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The MMO Wish List - What Are the Extras Players Really Want?

Posted Fri, Feb 27, 2009 by Dalmarus

So what is it that you really want in an MMOG?  Sounds like a simple question doesn't it? I'd agree with that assessment, but as we've all seen, this simple question has spawned more arguments, hurt more feelings, and caused more corpse runs than any non-gamer would believe. Since there are so many possible meanings to the question at hand (and since you don't want to read a thesis), I'll narrow the topic down to several areas I think need improving from the majority of development teams out there. Some developers have done a better job than others in meeting player needs and wants in some categories, while other areas have been largely ignored by everyone. No two players will ever be able to agree on a list of issues that need to be addressed in any game, but for this week, I'm talking about character customization, player housing, mounted combat, ship to ship battles, and underwater exploration. 

Customization goodness. Yeah, CoX is awesome like that.

To anyone that's been reading my articles, it will come as no surprise that I'm a freak when it comes to my demands for character customization. I can't stand playing a game where I look like 90% of the population. In this category, there are both shiny legends and unsympathetic goats. When talking about customization done right, you'll be struck down with lightning by angry gods if you don't acknowledge the genius of the City of Heroes/Villains and Star Wars Galaxies teams. CoX may currently hold the record (and they absolutely deserve it), but before they threw their hat into the ring, Star Wars Galaxies created an unheard of masterpiece when it released.  

Up until that point, no game had given players so much intricate control to make their chosen character exactly as they wanted. They may not hold the title anymore, but they were the first to step up and prove not only what could be done, but that there was a desperate need for players around the world to create unique characters. To any developer that may be reading this, please listen carefully: You can no longer get away with giving us four hair styles, five set faces, and the ability to change eye color. That's not going to cut it any more. If you do choose to go the easy route, have no doubt that I'll call you out on it every time. For those that do get it right, keep it up because we love you for it! 

When it comes to player housing, there seems to be two distinct camps of thought. On one side of the coin, you have the individuals that feel no game is complete unless they have the ability to build the home of their dreams, with multiple options in terms of size and design. They spend more time decorating and furnishing their home than they'll spend in their local Department of Motor Vehicles in their entire life. On the other side of things, you have the players like me that couldn't care less about whether I have a home in a game or not. If a home is provided (like in EverQuest 2), I'll happily spend a disturbing amount of time and loot creating the look I want. 

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