A few weeks back, I was thinking about classic Star Wars Galaxies and the game’s training system. While you could gain experience by doing a skill, you had to purchase training to actually unlock it and proceed to the next skill tier – or you could seek out another player with the skill to train you for free (or for tips). There was something special in it for the trainer player too: mastery points, which the trainer needed to unlock master tier skills.
I wound up being the first Master Image Designer on my original server (I roleplayed a smuggler and master of disguises back then!), so I had people flocking to me from all over the server in search of cheap training. That definitely made all the “make me look like neo” requests from dudes who wanted pale skin and goofy hair to go with their early aughts trenchcoat worth the eyerolls.
Still, I loved that symbiotic skill training system; it created loops of players with similar interests, some of whom stayed on my real-life friends list long beyond the game itself. Today’s MMO gamers, I suspect, would rebel at the idea of seeking out living, breathing mentors, but it was a wonderful organic system for the sandbox that encouraged social interaction.
What’s another neat MMO mechanic that nobody’s trying anymore? P.S., I will not be making you “look like neo.”