Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Err, cough... "my" MMORTS Design Idea

I love RTS games... ALOT. So when Brian at Psychochild, put out this MMO concept, I was naturally intrigued, however, I decided to take a different angle in my design process.

You see, since Wizzel has come up with a truly wondrous invention of a MMORTS, and since that idea is so good, I would just knock him off Sopranos style, and take his idea to the development team. Naturally I would make a few adjustments to "my" idea...

  • Starting Cities are unconquerable. This eliminates the 'end' of your avatar in the world, which would alienate many subscribers. Players who have lost all significant territory and developments to invaders would be cornered and have the option to join the Clan of the invader, or continue to try to expand out and reclaim land. There would be game mechanics in place to make conquest drastically harder as you approach a base city, and development, harvesting and civilization maintenance on a war front will always be the most costly in the game, making holding those lands difficult, but not impossible.
  • Online vs. Offline. The basic macro management concept laid out by Wizzel, makes this an easy hurdle to overcome. 90% of the behaviors and movement of the civilization AI is automated based on the UI selection and previous actions, thus the civilization would continue to persist while the Leader was logged off. The disclaimer to this is basically, this game is not for the lighthearted... log out for a week and you might not like what you find when you get back.
  • Clans: This game would require one of the most extensive guild management engines to date, due to the extensive nature of the management process. This system would also alleviate the Offline issue to some extent. Within your Clan, you can grant varying degrees of control over the mechanics of your sub-civilizations. Just like in a current MMO guild, Leader has all powers, Officers have some limited powers, and so on, the various members would have varying degrees of control over each others lands. Clans are the staple of the game, and as Wizzel has stated, a long civilization can not sustain itself without outside resources, thus trade and partnership are vital to survival, and conquest and protection from conquest are side benefits.

I will continue to flesh out this concept and add to it. Bravo Wizzel!


Wizzel Cogcarrier Wizzleton IV said...

Anyt site that directly compliments me gets permalinked :)

I disagree with your point on unconquerable starting cities, as that mechanic encourages the aforementioned base-sprawl strategy and limits mobility. It comes down to taste in the end, I suppose, but one of the main reasons I stopped playing multiplayer RTS a few years ago was because every player in every round employed this exact strategy of simply expanding bases to conquer the map.

Other than that, those are some excellent ideas, especially the clans. While I prefer a game where organizations like this aren't strictly game mechanics for the freeform political maneuverings and boundary disputes it affords, a clan or guild system would undoubtedly appeal to a broader player base. I would certainly still play a game with that sort of system in it.

Wizzel Cogcarrier Wizzleton IV said...

Oh, one more thing. It's existence with an "e." It's ok, I had a typo like that in my tagline for a month before I caught it.

Cyndre said...

LOL, thanks for the heads up on the typo!

The idea behind the unconquerable city is to maintain some level of immortality for the players. However, to combat the horde and grow mentality, the mechanics of development are such that no progress is possible with no trade or expansion.

Wizzel Cogcarrier Wizzleton IV said...

Oh, ok. That makes sense.