by: William Usher
; edited by: Milawe
; updated: 4/17/2012
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What would Tron be like as an MMO? How would the combat be? What sort of vehicles would be at the player's disposal? Find out and more in this detailed look at what a Tron MMO could be like and how it could revolutionize competitive online gaming.
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Most Wanted MMOs
Recently, here at Bright Hub there was a Top 5 list of video game franchises that would make for pretty big MMO ventures, and one of them on that list happened to be Tron. The placeholder name for that game was Tron: Revolution and the idea behind it was that Tron was an MMO that took place within the Grid, with thousands of players running around as Programs attached to different factions.
Well, a lot of readers actually thought that a Tron MMO would be pretty cool. I mean, wouldn’t it be neat to actually travel through the dark void of the Grid with some chill-out trance tunes while you and your guild leave a streaking wave of light behind you on your light-cycles? Well, there’s no denying how awesome that would be.
To further delve into what a Tron MMO could be like here at Bright Hub, we have the Most Wanted MMOs, which will break down what some of the features and gameplay mechanics could be like, especially for everyone who missed out on the Top 5 with Tron: Revolution on the list.
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While most MMOs throw storylines and progressive plot-points off to the side -- with maybe the exception of a few titles such as Nexon’s highly lauded Vindictus or the hand-animated action-RPG, Lunia Online-- the storyline for Tron: Revolution could be pretty simple. Basically, it would involve four different factions within the Grid who all want to vie for control of the Central Processing Mainframe for different reasons. Each faction has a leader representing their side and the four sides will be designated in the respective red, green, blue and yellow color schemes.
Players would create their character (or Program) and enter the Grid assigned to the faction of their choosing. From there it’s a matter of carrying out quests that eventually propel you from being a simple sub-routine and into a full-fledged main process.
One thing that would be quite unique is that the starting newbie area of the game would look like the old-school Tron from 1982 (or as it was depicted in Tron 2.0). Players could get a feel for the universe, train up their Program-Avatar by participating in simplified games as it was shown off in the original movie. After getting past the standard level 20 newb mark that’s when players fast-forward to the real Grid…the one being fought over using the aesthetics and architecture that we fell in love with from Tron: Legacy. This is where the real battleground would take place.
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Creating A Program
The entire premise of Tron was also perfectly designed for becoming an MMO. Instead of playing saviors of the land, pre-designed avatars or look-a-like heroes like in Hero 108 or Elsword Online, Tron Revolution could easily accommodate for a detailed facial creation tool with some other standard-fare body-type modifications as well.
More than anything, though, Tron Revolution could be one of the few MMOs where looking like everyone else wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Still, as players level up throughout the game, graduating from the Tron 1.0 garb and into the Tron: Legacy gear there could also be a nice cache of cash shop clothes that offer various aesthetic looks featured throughout the Tron universe.
One way of being able to tell low-levels from high-levels are the amount of lights and the brightness of their lights on their suit. It could work as a nice way to tell who’s who while on the Grid.
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Combat And Class Types
One of the main selling points of Tron was the unique and highly inspired originality of the combat systems. In a Tron MMO one of the cool aspects of the game is that combat and classes could really take on some unique aspects that we rarely get to explore when it comes to combat in an MMO.
For one thing, free-roaming, real-time combat would have to be a must. The freedom to move around and throw discs or engage in melee combat would easily give the game that frantic feeling of survival that both Tron movies depicted.
Players could basically choose from a handful of classes, including Vanguards, Sentinels, Stabilizers, Protectors and Infiltrators. Each class would have combat specialties and abilities. Since most of the Tron world revolves around program access, protection and hacking, the focus of each class would relate to similar actions.
Stabilizers would be the equivalent of medics, healing themselves and teammates but being restricted to only using one light-disc for melee and ranged combat. An advantage for this class would be getting additional damage and armor bonuses when flying around in the Recognizers as well as being able to heal entire raids while inside of a Recognizer, making them indispensable for stronghold attacks.
Infiltrators could be like hackers; they focus on debuffs or the equivalent of a mage or psionicists from other games likeWorld of Warcraft or Allods. Infiltrators could slowdown opponents with speed debuffs, or cause damage over time with electrical surges inflicted on opponents. They would have access to light staffs and single light-discs. They could also receive a special bonus when on light-cycles to go invisible for a brief time in order to get past enemy ranks undetected.
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Vanguards would be a mix of tanks and DPS, they can use multiple light-discs at one time and even access dual-disc melee combat. Their focus would be on derezzing opponents with just a few swift hits. They would need healers to stay alive, though, and they would need Infiltrators to wear down opponents with debuffs. Vanguards would receive a small armor bonus for any vehicle they get in.
Sentinels would be a mix of Infiltrators and Vanguards, allowing players to use light-staffs along with light-discs. They can also dual-wield but more-so for long range purposes and they also provide armor buffs for the team, but their low-health makes them vulnerable during melee combat. An added bonus would be throwing down stationary turrets for a brief time to work as cover support.
Protectors would be the ideal tanks of the game. They can dish out damage and take a lot of punishment. They have minor self-healing and self-armor buffs. Their drawback is that they have extremely limited disc throwing capabilities, low agility, and they are unable to dual-wield discs. Nevertheless, they are the only class with access to large disc-shields, which gives them a big advantage in melee combat, defenses and short-range disc throwing. Protectors could also get an extra armor bonus when using tanks.
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One of the big draws for a Tron-centric MMO is that PvP would be one of the cornerstones of the game’s features. I mean, how cool would it be seeing people battling high atop some structures in an epic light-disc battle? Or racing head-to-head throughout the Grid on light-cycles?
After going through the basics and learning how to play...one of the main focuses could be on territory control and raiding stations. Accessing PvP would be as simple as turning on or turning off a PvP flag. And depending on how much a person PvPs would determine how long it would take for the flag to turn on or off (for instance, someone with a lot of player kills would have to wait five minutes for the flag to turn off while someone who has one or two player kills would only have to wait a minute or two).
Various strongholds could be setup throughout the Grid that work as buffing stations, as well as storage and equipment caches for each faction. The more checkpoints a faction owns the more power they have over the Grid.
Different size strongholds would determine the size of the team required to take it down. Small stations might need a team of five or six while medium sized Grid checkpoints might require a team of 10 or 15, and large checkpoints (such as the one featured in Tron: Legacy near the end of the movie) would require a team of maybe 20 or more players. Raiding these stations would be equivalent to controlling territory in a game like Anarchy Online, with various step-by-step tasks required to fully control the station. While each of these stations would be manned and operated by NPC AI (with a high level boss or two present), players of the faction who are being attacked can engage in PvP against the raiders in an attempt to defend their checkpoint. This would create a continuous struggle to control the Grid and keep players coming back for more.
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Hacking And Terminals
Hacking and terminal access could also play a big part in the game, and could also be used as a great way to mix up some of the gameplay. Hacking could be a collection of mini-games similar to that of Mass Effect 2, where players partake in some minor puzzle solving to either gain access to new areas or perform tasks such as taking control of NPC gun turrets
Infiltrators and Sentinels would automatically get bonuses for hacking, making them ideal to bring along for raids or opening up new areas.
Terminals scattered throughout the Grid could also be used as radar stations, allowing the person doing the hacking to see just how many players or NPCs are in a specific area. Players with high enough skill in hacking could also use regional terminals to disable opposing faction’s defenses or send decoy signals to distract a squad of NPCs or players.
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Vehicles And Travel
If the bread of Tron is combat, then the butter would be travel. Tron is one of the few properties out there where the vehicles alone have become iconic, none more-so than the light-cycle.
In a Tron MMO, mounts would break down into several classes and with different levels per class. There could be light-cycles, tanks, and flyers. The higher the ranks the more people that each vehicle can seat and the more dangerous it becomes to opposing players.
Light-cycles would be the first of the mounts to become accessed and as you level up the mount rank access to more advanced light-cycles become available, eventually enabling the player to use the two-seater, four-wheeled dune-buggy from Tron: Legacy.
Tanks would start off as heavy-rollers without any firepower. After eventually leveling up the rank it becomes a multi-seated tank with heavy artillery.
Flyers could be one of the more interesting vehicle mounts because players could start off with the light-flyers and as they rank up eventually gain access to a small Recognizer. At higher ranks a multi-seat transport Recognizer becomes available, allowing players to ferry around a small fleet of players from one destination to the other.
Of course, many original and rare vehicles could also be made available in the cash shop for players who would like to ride around in style.
Travel could be made one of the strong aspects of the game as players form groups, take down checkpoints or simply patrol for wayfaring renegades.
Be sure to check out more previews and reviews of recent and upcoming MMOs right here at Bright Hub. And feel free to drop a comment or two about what you would like to see in a Tron MMO.