MMO Mechanics: Three ways non-MMO IPs could create great mechanics

I really enjoy being a guest on Larry Everett‘s video series Massively Opinionated, a series in which MMO enthusiasts answer some tough questions and argue the case for their answer to trump the other guests’ submissions. On each episode, Larry asks his guests to design their own MMO based on certain prerequisites or criteria. It’s a really fun question in which the answers are only limited by the question parameters and the panelists’ imaginations, so it’s not surprising that it’s my favourite question type on the show.

On one particular episode of Massively Opinionated, we were asked to design a sticky MMO that really grips players for a prolonged period of time. For that question, two of the three given answers looked to non-MMO IPs to bring something fresh and compelling to the genre that would optimise player retention rates. Ever since that episode, I’ve been mulling over how unique non-MMO IPs carry the potential to bring new, exciting mechanics to the genre.

I’ve sat on this idea for some time while I’ve mulled over which specific mechanics could potentially be derived from some well-known and loved IPs, and in this edition of MMO Mechanics I’m finally ready to put those thoughts down on figurative paper for you lovely readers. I’ve thought through three examples of IPs that could add something unique to the genre, but there’s so much unexplored possibility for the future of MMOs that I’m sure you could think of so many more. Don’t forget to scroll down to the comments to add your own thoughts.

wod (2)1. World of Darkness could reimagine how guilds function

I don’t think I’ve ever been sadder over game-related news than I was when I found out that CCP was shelving its MMO that was reimagining of the WoD IP. I am a massive fan of pen-and-paper roleplaying games in general, and this particular IP has been a big factor in that love of the traditional RPG. With books upon books of extensive information, mechanics, and lore, I was really shocked that CCP didn’t give this a better shot before it was filed under bin.

With so many factions, sub-factions, locations, and divisions, the WoD IP would be perfectly suited to an immersive, lore-rich open PvP MMO with some fantastic political mechanics. If I were to make the MMO, I’d focus on mechanising those factions to enhance current guild mechanics, creating a system in which players could weave a complicated web of clan ties, familiars, workmates, or coven members, depending on which particular type of spook or hunter they choose to play. These ties and societal ranks would be fluid and could change drastically throughout the course of play, which would create a great incentive for players to hang around and push a character to its limits.

New players who roll human characters could seek the protection of vampire, witch, or werewolf hunters, perhaps skilling in those fields themselves. Others may Awaken on the path of a mage, joining a circle to learn the mysteries of the arcane and climbing the ranks of the elusive Legacies to better know the world. Vampires and werewolves each have their own complex factional, political, and societal structures and are in a constant battle over turf and power, and each pack or sect could rise to the top of the ladder through the correct posturing and maneuvering. Politics would give me a fantastic incentive to engage in brutal open-world PvP, and I fully admit that PvP content usually isn’t my cup of tea. Permadeath would add a real WoD level of danger; the higher you climb politically, the bigger a target you become, so you’d better be sure you inspire loyalty by any means necessary!

Imagine how this could change how guilds function: Whole cities would become the battlegrounds of the WoD MMO, and guild-vs.-guild warfare would be commonplace and well facilitated. Leadership would lie on a knife’s edge; mechanics could be employed for usurping superiors to take control. Guilds would form and grow through actual in-game need rather than just convenience: Without protection and a connection to others of your kind, the game world would be a dangerous place. Imagine EVE Online-style factions, battle scale, and geographically sensitive war intensified by the fact that each player character is a coveted resource to be fought over in his or her own right; humans and newer supernatural creatures are often the unwitting pawns of much larger schemes in the WoD universe.

potter2. Harry Potter dueling could be amazing turn-based combat

I used Harry Potter as my answer not just once but twice in the aforementioned episode of Massively Opinionated… that’s how much I want to see a Potter MMO. I admit that it would be a very hard one to get just right because everyone would want to be attached to the main cast, but setting an MMO in the Potterverse would be both lucrative and compelling if that hurdle were jumped successfully by emphasising the setting more than the characters. I know it can be done: Look at the success of HP themeparks and live action roleplays as good examples of how well the setting sells.

One of the most wondrous things about the magical world in which the books are set is the existence of magic wands. Those little boomsticks (not to be confused with broomsticks, of course… ahem) pack a punch in the right hands, and each wand is absolutely unique to its owner. Young wizards and witches covet their parents’ or older siblings’ wands, wishing for the day when they’ll be able to purchase their own at Ollivander’s on their first school shopping trip to Diagon Alley. Hexes, quality of life enhancements, and the great wizarding duels await them. This, then, is where I’d place some unique mechanics to grip the MMO enthusiast.

I would love to see the functionality of wands become a sort of turn-based, strategic combat system unlike anything else I’ve experienced in the MMOs I play. I’m imagining wand attunement and familiarity building over time, with sister wands locking together in Priori Incantatem duels just as we saw with Voldemort and Harry’s wands. Turn-based combat would add some excellent strategic layers, especially with the inclusion of rebuffs to attacks and evasion wards. A beautiful battle could be spelt out methodically and painstakingly, much like a good game of wizards’ chess. Fire meets water, water meets air, air meets earth in a beautifully paced war of minds.

transformers3. Transformers could transform action combat with form-specific abilities

Transformers is such a thrilling IP that I’ve adored since early childhood: Who doesn’t love robots with kickass colour schemes that transform at the drop of a hat to whisk their human allies out of harm’s way in a jiffy? I can see absolutely massive potential to take the concept into the MMO genre to create a highly competitive action combat game with all the hallmarks of an epic episode of Top Gear. I’m picturing high-speed pursuits, drag races, crazy burnouts, and in-combat transformations.

In addition to standard bot versus bot battles, each transformer’s vehicle mode could be used in creative ways in combat. Lightning-fast robotic combat would include evasiveness and withdrawal routines, armour with directional context to protect your robot’s best assets, and a whole toolset of stunts and high-speed driving manoeuvers to use that are dependent on your equipped weapons and vehicle type. Size matters too: Go for a bulky, heavy transformer modelled after Optimus Prime for tanking possibilities and a solid set of inbuilt weaponry, or opt for a lighter, swifter bot that mirrors Starscream for high-speed skirmishes, reconnaissance of enemy fortifications, and increased withdrawal options due to its aerial capabilities. Wheeljack fans may want to build a gadget whiz with great utility support items for longer pursuits, while those who really like Warpath might build a compact yet heavy tank, packing a lot of firepower into one vehicle type for maximum damage.

Over to you!

We know that repurposing non-MMO IPs for our genre can stretch the current range of MMO mechanics, and we have some very interesting experiments coming our way on that front. I’m eagerly awaiting Pokémon GO (it’s a little too early to know if this will be a true MMO, but I’m at least putting it in the pseudo-MMO camp for now), and I believe that it’s merging of the real and virtual worlds is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the unique mechanics it’ll offer.

Are there IPs I haven’t touched on that you think would make a fabulous MMO? What unique mechanics would they bring to the genre? Who would make that MMO a reality? Let me know what you think in the comments.

MMOs are composed of many moving parts, but Massively’s Tina Lauro is willing to risk industrial injury so that you can enjoy her mechanical musings. MMO Mechanics explores the various workings behind our beloved MMOs. If there’s a specific topic you’d like to see dissected, drop Tina a comment or send an email to tina@massivelyop.com.
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squiddy54
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squiddy54

sray155 They somewhat have this in Mabinogi for fighting the Black Dragon mega world boss. Players are given task such as healing, fighting minions, or doing certain kinds of damage or use certain skills. Your reward depends on how well you did on the task. It doesn’t put you into teams but its scratching the surface. If they were to make support classes more crucial than just damage buffs then I could see teams. Lots of teams working to take down a single monster would look silly unless it was massive and there was air combat. This would work better with a PVE battle in a on going war, or some kind of raid. It would have to be at least an hour or two long which kind of stops a lot people from doing it.

Schlifer
Guest
Schlifer

Pokemon-Go seems like a nice idea actually, i await eagerly to see how it will fare.

*Next week on news*

“Missing children´s reports have gone up by 650% since last year, the ones who were found came from within the forest surviving over 2 days with no water or food, they were apparently looking for a caterpie.”

mattaui
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mattaui

The WoD description reminds me of the days of the text-based World of Darkness MUSHes which I played on in the mid 90s. Looking back I put way more hours into those than I did almost anything else until World of Warcraft. Unfortunately they peaked in the late 90s and haven’t been the same since. It wasn’t unusual to have 50 or even a hundred people on at a time. No graphics, of course, but we didn’t need any!

Whatever happens, we’re desperately in need for some refreshing ideas for handling MMOs, which probably means that we need to let go of some, or even a lot, of what we think an MMO is and allow new systems to take their place. I really don’t think it’s much to do with the particular IP as it is the systems used to express that IP. And speaking of IP, I hope we can steer away from the licensing woes that plague so many games by having them develop their own in house.

tobascodagama
Guest
tobascodagama

Wakkander sray155 Sorenthaz Well, part of the problem with the EU is that there’s a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of it, and 90% of everything is crap. I know the EU encompasses a lot of stuff that’s really well-written and treats Jedi Force powers in a reasonable manner. (I was a big fan of KOTOR1 and Jedi Outcast, myself.) But I also know it has people blowing up stars and every other damned thing in the universe turning out to be force-resistant because nothing could seriously threaten any of the ridiculously overpowered EU Jedi any more.

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

ausj3w3l I’ve always seen it in my mind the Aiel as more desert samurai than ninja.

ausj3w3l
Guest
ausj3w3l

Wakkander YEs -wheel of time. Being strong in certain elements and such as well as those limitations. The general sense of warring groups is cool too, plus you always seem to have a big bad to fight.

I’d totally be aiel though haha – screw magic it’s time to be a desert ninja =p

Craywulf
Guest
Craywulf

Wakkander You had me with The Wheel of Time.

Maquiame
Guest
Maquiame

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Flamethekid
Guest
Flamethekid

Tbh people need to just move away from WoW and anything like such in order for the mmo genre to grow

people see a game and if it doesn’t speed feeds gameplay with a silver diamond encrusted spoon people drop the game fast because its not easy

then their is the people who wanna mindlessly use flashy animations and rotations and grind all day and night and think that’s cool and then when they get to another game and its not as such lol nope this game sucks it needs to be harder

change is something that people need to do and more mmo companies need to do

way too many people wanna be straight up mindless or straight up uber casual for life and don’t bother to try anything new without getting frustrated and quit

Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

tobascodagama Wakkander sray155 Sorenthaz I suppose I have a different perspective on it. I thought that a lot of the EU did a good job making interesting stories, the Old Republic comics, books, and games, as well as the Legacy series of comics. Those had some different uses, particularly in the old republic period, of the force but it never any worse than stuff they did in the prequel trilogy or clone wars to my mind.
Of course the Legacy period was fantastic if for nothing else than the emperor. The sith more or less pulled a coup to take the empire from him, and he lead his own insurrection to retake it. He had his own group of force using knights who were more ‘gray’. The emperor routinely foiled the sith because he didn’t fight like jedi, not falling for their tricks or traps. He was perfectly happy to sacrifice a planet to eliminate a sith fleet, to which the sith were all “But… you have to save the people!” and the jedi were like “but… you have to save the people!” and he was all “nope, destroying your fleet now!” It was a fun series while it lasted.

sray155
Guest
sray155

Wakkander sray155 Sorenthaz I don’t get MMORPG armor either. The average of an MMORPG player these days seems to be late 20 to mid-30s; a point in in our lives where most of us have gotten past the “teenage boy” obsession with gigantic helmets and huge shoulder pads with spikes all over them; and yet most endgame armor in every MMORPG I’ve ever played looks like it was pulled directly out of an Image Comic circa 1994 (or as I call it, “designed by the Rob Liefeld House of Crap”).

Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

agemyth An IP can be a strength as well as a weakness. If you look at lord of the rings online the variety of enemies has Turbine bending over backward to try and make a variety of different and interesting enemies while still staying true to the series. You can very easily end up with a very one note feel to what you are fighting.

tobascodagama
Guest
tobascodagama

Wakkander sray155 Sorenthaz Ironically, I think Jedi fit the mold of Tolkienian Wizards pretty well, even down to the point where the Istari can be seen as adherents of an ancient and mostly-forgotten (by Men) religion just as Ben Kenobi is at the time of A New Hope… But the Star Wars EU tends to treat Jedi more like D&D Wizards, and it really did get pretty out of hand.

Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

sray155 Wakkander Sorenthaz Star Wars being fantasy in space is a pretty common perspective on it. Not sure Lucas didn’t want it to be magic, the original trilogy was riddled with points building up the mystical aspect of it, including it being an ancient religion. His midiclorian phase he backed off from pretty quickly and the Clone Wars TV series he approved as canon has the Dathomir witches using it as a fairly magic like force.
SWTOR does a good job with story, and even the look, (except armor, and particularly helmets, why do mmo’s of all types have such a hard time designing attractive looking gear?) but the gameplay doesn’t particularly evoke the series at all. It always amuses me that as a bounty hunter for example I have a jet pack, but can’t use it except occasionally in combat. I can’t force jump unless it is to stab someone in the face. I can’t use force persuade except in occasional dialogs, etc. SWTOR is a prime example of matching a setting to a game, instead of making a game to fit the setting.

agemyth
Guest
agemyth

I think trying to fit good game ideas into intellectual property that is popular for non-interactive reasons is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Slapping the brand onto the game is just necessary for people to have an easy entry point and to grab their attention. After that, trying to stay within the bounds of pre-established non-interactive lore/ideas seems limiting.

sray155
Guest
sray155

Wakkander sray155 Sorenthaz I agree, although I feel that Star Wars as IP leans more towards Tolkien-esque fantasy than it does towards sci-fi. My friends and I frequently refer to it as “Lord of the Rings in space”; which isn’t meant as an insult, but just an observation of how similar the two IPs really are once you get past the first coat of paint. It sits between Heinlein’s light sci-fi and Tolkien’s epic fantasy, but I personally feel that it falls more on the side of fantasy; particularly all of the EU stories that heavily play up “The Force as magic” aspect. 

As an aside, I always got the impression that Lucas himself wasn’t very comfortable with a lot of the overt Force mysticism that many novelists injected into the novels while he was making the prequels: hence “midi-chlorians”, which I thought was his not well fleshed out attempt at making The Force more scientifically quantifiable in its nature. If Disney clamps down on writers doing that stuff, I will not be upset: personal distaste of that type of fantasy aside, the more “The Force as magic” crap that gets injected into Star Wars stories, the more it literally just becomes “Lord of the Rings in space”.

But yeah, sci-fi MMORPGs definitely need to start taking their queues from their own source material, not from Everquest and Warcraft.

Okiee Napalm
Guest
Okiee Napalm

I know the mention of Pokemon Go was already made, but I’ve been waiting what feels like eons for a proper monster raising/battling MMO and I haven’t gotten anything of the sort yet. Moonrise is the closest thing but it’s more of a pseudo-mmo than anything, an RPG with online elements to it, and it has its own issues from the perspective of a longtime fan of the genre.

Personally, when I think of what a system for such a game would be like, I see either Raidou Kuzunoha 2’s “player + 2 AI monsters you can command”, an RTS like system, or a turn based/grid based system akin to Dofus and Wakfu. Personally, I like the idea of having the player as a fighter too – you could pick monsters to synergize with your class. For example a healer player character could run a glass cannon and a tank for soloing but have a group comp of monsters packing heals they don’t use themselves for pve content, and a pvp team of buff/debuff and CCing monsters to try and keep people off them. he class system could be like FFXIV’s or Trove’s – switchable classes – or perhaps monsters could be made account-wide, usable by a character at their level or above. I think because of the sheer number of possibilities such a system brings, a limited action set like Wildstar’s would make the game feel all the more strategic.

That, and limiting the amount of things each individual monster can do contributes to each one feeling, well, individual. (Brings me back to one of my biggest gripes with Moonrise – you can’t nickname your monsters. Why not? Why can’t I call my weird wobbly magic rock Rumplestiltzken if I want to? Who’s stopping me? The monster academy? Fuck the police, yo.) Add in breeding + trading systems and there’s a lot of social incentive and the ability for player made content aside from just PvP. Want to breed a team of all one type of monster? Grab some from a friend, or a random on trade chat. Have something you’re not using anymore with a coveted ability? Sell it, or keep it and charge players a studding fee to breed theirs with it, or breed babies yourself and sell them!

A monster battler MMO could also build on some casual/cosmetic features in a more meaningful way. For example, housing could be a place to decorate, hang out and RP with your friends, but it could also be your “farm” ala Monster Rancher – decide where to place your monster habitats and then have at it with the vanity decor. Your favorites might even be walking around outside for other players to see your pride and joys, and for you to interact with. Mount collecting could be brought to the next level by having “saddles” for certain monster breeds that aren’t mountable normally be rare drops or achievement rewards. SMT:Imagine had a system like this iirc. Alternate colors/skins for certain breeds could also be obtainable through methods like this. I mean, look at shiny pokemon collectors. That practically generates its own content :P

And that brings me to the point that monster battlers have a lot of the things that would help keep people invested in a game in the long run – players creating their own content without necessarily a focus on PvP, possible freemium incentives with all the vanity options available, etc. I think the continued popularity of petsites like Neopets, Subeta, Flight Rising (whose color/pattern gene system might be especially applicable to an MMO doing variations within the same model), etc, and not only the mass appeal of Pokemon but the cult followings of smaller series like Monster Rancher, Digimon, Megami Tensei, etc, are pretty compelling arguments for a studio at least trying something like this. It’d definitely need to be aimed at the “casual core” gamer, I think, like the person who’s an avid and knowledgeable gamer but is also more relaxed about being the top of the pve/pvp ladder. There’s definitely a market for us that’s not being tapped quite right, IMO. Like I love vanity shit, but I’ve never felt like a game’s gotten it right 100%. What games are doing with costume systems now is getting there, and Trove is pretty close but the gameplay isn’t as deep as I’d like.

I’d love to see a smaller, western studio like Trion take a crack at this, but maybe I’ve been wishing for my monster fightan’ mmo for so long I’m not seeing some obvious downside to it.

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

I wish 0x10c would have been completed.  

For me, there should also be strategic options. I would like to play a merchant prince of Venice or Alderan a Roman emperor or Calaph – I.e. in command of multiple units.  

Using EVE/ED terms, I have multiple ships under my command, I decide the ships, the loadouts and their orders (trade, mine, pirate, military attack or defend.)  These ships, along with NPCs (e.g. Storybricks), operate 24×7.  So how busy the world is does not depend on the online population.

Tactics: So I can take control of an individual ship and do existing EVE/ED tasks except that there is a larger world since in addition to realtimers, there are offline ships and NPCs in my universe.
Strategy I can plan out strategic campaigns about improving the quantity and quality and effectiveness of my units
Farmville: if I have 5 minutes, even on mobile, I can check in and see how things are doing.

Mind Flayer
Guest
Mind Flayer

Wakkander chosenxeno I’ve read the first four Wheel of Time books, and I ended up burning out on the “plot is going nowhere” aspect of the story, BUT I would absolutely play the game you just described.
Heck, I would play a game that had dynamically generated and personalized stories like that no matter what the setting was.  >.>

Mind Flayer
Guest
Mind Flayer

Your vision for a World of Darkness MMO sounds amazing.
I am almost glad that it was canceled.   Something as awesome as you described could have ruined my life.

Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

sray155 Sorenthaz I had hopes back with Stargate Online was announced we would have gotten that, alas not only did it get cancelled they had likewise ended up going a more ‘traditional’ route with it from what i heard of the beta(alpha?). I also had some hopes with SWTOR initially. Really Sci-Fi games in general should stop taking queues from mechanics in fantasy themed games.

Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

AlexSmithWI Wakkander Tina Lauro My reluctance isn’t so much about Sanderson, just kind of bittersweet to return to finish it. I spent years in a handful of WoT communities, and having taken a break a couple of years before they were released, it is hard to find the momentum or motivation to see me finish the series and say goodbye to it.
I have heard a lot of good things about his (Sandeson) other series though.

Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

AlexSmithWI Atlantica also had turn based battles. Ah, I miss my bard, the only game I could kill with the power of power chords. But still, just one or two games doesn’t mean that the concept has been thoroughly mined and there is nothing that could be done with the concept that could be innovative.

sray155
Guest
sray155

Sorenthaz sray155 I think that in in order to get away from “the trinity pounding on a giant monster” being pretty much the only type of (group) combat encounter that exists in an MMORPG, we have to get away from genres that lend themselves all to easily to such design like Tolkien-esque fantasy (aka: 99% of all MMORPGs), and move into genres where that type of combat would look unbelievably stupid; such light sci-fi (more Robert A Heinlein or Phillip K Dick, less Isaac Asimov or Michael Crichton), military and Old West themed games.

AlexSmithWI
Guest
AlexSmithWI

Wakkander Tina Lauro Haven’t read the wheel of time books but highly recommend Sanderson as author in general.

AlexSmithWI
Guest
AlexSmithWI

Sorenthaz sray155 Look into Battleground Europe it’s basically what your asking for except for the time period.  Or EVE for that matter.

AlexSmithWI
Guest
AlexSmithWI

EVE already has more complex guild like set ups.

King Isle games have turn based combat.

We already see the last one with a few classes in a few games.

In other words I don’t see anything new here.

Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

chosenxeno Wakkander Sword Coast Legends isn’t doing the DM thing at all. Tossing monsters at players and hiding secret rooms, etc, is not accurate to the actual DM experience. The tools they have from the videos I have seen are exceptionally limited and frankly not something I am at all interested in. I have been DM’ing for over a decade to give some idea of where I am coming from and I would never use SCL to run an actual campaign.
What I would want to see is something closer to this:
Using the Wheel of Time as a base, the player is grouped with 2 friends and they are exploring the dagger hills south of eastern andor. The party consists of a male channeler, a blademaster, and a tinker, because player parties are a weird composition half the time. The AI Director, in this case lets call it a Narrator after my own rpg. The Narrator sees none of them are on a quest, it checks and notes that there is currently a larger event involving trollocs in the region, it generates a group of trollocs based on the average party level, and makes them easy and sets them either in the parties path, or more interestingly on a patrol so it isn’t a static encounter. The players run into the trollocs and find a message detailing orders to kidnap a ‘wise woman’ from a nearby farmhouse. The players find the farmhouse, spawned into existence by the Narrator, and clues from there that lead them to a cave which has a procedurally generated dungeon and some kind of mini-boss, possibly an eyeless.
The players were just out exploring, but the AI Narrator has crafted a simple little plot and set them on its path, a more complex system might even try something more ambitious, but either way you wouldn’t go around collecting quests from people with exclamation marks over their head, but instead receive dynamically generated quests that are related to the players location and gear towards the party make up. (if there is a rogue, have more traps, no healers? havemore potions or opportunities to rest, etc.)
Unrealistic to expect it perhaps, but at least theoretically possible, unlike back when EQ was made.

chosenxeno
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chosenxeno

Dystopiq I want to add to that sadness. Star Wars 1313:)

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

sray155  Y’know it’s kind of interesting to think that there haven’t really been any MMORPGs that deal with military or realistic warfare type stuff. That could be really interesting to have an MMO set like that, where you simply play as an expendable soldier whose career can end (permadeath) at any moment from careless play, and you have to tactically work together with others to take down bigger stuff.   
Like an MMO inspired by XCOM could be really cool. You could build a soldier and specialize them and as your service time and accomplishments increase it leaves you better off when your character does die (from age, sickness, battle, etc.) because you can have a clone or descendant who picks up after that fallen soldier.   And there could be a field medic specialization or w/e that could revive fallen players, but much like in the XCOM tactical rpgs you’d have to really be careful and fight using strategic and tactical combat.

Wakkander
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Wakkander

BryanCole Wakkander daes dae’mar should definitely be planned as one of the core experiences for a WoT game, it is kind of more important to the books than traditional adventuring.

chosenxeno
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chosenxeno

Wakkander C.R.E.A.M. People will copy what makes money. Large populations will play what’s popular. It is what it is. I have been saying for atleast 3 years now that the problem is not the games. It’s the people. We have been in a Golden Age without most fans of the genre even knowing it. Various settings, Systems, Art Designs, Focuses ect. on a level that has never existed before. If you want something like Sci-Fi+Full Loot PVP+Sandbox it’s probably out there. The one issue Devs were having in my opinion is not recognizing that their product is going to be niche. For Example: Vanilla Wildstar. Vanilla WildStar was too Hardcore for what is, essentially, a decent sized but niche Fanbase(It’s largely that same pool of players who pushed Wrath to 12 million subs). People will give a bunch of reasons why it “failed” but everything they tell you is an excuse to avoid admitting that it was just too hard for them(particularly the Attunment).It’s F2P because Carbine didn’t realize that a game that “difficult” is niche in today’s market. “40 Step Attunment? Ain’t nobody got time for that”(lol).

Now you can see that they are waking up. Shroud of the Avatar and Patheon are being built with smaller fanbases in mind(Crowfall should to if they aren’t already).

What I am getting at is innovation has been happening. New system are being explored. The problem is people aren’t playing those games. They are playing the games that other people are playing. I know people like to criticize games as WoW clone #2098 but there is a certain comfort in familiarity. The 1st game to pull me from WoW was Rift. It was a very comfortable move because it was familiar.

Right now it’s not the Devs who need to catch up to the Players. Players need to catch up to the Devs. They have finally accepted that their won’t be another WoW. They are finally making games for a specific niche fanbase within the MMORPG player pool.

P.S. I think Swordcoast Legends is doing the DM thing.

Wakkander
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Wakkander

Quincha Wakkander Because it is more of an arcade experience from what I have seen of it. More about straight dungeon delving with few if any storytelling tools, it doesn’t offer a complete toolset for what a dm would need for an actual table top experience where combat can be, but is not always core to the experience.

BryanCole
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BryanCole

Wakkander WoT is my favorite fantasy book series of all time.  It definitely has the most potential, if done right, for a large open world deep role playing game with tons of people.  But less focus on raids and more on making characters that matter in the larger scheme.  I can’t imagine a 20 man raid taking on Moghedien…ok I can, but it seems like it would be insulting.  Now having story moments where Moghedien interacts with your character while you are in a dream state or offline, that would be interesting.  So many cool things to innovate this genre with the WoT franchise.  We have the Ways as an infinite yet deadly exploration zone.  We have Warders and they’re own style of swordplay to make them stand on equal footing with Channelers.  You can have wildling characters, Aes Sedai, Asha’man.  Seanchan, Windfolk, even the Children of Light, all with their own unique and nuanced styles, cultures and possible game mechanics.  You have tons of background for world game systems like housing, farming, economics etc.  modeled after the various regions like the Two Rivers and it’s tabaac, or Tear and it’s “house of cards” gameplay, politics and what not, I’m imagining the Vanguard diplomacy system here, but less about numbers and more about actual events and political maneuverings…man I could go on.  Aiel society, the crazy people from Shara…whew…someone get on this!

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Guild complexity isn’t a pretty old concept.

Problem with making group affiliation more complex than just guilds is that you try to make it realistic by having sub-affiliations it becomes much more difficult to program. The devs have better things to do with their time.

Transformers MMO games are just plain ol’ Transformers games are too gimmicky.  Remember Transformers Prime? Too much emphasis on robot combat and too little emphasis on vehicle combat or hybrid modes.

I’ll be surprised if there’s a Transformers game that actually puts real hard emphasis equally on robot/vehicle/hybrid modes.

Tina Lauro
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Tina Lauro

sray155  Cool idea! I guess the closest we have is faction warfare in EVE, but I’d love to see the tactical mission mechanics you mention.

sray155
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sray155

This isn’t really from any IP that I know of, but I’d like to seem MMORPGs that do away with the trinity swarming a giant monster, and replace it with military style tactical team strategy. Scenarios where a team might be split up into multiple groups having to successfully complete sub-group specific tasks in order for the overall task to be completed.

Wakkander
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Wakkander

Tina Lauro Wakkander I never read the Sanderson books, need to get around to it and finish the series. I spent so many years involved in various Wheel of Time online communities I ended up somewhat burnt out on it all by the time Jordan passed.
On a neverwinter nights project I was involved in we had a lot of fantastic ideas for dealing with the madness, a shame it fell through before it was completed. (Male channelers were unique in that they accumulated ‘madness’ with every channel, eventually reaching a breaking point. They were the only class with perma-death, and if they went mad a clone was made where they were that was hostile and they were transported to a dungeon meant to simulate their mind. They had to beat it before the clone was killed or they were perma-dead. However, the more time in the dungeon the more opportunities to reclaim some of their sanity, removing some of the accumulated madness. It would have been interesting to see in action.)

Tina Lauro
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Tina Lauro

Dystopiq  The wound actually closed? Never! :D I’m still so sad about it.

Tina Lauro
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Tina Lauro

SkyyDragonn  Oops! I have no idea how that slipped past both my checks and Bree’s eagle eyes. Fixed now! ^.^

Tina Lauro
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Tina Lauro

Wakkander  Wheel of Time is super close to my heart right now… I’m just a few chapters away from finishing book 14 and I just can’t bring myself to finish it because I just don’t want it to be over.  Those limitations would make for a fantastically rich MMO, particularly if we stuck to the region-specific laws and traditions the series features. Great idea!

Wakkander
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Wakkander

So I’ve said before that MMO’s have lost perspective. Companies do things like X, iterate on Y, or even improve on Z, but x, y and z all exist because the previous big game did it, and because of what I see as a lack of true innovation on these concepts I think it is because no one ever bothered to ask why does x, y and z exist in the first place. (EQ style mechanics have no right to exist nowadays, but rather than creating something true to the setting, they iterate on these ‘proven’ concepts and we get things like SWTOR by way of WoW.)
If most modern big budget titles are an iteration on wow, and wow iterated on EverQuest, you can start to see some of the roots showing there. EQ is a poor mans d&d setting, and the goal was seemingly to emulate the living world of a table top campaign, but due to limitations at the time what we got was EQ instead, who has been iterated on since even though it only gets credit for it from relatively few post-wow.
To that end a modern interpretation of an actual table top experience would be interesting. Something akin to the AI director in the left 4 dead series, but that assumes the role of a limited DM creating threats and quest lines customized to the party would be cool. Ignore EQ and everything that came after, they were attempts limited by technology, reimagine it all from the start and build the mechanics around your IP not, not twist the IP to fit around the EQ-WoW model.
Anyway, the IP I think that could be cool for something new would be something like Wheel of Time with the unique way its magic works. You could create interesting new effects based on the different elements and your strengths in them. Allowing a large degree of customization to spellcasting. Additionally I’d love to see a developer seriously treat limitations like the madness for male channelers and the laws for Aes Sedai. Both offering limitations and advantages, and no doubt causing a series of gender-equality arguments by people who do not understand the setting or series.

SkyyDragonn
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SkyyDragonn

enahncements really? Spell check moar!?
Seriously though ideas 1&3 are good idea 2 just no.

DennisSmith2
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DennisSmith2

I think looking back is the way to look forward. I would like to see a 90lass system like SWG or a skill based system like M59 where you lose stats and hps when you die, making death mean more.

I would love for someone to create a quest system like the old choose your own adventure books, where every quest gives you different choices which lead to different paths

Damonvile
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Damonvile

I’d like to see sword coast legends DM function used in an mmo setting. Allowing players to take limited control of an instance would totally take away the “farm” feeling they quickly get and bring the “intelligence” :P of a human into the rather stale environment pve content can get.

Dystopiq
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Dystopiq

You just had to reopen the WoD wound. Why MOP. T.T

TristanPEJ
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TristanPEJ

I would love to see some of the concepts from ARGs put into an MMO context. This could give a game more staying power and promotion as the game could actually go out of the game world into real life. I know that to an extent the secret world tried this, but I would mean with big non-repeated large events. Imagine if the old ahn’qiraj opening required more than farming, but really difficult challenges and puzzles both in the game, out, or even a mix of both. I think it would be one of the coolest things for a game to try, especially if they want to get out of a playership rut.

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