Sunday, June 29, 2008

MMORPGs need more statistics!

Viewable statistics are the polish that's lacking from most MMORPGs. I'm talking about the millions of tiny statistics generated from performing actions in an RPG world. For example, some PvE statistics could be:
  • Number of bears killed
  • What monster class has done the most damage to you
  • What monster you have killed the most
  • Your favourite weapon
  • Number of Dungeons completed successfully/unsuccessfully
  • Number of treasure chests opened
So whats so cool about all these statistics and why do MMORPGs need to capture them? In my opinion, being able to view these stats about your RPG character gives you a greater sense of achievement, as well as adding an extra layer of coolness to the game. It can even give you bragging rights if you were able to show these stats to your other online buddies. MMORPGs could take it one step further and provide your character with bonuses once they reached certain levels of statistics. For example, if you kill 1000 bears, you get the title of 'Bear Killer' and will forever do 5% more damage to bears. Kind of like the Guild Wars title system.

I think viewable statistics on a guild charter for each member would also be very cool to have. Here are some examples:
  • Number of hours online since joining the guild
  • Number of guild battles won/lost
  • Number of raids participated in
  • Gold donated to the guild
  • Quest assists you have provided to buddies
Viewable statistics could be made local to a particular raid/mission as well. How handy would it be to be able to see how much damage/healing your team mates are doing in the raid/mission? You could press 'Tab' or something and bring up a list showing you exactly who was doing all the work and who was slacking off. Maybe even provide the leader with the option to boot the lowest participating player on the list. I think this would definitely improve the quality of raids and mission in the future of MMO gaming.

The greatest area for viewable statistics would be in the realm of PvP. WoW already shines in this area, providing PvP players with an easily readable list of who's doing the most damage/healing/kills/flag captures etc on the battleground. Sadly, Guild Wars, which is renown for it's PvP doesn't have anything of the sort. It would be great if the game had a reward system for the player who finished top of the PvP list. For example the player who finishes top could receive double honor/faction points or get a special token that could be traded in for elite PvP gear.

Viewable statistics are the kind of polish that would make any MMORPG that little bit better. It's not a new concept, I remember being able to view stats about my character in Baldur's Gate. I just hope to see more of it in MMORPGs in the future.


Chappo said...

You referred to raids and how nice it would be if you could tell how much dmg/healing everyone is doing. Nowadays you can download mods for the game that will tell you this stuff, so there isn't a desperate need to add it to the game.

I don't quite understand what you mean when you say it will add polish, certainly it would be very interesting, but it could quite easily bog down the game. For instance if you press tab in a raid it brings up all the dmg/healing stats, wouldn't you have to change it when your soloing?
And if the game provided an entire list of statistics about the various creatures you have killed and your favorite weapon while it would give a sense of achievement I don't feel that it would offer much else. You don't really need to be told what your favorite weapon is or the spell you use most often.
you said
'I'm talking about the millions of tiny statistics generated from performing actions in an RPG world'

I don't feel that millions of statistics would add a whole lot to the game, and definitely not polish.
Saying all this I agree that mmorpgs need to provide you with more personal achievement stats, such as the most damage you did will a melee weapon, but its vital that they would have to pick and choose which stats to show, otherwise it would be overwhelming.

Crimson Starfire said...

chappo said: "I don't quite understand what you mean when you say it will add polish". Showing and gathering statistics wouldn't really be necessary, but I think that it could make a good game better. Hence the 'polish'.

Some of the examples I gave weren't particularly good (i.e. fav weapon), and I understand that some WoW mods allow you to view raid stats, but it would still be nice to have it built into the core of the MMORPG. Imagine playing WoW without the raid and PvP stats they have. It would be just that little bit worse off.

The exact stats that people want to know most, would depend on the game, but I definitely think PvP statistics are a necessity.

Mellon said...

The upcoming Warhammer Age of Reckoning has got a very nice statistics/story function that is called "the Book of Knowledge". Keeps track of your number of kills of all possible sorts of monsters and gives you cool titles and XP-rewards at certain amounts. It also remembers all the quests you have ever done, and similar. Have a look at this video for a quick guiding to it:

Crimson Starfire said...

Awesome!! I knew that the Tomb of Knowledge was going to be cool, but I didn't exactly how cool. Cheers heaps for the link Mellon.

Mellon said...

My pleasure really.

I had the opportunity to play WAR for a couple of hours during Dreamhack. The ToK is at least as awesome as the video makes it out to be. Now I'm just trying to preach the word to everyone so I'll have plenty of people to play with :-)