My Dream MMO
I have a dream. It’s a dream of a perfect MMO. Impossible to craft, inconceivable to design, impractical to fund and insurmountable to develop, my ultimate MMO will never be made. For years I’ve kept its budding ideas enclosed inside my brain, fearful that if ever slipped out it might kill someone with its awesomeness or result in me being locked away in an asylum for corrupting the innocent. But Copra asked. And so shall he receive.
My dream MMO doesn’t rely on a particular setting, genre or IP but rather it’s merely just a concept. It is the perfect blend of sandbox and themepark, of freedom and guidance, of risk versus reward. It is a virtual world so vast and exquisite it would takes months to explore fully and years to become bored with. It would house millions of players in a single universe and have dozens of playable races and factions each with their own unique cultures, cities and settings yet all totally unrestricted in their potential.
It’s economy would be player driven although there would still be value in items from creatures, quests and dungeons. Cities could be built and destroyed, landscapes altered and fought over, kings and queens and emperors and rulers announced yet inter-player combat would be consensual and merely a single aspect of the game. Dungeons and raids would still exist, each offering incredible story driven encounters and fantastic rewards. Legacies could be forged and tales of our exploits spread across the entire world to be swallowed into history.
Quests would give us guidance, support and a nod in the right direction. They would help us when we need it or present us with opportunities to perform incredible epic feats but they wouldn’t overwhelm us or consume us entirely. Soloing would be perfectly viable but grouping would have it’s just rewards and an attractive incentive. The community would be strong and tight, helpful and welcoming, policing itself with unwritten rules of behaviour and GM participation would be the norm rather than the exception.
There would be no classes but there would be archetypes and a flexible skill progression system, giving players something obvious to strive for and developers something to balance accurately. Items would vary in appearance tremendously, providing a near unlimited variation in appearance. The graphics would be beautiful and jaw dropping yet the game would run smoothly and bug free on older computers.
The game would appeal to everyone, old and young, and let the most hardcore player play until their heart’s content or provide even the most satisfying gameplay to someone with only an hour or two to spare in a single session.
It would be the perfect MMO.
But it’s a dream and nothing more and it will never exist as it’s impossible to create.
P.S. I know Copra’s question was more related to the setting of my perfect MMO but I don’t actually have a strong opinion on that. If I had to pick from an established IP though, I’d probably go with something like Dark Tower, Wheel of Time, or Dead Space (or any sort of sci-fi horror).