Mixing OSGs With RPGs: Hey, Why Not?

Goemon muses about combining the two genres. Global Agenda has done something similar, fusing OSG and FPS gameplay. Perhaps the same could be done with MMO’s, creating more player-driven content and less random quests to kill 15 boars or what have you. Anyway, enjoy!

Mixing OSGs With RPGs: Hey, Why Not?
– by Goemon

OSGs and RPGs, and more specifically MMORPGs, already have a lot in common with each other, and adding more of these aspects could make for some interesting new gameplay. Lord of Ultima doesn’t really count even though Ultima is one of the longest standing RPG series out there- it really doesn’t have anything to do with the series or even the genre at all.

Sorry in advance for all the acronyms.

So what do they already have in common? For one, every OSG is already an MMO. When you log on to Ikariam or Travian, you’re playing with all other real people. Same goes for World ​of Warcraft or Everquest. The world is also persistent. In an offline RPG, the game world stops if you turn it off and stays that way until you turn it back on. In MMOs and OSGs, the game world keeps on going without you.

Plus, Lord of the Rings Online just went free to play- probably due to the success of free OSGs like Lord of Ultima. I don’t think anyone will say no to more free MMOs.

A few OSGs, Evony, Aloriah, Age of Ocean, etc, have started incorporating a hero into the mix. In every RPG I can think of, the hero is the focus of the game. As you progress, you level up your character, get new skills and abilities, and you usually outfit him or her with new weapons and armor. In Age of Ocean, you can hire heroes which are used to lead your fleets. As you explore new territories and finish quests, naturally your hero levels up. You can then lead even bigger fleets and explore further out. The weapons and armor you equip provide bonuses to your fleet when you’re attacking other players. And for the most part it works great; having a hero brings the player a little closer into the game and provides another customizable element that can make each person’s experience a little different.

Let’s try it the other way around- what about putting some OSG elements into an RPG? Many MMOs have a guild war system, and these guilds can often own fortresses or something similar. This could be expanded upon for some cool new gameplay elements. What if every player was given the option to build a city? The game could “zoom out” to the standard OSG isometric view, and a player could arrange and build buildings from there. Afterwards, he could walk around in his town in 3d. Of course, the resources for these buildings could come from loot from monsters, treasure chests, etc. The player could recruit NPC troops to guard his town while he was away, or be able to send them to attack other players.

The typical resource buildings could be used to provide materials to craft armor and weapons for your character. The buildings would also provide a source of resources to use for trade between players, which is a huge aspect of MMOs.

I think I covered the main points, but do you guys have anything you want to add? Disagree with me perhaps? Let me know!


E3 Report

It’s hard to summarize E3… It was very shiney and a lot of fun. It seemed to mainly revolve around console gaming and checking in on the latest from Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, but there was some OSG (or at least, OSG-related) news to be gleamed as well.

Perhaps the most exciting for me was all the updates on Civilization 5, which have nicely been collected on the recently updated Civilization5.com. Troy from Three Moves Ahead also got a chance to interview designer John Shafer.

I also got a chance to play Global Agenda, which is a great blend of FPS and OSG, and currently has a free trial available. It was pretty fun, and I really like what they’re doing with the blend of the two genres.

Speaking of FPS, I also talked to some people about Battle Empire, which is a service that is putting together gaming tournaments that pay the winners pretty big sums of cash. Currently they’re working with Counter Strike, but I’m hoping if it takes off we might see other genres as well.

Finally, way in the back, there was a table for Skies of Zephria, what seems to be a pretty cool 3D OSG. It’s still a long way from release, but I’m pretty excited about the direction it’s going.


Weekend Links

Travian Champions is doing some great wrapup of S9, including this great Round Table Interview. It’s really cool to get leaders from the different alliances together.

I mentioned Global Agenda before: a game that combines FPS with the persistant world and alliance interplay of an OSG. Global Agenda Blog tracks how the alliances are doing, amongst other things.

There’s also a cool post over at Gamasutra about the importance of gaming culture that discusses music and art inspired by video games.

Haha, hopefully you will find at least some of that interesting.


Global Agenda Video

Global Agenda is a third-person shooter released early this month. I finally got a chance to check it out and was surprised that it encorporates a good deal of OSG mentality. In this video describing the Conquest package, the designer could very well be talking about a Travian alliance planning their war. Similar to Erepublik though, each player only controls one character and only by joining with others do you form a whole army.

Hah, and this Gobal Agenda: No Elves video is great:

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what other genre’s the MMO Strategy gameplay works its way into in the future.