Thursday, January 24, 2008

HIGHLANDER...the MMO?


Now listen: there are movies, and then there a cinematic masterpieces. The latter category is a rarefied breed composed of such notables as Star Wars (Episodes 4-6), Indiana Jones, and, of course, HIGHLANDER. Now, I'm going to restrain myself here and not go on a 3-4 page tangent on exactly how much I'd give to be one of the sword weilding immortals. Thankfully, these misty dreams may no longer be hapless geek fantasy due to the vision and unadulterated charity of Eidos Interactive, who has recently announced a game featuring the Highlander Franchise. Check out the game trailer (courtesy of http://www.gametrailers.com/.)

Sadly, the game isn't a MMO (in fact the Highlander MMO was cancelled some time ago), but I couldn't help but wonder how it might work...

For those of you unfamiliar with Highlander Lore (shame on you), I'll provide a very brief and potentially innacurate recounting of one particular aspect to the story: the competition. For various reasons, Immortals are required to engage in combat with swords. Victory in these duels is achieved through hacking off your opponent's head (indeed this is the only way to kill an immortal). You then gain your fallen foe's powers and move on to the next duel. The catchphrase of the movie states the ultimate goal of all of these duels: "There can be only one."

So, how do we make a game where players are required to decapitate others and they can't come back lest the competition be neverending? Layered servers.

This MMO would not be for the timid. You would be granted infinite lives, but only one life per server. You may be incapacitated without reprecussion on each server (ex: getting rocked by mobs) but you can only die through decapitation once before you are kicked to the next realm. Upon death, you retain your stats and experience, but you are now in a new "losers bracket" competition. If you die again, you move to the next "losers braket." There will likely be 5-10 brackets before you stay in the realm regardless of deaths.

Each series of brackets will have a player cap of perhaps 5000-10000 players. After this cap is reached, no additional players can enter the bracket. Players who fail to play for over a month will have their avatars moved to a lower bracket (in order to ensure the competition may continue). Eventually the population will thin among the highest brackets to the point where competitions will be difficult to come by, and some sort of organized tournament will be required...until there is only one. Winners of a bracket will achieve various permanent prizes (access to winners brackets, special weapons or other perks).

Now, there is an incredible amount of fine tuning that would need to be done. And I think there is a real possibility of having smaller and more agile servers (competitions of 10-50 where you start with preleveled characters) in addition to the behemoth competitions (where you would level like a normal MMO with the competition as a subplot). How this all blends together leads to some very intriguing possibilities for heirarchical servers and massive worldwide competitions...

And just think of the sweet swords.

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1 comment:

Font said...

I someday want to live in a world where fizzle makes all my choices for me...the fact that i have to go on and on through each grueling day making my own choices is almost too much to bear...


FIZZLE MAKE THIS HAPPEN.