Shattered World Part IX - Instanced PvE, Crafting and Economy

Instanced PvE

After much thought, I've decided that I probably will include Instanced Player vs. Environment. However, I do want to approach it from an entirely different angle than WoW, EQ2, or pretty much any game I've played thus far with true instanced content.

In other MMOs the purpose of the instance is to take a break from the questing of the overworld and run a dungeon for massive rewards. In Shattered World the purpose of an instance is to let players go kill random shite for a while, alone or in a group, and get a marginal sum for doing so. The rewards gotten from the Instance will be based primarily on distance away from the main city, giving even PvE players good reason to wander to the edges of the game space.

NPCs inside of an instance will be of level and number to make for a decent challenge for the lowest level players entering the instance, and will give a fraction of the scrip they would reward in the overworld. The lowest level instance which will be in the new players starting area will probably give only 5-10% of the scrip which equivalent world level mobs would.

Since NPCs don't give biomass until after level 300, I am debating making an NPC trade of scrip for biomass. I will go into this in the economic segment of this article though, and not here.


I've touched somewhat on crafting before, but I would like to go into slightly more detail now, but first a change from previous articles. I have decided that it would be for the best if armor was also destroyed on death. Now for those of you who haven't ever played EVE this may seem shocking, but bear with me. In a PvE focused game where you min-max for the best gear to destroy end game instance bosses, the destruction of your armor is a major frustration. In a world PvP focused game, however, it helps to stabilize the economy, gives jobs to young players, and adds depth to logistical side of the game.

Basically, with destructible weapons and armor, it changes running around with your best gear all the time from an obvious choice to an idiotic choice. It also removes the need for there to be a thousand different tiers of armor, with stat pluses and all that jazz. It means that even an armorer who isn't terribly good is still a useful part of a guild and has a chance to get paid for their work, as cheap and easily replaced armor and weapons are a must for active PvP.

With a crafting system that requires players to discover the best combinations through trial and error, or mathematical genius, there is going to be a large amount of trial and error from beginning craftspeople. It's to everyone's advantage to have those weapons still go to good use.

A fun thought for a possible addition to crafting, though obviously this is not an initial release level priority, would be armor and weapon painting. I don't mean picking up different dyes and applying them to weapons and armor, that is a given, what I mean is a brush tool that would allow you to paint armor and weapons with patterns and designs. The market for this would obviously be related to a person's real world skill as an artist, and creative talents.


There are, in fact, three currencies in Shattered World: Scrip, Biomass, and Real World Money. This has just been a post full of bad news hasn't it? Thats right there is RMT, no I'm not talking about an in-game item shop from the devs. Instead it will be an in-game item Bazaar. It is meant to be a place for the players to safely exchange their hard earned cash for whatever other players are willing to sell them. (And of course the dev team gets a small cut in the form of a listing fee so the subscription cost can hopefully remain relatively low.)

Bots will still be policed for obviously, though I certainly wouldn't discourage players form making their lives as difficult as possible. But hopefully this way we can sidestep problems with stolen credit cards and so forth.

Now I briefly discussed above the possibility of setting up an exchange rate between scrip and biomass, however with the RMT bazaar that creates certain challenges. For instance, it makes low risk instances easily farmable, and possibly well paying with a dedicated enough bot team. So how I would rather work it, is for there to be a portion of the bazaar specifically set aside to players trading between currencies. This would add the depth of a currency trade much like the real worlds, but also, hopefully, make it at least more difficult for bots to easily exchange massive amounts of farmed scrip for biomass. Of course, it is equally possible to simply remove any official exchange and simply leave it for player trades.

Back to the in-game economy though, scrip is not an entirely useless currency. Where as biomass is the currency of building, whether it be characters, buildings or equipment, scrip is the currency of hiring. The Mercenarium which can help guard your town is paid for in scrip, the vehicles used to achieve speedy transit are sold for scrip, and in fact any dealing with NPCs will primarily be scrip. So perhaps even more simply, biomass is the currency of the players while scrip is the currency of the NPCs.

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