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View Full Version : Is the Zelda formula really suited to an 'MMO' environment?


Rufus
01-07-2011, 02:41 PM
I have always been a fan of 'classic' servers on Graal and not much else. If there weren't any servers of this genre remaining, I probably wouldn't be here myself. I had a conversation with Crono a long time ago however, and he stated that the genre is doomed because it's based on something that was never really intended on being an actual MMO. At that time I was pretty convinced in my belief that a classic server would be sustainable once given some quality, but over time I seem to be losing faith in that resolve.

Most games in the Zelda series are classified as an action-adventure games, but I don't think it's the action-adventure genre that is the problem. There are 'action-adventure' MMOs, but as I try to draw comparisons from them, they all seem to be heavily based upon leveling up your character. This is hardly a foreign concept, but when it comes to MMOs, it seems to be the only one employed. With the Zelda formula you do have a pseudo form of leveling up, in that your health increases and your sword/weapons become stronger, but it lacks the kind of depth you'll find in an RPG.

When it comes to the Zelda formula everyone works towards the same direction, and because of this, your options are a lot more limited. There are no builds, no classes, weapons, armor, or skills, and everyone ultimately ends up on the same playing field. What does differentiate players is the skill they employ in the endgame, but doesn't that cut a large portion out of the gameplay itself? It's not as though players are casually raising their statistics up, as quests aren't something you can dip and dive out of. You are forced to do quests, and even if they were drawn to compensate for the loss of gameplay, your progression would still be linear. A quest in this style is always working towards that single end goal; a heart, a sword power increase, an NPC. Sure, you can choose not to go to a specific quest, but you are ultimately losing the ability to participate in everything else because of it.

That is why I believe so many classic-styled servers (such as Classic, Unholy Nation, etc) always and up having to rely on Mario Party styled events, and with such a lack of entertainment and gameplay, it ends up creating a sour community. End content such as that for guilds hasn't received any attention for years, and maybe it should be, but there's only so much that can entertain players this way. I dunno, I just feel like I'm losing my faith and starting to believe that developing servers of this genre might be fruitless. I hope not.

scriptless
01-07-2011, 03:17 PM
Actually. I have thought it over so much..

Only 2 true classic servers are around on the classic tab. UN and NP.. NP however I do not see as much of a contender here as they seem to verymuch want to 're-invent' themself or something. The rebirth project looked more gk-style.

If you ask me a server can be made that would tower our current servers with little or no effort at all.

When I started N-Pulse had quests for hearts and swords. A player by the name of Jimmo, Jimbo, or something of that sorts who was a trial got on every day and did every quest before he got reset. Back then it was fun.

I think the problem now is servers have an abundance of un-needed npc's. Toys, prizes and so on that are hardly used.

A server could do well with very few basics.. I think a good example of a good classic server was Graal2001. Wasn't that the name? It had the 1 heart in the top right with a number like 100/100 to show HP..

It had a nice classic feel to it and a nice presentation. I do believe Lance has promised us that some day it would be re-released?

maximus_asinus
01-07-2011, 03:47 PM
no servers out have been Zelda style, so I guess we'll have to wait and see in the future.

Rufus
01-07-2011, 04:08 PM
Only 2 true classic servers are around on the classic tab. UN and NP.. NP however I do not see as much of a contender here as they seem to verymuch want to 're-invent' themself or something. The rebirth project looked more gk-style.

This is a good example, and I wonder why N-Pulse felt like they need to completely reinvent themselves to stabilize a playerbase. Maybe it was viewed as an easy option, or perhaps seen as the only viable route to take, I don't know.

I think the problem now is servers have an abundance of un-needed npc's. Toys, prizes and so on that are hardly used.

This is something I didn't really touch on in my opening post, but I think this is another difference between the two genres. With the generic RPG you get drops from killing enemies and doing activities, where on a classic server we've been pretty limited to just gralat or ammo/bomb stock. That's how things go in the Zelda formula, but obviously we have servers such as Graal2001 and Unholy Nation that try to create an economy, making players perform job tasks in order to get money. What are they spending this money on? Graal2001 had its hat economy, Unholy Nation has many different gimmick NPCs, but neither are really worth any gameplay value because there are no circumstances that would call for it such as stronger weapons or ammo. Buying a stronger sword or shield power on a classic server would be out of context and armor is non-existent.

no servers out have been Zelda style, so I guess we'll have to wait and see in the future.

There's a bit of a difference between Zelda quality and Zelda style. Of course there has been servers out of Zelda style, but none of them could be matched up with Zelda because of their quality. The entire classic genre of servers is based on a Zelda style of gameplay.

Fulg0reSama
01-07-2011, 04:37 PM
To answer your question Rufus I believe with how Graal is players and all chances are probably not... I can see it happening with small effort actually, because all you need are the basic items of zelda, make them duplicate the actions of the LoZ, add a simple reason to have co-op/multiplayer for players, simple content like treasures and events and you'd easily have a LoZ Multiplayer game but the problem is people seemed to have caught up with making their own server ideas which depending on how you look upon it was a good or a bad idea. Hope my post contributed something :P

smirt362
01-07-2011, 04:43 PM
There was a really cool server that was on the classic list for awhile...Shaded Legends, I think it was called? I really enjoyed going through the quests and grabbing items. They made it interesting with different weapon sets that each had a secondary attack and a nice visual style. I was sad when it died, I had a lot of fun there.

For awhile, I was the only one left on the server.

WhiteDragon
01-07-2011, 05:29 PM
Most games in the Zelda series are classified as an action-adventure games, but I don't think it's the action-adventure genre that is the problem. There are 'action-adventure' MMOs, but as I try to draw comparisons from them, they all seem to be heavily based upon leveling up your character. This is hardly a foreign concept, but when it comes to MMOs, it seems to be the only one employed.
This is one of the main reasons I personally find developing on a Zelda-style server to be interesting. It hasn't really notably been done well within Graal, or even outside of Graal, and there are definitely plenty of challenges along the way when trying to adapt the style to a multiplayer, or "massively multiplayer" environment.

When it comes to the Zelda formula everyone works towards the same direction, and because of this, your options are a lot more limited. There are no builds, no classes, weapons, armor, or skills, and everyone ultimately ends up on the same playing field. What does differentiate players is the skill they employ in the endgame, but doesn't that cut a large portion out of the gameplay itself? It's not as though players are casually raising their statistics up, as quests aren't something you can dip and dive out of. You are forced to do quests, and even if they were drawn to compensate for the loss of gameplay, your progression would still be linear. A quest in this style is always working towards that single end goal; a heart, a sword power increase, an NPC. Sure, you can choose not to go to a specific quest, but you are ultimately losing the ability to participate in everything else because of it.
I'm not sure all of this is necessarily a downside. What I think of when someone says "MMO" is "grind, grind, grind, grind", and I've really never found such a thing interesting. Usually a little grinding is nice to take a mental break from whatever thinking you were doing to solve a puzzle, but what most MMOs do goes way beyond that and I sure don't like it.

With a more Zelda-style setup, yes, some individuality is stripped from the player, but it's done for the benefit of much more interesting and challenging gameplay. I suppose what this means is that the path to the endgame character is focused on more than then endgame character itself.

That is why I believe so many classic-styled servers (such as Classic, Unholy Nation, etc) always and up having to rely on Mario Party styled events, and with such a lack of entertainment and gameplay, it ends up creating a sour community. End content such as that for guilds hasn't received any attention for years, and maybe it should be, but there's only so much that can entertain players this way. I dunno, I just feel like I'm losing my faith and starting to believe that developing servers of this genre might be fruitless. I hope not.
It's true that events and PKing alone cannot really hold up a server forever (and we've all seen too many examples of that). But, I definitely don't think they are bad, and I also think a lot of people enjoy doing them. This begs the question of when they should be used and how they should be incorporated into the rest of the server. I think a major problem with the previous classic-styled servers is that they only provide events and PKing at the end game, and once you hit that... well, that's it. For what it's worth, our current plan at Classic right now is to release quests on a regular basis while people are playing, which will hopefully lead to some healthy balance of community-centered gaming (like events, guild content, etc.) and questing.


It's true that a Zelda-style server won't be able to hit every demographic and pull in every player, but I think it is a missing element in almost all of online gaming and can definitely pull in an enormous crowd of people who would be interested in this sort of thing. It's definitely still an experiment and there is no telling if it'll work great or not work at all, but I see a lot of potential and I don't think there is any reason to jump ship now.

ffcmike
01-07-2011, 07:44 PM
I think that if you're expecting a server to succeed entirely through Quests then it quite simply isn't feasible, Questing content of a high enough standard in comparison with Zelda will always take a much longer amount of time to create than actually play it, and so you're constantly going to have players hitting this end-point, and for this reason Events or other forms of Community Based content are still very important, I would also say this is the reality for whatever niche your server is intended to fill.

Quests do however offer you something which other forms of Community Based content are much less likely to, and that is (provided they have been designed well enough) the ability for entirely new players to know where to go, know what to do, learn controls and other features of the game, familiarise themself with the map and essentially not have to rely so strongly on their own initiative.

With enough good Questing content stringed together you are increasing the chances of new players not only staying online longer but increasing the chances of them interacting with other players and therefore becoming more likely to start participating within other forms of Community Based content, and this can even take effect before the end-point and be something they fall back to later on.

scriptless
01-08-2011, 12:38 AM
Well for trading weapons being out of classic style I was thinking more like sword gfxs and u keep your sword power kinda like a skin??

I honestly think a server can be made with little effort and Hugh quality with great success I don't know how an economy would be factored in here exactly just ideas.. I rather liked the pk/spar style server...

Also I am a huge fan of questing.. I mean just how easy this looks is so tempting lol.. I only say easy because I've been scripting and karting for 7 or 8 years now since before I started playing the actual game lol I was more into development.

maximus_asinus
01-08-2011, 01:26 AM
There's a bit of a difference between Zelda quality and Zelda style. Of course there has been servers out of Zelda style, but none of them could be matched up with Zelda because of their quality. The entire classic genre of servers is based on a Zelda style of gameplay.No really, there hasn't been. Even Classic back in its hay day was more like a 2D adventure/dungeon crawler. All servers tried to emulate Zelda but they ultimately failed. I think the current version of Classic that Thor is working on is much more like a Zelda game though.

But I see what you're trying to get at, I am not going to argue semantics. What you're saying is true.

jorollychu
01-08-2011, 01:27 AM
has to start with staff that are over 15 years old so that they dont give their friends unfair advantages. otherwise, any type of server with progression will be ruined by staff handing out freebies

ffcmike
01-08-2011, 03:44 AM
has to start with staff that are over 15 years old so that they dont give their friends unfair advantages. otherwise, any type of server with progression will be ruined by staff handing out freebies

Then it's a double-edged sword most 15 year olds do not know what LTTP is :).

Kamaeru
01-08-2011, 04:11 AM
My answer to your question is No.

Now, I'm going to continue to praise the Zelda formula, and incite more people to understand it and develop towards it as a goal on Graal.

Why?

Because I believe in swimming upstream, and that any goal can be accomplished with Mind Power.

Hiro
01-08-2011, 04:36 AM
i personally like getting to the end-game of a server because then i can (read: should) get into what really matters - sparring, PKing, collecting, and general competition such as events or guild-related events - which never happen because no server seems to wish to have global guild supported events

classic-style servers are "going-down" because the guilds, and subsequently the players in those guilds, don't matter anymore. it's not prestigious to be in one guild instead of another because there is nothing for a guild to do except talk amongst each other, and maybe spar another guild (though that typically just turns into picking captains and including everyone watching into the spars)


if graal is based off an action-adventure game turned MMO, then the obvious answer would be to pit a group of players against another group. i think the answer is to add some guild-related support to spice things up from the common mario-party style events. it would be ideal to have a system where guilds could war one another in a controlled atmosphere: give each member of the guild a set number of lives, put them in a maze-like area, scatter some healing-NPCs and add a goal - something to destroy of the other teams, and let them fight it out. either one guild kills everyone else or they destroy the other teams symbol

i think it would be fun, and it would be a reason to get members of my family and guild on so we could compete against other guilds instead of having them spread out on era and zodiac because "UN is dead" or "NP is dead"

DustyPorViva
01-08-2011, 05:34 AM
Well you know my take on this and how much planning I put towards being able to provide a "Zelda-esque" formula in Graal. None of it involved having more than a predefined amount of players being in a dungeon at any time, though.

scriptless
01-08-2011, 03:04 PM
Oh, also. Is it me or does anyone else agree that log in news window on your screen is freakin anoying on every server? If I wanted to read the new's I would but slapping me with a server pm and an anoying message is ridiculas. =/ How about if server is on ignore do not display message? that way i can at least turn it off every time i login?

GK Does not have such a message... but almost every other server does.