The Daily Grind: How would you make a special MMO ruleset server?

The Daily Grind: How would you make a special MMO ruleset server?

Lately there’s been some friction over in Lord of the Rings Online due to what players see as mishandling and miscommunication over the game’s vaunted “legendary” servers. Just about everyone has strong opinions about the pace of content unlocks for this progression shard, and that’s made me think about how we all kind of want to be in control of these special rulesets.

So let us have some fun today. Let’s say you won some sort of bizarre and very niche contest in which the MMO studio of your choice allowed you to design a special server for the game. You get to call the shots and make all of the rules. So what would it be? Progression? Permadeath? Super fast leveling? Pure vanilla fun? Only you and six of your closest friends could play it?

Whip up an imaginary server ruleset and then let us know what it’d be like down there in the comments. This will be, of course, a total popularity contest; if people like your idea, I expect you might get a lot of kudos and admiration for splendid armchair game design.

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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This could be applied to YOUR favorite mmo I guess, so in more general terms. Lots of ideas on specific stuff, such as
– reviving or rebalancing dead/useless abilities or spells
– adding “neverending” xp systems to mmos that don’t have such (aka xp after max level for alternative/extra abilities, reborn, etc.. No “endgame” with only gear progression).
– selected QoL. Oldschool is cool, the tedious stuff is not.
– expand whatever crafting system there is, with drops from world, raids, quests and whatnot.. Endgame stuff should also be about crafting.
– obviously extend the world as needed to accomodate for a lengthier and more interesting endgame progression. Maybe add instances, redisign unused areas with high rank content, but don’t scale…never ever scale enemies.. Ever!
– Have hired and/or volunteer game masters to create small and large events in the world. Even the most dead story driven themepark world can be improved with unexpected stuff happening.

And make progression servers where players choose when to move to the next “expansion”, this is done by servers; some kind of required checklist (tbd) to be allowed to jump to next “expansion”. Maybe even a rebirth option, that respawn you back in vanilla.. Naked, pennyless, etc, but with some extra stats, pre attuned, or other advantages; maybe multiple rebirths for those who like that kind of thing.
Splittingup players, friends, community by doing this? Some would say that is a problem, I don’t.


I’d want a classic style but with all the quality of life improvements and group finders and that kind of thing in at a “launch state”. You know, a working MMO on day 1.

Oleg Chebeneev

Permadeath server with limited PvP (probably in specific areas where its highly rewarded to go there), very hard mobs and deadly elite mobs, shortage of supplies so that every piece of material mattered, and some unique achievements that push players to risk their one life.


Main thing for me would be a single verified character per real-life player, so you gain a good or bad rep and have to live with the consequences of your behaviours.


I would make an RP Server with a PvP ruleset. This Server would be supervised by GM´s observing name creations, trolling, grieving behaviour, etc. with a zero-tolerance policy to the usual RP event Trolls. There would be Events hosted by GM´s and they would be helping in organizing player hosted events. It would be a 3 Realm Server with sieges.


Take your standard PvP sandbox MMO with town/city/base building mechanics. Make the PvP consensual. If you just want to gather, craft, level, and build a little base you’re free to do so without being ganked by the bored max level guys. To build the biggest baddest city, you open yourself up to siege mechanics at a time of of your choosing.

Let people experience most of the game without PvP, but have meaningful PvP available for people when they feel like they’re ready.


Level Like It’s 1999 Server: No XP boosts or forced Mega Quadruple XP events that last for a month. No more having to skip whole sections of game content to avoid worthless “greyed out” quests and mobs standing around like placid cows waiting for you to one shot them. You actually play all of the game’s content at an appropriate level of challenge and at the end you’re max level.

Robert Mann

I take the standard PvE server and apply the following:

-Added optional classes related to crafting, which can do business through an NPC at major cities, and which will basically be it’s own area of the game. Players may, but need not, seek out a master of the craft involved for items both functional and cosmetic. They may simply place buy orders through a system and/or deal with stock on the NPCs if they wish to avoid others. Similarly, materials that are found out and about can be dealt with through each method in reverse. Crafted gear will be equal to top end gear for whatever content the materials involved come from, and use of lower level materials may allow for unique looks to be added in (alongside the specializations of the crafters involved). Limited crafter characters to 1/account, and built a knowledge tree that affects what aspects of crafting do and what special cosmetics each can make. Current crafting will not be affected, if you only wish to make the basic consumables and such.

-Added “The grey wilds.” The grey wilds are large areas of untamed land that will scratch an itch for explorers. These lands are immense, unmapped, and have special locations, discoveries, and treasures added in to be found. Clever explorers can avoid fights if they wish, while those preferring to bulldoze through can do that as well. As the current grey wilds are mapped out, more area will appear that can be looked into.

-Added optional content for conquest of fully or nigh-fully explored regions of the grey wilds. Added modular building systems, functional town building rulesets, and many randomized events that can occur in these areas involving exploration, combat, crafting, and other mechanics. Build with friends, or claim an area and build with NPC helpers if you wish to hire them. Once conquest of a region is completed, several areas will be claimable after roads are connected. Roadways will prevent any construction that blocks them and connect to each other region at least once, starting at and meeting any existing border region roads, thus ensuring paths to move about for those who wish to travel through a region.

-Applied optional content for additional RP support, including a variety of text emote shortcuts.

-Added naming policy that will be enforced. No names that are vulgar, insulting, discriminatory, or copied off famous characters. Also added an account name system with a colored medal (if not in place, colored medals distinguish characters in order of creation to ensure any issues are dealt with properly) such that your character name need not be unique. This also means that use of characters with X—X and the like are not needed, and such names will be required to be changed.

-Finally, added a thank you note to the load screen to all the wonderful people who are kind to others. You people are awesome!

*Progression server, pfft!*

Jim Bergevin Jr

In terms of progression servers. I would not release expansions until at least 75-80% of the playerbase has completed the current content.

In terms of Vanilla servers. I would always keep a set number of servers locked in time, otherwise they are no longer Vanilla.

Specifically, I would make a “vanilla” server for SWTOR that is set in the 3.0 release. That’s when the game hit its stride before it went totally down hill with KotFE and KotET.

Vinnie travi

I just want a more difficult leveling process. That’s why I am enjoying Classic Wow. It would be cool if retail wow had a server that had these rules:
Up the hit points on mobs by 50%
up the dmg by mobs by 50%
No gear quest rewards after level 10
Cut xp by 60%

I would enjoy this, not sure if other people would

Jim Bergevin Jr

The problem is that there is a difference between difficult and tedious. Just upping mob health and damage doesn’t necessarily make it more difficult, only more tedious (ref. The Bullet Sponge patch in Defiance). Actual difficulty comes from strategy and dynamic combat. Have mobs actually react to what players are doing in a fight and adjust to that makes the combat more visceral and forces players to adapt their tactics in turn.

Oleg Chebeneev

Try ironman. Leveling without any gear and any death = game over.


…I was thinking the exact same thing. o.O