Politics and MMORPGs aren’t things that usually mix well. Every game that tries to bring the player run cities and politics to the gaming world usually ends up with a bunch of toxic people running around killing anything they can get their hands on. Eve is probably the only game I can think of that has any type of success with a system where players exercise that level of control over the game environment. It is this reason alone that I am a little wary of the City Hall concept in the upcoming MMORPG Ashes of Creation.
In Ashes of Creation the world is going to start barren. That’s not to say there won’t be any quests or things to do but from the sound of it, there won’t be many cities or towns to be heard of because the players won’t have created them yet. As explained in their City Hall post, “nodes” will be created by players when they start doing a lot of things together in a particular area. These nodes can grow, with decisions on their growth being made by players described as the “ruling elite”. Citizens will have a type of favor with their ruling class that can quickly go sour if the wrong decisions are made, such as too much sales tax. But a true political minded player can grow their nodes into flourishing townships and cities, enabling festivals that provide buffs, boost experience, and even provide quests for adventurers in the area.
From the sound of it, City Hall is where the ruling elite of these nodes can come together to discuss alliances, trade agreements, enemies of the state and/or declare all-out war. It sounds similar to games where guilds can war with each other, take over and raze each other’s cities, but the added flair is the city will be one of your own creation. Players will feel invested and loyal to their nodes because they took an active part in getting it to where it is. All in all, the system sounds very intriguing but like all things the proof will be in the pudding.
The developers are nothing if not ambitious in their desires to create the best MMORPG we’ve seen to date and I’m constantly reminding myself to not get hyped about it but remain cautiously optimistic. I for one can’t wait for December to roll around so I can see all these promises in action and judge how accurately their systems go from concept to application.