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The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Your Favorite MMO Setting?

Posted by MikeB Thursday February 17 2011 at 4:09PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "What genre would you like to see an MMORPG based on?" by Teala. In the thread, Teala polls the MMORPG.com community in an attempt to discover what genre of MMO her fellow gamers would like to see developed.

Below is the tally of votes as of this writing:

 Fantasy (Elves, Dwarves, Dragons, Princesses, Sowrds and Sorcery) - 11.4%
 
 
 Sci-Fi (Space, Spaceships, Aliens, Other Planets, laser guns, futuristic gadgets) - 10.2%
 
 
 Western (Cowboys, Indians, Mountainmen, Goldrush, Train Robbers, Marshalls, Banditos) - 10.2%
 
 
 Historical (Pre-historic, medieval europe, Victorian Age, ancient China, medieval Japan) - 14.8%
 
 
 Post Apocalyptic (after mankind almost does themselves in) - 3.4%
 
 
 Sports (football, baseball, basketball, car racing) - 0.0%
 
 
 Steampunk (best you look this up - google it) - 12.5%
 
 
 Cyberpunk (best you look this up as well - google it) - 25.0%
 
 
 Other - If you choose other please explain what "other" is in comment below. - 12.5%

So, what are individual members of the community saying? Let's find out!

Loke666 wants a reprieve from elves, magic and the like, and to that end he would prefer a new MMO based on the events of history:

Historical. There are a lot of periods that would make excellent MMOs ((Western is kinda historical too, more or less at least).

No magic, no healing, no elves.

England 1066, Germany during the 30 year war, the American independance war, France in the 17th century (3 Musketeers online?), Scandinavia 10th century... And so many more that would make great settings including a half historical CIV type of MMO.

None of the other choices is even close in possibilities. And fantasy MMOs have been done to death.

Horror have potential as well, I would love a Lovecraft based game set in the 30s.

VirusDancer would actually like to see a fusion of several genres:

A fusion.

Although it would likely have a primary genre going for it, it would actually be a fusion of several elements to provide a more open world than commonly found in those that focus on one and perhaps dabble in others as mere fluff.

WoW offers a form of high fantasy and beginning steampunk.  Pre-Apocalyptic events attempt to drive the story at various times, as Azeroth is always facing destruction from some Tom, Dick, and Harry.  It touches upon quite a few genres, but generally does so as mere fluff that never really gives that overall feeling that any of it matters.  You may or may not be surprised to find how many different genres are creeping around in the game.

So imagine something like WoW - slowing it down, taking it off rails, opening up certain areas, and breathing some life into those other genres instead of just showing a slideshow with some muzak playing in the background.  Aim high instead of going for that lowest common denominator in a money grab.

Meowhead offers a lengthy and quite interesting take on the question:

Other is obviously the best choice, because it also includes everything nobody ever thinks about.  Other is going to be the answers that come out of left field, the stuff that makes people go 'Oh my god, I never thought about that, but it's so perfect.'

I'll just list a couple others here, though obviously some of them are pretty silly that doesn't mean they're not dancing around the borders of a respectable idea.

West Side Story:  The MMORPG.  Forget Conan or Star Wars or Lord of the Rings... if you're going to do an old IP, do it right!

Picture it now in your mind!  Elaborate dance battles, your gang and another gang meeting up in an alley and prancing around while flicking your switchblades and mastering your sneers.  The intrigue, the drama, the romance!  Equip your hair grease +4 for extra badassery.

Fashionpunk.  Somebody else stated Dieselpunk is the most overlooked genre, but c'mon, how many Fashionpunk series can you list off the top of your head?  (I can think of exactly one)  In the future, as computers get smaller and smaller, they can be woven into every square inch of fabric, threads woven together to make artificial musculature and hidden battle systems.  Play as either an expert fashion designer, or a runway model!

Fight on the runway... to the DEATH... explore seedy back alleys and stunning high couture shops for just the right kind of thread.  It's not enough to merely create killer clothes, they have to look good too!  Anybody can slice up another person with monomolecular wire, but a real model makes it look good, and makes sure the blood spatters are ARTISTIC.

In the same general theme as historical (but not quite), how about a time travel MMO?  Be able to travel from location to location in space AND time, mass groups of players trying to alter history the way they like it!  This could be a great setting for a sandbox.

Slightly related, how about a time-slip MMO?  Stranded in the time of the dinosaurs, fight to survive and rebuild civilization.  Don't even have to make up monsters, just drag out an encyclopedia of dinosaurs and it's all the amazing monster design a game designer could ever feasibly want.

What about a kung-fu movie MMORPG?  Not swords and sorcery style kung-fu, but... anybody here ever played Shenmue?  Think that, but on an MMORPG scale.  Explore a fight-oriented version of the 80s, mass street fights and underground kickboxing clubs, tour the world of martial arts while seeking vengeance for some random stereotypical reason (Probably your sister got kidnapped, or your dad killed, or maybe you're the fresh faced new kid trying out his martial arts in a real world setting.  Whatever!  Man, there's a billion of these movies to draw from)!

I personally would like to see a Western MMO, which is a setting that really hasn't been explored much (if at all) in the MMO space. While some may claim the sandbox is dead, I think a Western MMO would be the perfect catalyst for the revival of this much loved sub-genre of MMOs, and if Red Dead Redemption is any indication, there is definitely at least a basic interest in the setting itself.

What MMO setting would your preferred MMO be based on and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

UnsungToo writes:

Ok, yeah, I'll go with the Western theme too. Mix it in with the "My Mountain" concept. http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/UnsungToo/022010/5746_MY-Mountain-MMO-Concept#comments

But there's a whole lot of things I wanna do in one game. So I chose other in trueness, because the game hasn't been designed yet, but it's in my head. Right now, I'm using a map editor to see if I can even get the remotest feel that I'm looking for. Yeah it can be done. But I'm not gonna disclose it right off.

So yeah, a western blend of "Red Dead Redemption" and "My Mountain" Don't forget to include fishing, hunting, building and crafting.

Here's a blog on how I would add to Red Dead Redemption with the additon of "My Mountain" http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/UnsungToo/022010/5725_How-I-would-make-Red-Dead-Redemption-better-

Thu Feb 17 2011 6:31PM Report
UnsungToo writes:

I should add that it shouldn't be subscription based.

Thu Feb 17 2011 6:32PM Report
Senadina writes:

Horror. Strangely not one of the choices considering there are 2 horror themed games on the horizon. But they are not close enough yet to be positive they will ever launch. And its a genre never done in an MMO. We have sci/fi, fantasy, even some history( mostly Chinese history but still...). Give me horror now please.

Fri Feb 18 2011 12:35AM Report
severius writes:

It'll never happen but a true steam punk game would be awesome.  Not some of this new bastardization nonsense, but true steam punk ... Jules Verne, HG Wells, Mary Shelley.  It gives everyone a little bit of everything.  Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical and Horror.  Probably aren't any developers out there that would even be capable of pulling something like that off.

Fri Feb 18 2011 2:58AM Report
Gnomig writes:

STEAMPUNK! Oh the possibilities if done right... An online version of "Arcanum" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcanum:_Of_Steamworks_and_Magick_Obscura ) would be hard to beat by virtually ANYTHING. With vastly improved graphics though :-P

You could... awww the possibilities. *sigh* Someday. Someday...

Fri Feb 18 2011 5:00AM Report
Lanfea writes:

25% for cyberpunk and i guess most of them thinking of a shadowrun-mmorpg. oooh, i would love to see this happen, but to do it in a right way a dev-team have to find the solution for implementing the magicians and the astral space, the deckers and the matrix, the riggers and the vehicles/drones. its a huge challenge.

Fri Feb 18 2011 5:31AM Report
Yamota writes:

Steampunk higher percentage than high fantasy?

Somehow I doubt the validity of this poll...

Fri Feb 18 2011 6:33AM Report
hardicon writes: i would like to see western mixed with some sci fi, kind of like firefly or some horror. im looking forward to secret world because of that horror type thing, just hope it dont suck, not enough information right now. Fri Feb 18 2011 7:51AM Report
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