The Daily Grind: What older MMO systems do you wish devs would upgrade?


Perhaps few things bug me so much as when developers introduce a meaty gameplay system into an MMORPG only to neglect or abandon it by the time the next expansion rolls around. Lord of the Rings Online’s skirmish system, World of Warcraft’s garrisons and class order halls, or Star Trek Online’s exploration system are but a few examples that have rankled my sensibilities over the years.

It’s frustrating because players latch on to these systems and find enjoyment in them, even years after their introduction. It’s doubly frustrating because with some refinement and updates, these systems could become relevant and even better than before. But no, they’re shoved back under the bed so that devs can play with their new shinies.

If you had your pick, what older MMO systems do you wish your game’s developers would take the time to upgrade today?

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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Excellent question!

1) Game Engines

Probably not the sort of system you were looking for, but it is rare to find an MMO that can actually support massively multiplayer features. Most tend to slow down too much once you reach 30-40 players on screen and most die with 100+. To me, that is unacceptable in a genre that is supposed to be about 1000s of players interacting with one another.

2) LotRO’s Fellowship Manoeuvres (conjunctions)

For those that never played, these were party-based skills. When someone initiated a conjunction, every member of the party would get a popup where they could select one of 4 skills – red (dmg) yellow (dot) green (health) blue (power). The choice of selection as well as the order of the 6 party members would determine the group skill. So, you had the common easy ones : GGGBBB (gives health plus power to all members), RRRRRY (big damage with a lingering DoT) but then you had more complicated ones like RYGBRY which would do all sorts of things, including damage, dots, a bit of health, but might also stun then or add a slow.

3) LotRO’s class/combat design

I’ve never played a game with so much depth to its combat system. Everything I’ve played since has seemed so shallow and easy by comparison. I recognise that the pacing was a bit slow and it wasn’t very flashy. The depth also didn’t come out until you were facing challenging group content. I’d like to see someone design a combat system that gave us similar amounts of depth but for the whole game.

4) Collision Detection

I’m not entirely sure why this isn’t used more in MMOs, except that it’s usually done badly. I’d love to see collision detection implemented well and become impactful during combat.

5) SWGs player cities

I think CU is going to achieve something much better so we may see this evolution for real soon, but it’s a great concept.

6) RvRvR / open world PvP

This, imo, should be the ultimate goal of an MMO. It is the epitome of a massively multiplayer feature – 100s/1000s of players coming together to fight for their team against multiple opponents, fighting over territory or keeps or resources or whatever. Most games stick with 2 realms so instantly fail. A lot of games just let you pvp in the world which just turns into gankfests or zergy meat grinders. We want proper objectives, proper rewards, choices in how and where to fight, as well as appropriate protections for those who do not wish to pvp.

Jeffery Witman

SWG’s resource system and most of its crafting system/classes were pretty great. It let you play a non-combat character without it being a total grind.

SWG’s ground/space split combat systems were great, too. STO took a bit of that for itself.

TSW’s investigation missions were a great addition to the standard MMO combat missions. More of those should be included in MMOs in general.

The Foundry in Neverwinter is a fantastic tool for player creations, but sadly there’s no real incentive to use it because it doesn’t give appropriate rewards for the time and difficulty. I made a few small encounters in it years back and the editor is robust and complex enough to do so much, but there’s no reason for players to make or play through them. A lot of other games could use such a system in them. Combine this with TSW style investigation missions as well as combat missions with good rewards and you could have endless player generated content instead of endless gear grinds for end game.


I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest ‘pet battles’. Less because Blizzard hasn’t done anything with them, which is almost certainly not the case, and more because I want all the games to have pet battles, which is absolutely NOT the case at present.


For me hands down the Vanguard Diplomacy ingame card game. But hey, even Vanguard is gone by now. But man do i still mourn what this could have become if they had more time and resources to give it attention.


I never got that much into Vanguard, but the Diplomacy system was a stroke of genius.

Kickstarter Donor

Is Gorgon tackling the old Asheron’s Call skill system? I liked it although it was awfully easy to break.

Timber Toes


Kickstarter Donor

I wish WoW would upgrade the graphics entirely its looking real old and tired now.

LOTRO again Graphics

I pretty much want everything to have the graphical quality of BDO, Archage or Bless online these days lol

Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron

WoW new content graphic is great, but that’s my opinion, BDO graphic style is not for everyone, prefer WoW to be honest :-)

Kickstarter Donor

BDO’s was one example I cited.. the point being it could REALLY use modern graphics not graphics that are 16 years old. ;)

But then I would expect a Minimalist to want less not more lol :P


EQ2 without a doubt. Such a massive game with depth that has needed a graphical overhaul and update for a long time.

Oleg Chebeneev

EVE Online – missions system. More dynamic, more story based, more fun and more intervened into PvP.
WoW – battlegrounds. Bigger scale. More objectives and interesting dynamics.
TSW – lore section and achievements. Make lore prettier with more art and better font. Make achievements interesting instead of “kill x”.
Age of Wushu – quests. Needs total revamp. Also how skills are aquired.
AoC – open world PvP. I want to see it more brutal, hardcore and motivating.
Archeage – talent trees. Dunno if they changed anything, but several years ago talent trees and talents were just bad.
LoTRO – animations. Cmon already.
EQ2 – combat which is a joke in this game.

All MMORPGs in general. Start getting rid of leveling and levels.

Kickstarter Donor

FFXIV – sloooooooooooow combat system needs an update.

TERA – Engine Upgrade, PvP and Class Balance (also revert my Sorc back to how it was before revamp… it sucks now)

Lineage 2 – go back before the class crunch into 8 classes

GW2 – lets get actual GvG

BDO – PvE, enchanting system and trading. relocation of servers to a more centralized location for NA players. BDO’s enchanting system is so horrible.