Guild Wars-Style MMO: Could It Work?

I’ll preface this by saying that I don’t consider Guild Wars to be an MMO. While there are many thousands of players online at the same time, everything including the towns are instanced. When you run out of a town, you will find no other players except those you grouped with. Even though many people do consider this to fall into the MMO category, I just don’t buy it, but anyways, on to my idea.

So would it be plausible to import this style of play into a more standard MMO? Give players the option to jump straight to max level? By this I mean a far greater focus on PvE, instead of PvP (although it’s still very much included.) So this could mean both instancing/raiding as well as perhaps some world PvP or instanced PvP. Here’s how I think it could work.

You could be given a base set of armor and attributes/skills for both PvE and PvP. As you progress with your maxed level character through “end-game” content or complete PvP objectives, you could gain boosts to either your armor or stats. Perhaps your standard PvE character could gain rewards throughout their progression that could boost attributes and unlock skills, while progression through PvP could earn you an armor boost/upgrade. Obviously which benefits which could be switched around, but this seems pretty solid.

One problem that I can see with this is if you want to be a hardcore raider or harcore PvPer and don’t want to do the other content, how do you progress without participating in the other? I’m not quite sure about this yet, but I’m sure there are a multitude of possibilities to get around this.

Another problem with this is that if you decide to jump right into PvE content with your maxed character, what’s to stop you from burning out? The answer is give it more randomness like PvP. An arena would be a great way to do this, which randomly generated mobs or increased mobs depending on the size of the group. I believe Anarchy Online had a mission generator that could either be geared towards loot or xp, and difficulties could also be set (not 100% sure on this, but I think I remember hearing about it.) *This could be applied to ANY MMO out there today, not just in this setting.* This is a great way to ensure varied content, even if a lot of the environments get recycled (a la CoH/CoV), as long as the layout and the location/type of mobs changes each time, then it will be much more exciting that running *insert raid instance here* every week.

One major difference between Guild Wars and most other MMO’s out there now is that PvE is certainly put on the back-burner, with it’s only true purpose being to obtain runes to boost your PvP abilities. Could this work in a game that takes three to six months to reach max level and unlock everything for your other characters? I’m not really sure myself, let alone whether I would be interested in this system myself. I haven’t really taken too much time to develop this in great detail, but this is what I’ve got so far.



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