21. Februar 2008

CCP's Chance

CCP is working on a secret project. It is assumed that they work on a new MMOG based on the World of Darkness IP. But maybe they will surprise us. The EVE ambulation project may be their way to get experience with avatar/first person technologies. CCP claims that they want to provide for more socializing but that there are no plans for more. I agree that avatars will give more socializing and might even attract gamers with other mindsets (read: women) but I doubt, that CCP has no plans beyond walking on stations.

Here comes what I wish they had in mind:

The new MMOG could be a science fiction life simulation with strong role play and melee combat elements. A kind of future Sims with RPG. If you want to reach the mainstream, then you need more socializing. People must be able to meet in person and not just as small squares on the black space background. In other words: you need avatars which people can style and a home where people can visit each other, maybe even player housing. Call it World of EVE.

The normal game life would happen in a hyper developed privileged world, surrounded by technology and lifestyle with current western and asian street trends. Starting in this futuristic environment players would adventure in the "upper world", uncover conspiracies and safe the world (see The Longest Journey). They could easily switch to cyberspace (Otherland) for parts of the quests. And where there is light, there is also shadow. The underworld of the distant future is big, dark and old. It is a perfect environment for a World of Darkness where technology meets arcane arts and monsters. Vampires? no problem: a product of criminal bio engineering or uncontrolled nanotech. Or they just developed over thousands of years in kilometres deep dungeons of a planetary megalopolis.

Of course adventures in both worlds will have combat with the full range of skills, guns, quests, shooting, nano/bio weapons, field effect, casting, regeneration, healing, vicious enemies, robots, cyberspace hacking, monsters, all you need for Anarchy Online on speed. And here we meet the old dream of EVE-Online players: melee combat in stations, not just walking (ambulation), but also fighting in hallways, conquering stations, using ground troops to throw pilots out of their (not so safe anymore) bunks, capturing command centres and infrastructure and solving quests in abandoned parts of old stations to safe the world (station). And ... what EVE-Online players do not dare to dream: landing on planets to enter a hyper developed living and adventure world.

This would be the perfect combination for CCP: a triplet of socializing/lifestyle with melee combat and seamless integration with EVE-Online. It would make EVE-Online more attractive for the mainstream and create a new world which might even sweep away SecondLife, but still leave enough room for a dark side.

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