Tuesday, January 31, 2006

MMO Game Design: Stopping The Phat (Loot) Farmers

Hi There,

Currently many MMORPG game titles are suffering from unwanted commercial sweat shop labor harvesting game item drops that are outside the legal restrictions of a game title. Where the Ebay or IGE E-Commerce outlets are the resellers of these black market virtual goods.

Here's a nifty and geniusly simple game feature that will restrict "phat farmers" from ruining game play from your regular customers. Have loot item drops be restricted by a "Quota System". For instance say a level 25 fighter goes into the newbie proving training grounds. And begins to shut out lower levels from leveling and obtaining their requisite loot level drops.

The "Quota System" would in affect handicap the loot farmer from taking heaps of lower level loot items. They would be restricted to an unpublished looting quota of said game drops items that are 10 to 5 levels beneath them in game character development. This can work in tandem with those present avatar creation restrictions per server. Just in case a Phat Farmer attempts to create a new avatar to find a work around from the quota loot system in place.

That's how you nip it in the bud before it plagues your regular customers. Ala what happened in Lineage 2 by NC Soft when they launched their game title a couple of years ago.