Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Top 5 MMO No Brainers

Tons of people have fallen in love with the worlds presented by MMOs, and while MMOs have typically only been successful in the fantasy genre, there are tons of potentially amazing MMOs that could come from licensing major properties. Here are five of the most obvious choices for the next big MMO.

A potential MMO set in Firefly’s fiction could see parties roaming the galaxy together to pull off jobs, get in intense gun fights on backwater planets and pick up travelers who don’t necessarily fit in with a party. The player can choose to either carry out some illicit work or join the Alliance and chase the outlaws. The various jobs that are associated with each crew member in the 2002 cult hit could be translated well into an MMO. Additionally, the game could set up similar strained relationships between crew members whose sense of morality is sometimes outmatched by their love of coin. Because it’s limited to one galaxy, the universe set up in Firefly is admittedly smaller than a lot of MMOs, but that’s where it could shine by making its worlds more personal just like the show did. It’s unclear how the current project will work out, but let’s hope it ends up being as fantastic as the property deserves.

Find a crew.

Find a ship.

Green Lantern
Yes, I know that DC Universe Online is already scratching this particular itch; however, an MMO specific to the Green Lantern universe could be worlds apart from what DCUO is doing. With the possibility for limitless energy powered by imagination and a protector for each sector of the universe, Green Lantern is ripe for an MMO. The Green Lantern mythology sees the universe split into 3600 sectors with multiple Lanterns from each of these sectors, so there would be no shortage of races and home-worlds to choose from when creating your character. On top of all this would be the potential for expansions that include the other Lantern Corps (Blue, Yellow, Red, etc.). All of this could add up to an intricate universe with tremendous potential. Green Lantern has really only seen game releases in the fairly mediocre GL movie tie in and an expansion pack for DCUO, so a standalone MMO  for the character could really give the GL universe a chance to shine as bright as it deserves.

The gang's all here.

Like this, but, ya know, more.

Battlestar Galactica
Another fan favorite sci-fi show, Battlestar could make an extremely interesting MMO. The fleet of ships traveling from the fallen human colonies to Earth could make for a tense situation where only some of the humans’ enemies are known. Similar to Assassin’s Creed’s multiplayer, players wouldn’t necessarily know which side the other players are on. Cylon sleeper agents could be hidden on various ships while other players could choose to be outright chrome Cylons and still others choose to be the downtrodden humans just trying to survive. The fleet isn’t huge, but it’s big enough to give players a lot to explore. Quests could revolve around dispatching Cylon troops or dealing with the constant problems associated with the aged Galactica. Rare instances could see parties going to various uninhabited worlds in search of materials or to fight a major Cylon battle. The Second Cylon War would be a great potential setting for an MMO.

The fleet should be big enough for an MMO.

Some of those closest to you may be Cylons...but WHO????

Harry Potter
The Harry Potter series deserves a better game than the ones it’s gotten. Sure, the first two games were fairly competent platformers, but it seemed that the more the developers tried to do with the games as well as the intense deadlines faced by movie-game tie-ins, the worse the games got. However, now that the films are all done developers could have a chance to breath and really come up with some exciting stuff for a potential MMO. The structure of Hogwarts is already well suited to the MMO genre; each Hogwarts house could be a class with lessons acting as training or leveling your character. There innumerable dangers lurking in and out of the castle would keep players interested for a long time. Finding the Sorcerer’s Philosopher's Stone, entering the Chamber of Secrets, or competing in the Triwizard Tournament would all be fantastic set pieces for players to experience. All of the best elements of fantasy coupled with modernity are here and could be readily enjoyed by the MMO crowd. 

Not like this...

Please not like this...

What else could number 1 really be? Pokémon is so well set up for an MMO that it’s impossible not to think of what one would be like. Each player creates their trainer, sets out from home to be a Pokémon master, and can either battle the gym leaders for the title of Pokémon Master or collect all of the Pokémon for science. The types of quests in the normal MMO are already present in the tasks in the main series Pokémon games. Fighting gym leaders, chasing down Team Rocket, and helping random townspeople could all be easily fleshed out into fuller MMO quests. The game would almost definitely work a lot differently than typical MMOs, but the payoff could make a bigger impact than any other game in the genre has ever had. It's hardly a new idea to make Pokémon into an MMO, but it doesn't stop it from being the most obvious choice.

Create your trainer.

Collect the Pokemon. 

These could be the next big MMOs, or they could go the way of the Matrix Online which may have been the biggest MMO no brainer of all time. What properties do you think would translate well into MMO territory?

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