If given all financial resources required, what type of MMO would you create?
After giving some thought to the question, here are the results:
- Setting: Outer Space
Whatever setting chosen had to be fun and interesting. Fictional settings lend themselves better then historical settings because historical settings have boundaries where non fictional settings can be molded without thought. One setting that really stood out to me were 19Th Century America, with a wide open western frontier, various Indian tribes and the Civil War. There are a multitude of possibilities with this theme. The second theme was outer space, most notably our most local solar system. There are 8 planets and a host of dwarf planets to visit with moons, asteroids, comets and the like. The scale of such a world would have to be immense to capture a realistic feel and this can lead to issues if done poorly so I was a bit leery of this setting although if done well, it could be breath-taking. The third setting that seemed good for potential use was a totally fictional world from scratch. This world would need to have a high degree of verisimilitude yet also have some defining characteristics that will make it interesting. No one wants to play a game in a boring world. The sky would be the limit with this kind of undertaking. While all three settings appealed to me, I chose outer space for this example. In reality, all of them could work in the right scenario.
It is the year 2777 and Earth is in peril. Virtually all the natural resources remaining on the planet has been consumed. For the sake of survival, human kind must begin cultivating resources from other, non life sustaining worlds. Unfortunately, other species on other planets have also evolved and begun the process of harvesting raw materials from other worlds. It is only a matter of time until the evolved races inevitably collide. The competition for survival has begun!
I personally would include a diverse amount of races although the more races, the more difficult the balance issues become. I believe five seems optimal. Here is a template of some possible race options:
- Humans - Humankind of the future. Humans have evolved past their petty differences and bonded together for survival. Faithful and resilient, humans strive to maintain society on Earth by harvesting natural resources from nearby planets and star systems. Peaceful by nature, humankind has strong grasps of physics and can be a deadly adversary if provoked.
Above Average Technology Scores, Average Physical scores, Above Average Faith Scores, No Magic Scores. Bonuses learning new skills as humans are resilient and learn quickly, Bonuses to faith based skills.
- Elysians - Stereotypical aliens seen in movies and in abduction accounts. Elysians are now nomadic by nature, roaming from system to system consuming all natural resources encountered. Elitist and malicious, Elysians feel no race in the universe can outmatch their technology and are unconcerned how many species die in their wake.
Exceedingly High Technology Scores, Exceedingly weak physical scores, No Faith Score, Below Average Magic Scores. Bonuses to doing anything using technology, bonuses to learning new skills.
- Kord - Super Evolved Insects resembling earth bees. Kord are hive mentality creatures, surviving on their incredible ability to harvest resources throughout space. While possessing little in the way of technology, Kord are powerful creatures, able to naturally survive the vacuum of space. Stories have been told of entire space vessels being obliterated by a swarm of Kord in deep space.
Low Technology Scores, Above average physical scores, Above Average Faith Scores, No Magic Scores. Bonuses to resources gathering, Space Survival, Flight
- Vhorses - Vhorses were once similar to humans until their home planet was changed when their home star captured a binary partner. In this event, the Vhorses home planet was pulled closer to its host star; a blue giant that began pouring new radiation into the planet. This initiated a genetic change in the Vhorses, distorting physical appearance while activating genetic dispositions to magical abilities. Vhorses are evil creatures by nature, scolding races that believe in deities and looking to use other races as slaves for the Vhorses advancement.
Average Technology Scores, Average Physical Scores, No Faith Scores, Exceedingly High Magic Scores. Bonuses to Magic, Resistant to radiation, fire.
- Wulgar - Wulgar are half feline half humanoid creatures, evolving slowly through a lush jungle ridden planet. Wulgar are hunters by nature and have only recently begun the exploration of space. Wulgar care little for space combat but are amongst the most formidable melee combatants in all of space. Wulgar have a nutrient rich planet and are forced to defend it frequently. Wulgar have currently begun space travel to better understand why their home planet has been the target of invasions.
Below Average Technology Scores, Exceedingly High Physical Scores, High Faith Scores, No Magic Scores. Bonuses to physical combat, bonuses to physical speed
Without creating a combat system or what not, here are some general ideas for some classes:
Engineers - Fix technology items, create bombs, weapons, traps and create robots to fight for them
Pilots - Fly both transport ships, battle ships and fighters. Make modifications to ships as they see fit.
Brawler - Ground combat unit - Strength: Melee Combat
Infantry - Ground combat unit - Strength: Ranged Combat
Skirmishers - Ground combat unit - Strength: Versatility
Scout - Fly scout ships for recon, Ground combat unit - Strength: Subterfuge
Certain races would have very different classes. Vhorses would have spell casters while the Kord would have insect subtypes such as Workers and Solders.
Kord Soldier - Insect Soldier specializing in melee combat - able to survive in space and in planetary systems. Able to fly in planetary systems
Vhorses Shadowcaster - Ranged combat specialist focused on dark energy attacks doing significant damage.
Imagine a space combat sequence with traditional flying saucers fighting giant space insects fighting in a huge crab nebula. Or a ground combat sequence on the frigid snow plains of Enceladus during a cryovolcanic eruption. These are the kinds of things that would make a game such as this interesting. Combat should be more then button mashing but not plotting three dimensional spaces. I don't have too many specifics with it but, it should be engaging and not brain numbing or uninteresting.
In conclusion, it is important to note this took about an hour or so to just toss out on paper. With more planning and thought, I'm sure more detail and information could be provided. While there are obvious holes and issues, this is simply an exercise in brainstorming. Feel free to provide other ideas and concepts. Who knows, in five years, we all could be battling Vhorses Shadowcasters on the molten peaks of Io.