Good, and great games, are a partnership of sorts. They are partly the creation of a team of developers, and partly the experience that the player has with it. The games we make are only partly what we think will make for a good game, they are just as much what we think you will enjoy. So one thing that developers are always trying to get a grasp on is what people actually want to see in a new game.
It is also a lot harder of a question to answer then you might think.
There is always the discussion about whether you go with the expected, try to innovate, or a balance between the two, and I have talked about that before, so this isn't a post to go over the subject again.
This time out I wanted to ask you all out there a question on this subject.
What do you want (and not want ) to see in the next generation of MMOs?
It is a far reaching question. There are a huge number of players that play and enjoy MMO games these days. From the millions who play World of Warcraft, to the ever growing masses who consider themselves part 'gamer' due to the continued popularity of consoles. There are players with many years of MMO experience, across dozens of games, and there are those who have only really known Azeroth. As I have said many times before, I am not sure at this stage that anyone will ever make a 'traditional' MMO that will be better than the standard set by Blizzard, (at least when compared to what they have now, some five plus years in), but someone will most certainly make a game, that we call an MMO, that will live up to being the 'Next Big Thing' as it were. It just won't be quite the same as the other games out there.
I also think there will be plenty of room for traditional style MMOs aimed at the niche markets of the veteran MMOs communities. Some of those games will be great games for their intended audience, they just also face the challenge of expectation. Even if they never intend to, they will be compared to certain games that they don't have a chance of matching for sheer polish and content.
So really what I am asking you all is that if you realize that challenge? What is it that you are looking for in the next generation of MMOs that will come. Now that many have concluded you simply can't hope to just borrow liberally from Blizzard's behemoth and watch the dollars roll in, there will be a period when people are genuinely searching for the next combination of online elements and game-play that can move the genre forward.
It is also interesting to hear what people are looking for and see how that matches up against what is realistically technically feasible with current, and realistically near future, technology. Sometimes I read threads on various MMO sites, and the ideas sound great, but I know that our current technical platforms simply can't match that ambition, or cost.
So sometimes it is just fun, and interesting, to simply ask people what it is that they are looking for in the future. It doesn't matter how crazy it sounds, what would you love to see in your next MMO passion?
So what is it that you personally that would make the perfect next MMO for you?