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A page out of the MMO handbook

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    A page out of the MMO handbook

    (This might be a bit long, so apologies and pls bare with me!)

    MMO's have changed the gaming industry in such a major way that many non-MMO games have started adopting their mechanics - in even the smallest ways - and they're proving quite popular for this (COD4 is a good example).

    I think implementing some kind of overall goal (other than world rank) could make the game more engrossing for a lot of players as they are given something beyond the current 10 minute match to aim for.

    My suggestion is implementing some form of 'grindable' goal that doesn't affect gameplay in any way, but still gives the more hardcore players something to work for.

    Skill based ranks:

    What if players could earn (and maybe lose) specific named ranks, fitting in with the universe-at-war theme that UT3 has adopted?

    Let's say players earn points based on their performance, and their team's performance (bonuses for winning a round, capturing nodes, etc. - the things that don't currently affect rank but are crucial to gameplay) and can purchase named ranks with those points?

    Those ranks could be displayed in-game beside the player's name. Say, <Private> or <Sergeant> or <Commander>. The player who has earned the reward gets bragging rights of course, but it could also serve the greater purpose of giving people a chance to better match themselves against those with equal skill.

    If I logged into a server where the average rank was <Commander> (this could even be displayed in the server browser), then I know I'm going to get destroyed. Similarly, the more competetive, skilled players could avoid joining a server full of beginners and destroying them with no challenge.

    Server admins could even set up 'beginner only' servers, allowing those new to the game a far more gentle introduction than the massive obliteration that usely occurs. Warhawk on the PS3 used this model, and imo it worked extremely well! Perhaps even the servers could be color coded from <EASY> to <DIFFICULT> based on the player's current rank.

    At the very least, awarding spendable points for teamplay achievements might serve to emphasise and encourage team work. I can't help feeling the existing model mostly encourages free-for-all gameplay, where the K : D ratio is the most important factor.

    Novelty ranks:

    Maybe on top of the named ranks, there could be the inclusion of novelty ranks, for those who play a particular gamestyle to the point of it almost becoming roleplay.

    Say, <Sniper> or <Rocket Jockey> or <Pancake Princess> or any number of descriptive, but almost tongue-in-cheek rewards for playing a particular style of gameplay.

    This could probably be combined with the named ranks, where instead of a rank like <Commander> the player could earn the badge which would constantly be displayed beside their name. Then the player could have the badge as well as the novelty rank.

    Custom appearances / taunts:

    Custom appearances would also be something great to grind for - not just in terms of custom body parts, but also color options for free for all gametypes, or special taunts - but the problem with these is that players quickly 'hack' the ini and those appearance options are immediately available - unless it could be controlled at a server level to only display custom body parts if the player is of the correct rank. I'm not sure how that would work.

    At any rate, I know at least for myself that while I love UT3, a lot, I'd really find it much harder to log out if I could work towards earning ranks or custom cosmetic updates.

    Thanks if you bothered to read this far

    Shhh - you are going to ruin our mod/tc


      but.. but.. then my nick would be
      <Commander> Commander Cool.... repetition FTL


        +1 to OP.

        One of the major reasons why games like CoD4 and the Battlefield series (2 and 2142) are so popular is that there is always something more to work towards. CoD4 would get really boring really quick if there were no ranks or unlocks. Having a bigger goal to work towards is always excellent motivation to stay online.

        Some other things that I was thinking about while reading your thread are:

        - unlockable characters through performance gains
        - unlockable "bling" that you can put on your character, like heads on spikes coming off your shoulder pad and stuff like that
        - medals and badges for accomplishing really cool stuff like huge jumps with the scorpion or something
        - absolutely NOTHING game effecting. Someone with a high rank should have no edge over someone new to the game other than personal skill and experience
        - if they used the gamespy log in that already exists to store the player info like in BF2 and BF2142 than they could minimize the hack-tastic people


          I didn't read your thread, tbh, but I agree that, in this day and age, multiplayer based games need to provide something for us to keep coming back for. COD has its ranks, Halo has ranks, Team Fortress is even going for the unlockables soon (along with readily apparent stats and achievements from the start). Lost Planet even got the idea right; you unlock new avatars as you advance in online levels.

          In my opinion, Ut3 should have come with a robust character generator... so we could could come up with faces, body styles, skin color/tone, hair, etc for our own character. Then additional armor, cool colors, etc could be unlockable as we gain levels based on the points we accrue online. If Ut3 wanted to go really into it, points IG could translate to Taridium, with which we could go into go into the community section and buy characters, armor, taunts, bonus maps, etc. And clans could have gotten together and, if they all bought the same armor with insignia, gotten a better deal on it. Money could be obtained from botmatches, albeit at a vastly reduced rate, so that people who don't play online also had access to stuff (although not as easily, to encourage people to get on the servers!).

          Little details like that keep people playing games infinitely, as sad as it is. It turns playing UT3 all day from something that gained you nothing, to something that gained you prettyshiniez (also nothing)... but which has a much higher sense of achievement attached.

          This would have the added benefit of being an anti-cheat. Sure, it might add impetus to cheat... but the banhammer would hurt so much worse that most casual-cheaters would opt out.

          Hell, even the hoverboard tricks, for all their uselessness, would be a lot cooler if you had to unlock them, and could flaunt them to all the people who didn't know how.


            Gruz and Harmatia (who could have at least read my OP :P), you guys have some great points. Unlockable hoverboard tricks would be very cool

            But yes, obviously NOTHING game changing - no gameplay advantages, just purely cosmetic upgrades.

            Just look at WoW - some people spend thousands and thousands of gold in-game (having taken weeks or even months earning it) just to purchase a unique looking mount. Or in my case, repeated the same quest 800 freaking times ><

            Unlockables (ranks, taunts, tricks, costumes, bling, tattooes, colors, etc.) would really add extra depth to encourage people to keep returning.


              Personally -- I like my UT cherry...


                My problem with the unlock system in multiplayer games is that games built around unlocking things usually lack in other areas, and the unlocking always slows down eventually, and once I get to the point where I need millions of points to advance the game just isn't fun anymore. This happened for me in 2142 and CoD4. The UT games I can play forever because they are just fun games. They aren't constantly competing with you and setting some pointless gimicky goal further and further away. However, my problem with 2142 and CoD4 may just be the fact that the unlocks ARE game changing. Perhaps purely cosmetic unlocks and ranks wouldn't bother me as much. We will have to see.

                I think the "novelty ranks" that you described would be the best ones. If some one does make a mod like this please keep it in the spirit of UT. I don't see how advancing in normal real life military ranks in a UT game would be exciting at all, but I guess other people may like it.


                  Forget ranks... just show ELO of everyone in pure servers. That'll give all the benefits...


                    for a second there i thought u wanted to use magic staffs and sht haha.
                    nice idea with rank and all since we dont know someones rank till we look them up. With COD4 and Halo you can see their rank right by their name. This could also be a way to make games easier to find if you choose to search by rank?
                    Showing the Elo will clutter the screen, simple icon would be fine. I still dont know what the U besides ppl's names mean haha.


                      Originally posted by MTL View Post
                      for a second there i thought u wanted to use magic staffs and sht haha.
                      nice idea with rank and all since we dont know someones rank till we look them up. With COD4 and Halo you can see their rank right by their name. This could also be a way to make games easier to find if you choose to search by rank?
                      Showing the Elo will clutter the screen, simple icon would be fine. I still dont know what the U besides ppl's names mean haha.

                      The u means unskilled :P

                      Na it`s a rdy up icon.