Perfect Ten: Creating the worst MMO ever

    
38
This was not the worst, but we will buy the bus.

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!

Technically this is sort of a BDO thing, but they don't treat race like it'a separate thing, so whatever.

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.”

hooray

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.

Diabolic.

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.

help

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.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”

38
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Gooty

11. All items from the cash shop are temporary for one week

Reader
Bruno Brito

12. XP scrolls to “improve” the experience gain ( which was reduced after level 20 ).

Reader
JohnnySilver

Any kind of open world housing is preferable to instanced housing for me. I have no interest in the latter whatsoever. Archeage’s landrush was great fun! A piece of actual game world not some instanced little box disconnected from the game world.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Peregrine Falcon

I feel like Eliot is referring to a specific game that he’s tried recently. Now I’m really curious which one it is.

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

You forgot “Spend massive amounts of money which could have gone into development on a ridiculous custom bus that ends up hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget and undrivable to let minimal amounts of random people try out the game here and there (which you have to bring it by trailer, because again, undrivable) when it’s not having terrible electrical problems (which it always is).”

Yikes. That Firefall bus, darn what a horrible idea. Where is that bus now? I swore Mark Kern was going to end up living in that thing one day.

Alyn
Reader
Alyn

yes if a gaming company were attempt any mmo with that list of features it would be recorded in history as the most expensive gaming failure of the computer age.

Reader
Zero_1_Zerum

Note to MMO devs and pubs: This is NOT a list of features suggested for your games.

Reader
alienlegion

M’eh, still sounds better than Shroud of the Avatar.

kjempff
Reader
kjempff

Haha fun exercise.
Obviously first of all we must base the game of a shop solution that favors whales and have at least 5 different game currencies which must be used to play content such as entering dungeons. Also the shop must pop up frequently and on any occasion reminding you how awesome it is to spend in the shop and obviously also making sure you have no flow or immersion.

Then we must have generic classes, that are simple to play, and with absolutely no roles or co-op build in – Everyone must be a dps class and nothing else. Buffs and debuffs are for other games as they would just make this game interesting to play. All damage must be flat and scale linearly, no resists or anything that could make combat challenging or tactical. Needless to say, all enemies must die in less than 5 seconds.

Oversized b00bies and shoulderpads and swords two man high with the range of half a football field. Gender locked with 80% of them woman so we don’t miss the b00bies, and of course only humans or elves that look like humans with long ears; can’t have any alien races.

Lore, world .. what is that nonsense ?. This is a game and we want to remind the players of that .. and it is all about killing stuff .. and b00bies, did I mention b00bies ?

There shall be no achievements or rewards directly related to playing the game, especially gear. Everything shall gained in the world must be in form of game currency that can be spent to buy stuff for; we don’t want players to accidentally get a feeling of accomplishment. Nor shall there be any rng at all, those moments of the joy of finding something nice is not something we want because our players can’t handle ups and downs – Instant and flat gratification is the way to go.
Dailies obviously, which can be repeated if you spend currency X15 from the shop.

Chat is limited to friends only, can’t have our players being bothered with other people saying stuff or trying to talk to you. Guild or clan system because “they” say it is not a mmo if we don’t have it, but we don’t expect anyone to use it much .. why would they, we removed all reasons for it.

We must have our own launcher, that is installed to start at system boot up. Also randomly it must remind you to play and spend in the shop, even when not playing.
And on that note, both in and outside of game, we need to remind you to play our other games or games of our affiliates, regardless of platform.

The little content we provide must be on-rails story driven with no opt out or player choice; you are playing our story and the worst that can happen is that some player finds a way to play that was not 100% intended by design.

All dialog must address you the player directly.. did you think you were playing a role here ? no this is a game and you are the customer with a wallet and not a character, and we want you to be aware of it at all times.

Reader
h4

I don’t think (1), (9), or (10) are that bad. And does (6) even exist? I’m pretty sure most games with social media integration have a way of disabling it. Or avoid linking the game to the social media account in the first place. (1) can make sense in some worlds. (9) and (10) are totally irrelevant to gameplay.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
thalendor

Worst MMO ever? That would be somehow too kind a moniker for whatever game was cursed with all of those features.