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How would you improve on stagnant genres - MMORPGs

AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 5,962
edited November 2019 in General Gaming
Let's get the largest and most contentious genre out of the way, shall we? I expect a lot of different answers here, because this genre is one that has actually seen its breadth and variety go down with time, like a funnel. Meaning that there are a lot of what I would call "homeless" MMO veterans. 


I don't expect my personal answer to necessarily be popular, or to even necessarily be considered a true MMO (it's more MMO-lite), but I really do think it's an unserved niche. It's where I would consider myself "homeless."


My MMO would be a fully instanced world full of tailor-made challenges. It would basically be Guild Wars 1 with specific modernizations such as map modifiers, weather effects, improved companions, and passive trees.

The purpose of instances in a MMORPG is to create specific challenges for groups of players, and the nature of these challenges simply are not possible in an open-world setting:

1) Players will need to consider their skill bar and the skills of their teammates for all challenges in an instance prior to entry. All skills will be locked down while in a mission.

2) Instances will include a variety of enemy factions that each use the same kinds of skills that are available to players. Players will need to counter these to succeed on higher difficulties.

3) Every instance in the game would offer easy, normal, and hard difficulty modes. With the exception of Patrol maps.

4) Patrol maps are instances which provide drop in a drop out MMO-lite zones with dynamic content. Like a Destiny or Marvel Heroes patrol zone. Normal skill bar restrictions would not apply and AI companions cannot be brought in.

5) Instances will have unique, rotating modifiers, such as enemy fire auras that change out daily.

6) Weather can impact specific instances on a timer. Rain, for example, could greatly ramp up water and electric damage dealt and received while weakening fire damage.


AI companions will be available as party options for all missions except Patrols. These function like Heroes in Guild Wars 1, except with personal quests, romance options, and writing akin to a classic Bioware companion.

The game would offer hundreds of skills to choose from, but limit your skill bar to 10 skills, with one elite skill, at any given time. These would fall into schools of magic (rage, fire, water, air, lightning, psychic, nature, etc.), and two different schools can be mixed in a build.

The game would not be strictly action oriented. Functions like dodging and blocking would be tied to specific skills, meaning that they are available if desired, but come with an opportunity cost. The game would never be intentionally designed to test player reaction times.


Progression would be purely horizontal. There are no player levels, and gear progression would focus on different but equivalent modifiers. For example, one sword might increase all fire damage you deal, give you bonus fire damage on basic attacks, and grant you a permanent sunfire aura. Another sword might grant you lifesteal on hit, increase healing output, and restore mana over time. 

Additional horizontal progression would be available through skill hunting. Different boss mobs throughout the game would have different skills, and defeating them will acquire the skill. Unlike its inspiration in GW1, no Signet of Capture or equivalent will be necessary.

There would be an extensive passive skill tree akin to Path of Exile. This would be a vertical progression element to a point, but would eventually cap out and never be increased. This tree would be complex, but freely refundable. It would also have speciality nodes unlocked in the same fashion as skill hunting. Each school of magic has its own tree, but only your primary school will be available). 

Comments

  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,818
    So... basically... your favorite game, but with enhancements.
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    Current playing: 
    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Shadowbringers; EvE Online

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 5,962
    Nyctelios said:
    So... basically... your favorite game, but with enhancements.
    In essence, I expect most of us to reply as such.

    But figuring out what those enhancements may be is fun in and of itself. The industry has shown us a lot of cool major shifts outside of the glacial MMORPG genre.
    Nyctelios
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,818
    Aeander said:
    Nyctelios said:
    So... basically... your favorite game, but with enhancements.
    In essence, I expect most of us to reply as such.

    But figuring out what those enhancements may be is fun in and of itself. The industry has shown us a lot of cool major shifts outside of the glacial MMORPG genre.
    Not judging, I would love to play that.

    I would implement short loops of all kinds of gameplay options so people can take a break from leveling up or story content. But, well, most MMOs are doing exactly that.
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    Current playing: 
    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Shadowbringers; EvE Online

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 3,692
    I am going to repeat myself here, but when survival games grow in size (larger world and more players) and refine their systems (no more punching bushes but, for instance, becoming a farmer) they could replace traditional MMORPGs. I am excited about that to be honest.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    NycteliosMendelblueturtle13
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    'But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.'

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...



    'This does not apply just to ED but SC or any other game. What they will get is Rebirth/X4, likely prettier but equally underwhelming and pointless. 

    It is incredibly difficult to design some meaningfull leg content that would fit a space ship game - simply because it is not a leg game.

    It is just huge resource waste....'

    Gdemami absolutely not being an armchair developer

  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,818
    lahnmir said:
    I am going to repeat myself here, but when survival games grow in size (larger world and more players) and refine their systems (no more punching bushes but, for instance, becoming a farmer) they could replace traditional MMORPGs. I am excited about that to be honest.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    Salem, but pretty. Yeah. I'm waiting for that ... years already.
    lahnmir
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    Current playing: 
    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - Shadowbringers; EvE Online

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 5,962
    lahnmir said:
    I am going to repeat myself here, but when survival games grow in size (larger world and more players) and refine their systems (no more punching bushes but, for instance, becoming a farmer) they could replace traditional MMORPGs. I am excited about that to be honest.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    That's fine for some. Certainly, the survival games could use advancement. But as far as "replacing MMOs," I'd rather not see the future of the genre dominated by hunger/thirst meters and mandatory crafting. For some games, sure. For the broader genre, no thank you.
  • ArteriusArterius Member EpicPosts: 2,841
    edited November 2019
    Going to go with a super hot take here that everyone is going to hate. MMO's, at least how we know them, are dead. I mean don't get me wrong we will always have a WoW or a FFXIV that will come along and be successful but for the most part people are not interested in MMO's. I see it all the time in my personal life and online. If they are going to be interested then it has to be F2P.

    When the Black Desert dev's unveiled there new games I saw people on reddit and IGN that were happy because the games were F2P and wouldn't have sub because the sub was the scummy business practice. When I asked why the person thought the way he did, he answered that he can chose to not buy any MTX, he can't chose to not pay a sub if he wants to play. It's a dev forcing money out of your wallet. 

    I also think that MMO's have evolved. I would argue that the many GaaS models we are seeing are the new forms of MMO in our current day climate for the new generation. Are they what we expect, or want, from a MMO. No, but they have the same kind of updates, expansions, etc... 

    I think that all of us on this website are hoping for a MMO resurgence and that a MMO will come and be the savior but I don't think it will be. I think there will always be those MMO's that are outliers but for every Black Desert, FFXIV, or WoW there are 2x as many that are barely hanging on with only a sliver of fanbase. Heck, some of these MMO's are only hanging on because they have a few whales to keep funneling money.

    Again just my hot take and not one that people will like. I guess to answer your question. There is no way to breath life back into MMO's, no improvement one could make. If one were to prove me and wrong and be a reality then it would have to be on consoles. Not just on PC. As much as PC master race people hate to admit it. Consoles dominate the video game market. 
    Currently playing: Outer Worlds (Xbox One X)

    Currently Reading: Skaven Slayer (Gotrek and Felix Book 2)

    Currently Writing: Champions of Legend Book 1 (3rd Draft)

    Currently Watching: Oz (Season 4), Soprano's (Season 1)


  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 3,918
    My take on the MMORPG genre.  Embrace the RP elements.  Create tools to facilitate RPing -- macros for common quotes and custom emotes.  Build 'voting' systems to enable fellow players to judge your Actions to evaluate your personality.  Build a simple system to get in-game bonuses from having specific personality traits.  Want to be known as 'Generous' and get that nice +10% bonus on selling to NPC prices?  You'd better act in a manner that can be seen as Generous.



    [Deleted User]

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • GutlardGutlard Member RarePosts: 1,019
    I want a game that's so encompassing with stuff to do that endgame is something my character does after they die after a very long and adventurous life. I'd like to start as cave men, and evolve and learn and expand over time to current times, and way beyond. I'd like to get to a point of technology that would slow/stop aging and allow for space/time travel and then when I've finally squeezed everything possible out of that one character I could retire him to that big endgame in the sky...

    At each era of time, I could possibly evolve forward by choice, or after meeting certain criteria and I could only come back to past eras way in the future after I master time travel, to visit my 'ancestors' if I wanted.

    I guess the important thing is that the choice is mine ultimately, and I have so many choices to choose from I'd never get bored, and the choices aren't behind some paywall or MTX, and all that mobile game bullshit is left at the door. If there's crafting at each era, adventuring/exploring, fighting, etc... they would all fit with the time period and be as simple/complex as those times would allow.

    If I have to pay a sub I won't care. Take my money. Take my blood. Where do I sign?

    Idk if I'd want the beginning game to start out like Spore, and maybe end beyond NMS or SC, but that's kind of the scope I'd want the game to go for.

    We'd get our prehistoric, ancient rome/greece gods, fantasy, king arthur, wild west, current times, cyberpunk, star trek and beyond, all in one game. Each expansion could be a new era expanding on the mechanics of the previous, and then maybe it would never end in my lifetime. It wouldn't get watered down, just the opposite, as technology increases and improves our characters lives it would both make things easier and allow for deeper exploration/understanding of everything.

    OR if that's too grand for you, here's another idea.

    We work in a library. The world has ended. We survived, and every book in the library is its own self-contained story our character can experience. Thousands of books, thousands of stories to live through, in tons of different genres. Then, kind of like Assassin's Creed after living thru the stories we kind of have to get back to reality and make sure we survive as well possibly, depending on whatever survival difficulty we'd want. Mine would be pretty low....ha

    Gut ouT!

    What, me worry?

  • ArteriusArterius Member EpicPosts: 2,841
    Gutlard said:
    I want a game that's so encompassing with stuff to do that endgame is something my character does after they die after a very long and adventurous life. I'd like to start as cave men, and evolve and learn and expand over time to current times, and way beyond. I'd like to get to a point of technology that would slow/stop aging and allow for space/time travel and then when I've finally squeezed everything possible out of that one character I could retire him to that big endgame in the sky...

    At each era of time, I could possibly evolve forward by choice, or after meeting certain criteria and I could only come back to past eras way in the future after I master time travel, to visit my 'ancestors' if I wanted.

    I guess the important thing is that the choice is mine ultimately, and I have so many choices to choose from I'd never get bored, and the choices aren't behind some paywall or MTX, and all that mobile game bullshit is left at the door. If there's crafting at each era, adventuring/exploring, fighting, etc... they would all fit with the time period and be as simple/complex as those times would allow.

    If I have to pay a sub I won't care. Take my money. Take my blood. Where do I sign?

    Idk if I'd want the beginning game to start out like Spore, and maybe end beyond NMS or SC, but that's kind of the scope I'd want the game to go for.

    We'd get our prehistoric, ancient rome/greece gods, fantasy, king arthur, wild west, current times, cyberpunk, star trek and beyond, all in one game. Each expansion could be a new era expanding on the mechanics of the previous, and then maybe it would never end in my lifetime. It wouldn't get watered down, just the opposite, as technology increases and improves our characters lives it would both make things easier and allow for deeper exploration/understanding of everything.


    I have never wanted a MMO so bad as this one right here.


    Currently playing: Outer Worlds (Xbox One X)

    Currently Reading: Skaven Slayer (Gotrek and Felix Book 2)

    Currently Writing: Champions of Legend Book 1 (3rd Draft)

    Currently Watching: Oz (Season 4), Soprano's (Season 1)


  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,629
    I have a million things I could say here, but I'll stick with what I consider the most important thing for the genre as a whole:

    Embrace MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER!

    Being massively multiplayer is the only unique selling point of the entire genre, and yet it has been pretty much ignored by every game in the genre. So much so, that there have been plenty of games over the last 10 years that aren't actually massively multiplayer at all, but share enough other features that the media mislabels them.

    So, yeh, embrace massively multiplayer.

    Just think about it. Think about the "MMOs" that you've played recently. What massively multiplayer features does it actually have? Chances are your game is limited to just PvP and maybe, if you're lucky, the occasional open world event. With everything else, you're either solo or in a small group. Even raids of 20-40 people still isn't "massively" multiplayer, you get those numbers all the time in other online genres.


    I believe that if devs start focusing on massively multiplayer features, it will play upon the only unique selling point and start driving more people into the genre. That said, the studios in our genre simply aren't equipped to do this. If you look at the design of most MMOs, they're all just based on single player mechanics - levels, xp, vertical progression, linear stories etc. They just don't work in a multiplayer environment.

    What I'm looking for as actual features:

    • 500+ player battles in open world PvP
    • 200v200v200 three way PvP battlegrounds that last 1hr+
    • Open world PvE objectives which scale up with numbers, so you could have 300 players assaulting a PvE fortress
    • Social "side" activities with spectating....like, an arena for duels/small scale pvp where we can actually sit in the stands, cheer, shout and make bets. Or racing mini-games (swoop bike racing in swtor please!) where we can line the circuit. Sometimes the community manages to create these types of things by themselves (weatherstock) but I want to see it supported properly by the devs.
    • Full scale PvE "wars" with genuine sized armies, with squads, cavelry, engines, scouts, command tents and stuff where we can all join in with this big pve tug-o-war. This may be a culmination event to a long pve campaign where crafters, soldiers and bureaucrats build up the war effort for a few weeks before the war can take place. maybe the war portion lasts for a week real time, where pve players come together to achieve community objectives in order to win/lose.
    When the MMO genre launched, it seemed to be enough just to have a massive amount of players running round the same zone, and chat seemed novel. But that wasn't actually massively multiplayer gameplay, it wasn't unique, which is why it's relevance has diminished.

    However, by focusing on the scale that can be provided by the genre, then the genre really would be unique, offering something you literally can't get anywhere else.


    There are plenty of hurdles though. The RPG crowd has yet to be convinced that a progression system that isn't vertical will work. Many RPG mechanics that work for single player games actively prevent players from playing together, but if we want to embrace massively multiplayer then we need to remove as many barriers as possible. Devs haven't yet come up with any social tools to help us facilitate organising massive numbers. We'd need to rework motivation/rewards so it becomes much easier to drop in/out of these massively multiplayer activites and remain rewarding. There are problems with networking, getting that many people together is tough (though, looks like CU is solving this!). Finally, and most importantly, graphics sell, but you'd need to lower the graphics quality in order to cope with that many players and npcs. The gameplay would need to be amazing in order to get away with this drop in sales. Alternatively, we need a massive tech breakthrough so that player numbers doesn't affect FPS.

    Once we've got all that sorted, the MMORPG genre can move forwards.

    Then it's onto other MMO genres!
    • 500v500 maps in Battlefield 1942
    • To-scale battles over keeps
    • Fortnite with 1000 starting players
    • Long-distance racing games with 300 players on track
    • GTA Online with 500 players on the map, rather than just 32...
    • An online Assassins Creed with the whole of Venice made to scale and 1000s of us let loose.
    • Giant Starcraft maps with 100 of us building bases and launching attacks.
    • A new Skate game where 1000s of us can skate around the same city
    • you get the idea!
    Scot
  • kitaradkitarad Member EpicPosts: 5,962
    I want a game like Everquest. I don't think it is going to happen even more so than what you guys want. What you all want seems far more possible. I am glad the P99 servers exists but the end game is controlled by just a few guilds and no matter how many new servers they try it will end up like that.

  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,379
    lahnmir said:
    I am going to repeat myself here, but when survival games grow in size (larger world and more players) and refine their systems (no more punching bushes but, for instance, becoming a farmer) they could replace traditional MMORPGs. I am excited about that to be honest.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    Agreed. Small server games where things can be easily modded and controlled by a nondeveloper are the future of this near dead genre. 

    Games like Conan Exiles have shown that the online rpg is alive and well and costs and commitment on games like that are easier to digest for a publisher and/or developer. 

    Now if we could get an evolution to NWN. That is really all I ever wanted as an rpg fan. 
    NWN was always a better experience than any mmorpg I ever played. I still play it today.
        
    lahnmirMendel[Deleted User]

    거북이는 목을 내밀 때 안 움직입니다












  • XiaokiXiaoki Member RarePosts: 3,358
    Aeander said:
    Nyctelios said:
    So... basically... your favorite game, but with enhancements.
    In essence, I expect most of us to reply as such.

    But figuring out what those enhancements may be is fun in and of itself. The industry has shown us a lot of cool major shifts outside of the glacial MMORPG genre.
    The MMORPG genre has evolved at a glacial pace because people only want an enhanced version of some old MMO.

    Cant tell you how many times Ive seen "Theres no innovation in modern MMOs, thats why we need a new version of EQ1"

    /facepalm

    The MMORPG genre has stagnated to death because thats how the "old school" MMO fans want it.
    cameltosisAeander
  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 5,962
    Xiaoki said:
    Aeander said:
    Nyctelios said:
    So... basically... your favorite game, but with enhancements.
    In essence, I expect most of us to reply as such.

    But figuring out what those enhancements may be is fun in and of itself. The industry has shown us a lot of cool major shifts outside of the glacial MMORPG genre.
    The MMORPG genre has evolved at a glacial pace because people only want an enhanced version of some old MMO.

    Cant tell you how many times Ive seen "Theres no innovation in modern MMOs, thats why we need a new version of EQ1"

    /facepalm

    The MMORPG genre has stagnated to death because thats how the "old school" MMO fans want it.
    In part, perhaps, but there are legitimately parts of the MMO market that aren't being particularly well served (faction PvP being one of the big ones).

    I think that the bigger issue is the inherently high cost and long development times associated with the genre. Unless an idea is truly new, any new MMO is going to be outdated before it even launches.
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