The Daily Grind: What skills should MMOs give players – but never do?

    
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I was reading the patch notes for the latest update to my favorite Star Wars Galaxies emulator when this line just leaped right out at me:

“Rename is available again via a new Smuggler ability, Off the Record. The smuggler must use the command outside of all NPC and player cities. The command has a 30 minute cooldown, separate from existing abilities. The Smuggler calls in a Black Market Agent who can give you a new identity …for a price!”

Now, obviously, an unsanctioned player-run emulator like this doesn’t have to worry about costs because it isn’t making money in the first place, so naturally its developers’ first thought is to add any cool new concept to an actual player class rather than put it in a lockbox or cash shop, but in most MMOs, character renames go straight to the shop. This is so refreshing to me, not to mention in keeping with SWG’s spirit (this is a game where players are also barbers and tattoo artists!), and I wish we could see more of this in other games.

What other nifty skills should MMOs give players – but never do?

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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Rheem Octuris

The ability to use Polearms. Seriously, where are all the halberds, bardiches, voulge, poleaxes, fauchards, and partisans?

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Arsin Halfmoon

Dragoons use them like spears

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Fervor Bliss

Charm School.

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Thomas

Summon AI teammates (perhaps even your alt toons) and then allow you to run group content with them. :)

It wouldn’t be as good as running group content with friends and/or guildmates, but I’d choose an AI team over a typical PUG any day of the week.

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Arsin Halfmoon

Gw1 did that. You can make your characters into heroes for a price

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Avaera

Influence/coercion skills – I’ve very rarely seen the ability to change an NPC’s mind without just bashing them/bribing them, but I wish that was in more games.

Social relationship building skills – I’ve never played a game where I don’t instantly know the name, class, and usually faction of a new NPC/player as soon as I walk up to them. It would be so awesome to have to manage the transition from ‘another random green orc woman’ to a named, friendly, interactable quest giver.

Actually customised crafts – as others have said, it would be so much more awesome to be able to create a piece of armour that I’ve literally designed, coloured, named, and otherwise customized to be something that you can only find and buy from my character. Generic crafts are fine for simple economies, but I’d love a real craft-oriented one!

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Dobablo

Plasterer to skim over walls. It combos with artist to make frescos.

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Stormwaltz

It very much depends on the greater systems involved, but I’ve always been fond of “logistical” skills.

For example, the ability to summon temporary campfires and mailboxes. Or forges, set for public or guild/group use, that can be used for repair and crafting. The ability to create “bookmarks” for recall/teleport abilities in public areas, and copy them for others.

And I’ve always wanted to see players handed the ability to script AI for their pets. Like Dragon Age Origins’ tactics system, but with actual code. Players who create efficient and effective scripts for particular roles could copy and sell them.

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Shadex De'Marr

More than one character with the same name. For the love of all that is holy there is more than one person on the planet with the same name and as a database designer the fact that developers still won’t stop using the character name as a unique key drives me nuts. Cryptic has figured this one out but that is about it.

Siting on furniture. All these MMOs that profess to include roleplay and social tools yet can’t make it so my character can sit on a chair or a couch. Don’t take the time to build bars, social hubs, or anything else whose obvious sole purpose is to be a hangout for players, fill it with things to sit on… and then not let us sit on them.

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Hikari Kenzaki

The ability to step over a laser 6 inches off the ground… cause really… if I can avoid a trap in real life, my superpowered character shouldn’t have a problem.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Bree, really?
Allowing everyone to rename their character so that any ninja looter, scammer and spammer could easily avoid consequences? Got ignored? Lol, just rename character and keep annoying your victim.

What Id like to see more often is XP lock. So that those who wanted to explore particular level range content could do so without overgrowing it.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Or just remove silly things like level locking and implement level scaling like dozens of other MMOs manage to do without causing problems.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Agreed. I always said that leveling and levels is one of the worst things in genre

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Robert Mann

Why bother, just remove the levels to begin with! (For new games, at least.)

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Stormwaltz

In most MMGs I play, blocking and flagging is done by account name, not character name.

Most of the issues beyond that are unique to FFA-PvP worlds, and kind of par for the course there.

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Barnoc N'Draak

I’ve also always hated it when a spell or skill is in the game for NPC’s, but not player’s. (Boss skills notwithstanding)