MMORPG Design Challenges

Riddle me this, Batman.  My original thinking was that I’d up the maximum number of entities in a region to 300 (was previously 100), but would count the number of monsters against that.  So you could have region servers that supported lots and lots of players, but only by lowering the number of monsters.  It was a clever plan, I thought.  Until I saw this, just a few minutes ago.

It’s a randomly generated starting area the game just gave me.  Each region has 200 monsters in it, leaving the same 100 adventurer maximum as was present in version 1.0.  As you can see, the monsters are very, very sparse in the large northwest region, but very dense in the tiny northeast region, just because the game is spreading 200 monsters more or less evenly inside each region, regardless of the region’s size.

Is that reasonable behaviour?  I’m not convinced.

The more I play with this, the more I’m thinking that I don’t actually want to have nearly so many design options that affect the whole world;  that really, what people want to do is affect a single region, or a single group of regions.  So you could have a region with a town, and allocate very few monsters to it so that the region server has space for a lot of players, and then have outlying regions which have lots of monsters, as fewer players will be visiting them.  And while I’m at it, maybe you should be able to create monster types individually for each region, instead of having one “master list” that’s used for the whole world.

But that’s going down the path toward micromanagement, and I really didn’t want to go there, initially.  But maybe that’s the natural directon for this type of game to move into.