Y’know what I’d love to see? A zombie MMORPG. Maybe MMORPG is the wrong acronym for it though, maybe it’s more of a virtual world and not a game. You see, in this MMO the object wouldn’t be raiding or roleplaying (well that might fit in at a player’s discretion), the object of the game would be survival. And there would be permadeath.
Imagine a large virtual world, perhaps only a single server ala EVE Online, that’s set in a fictional United States of America, modern time. It’s completely overrun with zombies (dozens of different types of them) and in a severe state of dilapidation and the players are the only inhabitants left on the planet, forming together into small groups or large gangs in order to stake claim to territories and eek out a semblance of normal life.
There would be no levels in this zombie MMO, instead players would earn experience simply by surviving. You’d be able to tell how much of a veteran someone is by how many days they’d survived. There would also be no classes, instead everything is skilled based and learnt from studying books, videos etc found in the world or passed on by another player. Players could learn medical skills to help heal others, mechanical skills to repair cars and electrical generators or combat skills like to marksmanship to make them better at killing those pesky zombies.
A zombie MMO would require a lot of freedom of action. Every vehicle should be driveable (so long as it’s in a state of good repair, has fuel and you have the appropriate skills), every house enterable, every animal, person or thing killable. There would be no auction house or global chat, instead players would need to rely on bartering or in-game phones or walkie-talkies. Oh yes, plus there would be permadeath.
There would need to be some way of letting you transfer some of your skills onto your “family members” (new characters) but ultimately everyone only has one life. There would be no resurrection spells or spawn points, instead if you die, you die. I think this is absolutely necessary in order to create a real feel of survival and fear. Being killed by a zombie has real impact. Being killed by another person maliciously, even more so.
The most interesting thing about this game would be seeing how events unfold. Would players unite together towards the common threat of zombies or would they bicker and fight between themselves in gangs over territory? Would they create states of laws and order or would they succumb to the anarchy? I’d love to known.
So what do you think? Could a game like this work? Would you play it ?