Here at Massively Overpowered, we learn about some games, folks. We learn a whole lot about a whole lot of games! We know MMOs. And a lot of them make some missteps in the design phases and do things we don’t like. Even some of the best games ever make some missteps and have one or two elements that stand out as a shocker of “wow, this is in here of all things?”
Ultimately, it’s not a huge deal. Yes, Black Desert Online would be a better game without gender-locked classes and it might be a bit too PvP-focused, but it’s still a good game. Yes, a lot of Final Fantasy XIV’s races are kind of similar and its housing is too limited. Still a good game. World of Warcraft’s race-locked classes and hard endgame shift don’t ruin the title. The list goes on.
But to heck with all that. Let’s ruin a title. I’m unveiling a new plan for a game that’s just taking a whole mess of terrible design decisions and putting them literally all in one game while still technically being playable. Look forward to our Kickstarter, for some reason.
1. Gender-and-race-locked classes
You know how lots of games let you pick out a class and race based on your preferences, usually giving you at least two options so that you feel like you get to create your own character instead of just what we here on the design team think is fun? Not this game! Every single class is locked to a specific race and gender. Obviously, we don’t have time to make a whole selection for these, so lots of them will mean that a given race and gender can be only one specific class.
Do you want to play a girl? Then your options will consist of an assassin in a bikini, a caster in fetish wear, or an archer in different fetish wear. That’s all ladies like, right? And don’t worry, we’ll be sure to feature nothing novel in any of those classes just to be on the safe side. If you’ve ever seen a healer, you know what we’re selling.
2. Pointlessly identical races
Of course, you’re probably thinking that we could use this opportunity to do something neat with our races, at least. Like, if the only race who can be Barbarians is one specific group of people, at least we could lean in and give barbarians weird racial features like horns and a stinging tail to ensure that “Barbarian” as a race descriptor makes sense? And to that we say: Shove off, we’re not that sort of game. Our races will consist of human, tall human, short human, human with pointy ears, and muscular human. Diverse!
3. Mandatory, cutthroat PvP
We’re not going to be one of those games that makes open full-loot PvP an option for even brand-new characters. Oh, no. We’re going to make it a requirement. Killing new players gets you valuable buffs and items you can loot from their corpses. Don’t worry, we’ll make a dev blog about how a justice system will be in place so after extensive research, a month later the person who murdered you for no reason will get a mandatory title of “Not Very Nice.”
It’s balanced, though! Just don’t ask us to explain how because it’s not, but saying it’s balanced and fair fixes it, right?
4. Limited open-world housing for real money only
In order to get a house, you first have to buy a House License for $10. Then you have to buy a Bidding Slot for the open-world slots for another $10, but each open-world slot counts earlier bids as being worth far more. Screw your instanced housing that lets everyone have a house, and we’ll be sure to mention that over and over whenever anyone points out how our terrible system ensures that housing is a pain to get and inaccessible for most players.
“But it’s so immersive,” we’ll say. “Now give us another $30 for accelerated queues during the land rush.”
5. No crafting, but horrible gathering
Extensive crafting systems can sometimes create an environment wherein either the “real” game is crafting with any actual content a distant afterthought, and/or a situation wherein the economy is impenetrable for a new player and requires a lot of learning and guessing without any real guidance. Clearly, we want that, but we also wanted to add an extra wrinkle of pointlessness.
So now the tedious, unfun, grindy mess is the gathering process. Actual crafting is handled by NPC crafters, but they work at their own randomized paces for you and sometimes they’ll just not work for days at a time even when you gathered well. Have fun!
6. Mandatory social media integration
Do you like Twitter integration? Of course you don’t. But our new game won’t even let you log in without a Twitter and Facebook account linked up to the game, and it’ll make repeated posts whether you want it to or not. Don’t worry, though, you can fix this by manually tweeting or posting status updates once every 15 minutes. Epic adventure awaits! Also we’ll spam you with advertisements anyhow.
7. Lockboxes as a basic loot mechanic (that gets worse)
Here’s the plan. First, nothing in the game just drops things; instead, it has a chance to drop various lockboxes. Some of those lockboxes are random key lockboxes that contain varying qualities of key, ranging from normal to exceptional. These keys can also open any lockbox of equal quality, which also have a chance to drop. Some lockboxes require a key, including lockboxes of keys or vendor trash.
But don’t worry, you’ll also get some lockboxes that can be opened with lower-quality keys, you can get a lockbox of normal keys without a lock, then a lockbox of rarer keys that require a normal key, and then you can use those rarer keys to open a still rarer lockbox that might contain better keys! The odds will all be transparent, too. Did I mention you can buy lockboxes of keys for $5 each? You want your vendor trash from the Trash Lockbox, right?
8. Endgame nightmares
Here’s the plan: Up until the level cap of 70, no content ever requires a group, with everything available to solo. Nothing even can be done in a group. Parties unlock at 70, at which point you will be covered in dungeons and even outdoor zones that require a full party carefully pulling wandering enemies.
If anyone complains, we’re not worried, both because we can call it a throwback and we’re seriously not planning for anyone to pass the Level 65 quest titled “You Have To Live To Succeed At This Quest” which involves passing into the center of the Field of Very Definite Death. Don’t worry, that’s just a name; it’s more of a nondistinct region.
9. Bizarre, pointless patching
So, what’s our patch schedule? We throw darts at a calendar and patch then. Pressing issue? We roll some dice and consult a chart. And even then it’s something of a gamble whether we’ll address the issue in any way or even acknowledge it. One week we’ll drop an endgame content update, then next week we’ll drop another one obsoleting the first one. Then we won’t update the endgame at all for a year.
10. A Twitter handle of @playthisawfulgame
I hate this. I hate this so much. Don’t tell me what to play with your dang Twitter handle! Maybe I don’t want to play Overwatch or Neverwinter or whatever! You cannot convince me that there were no other name variants available to convey that your official Twitter account covers a game! Who does this and why?! Where are you? I will kick your computer until it deactivates and your Twitter account is closed.