Topic WOO II -A Future WoW Design
Edited by Stoneghost on 2/4/13 1:48 PM (PST)
WOO II - A Future WoW Design
March 2012 - February 2013
By Stoneghost: Dalaran
WOO II is a prototype design that explores how the current game might evolve in the future ... WOO II is not intended to be a recipe for "fixing" the current game, rather it is a set of new game mechanics as might develop if the game was rebuilt from the ground up.
WOO II is presented in this forum as a collection of interesting ideas. Discussion is welcome.
This post has the table of contents. The following post has summaries of the main sections.
The WOO II Home Page has links to each of the sections listed here:
THE BASIC DESIGN
Accounts and Players
Game Space Environment
THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Solo and Group
• What Players Want
• Why Relevel?
• Life Paths versus Classes
• Intelligence, Stamina, Agility, Strength and Spirit
• Zones and Hubs
• The Druid Conundrum - Utility Vs. Specialization
• Bots and Botting
• Update: Mists of Pandaria
Edited by Stoneghost on 2/4/13 1:49 PM (PST)
WOO II - A Future WoW Design
March 2012 - February 2013
By Stoneghost: Dalaran
WOO II is a prototype design that explores how the current game might evolve in the future ... WOO II is not intended to be a recipe for "fixing" the current game, rather it is a set of new game mechanics as might develop if the game was rebuilt from the ground up. WOO II is presented in this forum as a collection of interesting ideas. Discussion is welcome.
This post contains a summary of the document.
WOO II Home Page
THE BUSINESS / THE ACCOUNT
If the game is not profitable, then there is no game. Design choices must seek the largest audience at the lowest cost, and the game will not satisfy the needs of every Player.
Players manage Characters and the game must satisfy the needs of Players. To that end, all items are "account bound", bank slots are accessible from all characters in an account, and any similar function that can be moved to the account level has been.
Level is a character attribute that measures progress in the game. Characters begin at a training level and move up as they accomplish various achievements. There are no points given for experience or kills, only for accomplishments.
When they enter an instance, Characters automatically "relevel" to the level of the instance. This means that all attributes and gear readjust to that level. Releveling brings lower level experiences and rewards back into play, greatly greatly expanding game play options and reducing the pressures of the "level cap." A Player may manually relevel a character at any time.
A "level" is a collection of activities and options. As a Character rises in level, it gains access to new game play experiences and to new skills and talents. Each level is complete in itself. Players should not feel that they need to use lower levels as a ladder to get to a higher one.
The D&D "Class" method of organizing Character attributes has reached the limits of its utility. WOO II replaced Classes with Life Paths. Life Paths are structured to accommodate Character roles, and there are three to choose from: Raider, Fighter and Crafter.
Raiding: a PvE group activity whose venues include Fun Houses and dungeons. Fun Houses provide a central transportation site for Raiders as well as PvE activities that give Raider leveling achievements and other rewards. Dungeons occur at many levels, and when a team enters a dungeon, its members' levels are adjusted to that of the dungeon. There is no way to enter a dungeon without matching its level.
Fighting: a PvP group activity whose venues include Theme Parks, arenas and battlegrounds. Theme Parks provide free-for-all PvP activities that give Fighter leveling achievements and other rewards. Arenas host permanent teams that fight in their personal gear. Battlegrounds host random and permanent teams that fight using "standard" template gear. Fighter venues occur at various levels, and when a Character enters one of these, it is releveled accordingly.
Crafting: a PvE solo activity that includes production and refinement of materials, and the manufacture and sale of items. Each crafter has access to a personal instance called a Holding which contains a farm, a factory and an office. With the proper recipes and materials, Crafters grow materials, make items, and sell materials, items and services to NPCs or other Players. Each Theme Park and Fun House has an attached Farmer's Market where Crafters can offer their wares to the public. Many Crafter items are unique and unavailable elsewhere. Crafters are the primary source of supply for most goods and services.
Within a Life Path Characters may specialize in "occupations", such as "tank" for Raiders, "healer" for Fighters, or "farmer" for Crafters. A Character may have only one Life Path, but may have multiple occupations.
Leveling is based on achievements within a Character's Life Path. Some achievements take the form of quests; others are milestones; others are "daily" tasks. In general, leveling happens as a natural side effect of playing within the Life Path. Releveling permits achievements gained at any level to increase the level of the character (up to the maximum).
Questing is a solo PvE activity that provides entertainment and advances the mythos of the game. Questing offers rewards and achievements but does not contribute to leveling. Quests occur at all levels and can only be obtained by a Character of the proper level. Players may relevel a Character at any time in order to take on a given quest.
Parts of quests occur in the world, but to enforce the solo nature of the activity, all key moments are instanced
TALENTS AND SKILLS
Skills are abilities that are available to the characters within a particular Life Path. These are arranged in an organizing tree. As players rise in level, they acquire access to a wider range of skills.
Talents are abilities that are available to all characters. These are arranged in an organizing tree. As players rise in level, they acquire access to a wider range of talents. Some talents are of particular use in Questing, which has no separate Skill Tree.
Talents and skills do not apply to levels below the level where they became available. When a character relevels, his or her talents and skills readjust accordingly.
GEAR, ITEMS AND ENHANCEMENTS
Attributes, such as damage, mitigation, healing, speed, and so forth, attach to characters. Gear adds no attributes, but only multiplies the attributes of the Character wearing it.
All gear relevels with the character to which the gear is attached. Because of this, there is no need for "levels" of gear. A basic sword, for example, will rise in power with the character, as will any enhancements (such as gems, runes, enchantments and the like) that it contains.
Rewards can be in the form of currency, passive enhancements, active enhancements, items, titles, leveling achievements and the like. Active enhancements attach to the character or to gear and have an effect on game play. Passive enhancements do not affect game play and provide cosmetic or other "fun" effects.
Because higher level characters are not able to enter lower level instances without "leveling down", instances cannot be easily "farmed", and the rewards at all levels can be standardized. Gear and enhancements apply a percentage benefit to a Character's abilities, making an item of gear equally effective at any level. These combine to make the reward payoff from a low level event just as desirable as the one from a high level event.
The full document is located here: http://www.ticopa.com/WOOII/index.html
My bio is here:
WOO II was constructed as a future "ground up" rebuild of WoW. I used WOO II as the name to avoid any confusion, and I use the term "the current game" where I mean "WoW" for the same reason.
Worth repeating from the bio page:
1. WOO II is not official. I've never worked for Blizzard/Activision, except for free as an addon creator. We have no relationship other than customer to supplier, and I have no idea whether or not they want people doing this kind of thing. I wrote WOO II to satisfy my own curiosity.
2. WOO II is not a plan or a specification or a technical design. There is enough here, I think, to eventually produce a playable game with these features ... but I started out to see if I could figure out how to make certain aspects of the current game less boring, and that led to thinking about classes and attributes, and that led to Life Paths and the rest of it. What's here is a collection of ideas ... you couldn't give it to a computer, and it would take many, many hours of work to get it to that stage.
3. It's not complete. I've reached the point where I'm satisfied that a game could be created that would have more player options and be more interesting than the current game, without an increased investment in code or server time. Huge chunks of detail are missing, however, and it's possible that those details would prove my schema unworkable. But I have other things to do ... like playing Wow ... and I'm happy with what I've discovered. So I'm done.