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Me again. This time around I'd like to discuss a way to (possibly) improve MMOs. So what got me here? Zelda. Or more accurately, a Twitch stream of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I haven't played a Zelda game in some time and watching one of my favorite streamers work their way through puzzles was both entertaining and nostalgic. And this got me to thinking ... why arent there more Zelda-esque puzzles in MMOs? When I say Zelda-esque I mean in terms of complexity, of course. When I was younger I remember spending 6 MONTHS in the Water Temple for Ocarina of Time. Can you imagine how amazing it felt to finally leave that place behind? Jeez. That was one of the most satisfying accomplishments of my gaming life.
So how do we use Zelda as a reference to improve MMOs? Currently, the aren't many things to do in your standard MMO. You craft, you PvE, you PvP. That's it really. After you're done climbing the gear treadmill and PvPing whats left to do? Wait until there's more content. Instead, lets incorporate Adventures/Puzzles into the equation to prolong game life and offer something fun for players to do. Elements of lore could be added to give your adventuring a bit of "meat" if you so desire. But I think the main purpose of something like this would be to fill a void for people who would like something else to do.
You have your typical holy trinity set up but besides combat there are no other distinguishing features in classes nowadays. Adding puzzles would hopefully change that. Imagine this:
You and a friend are adventuring and wander into the depths of a forgotten cave. Inside, you find ruins of an old civilization and you would like to plunge its depths for whatever may be hidden. You being a mage, you expect you can handle whatever is inside, be it monster or obstacle, but as you wander deeper and find more things of worth you hit a brick wall. A chamber you have entered is made of magic-negating stone and you cant cast any spells here. But you need to proceed over a chasm of dangerous water. However, your friend being a rogue and in greater physical condition can scale the walls and open an alternate path for you both to proceed.
Each class would have unique abilities allowing them to solve puzzles in the world. But harder and more expansive puzzles would require the efforts of a party. The agility and litheness of a Rouge to scale walls, the magic of a Mage to trigger certain phenomena, the strength of a Warrior to shatter obstacles, etc...
Ideally, long puzzles would be split from quest. They would be like quest onto themselves but quest items could take on an entirely different significance with the use of puzzles.
"Thank you for saving my cat Mr. Rouge but as a poor farmer all I have to offer is this useless metal claw."
Take that claw to a tailor to attach durable rope and you have a grappling hook. Not so useless now, eh?
In Zelda you need the right tool for the right job and adding a similar feature would be fun to me.
TL;DR: MMOs should consider adding Zelda-like puzzles to games because it would be both fun and rewarding while encouraging players to explore the world and add more complexity and worth to classes.
So, what do you think? Is this a feature you would be interested in?