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How My Perfect MMO Should Look Like

Posted by dennisleigh Wednesday July 5 2017 at 8:37AM
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I have always appreciated the opportunity to live the second life online, and MMORPGs seem to make it even more real than other genres, allowing you to interact with so many other people. 

There are non-fantasy games, but we are bombarded with a dozen MMOs with a standard set of medieval-inspired attributes and heroes. I do not watch “Game of Thrones” and it may be the reason why I do not understand people not getting bored of these themes.

It is understandable that publishers prefer to refrain from experimenting, when there is a lot money at stake. It is better just to copy solutions that proved to work rather than offer players something new not knowing for sure if it will be received well or not. However, mechanics and visual part also migrate from a game to a game. Therefore, I have caught myself thinking that I do not get my portion of joy that is a mandatory element in gaming.

Like Tadgh Kelly said, there are several kinds of a gamer’s joy, and my perfect MMO would have to give me at least half of them.

The joy of exploration

No screenshots and video reviews can bring you into all game’s details. However, sometimes a couple of secrets you reveal during the gaming process leave you disappointed, as you hoped for more. I’d like my perfect MMO to be as unpredictable as possible. Please, more pattern interrupts and cognitive dissonance. I want the story to be perplexing enough to make me want get into game designers’ and script writers’ minds.  

The joy of beauty

There are games with awful graphics that keep players’ eyes glued to monitors for years. There are games, which are inspired by ‘80s platformers with that special retro aesthetics that really feeds your eyes. I do not think their existence is a good reason to rise a question whether video games graphics are important or not. Of course, they are, although it depends on a game. A good visual part in MMO is never something superfluous. Moreover, good graphics do not necessarily mean modern style graphics. You can enjoy both Black Desert and Realm of the Mad God.

Worth noting, a game needs to be balanced enough to provide excellent artworks without melting the hardware. I would not like to wipe my Mac clean to direct all its resources for playing a medium spec MMO.

The joy of empowerment

The game does not have to replace a gamer’s offline life. He or she cannot assess their achievements in the real and virtual worlds. However, there is nothing wrong with the need to feel more empowered than you usually are. And what if players could use skills they’d achieved in the game in their real life, or become more educated, thus, more empowered in one way or another? I believe MMOs have potential in this direction.

The joy of humor

MMOs really lack it, although they might be a fertile ground for collectively created funny situations. WildStar, fantastical sci-fi MMO, is said to be an exception, however, I do not think it to be the best example. Players just need more freedom to express themselves.

The joy of crafting

For some people the character creation is the most interesting part of the game, since it fulfills the need for self-expression. Besides, it is a great opportunity to become a person you have always wanted, but could not be due to the limitations of the real world.

Some games allow you only to choose faces, hairstyles, skin and hair colors, some of them give you more possibilities for your character’s customization. I wish there were a possibility to create graphics on my own like in APB Reloaded.

Last but not least, the joy of community.

MMO is a separate game genre just because it gives players a possibility to join the community for making friends, chatting, and working on the same goal together. Moreover, many people with psychological problems are able to fulfill their need to communicate with others thanks to such games.

I’d like this feature to be more developed, so players could create smaller communities based on their interests. For example, I was very glad to find out that something resonating with my wishes exists. For instance, there is a global community recreating the British Museum in Minecraft. I wish similar tasks were inserted into MMOs, so members of communities could feel connected to a meaningful group experience.