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Michael Bitton: Which MMO Features Would You Want IRL?

By Michael Bitton on December 05, 2019 | Columns | Comments

Which MMO Features Would You Want IRL?

Part and parcel of the evolution of the MMO genre has been a drive to make things more convenient and efficient, for better and worse. But unlike MMOs, some of these features would be pure upgrades for real life. Here are a couple of MMO features I’d love to have IRL.

Hearthing

Long travel times can be as much of a drag in real life as they are in games. Who wouldn’t love the ability to just set their house or some other location as a bind point and be able to just teleport back to it at will? I can think of so many uses. Skipping the commute home from work, ditching out of a boring party, not having to carry groceries back to the house, and so on. Of course, I’m sure the real life version would have some Pay-to-Win mechanic where you’d be able to skip the cooldown for some kind of fee, but that’s life.

Respecs

Who hasn’t wanted to redo their characters from time to time without losing all of their progress? Respecs are a godsend in MMOs and they would be equally valuable in real life, too. Spend all this time studying at school for a useless career? Put your skill points into something else entirely and voila you’re now a qualified doctor. Now I’m already thinking about how to game the system by imagining I’d go to school for something real easy and then just respec into something that would be a pain to study.

Multi-Boxing

This isn’t so much of a feature as it is something people just tend to do in MMOs, but still, wouldn’t this be useful? If you’ve ever seen the movie Multiplicity with Michael Keaton, you know what I’m talking about. Imagine having multiple versions of yourself that could do things like go to work for you or do other mundane things so you could enjoy the fun parts of life. There would need to be some sort of shared consciousness here though, otherwise you’d just end up with a bunch of twins with different personalities and priorities like the aforementioned Michael Keaton film.

Sidekicking

Sidekicking was a great feature Cryptic Studios introduced to City of Heroes that allowed higher level players to bring lower level players up to their effective power level so that they could play together. We’ve seen this sort of group scaling spread throughout the genre since then and I’ve always appreciated it a ton. Wouldn’t it be great to have the ability to do this in real life as well? Want to go skiing with a friend, but you’ve never put on skis in your life? No problem. Let him Sidekick you and now you can ski almost as well as he does as long as you stay in range.

Corpse Runs

What if dying just dropped all of your “stuff” and you could pick up where you left off as long as you could get back to your corpse before it disappears? Get hit by a car? No problem. Make it back to that intersection and you get all your stuff back and live again. I hated this “feature” in MMOs, but I’d gladly take corpse runs over the permadeath of real life any day. Imagine a murderer camping your corpse in real life. Rude!

What are some MMO features you’d like to have in real life? Share your list with us in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site''s Community Manager.