Sunday, September 23, 2007

End Game

I finished Bioshock today (great game) and that got me to thinking about how nice it is to actually finish games. It's like a good book, you don't want it to be over, but there is a satisfaction and sense of accomplishment there that feels good. During my long MMO addiction, I went years without finishing a game. I just drifted from MMO to MMO and made new friends. It all got rather boring and so I quit playing them. But, what if you could incorporate a sort of End Game option in MMOs?

I have long lamented that fact that the player in most cases leaves no impact on the MMO world. They are merely filler and exist to give other people a pool of players to group with. Eventually, in every characters MMO life there comes a point where they stop being played either due to player boredom, lack of content, or because the player moves on to the next best thing. What if there was a way for the player to "retire" their character and have some sort of an impact on the game world?

Some sort of point system could be set up that the player earns by doing various things in the game. Adventure points, crafting points and perhaps social points are just a few things off the top of my head. All of these could be accumulated in the background while the player goes about his normal MMO routine. When the player feels he has done as much as he wants to with the character he could choose to retire that character. This means that the character becomes unavailable to the player. The game would then look at the points accrued and assign that character a place in the world depending upon how much the character has influenced the world. They could become an NPC that owns an Inn or Weapon Shop or is encountered by other players in the game world via quests or random encounters. Or they could have not made enough of an impact to be remembered.

This system would at least give the player a chance to impact the world and give them some sense of closure with a character. Controls would have to be put in place to avoid having an Innkeeper named Luvs2spwg and other issues, but those things should be a part of every MMO anyways.

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