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Old 02-07-2011, 04:14 PM
TriggerHappyNDB TriggerHappyNDB is offline
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I can certainly see your concern Merku. The MMORTS genre as a whole suffers from a dichotomy between having a truly seamless, persistent world and preventing everyone from crashing into one another in some cacophonous mess akin to a bag of Skittles on a summer sidewalk.

On the one hand, we have our seamless, persistent MMORTS world--the golden egg of studios like Reverie. Ideally, there would be one huge map that represented a grand world, with different regions, colorful scenery, and plenty of places to explore, expand, and exploit. There would be room for infinite amounts of player settlement and interaction--everyone would essentially be able to create their own little kingdom next to their friends' kingdoms, and everyone could build an army, exploring the uncharted wastes of Mythador. Everyone could be (and would be!) where they wanted to be and their kingdom would be the idyllic starting point for their auspicious new branch of their parent civilization.

The technical limitations, however, would be staggering.

To accommodate and coordinate so many players would be an impossible task. Not everyone could be near their friends or where they wanted to be, and imagine the sheer geographical expanses needed to house thousands of people on one server! To sate the expansionistic hunger of her children, mother earth would need HUGE... TRACTS OF LAND.

Then, on the other hand, we have the perfectly graceful and coordinated MMORTS world, where representational maps like the one in DoF work perfectly because there are really only a few player cities on the map at all anyway. We and our small microcosm of close companions and guildmates can shape the world as we see fit without it needing to be ridiculously huge--there's more than enough space for everyone here. We can adventure and plunder and grow and succeed, and everyone has a fair share of what's available. Even if my city is across the world from my best friend Jimmy's, it doesn't matter--this is our Mythador, and here, everyone wins!

But where is everyone else?

Here we've lost the essence of the MMO meta-genre in favor of basic LAN play. While we're all perfectly happy in our little corners, it turns out there's really no one else there. It's just us and our friends, and there's no challenge, no mystery, no intrigue. The world is exactly as we want it--so why are we even playing in the first place?
Sure, we can expand it to a couple hundred people like you said, but if DoF became as popular as WoW, there's just no way you and your best friends and your guild would ever populate the same server. The sampling size is simply too small. Even WoW uses the server approach--with more than 200 servers!--and even some of those are too full for players to join their friends on.


Dawn of Fantasy is doing the best with what the genre can offer, and then some. Someone will need to brainstorm a huge innovation before we see the marriage between a massive, seamless world and a smooth gameplay experience for everyone involved, but as it stands, DoF offers us a world where everyone can coexist on the same map without it being an ugly, melted ball of Skittles.

And I'm just fine with that.
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