Saturday, November 3, 2007

What MMORPG Is On Your Radar?

Honestly, no traditional MMORPG due out anytime soon excites me. They're pretty much all the same game with different graphics:

  • gameplay is about increasing the character's abilities

  • character abilities are defined by magically increasing "level" in a predefined class

  • gameplay is 80% kill, kill, kill, with the remaining 20% mere support functions for kill, kill, kill

I just can't get too enthusiastic about yet another such game regardless of the demands it makes on my graphics card.

The game that would interest me -- assuming it also had great production value and plenty of content -- would look more like this:

  • no need to increase abilities during gameplay -- gameplay is about actually playing the game, not grinding to max your level so you can start playing the game

  • abilities based not on class/level but on skills learned during character creation

  • gameplay (skills and content) is roughly 20% combat, 20% commerce, 20% discovery, and 20% story/social play, all deeply connected with each other, and that balance is maintained throughout all expansions
I've been working on some ideas for a game like this, but I'm not aware of any developer with a $30M budget who's actually building this kind of game. Until someone does, nothing's got me too revved up.

That said, Hero's Journey and a Star Trek MMORPG seem likely to be the most interesting of the DikuMUD descendants.

Meanwhile, I'm just waiting for Spore.

And waiting....