Next MMO Generation: Feature set

More, but smaller, games with smaller budgets targeting certain playstyles. Right now everyone is dropping hundreds of millions on trying to be the next WoW and it’s stifling any innovation.

When UO came out weren’t they expecting something like 10,000 total subs for 6 months or something? I wouldn’t mind smaller, lower budget games that had a business model with those numbers in mind.

I think the GW model of doing things might help as well. They don’t have subscriptions so they don’t have to waste your time with pointless treadmills.

I’d like to see a massive sports-games arena approach. Each area would have some game or contest that might or might not be related to the actual meat/character of the mmo. I.e. there might be some vehicle racing game, or a 1on1 arena, or a contest to kill the most wumpuses in a cave, a single champion sitting in a mech versus a group of regular challengers, etc…

You’d have to do some series of quests to qualify for the area’s contest… Once qualified you can register for the competition – For single or small groups contests, once per day a special competition would be held, which would award either some sort of buff or strong equipment. Guild level events could be held weekly.

Basically to have the best stuff, you’d be required to be active and skilled at some aspects of the mmo – ideally there’d be levels for every type of player, who can clear mobs fastest, various pvp situations, non pvp etc.

You hate WoW, while I found DAoC dull and formulaic. Different strokes, etc.

Of course, best of all would be to take WoW and give it old school UO rules. Getting that raid together? Better watch out for a pkiller gang swooping in and taking all your epics. Uh oh, “Sonoma is down” just stole your rare pet.

Everyone is trying to make updated wow these days. The resulting games are not very satisfying for the wow players, and are not very satisfying for the non-wow players. Maybe we need 2 solutions here. One for the wow players, and other for the non-wow players.

Wow players want more wow, even these with mmo-fatigue. Blizard job seems to create a new mmo that will be loved by the current wow fanbase, and perhaps other people. Is not a easy job.

Non-wow player probably would be best served by formulas that don’t try to recreate wow.

Its going to take a paradigm shift in MMO design to get my back into it. We are going to be stuck in a feedback loop of WoW clones until someone proves that another type of game style is viable. (hopefully GW2)

What we really need is a high budget sandbox game targeting a more casual audience. Someone is going to do it eventually. The lack of it is holding up progress IMO. This will finally break the loop and get investors to stop chasing their tail.

Beyond that I have a lot of faith in the game designers to bring us innovative new ideas. I don’t feel like it would be productive to list my ideas, but they tend to lean toward making MMO’s less arcade-like with more depth.

That’s a fair point. I think WoW has created something like the blockbuster movie mentality though, where if it’s not raking in the money it’s seen as a failure. I’m not sure what the cut off point really is for a profitable MMO - some seem to go on forever (UO, WW2 Online…I got an email asking me to re-sub for Anarchy Online the other day, heh). Others have been cancelled pretty quickly though. I suspect the infrastructure costs of a MMO deter some of the innovation that other genres get.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, give me Demon’s Souls style combat in an MMO and I would play the hell out of it.

I’ve reached the point that I’m done with hot-key driven combat, I knew the second that I read about it in SW:TOR that there is no way I’m playing it. As another consequence, I agree about classless builds, specifically with how classes and talent trees remove choice. As there is always the “preferred build” and doing anything different will make you weaker then other players.

Wow players want more wow

I loved World of Warcraft – it’s one of my top 3 games alltime. That said, I’m pretty burnt on the Diku model and don’t feel a strong need to play another game like it. I’ll never be able to recapture the high of that first year. Which is probably just as well, considering how addicted I became.

It was easy to solo to level cap in EQ with many of the classes. In the case of characters that could kite multiple enemies it was even competitive with half-assed grouping.

Every laundry list I’ve ever read of “What’s Wrong with MMOs” or “What MMOs Need To Finally Do” has been reflective of the players’ own particular set of priorities. Whatever “constituencies” there are for Magic Solutions 1, 2 and 3, the Ruckers and Ultrazens probably don’t want to play the same game.

In 2012, with MMO fatigue, with the existing “successful” MMOs and WoW taking up the market share they do, isn’t it all academic? Surely any developer with a care for his/her shareholders would prefer any other form of multiplayer?

Yes. Would it be technically infeasible to at least let me log my character onto whatever server I want each time I log on? Or move to a different server mid-game to join a party with my friend? I think WoW has cross-server battlegrounds or something, right? So it seems like it should be possible. What is the downside to this that I’m not seeing?

Blizzard has/had a monopoly on good MMOs, and currently charges for server transfers, so they would lose that revenue.

They recently added the ability to form cross-realm groups for older raids, so hopefully competition will force them to allow that for current raids, so that everyone can join any guild freely.

Regarding MMOs, the best feature would IMHO be either solo endgame, or effective matchmaking for raiding, so that you are not forced to play the guild application/advancement game.

Currently, endgame consists of 10 or 25-man raiding, which means you either need to join multiple existing groups of increasing skill, and be forced to meet their standards or respect their rules, or build one from scratch without any help whatsoever from the game, and with finding skilled players extremely challenging.

Unfortunately, raiding requires both lots of general learning and experience, and lots of time to learn specific bosses, so naively forming pick-up groups doesn’t generally work.
However, advanced matchmaking techniques might work, and would break the power that established guilds currently wield, reducing the hassle involved.

Right now Blizzard only added an ultra-naive matchmaking tool coupled with an ultra-easy difficulty level (“Looking for Raid”), and it would be nice to have an MMO where you could (or even better, be forced to) use the matchmaking feature for hardcore raiding.

I’d be happy with an updated Shadowbane. Very quick leveling, to the point where it almost doesn’t exist. Build your own cities. Burn down the cities of other players. Kill players and loot them.

Maybe beef up the PvE a bit in that game because PvP really was about all there was to do.

Basically, what will give an MMO legs is player-generated content. Players will create a more interesting environment than AI-driven monsters will ever do.

I think it’s important to let each player feel like (s)he’s making a difference in the world. Obviously, in an MMO, that’s an illusion, but if you’re gonna treat me like some kind of hero, let me see those changes in the world. If I aid one side in a battle allowing them to win, send me to a new instance of the country/realm/planet where that change has actually taken place, and they’re thanking me. I’m aiding a reconstruction effort on Taris…when I come back to Taris, I wanna see that it’s a better place because of my help. I understand the difficulties of this, especially as it might affect guilds when different members made different choices, but the most boring part of MMOs as they stand now is the limited fashion in which the world can react to you. We need new ways of addressing that…provided that I’m supposed to be the hero. (Some of the suggestions here wouldn’t meld with that mindset at all.)

I don’t really get this view. Why is it so bad that I can see the raid content on my own time and in my own way? Once I stopped hardcore raiding that kind of content became inaccessible to me. The LFR tool in WoW let me see it again. That would be at the top of my wishlist for any new MMO - do not limit content by forcing grouping in order to experience it.

At the moment they are losing $15 a month from me because I’d rather not play than pay to move a character.

The simple fact that so many can’t even disassociate “MMO” from “raiding” doesn’t bode well for future innovation in the genre. Surely there is more to the genre than 1001 ways to implement raids.

It’s not bad, but it’s IMHO insufficient.

The problem with LFR is that you can’t do heroic (or even normal) difficulty with it, because it lacks any ability to automatically figure out how skilled and experienced players are and put together a viable raid of similar skill, good composition, and similar experience with that particular heroic boss.

And at least personally the LFR difficulty (which is an ultra-dumbed-down difficulty level they introduced with the tool, to allow the content to be completed despite no incentives to the players to even not be AFK) is so utterly easy and devoid of challenge that it feels like a chore to do it, and I don’t see myself being interested in running it beyond the first 1-2 weeks after content release.

So the end result is that you are still forced to join a guild if you want even slightly challenging content and/or if you want to compete on progression.

So how exactly do you plan to make a LFG tool that detects how skilled (and of course it isn’t only skill. Knowledge and how much they are paying attention that day are both nearly as important as general ability) a player is at their chosen role? Also, you would want this to be done in such a way that less… able players are not told to their face that they suck, otherwise they will just come complain to you that your LFG system is broken.

I agree that there should be content for solo players (Which there was last time i played wow and is way more now from everything i hear), but the idea that you should be able to compete with an organized group in content progression with a pickup group is just silly.

In any event, you kind of hit the nail in the head in your own post. The only reason guilds tend to be able to field more skilled players that work together better than PUG #125 is because they have standards and requirements for their members. If they didn’t, it would be no different than gathering 10 random Joe The Warriors.

It is one thing to not want to be forced to group in order to do anything, but at some point you’re going to have to work with other PEOPLE if you’re playing a mmorpg. Otherwise you might as well just play a single player mmorpg like skyrim.

The WoW system allow people like to join random groups in order to see the content, and others to form their own groups and do the same content in a much more difficult form (and receive better gear and achievements for doing so). Both sides win. I object to the view that “casuals”, as they are usually referred to, have less right to see the content and that my being able to do so somehow cheapens what regular raiders are doing.