I post about this at least once a year and have been doing so since… well, since at least back when WoW was launched. I think it becomes more relevant every year as fantasy games explode in popularity and the sci-fi gaming market seems to get smaller and smaller. Nobody seems to look to the stars anymore >.>
Anyways, here’s the general idea that I post pretty regularly, each time hoping blizzard will do something with it:
“World” of Starcraft: A 3-faction, for-everyone MMORPG
- 3 faction, “for everyone” system:
The key selling point of this idea is that each faction plays like an entirely different genre of game. These days, you’ve got all sorts of games, but very few games that try to combine multiple genres into one. Savage Eden did a pretty good job of combining RTS and FPS/TPS playstyle, but was a very undermarketed game with a small player base that quickly died off. Here’s the general layout I’d go with:
Terran players experience the game as a first-person shooter with some RPG elements. Gameplay is first person (except, perhaps, when in vehicles - that’s up in the air on which viewpoint to go with), and character performance relies on a combination of ‘twitch’ reflexes/aiming skills bolstered by the armor, weaponry, and other upgrades your character is utilizing.
Beginning as a soldier recruit, terran players have a basic power armor suit and rifle. As the player progresses, you can move into new “professions”, which unlock access to better power armor (marauder, firebat, etc. armor) and weapons (grenade launchers, flamethrowers, etc.).
Alternate advancement paths may allow the player to forgo the power armor for ghost training, trading survivability for telepathic and telekinetic abilities, personal cloaking devices, and more specialized equipment.
In some areas, access to vehicles ranging from vulture hoverbikes to arclite siege tanks to even wraith and valkyrie starfighters might be available. These could be limited use free for all vehicles (first come, first serve), or perhaps purchased for pvp areas like we can purchase boosts when doing things like alterac valley in WoW.
In contrast to Terrans, protoss players experience the game from a third-person / over the shoulder viewpoint, and a playstyle more akin to a traditional MMORPG or third person action RPG. Protoss combat is predominantly melee via psiblades or warpblades, combined with psionic abilities; with basic abilities being available to all protoss and more advanced abilities being available based on progression choices.
Protoss players begin as an acolyte/zealot in training. Three progression arcs are available, and once you pick a path you’re locked into it (much like terrans with powersuits vs ghost/psionic gameplay).
- The zealot path grants only basic psionic abilities, but access to ever-improving power armor and psi blades. This path is more of a melee warrior/rogue playstyle, and eventually leads to a dark templar style character.
- The adept path sacrifices advanced power armor and psi blades for more advanced psionic abilities, such as psionic storm. This path is more of a spellcaster playstyle, and eventually leads to a high templar style character, possibly with the ability to temporarily become an archon or dark archon.
- The Dragoon path gives up psionic and melee abilities and focuses on cybernetic enhancement. The player is able to upgrade through varying dragoon/stalker/immortal mechanical bodies with improved shields and weaponry. This path is more of a ranged hunter-like playstyle.
As with Terrans, protoss may occasionally have access to vehicles in certain areas, ranging from scouts and corsairs to arbiters and void rays.
The third faction, zerg, play entirely different from the other two, in a psuedo-RTS style. Zerg players experience the game from the overhead view of an Overlord (The zerg ‘player’ acts as an overlord) controlling a small squad of zerg units; perhaps anywhere from 2-12 units based on individual unit size/strength.
Zerg players begin the game as a fledgling overlord able to control a small squad of zerglings. Advancement for zerg comes in the form of increasing the number and strength of zerg units you can control, and modifying those units via genetic resequencing. You can upgrade your zerglings to have wings, or into banelings, or swap them out for fewer but more powerful hydras, defilers, or even ultralisks.
Zerg units, individually, are weaker than terran or protoss players, but gain flanking and ambush bonuses when utilized properly. Being a proficient zerg player comes down to picking the right combination of units, and micromanaging those units in order to flank and overwhelm your opponents.
In the ‘vehicle’ zones, where terran or protoss players would gain access to ground or air vehicles, zerg players are instead able to use temporary powerful ground or air units, or control larger numbers of smaller units.
A game like this brings numerous game genres together that normally arent associated with one another: FPS, RPG, RTS, MMO. Not only would it bring in the moderate player base from starcraft 1 & 2, but it’s likely to bring in players from other games of those various genres. Someone who only plays FPS games may not typically give MMORPGs a second glance, because nearly all of them are third person games, but in this layout they’d have a place that allows them first person playstyle with the social and RPG elements associated with an MMO. Likewise, players who mostly stick to strategy games would have an MMO that now caters to their playstyle.
C’mon blizzard, this is a moneymaker and you know it. Get crackin!
-Signed: Hopefully a future protoss player