After dropping Fallen Earth for it’s boneheaded move to subscription + non-cosmetic item shop and Global Agenda for it’s balance problems I was in a slight gaming rut. TF2 was filling my shooter needs, LotRO was beckoning me back and APB is right around the corner. But like any good MMO Junkie I wanted to try something new, NOW!
Enter Atlantica. It is an interesting MMO of Korean origin with several non-standard MMO features. The most easily recognized and talked about being its combat. Atlantica’s combat is of the turn-based, strategy variety so popular on JRPGs for the past few decades. However what caught my attention wasn’t its combat but the other thing it does in a non-standard way. Address the social aspect of MMOs. Here are few examples. Continue reading
To be honest I cannot believe I haven’t mentioned sooner. It was introduced in City of Heroes and is called Exemplaring or Reverse Sidekicking. Both terms are tied in to CoH’s penchant for naming features with a comic book flair.
Sidekicking in in CoH is when a higher level character teams up with a lower level character and, in the process, boosts the lower level character’s effect level up to near that of the higher of the two. It is so named after some of the famous duos in comicdom such as Batman and Robin with Robin being the sidekick.
This is a good idea but, really, not exceptionally needed since higher level characters could just tag along on the missions the lower level character has. However there is a problem with that. The absolute boredom of fighting in missions which pose no challenge to the higher level character. That is why the reverse, Exemplaring, is the forgotten feature.
Exemplaring is when a high level character has their effective fighting capabilities lower to those of the lower level character. This allows them to complete the missions of the lower-level chracter in a manner that is challenging and thus fun.
In all my years of playing MMOs the most prevailant impediment to effective grouping has been the snooze-fest low level content is to high level characters. I have had lots of people who were willing to help me clear out a few quests if only they weren’t so overpowered it was no fun for them to do it. If the challenge was there, if they could shrug their uber power for the sake of fun, I (and many others) would find group content while levelling up far more accessable and fun.
City of Heroes introduced the concept shortly after its release in 2004. Since then I believe the only other games which have followed suit have been Everquest 2 and the soon-to-be released Star Trek Online. Neither of those are surprising as EQ2 prompted another MFF entry and STO is being developed by the same company that made CoH.
A special presentation for a special post. 100th blog, weeeee!!! And for that I revisited my Massively Forgotten Features series in video form. Weeeeeeeedeux! With me actually speaking on the video. Amazingly, very few uhhh, ahhhs and ummmms. Only the second take, too.
UI Customization is fairly common. The problem is that after the 800lb. gorilla that is World of Warcraft was released customization isn’t enough. One of the biggest features that keeps people playing WoW is also one of the most misunderstood, UI Programming. The difference? UI Customization allows you to alter the look but not the feel of the UI. UI programming allows both.
This is a feature that many MMOs pay lip service to but only one thus far has actually achieved. Character Customization.
In this second installment of features in MMOs that should be evident in more but aren’t we look at nations.
In different game genres there are features that, once they appear in one game, quickly become a staple of that genre. For example, WASD + Mouse in first person shooters or alternative fire in the same genre. Unfortunately not all features which should spread like wildfire, do. This is especially true in the niche of Massively Multiplayer On-Line Games or MMO, MMOGs or MMORPGs depending on how verbose you want to be. This is a first in a series of posting about MMO features that have shown up in one game, should be in all games but are not.