Monday, March 24, 2008

What The Hell Do I Want Out Of An MMO Anyway?

Ten years ago, during my infancy in Ultima Online, I eagerly logged on at every play session, gleefully throwing myself into the savage early days of the game, wishing it would last forever.

The game has. And, my house and my characters are still there. There are even more things to do these days. Yet, that feeling I once had is long since dead and buried. I tried many other MMOPRGs, including Everquest, World War 2 Online, Anarchy Online, City of Heroes, Guild Wars, World of Warcraft - and they were mostly very shallow experiences that did not capture that pioneering spirit I felt in UO's early days.

I'm not sure what the UO team could do at this point to get that back. They could add more content, specifically for the vast, underutilized oceans in the game, but I doubt even that would get me overly excited and into the game like I once was. No, I need a new game, but not another level - treadmill game.

So what the hell do I want anyway?

I want a fully 3D massively-multiplayer game with customizable camera angles. The graphics don't have to be absolute state of the art, but should be pretty good.

I want a home in the game - one of UO's greatest strengths - that allows me to customize it as I see fit. I also want it to be different geographically from other homes. I don't want an apartment in a building, or a prefab box in a long line of them. I want to stake my claim to a virtual world in a unique spot that no one else has.

I want a dynamic world. Large scale events happen that change the world whether I'm there or not. My home is vulnerable to those events (natural disasters, monster attacks, enemy armies taking the territory that my house is in), but my items in that house are either insured or secured in some manner. And the plot remains mine.

I want a customizable avatar. I can make it look like me, or some idealized variation of me.

I want social aspects and solo aspects.

I want built-in voice chat and many other ways to communicate.

I want powergamers discouraged and out-of-game transactions to be impossible.

I want and end to that sickening feeling that, because I actually have a job and a life, I'll never be able to keep up with those that don't.

I want it on a console instead of a PC. Everyone therefore will basically have the same system setup and I won't have to worry about upgrading my computer every five minutes. Plus, I want to play it on the couch.

I want it to be linked with my blog, my myspace account, and any other web identities that I want to be publically associated with.

I want a zero-tolerance stance on cheating and other standard internet stupidity.

I want an active in-game content team out there doing random things. The scenario I've always envisioned for UO goes that way - I'm out fishing or mining, and one of these paid content people appears to my character and offers a unique quest or reward suited for that character. And instead of the challenge always being "go here and kill this monster", give me challenges that test my knowlege of the in-game lore, the world geography, and things like that.

I want it to be fun and stay fun. Never repetitive.

Is that too much to ask? Somebody make this game, please.


GLR said...

I want to go back to Ohio State to old Columbus town...I want to go back to see the far the finest in the land..Hi bro :)

Ruffie said...

Hey Gary, great to hear from you, and thanks for letting me know about (and giving me access to) your blog. Looks like you've been very busy lately!