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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: A Prehistoric MMO?

Posted by MikeB Saturday July 30 2011 at 4:13AM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "A prehistoric MMO - How would you do it?" by Karesh. Simple enough, Karesh floats the idea of a prehistoric MMO to the MMORPG.com community:

Pretty much like the title stated, feel free to post your ideas, etc.

I always find people's opinions and ideas interesting, so that's pretty much my reason for creating this thread.

astoria has some fairly specific plans in mind for a prehistoric MMO:

Proto-humans would be the playable 'races'

Homeo Erectus, Homo Floresiensis, Homo Habilis, Neanderthalensis

They would vary on intelligence, strength.

I'd add Megafauna http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megafauna

my favorite

http://www.itsnature.org/rip/dinosaurs/giant-short-faced-bear/ 16 hundred pounds!

and mess up pre-history some in putting a lot of extinct animals (and the above different homos) together in the same time.

Eating and clean water would be the main currencies.

Slow, 'race' wide technology development through crafting. The game might eventually get to metal working after a few years.

seniorfrito would want to see the game set in the Jurassic period (um, who wouldn't!?):

I actually like the idea.  Of course I would prefer the Jurassic period.  So there would be all sorts of dinosaurs.  However, it'd be super dangerous to venture out.  Like playing the game would always be heart pounding and adrenaline pumping.  Players don't really stand a good chance against most dinosaurs.  Also the reason for people (players) to be there would be some sort of time travel deal.  Not like any sort of cave people or something.

I dunno.  Just people who've gotten sent back in time and have to try to survive.  That would be pretty fun.

BartDaCat takes the setting and injects some fantasy into it (why not?):

"Pre-historic" shouldn't be a limiting factor on the imagination and fantasy that can be incorporated into the content, but it could work as an overall theme.

I'm guessing we're talking dinosaurs, the Ice Age, evolution, struggling for survival in a early pre-Man versus Nature environment, and an eventual almost complete annihilation of all life, followed by an emergence of new species, new continents, formations of society, development of new survival skills, so on so forth...

There is room for a lot of imaginative growth, including:

  • An unknown antagonist that deliberately leads the world to the brink of doom with comets and fire, darkening the sky.
  • Powerful forces that are eventually revealed to be the early "Gods" of mankind, influencing various skills for survival (and gameplay).
  • Formation of early societies in the form of "clans", "tribes", or however they will be named to increase chance of survival.
  • The development of crafting systems centered around a "Survival Skills" theme.
  • Expansions could be based around certain tumultuous events, such as the Ice Age, Meteoric Devastation, and imagined ideas purportedly caused by some unknown antagonist that wants to wipe out all life on the planet.

Perhaps the reasoning behind the near-extinction of all life on the planet could stem from the unknown antagonist, not of this world.  This force could be the impetus that drives pre-Man to form societies in order to strengthen their defenses against it.

The primary antagonist could be Lovecraft-ian, something similar to the Old Gods, and it sends wave after wave of minions from the sea, and outer space, and from other dimensions.  Granted, Blizzard ripped off the whole Lovecraft-ian Lore idea as well in their later World of Warcraft expansions, but the idea still has a lot of room for exploration.

Personally, I've never really considered a prehistoric MMO before, but like most I'd probably want to see it involve dinosaurs. It'd be a sandbox game and everyone's basically a dinosaur with the basic objective being to survive. You'd have access to all sorts of dinosaurs including herbivores. Heck, you could make them factions. Herbivores vs. Carnivores! What's the matter? You've never wanted to see a bronotsaurus throw down with a T-Rex?

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trancejeremy writes:

Both Conan and LOTRO are prehistoric games.

Conan is set something like 13,000 BC, I think LOTRO about 6000 BC....

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Sun Jul 31 2011 6:00AM Report
garry writes:

OK then, from an old retired game designer. Put time travelers back into the Jurassic Period with an existant Atlantis, medieval type. Atlantis could have elements of both pre-Mayan and Roman style art, weapons etc...Throw in some 'magic' since Atlantis was thought by some to be a colony from Mars surviving after a comet stripped Mars of life, atmosphere.

 

Players will have the modern equipment they brought with them but no way to return or obtain more. Crafting will be the only way to replace the equipment (or equivalent superior equipment) that gives the players an edge over local developments.

 

Dinosaurs, neanderthals and hominids of ancient history, Martians and Martian hybrids, genetic successes (and failures), the possibilities are pretty wide.

Sun Jul 31 2011 10:05AM Report
Saorlan writes:

I would absolutely bloody love a pre-historic MMO that is not based on fantasy and magic. 

A realistic survival MMO. It would need:

Proper twitch based combat like in Mortal Online - none of this EQ clone crap (ie WOW) style combat.

Food, hunger and thurst are also a must.

Absolutely no artificial level shit, character should go up gradually in skills due to use and training. No +45 bone sword of uberness that you magically only pick up when you are such a such a level.

NO QUESTS ! 

What this MMO could be is a meaning full clan based PvPvE pre-historic sandbox. Where you join a tribe - help it survive and then get involved in inter-clan tribal warfare for resources like being near to certain animal spawns.

 

Sun Jul 31 2011 10:16AM Report
Toferio writes:

Please, no hit-trading boring crap combat like in MO. I do however agree about it needing to be aim based and not target based, aim based is always more entertaining.

Sun Jul 31 2011 4:01PM Report
Athcear writes:

Pretty much like minecraft...  Only with more monsters and emphasis on cooperation.  The goal would be survival, and maybe some faction warfare, preferably fighting over resources that would enable you to build stuff.

Sun Jul 31 2011 8:52PM Report
lthompson94 writes:

@trancejeremy - LOTRO and AoC are NOT prehistoric MMOs. 

A) Neither one takes place on Earth, hence no BC, and no pre-history in terms of standard definition.

B) Prehistoric means "before recorded history."  Anything dated BC is inherently recorded history.

Either way,   a prehistoric sandbox MMO would be awesome.  The possibilities are endless.  Obviously, to be historically relevent you could not have humans and dinosaurs at the same time unless time travel was involved.  I think time travel would be a necessary part of the story, the idea of playing a dinosaur is too "novelty" for me.

Sun Jul 31 2011 11:49PM Report
ropenice writes:

Conan is indeed a prehistoric of earth. Robert E. Howard had a history of what nations and continents of his progressed to become the map of our modern world.

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Tue Aug 02 2011 8:05AM Report
Saorlan writes:

Yes but Conan completely messed up by having Roman style soldiers in his pre-historic world. Infact his world was just a really badly thought out mess really. Much like the MMO.

Back on topic:

I really do hope someone takes up the idea of a pre-historic MMO. Hopefully they could read Clan of the cave bear and take inspiration from that.

Sun Aug 14 2011 6:01AM Report
Ranthulfr writes:

I see a couple games here:

Dinosaur factions? Tyrannosaurs ARE a faction (heh heh heh) vs the lesser predators, vs ... H'mmm herbivore factions could compete to hold better quality land too. This sounds more like a strategic game, where holding territory is the goal.

   An RPG style game would require more than just hunting and gathering; you need a antagonist. Whether it's Atlantis, or an empire of aurochs-riding neanderthals. Food is unlikely as trade (other than for players) humans rarely live where they can't get enough to eat, until quite recently that is. Economies would require various qualities of: leathers, stones, wood, perhaps bone, shell, even copper for high-end or wealth characters.

   There's room for a pure PvP game too; fire hardened spears, razor-sharp obsidian knives - vs dinos, or other factions

Wed Aug 17 2011 6:27AM Report

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