As MMORPGs and other virtual worlds become more and more commonplace, it seems that more and more people want to write the next “WOW-killer” game. From time to time, the ideas that show up at my desk are, shall we say, quite entertaining. All the players around the globe try to improve their game and the ranking with the help of boosters like elo boost. However, there were some worst ideas in this industry as well. Here are 5 wors ideas for MMORPGs.
Milk Your Friends
One would-be author thought that the next great MMORPG needed to give people more reason to make friends and hang out with them. He thought his game should allow you to click on your buddies once per day to extract some game money. Naturally, this would encourage you to seek out your friends so you can click them, and hang around populated areas hoping to entice lots more friends so you can click them, too. It could become quite a click-fest.
The best part, though, was when the author compared this action to harvesting animals on Farmville. Harvesting your friends would set off an animation that looked like your avatar was milking the other avatar. In fact, hovering your cursor over a friend who had not yet been harvested today would produce a popup-style message over that avatar’s head suggesting you milk said avatar. The author made no mention of an animation of a splash of milk squirting out or anything, but I’m afraid I thought it anyway.
Door-to-Door NPC Salesmen
It’s certainly true that having a central marketplace with a neat little listing of everything you could possibly buy is unrealistic. It’s convenient, but it takes away from the reality of the game. On the other hand, it’s certainly inconvenient to have to walk around looking for a vendor that sells the stuff you’re looking for.
One solution is to have NPC Salesmen who stop by your player housing on a regular basis to see if you want to buy anything. All you have to do is log in and wait for the salesman to show up. Of course, if the salesman shows up at an inconvenient time, that’s just being realistic. After all, salesmen who dare to show up on your doorstep in the real world very seldom pick a good time, either. I also vote for high-pressure sales tactics and guilt trips if you don’t seem inclined to buy. Make him persistent and annoying to the point that he follows you around harassing you until you do buy something, make him un-killable, and give him lame and repetitive dialog that can’t be turned off. That’s something every game needs, for sure.
Avatars Need to Pee
Every time you drink anything, the game starts a clock. At a set amount of time, after you drink, the game informs you that you need to pee. If you don’t, the nagging gets more and more insistent. When it becomes urgent enough, your avatar starts doing a pee-pee dance. Your abilities are affected, too, depending on how badly you need to go.
The uncontrollable pee-pee dance might be kind of entertaining if you’re standing around town chatting with your friends, but…
Why do we always assume that all avatars should have two arms and two legs? Why can’t someone decide to have a one-armed avatar, a one-legged avatar, or even an avatar with no arms and no legs? We’re not talking pirate peg-legs here; we’re talking real disabled avatars.
You see, real people sometimes lose limbs. That lost limb might actually be part of their personal identity. They might feel so attached to being a person without arms or legs that they cannot emotionally handle having them in a 3D game. It’s not about being gruesome or pirate-like at all. It’s actually “ableist” that games don’t accommodate this burning need. My eyes have been opened now (though I wonder if it’s okay to assume two eyes).
This game permits you to do heinous things to the NPC townsfolk – well, mostly attack them without provocation. However, although the game mechanics allow you to do it, the game punishes you if you do. Your reputation score goes down! The NPCs will start to dislike you, and they will do things like overcharge you for goods, give you the wrong information or even walk away from you to avoid you. The idea is to instill some concept of responsibility for your actions, even in the context of a game. So far, all that is well and good. In fact, I rather like it.
However, there is an escape hatch. You can repair your reputation score by going to the temple and bribing the High Priest with game money. Pay a few bucks, and your reputation improves a little; pay enough bucks, and you’re all forgiven. If Big Guy says you’re okay, then all the townsfolk will forget whatever you’ve done. It sounds like permission to do whatever you like, as long as you can afford forgiveness.