The Daily Grind: What’s your pie-in-the-sky wish list for MMO features?

    
44
Here we are at Princess Tower.

A tab-targeting combat system for Elder Scrolls Online. Real player housing for World of Warcraft. Text chat and guilds for Fallout 76. A simplified and engaging legendary item system for Lord of the Rings Online. Foundry 2.0 for Star Trek Online and Neverwinter. A whole new questing zone for Secret World Legends.

That’s just part of my wish list of features and projects that I’d love to see come to some of my favorite MMORPGs. I know some of them aren’t likely or workable, but hey, don’t we all have our own similar lists of demands?

What are some of your pie-in-the-sky wish list items for MMO features that you’d like to see done?

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!
Advertisement

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
angrakhan

Emergent PvE as was promised in EQ Next. A fully destructible and buildable world where quests, mob spawn locations, mob types, NPCs, etc are not static but rather a function of the interaction between players, player-aligned NPCs, and bad guys/monsters. For example day 1 you might find a pleasant countryside village of farmers and shepherds with a local market with items for sale. Day 2 a roving band of raiders is harassing the village demanding protection money and quests become available to deal with the threat. Day 3 if the players have not helped the farmers enough the raiders have taken over the village. That sort of thing.

The world is constantly in flux and if you create a new character day 1 vs day 180 you will have a completely different experience leveling in the exact same area.

That, in my opinion, is the next frontier of MMO gaming. I have no idea how they will get there.

Reader
kjempff

Amen. They killed the game and their opportunity to be the innovators of the true next gen of mmorpgs. What an epic fail. But the idea lives on, and someone will make it happen and reap the rewards.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
luxundae

Fewer, more interesting combats — Instead of trash mobs everywhere, I’d like to see a small number of more dangerous critters per zone. Avoiding them or escaping them should be just as legitimate a strategy as fighting them, especially if you are solo.

More interesting crafting — Instead of spending time gathering materials while doing other things, or as a chore, I’d like to see crafting have some brand new system that makes it as interesting as exploration or combat. Maybe most crafting takes the form of a dream quest to imbue your item? I’m not sure. But spending hours mining ore just isn’t interesting.

Tab targeting — I like it. *shrug*

Dramatically different ways to play — I’d love to see certain character classes or builds that reward fast reaction time and don’t need to spend much time prepping for activities or encounters. I’d love to see others that really don’t require fast reaction time, but need to spend a lot of time prepping (preparing spells or single-use items or similar). It will never be possible to completely balance these within a given encounter, and I’m fine with that. I want people who like different things and have different capabilities to be able to play together in a meaningful sense without feeling like they’re holding each other back or forced to adopt a playstyle they aren’t good at or don’t enjoy. This would be really hard to pull off.

Fewer, more interesting quests or missions — Essentially The Secret World’s mission system in this regard. WoW and similar have so many quests and such a large portion are meaningless and frankly I just burn out on them. Pie-in-the-sky would be fewer, longer, more interesting.

Stormsong Minstrel
Reader
Stormsong Minstrel

1. Choices that matter. In Lotro we had few quests where you had to choose. Three persons are suspected in murder, but only one can be accused – which one do YOU blame? Alas, these choices were mostly for Rohan and ended too soon. SWTOR has some romance…yet nothign to outcome.
What I would dream to see: choices that influence further story. Example: you are to retrieve Sinking Rat Amulet from orc camp. You may go traditional way, killing all Orcs and taking amulet. You may spend hours in sneaking, avoiding combat and stealing Amulet. If you kill, Orcs would know and swear revenge on such cruel person. If you steal, Orc chief would swear revenge on thief…yet other Orcs won’t. You spared their lives, so you may be not as bad…after all, if item is stolen, one who allowed theft is to blame, not thief. So, next Orc camp would be extremely hostile (i.e. calling reinforcement, placing debuffs on you) or almost not hostile (trying to argue with you). If they are hostile, you may get some quests from, say, neariest Human outpost, but expect all-genocide quests. If you spare Orcs, expect no quests from neariest Human outpost, but nearby few Elves may offer some…expect non-genocide quests. Whatever side – you will be lead to, say, Big Human City or Big Elven City and eventually rumours would reach even Mordor. About one who slaughters anything…or one who is capable enough to sneak without killing. What if Orc patrol watches The Thief – and decides not to intervene? “Go, Thief, for you won’t steal nothing from me and if my Commander catches you, it’s you to blame”. Heck, you may even become a Bad NPC if you slaughter anyone in sight…

2. No RPG. This evil must go away once and for all…or be left to trash loot.

3. Almost no “bound to character” items. Sorry, if I earn cloak or lightsaber – do make it account-wide. All improvement items – not bound, let trade prosper.

4. Housing where I can choose anything. Yes, dear Lotro, I look at thee. Make houses matter, let us have blueprints of them and build and decorate as we wish, not just some pre-made stuff.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

I’m not understanding number two, care to further explain?

Stormsong Minstrel
Reader
Stormsong Minstrel

RNG in loot should be left mostly to trash.
Example 1: you kill rat. Now there is RNG if you get Diseased Rat tooth or Infected rat brain or Dissected Rat skin.
Example 2: you finish raid with your group. Valuable Crystal of Power gets to whoever RNG decides…even to that player who already has 999 those crystals.
How things should work:
Example 1: if those items are vendor only – system stays
Example 2: Computer scans group members accounts. Like checking database: do all players have Crystals in their inv./vaults? If yes – proceed to next; if no – how many players do not? If answer is 1, award Crystal to that player.
Of course, that wouild work bit more complicated (check all alts, need for Crystal on these alts…), but basic principle – computer scans who needs most and awards based on pure need.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Oh, you mean RNG, yeah I totally am on board with that. What you said though in number two was confusing as stated….

2. No RPG. This evil must go away once and for all…or be left to trash loot.

It was a typo, you meant no RNG. Thank you. :) Totally agree with you.

T h e n o n y m o u s
Reader
T h e n o n y m o u s

I mean…it sounds like you basically just want a single player RPG lol.

Reader
kjempff

In order of importance…

PvE only.
Everything must be obtained in game by playing the game (no f2p shop)
Open ended content (not story driven).
Dynamic, living breathing world (controlled by a combination of AI AND professional Game masters with tools to correct bad/unfun trends).
Deep tactical combat (implies: slow the f down, lots of co-op dynamics aka roles, high variety in combat styles/solutions).
Inclusive of many different playstyles and synergy effects for social constructs outside of “group up to kill monsters”. Examples: adventurers, crafters, producers, service providers, merchants, player made quests/contracts. In the same breath this includes huge range of difficulty (both player skill and character progression wise) so that all kinds of players feel welcome – a perfect situation is if there is always content that has so far been to difficult to beat.

That is it, really. Rest are details. However, there are a lot of modern mmo crap features that are incompatible with this design, and a bunch more that work against the vision.
The obvious one is for the developer to let go of the idea of narrative and tight control of the player experience (dropping story driven, not dropping stories! they just need to be open-ended). And instead of that to be constantly observing and nudging rules, systems, emergent gameplay, emergent toxicity so that the player experience stay “fun” and the world stays “sane” (within reason, not gamey).

Reader
Bannex

Unpopular opinion time:

Little to no story just a small, world narrative.

No leveling. The gameplay should be challenging enough to make you feel stronger as you get better.

Gear actually changes your approach. Like dark souls if I pick up a spear it’s going to have different movement and strengths than an axe and so on. Not all gear focuses on combat. A lute will help you buff allies and maybe coerce people. A magical book might help you heal and guide allies through dark or difficult terrain.

A large wild world with a focus on exploration.

Generally balanced with opt in pvp.

Fun fishing.

T h e n o n y m o u s
Reader
T h e n o n y m o u s

“Unpopular opinion time” -> Proceeds to list some of the most common popular opinions.

Reader
Bannex

Im sorry I didn’t see many people saying they didn’t want a story. I saw a lot of the opposite

T h e n o n y m o u s
Reader
T h e n o n y m o u s

It’s a pretty common thing. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily the majority, but I constantly see people saying stuff like “ugh, just give me a pure sandbox, I’m sick of being the ‘chosen one’, let me just be some rando living in the world!” (note, I’m paraphrasing there lol).

Same with no levels, gear that’s more than just stats, opt-in pvp, and exploration.

The fishing thing is probably the rarest one specifically, but if you broadened it out to like “more fun lifeskills” then that’s also pretty common lol.

Reader
Zero_1_Zerum

Action combat like ESO, instead of boring tab-targeting.

First person POV camera, where I can look down and see the body of my character.

Interesting PVE content that makes me want to go out and explore the game world.

No grinding, no endgame. You play through the story, and your level is consistent with the content as you’re playing, and the whole point is to experience the story as you play the game.

No classes, just skills the player can put points in as they level, with the ability to respec at any time.

T h e n o n y m o u s
Reader
T h e n o n y m o u s

You must be the only person on the planet who wants MORE ESO combat lol.

Action combat is one thing, but ESO combat is basically universally regarded as the worst part of the game lol.

Reader
Utakata

I can use the pigtails as function wings to fly around with…

…barring that: Use the broom mount in WoW all year long. <3

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Brazen Bondar

Pie-in-the-sky right? OK….well
1. a deep quest system that doesn’t rely on killing people/animals as the only way to progress. Some balance of quests that are more thinking than killing.

2. A well written and engaging story even if the game is a sandbox. If it is a sandbox have options that are without PvP. Don’t mind if people want to PvP but it should be away from the people who don’t want to. Give tools that allow players to create their own fun.

3. A well developed housing system. I don’t care if the housing is instanced. I like the way Glitch posted a street sign on the street that you could click to reach someone’s house and at both ends of the street in your instance there was a road sign that could take you to another instanced street. You should be able to decorate and place objects in your housing as you wish, including changing the size of the objects placed in the house (like in Landmark).

4. A crafting system that means something. Again Landmark had an interesting crafting system as did an alpha game called SkySaga. Crafting was so much fun there. The player actually participated in the crafting. I will say however, that the large scale builders complained because they wanted a quick way to make thousands of items. When the developers tweaked it for them, it made crafting horrible for the rest of us. So, some kind of system that can be adjusted for large scale builders, but is different from the one for small scale crafters. You should be able to progress through crafting and exploring

5. Good music

6. No quests that require the player to commit war crimes.

7. Community quests and challenges (SkySaga again did this very well with a weekly community challenge, sometimes crafting, sometimes exploring, sometimes killing).

8. Something fun and not punishing. No second job without a salary attached.

Reader
Anstalt

I have 4 minimum requirements for new MMORPGs. I developed these requirements after years of gaming as they suit my personal taste and also lead to a better community. Sadly, I’ve yet to see these 4 requirements exist within the same game, so you could call them pie-in-the-sky ideas.

1) An IP that I love.
First and foremost, I’ve got to love the IP. I’ve got to be excited about the virtual world as I would hope to be playing for years to come.

2) Deep Combat Mechanics
I’m a combat guy so I want my combat mechanics to be mentally engaging. That only comes through depth. This is extremely rare, I’ve never seen any depth in action combat mechanics and most tab-target games also get it wrong. But, occasionally, a tab-target game gets it right and then im in heaven!

3) Horizontal Character Progression
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the love for vertical progression, it’s what we’re used to, it works great for single player games and coop games. But it sucks for MMORPGs. Big time. So, an MMORPG built around horizontal character progression means I know the designers are aiming for long term success and strong communities.

4) Objective-based Open World PvP
I don’t mean FFA. I mean open to everyone, if they want to participate, with no player caps. Objective based means fighting over keeps and territory, to give the PvP a focus and a purpose and not just being about killing people. This sort of large scale PvP literally cannot be found in any other genre.

I have plenty of other strong feelings about other features, not to mention business models, but if the game got these 4 things right then I’ll definitely play it for a while.

Reader
Ardra Diva

dare I say it? For the “reveal” of features described for EverQuest Next to actually be real?