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What makes an MMORPG

Intro

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This website is for the purpose of illustrating what every MMORPG should have and how to use those attributes to make the ultimate RPG. I will my past experiences with many different MMORPG's over the years to provide my information and make my conclusion.

Keep in mind that everything regarding the Ultimate MMORPG is my opinion and nothing more. Therefore, the Ultimate MMORPG described on this website is not the Ultimate MMORPG, but rather an idea that I formulated using my vast experience and MMORPG knowledge to create what I believe would be the Ultimate MMORPG.

Below, on this page, I will describe main attributes every MMORPG should have and on the Ultimate MMORPG page, I will describe how to use those attributes to create the Ultimate MMORPG.

Setting

MMORPG's take place in a multitude of different settings. Some take place on fantasy worlds, some take place on earth, some take place on other planets that actually exist. Apart from planet, there is also time period; some take place far in the past, some take place in the more recent past, some take place in the present, some take place in the far future, and some take place in an indestingishable time period because the universe that MMO is set in is one without a timeline that is relevant to ours.

The games entire physiology of the game will depend on the setting, for instance, "Do the characrs live in a land where they can cast magic? If not, do they live in a time period where they use guns?"

Another part of the setting that is easily overlooked but is one of the most important parts are the graphics the game runs on. Two different types of graphics for the game can invoke different experiences from players, and will attract different types of players to the game. For example: WoW has slightly cartoony graphics, it games the game a kind-of playful feeling and makes it enjoyable. On the other hand, Silkroad has a more refined graphics engine. I looks realistic and therefor the game feels more serious. You have to pick the kind of graphics you want your game to have based on the feelings you want to invoke from your players.

Race/Class System

Race
Most MMORPG have a type of race system where you choose the race of your character. The race you choose can affect anything; the equipment you wear, your base statistics you start the game with, the classes available for you to choose from, race specific abilities, and much more.

The types of races available depend on the setting of the game. A pure fantasy game can have any number of races from the many races depicted in Fantasy Lore or any race the creaters of the game might imagine; whereas, a game set on Earth might have human races such as Chinese, European, Arabian, etc.

In a Fantasy Environment the most common race types are:
  • Human (Humans can also be spread into different races such as Nord, Breton, Redguard, etc.)
  • Elf (Blood Elf, Night Elf, Dark Elf, High Elf, and Wood Elf)
  • Dwarf
  • Orc
  • Undead
  • Gnome
  • Goblin
  • There are many more obscure races throughout the realm of Fantasy, and since it's Fantasy, game creators often create races to support the games story line.














Combat System

Most MMORPG's use a class based combat system. For example, a warrior and a warlock would have two completely different sets of attacks and skill sets. Note: not all MMO's have a class system, Silkroad uses a system where everyone played the same class but the way they developed their character changed their play style, weapons, armor, and skill sets.

Every MMORPG needs to have a balance of power between the classes. There are two main methods of doing this:

A Power Triangle

• A Power Triangle is where each class has a strength against one class and a weakness against another.

• For Example: In Runescpe, the magic of mages easily cut through the armor of warriors, warriors swords, easily cut through the hide of archers, and archers arrows easily pierced the robes of mages. And while each classes armor is weak to one class, it is simutaneously strong against the other, giving each class one strength and one weakness.

A Balanced Class System

• A Balanced Class System is where no class is made to be stronger than another in one on one battles. Although, every class has completely different play styles, weapons, armor, and skill sets; all classes should have a fair chance at beating any other class in a duel.

• For Example: In Silkroad, any character (if developed correctly) has a good chance of beating any other character.


Quest System

MMORPG's have completely different types of quest systems. Some, like the one in Silkroad, are very simple, where you talk to an NPC* and he gives you a simple mission such as killing x number of a certain monster and then reporting back to the NPC for your reward. This system also has other types of quests, but non of them are very fun or interactive.

Some, like in WoW, are more complicated and interactive. They can require you to interact with many different NPCs or travel to many places collecting items or any number of things. These types of quests usually get the player more involved in the story of the game.

Party or Squad System

Most MMO's have a party system: A party system if where players (usually up to 8) create a group (party) to accomplish a common goal. This party may let them easily monitor each others health or location, or it may allow them to easily target the players in their party by clicking on their picture on the screen instead of searching for their character.

Bosses

Every game should have bosses of some kind. These bosses can be in various places:

Lord Yarkon; Silkroad Unique
Lord Yarkan, a level 80 Unique from Silkroad Online
Click for a Larger Image

Various places around the world. Silkroad has a system where Uniques(Bosses) spawn randomly. Each different unique has a set area to spawn, but that area is very large and they spawn randomly somewhere inside it at random times. These spawns apply to everyone on the server, so after the unique is dead, no one can kill it until it respawns again.

In Dungeons. These dungeons can either be serverwide* or instanced*. There may be one boss at the end, or multiple bosses throughout the dungeon with a harder boss at the end. The dungeon is usually long and exotic, to create memorable spaces for the players to enjoy. The dungeon may be populated with groups of weaker monsters that groups of people will have to fight through to get to the bosses and they may even have puzzles that the group would have to solve.

Landscape

Every MMORPG should have a large colorful and grand landscape. This makes the game more memorable and fun. Fighting monsters in an enormous luscious forest is more exciting and fun than in a barren wasteland. However, some games have certain parts of them as barren wastelands for artistic effect. Silkroad did this with the area around Donwhang and it worked very well.


This video is just to demonstrate some of the beautiful landscapes and areas in World of Warcraft. These are the kind of places MMORPG's should have.

Traveling the Land

With how large MMO's tend to be, there should be some means to move from one place to another without having to walk the whole way.

In Runescape, unless you had the teleport spells, you had to walk wherever you went, so if someone asked you to meet them in one town, and you were far away, you had to tell them to wait while you walked all the way there. To avoid this, there are two good options:


Fast Travel

Fast Travel systems allow you to instantly transport yourself from one place to another. These can take many forms.
• Boats
• Portals
• Aircraft
• Teleport Spells

These fast-travel systems usually cost something, such as gold or spellcasting items to use.

Mounts

Mounts are things that can either be purchased or earned that allow you to move from place to place much faster than on foot. These can be either ground mounts, or flying mounts.

Mounts can be obtained a few different ways:
• They can be temporary mounts, bought from an in-game store, that only last a certain amount of time or uses.
• They can be permanent mounts obtained from getting an achievement*.
• They can be bought from item malls*.
• They can be permanent mounts obtained from quests.
• They can be permanent mounts bought with a substantial amount of in-game currency.

Mount Examples

  • Mount 1
    Tiger Mount from Age of Conan
    Click to Expand
  • Mount 2
    Black Winged Tiger Mount from World of Kung Fu
    Click to Expand
  • Mount 3
    Alliance Charge Mount from Wow
    Click to Expand
  • Mount 4
    Skywall Dragon Flying Mount from WoW
    Click to Expand
*Squishy - A term used on MMORPG's to denote class types that die easily. They usually have low health and low, if any, armor.
*Semi-Squishy - Rogues do not have much health and mid-level armor, but they have special skills that help them stay alive in solo combat. They are less squishy than mages and priests, but more squishy than warriors and tanks.
*NPC - Non-Player Character; this is any character in the game that is not played by a real person.
*Drawing Aggro - This is a term used for when a character draws a monster or group of monsters attention away from everyone else so everyone else can attack the monster(s) without fear of being attacked. Tanks usually have a "taunt" ability to make monsters focus only on them, so the mages and priests are safe.
*AoE - Stands for Area of Effect; mages use these type of attacks to deal damage to multiple monsters at once, thereby taking out the group of monsters much faster than attacking them one-by-one.
*Serverwide - Everyone on the server enters the same Dungeon instance. This means that the dungeon only exists once; everyone and anyone can play together in the dungeon.
*Instanced - Every time a party enters a dungeon, that dungeon is a universe of it's own. The only people who can play in that dungeon are the members of the party that entered it. Other parties can enter the dungeon, but they will be in their own instance, that means the dungeon exists more than once at a time and every different party is in their own version of the dungeon. *Achievement - Some games give rewards for reaching certain milestones on a character. One of those rewards may be a mount. *Item Mall - Free to Play MMORPG's almost always have a store where you can spend real money to buy a special in-game currency that can be spent in the item mall to buy special items unavailable to people who don't pay.