I have been kind of keeping an eye on the development of the mmo age of wulin for some time way back when it was just another Asian mmo with some cool concepts. While the original eagerness I had has departed on to greener pastures I still find some of the ideas it has rather interesting.
There was a new video recently dipictating the kidnapping mechanic. Now in the video it actually doesn’t explain the interesting part and you have to kind of look past the very gimmicky kidnapping mechanic, rather underwhelming graphics, uninteresting looking combat, blatant sexist stereotypes, and it has an unusual adherence to movie tropes… If you can get past all that you may be interested to know that the person being kidnapped is not an just another NPC but an actual persons character.
When people log off and leave their characters, these assets are then used by the game to flesh out the world around. They are obviously controlled by simple routines to do the jobs of usual NPC which I find to be an amazing idea. How great would it be to run into your arch nemisis xcaptainkillnoobx while his character was used as a waiter at the local drinking hole, or seeing friends characters helping out the town while offline.
They are pretty much used for everything including guarding posts and shopkeepers, to resource gatherers.. it would just make the areas so much more nuanced as players have a huge range of diversity in their characters looks. The NPC’s I usually see are rather boring compared to what players do, with some assets being reused. And then you have the interesting names and such that a much better then generic fantasy name number 12, even with immersion being a big appeal you could just omit the silly trolling type names from the system.
Even better though is that if your character is chosen to perform some sort of service it is paid for its time. You could even tie in little mini games if you wish to.. you know… Make virtual worlds instead of a linear ride, stuff like skipping up in various odd jobs to get paid better in return. You could even get w little report about what your characters been up to in your absence.. Awesome.
Overall its just an interesting use of mechanics that I haven’t seen before and one of those ideas you wonder why others haven’t tried. One of the big problems in many mmo’s is certain towns and places being relative ghost towns and this would work towards fixing this well.