Death of a Game - Everquest franchise

Dandai

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I find all this talk of controlling multiple characters as part of the core gameplay very compelling as that’s the biggest reason I enjoy playing this mobile game called King’s Raid. It’s probably 80% solo and 20% group (with potential to lean more heavily one way or the other depending on your playstyle).

In solo battles you select 4 heroes (challenge/difficult battles allow up to 8) and you can fully automate the actions of ALL your heroes. Some heroes are very auto friendly while some are ineffective without direct, manual control and skill usage. For group content you can have up to four player accounts and 7-10 total heroes (3-4 heroes max per player but any number of combos to reach the max hero count 1/3/3/3, 4/2/3/1, etc).

The game is up to 70 unique heroes as of today and they range in usefulness from extremely niche to well rounded, general purpose. Each hero is individually geared (though you have a shared inventory for your whole account so gear swapping is relatively easy). Each hero has their own “talent tree” and degrees of customization based on the content you’re using them in (solo, group, PvP, etc).

It’s almost overwhelmingly complex, but it’s also extremely robust and rewarding when you build up your roster to overcome a challenge that was previously insurmountable.

I don’t know how well this gameplay would translate to a traditional MMO (optional manual/automated control of multiple heroes and a large, MOBA-like roster of characters), but I’d be really interested to try it.
 
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Arbitrary

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To me it just feels like a natural extension and evolution of the genre. I think raid content could be really cool if it was you and a couple friends trying to assemble the optimal 25 character force with each of you piloting five. Between class choice, gear, talent/specialization type stuff, how much to rely on the game's baked-in automation, when to assume direct control of what, you could have something that was very satisfying to play. I like the WoW raid encounters in BFA thus far just fine but at times it feels like they just bolted Dance Dance Revolution onto their RPG.

People love playing dress up, tricking out their characters, etc. Make a cool looking team instead of just one dude! Unlock cool team emotes more than character acts in unison!
 
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Locnar

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Dragon Age lets you command a box army/group as you work your way through the game right? Also, a MMO where you command a team? Basically like EQ2 where you just face roll abilities non stop then? Except the abilities are spread out over separate "characters"?

Thats all fine and well for those that like that. Let the next MMO go back to basics though: ONE account per paying customer. Play Dragon age or EQ2 if you want to box.
 

Grim1

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To me it just feels like a natural extension and evolution of the genre. I think raid content could be really cool if it was you and a couple friends trying to assemble the optimal 25 character force with each of you piloting five. Between class choice, gear, talent/specialization type stuff, how much to rely on the game's baked-in automation, when to assume direct control of what, you could have something that was very satisfying to play. I like the WoW raid encounters in BFA thus far just fine but at times it feels like they just bolted Dance Dance Revolution onto their RPG.

People love playing dress up, tricking out their characters, etc. Make a cool looking team instead of just one dude! Unlock cool team emotes more than character acts in unison!
Agree. If done right a mmo that allowed you to play your alts in a team or just play one toon would be great. EQ with their heroes kind of does that already and GW1 did it well. First with henchmen and then with actual heroes you could gear up.

The change to that I would like to see would be allowing us to play any of our toons separately or in a team. The team could be all of our own alts, or a mix with another player, or just 6 individual players each playing one toon. Whatever we want.
 

Arbitrary

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Agree. If done right a mmo that allowed you to play your alts in a team or just play one toon would be great. EQ with their heroes kind of does that already and GW1 did it well. First with henchmen and then with actual heroes you could gear up.

The change to that I would like to see would be allowing us to play any of our toons separately or in a team. The team could be all of our own alts, or a mix with another player, or just 6 individual players each playing one toon. Whatever we want.
You could make it super modular and allow the trading of individual characters between players, max level characters as their own in-game currency. On a raid you could treat all the characters brought along as a combined pool and then dole out control as part of the organizing. When a starting concept of "why don't we just make a MMO with baked in multi-boxing" a lot of possibilities open up. You as the player could have a talent tree/alternate advancement/leveling system entirely independent from the characters you were running with all kinds of specializations for the different systems.

I take down one of those billion dollar lottery jackpots I'm going to fund the gaming equivalent of the Spruce Goose.
 

Lambourne

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EQ's solo issue was mostly a matter of downtime though, don't think we'll ever see the days of warriors sitting for 15 minutes to get their HP back again. Always felt that early WoW did it just about perfectly with food/drink. Maybe you drank for 5 seconds after an easy fight, a full 30 secs if you went all out and burned all your mana/hp. Gives people enough downtime for there to be some measure of risk/reward, also made cooking and fishing actually useful.

A good game should have solo paths other than XP groups too, not everything needs to involve doing max level, challenging content for XP. People used to camped older dungeons for loot, actually they still do except now it's called running old raids for mounts and transmogs. Older loot being relevant is obviously needed, no gear resets every expansion/patch. It also gives the player a measure of progress, it's fun to chew through once challenging content like butter. People hate how every zone in WoW scales now, this is the reason.
 
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Dandai

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You could make it super modular and allow the trading of individual characters between players, max level characters as their own in-game currency. On a raid you could treat all the characters brought along as a combined pool and then dole out control as part of the organizing. When a starting concept of "why don't we just make a MMO with baked in multi-boxing" a lot of possibilities open up. You as the player could have a talent tree/alternate advancement/leveling system entirely independent from the characters you were running with all kinds of specializations for the different systems.

I take down one of those billion dollar lottery jackpots I'm going to fund the gaming equivalent of the Spruce Goose.
Allowing trading of individual characters between players is inviting a lot of potential customer service headaches from victims of scams and “hacks”. I do like the idea of a bartering economy though!
 
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a c i d.f l y

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Dragon Age lets you command a box army/group as you work your way through the game right? Also, a MMO where you command a team? Basically like EQ2 where you just face roll abilities non stop then? Except the abilities are spread out over separate "characters"?

Thats all fine and well for those that like that. Let the next MMO go back to basics though: ONE account per paying customer. Play Dragon age or EQ2 if you want to box.
That's kinna how Star Trek Online works. You have your character, and bridge crew, all who bring abilities/stats to the group/table, which you execute through a single, variable ship. Only the ship wears useful gear for space combat. Ground combat each crew member has their own gear and different ground abilities.

Dragon Age offered an interesting take on active/pause combat with multiple units. I got pretty badass with the versatility of the automated system in DA2. That was a separate layer of fun that I hadn't really gotten from automated systems before (looking at you, Final Fantasy XII and similar). Star Wars Galaxies had an automated system as well, which was pretty useful but complicated. And honestly it usually takes away from a game if automation is necessary. It's like hyper addons, like UO Assist that autopicked reagents, or auto-detect mind or whatever just to level secondary traits to boost your Int or whatever.

I want to play and build a singular character. A supporting cast can be included, but should be like gear that I can upgrade or swap out.
 

Dom

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Allowing trading of individual characters between players is inviting a lot of potential customer service headaches from victims of scams and “hacks”. I do like the idea of a bartering economy though!
EVE had a character market right on their forums and it was never really an issue beyond the problem with essentially being pay2win when you boiled it all down.
 

Ravishing

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GuildWars 1 allowed you to create a group with AI. I forget the exact details but I remember using it often enough. Also in pvp if someone disconnected I believe you got an AI replacement.

I think you were able to select the abilities and even gear up your bots.

GW2 ditched this along with the best PvP modes from GW1 though.
 

Dandai

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I played DA Inquisiton and remember thinking the combat/multiple character control wasn’t very awesome. The mobile game I mentioned above is 2D with no direct positional control once combat has started. Introducing position into the mix could be the thing that takes it from enjoyable to a chore.
 

mkopec

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Last time I played EQ I manned a whole team, well not a whole team, but 3 toons and 3 mercenaries which were usually cleric and 2 nukers. EQ today is perfect for this as just running one is boring as fuck. Running 2-3 charaqcters is perfect as the pace of the compbat is just slow enough to do so. Plus the entire setting up a camp and pulling is perfect. Even a slow crawl in some dungeons is still perfectly viable if your macro/3rd party programs are all set up properly. I just wish the in game interface was set up to do so more easily and not having to employ and set up 3rd party software to do this. I think it would breathe some life back into this game if they actually started to support this with their in game UI. Youre spending $30-60 per month in order to play multiple toons so they should damn well support this with their UI. This is not something new people are doing.

Granted there is still people that like to play only one character, but they have servers that strictly enforce this (1 box servers)
 

Dandai

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Last time I played EQ I manned a whole team, well not a whole team, but 3 toons and 3 mercenaries which were usually cleric and 2 nukers. EQ today is perfect for this as just running one is boring as fuck. Running 2-3 charaqcters is perfect as the pace of the combat is just slow enough to do so. Plus the entire setting up a camp and pulling is perfect. Even a slow crawl in some dungeons is still perfectly viable if your macro/3rd party programs are all set up properly. I just wish the in game interface was set up to do so more easily and not having to employ and set up 3rd party software to do this. I think it would breathe some life back into this game if they actually started to support this with their in game UI. Youre spending $30-60 per month in order to play multiple toons so they should damn well support this with their UI. This is not something new people are doing.

Granted there is still people that like to play only one character, but they have servers that strictly enforce this (1 box servers)
That’s a very good point. Iirc DA Inquisiton had several short, spammy cooldowns on each character. Controlling multiple characters with long CDs and slower paced combat would be much more enjoyable than hopping around spamming short, insifignifant CDs on multiple heroes.
 

Reht

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That’s a very good point. Iirc DA Inquisiton had several short, spammy cooldowns on each character. Controlling multiple characters with long CDs and slower paced combat would be much more enjoyable than hopping around spamming short, insifignifant CDs on multiple heroes.
With today's boxing software, you don't even have to hop around. Macros or programmable keyboards and keystroke broadcasting FTW.
 

Dandai

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With today's boxing software, you don't even have to hop around. Macros or programmable keyboards and keystroke broadcasting FTW.
True. I wonder how feasible it is to accomplish this within a single client? And furthermore can you only do it with 20 year old graphics engines or could this be done with more current engines (Unreal 4, Unity, etc)?
 

Torrid

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The emulated EQ servers have to deal with the boxing issue more than any others because they emulate the older, simpler game which allows running many clients on one machine and slow gameplay allows for easy boxing.

The Al'Kabor Project went with a 3 box limit (against my pleas), and four years later most of the userbase wishes they had gone with limit of 2 instead.

What ended up happening is that raids are full of wizard and cleric throwaway 3rd characters that provide DPS and healing for the rotations while they 'main' the one character they like. (2nd box is usally an enchanter, or whatever helps them solo) Any DPS or healing checks on raid bosses are irrelevant when you can field armies of wizards and clerics that you alt-tab to and mash the nuke and heal button. The emotional attachment to these boxed characters is absent; they funnel loot to their primary character so these characters get BIS in everything as the guild has half as many real players or less; everybody feels pressured to make boxed wizards and clerics instead of other classes; 15+ clerics on a raid trivializes any sort of endurance or recuitment challenges; boxed melee characters end up standing next to raid bosses without auto attack on. (seen this many times) Powerleveling becomes insane when you have so many enchanters and wizards around to PBAoE and it only takes two people to form AoE groups. etc

Furthermore the grouping game ended up with most of the server soloing on their 3 boxes instead of seeking groups, and solo players feel pressured to box because they cannot find groups and they get out-competed by boxers. Raiders, out of greed, are tempted to 3 box instead of 2 or 1 box so they end up losing or just raid slow because performance-per-character suffers significantly when boxing. Not to mention that non-instanced games have the issue of limited spawns and 3 boxes allows a 10 person guild to kill the NToV dragons, so 30 people means three guilds instead of one, which results in more interguild drama. The 1 box limit was the smartest thing Project 1999 did.

People have to be forced to group or they won't do it. They'll bitch and whine about it but after they do it, they enjoy it more than soloing. EQ is really a 'users don't know what's best for them' kind of game.