In the amazing universe that is MMO gaming, there is undoubtedly one world that leads them all. At least for 45 million registered players, this is the World of Tanks, the golden child of MMO developer, Wargaming.
Another two games from Wargaming – World of Warplanes and World of Warships – never became as successful for different reasons. Warplanes didn't become as popular due to rather odd ideas around key binding and plane steering, and Warships because of a lack of tight battle mechanics.
So, the question is what is it about World of Tanks that makes it so popular among its players?
As very humble World of Tanks player, I've managed to reach about 20 thousand battles and buy probably around 80 percent of the available in-game machines. I can confirm that there are a lot of annoying features in this game, but I can also confirm that it is very addictive because it prefers skills over levels. this means that s skilled tanker can easily succeed in any battle with players driving bigger, and in theory, better tanks.
Another great feature of World of Tanks is the variety of machines and upgrades available for them. Also, building out the skills of your crew members adds to the game's overall variety. Finally, the learning curve is shallow, meaning anyone can pick up and play.
So, looking at the MMO landscape and how popular World of Tanks has become, let’s think what else could be squeezed into this recipe for success. What other "World of" games could Wargaming develop that could take World of Tanks' winning formula and replicate it?
I could personally think of 5 interesting ideas -- although I am sure there is many more.
Let’s start with a little bit different approach.
Of course, there are a few big titles already on the market that have taken the idea of the future soldier a run with it. At the top of this list are, obviously, the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises.
But because these are FPS's and not MMO's, let's look at how a this concept of a World of Soldiers would work.
What I am thinking about is a game that will follow the research and development concepts laid on in World of Tanks. Players would choose from several different nations that are actively designing original systems for soldiers of the future – aiming devices, guns, drones, armour, and possibly also some genetic engineering.
Players would start commanding soldiers 2017 – with soldiers using the exact gear available right now in different armies across the world. And then – level up! Choose the nation, choose class of the soldier: sniper, assault, support, engineer, spy. Earn experience and cash in battle and then use it to improve your gear and characteristic of your soldier. When you will achieve all possible improvements and certain level of experience – you will move to another level, let’s say 10 years into the future of the warfare every time you will reach higher Tier. Players would also earn experience and cash in battle and then use it to improve their soldier's gear and characteristics. When you will achieve all possible improvements and
When players achieve all possible improvements and a certain level of experience, they will move to another level, let’s say 10 years every time they reach a new tier.
It means that a soldier on Tier 10 would be a warrior in the year 2117. Probably equipped with virtual reality helmet that use auto-aiming; they would have drones and exoskeletons to improve physical performance, and more.
Of course, to level up, players would participate in all sorts of team games – co-op, capture the flag, death match, exactly as we know from World of Tanks.
This alternate universe would be amazing to play around in. Enormous living creatures being ridden into battle by fantasy warriors to fight in giant MMO wars. This is a parallel reality we want to see happen.
It would be a reality where scientists have genetically designed new breeds of dinosaurs and dragons, allowing players to equip these terrifying mounts with all sorts of mechanical and military add-ons -- lasers, shields, turrets, sensors, and more. And as player's progress to higher tiers, modifications and gear sets would become more diverse and powerful.
Of course, dragons can be divided between different fighting nations or factions. Players could also choose different types of dragons. Smaller and more agile beasts would operate like some sort of light tank or light aircraft. Bigger and heavier dragons, equipped with rocket launchers or high beams, long distance lasers, and more would be like B52 Flying Fortresses or Tiger tanks.
Perhaps riders could even be grouped as crews – small dragons would require only one crew member but huge ones would need full crews to operate.
It seems that this could give players endless options to choose gameplay styles, resulting in hours of fiery battles in the air above.
I know it is not a completely original idea and there are games on the market that are concentrating on fighting spaceships and building huge worlds in space -- particularly EVE and Elite: Dangerous, which are legendary by now. But there are also others like Star Conflict, which has some correlations with Wargaming ideas.
And while these games share some similarities with World of Tanks, they don't have the MMO panache that Wargaming's flagship has.
What I would expect from World of Spaceships is an EVE-like approach to nations being placed in-game, ships with grandiose designs and crew levelling. This should relate to World of Tanks simple economy – fight the battle, gain experience and money, improve your ship and crew, level up.
What I would take from another space MMO game – Star Citizen -- would be the multiple crew member system, where every crew member has his own set of skills, ultimately affecting the overall performance of the ship.
This way World of Spaceships would maintain World of Tanks' dynamics and playability with games like EVE.
Nothing to add really to this idea!
World of Steampunk would be a lot like World of Tanks, but with tanks and war machines from the era of the First World War -- packed in a steampunk universe.
Steampunk gives developers a world of endless possibilities. Steampunk machines can have wheels but can also crouch around, or fly, or swim. A properly designed World of Steampunk could even connect the dots between World of Tanks, World of Warships, and World of Warplanes!
There are tons of ideas on how to implement levelling up machine and crew skills. To be honest, it would be very easy just to copy and paste ready-made ideas from World of Tanks.
Certainly, though, machines and old-world tanks would be 100 percent more bad-ass than World of Tanks. But that's just me ...
Please let me reassure you. In my ‘World of’ MMO countdown, I did not forget about mechs. There are obviously a lot of games out there that implement mechs to varying success. So a game that uses just mechs wouldn't necessarily be interesting.
Then few days ago, I stumbled upon Pacific Rim again, and it was enlightenment!
There is nothing wrong with mechs. They are not boring by any means. But to make them unique, you have to put them in interesting situations. This is exactly what Pacific Rim does by introducing Jaegers fighting against Kaiju.
This creates more possibilities for rather interesting game design. On the one side, we could have Jaegers, huge mechwarrior machines with two pilots. Those could easily use the economy and leveling up from World of Tanks.
On the other side, Kaiju, genetically engineered monsters fighting with the use of, let’s call it – nature. They would need a slightly different system of gaining experience and skills. This could make the game even more interesting and full of variety.
Creatures and machines in World of Jaegers and Kaiju have no limits. Designs could be endless, going way above Tier 10.
So there you have it: My Top 5 Themes We'd Love to See in a New "World of" MMO.
As mentioned before, I am sure there could be another 50 good ideas to propose for this type of MMO.
What makes World of Tanks so amazing is the playability. And any of these games would be amazingly fun to play.
What themes would you like the next World of game to explore? What do you love about World of Tanks? Let us know in the comment below!