Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

How To Improve Massively Multiplayer Games

By internetslacker in Internet
Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 05:23:10 PM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)

Face it, online entertainment companies: massively-multiplayer games are not raking in the major bucks anymore . That's because players are bored; there just isn't anything new, fun, or interesting in the current crop of MMORPG's on the market today.

But have faith, game developers! If you use these simple ten suggestions to improve your virtual worlds, hundreds of thousands of players will soon return and, more importantly, get you 'back in the bling-bling' again!

1) Real-Time Payback Option: Every time a player is defeated in online combat they will instantly receive the GPS tracking co-ordinates of the gamer who killed them. This information will allow the annoyed player to physically locate the offending person in the real world in order to slap them repeatedly across the face while screaming, "WHO OWNZERS WHO NOW, BIOTCH?"

2) Gender Verification: Too many male online gamers have suffered the fate of romancing a beautiful elf maiden who is actually a fifty-seven year old balding accountant guy with hair on his back. The new breed of MMORPG's will come equipped with a small video cam that each and every player must keep trained on their genitalia at all times while logged into the game. When an online player meets someone they're attracted to, they simply click an icon on the person's avatar and voila! A real-time video feed proving female or male gender. While some players may find this to be an extreme solution, they've obviously never had a blind date that turned out to be a fifty-seven year old balding accountant guy with hair on his back.

3) Customizable Trailer Homes: Not everyone wants to live in a cold, drafty castle. Many players enjoy the comfy closeness of a trailer home, since that's the real-word domicile in which they reside. Trailer homes are the perfect solution for guilds: members can form trailer parks to drink beer, shout obscenities, and wander around in stained undershirts. Another advantage of trailer homes for guilds is mobility; if a safer area from attack is required, just pick up and move the trailers to the new 'park' (preferably in the front lawn of the nearest castle; royalty love trailer homes in their gardens).

4) Quests That Are Actually Fun: Nobody likes performing dumb quests like collecting a dozen glowing fungi or killing & skinning five deer to collect leather. Why not have quests that are actually fun, like PK Seven Defenseless Newbies or Join A Guild, Loot Their Headquarters, Then Quit, or the ever-popular quest, Ask Each And Every Player In The Game, "cn i hav yur stuff d00d?"

5) Ability To Hoof Another Player In The Nuts: Special combat moves exist in most MMORPG's, yet this author has never seen the one attack most often used in violent situations (usually around bars or the ex-wife): a good, hard kick right in the offending person's `groceries'. It would only heighten an online game's popularity if developers added such an option; when the attacking player is successful in delivering a "Testicular Trauma" special move, the kicked player's avatar immediately grabs his ribs and sinks to his knees while moaning, "oooohh...goddddd...the paainnnn...".

6) Weapons That Are Actually Cool: We're all sick and tired of swords and maces, guns and lasers, yadda yadda yadda. There simply needs to be more variety in the items players may use in an offensive manner. Many fighters would enjoy the challenge of battling dragons with a good nine-iron golf club, shattered beer bottle, or flaming accordion, for example. There also needs to be more powerful weapons. Why can't an online game have nuclear devices? It would give a guild a great sense of satisfaction assembling an ICBM to launch at their enemies or, better yet, at a big crowd of newbies.

7) 'Going Postal' Option: We've all suffered the experience of becoming tired of an online game and quitting, letting our accounts languish in a state of limbo. Why not have the choice of going out in style? When a player decides he's sick of playing an online game, all he needs to do is click the `Going Postal' option that will grant him near god-like powers and invulnerability. He may then go on a massive killing spree for an hour, at the end of which his avatar explodes, taking out half the virtual surrounding environment. The player is then logged off and his account deleted. This 'Going Postal' feature may very well lure Players back to an online game just so they can go berserk in this style again, leading to new account creation and increased revenue.

8) Graffiti: Spray-painted `tags' are a constant feature in real-life, so why not in virtual worlds? There are some extremely talented graffiti artists who would love displaying their `skillz' on, oh let's say, each and every wall of each and every structure their on-line personae can possibly find. Guilds will benefit from `tagging' their territory with spray-painted omens such as "sTay OuT oR BC Guild RoXJor Yuuu" or insulting artwork depicting the enemy guild's leader having personal relations with Tony Danza.

9) Instant Game Master Summoning: We've all suffered through long waits for a Game Master to appear in order to fix our on-line problems. Since we, the Players, are paying a monthly fee, why should we have to waste our time standing around for a Game Master instead of playing the damn game in the first place? Instead, MMORPG companies should hire hundreds, no, thousands, of Game Masters so that when a player calls for assistance, a GM appears the very second after the request has been made. In fact, a player should be allowed to call for a Game Master if they are just feeling lonely and would like to "chat" about "stuff" at four in the morning.

10) Cease monthly billing and make all MMORPG's free to play, you greedy corporate bastards. I promised at the beginning of this article you'd get the "bling-bling" back, but I don't care. Now send me a Game Master, I need someone to help me redecorate my trailer home. My real trailer home.

The Internet Slacker


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Which Massively-Multiplayer Online Game Improvement Would You Most Like To See Implemented First?
o 1. Real-Time Payback Option 3%
o 2. Gender Verification 13%
o 3. Customizable Trailer Homes 4%
o 4. Quests That Are Actually Fun 11%
o 5. Ability To Hoof Another Player In The Nuts 14%
o 6. Weapons That Are Actually Cool 5%
o 7. 'Going Postal' Option 21%
o 8. Graffiti 3%
o 9. Instant Game Master Summoning 1%
o 10. No Monthly Fees Whatsoever No Matter How Much The Game Developers Starve 22%

Votes: 95
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o massively-multiplayer games are not raking in the major bucks anymore
o The Internet Slacker
o Also by internetslacker

Display: Sort:
How To Improve Massively Multiplayer Games | 78 comments (46 topical, 32 editorial, 0 hidden)
MUDs (2.80 / 5) (#2)
by I Hate Yanks on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 05:42:34 AM EST

I play a MUD, a lot. It's a text based MUD with no commercial interests. Run and hosted by volunteers.

The MUD keeps me interested because it provides oppurtunities for social interaction, gameplay, roleplaying, numberchasing, goofing around, and problem solving.

The main attraction of this mud is that 200 or so of the players meet regularly at least once a year in a hotel in London. They are a really fun group of people and the MUDmeet weekends are amazingly busy, silly, drunken, happy events.

I can't imaginge enjoying a graphical mud as much as I enjoy playing this one. Graphics just get in the way of a good imagination.

Reasons to hate Americans (No. 812): Circletimessquare lives there.

Gah! Goddamn sucky user interface (none / 1) (#3)
by I Hate Yanks on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 05:43:45 AM EST

This was meant to be a topical comment.

Reasons to hate Americans (No. 812): Circletimessquare lives there.
[ Parent ]

What's The Mud? (none / 1) (#21)
by internetslacker on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 02:00:21 PM EST

I'm glad to hear MUD's are still around...what's the name of it, if you don't mind sharing?

www.internetslacker.com www.internetslacker.net www.internetslacker.org
[ Parent ]

Sure (none / 0) (#47)
by I Hate Yanks on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 04:59:49 AM EST

Discworld MUD


Reasons to hate Americans (No. 812): Circletimessquare lives there.
[ Parent ]

What's your nickname on the MUD? (none / 0) (#76)
by saturnight on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 06:02:32 PM EST

If I may ask :) I used to play there  from about 2000 until 2002, but somehow, it didn't appeal to me anymore after the Aug 3 changes. Although Bes Pelargic is still one of the best online "worlds" I've come across...I return from time to time but it never lasts long :)

[ Parent ]
Added bonuses (3.00 / 2) (#6)
by nkyad on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 10:09:05 AM EST

Muds usually requires some language skills, keeping the worst of the globalized teen pack away (as does the CLI interface).

Also, in a mud I used to play you had to solve quests in order to advance (ie, killing things was not enough) . The players who solved those quests were asked not to give the solutions away to other. The most amazing thing is that everybody complied. Solving quests by yourself was a point of honour and more than one player was expelled from the game for asking or giving away solutions.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run

[ Parent ]
Well? (none / 0) (#12)
by floydian on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 01:34:05 PM EST

Are you going to share?

[ Parent ]
I also play a MUD a lot... (3.00 / 2) (#22)
by Phssthpok on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 02:01:34 PM EST

It is called "UNIX" and the class system is pretty boring. Memorizing commands and paths provides a welcome challenge, and there are some enjoyable quests based on moving items from place to place and blaming newbies for your resource usage.

affective flattening has caused me to kill 11,357 people

[ Parent ]
Sounds suspiciously like Discworld MUD... (n/t) (none / 1) (#25)
by Xanthipe on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 03:23:20 PM EST


The best answer I can give to the question of whether I am alive or dead is "Yes"...

[ Parent ]
Do you play it too? (none / 0) (#68)
by I Hate Yanks on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 01:39:26 PM EST


Reasons to hate Americans (No. 812): Circletimessquare lives there.
[ Parent ]

Muds are for losers. (none / 1) (#28)
by communistpoet on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 04:58:04 PM EST

that time you are spending in the mud is wasted. Why don't you spend it working on something worthwhile.

We must become better men to make a better world.
[ Parent ]
Dude, you're on KURO%HIN. (2.00 / 2) (#65)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:01:15 PM EST

You have no basis for accusing anyone else of wasting their time.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Graphics just get in the way of a good imagination (none / 0) (#55)
by popu037 on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 05:59:16 PM EST

I hate when people say graphics just get in the way of a good imagination. I say gouge your fucking eyes out and learn brail then come back to me and say "graphics just get in the way of a good imagination." Until then I will consider you one of those yuppie/poser types that just constantly harps on how great the good ole days were.

[ Parent ]
Graphics get in the way when... (none / 0) (#77)
by Taladar on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 03:11:47 PM EST

Graphics gets in the way when it eats up 90% of the budget (or in case of free software: developer time) that would have otherwise been used for content writers.

[ Parent ]
True, but.... (none / 0) (#57)
by knowugotadollar on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 07:49:45 PM EST

I agree that the quality of the imagination surpasses today's computer graphics. However, interacting in a MUD takes a fair amount of brainpower; you've got to parse text rather quickly, be dexterous with a keyboard, and keep rather large maps in your imaginary space. Fully interacting in a MUD is no mean feat, and the difficulty therin turns off many people who enjoy MMPORGs like WoW. .se.
redefining life
[ Parent ]
my opinion (none / 0) (#64)
by eudas on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 10:59:15 AM EST

you would wind up parsing information coming from multiple sources simultaneously and managing large amounts of information in your head in order to be successful in either game.

in a mud, you parse text blocks (which, after a while, you don't look at so much as you watch the patterns to make sure they're progressing in the expected fashion; you pay more attention to the anomalies in the data patterns than you do to each and every individual statement).

in a mmorpg, you're watching screens (radar, inventory, life meter, mana meter, group chatter, local activity).

in either one, you're memorizing things like town A is about 10 clicks east of town B, and monster X is northeast 5 clicks from there, and it guards the rare orb of Y, which you need for quest Z.

and you've got to be quick on the trigger for either game, if you want to save your character's life. the difference with muds is that you never move your hand to your mouse, because you don't need it.

"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

comments (1.50 / 4) (#8)
by dimaq on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 11:11:12 AM EST

1 - would lead to increase of RL violence (not a good thing)
1 again - would give unfair advantage to gamers in posession of icbm's
2 - the mmorg world is instantly transformed to either a) gay heaven or b) wanker pub
3 - against middle age(s) style of most mmorgs
4 - agreed!
5 - and generally anatomically correct mmorgs, leading to virtual porn circus
6 - play FPS games for that, d3, hl2 and postal come to mind
7 - agreed!
8 - and generally player-generated content. wish on!
9 - planeshift. player/gm ratio of about 10.
10 - planeshift. I know it sucks, but it's free!

Thanks! (3.00 / 2) (#41)
by internetslacker on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:30:59 PM EST

About your comment re: #5 making an MMORPG a 'porn circus'. You have a point; have you played 'Second Life'? Players can build items in the game, and every week the developers are confiscating flying penises, strap-on devices, etc, etc. Deeply weird game that's not really a game but a virtual chat room where you can build and program stuff.

www.internetslacker.com www.internetslacker.net www.internetslacker.org
[ Parent ]

Confiscate them? (none / 0) (#66)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 12:04:14 PM EST

Why would the Lindens confiscate flying penises? They're not against any rule, except maybe in the PG areas.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

In an article I read... (none / 0) (#71)
by internetslacker on Fri Mar 04, 2005 at 12:39:18 PM EST

The article was either through the Alphaville Herald (which mostly covers Sims, but does occasional SL) or maybe MMORPG..hell, I can't remember. What I do recall is one of the higher up Linden's stating they do take away the more offensive objects, especially if they show up in the New Player area. I guess they feel SL newbies don't need to be subjected to the sight of an eight-foot tall walking penis, but then again, nobody does, really.

www.internetslacker.com www.internetslacker.net www.internetslacker.org
[ Parent ]

I liked the topic..but that was it -1 (2.00 / 2) (#14)
by haplopeart on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 01:46:02 PM EST

...the rest was stupid, unhumorous trolling at best.
Bill "Haplo Peart" Dunn
Administrator Epithna.com

Thanks! (2.50 / 6) (#16)
by internetslacker on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 01:52:38 PM EST

By the way, when will your webpage be done? What's with the soft-blue and orange color motif? What are you an administrator of? Why do you hate comedy and, by extension, me? When's the largest dump you ever took?

www.internetslacker.com www.internetslacker.net www.internetslacker.org
[ Parent ]

As long as we're talking crappy webpages (1.33 / 3) (#30)
by kitten on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 06:00:32 PM EST

You shouldn't be pointing fingers. I'm guessing you chose the eye-gouging colors on purpose because you think it's "funny", but I'm also guessing the complete incompatability with Firefox wasn't intentional. I'm going to further guess that you consider your content to be humorous or worthwhile (as evinced by your claim to being "a damn good writer"), but I'm going home now so I have no time to disabuse you of these silly, silly notions.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Thanks! (2.00 / 3) (#42)
by internetslacker on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 10:42:35 PM EST

Okay, go home now, kitten. ;)

www.internetslacker.com www.internetslacker.net www.internetslacker.org
[ Parent ]

Yeah, (none / 1) (#73)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Mar 15, 2005 at 02:30:09 PM EST

but you're gay.

[ Parent ]
As long as we're talking crappy webpages (1.00 / 5) (#48)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 05:08:36 AM EST

You shouldn't be pointing fingers. Because you're not wearing your mittens, you naughty kitten.

[ Parent ]
Humm? (none / 1) (#53)
by haplopeart on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 03:52:26 PM EST

>>By the way, when will your webpage be done?
Someday, its a work in progress, I am still developing the ideas that will go into creating it, I'm to lazy to build a test server so there it is...but hey even the half developed ideas there have gotten me two gigs in the last week so developing for somone else and getting $$$ vs. working on my site in my spare time and making not a dime, I think I'll take the cash.

>>>What's with the soft-blue and orange color motif?
Had to pick some colors so that I could tell different parts of the CSS apart while I build it, I flipped through the list of valid colors and those were the random ones I cam across.  Actually its not strictly true...some of them are similar to a sequence in Star Wars EP2 that I liked the visual effect of and hope the eventually match the site colors too.

>>>What are you an administrator of?
My own site! Not much more not much less...In real life I am the Admin/developer of approx 25 various sites.  NDA however doesn't allow me to say what though...

>>>Why do you hate comedy and, by extension, me?
I don't and I don't...I just was hoping for something serious and substantial that actually had something to say when I saw the article title, so when I read it..it was a let down.

>>>When's the largest dump you ever took?
In college after eating 28 Chicken Puck sandwiches with all the fixings, two pounds of corn, 6 apples, a gallon of Milk, and 4 liter of coke...Damn I freakin' filled the bowl...

Bill "Haplo Peart" Dunn
Administrator Epithna.com

[ Parent ]

I liked it. (none / 1) (#29)
by pwhysall on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 05:24:47 PM EST

But then, I think paying monthly for a game is a bit daft in the first place.

Peter "Peter Whysall" Whysall.
Evil Editor, http://www.kuro5hin.org

[ Parent ]

your website (2.50 / 10) (#31)
by WetherMan on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 06:30:12 PM EST

is one of the ugliest pieces of shit i've ever seen.
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
Thanks! (2.25 / 4) (#37)
by internetslacker on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:26:11 PM EST

I'm in the process of having a whole new look developed for my website. Comments like yours have only made me work harder. Thanks!

www.internetslacker.com www.internetslacker.net www.internetslacker.org
[ Parent ]

dead MMORPGs (2.75 / 4) (#34)
by Polverone on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 08:51:40 PM EST

Is there any chance that the source code for dead MMORPGs will be released, as has been done for various other old games? I imagine it'd take a lot of work to produce new worlds (if only source code, not art/data files, are released) but still a lot less than building a game from scratch. As bandwidth and computer power get less expensive individuals could run low-cost or even free servers for commercially abandoned MMORPGs. You might be able to do it cheaply today on a big university LAN. It wouldn't be "massively" multiplayer, but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
Good topic to bring up... (none / 1) (#35)
by internetslacker on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 09:23:41 PM EST

I've thought about old MMORPG source code too. That'd be exciting to see...all the different modifications...

www.internetslacker.com www.internetslacker.net www.internetslacker.org
[ Parent ]

Maybe (none / 0) (#43)
by one time poster on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 10:51:53 PM EST

Rusty could get the dead code posted to our diaries per the recent request in the queue.

That does it, I wont post again...

[ Parent ]
open source MMORPGs (none / 0) (#61)
by QuantumG on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 05:55:50 AM EST

Check out Planeshift and the free art project that has just started LessShift. Give it 6 to 12 months if you just want to run your own server and play around though, there's still a lot of work to be done.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Well, for starters... (none / 0) (#63)
by WWWWolf on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:38:50 AM EST

...there's already tons of free shard emulators for Ultima Online. Some are open source, some have source available other ways. Well, UO isn't exactly dead, just dying a little bit... and getting the actual UO client would be pretty damn complicated anyway, at least on Linux. (I have the UO CD, but no way to patch and Iris wants 3D data as well, which can only be obtained from some mysterious installer somewhere...)

There's projects to get MMORPGs completely done on open source (well, at least code-wise): PlaneShift is here now, and WorldForge is going to wipe everything out... around 2010 with current pace (to their defense, at least they seem to prototype things very throughoutly).

And of course there's tons of open-source and nearly-open-source MUDs already.

And the most fun multiplayer net RPG the open source community can offer is undoubtedly Legend of the Green Dragon =)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...

[ Parent ]
+1FP, a new low for k5 (1.25 / 8) (#44)
by FreeBSD on Tue Mar 01, 2005 at 11:03:23 PM EST

PS. -- Your website rocks!

Well, 1600x1200 (none / 0) (#72)
by Highlander on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 04:13:43 PM EST

Well, I might have stayed at the internetslacker website some minutes, if the author did not expect you to use 1600x1200 screen resolution ..

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.
[ Parent ]
As far as cool weapons... (none / 0) (#51)
by LO313 on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 01:28:57 PM EST

...this one exists in WoW, looks exactly like a shattered beer bottle:

Barman Shanker
Binds when picked up
Main Hand Dagger
51 - 95 Damage Speed 2.00
(36.5 damage per second)
Durability 65 / 65
Requires Level 50
Chance on hit: Wounds the target causing them to
bleed for 100 damage over 30 sec.
Sells for 3 Gold 94 Silver 11 Copper to vendors

Just had to geek out!

.. and others (none / 0) (#56)
by Verteiron on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 06:51:11 PM EST

Ragnarok Online is implementing a golf club:

Iron Driver
Weapon Class : Mace
Attack Strength : 155
Weight : 300
Weapon lvl : 3
Required lvl : 78
Available Job : Priest, Monk

And I believe Kingdom of Loathing has a class that can use a flaming accordian.
Prisoners! Seize each other!
[ Parent ]

also (none / 0) (#59)
by Lion on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 04:39:59 AM EST

there's also the Mug o' Hurt (ale mug)

[ Parent ]
lol (1.66 / 6) (#52)
by im stupid on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 01:30:44 PM EST

when will u people see that this guy is a troll writing intentionally bad articles?
MMORPGs (1.75 / 4) (#54)
by insomnyuk on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 04:32:51 PM EST

MMORPGS can only be improved if they are disappeared.

I hate them, and I don't have any desire to play a game that requires a monthly subscription fee and NEVER ENDS.

You just don't know what they are (none / 1) (#60)
by QuantumG on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 05:52:12 AM EST

Go buy this book. Then go play a MUD (they're free and they're much richer than graphical worlds, just not as pretty). When you actually understand what role playing is and have learnt some appreciation for it, you'll probably still think MMORPGs suck, but for the right reasons.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Was this supposed to be funny? (none / 1) (#74)
by egg troll on Tue Mar 15, 2005 at 04:39:44 PM EST

He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

Well done (none / 0) (#75)
by Aurum on Wed Mar 16, 2005 at 02:30:18 PM EST

I agree with most of it, except the online Video part. Not sure I want to see what the other people on line look like. Right now, EQII has its claws in me. Thank god, I'm unemployed so there's no job for me to lose.

ur a god (none / 0) (#78)
by Homerowed on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 11:59:22 AM EST

everything u said is true and awesome

How To Improve Massively Multiplayer Games | 78 comments (46 topical, 32 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!