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We need to get back to the Ultima Online, EQ 1 Original and Dark Age of Camelot platform again! We have evolved into a genre of MMO that is not traditional to where it started. We have evolved into an arcade action oriented MMO that should be on a console! Why are we doing this? The MMO community doesn't want that! Even if they did, they wouldn't last 3 months in that game! What a idiotic strategy that is!
World of Warcraft is - without a doubt and regardless of any opinion about it - the most successful financially and by the ideas and technological innovation that came from it. We can take some ideas from that, but not all of it.
There are 2 types of MMORPGs that I loved from the past and that was Ultima Online with full pvp and a skill system and EQ 1 which really was a skill and leveling system but was mostly a PVE game.
This i my list of favorite ideas from these ancient legendary games.
1. Skill System
2. Housing with merchants
3. Medieval Setting
3. Open PVP system, but I would suggest a seperate server for the ones that don't want that.
4. Spell Books! (Spell names were original names)
1. Skill System
2. PVE - We could run through a dungeon and loot what ever dropped and sell it on the market. That is how we gained what we wanted. There were people that camped named NPCs for certain drops, but if we wanted something and we didn't want to camp the spot we would buy it. Although I do believe that you should earn what you get too so there should be staged trials for the end of every 10 levels and end-game gear that will take a good team working together to achieve like a WOW Heroic instance zone with a level requirement.
Mobs would also attack you in unlimited numbers!!!! This is important, because it adds to the difficulty and makes you think about what you are doing instead of running in like a moron without thinking. World of Warcraft even got me doing that which I learned later I had fallen into that dumbed down system.
Bring back the trains! It is part of the dungeon! If you are in their territory and they see you they should attack you! Period!
3. Leveling Progression - The leveling in this game took a long time and skills wouldn't not increase until you level. When you leveled it was slow so you could find other people at the same level as you because of the amount of time it took to level. The faster they level the more further apart people are in their levels and they can't find groups.
4. Race & Class system (I am kind of open to the Archtype classes, but I would start the game out with all the classes so you don't have room for more classes in future expansions)
5. Spell Books - I want to bring back the same form of Spell naming schemes that UO and EQ had)
6. PVE Character models were creative and had character at least starting with the orginal some later in other expansions were creative but a lot was bad too.
7. Pets - I loved the pets in this game, because they had good character models. I think we should use the EQ2 leveling system for those pets though, it wasn't fun to level up past the pets.
8. Open Dungeons - I know that frustrated some people, but the dungeons in EQ1 and EQ2 were deep and not short so not everybody was a lot of room for a lot of people and there are lots of dungeons with enough room for everybody.
9. AA Abilities - This I think needs to stay for end game. I would rather grind this out than gear grind or instance grind any day.
10. Currency - This is the biggest problem of any MMO and debate about this could go on, but I really think that a character bound currency is the only way around the gold farmers that sell their gold for real money. That really would ruin and not integrate with the rest of my favorite parts of these games though. It really makes me mad they ruin our games. I guess I would have to be open to bound currency with vendors that take that money especially for the top end gear. I think Blizzard got that right, but what it became was a gear grind. I'm sure all of the MMO titans like SOE and Blizzard struggle with this all the time so I would leave that part up to the experts.
Another way to deal with gold farmers is to make the RPG a single player. How much of the MMO could we bring into a Single Player game? It may be too much of a project for just a single player. It is important for people to realize that making an MMO is not easy at all and the monthly service for these game are paying for the infrastructure and the size of the game that is being made. It takes a long time and is difficult to be successful so please you have to give praise to any organization that makes a game of this scope or any game that puts the player and the game first.
1. LFG finder is constant you don't have to get out of a queue or anything you can just leave it going until you find somebody or they find you.
2. Crafting was really interesting in this game, it was like a class of its own and they leveled with the characters and could switch between their crafting and player progression levels.
3. Mentoring system which would allow higher level characters to group up with lower level characters and bring AA experience to the higher level characters. I think the damage should be severely penalized though because it is too helpful in EQ2 with high teir'd spells being scaled down. If it was as good as the top teir spell of the current level then that would be fine I guess. I can't remember if that was how it was in EQ2 or not, but it seemed like it was always too much damage and carried the whole group.
World of Warcraft:
1. Group and Raid Instances - I struggle to decide if this should stay sometimes.
2. Battlegrounds - Only on a PVP server or PVP game. I really would like to go back to a PVE only game to be honest. The PVP really ruins the PVE.
3. >>>NOT<<< the Quest Grinding system that it became. I do want quests because it gives you something to do, but I don't want it to be the only choice or best choice for progression or that is all everybody will do and it will be a big quest grinding fest like WoW is today.
4. Dueling - This just adds some fun to the game.
5. Group and Raid Loot Rolling system - I think the Loot Rolling system is required for any game going forward accept for the ones who like the full looting no rules kind of games.
6. Combat and the tactics were Superb! This is what converted me immediately and EQ was out the window as far as the combat. I have to say that the Ability and Spell ranks really sux though, I hate it. It is even worse now too because you can't even go to a merchant to buy new abilities anymore!
7. The Engine - WoW had a VERY good engine and it performed very well. I hated the collision system though, but it was still a very fluid system and you could always count on it to do what you expected out of it which was important for PVP.
All of these points that I have listed are what I liked about previous games may be different for others and I know that somebody will just look for anything they can find that is wrong, but I don't care. We may not be able to use all of these things together in one game, but the Ultima Online and EQ1&2 ideas are a lot of lost ideas that nobody is building off of anymore it seems except some low budget sandbox games. I am very supportive of sandbox games though I must stress that.
If anybody has anymore to add that I forgot let me know. I know this is quiet a bit of information, but I wanted to get as much as I could out there just to lend my support for the great successes of previous games.
My favorite upcoming games:
1. Shroud of the Avatar - Yes i'm a founder. If you haven't signed up yet for this, go sign up, this is the original Producer and Designer of Ultima Online!
2. Elite: Dangerous - I missed the founder stage unfortunately. This is the original creator of the 80's Sci-Fi game that was ground breaking called Elite!
3. Star Citizen - I'm waiting to see if this large scope is achievable before I sign up, but I am sure I will before it launches. Chris Roberts worked for Origin that created the massively popular game Wing Commander and Wing Commander: Privateer (his brother was the producer of that as well).
4. Everquest Next & Landmark - I don't know how this is going to turn out really, I don't think anybody does except testers. We will just have to wait and see.
5. Project Titan - This may be an epic game, but I hope it isn't a dumbed down arcade game for dummies. On the bright side this usually means they are building an engine which could be very promising because they are putting a lot of effort into it.