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Reader Comments (8)

Posted: May 27th 2008 7:54PM (Unverified) said

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I like lists, heres another one:
Danarchy's ideas for new mmo's

1) Do away entirely with the level grind, 80% of us play to raid and get new glowy crap anyways. Guild Wars has this option for pvp but not pve for some reason. (unless this has changed)

2) Although this was basically done in asherons call 1, get rid of classes all together. Make character development entirely skill allocation based. GURP's MMO anyone?

3) ENOUGH freaking elves already! Fantasy has been done to DEATH. Everyone I know is getting sick of it. How about some sci-fi or, god forbid, invent a NEW genre? The current batch of sci-fi mmo's are either outdated or too complex to be much fun (sorry eve fans....). I don't want to have to attend night school to play a stupid game.

4) Bring back gm run events! When I played ac1 and eq1 it wasn't uncommon for some unique event to kick off at any given time. Of course this usually led to 8 bajillion people appearing and crashing the server but at least it put breaks in the monotony of slashing rats and the same orc model over and over and over.

5) If you are going to have classes don't add any that are "fluff". As any elemental shaman or eq paladin can tell you, not being one of the "Big 3: tank, healer, pure dps" makes the end game frustrating and disappointing. There is nothing like hitting your cap level and shouting "(hybrid class here) LFG for (instance here)!" and having 10 snide remarks come back at you, not one including a invite. Make every class necessary, not just utility.

6) Random loot is not only nice, its a must. And by that I mean not every single nice piece of whatever needs to drop off a boss in a 9 hour long dungeon. Have random, incredible items drop off of random monsters, not just boss mobs. I'm not saying every rabbit should drop a vorpal boot of buttkicking, but once in a characters life maybe he gets incredibly useful item off of something unexpected. Best weapon I ever got in asherons call came off of a mattie that I lagged into on a mountain somewhere. That makes even grinding at least somewhat interesting!

7) Collection/bounty hunter quests need to die, be burned, and buried in a metal box at the bottom of the ocean. They are time sinks, and boring, and drive away tons of perspective players. You have forums full of guys like me bored at work that would be happy to write quests and story line for you. Utilize your fanbase idiots! I have read some wow fan fiction that makes the in game storyline look like it was written by Uwe Boll. Player generated content doesn't have to mean the players generate it and add it directly. There are very likely a million of us out there that would be happy to email it to you, sans intellectual rights. Just ask.

And lastly and most importantly, give me a freaking Shadowrun MMO!!!! I will send the pinky finger of my mouse hand to any company willing to make this, well.

Heh I have spent some time thinking about this over last couple months ;)

Posted: May 27th 2008 8:02PM (Unverified) said

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Hey, leave Elves alone!

Some of us absolutely love high fantasy and I for one am pulling for a next gen game that includes such a 'traditional' setting but makes the gameplay a lot more rewarding. :P

But I also feel the market is ripe for a very good sci-fi MMO. Fantasy *has* been done to death, but badly for the most part. If a truly innovative or good fantasy game comes along, it will not feel cliche, many people will just dive right into it.

Posted: May 27th 2008 8:00PM (Unverified) said

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I've also spent a lot of time thinking about this. The trouble stems from the fact that the games coming out *now* began development before WoW was even released. AoC started off in 2003 I believe. So, the need to innovate has only become more pressing since about 2006 when the EQ/WoW model really began to show its age.

LotRO innovates in small significant ways, but it's still very much like WoW. The class design is nice, the way feats are designed is- to my mind- superior to WoW. But overall the game uses all the same tired mechanics of WoW. Combat, level grinding, kill ten boars quests, and a reputation system that was carbon copied from WoW all drive home the point that the chassis of LotRO is still just a repainted WoW model.

LotRO is to WoW what a Lexus is to a Toyota Camry- the same thing with a little extra shine and a few little bells and whistles.

What we're looking for is the 'flying car' of the MMO industry, so to speak. The next stage of the revolution.

I feel that a *truly* next gen game will find a more involving system to replace the level grind, change how rep is done and make it more diverse, more faithfully imitate a living/breathing world, and involve the player more deeply in the game's story.

The systems have to be revolutionary in order for the genre to progress. Keeping the WoW exoskeleton in this day and age won't really lead to a next gen MMO, no matter what the marketing says.

Posted: May 29th 2008 3:54PM (Unverified) said

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It's possible that Raph Koster's Metaplace concept will be truly revolutionary. He says he wants to do for MMOs what the Web did for intranets. He compares it to back when communicating between computers was done with closed, proprietary systems. When we got past that and everyone could connect to an open system, we got the Internet.

With Metaplace, Koster hopes to create a much more flexible way to make and modify MMOs. I have no idea if it's going to be successful, or if the result will be very closely related to traditional MMOs, but it's certainly completely different than anything that's yet been tried.


Posted: May 27th 2008 9:36PM Ravious said

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Well I don't know about AoC, but WAR's Public Quests are pretty revolutionary as is the Tome of Knowledge and so-called "smart" quests (the NPC knows you already killed 10 wolves), but PQ's most of all. They will change the social dynamic of the MMO.

And I don't know why so many people just gloss over Tabula Rasa. It is the most organic MMO world I have ever played in, and if you look deep has some pretty revolutionary features. Battles for control points especially.

I am most looking forward to GW2, though... I expect ArenaNet to push boundaries more than any of those named above.

Posted: May 28th 2008 8:28AM (Unverified) said

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As I said many times, it's a slow evolution, not an over-night *poof* change. It takes time, and as ideas and concepts flow, and users get used to the changes, innovation will happen, and MMO's will change for the better.

The problem is that if you try to change too much, too fast, many people freak out, write off that product, and companies get burned, all because they innovated too fast.

Posted: May 28th 2008 12:36AM (Unverified) said

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I can blame Funcom for not innovating. I can blame the whole lot of them.

Here's the funny thing about innovation. Most gamers and game publishers don't recognize the experience they're missing out on until it finally lumbers its way to market a decade or two down the road, when we all slap ourselves and boggle over why games haven't worked this way all the while.

The industry isn't about the gameplay experience or the gamers, it's about the paychecks. Innovation is only valuable if it guarantees more subscriptions. AoC played it safe. They all play it safe, while new ventures struggle for funding because publishers don't know what "procedurally generated content" means yet.

Innovation is hard. It requires smart people doing complex things in a high risk environment. I've read the white papers for conceptual games that are unfathomably excellent, but won't see the light of day because change is scary. I've seen independent game companies topple when their investor funding trickles away, because a ten minute demo can't explain how fundamentally different their game is to a bunch of suits who just want a new WoW killer.

And I weep when my level 11 Crusader, who can behead people, can't climb a ladder because he has 76 points in Climb skill instead of 80. Oh the sad bitter pills we swallow.

Posted: May 28th 2008 12:03PM (Unverified) said

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ScytheNoire hit it squarely on the head. Innovation often happens incrementally. There will be the occassional leap, and then there will be the hundreds of small changes that happen over the space of years.

The Car analogy was not bad before, but it would be more accurarate to look at the Model T vs. todays automobiles.

Yeah, they are both cars, but they are seperated by many years of little innovations and improvements (like power stearing, air conditioning etc.).

Games are no different. Innovation is everywhere, it just might not be at the scale everyone is looking for. You only get to see the Automobile or Airplane invented once. Pong only ushers in the digital game age once...

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