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Community Spotlight: What MMO Would You Make?

Posted by MikeB Thursday October 21 2010 at 3:20PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "If someone offered you 50 million dollars to create your own MMORPG, what would you make?" by cyphers. Our forums are full of MMO gamers from all stripes and so cyphers simply wants to know what our readers would actually create if they had the means to do so:

"As the title says: if someone offered you 50 million dollars and the dev team needed to create a MMORPG, what would you make?

And what kind of gameplay features and mechanics would you design to be in it?"

Creslin321 has got it all worked out:

"My MMORPG would have (but not be limited to) the following features:

  1. No "tiered" content, the entirety of the world will be potentially useful to any character in the game.  There will be character advancement, but it will be "broad" more so than deep.  There will also be easier and harder monsters, but defeating them will rely more on having the correct skills than just haven't leveled enough.
  2. Dynamic player housing - Players will be able to build houses and/or shops just about anywhere in the world, thought i may be prohibited in certain "protected" areas.
  3. Service economy - Players will be able to buy and sell services on an auciton house similar to how goods are bought and sold now.  Motivation to use the service economy will be provided by making it possible for the richer players to make money by employing poorer players as freelance adventurers, workman etc.  For example, "I will provide you the resources to explore dungeon X, but 50% of all treasure you find in the dungeon goes to me."
  4. Open-ended advancement - Not necessarily a skill-based advancement system, but the advancement system will be designed so that any character can eventually learn everything in the game, though NOT AT ONE TIME.  There will be some kind of cap."

keitholi would like to see a Wheel of Time MMO, turns out hes in luck:

An MMO based off the Wheel of Time saga, by Robert Jordan. Given the detail of that world and culture laid out by the late Robert Jordan, I think it would be a great way to break the mold of the traditional MMO and its holy trinity of classes (tank, healer, dps). It could also include a system like diplomacy, from Vanguard, due to the amount of politics and "game of houses" described in the books. I know a company picked up the rights to an MMO shortly after Jordans death but I am not sure what, if anything, has been done since. It really could make for an incredible game as long as developers like Turbine or Cryptic (My 2 shining examples of developers who failed, on an epic proportion, to deliver when they had an awesome IP to start from) stay far far away.

$50 Million would be a good start, but I would love to pump even more into a longer development cycle, to make sure the IP is given its due diligence.

firefly2003 practically prepares a design document:

"Hybrid Themepark/Sandbox MMO -2 Region Controlled Servers 1st Server (U.S and South America-Europe-Africa-Austrailia) 2nd Server (Asia, Japan, Middle East, Koreas) 2nd Server I proposed to keep RMT and gold spamming and purchasing in game limited to the East.


Group Friendly (Incentives for Grouping XP, Yield Better Drop Rates and Loot)

Time Skill Based System (ex. EVE Online) or Regular Skill Based with no Cap

In-Depth Crafting (ex.SWG) and Resource Gathering , Expermination, Resource Quality, Ground and Space Resources Everything is Craftable From Starships Ranging From A Fighter Craft Up To A Guild Controlled Capital Ship Fully Customizable, Clothes, Food, Weapons, Equipment, Armor, Furniture, Houses and Structures. Skinning.

Quests (Dyanmic Questing and Random Hidden Npcs To Recieve Rare Quests, Plus Regular Ol Static Quests)

Sidekicking- Enabling Players to Help Out Noobs in Already Completed Quests

Diplomacy and Reputation with NPC races and NPCs

Player Housing (Non-Instanced) Limitations would be set housing is only allowed on Capital Planets housing will not be allowed on quest or mission based planets to address lag and latency issues, also a remove housing feature which would be policed by players to remove abandoned housing after 3 months of account inactivity to address ghost towns and abandoned structures or a simple server reset that checks in the database of players inactive past 3 months and removes structures.

Housing would be similar to SWG's with fully customizable options and the ability to decorate, also would like to add the option to create own housing structures from scratch for those that like to dabble in creating new things.

Space Station (Guild Player Housing) For those who rather brave the depths of space than live life on the ground these (Guild) housings would be completely buildable and customizable to suit a guilds needs. (Military Themed Starbase, Trading Post, Pirate, etc)

Open Universe and Open World PVP-Consensual and FFA PVP) Here's the thing I would address with the problem people Have With FFA PVP, a good example is EVE set up the universe in terrorities set up for FFA PVP play and other terrorities you would enter disable FFA PVP to strike a balance and address griefing in safe ground and space, however if you choose to take on FFA PVP terrorities and the Guilds that inhabit them great risk and great reward will be a objective here, extremely rare spawns but spawn in great quantiy out in lawless space along with hidden mission NPCs on planets and stations, extremely dangerous NPCs will reside out here yielding great rewards as well.

Raiding (Ground Only)

4 Factions

Full On 3D Space Combat (a Mix of  X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter, Freelancer, and X-3) Fully Customizable Ship Interiors

Space will be a optional asset to the game Missions will be either space or ground focused neither will cross into each others domain.


Future Expansions- Non Combat Professions  and Jobs, Minigames (Fishing, Gambling, Enteraining, Music,) More Skills, Balancing and Bug Fixes, More Ground Raids, Possible Planetary Defenses for FFA Terrorities, Atmospheric Flight, Military Bases, Labs, Basically things that would make the ultimate MMO, input from community would be helpful to keep both sandbox and themepark players happy."

I'm pretty torn on what I'd do with an MMO, to be honest, this is a really tired suggestion, but were it up to me it would honestly be an MMO in the same vein as Star Wars Galaxies, only up to 2010+ standards. Better graphics, much more action-based gameplay (Guild Wars 2 is a good example here), and if it were set in the Star Wars universe, I'd want it set post-Return of the Jedi but pre-New Jedi Order. Otherwise, I'd want to see a World of Darkness MMO done along these lines, and thankfully sandbox experts CCP Games are already doing a WoD MMO, so I can only hope. :)

What kind of MMO would you create if you had the budget and team to make one? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Athcear writes:

An open, sandboxy world with lots of themepark stuff in it.  Essentially, a dynamic world populated by lots of npcs who actually interact with it.  Enemies would move around, settlements would expand and contract.  The point would be to have a living, breathing world with lots of ways to interact with it.  It wouldn't focus on linear storytelling the way themepark games do, and it wouldn't rely on just players killing each other for content.  I see a lot of upcoming games like GW2 and Rift going in this direction.  I hope I'm correct in this assessment.

Thu Oct 21 2010 3:44PM Report
mightpyro writes:

I wouldn't really make a traditional MMO. I would make 2 games with a free MMO multiplayer option. It would be based on the Starship Troopers franchise where one game is a FPS and the other is a RTS with a persistant world multiplayer war that allows the FPS players play as the humans and the RTS players to play as the Bugs on the same server.

Thu Oct 21 2010 4:16PM Report
peacekraft writes:

Creslin321's Idea sounded good to me.

Thu Oct 21 2010 5:00PM Report
theinvader writes:

Aw, you didn't pick my (second) post! It was by far one of the most original in the thread!

Thu Oct 21 2010 6:58PM Report
Tanemund writes:

I'd start with Frank Herbert's "Dune" IP.  Lots of classes that someone could choose from in that series; Bene Jeseritt, Mentat, Sardukar, Fremen.  There wouldn't be any "stealth" classes in my game, but there would be assassins.  They would be given tools to assassinate with, but they are responsible for using their brains to get within range of the target to use them.  Some of the weapons might even be of the "one way" variety, meaning the assassin would have to kill itself to kill it's target (ie a poison gas filled tooth).


I'd split gameplay into two basic zones.  The first would be a PvE only zone where players could level and experience game content at their own pace.  This area could be very themeparky with lots of quest lines based on the Dune Sagas.


The second would be an open PvP zone.  This is where I would put the sandbox elements in my game.  Players would have to choose to go out into that zone voluntarily, but once they did they would be subject to being killed by anyone out there.  Players could choose to level out in this zone if they wished, but there won't be quest lines to follow.  It would be the traditional "camp and grind" type leveling.


The "endgame" would be guilds vieing for control of The Spice, because he who controls the Spice controls the universe.  Simply controling the planet where Spice is found (Arakis) won't be enough.  It will have to be refined and processed and that will be done on other worlds.  This could allow the "Great Houses" and "Guilds" (read clans or guilds) to set up an economy and allow for political intrigue between them.


It would also have to be transported (and so you could get Houses that are like trucking companies that move the spice around the universe) and this would allow for piracy and black markets to be set up.  This will prevent one or two Great Houses from completely dominating the server as the smaller Houses could rely on piracy and the black market or on outright alliance with larger Houses to either knock off or undermine others.  You would have to figure that if any one House comes close to a monopoly on the Spice the other Houses would ban together to oppose them.


The real twist would come with space travel.  In the novels only members of the Space Guild can pilot ships that are fast enough to travel between stars.  That's because the pilots in the space guild take the spice and can see into the future allowing them to fold space and fly faster than the speed of light. 


A House would have to reach a certain size to be able to afford and maintain a pilot.  One member of the House would give up all other professions to become the House pilot.  I would cap the number of pilots a House oculd have at five (5) so that it would prevent a single House from having a huge number of pilots.  Pilots should be rare and valuable.


In fact training the pilot would take some time and cost money so spacefaring is a risky and costly adventure.  If your House pilot is killed then the pilot reverts to it's former character status and has to be retrained.  So for example the Pilot was a Mentat.  The House hits the required size and the pilot is trained and is properly addicted to the Spice.  The pilot begins transporting spice and players around the universe (like a taxi service) and is ambushed by pirates and killed.  That pilot reverts back to a Mentat and the House must either retrain him or train another pilot.


The Pilots become the expensive "weak link" in the economic chain.  This is another check against one House completely dominating.


I'd have to work out the details but that would be the basics.

Fri Oct 22 2010 8:28AM Report
Darrgen writes:

Daoc 2 the way it should be made.

Fri Oct 22 2010 9:53AM Report
Arataki writes:

Personally, I would make an MMO that uses the combat system of Atlus' Demon Souls. A true sandbox. No leveling, no skills, no classes. Just the very basic defense stat of light/medium/heavy armor, variety of weapons and the player figuring out how to kill things. Can you imagine? You start out a new character. You decide to kill that nasty looking newb wolf over there. It kills you. WTH? You can't just stand there and let it chomp on you, find its weakness, exploit it.

Mobs get harder by way of complexity, not hitpoints and arbitrary stat levels. You want to take down that dragon? You can spend several hours plinking at it or grab some friends who know what they are doing to go for the throat.

Building your own cities and boats, crafting those materials, an in game log that can help you keep track of difficult mobs and how you killed it the first time. A world you can make or break without any limitations aside from what you can imagine.

That's the kind of game I would make.

Fri Oct 22 2010 10:34AM Report
Nephaerius writes: Just two thoughts. Number one I really like the idea of being able to sell services like runs, quest assistance, mercenary, etc. through a location like an auction house or something similar like in the first idea presented. Also one person suggested an MMO based on Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Well, it has already been officially announced as of 2008. It's being made by Red Eagle games who are also making other games set in the same world. Here's a snippet of the article that featured in 2008: "Los Angeles, Calif- Nov 12, 2008 Red Eagle Games is bursting on to the digital- entertainment scene, launching its new Los Angeles based videogame publishing studio with the rights to one of the most popular and beloved fantasy epics of all times-Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. A Wheel of Time feature-film production is planned with Red Eagle Entertainment's executives Rick Selvage and Larry Mondragon as producers, and now Red Eagle is unveiling plans to bring Jordan's fantasy universe to life via two distinct lines of interactive entertainment. A line of stand-alone Wheel of Time games is planned for release on all major videogame platforms, including consoles, personal computers, handheld systems and wireless devices. In addition, Red Eagle will launch and operate a massively multiplayer online role-playing game encompassing the themes, characters and world of the Wheel of Time novels. The rich details of Jordan's meticulously crafted series have captivated readers since 1990, when The Eye of the World, the first book in the series, was published. Eleven additional books, including one prequel, have since been added to the series and have consistently appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List with the last four of his novels in the series debuting at No. 1. Jordan passed away in 2007 at the age of 58, but a final book, A Memory of Light, will be finished by fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson using notes and a partial draft left withJordan's wife and editor, Harriet Rigney, and is expected to be published in fall 2009 by Tor Books. "I am confident in Red Eagle Games' ability to capture the timeless appeal of The Wheel of Time story as they adapt its characters and themes into this new electronic medium," Rigney said. "I expect fans of the series will be delighted by these new interactive additions to the Wheel of Time universe." Jordan's wildly popular books have been translated into 24 languages, and have sold about 44 million copies worldwide. In addition, the series has a vast global on-line community of tens of thousands of dedicated fan Web sites. "There are few properties as well-loved and influential as Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series," said Rick Selvage, chairman and president of Red Eagle Entertainment. "The Wheel of Time books have captured the imagination of millions of readers around the world, and we expect our interactive recreations of Jordan's complex universe to garner a similar level of devotion and enthusiasm." Fri Oct 22 2010 11:32AM Report
Nephaerius writes: Ugh, sorry for the wall of text, I don't know why it came out like that. Fri Oct 22 2010 11:33AM Report
AlmightyX writes: Redo mxo but make it more of a virtual world like VR in Caprica. Not a horrible looking clunky second life either. Ultimately the best mmo imo will just be a hub where you enter, find friends and go off choosing what game/world you want to play in. How would you achieve such a VR world with todays tech is the big question. Thu Nov 04 2010 10:02PM Report
powerofcash writes: High Intensity Action Combat Fantasy. Simply put, something that delivers what people want the most, fantasy and intense combat. They want a thrill so some suspsense and such for cgi and quests. They want control so it needs to be open world. They want to create things so a extensive sandbox editor for castles, cities, vehicles and items. They want to be able to be unrestricted by fees, so its a pay for time model. Yeah, it doesn't have all these dream features, but the main focus would also be fulfilling through mini games and extensive pvpve and public quests. Instancing for stuff that would lag the hell out of the world. TBH, you can dream all you want, but if aren't solving people's current problems with mmo's then your not worth 50$M investment. Thu Nov 11 2010 1:13PM Report writes:
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