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I am not really playing any MMO's currently. I dabble in Eve, which is silly, because it is far too in-depth for a dabbler to get anywhere. I played WoW for a bit, but lost interest. The only MMO I ever truly played intensely was UO, which is an experience I have never been able to duplicate.
For me, the key to a great MMO is creating an experience which players will want to play long term. Crafting, housing, allowing players the freedom to build houses, cities, and nations are all things that I think are hugely important in creating the ultimate sandbox MMO experience. That stuff is all incredibly difficult to build, I would imagine.
But, why do developers completely ignore adding mini-games to MMO's? Wouldn't this be a simple way to create engaging content, and allow players a break from endless grinding? How hard could it be to add blackjack, yahtzee, etc.?
I am no genius, but it seems to me like putting things like casino's in major cities, or even allowing players to build their own casino's could be incredibly cool. My guild or corp could build a giant casino at the heart of our city, allow players to play against the house in games like roulette and blackjack and we could make or lose thousands of gold, isk, or whatever other currency may be used. You could also set up tables to play poker, have five card draw, stud, hold 'em etc. and allow players to play those games against each other. Really, if an MMO included this try to tell me your guild wouldn't hold a weekly poker night? If you claim you wouldn't, you are lying.
It doesn't have to end there. You could also have arenas where you could fight monsters that players breed or enchant. I have NEVER played as a character that uses animals in an MMO, but if I could go out and enchant monsters, and then train them, that would be amazing. You could level up breeding and training abilities and use these monsters for fighting in dungeons, or for entering into fights. You could have pick-up matches or enter massive tournaments. Not every player is into PvP, but creating an opportunity to raise and train monsters to fight could be a great addition. Top notch trainers and breeders could even sell their monsters to other players. This is all kind of similar to raising/racing chocobo's in FF VII.
I've thought of other type of games that could be included, but these are two of my favorites. Players wouldn't have to partake in any of this, but, it would create a completely new element to MMO's and give them a ton of longevity. These games could be huge in creating more community engagement and involvement, and also would add an insane amount of basically never-ending content to keep MMO players engaged....so....
WHY DOESN'T ANY GAME DO THIS??