot of gameplay would not have been experienced by the horde of wow players.

    I have to disagree with this, partially. FTP used to be the last resort for a dieing mmo game that couldn't keep a solid user base paying the monthly fees.
    The future (present) of successful MMO's will be FTP with in game purchases. The president has already been set with mobile and several other MMO's which are available from day 1 as FTP.
    The winning formula will be gameplay, lore, and how in game purchases are handled. Pay to win will always fail. Pay for convinces and pretty visuals will work. And this model will promote iterative development and releases.
     
  15. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Posts:
    2,981
    You can't build an MMO. Neither 1/10th of WoW, nor 1/1000th of EQ. Consider building a few games with circles or blocks. That'll give you enough experience to appreciate why this post gets such negative responses.

    Gigi
     
    AndrewGrayGames and theANMATOR2b like this.
  16. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,674
    Not another one of these...

    With all due respect, the negative attitudes have nothing to do with the fact that "MMO's are hard". It is the culture here and unfortunately, people like to jump on bandwagons.

    If it were simply because they were hard and newbs can't make them, people wouldn't bother. They would ignore the threads.

    Telling people to make a simple game first is an excellent idea. Making excuses for being rude and dismissive is not a good idea. Just makes people look petty.
     
    Mayflower likes this.
  17. Tomnnn

    Tomnnn

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Posts:
    4,137
    I guess after @Teila 's statement there, I can begin the chain of serious posts.

    I don't care about the MMO aspect unless you have a system or event that actually makes use of having massive amounts of players. What I like in any RPG is a system that doesn't lock into 1 role. Runescape is the best example I can give. I don't care for the grind, but the skills become useful, profitable and fun within a week. It's done very well.
     
    Teila likes this.
  18. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,674
    I absolutely agree. I like a game where I am not locked into a class or a category. I want my character to be able to evolve and grow and change. So if I get tired of making widgets, I can start learning something different. I do care about the MMO part, but it doesn't have to be massive. I prefer smaller servers where you get to know the people on the server and you can actually make a difference. Massive games where people get lost in instances are no fun for me. I lose that connection to the community.

    Like Tomnnn, I don't like too much grind. A little is expected but the journey should be part of the game. So becoming a famous fighter or crafter should not be about killing or making the same things over and over again until they become boring, but about making a place for your character in the world. A famous fighter might be saving the town from the bad guys or just ridding the farmer's barn of rats but his actions should be meaningful and those meaningful actions should be the means to advancement.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  19. Tomnnn

    Tomnnn

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Posts:
    4,137
    How about a boring democracy class in which you talk to all of the bandits and monsters and convince them to not attack the town? :p
     
  20. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,674
    That sounds very boring. If you were responding to me, I don't get the connection. ;)
     
  21. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    14,301
    Fireballs are pretty persuasive too. :p
     
    Kiwasi and Teila like this.
  22. Tomnnn

    Tomnnn

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Posts:
    4,137
    @Teila it was in response to the idea of protecting a town solely through killing things over and over. Maybe eventually you could make peace with the monsters

    @Ryiah fireballs are less intimidating than they used to be. Even the diablo 2 druid's molten boulder is more impressive :p
     
    Teila likes this.
  23. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,674
    Ahh, I get it. :) I was trying to appeal to the "kill anything in sight" members of the community. ;) You are absolutely right, an option to make peace is a good one.
     
    AndrewGrayGames likes this.
  24. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Posts:
    3,823
    That's the best idea I've heard in a while.

    Ok, you know how in WoW, every new city has like three different monster problems going on? ("We're being attacked by night elves, yetis, and sentient squash! Please help us, mighty adventurer, we'll hand over our second-hand magical artifacts!") This is a brilliant way to control it, and you could use a reputation system to do it.

    You can do the 'Kill 10 Sentient Squash' quests until you clear the questline, if you're the "Kill Crud" type...or you could bring them gifts, negotiate an armistice/non-aggression treaty/peace treaty/formal alliance with the Sentient Squash. If you remove them as a threat, the quests automatically complete or go away if you haven't taken them, and an NPC offers you some of their better second-hand arcane relics instead, along with a increase in reputation with their faction.

    I think it's even more brilliant, because now you're offering a second choice that's just as challenging as the combat option, but in a different way.
     
    Teila likes this.
  25. DanSuperGP

    DanSuperGP

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Posts:
    383
    One of the things that bugged me about Skyrim was the inability to talk things out. When I'm out exploring the map, and I'd come up to a place full of bandits... they'd automatically start shooting arrows at me... which of course provoked me to slaughter every last one of them. It was a bad move on their part... I'm a killing machine...they're weak little blood sponges...

    It never made sense to me... They were intelligent beings right? Why does every last one of them automatically want to kill me just for walking by? You'd think that after the first guy gets sliced in half and the soul ripped from his body... the rest might pause and give me the opportunity to parlay... but no...

    Even when you beat some one so much that they start cowering... you have to kill them. If you don't... they'll get up and start fighting you again.

    At least with the bears I could shout at them and make them not want to fight anymore. But a person... nope... they have to be suicidal.

    It definitely prevented me from playing the story I wanted... which is where I united every band of bandits in Skyrim and overthrew the Empire and the Stormcloaks and set myself up as ruler...

    Instead I just killed the weak ass dragon boss and then lost interest in the game.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
    Ryiah and AndrewGrayGames like this.
  26. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,452
    It gets even more ludicrous when this happens after you single headedly break the forsworn king out of prison. Surely some gratitude from the average forsworn bandit could be expected.

    I like the peace idea. Bigger scale strategy games manage it. Why not an RPG.
     
    Ryiah, AndrewGrayGames and DanSuperGP like this.
  27. Tomnnn

    Tomnnn

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Posts:
    4,137
    "Kill anything in sight" is basically the focus of all online survival mmos right now ._.

    Survive the Nights is the first one to take a stand against it, introducing sanity that will run down as you murder other players. Too bad there's no solo play / user hosted dedicated servers...

    Anyone considering making an mmo, just let people host their own damn servers. You still got their money for buying the game but now you pay less in server maintenance.
     
    Ryiah and Kiwasi like this.
  28. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,674
    Okay, a diplomacy skill is going into my game with lots of options for negotiating. :) You guys convinced me.
     
    Tomnnn and AndrewGrayGames like this.
  29. iDontLikeHipsters

    iDontLikeHipsters

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Posts:
    24
    In light of the recent comments about server management, I think an MMORPG that officially supports dedicated servers would be neat. You could also allow communication between servers, and maybe allow users to create their own custom content. (i.e. Maps and quests)
     
  30. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Posts:
    3,823
    Just one thing - make the diplomacy itself intriguing. The idea can work and be the best thing ever, but if it's fudged it'll look...well, like one of my games up to this point.

    Don't make your diplomacy systems look like one of my games up to this point.
     
    DanSuperGP likes this.
  31. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,452
    The trick will be to make the diplomacy as interesting as the fighting. A system that relies on player technical skill, and their stats. I look forward to the attempt.
     
  32. NoobFPSDude

    NoobFPSDude

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Posts:
    62
    Probably because in a strategy game, you're controlling entire armies/cities/empires/whatever, whereas in most roleplaying games, you're playing as one person or a very small group of people. As much as we'd like to believe one person could negotiate peace in an entire fantasy realm, it just doesn't make sense. In fact, the only way I think this could realistically happen is if a king wrote letters negotiating peace standards with all other kings - not my idea of a fun RPG... I think that's why in most, you kill everything in sight - it makes more sense that a hero in a fantasy world would have to struggle and fight, not simply shake everyone's hand.

    I'd be interested to see someone's take on an RPG with a main PC revolving around friendly, allying gameplay, though.
     
  33. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,674
    I think that depends on your target audience. Our audience would love the ability to choose whether to use diplomacy rather than fight and would consider it an attractive feature. Not all audiences would, I suppose. We already have a reputation system and that could tie in well and with our political system. I can think of a number of ways to make it "fun", maybe more fun than fighting. :)

    I prefer character skill over player skill, if you mean button pushing. ;) Not all of us have the physical ability to smash buttons over and over but most of us have the ability to use our character's skills to our advantage. In a true role play setting this is crucial. Otherwise, the hardcore gamers who have great finger dexterity always win. I hate that. lol
     
    Ryiah and Kiwasi like this.
  34. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,674
    Gosh, I wasn't even thinking about an entire realm! I was thinking about a village negotiating with the bandits who hang out on the highway stealing from the passing merchants. Maybe more a....hey, we will give you so much grain and coin if you will leave us alone! :)
     
  35. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2013
    Posts:
    16,452
    No more then one person killing every monster in the realm and saving the world. Yet we play that trope out all the time.

    A game entirely about creating peace between two warring nations would also be fascinating. Drop the player down in the middle of a war zone, with the entire intention of creating peace between the warring sides. There are plenty of military operations going on right now where the entire focus is peace keeping.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  36. Tomnnn

    Tomnnn

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Posts:
    4,137
    Or you can add a pheonix wright mode where you take monsters to court to answer for their murders :D
     
    AndrewGrayGames likes this.
  37. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Posts:
    3,823
    That only works if characters have a Hair Style stat over 1006.
     
    Tomnnn and Teila like this.