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Are survival and MMORPG becoming one?
The Pub at MMORPG.COM
As survival games get larger populations severs and have persistent worlds will we be able to tell the difference in the future?
Could survival MMORPG be a new branch of MMORPG or rolled into sandbox or still not a MMORPG?
MMO is only about how many people can play together....massively multiplayer. It's a technical feature of the game.
Survival and RPG are simply additional feature sets. Currently, they seem to be separate feature sets but there is nothing to stop both being included in the same game, whilst also being massively multiplayer.
In fact, roleplaying the different ways to survive seems like a natural thing to do. In a massively multiplayer game, you want people playing together (otherwise why make an mmo?) so it would make sense to have some people as fighters, some as builders, others as researchers / tech, others as medics etc, so that you can form proper survival communities.
I believe New World is trying to head in that direction. It was certainly an MMO during alpha. It was certainly a survival game during alpha. Was it also an RPG? That, I can't really say. I didn't get particularly far as I didn't enjoy it (i don't really enjoy survival games or action combat) so didn't see anything that would make me thing it's also an RPG, but it's more than possible that the roleplaying opportunities only appear towards endgame.
I also like to think that it could be a great new genre / sub-genre. Every time I watch any sort of post-apocalytic film or tv show, I end up thinking about how to turn it into an MMO. They all share common characteristics that I think would go well into a game:
Vast, open worlds
Survival gameplay - the need to find shelter, safety, food and water etc.
Hostile environments - whether its wild animals, or zombies, or mutants, or just crazy/ruthless humans, its a dangerous place to live. That's your PvE combat content
Safety in numbers - cooperating is usually the most efficient means of survival and perpetuation of the species. We're building an MMO, so this is perfect: lets work together
Building a settlement - it's hard to rebuild a society without settling down and investing in food production. This is for your guilds - go out, claim some land, built a settlement, grow your population, expand, diversify, prosper.
Societal structures - theres always some groups that just take what they want. Some cooperate. Some trade. Some are democratic. Some are authoritarian. Well, when a guild establishes a new settlement, let them choose! Give guilds some real distinction between each other, would make for some interesting sociological experiements in virtual societies!
PvP could be settlement vs settlement. I'd want it to be consensual (both settlement leaders have to agree to the war) but you could have different servers with different rulesets. You could make a genuine attempt to introduce proper politics into the game, with settlements being able to form alliances or break them, set up higher government structures or stay independant. If you wanted to include high-end PvE, you could have raids in places like bombed out power plants, or a bunker where the virus got in but the enemies couldn't get out.
Basically, I'd love to see State of Decay type thing, but an MMO and with a ton of depth added to every system. If you dont like zombies, you can take the same feature set and skin it however you want.
Go high-fantasy - a great war was just fought and the gods were killed, along with most inhabitants. The rest of you, survive and rebuild!
Go modern day - The Division gave us a post-apoc world, just make it massively multiplayer with a much bigger map so that we can build our own settlements.
I love Warhammer 40k, so lets go there! During a massive battle on a planet, the whole planet was sucked into the Warp and cut off from the normal universe. Those left on the planet now have to fend for themselves, creating settlements to fend off the creatures of chaos whilst still warring with each other.
Endless possibilities :P
Not that we're likely to see them ofc, especially if New World bombs, that would put off others from trying for years.