The Future of Gaming: MMOs and Mass Effect 3

So; a game and a genre. Mass Effect 3, a game that has made waves as a very story-driven RPG and one that has not stopped innovating ever since its first incarnation of Mass Effect in 2007. Mass Effect revolves around the choices you make as Commander Shepard, the protagonist of the story. These choices influence different parts of the game, and can even have a say in who lives or who dies out of the people in your squad. Mass Effect has pioneered the idea that games maybe should revolve around the player’s decisions instead of the developers’ and, in a way, make it so the player is designing their own game instead of the other way around. Now, mix this idea with that of an MMO. A Massively Multiplayer Online Game is a game that can network hundreds or thousands of players in a single persistent world. Right now a very popular MMORPG is World of Warcraft, a sprawling fantasy game with a huge world to explore and raids and quests that you can go on alongside your friends to fight it out together. World of Warcraft does have PvP, player versus player content, but it is enabled in separate servers from the traditional level of the game. Furthermore World of Warcraft has two factions, but there is little world interaction between them.

So, the framework would be this. The person joining the game would pick a faction and have to stick with it. Then, after basic training in a way specific to that world, the player would be introduced to the idea of massive attacks or minor acts of espionage. They would also see the decision making in-game influence of Mass Effect 3, but in a Massively Multiplayer setting with thousands of players per server, and a dynamic world where there are two factions constantly battling it out for control. Now, unlike Mass Effect 3, each player wouldn’t make actions that would affect the world, an entire faction would make a decision that would affect the world. For example, if Faction 1 decides to attack Faction 2’s castle that is guarding a large amount of resources. Introducing a resource = prosperity system maybe having certain amounts of resources would improve the architecture and equipment of each faction’s cities and soldiers (Players). Each faction would have a minimum amount of cities, castles, and other installations that would remain theirs and couldn’t be taken, but maybe those places for each faction only take up 10% of the strongplaces in the world. That means that, hypothetically, one faction could control 95% of the world.

Now you might ask, “Why would anyone want to be on the losing faction? People have multiple emails, whatever way they use to keep people on one faction can be circumvented.” Part of the game would be made specifically to account for such a situation. Statistically if one faction is winning, the other has to be losing. However gaining ground can be as much a problem as a boon. More land means more area to defend, more places for the other faction to attack and take advantage of. A risk/reward system would have to be put in place independant of land usage. Bottom line, this would have to be a complex game with massive support, and right now this is just conjecture that such a scenario could be made. In such a massive area with so many variables, it is unlikely that either side would be able to get a good advantage over the other without very coordinated action by hundreds of players.

Now this is a very roughshod example, but it nonetheless expresses the idea that is being conveyed. A massive world, with factions that can make decisions matched up against another faction. Both on a server with thousands of people, allowing battles of absolutely massive scale. Tangible rewards for expansion, at the expense of the other faction. Throw in areas that each faction can expand to without bothering the other faction, throw in random events that can make a common enemy for both factions to fight against. The world is at each team’s fingertips an MMO on a massive, far-reaching scale. This is the idea.

Please see the response below this.


About Dominic Ricci

Dominic has worked in the industry as both a producer and designer, absorbing many skill sets and branching out as much as he can with his experience to be as competitive as possible. He feels video games are the premier medium for thoughts and expressions in the world, and he wants to help make those experiences as successful as possible. Outside of work, health and fitness are also passions that Dominic holds, and nothing is more fun than going to the gym and then crashing at home to play a game with some friends.
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2 Responses to The Future of Gaming: MMOs and Mass Effect 3

  1. Mike says:

    So what happens when one faction falls behind, getting singled out by multiple other factions? Does everyone just quit and make a new account? Or is faction switching allowed and 90% of people become traitors and the idea of factions is abolished because you can basically leave any time?

    What if I just got the game, and join a random faction only to find out that my faction is weak, poor, and unpopulated? What happens then?

    Seems meh at best.

  2. Fireskull says:

    Fair comment, but I guess I didn’t clarify enough- there are only two factions. Each faction as I said will have a base amount of “strongpoints” or areas that they will hold that the other faction can’t possibly take. There would also possibly be an independant area that each faction could explore separate from the other faction, allowing player versus computer interaction even if the player versus player interaction isn’t going very well.

    Even if one faction isn’t doing well, which WILL happen since there are only two, part of the fun will be coming back from that and fighting their way back in. This would be up to the particular developer, as it would have to be balanced so it would be fun and possible to come back from “owning fewer locations” with attacks and espionage missions. Different servers would have different levels of success, so people could decide whether they want to fight against technically superior odds and regain lost ground, or try to hold off a tenacious enemy while holding areas. Hopefully this would simulate war in the sense that if one faction holds more ground, they also have to defend more ground. The servers would have to be regulated to keep members in a constant amount.

    The random events I mentioned before could also be manually implemented at times, say a meteor crashes in the winning faction’s area with monsters, forcing them to pull back and fight off its attack.

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