Friday, October 23, 2009

An answer to perserve your character

This is going to be a little different type of post for me

I listen to a number of gaming podcasts an one of the called Shut Up. We’re Talking. hit a nerve with their latest show #55. I actually had to go an listen to the show a second time just to go over everything again before I started writing this post.

The part that struck me was their first topic which was character deletion. Now like some of you, I started playing MMO’s back in EQ days, shortly after the game was released and continuously played up until the release of EQ2.

Now I currently have the all access pass so I can go back to EQ at anytime, I have even gone as far as keeping up to date with expansions, just call me crazy, but sometime I’ll have to face the fact that EQ may close (hopefully not for a long time).

This got me thinking, is there a way to preserve this data and in a way that a company will actually want to offer this service to people.

Now I’m going to talk from the EQ/EQ2 perspective(since it’s what I play the most), but this could probably be applied to any MMO.

When you start EQ or EQ2 one of the screens you have is the character select screen which displays your character in 3D with options of rotating your character and zooming in and out.

Any this is where my idea comes from, why couldn't SOE take your character data put it on a USB key and turn the character select screen into a screen saver type program that will display your character without needing to connect to the SOE servers.

You would be able to rotate and zoom in on your character, and you would also have the option to display the character creation date and number of hours played. Other things that should be included are a way to display character stats, a window that would allow the player to input a bio, plus and this is probably the most important part be able to access anything that was in your bank or that your character is carrying.

Now you may be thinking why is that important, well I’ll tell you if a person has access to what the character has in the bank and what they were carrying this gives them the option to change how their character looks, this in turn gives SOE a chance to sell you armor and weapon packs to use on your character, and the revenue stream for SOE doesn’t have to stop there other examples of content that SOE could sell is an Emote Pak which would allow the character to perform different emotes, or a spell pack allowing your character to cast their class spells, perhaps a pet pack, for people who like to collect pets, and so on and so on all little things that bring money into SOE.

But it doesn’t have to end there either, why not than add monster play, being able to fight a monster from EQ/EQ2 with your character, start off with a limited amount of monsters when the player buys the pack, and give the player an option of buying more monsters, and if you keep adding on you could eventually turn EQ/EQ2 into a single player game.

Now here your saying hang on, eventually players could want to add multiplayer option and wouldn’t that ruin the MMO version, I have to say no, because at this point the multiplay version would be the original game. The player could than go back to SOE and say ok I want to resubscribe and if SOE had deleted their character they would be able to reload it from the USB key.

Here you will probably say wait a moment what’s going to stop someone from hacking the usb key, and I would say that’s why SOE would have a way to Validate that key, and info has been changed and be able to reject it.

Another service they could add would be a way for you to update your character on the USB key if your still playing the game.

So here we are, a way for a company give players a way to preserve their character and to make some revenue at the same time.


1 comment:

Yoh said...

I agreed with you up until the point where you went on about minigames, having all the items and being able to reactive your character in they way you described.

While it would be nice to have a 3D rendering of my character on hand, in an outfit of my choosing. (at the time of saving, which may or may not be at the time of deletion)

Having anything more then that, esp in terms of character reactivation, is prone to hacking something severe.

The only way I think reactivation could work, is if all you had was a key to reactivate a character, but all the actual data is kept on a separate sever somewhere.

Maybe you could start out with the outfit you had saved, if, and only IF, within the game equipment stats we're generic, and it's all about the looks.
(Ie, like Guild Wars)

But otherwise I would pretty much expect you to start over.
Or somewhere in the middle.

But that's my take on it.