The title pretty much sums it up. But let me explain those three things further.
- Progression - This is the most important thing for me. I want to able to progress further, get more equipment, skills, or whatever in the game for as long as I desire. Now, that of course requires the game to be grindable. But not just any kind of grind is okay. I need constant progress.
- For example, I'm already at the endgame. But my armor and weapon could still be better.
- Good: I need to gather money and rare materials to craft/improve my equipement.
- Bad: I need to kill a single type of monster over and over again until I find that piece of equipment.
- Why? In the bad example there is not progress. I either have that equipment piece or I don't. After 10000 kills I have no bigger chance of getting that item the next kill than I did at the first kill. Rather, materials should be difficult to earn. Maybe I have to defeat something 10 times to get a material and I need 100 of that, and then 10 other materials like that. This way I'm constantly getting closer to my goal.
- A good example of this is my most played game, Spiral Knights. Even after 1000 hours I'm still collecting money and heat for gear and trying to get good unique variants on them. I'll never get everything I want, but I'm getting closer every day I play.
- Free to Play - Okay, well, I'd be willing to make a one-time payment if the game absolutely stuns me with its possibilites, but any games requiring a subscription are out of the question. I wouldn't want the game to be too P2W either. Having things like xp boosts or mounts or teleportation for quicker travel, or things that speed up your progression in the game is kinda okay. But paying to unlock certain areas or to get a weapon or stat/skill boosts... I really wouldn't like that.
- Forced player-player interaction - This is the reason I play MMOs. If I wanted to run through solo everywhere, with other people there only for chatting, I'd currently be sitting on Kongregate playing a TD game or something while chatting to my good buddies about whatever in the chatbox next to the game. Instances don't always encourage solo play and an open world doesn't always encourage party play. This is the hardest part for me to put into words.
- Okay, so, dungeons (Not necessarily actual dungeons, but just areas with a requirement to clear it out from start to end, in that order.) are awesome. But they can hardly exist as non-instances and still be properly made.
- If they are instances they can either be linked to some main town or an open world. The latter is probably better.
- If they are linked to a main town in the sense that all that that place is for is buying and selling things, then that doesn't count. I don't care if do my shopping surrounded by other players or not. They don't influence me there.
- If they are linked to an open world in the sense that out there is a battle area where monsters roam, than that's probably good.
- Now, it's not good if there is no reason to kill the monsters out there together. Like if everything dies in a hit or two and they're not hostile unless attacked. Or if only 1 person gets the loot. Kinda like RaiderZ is.
- Now, it's also okay if we're not attacking the same monsters, but instead fighting for a common goal. Usually the monsters would have to be invading or protecting something. FireFall seems to be a more or less good example of this.
- Or, the monsters could just be so tough we couldn't or wouldn't want to take them on alone. (Is there any game where it's literally impossible to play alone? If so, tell me the name regardless if it meets any other criteria.)
- But back to dungeons, why have them at all then? Well they can have something that isn't quite possible to properly put into an open world. Epic loot perhaps. All of RaiderZ' endgame was doing dungeons so you could get those rare materials.
- See, you can't just put a rare material or item in an open world. It'd be a constant struggle of who gets it when it spawns. RaiderZ with its open world bosses that constantly had multiple parties around it while only 1 could get the loot.
- Now, simply apply what I said about an open world to a dungeon. I need a darn good reason to play in a group.
- And beside a reason I need a possibility. I've spent way too long spamming: "lvl35 sorc lf epic cata party". (My example game variety is low. I need to play more open world games. =b)
- Now, here's the important part: I doubt any game has all 11 of the things listed above. So just try to find something that has as many as possible. Remember, my main wish is for forced interaction between players.
- And as a complete alternative, a great PvP game. Like PlanetSide 2. Could totally have lots of PvE as well. Like DayZ. But don't you dare suggest any MOBAs. And hey, if you find a non-shooter with complete open world PvP... Do mention it.
Well, those are the three things that are required. If a game doesn't have those, I don't like it. But how about some other very important things.
- European servers - Depending on the game, a ping of 200-300 could have devastating effects.
- 3D - Just for the visual beauty. Doesn't actually have to utilize all three dimensions all that much.
And finally things that give big bonus points but aren't really required. And I must repeat that you should first focus on all of the above. Make sure it has all that and only then move onto these "bonus points" listed below.
- Assuming it's otherwise PvE - Large scale PvP, because duels and 5v5 matches don't quite cut it.
- A great crafting system, because looting a bow from a spider makes no sense, while spending mountains of coins and materials to get something from +313 to +314 does.
- Fantasy themed, because magic and dragons are awesome.
- Hey, if they somehow managed to squeeze building in there, that's great. (Personal houses or guild halls in instances, open world building always gets messy.)
Don't be afraid to ask questions or suggest games. I'll answer everything and look at every suggestion and probably try them out too unless I get too many or I notice it conflicting the things listed above. I'll probably edit this post and add more things that I'd like to see from the game. But I can't recall any more right now.