Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Frankengame

Tipa over at West Karana had a great idea of making a genealogy chart for MMOs based on their feature listings. This would allow you to get an idea of what games a person might like based on their previous favorites. I love this idea since its often hard recommending a game to friends since tastes can differ so wildly. I thought EverQuest 2 was a fine game, but one of my friends thought it was uninspired looking after playing the free trial. It was actually a pain trying to find a game all my friend liked after World of Warcraft since we all liked different things about the game.

A couple of friends even started trying some of those free-to-play games you see advertised all over the place. I thought that might be a good idea since they wouldn't cost anything to try out. Unfortunately, most of those games like Rappelz are severely lacking when compared to World of Warcraft and have a much more limited feature list. If you wanted to navigate the free-to-play landscape then having a feature genealogy chart would be very handy. I myself hate games which use a click to move interface, which eliminates a lot of the micro-transaction based games for me. Still if I could find ones that had a different control scheme I might try them out.

I think it would also be nice to expand this idea out to include different game developers. I've noticed that some developers have similar styles of how they design a games, while others are polar opposites. Just look at how Blizzard and Funcom handle their patch content. Blizzard is very well known for its "When its ready" method which pisses me off since I swear they only have six guys working on Wrath of the Lich King. Funcom on the other hand has shown a willingness to just push things right out the door with limited testing. I wish I could pick and choose parts of a game that specific developers worked on so I got a Frakengame monster with the best qualities from my favorite studios.

My Dream Game

Quest Design - Blizzard
Art - Blizzard
Dungeons - Blizzard
Economy - EVE Online
End Game Content - SOE
Combat - Age of Conan
Content Updates - Turbine
PvP (instanced and world) - EA Mythic

So I guess my dream game look something like this on the feature genealogy chart.

40% World of Warcraft
20% Warhammer
10% EVE
10% EQ2
10% Age of Conan
10% LOTR

7 comments:

Crimson Starfire said...

I agree with every thing except PvP. I would have this built by ArenaNet (Guild Wars). I'm yet to see a better PvP system, although WAR is sounding tasty.

Relmstein said...

Guild Wars just happens to be my blind spot in the MMO world. I've never tried it though I've heard many good things about its PvP. I'll probably try Guild Wars 2 out when NCSoft finally gets around to releasing it.

Selera said...

If you are going to refer to me you could at least get it right. It's Rappelz.

For me I like the conan combat system but I also like the feel of WoW combat how everything is on the move. Having to stand still to finish off a combo sucks.

As much as I loathe to admit it Sony defintely knew how to keep people involved in end game content (vex thal shards anyone). I would say if you combined SOE's ability to make end game non trivial and the boss design of WoW you'd really have something.

As far as guild wars goes I will defintely admit that I had A LOT of fun in their pvp system. If WoW didn't have a god pvp system I'd probably end up playing that to get my fix.

One final note. All these games need more end game (but doable by non 6 hour a nighters) class specific quests. There was just something about getting your epic weapon in EQ that realy appealed to me.

Openedge1 said...

I have returned to Guild Wars. Especially the last add on (Nightfall) proved to be major fun thanks to the Heroes and the RTS feel of controlling your AI based henchman.
A good PvE setting with PvP gaming that is not forced on me, is way fun.
I am shocked it is not discussed more...maybe due to it not being a full MMO.
Personally I like that part. I have my "social" hubs to join other players. I have my quests, I have min/max control of skills, tons of goodies to collect.
And no fee.

Combat is fast also. I plan to post some video later on my blog to show how fast an "engagement" of mobs can last...
It is FAST.

You really need to go find a cheap copy like I did and give it a try!

Cheers

Adam Tiler said...

Mine would be similar, except I would switch quest design to SOE (for its work on EQ2) and PvP to EVE.

I'd add a new category and give EA Mythic "publicity" =P

Relmstein said...

Guild Wars is probably top on my list of games to try right after I give Diablo 2 a whirl. Of course there's also Disgaea 3 and Spore right around the corner.

adam:
I liked the quest design in the sarnak area of EQ2:Rise of Kunark. I don't have enough experience with the rest of EQ2 to make a judgement on their overall questing system though.

While EVE Online is probably the biggest PvP oriented game after Lineage I don't think my dream game would borrow from it. I always picture EVE Online as the Everquest of space based MMOs. It's current form is nice but it's a bit unapproachable and too hardcore. Eventually someone is going to open that game design up a bit and sci-fi based MMOs will finally have their champion.

Openedge1 said...

Questing in EQ2 is top notch, and the live events really add flavor also.
The quests in Guild Wars thanks to the instancing are more involved as well.

I am of the mind that instancing does not HURT a game at all, but actually allows the developer to get more in depth with their quest systems, telling stories, and making a ...what do they call it...? Most MMO's seem to be missing it...uh..???

oh yea!!

RPG!