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Offline Mark Jacobs

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So, if you could name three things...
« on: December 30, 2012, 07:43:49 AM »
If you could name three things that would make you want to play a next-gen MMORPG what would they be? Also, what three things would cause you not to play the same MMORPG?

Please keep in mind the following:

1) That the MMORPG would be created by an independent studio, not backed with stupid amounts of money. Think old school MMORPGs, before the coming of the Blizzard-like budgets and way beyond that now.

2) That the MMORPG could be either FTP, BTP, Subscription, Light Subscription+ or Full Subscription+

3) That the MMORPG would follow more of the Minecraft approach to beta releases of the game. In other words, put out early builds and let people truly participate in the evolution of the MMORPG.

Just curious of course. :)

Mark

Offline Bartlebe

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2012, 08:14:20 AM »
I've decided I don't want to play another themepark style MMO so this hypothetical MMO would be a sandbox, if we want to use those general terms. Also, this MMO would be subscription based, it would also be either Fantasy or Sci-Fi. Either are fine settings for me.

What three things would get me excited to play or test this MMO?

1. Hardcore MMO PvP features. This means things like losing items upon death, punishments for dying, complex, difficult PvP mechanics that take time to learn and master. This also means a game that is designed to force players to work together. This would also mean having a world that forces players to take risks and rewards them when they do. Forces them out into the wilderness if they want to reap the best rewards.

2. Sandbox PvE features. PvE in this world would be difficult and due to the harsh PvP in the game, dangerous. This would make it both rewarding and exciting. Also, PvE would be a major way that players collect resources to use in the crafting and construction elements of the world. It would have limited quests, no on-rails sort of guidance. No certain zones with certain levels to restrict players. If you wanted to fight harder mobs, you had to bring more people or be more skilled. This game would have a truly open experience. A vast open world. No truncated zones or little instances.

3. In depth crafting elements that force players to make an economy. This feature works in conjunction with the other two features. This MMO would have a crafting element that was necessary. Being a skilled crafter would be rewarding and interesting in this dangerous world. The armor/weapons/items from PvE would be usable but inferior. The raw materials from PvE would be worthless without a crafter to refine them into useful items. People would be in constant need of supplies as wars were won and lost. This game would have support for the crafters with an economy system that was carefully set up to give them the tools to sell their supplies in a neat fashion. No spamming trade chat. It would have a market system with buy and sell orders.

I think i've wrote enough. I bet you can get a pretty clear picture as to what I want. I like sandbox MMOs with sandbox features. If a next-gen MMO came out that offered even one of these things, i'd be excited for it. If it offered all three and really delivered, it be the first in a long time.

Offline Mark Jacobs

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 08:29:15 AM »
I've decided I don't want to play another themepark style MMO so this hypothetical MMO would be a sandbox, if we want to use those general terms. Also, this MMO would be subscription based, it would also be either Fantasy or Sci-Fi. Either are fine settings for me.

What three things would get me excited to play or test this MMO?

1. Hardcore MMO PvP features. This means things like losing items upon death, punishments for dying, complex, difficult PvP mechanics that take time to learn and master. This also means a game that is designed to force players to work together. This would also mean having a world that forces players to take risks and rewards them when they do. Forces them out into the wilderness if they want to reap the best rewards.

2. Sandbox PvE features. PvE in this world would be difficult and due to the harsh PvP in the game, dangerous. This would make it both rewarding and exciting. Also, PvE would be a major way that players collect resources to use in the crafting and construction elements of the world. It would have limited quests, no on-rails sort of guidance. No certain zones with certain levels to restrict players. If you wanted to fight harder mobs, you had to bring more people or be more skilled. This game would have a truly open experience. A vast open world. No truncated zones or little instances.

3. In depth crafting elements that force players to make an economy. This feature works in conjunction with the other two features. This MMO would have a crafting element that was necessary. Being a skilled crafter would be rewarding and interesting in this dangerous world. The armor/weapons/items from PvE would be usable but inferior. The raw materials from PvE would be worthless without a crafter to refine them into useful items. People would be in constant need of supplies as wars were won and lost. This game would have support for the crafters with an economy system that was carefully set up to give them the tools to sell their supplies in a neat fashion. No spamming trade chat. It would have a market system with buy and sell orders.

I think i've wrote enough. I bet you can get a pretty clear picture as to what I want. I like sandbox MMOs with sandbox features. If a next-gen MMO came out that offered even one of these things, i'd be excited for it. If it offered all three and really delivered, it be the first in a long time.

I agree with everything you said, especially the points about themeparks, PvP and crafting. I'm so sick of themeparks, even when they are done well that I don't last more than a couple of months.

Now, whether a small studio could do all three is very debatable but like you said, you don't need all three to get excited. :)

Mark

Offline Bartlebe

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 08:33:18 AM »
I guess a game like this wouldn't be so much a casual experience but still, with these features it would feel like a big, open world. A true MMO experience where you felt like you were living in the world.

Even the few sandbox MMOs that are on the market today can pull this off, even if they're poorly designed/implemented. Mortal Online is a buggy mess and has better immersion than a great many AAA themeparks.

Offline Mark Jacobs

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 08:43:07 AM »
I guess a game like this wouldn't be so much a casual experience but still, with these features it would feel like a big, open world. A true MMO experience where you felt like you were living in the world.

Even the few sandbox MMOs that are on the market today can pull this off, even if they're poorly designed/implemented. Mortal Online is a buggy mess and has better immersion than a great many AAA themeparks.

It would be, IMHO, much harder to create a successful casual MMORPG for a small studio in this market. So many big games, big budgets, etc., still coming in from Western studios (TESO) and a lot more from Asia that it would be a losing proposition. OTOH, focusing the game on the more hardcore players would seem to be a better bet. While this game could be a hardcore PvE game, I think there's a better path to success.


Offline Odius

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 09:42:48 AM »
Being a more casual player, I can't say I would enjoy a truly hardcore PvP game where I could potentially lose everything, but I will say that in order for PvP to really work in a game, Bart's ideas are what needs to be done. I look at GW2 (since it's the MMO I play most) and see its PvP/sPvP/WvW as more of an aside. It's just another option in the game and doesn't really impact the world.

1. Crafting I love to craft and I love to adventure in an MMO, but I don't think the two mix well. In order to have a truly great crafting system, you need dedicated classes to that system. If you are a weaponsmith, that is what you do. You could have classes like miners, farmers, fishers, etc. that actually do those things instead of finding random nodes in the world. I like Bart's idea about PvE materials being useless unless refined by a crafter, and having this would allow some overlap on the adventure/crafting sides of the game.

2. Story I love a story. It's one of the reasons I play single player RPGs. I like GW2's story system and how the story is different depending on choices you make, and I think it really allows me to develop my character in the way I envision it from the start. I think it would be unrealistic to make enough choices in the story to make the game truly different fro everyone, but GW2, IMO, is on the right track.

3. Skill System/Free Reign I'm going to refer to UO's skill system to get my point across here. I want that. UO was the first MMO I played, and the skill system was a huge part of why I played it for so long. This system can also attribute greatly to the crafting classes, since in UO, most people who wanted to craft had crafting toons with just those specific skills. It also helps with creating the character you want to create. I do believe there should be a skill cap so that one character couldn't do everything, but there should definitely be some freedom in development.

I guess all three of these would be hard for a smaller company, but I really don't know all the logistics of game development.
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Offline Evalissa

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 10:52:07 AM »
If you could name three things that would make you want to play a next-gen MMORPG what would they be?
Story, (Including Backstory, History, Lore) the more in-depth the more excited I get about everything I see and do

Social activity needs to be rewarding.  AO's clubs and social gear. SWG's (the original) entertainment classes.  I don't think it would work in the modern market, but its something I personally would like

Customisation in looks and gear. I don't want to be another 5'5" blonde bimbo in the same dragon-scale bikini as everyone else

Quote
Also, what three things would cause you not to play the same MMORPG?

Hot-key combat, if it has more than 10 *needed* hotkeys i'm out. WoW for instanced required about 10 hotkey bars. WAR also had too many, as did SW:TOR.  GW2 has 10 and thats a good amount for me. DDO had a good combat system imo (active combat)

Slow paced gameplay,  I don't mind travel time or downtime (in fact I like it) but you have to make steady, meaningful progress with plenty of fast paced interactive engagements

Un-balanced PvP.  PvP NEEDS to be at least 3 ways to help counter numerical advantages (WAR's biggest issue to me) and if you have a level system you need to bring low level players up to a similar standing as max level players whilst they are in a pvp area

Offline Bartlebe

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2012, 01:39:45 PM »
Basically, i'd like something between Darkfall and EvE.

Without Darkfall's dumb developers and without all of EvE's boring combat/spreadsheets.

Offline Keen

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 02:34:00 PM »
Hey Mark!  Thanks for starting this awesome discussion.  I'm struggling to narrow my list down to three things on both sides.  Having to focus on which three has proven to be an enlightening exercise for me.

Obviously I want a game that emphasizes 3+ faction RvR with safe areas to PvE as the foundation. I'm not against the idea of a completely PvE game, though.  EQ was a PvE game and I played it longer than any other MMO.  I'll focus on details that can happen across any type of game.

3 Things that would make me want to play:

1. Open world.  One of the best parts about older games was how open and connected the world felt.  DAoC and EQ are great examples.   Even the dungeons are open to everyone at the same time.  The world should also be connected and not truncated into bits and pieces with linear zones forcing the player down a road into the next zone to do the same.

2. Skill-based system.  I really like the skill systems that SWG and UO used.  If a next-gen MMO had a skill system that allowed players to use a sword and gain sword skill, or craft and skill up, and have to monitor where they spend skills because they have a limited number -- that would really interest me.  If I could make a character use any combination of skills, without being forced into an archetype or class, that'd be intriguing.

3.  Crafting and Socializing getting equal emphasis.  (I cheated and combined 2 into one).  A game that focuses on providing an experience deeper and richer than just combat would get my attention.  I want people to -want- to group not because they have to (though that's a plus for me personally) but because communicating and socializing with others is fun and rewarding.  I want people to be able to open shops and sell their goods, entertain people in taverns, and have ways to play other than going out and killing monsters or other players.  Items shouldn't be permanent;  DAoC, SWG, and UO all did a good job with that.    Crafted gear should be very competitive.


3 Things that would cause me not to play:


1.  "Instancing" or "phasing".  I'm not a fan of lobby-instancing, redundant instancing, instancing, or whatever you want to call it.  SWTOR and GW2 use this way too much to break up the world.  I'll take this one as far as not wanting instanced dungeons either.  I don't want a dungeon just for me or my group.

2.  Questing. I don't have it in me to do another quest.  I really don't.   I'm not even sure how I stand on public quests to be honest.  When we talked back at E3 2008 you mentioned how everyone is going to start copying your PQ idea.  Well, they did.  GW2 improved upon them slightly,  but now I'm burned out on them.  Give me camps of mobs instead.

3.  End-game gear grinds. Gear progression is fine.  Getting better items is fine.  Killing big bosses is fine.  I think it's silly to rule out finding items from a game, but having the entire end-game be about raiding to get gear, to raid to get gear, to do the same thing... to the point of creating actual tiers or "seasons" makes me sick.


I could probably list 10 things on each side, but at this very second those are my 3.  Give me 20 minutes and I'll probably change my mind.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 03:00:33 PM by Keen »
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Offline Mark Jacobs

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 02:52:55 PM »
Keen,

   Like.1 - Couldn't agree more.
   Like.2 - Pure skill system is my personal Holy Grail but it really is a "quit point" for some people. Back in the late 80s I designed and began coding on a sequel to my first MUD, Aradath. It had a skill-based system with templates for the common archetypes and players learned by doing whatever. If you wanted to be a Fire Mage, you travelled to he Plane of Fire and learned your skills there. If you went to the Plane of Ice, you learned skills there too. It was a rally cool game that I never finished since GEnie went bye-bye.
     Like.3 - Agreed but I would want to take it even further.

Hate.1 - Agreed.
Hate.2 - Yeah. PQs were a good idea and Rift and GW2 really took them where they needed to go. There is still a lot of room to pay with the concept but as far as standard questing goes, yeah, I'm really so incredibly bored with it I'm not sure I'd even try to evolve them.
Hate.3 - Agreed.

Offline Damage

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 03:22:03 PM »
If you could name three things that would make you want to play a next-gen MMORPG what would they be?

Crafting - I would like to see crafting actually be meaningful again in an MMO.  Back in the days of UO/AC/DAoC, all had very meaningful crafting as a highly integral part of the game and in UO you don't even have to make a character that pve's, you can make and play a character that does nothing but craft. 

In these games crafting is essential and helps set up the servers economy.  Crafted items are either on par with high end items like UO and DAoC or in AC crafting is needed to actually make or help make high end items.

Also for crafting to be successful items need to either degrade or be used up in the case of potions or special arrows etc...

Skill system instead of classes - I really enjoyed the skill systems of UO, AC and even AC2 much more so than class systems.  Even though I'm a huge D&D fan, in AD&D to 3rd Ed. creating your character was just as much about crafting the character and the skills behind the class as it was about what class you took.  In MMO's I really like choosing skills instead of classes because this helps create my character's identity.  I have always hated how the further down in MMO history you go, the more Devs have taken away our ability to do anything but change our characters appearance.

UO/AC - both skill based games made rolling your character much more complex and unique instead of the now homogenized character system most games have.

FFA PvE - This is so important.  What is FFA PvE?  It's a system very much like old UO/AC/EQ.  I want the vendors of the world to sell back to the PC's what we give to them to sell.  In all three of the first MMO's you could buy anything from a vendor that was sold to it by another PC.  Or the fact that in AC, different cities and different buy/sell rates and sold different items.  Also, I want all NPC's to be killable just like in EQ.  EQ's best and most defining aspect in PvE, for me, is this ability.  I loved being able to go into virtually any city as an Iksar Necro and kill guards who would drop some of the better sellable loot.  Or going to the Druid Ring in the West Commons and killing the Druid guards there.

This PvE freedom makes leveling, again for me at least, fun because I get to PvE where ever and on whatever I want.

This brings me now too:

Also, what three things would cause you not to play the same MMORPG?

! Questing ? - If there is one thing I absolutely hate about WoW and MMO's since is the questing system they use.  I hate that the world is only a connect the dots quest system from one hub to another.  I much prefer the old MMO ways of being able to PvE in whatever place I wanted too.  With numerous dungeons, ala AC, or different spots in the world like UO, EQ and DAoC.  I remember doing quests in AC for items I used for very long periods of time as well as in EQ and DAoC.  Hell in DAoC once you reached level 50 if you did your class quests you'd get a full set of armor you could PvE and RvR in which was fantastic.

Even today, after 10+ years I could still go back and have no problem leveling a character in any of the old games because I choose how I want to level my character, the game doesn't.

Instancing - Despise it.  Of all people you should know how loved a dungeon like Darkness Falls was.  It was loved not only because of what was needed to get into it, but because of all the player interaction inside it.  All the PvE and PvP that took place in there was marvelous and is something you do not experience anymore in the post WoW MMO.  Dugeons were a communal thing in all the old MMO's with players helping players all the time and groups forming etc...  From UO to AC to EQ to DAoC, non-instanced dungeons were the best thing ever.

Raiding - The one thing that has, in my opinion, destroyed the post WoW MMO is the idea of Raiding.  The idea that the game doesn't actually begin until you reach the max level has changed MMO's and their design.  It used to be in the old MMO's it was more about the progression of your character and your character's interaction in the world than it was about raiding for gear.  I did a small bit of raiding in DAoC but that felt more like zerging than anything else and it wasn't until I played WoW that this idea of the game actually beginning at max level started.

This is the biggest thing for me.  I hate, absolutely hate having to raid to get gear and that raiding is the only way I can progress my character after hitting max level.

In UO it took me several months to reach a 7x GM.
In AC, I NEVER reached the max level of 126 before it was raised to 270 and leveling was made much easier.  I only reached level 72.
In DAoC I never had an RR10 character

I have been incredibly disappointed with the last crop of MMO's like SWtOR and GW2, especially GW2 where someone reached max level during the pre-release before the game actually launched.

Also I am not talking about tedious progression like Aion.  Mind numbing pve is also not what I want.

Good example for me is the other day I was playing P99 (an EMU of Everquest circa 1999, where they only have EQ and Kunark running)  I was on my Druid and could only play for an hour or so, so I decided to park my halfling butt in the EC tunnel and spam my porting services.  In that hour+ I met a number of new people, was thanked many times over and made about 750 plat, with which I was able to buy some low end gear for my druid.

BoE and BoP items I know you only wanted three but I have to throw this in.  I also hate BoE and BoP items.  I like how items used to be almost 100% completely tradeable with the exception of soul bound items that were usually from quests or in the case of EQ high end raiding.  I liked twinking, I liked the fact that after going through the world a first time, I could give my old items to a friend or an alt to help them out.  I loved the fact that in the old games certain items were wanted, either for special abilities or looks and you could trade them even if you had previously worn them.

Ok that's it for now for me.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 04:41:21 PM by Damage »


Offline halldorr

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2012, 03:25:52 PM »
Things I'd Like

1) Large, open world with few instances or sharding. I don't care for the separation in games that use it and it has gotten worse lately where your group can even be placed on different shards in some games. I know it's hard to balance a large open world with population density but there has to be a way to do it properly. I think by using a skill based as opposed to based system would help some by limiting the transition of players out of zones leaving them mostly unused.

2) Skill based as opposed to level based. I always enjoyed UOs system and the ability to change where your character was focused on without having to level a new character up. I know you're still stuck "leveling" up the new skills you want but I find you're also more invested into your character.

3) In depth crafting and a player run economy. I love to craft and would love for crafters to actually carry some weight in the world. I also really like EVE Onlines economy and the way it runs. If mostly all things were player created with the exception of a few things that didn't crowd the market I think that is a great way to go. Get rid of BOP type items entirely. I also miss being able to set up a vendor outside my house in UO.

Things I Don't

1) Themepark - I'm tired of this model and being carried along a predetermined path, zones, and questhubs. A little more freedom to carve out what we do in a game would be nice.

2) Sharding - see above on open world

3) Terrible UI - I am very odd when it comes to this but I just can't stand a I that looks terrible and has a terrible font....I know..it's odd.

Other

1) Backing of the MMO - I am indifferent when it comes to big studio versus independent. if a big studio stops wasting millions of dollars on voice over stories and makes their world more alive I am all for it. On the other hand, the independent studios are the ones taking the chances these days and trying to deliver what people want. I like supporting those studios especially as they tend to be communicative with their audience.

2) Payment Model - I find I prefer subscription only because I know what I'm getting every month and I'm getting everything. I don't mind paying more on top for extra things as well if I am enjoying myself and entertained. B2P is fine as well as long as I don't find the cash shop they run alongside the game being shoved in my face all the time. F2P still tends to be a model I'm weary of as a lot of games I have played really shove that cash shop in your face always encouraging you to go check it out. I know it's there...when I want something I'll go buy. Hmm, maybe that is why I've always liked subscription.

3) Game released in "Minecraft" mode - Well, it all depends for this one. If the basics are there and they function as they are supposed to I don't mind playing a game in this sort of set up as long as the developers communicate with the users. There is nothing more annoying than not knowing anything at all about whats going on. If a game took this route and did it well, I personally think it would be a great way to grow with the game. I think games that want to try that need to be careful though as MMO players tend to be fickle and can really crush a game before it gets off the ground - especially after being burned in the past.

4) Hardcore PVP - Meh, I'll play the games but unless you have a solid system in place I think the game will always remain a niche one. Some people just don't care for it at all. I actually like the way EVE has it with it's high sec where my wife can generally mine to her hearts content without too much frustration and if she wants to travel into low/null on a PVP roam she can. I am very interested in how Archeages justice system will pan out as well.

5) Action combat - I am terrible at twitch games and grew up playing the alt tab games so I still prefer them. I am not opposed to something a little more action based though but I will probably find myself mostly in town crafting...

6) Questing - I could start to do without them but I think having a very minimal one or one where players could create quests (or similar to contracts in EVE perhaps) where other players could pick up some it would be good. I think having something set up early one in the game that are purely optional would also be a great way to ease players into a game without many quests. Something along the lines of a light tutorial/guide as to how a player can thrive in their new world.

7) First versus third person view - I have ALWAYS preferred third person view. Now, I have been playing some games as of late that are first person and I'm coming around but I still think it would be best if there was an option to go first or third.

8) Housing - I want housing. That is all. I miss my home on the Great Lakes server in UO  :P
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 06:02:58 PM by halldorr »

Offline Odius

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 06:22:08 PM »
I apparently missed the second half here, so my 3 dislikes:

1. Gear Grind I agree with Keen on this one. I don't mind raiding in a game, and I do it at times myself when I feel the urge for an epic fight, but the gear should not limit another players experience.

2. Extreme Death Penalty Simply put, I hate games that have a death penalty that can cause you to de-level. Want to take me back to zero exp because I'm being dumb, fine, but don't take away the levels I managed to earn.

3. Pay to Win This should be a given, but I hate games with pay-to-win. I don't care about being able to buy skins and such or even exp boosts that just make it easier for casual players to keep up, but I hate major game elements being in a store. Allods at launch, that's what I hate.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 06:25:52 PM by Odius »
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Offline Argorius

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2012, 07:47:27 PM »
What would get me excited?

1. An open PVP system that includes some form of consequence for randomly killing (a lot of) other players. I like the freedom of being able to kill other people but I get bored with the FFA PVP approach where evereyone attacks everyone because they can (AC Darktide etc.) Having consequences for PVP is more interesting to me from a "roleplay" perspective. Faction PVP, Guild PVP, is all good too (concentrated FFA). With it there must be a significant long term reward system for PVP and a "reasonably" harsh death penalty.

2. I'd like to see a lot of freedom and player control. It used to be that players were responsible to create their own fun - themeparks have taken that away from players by continously designing carefully placed content which may be fun the first time around but becomes stale fast. This needs to shift back where players need the tools in game to create their own fun. It seems like a designer's nightmare because they have no control over it but that is what made MMOs so great in the first place - players are much better at creating fun than game designers are. There could be so many fun options: deep political systems, elections...you could even give players the ability to control small menial tasks (e.g. instead of providing houses to players on specific lots...(to avoid cluttering)...let people make a small bureaucratic political career where they suddenly are in charge of building nice lookign towns - get bribes - get voted out of office etc.) Even control of death penalties coudl fall into the hand of the players - give them options and the leaders of a regional group decide what the death penalties are in their lands - you want the rules of the game changed? Fight for it...conflict itself could be about the rules of the game...provide freedom, provide tools, see what happens!

3. Crafting is definitely something that would get me excited - a skill based time system where it is ok not to be a fighter but a crafter. You spend your days mining, gathering, crafting, selling, exporting, getting more and more specialized, having shops.

Dealbreakers

1. Instancing - almost any type of instancing...I can't stand it anymore...

2. WOW type Gear grind

3.  A death penalty that isnt harsh enough (e.g. lose nothing and be back in the fight within 2 minutes) and a lack of PVP reward system (e.g. you should PVP to have fun and that is all you need)

Offline Jenks

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Re: So, if you could name three things...
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2012, 10:16:00 PM »
1) Narrow class roles.  Today's MMOs are balanced around the idea that everyone can do anything.  It's boring and it leads to an awful game.  Make people pick a class that is good at one or a few things that other classes can't do, and now you have a game where people are forced to group to progress in the game. 

2) No instances.  They defeat the purpose of an MMO.

3) Extremely limited fast travel.  Make people spend the time to travel across a world, learning how it is connected.

4) No quest hubs.  Make the world feel organic.  Create a world where people can make their own stories.  Running from one pack of exclamation points to the next doesn't cut it anymore, even with voice acting.

5) Make content that I will never experience.  A game where everyone is supposed to experience everything is boring.

6) (probably will never happen again) No cash shop, supported only by box sales and/or subs.  Having people run around with items they got by doing a 50 man raid where all the players need to play 80 hours a week?  Awesome.  Having people run around with items they got by plunking down $7.99?  The entire genre has pretty much murdered any immersion it once had by moving from the first model for awesome "cosmetic items" to the second.