Collision Detection - in order for a game like this to work there has to be a very good collision detection system in place. similar to the collision detection of action games like God of War or Devil May Cry.
Targetting - NO MORE TAB TARGETTING. More like an action/FPS game. For melee abilities it is like God of War or Devil May Cry. You have to be facing your enemy and they must be within range of your blades. For ranged abilities it's like an FPS, you have a reticule on your screen and if that reticule is over an enemy when you finish your cast, then the ability will land (it will move like a homing missile to the target if they move after you've fired the spell). There is also a lock-on function, so if your reticule is over an enemy you can hit the lock on button and it will automatically make your character face the enemy and the abilities you use will hit them assuming they're in range. This allows players to look around a bit while still firing spells at their target. But if they notice a healer casting a big heal that they want to silence, they can release their locked-on target and point the reticule at the healer and cast their silence spell at the healer, then return to their previously locked-on target.
Block - requires a shield. the character puts up their shield and the shield negates 40% (can be increased by stats) of the damage taken and slows the player to 20% of normal movement speed... block does not have a cooldown and also protects against knockdown, snare, and root effects (the damage from these attacks will still be done, but the root/snare/knockdown will not be applied), and reduces the affect of knockbacks and CC by the % of damage negated by your block. ( for example if you have a block of 40%, you will fly back 40% less less far if you block than if you hadn't.)... or if you have 55% block and you block a Sleep spell for example, the duration of sleep will be 55% shorter)... some classes may also have abilities to break a block/guard and force it into a cooldown.
Guard - almost identical to block but available to every class and doesn't require a shield to be equipped in order to use it, instead it uses your weapon to block/absorb attacks... it has no cooldown but will negate less damage than block, probably around 20% (can be increased by stats). also can't be used while moving... and it does not protect against knockdown/knockback effects... but does reduce the duration of CC abilities just like block does... and also protects against root and snare effects.
Increased Guard/Block - if the % amount of guard/block has been increased, it not only increases the damage negated, but also increases the reduction in knockback distance, and CC duration... so the duration reduction of a Sleep ability on a warrior with 50% block would be 50%... but on a warrior with only 35% it would be only a 35% reduction... so increasing your block/guard stat not only helps with damage mitigation, but also with CC and/or knockback mitigation.
Evasion - If you've played God of War or Devil May Cry or pretty much any decent 3rd person action game, then you'll know what I'm talking about here. Basically evasion is available to all classes and has no cooldown... there should be a slight pause at the end of the roll to keep players from using it constantly... However, evasion doesn't automatically lower or negate damage taken. Evasion is like Kratos's roll ability in GoW, if it is timed right it can take you out of range of an enemy's attacks, but it takes some skill and reflexes to use well. For warriors the evasion would have a quick sidestep animation, which doesn't travel as far as the other classes. For scouts the evasion would have an animation like Kratos's roll, a cartwheel, or flip or something. For casters it would have a kind of teleport animation (or very quick and far sidestep) where you teleport a few feet away instantly... casters and assassins travel slightly further with their evasion than warriors.
Auto-Attack - No auto-attack. Instead every class gets 2 basic attacks... one quick/light damage attack.. and one slower/heavy damage attack... these attacks can be strung together to form a few different combos.
- For example : Light,Light,Light = slightly more Damage... Light,Light,Heavy = small radius AOE damage... Heavy,Heavy,Heavy = small radius AOE damage with knockdown... etc:...
Ability Build-up - Some skills in the game can be built up. For example: a Mage's fireball spell can be held longer and the longer it is held the more damage it does, if it is held to a certain point the spell might gain an additional status effect, like AOE splash damage, or a 2 second stun. when you press the button the spell begins casting, once the spell has been held the minimum time required, it begins to build up, while building up the character will do a different animation which takes some specified amount of extra time and builds on the regular animation, to release the spell and actually send it at the enemy you simply left click. you can release the spell as soon as it's completed the mandatory cast time, or you can wait and let it build to full, when the ability will do the maximum damage, and possibly an added special effect... you can also release the spell during the build up, but before it's maxed out, this will do a certain amount of added damage (based on how much build time was accumulated.. so just a small build-up will do less damage than a lot of build-up), but not the special effect of a true critical.
- This system can apply to pretty much any skill in the game. So for example: a caster is casting a 3 second long nuke, then they hold down the button past that 3 seconds and the spell starts building up for the next 3 seconds... or it could be an AOE melee ability, 1 second cast time + 1 second build time to get a full critical... or even a trap set by a ranger, 1.5 second cast time + 1.5 second build time = trap that stuns enemies in range as well as damages them.
Critical Hit - A fully built-up ability is basically the new critical hit. This system gives you the choice of when to critical. In reality if you're fighting someone, you don't just by chance score a "critical" hit, you plan that critical, it takes more time to perform, and YOU decide when it happens, not luck. This system is similar to fighting games where the best abilities take a little longer to perform and leave you more vulnerable. This adds another layer of strategy to the combat and makes it more realistic and interesting.
Weapons/Abilities with Min/Max damage - The maximum damage should not be more than 10% greater than the minimum damage. So there is a possible damage spread of about 10% for every ability in the game. For example: an ability would have a minimum damage of 900 and maximum of 990. Or min of 300 and max of 330. Or min of 5000 and max of 5500.
Global Cool-Down - Every ability other than every class's 2 basic attacks, takes at least .5 seconds to cast. There is an animation that goes in time with the cast. Only abilities with a cast time of 1 second or longer require the player to stand still. For example: A basic sword attack, the animation takes .5 seconds (so it's usable while moving) and during those .5 seconds the character is bringing back the blade and getting ready to swing, at the end of that .5 seconds the damage is done and the blade whips around and hits the enemy. If instead you decide to build up that attack more, then the .5 second animation goes into a new 1 second animation (which is still usable on the move) where the character brings the blade back and gets in a more aggressive position and the sword gradually starts to glow/burn/spark/etc:.. depending on the attack type. At the end of that 1 second animation the blade flashes and everyone knows the next attack will be a critical hit and the player can left click and deliver the strike whenever he wants. (up to a certain time limit... probably around 5 seconds till the ability fizzles out.)
Ability Cooldowns - There should be no ability cooldowns longer than 5 minutes. Every ability should be an active part of the players arsenal... There should be no "I-Win" button every 30/60/120 mins.
Morale Abilities - Similar to WAR's Morale ability system, there should be certain abilities that only unlock after you've been in combat and dealt/healed a certain amount of damage for a certain amount of time. These abilities become like your 30-60 minute cooldowns in other games. This allows players to choose when to use these "I-Win" like abilities, but they are only available after they've been in combat for a while. There is still a small cooldown limiting the use of these abilities to keep players from abusing +morale gain buffs/items/abilities.
- Basically I think this is one of the few mechanics that WAR got right... and I think every game should copy this mechanic because it makes a lot more sense and is a lot more strategic than just arbitrary "I-Win" buttons on 30 or 60 minute cooldowns.
- similarly to how Aion has an orange/purple glowy animation that gets stronger the more DP you have, there should be some sort of animation that shows everyone when your morale abilities become usable... the more morale you have, the more obvious the animation.
- there are 3 tiers to morale abilities... and each tier has a couple different morale abilities that a player can pick from to put in that slot.
- the first morale ability slot is gained at lvl 15 , the second at lvl 25, and the 3rd and final slot gained at lvl 35.
- when a morale slot is gained you are automatically awarded a morale ability to put in that slot, but there are other morale abilities available, these other abilities can only be received by completing a difficult quest for each ability.
Screenshot of sample Morale Abilities UI frame below :
Similar Examples - Look at some videos of the combat in some of the Action MMO games in development such as, Continent of the Ninth, TERA, and Mabinogi HEROES, not the regular Mabinogi. These games have some similar things to what I've listed above and can give you a reference for what a sweet combat system can be.
- A side-goal of this combat system is to make it accessible to console gamers as well as pc gamers. In order to do that the number of skills would have to be smaller, but with the Build-Up system it allows for a smaller number of skills and still a very complex and strategic combat experience. Since each skill can basically become 2 skills, it's possible to make a rich and compelling game with half the number of skills of a more traditional MMO.
- Also note that you can block/guard/dodge in the middle of an attack. So if you start building an attack then all of a sudden decide you need to block, you can immediately block, although of course this will interrupt your attack.
- There would also might be skills that only activate after a block/guard/dodge... or on certain status effects etc:...
I know that with this type of system it would be very difficult to implement in large-scale battles. There's a reason why online FPS games limit the number of players per map, and this game would be very similar to a modern FPS in the amount of twitch reactions, precision, and aiming that it requires. But it could do extremely well in small-scale competitive play. It seems to me that this "skirmish" type of gameplay is what the majority of gamers enjoy the most anyway.
Here are some videos illustrating a step in the direction i'd like MMO combat to go...
This first video is from TERA online... it's kind of long but it's definitely worth it... the video starts with a little solo pve from a melee class and then a caster... then ends with some group pve and gives a good idea of how groups could coordinate attacks together.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKan1bXqXoE"]YouTube- TERA 1vs1 gameplay[/ame]
the second video is of Continent of the Ninth... it shows gameplay from a warrior type class and then a ranger type class... the nice thing about this video is that it shows the key combinations used to perform each move.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPOsMimI35o&feature=related"]YouTube- C9: Continent of Ninth - Gameplay Trailer (HD)[/ame]
neither of these games have quite the same targeting system, or the Build-up mechanic i would personally like to see... but they're similar and these games give a good idea of the camera placement and combat pace i'm looking for.
Classes - instead of choosing a class at the very start of the game and being stuck with that class forever... i'd rather you be able to switch classes later in the game if you so choose... i'd prefer something similar to FFXI where you can go to your house in the city and talk to your moogle to change classes... so this makes the most important choice at the start of the game not which class you pick, but which race you choose... another thing i thought FFXI did really well was how it had additional classes that could only be unlocked at high levels and through a very difficult quest series... Aion does something similar with its 4 classes branching into 8 at lvl 10... but i'd prefer that branching to take longer and require you to complete a difficult task in order to be awarded the new class, not something arbitrarily granted to you when you hit lvl 10 and earn your wings.
Class Quests - The quest required to branch into your new class should be designed in a way that shows you the playstyle of the class you're looking to learn. the quest should be long and each part of the quest you complete should give you a skill from the new class you're trying to learn, then the next part of the quest teaches you how to use that skill effectively and after completing that part, you gain another skill.. then the next part uses those 2 skills to gain a 3rd skill... and so on... untill you've got a decent handful of skills and then you have to complete some difficult tasks (kill very tough bosses, waves of enemies, etc:..) with only these new skills. once you've completed all the final tasks, you are awarded with the unlocking of a new class.
- so for example... if you're a scout and want to become a ranger... the ranger quest (available at around half the level cap) will start with giving you a bow and teaching you how to use it well, then it will give you a trap ability and teach you how to use it, then it will give you a slowing attack and teach you how to kite... and so on until you've got a good idea of what the ranger class is all about. (the quest and enemies encountered during it will also scale depending on what level you are when attempting the quest... also the newly learned class starts at the same level the quest became available, so about half the lvl cap).
- also note that each of the 4 basic classes should be playable all the way to the level cap.. so at the end game, you have the 4 basic classes + their branched counterparts... so 12 classes in all ideally.
- a good way to give players a taste of the new classes would be some sort of quest where their character sees into the future and they get to take control of a possible version of themselves if they decide to choose the path of a that particular class.
Races - unlike almost all pvp focused games, i don't think there should be 2 completely separate warring factions... instead everyone belongs to the same faction but there are a ton of different races to choose from... like 8-12 different races.
- all races co-exist together just fine and speak a common language.
- There can be some rivalries and drama between races but for the most part they all co-exist peacefully and aren't in open conflict with one another.
- but just because all the races co-exist peacefully doesn't mean there isn't any PVP... the PVP comes about because of pride and a desire to test your mettle against other teams.
- PVP is more like a sporting activity... less like a war... there is no good guys vs bad guys... it's more like red team vs blue team... and away from the battlefield everyone is peaceful and civilized.
Racial Skills - Race specific skills should NOT affect combat!.. they could perhaps affect crafting, maybe npc faction allegiances, and each race gets a special teleport skill that takes them to their own capital city... this is on a separate cooldown than the usual "hearthstone" or "recall" ability.
- when creating your character the starting stats of each race will be slightly different, but by the time you reach the level cap the differences in stats will be negligible, almost non-existant.
- the stats are different to start with just in an attempt to push players toward classes that their chosen race would be well suited for... it might make the first few levels a little harder if you pick a weird combination, but it won't gimp you at all end-game if you really want to make a tauren mage for example.
Dungeons - LOTS of them. ideally the first 10 or so levels are your traditional "get comfortable with the game" levels. then the first dungeon is available and it should be possible to level all the way to the cap doing nothing but dungeons from there on out, if you so choose. however you should also acquire quests while in these dungeons that require you to go out in the regular open, persistent, pve world to complete them, and vice-versa.
- another unique thing i'd like to see from PVE dungeons is the ability to scale the dungeon based on the size of the group in the dungeon... basically the dungeon would adjust based on the number of players in the instance... on top of that, there should be different difficulties.. like normal difficulty, hard difficulty, and epic difficulty.
- you still shouldn't be able to solo a dungeon, it would still require a group of 2 or more to be able to enter an instance.
- the max party size in my game would be 8... so you could zone in with 8 players and set the difficulty to normal and breeze through the dungeon. or if you want a challenge you could set it to epic difficulty and have a much more challenging dungeon, with new areas unlocked and added bosses to kill.
- the higher difficulty shouldn't just rehash the same boss fights, it should open up completely new content. so players don't feel like they've beaten the whole dungeon after they've done it on hard, because there are still areas and bosses that they haven't even seen yet.
- a good way to add these areas/bosses is to have locked doors, blocked off areas because of cave-ins, etc:.. that way on normal difficulty players can see where the content they're missing is located. which will make them want to try the harder difficulties even more.
- additionally, each instance could have a pool of bosses and trash mob packs, when a new instance is created the game would randomly pick from this pool of bosses and trash mobs so that each run through the instance is slightly different and keeps you on your toes.
Dungeon Loot - Loot in dungeons is based on the number of people in your group and the difficulty.
- when in a dungeon you receive the regular trash loot + random nice stuff from mobs and bosses... but the mobs and bosses also drop tokens... the number of tokens is the main thing determined by the difficulty... while the size of the group determines the random loot drops. (better and more stuff is dropped the more people are in the group.. so it encourages you to create the largest group you can find.)
- the random stuff that is dropped in dungeons is slightly better than what you would find from killing mobs and elites in the normal outdoor pve areas... but the main difference is the number of tokens dropped... the higher the difficulty, the more tokens dropped.
- the tokens you acquire can be turned in to an NPC in exchange for gear... each dungeon has its own set of gear for each class (5-6 pieces)... and a selection of weapons/rings/trinkets/profession recipes/etc:...
- it should take about 9-10 runs on normal difficulty to get the full set of gear/items you might want from a particular instance... on hard difficulty it should take 7-8 runs... and on epic difficulty it should take 5-6 runs.
- it should be noted that the token gear is one step down in rarity from the loot dropped by the bosses themselves. so boss drops are still the best stuff available from the dungeon, but tokens allow everyone to slowly gear up and feel like they're accomplishing something even if they don't get any boss drops.
Scaling of Dungeons - the best way i can think of to scale the dungeons based on group size is by assigning everything in the dungeon a scale value (which determines the physical size of everything)... then lets say that with a group of 5 the scale multiplier is 1... at 4 the scale would be smaller, say .9... at 3 even smaller, .8... and at 2, .7.... and above five the scale multiplier would increase... so 6=1.1, 7=1.2... and so on up to 8=1.3... so EVERYTHING in the dungeon would increase or decrease in scale depending on the group size... this includes the mobs/bosses, random doodads, even the width/height of the path through the dungeon.
- this way with only 2 players... the entire dungeon is a good bit smaller than with 5 people... and with 8 people the dungeon is much bigger... this allows the 8 people to not feel claustrophobic in a tiny dungeon meant for fewer people, and the 2 people not to feel like ants in a giant area designed for more people... just add a scale variable to every object in the dungeon, including the walls/pathways of the dungeon itself and let the group size raise or lower that scale variable.
- this scaling of the physical aspects of the dungeon seems to be the hardest part... since scaling the HP/Attack/Defense/Speed/Skills Used/etc:... should be pretty easy if the programmers have half a brain and have developed an efficient system for adjusting enemy stats.. especially since this type of scaling happens constantly throughout the entire game.
Death - i'm usually not a big fan of losing xp upon death... but i do like the way Aion handles death... so death would basically be handled just like it is in Aion... the only difference being that you don't have to bind to an obelisk.. you are automatically resurrected at the closest one... also, obelisks are not located in high traffic areas like towns/cities... they are located on the outskirts of towns/cities and in the wilderness... similar to the kind of places that WoW's graveyards were located...
- kind of related, when you die and respawn your character flashes and is immune to all damage and affects for 15 seconds, or until you perform an action (block/evade/use an item or ability/etc:..)
- this happens not just when you respawn but any time you zone into a new area... this helps keep players from dieing as soon as they zone in to new areas and such.
Quests - quest is such a watered down, overused word in MMOs... so i would propose a system that has "quests" and "tasks"... tasks being the mundane "kill 10 rats" or "gather 10 rat tails".... while quests are ACTUAL quests that require you to basically go on an adventure and do some badass heroic deeds... Quests should be much more rewarding and also much more difficult... a good example of a QUEST would be the daeva ascension quest line... or even better... the Molten Core hunter epic bow quest in original WoW... or the priest's staff equivalent... or the lvl 60 warlock epic dreadsteed quest.
- there should be a lot more quests like the ones mentioned above than there currently are in most MMOs... at least 1-3 for every lvl above 20ish.
- Quests can be broken down into different categories: Repeatable Task, Single Task, Normal Quest, Class Quest, Ability Quest, Public Quest, and Attunement Quest.
Public Quests - another thing where WAR was really onto something awesome... but executed it poorly... basically copy WAR, but instead of having 15 PQs in each zone... have only 2-3 really good ones.
Leveling - There should be many different ways to level...
- Ranked in order of Leveling Speed (top=quickest, bottom=slowest)
Outdoor Group Elite Grinding
Quests + Tasks
Solo Mob Grinding
- Ranked in order of Loot Quality (top=best, bottom=worst)
Outdoor Elite Grinding
Solo Mob Grinding
- ranked in order of Difficulty (top=hardest, bottom=easiest)
Outdoor Group Elite Grinding
Quests + Tasks
Solo Mob Grinding
- PVP (is kind of a Wildcard because it mostly depends on the player)
Battlegrounds - characters should start with access to 1 bg at lvl 10... then every 5 levels a new bg opens up... so if the lvl cap is 40... then by the time a player hits the lvl cap, they should have access to 7 battlegrounds. you can play any of the 7 at any time... they are not restricted to a certain level range.
- the level range of battlegrounds should be split every 5 levels... so you'd have bgs for lvls 10-15, 16-20... etc:... until level cap... then you have 36-39, and only lvl 40.
- at the level cap a few new lvl 40 only battlegrounds should open up.
- you can pick just 1 individual bg, or you can click "Quickest Match" and it will queue you up for all of them.. or you can make a group of only certain bgs and queue for just the bgs in that group... something like a drag and drop to create a group of favorites with the bgs you want, and then click "Queue Favorites"
- you can also queue up as a group, with all of these options still available.
- if queuing as a ranked battle group, you would also have the option to join a "ranked" battleground.
Ranked Battlegrounds - are only accessible by ranked groups... in order to become a ranked group, you must first create a "Battle Group." .. similar to arena groups in WoW.. you can create a group, then register your group, and create a name and emblem (displayable on cloak/shield/banner)... you can only be in 1 battle group at a time... battle group size is limited to 16 and you can only have 1 group in a ranked battle at a time.. (but you can have 1 group in a ranked battleground and another group doing unranked battlegrounds for example, if you want).. and if you leave or are kicked from a battle group, you cannot rejoin that group for 7 days.
- in order to become a "ranked" battle group instead of just a regular battle group, your group must win a certain number of regular bgs and have a certain win/loss ratio... once you've met the requirements you'll then have access to the ranked bgs where your wins/losses will actually mean something and earn you points/tokens that can be used to purchase gear and items...
- these items and gear will have a certain rank requirement.. there are 5 ranks:
rank 5 - top 5% of the ranked groups on the server
rank 4 - top 10%...
rank 3 - top 25%
rank 2 - top 50%
rank 1 - all 100%
groups start at rank 1 and can move all the way up to rank 5 if they're good enough.
- also, there are ranks for each individual BG that can be used to grant certain titles or items or buffs specific to the bg:
rank 3 - top 10%
rank 2 - top 50%
rank 1 - top 100%
- in addition to the ranks, the very tip top teams will have their banner displayed in the capital cities or at the entrance to the bg where they are ranked.
- also, once you become a Ranked group, you get a standard... similar to the standards in WAR... you can customize the buffs/abilities it has and anyone in your group can carry it... it can be destroyed but not captured... you spawn into the bg with one stuck in the ground waiting for you, once that standard is destroyed you don't get another in that bg... you don't have to buy the standard, it just spawns at the start of every ranked bg, and it never leaves the bg.
- the standard is only attackable when it is planted in the ground, not when it's being carried... it should take about 5-10 seconds of focused attack from a full 8 player group to destroy the standard... and it is unable to be healed.
Duels - duels can be 1v1, or all the way up to 8v8 or anywhere in between... you can even duel 1v2 or 1v8 if you really want... once a duel is initiated a standard will appear marking the duel area and a timer will count down till the duel commences... duels then can basically be used like WoW's arenas if that's what you want... but they're just for bragging rights and not actual points. (or possibly gambling)
- every city and zone will have an area free of mobs and npcs that can easily be used for dueling, but duels won't be limited to these areas, dueling will be allowed anywhere, even in battlegrounds and dungeons... cities will have coliseum-ish areas where people can also gather and watch.
- you could also hold tournaments and players could perhaps bet currency on duels... so basically a "Duel for Profit" is requested (instead of the regular Duel) and an option pops up to wager gold that you'll win... both characters can agree to an amount and then the gold is extracted from them and placed in limbo till the end of the duel when the victor collects the winnings.
PVE vs PVP Items - end game PVE dungeons will require a fairly difficult "attunement" quest just to be able to get inside. PVE dungeon armor sets will also have set bonuses that increase their effectiveness in their respective dungeon (and similarly PVP gear will have set bonuses that increase their effectiveness in PVP).. this way those that PVP for their gear will still be able to do the end game dungeons, but they won't be able to blow through them without breaking a sweat, and it would still behoove them to get some gear from the dungeon to help make progression easier... and vice-versa for those with PVE gear... end game PVP and PVE gear should be very similar.. actually, damn near identical stat wise... and about the same % of people should have the top PVP gear as the top PVE gear.
DPS/Healing/Threat Meters - NO meters of any kind will be built in.
Skills - new abilities learned while leveling up simply become available in your skill book... no more of the leveling then running to your class trainer to learn your new skills... they simply show up in your skill book once you reach the required level.
- skills also level up each level with you... so once you learn a new skill you never have to worry about getting the next rank of it... it will automatically rank up and get more powerful along with you each level... at a certain level however a status effect might be added to an ability (like a knockdown or stun)... in which case the game will let you know that an ability has been augmented/upgraded.
Crafting - crafting will be handled very similar to the way Aion handles it. except there are 2 "gathering" professions, Gathering and Scavenging... and then all the different crafting professions. the crafting professions are basically exactly the same as Aion's but there is no chance to fail. every crafting attempt succeeds... and possibly procs a better version of the item... however these better versions are not required in future recipes.. so you don't have to get a proc.. then take that proc and get another proc.. in order to get the very best items... you only have to get 1 proc.
- also you'll be able to get very high (lvl 300 out of 400 max) with every single profession if you so choose, but work orders will only take you so far... like 1/2 of the way to mastery (or lvl 200, which will get you the basic stuff), the rest is much more difficult to come by, but offers some pretty sweet rewards.
- You can only fully Master 1 profession... but if you decide to switch professions at any time, that profession does not go all the way back to Zero... instead it just drops down to the max you can be without specializing in that particular profession... and you can always switch back and decide to master in that profession again, but you'll have to level up the last bit of the way to complete Mastery again.
Flying - NO flying allowed... except as a means of automatic transportation, aka Flight Paths...
teleportation - there are 5 teleports in the game, your hearthstone, your racial recall ability (which takes you to your racial capital city), the mage classes' portal/summoning spells, and buddy stone teleports... everything else requires you to actually travel across the world.. with the help of flight paths, boats, trains, mounts, etc:...
- each of the mage classes will be able to create portals to the main cities just like mages in WoW... however in order to create these portals they will require 2 additional people to help them with the spell.. similar to a WoW warlock's summoning spell.
- also each mage class also gets a summoning spell just like the WoW warlock's summoning spell.
Mounts - just like normal non-combat mounts with a speed boost (approx 100% speed increase), except they have a few skills... a short-term sprint ability, a charge ability, and a throw the rider forward ability.
Sprint - increases movement speed by an additional 30% for 10 seconds. 30 second cooldown.
Charge - you jump off your mount and it charges forward 20 meters doing damage and knocking down anyone in its path. 30 second cooldown. dismisses your mount.
Throw - your mount bucks and throws you in the air, you fly forward 20 meters. 30 second cooldown. dismisses your mount.
- mounts are summonable in combat but have a 3 second cast time and are interrupted with only 1 hit... so not likely to be a good getaway strategy.
- furthermore, it takes mounts 3 seconds to get up to full speed, and every time you are hit while on a mount you take 50% less damage but your mount gets slowed down and it will take a second or 2 to get back to full speed.
- stopping also takes a little extra time because of the mount's momentum.
- knockdowns also cause players to be dismounted, and knockbacks are half as effective on a mounted target.
- mounts can jump, but they cannot strafe. instead the strafe keys act as turning keys while mounted.
- mounts also are not slowed down by large bushes, tall grass, snow drifts, etc:... like a player on foot is. (will be detailed later when i talk more about collision detection)
- there will be certain places mounts will refuse to enter, such as sandstorms, blizzards, muddy swamps that they'd get stuck in, etc:.. or maybe certain types of mounts are just scared of certain environments or specific mobs and they refuse to go near them.
Crowd Control - CC is all either very short duration, like 5-10 seconds, with a long cooldown... or has a long cast time, with no cooldown...
for example :
Polymorph - 1.5-3 second cast, no cooldown, lasts 15-25 seconds, any damage will break the effect.
(the 15-25 seconds depends on how long you build-up the spell for... 15 secs if not built up, 25 if fully built up.)
Disorient - 1-2 second cast, 2 minute cooldown, lasts 4-8 seconds, target is disoriented and wanders in circles, any damage will remove the effect.
(4 secs = not built up... 8 secs = fully built up)
all CC breaks on damage, except for stuns... there will be no "fear" effects where the target is CC'ed and can still take damage.
Stealth - when in stealth, if you are standing still then you are completely invisible... but if you're moving there is a slight blur around your character (which makes you slightly visible to enemies) while you move, but you cannot be targeted with the lock-on function while in stealth.. in order to be brought out of stealth you must be damaged.. so ranged damage dealers have to manually fire a projectile where they think you are and connect... melee characters have to attack in your direction and the blow has to land.
- stealth reduces movement to 70% of normal... in later levels stealth characters will learn the "tip-toe" ability that will act as a toggle you can turn on and off.. while tip-toeing you are completely invisible, like if you weren't moving at all... but you only move at 50% of normal movement speed.
- stealth also has a 5 second cast time and can be used while on the move (at 70% movement speed) and in combat... character gradually fades to invisible over 5 seconds.
- also, there are no "opener" moves that are only usable in stealth, although abilities can be built up while in stealth, but as soon as you release the blow you will lose stealth... instead stealth is used mostly for positioning... but if you're good you can build up a "backstab" type move and close in behind an enemy while in stealth and unload a huge crit on an unsuspecting victim.
- guard/evade are not usable while in stealth... well, they are... but they remove stealth if used... all abilities when fired will remove stealth.
Day/Night Cycles - Day and Night cycles should mimic the real world, so if it's 12 noon where the server is located, then it feels like noon in the game... if it's 7pm server time, then it feels like 7pm, if it's midnight, then it feels like midnight... so a 1:1 time ratio basically.
- you can use this system to create interesting time-based interactions with NPCs (i talk about this later on in the Living NPC World section)
- also you can add some interesting night/day only quests. as long as they are clearly labeled this shouldn't be a problem for players.
- you could also have some mob species that are nocturnal and only come out at night, perhaps these are used for the night specific quests.
- you could even add interesting events using time... for example there could be Gremlin mobs that grow bigger and turn evil when the sun goes down... so during the day they are these cute little feisty critters but at night they become big lumbering scary monsters... note that they should NOT necessarily become more powerful... they should just change their abilities and require different tactics to kill depending on whether it's day or night...
- you wouldn't want to make anything that forces a player to do something at a certain time, especially anything important... you could maybe have some repeatable tasks to kill the day/night only mobs for a small amount of gold and xp.. but nothing major like an attunement or important quest line.
- this system should be used to add flavor and variety... NOT to limit or force the player to wait around till a certain time in order to accomplish something.... as long as this philosophy is kept in mind then there won't be anything to annoy or frustrate players and this system can add a lot of depth and interest to an otherwise shallow and boring world.
Resurrection - Classes with rez spells should be able to use them in combat, but they should be long cast times... also there should be an animation over the dead character when someone starts to rez them... this animation should also point toward the rezzer... for example there could be a light, swirly, mist coming from the general direction of the rezzer and infusing the dead body with life... this mist should not come directly from the rezzer, but you should be able to look at the mist above the dead body and tell the general direction of the rezzer... this way multiple rezzers don't try to rez the same person.
Sample Rez Spell:
Resurrect - 10 second cast, no cooldown, revives the target with 10% health.
Potions - all potions share a 1 minute cooldown... and none of their status effects lasts longer than 30 seconds... potions are only used for short-term buffs/health/mana etc:...
Flasks - Flasks are high level potions... they can last up to 3 minutes but have a shared 10 minute cooldown and a much better effect than regular potions.
Food - Food is the long-term buff item... and you have to sit down and spend 15 seconds eating in order to gain the buff... food buffs last until death... that could be 5 mins.. or 5 hours.. depends on how long you can stay alive... also you can only have 1 food buff up at a time.
Class Consumables - certain classes might have access to class specific consumables... similar to a WoW mage's mana stone... so tank classes can create a healthstone with a 1 minute cooldown... while mages can make a manastone with a 1 minute cooldown... so essentially these classes have 2 potions on a 1 minute cooldown each... however, mana/health stones take 5 seconds to cast, are interrupted with 1 hit, and only 1 can be carried at a time. they're also NOT trade-able.
Mini-Games - lots of mini-games to do when you're bored... playable against the computer or you can challenge someone else in game.. games like:
chess, checkers, pong, tetris, etc:..
- maybe some more advanced games like a racing game where you use your mount and try and be the fastest around a track, with powerups to demolish your opponents... mario-kart style.
- or a frogger type game where you ride your mount through traffic/moving platforms/etc:..
- maybe a rail-shooter type game where you ride a mount and try to pick off as many baddies as possible.
- or a trap shooting, or duck-hunt style game.
- there are a lot of mini-games you could create with the basic combat and movement systems in-game.
Actual Classes - here are the 12 classes I'm thinking of... the starting 4, then broke into their possible branches... warriors and rogues use Action Points (AP), while priests/mages use Magic Points (MP)... but both MP and AP basically act the same... just the color of the bar, and their recovery speed is different.
Warrior - traditional MMO warrior class, like Aion's Gladiator/Templar.
- Blademaster - this is a more radical idea... basically this class doesn't have any equipped weapons, instead they conjure weapons/shields with their mind.. so they could have some attacks that summon a translucent/glowing sword to deliver the blows, or another attack that uses a polearm, and another that uses a mace... basically they don't have any weapons until they initaite an attack and the the weapon materializes out of thin air, is used, and then disappears... i'll detail this class's abilities and how it works a lot more in depth when i get around to creating the actual detailed class abilities lists.
- Knight - like a pearly white version of WoW's deathknight, can use some basic magic and imbue his weapons with magic. specializes in polearms.
(The Warrior and all its branched classes should be clearly labeled TANKS... not melee DPSers... although they should still have decent DPS, and lots of knockdown type annoyance abilities.)
Assassin - just like Aion's assassin.
- Ranger - just like aion's ranger.
- Beastmaster - like WAR's White Lion class... short range dps w/ pet but also some stealth.
(The Assassin and its branched classes all have access to stealth... however, only the assassin can become totally invisible... a ranger/beastmaster always has the slight blur around their character when moving, while the assassin gets the ability to move very slowly while still staying completely invisible. (no blur))
Priest - just like Aion's Cleric
- Paladin - like WAR's Warrior Priest or aion's chanter... healer that can do a bit of melee.
- Druid - similar to WoW's druid but focused more on healing... NOT a hybrid.
(The priest and its branched classes are all HEALING classes... they can do a bit of damage but these classes are nowhere near the hybrids they are in some games.)
Mage - just like Aion's Sorcerer.
- Summoner - just like Aion's Spirit Master.
- Necromancer - like a sorcerer but deals with death magic and can summon temporary companions.. . not permanent pets like the spirit master, but temporary small armies of baddies.
(All wear light armor and use magic.... pretty standard.)
I think these classes pretty much cover all the bases... and unlike Aion and so many other games, instead of only having 1 pure tank class and 1 pure healer class (with a few offtank/offhealers)... you have 3 pure classes for each, this should make it much easier to find tanks/healers for grouping.
Determining Class Skills - to determine what skills to give what class you should first think about the archetype and what is required to perform that role... for example:
Tank - think about what skills should ALL tanks have... a pull ability, a melee snare, a charge ability, some defense buffs, etc:... then those skills essential to the archetype go to the Warrior class in its first 20ish levels... then when the Blademaster and Knight branch off, they take the warrior skills with them, and then start gaining skills that make the class unique... so in this way all the tanks are viable tanks... but still have another 20ish lvls of uniqueness layered on top. (also the animation for the basic tank skills can change based on the class... but the basic mechanic of the ability is the same... so a Blademaster still has a pull ability, but it might look different from the warrior or knight's pull ability.)
Healer - essential healer abilities... a quick heal, a long heal, a damage absorption shield, a HoT, etc:... just like the tank abilities, the priest gets all the necessary abilities in the first 20ish lvls then the rest is just adding a unique feel and a few special abilities to each class... and once again, the animations on the basic skills can change with the class.. but the ability still does basically the same thing.
Scout - essential scout abilities... basic stealth, a backstab, sprint, disarm, stun, etc:.. i think you get the idea...
Mage - essential abilities... blink (short distance teleport), some sort of CC, quick nuke, long nuke, some sort of AOE, root/snare, etc:..
Titles - titles should be used sparingly... similar to the way they are in Aion, there should be relatively few titles and they should only be given for completing especially difficult tasks... like clearing a dungeon on difficulty lvl 10, or becoming a grandmaster of a profession, or completing a particularly difficult quest, or for special PVP prowess, etc:... i also like how titles in Aion give stat bonuses to your character... some of the more unique/silly/weird titles should have weird/silly bonuses to a specific stat, or a few stats... but the more elite/difficult to obtain titles should give broader stat bonuses.. like 1-3% increase to all stats... that way you don't have to choose a title just for the stat bonuses, and the elite titles would be useful to all classes.
Outdoor Bosses - there will be the usual wandering outdoor bosses that require a full group to take down... but instead of just dropping some rare loot... they drop tokens which can be turned in for some pretty nice items... also they drop crafting items that are essential for some of the best in lvl crafted gear... for example:
- a giant wandering Fire Elemental would drop a token to each player, and also a "Flame Crystal" which is soulbound and is an essential ingredient used in crafting to create some of the most badass armor/weapons/earrings/etc:.. for that level.
XP from Professions - just like in Aion, you should be able to gain XP from crafting... not a lot... but enough to provide a little more incentive to craft... the better the item you create, the more xp you get from it... so a basic normal rarity sword would give a very small amount, but a badass sword like the one created from the "Flame Crystal" above would give a pretty hefty chunk of xp... of course you would get less xp per potion or food item made, but you'll be making a lot more of them than you will armor pieces...
- every time you gather/scavenge something you'll also receive a small amount of xp
Tagging Mobs - Mobs are tagged based on whoever hit them first... furthermore, if you tag a mob.. and someone else tries to attack it, they will be stunned/disoriented/put to sleep/etc:... for 3-15 seconds.. 3 seconds if it's a normal mob, 5-10 secs if it's an elite, and 15 secs if it's a big outdoor boss... however you do have the ability to "Call for Help".. if you call for help then anyone can help you with the mob, but then it's no longer worth any xp and won't drop any loot.
- so if your group is fighting an outdoor boss, and someone comes along and tries to help, they'll be stunned for 15 seconds every time they try and attack the boss, OR if they try to heal anyone in your group.... the attack/heal will still land.. but then they'll be stunned for the duration... so it's possible to get a little help from outsiders.. but not a game-breaking amount.
- if you call for help on an outdoor boss... then the boss will grow and enrage and his defense/attack will go up and he'll start 1-shotting even tank classes... so it's not a good idea to call for help on the big bad outdoor bosses.
- but regular mobs and elites don't enrage when you call for help... only bosses.
Zone Maps - Maps are similar to how they are in most MMOs... but more in-depth with the ability to zoom very far in (using the mouse scroll wheel)... basically it starts with the artistic zone map, then as you zoom in the map becomes more realistic, and more detailed info becomes available about the area.
- if you haven't uncovered an area of the map, it will still be covered up even if you zoom in. you must have discovered an area in order to see it on your map.. but once discovered you can look at it anytime and even zoom in and see all the NPCs in the area.
- if an NPC patrols around, the icon that represents him will not move... but when you mouse over his icon, it will show little footsteps which represent his path, letting you know where he can be found.
- you can scroll in on the world map/zones/cities/dungeons... and maybe battlegrounds.
- i've made a jpeg to hopefully describe it a bit better... in this jpeg there are 4 stages of zoom... there could be more stages if needed... or you could make it scroll smoothly if you want to be really fancy.
Advanced Targeting Info - I've given a lot more thought to how specifically the targeting system should work... basically the camera controls like a PC based FPS (Quake for example... since I've been playing QuakeLive a decent amount lately)... you don't have to hold down any buttons for the camera to move with your mouse... every class, even melee classes, have a targeting reticule in the center of their screen.... when that reticule is over someone, they light up/glow like happens when you mouse over someone in Aion (the yellow glow around their silhouette)... once you have someone highlighted, you can click and hold the right mouse button and that will lock-on to the highlighted target... now you can move the reticule away from them and they will stay targeted... if you release the right mouse button, you also release your target... while you're locked on to someone, you can spin the camera wherever you want and look around but your character will still cast spells at the locked on target.
- homing spells/abilities will shoot straight forward in the direction your character is facing, but then home in on your locked-on target. spells that aren't homing will just fire straight ahead at wherever your reticule is pointing, regardless of wether you have a target locked-on or not.
- you can also click the middle mouse button while still holding the left mouse button to immediately spin the camera back to your locked on target... so lets say you're locked on to an enemy, then you decide to look behind yourself and see if there is any backup coming... instead of panning behind, and then all the way back to the front and trying to find your locked on target again... you can just click the middle mouse button and it'll instantly center the camera on your locked on target.... or if they run through you to try and get behind you... you can middle click and spin around to face them immediately.
- if you left click while you have someone selected, then you can interact with them... this is how you talk to NPCs for example.
- if you left click and hold with another player targeted, a radial menu will appear (picture a pizza with 6-8 slices, each labeled with an action you might want to do)... you move your mouse so the reticule is over the action you'd like to perform and then release the left mouse button... this way you can inspect, message, check their personal store, invite them to a group, etc:... with just one click. (this mechanic can also be used in a lot of other in-game interactions... but i won't get into every possible use.)
- you can also hold down the ALT key (default) and the cursor will show up and you can use the cursor to interact just like in a traditional MMO.
- the targeting reticule may also change depending on the spell/ability you're using... or who you have targeted.
- if there is a group of people clumped up you can use the mouse wheel (default) to switch among those under your targeting reticule... it will only switch between those right near/under your targeting reticule though.. so you can't just scroll through all the players on your screen till you find the one you want, you have to actually put the reticule over them... but if there is more than 1 stuck under your reticule then it'll switch between them... then when you get the one you want, you can right click to lock on, or left click to interact with... this is especially useful when there are a bunch of players clumped around a questgiving NPC.
- also... only SOME, not all, ranged spells will be "homing".. as in follow their intended target even if they move before the projectile gets there... some of the harder hitting spells will not be homing and instead will require you to aim well and plan your attack.
Size of Outdoor Zones - Zones should be HUGE... in a game that requires so much in the way of reactions, timing, and precision it's important to spread people out when they're out in the open game world.. if players are all clumped up lag could become a big problem... the smallest zones should be the size of the Barrens in WoW... every zone should also have 1-3 roaming outdoor bosses and at least 1 dungeon... as well as a large area full of elites.
- there should also be a couple different channels available for each zone... however to keep players from channel swapping and killing the same named/rare/outdoor boss mob over and over there will be a buff placed on you for 1 hour after you kill certain rare/boss mobs that will keep you from killing them again for 1 hour....
- for example if you kill some rare elite Ice Giant boss in the Frozen Lands... you'll get a buff that says something like "Covered in Ice giant blood. increases physical defense by 1%" ... so naturally if you come across this same huge ice giant guy later in the frozen lands he's going to be pretty pissed that you're covered in his buddy's blood... so if you get close to him, he'll get desperate and go crazy and enrage as if you had called for help on an outdoor boss (described earlier in the Tagging Mobs section)... and he'll massacre you... so basically after you've defeated him, you can't engage him again for at least an hour.
- needless to say these buffs cannot be dispelled, or removed in any way, and persist through death.
- going along with this idea... every wandering outdoor boss will give a buff when you kill it... in early levels these buffs will be really small (1-2% defense/attack/speed/etc:..), but in later levels these buffs will become more and more powerful... to the point where killing one outdoor boss could give 10% increased HP/MP, or 10% increased damage/healing, or 5% increase to all stats, or 10% movement speed bonus, etc:...
- also as you go up in levels the buff lasts longer... so at low levels it lasts 1 hour... at the level cap these buffs might last 3 hours.
- so a possible strategy for tackling difficult content would be to kill a few outdoor bosses in the area to gain their buffs before entering the most difficult dungeons.
Wipe Recovery - each Priest class will have an ability that allows them to create a resurrection stone (similar to a tank's healthstone or a mage's manastone... which is similar to a WoW warlock's Soulstone) that takes 5 seconds to cast, is interrupted with 1 hit, does not expire, but only 1 can be carried at a time... the priest can activate this resurrection stone to return themselves to life... however they can only use a resurrection stone once every hour.
- there are also first aid Resurrection Kits... these kits can revive 1 player... the kit is destroyed upon use and another kit cannot be used for another hour... these kits are somewhat expensive and are extremely useful to Assassin classes since they can stealth during combat and drop completely off the enemy's threat list... after their group members are dead and the enemies have reset, the assassin can revive the priest if their resurrection stone is on cooldown.
- also resurrection stones and kits are usable in combat... however the stone takes 5 seconds to bring you back to life with 50% health and mana (gain 10% each second for 5 seconds)... while you're being brought back to life you are in a transparent/ghostly state and are attackable but you cannot attack back... if you reach 0 life before the end of the 5 seconds... the spell is cancelled and the stone is destroyed and the 1 hour cooldown starts... so you have to be wise about when and where to use it.
- the kit is also a 5 second cast but it's cast by the player with the kit, not the player being revived... 1 hit to the caster can interrupt and cancel the revival spell (and therefor destroy the kit and start the cooldown)... at the end of the revival spell if it's not interrupted the target will be revived but with only 10% health and mana.
Resting - resting should be handled similarly to the way it is in Aion... every class has a toggle ability that says "Rest" which makes them sit down and rest... while resting the player regains hp and mp much much quicker... however unlike Aion where you regain health/mana in chunks only once every few seconds... it should be much smoother... so you regain health/mana like every .5 seconds.. so it seems smooth and flowing and you're not waiting for a big jump in hp/mp to stand back up... also the action of standing and sitting should be much smoother, quicker, and more responsive than it is in Aion.
- while resting your defenses are also lowered and you take an additional 30% more damage while resting... being hit while resting does not automatically force you to stand up, but stuns/knockbacks will.
Bandages - bandages are also available to regain health quicker than just resting... they are almost exactly like bandages in WoW.. they have a 1 minute cooldown and act basically as a channeled spell which restores hp every 1 second for 5 seconds.
- there are also mana bandages that act like normal bandages but restore MP instead of HP.
- all bandages (both HP and MP) share a 1 minute cooldown... so similar to potions you have to decide which type of bandage is best for the situation.
- bandages can also be interrupted in 1 hit.. so you'll want to make sure you're safe before you attempt to bandage.
Guilds - handled very similarly to how they were in WAR... guilds level up with you and at each level a few new guild related features open up... however there are only 10 ranks instead of the 40 found in WAR...
ranks and rewards:
1 - Guild Created (basic guild features, including in-game calendar)
2 - Can create a logo to put on cloaks/sheilds/banners
3 - Guild vault becomes available
4 - Guild standard becomes available with 1 ability slot
5 - Access to Guild Hall
6 - Second ability slot in standard becomes available
7 - Access to Guild Stone (basically a hearthstone that takes you to the Guild Hall.)
8 - 3rd ability slot in standard becomes available
9 - Access to "Summon Moogle" ability... basically the guild leader can give 5 guild members the ability to summon an NPC to his location once every 3 hours... this NPC gives access to personal/guild vaults, also players can change their class at this NPC, and respec their talents/stigma skills. (this way members can switch classes, grab their gear, and respec to fit a group role that needs filled).
10 - the guild leader gets 3 Guild Summon Stones... these stones can be passed out to members of the guild so that 3 people in the guild have the ability to summon the entire guild to their location.
Guild Summon Stone - 10 second cast. 3 hr cooldown. summons everyone in the guild to the summoner's location. not usable in instances like BGs and dungeons.
- basically when the leader uses the stone it pops up a "you have been summoned" box to all guild members and they can click "Accept" or "Decline"... this just makes it even quicker and easier to amass the guild for guild functions.
- ranks 5-10 new standard abilities become available each rank.
- ranks 4, 6, 8, and 10 more vault space opens up
- ranks 7 and 9 you're allowed access to new items and vendors in the guild hall. (basically NPCs that previously wouldn't talk to you or wouldn't sell you certain items will now.)
Guild Hall - inside the guild hall, guild members have access to various vendors and items and things... they can also see trophies from past conquests (heads mounted on walls of end-game bosses defeated)... easy player and guild vault access, mail access, etc:..
- the guild hall is located in the capital city and only those members belonging to a guild can enter... by belonging to a guild i mean belonging to any guild.. the guild hall is a place for members of different guilds to meet and talk and relax... each guild doesn't get their own hall... they share with every other guild.
- the guild hall is HUGE... with plenty of space for everyone and even a dueling area... and multiple channels.
- banners are hung on the wall according to guild rank... which is determined by who has killed the hardest bosses... similar to the ranking system on wowjutsu.com... but the top 20 are displayed in-game on the wall of the guild hall... the rest of the guilds are still ranked, and can be found by clicking "show all" or something... but only the top 20 get their banners on the wall.
- also the head of every final raid boss that has been killed on the server is up on the wall with a plaque that says what guild killed it first, who was in the party at the time, the date and time of the kill, and the difficulty lvl... so there's a head on the wall, with 3 plaques under it... the first plaque lists the group that killed it on Epic difficulty first, below that is the plaque with the group that killed it on Hard difficulty first, and on the bottom is the plaque detailing the first group to kill it on Normal difficulty.
Battle Group Hall - battle groups also get their own hall very similar to Guild Halls, where only members of a ranked group can enter... same thing with the banners, except this time they're for the top 20 battle groups instead of guilds.
- the hall is also very large and has its own dueling area, and this is where all the NPCs that sell ranked battle group equipment can be found.
Skill Attribute Points - SAPs are basically points you get throughout the leveling process that can increase 5 different aspects of your skills. these 5 aspects are:
- Reduce Cast Time
- Reduce Cooldown
- Reduce Mana/Stamina/Energy Cost
- Increase Damage/Healing
- Increase Duration
Basically you get a new SAP every level... you spend that SAP on one of these 5 aspects of a single ability... you can have a maximum of 5 of each type (cast time/cooldown/cost etc:..)... and you can put a max of 3 SAPs of one aspect type into a single ability.
- so starting at level 15 you get 1 SAP every level.
- you decide which skill you want to improve... and which aspect of that skill you want to improve.
- you can place 5 total points into each aspect... but only 3 of each aspect per skill
- the first point in a skill increases that aspect by 15%... the 2nd brings the total increase up to 25%... and the 3rd brings the total increase up to the max of 33%.
- if the first 5 SAPs you get you decide to put into dmg/healing... that's fine.. but then you can't put any more into dmg/healing... you'll have to use the rest of your SAPs on the other aspects... until you have 5 in each and are at the level cap.
- Diagram Below:
- Might have to click on the top bar to get it to be displayed in actual size in order to read it well -
- so this particular priest's AOE Heal has a 33% reduced cast time, 33% reduced mana cost, and 33% increased healing.
- this priest's Slow ability has a 25% reduced cooldown time, and his Channeled Nuke has a 15% reduced cooldown time.
- the in-game SAP interface will probably be very similar to this spreadsheet... where you place your point/crystal/gem in the corresponding row and column of your choice.
- basically this system adds some customization.. but doesn't radically change the class or make 1 priest a 10x better healer than another... it doesn't force people into a certain "spec"... and players can improve the skills they like, and use the system to enhance their personal playstyle... instead of using points to basically pick between 3 or so different playstyles within a single class.... so basically your class decides your playstyle, while your SAPs just tailor that playstyle to fit you even better personally.
- also, at the level cap there will be very difficult quests that can offer you an additional SAP in each aspect... there are 5 quests, each quest corresponds to a different skill aspect... so you can decide which aspect you want to improve first, and do that corresponding quest.
- so eventually you'll actually have 6 points in each of the 5 aspects total. (6 points in each column)
- also these points cannot affect Morale Abilities.
Dyes - All dyes can only be created through crafting... specifically the alchemy profession... the most desired colors (reds, blacks, blues, etc:...) can only be made at high levels with very rare items.
- this will help keep everyone from going with the same red/black or blue/black or all black color schemes and hopefully keep the prices of these color dyes high so that only the truly badass will be able to afford them.
- the less desired pastel, ugly colors will be available earlier on and be much easier to make.
- each vial of dye can only color 1 piece of armor... each piece of armor has a primary and secondary color section on the item... so to get a fully badass red/black color scheme it would take a long time and a lot of gold.
Status Effects - the different possible status effects and their descriptions are listed below:
STUN - unit affected cannot move or use any abilities for the duration. Damage does NOT interrupt the effect.
DISORIENT - Unit affected staggers about slowly in a small area. Damage cancels the effect. (Think the Blind ability of WoW's Rogues)
KNOCKBACK - the affected unit is knocked backward some distance. distance depends on the particular ability inflicting the knockback effect. attacks are NOT usable while flying backwards under the knockback effect. but as soon as you land you have full control of your character again.
KNOCKDOWN - the affected unit is knocked to the ground. while on the ground the player can roll away for a few seconds. by hitting the jump button the affected player jumps back to their feet. if the player hasn't gotten back to their feet after 6 seconds, the character automatically gets back up, but more slowly than if the player had forced them to get back up.
"CROWD CONTROL" - the affected target is CC'ed for a period of time. damage will cancel the effect. after the CC ends, the unit becomes enraged and cannot be CC'ed by the same ability for a short period of time (10 Seconds).
- Types of CC: Sleep, Polymorph, Freeze, etc:...
- so when a person is affected by sleep, then the sleep is canceled (either by damage or end of duration) that person becomes immune to SLEEP for 10 Seconds, but NOT immune to the rest of the different CC's like Poly and Freeze.
- immunity timers also apply to PvE mobs... so you'll be able to practice CC rotations and other CC techniques in PvE, and your CC abilities won't arbitrarily work differently depending on whether you're doing PvE or PvP content.
GRAB - some abilities allow the player to grab an enemy and then throw them. while under the affect of a grab, the unit cannot use abilities. but if the grabber is damaged while holding an enemy then the enemy is released.
Energy - along with HP and MP/AP there is another stat called Energy, or EP... this is the pool that your basic attacks and your block/guard/evade moves use... each of these abilities has an energy cost, basically EP acts just like MP but regenerates at a much faster rate, and this rate depends on the amount of energy you currently have. the energy pool is 100 points... the amount of max energy, and energy regen can be changed slightly, but not by much.
- Energy is also regenerated twice as fast as normal while Resting.
here are some rough estimates of EP cost per ability:
Block - 4 EP per attack Blocked + 2 EP per second while blocking
Guard - 5 EP Per attack Guarded + 3 EP per second while guarding
Evade - 10 EP
Grab Abilities - 10 EP
Stealth - 1 EP per second
Double Jump - 10 EP
Flee - 10 EP per second
- while performing an ability that uses EP, Energy is not regenerated. there is a 1 second cooldown between the last EP point used and when EP starts regenerating again.
- Energy regen is calculated based on the proportion of EP you currently have compared to your Maximum EP. the more EP you have, the faster your EP will regen... the less EP you have, the slower your EP will regen.
- so if you have 70% of your EP, you'll regen EP pretty quickly... but if you only have 20% of your EP, then you'll regen it very slowly.
- basically the exact numbers i'm looking to use here are - current EP as a % of Maximum EP * .1
- so if you currently have 80% of your max EP, then you'll regen 8 EP per second, if you only have 35% of your max EP, then you'll only regain 3.5 EP per second... etc:..
Double Jump - just like most action games, all classes can double jump. if you hit the spacebar once you will jump, if you hit it again while in the air you'll do a double jump. double jumps do use 10 EP, so you can't just double jump all over the place or you'll quickly run out of Energy.
- double jump will be very useful for platforming and avoiding obstacles and enemy skills/abilities.
Races Advanced - Here is the list of the races i would include, and a short description/pic of each: (names are definitely not final.)
Human - pretty standard and self explanatory
Elf - again... pretty standard
Dwarf - still pretty standard
Orc - another standard race
Tauren - just like the taurens in WoW. cow-people.
Lizardmen - upright walking lizards
Ratmen - think Skaven from Warhammer.
Pandaren - upright walking panda bears... just like the pandaren in Warcraft lore.
Alien - think protoss High Templar from Starcraft.
- To give you a better idea, you can find a pic of each race below:
- unlike most games, all races have access to all the different classes. there's no class limitation based on race.
Selling Items for Real World Money - i hate RMT... i absolutely hate the idea that noobs can buy their way to the most badass gear... however... i'm ok with noobs buying their way to slightly above mediocre gear... so basically the best items/gear are reserved for those that actually have earned them within the game... but there should still be slightly above average gear that is available for purchase with real world cash.
- it would act kind of like a tax on the lazy... if you're too lazy to get even average gear, then we'll gladly take your money so you can still get pwned by the people who have actually earned their gear.
- in-game currency should NOT be purchasable with real world cash... if this was possible then the entire economy can easily get out of whack.
- only a limited number of gear/items would be purchasable with real world cash... such as an item set every 10 levels, or weapons every 5 levels, and all the items would be bind on pickup.
- also all the RMT items would have unique looks so that people who purchased their gear with real world money can easily be picked out among others. they might even have a separate rarity associated with them.. something between uncommon and superior.. probably called "Fancy" with a turquoise color.
Loot Rarity levels - loot rarity listed in order of difficulty to acquire from easiest to hardest:
0. Trash - Gray
1. Normal - White
2. Uncommon - Green
2.5 Fancy - Turquoise
3. Superior - Blue
4. Heroic - Purple
5. Epic - Orange
6. Legendary - Red
7. Immortal - Yellow
- immortal items are extremely rare, like Thunderfury, Sulfuras, and Atiesh in WoW.
Buying/selling Characters - instead of letting gold farming companies buy and sell characters... the company creating the game should buy/sell characters.
- basically the company should set up an Ebay like auction system where players can sell their characters and maybe even items/gold.
- it would work basically just like Ebay where there is an insertion fee of like $2, plus a fee of 5% of the total selling price.
- this would allow players to trade characters/items/gold safely and legally, all while making a bit of extra money for the company.
Business Model - despite the ability to buy/sell characters, gear, and items with real world money... this game would not be based on micro transactions or a free to play type system... it would still be based on the $50 boxed game (which gives a month of free game time) + an approximately $10 subscription fee... the selling of items/characters is just a little icing on top and an attempt to thwart gold and toon sellers... and keep things legal and regulated.
Killing Gold Sellers - the best way to kill gold sellers is to make the in-game currency only a viable way to achieve mediocre items/gear... so basically all items/gear that is above average in power is bind on pickup... or requires tokens/rare boss drops to acquire/craft... and these tokens/rare boss drops are bind on pickup anyway.
- also, the items that the game company sells should be better than anything you can buy with in-game currency, so who would want to spend money to get in-game currency which can only be used to get items/gear that is sub-par to what you can get if you just buy the items straight from the game company.
Official Game Forums - similar to the WoW forums, but with an added "Elite" forum... basically you have to make so many posts/threads to be eligible to apply for access to the Elite forums... once you've met the requirements you can send in an application. a moderator will take a look at your application, and previous forum posts and assess your worthiness of joining the elite forums... the hope is that the elite forums will be similar to the Elitest Jerks' WoW forums... the smartest/most skilled/knowledgeable will gather here and their feedback will be much more valuable and insightful than the craptastic trolling that is likely to occur in the regular forums.
- this will help the development team get better feedback quicker and cut through all the BS that is usually found on official game forums... the general forums will still be looked at, but the elite forums will be given much more weight and consideration.
- the elite forums will be visible and anyone can read it, but only elite members can post in it.
- also, your elite status can be revoked at any time and for any reason.. just to keep out players that act normal to get access to the elite forums but then let their inner troll run wild.
Quest Icons - As i've said before, what you would traditionally call "quests" in a traditional MMO will be broken up into Quests and Tasks. furthermore, the icons above quest giver's heads that show their is a quest/task available will be color coded like so:
You are too high lvl and won't receive any XP for completing the quest - Gray
You are too low lvl, or haven't met requirements, and can not yet accept the quest - White
Repeatable Task - Light Blue
Single Task - Blue
Normal Quest - Yellow
Class Quest - Purple
Public Quest - Green
Attunement Quest - Red.
- if the quest can be picked up, then the icon is an exclamation point. if a quest has been completed and can be turned in, then the icon is a checkmark.
- the longer and more difficult the quest line or task, the more exclamation points over the quest giver's head. up to a maximum of 3.
Normal Quest - ! - rewards Green gear
More difficult Quest -!! - rewards Blue gear
Very difficult Quest - !!! - rewards Purple gear
Zone Layout - Here is a jpeg of a sample basic layout for a mid-level zone. pretty standard stuff really. there are a few requirements for each zone, but the overall design is very flexible.
- 1-2 Main Quest Hubs
- 1-2 Elite Areas
- 1-4 PQs
- Small quest hubs near each PQ
- at least 1 outdoor boss
- at least 1 dungeon, preferably with a second, back entrance located in a nearby elite area
- should have a natural flow from previous, lower lvl zone, to the next, higher lvl zone
- everything should be spread out to keep players from clumping up and causing lag
- Flight path in each Main Quest Hub
Dungeon Ideas -
- Indiana Jones style, speed run with giant ball rolling after you, or moving wall of spikes, or giant dragon chasing you, etc:..
- 4 or more groups fight through a maze-like dungeon carrying a standard, the first group to the end that plants their standard gets to engage the boss first, if they don't defeat it, the next group to arrive and plant their standard gets a shot... once the boss has been killed it doesn't respawn and the instance is over.
- Gauntlet style instance where wave after wave of enemies spawn from portals. you have to move through the dungeon destroying the portals to stop the enemies from spewing forth.
- Survival mode... wave after wave of enemies keep coming, each wave harder than the last, the longer you survive the better the loot.
- group starts in the middle of a randomly generated maze and has to fight its way out.
- you have to weaken and lure into a trap as many enemies as you can. so there is a big trap in the middle of the dungeon, you have to split up and pull as many enemies back to the trap as possible. the enemies must be weakened (less than 20% health) for the trap to capture them. the more enemies you trap the better the loot.
- instance like Aion's Dreadgion with 2 teams competing for points while engaging in PVE and possibly PVP within a dungeon.
Channels - below is a jpeg of the channel selection UI. The image pretty much speaks for itself.
UI Options - The following is a list of options that every frame in the UI should have.
- Reflect along vertical axis
- Reflect along horizontal axis
- Show/Hide on keypress
- Adjust length (health and xp bars only)
- Adjust height (health and xp bars only)
- Show/Hide empty buttons in Action Bar
- adjust spacing of buff/debuff icons
- align/center relative to the screen or another frame
- also the arrow keys should be able to nudge the frame in each direction
- there should be a grid that you can show or hide and the option to snap-to this grid.
- each frame should have a reset button in case it gets lost off-screen
- you should be able to hold SHIFT and select multiple frames to move/scale/rotate/etc:... at the same time.
- right-clicking a frame will bring up all of the applicable movements/transformations available to that specific frame.
Basically setting up your UI should work a lot like messing with objects/layers in photoshop... but more limited and a bit easier to use.
Drawing on Maps - all maps in the game can be drawn on... basically whenever you call up a map you can click the "Draw" option and it will allow just YOU to draw on top of the map... or you could click "Group Draw"... this would be especially beneficial when in a battleground or new instance to come up with strategies... the following jpeg is an example of "Group Draw"...
- as you can see, along the left hand side is a list of all the players currently in your group and each of them is assigned a color... these group members can then draw on the map as they see fit.
- the group leader can remove a member's ability to draw... and/or completely delete everything on the map written by a member... revoked drawing privileges can be seen by the (/) symbol through the member's icon.
- when drawing by yourself it's the same as Group Draw but with just 1 member in the party (You).
- You can also save drawings and give them a name so that you can call on them later.. especially useful if you use a particular strategy frequently... these saved maps can be called on from the "Presets" drop-down menu at the top right corner.
- also you can place a link to a map you've drawn on into chat... there would be a button on the map that says "Link in Chat" which would place a link to the map into chat... then when someone clicks on that link, the map you sent pops up on their screen.
UI - here is a pic of the basic UI layout... i'll try and give a detailed explanation of each frame below...
- Chat box, xp bar, and main action bar are pretty standard MMO fare so i won't go into any detail about them.
- the smaller cluster of 2x6 bars along the right are basically overflow from the main action bars, and a good place for non-combat abilities such as food, and usable quest items.
- the Menu Button acts like Aion's main menu button, opening up a window with access to the character pane, inventory, guild, friend list, skill book, etc:...
- the self buffs/debuffs shown right above the action bar on either sides of the morale frame are pretty standard MMO fare also... the arrows on these frames represent the direction the buff/debuff icons fill up... the bottom frame fills first then the icons start moving up to the top frame.
- the morale frame in the middle above the action bar is just a standard morale frame. just like in WAR.
- above that is a pretty standard casting bar.
- directly above the casting bar is a DoT-Timer like frame which keeps track of the roots/snares/debuffs/dots etc:... that you have put on your target... this frame starts filling from the middle, then as debuffs are added, the debuffs with the longest duration left are on the left, the shortest on the right... so the time left on the debuff decreases as you move from left to right... but the icons are always centered over the bar, and shown even if there is no cast bar obviously.
- the reticule in the center of the screen is what you'll use to aim and select enemies/friends. the glow around the reticule changes color based on wether the current target is friend or enemy etc:... it may also change depending on the spell/ability being used to better reflect the size of the area affected by the spell/ability.
- in the top right corner we have a fairly standard MMO minimap.
- in the top middle of the screen is the locked-on target's health bar.
- above and below the locked-on target's health bar is it's buffs and debuffs, which behave exactly like the self buff/debuff frames.
Targeting with Pictures! - The targeting system has been the hardest part to iron out about this game... and it's really difficult to explain, so hopefully these pictures will help.
- Here is an image showing the basic UI setup and the player targeting an enemy with the camera zoomed in pretty far.
- next is an image with the camera zoomed out further but still targeting an enemy.
- now we'll take a look at a series of pics to hopefully illustrate how targetting characters on top of each other works.
- the top image has the closest target selected, which is the one that would first be targeted if you had just moved the cursor to its current location. notice the color of the reticule, character name, and silhouette outline of the npc.
- the second image is what the screen would look like if you scrolled up one tick on your mouse wheel. the selected target has changed to the next further back NPC. in this case the new target is a critter that you can't interact with, so the reticule, character name, and outline are all in gray.
- the third image is what you would see if you scrolled up 1 more tick on your mouse scroll wheel. the furthest away NPC is now targeted.
- if you clicked up 1 more time it would go back to the closest NPC, like in the first image.
- if you clicked down instead of up on the scroll wheel, it would start with the closest like usual, then move the furthest away and each scroll down would move to the next closest NPC.
- targetting behaves the same way if there are multiple enemies stacked on top of each other. you might think that this would be a problem, but keep in mind that in pvp the most enemies you'll be up against will be 8... and most spells will have an aoe component to them, so there shouldn't be so many enemies grouped on top of each other that it's hard to select your target.
Targeting Friendlies - in order to make it easier for healers to target their group members, there will be a button that can be pressed to highlight all friendlies in the area... basically a beam of light will shine down from the sky on all friendly targets within range, and while this button is pressed only friendly units can be locked on to.
- the "highlight friendlies" button can be a toggle, time based (lasts for 10 seconds after pushing the button, or until a friendly is locked-on to), or a button that has to be held down to provide the effect. the user gets to pick from these options.
- Here's an image to show the type of effect i'm going for:
Changing item skins - in this MMO you wouldn't be able to change item skins or transfer stats from one item to an item with a different skin... you should be able to look at an item on a character and know exactly what it is and where it's from, you shouldn't have to inspect someone and try and figure out where the stats on a certain item came from.
Class Mastery - when you master more than 1 class (meaning you're at the level cap with 2 or more classes)... you have the opportunity to engage in a class mastery quest. this will be a very difficult quest spanning the world, but upon completion you will be allowed to use 1 ability from the class you have mastered with your other class. but this only works within archetype classes.
- so for example: you are a Ranger, but you also have your Beastmaster class at the level cap... you can do the beastmaster class mastery quest and then you'll be able to use 1 of your beastmaster abilities as a ranger. or you could complete the ranger class mastery quest and then use 1 of your ranger abilities as a beast master.
- there are some skills that are off limits though, such as the beastmaster's ability to use a pet. you wouldn't be able to play as a ranger with a beastmaster's pet etc:.. things that are iconic of a class would be off-limits... as would abilities that would be deemed way too overpowered.
- you can also only get abilities from classes within your archetype, you can't have a healer with a tanking ability or an assassin that throws fireballs etc:...
- so there is a trade-off between leveling a new class that is similar to your main class and will help make your main class stronger... or leveling a completely new archetype which makes you more flexible and able to fill more roles within your guild/group etc:..
- this works for every class in an archetype. so in order to fully max out your class you must have all 3 classes in your archetype fully leveled and have completed the class mastery quest for each of them. then you will have access to 2 additional spells. 1 from each of your secondary classes within the archetype.
- you can also reset your ability choice when you reset your SAPs (Skill Attribute Points).
Living NPC world - we've already established a day/night cycle that matches up with the real world. so 4pm in the real world = 4pm in the game world... building on that allows us to add more depth and realism to the game world. in most MMOs there is no real feeling of the passage of time... NPCs just stand in the same spot day or night until the end of time... in this MMO the NPCs should move around at different times of the day making things feel more alive and realistic and giving a sense of the passage of time to the game world.
- for example: lets say you have a farm household... at 6am the farmer is at the barn milking his cows.. then at 8am he moves into the house and sits down at the table for breakfast... at 9am he goes out and wanders around the field tending to the corn.. then at 12pm he goes back inside for lunch for an hour.. at 1pm he's back outside in the field tending the crops again... at 6pm he comes back inside for dinner.. then at 7pm the farmer and his wife sit on their front porch... till 10pm when they go inside and sit beside the fireplace... till 6am the next day when the whole cycle starts over again.
- this is a fairly detailed and fleshed out example, in reality just 2 or 3 different locations for the NPC to stand at different times throughout the day would make a huge difference in creating an immersive living world that has a coherent sense of time.
- also NPCs shouldn't stray too far from their home position... in the above example the farmer would never be more than 40 Meters from his farmhouse... NPCs should move.. but not over such a great distance as it's difficult to find them.
- also in the above example the wife could be making dinner, knitting, etc:.. when she isn't eating dinner or sitting with her husband... so the wife doesn't ever leave the house... if you're having trouble finding the farmer, you could talk to the wife and she would tell you where he is at that particular time.
- another example would be to have auctioneers change shifts at regular times during the day... say every 4 hours the auctioneers get replaced by a new shift... this shift would have to be staggered so that only 1-2 auctioneers are changing shifts at a time, that way you can still access the AH from the other auctioneers that aren't changing shifts during that time... if an auctioneer isn't at his post, then he can probably be found in the tavern having a beer.
Faction battles - unlike most games, instead of picking 1 of 2 factions at the start of the game and being locked in conflict and unable to communicate with the opposing faction... everyone starts as one big peaceful player faction.. but this game would have many different NPC factions vying for control of game world territory and resources. the players can then choose which NPC faction to ally with and who to oppose.
- the battles would play out in open world DotA style engagements with waves of enemies from the faction's bases pouring forth to do battle over the territory.
- these factions will send out calls to adventurers to join their side... in particular they will try to entice entire guilds to join their cause by offering great rewards in exchange for their service.
- exceptional PVP groups will also be recruited by the factions, as well as exceptional individuals.
- the idea behind recruitment is to split up the talent fairly evenly between the 2 sides... so the best guild gets recruited by faction A... the second best gets recruited by faction B.. the third best goes to faction A... and it alternates on down the line.
- not everyone will get recruited by a faction... about 1/3 of the population will not be recruited by either side and can just pick whichever one they feel like supporting.
- also, just because a guild has been recruited by a certain side, does not mean that they have to go to that side, they could always fore-go their possible recruitment bonuses and join the other side.
- if for some reason 1 faction has a huge imbalance, the developers can send out letters from the weaker faction to some of the players of the stronger faction asking them to defect to the other side and offering substantial rewards for their service.
- a guild request is different from individual requests and will be issued to the guild leader so that they can decide on it... individual requests will be sent to individual players... your guild might get a request from 1 faction, but you personally might get a request from the other faction.
- if a guild leader accepts a guild service request from 1 faction, the guild is committed to that faction, but individuals within the guild can decide to defect and grant their service to the other faction if they so choose. so just because your guild fights for 1 faction, doesn't mean you're forced to fight with them for that faction, you can always defect.
- if you or your guild aren't recruited, or you don't want to fight for the side you were recruited by... then all you have to do is talk to an NPC of the faction you'd like to support and they will register you with their side.
- it's important to note that this is NOT the end-game... this is not WAR or Aion where the end-game is a massive zergfest over fortresses and access to instances.... the best gear will NOT be found in these faction contested zones, these zones will NOT necessarily be fair and competitive like battlegrounds... these faction contested zones are more for a change of pace and just to have fun and check a few things off your list of things you'd like to accomplish in-game, while getting some nifty loot too... i'll repeat 1 more time... this is NOT the end-game.
- it's very difficult to make open-world pvp competitive and meaningful without it turning into a zerging snorefest... no game has been able to do it well thus far, and i highly doubt any game will be able to in the near future.
- to keep things semi-under control and to help with latency issues that are sure to arise, the max players per channel will be lower than on normal zones, something like 60% of a normal zone's total allowable players.
- also 40% of the total spots available are reserved for faction 1, and 40% are reserved for faction 2... the remaining 20% can be occupied by either faction... this way a faction can't have more than 60% of the total player maximum in the zone.
- when there are a lot of faction A and only a few of faction B in a certain channel, there will be incentives to players from faction B to join that channel. these incentives can range from increased xp/gold/reputation gained... to a free stack of potions... to a quicker respawn time... etc:... these bonuses would last for a certain amount of time, except the potions which would last until used, or until the player leaves the area... this amount of time would be listed when given the option to join the battle. so even if your side gains a bunch of players and is now the dominant faction, you'll still have those bonuses for the duration that was offered when you joined. so just because the population imbalances even out, doesn't mean you lose your bonuses.
- also there would be a long cooldown on the ability to change zones in these faction battle areas. something like 30 mins or so... just to keep people from constantly switching channels.
Buddy System - at lvl 1. when you first create your character you will have a buddy stone waiting in your inventory. this stone can be broken into 4 parts, the first part you keep (Greater Buddy Stone), the other 3 you can give to your buddies (Lesser Buddy Stone). you can only have 1 greater buddy stone, and up to 3 lesser buddy stones in your inventory, and buddy stones are soulbound. so you should choose wisely who gets part of your buddy stone.
- if one of your buddies decides to quit the game, thereby wasting a piece of your buddy stone, you can purchase another buddy stone for $5. but you will have to destroy your old buddy stone before you can receive the new one, since you can only have 1 greater buddy stone in your inventory.
- you can use the buddy stone to teleport yourself to a buddy's location. 10 second cast time. 1 hr cooldown.
- buddy stones do not share a cooldown... so the greater and lesser parts of your buddy stone (of which you have the greater half and your buddy the lesser half) do not share a cooldown... and neither do the greater and lesser buddy stones that you personally have in your inventory (assuming someone else gave you a lesser buddy stone).
- also, if you and your buddy are in a group together and within 45 meters, you each gain 10% increased xp... from combat only... does not apply to quest reward xp, or gathering/crafting xp.
- the 10% bonus xp does NOT stack even if you have more than 1 buddy in the party.
- if 2 friends exchange buddy stones, so that each has the other's lesser stone... then they will only recieve 5% bonus xp when grouped since each really only has 1 buddy.
- if 3 friends exchange buddy stones, in a love triangle sort of way... then they will receive 10% bonus xp when all 3 are grouped.
Inventory - inventory is just 1 big bag... you start off with 20 slots, upgradeable to 80 by giving gold to an NPC.
Pocket - like a separate inventory for important items. expands automatically to hold as much stuff as necessary. this is where your keys (to get into certain dungeons), and stones (hearthstone, buddy stones, soulstones, healthstones, etc:..) and other important items are stored.
Sorting Inventory - both the normal inventory, and your pocket will have a sort button on them. the player can set up how they wish to have their items sorted using a list of possible item types. you can change the way things are sorted by dragging and dropping the item type names into the order you want them.
- then you can drag and drop, up or down, any item type into position where you want it.
within the different types, items are always sorted by:
item rarity (most rare ---> least rare)
item lvl (highest ---> lowest)
gathering trade skills - you can level gathering and scavenging (described below) simultaneously up to lvl 100 (max lvl = 400)... but at lvl 75 a quest becomes available which allows you to specialize in 1 of the "gathering" trade skills... you must complete this quest in order to lvl your chosen trade skill, gathering or scavenging, past lvl 100. once you've completed this quest you will be allowed to advance past lvl 100 in your chosen skill, but the other gathering skill will be capped at 100 forever... unless you pay a certain amount of gold to an NPC and complete the quest for the other skill, in which case your previous skill will drop to lvl 100, but you will now be able to advance past 100 in your new skill.
Gathering - just like Aion's gathering skill. gathering nodes (ore, crystals, plants, fish etc:..) would be placed in the game world pretty much the same as in Aion. only difference is that there is no pass/fail gauge... simply the higher your skill, relative to the node you are gathering, the shorter the cast time to gather... equal level gathering = 4 second cast... 10 lvls above = 3 second cast... 20 lvls above = 2 second cast... 30 lvls above = 1 second cast.
Scavenging - similar to WAR's scavenging trade skill... you scavenge the bodies of your enemies for extra loot and certain items that are required for crafting and can only be found by scavenging.... this could mean skinning your enemy for its skin/fur, or rifling through the dead body of a pirate, or picking up shards of an elemental monster... basically all enemy carcasses should be scavengeable.
- just like Gathering, the higher your scavenging lvl compared to the body being scavenged, the shorter the cast time, from 4 seconds all the way down to 1 second.
Live Events (Mini-Expansions) - similar to WAR... there would be live events, but not as frequently as they occur in WAR... maybe 3 events per year max.. events should be sufficiently large though and almost like a mini-expansion... actually more like opening the gates of Ahn'Qiraj in WoW than the live events in WAR...
- they should include: new BG, new instances, new faction warfare zone, new outdoor elite area, new quests/tasks, special vanity items, and a few new PQs.
- there would be fewer of them, but their effects would be long lasting and not expire at the end of the event... no quest rewards that only last for a few weeks.
- for example: 1 event could be about the discovery of a huge underground area with it's own creatures and resources... the BG could be a fight over the rare ore in the darkest recesses of the underground caverns... the new faction warfare could be between 2 brand new factions discovered living underground that are at war with each other... etc:...
- there should be some buffs, recipes, titles, crafting materials, and a few items that are specific to this area and sufficiently powerful to entice players into this new area... but this should not become the "new" end-game, it should work to compliment the current end-game.. not make it obsolete.
- also there should be things for all levels to do during the event.
- these events should roll out slowly over time, similar to the opening of the gates of Ahn'Qiraj... but even slower and with more variety in how you can help your server to gain access to the new content... with things to do for everyone from the lowly lvl 10 newbie, to only the most hardcore of guilds and pvp groups.
- also these events should be planned from the start of the game... players that go through and read all the quest text should be able to guess that there is an event coming... so going along with the above example, while questing players should run into crews of miners strewn around that are mining for rare materials but have made some interesting discoveries (new creatures, underground tunnels, etc:..) and have a hunch that something big is lurking below the surface... this way it adds value for those that like a good story in their MMO and rewards those that read the quest text.
Staggered Game Release - firstly, there should be a heavy emphasis on digitally downloading the game instead of buying a retail box... it's cheaper for the developer, environmentally friendly, and generally quicker and easier if done correctly.
- with that being said, there should still be a few boxed copies of the game distributed for those that must have the actual disc, box, manual, etc:.. but the boxed version should cost approximately $10 more than the digital download... so get your serial number in your mailbox instantly for $50.. or drive to the store and pay $60... your customer's choice.
- all bonus items from the collector's edition, or pre-orders should be in-game bonuses... no fancy case with an artbook and a figurine, although those could be made available separately through the company's online store in very limited quantities if there is enough demand for them.
Head start dates:
- Collector's Edition pre-order: 7 day head start
- Normal pre-order: 4 day head start
- Digital Downloaders: 1 day head start
- Retail box purchasers: official Release day
Character Creator - similar to Spore, or more recently, Dragon Age. the character creator should be released 2 weeks before the game actually launches (preferably as a small standalone download or within a web browser). this not only builds hype, but it allows players to experiment with their character's looks beforehand, that way they don't have to waste hours tweaking their character when they first load up the game. they can be ready to go the instant the servers are up and running... this is one of those things that i can't imaging any MMO not doing this in the future, it's a no brainer and a win-win for both gamers and developers.
since you know exactly how many people have pre-ordered/downloaded the game, you can match your servers exactly to the first 3 waves of incoming players (collector's, pre-order, digital).
- instead of starting at the very beginning with all your servers available, only use slightly more than necessary to accommodate the collector's edition buyers... then add more servers to accommodate the normal pre-orders... then more to accommodate the digitals, and then finally use your best bet to accommodate the retail purchasers.
- this lets you make absolutely sure you have the right population on the first few waves of server releases... this also helps group the hardcore collector's edition purchasers together on a set of servers... and the more casual late-comers together on a different set of servers... this will hopefully help keep things balanced and competitive within the servers.
- all servers should have the same ruleset, but should still be labeled PVP/PVE/RP, just to help players find a server that fits their style and their desired gameplay experience. if you want to specialize in PVP, roll on a PVP server... if you want to RP, roll on an RP server... etc:... there's no actual difference in the servers, this just attempts to group players with similar interests together.
Server Locations - in order to make a game like this where latency is really important, it's important to have servers spread throughout the country (approximately 6-8 locations, strategically located of course) so that players can connect to the server with the lowest ping available.
- when picking a server to play on, the location of each server should be displayed, as well as your latency with each server.... possibly laid out in a map so it's easy to understand.
- in order to successfully roll out servers in the way outlined above, it is also important to determine the location of players.... so below is a list of questions that would have to be filled out to register for an account with the game company, which must be done in order to pre-order/download/post in the forums/play the game/etc:... this is in addition to the usual info you have to fill out for these kind of things.
1. location you'll be playing the game from?
2. will you play on the server closest to your location?
3. if you answered "NO" to question 2, why? (friends in different location/guild rolling somewhere else/moving soon/a different time zone works better for your schedule/etc:..)
4. do you have a longstanding guild that you will definitely be rolling with? if so, where are they planning to roll?
5. server preference? (PVP/PVE/RP)
6. Race preference?
7. Class Preference?
8. how many hours do you expect to play per week?
9. what are you most excited about?
10. what are you least excited about?
11. what feature would you most like to see removed/added/changed?
12. any other thoughts you'd like to share?
- you should gather this information when players register on the company's website... and players should be able to update it and resubmit if they decide to change their mind... such as changing their class/race preference after participating in beta.
Checkpoint Stones - Checkpoint Stones are large stones (think WoW's meeting stones) located inside instances. these stones have multiple uses and will generally be located at the beginning, middle, and end of an instance. their uses are as follows:
- teleportation between active stones
- set difficulty
- you can teleport between active stones... the stone at the start of the instance is always active, but in order to activate the other stones you have to defeat the bosses guarding them, and then use an item that the bosses drop to activate the stone... so lets say there are 8 bosses in the instance, you have to defeat the first 4 and loot a certain item from them and then use that item to activate the checkpoint stone halfway through the instance... once activated, you can teleport back and forth at will between the activated checkpoint stones.... so once you've defeated all 8 bosses, you can activate the final checkpoint stone and use it to quickly get back to the start of the instance.
- also, the items looted from the bosses that activate the stones would be stored in the Pocket, and build on 1 another and only take up 1 slot... so the first boss drops the first part of the checkpoint stone "key".. the second boss drops another part, as soon as you pick up that part it snaps into place with the previous piece... then the next boss drops another part of the "key" and that piece snaps into place... until you have all the pieces snapped together that make up the whole "key" which will activate the checkpoint stone.
- the key pieces drop for everyone in the group, so you won't have to worry about the person with the key leaving or getting dc'ed halfway through the instance so you can't activate the checkpoint stone... also, when someone uses their key to activate the stone everyone in the group receives a bonus instance token, and their key disappears... or the key turns into an instance token if you wish.
- if someone comes in late and doesn't have all the pieces of the key when it's transformed into a token... they're just **** out of luck.
- to set the difficulty the group leader simply right clicks the stone and selects "change difficulty" then picks the difficulty they want... however, the "change difficulty" ability is on a 1 hour cooldown. so choose wisely.
Lesser Checkpoint Stones - Lesser Checkpoint Stones are dropped by each individual boss... they look just like a normal checkpoint stone but are much smaller and they only last 5 minutes before they disappear. they offer the exact same options as a normal stone, but for a very limited time... so you can use them to teleport, and change difficulty (One time only)... once time runs out though they are gone forever... there is also an on-screen timer that shows how much time is left till the lesser stone disappears.
- these are mainly used to help a group recover quicker after barely dropping a boss without anyone capable of rezzing still alive... also used to change the difficulty if a group knows it won't be able to beat the next boss on the current difficulty, or if they want more of a challenge from the next boss.
PK Looting - looting other players in pvp will be handles similarly to how it's handled in WAR. there is a separate loot table for when you PK an enemy player... this loot table is similar to just a random mob's loot table but with slightly better, pvp focused items, and a better drop rate on those items... in addition to some nice random items, Players also receive honor when they kill another player. honor works just like it does in WoW and can be spent on items such as gear, potions, recipes, rare crafting materials, etc:... honor is awarded based on the amount of damage/healing you do... so you get honor for healing your allies as well as damaging your enemies.
- you get slightly more honor per dmg/heal as you go up in lvl... so you can choose to save up your honor and not spend a dime till max lvl then use all that saved honor to gear up fairly well for end-game... or you can use the honor as you lvl.... the price of honor items will also increase as you gain lvls at approximately the same rate as the increase in honor gained from damage/healing.
Racial Abilities - all races will get 4 additional abilities that follow this format:
- each race gets +10 to a tradeskill (scavenging/gathering/weaponsmithing/alchemy/etc:..)
- each race gets +1% dmg with a certain weapon type (sword/greatsword/mace/axe/staff/dagger/etc:...)
- each race gets a teleport ability that takes them to their racial capital (6 second cast, 1 hour cooldown)
- each race gets a 5% discount when buying items from an NPC of their race
Weapon Based Skills - all weapons have a certain skill that comes with the weapon. the skill is different for each weapon type, the following is a list of skills that come with each wpn type:
Dagger - stab - quick single damage attack
Dual Daggers - double stab - quick single damage attack (does double the damage of single dagger stab)
Sword - slice - quick (but not quite as quick as stab) single damage attack that also increases attack speed by 10% for 5 seconds.
Dual Swords - double slice - same as slice but deals double the damage and speeds up attack speed by 20% for 5 seconds.
Greatsword - slash - big single dmg strike
Polearm - impale - big single dmg strike
Staff - swipe - single damage strike with knockdown
Axe - hew - single damage strike
Dual Axes - double hew - double damage of regular hew with small bleed DoT
Greataxe - big hew - same damage as double hew but with a larger bleed DoT
Hammer - smash - single damage strike
Dual Hammers - double smash - double the damage of regular smash with a .5 second disorient
Greathammer - same damage as double smash but with a 1 second disorient
Bow - twin arrows - launches 2 arrows at the target doing double damage.
- all of these abilities have a 10 second cooldown... daggers take .3 seconds to execute, every other 1-h wpn takes .4 seconds, and all 2-h wpns take .5 seconds.
- weapon switching is handled just like in Aion... you can have 2 different weapon sets and swap between them at the press of a button... however, if you're using a dagger and use the stab ability, then switch to a sword, the slice ability would not immediately be available... you would have to wait for the 10 second cooldown from stab to finish before being able to use the new weapon's special ability.... so basically all weapon skills share a 10 second cooldown.. you can't swap weapons to get around cooldowns.
- you can swap weapons at any time, and it takes .3 seconds to execute a weapon swap... so if you're using a bow, you have to swap to your melee weapons before you can use your melee skills... and naturally you can only guard with a melee weapon equipped, ranged weapons like bows and orbs would have to be swapped out before the player can Guard.
Landscape Collision Detection - by this i mean the collision detection between the character and the world environment. most games which have very basic CD, you either run straight through a bush, or it stops you in your tracks... unlike those games, this game would have slightly more advanced CD, where running through a bush slows you down, but does not completely stop you... and this isn't just bushes, this should also happen in high grass, snow drifts, knee high water, etc:...
- these environmental hazards should have an effect on gameplay... so running through a snowdrift or a river actually FEELS like you're running through a snowdrift or river... you should be able to use the terrain to your advantage, this would add a lot of depth and make fights more interesting and tactical... this way the terrain can have some effect on the fight, it's not just the same exact fight over and over with a different backdrop.
- Snowdrift: -15% movement speed
- River: -10% movement speed and a slight push in the direction the water is flowing
- Sand: -5% movement speed
- Bushes: -10% movement speed
- high grass: -5% movement speed
Weather - weather should be as realistic as possible. there should be at least 4-5 different types of weather for each zone in the game. for example, in a forest style zone you'd have normal, foggy, light rain, heavy rain, storming... also, since the server clock matches the real world clock at a 1:1 ratio, it becomes possible to create realistic weather patterns... where storms and rain linger off and on for a few days at a time.
Seasons - Realistic seasons should also be a priority. each zone should have different seasonal appearances and the seasons should have a realistic effect on the geography and fauna of the landscape... so in spring rivers will be higher and running faster, in autumn there will be piles of leaves that might slow you down slightly, in winter snowdrifts will develop in places, in summer there should be new and interesting plants in the area... etc:...
- also there should be seasonal quests... so in the summer a quest tells you to kill 10 bears for their fur, but in the winter the same quest tells you go kill 10 wolves since the bears are all hibernating.... the actual mobs roaming the field should also change with the seasons to keep things fresh and interesting... so you don't just change the scenery, you also change the mobs prowling around in the scenery.... and because of the landscape collision detection, the changes to the scenery open up new and different tactics for combat in the area.
Artificial Intelligence - this game would have fairly advanced AI, unlike most MMOs with their very basic AI consisting of mobs with an auto-attack and 1 or maybe even 2 special abilities.
- basically NPC mobs follow the same exact mechanics as a player character.
- instead of an Auto-attack, mobs have 2 separate attacks, light and heavy, and these attacks can be strung together to form combos, very similar to the combos available to players. mobs can also block/guard.
- in addition to the combo abilities, mobs also have some special abilities. starting at lvl 5 all mobs should have at least 1 special ability... by the lvl cap, all mobs should have at least 5 unique special abilities.
- just like a player, all of a mob's abilities have a cooldown... AND an MP/AP cost (depending on the type of mob)... also, the mob's MP/AP pool is visible to players.
- basically this makes it so that you can learn the cooldown, and MP/AP cost of each mob's special abilities... just like you would have to do in PVP against other players... this will help players master the kinds of techniques they'll have to use in PVP and makes basic PVE and questing/grinding a bit more interesting.
- coming up with a good way to form mob attack patterns is going to be very difficult... a handful of preset patterns that a mob randomly uses when it gets engaged is possible, but not much fun to fight against... it'd be boring and defeat the purpose of trying to make mobs follow the same mechanics as players.
so here is what i propose:
- each possible action a mob can take should be given a number from 1-100 ... then a dice is rolled and whichever ability comes up, that ability is used... you could do this in real-time, or what would be easier is if it's done before hand and then just executed when the mob engages a player.
For example: Below is a breakdown of the % of numbers from 1-100 that would apply to each ability. (basically each ability has the % chance to occur that is listed below). so like numbers 1-24 would apply to light attack, numbers 25-44 would apply to heavy attack, etc:...
- light attack = 24%
- heavy attack = 20%
- block/guard for 4 seconds = 4%
- block/guard for 2 seconds = 6%
- evade left = 2%
- evade right = 2%
- evade backwards = 4%
- weapon ability = 8%
- special ability #1 = 10%
- special ability #2 = 10%
- special ability #3 = 5%
- special ability #4 = 5%
= 100% total
- if the NPC gets CC'ed/stunned/knocked down/etc:.. then it just pauses the chain, and it picks up where it left off as soon as the CC/stun/knockdown/etc... fades.
- if the ability that has been specified is on cooldown, or the mob doesn't have enough mana, it simply skips that ability and moves to the next one in the chain.
- this same system can be used for bosses even, if you want some more structure you can simply add in things that override the chain and happen on a certain time interval, or at certain HP/MP/AP levels, etc:...
- i think this system adds a lot of variability and randomness while still staying within the frame of the game mechanics... each mob could have different percentages for each ability... like some could have a high chance to evade and move around and a low chance to block, etc:... this can easily be changed and adapted to fit a certain type of mob.
- with respect to combos, the combos would happen automatically, so if the system happens to roll a chain that has 3 light attacks in a row, the combo would automatically effect the 3rd light attack... you wouldn't have to roll a combo separately from the light/heavy attacks... the system would be designed in a way that it can recognize combos and automatically make it happen.
Cast Bars - i don't think i've actually said this before... but it's fairly important and needs to be said.... cast bars are NOT visible to enemy players... so you actually have to watch the animation to determine the spell being cast.... similarly, mobs also will not have a visible cast bar... it'll be like vanilla WoW, where you actually have to pay attention to animations and anticipate your opponent's moves... instead of having a huge, impossible to miss bar in the middle of your screen that shows exactly what the enemy is casting.
Scaling PQs - one of the issues with WAR's PQ system was that it didn't scale to group size. so here i am proposing a relatively simple way to scale PQs based on the number of players engaged in the encounter.
step #1 - PQ bosses hit for a certain % of the target's HP, not a specific damage number... instead the bosses abilities will look more like this:
swipe - deals damage equal to 40% of the target's maximum HP in a frontal arc.
claw - deals damage equal to 50% of the target's maximum HP to a single target.
so instead of giving the ability a specific damage Number, instead it's given a % based on the max HP of the target.
- this does a couple of things... firstly it makes it so that the tank doesn't have to be super well geared to be effective, and also it means that an over-geared, and over-leveled tank won't make the encounter completely trivial.
step #2 - everyone on the boss's hate list gets a buff that increases MP/AP regen by a certain %... this % is calculated based on how many players are actually on the Boss's hate list... so basically this buff has a pool of 10% increased regen to hand out... this increased regen is equally divided among every player on the boss's hate list... so for example:
4 players engaging the boss = 2.5% increased MP/AP regen for each of those 4 players. (bringing total combat regen to 3.5%)
7 players engaging the boss = 1.4% increased MP/AP regen for each of those 7 players. 2.4% total.
10 Players engaging the boss = 1% increased MP/AP regen for each of those 10 players. 2% total.
20 players engaging the boss = .5% increased MP/AP regen for each of those 20 players. 1.5% total.
- by doing this it gives smaller groups the longevity required to down the boss in a sufficiently long "boss-like" amount of time... this way you don't have to lower the HP of the boss too much based on the number of players engaged, which would make the encounter go by very quickly and feel very "UN-boss-like".. or Un-Epic if you prefer.
step #3 - in the previous step i said that you want to avoid dropping the Boss's HP too much to fit the group... but you're still going to have to drop it a bit in order to keep the fight manageable... here's how i'd do it.
- basically the boss's HP would be lowered based on the number of players on the boss's hate list, similar to the regen buff, but based on the following equation:
Boss HP = X * ( # of players on hate list * .1)
- so you come up with numbers like the following: (X = Base HP number)
3 players = .3X or 30% of the boss's base HP
5 players = .5X or 50% of the boss's base HP
8 players = .8X or 80% of the boss's base HP
10 players = 1X or 100% of the boss's base HP
15 players = 1.5X or 150% of the boss's base HP
- also note that there would be a cutoff at 30% of the boss's base HP... so even if you only have 1 or 2 players on the boss's hate list, his HP would still be 30% of base, it can never go below that. this way it keeps players from 2 manning this content and requires at least a little cooperation, but can still be done by any group size from 3 to 20+.
- this creates a very simple equation that can easily be adjusted on the fly (as players get added to the hate list) and doesn't require a bunch of if/then statements.
- important note, as a player joins the fight and gets added to the hate list, the max HP of the boss will increase, but the % of their current health will stay the same... so if a boss currently has 50% of his HP left, and someone joins, the boss's max HP will increase by 10%, but the current HP will stay at 50%, which is actually like adding 5% HP to his current remaining HP... this is done so that you don't see the HP bar jumping around as people get added to the hate list.
- this isn't a perfectly balanced system, but it's close enough, and a huge step up from no scaling at all... and it's a whole lot easier to do this type of scaling than to change the boss's individual characteristics 1 at a time to tailor it to the exact group size engaged.
Exploration Quests - exploration quests are designed to appeal to the player that likes to explore every nook and cranny of the game world. Exploration quests can be broken down into Lair Quests, Helper Quests, and Artifact Quests. all of these quests are what i like to call "HIDDEN" quests... which means at no time do they appear in your quest log, or do you see any quest icons, etc:..
- there should be a handful of these types of quests in each zone. these quests reward the explorers who trek off the path to see what's waiting over the next hill. they also reward those players that like to read all the little conversations with NPCs and really get into the lore and story surrounding the NPCs.
Lair Quests - basically in each zone there will be a handful of Lairs where named enemies are hiding. if you kill 1 of these lair bosses they'll drop an item that you can turn in to an NPC at the nearby village. this NPC will reward you with a chunk of XP and some gold for a job well done.
- Lair Quests are a type of Hidden Quest... you just have to stumble across the lair and defeat the named mob and then find the NPC who was interested in having him killed... there could be a hint along the way, such as talking to an NPC that says he heard there was a big bad bear up in the mountains to the west, but that would be the extent of the guidance involved.. this way it encourages the player to explore and find things for themselves.
- i realize that eventually all the lairs will be found and available in a map online, but a true explorer wouldn't look to the web for help and would still have a lot of fun with these kind of quests.
Helper Quests - basically a helper quest is where you find an item that an NPC is missing, or needs in order to do his job. so for example you could find a shovel and give it to a grave digger to help him dig graves since his current shovel is broken. here is another more fleshed out example:
- lets say you're in a small village wandering around and you see a little girl named Sally sitting on a dock crying about losing her doll... she doesn't actually give you a quest or anything, you just interact with her and she speaks a little blurb about losing her doll... you don't think anything of it until later when you're wandering the zone going about your own business, and you come across a doll laying on the ground. you pick up that doll and read the tooltip which says "The name Sally is written on the tag."... also it says "If you don't find the owner of this item within 48 hours it will disappear from your inventory.", which means that it disappears from your inventory after 48 hours... so you loot this doll and remember the girl sitting on the dock back in the village, so you go see her and this time when you talk to her a new option is available that says "Show Sally the doll you found." .. so you show her the doll and she gives you a big hug and a nice chunk of XP.
- note that at no point during this whole ordeal was a quest added to your log, nor did you see a quest icon over an NPC's head, etc:... this is what i'm calling a "Hidden Quest." basically a quest where you actually have to do a little exploring and thinking, and aren't just led by the nose from start to finish.
- once the doll is returned to sally she'll happily play with it for a few hours, then it'll go missing again... when it goes missing it will randomly be placed somewhere in the zone for the next person to find. (by randomly i mean 1 of like 20+ places will be randomly picked and the doll will be placed there.)
Artifact Quests - These are the most difficult of the exploration quests because they require you to kill a boss, therefor you better bring friends.
- basically in every zone there should be 20+ locations where an Artifact can spawn. an artifact is a special item that will grant a 2 hour buff which increases your XP gained by 10% ... this artifact will spawn randomly somewhere in the zone and along with the artifact a couple of elite guards are spawned to guard it. in order to get to the artifact you'll have to dispatch the guards. once the guards are down you can click on the artifact and a larger, tougher, boss mob will spawn. once defeated, the boss drops enough artifact shards for everyone in the group. this shard only has a 30 minute duration till it disappears from your inventory. so basically you have to use the shard within 30 mins, which gives you +10% XP gain for 2 hours (or until you die).
- as soon as 1 artifact is found and the boss is destroyed, another artifact spawns in a different location. so basically there should always be 1 artifact up somewhere in every zone.
- the artifact boss and guards should give slightly more XP, gold, and have a better loot table than your average elites... this, in addition to the XP buff should make artifacts highly desirable and encourage players to group up and take them out whenever they're found.
Hide and Seek Quests - these quests are about hiding an item somewhere in the game world that other players then have the opportunity to seek out, find, and then hide themselves.
- basically when the servers first boot up, the GMs will be able to place a few unique items in hidden locations throughout each zone. when a player comes across this item and they pick it up, they are rewarded with some XP and maybe a stack of potions or a buff of some sort... then they recieve a quest which tasks THEM with hiding the item... the longer the item stays hidden (not picked up by another player), the more xp they will recieve. (could be a slow trickle for as long as the item is hidden, or a lump sum once the item is finally found.)... also, each item can only be found once per week by a player. so you can't just keep swapping items with another player to keep getting XP and rewards... by rewarding players for hiding the item well, you're encouraging players to go out into the wilderness and find truly unique and interesting places to hide the items.
- the player only has 15 minutes to place the item after they've picked it up and accepted the quest to hide it... so you can't just keep the item in your inventory forever. if a player hasn't placed the item within the time limit, the item disappears and goes back into the GM's inventory for him to place when he gets around to it.
- there could be items that are limited to certain zones, cities, villages, or worldwide items that can be placed anywhere and are worth better rewards.
- this really helps the exploration aspect of the MMO and encourages people to explore every nook and cranny of the game world.
Hidden Paths - also to go along with the exploration theme, there would be a handful of HIDDEN caves/mountain passes/etc:... that go between zones. these wouldn't necessarily be much quicker than the larger paths between zones, but would add some spice and secret nooks for the intrepid explorer.
Invasion PQs - Invasion PQs are public quests that move around the world, similar to rifts in Aion. but instead of portals that allow you to invade another faction's lands, these portals spew forth enemies that try to attack the nearest village.
- these invasion PQs will randomly spawn in 1 of 5ish locations in each zone. there will be a max of 3 invasion PQs up at a time in the game world. once the invaders have been pushed back through the portal and the portal sealed behind them, it will take 1 hour before the next invasion PQ starts in a different zone.
- invasion PQs work just like any other PQ, including the scaling i mentioned earlier. for example:
1st stage - kill a certain number of normal mobs.
2nd stage - kill a certain number of elite mobs.
3rd stage - kill a boss that scales in difficulty depending on the number of players attacking.
- during an invasion PQ, the town/village/etc:.. will be under attack. however this will be done in such a way as to not affect quest givers... for example the quest givers in the area that's under attack could go take shelter in a nearby tavern until the fighting is over.
- the invasion PQ will last until the invasion is defeated, or a certain amount of time has passed, probably around 3 hours... there will be a timer when you enter the zone that tells you how much longer the zone will be invaded before some big bad NPCs from the city come by and turn back the invaders, thereby ending the PQ.
- the rewards from the invasion PQs should be better than from normal PQs and it should take less tokens to get the items you want from invasion PQs because they aren't available all the time. Invasion PQ tokens should act a lot like Honor, basically all invasion tokens are the same, regardless of what zone the invasion is in, or what level the players taking part in the PQ are.
The newbie experience - i came up with this idea after reading a blog post somewhere about how easy a game is when you log in for the first time and how it's almost impossible to die in the starter area... i'd like to change that.
- basically the starter area should teach you all the basics, but it shouldn't be oversimplified and trivially easy... here is what i propose for the very first quest you get automatically when you log in for the first time.
after a cut-scene or whatnot you're left standing in front of a big mean looking NPC that tells you that you suck and probably couldn't even beat up a target dummy... so your first quest is to go over to the nearby target dummy and use a few attacks on it.
- here is where it gets interesting... at first the game tutorial tells you to use a light attack on the dummy... after you've done that it tells you to use a heavy attack on the dummy... this heavy attack causes the dummy to fly backwards, then it comes back forward with such force that it kills you unless you BLOCK! (also note, at this point the tutorial has shown you a keyboard with all the bindings listed on them, so you should know there is a block button, but you haven't been explicitly taught to use it yet.)
- so.. basically if you're smart and you block when the dummy comes flying back at you... you live and complete the quest... if you die, then you respawn back in front of the big mean NPC and a short cut-scene plays where the NPC makes fun of you and calls you a sissy and tells you to try again, this time explaining how to block.
- this would not only make for a very comical and entertaining start to the game... but would also emphasize that this game WILL take some skill if you want to avoid spending most of your time in the dirt.
- this type of comically brutal bashing of you as a newbie should continue throughout the whole tutorial... so basically, if you screw up, you die and get made fun of... then get told how to do it the right way, and try it again.
- i think this type of newbie experience would be absolutely hilarious... and would be much better at teaching new players how to play, than the usual MMO formula... which is basically to make you invincible for the first few levels... and then only slightly less invincible for the rest.
Quick Killing - you get bonus XP if you kill enemies in quick succession. up to a 15% increase in XP gained.
- first kill gives you normal xp... if you engage another mob within 8 seconds of the death of the previous mob you get 5% bonus XP when that mob dies... this repeats up to a 20% max xp bonus... once at 20% it doesn't reset, you can keep going w/ the 20% bonus for as long as you can survive and continue pulling mobs every 8 seconds after the last one died.
- this also works in groups, so it encourages players to group up, chain pull, and kill quickly for the bonus xp.
- when in a group, only 1 person from your group has to engage an enemy within 5 seconds of the last one dropping for everyone in the group to get the bonus. the group member has to be within 40 yrds though in order for it to register.
Super Block/Guard - basically as you block or guard, a block meter fills up. after you've blocked 5 attacks this meter should be completely full. once this meter is full you can hit a button to to unleash the block energy you've absorbed and knock everyone within melee range back 5 meters.
- this is done so that it gives the defender a chance to create some space and keeps the attacker from just sitting there and wailing on the defender without giving him a chance to retaliate. this creates some added depth to the combat.
Dungeon Types - there are basically 3 types of instanced dungeons... regular dungeons, heroic dungeons, and raid dungeons.
regular dungeons - these are the only dungeons that can be ran by any size group. the dungeon is tweaked for each group size. in addition to being tuned for different sized groups, there are also 3 levels of difficulty, normal, hard, and epic.
normal difficulty - run takes about 1 hour. fairly easy dungeon. 1 miniboss and 3 bosses. drops green gear.
hard difficulty - run takes about 1.5 hours. little more difficult. 2 minibosses and 4 bosses. drops blue gear.
epic difficulty - run takes about 2 hours. very challenging. 2 minibosses and 5 bosses, including all new final boss. drops purple gear.
- has small, ARCHETYPE specific armor sets. (3-5 pieces)
- about half of the gear dropped within the instance (from all difficulty lvls) is available to purchase with tokens. green gear is the cheapest, blue gear is about 50% more expensive than green gear, and purple gear is about 50% more expensive than blue gear.
Heroic Dungeons - these can NOT be ran by any size group. these dungeons are limited to groups of 4 or 8 players. by limiting the group size it is much easier to tune the encounter and make it actually challenging. these dungeons will be much more challenging than regular dungeons and the rewards will be better accordingly.
normal difficulty - run takes about 1.5 hours. fairly difficult dungeon. 1 miniboss and 4 bosses. drops blue gear.
hard difficulty - 2 hour run. very difficult. 2 minibosses and 5 bosses. drops purple gear.
epic difficulty - 2.5 hour run. extremely difficult. 3 minobosses and 6 bosses, including all new final boss. drops orange gear.
-has small, CLASS specific armor sets. (3-5 pieces)
- about half of the gear dropped within the instance (from all difficulty lvls) is available to purchase with tokens. blue gear is the cheapest, purple gear is about 50% more expensive than blue gear, and orange gear is about 50% more expensive than purple gear.
Raid Dungeons - these dungeons are for 8 player groups only. this means they can be very tightly tuned and balanced. raids also give the best loot.
normal difficulty - 2 hours. 2 minibosses and 5 bosses.
hard - 2.5 hours. 3 minobosses and 6 bosses.
epic - 3 hours. 3 minibosses and 7 bosses, including all new final boss.
- has large, CLASS specific armor sets. (6-8 pieces)
- about half of the gear dropped within the instance (from all difficulty lvls) is available to purchase with tokens. purple gear is the cheapest, orange gear is about 50% more expensive than purple gear, and red gear is about 50% more expensive than orange gear.
- it should be noted that raid dungeons are not purely end-game. there should be a few raid dungeons available while leveling up also, so at like lvls 24, 30, and 36.
- these lvling raids should NOT be easy, they should be a large challenge and should be like end-game raids in WoW where you'll probably have to go back a few times in order to clear the entire instance. if you're looking for the fastest lvling route, this is probably not it because you will likely wipe multiple times and not even complete the instance the first few times you try.
- heroic dungeons should start at lvl 17 and a new one should open up every 5 levels after that. (17, 22, 27, 32, etc:..) these should be fairly difficult also, but a skilled group should be able to clear them the first time through... less skilled groups should have a harder time and likely will not make it through the first time they zone it.
- there should be a new normal dungeon every 2 levels after lvl 10. these should be simple enough that most players can complete them on normal difficulty the first time through.
- in order to get people to try the harder difficulty levels, there will be some quests that can only be completed on the harder difficulties, basically these quests will require killing one of the bosses that are added in when the difficulty is increased... also these quests should have awesome rewards that are way better than what the character likely has currently equipped... by having these quests it will encourage players to attempt the harder difficulties, for the loot, not just the thrill of seeing new content.
- in order to have access to the higher rarity, badge purchaseable items a player must first defeat the final boss on the corresponding difficulty level. so basically at first, only the normal difficulty lvl loot will be purchasable with badges, in order to be able to purchase the hard difficulty badges, you must first defeat the end boss on hard difficulty. the end boss will drop an item (probably his head) that you'll have to take to the badge NPC to prove that you're worthy of the higher difficulty lvl items.... you'll have to do the same thing in order to get access to the epic difficulty badge purchasable items. (kill final boss on epic difficulty, then you can purchase epic difficulty items with badges.)
- also, as said before, you will gain more badges/tokens per kill the higher the difficulty is, which will increase the rate at which you can acquire the items you want from the instance. normal difficulty = 1x badge drops, hard = 2x badge drops, Epic = 3x badge drops.... so each step up in difficulty doubles the amount of badges dropped.... but since each tier of items available for badges only increases in price by 50%, the higher the difficulty you choose, the easier and quicker it will be to get the items you want.
- basically if you don't want the normal difficulty items, you'll be able to save up for the higher difficulty lvl stuff, but before you can use those badges to purchase the better stuff, you'll have to defeat the final boss on the higher difficulty lvl and bring his head to the badge NPC to prove that you're worthy of wearing the higher difficulty lvl items.
- lastly, items from lower lvl heroics and raids should last for quite a while to make them more appealing to players as they lvl up. if they know that the item will last them at least 5-7 lvls before they can easily replace it, they'll be much more likely to try out the more challenging lower lvl content.
Group Member Options - the group leader of any group has the ability to assign duties like loot master, main assist, marker (places marks above enemies to help coordinate strategies), main tank, etc:..
- the leader also has the ability to call for votes, do ready checks, etc:...
- there would also be an option to call for a vote to kick a player.
Character Trophies - another thing i'd like to steal from WAR is the trophy system. these trophies won't have any effect on stats, but will just be for showing off. trophies should be much more rare than they were in WAR. they should be fairly hard to come by and really mean something when acquired.
Enemies - a wide variety of enemies should be available for the player to fight. some hostile all the time, some only hostile when provoked first by the player, some that run away and try to avoid all confrontation, and some that change their habits depending on certain situations.
- if the name above the enemy and/or the outline around them when moused over is Red, then the enemy is hostile and will attack as soon as you get too close.
- if the name above the enemy and/or the outline around them when moused over is Yellow, then the enemy is neutral and will only attack if you provoke it.
- the main indicator of enemy difficulty is their lvl... the secondary indicator is their character portrait when locked onto... similar to enemies in Aion, the stronger an enemy the more ornate the outline around its character portrait.
Abilities List - finally i've finished a preliminary yet detailed list of the abilities i'd give each class... the images are rather large and i'm not sure how they'll look once embedded here but hopefully they're readable.
first up, we have the Healers...
Starting with the Priest...
And the Paladin...
Next we have the Tanks...
starting with the Warrior...
And the Blademaster...
Then we have the Physical DMG Dealers...
Starting with the Assassin...
And the Beastmaster...
Lastly we have the Magic DMG Dealers...
Starting with the Mage...
And the Necromancer...
Then we come to the Morale Abilities.... Morale abilities are determined by archetype, not class... however there are slight variations on the abilities, animations, and names... in order to get the abilities to fit the class better.
Next we have some Basic Abilities that are common to all players. this includes the light, heavy, and basic ranged attacks of all classes, and also the different combo moves.
And lastly we have some miscellaneous information that i wasn't sure where to put...
Mystery Gathering Nodes - in addition to the regular herb/ore type gathering nodes throughout the game world, there should also be mystery nodes that can give you a very wide variety of items, anywhere from totally useless junk, to badass gear... these should be pretty rare and have like a 4% chance to spawn instead of the usual herb/ore nodes... just to add a little spice to gathering.
Keeping Higher lvls Involved in Low lvl Areas - it's important to keep high lvl characters in contact with lower lvl characters. there are a few ways to do this..
1. quests that require high lvls to head back to lower lvl zones and help the lowbies with PQs... the way i have PQ scaling set up keeps high lvls from being able to solo even the lowest lvl encounters. so they'll still need help to beat the PQ boss... they can't do it alone, so they'll need to enlist some of the newbies in the area to help them.
2. quests that offer rewards to higher lvl players for coming to the aid of lower lvl zone that is being invaded (Invasion PQ).
3. some higher lvl crafting items will require lower lvl crafting mats... just because an item you're going to craft is end-game doesn't mean it doesn't still require some basic materials like linen/wool/thread/leather/etc:... so in order to get those items higher lvl players can either get them from the AH or go farm them in the lower lvl areas.
4. there will be high lvl raid dungeons in the lower lvl areas. for example you could have an Onyxia style dungeon for max lvl characters in a lvl 10-15 zone. maybe even have quests for the lowbies to go inside this dungeon and scout the area. this will allow the lowbies to take a look at what they'll be going up against later on. this will help provide motivation to keep lvling.
- by keeping higher lvls involved in newbie areas it helps the newbies see what they can look forward to and will make them want to play the game even more.
- this also helps foster a sense of community and mentoring and looking out for the lower lvl players.
- this will also add a sense of nostalgia to the experienced gamer as they're reliving their old memories... or maybe they'll experience something completely new that they missed the first time through and otherwise would have just ignored.
- this helps overall by keeping high and low lvl players from becoming too separated it makes the world feel more connected and creates a better sense of community and could even help extend the content beyond just a straight linear progression where you ignore everything beneath your lvl.
- also the simple fact that you're rewarded for going back and lvling a different class, and you can change classes fairly easily, will help go a long way toward mingling experienced and inexperienced players.
Fleeing - every player will have a FLEE ability. basically this ability behaves like a toggle that increases your run speed by 30% for as long as the toggle is on. the catch however is that it drains 10 EP per second, and it also puts all your abilities on cooldown for the duration of Flee, and an additional 2 seconds after you have stopped Fleeing.
Fishing - fishing will be a trade skill similar to gathering or scavenging... but you can do both fishing and either gathering or scavenging, anyone can lvl fishing to the max regardless of their other tradeskills.
- basically as your fishing lvl increases, so too increases the likelihood that you'll catch something worthwhile. the lvl cap will be 400 just like the other tradeskills, and there will be special fishing poles that increase your skill, and bait that will increase your skill temporarily. bait lasts a certain number of fish caught (or hooked and then lost)... so you might be able to use a nightcrawler to catch 3 fish before it's used up... or you might be able to use a fake plastic lure for 10 catches before it becomes useless.
- caught fish can be used in cooking, or possibly in some alchemy recipes. also while fishing there is a chance to catch other odd items, like old jewelry, a rusty sword, etc:...
- each area of water has it's own fishing "loot table" the items a player can get from this table depend on the lvl of their fishing skill.
- no "schools" of fish like in WoW that tell you where the fish you're interested in are at... there will be nothing to tell players what's available in different fishing locales and they'll have to figure it out for themselves... or consult a wiki.
- other than what's listed, fishing will be basically the same as it is in FFXI. check the FFXI fishing encyclopedia at - Fishing - FFXIclopedia, the Final Fantasy XI wiki - Characters, items, jobs, and more - for more info.
Player Housing - player housing will be handled very similarly to FFXI. basically you start out with a small house in your racial capital city (this is yours forever, and it's free)... but you also have the option to purchase or rent a house in other cities (if you don't want to have to go to your racial city every time you want to access your house). you can also pay gold to upgrade your house to give you more room and a bigger vault, etc:...
- it should be noted that when you buy another house in a different city, it's basically just allowing you access to the same house from a different location... you don't have to manage 2 separate houses, you'll just have 1, but you can pay to have access to it from multiple cities, which can be very convenient.
- housing is instanced, like in FFXI. basically there is a portal in the city that you use to enter your own house, your house does not exist outside that portal.
- you CAN enter someone else's house but only if they invite you inside. in order to invite someone inside, you must be in a party with them, you must be inside your house already, and then you must right click their character portrait and select, "invite into your house"... if they accept, they'll get portaled inside your house. once inside, they can wander around and check out your crib, but they cannot access your vault or try to steal your trophies or anything like that.
- also, changing classes, or respecing your character can only be done from inside your house. however it does NOT cost anything to change class or respec.
- an added feature is the ability to take screenshots in-game and frame them and hang them in your house to add some color and personality to your home.
- you can also purchase armor trees that will hold your spare armor, or you can use them to set up different gear sets for the different classes you might play. you can easily swap your current armor with the armor on the tree.
- you'll also gather trophies as you adventure that can be placed in your house. things like rugs, mounted enemy heads, horns/feathers/talons taken from enemies, maybe even pets like cats/dogs/birds/squirrels/otters/rabbits/snakes/etc:... that will playfully run around your home.
- but the most important item in your house is your moogle. by talking to the moogle it will allow you to change your class, and/or respec your character. (the moogle is just a placeholder for now, once the Lore is all worked out this will likely change to something that makes more sense within the setting.)
Archives - basically the in-game Archives are just like a normal library or museum. there are shelves full of books, tables strewn with books, old artifacts on display, and general museum type stuff. so basically you can go to the Archives (1 located in each major city), and open the books and read some interesting stories and lore from the game world.
- in addition to readable books, and articles with readable plaques scattered throughout the library, there would also be a video archive where all the important cut-scenes in the game's story are stored so that you can go back and watch them anytime.
- as the game progresses through patches and expansions, new players that are just starting out can go to the archives and see all the story cut-scenes they've missed out on and get caught up on the story.
- each city would have a slightly different archive with mostly the same stuff but with some city or race specific stuff thrown in and some interesting tidbits of info that can only be found in that particular archive... but all would have the same video archive.
- so basically you can have a kind of personal story archive through screenshots you've taken and hung inside your house. but then you also have the overall archives which keeps track of the game's overall story.
Quest Helper - Tasks would have a quest-helper type interface where either there is an outlined region of your map that shows you where to go in order to complete the task, or a GPS style navigation arrow on your screen... i haven't decided which yet... but i'm leaning toward the GPS style right now, with the arrow being part of the ring around your character's feet.
- please note that this only applies to TASKS, not QUESTS... refer to the previous section about the difference between quests and tasks if you're confused.
- quests would NOT have any quest helper like functionality and would actually require you to read the quest text to figure out what you're supposed to do.
- quests will also generally have cut-scenes and voice acting, so it should be fairly easy and enjoyable for a player to figure out where he's supposed to go next in the quest line.
De-Leveling - in this game there would be a system in place that allows a character to "de-lvl" so that they can play with their friends.
- when de-lvling, you still wear the same gear, but a filter is placed over your gear that makes it look battered and broken and torn and rusted. you also lose a certain % of your stats when you de-lvl, so like every lvl you go down, you lose 3% from your total stats... i haven't gone into detail about itemization but the itemization would be set up in a way that makes this possible... also, since your stats drop by a set % based on lvl, the better your gear at your current lvl, the better your stats when you de-lvl, so a very well geared player still has a slight advantage even when de-lvling.
- unlike some games where only your stats adjust when you are bolstered or de-lvled, in this game you would also lose access to abilities that require a lvl higher than your lvl after de-lvling. so you'll lose access to some of your high lvl spells as you de-lvl... these skills would stay in your action bar right where you left them, but would be grayed out and unusable, there tooltip would say something like "you are not high enough lvl to use this skill" or something.
- so basically when de-lvling you are taking EVERYTHING back to the lower lvl, you lose a % of ALL stats, and also any skills that you are now not high enough lvl to use... the only exception is that you keep your Morale abilities and any group abilities you have learned.
- you de-lvl very simply by going to your character pane and selecting "de-lvl" then selecting the lvl you wish to become. there is a 10 minute cooldown so that you cannot constantly switch your lvl.
- one other note, de-lvled characters cannot participate in Battlegrounds... they can still do duels, and faction battles, but they cannot take part in instanced PVP.
- while de-lvled, you can still gain experience, and you gain it at the rate you would at your de-lvled lvl... but since each lvl requires and increasing amount of xp to lvl up, this xp will likely be substantially lower than xp you would gain at your real lvl.. so you aren't wasting your time by running de-lvled content or helping out lower lvl buddies, you just won't gain as much as if you were running stuff closer to your actual lvl.
- another way to play with friends of a different lvl is by changing your class... you can simply switch to a class that you haven't lvled as much and then play with him using that class... just like many of my friends had to do when i started playing FFXI.
Dungeon Attunements - while some of the later lvl and more difficult dungeons will have attunement quests that must be completed before you can even step inside, the lower lvl and easier dungeons will still have attunement quests, but these quests won't be a necessity, instead they'll just be quests with rewards that help you within the dungeon... from as simple as 10% bonus damage to trolls... to something much more complicated, for example:
in one instance you could have a section that requires jumping across moving platforms to get across shark infested waters... now normally if you fall off a platform the sharks eat you in one big bite and you die... but if you do the attunement quest, it will reward you with a shark suit that you can put on and then if you fall in the water it's no big deal because the sharks think you're one of them and leave you alone....
- now in this example, the shark suit is not required, but it makes the dungeon easier and safer and therefor gives a decent incentive to do the attunement quest. (not to mention how cool it would be just to run around in a shark suit).
another example would be an instance that requires you to fire a cannon to knock down some doors in order to reveal a shortcut. in this case if you've done your attunement quest you'll have the schematics to build a working cannon... so basically you're in this dungeon and there's this broken cannon laying there in pieces, if you haven't done the attunement quest, you won't be able to build the cannon and take the shortcut... but if you have, then you can blow down the doors and take a shortcut.
- this could be something that only 1 player has to have completed the attunement and have the schematics, or maybe all the players are required to have done the attunement in order to build the cannon... or anywhere in between.
- now, another very important aspect here is that when you come across the cannon and click on the pile of broken cannon pieces, a dialogue box will show up that says something like "steve from the nearby village is an expert in cannon repair, maybe he knows how to fix up this heap of scrap into something useful"... so then you have a clue about who you should talk to in order to start the attunement quest.
- note that this quest should already have been available in the village without first having to inspect the pile of cannon pieces... maybe the player just missed it... if you've already done the quest, now you'll get to realize what all your previous hard work was for.
- a similar dialogue box should pop up if you die to the sharks in the previous example... so after you fall off the platform and die to the sharks, a message pops up saying something like, "It's rumored that there is a clothier in the nearby village that has been working on creating a suit that could allow one to swim safely alongside sharks. perhaps if you helped him he'd be willing to build a suit to fit you."
- so basically what i'm saying is, in order for these attunement quests to work, you need to alert the player to how he can go about acquiring these attunement quests when he runs across areas where it would behoove him to have completed the attunement quest.
Newspapers - every week a new issue of the world newspaper is released. there will be criers in each city that will talk about the newspaper and offer a link in chat that can be clicked and the newspaper will open inside the in-game browser. the newspaper basically acts like the weekly patch notes, but with an interesting story and hopefully some humor.
- the reason a newspaper is so important is because during the week GMs will constantly be adding/removing and modifying content. they might add 2-3 new quests, maybe an NPC's house burned down and they had to relocate, maybe a traveling merchant was eaten by bears, maybe a new recipe for a cool potion was just discovered... basically all the changes that the GMs make during the course of the week should be reflected in the newspaper with a bit of a story along with it.
- patch notes will be available on the official website of course, but these notes won't be near as in depth or entertaining as the newspaper articles would be.
- for example... the patch notes would say, "new potion discovered that makes you invisible" but the newspaper article would be much more in depth describing the story of how the potion was created and who created it and where you have to go and what you have to do in order to acquire the potion.
- the newspapers will add flavor and life to the game, to make it more lively and interesting. the regular patch notes would still be available, but if you really want to understand what's going on in the game world you'll have to read the newspaper. the newspaper also might contain some fun stuff that isn't mentioned in the patch notes.
- also, the newspaper will likely be in PDF format and open in a web browser within the game.
In-Game Web Browser - there will be a built in web browser. it can be accessed by pressing a button in the top left corner of the game screen. it'll be accessed by a + or - symbol, depending on whether the browser is currently open or closed.
- it's a given that a lot of players are going to use resources like thottbot, wowhead, allakhazam, etc:... to help them on their travels, so why not allow them access to it from within the game world so that it doesn't break the immersion and the flow of gameplay quite so much.
- also this will help guilds immensely by making it easier to get to their guild website and players will be more likely to join in the discussions on guild-only forums... and for example, you can ask everyone to go to the website to read up on a boss strat you've written, and there is no excuse now for people being clueless, since accessing the web is so easy.
- also you can put links into chat (for example the town crier would just be in /say with a link to the newspaper on the web.) or your guild info so that players can just click the link and the browser will open right up to that page. this will help guilds and even informal groups immensely.
Mob Resets - in order to reset a mob (mob stops chasing you and returns to it's patrol area), you must stay at least 30 meters away for 5 seconds without attacking. once you've done that, the mob will stop in his tracks and look around like he's lost you for 5 seconds... if you don't re-engage the mob within that 5 seconds, he will reset.
- this makes it much easier to kite normal enemies. if there are mobs that you don't want the player to be able to kite, such as elites and outdoor bosses, then you can specify a border so that the mob resets when he crosses that border.
- also, during the 5 seconds where the mob is looking around like he's lost the player, the mob is slightly regaining health during those 5 seconds. something like 4% of their HP per second for 5 seconds. this helps keep players from abusing this mechanic too much, and makes the character pay attention when kiting so as to avoid the enemy regaining HP.
Class Channels - just like in Aion, there will be class specific channels, but also there will be archetype specific channels. so there will be 12 class specific channels, and 4 archetype specific channels.
Taverns - taverns will have mini-games like chess/checkers/pong/billiards/whack-a-mole/pinball/darts/shuffleboard/etc:..
- the goal is to make taverns into an actual meeting place where players can hang out, in most games these days taverns are just someplace you go to log out to get your rested xp. hopefully by adding mini-games these taverns will become bustling hubs of social activity, like they've always been meant to be.
- these mini-games can either be in-game, or they can be online flash based games that can only be accessed from inside the tavern. basically these flash based games would open in the in-game web browser once you click on the dart board/pinball machine/pool table/chess set/etc:...
- you can either play these flash games against others in the tavern, or you can choose to just play anyone online.
- ideally these flash games would be the same kind of things found on flash game websites like kongregate.com. so you can either go directly to kongregate, or if you're already in-game and just want to kill some time, you can head to the tavern and challenge a guildmate to a game of chess or whatever.
- the dev team wouldn't actually create any flash games, they would just integrate them into the game world so that players can play with or against their friends in-game easily. you could also have server specific leaderboards so that the best players of a certain flash game could get some credit in-game.
- all this would really help the players who just want to socialize in-game.
Calling for Attention - players will have the ability to call for attention. what this does is it places an icon over your head and makes your dot on the minimap pulse or glow or whatever, just something to get your group member's attention.
- this can be used to alert that you've got adds, that you need a heal, that you need backup at your location, or whatever.
- the icon over your head, and your dot on the minimap glowing will last for 5 seconds then fade out over the next 5 seconds.
- there is a 10 second cooldown on calling for help. this will keep players from spamming the button and becoming too terribly annoying.
- also you can right click on a group member's portrait and select "ignore calls for help" which will do exactly what it says. so if someone is using the feature too often and getting on your nerves, you can ignore their calls for help.
Circle Beneath Your Character - similar to warhammer online, when in a group, their will be a circle on the ground surrounding your character's feet. this circle will have arrows that point to all your group members. if you have a group member targeted, that member's arrow will change colors to reflect that it's your target. this will help a lot in chaotic battles where it's easy to lose track of your teammates.
- also, when a player calls for attention, their arrow will light up a different color so that you can easily locate that character, or at least their direction.
- this arrow system might also be used in questing, similar to a quest helper, the arrow could act like a GPS and point you toward your destination.
Combat Fatigue - basically combat fatigue is a way of telling players they should log off or do something other than kill mobs within the game, kind of like suggested downtime.
- how it works is basically as you kill enemies you gain fatigue points, once that fatigue reaches a certain level, a debuff called "Combat Fatigue" starts to set in. this debuff slowly escalates and lowers the xp you gain from killing mobs. note that it doesn't have any effect on other forms of xp gain (crafting, exploring, questing, pvp, etc:...)
regular mobs = 1 point
elites = 2 points
bosses = 3 points
- these points are split evenly among group members. so if you're running a dungeon, or killing outdoor elites with a party, you'll be able to kill more enemies before the fatigue starts to set in.
- once you get to 200 fatigue points, the debuff starts, and reduces xp gain by 1%... by the time you're at 300 fatigue points, the debuff will max out at 50% reduced xp gain.... so basically every 2 points of fatigue past 200 will reduce the xp you gain by 1% up to a max of 50%.
Rest System - the rest system is basically the counter to fatigue. as you rest, your fatigue level decreases and if it falls below 0, then you can start becoming "Rested" and gain a buff which increases your XP gain from combat by 50% until you run out of rested points.
- you lose fatigue by resting at different rates depending on your location:
Offline in an Inn/Tavern = 3 points per minute
offline in a town/city = 2 points per minute
offline in the wilderness = 1 point per minute
Online in an inn/tavern = 1.5 points per minute
online in a city/town = 1 point per minute
- now, the above rates only apply when your fatige is above 0... once your fatigue drops to 0, and you start gaining rested points then the rates change. the rates become 1% of their value above. so .03, .02, .01, .015, and .01 points per minute respectively... if they didn't become substantially slower, then everyone would be running around with full rested points all the time and the system would become pretty pointless.
- the maximum amount of rested points you can have is 100.
- as you play, the fatigue points gained from slaying enemies takes away from your rested points. once all of your rested points are gone, you lose the rested xp buff and start accumulating fatigue, once you reach 200 fatigue points, then the fatigue debuff comes into play, until you rest and your fatigue points disappear and you start gaining rested points, and then the system starts over again.
- now for some math to determine how long it would take to get to the maximum rested state:
Offline in an Inn/Tavern = 55.5 hours to max rested level (2.3 days)
offline in a town/city = 83.3 hours (3.5 days)
offline in the wilderness = 166.6 hours (6.9 days)
Online in an inn/tavern = 111.1 hours (4.6 days)
online in a city/town = 166.6 hours (6.9 days)
this is a very reasonable amount of time in my estimation... from a little over 2 days to get fully rested when logged out in an inn/tavern... to a little under 7 days when logged out in the wilderness... that seems very reasonable, and is actually quite a bit quicker than you gain rested xp in WoW even.
Proficiency Tests - these are difficult class quests that are basically there to teach you the game. they make sure that everyone is at least somewhat competent in their class.
- proficiency tests should occur every 5 levels... and you MUST complete them in order to advance to the next lvl. basically if you can't complete the quest, you can't move on.
- they could teach basic solo techniques, like kiting, effectively using CC, Learning Boss attack patterns, etc:... but they should also teach grouping techniques, like tanks using LoS to position enemies, healer mana conservation, effective pulling techniques, etc:..
- i envision these quests taking place in basically a solo dungeon where the developers have full control and can tune things precisely the way they want them.
- to teach the group mechanics some NPC helpers could be employed... so when teaching the tank to use LoS to position enemies, he is joined by an NPC healer and dps... to teach the healer mana conservation, they would be joined by an NPC tank and a few NPC dpsers... this way the player can learn the basics in a controlled environment with NPCs instead of real players. this would take a lot of the pressure off and allow them to experiment and learn at their own pace, hopefully eventually making them a better player because of it.
Tameable Mounts - similar to what we saw in the Aion Visions trailer. players would be able to tame certain creatures within the world as mounts.
- basically you would have a saddle/collar item that allows you to mount a wild creature once you've weakened it to below a certain % of HP.
- these mounts are not permanent though, once you dismount, or leave the zone that the mount calls home, it will disappear.
- this ability will be very usefull to lowbies who don't yet have a mount of their own, and could be used as in intro to mounts and a teaser to get players excited about what they can look forward to.
- at later levels and with more taming experience, you could possibly turn a wild mount into a permanent mount.
How Taming Works:
- basically taming is like a tradeskill that can be levelled up. each new type of creature that you tame increases your taming skill by 1 point. there is a maximum of 110 points (arbitrary number, would depend on how many tameable creatures there are in the world). once you've reached a certain rank, say 50 points, you get access to a special collar/saddle that can turn a NORMAL wild mount into a permanent mount.... then at 100 points you get another collar/saddle that can turn a FAST wild mount into a permament mount... once you reach 110 points you get a special badass saddle and a title like "Master Tamer" or something.
- these wild permanent mounts should be available a few lvls before the mounts you can purchase with gold. this gives players incentive to lvl up their taming skill and seek out rare creatures to tame so that they can start riding mounts earlier.
- in order to find all the tameable beasts, you'll need a high enough Explorer skill... i'll go into the explorer skill in just a minute... but basically some tameable beasts will be in areas that only an explorer can reveal, or the result of quests that only an explorer of sufficient skill lvl can attempt, etc:...
Explorer Skill - the explorer skill is similar to tradeskills. basically there are hidden quests throughout the world that don't have the ubiquitous exclamation point over an NPC's head... you'll be introduced to a few early on and told to look for more as you lvl up if you want to become a true explorer.
- the only way to lvl up your explorer skill is to complete these explorer quests. each one you complete will give you a point, up to a maximum of 200 (arbitrary number again, would depend on the number of explorer quests in the game). this is NOT linear though, you won't have to complete these quests in a certain order, you can complete them however you want, however you will need a certain explorer skill to have access to some quests, but at any given time there should be 20-30 explorer quests that you can undertake in the world at your current explorer skill lvl.
- not only does the explorer quests available to you increase with your skill lvl, but as a competent explorer you also gain the ability to "detect hidden" which is basically like "detect traps" in D&D, except this time it reveals hidden locations and secret passages. so maybe there is a secret cavern behind this waterfall, but it's only visible if you have a high enough explorer skill and use the "detect hidden" ability near the entrance to a hidden area.
- the explorer, if in a group, has the option to expose the secrets of the area with his group members. once he does this, all the group members will also be able to enter the secret area. however, as soon as the explorer leaves the group, the other group members lose the ability to see and access the hidden location. (unless they are currently inside the location when the explorer leaves, then they are not kicked out, they simply won't be able to re-enter once they finally do leave the location.)
- this isn't limited to just hidden areas though, it can also be used with items... so there are some items that only an explorer can pick up and understand. for example, the explorer might stumble across a special gem that can be tossed at enemies to deal damage, or a special holy item that only the explorer can use to scare off undead enemies, etc:...
- also exporers can find more than just hidden locations or secret passages... they could also find dig spots where they can dig up items for a quest or maybe just dig up rare items for themselves to equip.
- i should also note that the explorer and taming skills are available to all players, and similar to fishing, you don't have to pick them instead of some other tradeskills. however they will be somewhat difficult to lvl and won't be as monetarily rewarding (not much gold or xp to be had here). they're more just for fun and to cater to the explorer and completionist playstyles.
NPC run Guilds - basically at lvl 5 you'll have the opportunity to join an NPC run guild. this guild isn't quite like player run guilds, it's basically just a chat channel and a tabbard, it doesn't have a guild vault, no standard, and can't lvl up. the main purpose is just to get new players interacting with each other and introduce them to the guild system.
- this guild will have player ranks like a normal guild, but the way you work your way up the ranks is by doing quests for the NPCs that run the guild... eventually, by completing all the quests available, you'll become an officer and get access to officer only chat.
- basically the goal is for newer and more casual players to be normal guild members... while members that are a bit more hardcore and are interested in end-game content will be officers... so the lowbies can chat in /guild, and the lvl capped players can chat in /officer... allowing the end-gamers a bit of privacy, while still making it easy for them to help out and give advice to newer players.
- ideally most players will move on from the NPC guild and create their own guilds in order to get access to all the cool stuff... but if the NPC guild proves to be too popular, it's always possible that there could be a few different competing NPC run guilds that cater to different playstyles and offer different rewards to their members. this would help segment the player base into a more manageable size for guilds.
- these NPC run guilds don't have all the cool gadgets a player run guild has, but they also don't have all the responsibilities and difficulties associated with running a guild... so this is more of a casual player's hangout, and will help build a sense of camaraderie among players that might not otherwise be involved in a guild at all.
Dungeon Lockouts - Normal dungeons don't have a lockout timer, you can run them repeatedly until your fingers bleed if you want... however, Heroic and Raid dungeons are different.
- heroic dungeons reset every morning at 4am server time.
- Raid dungeons reset on a weekly basis, probably Tuesday morning at 4am.
- so basically you can run each heroic dungeon once per day, and each Raid once per week.
Item Tooltips - here is an image that shows a variety of sample item tooltips.
Different Types of AI - not all types of mobs will behave the same. for example some mobs might run away and avoid confrontation at all cost... some might stealth and hide whenever a player gets close... some might stick their head in the sand and pretend the player doesn't exist... some might only be lured out of their cave by certain food... or maybe the only way to lure a mob close enough to attack is to do a dance wearing certain color armor, or some other crazy emote could be required... some might not engage alone but instead will run to their nearest companion and then the 2 or more of them would all turn and attack you... some enemies might only have a 20% chance to attack you if you get within their aggro radius, so sometimes they attack, and other times they just ignore you... maybe if you attack a bear cub, the mother enrages and comes charging after you... maybe at night mob aggro radius shrinks for some mobs and increases for others that are nocturnal... etc:...
- there could even be bosses that have different hit boxes for each part of their body.. so for example if you take out a boss's legs then it falls and can only crawl around and has to use different attacks than when it was standing up... or if you take out his arms then he can't attack when them and instead starts trying to stomp on players... or if you go straight for the head and the quick kill, maybe he gets all angry and confused and starts flailing around doing more damage than normal.
- i'm just trying to get away from the boring AI of, "well some mobs attack when you get too close, others just ignore you, and that's about as complicated as it gets"... there are so many other ways to make mobs and their behavior interesting.
Loot System - there will of course be the normal loot system choices. Free for all, master looter, and need before greed. but there are a few differences between how these systems work in other games and how they work in this one.
- for starters, you can only roll NEED if it's an item usable by your class... anyone can roll greed on an item... but there is a 3rd option called Split (the Split option is available with every loot type, not just need before greed)... basically what this does is takes the item that is being split, converts it to gold, and then splits that gold up among the members of the group.
- so if nobody needs the item and everyone rolls split, then the gold value of the item is split up amongst all the group members.
- splitting items follows this formula: (item value in gold) x (sqrt of the # of players) / (# of player) = amt of gold for each player.
- this way the total amount of gold being handed out goes up with the number of players in the group, but not by an insane amount... this will hopefully avoid players trying to keep their groups small because they want a higher share of the gold.
Developer Run Auction System - in order to try and keep gold farmers and toon sellers from taking over the game's real world economy, the developers should set up an EBAY style auction system that allows players to sell gold/characters/non-bop items/etc:...
- this auction system should be easily accessible from within the game by using the in-game browser... this allows the developer to make sure that transactions are all done legally and safe and hopefully they'll make some money in the process.
- similar to ebay, there will be an insertion fee (probably around $.25 for each auction created, and on top of that, the developers will take a 5-10% fee from the final selling price.
- this system should be integrated into the game so that as soon as the auction ends, the winning bidder receives the item in the in-game mail... and the seller receives the real world currency in his paypal account.
- the other option, instead of setting up their own system, the developer could come to an agreement with EBAY (or some other auction site) so that EBAY takes care of all the transactions and the 2 companies split the revenue from fees.
Last Stand - only works in PvP, sort of like Call of Duty, so if you die 3 times in a row without getting a kill, the game will give you a buff like an extra 20% HP, or will let you cheat death so that an attack that would normally kill you will only drop you to 1 hp, so you have 1 last chance to fight back... or something along those lines.
- continued in my next post -
This post has been edited by logandilts: 07 February 2010 - 02:26 PM