Things that I would have done next:
a) Bring in weather effects (part of what scuppered me). I wanted to port to LWJGL but I think that might be outside of the scope of what you're trying to do.
b) Night and Day.
For Now This can wait, but I hope that we code so that we are bound to our rendering method as little as possible, that way we can change it latter, or someone can work on the rendering port in parallel with other development.
c) Expand and Develop conversation/quest engine. It was very much based on some XML we talked about here. I liked it for its simplicity but the GUI designer was awful.
I agree w/ this and will work hard to complete the authoring tools as we go. Any feedback as to how they work now and things to keep in mind will be greatly appreciated. As you lknow I implemented my own xml/dialog system so I should be able to pick up on this fairly quickly.
d) Monster spawning, how.. when.. how to prevent overflow.
Also to consider... are the monsters invisible ala early Final Fantasy where you run into them then go into combat mode? or are they regular actors?
Melee - do this first. Problem is that due to server lag players might have slightly different views of the distances between people. There needs to be significant thought into how the combat system should work. My thought was that if you froze the played at the begining and then allowed them to submit commands to their "Combat Queue". As server time progressed the server would action parts of these commands for you.. i.e. I want to walk to that point, then shoot at him. However, this gets weird when you start considering that monsters need to be involved too. One thing I reakon is fairly important is both the player and the target (be it human or not) get frozen and the control system changes at combat start. However, this means there _MUST_ be an option to disallow PVP combat for the player.. i.e. to prevent people just freezing you when you're walking past.
Combat as I see it was the most significant missing part. Once Melee is sorted I think ranged combat and likewise magic will fall into the system happily.
This will probably be one of the harder things to do,..., One thing to consider could be to have the "queue" defined in xml on the fly. That way we could also have "Pre-Scripted" battles.
Finally - Maps. The world of laminos was kinda thought out and the first area you saw was Riverside. Now, I'm not expecting you to use my ideas here but you will need at least one person put in charge of building a world with background and story. I would suggest setting up two independant mailing lists, one for development and one for world creation (assuming of course you've already got folks wanting to join in
Already thinking that way... I'm hoping that the community will really take a liking to this and once we hhave some real solid code, develop new resources, including original artwork and release an entire game.
This brings me to (uh, I said Finally, ah well).. travel between areas. I had great plans for warp gates, boats and coaches to allow you travel between areas without walking. For instance, the river running through Riverside was added to allow me to put a ferryman that could take you south to the next land section. Of course you could walk down the paths and off the edge of the screen to the next area but I reakon their should be a danger quota involved in doing this (robbed by bandits on the way).
I really liked the idea of getting in a coach for a ride to City X.. a randomly generated encouter on the way means you (and your fellow coach mates) have to fight off some hoard before getting back on the road.
This shouldn't be that hard, for each vehicle defined use its sprite as the player or parties sprite and update postion acordingly.
Oh.. also. The code is currently designed to support spawning areas to allow personal and group adventures. If you go to the king for instance, ask for a quest he may send you on a mission (by escorting you, or teleporting you) into a seperate area that only your group are in. This way you can have a personal adventure while still being part of the overall world (see Anarchy Online).
I don't quite understand what your saying here.