Gaming Massively

Friday, January 11, 2008

19th Century MMO?

My wife and I were discussing why there aren't more MMOs based on 'real-life'. She suggested, for example, a game based on the Napoleonic wars. As we discussed it, it became clear that many of the game elements World of Warcraft introduced could work very well for a game based in history (or in the present day). Because time is more or less fixed, you could run things through a little bit at a time (the armies are here, etc.) You could even stage 'events' where the actual battles would take place (since really, the war was a whole lot of maneuvering and very few days of pitched battles).

We also discussed how interesting the social side of a game set in this milieu could be - with a bajillion readers of romance novels and/or period pieces, why not have the game set in the upper class social world of the 19th century. The key statistic, then, would be your reputation, rather than health or stamina (although stamina could be used for, for example, the ballroom or the drinking hall). Levelling would include such traits as promotion within the government. You could grind rep with particularly influential people. Etc. It fits very well using the basic mechanics already well established in other games. And the audience, interestingly, is completely new - which either means great success, or great failure....

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

not dead

Merely on holiday. I've been reading a bunch, but haven't seen anything that really struck my fancy too much. It's funny how much I don't know, even about the game I actually play (WoW). A big debate has been going on about how PvP gear is better than PvE gear, and so people grind PvP even though they don't like it, etc. etc. I only recently figured out that the badges I got from PvP were worth anything. I certainly can't have an opinion yet on the high-end gear. I love the fact that when people talk about the casual players, they still don't mean me, as I'm apparently more casual than they can conceive of.

For the most part, this has been fine - I don't have to worry about end game, as I probably won't get there before they extend it out another ten levels. But if, as has been asserted, the minority hardcore are the ones driving development, I wonder if the next generation of games, which seem to be taking their cues from the 800 pound gorilla, will be completely unaccessible to me. Which implies it will be the third generation when things really get interesting. I just wonder if, for example, WoW will be able to adapt when the new types of games start rolling out.

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