Massive multiplayer game general guidelines

Things applying to any game, not just MMO.

Easy and fun to start playing.

Hard to master: encourages creativity and personal development.

  • Great diversity of playable strategies with none 100% effective.
  • Effectiveness in game highly depends on human skills.
  • Implementing and perfecting strategy ideas do not require neither real money nor repetitive playing.
  • Game encourages to find unusual, rare solutions.
    • Nicely implemented in SpaceChem: after finishing a level game shows statistics how the solution compares to other solitions for this level from different players.

Sticks to its own unique theme: visual, sound, story etc. all together.

  • Resist temptation to accept a feature if it does not fit into selected theme.

Particular notes about MMO games.

Encourages benevolence that results in joy of giving.

  • Player gives something that they have plenty of. E.g. a buff to another player.
  • Receiving gratitude or other proof of usefulness of their effort supports benevolence.

Fun, challenging and rewarding PvE/Coop.

  • "Icarus-hard", see concept described in comparison of Diablo 3 vs Diablo 2
    • Player may choose difficulty, ranging from super-easy to super-hard.
    • Higher difficulty = better rewards, both in terms of loot and public image among other players (ratings, etc.)

Competitive play requires careful thinking.

  • Never rely on competitive play to implement new circumstances. Instead, improve random generation and AI of PvE games.
  • "Dick measuring" CAN be harmless, but not always is.
    • "Dick measuring" denotes pleasure from having rare things that others would like to have.
      • Including but not limited to: items, statistics, achievements, etc.
    • Requires players to have access a lot of numbers, ratings and graphs to measure everything there is.
  • It is highly questionable to have PvP at all.
  • If to have PvP, it must be fair.
    • Spirit of sportsmanship above all.
    • Any strategy can be countered without much money or time invested.
    • Players in PvP keep chances to win until the very end, be it through opponent's mistake or own creative play.
      • Everything else aside, at least allow to give up and leave instantly at any moment.
Tags: MMO, RPG