The Daily Grind: What features from single-player games would you like to see in MMOs?

    
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The Daily Grind: What features from single-player games would you like to see in MMOs?

Let’s be honest: Sometimes we might play games other than MMOs. Treason, I know, but that’s also what’s called being “well-rounded” and “a gamer geek.” I actually think it’s very healthy to have a wider gaming portfolio because it helps you gain a greater perspective on our hobby and our art.

And I’m sure that many of us have enjoyed single-player or limited-multiplayer games that have some really great features. Since the wider games industry seems happy to liberally borrow from MMO design, why not the other way around? What features from single-player games would do well if transplanted into a massively multiplayer setting?

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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Ken from Chicago

Non-combat gameplay. Not everything has to be players being, murder hobos.

Also better storytelling. I get it many mmo teams want to rush through the cutscenes but how about letting players save those scenes to see later? or at least a transcript of those scenes? Store in a player journal for review and recordkeeping.

This also includes NPCs having a life. They don’t have to all have talk, but can they move around? Fidget? Sit down? Have their own game loop of chores? chatting with someone (even if it’s just gibberish when we overhear it)? playing? eating? drinking? etc.?

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Schmidt.Capela

Being realistic, not much, because most of the things I love in single-player games that aren’t yet in MMOs are either incompatible with the concept of an MMO (saving and reloading, a pause button, gameplay-affecting mods) or are things I consider detrimental to the game if not coupled with some other non-MMO feature (such as meaningful story choices, something I love when I can save-scum but utterly hate when I’m stuck with my choices).

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johnwillo

Ranged weapons with realistic ranges. I am so tired of my “mighty” bowman not being able to shoot a deer who is 25 yards away.

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Rndomuser

The ability to do activities like visiting every area and completing every instance and getting every available gear (except the optional cosmetic gear that is exclusive for in-game store, which I am perfectly fine with) solo, without being forced to group with anyone for such activities. That is a MUST feature that every MMORPG developer should borrow from single-player games if they want to make their game available for most customers for maximum profit. Of course, there should also be an option to do the same in groups, but only an option and not a requirement.

And yes, any person who is perfectly healthy, has no problem communicating with others and has no real life obligations with plenty of free time can always disagree with this opinion and can keep thinking that MMORPGs should only cater towards perfect human beings and exclude everyone else ;-)

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TomTurtle

Free-form exploration and physics akin to something like that in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

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Utakata

Able to save that spot in time and space just before I made that bad pull…so least I don’t have to corpse run back to where character’s demise ended in a spectacular fashion. >.<

Turing fail
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Turing fail

We used to joke, “Don’t forget to save your game!” in our EVE Online noob corp chat when folks said they were going into low/nul security systems (PvP zones).

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Schmidt.Capela

Don’t forget the pause button ;-)

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Turing fail

You reminded me of my 1st ship lost in EVE. I realized, stomach sinking, as the shields depleted, the armor boiled away, the hull collapsed, and the ship’s AI sonorously and repeatedly announced that, “the capacitor is empty”… there was no pause button, nothing to do but die.

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texyFX

one loop to rule them all:

my emotional resonance to this topic is wide-screen panic.
Civilisation always is a critical risk to my self-control cuz of its highly addictive gameplay-loop. Civ is digital opium, virtual crack, a time-machine with a broken fast-forward button, a SimSense BTL experience.

very few titles achieved Civs responsiveness, it is subtle, immediate and still beyond, like the anticipation of song, before it is played (the song already played in ur head if u get the reference, zombie). Civs loop has so much more adrenaline than any Action title, sometimes i simply couldnt quit, cuz a global domination tour doesnt take a nap until ultimate hegemony.
Civ may be the optimal example for choice and consequence, it feels like every mouse click, every thought, every breath matters.

the reason y my gametime on CivVI totals at 340h, cuz i can only endure cold turkey so much. it is like my established life lost all relevancy, it feels like transcending time and space into a Zen experience, where singularly perfect strategy is relevant: Nothing Else Matters. (oh, its dawn. again…)

pls MMOs, dont clone Civs gameplay loop.

but most MMOs could use an infusion of the Souls-formula, which still may be the most influential SinglePlayer IP in the 2ks for narration, systems and overall RPGness. no other title understood environmental storytelling (show, not tell), progression and (sry, but this may sound pathetic) what it means to be human as much as the Soulsbornes.

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Anstalt

Borrowing from single player games is what got MMOs into trouble in the first place. Many single player RPG mechanics (linear story, vertical progression, loot etc) just cause way too many problems in a massively multiplayer environment despite working really well for single player. The more we borrow from single player games, the more MMORPGs drift towards becoming single player games…..which is exactly what we’ve seen over the last decade. And it hasn’t gone down well.

So, I don’t really want to borrow anything from single player games, I’d rather devs spent their time truely understanding the potential of massively multiplayer and designing new mechanics to take advantage of that potential.

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Robert Mann

I don’t think all lessons go that way, but the ones they have taken to heart so far… yes. There’s a lot of other things, with story, writing, choices, and so on that are far better if applied well, rather than the things that divide players in this way.

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Robert Mann

Better writing, more world building, more attention to little details, more world interaction, more NPC behaviors, less running back and forth pointlessly for people, more attempts to make things progress instead of staying so… unchanging, more focus on other aspects than just combat even.

There’s so much for possibilities, and the MMO side of things is stuck back in 1998s version of the single player RPG, with the exception of graphics and combat mechanics… and that’s giving them some more credit than due in any number of places where 1998 had things still missing from the MMO side.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Creative engaging quests and next-gen graphics