MMO’s and What I Want

One thing that I’ve been thinking with all these recent kickstarter,and the orgy of ideals being thrown around with them is, what do I want from an mmo? That sounds like a pretty simple question on the surface. There is a lot of little things that make up an mmo but in the end, a question like that comes down to fundamentals.

Fundamentals though are a lot harder to pin down. They are the guiding principle to an mmo, the thing that all other mechanics and principles fall back to; that reference and interact together. That mold it all into something workable. Something engaging but it is always those fundamentals that guide development and the game’s systems.

For me I nailed down 3 points.

Economy

Now that is just some token system like the usual mmo has. something to grind  for no reason whatsoever, that has no place within end game systems bar a few trinkets they deem to give you out of raiding. No, what I want is a real economy, one that doesn’t suffer from the same exacerbated inflation, soften of course by more shiny baubles and artificial gold sinks. I don’t want an economy that only encompasses certain parts of the experience. I want an economy that encompasses the entire game, that has it’s tendrils in every aspect of it. That shows growth and meaning as a whole.

Basically Eve in a sense. Something you can look towards and marvel at the complex and integrated nature of it. Where you can find your own little niche within the system and still be considered value. A system that is fulfilling a constant need or collection, creation and destruction.

For Territory and Space to Matter

I am kind of over how the modern mmo seems to delight in obsoleting large tracks of land. For most of it, it’s components, quests, resources and whatever else to be practically meaningful once you’ve levelled beyond it. I want a large world wherein every single inch of it can be considered either valuable or necessary. A place people want and need to go or space that is a necessity for the systems to work (travel time).

But it’s more than that as well. I want space to be meaningful to the individual. A place somewhere they they call call their own. To plant their claim and build up their home over time. Somewhere they can grow from and come back to.

I want space to matter for groups and guilds. Somewhere they endeavor to control and struggle for. That creates meaning to being with a group but rewards those endeavors. That creates continuous short and long term goals to work towards.

That creates global action that is constantly shifting back and forth.

Make Your Own Stories

Now this one is a little more vague but just as meaningful as the others. I’ve had guided experiences for too long now. I know, without a second glance the story and themes that are going to be told to me over a long, boring grind through this restrictive narrative. There is no real place for our own stories to be during that and not enough interaction to make them matter.

I want a world where  I can make my own world around it. Where I can engage where and how I want, in the ways I want and then create my own narrative around that. I want the chance to be able to create my own characterizations and then, live them out in a meaningful way. Mostly, I want freedom of self, freedom to be and freedom to create.

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12 thoughts on “MMO’s and What I Want

  1. That pretty much points a spotlight on the biggest issue this genre has: it just isn’t a single genre any more. The game you describe sounds wonderful. I wouldn’t play it. I’d prefer to play a game with no player-to-player economy at all (or at least very definitely with no direct player-to-player trading), a regular sequence of additional new territory to explore (I liked EQ’s six-monthly expansion best of all the models I’ve ever seen) and plenty of well-written, professionally produced story content (TSW being the gold standard but I’d take solid, workmanlike questing).

    Both of those products could and certainly would be marketed and sold as “MMOs”. What’s more, they would be advertised to the same supposedly homogenous audience of “MMO Gamers”. This doesn’t seem to happen with movies or books or music; the producers and distributors there seem to have a much clearer understanding of what their product is and who it is meant to appeal to. MMO gamers are expected to be equally excited and interested in WildStar, TESO, ArcheAge, Landmark and Crowfall as if any of us really might play any of them and scarcely tell the difference.

    I am about as sure as I can be now that what I really want are diku-MUD-inspired leveling machines that never stop, set in sprawling open worlds that never end. I want to climb the ladder and keep on climbing and run for the horizon and keep on running.

    I think you’re a lot more likely to get the MMO you want than I am right now. In ten years time, though, things might well be different. What I really think, though, is that we, or rather the people who make these things and sell them to us, need to start naming and describing them accurately so we can all get lined up behind the right counter.

    • i think you hit the nail there, it is kinda weird how they are all sold to the same players when, they are vastly different experiences and I would think, different markets. A little overlap sure but not the same exact group.
      And well, you do see it with books kinda sci fi, fantasy and such but then there are extra niches within that being sold too as well. I think we need to maybe define those niches a little better.
      I think you’ll get more of what you enjoy as well. And i actually do enjoy those experiences too so I wouldn’t want them to go away either. Althoguh i do think the rush of new releases has severley died down at least there are now many established mmo’s like that regularly updating.

  2. Yes to economy! I would love to see the economy take pride of place that combat currently occupies in MMOs, with combat as more of a side dish that not everyone does. And I think the logical extension to that – to make the economy complex enough to promote politics, exploration, and player co-operation – is for the world to be vast, and for all the world to matter in some way.

    I think I’m slightly less independent than you when it comes to freedom, though. I would like there to be a narrative that is going to happen whatever you do, but you have the freedom of how much you want to interact with it.

    “What I really think, though, is that we, or rather the people who make these things and sell them to us, need to start naming and describing them accurately so we can all get lined up behind the right counter.”

    Agreed.

    • yes to no combat things… and i love stabby things haha. It’s just nice to have something to relax with in game after all the stabby swtabby

      I can definitely work with that just pitch in for the upcoming kickstarter (hehehe), and yeh there should of course be a foundation of lore too that people can work wit. NPC’s, player factiosn, lost stories to unveil.. that sort of thing. I don’t think a purely baron narrative experience would work anyway.

  3. “same exacerbated inflation”

    This is a tough one. Because games create money out of thin air, unless the game also has gold sinks to pull money out at the same rate it’s generated, you’ll always have inflation. Basic economics. And many folks will tend to hoard said wealth creating an elite tier of economic transactions that the peasantry of newer or low-playtime players cannot hope to achieve without a sudden significant investment of effort/time.

    So the question is how do you pull money out of the economy? House rentals (ala FFXIV), repair bills, NPC-controlled markets (like WoW’s Black Market Auction House), and, as you mention, more aritifical gold sinks. But because people can hoard the wealth, and most activities that generate money are effectively limitless (grinding mobs, questing, selling things to NPCs, etc.), you’ll never likely be rid of exacerbated inflation.

    Unless of course you pull money directly from the players. Some sort of in-game tax. I can tell you, that’d go over like a lead balloon.

    • damn it, meant to say exaggerated… oh well

      the problem is often he lack of real, and defined maintenance costs. when you need to constantly plan for, and pay for it.

      All those items a re great, and end up funneling money from the population. There’s usually a a few items for the upper group with large costs too.

      But that’s all not enough as wealth will continue to rise in a curve-linear way. I want loss to be common place again. lose items, replace them as it stimulates the economy and is great regulator for wealth. I’m not even talking pvp, just permanently degrading items would be a great step.

    • Yeah as Eri said, I think the best way is to require investment in items, either to purchase outright or purchase materials for crafting, and have those items degrade over time and use, as well as be lost or destroyed on death.

      I think it would be interesting to also have a predetermined, limited total wealth for the world. So, there is only so much gold/silver/copper available, which means that players (and even npcs?) can turn to barter systems if they don’t have access to cash. There’d be no more coins dropped by random wolves or bears, mobs like goblins might have a copper or two but unlikely, most of the wealth would be concentrated in the most powerful mobs.

    • confession time…. i don’t really like minecraft hahah. Not sure what it is exactly. I have tried many times to get into it but I don’t know, it never relaly clicks. I am in awe at what people do, and the mods look amazing but yeh…. it’s just meh to me.

      Also, I want a world and while minecraft does have some amazing multiplayer servers it isn’t as large and as interconnected as I would like… especially not for an mmo.

      So, that leaves eve…. which i think i might end up trying eventually this year.

    • well the alpha version anyway before they made the steep leveling track and themepark elements… and ditched degrading gear… and added an instanced focused endgame. And made castle seiging pointless besides ego and.. HEHE you get the idea..

      that original pitch though *whistles* I want that game.

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