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Old 01-14-2007, 08:05 PM   #1
Aeran
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Has anyone tried make a list of new concepts seen in the big graphical mmrpgs like World of Warcraft(or in games like Neverwinter Nights)? A lot of concepts they use most likely already exist in MUDs. Some concepts probably are quite new or have a more modern theme. It is possible the text MUDs could benefit from listing some of these and discuss how it could be applied in a text environment.

I have heard WoW is supposed to have some kind of "meeting stones" where people can get help to find group members. I haven't seen this in MUDs yet but I think that it could be useful. Especially for the smaller MUDs where it might not be easy to always find someone online. A feature to schedule a meeting could then improve playability.

Is there any other "design patterns" like this in modern mmrpgs that could be useful also in text gaming?
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:07 AM   #2
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Guild Wars has 'dyes' as random magical item drops. You can apply dye your equipment for cosmetic purposes. I pinched this idea, but also gave dyes random magical bonuses of their own which are applied to whatever item is coloured. I only allow certain material types to be dyed, and don't allow an item to be dyed more than once, but it does allow for an extra degree of customisation.

A bigger source of ideas and inspiration for me was Diablo II (although I know that many, if not all, of their ideas appeared in earlier games such as nethack and Final Fantasy). In particular, some of the Diablo II ideas I like and feel would work well in muds are:

* Magic items with randomly generated bonuses.

* Gems/runes/jewels that can be inserted into socketed items.

* Randomly generated dungeon layouts.

* A skill-web, allowing for many character variations within each class.

* Boss mobs (an ancient computer game concept, but not so common in muds).

* Simple yet entertaining once-per-character quest system.

* Good support for cooperative play, but also great fun to play solo.
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Jan. 15 2007,04<!--emo&[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img])]Guild Wars has 'dyes' as random magical item drops.  .....
Ultima Online also lets you dye some items. When looking at your list I realize that many of these concepts have been used in many rpgs/games. Bosses are common in WoW(raid bosses?), Ultima Online(where they are known as Champion Spawns), Lineage2(also has concept of raid bosses I think), and even platform games. So these design patterns seem quite reusable.

I have seen socket systems in more games as well. The latest game I played with that feature is Fable. Some MUDs also has some kind of enchantment system to improve equipment. Often a concept like this can have many names and appearances but still be the same basic idea.

Doesn't Diablo2 also have named equipment sets? You have to collect an entire set of equipment with same name and if you wear it you get some bonus. An interesting thing here is that items in these game differ some from what a lot of MUDs use. In many MUDs items are local to the area, but in many other games a lot of the items are more global. All areas will then spawn almost the same kind of items. The benefit of the more global system is probably that it becomes easier to balance.

Another interesting concept that is commonly used in Lionhead's games is that of good & evil. In Black & White the alignment you play will start affect how the world is percieved. If you play good it will all look beautiful and good but if you do evil acts the world will slowly morph to look like a more evil place. In a MUD this could mean that some descriptions change. For example the exit message shown when players leave a room could be made to sound more negative.

The same concept of good & evil is used in Fable. In a way I think Fable is a really cool game to get inspiration from because the designers have put a meaning to many of the numbers. If your character eats a lot he will get fat(of course if your character doesn't eat much he will become quite slim). Similarly if you perform evil deeds the character will start look more evil. If he's good he will start look more like a good hero. In Fable they also take it one step further and let characters ingame react on your current reputation/alignment. If you are known to be quite evil then villagers will be scared when you enter town and in general avoid you. In a way what happens here is a kind of emergent behaviour.

In MUDs the above example from Fable could also be used. If a character is scary then non brave npcs in towns could be made to run, and perhaps yell in the room they currently are in "Run for you life! {charname} is in town.". A good character on the other hand could cause harmony to flow all ways around him. Few would be very scared when a very good and respected hero is nearby.
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Aeran @ Jan. 15 2007,07:56)
In Fable they also take it one step further and let characters ingame react on your current reputation/alignment. If you are known to be quite evil then villagers will be scared when you enter town and in general avoid you. In a way what happens here is a kind of emergent behaviour.

In MUDs the above example from Fable could also be used. If a character is scary then non brave npcs in towns could be made to run, and perhaps yell in the room they currently are in "Run for you life! {charname} is in town.". A good character on the other hand could cause harmony to flow all ways around him. Few would be very scared when a very good and respected hero is nearby.
We have a system like that in Achaea actually. The problem is that it gets a little repetitive given how quickly you can move around the world.

---matt
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Jan. 15 2007,12:58)
We have a system like that in Achaea actually. The problem is that it gets a little repetitive given how quickly you can move around the world.

---matt
One way to handle it could be to have some kind of cooldown effect. Sure it is scary when an evil adventurer enters town  and for a npc that hasn't seen such evil before he will most likely run to safety. After meeting some of these players though they could "get used" to them.

The opposit to cooldown would be when an evil character performs evil acts in the town. If a npc notices this they would again start to be scared.

Another method could be to make towns themselves able to shift alignment. If all good npcs are scared away it is either the very brave npcs left or very scary npcs. The "wimp" npcs would then have moved to some other town.

I think you could probably build an entire MUD with this . Would players chose their characters to go evil, and spread their alignment through the game world to cause chaos and destruction(slowly all towns would shift towards evil)? Or would they chose to be good and cause the game world to enter a state of harmony and balance?
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Old 01-18-2007, 12:22 PM   #6
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Before Realm of the Magi closed down, we actually had some of the things that Kavir had posted -- i.e. socked items for gems (if magical would enhance the item's use), magical items w/ random bonuses.

We also had an NPC system that had a friend and enemy function trigger. If nearby 'friends' were in the same room or nearby rooms, if the npc were attacked, the friends would join in and repel the attacker. With the enemy tag, anything from the player's class, race, alignment and even their rep stat (gained or loss via special quests) could trigger an npc to attack or block the player.

Before we closed the game down (due to lack of development going on), we had actually planned on having a random npc encounter is the player ventured into the wilderness and away from the main towns. We were also working on a dynamic room generation daemon that would actually build areas from basic layouts we had stored in our MySQL database.

-- M
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