9/30/2011

Planning - 4

Many MMORPGs include both day and night as well as seasons in different areas of the game. It is crucial to use these mechanics to the player’s and guild’s advantage in both PVP and PVE. One can literally have the sun at their back in many MMORPGs. An advanced technique is to use “stealth” when it is an available game mechanic to maintain the advantage of surprise.

Players: Having the sun at one’s back is reminiscent of the advice given by the Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. It provides that one is blinded by the sun when facing it, rather than having a clear view of their enemy. Also, night provides concealment from light which casts a clear view of things. Using both to one’s advantage in PVP, a player can often gain a clear advantage over their enemy during the beginning of a fight.

Many modern games use a “stealth” mechanic to allow for surprise as an advantage and to avoid fighting. Players who are over-reliant on the use of stealth are weaker players than those who use stealth to gain the advantage quickly and always win. To have this advantage and use it poorly shows a weak player.

Designers: Modern MMOs should always include day and night mechanics as part of the persistent world, along with seasons and seasonal occurrences based on terrain features (i.e. mountains having snowstorms, beaches having morning fog).

"Stealth" if used in game design must be balanced to provide only an initial advantage, not a complete advantage giving players too much power over each other and the artificial intelligence of enemies.

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