Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Darkfall - the missing link between themepark and eventual play to win mmorpgs

You know what's dreadful? I don't happen to think of any content at all for this blog...then I'll find someone elses thread and respond with what I thought would be a two sentence thing...and it's blog entry sized in the end. This is responding to an article on mmocrunch about risk, again.

I think darkfall is evolving toward a play to win mmorpg, but it's still in an amphibian state - it's moved on from being a fish, but it's not a mammal yet, either.

The risk system, which perhaps seems shocking and exciting at first, isn't fun from moment to moment once you start seeing the overlaying structure.

Take this example: If you went out with 200 gold on you, your risking 200 gold. Now say you come back to base with 200 gold...does that sound exciting? No, it sounds like risk for absolutely no benefit at all. Now with darkfall, imagine leaving home base with 150 gold, then finding 50 gold? Great? No. Because you don't have that gold yet - you could lose it all on the way home. It's actually the same as the 200 gold example - you haven't won anything, your just risking more and more and more stuff for no benefit at all.

Now granted if you get back to base and bank it all, then you've won that money. But it's going to be half an hour to an hour before that happens. That is not moment to moment fun. It might feel like it when you find a chest full of gold, but once you see the bigger structure, you see that chest isn't any fun at all. Only getting back to the bank with it all is, and that's not happening any time soon.

Sure if you like delayed fun, it's okay. But that's why I call it an amphibian or reptile - it's not warmblooded yet. It has to laze around in the son for ages before it really gets going.
I'd suggest just having an ante - an amount a player has to fill with a certain amount of gold, or equipment equivalent to a certain amount of gold. This ante and only this ante is lost upon being killed. So if you do find 100 more gold, it really is a win right here, right now, because you can't lose any more than the fixed ante from before.

Also I wish I could figure out how to put captions under the pictures so I could write "It's only a flesh wound" in the pic above!

Edit: I think success with the caption! Found out how to do it!

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