I've got a confession, I'm bored. I look at all the up coming games and I'm still pretty bored. Sure there are games I hope will entertain me for a while, but really I'm bored of this stagnant genre. <you: Great another bunch of QQ> Not really though, because I started thinking about why I'm bored. I started listening to some pretty bright people with some unique ideas that would really change the genre.
My conclusion was the reason I'm bored is that no matter the game they all play the same. Classes-hard coded or built by selection in a skill system, Progression- tied to an XP system or repeatedly performing an action, and often mind numbing and pointless game play. I want some new options, and not just retreads of these old ideas. I want a game that makes you adapt on the fly. <PvPer: that's why PvP is awesome> Not at all, PvP is still built very mind numbing. You already made the small changes (gear and hot bar/ key mapping) ahead of time, and the only changes are in kill order. Thing is everything becomes a routine, you have a list of who/what to kill first and odds are you have an unchanging rotation of skills to do it with.
Instead I want to do something rather dangerous, trust players to get better on their own. Design a game that in some way forces players to draw on and improve their own personal skills. The real trick to this is to make in nearly impossible to wiki the game, so normal investigation is out. Puzzles are ok but become an nuisance if used constantly, same for most mini games. As such only very specific tasks would use either of those and nothing that would be used daily. I picture lockpicking, hacking and decyphering as such tasks. Any in game growth would simply make the mini game faster or in some way "easier": for example Maybe hacking firewalls is presented as a breakthrough style game. In game improvements might give you more misses or a slightly higher "superball" %, these would help only marginally keeping the primary focus on a player's skill. I would stick to familiar games and do my best to have them make a bit of sense in relation to the task.
Combat would have that same ideal. "Crowd Control" would be about controlling the battlefield, not stuns, roots and what not. I want the battlefield to matter, for heavy jungle undergrowth to make long range combat impractical if not impossible, for deserts to make stealthy movement difficult to impossible. I want outcomes decided by who can use tactics and the enviroment most successfully, not levels or how much grinding you did on that skill.
Ok I'll stop before I bore you completely <as if you aren't yet>. Next time I'll try to deal with some "exciting" ideas, or maybe just focus on one "game changing" idea.