Content of the article: "Looking for feedback on sandbox MMORPG idea"
I’ve had an MMORPG idea developing over the past couple weeks. Figured I would post here to get some feedback.
Imagine the intersection of WoW, Minecraft and Age of Empires.
- Class system similar to WoW. The specifics would be defined later, but the class system would be strongly rooted in lore letting players role play alongside the NPC narrative. I.E. Thrall -> Shaman, Guldan -> Warlock, Arthas -> Paladin, etc.
- Sandbox world like Minecraft and Age of Empires. Typical MMO professions like blacksmithing and tailoring would exist, but also professions such as architect, politician, and others.
- Politician – oversees the development of a player built NPC community. Deliberates over resources, disputes territory ownership and manages relationships between other guilds and factions.
- Architect – uses the resources acquired by guilds to design and build villages -> cities -> empires. An architect may need permission from a politician before breaking ground.
So imagine players initially interact with the NPC starting zone of their race/faction, but the players are allowed to group up and settle the rest of the world. As guilds gain wealth, they may post quests in the town centre to reward players for collecting resources for their guild (could be as simple as ! Collect Ore from Troggs, or as complicated as ! Raid a Neighboring Guild’s Bank, that’s for the politicians to decide). As guilds construct villages, NPC quests also spawn. Example:
A blacksmith may pay an architect to build a metal-works shop in a sprouting village. Once constructed, NPC’s populate the metal-works shop, some of which have a quest line.
It’s important to mention that players would not be required to participate in the development of the economy. If players wish, they can solely interact with NPC’s to maximize the progression of their class, but it would be more lucrative to complete quests for guilds.
Players would be able to gain experience by completing NPC quests, guild quests, participating in PvP, independently exploring, completing dungeons, growing professions, etc… But what about endgame?
Endgame would be multifaceted.
- PvP – similar to WoW
- World PvP – Since the world is a sandbox, endgame is technically never reached. Empires will rise and fall. It’s important to note that the size of the world will greatly exceed the maximum settlement size. In other words, even if a server has the maximum number of players aligned under one guild, the guild would not be able to create enough NPC’s to exhaust the resources and property of the world. There will always be plenty of wilderness.
- NPC Narrative I.E. Raids – Whether a server houses an empire or anarchy, players may participate in the conclusion of the NPC narrative after maximizing the progression of their classes.
I’ve developed the idea more than this, but this summary illustrates the key mechanics of the game. I’ve also done a bit of research to see if something like this exists and I have found a couple with similar ideas.
Life is Feudal takes the ‘collect resources and build settlements’ to the extreme. The game I envision would treat settlement construction similar to Age of Empires. It may take a while to gather the resources, but the actual construction is relatively short. The architecture profession would require a similar amount of commitment as blacksmithing or tailoring. The timeliness of the progression of a settlement may function as follows: a day to establish an outpost, a week to build a village, a month to grow a city and many months to develop an empire.
Dual Universe is the Sci Fi version of Life is Feudal. It also takes the ‘collect resources and settle planets’ to the extreme. While it’s a very intriguing idea, it appears to be entirely sandbox and forfeit an NPC narrative. The distinction I want to make between these existing games and my idea is that the core focus of my game would still be the combat/class system and their relationship to the overarching NPC narrative. Consider Starcraft. A key mechanic of the game is the development of an economy, but the core of the game is combat, marines killing zerglings killing zealots, and the lore behind marines, zerglings and zealots.
Another game I discovered was Ashes of Creation. While this game is partially sandbox, it lacks the complete freedom of Minecraft and/or Age of Empires. My idea would leen much more toward the freedoms of the latter.
If I’m overlooking a game that has already tried my idea or I’m misrepresenting the games I’ve mentioned, let me know! And if you don’t think my idea is feasible from the get go, also let me know! All criticism is welcome 🙂 I look forward to your questions.
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