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June 17, 2008



I'm a Harry Potter fan as well, I like the books anyway. I'm not sure how they'd work traditional MMO gameplay elements into the HP IP. Take grinding for example - fighting in the HP books is a rarity so what would grinding consist of? Reading books in the library? Doing homework? Not that they couldn't do it, just not sure how they'd factor that in. Or maybe they'd set the game in the wizarding world outside the school where more MMO elements could come into play, like catching bad guys or something? I'm not sure I'd like it if it was set outside the school because the school is so essential to the books.

And I hear ya about the audience - I know it's probably going to be aimed at a much younger audience than I am. I suspect it will be MMO-lite. I'd probably just play it to see what they did and run around Hogwarts for a bit before signing off.


I'm with you there. I'd actually really love to see a game set in Rowling's world POST-Year 7.

But I can't shake this feeling that if Turbine DOES do HP:Online... it'll be some sort of children's casual online game akin to Webkinz or something along those lines.

I hope I'm wrong.



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@ Kahn - As you said, Hogwarts is an essential part of the HP experience. For me, that is that part of the game I'd be most excited to play. The Sims & its defunct online spin-off do have reading & practice as activities. :-) But not sure the MMO masses are up for that!

@Bildo - I hear ya on the watered down kiddie implementation. I fear that's the audience they'll go for which might make sense except that I don't think you can do a subscript pay model, which if it wasn't, will introduce other mechanics or lack of that will put me off as a player. Ugh, the more I think about it the less excited I am, realizing it's not likely to be the type of MMO I'll play. :-(


Hrm ... well, if Turbine is the company doing it, and they do it like LotRO, they will probably:

- Have it occur during the main storyline of the books, probably starting with the very first one (leading me to think it will be in Hogwarts and the surrounding areas).

- Have a separate yet somewhat related plotline that the players are following side-by-side with the main one (like the Book quests - they may invent an alternate Voldemort-type character that you have to punch out so he doesn't pester the main characters while they're battling the actual one.)

- Have regular interactions with the main characters and storyline (you'll meet Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dobby, et al).

- It may well be task-driven (as opposed to mob-kill driven). I'm basing this assumption off of how they set up LotRO - I'm aware that they've made other games and I'm not sure if they change the weight of quest v mob xp by game or if they generally favor quests / tasks.

All that being said, I have no special insights into what Turbine will do so they could throw their playbook out and do something totally different.


@Kahn - You're dead on when you say there are so many ways it could go. I'd really LOVE to run around Hogwarts but I'm also an XP grinding kinda gal not fond of the go do these quest mechanic. Who knows, perhaps there is something in between that no other MMO has had to really think about like you'd need to consider with the HP IP.


I also made the supposition on my blog that since Potter is considered youth fiction, and the console crowd are often (true or not) considered to be younger, that perhaps Turbine would be making Potter as their first console MMOG?

If they used a different business model, that would also (to a degree) get around the whole "XBL vs. MMOG" pricing scheme that will likely hit the fan once some MMOG's arrive that people might want to actually play. XBL players are accustomed to a Guild Wars 2 "buy the box, pay for DLC" approach, but having a monthly sub on a console - or at least the 360 - may be problematic.


@ Scott - What is your bkog URL? Still not sure you can make a good MMO that plays well on console & PC. Have to wonder if the combo combat in AOC is a reflect of needing the special button combos found in most console games. What's fun about combat in AOC is the fast pace and multi-target fighting. I could have done without the long combos.

I love HP so I hope it i a game I'll want to play. I'm still listening to the 3 top HP podcasts each week. :-)


I think that if the developers work closely with Rowling, they can make a game that will give fans what they have been looking for since the completion of the series.
For those who are familiar with WOW, you start out in one world, then at a certain level you go through a portal to another. In a HP game, you could start in school, leveling up by learning spells, using those spells to perform tasks, etc. After going through all the grades, you could graduate and enter the rest of the world. There could be a variety of different jobs with the overall goal of fighting dark magic. Because it will be directed at a younger audience, there probably won't be the option of being "evil." Leveling up does not have to involve killing monsters, and I think there will be plenty of ways to make the game effective and fun.
The only problem I see is how they will deal with Slytherin. I imagine that many younger kids won't choose to be in or like being placed in Slytherin. Maybe only NPC students will be in Slytherin, so they can be stereotypically evil.
All in all, I think the game will be a success.


I originally thought AoC would work well on the console. Perhaps it will, but it's combo system is merely busywork. They turned melee into casting, only instead of staring at a progress bar we have to do DDR-style combos which gives us a chance to screw it up. Unfortunately, casting itself is still staring at a progress bar.

Anyway, consoles can handle an MMO just fine, but devs have to reinvent the UI because *that* will not work on a console. We have way too many hotbars and too much crap that needs to be pressed and/or clicked in too short a period of time. More recent titles, such as Tabula Rasa, have worked on streamlining or simplifying the UI, which is what needs to be done *without* "dumbing it down." Simplification of the UI does not have to equate to simplification or shallowness of the overall game, which is what too many clueless devs believe.

@Patrick: oooh good point about Slytherin. Not so much being in the "evil" house; I can actually envision that being popular. Just look how people still whine about not being able to play one of Sauron's minions in LOTRO. However... the Sorting Hat places people in those houses in the lore, which removes choice. I don't think players would appreciate being automatically placed in any given House if they wanted to be in some other one.


Well as you are making a character you choose a path such as savant ie. Hermione that is one house or good with beasts Hagrid another and so on. You could have the newbie tasks like patrolling the forest and later objectives as taking down escaped prisoners and even more elaborite versions of the chamber of secrets as dungeons.


All excellent ideas. I suppose an MMO can be made that doesn't revolve around so much killing. However, thus far, slaying mobs is one of the things I enjoy in MMOs. But after MMO my favorite game has been the Sims, clearly a game without any killing to progress your characters.


Is that sentiment because slaying mobs is what you truly enjoy in MMO's or because slaying mobs is what all the emphasis is put on, therefore it's the only thing to truly "do" in our MMO's to date?

If equal time was put into development of every sphere rather than 93% into the combat sphere only, I wonder what that would show?


That would be really fun and the seven school grades at any wizard school could be the first job,second job ect. But when will they make it. I heard something about Warner Bros. say something like them-making HP mmo. Well Good things come to those who wait so I will just wait but I just simply can't!


@ Scott... My fear is that without the slaying mechanic it might be extremely quest (errand, find & run around) heavy, which I'm not a fan of. If on the other hand progression is more like the Sims, I'd be all over it. But HP is about a war and JK included combat and death so combat is likely to be included.


something that wasnt touched on when discussing the sorting issues is that through harry rowling showed that the sorting hat took into account the students choice... so i think it would be something that depended on the outcome of a specific quest-- like say a quest or something and depending on how you finish it or the order you finish it they give you the suggested house but you can chose a different one if you really dont like the one you got-- i dunno just an idea


I caught the last half of Order of the Phoenix the other night. There was a lot more fighting in that book/movie so perhaps there wouldn't be a need to have a kiddie experience. Clearly causing intentional harm resulting in death was a topic of the book series.

As far as sorting I don't think that's actually going to be a huge deal because the story as written allows for taking the students opinion into account so I'm sure a game would work that in as well.


If any of you have checked out the PiratesOnline game, it's great and as I was playing it, immediately thought that HP should have something similar. It could include the quests aspect as well as classes like Care of Magical creatures and transfiguration... plus wizarding battles... hmmm


I think the care of magical creatures could be fun. Maybe that would be one of the professions after you graduated? In the MUD that I was fiddling with writing as a private game to play with my family and friends. I had a professor who gave out quests where the reward was a creature. You could have an infinite amount of them but only have one out at the time. Each pet granted a different benefit such as stat boost or type of resistance.

After a certain level you could search for your own eggs to hatch and sell those to other players as your crafting profession. If a feeble minded non-game designer such as I, can think of an interesting way to include care of magical creatures, I'm sure the seasoned professionals will!


they could do some much more and they could have like potion as a profeesion, if they do bring it out it will be after the last film and game are out so they dont loss money on them, also what they do is make you find spell though out the game something different maybe after doing some quest to get spells and like skill point to make you good or evil and have a few spells here well thats what i think anyway, there is so much here they can do it doesnt have to just be in the school they have so many town they can use even make new ones up

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