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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Canarmane

The Wheel of Time MMO - A Proposal

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Let me first off start by saying that the Wheel of Time series is by far my favorite fantasy series of all time - as a whole, it even ranks in my top 3 books of all time. I've been addicted to the series ever since my brother gave me TEotW all those years ago, and like you wait desperately for the release of A Memory of Light.

 

One distraction that I've used to help pass the time waiting in anticipation is to design a system for creating a Wheel of Time MMO (I'm currently majoring in Computer Science and have always been interested in game design). I think I've found a system that would work pretty nicely while still remaining true to the spirit of the series as well as being pretty darned fun to play:

 

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First off, character creation. Obviously there would be two primary factions: Light and Dark. Generally speaking, there would several 'ethnicities' that players could choose from; Andoran, Illianer, Aiel, Sea Folk, Seanchan, Tinker, Ogier, etc.

 

Subdividing further, there would be several occupations people could choose from.

 

For the Light, choices could range from Soldier (in various country armies), a Mercenary, a Hunter for the Horn, a Warder, an Aes Sedai, an Asha'man, an Aiel, etc. with auxiliary classes like a vanilla herbalist/Wisdom or a Merchant. I shudder to think that someone would choose to be a damane, but the option might be there, I guess. Ogier specific classes might include Tree-singer or some such thing, and the Tinkers would need some specific occupation; Seekers?

 

The Dark would, generally speaking, have the same options. However, the numbers of Aes Sedai, Asha'men, Aiel, and what not would probably have to be severely limited. Additionally, the options to play as a Trolloc or Myrddraal would be there as well. I will discuss the Chosen later.

 

The game world would be exactly as pictured in the series. Luckily, we have a fairly detailed map already, as well as very detailed maps of some of the major cities, which would obviously be hubs for players.

 

 

Now, the system for dealing with Ta'veren is one that I think would make the game tons of fun. You see, the game would play out in an endless repetition of 'Ages', with each Age lasting the length of the life of the current Dragon Reborn. Each Age would have its own, unique Dragon Reborn chosen from among the player population, with measures in place to prevent one player from becoming the DR multiple times with new accounts. Naturally there would be no effective way to differentiate a normal character from the actual DR, so this would allow for many (read: Endless amounts) false dragons to rise up each Age >:)

 

An Age could end in basically two ways. Either the DR is successfully assassinated by the forces of darkness, or the DR makes it to Tarmon Gaidon and defeats the Dark One.

 

The whole of the game wouldn't even have to be just following the commands of the DR. Let players play around in the world for some time before introducing the DR; let them do quests and level up their characters, maybe find some cool equipment or get drafted into an army or mercenary group or buy an in game house or something.

 

I've been trying to figure out how the Heroes of the Horn could work, and I imagine a system similar to how a Dragon Reborn (or even, potentially, additional Ta'veren) was chosen could be used. Maybe players who successfully complete some sort of incredibly difficult quest could have their character saved, and then be allowed to use that specific character again only when the horn was called? This also leads me to another mechanic I've been tinkering with: would characters be reset each new Age? We know that there exists some form of reincarnation in the series, but I'm not sure how you could translate that into an actual game mechanic.

 

I don't know; I don't have all the answers. But I think this has the potential to be pretty dang cool. It's also pretty fun just talking about it, and hearing what other people think about the idea.

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Here's what I'm going to say about your idea. As well thought out as it is, it would never work as a video game. The fact that the Dragon Reborn is a player is simple reason enough to say that this wouldn't work. A player could easily just hide in the most odd of places, or even stay off for extended periods of time, logging in only long enough to prevent any counter measures about something like that from happening from preventing it.

 

What you suggested would be a good idea for, say, a first person shooter game mode, but putting it in MMO would be odd. Also, on the matter of being able to choose Asha'Mann or Aes Sedai, it would be complicated to do as well. I think a system like Pre-NGE Star Wars Galaxies would be required to make this work where you would have to WORK to successfully come into being one of the two.

 

Now, I do admit, it does sound like a cool idea, but the amount of work that would be required, and the amount of coding required, would be too much for any company to take on as its own, especially considering for the idea to work each country would have to be opposed to the other, and they would have to be reunited every age. There are too many factions in the actual story line for their to be only two factions, and in the end you have to think about this: How would they hold players? In the end, would it be anything more then a generic MMO with an odd twist? Will they spend too much time planning how the story will work and ignore gameplay mechanics? If they don't, will they spend too much time with gameplay mechanics and have a boring plot?

 

A proper balance would make the game generic, and to have astounding gameplay and plot would require a lot of work from a lot people, and would probably, in the end, cost too much money for any company to take up.

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Honestly I like the idea of revolving ages, but the DR being a role asigned to people is a bad idea... I think if it were going to be done this way, it has to start out in the first age, which we have no info on, the primary characters in the series should play a part in the game but I think they should be interactable npc's or GM style characters run by people who work for the company that were to pick up the idea and they would be supporting for certain scenario battles

 

on the character reset idea, I think that would cause most hardcore MMO players to have no interest as alot of work is put into leveling up and maintaining characters.

 

A possible idea would be a portal stone idea where you start out the game (depending on which class you choose time of start would change Aes Sedai time would be about New Spring time and by the time they finish beginner quest line be caught up to everyone else and be full Aes Sedai) at about the time of EotW and a big catastrophy happens and the portal stone worlds start merging so before even working towards Tarmon Gaidon you have to quest through the portal stone phenomenon so while Rand and friends are following the track of the books you are off on other missions so that the main characters of the series can stay on cannon honestly I have several ideas for this but this could be a great way to incorporate the outrigger story ideas that wont get done

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While I'd love to see a fully realized MMO in the world of the wheel of time, I'm not sure that it really works. I'm not trying to be a downer on your ideas, as some of them are very cool.

 

When I think about what would be the best way to make a Wheel of Time game it would depend on how a few questions would be answered:

1) Would it be story driven, with a linear story (player makes no choices in the plot)?

2) Player makes choices

 

If it's option 1) then you could really just make a game that follows the layout of the books, where you play multiple characters as the points of view change. You could even play as the main characters.

 

If it's option 2) then I'd say you'd have to just play a "character". The game could then be an open world game kinda like Witcher 2. In fact, if I could have my dream game it would be Witcher 2, with a big Skryim-like open world, based upon the Wheel of Time.

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I have been part of a similar project, a MORPG based on the venerable Neverwinter Nights 1 engine (Aurora toolset) for the last 5 and a bit years.

 

We placed our game within the timeline of the WoT books (We are currently at Danu 27,999)

 

There are all sorts of problems with our concept.

 

1 Players cannot change the overarching story, only play within it. At least until our time line reaches the end of the last book when it comes out.

 

2 Given an inch a player will take a mile and close supervision is needed to make sure things stay canon. Our players are a lot of fun, but the concept doesn't work when you get past more than a couple of handfuls of players.

 

I could go on but will stick to your topic.

 

On a MMO scale you either accept that the canon world of WoT in the books will be vastly different from your MMO or you make it so players cannot change what happens in the world. This can be difficult for some players to accept. You also need some way to get things back on track when players find ways around the mechanisms that you have in place to make things run smoothly.

 

A single player version where you get to play the game over and over as the hero of your choosing with multiple outcomes, like Skyrim, is quite viable. Mirrors of the WoT where you play Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne and so on, it is a huge undertaking for scripting so many possible characters.

 

You could always have a game that caters to a small number of players who have agreed to play certain roles, like a LAN game version of WoT and get together in a regular virtual way.

 

A good way to make a WoT MMO is to place it after the last battle and after the last book, a world in turmoil after the DO is, hopefully, defeated and you take on the role of a hero in a brave new world.

 

There is no Dragon Reborn anymore (or he is part of the world in some leadership role should he survive TG) and now there are multiple options for a huge number of players to create characters and be part of a new and interesting story.

 

There will probably be a need for PVE dominant servers as well as RPG dominant servers with numerous variants to cater for the varying tastes of players.

 

What you propose is possible, but with a few issues to be worked through, from what I can see.

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Well, it's safe to say at this point that Red Eagle is being true to form, and not making any visible progress in the games or the movies for that matter, so it seems the space for fan-created content is the only option left, as long as you don't try to make any money at it. If you think you can do it, go ahead. My advice is to try small. Instead of trying to create the whole of Randland, make a single Borderland town, near the edge of the Blight, and with badlands/bandits on the other border. Aim for a max player population of like 40 at a time. Focus on how to balance channeler's abilities with normal folk's in terms of gameplay advantages and disadvantages. Try to create a kind of gameplay that players want to keep playing, even after they've "maxed out" their characters. Try to keep the world-balance fairly stable such that a new player that jumps in 6 months after launch can advance and keep up and not be "griefed" out of being able to play the game by folks who were there since the beginning, above all, don't create incentives for advanced characters to grief new ones, and be aware that these incentives can appear spontaneously, without the intention or awareness of the creators.

 

For a persistent multiplayer world, don't even try to follow along the stories. Pretend they don't exist, at least at the beginning. I can understand letting players try to be the Dragon Reborn, sprinkling in prophecies as hints for quests that if the player successfully completes, preferably with a lot of help from other PCs, they can earn that title, and have that much sway over the game world, ushering in the Last Battle, ultimately leading to starting the game over fresh. If you really want to do it, go ahead, but you have to be prepared to change prophecy so that gamer fans of the books don't get an unfair advantage, and make it damn hard to succeed so that most of these guys end up as False Dragons. Gamers will hate having all their hard work wiped out. And in the context of doing a single Borderland town in order to demonstrate gameplay and mechanics, generate interest and investors to expand into what you dream, I wouldn't put it in at all.

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We did all of Randland east of the Mountains of Mist, up to and including some waste areas and one Aiel hold for our persistent world version. Mainly due to not having many people working on it (one day I'll do Toman Head).

 

And we are following the stories rigidly but time progresses in an asynchronous way so players can play at a specific moment in canon for some time before we move time onto another day.

 

Some day I would like to run a invite only campaign version of our PW and have people play through a mirror of the WoT story :)

 

I'm still hoping for something out of Red Eagle ...... so I don't have to go spend a year or so modifying what I already have just so I can play WoT the way I want.

 

Yes, we plan to release what we have worked on publicly, no, we are not charging anything for it. But there are so many things left to fix and so few development hours in a day ;) (plus we all get busy playing and having fun)

 

I wonder if Peter Jackson is a WoT fan?

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ok canarmane.... I love your idea but as others have said, it would not work for an MMO as a main plot/game mechanic. However someone hinted at the idea of a FPS game mode.... I would like to expand further on your idea.

 

Almost all of what you said could be manifested into a PVP instance, along the lines of Warsong Gulch or any of the plethora of Battlegrounds WoW has to offer. Random groups of ppl are Q'd into an instance where there is a light and a dark side. One player from each team represents the dragon and the antithesis. Shaitan or Naebliss, shadar haran... Padan fain even.... Get my point?

 

You could even incorporate the horn as a buff or flag.

 

As far as the main mechanic for the game itself... It might work for Wot fans but it would never work for an MMO. MMO fans are entirely too picky, if you release a game and it's not at least up to 80% of what wow is, it will fail. It may not fail as in go under but it certainly wont succeed. As a Wot fan I want it to succeed :)

 

 

 

Cheers Chris.

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Whether your game is an WoW clone depends entirely on your target audience. Go ahead and try to tell me that EVE online is a WoW clone.

 

An MMO could be based on the WoT world just fine, as long as it doesn't try to follow the stories. MMO's have to have open-ended futures, and the stories have a definite terminus, The Last Battle. Set your MMO on a mirror world, or an alternate turning of the Wheel, having the coming of the Dragon be uncertain, and the prophecies different, so you can have a lot of False Dragons, and not have to worry about what to do with the game after the Last Battle. Once you've figured out how to deal with continuity after the Last Battle, then you can bring it in.

 

Alternatively, the character-leveling/PvE part of the game could follow along with the story of Rand and Co., with various level-appropriate, persistent PvP instances that represent the major battles fought along the way, until you get to end-game which is just the Last Battle, mainly PvP, that never ends. We'd have to see what the Last Battle actually entails in the stories first, before we can judge the appropriateness of that approach.

 

The key in either scenario is persistence. The first kind of MMO can persist because the game world is only allowed to evolve in a tightly constrained way, but it is allowed to evolve such that players can have an effect on the world. The second kind of MMO can persist because the game world is basically static, players don't really have any effect on what other players can encounter. The latter is a WoW clone, but only in its approach to world-design. Interface, NPC and mob AI, and game and character logic can be completely different from what WoW uses, and still deliver an acceptable experience.

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the Dragon Reborn idea wont work because it's in essence the Vanarch setup that Tera has, which is failing on most servers, because it is to complex, and costly.

 

On top of that having the game go into cycles would would destroy it, people play at different speeds, if it revolves some people will never get to the end. Plus you would run out of content rather fast which would just make the game boring. I'm looking at more of a Ephemeral Phantasia spin on a single player game if you want to do this.

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This could be an interesting idea, I'm also a compsci major :D, if anyone is working on something I may be a be to contribute some time, message me or something xD. Although no promises, I maxed my courseload...

But I am skeptical of the whole key characters are players, especially when they are so important. I imaging each age would last a while, so your asking someone to devote a lot of time, and if that one player fucks up/is 5 years old/Brazilian (it's a joke, if you play LoL you know .-.) people will rage hard.

I've always been a fan of the system Star Sonata uses, and parts of it could work for a WoT universe. The ages could still be ended with a massive battle, but the main conflicts will be between player controlled factions (like the wheel of time nations). I prefer to stay away from cannon, and just keep the mechanics of WoT. That way players get much more freedom. After each "last battle" the world is reset, we can even change the map, maybe depending on the outcome of the "last battle", like I said I'm not trying to mirror the books here, but simply preserve the mechanics and feel of the books. Would present some fun problems, and I think it could be playable.

The other question is how combat works, which i have not settled on.

The way i like to look at combat though it may be oversimplified, is a scale from turnbased rpg, to fps.

 

Also, one development i noticed in Star Sonata, was that since faction carried over from age to age alliances and the ultra powerful were kept in charge for too long, which would ruin the fun for noobs (until they grinded to the top). So i proposed everything gets scratched on new age creation, not sure about charnames, but I would atleast liek foction/country names to be changed/refounded.

 

FOR SERIOUS RPG FANS:

You're probably like... fuck that i want to redo randland cannon D:< rage rage rage. or not. but if you are, the nice thing the the cannon version is just a special case, so there could be a cannon server for exactly that purpose.

 

Sorry if anythings unclear, point to something for clarification/ ill look over it later with a clear mind :P

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Personally, I'd like a WoT mmo to be truly innovative, offering a style of gameplay not to be found elsewhere. Virtually every mmo I've played offers the same experience to everybody. NPCs stand around, or at best walk a scripted route, and offer the same quests depending only on the player's level and whether they've done them before. I'd like to see NPCs that have needs and desires that depend on their circumstances, and that offer quests based on those needs and desires. That tanner needs 20 hides from mountain lions? I want to see him need those for a specific purpose, and then use them to try and attain that purpose. The farmer needs you to run off some wolves that are bothering his flock of sheep? Let's see his productivity for the whole community increase after the wolves have been run off, and make running the wolves off more interesting/complex than just killing X number of them, and then running back to the farmer to get your reward while there's still wolves in the field.

 

My own concept for an innovative mmo based in the WoT universe involves having players develop a "soul." When you start a new game you're in Tel'aran'Rhiod and you give your soul its legendary name, and assign its gender, and get a couple of points you can use to define its archtypical characteristics, whether they be physical characteristics, weapons proficiencies, or whatever. Then you're "spun out" into the world as some 18 yr old just in from the farm trying to make their way in the world. The basic goal in life is to impress NPCs and PCs and earn their respect, with lots of different ways to do that, combat, trading, politics/gossip mongering, etc. NPCs are "smart" like described above, with ever-changing needs and desires they will seek to meet, some of which they will be capable of meeting on their own, but most of them will require the NPC to seek out help by trading with other NPCs and PCs to get what they want. Think AI like a well-trained creature from Black and White, or Sims-style AI, but with agent interaction through information and/or material item exchange to meet needs and desires, including such complex exchanges as futures contracts or labor contracts, playing a much larger role.

 

Every character, whether NPC or PC in the game ages and will eventually die of age, if they aren't killed prior to natural death, and a player's character doesn't disappear or go sleep in their room for days or weeks or years of game-time when they log off, they remain in the game and continue to interact with NPCs and PCs, and could even potentially be killed. Players and NPCs can set up trusts and wills to deal with the distribution of their material wealth (at least, anything they're not carrying) after death. Thus a big part of game-play will be setting up the AI for your character to follow when you're not in the driver's seat of its actions. There would also be the ability to toggle a neural net learner that learns how you play your character and continues to play that character the same way when you're offline, or choose from pre-set templates of behavior. I imagine you could also have your character email you if it gets itself involved in something you'd like to be in control for, or even just watch play out, and when and if your character dies. I'm torn on how long an average lifespan should be. I go back and forth between a couple of months IRL to up to a year.

 

NPCs revise their estimations of a player's character in light of the help they get from the player's character in meeting their own needs and desires, which follows from their ranking of their own needs and desires, an estimation of how "greedy" the helper character is being in offering the help and what they've heard and previously experienced with the helper character, and PCs can rank the help they get from other players and NPCs. The level of esteem your character earns in life goes into determining how many points they earn to spend in Tel'aran'Rhiod to further refine and advance their soul archetype, giving bonuses to training speed or abilities and direction in the next life, including bonuses of being spun out as a child younger than 18 or being born into wealth or nobility and thus having pre-established relationships with extant NPCs or PCs.

 

In line with NPCs being smart, they're also social. They'd have a hierarchy of needs, much like Maslow's hierarchy, among them being a similar need to the player's to earn "esteem" from players and NPCs. One of the primary ways they do this, aside from soliciting help from other NPCs and PCs to meet their other desires, is to either offer help as part of a trade, or offer information in the form of paths to meet needs, paths that have failed to meet needs, NPCs or PCs that have helped to meet needs or failed in the help offered, that the NPC has either itself experienced or heard about from other NPCs. These paths and characters can then be accessed and used by the receiving NPC in future plans to meet needs, and the things heard factor into the esteem the helper character earns in helping. The information itself is valued depending on whether relying on it leads to future success or not, and PCs and NPCs that offer more valuable information are esteemed more highly. On the flip side, offering valuable paths or identifying valuable characters may lead to a decrease in the value of those paths or characters in fulfilling other needs, so the NPC must weigh the value of the esteem they'd earn from telling another about a valuable path or character against the value of their other needs and the likelihood and amount of harm that could come against that value by distributing the information. To mitigate potential harm to the value of information, NPCs can offer it as a secret to others, where their esteem for the other goes down if the NPC hears this information from others not the one it told the secret to, or it can lie to protect the value of that information if it values the information more highly than the esteem they would lose if the lie is discovered (i.e. if the path is followed or the character consulted and the results are contrary to the advertised results).

 

NPCs are spawned as babies that grow up, PCs can have NPC children, as will normal NPCs. The number of children NPCs will seek to have will depend on how endangered they estimate society in general to be, the more endangered, the more children they'll seek to have, at the minimum, they'll want to maintain the overall population numbers. They'll respond to currently perceived troubles, but the effects of more children won't be felt until those kids grow up. Children can become orphans and caring for or helping orphaned children earns high esteem from NPCs who hear about it. PCs can be spun in as the children of extant NPCs if they spend the appropriate points for it in Tel'aran'Rhiod, whereupon they will "take over" an extant NPC of their choice (depending on the points they spend to broaden the range) down to the age of 10. NPCs value the esteem of their parents/children more highly than the esteem of others, and will tend to pass on information that makes their parents/children seem more valuable over information that makes them seem less valuable, whether that information is true or false. Upon reaching adulthood, NPCs survey the amount and relative values of exchanges that are being solicited in the various social congregation points, taverns, markets, the like, and choose a career, something they can do or produce to offer for exchange, and will tend to choose the career that offers the greatest value.

 

I'd like combat to be more of a kendo fencing simulator using wasd and the keypad, and a couple of other buttons to scroll through various stances, toggle striking and blocking, and the keypad to direct blocks, parries and attacks, though I'd imagine you could also use a typical gamepad to do it too. Experience and training in combat unlocks the ability to chain together blocks and attacks into combos, decreases the failure rate and amount of blocks and parries, increases the chance that your strikes can penetrate through blocks and parries, unlocks additional stances which in turn unlock more powerful combos, and so forth. Greater experience and training also increases the proficiency of the AI that runs your character when you're offline in terms of effectively using the stances and combos you've unlocked. Here I'd want to use neural nets to learn how you play your character in combat and then act in similar ways when you're offline. Real combat would be extremely "gritty" in that an unblocked strike to your neck severs your head, and thus ends your life, so lots of ways that even newbie characters can get 1-hit kills, but easy to die to one hit as well. Most combat experience would be earned in sparring matches and training that offer no real risk to the participants, but offer players an inoffensive way to "pvp" one another. Participating in "real" combat offers greater esteem awards, but also carries the risk of death.

 

The setting initially would be that small Borderland town next to the Blight, with a more lawless, bandit area on the other side. A walled city with between 1000-2000 of these smart NPCs, and outlying farmland and mines that are really productive, and that provide the means for the city to be self-sufficient, but that could also be destroyed by trolloc raids and have to be re-built. Carrying capacity would be about 200-300 PCs per server, such that the total population would not be more than about 2500 characters, so potentially as few as 50-100 players if players can have more than one character. Real combat comes in the form of periodic raids of Shadowspawn from the Blight, and occasional raids by bandits. This setting would be mostly to test and balance the NPCs in light of their interactions with real players, as well as the productivity of natural resources like farms and mines, and track changes as abilities like being able to channel the One Power, being a wolfbrother, or players attaining positions of social authority and thus being able to change economic and social dynamics are implemented, as well as special in-game items and achievements, and also to identify areas of player abuse of game mechanics.

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I like the thought of a randomly-assigned Dragon Reborn. As the terangreal showed, not every version of Rand was a proper DR - sometimes he was nothing but a mad general or crazy farmer.

 

So it makes sense that not every Age in the MMO would have a succesful, dramatic DR. (Plus, imagine how realistically the DR would be manipulated by the other players when they discover who it is). The person randomly selected would need to agree to some terms and conditions; e.g. that he can't transfer the title to anyone else and that he accepts he's the DR.

 

Two thumbs up to the idea. (and also I'd like to support the idea that channelers are randomly selected by the game's code, and players would need to test for the ability and train themselves up in order to channel properly. Channeling Strength would be a random diceroll. A randomly-selected subset of the 'channeler' population would be Wilders, able to channel without training).

 

The recent Star Wars TOR MMO has shown its a mistake to let all players be Jedi Masters and Sith etc, because it reduces the mystery and mystique of these archetypes. Hence, they lose their power. I would NOT want any of RJ's archetypes to lose their power.

 

the Dragon Reborn idea wont work because it's in essence the Vanarch setup that Tera has, which is failing on most servers, because it is to complex, and costly.

I disagree. The vanarch system has problems because its a voting and pvp system, and people create alt guilds to feed pvp kills. The WoT system suggested above is nothing like this, involving neither voting nor pvp points-based systems.

 

On top of that having the game go into cycles would would destroy it, people play at different speeds, if it revolves some people will never get to the end.

No, you'd need to implement a high-level plan that stretches across 5 or 6 ages. When the first age comes again you might play your first character again, etc. The passing of ages is important because its an opportunity to legitimately, occasionally, clear out all existing political and personal alliances; a convenient way to keep the playing environment fresh and competitive without using stats and level progression.

Edited by MichaelOfTheWhite

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I like the thought of a randomly-assigned Dragon Reborn. As the terangreal showed, not every version of Rand was a proper DR - sometimes he was nothing but a mad general or crazy farmer.

 

So it makes sense that not every Age in the MMO would have a succesful, dramatic DR. (Plus, imagine how realistically the DR would be manipulated by the other players when they discover who it is). The person randomly selected would need to agree to some terms and conditions; e.g. that he can't transfer the title to anyone else and that he accepts he's the DR.

 

Lets be realistic, what happens when the DR just stops playing. If he's randomly chosen, chances are he/she is probably not going to be super into it, Especially since so many will try to influence their character, ragequitting will ensue.

 

Two thumbs up to the idea. (and also I'd like to support the idea that channelers are randomly selected by the game's code, and players would need to test for the ability and train themselves up in order to channel properly. Channeling Strength would be a random diceroll. A randomly-selected subset of the 'channeler' population would be Wilders, able to channel without training).

 

The recent Star Wars TOR MMO has shown its a mistake to let all players be Jedi Masters and Sith etc, because it reduces the mystery and mystique of these archetypes. Hence, they lose their power. I would NOT want any of RJ's archetypes to lose their power.

 

Then everyone just rerolls characters untill they get their chaneller >_> So you either let all the people be powerful or you don't, no one wants to play a game as a poor disabled farmer.

 

On top of that having the game go into cycles would would destroy it, people play at different speeds, if it revolves some people will never get to the end.

No, you'd need to implement a high-level plan that stretches across 5 or 6 ages. When the first age comes again you might play your first character again, etc. The passing of ages is important because its an opportunity to legitimately, occasionally, clear out all existing political and personal alliances; a convenient way to keep the playing environment fresh and competitive without using stats and level progression.

:D indeed

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Being the Dragon Reborn, or even being a False Dragon, would have to be something earned, requiring a commitment to the game and the cooperation of other players. Being a channeler should be something people can pick, but being a powerful channeler capable of weaving multiple weaves at once and knowing lots of different weaves should be earned as well. And there should be significant enough bonuses to playing non-channelers like Hunters for the Horn, Warders, Whitecloaks, Wolfbrothers, etc., to make those character styles worthy of being played as well.

 

If roleplay of the WoT world is the paramount experience offered by the game, pvp and pk will have to be highly directed and its significance downplayed in favor of the "pve" content, to use a traditional distinction, else the game will be flooded with min-maxers and griefers who will ruin the immersion and experience of others, and lead to the death of the game.

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Lets be realistic, what happens when the DR just stops playing. If he's randomly chosen, chances are he/she is probably not going to be super into it, Especially since so many will try to influence their character, ragequitting will ensue.

And that's ok: not every Age sees a succesful DR. ;) In fact, Rand might be the first 'succesful' one ever...

 

Then everyone just rerolls characters untill they get their chaneller >_> So you either let all the people be powerful or you don't, no one wants to play a game as a poor disabled farmer.

You limit them to 1 char per Age. Their hope for a channeler will lie in one being rolled the following Age. Remember the idea above: the idea of a 'soul' and having toons linked to a soul? In other words, a player has a 'soul' (which could potentially store XP or stat points or skill points and assign them to its toons) and 1 toon spun out per Age.

 

Political or personal power imbalances would be equalised at the start of every new Age. (i.e. if some selfish aes sedai controls half of randland in one age, she wont be around in the next).

 

A library of your toons would be kept (you would never lose a toon), and you could use them in online game modes like arenas or open-world pvp that was not linked to the main game realms.

 

Being a channeler should be something people can pick...

I actually disagree. I would like to see a MMO that doesn't pander to its player's need to be the 'best' and rely on a more random system similar to the one RJ envisaged for his series.

 

If roleplay of the WoT world is the paramount experience offered by the game, pvp and pk will have to be highly directed and its significance downplayed in favor of the "pve" content, to use a traditional distinction, else the game will be flooded with min-maxers and griefers who will ruin the immersion and experience of others, and lead to the death of the game.

One way around this would be to assign random attribute scores to each toon. Some are simply stronger than others, others smarter or unhealthier etc. That would place more emphasis on 'skill' than 'gear or attribute scores' in combat, which would help focus programming attention on designing a suitable combat system. This then matches the design approach taken for channelers.

You could allow some small level of customisation by assigning 'soul points' earned during play, or between Ages; perhaps in the form of skill or knowledge points.

 

The thing about the WoT is that channelers are OP. You cant make anyone choose to be OP, hence u need to equalise everyone through randomisation as much as possible. By keeping channelers rare, they retain their symbolic power and impact on the game world.

 

edit: Would it be legal to start a Kickstarter to obtain funds to develop a FREE game, if the rights to the game's IP are currently owned by another company?

Edited by MichaelOfTheWhite

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Limiting accounts to 1 character per age won't stop people from creating a massive number gmail accounts to make a massive number of game accounts to game your random attribute system until they get the character they want. The Wheel of Time mud has a similar random system for attributing base character statistics, and they eventually had to add a "restat" command during character creation because they couldn't stop people from doing that, and force them to play a character who's stats they didn't like, or from frustrating players by making them wait until the character they didn't want deleted so they could try again with the same name. And all that ended up doing was leading to stat inflation. In the beginning, a str stat of 16 for a warrior was perfectly playable. Now, warriors without a max str stat of 19 are advised to re-roll. And without that capacity to re-roll, a lot of people wouldn't be playing the game right now are are still there. The base statistics (physical strength, One Power ability and strength in the Power, etc.) have to either be all identical for starting characters, or they have to have equal levels of customization. A random assignment of stats that make a difference to gameplay will just encourage players to break the game.

 

And WoT channies aren't that overpowered. No brand new player should be able to roll up a first character and have that character turn out as powerful as Nynaeve or Logain anyway, that will just breed resentment between the players. And channies are just as vulnerable to a stray arrow or a sneak attack as anybody else, probably more so than a heavily armored warrior or a very alert ranger type of character. There are plenty of ways to "balance" channies while remaining true to WoT lore. And if channies are appropriately balanced, people would be just as apt to choose a non-channeler they can train up to be a Warder or a Wolfbrother as they would a channie. If the idea is to keep channies rare and powerful, then make it hard to earn one, hard to play one, and attach powerful disadvantages to playing one to go with the powerful advantages they would naturally have. The idea is to manipulate player's choices, not direct them.

 

And a random assignment of abilities doesn't work in other ways. What if I want to play a non-channie, a warder or a whitecloak or something, and I discover upon creating that character that your random assignment mechanic has given my character The Spark, which I don't want. Now, I'm just not gonna play that character. Same thing if I wanted to play a channie but didn't get one. I'm just not gonna play the character I was given. And that's what it comes down to with random assignment. Players don't get to play the characters they want, they have to play the characters they're given. But if they don't like the character they're given, they just won't play, or they'll break the game in an attempt to get them.

 

Making a game comes down to making it for the players. The idea is to provide them with something fun to do, that they choose to do rather than doing something else. That means that what players want is paramount. If they want to play a channie, they should have as much opportunity to do so as the next guy, and the same thing with warders and wolfbrothers and whitecloaks. You can't take that choice away from the players for the same reason you can't force people to play the game. And at the end of the day, that's what rpgs, whether MMO or single player, are all about: player choices that have an impact in building up the character into the kind of character the player wants to play. Take the choices out of a player's hands, and you take away any reason for them to play the game. You might a well just run a WoT simulation, and get your jollies watching various simulations play out, because at that point, you don't need players, and putting in players that might make choices you don't like will just break your idea of what the simulation should look like.

 

As for the Kickstarter idea, I doubt it's legal to market the game as based on the WoT, and you certainly couldn't profit off it. But you could probably cobble together a little game using open source game engines and artwork, invite some people to play once you've got something even remotely playable with the invitation to break the mechanics if they can and report it back so you can fix it. And if it's fun and playable, try to sell the idea to Red Eagle. Use Unity, and try to put together something fun, or build a mod off Neverwinter Nights or some other easily moddable game. If you don't know how to code/script, go to CodeAcademy.com and learn, it's not hard. Just keep it invite-only, accept donations, but don't charge anybody, and you should be ok.

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Funny, I feel like if that's what I was trying to imply I would have just said so.

 

I thought the OP might be interested, as that discussion branched off into all sorts of aspects involved in creating a WoT MMO.

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It is an interesting and relevant thread, but you could have said why you posted it. Just throwing up a link, to another thread on the same board, without explanation, can be taken a lot of different ways.

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Thrasymachus I think that your enitre post resulted from your previous exp with a MUD or similar game system and you have limited your thoughts and concepts of the idea based on your own previous experience there. All I'm saying is that there's more than 1 way to skin a cat and you don't have to settle for any limitation in a game environment at design stage.

 

Thanks for the link to CodeAcademy but I won't need it - I also don't have any plans or hopes to sell anything WOT-related to REG or anyone else.

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It is an interesting and relevant thread, but you could have said why you posted it. Just throwing up a link, to another thread on the same board, without explanation, can be taken a lot of different ways.

 

I would imagine, if someone else posted the link and I saw it, that it was intended to provide other detailed and in depth discussion on the topic at hand. Especially when taking into consideration the fact that I'm not a moderator and have no authority to tell anyone where and what they should post. I think maybe you're just being a bit sensitive. In the future, maybe your first interpretation of someones post shouldn't automatically be a negative one. Go for the simplest and most benevolent reason and odds are you'll probably be right more often than not.

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Ok to get this back on topic, I liked the "soul" Idea, but to build on that, I think there should be soul types as well, Say like, woldbrother, warrior type (it's the closest I can come up with to a Hawkwing or Mat description, and could be several different roles like tank style, dps style, or even stealth scout style) channeler type (depending on faction healer dps support and mixed.), range type. Each class be able to select a companion type from any of the legendary soul types. It's more for soloing. You would be able to create the appearance of said companion at the start, however you would have to unlock them by playing through the story.

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