[The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar] Some sort of announcement was made at PAX the other day from the folks at Turbine. I have not been able to confirm this, but it has promise. This is something I would love to try out myself. (Note to Turbine: the game’s name isn’t long enough – please add more words.)
First, for some background on Project M, an idea tried in Everquest:
What was Project M and how did it affect the creation of monster missions?
Project M was an experiment done back in fall of 2001 where players could select a monster at the character selection screen. The intent was to allow players to hop into the body of a low level creature and challenge other creatures and players, but the design of the system at the time had some significant problems that prevented Project M from staying on servers long.
Why didn’t Project M work?
First, Project M didn’t fit into the immersive world of EverQuest as players were simply choosing an NPC at character select (such as a moss snake). In addition, a small minority of players used Project M to grief new players which introduced a PvP element on PvE servers that was unintended. As you can imagine, the only people who typically had fun were the griefers and even then it was a short term play-style as players never earned rewards.
And now for the news from PAX, where a friend heard it from a friend that someone overheard someone else say this:
At the character selection screen, you can select “Monster Play”. This lets you play as a monster, such as a goblin. This is not a persistent character–it is a pre-made goblin, already set up with equipment, skills, hotkeys, etc.
As a goblin, you will have monster quests. Some will involve killing good NPC’s. Some will involve patrolling special PvP zones and killing players. Either way, player-controlled monsters will be restricted to certain areas. By completing your quests and/or killing good guys, you get points–let’s call them “Monster Points” (MP’s).
MP’s can be used to buy long-lasting (but non-permanent) buffs for your good-folk character, or they can be used to buy a Monster Play session that will let you play something more powerful, like an Uruk-hai or troll. You are only paying for a single such session though–in order to continue playing as a bigger, badder monster, you will have to earn more MP’s. Of course, the quests for bigger monsters will also yield MP’s (perhaps enough to keep playing that monster).
I’d sign up for “Monster Play” in a heartbeat.