It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
In today's current MMO climate I feel as if people get weighed down by these heavy terms like "Sandbox" and "Themepark" or even "Linear" and "Open-World". It becomes this hyper-politicalized system of definition for each game, polarizing the fanbase into two rabid sects with their own (and in some cases well articulated) form of gospel on why their "Type of MMO" is superior.
Well to hell with that, I dont care about either side, nor do I wish to debate their remote intricacies!!
Instead I wish to make a claim for a dfferent form of MMO, one designed with the "Storytellers" among us in mind. My favorite memories from MMO's have always been derived from the personal stories I create while adventuring, through questing, exploration, and even mindful tinkering of the in game systems.
Take a simple idea of climbing a mountain in an MMO, some games impose certain limitations on areas the player can access, (invisible walls, impassable gaps, etc.) but how many times have we seen players bend the system, zig-zagging up mountainsides just to get to the hidden villa at the top? Its this unique idea of players taking a barrier the developers mindfully set, and carefully or in some cases not so carefully removing them for their own personal experiance. I think we can all agree, if theres a way up, the players will find it.
Now take same example and put it into the perspective of events like, the killing of Lord British in Ultima, or even the Corrupted-BLood incident in WoW, and youve set the stage for what im proposing. Its events like these that set experiances apart from one another, because above all else, its a wholly unique experiance for each player, that adds to the grander scale story for the game; as they literally live through these events and implicitly become part of their story.
MMO's have become very well-structured over the past decade, which isnt a bad thing, but its strange that in a time where the term "WoW-Clone" is so loosely used, no one takes into account that WoW also had alot of these Ill-Structured problems that gave not only the game's history a sense of greater purpose, but the players themselves and their characters.
For me, I would like to see more Ill-Structured MMO's, more room for random error, and above all else, an inconsistency of design that blends the posibility of random experiance with player-created elaboration as to invoke a greater sense of story.