[MUD-Dev] MMORPG Comparison (UO, EQ, AC, AO, DAoC)

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Sun Oct 14 21:42:24 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


Brian Hook writes:
> At 02:05 AM 10/13/01 -0700, John Buehler wrote:

>> What do folks think would happen if everyone on an EverQuest
>> server started out at level 60?  I know that my old guild in
>> EverQuest is pretty much disintegrating because they've all
>> pushed characters up to level 60 at least one time and the desire
>> to achieve is pretty well sated.

> I've actually sort of dealt with this.  Back in the day, I had
> some buffed (level 50, back when that was the cap) characters on
> the EQ Test Server.  I had a couple trusted friends that were also
> buffed, and we played on there for a while.  They got really
> bored, really fast, and went back to their regular servers.  For
> one of them, it was obvious that he wanted a larger crowd to lord
> his achievements over.  For the other, he felt that any sense of
> danger or adventure was pretty much toast -- there was no point in
> visiting mid-level regions anymore since everything was
> underpowered and offered weak loot.

> The standard argument against "standard buffs" is that it destroys
> the "coolness" of high level content.  Instead of taking months to
> explore the world (and post it on Web sites), it becomes a matter
> of days.  No sense of exploration.

Repopulate the entire world with opponents worthy of a 50th level
character.  Provide for dungeons to be held and defended by
color-coded player guilds instead of monsters.  Stick dragons in
more places in the world.  Let players control monsters.  Alter the
content of the world over time.  I suspect that there are a number
of things that can be done with the basic EverQuest structure to
provide entertainment other than kill-to-achieve-and-loot.

As for exploration, I'm a vehement opponent of hand-crafted worlds
that players then work their way through.  I consider exploration to
be more of a sense of discovery of how the world works and who does
what.  I don't want developers and designers spending months on neat
graphics that I can look at once, marvel, and then subsequently
ignore.  I'm currently spending as much time playing Red Faction as
a demo as I am the released version of Asheron's Call.  I get a
sense of exploration with Red Faction because of the interactions
with the AI character guards.  I don't get a sense of exploration
with Asheron's Call, despite the vast size of the world and the
significantly greater content.  That's because it's always the same.
Shoot a monster that looks like a shadow or shoot a monster that
looks like a mud golem.  They behave the same and do the same
things.

Apologies for the aside, but I consider what could be done versus
what is being done and I get a little irritated.  The big
multiplayer games aren't shooting for the kind of entertainment that
I'd like to see, which disappoints me.  Then I have to reconsider
what it takes to build these games and I just sigh and go and play
another run of Red Faction.

JB

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