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Social Mechanics

Obviously there are more important things, but I would like to throw out that social systems are always fun. Bond points gained by playing with people on your friends list (like Revelation Online) was kind of cool. The marriage system in FFXIV always weirded me out when the really short race married the really big race... but hey, to each his own. It’s just fun.


  • I think IS is going to go this route. I doubt they will use the exact mechanics you are mentioning, but they have said many many times that the game they are building will heavily incentivise the social aspects. They Want to put the MMO back into MMORPG
    While still having some stuff in there for the solo players to do.
  • I actually found some information that they are planning to have a family system, and mentioned it would be similar to ArcAge (never played it so not sure what that means). Really excited!
  • Look at 2 Mil goal.

  • As a proud representative of the socially awkward, the very last thing I want is a server full of folks with unwanted friend requests every time you enter a town, just so they can reach a new social level. They will need add a way to block all requests with maybe a response field to add some biting critique of the unasked for intrusion. >:)
  • Marriage system will probably allow you to make your spouse able to decorate your freehold together with you and use your stuff. move stuff around etc. Something that you can allow only your spouse if you wish so.

    It will likely be an additional setting in freehold settings, when you chose what you want to allow others, you will have, PUBLIC, FRIEND LIST, GUILD, SPOUSE, ONLY MYSELF. Something along those lines.

    There are other possibilities like seeing your spouse chat in different color, seeing your spouse position on map and stuff like that.

    I doubt it will be as extreme as being able to teleport to your spouse and stuff like that.

  • Yeah, although the teleport thing would be really nice. "Honey, I'm dying," he yells across the room. "Okay love, I'm on my way." /em teleport to spouse #monstersalldie
  • There are a few social systems I would like to see that could be beneficial. I'm sure I could come up with more, but these are the ones I've interacted with that have had great success in some title or another.

    1. Mentor System -  Scales down Equipment and Skill Damages to be inline with an an average for damage and effectiveness when choosing to Mentor someone of a lower level (assuming it's working this way) to give the Pupil (individual being mentored) an experience boost to hasten progression.
    2. Companion System - Mild buff for being in a party with someone on your friends list, only individuals that are on someones friends list within the party obtain this buff.
    3. Guild Party System - Moderate Buff for being in a party entirely made of Guild members (or applied at 3/4ths the party is a single guild)
    4. Guild Scheduling System - In-game calendar tied to web services. This allows for ingame notifications and (optional) email notifications for large scale scheduled events, Raids, Dungeon Runs, gatherings, etc...
    5. Guild Leveling System - Have a static level that progresses with selectable upgrades - These upgrades can be applicable to the various territorial ownership system like resource caravans can carry 10% more goods, or have a bonus for xp when killing "X" class of creatures. A progressive perk system that people can choose how they want their guild to progress in nature and develop like a character unto itself.
    6. Activity Matchmaking system - Have the ability to submit to a matchmaking system for doing specific activities like, cleaning up the woods (assault AI strongholds on tiles), Caravan defense (be mercenaries for a guild in transporting their goods), Dungeon runs or Raids....etc. Have all the core mechanical activities with a social interaction be presented there. 
  • Allusir said:
    Obviously there are more important things
    Actually, there aren't. Everything in an MMO should be built around creating and fostering meaningful social connections.  Ask anyone who's played an MMO for ten years why they still play and the odds are probably 99:1 that their answer has to do with the friends they made there.

    But the key is that those connections have to become meaningful and can't be forced.  Being forced into a group that doesn't have any real social interaction isn't productive and those shallow connections really just piss everyone off, because inevitably some anonymous jerk will be a jerk.  And even if they aren't, you don't have any reason to talk to those people again once you're finished. 

    Using WoW as an example ... I still know people I ran dungeons with ten years ago, because we had to have actual interaction and when you ran across players with similar interests, you added them to your friends list and looked there first when you did another dungeon.  But I know exactly zero people that I've queued together with from a 25 man raid, because you don't have to talk to them and there isn't any incentive to develop a relationship.  Activities like that shouldn't even be a group activity.  LFR would be far less despised if you queued into a solo instance with 24 NPCs.  Why should my success at an activity be dictated by 24 random people, 14 of whom are probably AFK?

    The catch is always that any incentive for a social activity is also a penalty for those who don't participate.  I think that MMOs must be social by nature, so the argument against rewarding social interaction rings hollow, but there is a balancing act.  I think marriage in MMOs is a little silly, but as long the rewards for it aren't so strong that it feels necessary, I don't really care.  An instant teleport to your in-game spouse, though, makes it basically mandatory.

    Guild leveling and guild perk systems are frequently problematic (and this is why they were gutted from WoW) because they reward you for having the biggest guild and creating shallow social interactions.  Ashes has promised to improve on this through guild alliances, but I think they still need to be cautious not to make it all about numbers.

    Random matchmaking in general should be anathema to an MMO.  Anything you can do with random strangers, you can probably do better without them.
  • @Adhemar
    Haha, I guess that makes sense. I was thinking the system wasn't super important because I already have a group of friends I have been playing games with for years (met through an MMO), so the idea of needing a system to foster that wasn't top on my mind. Good points. 

    I also really hope guilds aren't a numbers game. Of course a bigger guild will have things like ownership of a castle... but hopefully smaller guilds can ally with them and help them defend said castle. I hope that passive buffs will be achievable by small 10 person guilds. 

    I would love it if my close friends could make a guild and ally with another guild to do the bigger stuff with. 
  • @Allusir

    My group intends to do exactly what you described, and from the developer comments it sounds like that's their intention.  Obviously that could change and we have precious little detail on those guild alliance systems, right now, but it sounds like the intentions are correct. 

    But success in this business means drawing and maintaining new players, not just those of us who have played the other MMOs and found them lacking.  And it means doing it while the 800lb gorilla (WoW) attempts to pull the rug out from under you by coopting as many of your good ideas as they can.  But the mitigating factor in that is that they lost sight of the core draw of their own system.  They pulled out their own roots by replacing social interaction with convenience and forcing ever bigger groups of ever less-connected people.  I think that's the mark Ashes has to hit if they're going to have a chance. 
  • I love social systems in games, they allow you to engage in different activities compared to the constant leveling, as long as they don't have any strong advantages over solo players it's a great way to have fun.
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