The MMO Gamers' All I Want for Christmas List
At one time or another, just about every serious MMO gamer has uttered a wish related to his or her gaming habit. Perhaps it was a wish for changes or upgrades to an existing game. Or maybe it was a wish for an MMO that has yet to be invented. Either way, when we stop to think about it, we all have our wish lists.
This holiday, the editors and staff writers at Ten Ton Hammer sat down to ponder our special wish lists for the genre we love. We've hung our stockings by the chimney with care and, while we're off dreaming our visions of sugar plums, we hope you'll take a moment to check out our lists...and share a few wishes of your own.
This will probably come across as the mutterings of a madman, but I'd love to see a return to the concept of a level-based MMO that doesn't place an XP bar so prominently on the screen at all times. If the gameplay experience is rich enough to begin with, then tracking advancement should really be a secondary concern. Or put another way, if you're having fun then your character level really shouldn't matter. So I wish for a fundamental shift away from the mighty XP bar's oppressive gaze.~ Sardu
I want—no, I need—EverQuest Next. Seriously, SOE, shut up and take my money. Sure, with the exception of PlanetSide 2, you've been flying under the radar lately as a development studio, but I happen to think your time to be at the top of the food chain could be cycling around again. EverQuest was, of course, legendary, and EQ2 was ahead of its time in many ways, so my hopes are already higher than a stoner at a Phish festival. Add SOE President, John Smedley's comments to PC Gamer that they're "not trying to make WoW2 or EverQuest 2.5," and claiming that the game is poised to "define the next generation of MMOs," and I'm beyond ready for this game. Santa, hurry up and hang an EverQuest Next announcement in my stocking! ~ Shayalyn
My biggest Christmas wish is for MMO gaming to embrace the two Ms in that acronym and not worry so much about the O. Massively multiplayer is what defines this genre, but more and more games are reeling back from the "massively" and the "multiplayer" and just making their games online, whether for the DRM benefit or simply because they want to cater to the solo player. More games should encourage players to group up and enjoy the game. It's entirely possible to provide incentive without being forceful in one direction or the other. Dragon Nest is a good example of a game that allows players to solo all the content to their heart's content, but if they want to have a more enjoyable and easier experience on the harder difficulties then they'll need to seek out camaraderie and companionship.~ Xerin
Please let The Elder Scrolls Online meet expectations. The scale of the project is incredibly ambitious, attempting to combine the game worlds of five-plus previous titles and convert those worlds into something playable by many people at the same time. The success of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has expanded the Elder Scrolls universe beyond its initial audience, sparking interest in a multiplayer game in players who might not otherwise glance at an MMO. All it will take is one minor misstep to bring this delicately-balanced house of cards crashing down—make it too much like WoW and the Elder Scrolls diehards will despise it, but make it not-WoW-enough and it may alienate the MMO crowd. Finding that balance is what will make or break the game. ~ Gunky
All I want for Christmas is a Doctor Who MMO! Doctor Who has long been my favorite show and I can't believe that it hasn't gotten the full MMO treatment yet. Other IPs such as Star Trek and Star Wars, both of which came after Doctor Who, have MMOs, but there's still none for the good Doctor. I want to battle Daleks on Skaros, help the Brigadier and UNIT defend Earth from alien invasions, and face off against the coldly logical Cybermen. Doctor Who has the greatest universe of locations and enemies for players to interact with, so it just screams for a fully fledged MMO. Players could adventure in various zones such as ancient Rome, modern Earth, or the far future, and battle creatures such as the Zygon, Silurians, Sontarans, Weeping Angels, Ice Warriors, and so many more. I would gladly plunk down a monthly subscription fee to adventure in the universe of Doctor Who, and there are millions of fans worldwide who would do the same. I need to travel the online world in my own personal T.A.R.D.I.S!~ Jeffprime
Dear Santa Gnaws (You know Santa Gnaws, heÂs the undead Santa), all I want for Christmas is for Terry Pratchett to break down and finally sign a deal for a Discworld MMORPG. Who wouldnÂt like to explore the comically dark city of Ankh-Morpork, see the Agatean Empire, try to avoid Death, fight the Auditors of Reality while at the same time maybe even helping that poor sap Rincewind and not get eaten by his luggage? DoesnÂt that all just scream "make me into an MMO?" And Santa Gnaws, please donÂt let them screw this one up...and please donÂt eat me.~ Martuk
GUILD WARS 2 COMMUNITY SITE TEAM
Once upon a time, MMOs were a social activity on a very core level. Classes had non-combat skills catered towards helping other players, and the entire experience became much richer the more you factored in groups of players as a base unit rather than individuals. Guild Wars 2 attempts to cater to both the soloers and the socializers, but in doing so hasn't necessarily managed to truly excel in one direction or the other. So my biggest wish would be more deeply-rooted social mechanics that actively encourage players to form groups, and better tools for doing so across the board. ~ Sardu
IÂll be greedy and ask for something just for me. I really want my Legendary weapon. I've been slowly building up to it since launch and I may finally be in striking range. If only the fickle Djinn Zomoros would smile upon me this Christmas and grant me the precursor I so desperately desire. Since thatÂs a long shot (as I so painfully know), how about ArenaNet gets to making that scavenger hunt path for precursor weapons so I donÂt have to gamble away my fortune over Wintersday! That would be the real miracle. ~ Innuendo
There are a lot of things I and many other players want for Christmas in GW2, but what I want the most is far out in the left field&emdash;more player housing options. You have your own personal instance in your major city and it Âsort ofÂ evolves with you, NPCs change depending on your choices, but itÂs not truly personal. Phantasy Star Universe gave every player their own instanced apartment and you could decorate it with various items found in the world. I wouldnÂt mind having a specific instanced home that you could call your own, maybe even have a way to access your vault, the trading post, and a limited number of crafting tools.~ Martuk
SWTOR COMMUNITY SITE TEAM
All I want for Christmas is a planet, Ilum to be exact albeit after a major overhaul. With the introduction of group finder and automated queuing for warzones, there are very few experiences in The Old Republic that truly feel organically Âmultiplayer.Â The times I did have on Ilum may have been occasionally frustrating (probably more so for the Republic players we had pinned in their base) but they actually required players to work together, formulate strategies, and communicate all on their own. This had the added benefit of creating a more polite and respectful atmosphere as those who didnÂt function as a team soon found themselves alone in the icy tundra. Also what better place to appreciate Life Day than a winter wonderland, where keeping your life is enough of a present. ~ Halfshell
I would like to wake up with the free-to-play program tweaked. Right now, the free-to-play program is fine but itÂs not perfect. There are some major issues with it that are keeping SWTOR from shining brightly in the sea of MMOs, and those issues need to be dealt with. First, the limit on warzones is too harsh and should be removed. Instead of limiting what players enjoy, why not innovate new systems? GW2 will have pay-to-enter tournaments, which encourage players to utilize the micro-transactions to accomplish something in the game, but in no way limit the fun. Even better, why not layer the game in such a way that "truly free" comes without the barrels and barrels of limitations, while buying a box set version of the game unlocks all of the standard features, like warzones and flashpoints. ThatÂs what IÂd like to see under my Christmas tree this year. ~ Xerin
WoW COMMUNITY SITE TEAM
I know it's a long shot, but what I would really like for Christmas in my MMO is not something Blizzard can deliver, but rather all the players out there. More than anything I would like WoW players to offer some consideration and common courtesy (which unfortunately is not at all common) for their fellow players. It seems to get worse every year, and I would like that to change more than anything. Imagine an MMO where players actually talk to and help each other. Imagine an MMO where players don't queue as a tank, even though they don't know how to nor have the gear to, just to get in a group faster. Imagine an MMO where players actually stay in group for an entire instance and don't AFK to take the dog for a walk, or drop group once they get the piece of gear they wanted. Imagine an MMO where the other players actually realized that they were playing with other humans and not some AI developed to serve their needs and wants alone. ~ Messiah
I'd love some shiny new character models. I know I can't be the only one who is a bit tired of staring at the same character model year after year. Sure, our characters still look pretty good for being eight years old, but I think an update is overdue. Give me Blood Elves that look like Alexstrasza or Night Elves that look...well...anything but how they currently do. At the very least, give us new character models that are on par with the Pandaren models introduced in Mists of Pandaria. Integrating new character models will give WoW a fresh new feel with very little effort. And, on a more personal note, make my Tauren able to feel just as pretty as any panda. ~ Memnock
I would like to see Blizzard continue with the improvements that theyÂre currently making in World of Warcraft. Pandaria has been an absolute delight so far, and they need to keep that ball rolling and continue innovating in WoW. Pet battles are a prime example of a system mechanic added to an aging game that is just downright fun. The new daily quest / raid finder mechanic for casuals is one of the best things to happen since murlocs. It lets players enjoy the game and see content and raid without the huge commitment or necessary planning and, best of all, it doesnÂt break guilds up. You can queue with a large group of your guild mates and still do the dungeon without hunting tons of other players down to join with you. All I want for Christmas is for Blizzard to continue with that trend. ~ Xerin
We've shared our wish lists for MMO gaming in general, and some of our favorite MMOs specifically. What's visions of virtual sugarplums are dancing in your head as we sail off toward 2013? Share your comments below!