Next-Gen MMORPG: If you could name 3 things…
One of my favorite things about having a blog is how often I’m forced to think about what I want in MMORPGs. Do you ever stop and think what would cause you to want to play a next-gen MMORPG, or what would cause you to lose interest entirely in that same game? What if you had to narrow your list down to just three things?
Thinking about these things causes people to think about what they want instead of just going along with what they are given. When people start to think, they start to question, and when they question they begin to expect better.
Mark Jacobs wrote the following on our forums:
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.
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. I’m in a very basic, traditional, and broad mood right now. You certainly don’t have to be as old school in your ideas as I am. Really think about what you want!
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 I talked to Mark back at E3 2008 he mentioned how everyone is going to start copying his 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.
Creativity loves constraint. How would you answer Mark’s questions? Head over to our forums and post in the thread with everyone else, or respond here if you like. This is a an interesting, and I’m sure useful, type of feedback for developers.