Thursday 7 March 2019

MMO Design: Limited Resource Design

[Part of the Design Folder]

DMDavid's Adventurer's League quick start document has many interesting ideas that I would like to see in an MMO setting. A summary of intriguing mechanics that I've altered slightly for MMO consumption:

-Players only gain gold when they level up, with higher amounts awarded for higher levels. Once a player reaches max level they can get no more gold.

-Gold can only be used to buy mundane (non magical) gear and/or services from NPC merchants. A healing potion is an example of magical gear that you cannot buy with gold.

-Players gain level through advancement points, which are gained via quest progression and not necessarily by killing monsters. They cannot be farmed. More advancement points are required to advance to higher levels.

-Monsters will only drop quest/adventure appropriate items. Not loot and not EXP in the traditional sense.

-Players also gain treasure points by leveling up, with more points awarded for higher levels. Once players reach level cap, they can gain no more treasure points.

-Treasure points are spent on NPCs who sell powerful magic equipment - like, a single use healing potion. All this magic gear is of the consumable type, that is having a fixed amount of uses and then is gone. A magic sword might have 10 swings before returning to a normal sword permanently for example. Even the cheapest magic item will require multiple levels worth of treasure points to purchase.

-Gold, treasure points and advancement points cannot be traded / bartered between players but equipment (regular and magic) can. Equipment can never be sold back to NPC merchants for their corresponding currency.

As you might appreciate, this strongly pushes players to have characters "retire" at end game - but it also might encourage multi-toons because to fight "that last boss" I need / want to send my best guy with all the best magic gear... which only happens if he is equipped by other people.

There might even be a "retire" option (so the server can save on character slots) which sets aside the old adventurer permanently but gives your new character a magic item or two from the old one, if the veteran was of high enough level - or perhaps spent enough gold in his will.

If you wanted to "hard core" it, permadeath can also be applied again using the "will" system to pass on some hard earned items. In this particular case I don't think it is required though, and death being just a time penalty (returning the player to a spawn point) is enough since the limited resource design will eventually lead the players to the end/rebirth.

Now, one caveat of such a game is that there must be more quests than levels - and that the easier quest options become "non-rewarding" once you get past a certain level to avoid people that just go after low hanging fruit.

What do you think? Would such a game interest you?

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