Developers can use the internet to trawl for ideas that will improve their games. This ‘crowd-sourcing’ will improve game longevity and sales because the market will get what they’ve been talking about and reaming of.
For instance: I’ve been dreaming of a large persistent world akin to TES-IV, Oblivion, where players can work co-operatively and save their progress. This will require a single “save file” on one machine. However, if the game is identical then the save file can be exported to any other. So it’s possible for people to share parts of their gaming experience.
MMORPG fall over because of their scale. Everyone you meet is an adventurer, NPC to get ‘stuff, plots or hints’ from, or just a decorative NPC of no impact to the game world. I’ve noticed that food seems to be grown in little farms that couldn’t feed four people let alone four hundred. A world that has more internal consistency is more enjoyable. It would be great if key NPCs were mortal and the killing of them disrupted the game world. In general games have little repercussions for miscreant behaviour. Fable 1 & 2 approach this somewhat cosmetically however greater impact from the in-game society upon the murderer/thief/serial-killer would be better. Societies do not work allowing people to get away with wantonly performing such acts.
This is where the ambush comes in to it. To my knowledge only the older games had ambushes that could occur against the player. Bringing this back will help address a few issues. How does a small “low-level” community tackle a “powerful spellsword” that many player characters become? They ambush them! It allows the creation of new experiences for players, too. Designers can introduce new monster types, eg. Shadow Assassins, sneaky thieves, pick-pockets. Yes: because if an ambush can be set, then a stealth system must be working.
If (StealthTest(NPC1 vs. actor) == success) Then set Invisible_Until_Attack(NPC1 -> Actor);
That’s the psuedo-code logic. Successful stealth test renders the actor invisible to the one that failed to “perceive” them.
One concern of mine is that people that think similarly to me about what they want from a gaming experience are too small a market share to have impact on game developments. What I hope is that interested developers are trawling the internet for ideas to refine their existing game concepts and projects.