There is no doubt that an mmo is a unique type of product. Holding it to a standard that you would for an automobile would not be fair or realistic, I get that.
Contrary to what people may have gleaned from my numerous, not so flattering posts, there are many fine aspects to this game. So for this post I will retire my overly judgemental gavel of mal content and focus on what would be some nice additions, eventually , when they have a better handle on some of the issues that shine a less than favorable light on the game.
Anyone here ever play Vanguard? If you had not , it was supposed to be the successor to Everquest. It was not a bad game , it had problems at the beginning, just like this game, and because of the complexity of the game, it took a very long time to rectify them. From all accounts it is a fine game now , but the subscriber rate never really recovered. When I did play , there was a feature that really appealed to many people who disliked combat. Diplomacy.
You could actually level a character to max level , get all the mounts and items associated with diplomacy, and you never had to draw your sword if you could steer a horse. Same with crafting. There were many ways to level and you could even do all three, and most people did to some extant. There have been many posts by people who are asking for a similar system, might be worth it for cryptic to go have a look and maybe get some ideas. Diplo wasn't just talking to people either , there was a minigame you had to play where you used diplomacy skills in the form of cards , in a turn based conversation game. It was really quite fun. Down the line this could fill a huge player base gap. Reserve the diplomat title for real diplomats , not starship capt's that dabble it it when necessary.
Some love pvp , some like it and some can not stand it. Thats a given for any game. For those who love it , why not let them do it all the time.
Create a sector of space which has enough quests to raise a player from lt-vice am. Create accolades that give titles to the player after the completion of X amount of missions. So a title of say master tactician , or warlord is a title you can wear around spacedock that identifies you as a pvp player.
In sector space anyone can initiate an enemy contact with anyone of equal or higher level. No safe spots , no where to run unless you invest in very fast engines. If you get caught or catch someone , you are instanced and a battle ensues. You are rewarded a minimum amount of exp with bonus' for performance.
Will there be packs of warbirds and cruisers hunting the sector all the time? of course , but the people who will use this feature most, are the people who thrive in that kind of environment.
Quests. - upon reaching an area in pvp space where a quest is located , you can activate it and begin the mission. Once you do , an icon appears in sector space with a flag that identifies your faction, average rank and number of players. If there are multiple instances then a drop down box appears with the information on all instances currently running. If the box is green, you are eligable to enter that instance, if red , you are to high an average level. This would obviously have to be faction restricted , which means klinks vs feds.
Ground or space instance? you wouldnt know until you got in. I would try and program pvp quests to contain both elements, so that a player entering to fight another player already there would need to find them and engage , this would give a slight advantage to those already there. How to ballance engagements? Spocks father said it best when talking about his wife. " I think she would say, Don't try". once again pvp players take pride in the fact that they can overcome the odds and come out on top. You never know who is in an instance or who is comming in , joe killer with all the best gear and 10,000 victories, or new guy VA with 2000 kills and green gear. Frustrating at times? you bet , but the pvp players know they love it.
Death penalties in pvp? Death penalties are a sore subject in any game. Many think they are necessary , and many think they are burdensome. What you need is a happy medium. When you are killed in a pvp instance, you are locked out of that instance for say 30 minutes , you can choose to que up for it , or choose another instance. If you are grouped , then all players in the same group must be eliminated in order for the 30 minute penalty to take effect, otherwise it stayes standard. spawn points are always the zone in , so the further along in a mission someone is , the longer it would take someone to get back to the fight.
when you finish a quest you get rewarded by the base quest amount + a performance bonus on any combat. points for damage inflicted , hp healed, shield points healed etc...
If you are killed and locked out you are rewarded performance points only.
If you kill the instance originating party completly , then you gain all thier knowledge and may finish the quest to gain the quest reward and experience. If you lose an instance you originated, you lose everything exept performance points.
It's just an idea , and there are obviously more things to consider than what I have, but its a start on pvp leveling.