Mass Media Online Role Playing Games are games that never end. Probably the most recognized and by far the one who has brought MMO’s to the main stream is World of Warcraft (WOW). However, there are a few things that I feel are missing from all MMO’s at this point and I want to address them here. The first and most obvious issue in all MMO’s (at least all the one’s that I have played) is the “Player Based Economy.” Why, you ask? Because there is not a player economy. If there was a player economy, then every time I go out and kill a spider, reptile, or some kind of large rodent they wouldn’t drop gold, credits, or whatever the in-game currency is. Instead it would drop what it should. You can skin it, or harvest the organs for elixirs or buffs and then the player could sell it to make “currency.”
To explain further let’s say that within the game on each server or realm that there was only 1 trillion exchange currency available and this was earned by means of creating and selling goods or completing quests. So the question lingers that how does a player get this money, if one cannot go out and actually kill things to get drops then how is it they get money, hmm this is a good question and although I do not necessarily have the best answer, I do have a few ideas.
For the “New Player” have them go to Non Player Characters (NPC) which would give them quests to complete and pay them for completing, now this may negate what I just said, but hear me out. This money falls into the “original amount” the 1 trillion I mentioned above, give this NPC’s say like 1 million credits a day or 100K a day, but when it is depleted it is depleted for that day, and if that amount was not used only replenish what was not used keeping the currency accurate. Once a Player Character (PC) reaches a certain level i.e. Level 10 then that NPC will no longer give any more quests and/or “exchange currency.”
Players level 10 and beyond: if you have completed all the required quests that were given then you should have money, whatever that set amount is it should be enough to survive on by getting the proper basic armor, basic weapons, basic housing (talk a little about later), and the right amount of money to get started in your profession, now what about if that player needs more (which they will) what do they do? How does a PC increase their amount? The most obvious is to get a skill create and sell or trade. However, if you spend your money like I do in real life and save as bad as I do in real life why would the MMO be any different? What then? Well have banks/loan sharks so that as a player you can borrow with interest and have to go into debt, payments have to be made each month on that loan and if it is not paid back you have a warrant and or a bounty (just created a job) within the market. You could work for the government or an underground “mob” whom you owe money too. You could work as a law man who collects bounties on warrants or you could work for the underground and collect bounties as well (more on this later as well).
Government – this could be started out as NPC banks, but because it is a free market anyone can start a bank to loan money. There would be a market involved and trades and services that are created within the market fluctuate as any economy would.
There would also be an underground to this, mob boss, legions of underworlds clans and factions of their own would come into play here. In other words think about the Hatfield’s & the McCoy’s where a feuding family is in hatred of the other. With this underground can rise to glory or fall to grace. The closest MMO that I know of that had this type of system in place was Eve Online.
So how do you hold others accountable and pay off their debts? Slavery, Death, and even freezing of credits as an example. You could then even have slicers or hackers that will have the ability to exploit credits within the game or a way to unfreeze (for a price of course). I think the ideas are unlimited. Government Vs Free World – Underground against Free World & Government.Player Housing and trades that create them. Although I may get some major slack for this because everyone who already plays MMO’s were somewhat disappointed in how Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) turned out, but I am here to tell you the original release on how it was put together with the Crafting and Engineering side was brilliant.The process was this – My character eventually was made to be a Master Architect – and in order to achieve making in game items such as houses, factories, harvesters, etc you had to first survey the land with a surveying tool and find out what types of resources were available on the planet(s) that you were surveying, but it would only survey the area you were at. Once you found the spot(s) where that had the resource you were needing you then would place a harvester to get minerals, but not too fast, you had to get power to power the harvesters and in order to this you had to use generators – wind, diesel, or radioactive type power was required to run the harvesters. You then took the power from the generators (which you had to keep up with maintenance using credits) and put that power into the harvester(s) to get the minerals you want (which you had to keep up with maintenance using credits). Every 7 days the resources would shift and you would again survey re-set rinse & repeat. This was so much fun; I mean I made so much money in-game doing this. Because with these resources I could craft all types of things and sell them in my vendor that was in my own house (which also fixes the too much stuff not enough room problem).Another great feature SWG had was Payer Cities. You could be Mayor voted by the township. Although this had many loop holes it just made more for an opportunity to be player driven. Instead of cookie cutting and the game is created as the devs intended instead of allowing the users to modify and change the outcome.
Make Hardcore servers, I know that WOW and other various MMO’s have PVP servers, but they are not really hardcore they are just PVP. The Player Vs Player (PVP) system in just about every MMO never has been that good. I know the argument would be that the PVP arenas are the answer and although they do work and have their place that is not a Hardcore approach. That is great for role playing and casual playing, which has its place. However, I want to see an MMO that really embraces the factions and hate for the different factions is prevalent. In WOW the Horde and Alliance are suppose to loath each other – that is the point right, so unless you flag yourself for PVP nothing happens & in a hardcore environment this needs to be played as such. Yes, you may die a lot, but you may also win as well, a chance to show mercy or none at all. This brings up my point again about player bounties, if someone is constantly Ganking you, you can place a bounty on their head as well. Seek out the underground or the law, just brings in more aspects to hopefully avoid this type of behavior (Ganking Behavior).
Transportation – I hate that when you first get into the game to get transportation you have to wait for a certain level – it should become available as soon as it becomes affordable. Weather it is player created crafted by players or from the “Government” it should be available immediately, what sense does it make that you are level 40 for example and you just now are able to get around faster, instead of walking or running around. This just does not make sense to me. I can kill an Elephant or Crocodile and/or even a Droid that was this major boss but I have to walk home to tell someone about it.
This is not by all means the best way but it is a way that I think would make it more fun and less likely to become a grind. MMO’s seem to all be the same, why is WOW successful? I am not 100% sure, but I do know that they figured it out and pay’ed attention to the little things. I was a WOW player but truly never like it all that much it was OK, not bad just OK. My hope and dream is that Bioware is coming out with a new Star Wars MMORPG which I am so looking forward too “The Knights of the Old Republic,” and I hope some of these things that I have mentioned above are looked at, I do not claim to have the end all answers but I have been playing MMO’s for a long time and there are just a few missing elements that I hope are looked at. I am tired of the same – let’s hope they make the next best thing not the same thing different name.