WARNING: Long post that I have poured my heart into.
This summer, I've spent every hour social-distancing at home and I tried almost every MMO in the market. After playing all these different MMOs, seeing their good and their bad, I learned more about myself and what kind of player I am. It helped me narrow down what my dream mmo would be like. I know this might sound entirely impossible for such a game to exist, I just wanted to share what I need in my dream MMO.
First, let's all drop the nostalgia. It's 2020. We need new gameplay, new experiences, new graphics! Aren't you bored with the same old grind?! I get it, you are reminiscing about the simpler days, where you are a young kid with no responsibilities. You just got back from school and you spent the entire day playing on your favorite MMO with your friends. Life was good. I used to feel that way, but after playing almost every single mmo out there, the nostalgia factor has less of an affect on me. Personally;
I want a 3D (or 2D!) MMO with new, beautiful, modern graphics with new gameplay that would make the grinding feel completely different and fun. A new mmo that would bring that same majestic feeling we all felt playing our first MMO. (With innovation, this is possible!)
I want an MMO that is targeted towards casual play, but also has something to reward the hardcore players. A simple mmo that can get complicated if you wanted it to. Some of us are getting older, and we only have a few hours a week to game. Let's spend it where it matters!
I want an MMO that places community engagement as its CORE. This isn't a single player game, its a MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE game. You need to meet people to survive, you need to work together to achieve your goal. A game where your reputation matters! (Maybe implement a reputation system on each player, where people can give thumbs up or thumbs down, similar to the fame system in Maplestory) You can't solo your way through the game. No Dungeon queues, no raid queues. Get out there and make friends!
I want an MMO with unique, distinguishable classes that each bring something to the table. (Classic wow for example, rogues can lock pick chests or doors, mages conjure food, warlocks can summon people to their location.. etc) I want an MMO that, with its gameplay, would make you so invested in your class that you wouldn't even consider playing an ALT. Become well known in your server, Axtus the holy healer! Or Tiger, the mighty warrior. Or even NoobSalyer99, the mean ganker, avoid at all cost.
I want a social MMO. Player housing, marriage system, guilds. Sometimes you just want to log in to chill and chat, play some mini-games perhaps or something of that nature. (Relax at the inn and play card-games with your friends?)
I want an MMO that doesn't diminish all your progress (I'm looking at you wow) with power creeping or with a new update that makes all your previous gear and grind totally useless. I want a mmo that would encourage long-term progress. Legendary Tier gear should always be legendary, it shouldn't be common after a couple of years. (I'm interested in what you guys have in mind. How can we combat gear tread-mills?)
Sometimes I really regret upgrading my gaming PC in 2020 because the state of games in general is really sad. I still have hope though, my last hope.. I'm looking forward to Ashes of Creation, Blue Protocol, and Project Selene (Maplestory private server).
Please let me know your thoughts and if you share something similar to what I feel.
My experience with current MMOs:
The best MMO I have ever played. The story just pulled me, to the point that i purchased the books and started reading. I haven't even played GW1! It had mostly everything I ever wanted. Played it for 6 years (Woah, that passed so fast). Why did i stop playing it? I achieved all my goals in the game, completed every single quest, got 100% map completion, not just once, but TWICE. Achieved max PvP rank, got every single class to level cap, got 4 legendary weapons, full sets of ascended armor, and a bunch more. It was fun while it lasted!
I tried so hard to get into this mmo, played it for 3 years on and off. Shoutout to Yoshi P and his team. <3 Even though the game was not for me, I appreciate what they have done with FFXIV. No pay2win, not trashy cash shop. The cash shop itself is not in-game, but on their website, and it's literally called "Optional Items".
A lot of my real life friends started here as their first mmo, and I really wanted to get into it, so I can enjoy it with them. I just could not immerse my self in FFXIV, it had a lot of things that I NEEDED in an MMO. The story, even though enjoyed by many, did not click with me. The combat was boring (I reached max level.) The skills didn't have that Oomph feeling when used, they were all just extremely flashy (literally, rays of light). And the queue times, waiting 30 minutes just to queue in basically anything even though I was a tank. And most important of all, Can we talk about Chat bubbles? Why is this not a thing in FFXIV? Reading the chat box is simply not immersive, what is this, MSN? 🙁
ESO was interesting. Loved the sand-boxy feeling, the story, and the exploration. (Even though i did not invest as much time as the other big 4 MMOS.) What pushed me away? The predatory monetization. The "Limited time offer, expires soon! Buy now!" popups everywhere. It's so bad to the point that it starts getting confusing for new players. DLC and Expansions are two separate things that can be purchased, loot boxes, mounts, and much more. To top it off? This isn't a F2P mmo, you have to buy it, and there is even a monthly subscription.
- WOW (Classic):
I got a level 60 paladin. I loved Classic on launch, the feeling of entering a brand new world that was just a baby is amazing. Players were still low level, and seeing a max level player was so rare. The economy was still growing, I remember becoming a tailor and selling bags in Goldshire to new players. (When gold was worth WAY MORE. I remember seeing 1 gold was selling for $10 USD, LOL!) Getting gear upgrades felt amazing, and everything felt purposeful. The world felt massive with no flying mounts, and every single place was peaked with players. You had to work together to survive! I remember the names of players I come across, because we work together for hours to achieve our goals and it allows players to form special connections. However, the game is just a massive time commitment, time that I will not have once summer break is over.
- WOW (Retail):
I played retail after spending months on classic, the graphics and spell animations were just beautiful when compared to classic. Very mesmerizing! However, this felt entirely like a different game. It's the complete opposite of classic. It was filled with fluff and totally useless content. Getting gear didn't feel good because the game was convoluted with pointless gear. Also, you can pull 5 mobs and one shot them, so who cares? The game just felt "Pointless".
- Old School RuneScape:
Had fun questing, even managed to get the quest cape. However, the game is FILLED with bots which kind of discouraged me. Why should I put effort into farming this specific resource when bots can simply farm it none-stop and sell them cheaper? A lot of people were also just standing around or grinding while being AFK. The game felt like a single player game more than an MMO, which some people enjoy.
- Maplestory (v62):
Like with many old school games, Maplestory (MapleLegends Private Server) felt purposeful, simple, and the community aspect was very important. A few unique classes that feel important and distinguishable with no over-the-top skills. But in 2020, the outdated game design shows its age.
I also played the following games, they all had more or less similar issues in my opinion.
P2W / outdated gameplay / Dead
- Maplestory (Modern):
- Aura Kingdom:
- Eden Eternal:
- Twin Saga:
- Blade & Soul:
- Dragon Nest:
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