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Reader Comments (3)

Posted: Nov 25th 2008 11:36AM Samael said

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I wish that the instance bosses in MMOs would be a little more than high HP monsters with bigger hits. It feels a little artificially made difficult and is maybe not actually challenging.

Posted: Nov 25th 2008 8:21PM (Unverified) said

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This seems to tie in with a larger linearity to most MMO experiences. A quest in WoW, while it might have an engaging story or even put the player in an uncomfortable position, does not allow the player to make choices about the outcome. The sort of morality play at the heart of Fable 2, Fallout 3, or the KOTOR games does not exist in the PvE experiences of most MMOs. A more open and dynamic quest system paired with better NPC AI would provide meaningful choices for players (and something which Bioware promises in SW:TOR). However, all of this vastly increases the complexity of these already expensive to produce games. It seems more feasible to allow for player choice and meaningful consequences in a PvP setting. This can't and shouldn't be applied to all games, but PvP with a feedback system that punished players for "dishonorable" behavior seems like a way to transfer the burden of creating more dynamic NPCs to the player base itself.

Posted: Nov 25th 2008 8:29PM claytondora said

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I think that as time goes on we will start to see MMO universes becoming much more dynamic and realistic, at least concerning interaction between characters and NPC's. One of the issues that has probably presented some measure of impedance to dynamic AI is that the difficulty involved in implementing comprehensive AI systems in massively multiplayer environments. Creating lifelike and believable AI's is an immense undertaking. Games such as Fable or GTA devote a lot of time to that task, and it shows. But once multiple players begin to interact within the same instanced world certain other aspects have taken president. MMO's are so focused on how players deal with each other that AI has been relegated to something of a secondary role.

As time goes on and the next generation of MMO's come about, expect a good deal more dynamism in the environments and characters. As it was stated in the article, steps are already being taken to push forward on this front.

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