Sorry for the spam these few days but Tatum inspired me to blog on this. I know I praise skill-based RPGs alot and might seem to condemn levels. But in reality, I'm more eager to see a "no" progression scheme.
In a "no" progression scheme you don't have to grind creatures for XP. You kill them for money perhaps or because they are in the way (like a critter).
I'm going to breakdown how I envision a "no" progression scheme MMO:
- Sandbox gameplay. This is the only model that can hope to support this. This means totally tossing away the model setup by WoW. Gasp yeah I said it there's nothing much we can take from it.
- Some linear gameplay. I hate quests the way they are now but I still feel they have immense, untapped potential. I'd have them however they will be much fewer in number but still contain an epic feel and nice aura of completion about them.
- Items are just "tools". Yeah I know this is a foreign concept for mainstream but not everyone lives and dies for virtual loot. All items should be viable here. Newbies can craft nice items.
- WYSIWYG Loot. What you see is what you get. You see an NPC guard wearing some fancy guns you'd like to have? Just kill him and take it. None of this BS where I cant loot what I see. Will take a lot of work to make this scheme work however. there can be a chance for random pieces too though like jewelry or slightly more durable armor (higher quality then normal)
- Classes. Screw Classes. Freeform, be anything you want but players will know what you can do perhaps visually. A really strong guy will be huge or want to wear really good protection. Mage types will have staffs. Classes is here in a way but way less restrictive.
- No raids. Well ever wondered why my blogs omit all mention of raiding? Cause I hate raiding. F--- dungeons. Yeah I said it, to hell with that. Instead, you work together with the community to build cities. PVE will all happen naturally and be fairly unique to the region you live in.
- Rich PVP everywhere. Yep, this is a niche MMO all the way. Focused entirely on PvEvP. dont want to get ganked? Better hire more guards to protect your lands. But I do adore you PVE types in EVE Online that loves to reduce your risks so I would toss you guys a few NPC run cities with guards. And you could enjoy great PVE there. But I might toss some carrots out there to lure you to player run city. But heck this a sandbox so you could just stay in 'governed' lands and hf.
- Faction vs Faction PVP + Friendly Fire. Successful FPS games like Call of Duty, Rainbow 6, Halo, etc all have friendly fire. It's also FFA all the way. You can make your own factions and go to war
- 100% Player created items but it will be done the old ways- like Classic UO pre-AoS. All items viable. Uber loot will be siege equipment
- Item decay, looting. Yep not up for debate (so please no whining about it). However, since I dont care for items too much anyway it might only be backpack looting because armor/weapons wont mean anything at all. Player skill ftw- not gear. The uber equipment is the siege equipment that takes an army to use.
- Positive and Negative Sum PVP. Players fight for land. Once land is owned cities can be built. Crafting will be handled totally different from this grind and grind to improve experience we have now. Boring things will be handled by NPC workers. You focus on the exciting parts. Even though looting is here it will also be possible to acquire all items via PVP within one fell swoop. PVP will be profitable. There will be objectives and riches you can earn via all PVP. PVP is my thing and thats all I'd focus on designing with sandbox PVE sprinkled in. I say let WoW be WoW. This would be different and nichey.
- Victory Conditions everywhere. No need for lame instancing we can have victory conditions all over the map. Entire NPC cities can change hands. Player run cities we can handle this many different ways and get a great player dependency relationship happening.
- Progression. Yeah screw that. You spawn with all skills you need based on a fully specced template. Want to be unique? Yeah then maybe there will a minor, fast ramp up to respec via a skill-based + XP system. Yep, I dont care if all you did was run errands and you respecced into a strong warrior. Not everyone wants to roleplay. But if you want to to roleplay, you can stick to 100% skill-based ftw. Freeform. Earn XP or quickly reskill via skill-based. Or hell, maybe I'd just say screw it let people respec at will. IT's a sandbox game after all, pure sandbox. Not a grinder....
Would you play this MMO? If you hate Sandbox games then I dont care anyway this game isn't for you but I'd be interested in sharing ideas with other sandbox gamers.....