[Column] General: 5 Non-Fantasy MMOG Concepts With Unfulfilled Potential

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerMMORPG.COM Staff LegendaryPosts: 26,424

Starting when I was still a  child, I've greatly enjoyed numerous incarnations of high fantasy. However, it has never been my only thematic area of interest. So, when it comes to MMOGs, I've always wanted more variety. Perhaps the ongoing growth of the category's audience signals that such a time is upon us or at least close at hand. Considering how the market is growing and evolving, here are some concepts that seem to hold unrealized potential. 

Read more of Richard Aihoshi's The List: 5 Non-Fantasy MMOG Concepts With Unfulfilled Potential.

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Comments

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Member UncommonPosts: 3,710
    I never quite got how people call World of Tanks an MMO at all. Wouldn't that mean Battlefield 4 is an MMO?

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  • BattlerockBattlerock Member CommonPosts: 1,393
    I think anything will work, the thing to do is make the world so large it would take years to reach every corner, Everquest Next could possibly make that happen with the right server technology. So could Trove.
  • AnirethAnireth Member UncommonPosts: 923

    With World of Darkness demise, it seems unlikely that there will be a Vampire vs Werewolf MMO any time soon, unless someone else is secretely developing one. Given that no one did one before, there have been no rumors at all, and how CCP fared with a rather well-known IP (even when it's not the game itself that caused the trouble), many that at least considered it will hesistate.

    There also have been some space sims over the year that were nice. Black Prophecies was good looking, and the combat was nice, too. The tutorial even had players man the turrets on a big ship instead of flying a fighter..

    Too bad the actual story and that neat feature didn't make it past said tutorial.

    Still, with Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizien, No Mans Sky and many more on the horizon, the space sim genre is in a way better shape then it was since the heydays of Wing Commander and co.

    I'll wait to the day's end when the moon is high
    And then I'll rise with the tide with a lust for life, I'll
    Amass an army, and we'll harness a horde
    And then we'll limp across the land until we stand at the shore

  • TimassinTimassin Member Posts: 14

    I think a mad max type vehicle combat sounds amazing on paper but.. it would not work great in real life. I picture people with their decked out cars and then people trolling them. The Roads would have to be very wide and almost on rails to avoid people from just going backwards and playing chicken with everyone.

     

    You missed western style mmog, you even have the screen shot :P

  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,176

    3rd, "I suspect a solid game based on adventuring, exploring, solving mysteries and puzzles, etc., both singly and in groups, might find a surprisingly sizable audience."

    Most likely not. Adventure genre is pretty dead sadly. TSW is a great game and the closest fit you can get to your idea above I think, and even with this semi-adventurish setting it launched straight as a niche... the playerbase of today wants action, and not thinking whilst having a great narrative and a well-written world. I'm glad (and was a pleasant surprise, to be honest) that Chapters got enough backers on KS in the end.

     

    5th, no, you're not alone :) Loved AA. And I a bit disagree with the "I'm not proposing that this IP should be brought back from the dead." and favoring Mad Max, with resulting something like Eve on wheels... (but maybe just because I loathe Eve :) )

    Don't get me wrong, I like Mad Max, even the 3rd one, though that was a lame movie... but AA's IP was pretty good, and it had a cool, tongue-in-cheek humour too. Also, human side was pretty much like Mad Max, if you fancy the barren industrial wastelands and stuff.

    Anyways, with the present playerbase the IP wouldn't matter much, nor the writing since players don't read anymore and spacebar'ing anything they can... gameplay/combat is the king nowadays. That makes AA's fate even more odd, its combat would fit nicely among today's action-craved games, even without changes. Almost 10 years ago that game had a cool, pretty fast, action-y combat with a destructable surrounding and nice effects. I believe if NCsoft would find their balls somewhere deep in the back of one of their money vaults and re-release AA with updated graphics (but no other changes), it'd be a decent hit. Driving around on a huge terrain in your own fabricated vehicle and shooting / burning / mortaring / exploding anything that comes in your way - what's not to like in that? :) (and this comes from someone who liked the quests and the lore more than the combat. AA was a cool game...)

     

    The others are not my cup of tea - from Walking Dead I only like the comics, and from the whole vamps/furries group it's only the VtM: Bloodlines what kicked in for me. And maybe K.Beckinsale in Underworld. Not the acting, I mean. :)

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Member UncommonPosts: 3,710
    I honestly think brand new IPs is the best way to go for design reasons.

    For marketing obviously that is not true.

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  • SuilebhainSuilebhain Member UncommonPosts: 54
    APB is almost an automobile combat game that is fun to play but extremely repetitious, owing to the extremely small map and the fact that stun and the short range of supposedly long-range weapons makes out-of-vehicle combat extremely one-sided.
  • SuilebhainSuilebhain Member UncommonPosts: 54
    The problem with TSW is the magic system, how everyone is more of a superhero than a supernatural investigator. I was extremely disappointed when the game finally came out. I had so hoped for something more along the lines of Call of Cthulhu Online than the Krakatoa Island section of City of Heroes.
  • Nemesis7884Nemesis7884 Member UncommonPosts: 1,023

    the setting is far less important than the mechanics...but this developpers have still not wrapped their minds around as so many big franchise games that flopped have shown...

    Just imagine such a franchise with actual great mechanics...

  • eugheuforceeugheuforce Member UncommonPosts: 44
    Your mad max MMO would be The Crew with an economy based around fuel and more barren, lifeless landscapes. Also add in bikes, trucks and gyrocopters.
  • FomaldehydeJimFomaldehydeJim Member UncommonPosts: 673

    I am getting bored of zombies, werewolves and vampires- there are just too many of them too poorly realised.  The Twiglet series alone killed vampires for me.  

    Vehicular combat, yes I would like to see this (Auto Assault but better).  

    Exploration, definitely.  There is not enough exploration in modern mmo's.   

    I always like the idea of space-based mmo's but in practice they always seem to be a bit crap.  

  • Four0SixFour0Six Member UncommonPosts: 1,175

    I agree. High fantasy is just blah to me. Always the same races. Always the same spells. I simply never understood the pull it has on the masses.

     

    Good list I would play many of these ideas. :)

     

  • hfztthfztt Member RarePosts: 1,264
    Originally posted by Anireth
    ... and how CCP fared with a rather well-known IP (even when it's not the game itself that caused the trouble) ...

    As far as I know the game WAS the issue. They did not want to make a themepark, but getting the mechanics right for a sandbox Vampire game just never happened to the degree they wanted. Thus eventually instead of delivering a sub-par product, it was scrapped.

  • LazyDazedLazyDazed Member UncommonPosts: 125
    + 1 Red Dead Redemption MMO
  • grimgryphongrimgryphon Member CommonPosts: 682

    I'm just really sick of high fantasy.

    I'd really like more "present day with a twist", somewhat like TSW.

    Or a Wild, Wild West MMO. That would be awesome!

    Optional PvP = No PvP
  • KanethKaneth Member RarePosts: 2,267
    Originally posted by Four0Six
    I agree. High fantasy is just blah to me. Always the same races. Always the same spells. I simply never understood the pull it has on the masses.   Good list I would play many of these ideas. :)  

    The high fantasy pull is in large part due to the amount of other media that's associated with high fantasy. Books, TV series, Anime, Movies, Table Top Games, etc. The genre itself has a tremendous fan base waiting to devour nearly everything that comes out.

    Additionally, high fantasy is very modular in that other genres blend well with it. If you take a look at any high fantasy games you will also see other genres blended in as flavor, especially elements of sci-fi and steampunk which both blend very well with high fantasy.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,176
    Originally posted by Suilebhain
    APB is almost an automobile combat game that is fun to play but extremely repetitious, owing to the extremely small map and the fact that stun and the short range of supposedly long-range weapons makes out-of-vehicle combat extremely one-sided.

    Admittedly I haven't touched APB since it's Reloaded, but that "almost an automobile combat game" is almost entirely false :) You can run over others who're on foot, and as a passanger you can shoot your (handheld) gun. That's it... But maybe I'm wrong and it was improved since the relaunch.

     

    AA (and a few other singleplayer vehicular combat games from the old times) on the other hand:  you manage your car/bike/truck/etc. with upgrading engines, suspensions, etc. Then you slap a lot of armour on it, weapons on the front, the rear, the roof, anywhere you just want. Then you drive out and put those weapons onto good use :)

    (and also in AA's case doing quests, explore the landscape, joining races, climbing up mountains, when finding a ramp then try to push your "longest jump" record up further, if you're into pvp then chasing down other players in their vehicles, or as Richard wrote simply just go out on a rampage and shoot everything into tiny pieces, and fighting back the gangs)

    edit: basically what STO has in space, just on wheels and a lot faster. Your vehicle is not a tool for transportation around the map like in APB, your vehicle is the major part of "your build".

  • sketocafesketocafe Member UncommonPosts: 948
    Not being popular would be vital for a zombie survival mmo such as you described. I don't know if you played the DayZ arma mod before it was popular, but that mod before and after word got out about it were two drastically different games without a line of code ever changing. You do not want mass appeal on your zombie game.
  • laseritlaserit Member EpicPosts: 5,186
    Originally posted by Timassin
    I think a mad max type vehicle combat sounds amazing on paper but.. it would not work great in real life. I picture people with their decked out cars and then people trolling them. The Roads would have to be very wide and almost on rails to avoid people from just going backwards and playing chicken with everyone.   You missed western style mmog, you even have the screen shot :P

    Thats what rocket launchers are for image

     

    I think a Car Wars theme could work very well. But since cars can travel at such a fast pace the world would have to be very large.

     

    Imagine...  "Road War 2000" meets "Interstate 76" meets "GTA" Online. That would be totally awesome

     

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • TezcatTezcat Member UncommonPosts: 81

    Earth and Beyond was a great game. I still wish it was going. It was a sad day when they cancelled that. 

    A wing Commander MMO would be awesome. THe games show what you can do pve wise. For pvp you just need some uncharted zones.


  • norman728norman728 Member UncommonPosts: 146
    I would love a SPACE MMORPG that wasn't tied to and existing IP Like Star Trek or Star Wars.   heck we could use more sci-fi MMORPG's there are few PURE Sci-fi and not Hybrids where it's a fantasy game that has TECHNOLOGY .    ANARCHY ONLINE is hit or miss and slowly fading away.  
  • ZagavaVonnZagavaVonn Member UncommonPosts: 309
    Originally posted by Dreamo84
    I never quite got how people call World of Tanks an MMO at all. Wouldn't that mean Battlefield 4 is an MMO?

    LOL so true, the WoT folks kept saying they had outdone EVE Online because they had over a hundred thousands players battling at one time. What WoT didn't say was that it was all in 3 vs 3 and 4 vs 4 mini-battles, there's no way for you to just fight with several thousand people at once in an ad hoc battle.

    If that makes WoT an MMO I'm a piece of cheese.

  • DrakephireDrakephire Member UncommonPosts: 451

    When EQ first launched, I don't think anyone knew for sure that MMOs would really take off.  With that in mind, we look at these concepts and think they'd be good. Yet I believe there's potential for new concepts we haven't even thought of.  Minecraft did this...came out of the blue with a fully interactive game.

    Problem is I can't really tell you what those concepts would be, since nobody has found them yet. The idea is that players don't even know what they want until someone makes a game that is awesome. Apple's business model is sort of like this too...

  • sakersaker Member UncommonPosts: 1,147
    Originally posted by VonTakala
    Originally posted by Dreamo84
    I never quite got how people call World of Tanks an MMO at all. Wouldn't that mean Battlefield 4 is an MMO?

    LOL so true, the WoT folks kept saying they had outdone EVE Online because they had over a hundred thousands players battling at one time. What WoT didn't say was that it was all in 3 vs 3 and 4 vs 4 mini-battles, there's no way for you to just fight with several thousand people at once in an ad hoc battle.

    If that makes WoT an MMO I'm a piece of cheese.

    ...those people are all about b.s hype. Can't wait for a decent company to make a tank game!

  • NeherunNeherun Member UncommonPosts: 280
    Originally posted by Dreamo84
    I never quite got how people call World of Tanks an MMO at all. Wouldn't that mean Battlefield 4 is an MMO?

    MMORPG.com started branding F2P titles such as WoT & LoL MMO's so they can sell their advertisement & marketing space to those developers.

     

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