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The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

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.

Solo-Friendly

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.

Polish

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!