Monsters and Memories (Project_N) - Old School Indie MMO

Torrid

Molten Core Raider
871
444
6d 21h 33m
The last point is required if you want to make a living out of it.
Profit motive ruins art. It's a paradox that chasing money often results in getting less of it when it comes to artistic related endeavors (video games, movies etc). You may end up with more money in the short term but less in the long run. I don't want to play the games of people who are basing their gameplay design off of how many subscribers they can get. A good friend of mine makes a killing heading a mobile games studio, and that's fine but I have no interest in his game and he understands why.

Older games were better because the developers were not thinking about profit motive nearly as much as they do now. This is why projects like M&M are so exciting.

EverQuest had half a million subscribers at peak and Daybreak/Darkpaw/whatever's EQ is still limping around. WoW is more popular but it doesn't mean that an EQ clone can't work.

I think I made some wrong assumptions about what you want. From what I can gather is that you want a complete, but easily malleable game, start to finish, that you can set up a server for and hammer down to your liking, and not the bare bones of a game to develop the vision of your game from?

That will probably never happen, because frankly not enough artists would be willing to give up the copyrights to their work for someone else entirely to profit from it. The bigger the complete set of assets and more coherent it is, the more valuable it is. It's one thing to find people willing to work on a game, it's a different thing to expect people to tolerate their work to be used around the world for free.
I dunno where you get this 'I want to be a power tripping GM' stuff from. I've been a GM on a server for 8 years and never so much as #kicked a user before (that didn't ask) let alone banned one.

I don't want an entire game created for me (although thats what Diku was, those power trippers) -- I want human models, elf models, some variety of monster models, a generic cave to put in a cliff in the map editor, a dozen sword models for items etc. They can be 500 polygons each and look like 90s EQ models. I just need SOMETHING to use to build a prototype. Boilerplate character stats and inventory junk might be nice but a single guy can code most of a game using middleware. Crude public domain models can be swapped out later for better ones. Multiverse did have a few assets like a human, orc and some buildings but nowhere near enough for a workable game prototype.

There are plenty of people tolerating their work being used commercially for free. It's called MIT licensed open source software. Regardless, the problem can be solved in several ways: profit sharing licenses, subsidized work by the middleware company, crowdfunding. Hero Engine for example would get a hell of a lot more customers (which they seem to badly need) if they provided asset libraries, so they have motive. Roblox is quite successful so a Roblox for adults doesn't sound far fetched to me. (setting aside them exploiting children) Of course the collective worldwide public domain works can only grow over time so once a model is CC BY then it's permanently available and the problem can be chipped away at slowly and a large number of people could contribute a small amount of work each. I would agree that it's not likely to happen soon but it will happen eventually in the worst case when games start falling into public domain after 70 or whatever more years. (Fuck Sonny Bono btw)
 
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Sylas

<Bronze Donator>
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You made my point for me in just a few words in your otherwise inane and verbose diatribe: make leveling take longer.
Not exactly. What im saying and what you think you are saying (but you are not) is that you need to maximize your return on investment for every hour spent on development, cus no matter what you do you can only have X amount of content and X is never going to be more than players consume. In other words you need to maximize the time where content remains relevant.

Sure, one way is to make leveling take longer. You could make it take 6 months of grind and forced grouping required to kill moss snakes and level from 1 to 2. Then you could legitimately claim that your mmo launched with 40 years worth of content and you'd be technically correct. You also would not have any subscribers.

Players need to feel some sort of progression, and the lazy way to do that is with levels. The problem with levels which ive described in great detail is that they obsolete content, which is the opposite of what you want to do if you refuse to instance content. Every algorithm in your game from health to ability to hit a target and everything in between uses level as one of its factors, which puts artificial limits on what content is relevant when, and that window of relevant content continues to move as your character gains levels.

Im basically saying just have AAPs and gear. There is no need for levels. Let all content that you make remain relevant always. Most of it will be too hard until you gain power and gear sure, but thats the point of the game. But because you dont have levels and the difference between a 1 minute old newb and a person with 300 aaps is maybe twice the health, twice the damage (and not 30x), nothing is ever "too easy" to the point it is trivial. That newbie zone spider that you struggled against back in the day isnt going to kill you, but 5 of them at once will. So you still have to pay attention to aggro and linked mobs, etc.

as an example:
Once you feel youve farmed enough aas and gear from a spot, the fights seem sorta easy (but never trivial), you move on to the next spot. You farm up a full suit of rusty armor then you move on to orcs where you farm up banded. Maybe killing the orc leader unlocks a certain skill that lets you equip bronze. So then you head out a little further and farm bronze. Then your friend tells you about a spot where this gnoll drops a polished granite tomahawk and that shit seems like a hella upgrade so you head there. And maybe when you get there you find out you are missing some key skill that lets you resist there disease so you go back to orcs and farm some more aaps til you get that skill, then you go farm up a pgt.

Players will camp what they want and what they feel is comfortable to them. Better players may move on earlier, but more casuals may stay longer to farm every last drop and quest item. There is nothing which forces them to move on, no "ok these are green and dont give exp, time to go even though i never got my pgt". Itll be the same with group and raid content as well. Players will naturally spread out based on their ability level and time investment. C and D team guilds may not be able to clear raids until they are geared out with group dungeon loot from the next expansion or two. Thats fine. They need kunark and velious era group gear to finally down vox and nagafen. That just means your initial end game content is still being utilized 2 expansions later.

Instead of gear being good for a few levels or 5 or even 10, gear is good until you find something better. Itemize however you wish.
 

Cybsled

Avatar of War Slayer
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9,992
Instead of gear being good for a few levels or 5 or even 10, gear is good until you find something better. Itemize however you wish.

That works for a one-off, but mudflation becomes real the longer your game goes on
 
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Kirun

Buzzfeed Editor
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Not exactly. What im saying and what you think you are saying (but you are not) is that you need to maximize your return on investment for every hour spent on development, cus no matter what you do you can only have X amount of content and X is never going to be more than players consume. In other words you need to maximize the time where content remains relevant.

Sure, one way is to make leveling take longer. You could make it take 6 months of grind and forced grouping required to kill moss snakes and level from 1 to 2. Then you could legitimately claim that your mmo launched with 40 years worth of content and you'd be technically correct. You also would not have any subscribers.

Players need to feel some sort of progression, and the lazy way to do that is with levels. The problem with levels which ive described in great detail is that they obsolete content, which is the opposite of what you want to do if you refuse to instance content. Every algorithm in your game from health to ability to hit a target and everything in between uses level as one of its factors, which puts artificial limits on what content is relevant when, and that window of relevant content continues to move as your character gains levels.

Im basically saying just have AAPs and gear. There is no need for levels. Let all content that you make remain relevant always. Most of it will be too hard until you gain power and gear sure, but thats the point of the game. But because you dont have levels and the difference between a 1 minute old newb and a person with 300 aaps is maybe twice the health, twice the damage (and not 30x), nothing is ever "too easy" to the point it is trivial. That newbie zone spider that you struggled against back in the day isnt going to kill you, but 5 of them at once will. So you still have to pay attention to aggro and linked mobs, etc.

as an example:
Once you feel youve farmed enough aas and gear from a spot, the fights seem sorta easy (but never trivial), you move on to the next spot. You farm up a full suit of rusty armor then you move on to orcs where you farm up banded. Maybe killing the orc leader unlocks a certain skill that lets you equip bronze. So then you head out a little further and farm bronze. Then your friend tells you about a spot where this gnoll drops a polished granite tomahawk and that shit seems like a hella upgrade so you head there. And maybe when you get there you find out you are missing some key skill that lets you resist there disease so you go back to orcs and farm some more aaps til you get that skill, then you go farm up a pgt.

Players will camp what they want and what they feel is comfortable to them. Better players may move on earlier, but more casuals may stay longer to farm every last drop and quest item. There is nothing which forces them to move on, no "ok these are green and dont give exp, time to go even though i never got my pgt". Itll be the same with group and raid content as well. Players will naturally spread out based on their ability level and time investment. C and D team guilds may not be able to clear raids until they are geared out with group dungeon loot from the next expansion or two. Thats fine. They need kunark and velious era group gear to finally down vox and nagafen. That just means your initial end game content is still being utilized 2 expansions later.

Instead of gear being good for a few levels or 5 or even 10, gear is good until you find something better. Itemize however you wish.
Cool. You've "fixed" trivialization and replaced it with linearization.

Kill X to get Y power or do Z dungeon for A skill sounds like a real barrel of fun.. :rolleyes:
 
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Torrid

Molten Core Raider
871
444
6d 21h 33m
One crazy idea I had was to, instead of having levels in which player power increased in an instant when the exp filled the bar, instead the player getting stronger was extremely gradual and all the numbers and math were hidden from the player, so the only way you knew you were getting more powerful was by killing stuff faster/easier. Maybe if you wore an item with +strength, it would say 'you feel stronger with this on' or something. Is there any game like that? I just want to see one game that's hardcore into immersion and mystery but still somewhat traditional under the hood. (I am absolutely not suggesting this would be commercially viable or if I would even like it, just that I'd like to try it)
 

Sylas

<Bronze Donator>
2,637
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Cool. You've "fixed" trivialization and replaced it with linearization.

Kill X to get Y power or do Z dungeon for A skill sounds like a real barrel of fun.. :rolleyes:
Sounds like literally every single mmo in existence? Do things to get stronger to do different things? Except in those MMOs, all the content designed for levels 1 through N-1 where N is level cap is completely irrelevant and every moment you spent designing it is wasted the moment players level past it. Like i said itemization, skill locks, all those are optional things, the basic concept is simply not having levels.

Elder Scrolls realized that obsoleting content is fucking retarded and they made a change to their game where no content is ever obsolete. However their solution was pretty tarded and is the exact opposite of mine.

Instead of players not having levels, mobs dont. They just scale to whatever level you are. The end result is endless treadmill feeling. Level 1 fighting a crab feels exactly the same as lvl 50 fighting a dragon. They have the same health, take the same length of time to die, deal the same %of damage to you, etc.

Its only after you reach lvl 50 and 160 champion points where things stop scaling and your character actually starts to "feel" stronger and you get some progression. But the stronger you get after that point, the weaker ALL enemies in the game feel. Eventually you have to do veteran content for any challenge.
 

Sylas

<Bronze Donator>
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That works for a one-off, but mudflation becomes real the longer your game goes on
As long as its small linear progression then its fine. Yes eventually the group drops from expansion #3 will be better than raid drops from your original game and the last of the casual soccer mom guilds will stop doing those original raids. Thats fine, you got 6 years of life out of shit that you made a decade ago? Great ROI.

Eventually you add a quest to gain some prereq item that lets you skip doing the fiery avenger>fiery defender portions of your epic so you can just start where the content is relevant.

Level cap increases are giant reset buttons that invalidate all content that came before it. If you fuck up your itemization so badly in a game without levels you can accomplish the same reset by just just upgrading the item level/quality of all your gear, and make the upgrades more linear. Lower tier players will login to find that all their equipped items have been buffed, mid tier guilds have minor upgrades, and top tier guilds gear has had no changes. Then you can adjust mob difficulty as needed (depends on how you fucked up your game)
 

Hatorade

A nice asshole.
7,383
5,220
93d 23h 40m
One crazy idea I had was to, instead of having levels in which player power increased in an instant when the exp filled the bar, instead the player getting stronger was extremely gradual and all the numbers and math were hidden from the player, so the only way you knew you were getting more powerful was by killing stuff faster/easier. Maybe if you wore an item with +strength, it would say 'you feel stronger with this on' or something. Is there any game like that? I just want to see one game that's hardcore into immersion and mystery but still somewhat traditional under the hood. (I am absolutely not suggesting this would be commercially viable or if I would even like it, just that I'd like to try it)
Even if this fleshed out and fun there would be a dedicated group with the math broken down within weeks if not days. Leading everyone to look at a wiki instead of playing the game “as intended”
 
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Duskoy

Blackwing Lair Raider
175
287
8d 12h 56m
Just give me a damn good game. I could care less about the graphics, just give us a decent story with fun gameplay. Enough of the attack and spell graphics taking up the whole screen with explosions causing seizures to 20% of the player base and enough the lv3 character slashing for 999 damage on some auto attack bullshit. That always irked me about these korean MMOs. Fast combat with a billion numbers fopping all over the screen for damage. Why do the numbers have to be so high?
 
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Fogel

Mr. Poopybutthole
9,470
28,517
345d 7h 13m
Just give me a damn good game. I could care less about the graphics, just give us a decent story with fun gameplay. Enough of the attack and spell graphics taking up the whole screen with explosions causing seizures to 20% of the player base and enough the lv3 character slashing for 999 damage on some auto attack bullshit. That always irked me about these korean MMOs. Fast combat with a billion numbers fopping all over the screen for damage. Why do the numbers have to be so high?
Asians love moar numbers

1664549251457.png
 

Cybsled

Avatar of War Slayer
14,465
9,992
math were hidden from the player, so the only way you knew you were getting more powerful was by killing stuff faster/easier. Maybe if you wore an item with +strength, it would say 'you feel stronger with this on' or something.

Aka what Everquest did originally- they didn’t want to remove the “mystery” of what stats did

It ended up that players wore sub optimal gear because of rumors or bad data, some stats did fucking nothing, and some players just parsed the shit out of stuff. I remember a monk in my guild spent hours attacking dummies in free port wearing different stat load outs to try to figure out what actually boosted his damage

Players would crack that shit in very little time now. People like mystery until they figure out the “mystery” is causing them to gimp themselves
 

etchazz

Trakanon Raider
2,707
1,056
4d 5h 44m
Not exactly. What im saying and what you think you are saying (but you are not) is that you need to maximize your return on investment for every hour spent on development, cus no matter what you do you can only have X amount of content and X is never going to be more than players consume. In other words you need to maximize the time where content remains relevant.

Sure, one way is to make leveling take longer. You could make it take 6 months of grind and forced grouping required to kill moss snakes and level from 1 to 2. Then you could legitimately claim that your mmo launched with 40 years worth of content and you'd be technically correct. You also would not have any subscribers.

Players need to feel some sort of progression, and the lazy way to do that is with levels. The problem with levels which ive described in great detail is that they obsolete content, which is the opposite of what you want to do if you refuse to instance content. Every algorithm in your game from health to ability to hit a target and everything in between uses level as one of its factors, which puts artificial limits on what content is relevant when, and that window of relevant content continues to move as your character gains levels.

Im basically saying just have AAPs and gear. There is no need for levels. Let all content that you make remain relevant always. Most of it will be too hard until you gain power and gear sure, but thats the point of the game. But because you dont have levels and the difference between a 1 minute old newb and a person with 300 aaps is maybe twice the health, twice the damage (and not 30x), nothing is ever "too easy" to the point it is trivial. That newbie zone spider that you struggled against back in the day isnt going to kill you, but 5 of them at once will. So you still have to pay attention to aggro and linked mobs, etc.

as an example:
Once you feel youve farmed enough aas and gear from a spot, the fights seem sorta easy (but never trivial), you move on to the next spot. You farm up a full suit of rusty armor then you move on to orcs where you farm up banded. Maybe killing the orc leader unlocks a certain skill that lets you equip bronze. So then you head out a little further and farm bronze. Then your friend tells you about a spot where this gnoll drops a polished granite tomahawk and that shit seems like a hella upgrade so you head there. And maybe when you get there you find out you are missing some key skill that lets you resist there disease so you go back to orcs and farm some more aaps til you get that skill, then you go farm up a pgt.

Players will camp what they want and what they feel is comfortable to them. Better players may move on earlier, but more casuals may stay longer to farm every last drop and quest item. There is nothing which forces them to move on, no "ok these are green and dont give exp, time to go even though i never got my pgt". Itll be the same with group and raid content as well. Players will naturally spread out based on their ability level and time investment. C and D team guilds may not be able to clear raids until they are geared out with group dungeon loot from the next expansion or two. Thats fine. They need kunark and velious era group gear to finally down vox and nagafen. That just means your initial end game content is still being utilized 2 expansions later.

Instead of gear being good for a few levels or 5 or even 10, gear is good until you find something better. Itemize however you wish.

And you respond with yet another Magna Carta. Elden Ring had levels, how popular was that game? It sounds like this genre and this particular game just isn't for you. So instead of coming here day after day shitting up this forum, why don't you just go find another WoW clone to play?
 

Nirgon

YOU HAVE NO POWER HERE
9,811
14,889
82d 18h 16m
Pantheon has swimming AND climbing.

Pantheon > M&M

M&M is being much more measured and realistic in their goals I think, but Pantheon does have (as far as I know) a bigger budget.

After the absolute drought in solid MMOs post Wrath, I'd be happy to have a few come out a couple years apart from each other of the non instanced variety.

The EQ emulators have allowed us to super saturate the hindsight department on this kind of game, and we will see what the current torch bearers have for us. They get all kinds of expert feedback, and in this case, I know they are deeply involved and experienced in all things "meta" with the non instanced EQ emulators.

Excited to see what comes of it. At the end of the day, its all lessons learned in the worst case scenario to build a better future. Hopefully a future that isn't a series of queues in a lobby with a bunch of bloat built around it for the illusion of having a "world".
 

Kirun

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Sounds like literally every single mmo in existence?
It actually doesn't. In your "dream" scenario, everyone is filtered through a particular path - it's linear as fuck. I like the concept of no-levels, but your world would be completely devoid of exploration and quickly turn into "checklist" style gameplay.

People have complained in this very thread about EQ "lacking content" or the "artificial" timeflation that levels added. In reality, EQ had a pretty decent amount of content for the number of players in the game. The larger issue with EQ was entire dungeons went almost completely unused because itemization sucked there, mobs had pain in the ass abilities that weren't worth dealing with (charm, fear, etc.), and designers just didn't talk with each other at all. Guys were responsible for their own little "sections" of the world and that was it. So, you got zones with amazing layouts and great itemization and then you got others with terrible layouts and horrible itemization.

Your example ramps that up to 11, because what it essentially does is FORCE you go go kill the Guk Lord to get X ability or Y piece of gear before you can even step foot into Old Sebilis. So, now you've potentially even eliminated SolB as a possible progression path. And the idea of, "Well, you just have to create more mobs that give that ability, hur durrrr!!" doesn't work with an indie MMO that has 10-15 dudes working on it. Because now we're back to the problem of having to generate 3-4x more zones that are all exact mirrors of each other - an even more cut/paste version of LDoN, essentially. Otherwise, you end up with the SAME problem as EQ had, where people are going to take the path of least resistance every time. Or you have to switch to a predominately instanced game - which means you've essentially created WoW, but replaced the leveling path with even more linearity.

If that's your thing, great. Some of us prefer the "do and go wherever the fuck you want..good luck!" style of MMOs.
 

Cabales

Trakanon Raider
160
71
4d 1h 58m
Interesting points. I think you could solve some of that by making the requirements a little more generic. Instead of having to kill the Guk Lord specifically maybe they could require you to kill any boss mob of a certain tier of dungeons. Other goals could be to use a certain skill a number of times, kill a certain number of "elite" mobs, reach a specific gear level, travel a certain distance, visit a certain number of cities, etc...

I like some of Sylas' ideas, but they don't necessarily have to be fulfilled to the letter in order to accomplish the general goal he's proposing.
 

Kirun

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Interesting points. I think you could solve some of that by making the requirements a little more generic. Instead of having to kill the Guk Lord specifically maybe they could require you to kill any boss mob of a certain tier of dungeons.
Except that still acts as a filtering process of "you must" style gameplay and thus the "best" dungeons from a loot/ease standpoint are still going to be the most populated. It's why you need to combo it with a Mischief style loot system from EQ or items have a "budget" that generate RNG stats ala WoW.
 
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Fogel

Mr. Poopybutthole
9,470
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EQ did a lot of things right, but had a lot of tedium purposely or accidentally built in. No one here is going to argue that corpse runs were great or fun, but they added that layer of risk/reward to encounters. I'll always remember our first Plane of Fear break, because you know if you failed you were royally fucked. WoW came in to fix this by adding the ghost mechanic, but now some would say they went too far and made it too easy, robbing any sense of danger and accomplishment from a situation. Did you just wipe? No biggie, just ghost over to the zone entrance and try again with all your gear. I think most would agree there could be a middle ground here between EQ's fuck you in the ass " you gotta run your naked ass through 3 zones and into a dungeon to get your gear" and WoW's "You just wiped, hope this 30 second run while invisible with all your gear isn't too much of an inconvenience sir."

Same for instancing. Yes, popping into Lguk and finding everything is camped sucked. Yes, it was convenient to be able to form a group and do whatever you wanted in WoW. But WoW never built the community that EQ did because you never interacted with any of the other groups. Most people had one or two groups they did all the leveling with and then you got into a guild for raiding and never had to interact with anyone else ever again.

Now apply this line of thought through all the different systems that EQ had and WoW tried to fix and we'd probably come up with a pretty decent game.