WOO II An Exploration in Design - July 2012 - By Stoneghost: Dalaran

 

WOO II - The account

The player is an individual human being who controls a game account. An account may have more than one character, and these are linked in various ways (e.g., banking, gear, mounts, currency) through the account. Account level attributes help the player manage his or her characters.

There is a subtle change in emphasis that is encouraged by this point of view. In single player games, each character is unique and the player can be viewed as pretending to BE the character. In multi-player games, the characters are connected via various in game options and the player must be viewed as MANAGING a stable of characters.

Establishment

The date of establishment is displayed on the account page. Overall time-in-game for the player is recorded as experience.

Binding

All items that bind, bind to the account and can be shared among characters.

Banking

Banking is an account level function that provides storage space for all characters. A central storage area handles general cash and common items and sub-areas can optionally be assigned to specific characters.

This approach will make character management easier for the player. Cash can be quickly reallocated, as can items. There will no longer be a need to load characters one at a time to see what is in inventory.

This kind of inventory sharing should also reduce the total number of items needed in the game. And, it should eliminate the need for in-game mailing of items within accounts.

Character Switching

On a given server (or everywhere if possible) ... players may switch from one character to another by means of a dialog invoked from the User Interface. This process is similar to switching specifications on a character in the current game. In other words, all of the players characters are assumed to be available at the current location. If the player wishes to move to a character which resides at a different location, he or she logs out of the current character and into the next one.

The goal is to encourage players to develop multiple characters and reduce the need for multiple specifications on single characters. Advantages to the player include the ability to keep a variety of alternate characters geared and ready to go. Advantages to the game include an overall reduction in storage space (assuming that multiple characters will be developed in any case) and processing time. The prime disadvantage is the need to level multiple characters. However, many players will want to make characters in different Life Styles regardless of switching availability.

WOO II would maintain the "specification" facility of the current game. However, this facility can only switch between Life Path configurations on a single character. There is no way for a single character to occupy more than one Life Path. Nonetheless, it would be useful, from the Player's point of view, to be able to switch from, say, Healer to Tank to DPS, or Farmer to Maker to Factor.

Companion Status

Some players with physical or mental disabilities may need help in playing the game. Companions are players whose accounts have been co-ordinated with another's account, thus allowing them to accompany that player in all aspects of the game. For example, a Companion is able to accompany his or her player into solo Questing instances, into Crafter Holdings, and other places normally limited to one character.

Companions are automatically grouped with their players for entry into random dungeons and battlegrounds. The Companion adds an extra player to the team, though this player is not included on the roster.

It is assumed that this will not be a normal mode of play. Companion status requires a special, separate account, and probably there should be a charge to acquire the status.