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szebus
05-16-2010, 07:25 AM
Just come from visiting wwww.mmorts.com where found an... interesting "article", so here it is:

Original post by Rodia
A MMORTS game in theory

Lately I'e been looking for a massively multiplayer online real time strategy game (MMORTS) to play that is not a browser game, and I see there is a lack of them in the market, and those that exist don't seem that interesting to me :(.

What would you include/exclude in a MMORTS game if you had the money and the means to make ones?

I think my perfect MMORTS game would be set in a persistent ancient times/medieval world that was not directly based on real countries of this world. The game play would be much slower than a normal RTS, making a game round taking around 1-2 years to finish.

General game play:

Each player would start with a nobleman and some villagers. You begin with exploring your surroundings and deciding where you are going to establish your first village. After the village is built you have to make the population grow and save up money to train an army. It should be impossible to conquer the whole continent by yourself though, thus giving every player the options to establish a realm or join an existing realm (realm/kingdom/tribe, the name doesn't matter that much but you get the idea).

The objective of the game is simple, carry out the the plans and strategies of your realm with your teammates and conquer the continent with them, or die trying (well the third option would be to betray your realm and join the enemies :p).

Some players will always be selfish, but the heart and focus of the game would be the realm and not on single players. Each realm would have an in-game chat and forum to make planing, organization and bonding within the realm easier. Everyone would want to win, naturally, but ideally players would make friends in their realm and have fun playing with them even if their team eventually loses.

1) The game would have tactical aspects, because battles would be fought. You're only in direct control of your nobleman, your other units will follow your orders but you can't micromanage them. You can only lead the battles your nobleman takes part of, the rest of the battles your generals (AI) will lead for you and you'll get a report of the result of these battles.

2) The game would have economical aspects, you'll have to feed your people and armies and make weapons for your recruits, and you'll need resources to do that. It would be interesting if some resources only exist in the north, some only in the south etc, so each realm will have to trade with other realms to get access to every resource they need, which would also make it possible to effectively boycott your enemies in war, or kill their caravans in attempt to destroy their economy.

3) The game would have political aspects, leaders have to be charismatic to attract members to their realms and to retain them. It would be up to each realm how they would want to organize themselves, some would be democratic, some would have a dictator. The leader won't be able to "force" anyone to carry out his orders, but he can kick out anyone who doesn't. Organization and bonding within the realms would be vital for the realm's survival, and power struggles and fights within the realm would weaken it. Realms would also be able to make diplomatic contacts to with realms and make allies with them, and propaganda would become a natural part of the game.

4) Building the infrastructure (bridges and roads to facilitate transportation within the realm), founding new villages, establishing safe trade routes would also be important.

New players would get some beginners protection, where they can't be attacked the first days. If a newbie joins a realm he'll probably get some protection from them too. The soldiers of big players attacking much smaller newbies wouldn't fight with full capacity because of bad moral (if a smaller player attacks a bigger player though the bigger player won't get any penalties).

Major problems:

1) What will protect a player when he logs out?

I don't like the idea of having your empire disappear while you're logged off, and reappear only when you're online, or that enemies can only attack you when you're online. If you have built a big empire the game play should be slow enough to make it impossible to conquer all your land over just a night or something like that, but slow game play isn't enough I think, so these additions are the only things I can think of:

A) AI takes control of your empire while you're not online. Perhaps you can give your "right hand" (computer AI which takes over when you're not online) basic orders of how you want him take care of things while you're gone (in various situations).

B) The realm could have some built-in system where the whole realm will be notified when enemy armies are approaching the borders of the realm, and of the basic movements of enemies within the territories of the realm. This way other players of your realm may help and stop the invasion of your villages even if you aren't online to see this yourself.

C) The realm should be able to build fortifications and walls that are properties of the realm and not of a specific player, buildings that are there to protect the realm as a whole.

D) There may also be some built-in system where you can agree to letting the realm/teammate temporary give orders to your armies while you're offline, if they find it necessary (there would have to be some rules, restrictions and limitations about that though so the method doesn't get abused).

2) How do you make casual players stand a chance against nolifers?

I think it's a pretty given that a casual player won't be the best realm leaders of a MMORTS game like this, as more activity would be required of them, but I would like if a casual player could still make a meaningful contribution to his realm, as long he's not totally inactive.

A) I think having some sort of a cap of how much you can do each week could make the advantage of nolifers smaller. Perhaps the citizens of your towns are only up to building perhaps 10 buildings a week in every town. Armies will take time to move around and will also need to rest once in awhile, so there is only so much they can move around and fight, and the nolifer can only directly control the battles his nobleman personally takes part of.

B) The player should be able to give the computer some basic orders to carry out while he's not there, so being online to set your workers to build things won't be as vital (there must be some good balance though so being "offline" won't get more effective than being online :p). You should also be able to rank different priorities to your different armies, and give them situational orders so the generals will know how to react to different situations even if you're not online to tell them, like setting an army to fleeing mode if it's outnumbered, or letting them hunt down nearby enemies, protect a castle, follow another army etc.

A problem for players with less time are that they would be more likely to miss out their chances to directly control the battles their nobleman participates in as they don't have the time to "wait" until the army has reached it's target. I don't know any good solution for this. Perhaps they can ask the computer to time the attacks to reach the target at a specific time (if nothing unexpected happens), a time they know they can be online. Or if they don't know when specifically they'll be online they can point out a place close to the target where they want their army to set a camp, and when they get online again their army will hopefully already be at place for the attack.

Another problem is that a slow game play will leave more active players not much to do after they have set their building orders and their armies to march. It'll leave them with plenty of time to make up strategies and talk and discuss plans with their teammates though, but there should probably be some mini-games to play with friends or alone if you get really bored.

___

Questions:

What would your ideas be to protect offline players?

And how would you do to help casual players to stand a chance in a MMORTS game?

Other thoughts?

Thanks everyone who took their time to read my wall of text :p :) And sorry for any grammatical or spelling mistakes I may have made, English not being my native language.

source: www.gamedev.net (http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=568977) and www.mmorts.com (http://mmorts.com/index.php?cmd=newsitem&comment=news.1.1617.0)

blackfang
05-16-2010, 10:24 AM
sounds an awful lot like a game i know:D

GPS51
05-16-2010, 11:26 AM
Someone else is seeing the light. Lets give them a name. DoF

Yami-Yagari
05-16-2010, 11:38 AM
He must have been living in a cave while writing this article :rolleyes:

Aametherar
05-16-2010, 11:39 AM
Actually it'd be nice if AI takes over if a player DCs in battle (for that battle only), an average strength one that could be replaced by the player again when he reconnects. It'd protect players who might DC or suddenly have to go from having a ton of work destroyed off 1 issue. (speaking of AI). Obviously no one wants AI controlling them regularly, but it'd be a unique situation thing.

Yami-Yagari
05-16-2010, 11:47 AM
Actually it'd be nice if AI takes over if a player DCs in battle (for that battle only), an average strength one that could be replaced by the player again when he reconnects. It'd protect players who might DC or suddenly have to go from having a ton of work destroyed off 1 issue. (speaking of AI). Obviously no one wants AI controlling them regularly, but it'd be a unique situation thing.

It's a nice idea, but clearly AI will never be better at managing armies then players themselves when attacked.
Rather that i DC and that i lose the battle, then that my army gets decimated while i wasn't there.

blackfang
05-16-2010, 12:20 PM
It's a nice idea, but clearly AI will never be better at managing armies then players themselves when attacked.
Rather that i DC and that i lose the battle, then that my army gets decimated while i wasn't there.

That depends, i have seen ai being better then players:)

GPS51
05-16-2010, 12:51 PM
Depends on the skill level of the players involved.

Yami-Yagari
05-16-2010, 12:59 PM
That depends, i have seen ai being better then players:)

Those people probly never played a RTS in their life before then i suppose.

And in the case of real time war games, they probly can't figure out that spears are brutal versus cavalry

Aametherar
05-16-2010, 01:06 PM
It's a nice idea, but clearly AI will never be better at managing armies then players themselves when attacked.
Rather that i DC and that i lose the battle, then that my army gets decimated while i wasn't there.

The thing is when you dc you generally get your army killed anyways don't you? It could be a temporary 1-10 min AI takeover after timing out based on what the player sets it to.

GPS51
05-16-2010, 01:50 PM
Well that depends...anyone remember the zoo wars of age3?

Yami-Yagari
05-16-2010, 01:50 PM
The thing is when you dc you generally get your army killed anyways don't you? It could be a temporary 1-10 min AI takeover after timing out based on what the player sets it to.

It depends what your doing. Normally when you DC you get kicked out of the game. Not so sure anymore if its a bad thing or not.

Aametherar
05-16-2010, 09:23 PM
Yeah, generic RTS, but we're talking MMO where people spend forever building up troops etc. if you get away free from a DC that's bad and would be exploited, where at the same time if you lose all your stuff from an unintentional one that's also a bad thing, which is why I mentioned temporary AI control.

Josh Warner
05-17-2010, 07:22 AM
Yeah, generic RTS, but we're talking MMO where people spend forever building up troops etc. if you get away free from a DC that's bad and would be exploited, where at the same time if you lose all your stuff from an unintentional one that's also a bad thing, which is why I mentioned temporary AI control.

I'd just like to point out the battalion caps versus population cap. You can have quite a few total armies, but the size of each army is capped and you can only send one army per player participating, at least for now. Losing an entire army for an advanced player should be a minor-moderate setback, not a soul crushing and game ending defeat.

Yami-Yagari
05-17-2010, 07:25 AM
I'd just like to point out the battalion caps versus population cap. You can have quite a few total armies, but the size of each army is capped and you can only one army per player participating, at least for now. Losing an entire army for an advanced player should be a minor-moderate setback, not a soul crushing and game ending defeat.

And here i thought i could build a monsterous huge army to bend entire Mythador to my will and rule as its new dark god :(

szebus
05-17-2010, 07:36 AM
And here i thought i could build a monsterous huge army to bend entire Mythador to my will and rule as its new dark god :(

LoL, the elves and humans will ally against You and you'll be crushed in no-time. You should not rule with one huge army but political with others army. :p

Aelfwine
05-17-2010, 07:37 AM
WHY MUST YOU CRUSH OUR DREAMS!!!!
...THere goes my plans for pincer attacks... I always hate the "One BIG army vs Another" thing and send out a big force with a medium force to hit them from the sides/behind... Or bait them with a small army... then bite them down with the big hidden army...

Your no fun Josh =P
LoL, the elves and humans will ally against You and you'll be crushed in no-time. You should not rule with one huge army but political with others army.

PFFFT... I was hoping to be the big bad evil Elf lurking in the shadows... bidding my time... then laying waste to the orc and human cities .... *sigh* one can dream... one can dream...

Kire
05-17-2010, 07:48 AM
I'd just like to point out the battalion caps versus population cap. You can have quite a few total armies, but the size of each army is capped and you can only send one army per player participating, at least for now. Losing an entire army for an advanced player should be a minor-moderate setback, not a soul crushing and game ending defeat.

Wow nice info (new info?o.O I forgot if its not new x.x). I like it quite much since you can use another army while building back the one you lost =). Or just do multiple things. Just hope that army cap will not be too small =P.

Aelfwine
05-17-2010, 08:01 AM
I wonder how hard it would be to wage a battle on two fronts ... meaning your the attacker on two fronts... it'd probably be somewhat easier being a defender on two fronts though I think.

Yami-Yagari
05-17-2010, 08:24 AM
LoL, the elves and humans will ally against You and you'll be crushed in no-time.

It took 2 ages to totally crush Sauron (6462 years to be exact) and that was because of one small hobbit. I'm not concerned :p

Negthareas
05-17-2010, 10:26 AM
Really interesting artcile - the guy practically hit the nail on the head [almost - he was off on a few points]. Shows that there is interest for a game just like this gentlemen.

szebus
05-17-2010, 10:47 AM
It took 2 ages to totally crush Sauron (6462 years to be exact) and that was because of one small hobbit. I'm not concerned :p

Hehe, :)))), we need the 4th race, the one containing hobbits :))))

Negthareas
05-17-2010, 10:48 AM
Hehe, :)))), we need the 4th race, the one of hobbits :))))

Would be too eady to defeat I think - unless hobbits were really cheap and if awesome economy so that it would be very hard to destroy them completely.

szebus
05-17-2010, 10:52 AM
They would not be easy to defeat if they are all called Frodo. :p

Yami-Yagari
05-17-2010, 10:59 AM
They would not be easy to defeat if they are all called Frodo. :p

Unlimited Frodo's, each one carrying The One Ring.. MY GOD!! :eek:

GPS51
05-17-2010, 11:25 AM
Then end....