If I have the resources to start my own MMO game development company, these will be my dream feature list for our first product.
DYNAMIC NPC & MONSTERS
a. Quest NPCs don't just stand in their place 24/7 but actually walks around the place so you have to find them. Merchant NPCs that occasionally closes their shop to buy inventory or with different operating hours, etc.
b. Some monsters spawns randomly around the world and interact with their surroundings (fight with other monsters) and don't travel back to their original spawn location when provoked. This will create a sense of unpredictability and "adventure".
a. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. If you don't have time to role-play the game, why bother to play an MMO? Just play single-player games instead.
NO AUCTION HOUSES
a. All characters should have a "vending action" to sell their items the old way (like ragnarok online). It's fun communicating with sellers/buyers in real time, negotiating prices until you both reached a deal.
ENHANCED CHAT/INTERACTION FEATURES
a. Big Chat box that are easy to type into and read replies/messages (like ragnarok online).
b. Include animated emoticons (also like ragnarok online).
c. Include specific chat channels (vicinity,party,guild,world).
NO AUTO-PARTY/MATCH-MAKING SYSTEM
a. Forces role-playing/socialization among players.
NO FAST TRAVEL/FLYING MECHANICS
b. Makes the game world feel much larger and will let players experience the joy of exploration.
c. Landscapes should have pathways and street signs on intersections and some paths without signs.
STRICTLY NO CASH-SHOP/PAY TO PLAY ONLY
a. This is self-explanatory, except when Corporate Greed can't be contained.
DYNAMIC WEATHER SYSTEM
a. Affects elemental magic skills physics (rain lowers fire magic damage but increase electric type, etc.)
b. Affects physics (rain/snow makes the ground slippery, etc.)
c. Affects landscapes (rain makes rivers flow faster and harder to cross/swim, etc.)
a. Mysterious/Hypnotizing login page music that will be remembered by players throughout the years in the future. (Ex. Ragnarok Online, Flyff, Maplestory, etc.)
b. Dynamic Music that plays depending on the time and situation.
c. Ambient sounds to enhance the game atmosphere.
SINGLE-CHANNEL/NOT-INSTANCED/PERSISTENT OPEN WORLD
a. Avoid instanced dungeon, its entrance must have respawn-point saving mechanism.
b. You can travel to from the opposite side of the map to the other without portals.
CITIES THAT LOOK LIVABLE AND THRIVING
a. Building/infrastructure heights should scale to the player character heights for immersion.
b. Buildings must be accessible without portals (like MU Online).
c. Resident NPC's going about their daily lives/walking around the city doing errands
GAME INTERNAL CLOCK TIED TO THE REAL WORLD (LIKE ANIMAL CROSSING)
a. Different Seasons affects the surroundings, availability/supply of some in-game items, etc.
MAILING/MESSAGING SYSTEM WITH REALISTIC DELIVERY TIME
a. You can send letters with items (like animal crossing) that gets delivered within 1-3 days depending how far the destination.
NO LEVEL-SCALING FOR PVE
a. You can't kill monsters who are 5 levels above your level.
a. Decrease 1% experience (like Ragnarok Online).
b. Items can be dropped and has the chance of getting broken.
a. All areas are open-pvp except respawn point areas.
b. You can only attack/be attacked by other players who are within 5 levels above or below your level. This will prevent high level players from only attacking low-level players and give fair chances of winning.
c. PVP can only be initiated and finished by a maximum of two players. This is to avoid unfair ganking.
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