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General: Some New MMO Settings

SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,129

The List this week takes a look at MMO settings that are underused, poorly developed or utterly non-existent in today's market. writer Bill Murphy spends time with five different settings that he feels would bring a breath of fresh air to the MMO industry. See if you agree or if you have additions to Bill's list.

As the MMO audience continues to grow, it makes sense that there should be more diversity among the games we have at our playing disposal. In a highly competitive sector of the gaming industry, you’d think that someone out there would want to ditch convention and try to bring us some new worlds to play in. I’m not the type to believe that gamers only want fantasy or space in their MMOs. If a game is designed well, even with a niche setting, it has a chance to succeed. We’ve had a few post-apocalyptic games in recent years. And in the somewhat near future we’ll see a zombie apocalypse MMO on consoles, and two macabre settings in The Secret World and World of Darkness.

Read The List.





  • PhilbyPhilby Member Posts: 849

    Prehistoric setting sound interesting. Ive always enjoyed the Turok games.

    WOW isnt great because it has 12 million players. WOW has 12 million players because its great.

  • JalarisJalaris Member UncommonPosts: 29

    I agree, I have always wanted some type of Pre-historic MMO within a world of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals

  • brett7018brett7018 Member UncommonPosts: 181

    How bout a Mystery/Detective MMO?  Someone suggested it on another topic and it sounds good to me :)

  • eburneburn Member Posts: 740

    Steampunk / Cyberpunk should've came in by stronger force by now. I think it's a great setting for the general RPG experience, but it's really hard to get right.

    Howl's Moving Castle sort of psuedo magic / WWI / Victorian era setting would be fun.

    Also with the success of Red Dead Redemption a Western style MMO is inevitable since MMO devs can't think of anything original.

    Developers, people who actually speak with them. If you're going to be big rocketing TOOLS then educated thyselves with Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman. Or at least Six-String Samurai!

    That'd be the greatest MMO setting of all time.

    I kill other players because they're smarter than AI, sometimes.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247

    I've been hoping for a prehistoric setting, as well. Stone Age 2 just didn't cut it for me.  For some reason, Age of Conan has a bit of a prehistoric feel to it for me and it's been one of the draws that has me resubbing on and off.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • SnarlingWolfSnarlingWolf Member Posts: 2,697

    I prefer cyberpunk to steampunk myself, but steampunk does tend to have some interesting contraptions.


    Alternate realities opens up a game to be pretty much anything. Think of along the lines of Fringe or to a greater extend Sliders. If you did a parallel worlds thing then people could literally play all types of genres, they could have a quest to go to the futuristic world, or the medieval world, zombie filled world etc etc. The tricky part is to have a unified story that justifies people getting sent to the different worlds on quests.

  • MMO.MaverickMMO.Maverick Member CommonPosts: 7,619

    Steampunk sounds great, cyberpunk too - wasn't there an Otherland MMO in development?


    To be more correct, World of Darkness is more of a gothic fantasy MMO and The Secret World a mix of horror/urban fantasy MMO, both have a contemporary, modern-day setting, but then one where magic and myths do exist and are prevalent.


    I'd like a near future MMO too, a la Deus Ex. Would sound great.

    Or a real medieval/low fantasy MMO in the style of Game of Thrones.

    The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

    The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
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  • dragonbranddragonbrand Member UncommonPosts: 441

    I would be interested in a QUALITY gangland-style MMO. And just as interested in an alternate reality MMO. Doubt I would buy into a pre-historic. And on the fence about steam/cyber punk, perhaps if it was enough like "Blade Runner" I could get onboard.

    Gaming since Avalon Hill was making board games.

    Played SWG, EVE, Fallen Earth, LOTRO, Rift, Vanguard, WoW, SWTOR, TSW, Tera
    Tried Aoc, Aion, EQII, RoM, Vindictus, Darkfail, DDO, GW, PotBS

  • dirtyjoe78dirtyjoe78 Member Posts: 400

    Steampunk/cyberpunk would be cool or a well done scifi MMO, wild west sounds interesting as well.

  • Costa88Costa88 Member Posts: 6

    I think the Pre-historic idea would be epic. Strip away all the need to farm gold and gearscores and etc. An MMO where a player farms not out to make income to by some needless mount they idle on, but Farm out of the pure need to survive. Crafting system would be simple. Making basic tools and clothing. This could do away with the stat system completely.  This would be a great sandbox game.  Have like the "Starter" or "Main City" be on some island off shore where they're somewhat safe. But the land populated by player ran tribes. Collecting Wood for buildings, Stone for tools and weapons. Fletching your own Arrows etc. Then you could ally with other tribes; say you found a good source of furs; you  could trade with a Costal tribe for fish and etc. Have each week of the month a different season. So Week 1 is Summer, Week 2 Fall, 3 Winter, 4 Spring. Making it harder to do certian things at certian  times. This has the potiental to be the ultimate Sandbox MMO.

  • battleaxebattleaxe Member UncommonPosts: 158

    Lots of book based big name realms with no current games behind them:



    Dark Sun

    Wheel of Time






  • WarmakerWarmaker Member UncommonPosts: 2,246

    I've been thinking for a while that an MMORPG set in the "Future War" era of the Terminator franchise would kick alot 'o ass.  Side with the Resistance or Skynet.  Play a human or a machine, and the 2 sides playing very differently.

    Edit to add:  But please, don't let it be like Terminator Salvation.  Just... please...

    "I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  • ThorqemadaThorqemada Member UncommonPosts: 1,282

    Vampire Bloodlines MMORPG - that could have been great.

    I really dont like Action-FPS-RPGs but this one is outstanding and i play it over and over - the setting is fantastic.

    "Torquemada... do not implore him for compassion. Torquemada... do not beg him for forgiveness. Torquemada... do not ask him for mercy. Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything!"

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  • NephaeriusNephaerius Member UncommonPosts: 1,671

    While Steampunk and Wild West would be the highest on my list, I'd love to check out games in any of these genres for a change of pace.  Especially, an MMO along the lines of Red Dead Redemption would be amazing.

    Steam: Neph

  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,726

    I guess it is nice to speculate, but not one of your so called themes excites me in the least.  If  The wild wild west one might work, but kids just don't play cowboys and indians anymore.

    Maybe a MMO set in the future, but other than that you have hit on the real reason no one has addressed such topics in a MMO, there is no interest.

    I thought that some unknown company was doing a Steampunk one?  Thought I remember seeing it mention here on the site.

  • NephaeriusNephaerius Member UncommonPosts: 1,671

    Originally posted by Blutmaul

    Vampire Bloodlines MMORPG - that could have been great.

    I really dont like Action-FPS-RPGs but this one is outstanding and i play it over and over - the setting is fantastic.

    Vampire is coming in the future in the form of the World of Darkness MMO in development by CCP.  This should feature at least the Vampire and Werewolf RPGs if not some of the other titles as well.

    Steam: Neph

  • TalthanysTalthanys Member Posts: 458

    I think that list is fairly representative of virgin ground, as it were. I'd also like to see an Arabian Nights styled MMO. I suppose it would fall under the fantasy column, but I think it would still be a fascinating sub-genre and a popular divergence from the standard Tolkien-esque fantasy we tend to see.


  • corpusccorpusc Member UncommonPosts: 1,341

    problem with this is..... we have existing examples of non-fantasy MMOs, and after the week or 2 excitement or novelty wears off, its just the same old same old grind/treadmill again.  same old gameplay.  just a thin veneer dressing it up in a new skin.

    post apocalyptic EQ, EQ in space, superhero EQ, etc. etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.


    CHANGING THE *SETTING GENRE* BUYS YOU VIRTUALLY NOTHING when the gameplay is exactly the same.

    changing the *GAMEPLAY genre* (if done right) actually CAN make a significant, lasting & meaningful change to the experience.


    Corpus Callosum    


  • OrthelianOrthelian Member UncommonPosts: 1,034

    I'd only be interested in steampunk if the setting was Arcanum, and cyberpunk if it was Shadowrun. The two genres generally annoy me in various ways, but Arcanum and Shadowrun have special places in my heart for nostalgic reasons.

    The Secret World and World of Darkness are textbook alternate realities, aren't they?

    Anyway, the only thing I didn't see on the list which I've been interested in seeing for a long time is Abrahamic mythology. There are very few mythological settings to begin with, and whenever we do see them, they tend to use Greek mythology, Norse mythology, or Chinese mythology. RPGs have seen success with Abrahamic mythology, such as games like In Nomine, more loosely in the old World of Darkness, and much more loosely in games like Diablo. MMOs, though, seem to avoid it altogether—presumably because, unlike Zeus, Yahweh still has fans so hardcore that they might be called religious. Yet still....

    Favorites: EQEVE | Playing: None. Mostly VR and strategy | Anticipating: CUPantheon
  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,183

    Speaking of pre-historic, what ever happened to B.C.?

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

  • YuuiYuui Member UncommonPosts: 723

    let's see:

    Steampunk - Torchlight mmorpg.

    Alternate Reality - Secret World.

    as for what would be great and refreshing to see? A Mmorpg based on Dresden Files universe.


  • therooster33therooster33 Member Posts: 7

    they should do  a mmo about the book of revelations thats a myth and a real good one and i think alotta ppl will jump to try it out lol

  • SnarlingWolfSnarlingWolf Member Posts: 2,697

    Originally posted by Yuui

    let's see:

    Steampunk - Torchlight mmorpg.

    Alternate Reality - Secret World.


    as for what would be great and refreshing to see? A Mmorpg based on Dresden Files universe.

     Unless Torchlight the MMO is going to be a completely different setting then Torchlight the dungeon crawler, I don't consider the game to be a steampunk setting at all.

  • orioniteorionite Member UncommonPosts: 139

    We’ve seen a lot of space-themed MMOs

    Really? I'll admit there have been some, but how many good ones are there? And you're talking space, not even SciFi. Apart form Eve, I can't think of one that has any mass appeal. Jumpgate?

    I for one would love to see a good SciFi one not based on a movie franchise. Actually, Anarchy Online 2 would be great.

  • lectrocudalectrocuda Member Posts: 604

    how about ancient mesopotamia  around the time the aliens visited and created man as a slave race to help mine gold for their failing atmosphere.

    To the caterpillar it is the end of the world, to the master, it is a butterfly.

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