The Daily Grind: What alternate MMO server rulesets would get you excited?

Why Is Trion Like This, Just Kidding, We Actually Know

Seeing as how MMORPG legacy and progression servers have served well to rally the playerbase and general enthusiasm as of late, my mind has turned back to the topic of server rulesets.

Changing the rules and structure of a server can have a dramatic effect on a game, and such changes are pretty standard when it comes to smaller multiplayer private shards. To me, alternative server rulesets are a cost-effective and low-effort way to make a dramatic difference in a game world and possibly drum up easy publicity.

So if you could call the shots on a new server ruleset, what would you do? What kind of MMO ruleset would get you excited for a game that you already play or have played in the past?

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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Malcolm Swoboda

This is partially a desire for an experiment, and partially just a desire: RIFT but in linear story design where you must do X to do Y, but also with as much scaling (xp, loot, generalized tokens) as possible and incentives for further on players to do ‘lower’ content. Specific rifts, zone events, etc have lures you can buy with planarite or if crucial to storyline, given for free. You can trigger all of these as you desire, but if the server load is too high you just get a message to wait a while (perhaps at this point have the daily cooldowns so people can’t spam). Basically a RIFT that is more of a storyline its good to do, instead of rocketing to the top instance at max level. RIFT Prime is a bit of this, for now, so it has me, for now.


A One Hour One Life server where hunger was reduced to 1/4th of the official server’s current speed, where somehow the rampant PKing and griefing that has penetrated every corner of the game was able to be controlled.

Toy Clown

I’d have a field day if BDO did a subscription server with no cash shop and allowed only items that added to the immersion of the world — such as player-crafted outfits and horse gear.

Bryan Gregory

When Daybreak announced the Coirnav server, many were disappointed that it was a direct copy of the Phinigel server, but with slower EXP. So some people suggested they make it a Firiona Vie ruleset server instead, where nearly everything is tradeable, and you can only have 1 character. I think there’s more to it than that, but I’ve personally never played on FV, which is why if Coirnav had been an FV ruleset, I’d have probably checked it out.

It would require a crapton of balance (and a decent size population), but a FFXI server where you can openly attack players of other nations could be interesting. And if SE ever does an official progression/era server, I’m going to be all over that.

A truly PVE WoW server with no factions. Communicate, group, and guild with anyone.

ESO with no factions and an Ultima Online style open PVP system, maybe even with looting players corpses too.


A good alternate rule set server for an MMO in today’s day and age would be:

No cash shop access.
Subscription only access.
No publisher sponsored cash sellers or bots.


Horizontal Progression!

Put in some algorithm that flattens out all stat increases and basically makes everything the same level. Suddenly your typical linear themepark becomes much more open and free-roaming, still linear via some quest chains but still much more free. Would obviously prefer a game designed from the ground up to be horizontal, but this would be a start.

No XP From Quests!

I really hate questing in MMORPGs. The stories are always crap, I still get shocked when people claim stories in MMOs are good, I’ve literally never played through a well told story in a computer game. But, due to the vast amounts of XP attached to quests, it is by far the most efficient way to level so you’re kinda forced into them. I’d love to see XP removed from quests and see how the community reacts. I imagine we’d still do them for the other rewards but we’d be much more inclined to explore, group up for some mob grinding etc.

No Cash Shop -> Subscription Server!

I despise the F2P business model and refuse to play games that use it. But, give me a server without a cash shop that only allows subs and I will play it (assuming the game is good, obviously)


A fresh EVE server/restart with a fresh ruleset leaning toward PVE, but not completely eliminating PVP. Just a different approach.


How is it not?

A Battle Royale game is a last man standing deathmatch; that is the core element of the genre, kill/disable everyone else until only one player remains. It’s also explicitly an arena game, with the arena well defined and inescapable (and often even playing a large role in the game, as in the two most successful Battle Royale games where the arena shrinks to force players to confront each other).

Edit: What the? Was the post I was replying to deleted?

Oleg Chebeneev

I dont expect Blizzard releasing custom servers that change the game drastically. But I had a blast playing Project Ascension last year. This is a WoW server (WoTLK core but 60 level max with vanilla content) with classless system where you yourself can craft your character from talents and abilities of any classes. There is Random Enhancement system – custom enchants that you can place on items on top of regular ones. Here is list of most of them (but not all):
There is also high risk server where you drop loot in PvP. 2 items that you wear and few from inventory. You can insure 3 slots to drop gold instead of items in these slots.
Also mobs 51+ level can drop epics from raids. And drop chance of greens and blues increased by alot.

Why I loved it, because it gave completely fresh experience to MMO that I played for years. Its what I want from new servers. Fresh experience. And more custom features that make playing sessions fun and unique.

Also check out my latest PvP video from Project Ascension.


The Hardcore Irongnome, Cupcake ruleset…

…where players can only advance cooking up the best and most delightful bake goods. Mmm-mmm delicious – that would put hair on your pigtails! <3

Sally Bowls

I watched Sandercock demo her Order of the Oven Mitt, a tasty mix of chess and Connect Four, for a quartet of curious players. … The game is played on a chess-style board and in the same duelling manner. …

Unlike a chessboard, however, the field was fully populated with a variety of edible pieces. If you landed on one, you, naturally, ate it.