With Space Marine having launched this month and THQ keeping Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millenium Online under tight wraps lately I thought we should send them a message. So I gathered up some of my gamer friends to put together a list of the Top 5 wishlist items we have for Dark Millenium Online. This is just a starter list as 40K players know there is a lot that needs to be added into the game to really get the feel of the universe. Of all the 40K computer games made, the Dawn of War series definitely wins the prize in terms of full scope of the 41st Millenium. If that template can be used to build the MMO then there is a good chance we’ll see a great game online.
Here is our list:
5.) Making Chaos Marines feel different then Space Marines
This is a tricky tactic, because they all came from the same gene pool. However, something important to 40K fans is the major different between the traitor legions and their Imperium bretheren. Chaos remains a major threat to the galaxy and that needs to be taken seriously when players choose which side they fight for. The corruption and power of the Chaos Marines is critical and adds to their strength on the battlefield. Khorne Berserkers are a great example of the devout Space Marines being corrupted and turned into insane killing machines of chaos. The Space Marines need to remain true and paladin-like (no Grey Knight jokes please) is the other side of this critical balance. Both sides may have started out from their progenitors; however they have grown vastly different over the millenia. Hopefully the game keeps this separate.
4.) Xenos that can fight against the Space Marines!
In Space Marine the Orks die by the thousands. On the table top, orks are definitely weaker than the super soldiers, however, their Nobz and Bosses are not. Orks, Tau, Daemons, Tyranids, Necrons, Eldar, Dark Eldar, and every other xenos in the galaxy need to be very playable for fans. As a player if I want to run an ork character, I should be able to go in and fight it out with the other races. This is important to the game. Otherwise you will only have the almighty Marines running around the entire time. The races need to be balanced out and playable. In terms of playable races, THQ should include as many as possible. The best part of Warhammer is the idea of the different races all at war. Even though no MMO can host 9-10 warring factions, it would be great to see the races broken out into more than just two sides to fight it out.
3. Take Leveling a Character out of the game.
Before you comment on this, I am talking about leveling up a character specifically. I do think players should absolutely be able to level skills. Many MMOs have used skill systems which work perfectly fine. Even though a skill leveling system can be a major balancing act it is still very important to the game. Orks should have a Biker skill; Marines should have different skill sets for shooting, melee, etc. This break down could be amazing if done right. The different races can even have access to a basic set of skills with smaller sets for each race to set them apart. It is one of the best ways to create a system in Warhammer. This way you do not start leveling a Space Marine as a scout, neophyte, etc. You are a Space Marine at the get go and can work on skills depending on your play style. The same concept can hold true for Orks. Orks who melee a lot can grow into Nob style characters. Orks who love to shoot can follow the Loota path. There are plenty of options here to build the game for each race. It is risky in terms of balance but could be amazing for players.
2.) Heavy Customization
Try to understand how important guilds are in MMOs. I know many of us play solo to and that is okay. However, player guilds should be able to declare for a faction and then customize from there. This would be an amazing way to bring Space Marine Chapters into the mix. If you have a guild of 10 players and want to look like Space Wolves, then you can declare for the Space Wolves and unlock a bunch of customization options. The same can go for Chaos very easily. For the other races, there are some different designs that would be needed. Perhaps Eldar can declare for a Craftworld and Orks for a Waaagh or Warband. This could become a development nightmare, but not if you layer the levels of customization. It also gives tools to the devs for endless expansion packs and unlocks for the future. When you are working with an IP that asks its core audience for hours of time to painting their models you must have customization in the MMO.
Vehicles are a major part of 40K. They should be a critical part of the MMO. If players want a vehicle there should be a system to construct their own. If I want to build my own Land Raider or Ork Bike then so be it! Put that system in the game. If other players blow it up, give me a salvage option so that next time I build one it will be easier and I don’t lose all the costs that went into it. Make vehicles available and useful. Transports, tanks, speeders, jet bikes, should all have a place in the game. If someone says to you there is a 40K MMO coming you expect a battlefield experience, not a personal quest story. Vehicles should be an integral part of that battlefield. This system could be amazing if THQ gets it right.
So there you are… five wishes for 40K online. If the developers are working hard on the game then perhaps they will hear some more ideas in our forums. Obviously we all have our own thoughts on what needs to happen. These five are just the ones to start the discussion. For now we’ll just have to wait until Vigil and THQ open their doors before we can see if we’re being listened to.