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

Dan Burke flynx at primogen.com
Mon Oct 15 21:14:43 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Brian Hook writes:

>  Let players control monsters.

This is something that has been employed in LARP (Live Action
Roleplay - in many ways VERY similar to MMO just without the
lag...well for some people ;)) for several years now.  Having
players (in LARPS) do shifts as NPC's is needed in most games, as
otherwise you wind up with 70 PC's and 10 NPC's who have to
entertain them all.  But if each team (typically people play in
groups) does a 4 hour NPC shift with some minor reward for their
character, typically extra XP or Items it balances out nicely.

The up side - In an MMO game you would have monsters who behave
differently from standard AI monster.  Also it means that in areas
of your world that are monster deficint suddenly you have randomized
spawns popping up that can't break the players killrestkill rut.

The down side - difficult to balance.  There would instantly be
those players who work out ways to co-ordinate in order to maximize
the loot/exp off a player driven monster.

My own $0.02 on how to arrange this - Let people who want to do
monster time work their way up the way they do a character.  Start
out at Goblins or some other a-typical 1 hit die creature, when they
have entertained (read died to/killed off) other players they can
upgrade to the next grade of monsters.  Uniques would be a bad idea
IMO "No you don't get to Ride vox today" but common monsters and
random spawn (ie you are given a range of creatures you can spawn
as, no control over region) would keep it interesting.  There COULD
be an option to allow players out as RP characters, NPC's who can
communicate like a player normally would.  Potentially In-Town or
out and about "Hey look its Tommy the baker!" would be very
interesting but difficult to moderate.  The old fashioned Kilrathi
style "Choose insult 1 - 4" sort of communication might be best.

Apologies for stringing out a tangent off a tangent.

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