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The List: 5 Gaming Concepts for the Future

Column By Garrett Fuller on March 05, 2012

As we get into 2012 there are some trends in the online industry that continue to move forward and take shape. These ideas impact us more than you might realize. Developers are constantly looking at new game mechanics to improve on how we play. When a new design comes forward it then takes shape in other games. Look at the Public Quest system in Warhammer Online and how it now has taken root in other MMOs: soon this idea will become the norm. It is these mechanics we want to highlight in today's list.

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5. What's Old is New Again.

With games looking to implement new styles and ideas they are going back to the original days of MMOs to find out what made them so special. Ideas that have not been used in a long time are starting to come back to the surface. Guild Wars 2 has several very cool systems that originated in early MMOs and then were discarded as the industry began to follow the World of Warcraft model. Now, the company is refining these ideas into the next decade for some amazing new mechanics. As MMOs move forward we will see more of this coming up. There will be games looking to explore older ideas and make them relevent to this era.

4. Moving Away from the Holy Trinity

Tank, Healer, DPS will become a thing of the past eventually. As much as some players love to fulfill these roles they will eventually go away. New games will look to offer players more open systems on how they can play their characters. The Secret World is a great example of how a skill system will develop your character and not tie you down in a leveling system or a specific role. There will always be ways to heal, DPS, or tank in a game, but character models will eventually stEM away from this. In some ways it is great for us as gamers to have new designs for our characters to work with. I still love the idea of a Fighter/Necromancer...

3. Casual Online Games Will Gain More Depth

As more platforms open up to MMOs, I think you will see causal style games get more compleX for players. The era of collecting plants in a casual game to grow your garden will simply not be enough any more. Sadly, right now we are in the wake of Zynga's growth. So many clones are being created and no one is digging deeper into the social network or mobile games to find places where games can have meaning to a player. I think before the next two years are up we will see some much stronger RPG style games coming out for the mobile and tablet platforms. Spacetime Studios is definitely leading this charge with Pocket Legends, Star Legends, and soon Dark Legends proving that these games can have a lot of great content. You have character growth and a sense of adventure in them which will only get better as the decade progresses.

2. Every Game Will Become an MMO

This has already started to happen with almost every FPS game on the market now launching with a PvP area. As eSports continues to rise and players devour Call of Duty's DLCs it is only a matter of time before you will start to see every launched title have an online element to it. We are already seeing this now. Players going up against others or playing with their teammates is one of the best parts of gaming. This will continue drastically in the next decade. Every game will be online, with downloadable content and areas for players to meet up and either do PvE or PvP content together. Blizzard's new Battle.net is a great example of this. Even though the idea is older, it will really become the norm over the next ten years of gaming.

1. Gaming Anywhere, Anytime, On Any Device

This is the single biggest change we will see in the next few years. Games right now are developed for multiple platforms. However, developers and publishers want something for their MMOs that is very important: they want to keep you in them. Games that come out in the next few years will literally be global and accessible from any platform at any time. This will essentially kill work for me, but oh well. Gamers will be able to access some part of their online games from anywhere. More and more MMOs right now are creating mobile apps for players to chat, use the auction house, craft, etc. These philosophies will continue to grow as more MMO elements become accessible to the mobile and tablet platforms. You will truly do your crafting at work, your chat on your lunch hour, and by the time you get home you are logged in and ready to go. That will be the tidal wave that is coming our way. You will always be connected to your game world in some amazing way.

So there you have it, the Top 5 game ideas that will grow over the next ten years. What do I have to say for 2020? Can anyone say the world Holodeck? It will go one of two ways in another fifteen to twenty years, either every house will have a virtual room, or we'll all be getting brain implants. Either way I am excited to see how gaming grows over the years.

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The List
Sometimes less than serious, in this space, we look back at the genre's history and far into the future to bring you a new list each week. Our countdowns are written by assorted members of the MMORPG.com Staff.
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