Tag Archive for instancing

Welcome to Town (US) (PvP) (14)

If you don’t understand the title, well, I wouldn’t blame you, I just made it up. But the idea behind is has to do with instancing.

One of the best elements of the game Guild Wars is that as long as you and another player are playing in the same expansion, you can play together. When I see games utilize instancing only to produce an infinite number of copies of Random_Dungeon_X or to produce seventeen copies of “town” to keep the populations low and yet they run a dozen or many dozens of world servers, I see it as an opportunity lost.

Where are the MMOs that utilize instancing as a method to eliminate the need for multiple servers? Worlds where everyone lives in the same place, they simply choose how they want to experience it when they leave “safety”. The title of this blog would indicate that you have entered “Town”, the localization is for the US (American English), its a PvP enabled instance, and it is the 14th of its kind because US PvP instances of “Town” are popular.

Of course, a game like WoW that has worked so hard to eliminate zoning except when going into little pocket dungeons and raid zones, this idea wouldn’t really work. And I realize that putting in a UI chunk that deals with switching instances, be it to join friends or escape crowds, might be off putting to some, but I think the idea has merit if only to avoid playing a game only to discover you can’t play with any of the people you meet at work or a party or wherever without someone (or several someones) having to pay to switch servers or start all over again. People might be resistant to it at first, but overall in the longterm I think it would be better for the virtual world of the MMO.

I hope to see it some day in more than just Guild Wars…

Directed Instancing

One of the things I find discussed quite often is the use of instancing in games.  Some people like it, some people hate it, and there is every shade of gray in between.  The problem with no instancing is that places can get crowded… you go out to kill orcs and find that all the orcs are being killed.  The problem with too much instancing is that it can seem like you are the only one there… messing around in Guild Wars with their version of instancing, in the city there are people, then I go outside and am usually alone.

Just spit balling here… but what about a “directed instancing”, where you have an area that is an instance designed for a few dozen people/groups each unit performing different tasks.  The idea would be that before leaving “town”, you or your group has to select a task.  Once you leave town, the task is locked and you zone out into an instance that all but guarantees that no one is performing the same task you are, but may be populated with people performing any one of the couple dozen tasks the area supports.  You might head into the forest to kill orcs and run across a player chopping lumber, another hunting bears for meat and skins, a group searching for a missing child, and a raid about to siege the wizard tower at the far end.

Would that work?