The Daily Grind: What do you want out of a space sim MMO?

Watching the whole development and phenomenon of Star Citizen from a slightly detached perspective, I’ve often wondered (as I’m sure you have) what this game will actually end up being in the end. Certainly, many grand and impressive-sounding statements have been put out there, but we’ve all been hurt by unfulfilled promises before.

What’s really got me thinking is how everyone interested in this project seems to project their own desires into it. Ain’t none of us want the same things for a space sim MMO, unless you’re one of those mad players who wave your hands around and say “EVERYTHING!” like you’re a kid at a toy store who can’t focus on a few important purchases.

So assuming that you’re interested in space sims, what do you want out of MMORPGs in this field? Is it narrative? Trading? Planetary exploration? Combat? FPS boarding action? Weird aliens? Your own starbase? Janitorial simulation? Hardcore survival mechanics? Softcore space visuals?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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79 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What do you want out of a space sim MMO?"

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Reader

Sandbox, Exploration, Resource Gathering, Building, Fighting, Economy, Groups

A game of this scale and ambition should be looking real hard at what make some of the most successful MMOs work. Trying to re-invent core mechanics from scratch will be a big mistake.

Galaxy = Elite Dangerous. Great scale. Realistic. Also like the approach of faction/territory in a bubble close to start and then undiscovered limitless exploration beyond.
Planetary exploration / resource gathering = Minecraft. Has a simplistically fun, find resources, collect, build.

Economy = EVE. Very mature/robust economy. Possibly too mature due to the evolved complexity of ship types, modules, etc. A slightly more simplistic economy that retains the ability to buy/sell in different local markets with economic engineered price supports and subsidies to compensate for the lack of real market liquidity.
https://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/monthly-economic-report-february-2017/

Player Base = EVE. The more regular players the better.

Selectable PVP/PVE = World of Warcraft, selectable for 90% of world. Some small pockets 100% PVP. Avoidable for those solely interested in PVE. Ability to flag or be flagged PVP for attacking players, guards (police).

Graphics = Star Citizen. They seem to be on a very good path at creating ships and environments. Hopefully that is scalable and sustainable.

Groups/guilds/tribes = World of Warcraft. Big part of what makes that game still strong after 13 years of existence.

Is that so hard?

Reader
Raspywolf

I want to explore the stars with a ship full of teammates. I don’t really care too much for combat. But the idea of a sandbox galaxy where where you get together with a bunch of friends, or a group of like minded individuals, and play as a crew on a single ship (each of you having specializations, skills, and specific roles) and just go gallivanting across an ever expanding galaxy discovering new things and doing as you please…..just imagining it makes my pulse quicken.

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Bionicall

I would like an economy that matters, where the distance of a far flung mining outpost truly means something. I would like the ability to share the command of an exploration ship with my friends, and visit nebulas and sail through asteroid belts. Where there was a good chance, because of remoteness, that no one had been there before. Yet if I wanted, I could return to central (read more populous) space, and trade stories, visit shops, exchanges goods and services and even participate in the defence against an aggressive alien race.

Reader
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Peregrine Falcon

I want Traveller Online. So far it looks like Star Citizen just might be living up to that! :)

Reader
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Sashaa

I want my Sorosuub 3000 back!

Reader
Duane Does not check email

….dong slider

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Having read all the answers below, I see every one of you want Star Citizen

Reader
Roger Melly

I think we all want what Star Citizen aspires to be but I must admit there does seem to be some pay to win aspect about the game that have alarmed me as well as the delays in the development and reports of shambolic practices at the company .

To be honest I have given much hope of seeing a release before the end of this decade .

Reader
Orenj

Basically the ship building and control model of KSP in the ED or SC persistent world.

Xijit
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Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

A quality economy that isn’t sabotaged by end game grind, with detailed crafting (down to sub-sub-sub-components), and a the ability to wander around / get out of / customise the interior if your vehicles.

Reader
Armsman

Basically a modern “Wing Commander/Privateer Online” for me – which is pretty much what Star Citizen aspires to be (considering it’s being developed by the same person who made WC I – IV and Privateer) even though it of course has a different overall backstory/narrative. That’s why I backed it when CR announced it.

I hope it’ll get there, but we’ll see.

Reader
Arktouros

I want EVE, with interesting space combat.

Reader
Roger Melly

What do I want out of a space sim mmo ?

The first thing that came to mind was for it not for it to be in development hell for years but other than that GIANT space battles .

Crow
Reader
Crow

Changing my answer. For a “Space Sim” I want Starfighter, Inc. Which will release before SC.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

I rarely play any space games, so i don’t know what i want from them, i tried EVE but didn’t finish the starting tutorial, i was looking for 0x10c (designed by Minecraft developer) but the project is dead since 2013.

I guess exploring will be interesting, without PVP without combat, trading with different civilizations can be enjoyable if done right, TSW lore style in space? i would play that.

Reader
Panzerbjorne

I don’t want to be ganked. EVER. I want PvP to be 100% optional. I want to be able to explore and get meaningful rewards for it and other non combat activities. But most importantly I want something fun and entertaining. I want a nearly finished game with more content at launch than I can shake a stick at.

Crow
Reader
Crow

You should play Elite. It hits every one of those points for you.

Reader
Joe Blobers

As a backer of both Space game… ED is quite… empty in terms of activities at least for me. Grinding is the biggest activities. I am playing solo because I hate PVP with some taking pleasure to ganked everything moving.
This say I would recommend all to have a try with ED. It is not that much expensive for the basic ED. More to pay with “DLC” but after all they do have to finance their team

Crow
Reader
Crow

I try to be seriously cautious about suggesting Elite. It is a space-nerd game by space-nerds and for space-nerds… if you’re not a space-nerd it is so much less interesting.

I don’t want to be ganked. EVER. I want PvP to be 100% optional. I want to be able to explore and get meaningful rewards for it and other non combat activities.

This is pretty much what Elite is best at. I’m an explorer myself, and the game is so perfect for such. Compensation pay-out buffs in 2.3 actually put me at ~3weeks of total playtime since launch and going out exploring, no PVP and no worries… gain me about 10k+ creds a day of soft, easy scanning work which leads to the BEST screenshots and cool worlds I explore.

At this point I consider my pilot an “Earth-Hunter” in that my aim is to find Earth-like worlds and terraformable worlds (for the $$$$) which also just happen to pay amazingly.

But damn, my favorite part is making the rough calculation after scanning a star to determine the habitable-zone. I use EDDiscovery to give a better number but this is teaching me more functional equations than my semester of astronomy did in undergrad.

Reader
GoJammit

Only problem is the no gank ever option is also the play alone forever option. If you’re okay with a giant world of npc’s have at it.

Reader
rafael12104

Less procedure and more combat aka dog fighting. I’d love a good reason to actually buy a joystick again.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

stick is feeling pretty good in star citizen these days in combat. 2.6 really improved the game in that area imo. even tho one of my ships no longer able to kill the weakest of pirates in the current meta XD

Crow
Reader
Crow

Science. I want goddamn science.

Elite provides that, at least if you find planetary system formation theory fascinating. Hell, Star Forge is a downright scientific model with flaws.

Between Elite and Starfighter, Inc. I think I’ll be good for awhile.

styopa
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styopa

Hmm, so now I had to connect my account here with my Google/Twitter /fb/whatever account to login? That’s new? (& sucks)

In answer to your question: TRAVELLER THE MMO.

Reader
ichi sakari

Como se diche… What I want… what’s most important to me is that I have a guarantee. No more attempts on my father’s life.

oh wait, that was that other deal

I want the philosophy of the devs and pubs to be that they are making an enjoyable, challenging, beautiful game that moves the genre ahead, not another WoW clone or PvP gankbox with gambling boxes.

I want a game run by gamers, not by Phil down in Marketing.

I almost quit gaming because of the sorry ass state of the industry, having some hope of a game that breaks out of the current pack is a good feeling, IMHO an even better feeling than some folks get making snarky in these comments.

Reader
Utakata

My pigtails to act as if they where warp nacelles. Don’t need no stinkin’ spaceship when you got a pair of these. /flexes pigtails <3

Reader
Fluffy Magical Unicorn

Love dem pigtails!

Reader
Utakata

<3

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Nordavind

Firefly.

(Let me just stop you before you post links to that “game” with a Firefly logo on it.)

EDIT: You said space sim, space games would also include something of the following universes: Star Wars, Mass Effect and Spaceship Troopers.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Serrenity

That’s what I want too. I want Firefly the MMO … A legit MMO not that mobile monstrosity.

Something about the slightly Western, smuggler space is important but so are you as a person instead of just a ship … That’s the galaxy I want

Reader
Wilhelm Arcturus

I’ll take the imperfect now (e.g. Elite: Dangerous or EVE Online) over promises of the perfect at some unspecified future date. Currently I prefer EVE, but that likely has to do with being able to dock and undock easily.

capt_north
Reader
capt_north

I’d like the ability to run an interstellar empire, or a seedy cantina on some backwater world. I’d like to option to build a ship with fine control over the placement of every seam and bolt, or to choose one that pleases me from a vast catalogue, to which I can contribute my own designs. I want to terraform barren planets into lush and teaming paradise worlds, or plunder them ruthlessly for unique resources in a crafting/manufacturing system that hasn’t been bowdlerized for simpletons.

Maybe slip some combat in there somewhere, but it’s not a priority and ought to be entirely optional. Most prospectors and architects get through life without killing anybody.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

you reminded me of some parts at least of dual space is said to going to be. we’ll see how it goes tho.

capt_north
Reader
capt_north

Dual Universe? I dig the voxel building tools, but I’m not too hot on open PvP “almost everywhere”. I might check it out anyway, but if you can’t go wandering without getting sniffed out and ganked, it’s probably not my cup of tea.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Mass Effect + Privateer = me Happy

Reader
rafael12104

Nice shout out to Privateer! It was an awesome game.

Reader
Annoyed badger

a release date….

Reader
cista2bpo

Persistance and absolutely no instancing.

Bobuliss
Reader
Bobuliss

Have you tried EVE? It has both of those in spades.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Wing Commander Privateer Online, but with PvP fully optional.

Which is why I don’t think I will even bother creating a character on the official Star Citizen servers.

Reader
rafael12104

Yes! Vestiges of the good things of those two games fully realized. You don’t need to be SC to be great and innovative.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
John Bagnoli

Space. And a simulation of some kind. Oh and I almost forgot, massive people playing together in an online format.

Reader
chriskovo .

Wanted Wing Commander Online, think im getting an imploded game that promised to much and delivers to little.

Reader
Joe Blobers

That was not the question and… this is coming man :)

Reader
steve

I hope to have a space trading simulation in which I’m able to use my little freelancer to exploit jump points the bigger freighters can’t and beat them to market. Bonus points if I can smuggle cute and invasive wildlife from interdicted planets to Terra.

I want to pilot my trusty old hornet in a grand, epic PVE space war against hopeless odds as the Vanduul invade and sack Earth.

I want to see strange nebulae and dying stars through the bubble cockpit of my reliant sen, puttering around the farthest reaches while listening to my super awesome mix.

I want to get full use out of my twin sticks, pedals and TrackIR.

I want it all, but I don’t expect it all at once.

Reader
Hirku

Real exploration with interesting discoveries and adventures, like what Starflight managed to provide 30+ years ago with minimal graphics and no sound other than some beeps. It seems like everything since is just military pew-pew and space trucking.

Reader
Bryan Turner

How about physics effects such as in Interstellar where if you go to an area with a Blackhole a short amount of time passes for you while every one outside thinks youve been gone much longer.

Reader
TheDonDude

You could probably do something like this to explain how time works while logged off.

Reader
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BalsBigBrother

um isn’t that what happens when you go to a bar or pub without your significant other.

“but love I have only been out for a couple of hours”

*significant other glares at watch and then at you*

:-)

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

i think that would require going to a black hole irl to achieve. :D

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

Janitorial simulation, space farmer and ship showroom salesman sounds fun.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

I want Star Wars Galaxies. That means:

1) Combat and civilian craft. Civilian craft are safe and not gankable. Combat craft, sure, they are made for fighting and there should be combat missions.
2) Explorable ship interiors that can be decorated like housing.
3) Ability to invite friends to travel with me on my ship in real time to whatever destination we choose.
4) Ability to orbit any planet and just chill while we look at all that heavenly glory.
5) Ability to land and take off from any planet or spaceport.
6) Variety of ships made for their intended purpose.

SWG nailed it. Why can’t anybody else? SWTOR comes the closest of the MMOs I have played since you can actually travel together.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

something like this:

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

being this desire is decidedly less likely to happen than star citizen hitting beta before the end of the decade, i guess i’ll settle for star citizen, whatever it ends up being for better or worse.

i mean i enjoy it enough now what little there is to it for what is there i guess. even tho they sometimes make odd changes which lead to unecessary confusion like i experienced in teh video below where they changed the bind for turning off look ahead mode and removed the entry from the keybind cheat sheet randomly

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BalsBigBrother

I want a five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to boldly go where no person has gone before.

Also a reason to do those things and a feeling that I am affecting things, even if only slightly on a local level would be great too.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

Elite played with the Oculus Rift is probably the closest thing right now to that.

Reader
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BalsBigBrother

Elite is a lot of things that I for the most part enjoy but it still has a ways to go.

I will enjoy it even more once they have some meaningful exploration. I explore quite a lot in Elite but that has a lot of shortcoming that I won’t go into but it is pretty sparse in terms of gameplay in that area.

Also wish that they would step up a little with the sci fi stuff. They have been teasing aliens since the game launched two some years ago. All we have is effectively a single cut scene, cool though it is, some pods and lore logs. /sigh

Yes I know these things are coming soon ™ but it is not there yet and I am after over two years getting a little impatient :-)

Reader
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Archebius

I want to explore and know I can never see everything there is to see. I want to stumble across things I’ve never seen before, and that no one else may ever notice. I want to feel like I could fill any role in the universe if I wanted to, from cargo handler to bounty hunter.

In short, I want a living, breathing galaxy that I can fall into and be a part of. I don’t need a strong narrative, I’ll build my own – I want a place that I can inhabit, and bring friends along for the ride.

Dantos
Reader
Dantos

something abit less flight simy than Elite Dangerous, with more pve content. So maybe Star Citizen? Ive decided not to play until it gets into a ‘no more wipes’ state whatever they end up calling it, despite having a ready to go package, so I cant really say if its what I want yet.

I wanted to like Elite, but there were just to many fiddly controls. I can dock myself, but it got old after the first few times. I can re-fuel myself during long treks using the scooper, but it just feels tedious. Every time I hear about events like the alien stuff, I wanted to jump back in, but the microing of my ship is to much for me, granted I dont have a HOTAS, and was using a 360 controller (felt better than a keyboard), so that may have been an issue.

Bobuliss
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Bobuliss

Almost everything I want I already have in EVE Online. I am one of those rare contented gamers.

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Joe Blobers

And this is great. The more Space option the better.

Reader
MesaSage

I’d definitely be up for some softcore space visuals. Otherwise, it’s trading, exploration and building bases.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

so… like… space elfbutts?

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starbuck1771

My ideal space sim would be a hybrid of Star Wars Galaxies and Freelancer.

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Oleg Chebeneev

So Star Citizen?

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starbuck1771

yes and no. I want SWG with the multi-faction end of Freelancer as well and Freelancer’s commodity / Trade route system. SWG almost anyone could play without dropping a fortune on a new PC or Upgrades to play the same can’t be said for SC. I have SC and it is good from what I have played.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

what about star citizen is like swg? XD

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Oleg Chebeneev

Alot actually. Huge planets to explore, resources that you have to find and mine (you will be able to build factories too as far as I know), player built cities, cantinas aka planetary bars where you can roleplay, randomly generated missions (much more advanced in SC tho), hoverbikes you can use to fly over planets, bounty hunting and many others things.

Other the Jedi, almost everything what was in SWG planned in SC and will be much better implemented.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

as far as we know of many of those things in their said to be by devs and yet to be demonstrated in working fashion, they are generally much different in form than what they were in star citizen.

in fact we don’t really know anything substantial about how any of those things will be in star citizen at this time beyond the not really useful and super vague saying they’ll be in the game in some form whatever form that might take no one knows (and at this point alot of backers suspect no one at CIG does either).

so when he says “swg meets freelancer” as his desire, he means exactly that and not necessarily star citizen which we simply don’t know if star citizen would scratch that itch or not at this point based on what we can reasonable say about the game.

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Oleg Chebeneev

You just dont follow SC closely. They told quite alot and shown quite abit about randomly generated missions, player built outposts, mining, planetary exploration, etc. And all these coming in 3.0 that is planned for this summer

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

oh they talk alot about everything. but what they say doesn’t really say much about any of those things that is substantial.

it keeps the fandom pie eyed but for anyone wanting to know more than that those things will exist in some vague buzzwordy way it doesn’t satiate.

even with their video footage of “gameplay” has yet to resemble in substantial fashion what they deliver to us on our desktop in ways that would satiate the mob of gamers that complain about bullshotted videos from other game companies.

hell i’ve even put substantial effort into trying to recreate some of those videos and it’s not really doable to do them that would be concievably done in the current game. even 2+ years after the “gameplay footage” in a “live demo” on stage before an audience.

and as i’ve learned from experience with this project, i’ll see what 3.0 actually offers when it’s on my desktop. nevermind the cliche of “miracle patches” in 35 years of gaming and how that goes, just with specific context of this specific game so far.

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Armsbend

A completed game.

*rimshot*

edangerous
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edangerous

Ok, now you’re just being unreasonable….

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

can;t tell if serious or facetious….

edangerous
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edangerous

Oh definitely the latter.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

XD

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Oleg Chebeneev

Star Citizen is exactly what I want from a space sim MMO. With all promised features and star systems implemented

>What’s really got me thinking is how everyone interested in this project seems to project their own desires into it.

Isnt it the same with every huge MMO? Like WoW for example. Some who play it dont care about raids, some dont do PvP, they are completely different types of gamers. Yet game provides enough variety to please different tastes and desires.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I want me some of that sweet sweet open universe PVP!

/e pauses.

/e fiddles with a machine

Sorry bout that, had my Snark setting to 11.

Crow
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Crow

After EVE and Darkfall and then BDO and Elite… I’ve come to think the real issue with “ganking” is that it is a 100% player activity. The three games mentioned first don’t really have “NPC Ganks” at all in any meaningful way, and the “gank” threat comes not from the world, itself, but from other players who are inherently better at the game than AI.

Now, in Elite (which is just an example), NPCs gank you, too! There are pirates who will try to engage and kill you for their own LULZ (and your cargo). When such is a part of NPC behavior the act by a player gets to be a “high level” gank instead of the “low effort to escape” ganks from a lot of NPCs.

It placed a lot of this in perspective.

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