One of the highlights (and lowlights) of a Massive Multiplayer Online experience is to be able to play with other people! In Mystic Riders, we want to be able to give people who enjoys social grouping the ability to experience the game in groups and do things together, while still also catering to the 70% lone single player game base.
Yes. You heard me. 70% of players in MMOs still like to play by themselves and don’t participate in PvP. These players may be explorers, or achievers, or play for story. Mystic Riders is specifically geared towards players who want a single player experience so they can enjoy the story and explore the world at their own pace.
However, at the same time, we want to encourage friendships and if two or more people want to enjoy the story together (and maybe answer the questions in different ways to see how the story plays out) then we want them to be able to do it. The players will be allowed to make friends and form temporary groups to run races and do story together.
Another standard feature to many MMOs is the ‘guild’ system. Groups of players banding together in order to do PvP and battle arenas. Because we are a non-combat game, our PvP consists of running champion races and horse shows and eventing. Horse shows and eventing are when profession riders get together to compete in different racing style events and show off their horses by leading them around through their paces. These are usually put together by a sponsor or a horse organization.
Therefore, Mystic Riders has clubs, our version of guilds. These clubs can participate in shows and eventing in the different districts. Clubs are a big deal in Astranar. There are 24 of them and the basic club names are all animals. During the Club Rush Event in the tutorial, the players will learn about all the different current clubs in their district. They won’t be able to join those clubs, but will be able to create ‘sister’ or ‘chapter’ clubs to those clubs using the same animal base names with different adjectives.
Clubs are tied to character slots and not to the player account. If a player has more than one character (because they want to play the story in a different way,) they can be part of more than one club. Only players that have paid for the game can form a club.
When a player forms a club, they’re the owner of that club. They get to choose the club colors, come up with the club symbol, and those will be used to customize special club gear and equipment which will be available for club members to purchase. They can decide what faction their club belongs to, and what type of club it is. Are they an all around eventing club? Do they prefer dressage? Or are they strictly for role playing?
The club owner will also be able to choose a Clubhouse. Clubhouses will have several different layouts, and like the My Farm and My Stable will be able to be upgraded and decorated with items. Win a bunch of trophies and ribbons, then maybe they want to put up a cupboard to display them? Maybe one of the members takes a really good group photo. Put it on the wall!
The club owner can also assign different roles to members of the club. These roles may be strictly ceremonial. Maybe there is a member of the club who loves doing trail rides and wants to be the road captain. Maybe there’s a member who is the best at championships and they’re the club champion.
Clubs can also hold events for their members outside of joining PvP. These events could be a club roleplaying session, going on a picnic in the Mirror World, doing practice races together, having a group story playing session, or doing dance videos as the Diamond Media Complex.
Having clubs and special type of events for these clubs gives the players more options of things to do and ways to enjoy the game.