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If you could design your dream MMO, what would it feature?

cjmarshcjmarsh Member UncommonPosts: 299
Game design is all about one thing: creating meaningful progress for the player. But there are infinitely many ways to design player progression (part of why I like game design so much) and it often comes down to personal tastes to define what "meaningful" is in an MMO. So if you were designing your dream MMO, what features would you emphasize most in it? Feel free to go as in depth or as shallow as you like since reading about game design is like philosophy for me, except that I don't need drugs to do it.
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  • coretex666coretex666 Member EpicPosts: 3,600
    edited February 2018
    It is not easy as it is about how the features fit together, but to name some I would like to see in one game:

    - Long term vertical character progression (years to max level -> no "endgame")
    - Characters starting off poor looking and very slowly advancing in terms of:
    - - - > Character power
    - - - > Character appearance
    - - - > Abilities (skills, spells, talents) appearance
    - Spells, skills, talents, tiers of gear and other aspects affecting strength and appearance of your character and of its abilities locked behind progression wall
    - In-game activities not locked behind progression wall
    - Heavily regulated OWPvP
    - Rare equipment - even low quality equipment having a very high price when purchased from vendor and/ or a very low drop chance from mobs
    - Every piece of gear craftable
    - Crafting of any tier of the gear requiring also low level materials, so that they do not become obsolete
    - World not separated into zones divided by level -> areas of the world being more open and with mixed level monsters and places
    - Open world dungeons
    - Open world bosses
    - No instances
    - Building and controlling large buildings, such as guild halls and castles which could be subject to a siege (probably "announced" in advance, so that you do not log into the game to see your castle in ruins)
    - Politics and related functionalities (trade agreements, non-aggression pacts, clans, alliances, wars, etc.)
    - Lack of ability to legitimately obtain any in-game assets any other way than by playing the game
    - Trading between characters
    - Huge world
    - Exploration and reasons therefor (e.g. points of interests, random spawn of world bosses and elite mobs, possibility of finding rare materials, random world events for instance related to weather - to borrow 2 examples from Minecraft and ArcheAge - lava eruption combined with water creating obsidian, lighting striking a tree creating a "lighting-struck" tree, etc.)
    - Farming
    - Open world housing
    - Player made quests
    - Design fostering natural urbanization
    - Gear enchanting, socketing, augmenting, etc.
    - Tab target combat

    I also like this exercise. I could go on and on. I think this is enough. Defining it all in sufficient detail would require writing a book...or making the game which I am sure nobody would play in the end.
    deniterTheocritus
  • UngoodUngood Member EpicPosts: 2,636
    No mater what was made, someone would bitch that it could not be done or would not like it. personally, I am seeing a lot of MMOs coming out with idea I thought would be great, and I am looking forward to playing them.
  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Member RarePosts: 1,972
    I have a dream MMO design, but I've described it so many times, to a complete lack of interest from anyone reading about it.  Doesn't seem like much point any more.  So I'll just summarize that I want to combine the gathering/crafting/housing construction focus of a sandbox with the NPC settlements/factions/quests, hunting monsters for crafting mats, instanced dungeons, and global auctionhouse of a themepark.  No pvp, but encourage socialization in the form of multiplayer minigames like mount racing, pet battling, and card games.
    Tsiya
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • syltmackasyltmacka Member UncommonPosts: 353
    in a mad max setting with buildable cars and very very rare resources.
    its a dream i had for a long time.

  • cjmarshcjmarsh Member UncommonPosts: 299
    I have a dream MMO design, but I've described it so many times, to a complete lack of interest from anyone reading about it.  Doesn't seem like much point any more.  So I'll just summarize that I want to combine the gathering/crafting/housing construction focus of a sandbox with the NPC settlements/factions/quests, hunting monsters for crafting mats, instanced dungeons, and global auctionhouse of a themepark.  No pvp, but encourage socialization in the form of multiplayer minigames like mount racing, pet battling, and card games.
    I've seen you post your idea before and I'm actually a big fan. While I love pvp personally, the complete lack in your design actually makes it better. I think developers too often try to cater to both the pve and pvp crowds and end up doing a disservice to both. The combat in MMOs is rarely very good anyways and most people use pvp in themeparks as a substitute for the poor AI and mechanics. I'd love to develop a game like that but unfortunately I suffer from a severe lack of money to hire the artists and other programmers it would take to complete a project of that scope. If you ever do find a source of funding let me know though, I'd love to help out.
    sunandshadowSirAgravaine
  • DeadSpockDeadSpock Member UncommonPosts: 327
    FFXI gameplay pre Abyssea  but with the graphics and UI/movement of FFXIV. 
    st4t1ck
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 6,823
    It is not easy as it is about how the features fit together, but to name some I would like to see in one game:

    - Long term vertical character progression (years to max level -> no "endgame")
    - Characters starting off poor looking and very slowly advancing in terms of:
    - - - > Character power
    - - - > Character appearance
    - - - > Abilities (skills, spells, talents) appearance
    - Spells, skills, talents, tiers of gear and other aspects affecting strength and appearance of your character and of its abilities locked behind progression wall
    - In-game activities not locked behind progression wall
    - Heavily regulated OWPvP
    - Rare equipment - even low quality equipment having a very high price when purchased from vendor and/ or a very low drop chance from mobs
    - Every piece of gear craftable
    - Crafting of any tier of the gear requiring also low level materials, so that they do not become obsolete
    - World not separated into zones divided by level -> areas of the world being more open and with mixed level monsters and places
    - Open world dungeons
    - Open world bosses
    - No instances
    - Building and controlling large buildings, such as guild halls and castles which could be subject to a siege (probably "announced" in advance, so that you do not log into the game to see your castle in ruins)
    - Politics and related functionalities (trade agreements, non-aggression pacts, clans, alliances, wars, etc.)
    - Lack of ability to legitimately obtain any in-game assets any other way than by playing the game
    - Trading between characters
    - Huge world
    - Exploration and reasons therefor (e.g. points of interests, random spawn of world bosses and elite mobs, possibility of finding rare materials, random world events for instance related to weather - to borrow 2 examples from Minecraft and ArcheAge - lava eruption combined with water creating obsidian, lighting striking a tree creating a "lighting-struck" tree, etc.)
    - Farming
    - Open world housing
    - Player made quests
    - Design fostering natural urbanization
    - Gear enchanting, socketing, augmenting, etc.
    - Tab target combat

    I also like this exercise. I could go on and on. I think this is enough. Defining it all in sufficient detail would require writing a book...or making the game which I am sure nobody would play in the end.
    Hmm was going to write my own but I think this one pretty much nails it.
    coretex666
  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 5,110
    Honestly my ideal mmo would look a lot like original Everquest with updated graphics.

    Alternatively, my second favorite would look exactly like City of Heroes. 
    Alverant

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 2,481
    My ideal MMO would be everyone on one huge aerver with amazong innovation, sandboxish, and be a combined effort of multiple AAA companies. It would be subscription based and have active anti botting etc.

    Or

    Have locked classes and races behind huge paywalls.
    With dragons costing 1k usd and undead dragons costing 100k usd. You would have to pay 10 usd just to not be a human.

    Hehehe

    Cryomatrix

    Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
  • 45074507 Member UncommonPosts: 351
    I'd emphasize a player-driven economy, a major focus on crafting, a robust open world building system, a player-controlled world through faction PvP (3 factions at the least, preferably around 5-8), and above all a monthly subscription model with absolutely no cash shop.

    So basically Eve, SWG, and DAOC rolled into a steampunk setting (preferably Space 1889) with FPS combat.
    Tsiya
  • TheScavengerTheScavenger Member EpicPosts: 3,321
    edited February 2018
    A PvP sandbox MMO where you kill people, loot all their items and become super overpowered from items and level/stats where you dont need to worry about actual player skill to win the game. I'd make it so noobs get ganked every second of their playtime so most would quit the MMO and only gankers and griefersare left to play the MMO.

    Oh wait, that is every single sandbox MMO clone except EVE.

    Really though, I'd make an MMO like Star Citizen cause even if it releases, doesn't release or is a scam or not a scam...SC is at least very innovative. It isn't trying to re-wind time to oldschool MMOs, it isn't copying WoW...on paper its a very unique MMO. 


    Though actually...something similar to Star Citizen mixed with Will Wright's version of Spore (not EA's version) would be pretty awesome.
    [Deleted User]

    My Skyrim, Fallout 4, Starbound and WoW + other game mods at MODDB: 

    https://www.moddb.com/mods/skyrim-anime-overhaul



  • anemoanemo Member RarePosts: 1,647
    Lots of crafting.   Toss in outstanding things like TES alchemy,  some stuff like you see in Zachtonic games, and slightly shift "peak" ingredients left/right for each person. 

    The ability to program NPCs similar to Screeps but at smaller scale to get Multiple humans wanting to work together. 

    A few large cities that generate lightly phased quests in a Mad Lib style ( location,  puzzles,  topics, verby stuff, nouny stuff, and similar). 

    There being no "combat PvP", but plenty of other ways to mess with people like voting on taxes, bidding them out of their lease, and similar. 

    And using Topographic maps for huge areas would be pretty awesome.   (To allow building without Combat PvP).

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Member RarePosts: 1,972
    cjmarsh said:
    I have a dream MMO design, but I've described it so many times, to a complete lack of interest from anyone reading about it.  Doesn't seem like much point any more.  So I'll just summarize that I want to combine the gathering/crafting/housing construction focus of a sandbox with the NPC settlements/factions/quests, hunting monsters for crafting mats, instanced dungeons, and global auctionhouse of a themepark.  No pvp, but encourage socialization in the form of multiplayer minigames like mount racing, pet battling, and card games.
    I've seen you post your idea before and I'm actually a big fan. While I love pvp personally, the complete lack in your design actually makes it better. I think developers too often try to cater to both the pve and pvp crowds and end up doing a disservice to both. The combat in MMOs is rarely very good anyways and most people use pvp in themeparks as a substitute for the poor AI and mechanics. I'd love to develop a game like that but unfortunately I suffer from a severe lack of money to hire the artists and other programmers it would take to complete a project of that scope. If you ever do find a source of funding let me know though, I'd love to help out.
    Thank you, it's really encouraging to hear that. :smirk:   I'd need to have a reliable project manager whose hands I could put funding into before I attempted to find some funding for them.  No way would I want the job of being in charge of anything budget-related myself. :sweat:  That's pretty much the kind of thing I have nightmares about.
    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • UngoodUngood Member EpicPosts: 2,636
    It's hard to say ideas. As I have seen some great "ideas" that looked amazing on paper, turn into turds when they were put into the game.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,769
    It will feature the best designer in Blizz who will surprise me with a fun game.

    I don't want to design games. I want to play them (well, at least those which are fun for me).
  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member RarePosts: 1,897
    Free for all MMORPG , free for all ...

    FPS game where gold in game can be trade for real life stuffs . To make the game currency as one kind of money but have real value .

    A hot pit to watch people fight each other for greed .
  • anemoanemo Member RarePosts: 1,647
    iixviiiix said:
    Free for all MMORPG , free for all ...

    FPS game where gold in game can be trade for real life stuffs . To make the game currency as one kind of money but have real value .

    A hot pit to watch people fight each other for greed .
    Entropia almost got you.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

  • Dransik2012Dransik2012 Member UncommonPosts: 36
    i make a game like ashenempires iso but 3d style.. 
  • Kain_DaleKain_Dale Member UncommonPosts: 378
    edited February 2018
    Make another game like Asheron's call features.  Skill system, combat system, movement system, open world, housing, quests style(dungeon crawler, no ABC crap quest) Ability to dodge magic spell, arrows, auto attack melees with speed/power, can build up jump height/run speed skills.  Very fast paced mmorpg, mostly solo content, very few raid contents.  Auto follow feature would be nice.  

    no holding hand at all.  When you start your character you go wherever you please!  No linear quest crap
    Cuppett5

    Kain_Dale

  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member RarePosts: 3,339
    edited February 2018
    -Exploration and DISCOVERY.
    -Experimentation in crafting for more discoveries on improvement.
    -Huge world, Huge dungeons, Huge forests and deserts and mountains, full of discoveries and adventure. Special places like Enchanted Forests, Scorching Deserts, Griffin Peaks, and the like.
    -Civilization based on unique areas spread out in huge world, but linked by roads, passes, seaways, etc. Surrounded by vast wildernesses.
    -Transport (caravans and shipping), based on trade and supply zones. 
    -Construction.
    -Criminal/Justice system to allow roleplay and world events by players, but prevent grief play.
    -Advanced social structures; guilds, cities, etc.
    -Deep lore based on many past eras of mainly evil dominance. Lots of ruins. Lots of discoveries.
    -Very interactive world.
    -Lots of meaningful items to be found; rare items, artifacts, tomes (even written by past era non-humans of a powerful nature), lost knowledge.
    -Meaningful dungeon murals and carvings that hold hints to lost powers and treasures.
    -Sandbox
    -Skill based + special Classes (see quests below).
    -Low power gaps but wide horizontal development that adds options (meaning more advanced capabilities).
    -Quests based on special achievements. If a Fighter type wants to be come a Paladin of a religious faction, they must succeed in a special quest. Same for other skill types. A form of Class system for the advanced character, player's choice based on requirements. Also in crafting for special items (including magical items). Skill requirements included.

    Once upon a time....

  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,129
    This is the sort of question that is impossible to answer in a forum post. The complexities of designing a full MMO are just too great and you can't describe them in just words, let alone a small amount of words available in a forum post. 

    So, I'll just leave my minimum criteria - these are four things that must be present otherwise I won't play it, therefore if I was designing an MMO then these things would be there. 

    • Horizontal Progression
    • Objective Based World PvP
    • Deep Combat Mechanics
    • Strong IP

    I could write pages and pages on just how to implement horizontal progression, or how to design a deep combat system, but there's not much point. I also acknowledge how little I know, and whilst I do genuinely believe I'd do a better job designing an MMO than a lot of the people who designed the ones we have today, I would need to do a shit load of research. For example, my knowledge of economics is pretty lacking so my ideas for designing a player-driven economy are just based on my experiences and intuition, rather than solid economic research. 
  • UngoodUngood Member EpicPosts: 2,636
    This is the sort of question that is impossible to answer in a forum post. The complexities of designing a full MMO are just too great and you can't describe them in just words, let alone a small amount of words available in a forum post. 

    So, I'll just leave my minimum criteria - these are four things that must be present otherwise I won't play it, therefore if I was designing an MMO then these things would be there. 

    • Horizontal Progression
    • Objective Based World PvP
    • Deep Combat Mechanics
    • Strong IP

    I could write pages and pages on just how to implement horizontal progression, or how to design a deep combat system, but there's not much point. I also acknowledge how little I know, and whilst I do genuinely believe I'd do a better job designing an MMO than a lot of the people who designed the ones we have today, I would need to do a shit load of research. For example, my knowledge of economics is pretty lacking so my ideas for designing a player-driven economy are just based on my experiences and intuition, rather than solid economic research. 
    Have you played Eternal Crusade.

    While it has a "vertical" leveling system of sorts, IE: :Level 1 > Level 2 > Level 3 (max level 6), this is kept in check but the fact that Loadouts are Point Limited, you only get 1000 points, to build with, that means that a level 6 player has no better chance to win a fight then a level 1 player.

    In fact even the starting builds that are below point costs are viable in the game and can be used to bust some heads in.

    Combat is engaging, brutal, and visceral 

    and the IP.. Warhammer 40K.

    it's "Free to Waaaaggghhhh" so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try.
  • XatshXatsh Member UncommonPosts: 260
    edited February 2018
    • Group/Guild Based (Content for 6-8 and 20+)
    • Guild specific housing, Guild specific events, Guild bonuses
    • Horizontal or very slow vertical progression (years to negate stuff)
    • Situational Gear - NO BIS for everything peaces... no Item LvL or Equipment Score system
    • Large Variety of Stats - Resistances, weaknesses, Accuracy, Crit Rate, Parry, Block and on and on. No just primary stats that we see in half the new mmos these days.
    • Deep classes and archetypes. (Job Mixing, healer/Dps/Tank/Support(Buff)/CC classes)
    • Openworld Focused, Instances are ok but need to the exception not the norm.
    • Very Very slow content negation, Do not replace the whole prior expansion with new expanion's content.
    • Modern Graphics and Animation (Do not want to play a PS2 era game)
    • Strong Economy and crafting/gathering - Needs to be meaningful not vanity and there needs to be endgame crafted gear that rivals raid drops... just make it hard to get the components.
    • Ability to change classes/jobs when ever you want (Example: FFXI, FFXIV, Archeage)
    • Exploration and sandbox elements would be great.
    • P2P with a sub system.... No cashshop at all, all vanity items need to be obtainable in-game.


    More or less this:

    Others said it but a game designed in the style of FFXI with a more modern battle system, graphics, some more casual content for the casuals, and a modern UI.


    Things I do not want at all:

    • Forced PvP in the whole game - Some areas are ok in my book but not every area.
    • Character Perma-Death in any form
    • Being Forced to use alts
    • Corps looting (others getting your stuff)
    • Cashshop in any form - So sick of the p2w BS in the genre atm.
    • Garbage that does not fit in the game world. (Aka gaudy cashshop items like a Hello Kitty Car mount, Candy house, or Lollypop Sword... looking at you ArcheAge)
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,129
    Ungood said:
    This is the sort of question that is impossible to answer in a forum post. The complexities of designing a full MMO are just too great and you can't describe them in just words, let alone a small amount of words available in a forum post. 

    So, I'll just leave my minimum criteria - these are four things that must be present otherwise I won't play it, therefore if I was designing an MMO then these things would be there. 

    • Horizontal Progression
    • Objective Based World PvP
    • Deep Combat Mechanics
    • Strong IP

    I could write pages and pages on just how to implement horizontal progression, or how to design a deep combat system, but there's not much point. I also acknowledge how little I know, and whilst I do genuinely believe I'd do a better job designing an MMO than a lot of the people who designed the ones we have today, I would need to do a shit load of research. For example, my knowledge of economics is pretty lacking so my ideas for designing a player-driven economy are just based on my experiences and intuition, rather than solid economic research. 
    Have you played Eternal Crusade.

    While it has a "vertical" leveling system of sorts, IE: :Level 1 > Level 2 > Level 3 (max level 6), this is kept in check but the fact that Loadouts are Point Limited, you only get 1000 points, to build with, that means that a level 6 player has no better chance to win a fight then a level 1 player.

    In fact even the starting builds that are below point costs are viable in the game and can be used to bust some heads in.

    Combat is engaging, brutal, and visceral 

    and the IP.. Warhammer 40K.

    it's "Free to Waaaaggghhhh" so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try.
    I haven't played it. 

    I was following it during it's initial development and they had some interesting ideas, plus I love the 40k universe. But, last time I looked it wasn't an MMO, plus I hate F2P as a business model, plus the actual gameplay didn't look that interesting. 

    If it is now an MMO maybe I'll check it out again. I've just taken a quick look at their website and it doesn't look like it is an MMO, but as with most websites for games like this, concrete information is severely lacking. The FAQs definitely make it sound like it's still a lobby-based game unfortunately. The F2P model seems acceptable though, sounds more like B2P with the option to be F2P if you can't afford $20. 
  • cjmarshcjmarsh Member UncommonPosts: 299
    This is the sort of question that is impossible to answer in a forum post. The complexities of designing a full MMO are just too great and you can't describe them in just words, let alone a small amount of words available in a forum post. 

    So, I'll just leave my minimum criteria - these are four things that must be present otherwise I won't play it, therefore if I was designing an MMO then these things would be there. 

    • Horizontal Progression
    • Objective Based World PvP
    • Deep Combat Mechanics
    • Strong IP

    I could write pages and pages on just how to implement horizontal progression, or how to design a deep combat system, but there's not much point. I also acknowledge how little I know, and whilst I do genuinely believe I'd do a better job designing an MMO than a lot of the people who designed the ones we have today, I would need to do a shit load of research. For example, my knowledge of economics is pretty lacking so my ideas for designing a player-driven economy are just based on my experiences and intuition, rather than solid economic research. 
    You're absolutely right that it is impossible to design an MMO in a forum post, my intent was only to see what features in an MMO are the most important to people and to try to figure out why. On the other hand, I disagree that there is no point to writing a comprehensive design document (if it interests you and you have the time). In doing so you will come across problems in the overall design that aren't necessarily apparent when designing individual features. You'll also come up with new ideas when seeing the bigger picture that you might like even more than what you started with. As for the economics, it isn't really necessary to do more than the basic research because the real-world economy is designed around people making a living for themselves while a game economy is designed around increasing the fun for people. Personally, I'd be interested to see more on your thoughts of horizontal progression.
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