Friday, January 4, 2008

10 things I would like to see in a raid centered game

Eventually someone is going to make a niche raiding game. I am pretty sure there would be a decent audience for one. Here are 10 things that I would like to see in a raid only game.

  1. No Level grind: There is no reason to even have levels. There would be no way to ensure that there would always be enough people in any level range to conduct raids to level with. Since single player and small group tactics bear almost no resemblance to what happens in a raid there in no reason to even have them.
  2. Strong guild support: Competition between guilds will be central to the game whether you plan it to be or not. There should be many ways to measure guilds against each other. Metrics like progression, wipe versus win ration, kill speed, first kills, rare drops etc. can be used so that guild with different play styles have chances to gain points. The merits of speed and skill should both be recognized (the two aren't always in the same place). There should be good, flashy rewards for guild achievement. These can take the form of cooler, bigger guild houses, faster mounts, cool outfits etc. The guild interface should be very moddable. There should be several DKP type systems available from the start as well as the ability to code your own. Everything should be able to be tracked in game.
  3. There needs to be a good way to funnel the new players into raids. When new players log in they should immediately be presented with a very basic raid like event. This could take a form similar to WAR's zone wide quests. Here they would be in a pick-up raid where the whole zone is working towards the same goal. They would not be forced to pick up complicated raid mechanics from the start, instead they would be working on communicating who was going for which goals. This experience should be ratcheted up over time requiring more and more co-ordination between the players. Newbies should also be put into newbie guild upon entering the game. Since their are no levels this whole experience would be skippable if someone already had a guild they were planning on joining with friends.
  4. There should be some kind of switchable job system like in FFXI. No player should have to sit a raid out because they don't have the "right" class. No guild should have to skip raiding one night because not enough of class x showed up.
  5. All advancement should be drop based. Better and new skills can be gained from scrolls. Access to new jobs can be gained from raid quests. Better weapons and armor improve your stats. It is possible there could be a crafting component if there was demand for it and a fun mechanic could be developed. None of the items should be "soulbound". Who cares if people get twinked? You want them raiding with their friends as soon as possible. If a guild wants to help someone out to increase their ranks let them. You might want to eliminate gold too. As long as there are plenty of drops the community can work the economy out themselves. I have a feeling it will be based on the greenback no matter what you do anyway.
  6. There should be collision detection during combat. This eliminates the need for cheesy aggro mechanics and allows for more interesting strategies.
  7. The game needs to launch with good voice support. It needs to have multiple channels that can be filtered and organized.
  8. For the most part the raid zones should be instanced. There should be some sort of persistent world between them. There could be some competitive raids in the persistent world.
  9. There is no reason not to have a strong story that players can effect. There could even be branch points based on what the first guild (or the majority of guilds) does when it gets there. There could be some raids that only a select few ever get to see, like the Sleeper in EQ1. The guilds and players who make a difference should be included in the history.
  10. There should only be one server. It is going to be niche game and most of it will be instanced. Everyone should be living the same story.

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