The Daily Grind: What camping options do you wish your MMO had?

    
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I’ve always been a little disappointed in how most MMORPGs ignore camping as a basic feature of the game. After all, we’re spending so much time venturing out into virtual nature — but we almost never stop to build a campsite and hunker down around a flickering fire. Instead, we hit that port back to the city so we don’t have to deal with a gorgeous night under the stars.

Do you wish that MMOs had the option — even if just with roleplaying tools — to set up a campsite? What camping options would you love to see and use in your game?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Ardra Diva

the campfire skill in LOTRO is welcomed but I do wish it lasted longer. I would enjoy a ‘sleeping bag’ emote that could make it more like camping.

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Yuge McBigly

OG SWG camps all day

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Schlag Sweetleaf
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Stormwaltz

Camp sites ideally allow you to temporarily (and for some cost) do everything you can do in town – craft, send and receive mail, sell loot and buy supplies, repair equipment, summon group members, clear debuffs, access the auction house, etc.

Many years ago I designed a paper MMORPG (as gamers of my generation are, I suppose, wont to do) that had a “logistics” skill line for this. The idea was that you set up a camp just outside a hard location/encounter to prepare for a run on it.

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Robert Mann

Camping goes hand in hand with expanding travel. Stopping somewhere to set up for some alternative activities, possibly exploring the area around the camp and finding something interesting to pursue or not at your discretion… there’s so much that is possible with taking a different direction than the relatively small static world MMO that we have had so frequently.

I am pretty open to even just RP toolsets, but camping feels pretty mandatory for my own ‘ideal’ of a true virtual world style MMO.

Fisty
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Fisty

Camping in ANY game would be a great feature. WoW has the campfire option and it does happen frequently on RP servers. It seems like some games do give bonuses for being around a campfire (not sure which, I could be crazy), but a little buff and maybe gaining rested XP while set up at the site would give a bonus. If you had more than 1 person around the campfire, the buff could increase, even if was just a little bit.

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Ardra Diva

they’re rapid healing beacons in LOTRO essentially, but they look nice too and last a few minutes so you can use them for RP/relaxing

EmberStar
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EmberStar

The only games I currently play where camping even kind of makes sense are Ark and Conan Exiles. They both have the option for it, sort of. (You can build campfires, bedrolls, a tent. Although Conan Exiles pulls a stupid and requires the tent to be placed on foundations. OnO ) Camping out in the open in those games isn’t really a great idea though, just because wandering mobs exist and most of them aren’t scared off by the campfire. A nice little marshmallow roast in Ark will almost certain come to an abrupt end when a passing carnotaurus decided that, why yes it DOES fancy a little snack! Thudthudthud BITE *ded*

creationguru
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creationguru

I would so do camping if there was some reason for it. Now if I could get buffs or travel time made sense but thst would mean actually giving me a virtual world that I lived in and did not allow you to cap your character in 30 minutes.

Now if a game would make the overworld and mobs change with time of day and say a camp light was a safe place in the dark etc thst would amazing but I am don’t holding my breath for a true virtual world mmo and will be presently suprised when I get it one day maybe when I’m 90.

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Schmidt.Capela

As far as I can tell, the reason you often see day/night cycles with different mobs coming out at different times of the day in offline games, but rarely see something of the kind in MMOs, is because offline games can allow the player to control the flow of time; in most offline games, if nightfall just happened but you need a mob that only comes out during the day, you just tell your characters to wait, skipping many minutes, or even hours, of wait time.

Even when time control isn’t officially enabled, in offline games it’s often possible to cheat in order to get the same effect. If, say, I want a night-time critter during the day in Animal Crossing, I can just change the system clock, get the critter, and change it back. So people who aren’t down with waiting in real time have alternatives.

In an online game, though, the same situation would require the player to wait out the day/night cycle in real time, which not everyone is cool with.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I think I almost remember a game I played for a while having a day/night cycle. But for some reason it was tied to the real time where the server was located. I found it a little irksome, because I could only ever play at the same time due to work. Which happened to be late at night. I like nighttime, I am not a morning person. But the way games handle night is usually not fun.

Hint to game devs – human eyes adjust to lack of light. And “sun goes down” doesn’t mean “all ambient light ceases to exist.” I have walked through a real forest on a cloudy night. Unless it’s also a *moonless* night, it’s never pitch black. And it really sucks to have “night” be “so dark it’s not fun” when you (game devs) have decided your nights are twelve real-time hours long. OnO

Fisty
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Fisty

That’s a good way to walk through giant spider webs or get eaten by a scary sounding owl, or eaten by mountain lion or slashed up by a bobcat or coyote or bear and damn my woods are scary at night…

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Mountain lions and bears exist where I live. I’m not saying walking through a forest at night is a great idea… just that it’s not “You might as well not have eyes” dark like so many video games do.

The absolute pitch blackness of in-game nights is even more annoying in fictional settings where there are multiple (and often absolutely enormous) moons in the sky most of the time. Seriously, night time in Skyrim should be bright enough to *wake people up*, nevermind being able to find your way down a clearly marked road. :(

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Ardra Diva

HDR really actually does help with that, the generation of devices in just a few short years as well as games will likely support it pretty generally. Day/night cycles and clouds/weather are incredibly important in an MMO to make the game seem alive.

Turing fail
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Turing fail

Well, EVE has gatecamping- when you sit on a stargate between systems to ambush whomever comes through…

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Schmidt.Capela

My issue with camping is that I really dislike downtime. As in, fifteen seconds of downtime is already enough to get me glancing at my second monitor or my portable console wondering if I should just do something else until the downtime is over and I can actually play again. And camping often implies either very slow paced gameplay or actual downtime.

Apart from that, I neither like nor dislike in-game camping; as long as it neither wastes my time nor threatens to put me to sleep with boringly slow gameplay I will regard it (and engage with it) as just another in-game activity.

One example of in-game, but non-MMO, camping that I liked (in the sense that it didn’t bother me) was from Dragon Quest XI; you activate a campfire and it cuts to a night scene of your party around the bonfire, with a menu for using the camping “features” (saving, crafting, etc), allowing you to rest, save, and be on your way in just a few seconds. If you want, though, you can cancel out of the menu to explore the campsite and talk to the party members, using it for roleplaying purposes or as downtime.