The Daily Grind: What would you like to see in an MMORTS game?

There are some who call me... big.

The MMORTS subgenre has never been what you might call robust, but it keeps cropping back up time and again. The Imperial Realm: Miranda is still going after a decade of development by one person, which is incredibly impressive at face value; we’ve also got Kingdom Under Fire 2 on the way, a new release in a franchise that is actually turning some heads. Heck, the whole ongoing Warcraft III Reforged rollout is reminding people that the RTS genre is out there, and while it kind of got supplanted in the esports scene by MOBAs there’s still an audience for the games.

Of course, that also prompts the question of what you’d really want from such a game; after all, RTS titles have generally featured some form of online component, so you need something to give it a stronger MMO element even as the game still adheres to the basic rules of the genre. So what would you like to see in an MMORTS game? What sort of gameplay would you want and how would you like the game’s persistence to influence it?

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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I want to be able to seamlessly scroll from FPS to third-person to tactical overhead in a world where the PVE environmental threat is the primary challenge while allowing that sometimes we need to police our own. I’d probably write the lore to give some rationale for avatar-hopping, while keeping a stable of favorite ‘toons’ – mains, alts, trophy dominations, et cetera.

So I want Warcraft simulated in World of Warcraft without the faction PVP or themepark. But first I want Games Workshop to buy out the Warcraft IP, disenchant it right in the friggin face of whatever is left of ActiBlizz, and give us a proper Warhammer MMO.


I would like to see an RTS where each faction has a chain of command, from supreme overlord all the way down to basic grunt, and each unit is actually a player with a squad of NPCs they’re in charge of.

Generals get a shuttle, which gives them the traditional RTS view, while the troops on the ground get an FPS style view. They’d be a soldier, and have their NPC squad mates, which they’d have some control over.

So, victory depends not just on the general being good at tactics, but also on the troops ability to work together. Also, generals could be shot down and replaced, even if they’re on your side, so nobody has to be stuck with a bad leader.

Not sure how it’d work, like if the general would be randomly selected, so everyone would get a shot at being one, or if factions could vote for who gets to lead.

Robert Basler

I’ve thought about this a lot. ;) First, co-op PvE because 97% of RTS players ONLY play single player and I like playing with my friends. An option for PvP because sometimes I want the ultimate challenge. Seamless open world because why would you do it any other way? Single-sharded because I want to see big battles and not have to deal with full maps when trying to play with my friends. Base building and resource collecting because I like building cool bases and it’s fun to mess with the other player’s resource collection. Losing a base should be fun, not a huge disaster. Superweapons, because superweapons are cool. Large-scale co-op setpieces where lots of players need to cooperate to reach a goal (think GW2 Heart of Thorns meta events.) Some sort of custom unit design (unit weapons, abilities and appearance.) Not F2P because I don’t like that kind of monetization. Progression where I get more abilities as I play the game rather than geometrically increasing my power to stomp newbs. I should be able to turtle if I want to. I mean SERIOUSLY turtle. A variety of non-traditional RTS activities for when I want to do something different (races, scavenger hunts, mysteries.) Varied environments, good music and visuals. A game-wide auction house. Chat, but not voice chat. Some sort of story to frame the gameplay.


RTS is one of the genres I can’t quite stand when coupled with MMO mechanics, so nothing, I guess?

(As for why: the combination of PvP with persistence is very effective in driving me away. I might be able to enjoy a non-competitive, PvE-focused MMORTS, but I can’t imagine how to even start building such a game.)

Kickstarter Donor

Personally, I just want a new RTS with a really good single-player story campaign. That’s what I enjoyed the most from WC3 and why it solidified itself so hard in my mind, leading to my initial excitement and love of WoW. That being said, I’m not interested in playing it again with better graphics, I’ve got too many other things to play that are new.

Ragdoll Blue

The Starcraft campaigns were so much fun all those years ago!


When I go to game stores that have table top gaming Warhammer 40,000 is what I see mostly. I don’t think massively online is practical for this kind of game.


I guess the very first thing would be that it actually be massively multiplayer. As far as I’m aware, none of the games that call themselves mmorts’s are actually mmos (though, i may be wrong, i havent looked at many of them).

Beyond that, I’d be looking for innovative ways to handle 500+ bases and armies on the same map. I’d be looking for innovative ways to stop my shit being destroyed when im offline (assuming a persistent world). I’d be looking for ways to handle the inevitable boredom that arises when waiting for shit to be built. In the single player world I can just speed up time, but in a multiplayer world that isn’t possible.


Strategy games require too much attention to be fun – especially when progression is persistent and player may lose some of it from bad outcomes. I know only one exception which could make a decent multiplayer – because most of the gameplay is automated.

There was a great strategy game – Majesty – where player couldn’t control units directly and they acted as they wanted depending on their equipment, level, specialization and player-assigned bounties + enemies level and type. Player made profit from taxes, trade caravans, heroes buying equipment. It could become an exciting multiplayer experience.


There was a time I was quite interested in them but that ship has sailed for me. I got a good shortlist of mmorpgs I play and a few that are coming up and between them I got little time left to start a MMORTS. As a genre though, strategy games as mmos, are in a weird position as its hard to monetize them without being p2w and most if not all companies failed on figuring that out. See on such a games there arent really cosmetics to buy but rather convinience which is sometimes borderline to or crosses the p2w line. Add to it the general problem that most players if they can play something absolutely free they will play it without spending a dime and you see the challenges these games face

Bruce Morrison

a way to play it other than pvp, and the option to turn voice chat off. I don’t need 12 year olds or DudeBros trash talking


I don’t think the RTS genre is especially appealing to either 12 year olds or dudebros. You’ll get trash talk though; of that there is no doubt. It will just be from dicks of all ages and walks of life XD.