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Breaking the Norm

Balrog21Balrog21 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
Well, since we're all (well most of us, some of us still have to work) stuck inside I got to thinking about the norms that we have just adopted and come to accept in MMO's. I will list a few examples.
1. Zones with levels.
2. End boss drops the elite gear
3. Set number of abilities/spells these never change unless an expansion comes.
4. Very static cities.
5. Raids
What are some things that you would like to see that breaks these norms? I have a few but, I want to see some of yours first.

Comments

  • JahlonJahlon Member, Intrepid Pack, Alpha One
    Zones with levels aren't a thing in Ashes. All Nodes/ZOIs have content/mobs that are a wide range of levels.

    End bosses that drop elite gear aren't really a thing in Ashes either. They will drop mats that you will need to get to a crafter and that crafter will make gear.

    #3 I mean that's just a fact of life when it comes to production of the game.

    4: Luckily nodes are anything but static.

    5: Raids... well yeah raids are content so they will be in every game.
    hpsmlCJ.jpg
    Make sure to check out Ashes 101
  • Balrog21Balrog21 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Not just saying Ashes but MMO's in general.
  • DamoklesDamokles Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited March 2020
    About the static spells:
    Didnt Camelot unchained offer spell creation down the line?
    I remember reading something like that.
    I didnt really follow the development, could be that they took that out.


    Found it:
    "Magic spells are created by the player (not by the studio), by combining Runes and other components such as reagents"
    KkvMmA5.png
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Damokles wrote: »
    About the static spells:
    Didnt Camelot unchained offer spell creation down the line?
    I remember reading something like that.
    I didnt really follow the development, could be that they took that out.


    Found it:
    "Magic spells are created by the player (not by the studio), by combining Runes and other components such as reagents"

    Another illusion not to mention an outright lie. All the spells a player can come up with have to be made in the game by the developers first.
    volunteer_moderator.gif
  • DamoklesDamokles Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited March 2020
    Damokles wrote: »
    About the static spells:
    Didnt Camelot unchained offer spell creation down the line?
    I remember reading something like that.
    I didnt really follow the development, could be that they took that out.


    Found it:
    "Magic spells are created by the player (not by the studio), by combining Runes and other components such as reagents"

    Another illusion not to mention an outright lie. All the spells a player can come up with have to be made in the game by the developers first.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJt-aHTp8gA

    Begins at 1:20
    KkvMmA5.png
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited March 2020
    Damokles wrote: »
    Damokles wrote: »
    About the static spells:
    Didnt Camelot unchained offer spell creation down the line?
    I remember reading something like that.
    I didnt really follow the development, could be that they took that out.


    Found it:
    "Magic spells are created by the player (not by the studio), by combining Runes and other components such as reagents"

    Another illusion not to mention an outright lie. All the spells a player can come up with have to be made in the game by the developers first.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJt-aHTp8gA

    Begins at 1:20

    Yes I have seen systems like this before. It still doesn't change the fact that every possible combination has to be thought up and implemented into the game by the developer. The players can't use combinations that aren't supported and implemented into the game. The players aren't really creating anything, they are just selecting a spell from a bunch of options. The only difference between a system like this and just picking pre-built spells from a long list is the illusion of creativity it gives the player.
    volunteer_moderator.gif
  • SwaftworthSwaftworth Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    It looks like they made a decent modular spell system, where you pick a category, then pick your targetting paradigm, then you pick the effect, and maybe pick some simple buffs (faster casting, more damage, more targets, etc). So they wouldn't have to design or code each resultant spell individually, since each part of the equation doesn't interfere with previous parts. BUT they would still have to go through every combination afterwards and do QA and balance it individually, and probably make new art for most of the combos.

    I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the idea, except that it might be more work overall. Half the spell combos won't really make sense or feel good for the player, so they're kinda wasted effort to develop/support. But hey, lots of games include Bad Abilities or Builds that exist for the sole purpose of making other abilities look better by contrast, and players sometimes enjoy experimenting with them to find the Good Builds.
    mr1cq9w89im2.jpg

  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Balrog21 wrote: »
    Well, since we're all (well most of us, some of us still have to work) stuck inside I got to thinking about the norms that we have just adopted and come to accept in MMO's. I will list a few examples.
    1. Zones with levels.
    2. End boss drops the elite gear
    3. Set number of abilities/spells these never change unless an expansion comes.
    4. Very static cities.
    5. Raids
    What are some things that you would like to see that breaks these norms? I have a few but, I want to see some of yours first.

    !, 3 and 4 here are things that exist historically due to technical limitations. We are just getting to the point now where it is possible to make a game that breaks these technical limitations.

    2 and 5, however, are necessary by design. They are things that could be changed at any point in any MMO, if a better solution was found.

    Raids are designed - in part - to bring communities together. People tend to be happier when they are a part of a community, and if people are happier playing an MMO, they will play (and pay) for longer.

    Thus, raids increase game revenue.

    End bosses dropping gear is simple. If they didn't, you wouldn't bother. If a dungeon had 5 bosses, and the second boss was the one that dropped the gear everyone wanted, how often do you think people would even bother with the third boss?

    Now, as I said, these are both situations that could be changed if a better solution was presented, as there are no technical limitations providing restrictions here.

    If you have an answer as to what games could use to assist in building communities in place of raid content, go for it. However, it would have to be something that couldn't exist if raid content does, as if it is just another idea, it would be better being developed in tandem with raids, not as a replacement.

    Similarly, if you have a suggestion where the best gear is available other than from the end boss of a piece of content, yet that content is still always run to the end, feel free to let us all know.

    Game developers haven't come up with a better solution to these two situations in over 20 years, but maybe you have an idea they didn't think of.
  • Balrog21Balrog21 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited April 2020
    Thanks for the response @noaani ! Yeah, not trying to reinvent the wheel, but I do like your comment, "
    If you have an answer as to what games could use to assist in building communities in place of raid content, go for it. However, it would have to be something that couldn't exist if raid content does, as if it is just another idea, it would be better being developed in tandem with raids, not as a replacement."
    @Jahlon also stated that end game raid bosses will drop mats, I haven't read that anywhere, but that's definitely a start in the right direction. You could also go as far as after defeating the x bosses secret rooms opened up and you have to read the ancient texts to get your knowledge for said weapons, spells, etc. Or you have to carve something off one of the bosses to take to a mat or master crafter. The possibilities are endless in that regard to me instead of a boss dropping a percentage chance loot drop or I get a dungeon coin to save up for a piece of gear.
    Don't get me wrong killing the big boss is fun, but for me once it's done why would I want to go do it again unless I'm forced too. I killed Onyxia once and did Molten Core once..and when I saw and understood the loot drop tables I was done. That pretty much killed raiding for me. Then whenever I would get asked to guilds..the term we have x boss on farm, that would just make cringe.
    Now, what if we made raids in stages? To be where the raid would take like a month or longer to get through? This could be done by having, let's say the raid has 4 big bosses and after one or two are down to their last percentage of life they trap the party, teleport them out of said dungeon or escaped to a further part of the world or dungeon, and to get to that next part of the raid you and the other raiding party had to go enlist help or gather resources in order to advance? To break down the barrier(s) the bosses put in place to stop you. It wouldn't have to be just a barrier per say it could be a numerous mobs that the raid had no chance of winning against and had to flee, but to get to the next part you had to collect enough drops off the mobs and other denizens of the dungeon to advance.
    For that matter to reuse old content you could have it where artifacts or other things are needed to progress and the only way to is to revisit older dungeons with a certain amount of people to say a chant together or perform a spell together and the first time through these dungeons you would hardly notice them but this next time around they could be glowing, and to find out where and what you need you would have to visit said npc or go study in one of the arcane colleges to know what you need in an ancient text, for that matter have one of the books drop off a mob or be found by only investigating in a early dungeon that will be used in a future dungeon/raid.
    This would of course take time to do maybe a week depending on the raid members willingness to gather the said materials or what not? This could also alleviate the time it takes to complete a huge raid since most don't have the time to commit to a 4-5 hour raid. This would lengthen game time and end game content as well.

    Boss drops, I'm going to use a dragon because it's what we saw in the pre-Alpha stream. If any dragon is worth its salt it will have a hoard of treasure right? So why not let it drop a horde? The treasure being gold, gems, potions, armor pieces, and weapons. But these are not elite end gear items, but some could be the key to making elite items when they are broken down by an artificer of the trade. Heck some of the items could be passed down to an alt. Hence the dragon's items would be items that came before in the toons progression or equal too or a little better than what they have now. For that matter and retracing my steps a bit, each different boss drops something different. i.e. made mage drops spell scrolls, and potions, and gold only, Big bad ogre chieftain only drops gold and weapons, big bad x monster only drops armor and gold, while the dragon drops all of these. They aren't called a boss for nothing right?
    I would much rather do a raid as above than do a raid over 20 times to get gear or whatever. I would want the journey to mean something and be rewarding at the same time while doing it with my in game friends.

    This is by far out of the norm for doing a raid, but it sure would be different and fun, and that's what we need, we are stuck in a rut and WOW is the sole blame for this I think. It's been so ingrained into all of us that is just what we expect now. But god love em....i watched a little preview of Shadowlands alpha, and by gosh, I'm a elite immortal now and will live for ever but first I have to go collect 15 feathers before I do anything else....*beats head on desk* poor Blizzard.....

    Sorry for the long delay and long post. I'm now stuck doing 12-14 hours shifts and it's my 20th consecutive day working...ugh...I'm tired.

    B.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Balrog21 wrote: »
    Thanks for the response @noaani ! Yeah, not trying to reinvent the wheel, but I do like your comment, "
    If you have an answer as to what games could use to assist in building communities in place of raid content, go for it. However, it would have to be something that couldn't exist if raid content does, as if it is just another idea, it would be better being developed in tandem with raids, not as a replacement."
    @Jahlon also stated that end game raid bosses will drop mats, I haven't read that anywhere, but that's definitely a start in the right direction. You could also go as far as after defeating the x bosses secret rooms opened up and you have to read the ancient texts to get your knowledge for said weapons, spells, etc. Or you have to carve something off one of the bosses to take to a mat or master crafter. The possibilities are endless in that regard to me instead of a boss dropping a percentage chance loot drop or I get a dungeon coin to save up for a piece of gear.
    Don't get me wrong killing the big boss is fun, but for me once it's done why would I want to go do it again unless I'm forced too. I killed Onyxia once and did Molten Core once..and when I saw and understood the loot drop tables I was done. That pretty much killed raiding for me. Then whenever I would get asked to guilds..the term we have x boss on farm, that would just make cringe.
    See, to me, raiding isn't about my characters progression, it is about my guilds progression.

    I'm always happy running any raid that any member of my guild has a viable upgrade from, as if that player gets that upgrade, the raid as a whole is slightly better off.

    Thing is, if there is going to be a raid scene where players have several hours a night, several nights a week worth of content, the developers need to stretch out the viability of each raid encounter far more than they need to for any other encounter.

    If guilds only ran encounters a half dozen times, developers simply wouldn't be able to keep up with enough content, as they would need to put out new raid zones literally no more than every second week.

    The fact that players in guilds have to go back to zones that they may not have anything personally to gain from is why raiding at it's best is about community, and why it is very easy (and accurate) to consider things like LFR as not being raiding at all.
    Now, what if we made raids in stages? To be where the raid would take like a month or longer to get through? This could be done by having, let's say the raid has 4 big bosses and after one or two are down to their last percentage of life they trap the party, teleport them out of said dungeon or escaped to a further part of the world or dungeon, and to get to that next part of the raid you and the other raiding party had to go enlist help or gather resources in order to advance? To break down the barrier(s) the bosses put in place to stop you. It wouldn't have to be just a barrier per say it could be a numerous mobs that the raid had no chance of winning against and had to flee, but to get to the next part you had to collect enough drops off the mobs and other denizens of the dungeon to advance.
    For that matter to reuse old content you could have it where artifacts or other things are needed to progress and the only way to is to revisit older dungeons with a certain amount of people to say a chant together or perform a spell together and the first time through these dungeons you would hardly notice them but this next time around they could be glowing, and to find out where and what you need you would have to visit said npc or go study in one of the arcane colleges to know what you need in an ancient text, for that matter have one of the books drop off a mob or be found by only investigating in a early dungeon that will be used in a future dungeon/raid.
    This would of course take time to do maybe a week depending on the raid members willingness to gather the said materials or what not? This could also alleviate the time it takes to complete a huge raid since most don't have the time to commit to a 4-5 hour raid. This would lengthen game time and end game content as well.
    In terms of gathering materials - imo players should not be forced to have to gather materials in order to progress in raids any more than players should be forced to raid in order to progress as a gatherer.

    Progression paths shouldn't be outright blocks for other progression paths. There can be some cross over (I'd even go as far as saying there should be), but there should never be an outright block. PvP is the only exception to this in Ashes, everything can be interrupted by PvP.

    I'm also not that keen on taking caravans in to raid content - which is what would need to happen if the materials were to take any more than 30 minutes to collect.

    The rest of this though, is kind of done in many games.

    In most games, if you want to kill the boss of the current raid content, you have to start at the bottom end of current raid content. You have to right your way through it, kill the boss of that entry level raid content and then that gives you entrance to the next batch of raid content. Kill the boss of that content, and you get access to another, higher tier of raid content.

    Usually, before moving on to the next tier of raid content, you have to kill the mobs in the current zone over and over in order to get more and more drops from them, so the raid as a whole is strong enough to take on the next tier of content.

    In terms of mechanics, this is very similar to what you are suggesting.

    The general feeling I get from what you've suggested here though is to make raids take longer by putting non-raid content in the middle of it, because people don't have the time to do the shorter raids as they are now in most games.

    So yeah, I am a little confused still.

    I've never been in a guild that had more than 3 hour raids - and that includes being in guilds getting world firsts on several encounters. Due to this, I can't really say anything to 4 - 5 hour raids. I've been in top end guilds that only raid that much each week.
    Boss drops, I'm going to use a dragon because it's what we saw in the pre-Alpha stream. If any dragon is worth its salt it will have a hoard of treasure right? So why not let it drop a horde? The treasure being gold, gems, potions, armor pieces, and weapons. But these are not elite end gear items, but some could be the key to making elite items when they are broken down by an artificer of the trade. Heck some of the items could be passed down to an alt. Hence the dragon's items would be items that came before in the toons progression or equal too or a little better than what they have now. For that matter and retracing my steps a bit, each different boss drops something different. i.e. made mage drops spell scrolls, and potions, and gold only, Big bad ogre chieftain only drops gold and weapons, big bad x monster only drops armor and gold, while the dragon drops all of these. They aren't called a boss for nothing right?
    I would much rather do a raid as above than do a raid over 20 times to get gear or whatever. I would want the journey to mean something and be rewarding at the same time while doing it with my in game friends.
    A dragon dropping a lot of items is all good, many games have end game bosses that drop 20+ items. Some of the items are essentially vendor trash, but there needs to be some items that drop (or that are made from exclusive drops) that are better than anything that drops from easier content anywhere in the game.

    I mean, if you are able to get the same items from an easier encounter, you will simply take on that easier encounter.
    This is by far out of the norm for doing a raid, but it sure would be different and fun, and that's what we need, we are stuck in a rut and WOW is the sole blame for this I think. It's been so ingrained into all of us that is just what we expect now. But god love em....i watched a little preview of Shadowlands alpha, and by gosh, I'm a elite immortal now and will live for ever but first I have to go collect 15 feathers before I do anything else....*beats head on desk* poor Blizzard.....
    There is very little that WoW got right.

    Sorry for the long delay and long post. I'm now stuck doing 12-14 hours shifts and it's my 20th consecutive day working...ugh...I'm tired.

    B.[/quote]All good, been there myself.

    ---

    A few things that are perhaps worth pointing out to you in regards to Ashes raids.

    First, as you mentioned, a good amount of top end loot will be crafted as opposed to mob dropped (probably around 50/50 split). The top end crafted items will be crafted with materials dropped from boss mobs.

    If you kill a dragon, your raid may be able to take the skin from said dragon and a player could use that to have an item made for them. Thing is, since you would likely only get one or two of these materials per kill, and each material would likely make many items that the raid members would want to have made, you and your raid will need to come back many times to kill that encounter again.

    Also, it is possible (though not confirmed) that these materials may need ot be used to repair items. We know that repairing an item uses materials based on what the item required to make, but we don't know for sure (to my knowledge) whether this includes boss dropped raw materials or not.

    If it does though, your guilds would potentially need to continue to kill these encounters until either you have enough stock on hand of these items to guarantee repairs, or until no one left in your guild is using an item that needs the materials in order to be repaired.

    The second thing about raids in Ashes is that encounters won't always be the same. If you killed a mob last week that had a long range fire AoE, this week that same encounter may have a short range, frontal cone physical AoE instead.

    The core of encounters will stay the same, but there will be aspects of them that will change on occasion.

    The third thing about raiding in Ashes, is that there is a good chance that another raid will simply come along and kill you.

    The fact that at least some of the raid content in Ashes will be open world means that you actually never know what to expect on any given nights raid. This means that even raids you have done 35 times already may well be vastly different each time.

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