Top 10 Things Every MMO Should Have-Part 1
by: Kei Beneza, Onrpg Journalist
MMOs have been around for quite some time now… catering its breathtaking gameplay, while constantly expanding its features to make the experience a bit more satisfying than ever before. Yes, MMOs must have their own defining features, but there’s always one particular trait that stands out, making you wish every MMOs should have it. Here is Part 1 of what I think every MMO should have (in order of importance). Enjoy!
10).Customizable UI: Damn this button! Y SO FAR AWAY?!
UIs (User Interface) play a big role in MMO gaming. Aside from being pleasing to the eyes, this part of the game also helps the player locate skills and menu bars depending on how they want it. Being able to customize the UI is a big factor for me, especially since most of the MMO interfaces today are so generic. It always helps to have perfectly customized interface as it encourages you to not only play further, but also play better.
World of Warcraft is perhaps the best example for customizable UIs. Aside from being able to allocate skills and various stances, players can also add recording tools such as Recount to monitor their damage (as proof of how bad they are). This feature can also make it easier for tanks and healers alike, allowing them to keep track of the action at a more convenient level.
9). A Friggin Screenshot Button: Screenshot or it didn’t happen.
Now, this is a very simple request. When playing your favorite MMO, nothing beats the nostalgic feeling of having to save a screenshot of your defining moments and browsing through them as you go further. Note that not all games have screenshots buttons, and it’s always such a pain to click Ms Paint every time you need it. A player having to press ‘Prt Scr’ and ‘ctrl-V’ every time something comes up makes taking a ‘screenie’ oh so hard. It also makes it a lot harder to review these games (hint, hint, game publishers). It is not that hard to create a screenshot feature!
8). Mini Games: Tired of grinding? How about some Plants vs Zombies?
Mini games are not really needed, but people are not always in the mood to level their characters. Even though MMOs are highly addictive and very fun to play, it always pays to have something else to do aside from questing and grinding. Guild Wars did a fine job at implementing their “Polymock” minigame, which sort of acts like a Pokemon versus game where players can use and duel monsters to their heart’s content.
7). Guild Perks: Join us! You’ll level faster. Resistance is futile!
I’m not really sure who thought of this first, but I really felt the need to work and play harder after the guild perk system was implemented. The guild perk system present in World of Warcraft’s Calaclysm expansion is a grand example of how guild perks should be done. Aside from questing and grinding for experience and gear, players also earn Guild exp after completing quests and killing monsters that contributes to a big Guild experience bar.
Once a guild levels up, more perks become available to its members. Some of these features include faster experience and speed boosts, making it a breeze for new players to catch up. The downside however, is the difficulty being faced by low level guilds. Since lowbie players would rather join a high guild with tons of perks than contribute to a low level group with low bonuses, many guilds have disbanded to join veteran groups. A bit imbalanced at some point, but who in the MMO world can resist extra gold, exp, and PVP points?
6). Instanced Dungeons: Look! It’s Baphomet—- *cleaving sound* — Oh, nevermind.
Instanced dungeons are probably one of my staple features when choosing an MMORPG. Not only does it give everyone an opportunity to kill a boss without having to wake up earlier than the strongest guild on the server, it also lessens the painful experience of kill stealing. “Back in my day” during my RF Online period, we would always end up staring at the strongest guild on the server after they had killed and looted the ‘Caliana Princess’. The painful part is that the one who does the strongest damage gets to loot the body. Despite having enough force to overthrow the Caliana Princess, our guild was always unable to loot the corpse, thanks to some hefty competition and their +7 spears. Not being able to kill a boss because of your level is fine… but not being deprived of loot and items just because some strong guild is farming bosses on a daily basis is just preposterous.
5). Auction House: WOULD EVERYONE PLEASE LOG OUT?!
And on number five, we have the auction house! Got something worth selling? What makes the selling game so hard is when players sit down in the middle of town with big sell bubbles on their heads. It is always hard to find what you are looking for especially since most of these speech bubbles tend to overlap in various 2D MMORPGs like Ragnarok Online, making it hard for your shop to be spotted. Also, staying online just to sell stuff is a waste of both electricity and effort. In this situation, I would say that auction houses are the way to go. Not only can you keep track of the in-game economy a bit more effectively, you can also just log out and let the auctioneer do the selling for you.
The taxes for using the AH system is a drag, but it is definitely a small price to pay for the ease of selling while also providing developers with an effective means to counter currency inflation. Another reason why I enjoy the auction system is because it is always hard to look for a particular thing in a pool of merchants. Sure, you can always spam “LF>EpicStaff” on general chat, but that never works since most of these guys happen to be AFK. Auction Houses are famous for segregating items for convenient shopping, making it easier to spot that Epic Staff regardless of the seller being AFK or simply logged off.