What do you want for Christmas?

I struggle every year with the question: “What do you want for Christmas?”   The older I get, the harder it is to come up with things to put on the list that my Mom so adamantly requests.  Asking for something is hard when my hobbies revolve around electronics and video games.  I bought a Wii U before Thanksgiving, along with a handful of games.  Cross that off the list.  Graev and I own every game on our Holiday Buyer’s Guide.  There aren’t a whole lot of games I really want, and the ones I do I already own or want to buy for myself during the Steam sale. How do you buy something for someone with a hobby that usually drives them to purchasing these things the second they are available?  I usually fall back on,  “You can pay off my student loans” but that doesn’t work so well.

On a less serious note, if you could have one kind of game for Christmas what would it be?  I’m talking about the type of game (MMO, FPS), some details (themepark, MMOFPS), and specifics (skill based system / harsh death penalty).  If you could open up a magical box on Christmas day and suddenly have that perfect game for you to play, what would it be?

I think mine would be a mixture of Dark Age of Camelot, EverQuest, Vanguard, and Darkfall/UO, and Skyrim, SWG, and every one of my favorite games.  I won’t do the game my imagination has concocted any justice with words, but some of you will get it.

I’m itching for a community-driven game with sandbox interactions.  I want the players to dictate the direction of the game, but I don’t want the entire game to be based around players fighting each other.  A faction-based territory struggle would be at the heart of the end-game, providing purpose for players once they’ve had their fill of PvE.  The key here is that PvE would still be a prominent part of the game.

I’d like to see player-made boats, houses, cities, and everything coming back to the player.  I want a skill system like SWG/UO, with a point system similar to what Darkfall now uses.  I’m really loving the type of combat Skyrim provides, and it would be awesome to have that in third-person (optional and fully supported first person).   I’d want the world to be so big that players can’t travel across in one or even two play sessions.  Meeting someone who started on the other side would mean swapping stories and learning about how players do things in their home land.

Then it all come down to the developers behind the game.  I don’t want a major publisher or a management team trying to create the next WoW.  I just want a company that identifies their target market, finds the players who want their game, and successfully creates the game for that market.  I want the developers to know what success is, and not covet what another team was able to accomplish with an entirely different style of game for an entirely different market.

That’s what I want for Christmas.  How about you?

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Cthreepo - December 24, 2012

I read a lot of books and play some board-games as well. I can allways wish books, clothes and some board games I wanna try out. So normally its not that big a problem.

bhagpuss - December 24, 2012

If we’re talking MMOs, I’d be very happy to have the one you describe, but I’d also like the polar opposite.

I’d like a pure PvE MMO in which players were very definitely NOT in the driver’s seat. I’d like it to be a fully-realised virtual world in a high-medieval, low fantasy, low magic milieu with perhaps just a smidgin of Victorian steampunk at the fringes.

I’d like it to have very rich and deep lore, heavy on politics and including a large array of complex NPC factions but NO overarching storyline and certainly no narrative.

Above all I would like it to have no means whatsoever for players to trade items and no player economy of any kind. Gameplay would be fairly item-centric but if you wanted any item in the game you would have to go get it yourself.

The sole exception would be consigned crafting, allowing crafters (the game would have a complex and robust craft system) to make items for other players on demand. To do so he players would need to be next to each other at a crafting station and the receiving player would have to own ALL the necessary materials. The only thing the Crafting player would provide would be the ability to craft.

I could go on at some length, about the large number of races and classes, the intentional lack of balance between them, the expansive world with emphasis on exploration, the focus on leveling as the primary purpose etc etc

Never going to happen. I’ll settle for socks.

Keen - December 24, 2012

@Bhagpuss: That sounds like an interesting game. I was thinking it sounded very, very similar to the original EverQuest until the no trading or economy part. I really like the concept because it’s something different.

Jim - December 24, 2012

I would love to see a re-hash of W:AoR’s “lake” open world pvp system with 3 factions and guild built keeps that were as tough to take as your craftspeople were skilled.

W:AoR from 6 months post-launch to 12 months remains the most fun I’ve ever had in a mmog. But the complete lack of non-stabby stuff made for quick burnout.

swarmofseals - December 25, 2012

The game design that I would like to see most is a sandbox MMO that plays like privateer/freelancer/descent: freespace. Basically an MMOFPS version of EVE, if you will. Throw in the capability to have multiple players in the same ship (like in Planetside 2) with scaling all the way from fighters/interceptors to carriers/juggernauts. If feeling really greedy I’d like to see two server types, one featuring faction based PVP and the other featuring an FFA system.

Howdy Doody - December 26, 2012

All I want for Christmas is some TIME to play some WoW and Xcom. I’m having crazy fun in WoW arenas right now….and we suck. So gearing up would be a nice gift, lol.

I also want to play the living dead game, but again Time would be an issue. Not sure how long that series will take.

Keen - December 26, 2012

@Howdy: Good one. I feel the same way — never enough time.

Jim - December 31, 2012

@Howdy…Agreed as well. Maybe the downturn hurt mmorpg’s so hard because all of us have to work harder now, so we all have too little free time for them anymore.

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