Monday, October 27, 2008

Fable 2 - New multiplayer changes outlook

At first this seemed to rub me the wrong way. The CO-OP is broken in a sense in Fable 2. Yet as I continue to play, it has really become ingenious to me.

I see how the world works and how each player inhabits that part of their world, and how they interact.

They also have done some creative bits for online play...

MMO's could learn a thing or two off of this simple implementation.

For example

When you run by someone in your world, as you near them you can hear them talking if they are chatting with other so many words, just like running past a stranger on the street and hearing their conversation.

When you join THEIR world, you work for that player. You are paid gold AND XP...that's it.
You cannot take the uber item from that players world. But, the main player can trade you an item if they wish, that you may take back to YOUR world (note: done while in each others respective worlds, not while in henchman mode). Also, the "henchman" may change things in your world...flirt with your wife, kill your traders. But, a quick boot gets rid of the ganker. Don't you wish you could do that in YOUR MMO?

Variances occur to make some game sessions fresh. I may find a place in my world with a chest or something, but the other players world may be in a different place.

The sense of completion in an MMO is false. And Fable 2 drives it home big time.

I think this is an issue that is proving to be the rub for keeping players entertained in the MMO genre.
The monotony of current MMO's is causing a flux of players who either are not happy playing or are always waiting for the next "big game".

I have discussed this in the past and it is even more prevalent since playing Fable 2.
Somehow when something has been completed, your world has to make that completed item disappear.
This I believe would bring believability to the world we inhabit in the MMO.
We need something of a single player experience in our Massively Multiplayer world. We need to feel like we accomplish something.
Killing rats, getting that sword, that maybe 10 others have and you see them with it...these are not accomplishments.

A statue built based on my pose...that is cool. The economy changes based on how I make purchases...that is cool.

Let us use Fable 2 as a fine example of how the MMO genre could learn.
  • Each persons version of the world is their own - Somehow checks need to be put in place, and each person would have a simple database stored on their system that would check with the main servers to show what items have been completed and quests finished, mobs killed. A simple tick in a field to show when that Uber Sword was found by your hero.
  • Each world can be inhabited by multiples - When you come to my part of the world, all things will exists as part of my world. If you killed Boss Thugg and I have not, then when you come to my world...Thugg still exists. This promotes cooperative gameplay as maybe YOU have something to share with MY world to help me defeat Thugg.
  • Economy not static - Why should only players control that aspect? Fable 2 has an ever-changing system, including sales for certain items even....Guild Wars was one step in the right direction with this, as players were able to bypass Auctions and go straight to a vendor to buy or sell. Why must vendors be static, have the same goods and sell for the same price EVERYTIME.
  • Get a freakin' job! - I should have a way to earn money while not online ala EvE. I should be able to buy a shop or sell goods in a stall. And to get these items I should have a REAL job...make crafting a JOB like in real life. Cook food and SELL it at your shop. MAKE WEAPONS, and sell them at your stall.
  • Relationships - Why not? We seem to emote our way through trying to pick up other players (at least I have heard players do that...not me..well, ok, for some reason these hot chicks in AoC still won't accept my advances). Fable 2 offers this. It does not have to be so fleshed out (sorry...really kind of a pun), but at least another objective. Bioware games, Fable, Sims... have played with this, and look at their successes.
I could go on. Many have gone on. Many will continue to go on.

MMO's in general are broken in some way. Especially newer releases. Nothing coming on the horizon fixes that either (for now...SWTOR is the first to take a totally different approach).

So, we as players "make do" with what we have.


We should expect some progress in this genre.
Console games seem to be really making a difference.

Why can't the MMO.

1 comment:

Lars said...

Whenever an MMO tries to actually introduce change, whiners come out of the woodwork and complain. But maybe someday.