So, I recently watched all six parts of Klondike, the new mini-series set during the Klondike gold rush (and it stars the guy that played Robb Stark in Game of Thrones) and it got me thinking.
I really want a good MMO that focuses on that sort of setting. Something kind of like Red Dead Redemption mixed with Klondike. It would focus on exploration, discovery, resource gathering, and crafting. Seasons and weather would play a huge part, sickness would be a thing. Water and food would be required to survive. There would be a neat and interesting mining system, wood cutting system, and crafting system. It would probably need to be voxel-based to get what I want.
Basically, the goal of the game would be to go to a "Frontier" to make your fortune. I'm thinking that there would be two or three major "hub towns" that you would start in/do the tutorial, and go to for major trade. These would be "NPC" towns, but would allow for players to rent warehouses, factories, lodging, etc... Maybe have an elected government of players.
Then there would be a number of different frontiers. Places like the Klondike, Alaska, a bunch of the Western states, etc... In the Frontiers, it would be open-PVP. There would be a building system that would allow for a decent amount of customization. The Frontiers would also be the only places you can get resources - gold, silver, coal, oil, timber, etc... Also within the Frontiers you can do some crafting, but for major stuff (mass production, detailed decorative clothing, weapons, etc...) you would have to take the resources to one of the hub towns, get the proper tools, and rent the proper establishment to craft in.
The end goal would to be a sort of "lawless land" type feel, where people go out to make their fortunes in one of a variety of ways. Hopefully boom towns would show up, gold/silver/oil "rushes" would happen when someone discovers it, banditry would be a thing. People would be allowed to elect "lawmen" that would be immune from the games murder count system (of course they can have it taken away as well). The governments of the Hub Towns would be able to enlist players to act as soldiers and send them out to areas that are having trouble keeping peace. That sort of stuff.
My idea for the murder system would be as follows: The game would have perma-death. This wouldn't be too big of an issue as there would be no skills in the game. So if you make a new character, all you have to worry about is re-gearing/re-making your fortune. If you kill someone, and no one is around to know it, you're basically get off scot-free. If you kill someone, but someone else sees it, you would have to kill that person as well to get away with it. If that person had managed to get into line-of-site of someone else before you killed them, the other person would also be a "witness", and so on. If that continues until a lawmen becomes part of the chain, then you will become "wanted" and thus when you yourself are killed (either in combat or hanging), your IP is locked out of the game for 24 hours.
Now, some would say that allowing for free-for-all PVP in a perma death game will just result in griefing. However, I feel that it is the only way to give the kind of feeling I want. Also, getting weapons would (usually) require money. Of course you could try using a rock or something, but if the person you're attacking has a gun you'll probably end up dead. And guns aren't cheap. The goal of this system would be to provide that "You can't trust anyone" feel that you would get in a lawless land. You could be shot in the back at any time, and chances are you wont get justice.
So it would be a game centered on exploration (of the various frontiers, looking for resources) and discovery (finding said resources). Crafting, production, trade, diplomacy, survival, etc... would also play a part.
Anyways, just a quick idea I had for an MMO.