NBI 2016: 6 Features I Want in My Perfect MMO


This may have been last weeks NBI 2016 writing prompt, but it’s been a busy week and not a lot of writing has been done here. I really need to stop telling myself I’ll write tomorrow, because that doesn’t happen.

Thank you Faeldray at Lair of the Wolf Dragon  for coming up with the prompt.


1. No Mini Map

One thing I notice myself doing a lot in RPGs and MMOs is spending more time watching the little arrow cross the mini map when traveling than actually looking at the character and scenery in front of me. I think ESO’s compass bar to show you which direction the objective is really helps to limit  map starring.

2. Training Skills By Using Them

I’ve always liked when skills have to be used to make them more powerful. It makes more sense  that if my character never uses a skill then it shouldn’t get more powerful when he levels up or puts an ability point into it. Games like FlyFF used to have this and it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed Runescape so much. While I can see how some could see it as a grind or a time sink, it’s another enjoyable layer of progression for me.

3. Voice Acted Quests

I’ve seen arguments against the voice acted quest. That people can read faster than the character can talk, that it ruins immersion, that it’s usually poorly done. If I have an option between reading or voice acting I’m going to choose voice acting every time..It’s not that i don’t like to read, I love to read, but in a game I’d rather the characters talk to me, it feels more alive that way. I noticed when I was playing FFXIV that I’d read through the quest dialog or story dialog and by the end of it I had no idea what I just read. Maybe I’m just lazy when I play a video game.

In MMO’s I do prefer the silent protagonist though. In Guild Wars 2 it irks me that every player character sounds exactly the same. I like the Secret World’s approach where the NPC’s are voice acted and my character asks questions via text

4. In-depth Gathering Classes

If I could play a game completely and utterly as a gather I would. I love to gather. I love going into the world, finding the resources, and hording collecting them. Runescape had this to some extent, it wasn’t super in depth but a lot of the skills weren’t either, you leveled up and could collect different things and use different tools. I wasted many a summer day cutting down yew logs. Finaly Fnatasy 14 has some pretty fun gathering classes as well. I kept hearing they were a grind but when I finally tried them out, I spent almost as much time leveling them up as I did running dungeons with my combat class.

5. Classes Advancements with Branching Specializations

I first experienced this in Flyff. You started out as a vagrant, after level 15 you chose a more specialized class like a mercenary or a magician, at level 60 you picked an even more specialized class like a Knight or an Elementalist. It added this carrot on a stick that if I grind out a few more levels I can wield a new weapon or get some better skills. I wouldn’t have had so much fun though if the title didn’t change. Outside of Korean grinders I’ve only seen this in Final Fantasy 14. I’ve been eying Tree of Savior because of their immense class system but haven’t heard great things about the game so far.

6. Robust Wardrobe System

Let’s get to the real reason to play MMO’s dressing up virtual dolls. It’s odd, it bothers me knowing everyone has the same voice in a game but it doesn’t bother me that everyone looks the same. I have no problem looking like the guy next to me as long as the armor looks awesome. Through Diablo 3, I have found the joys of transmoging and mixing and matching armor. I like the way Diablo 3 saves the style of the armor/weapon when you pick it up and it can be applied like a skin whenever you’d like later on. One of the strong points of Trove for me was collecting different weapon, hat, and face styles to mix and match later on. I also want some vanity items to drop even if their stuff like extra hair styles or slightly different looking armor, or weird outfits, but then I guess there would be nothing to sell in the cash shop.

2 thoughts on “NBI 2016: 6 Features I Want in My Perfect MMO

  1. Sylow June 20, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    For #1: it’s interesting. I wonder if what you describe is due to the game you play, or due to how you play.

    What I mean is, I also play many games, among them two MMOs (and dozens of MMOs in the run of the years), but I rarely notice myself being so much focused on the map. (With MWO being the only exception, if you don’t check the map once every few seconds, the enemy will outmaneuver you and you loose. )

    But for most games, I like to have the map available while not relying on it too much. Some (e.g. TSW) even switches maps off for some content, while having it active in other areas.

    For #3: just as an annotation, your character in TSW never talks, not even in text form. It’s kind of a running joke there, some NPCs even address you as “the silent type” and things like that.

    There’s even a part of the community who concluded that the transformation from normal human to “bee” cost you the ability to speak. While I am a disbeliever to that, I find that I can very well fill in form myself what my character would say. I consider that more coherent and atmospherical than the SWtoR 1-2-3 wheel, where my selected answer far too often turned out to be something different and I hated my character to say that stuff.

    For #4: Hehe. You would’ve loved old pre-NGE SWG. Unfortunately only a small minority of all gamers would appreciate this, so it’s very unlikely to see that again soon. (If ever)

    Gathering and crafting professions there drew skill points from the same finite pool, of which you also bought combat professions. So the better a crafter you were, the weaker a fighter you became. It was not unusual for my guild, that one of our crafters wanted to set up some harvesters on a dangerous planet, so he requested (and got) an escort, who escorted him while he surveyed for a good harvester location and then also cleared out dangerous wildlife there.

    It was fun and made a lot of sense, but it requires a sufficient quota of people of the right mindset, which currently would make it a niche game with very limited playerbase.

    For #5: I consider TSW the winner here again for me. It allows me to pick my outfit completely independently from my gear, and also allows me to switch my outfit between all clothing items I have unlocked at about any time. (Just not in combat. )

    I yet have to see anything doing better, except on the user interface, where luckily the addon “Valet” helps TSW a lot, as it allows to save and load clothing combinations


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