Moo Tang Clan: June 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Zul'Gurub adventures

I'm in ZG, solo, taking out the trash.

Some trash mobs are just damn impossible to solo - the Gurubashi Axe Throwers specifically. Once they enrage into their Axe Flurry will target a random player and hit for a moderate amount but also knock you down and stun you. By the time you get back up another Axe will be thrown at a random player .. which if you're soloing the place means you. Again. And Again. Knock down, 500 dmg, stunned, get back up, knock down, repeat for 15 seconds. The fact they usually come in pairs is just rubbing salt into the wound.

The packs of adders and serpents on the other hand can be soloed. A four pack is borderline lethal to the pet, but if it survives long enough then it's a game of chain trapping and double trapping and scare beast and intimidation and 120 seconds of frantic excitement.

The crocs are easier - trap, misdirect, double trap, one down, scare beast, wing clip, kite, kill, trap, kill, kill. If there are five or six in the group there's a challenge, but otherwise.

Easiest of all would be the tigers and panthers. Snore. They are total pussy cats playing patty cake.

Only two more bijous until I'm revered with Zandalar, then the long grind starts to exalted. I sure hope that Living Action Potion is worth it. At the least, this has been a good test of hunter prowess .. I must remember to bring all my hunter pals in for fun and games.

types of leveling systems at word of shadow

Crimson Starfire has many interesting posts at his Word of Shadow blog, well worth reading would be my recommendation. I just added the following comment there to his post on Best RPG leveling systems:

I'd like to see an alternative "leveling" mechanism, one which leverages the MMO aspect of the game: your character himself doesn't level up, but all his actions (and actions of other players) contribute to the success of his village/clan/kingdom .. and as your community becomes stronger then additional powers become available.

For example, your village has recently secured some achievement (which you might have had some small part in), and all members of that village now have a specific boon available. The boon might be a character buff (eg. a bonus on resistance to some kind of magic), or might be availability from vendors of more powerful gear (eg. steel swords, instead of bronze).

That buff or boon would be permanent .. unless a rival clan comes along and causes a reversal in fortune. Or you seriously betray that community and become an outcast.

The communities should be elect to join, not invite to join (like guilds), and there should be hundreds (not two factions or eight races as in WoW). It should also be possible to increase your reputation with these communities, with higher standings according greater access to boons or access to more powerful boons.

This means you could, if you so choose, decide to abandon a losing community and join a stronger community .. but you'd lose access to all your previous boons and you'd need to work hard to gain access to the boons of your new hearthland.

If you choose to go renegade, outcast from all civilisation, then you'd better have some mad pvp skillz because your character will be effectively at the starter level once again .. and not aligned to any communities.

Monday, June 23, 2008

more honor for the underdogs

Sometimes, it is not your day to be victorious on the battlefield - your opponents have 4 capped AB or EotS, they have 2 flags to your zero, you are rapidly running out of reinforcements in AV.

Your backs are against the wall, the enemy arrogantly advances, the smell of your blood and a swift victory on the wind ... Now is the time for great courage, to die gloriously on the field, to make them struggle for every drop of your blood. Let the nubs and farmers hide in dark corners and their spider holes, lamenting with the womenfolk - the brave fight on for there is honor to be gained, the song of battle does call.

Thus: increase honor per kill for those on the losing side to encourage getting in there and at least making a last stand.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

warlocks, mana, and health

(This is just a passing thought)

How cool would it be if warlock spells cost not just mana, but the same amount of health? Thus Curse of Agony might cost 100 mana and 100 health, and similarly for all other spells. Toss in a couple of talents to adjust the ratio involved (eg. 40%/60% or 60%/40%), and rebalance all the base mana costs to suit, and you've got an interesting game mechanic which sets the lock apart from other spell casters.

Friday, June 6, 2008

is there a MMO design wiki?

Is there a MMO wiki someplace, one which profiles all MMOs and their various game mechanics, without necessarily delving deep into the MMO specific content? Someplace where the differences between positive and negative reinforcement schedules are explained in MMO terms, where time honored terms like “Diku” are explained (especially the MMO mechanics aspect, for which that wikipedia page is full of fail).

Sunday, June 1, 2008

More than terrain in the territory

Fantasy lore often has reference to magical ley lines, shifting rivers of hidden energy. Knowing where these ley lines are, especially where they cross or join, is of strategic import.

Yet how many games include effects from ley lines in the actual game play? I don't mean simply in the lore itself, providing colour to NPC chatter or at most serving as an excuse for a quest or two. The closest I've seen in WoW is in Netherstorm, where you can stumble into patches of invisible free flowing mana which replenish you - it's a pity these don't exist in the Eye of the Storm battleground though, that could shake things up in interesting ways.

Imagine a game world where the ley lines start out as unknown, where building your guild fortress on a ley line provides benefits equivalent to building on tactically advantageous terrain, where different ley lines are associated with different forms of magic (shadow, nature, demonic, spirit, fire, etc) which buff or debuff your spell casting. To make it even more of a game these ley lines shouldn't be blindingly obvious to passerbys, not even in their effects (adjust the random numbers, don't apply a buff). Let players wonder why they seem to get more crits in one place than another, watch the stats junkies pile on saying it's just superstitious interpretation of blind luck.

Later on, introduce quests or capabilities to map these ley lines. The full extent of these ley lines would remain incomplete because they occasionally flow through inhospitable territory. The capability for the mapping of a ley line could be dependent on the type of ley line, and the capability limited to those classes that can use that type of magic. Holy ley lines would remain a mystery to warlocks, demonic leylines a mystery to crusaders.

Later still, let players discover for themselves that these ley lines move about - gradual shifts usually, sometimes sudden re-wiring jumps. Be prepared for the whining from the early adventurers that built their power base on a nexus which has shifted. Introduce some means, expensive grand projects like cathedrals, where the flow of these ley lines can be influenced. The flow could influence not just their path across the map, but also in their strength - let there be wars of strategic interference, damming the flows to cut off the enemy further down the flow, etc.

As much as maps are not the territory, neither is physical terrain the final story.