Author Topic: MMO recommendations  (Read 1253 times)

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Offline Sushi

  • Art Critic
  • 211
As the subject indicates, I'm looking for MMO recommendations.

There's a major catch: I don't actually care about playing it. :D I'm working on an AI research project about computational storytelling, and our goal is to try to use an MMO to generate stories. In other words, people just play the game the way they usually do, the computer watches them, (hopefully) notices a chain of events that makes a compelling story, then generates a new story using that chain of events as the base. The idea is to mimic one way people tell stories: they see what happens around them, notice the interesting things, then tell a story about it (possibly embellished).

Since the goal is to tell a story, we expect an MMO that is capable of generating good stories is more likely to give us what we need. Ideally, this would be an MMO where people have lots of "remember the time I/we..." stories to tell about it. This is as much about the player culture as anything... I suspect that we'll have more luck with RP-oriented MMOs and servers. If the game is nothing but grinding and/or a glorified chatroom, it's not likely to generate many stories. We need an MMO where things happen.

The other requirements we have are mostly technical: does the MMO store the kind of data we need? If not, is there a way to attach an observer to record it ourselves? Etc. All stuff we can work out with candidate MMOs. Problem is, there are so many to choose from that I don't know where to begin, and I've got a limited time budget. Thus my appeal to you, the HLP community.

Now recommend me some MMOs, for SCIENCE! :D

 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
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EVE ONLINE.

No MMO has more stories.

Check out the EVE Tribune.

 

Offline Thaeris

  • Can take his lumps
  • 211
  • Away in Limbo
This isn't a suggestion, as the game's not out yet... and probably won't be for some time.

Sushi, that system you're suggesting sounds a lot like how "Infinity: The Quest for Earth" is supposed to run. Along with everything else procedural about its engine.
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Offline Nu11u5

  • 25
I'm not aware of any MMOs out there that function the way you describe.  Existing games typically focus on one of two ideas: the pre-written, detailed, heavily scripted story, or the socially driven, emergent story.

Pre-written story lines will occasionally offer branching points for the story to evolve but in the end all outcomes and paths are predetermined.  Most MMOs also safeguard players from having their stories affected by other players not partaking in them.  Some games introduce variation where stories are based off of a template with events, locations, rewards, etc randomly selected from a pool, however the templates, variables, and selection criteria are ultimately written by hand.

What you are after sounds more like an evolution of the random story, but where the selections are made based on the state of the game world rather than simply randomly.  Unfortunately I know of no existing MMO that does this.

As a social platform MMO's have a rather rich and dynamic environment of player ambitions and interactions and so here is the alternative route of story telling - the socially emergent one.  Games that employ this directly or indirectly offer players goals and methods to achieve them, while encouraging conflict of one form or another.  The aforementioned Eve Online is a great example of this.  Here, stories often become very personal, not only contributing to the virtual identity of an individual player but also to the groups the player is a member of since such stories are usually played out through cooperation, potentially with thousands of players.

<insert="shameless Eve Online plug">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08hmqyejCYU</insert>

Neither of the two story telling methods present in current MMO's fit your requirements.  What you are looking for is something in between.  If I were to design such a system social conflicts would affect the parameters of the game world, and the effects of which would be used to select criteria for the generation of AI controlled stories.

TL;DR

You are in new territory.  There is no MMO out there that does story telling the way you are describing (perhaps this is the point?).  If you are looking for one that just offers unique and dynamic experiences to its players regardless of the methods utilized, I recommend Eve Online.

Side Note:  Eve Online uses both methods, although separately.  The pre-generated story content is quite lacking compared to other MMO's.  The real story is found in the player corps and alliances.  If you join the game find some other people and try to accomplish something tangible.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Did you read the thread? He's not looking for an MMO that works this way. He's applying his own AI research project to someone's experiences in a normal MMO.

Good to see another vote for EVE though.

 

Offline Nu11u5

  • 25
Did you read the thread? He's not looking for an MMO that works this way. He's applying his own AI research project to someone's experiences in a normal MMO.

Good to see another vote for EVE though.
I read it both ways (I blame my cold medicine messing with me), one just took a lot longer to explain.

Additional information regarding Eve:

The game's developers, CCP, frequently support research projects based on their game.  In the past groups have gotten special access to database exports or given invulnerable observer ships that can go anywhere in the game instantly.  Contact them and see what they can help you with.

Additionally, high level information such as star system ownership (all 5000+ of them) is available via a public data feed.  Other live information can be extracted from the client's cache files if you are inventive enough - although the client never receives anything you can't access directly anyway the raw data could be useful.

Between the data you can gather and the player testimonies Eve should be one of your candidates.

 
WoW has everything you're after as well, the RP realms do this rather well.

But generally the richer a games lore the less creative it's playerbase feels the need to become, empty games like EvE tend to have a hell of a lot of user generated content.

Neocron had some good RP but you'll never find any life RP anymore I expect.

AC and UO had good RP and EQ is where all their good RPers migrated to, EQ2 had a progressive migration from that too.
Other than that most of the MMOs I've played have just been about teh gearz or the action.
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Offline General Battuta

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'Empty games'? Have you read the EVE website, or all the short stories, or the novels, or whatever?

It's crazy!

 

Offline NGTM-1R

  • I reject your reality and substitute my own
  • 213
  • Syndral Active. 0410.
Now recommend me some MMOs, for SCIENCE! :D

EVE.

Get ahold of somebody in the intelligence business for Goonswarm,or TCF, or Red Alliance. (Goons are most likely; GIA has agents to spare so they won't feel as threatened.) Mittens could point you to somebody with a short agent lifespan anyways and a taste for getting hostile capital fleets killed. (Alternately, you could simply ask him to point you to an alliance that gets itself beat up on a regular basis if you feel like telling that story.)

Alternately, PVPer from Brick Squad, Burn Eden, or REPO. Just follow them around.
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Offline Fury

  • The Curmudgeon
  • 213
I recommend World of Warcraft and of of the role-play (RP) servers. WoW has very extensive LUA support which you can code your own addons on. This should make it fairly trivial to gather and record (much/most/all of) the data you want. I do not know if this would be possible in EVE. In WoW is is also fairly trivial to get your toon into the social hotspots that are the major cities. If you want yourself in the middle of action, then leveling death knight is very fast especially if you have a friend playing on same server. Like in all MMO's, botting is not allowed and will quickly get you banned.