How about a very exotic MMO? Well, it's only at first glance exotic and the idea behind it, surely isn't that new at all (and maybe it exists already in one form or another). ,)
Would you like to play an insect or arachnid? If your answer is yes, then read on.
You'd be able to choose amongs several types of insects or arachnids and play one .
Ants are colony building insects and the ants of one colony would be themselves specialized into several subtypes like guardians, workers and gatherers. The colony would rely on the gatherers to collect raw materials. The raw materials are then used by the workes to build and expand the colony. The workers are also responsible for planting food within the colony or herd other insects (e.g. aphics) for nectar.
Like ants they too belong to the class of colony building insects. Similar to ants the bees are divided into subcategries like guardian, gatherer and worker. The colony relies on the gatherers to harvest raw materials (e.g. pollen, leafs, etc.). The workers would use raw materials to expand the colony and also to process pollen into food.
They are another class of colony building insects, but they are more like predators. Wasps are divided into two subcategories raider and worker. Raiders are a mix of gatherers and guardians. They ambush other insects for food and raw materials. Their workers then use the raw materials to expand the colony.
Spiders build no colonies, though they may team up occasionally with other spiders. Their most outstanding ability is building nets and capturing other insects as food.
Locusts are in general loners. But occasionally they form giant swarms. Outstanding abilities are flying short distances and make big leaps.
There are other kinds of insects (e.g. beetles, flies, etc.) each kind with its own outstanding ability. What they have in common is that they don't build colonies and in general they are a mix of guardian, raider, gatherer and worker.
This is just a simplified list of different kinds of insects and arachnids. The descriptions are intentionally kept short, to just keep it simple (nature knows more variations).
In the previous paragraph I mentioned several archetypes, which I didn't explain yet.
Colony building insects rely on guardians to protect their colony, the gatherers outside the colony and vital resources. Guardians are only proficient with fighting skills, both offensive and defensive. Some guardians might specialize more in defensive fighting, others might specialize more in offensive fighting.
Gatherers don't have fighting skills. As their name implies they are gatherers of raw materials.
Like gatherers, workers don't have fighting skills. They can be compared to crafters. They will process raw materials (e.g. create building materials, processing food, farming food, etc.). Some insect colonies may be herding other insects for special raw materials. The sheparding is the the job for workers.
Raiders are a crossbreed between guardians and gatherers, but unlike guardians they only have offensive fighting skills. The gathering skills are also quite limited.
The archetypes mainly apply to insects who belong to a colony building species. Other species don't have this clear distinction into different archetypes and are in general a mix of the four archetypes.
Every individual has a health score. If the health score is lowered to 0 the individual is defeated. This happens most likely in battle. You can convert energy into health and thus heal up.
Every individual has a energy score. Energy is needed to use abilities. By every use of any ability the energy is reduced. Once the energy score reaches 0, no more abilities can be used. The energy can be "recharged" with food, though.
Some abilities require a material component (e.g. creating building materials, processing food, etc.). The material component requirement comes in addition to the energy requirement. If you run out on either material components or energy you cannot use some abilities.
Weight & Size
Every individual will start with the default weight and size for his/her spezies. An individual may grow over time (provided there is food available). To grow, an individual must spend energy. The weight and size will increase accordingly. The drawback of a big size is that the energy requirements of the individual will increase (e.g. abilities get more expensive, "healing" gets more expensive, etc.) and thus more food is required.It will be subject to increased falling damage when falling from great heights.
Strength & Encumbrance
The bigger an individual is, the "stronger" it gets. That means it can lift and carry heavier objects.
It's possible to train abilities to increase the effect of the ability. Training itself costs energy and the ability will later require more energy to be used.
Only members of the same species can communicate with each other.
Only colony-building spezies can form colonies. Every individual will be marked accordingly when he joins a colony.
The main goal is to gather food and thus keep your energy at a constant level. Besides this there should be enough opportunities for crafting, exploration and combat.
Players who look for a collective might be interested in colony building species. The same goes for players who like to specialize in one archetype. Only colony building species allow this kind of labour division. Also there is the possibility of wars between different colonies over resources.
The more individualistic players might be more interested in one of the other species. Some of these species allow the creation of very customized and unique "characters". This kind of species dont participate in colony wars, but can be a victim of a colony war or a aggressive colony-building species. Despite this they may still engage in combat, but mainly small scale combat.