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[P]
The first MMOFPS

By GameLover in Op-Ed
Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 06:33:31 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

Sweat beads above your eyes as you twist frantically, trying to figure out where those scuttling noises are coming from. You place your double-barreled shotgun, a longtime companion, over your back and kneel to assemble the newly-purchased flamethrower. Rumor has it the glistening Kevlar armor of General Khor lies at the bottom of this cave where Khor made his last stand more than three hundred years ago against the Tha'dul. But the Tha'dul knew something Khor did not -- this particular cave was inhabited by an unintelligent species of bear-like creatures who didn't take kindly to intruders. Instead of wasting their time finding him the Tha'dul simply collapsed the entrance to the cave, transforming Khor's last stand into his tomb.


"C4 charges ready," a voice calls from your left. Nervously your eyes dart about, re-thinking every step of this mission through. Failure is simply not an option. You have spent nearly everything you had on this mission, from the weapons and medical supplies to three of the best mercenaries for hire. The armor, though, is well worth it...

Welcome to the worlds first MMOFPS, or Massively Multi-player On-line First Person Shooter. Only problem is, such a beast does not exist yet.

What follows are my ideas concerning the problems such a game might face and why an MMOFPS would be appealing for many gamers. Although I have neither the skills nor inclination to work on such a project myself it is my hope that people will take these ideas, hone them, and possibly eventually propose them to a company with the resources necessary to create the worlds first MMOFPS.

The real monster: latency

Latency has always been the bane of skill-based games. While MMORPGs (Massively On-line Multi-player Role-Playing Games) are not affected as much by high latenc y due to the one-dimensional nature of combat, any skill-based game would suffer from a high ping. As such any company trying to craft an MMOFPS would need to redesign how their server cluster works.

While "common" areas such as towns or other places designed for social interaction and void of combat would be possible to host hundreds of players in the traditional way, combat zones would need to be player-limited. Instead of a small cluster of powerful servers comprising a typical MMORPG world, the world of an FPS would need to be hosted by a much larger cluster of less powerful systems. This would avoid any system lag as each node in the cluster would only be responsible for the equivalent of two or three quake3 hosts.

The company would need to geographically segregate its servers, placing one near major metropolitan areas. Players would chose their "world shard" based on average latency to that particular cluster of machines. Using this method an MMOFPS could ensure that there would be a close shard regardless of where you lived, at least in the continental United States.

Character Development

A problem with all MMORPGs is the basic gripe of He Who Has More Time Has More Power. Those individuals able to work themselves up to level 50 have vastly more power than the casual player only able to play a few hours a week, regardless of merit. Moreover, combat for these gamers tends to become routine and boring, endlessly fighting the same mobs over and over and over again so you can watch a tiny bar fill and approach the next level. This reason alone has forced me to give up all the MMORPGs I've played -- they're simply too boring.

In an MMOFPS power would be equated to skill. Character development would happen, of course, but not in the terms of attributes like strength or dexterity, rather in terms of weapons, armor and items. Player skill would be paramount, but a shiny new set of armor might be the difference between living and dying.

Death Penalty

The death penalty would need to be lenient as to not cause undue frustration. As there is no experience or levels, and no real way to make a character weaker, the best option I can see is for a small "death tax." I would propose that dying simply destroy 5% of your accumulated wealth. This would provide a "sting" to death and help the economy at the same time, while not devastating the player to the point of quitting.

PvP and PvE

Player vs. Enemy (PvE) would be accomplished by numerous "zones" representing everything from caves, abandoned castles, to sewers and outdoor areas. These would be the areas in which players hone their skill against computer-controlled opponents and earn money for new equipment. These regions would range from easy areas devoted to helping newbies learn the game to extremely difficult dungeons requiring a skilled group of friends to successfully traverse. Obviously the rewards for fighting in a tougher area would be greater than fighting in an easy area, giving skilled players an extra edge in terms of wealth and equipment, enabling them to take on even tougher areas and acquire even more wealth and equipment, etc. Players would not feel useless until a certain level when they can fight the beasties in a particular area, as even a fresh character could theoretically take on an advanced dungeon, although chances are without good armor he would simply be splatted on the wall by the closest mob.

PvP would be a bit trickier. A few areas would be designated "free-for-all" where PKs (Player Killers) can fight amongst themselves, much like typical FPS games. Dying to a player would be the same as dying to a monster, however instead of the "death tax" simply vanishing it would be rewarded to the player who won the battle.

Obviously clans would form and this would be the preferred method of PvP combat. Clans would be able to purchase fortresses to store excess wealth and items and provide a safe place for their trade-smiths to work. The leader of each clan would be able to declare an attack or raid on another clan. Upon stating his intent to mount a raid the leader of the clan would tell the game system the time in which he will attack, the only condition being that it must be at least 12 hours in the future. Upon confirming his intent all members from both clans (attacking and defending) will be notified. When the designated time arrives the clans would fight each other for control of the outpost.

In this way the game would take on another dimension of strategy and battle tactics as the clans fought each other for domination. Outposts would fall, expensive castles would be built and dedicated strategy would need to take place by the leaders of different clans to expand their empire.

Content

The most obvious problem with an MMOFPS would be a lack of content, as players would conceivably burn through content quickly. However, as the game would be geared toward fast-paced action over traditional RPG exploration, attention to detail for each particular zone would less important in an MMOFPS than its MMORPG counterpart. A large team of designers would still be required to create the content, however, and ideally new content and zones would be continually released. This fact coupled with the increased cost of significantly larger geographically distributed server farms would probably increase the monthly fee of such a service.

Different types of characters

Although an MMOFPS would be centered around combat and skills many different types of characters could be created. The base class would be your typical fighter, ever striving for new armor and weapons. Many would chose this type of characters while others would strive for something else. Players could choose to spend their money on medical supplies and become a medic able to heal their comrades on the battlefield and, with the proper expensive equipment, allow them to raise fallen comrades from death. They could purchase steroids to increase the hit points of their fighters. Other players could become explosive experts able to destroy walls and doors, or dedicate themselves to more rouge-like equipment to circumvent traps and pick locks.

It would not be possible to become an all-in-one class, however, because all the classes require specialized (and expensive!) equipment. Moreover, everything from ammo to weapons to medical supplies to explosives has weight. A character carrying two powerful weapons and an adequate ammo supply would be unable to carry medical supplies or explosives, and a character carrying thief-like equipment would only have room for one weapon and a modest supply of ammo.

The benefit of a system restricted only by what you can carry, however, leads to some interesting consequences. Hybrid classes could appear, such as a medic who only carries the essentials of medicine and a big-ass gun, or a thief that doesn't even carry a gun but doubles as a medic. Also, people with sufficient funding would be able to change their class at will, giving their uber weapon back to their clan and donning the cap of a medic instead.

Reputation

In EverQuest a level 60 druid was identical to every other level 60 druid. Unless the player was exceptionally stupid, any level 60 druid would do for a raid. In an MMOFPS all characters are not created equal. Just because you have decent weapons and armor doesn't mean you're capable of helping a group raid a new dungeon. Instead reputations would be built. You might be known as the best medic around because you are the best medic around, and not simply the highest level medic on the server.

Conclusion

This article only scratches the surface of what an MMOFPS could be. An MMOFPS would create a new genre of games that I think would appeal to a large audience of gamers. What do you think? Have I overlooked an important problem that would prevent my dream from becoming reality? Is there already a game like this in the works I am simply not aware of? Or am I the only person who thinks such a game would be enjoyable?

If sufficient comments are produced of high quality I will add your ideas to my own and possibly create a web-page dedicated to the design of an MMOFPS. These ideas are my own, but I do not claim ownership of them, and I encourage individuals and companies to take them and use them as they see fit. I would rather see a game like this come to be than hold out in the hopes that my fantasies could ever make me wealthy. Thanks in advance for the (hopefully) enlightening discussion that follows.

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Poll
Does an MMOFPS appeal to you?
o Yes 51%
o No 19%
o Not the way you described it 6%
o Games are bad and lead to violence and homosexuality 22%

Votes: 76
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by GameLover


Display: Sort:
The first MMOFPS | 52 comments (47 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
Listen (2.23 / 13) (#1)
by medham on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 02:42:19 PM EST

A druid can only go up to 14th level. After that, he has to find the Archdruid and battle in thorny pit. The winner is new Archdruid.

This business about 60th level druids is offensive.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

I meant EverQuest (4.00 / 1) (#2)
by GameLover on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 02:45:50 PM EST

and though I don't know what game you're talking about, you're right -- I should have been more specific in my references. Sorry for any confusion.

And yes, I do realize there is a good chance this comment was just supposed to be funny. =)

DranoK



[ Parent ]
Don't worry... (4.00 / 1) (#3)
by ucblockhead on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 02:57:34 PM EST

You did say it specifically:

In EverQuest a level 60 druid was identical to every other level 60 druid.

He's just trolling you.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

What's with the nick? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
by Defect on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 03:03:29 PM EST

Are you dranok? dranok 420? what?
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
Long story (3.00 / 1) (#7)
by GameLover on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 03:05:44 PM EST

I put that there out of habit. Short answer yes, I am the same human that controls DranoK, but the long answer is more complicated.

DranoK is just one aspect of my personality. This particluar piece is contradictory to who DranoK is, and thus I used a different account. It wouldn't seem appropriate for this story to be on DranoK's record.



[ Parent ]
so (4.83 / 6) (#8)
by Defect on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 03:10:46 PM EST

I see a dranok 420 voted this story to the front page.

I hope you realize what poor form that is, to be voting your stories up with other accounts. Regardless of the stories behind them.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
DranoK happened to find this story interesting (2.40 / 5) (#9)
by GameLover on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 03:14:55 PM EST

and well-written. One of my other accounts didn't particularily like this story and voted '0' for it.

I have multiple personalities =)



[ Parent ]
hey!!!! (2.75 / 4) (#12)
by troll on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 03:34:09 PM EST

hey thats not fiar to vote up your own story thats like using those cheat dice or something and laughing cause you just kill everything and stuff!!! so even though i dont usually voteon storys cause people miught not like my vote this time i dicided that i better vote on this one to counteract your vote that you shouldnt have done!!!

so dont get made at my vote ok :) cause its just their to counteract your vote that you shouldnt have done even though your normally a pretty nice guy in my book ok?
-----trolls arms just grow back!!!
[ Parent ]

Interesting. (1.00 / 1) (#37)
by bakuretsu on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 12:25:18 AM EST

I think you have more personal problems, or spare time on your hands, than anyone assumed from the outset.

You should get either a job or a shrink, depending on which of those presumptions is true.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]
ad&d (none / 0) (#19)
by nodsmasher on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 04:52:14 PM EST

he's talking about secend adition advanced doungens and dragons (all spelled wrong)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
You're wrong -- there is one. (4.50 / 2) (#4)
by CanSpice on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 03:00:12 PM EST

There's a MMOFPS called World War II Online. You can progress in rank, you can choose different roles (infantry, pilot, tank gunner, naval captain).
--- I don't have a sig.
OK (none / 0) (#5)
by GameLover on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 03:02:16 PM EST

So WWII online is primarily an FSP? Any mob-based fighting? Aquiring of wealth and armor? Or is it just one big PvP match (what my impression of what I thought it was)?



[ Parent ]
Not entirely sure (5.00 / 1) (#10)
by CanSpice on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 03:30:04 PM EST

I can't really say, as I haven't played it before. Judging from the website, it looks like you can acquire rank, but I don't know what that gets you. I'm pretty sure it doesn't get you better weapons (after all, it's trying to be realistic, so there are a finite number of weapons available during WWII). You most definitely do not acquire wealth. There is mob-based fighting in the sense that you have squadrons of players fighting off against each other. Nothing along the lines of "let's gather 20 people and go kill the 7-headed Hitler monster" though.
--- I don't have a sig.
[ Parent ]
re WW2 Online (none / 0) (#27)
by Maserati on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 07:24:12 PM EST

Actually, they are working in rank as a factor in which vehicles you can spawn - that last Panzer III will go to a lieutenant, not a private.

The game has come a loooooooooooong way from the worthless initial release. As of the 1.4 version it was pretty darn good, and it's been updated since. I usually drove tanks when I played, and driving across France looking for enemy tanks was pretty darn cool. The landscape is huge and you can see miles and miles from the top of a hill.

Try their two-weeks free demo, it's worthwhile if you have the hardware (my PII 450 is too slow for air combat, but handles tanks, boats and infantry pretty well).

--

For the wise a hint, for the fool a stick.
[ Parent ]

FPSes and RPGs (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by bunsen on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 04:29:47 PM EST

I think your definition of MMOFPS includes a lot of similarity to MMORPGs, perhaps too much. In most FPS games, massively multiplayer or not, there is no aquiring of wealth (Counter-Strike is one exception), just finding the occasional better gun or armor boost/medkit. Multiplayer is exclusively PvP, unless you throw in bots. The whole idea of a persistent character is rather alien to multiplayer FPS gaming, too. Sure, players have established identities and reputations, but things like weapons and armor are lost as soon as you die, or when the server changes maps.

The term MMOFPS would seem to imply just a big version of a traditional FPS, while you've described more of a MMO FPS/RPG hybrid.

---
Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq] (n)
[ Parent ]

WWII Online Doesn't count.... (none / 0) (#13)
by FuriousXGeorge on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 03:59:03 PM EST

Since it is such a horrible game. Even if wasn't laggy and full of bugs the gameplay would still suck.


-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]
Your poll (3.16 / 6) (#14)
by DrJohnEvans on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 04:04:19 PM EST

Explain to me how homosexuality is automatically and universally "bad", please.

If you want to express your opinion on a subject, write a story for the Op-Ed section. Don't enforce it upon innocent pollees in an unrelated story.

That was the (3.00 / 2) (#16)
by GameLover on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 04:28:47 PM EST

'joke' pole option. You know, all those ppl who argue about morals and shit. I'm queer and snuggling with m y boyfriend as a write this comment.

Maybe ppl are right -- maybe I don't have a sense of humor...



[ Parent ]
It's hard to tell (none / 0) (#28)
by DrJohnEvans on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 07:33:24 PM EST

If it was meant in jest, I apologize; my mistake. The problem is that too many people still hold that kind of opinion seriously-- it's hard to discern whether it's a joke or not.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#29)
by DranoK 420 on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 07:51:23 PM EST

just kinda funny aiming at me =) I've been openly gay for so long I kinda forgot that people might not know I'm queer ... =)
Poetry is simply a convenient excuse for incoherence.


[ Parent ]
Hi. (none / 0) (#35)
by bakuretsu on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 12:17:39 AM EST

In my humble opinion, I think there should be more poeple like you, who can refer to themselves as queer, or use the word without taking massive offense.

What is with all the tightasses in the world today who can't let words just be words?

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]
I find that offensive (5.00 / 1) (#48)
by wji on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 01:12:56 PM EST

Tightassness is a normal medical condition and it shouldn't be used as an insult. Millions of people suffer from TAS (Tight Ass Syndrome) and they don't need ignorant people like you making things worse.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
Hey! (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by bakuretsu on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 05:11:00 PM EST

I'm offended by that remark. Ignorance can be caused by a number of medically documented disorders which are suffered by millions of Americans, and I am emotionally disturbed by the way in which you associate ignorance with the inability to feel empathy toward sufferers of T.A.S., when, in fact, it could be caused by a genetic defect, or chemical imbalance.

Let's try to be understanding.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]
re:poll (4.50 / 4) (#18)
by nodsmasher on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 04:50:29 PM EST

i think he's implying that the people that think games are bad are teh same crazy people that don't like homosexuality
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
Uhm. (none / 0) (#36)
by bakuretsu on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 12:21:29 AM EST

Explain to me why spending time reprimanding people for their non-standard use of words is more productive than adjusting your personal idea of what is considered "hurtful" to you.

If someone exclaims that I am a "fuckhead," I would do much better to realize that I do not care what they think, rather than sit them down and try to change the way they speak. That applies twofold when the exclamation is not in earnest.

Can the incidental use of the word "homosexuality" in conjunction with "violence" in the poll be that problematic for you?

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]
The linguistics of insults (none / 0) (#38)
by DrJohnEvans on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 01:46:10 AM EST

Explain to me why spending time reprimanding people for their non-standard use of words is more productive than adjusting your personal idea of what is considered "hurtful" to you.
Welcome to language. :) Words are meant as standards for communication. Unless specified otherwise, or used in a metaphorical sense, they're generally meant to be taken at face value. The exception is sarcasm, which is (very unfortunately) very difficult to express typographically; the possiblities for misinterpretation grow when there's a distinct possibility that the speaker (typist) was not being sarcastic (see below).
If someone exclaims that I am a "fuckhead," I would do much better to realize that I do not care what they think, rather than sit them down and try to change the way they speak.
It's very difficult to interpret "fuckhead" as anything but an insult. "Homosexual" is a valid human sexual status, and shouldn't be used as an insult.
Can the incidental use of the word "homosexuality" in conjunction with "violence" in the poll be that problematic for you?
My problem lay not with any association with violence, but the implied general assumption that homosexuality = bad. I jumped to conclusions and didn't even think for a moment that it could be in jest. My apologies to the author. But when a great deal of society actually believes sincerely that homosexuality is evil... well, the joke's not quite as funny then. I'm just ashamed of many members of my sexual orientation, and would like nothing better than for their views to be corrected.

[ Parent ]
Indeed. (none / 0) (#50)
by bakuretsu on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 05:06:31 PM EST

My problem lay not with any association with violence, but the implied general assumption that homosexuality = bad. I jumped to conclusions and didn't even think for a moment that it could be in jest. My apologies to the author. But when a great deal of society actually believes sincerely that homosexuality is evil... well, the joke's not quite as funny then. I'm just ashamed of many members of my sexual orientation, and would like nothing better than for their views to be corrected.
I agree that there is a severe lack of tolerance in society today, and one which seems to take particular pleasure in tormenting those of differing sexual orientation, but my view is that too many people spend time bickering about it.

I know someone who is a serious homophobe, and it's just about the funniest thing in the world. It's not like he's confrontational or violent about it, either, so that's a definite distinction.

So what if a great deal of society believes that homosexuality is evil? A great deal of society believes that abortion is evil, too, and these viewpoints are just as valid as the ones to the contrary.

I do not speak for myself here, as I am as tolerant of homosexuals as any other American living in the 21st century, but the spirit of free speech and open opinion is that anyone can believe and rally for any viewpoint they subscribe to, and if that differs from yours, so be it.

I was, in my comment, merely trying to showcase how people seem to take any statement regarding issues such as homosexuality or abortion as a "call to arms" for their specific viewpoint, and I, personally, think it's a waste of time to debate it.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]
It's comments like this... (none / 0) (#45)
by fester on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 09:45:28 AM EST

...that have made K5 the laughing stock of the net. Self-righteous, arrogant, and pseduo-intellectual. What ever happened to the "technology" part of this site? Do I have to be a poli-sci dropout to become part of the "cabal"?

[ Parent ]
You discriminating bastard (none / 0) (#47)
by wji on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 01:10:19 PM EST

Your post implies by omission that violence is "bad". There are plenty of successful, happy violent people.

If you want to express your opinion on a subject, write a story for the Op-Ed section. Don't enforce it upon innocent readers in an unrelated comment.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]

LATENCY, Latency, latency. (5.00 / 9) (#15)
by snowlion on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 04:08:46 PM EST

It's Latency.

Read Rick Lambright's Game Developers article "So Many Objects, So Little Time" in Game Developers Magazine. It includes notes on the most advanced architecture for distributing object state across a network that you will find in print for doing a MMORPG or MMOFPS.

There are huge problems that require addressing that are immensly complicated. Servers dynamically distribute control over regions of the world, every single variable in every single class is prioritised and has method of distribution settings. Every server remembers exactly what it has sent to the player for the past few seconds, and must be willing to completely reprioritize in light of new urgent data. As it reprioritizes and eliminates data, it needs to be able to remember exactly what it has NOT told the player, and take into account the new actions of the player as well.

It's just tremendously complicated. Imagine these huge computers all interconnected, the server farm. They have enough difficulty talking amongst themselves, let alone sending and receiving critical data through those ultra-thin coffee straws that are 56K modem connections.

The company would need to geographically segregate its servers, placing one near major metropolitan areas. Players would chose their "world shard" based on average latency to that particular cluster of machines. Using this method an MMOFPS could ensure that there would be a close shard regardless of where you lived, at least in the continental United States.

Servers dynamically bend and stretch to accomodate loads. Most servers currently do grids or striping (each server is responsible for a stripe across a continent; the ocean may get one single server for the whole thing). "The" way you do it is to have servers that dynamically shift the portion of the world they cover. If players are all in one city, that city stretches out over all of the servers. If everyone leaves, that entire city gets stuffed into a single server.

The most obvious problem with an MMOFPS would be a lack of content, as players would conceivably burn through content quickly. However, as the game would be geared toward fast-paced action over traditional RPG exploration, attention to detail for each particular zone would less important in an MMOFPS than its MMORPG counterpart. A large team of designers would still be required to create the content, however, and ideally new content and zones would be continually released. This fact coupled with the increased cost of significantly larger geographically distributed server farms would probably increase the monthly fee of such a service.

Procedural world generation, my friend. Procedural world generation. Not only does it give you a lot of content for free, but you don't even need to store it... Hell, you only need to send a few seeds over the wire, and the world can grow out of that. Look to procedural world generation in the MMO worlds through the next 5 years...

If sufficient comments are produced of high quality I will add your ideas to my own and possibly create a web-page dedicated to the design of an MMOFPS. These ideas are my own, but I do not claim ownership of them, and I encourage individuals and companies to take them and use them as they see fit. I would rather see a game like this come to be than hold out in the hopes that my fantasies could ever make me wealthy. Thanks in advance for the (hopefully) enlightening discussion that follows.

There are a very finite number of people who are working on MMO games. Actually, there's a large number, but the number of people who have the skills and motivation and resources to actually pull it off are extremely finite: I'd say somewhere between 10-30 people. Rick Lambright is one of these people; You may want to email him. Go buy that Game Developer's magazine and read it. It should contain Rick's email address; You can email him asking for links. He may or may not send you a list of papers to look up and read. When I used to go into his office, he'd always have a stack of academic papers and notes that he was looking through. Tell him Lion says hi, incidentally, and that his daughter is doing well. (Still no job yet, though. =^_^=)

If you can make it to GDC, you can see him there as well. Probably too short notice to make it this year, but sign up as a volunteer staffer for next year about 3 months in advance. What is normally $2,000 will be free. It'll be one of the greatest experiences in your life as well. (Well, it was for me at any rate.)


--
Map Your Thoughts
pvp (1.66 / 3) (#20)
by nodsmasher on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 04:54:52 PM EST

player vs player combate could be done like in dark age of camalote with diferent "relms" being able to kill each other but no ability to kill with in ones own relm, thus more dynamic battles could be fought between relms for teritory
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
Making Progress (4.00 / 2) (#21)
by zephc on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 05:00:07 PM EST

If you wanna play the next step in RPGs, check out <a href="http://progressquest.com">Progress Quest</a>
*grin*

What about (4.50 / 2) (#22)
by eyespots on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 05:06:54 PM EST

Neocron or Planetside? Both of these are MMOFPS of sorts.....

Said below (3.00 / 1) (#23)
by Sheepdot on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 05:23:55 PM EST

This is said below, but the idea for the kind of MMOFPS that you are describing is more along the lines of what Neocron is.

WWII Online has been out for a while, but doesn't really include saving anything more than statistics. It is more akin to a big-ass PVP fragfest, with just as large of a world, meaning that the "fragfests" are few and far between.

On the other hand, a game like Tribes2, with saving of player attributes and stats (for example) would be a great idea. Only this, as mentioned below, has already been thought of, and Planetsiege will be the first 3D version out.

Anyone here ever play another Sony Station game called Infantry? That is what I imagine Planetsiege will be. I don't know how it'll turn out, but it can only be marginally more involved than say, Tribes 2.

After all, a MMOFPS caters to a slightly different crowd than a MMORPG. One group tends to have more of a social life offline, while a meager one online, and the other has a more social life online than offline.

But there are exceptions to each. Which is why the whole idea of a MMOFPS is a good mix for the regular FPS gamers and the tourney-style FPS gamers.

Team Fortress 2 (1.50 / 2) (#30)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 08:02:51 PM EST

Team Fortress 2 sounds like what you're looking for, and it should be released any day now..

.

.

BAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.

Haha :p (none / 0) (#41)
by Inoshiro on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 04:42:55 AM EST

I recall seeing screenshots and reading nice reviews of this game in 1999.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
On the aquisition of goods for outright strength (3.50 / 2) (#31)
by ttfkam on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 08:08:13 PM EST

What about a true meritocracy/handicapping method? If your kill ratio is 3 frags per 1 death, then the system handicaps you so that your shots do only 1/3 damage. This allows newbies to fight with veterans, and your "rank" is determined by your kill ratio which constantly adjusts by your ability and the ability of those you fight.

Certain items can only be used by someone with a certain threshold of kill ratio. Unfortunately, this increases your kill ratio, your handicap goes up, and you become a bigger target.

On the other hand, complete newbies will get fragged over and over, their kill ratio will be something like 1:12 and a rocket blast ends up slightly thermonuclear. ...if only they could aim in the right general direction. No supermen, fewer sitting ducks, and another element of strategy (taking one for the team takes on a whole new meaning).

Just a thought.

If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
I disagree (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by DranoK 420 on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 08:37:17 PM EST

The idea that people are put on a level playing field kind of defeats the purposes...I see no reason why, in a game like this, someone with superior skill should not be a "super-man"

DranoK


Poetry is simply a convenient excuse for incoherence.


[ Parent ]
Phantasy Star Online (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by Colol on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 08:16:47 PM EST

Phantasy Star Online comes to mind as a sort of prototype of this genre.

While billing itself as an RPG, it's largely designed similarly to an FPS with regards to its
attack methods. There are HP and MP to contend with, but beyond that, it revolves around walking up to the beasties to be slain, hitting one of your weapon buttons, and praying you don't take too much damage.

Granted, it was completely cooperative (until the Gamesharkers reared their ugly heads for player killing),
but much of what's suggested here was implemented.

Large lobby areas held the masses of people, while you were limited to groups of four for transportation into town and battle. It helped cut down latency, certainly, while also making things more intimate (and you didn't have to fight half the server for whatever rare weapons were dropped).

It was a good hybrid of RPG and FPS elements, and the online aspect worked (especially since it only had to cater to one connection: the Dreamcast modem). The US deployment certainly left things to be desired when compared with its Japanese counterpart, but it was still fairly popular

Look to the military (3.50 / 2) (#34)
by lovelace on Tue Mar 12, 2002 at 11:09:22 PM EST

My personal opinion is that anyone contemplating somthing like this should examine what the military has been doing the past 10-20 years with linking their simulators together. Go out and read up on SIMNET, DIS, HLA, etc... and take what you can from there. Why? Because the military has had to deal with simulators linked in distant locations for as long as they've been doing this and they've come up with a lot of good ideas.

DIS (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by katie on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 05:12:43 AM EST

The problem with DIS is that all of the clients are "trusted". The simulation is truly distributed, in that if you're the only one looking at a tank, your workstation is the one running the sim of it.

The issue with this is that clients can't be trusted in on-line games. Because people cheat.

Also, the military protocols and systems are heavyweight. They need low-latency high-bandwidth dedicated networks... which of course, they can afford.


[ Parent ]
Blue Sky Speculation (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by zephiros on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 01:58:22 AM EST

In a perfect world, I'd want a combination of Diablo 2, Rainbow 6, and Deus Ex.

Diablo 2 has a pleasant level of world persistence. Your characters grow, you make friends, you get nifty equipment. But there's no massively persistent world, which dodges the latency issue.

R6 uses the right UI choices for various tasks. Out-of-game chatting is IRC style. Mission planning is a map/whiteboard. Shopping is an item list. The UI is designed to accomplish common tasks efficiently, rather than trying to force everything into the in-game world view.

Deus Ex has the perfect world view. Gobs of tiny factions, plots within plots, and all sorts of localized conflict. This creates some sensible framework for PVP, while still allowing PVE missions against legions of faceless goons. It also creates opportunities for deal-making between clans/factions/cells.

Of course, I'm also a hardcore FPS fan. A persistent world adds complexity to the game, which is a good thing. I'm all for it, as long as it doesn't get in the way of me shooting things.

Don't forget the SNIPER class! (4.00 / 2) (#40)
by gnovos on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 02:47:55 AM EST

My one really happy time in life was camping up really high with a rail gun, a case full of slugs, and a "zoom" mod on the barrell. There is simply nothing sweeter than plastering heavily armed people's heads over the floor and hearing nothing but the pleasant breeze whisping through the bellfrey.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
Are you just over-reaching what we want in MMOFPS? (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by S1ack3rThanThou on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 07:14:02 AM EST

MMOFPS in my mind is just the ability to play as part of an army. Medal of Honour - Allied Assualt is great but it would be cool to be part of the entire invasion fleet at omaha beach with real people. I don't think you need the concept of money or wealth or anything that involves having played the game for a large amount of time, merely being massively muliplayer is a good start for a FPS!!!
"Remember what the dormouse said, feed your head..."
contact me (none / 0) (#46)
by eries on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 12:59:06 PM EST

I would send you this as an email but you don't have one listed. Are you looking for work? If so, drop me a note.
Promoting open-source OO code reuse on the web: the Enzyme open-source project
MMORPG / MMOFPS (none / 0) (#49)
by wji on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 01:19:40 PM EST

What you're describing is really an MMORPG with a certain type of combat. You have to treat it as any other RPG, not as a first person shooter just "scaled up". FPS games are tense, brief, and usually reset every couple minutes (WW2 online is an exception... but it's also WW2 Online [grin]). So I think you should think of this as an MMORPG with a certain peculiar combat model, not as an FPS which, though it literally means just a type of combat, implies a type of gameplay totally different from that of an RPG.

Now mind you, the idea of this kind of game is something I've been tossing around my head forever. I never could figure out how to make it work, though, it seemed to me it would just degenerate into a giant camp-fest. And unless you have some truly l33t AI, fighting the computer is going to be boooring.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

Solution for camping (none / 0) (#52)
by minra on Thu Mar 14, 2002 at 05:57:45 AM EST

Ammo or Weapons deteriorate over time, disappearing.

Thus you are rewarded for movement.

Random placement of weapons/ammo/armor/items would also encourage roaming.

[ Parent ]
The first MMOFPS | 52 comments (47 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
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