Today I started re-writing my first and only vampire novel. Okay, we’ll call it a “paranormal romance” because that’s what sells all over the shelves of your local bookstore. Thinking about publishing led me to the White Wolf website, and on to the World Of Darkness MMO thread in their forums. (No work, distracted again by playing–hey it’s what we gamers do!)
I admit to being a little dismayed that it’s supposedly vamps only. But…I do understand that in order to do the IP properly, we’re talking a bunch of different clans just among the vampires, and that’s a big deal to do properly. The idea of having werewolves and fay to chose from at the outset is probably over-the-rainbow wishful thinking.
Still. Everyone in the game is a vampire? I don’t know how to feel about this. I just know that it’s going to be epic super interesting. This MMO could just come up and surprise stomp everyone. Move over Sith and Defiants. We have serious ass-kicking vampires. I haven’t played Eve, which of course is the former major MMO created by CCP, the maker of the WoD MMO. Could wolves and other races be added later at all and reasonably fit into the world PvP and economy as dire enemies? I just don’t know.
After the break, I look at some highlights from the WW forum thread and add some quotes for posterity.
The topic of day and night is really interesting to me. This would bring epic realism. An all-night all the time deal would be really lame. So here is the common misconception:
I just can’t see a Day/Night cycle working in a vampire-dominated MMORPG. If it’s a long cycle then it interferes when I want to play (e.g. I feel like leveling up my nosferatu character a bit on Tuesday night but it turns out that the sun is “up” in-game at that time so I can’t play)…
Here is a great compiled list of the possibilities, summarized nicely by Valamyr. He’s right. The sun and the dawn, and burning and all that–it’s a standard. It seems like you just have to have it, even though the Bloodlines single player game didn’t. Well, there is so much good stuff here, I’m going to go completely crazy and quote the gist since the original is a little TL/DR:
“But there are other good ideas:
– “Just go underground” One is to remove the fact Kindred have to sleep during the day, and provide the players with EXTENSIVE underground or sun-sheltered playgrounds. Under this variant, most outdoor zones would be only accessible half the time, there would be a true day/night cycle, and everytime dawn approached, all the players would take refuge in vast Necropoli, sewers and other underground environments… (kittykitty- This sounds awesome.)
– “Sunshield” Another possibility which cuts even deeper into the lore is to give Kindred the ability to withstand the sun for short periods of time if some conditions are met. For instance, allow Kindred who are well-fed a short “timer” where the sun doesnt damage them. To add a twist, make this timer longer if their humanity is high…its probably the most exciting option from a pure “gameplay” point of view.
– “Switch at will” is another option. It makes no sense as long as the world is filled with Kindred only, but what when other supernaturals are added? People who recall Age of Conan’s Tortage will remember a mechanic where the island was instanced into both “daylight” and “nighttime” versions, and where players could switch between either by going to the inn and switching to the other mode… (kittykitty- This is exactly what I was thinking. I really liked this mechanic.)
– “Fast forward” is another possibility, one I thought of to cater specifically to a Vampire-only world. Instead of having an “always night” setting, you build the world to be realistic from the point of view of a PnP Vampire. A vampire never sees the sun because the pull of the Sleep is too strong. What they see is Twilight (when they wake up), Nighttime, and if they dont hurry up and get home, Dawn. The beginnings and endings of their nights are the only times when the sun threatens them, the rest of the time, they cannot rouse themselves from sleep except in the most dire circumstances. How does that translate mechanically? You make the world pretty much Night-only, but every several hours “Dawn approaches”…
– “What Sun?” A variant on the perma-night setting. Its entirely possible that they’ll choose permanight but will want to find a way to explain it. There are various possibilities here, but they pretty much all involve breaking from the usual “The world is like ours, but with monsters” theme. Maybe Gehenna is nigh and a dark shadow has covered the world, blocking the sun. Maybe Lasombra antediluvian has arisen…I’m throwing it out there because its an option.
– “The cheesy way out, hold the sparkles please”. Yet another perma-night in practice, but prettier. If they want to provide no downtime for Kindred and still score points for aesthetics, they might be tempted to make a world where there’s still a day/night cycle of sorts but it doesnt harm Vampires in any way or restrain their activities in any way. For instance, there could be day/night, but there’s always a thick cloud cover at day, and this is explained simply as being “how things are in the world of darkness.”…This interpretation obviously minimizes greatly the practical effect of the weakness to sunlight, but it scores high on both playability and aesthetics scales.
Annddd that’ll be it for now as I have to go and this post is getting long. Still, what I wrote are the best ideas I was able to come up with as possible alternatives to perma-night. Realistically, I expect them to go perma-night. But if they ever add Ghouls, Hunters or Wolves, I really hope they consider the “Switch at will” setup, at least. Being “stuck in permanight” as a hunter or werewolf would feel really unfair; essentially, it would giving your arch-enemy homeground advantage every game!”