Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Player Controlled Mobs (by Autumn Duskhunter!)

Hello all! Well, my persistence paid off and I've managed to convince Autumn Duskhunter from Homework in a Graveyard to guest write an article on my blog. I don't know if this will be a permanent arrangement, but I've always loved her ideas and wit. Those are things that definitely must be kept alive here in the community. So, I now present to you all Autumn's latest article (with commentary from me)

*Rasping of an undead blogger*

. . . I liiiiiive . . .

Hello, everyone . . . it's a voice from the past! Only a skilled Necromancer like Friendly could resurrect an old blogger, right?

You might have noticed I put up "Homework" back online, though I will not be continuing it, nor "Penny Dreadful". Sorry. This really isn't the time, or place, to discuss it, it's just there for you to look through, really.

Through an arrangement with Thomas Lionblood, I will now be reporting "here and there" at TFN, with Friendly as my "Editor-in-Chief." What I'm here for today is to toss out a game idea. (oh, *surprise*). Friendly has told me that it's not entirely original, but nowadays, "what is"?

......*Oh! It's original for this game at least! (-Friendly side note 1)*

I'm quite surprised to see a general lack of in-game events for the 1 year anniversary of W101. Curious, that. Since I know that events are possible, why celebrate a MMO on a site not even owned by KI?

I will forestall my pessimism at this juncture.

......*Shhhh, Autumn! Get to the idea! (-Friendly side note 2)*

Anyways, on to the idea: PLAYER CONTROLLED MOBS!

Huh? What the heckhound, Autumn..?

Think of it this way: You got your Grandmaster fully "decked out" with the greatest in gear drops, there's nothing you wanna craft, and they haven't done a "Hall of Saviors", so what to do? The ultimate in PvP: Be that which you have beaten.

You start off going to Diego, or somesuch, and get sent to start leveling up your "evil side". (Gotta keep balance, y'know). Starting back in Unicorn Way, you "possess" the body of a Dark Fairy, getting involved in player fights, leveling up on the damage you incur. You don't get any special deck, you use what the mob had "by default". Also, as you level up, you can "possess" higher and higher level creatures, excluding storyline bosses of course.

Myself, I wanna possess a wraith. But, that's just me.

Of course the details are far from filled in, but like I've said before, I'm only an "ideas person".

......*pffft, don't let her fool you, she's much more than that (-Friendly side note 3)*

What details would YOU incorporate into such an idea? Would you even pursue such an idea?

Do let me know.
As always,

Be Well
-Autumn Duskhunter
-roving editorial writer for TFN


Thank you, Autumn, for sharing your idea here! I'm glad to see that your blog will live on in archival mode. I think it's what your fans and friends wanted. Thank you for being so generous.

So, this idea of Autumn's reminds me a lot of something back in the days of early Everquest. You use to be able to control a fire beetle mob and could go attack all the newbies in Freeport. The problem was that these fights really just ended up being harassing for the player for the most part. This player-controlled bug would sneak up and bite at your heels when you're a noob and not expecting it, and it would usually lead to an untimely death. It was incredibly unfair, so they took it out of the game.

Autumn's idea sounds better than Everquest's initial application by far.

Later on (like six years later) Everquest instituted something known as "monster missions" where you could play an instance of the game as a bad guy, for example, you could play as a pirate raiding Freeport's docks. They also instituted the ability to assume a monster's form at any level of ability so that you could play the game alongside your friends at their level as a monster and earn experience to unlock new monster forms.

These features were fun fun fun, at least for me. I could definitely see something of this sort being implemented into the game at some point if Wizard101 continues to be the success its been.

Either way, it's good to see Autumn's ideas back into print. Please sound off to her questions she poses above.

Happy Dueling!


JediRex said...

It Autumn! *Sreams* Hmmm... I think thats a great idea. How 'bout you guys?

Sierra Starsong said...

Playing ... as monsters? That thougth never even crossed my mind, but I LOVE IT! It would definitely give Grandmasters a challenge, playing with preset decks from different schools to test their battle skills.

Tesh said...

Sweet! Homework archives! I wish Mama Druid had done the same thing. I can understand wanting to stop blogging, but I can admit to some sadness when I can't find a great old article any more when a blog goes offline.

So, playing as baddies, eh? That could be fun. I'm not too sure that it would be all that good here without some constraints, though. As in the Fire Beetle example, you really can't give players that ability to grief others. Taking control of a W101 baddie might mean you only fight its fights, since letting players control its noncombat action means the sidewalks are no longer safe (unless artificially blocked for monster motion, but that would be silly, and player monsters may well just camp the edges anyway, waiting for the slightest slip), and the predictable baddie patrol routes that make sneaking around possible would be disrupted. That could be deeply annoying to those who have gotten used to how the baddies move.

That said, I'd welcome players acting as the baddies in combat, at least in certain situations. The AI isn't terrible, but putting a real mind behind some of the fights in the game would make for an entirely new fight. (Just like how PvP is entirely different from PvE.) I'd think it should be an option, though. If I were going in to kick Krokopatra's rear *yet again*, I may well want a player there to really challenge me and spice things up. If I'm just in mindless farming mode, though, a baddie that behaves *intelligently* would be a bit annoying.

Take that for what it's worth; I think it's the inherent difference between players who primarily play PvE as opposed to those who play primarily PvP. Player control of monsters would be PvP in wolves' clothing, and some players just don't like PvP. Some do. I would really like the *option* to play that way, but I wouldn't want it forced on me because someone else wants to PvP.

Maybe have some different servers for player monsters? The PvE/PvP split of servers has served WoW well enough. There are those who prefer one over the other (as evidenced even in Ultima Online days, when Trammel went live, and most players migrated to pure PvE servers.).

Jessica said...


BTW, how did you contact her? Email? Sorry if this was included in the post. I lightly skimmed your part stingite ;)