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Going From Huge To Absolutely Massive
We all know that Massive Multiplayer Online games are becoming bigger and bigger and many top-notch publishers are cashing in on the MMO market, whether it’s free-to-play or pay-to-play. But gamers would probably love it if they were able to play a few specific MMOs from some of the biggest franchises out there, hence here’s a list of the top 5 franchises that would be huge as MMOs.
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No. 5: Resident Evil Online
Resident Evil Online...a simple name, I know. But Capcom’s Resident Evil series has really expanded and become a lot more than just a standard-fare zombie shooter. One of the things that would make Resident Evil Online unique from other shooters is that rivaling factions would be going head-to-head while at the same time helping each other against hordes of zombies and freakish bosses.
Players would choose from groups like the BSAA, Starz, local law enforcement or Umbrella. Each faction would have access to their own armament and equipment but with a global consignment shop/black market trading post, players can trade or sell items from other factions with each other.
The gameplay is where Resident Evil Online would really shine because Capcom could basically just take the mechanics from the recent Resident Evil: The Mercenaries and use it as the ground bases for the game. Players can run and shoot, use melee attacks and everything else Resident Evil games have been known for. To further take advantage of the RPG elements found within most MMOs, Capcom could break down the classes into categories such as Tanks, Assault, Engineers and Medics, each specializing in different classes of weapons and armor types.
Instead of fighting to control territories like some other MMOs, RE Online would focus more on progressive combat scenarios, with players flying into various combat zones to complete specific missions (i.e., rescue an NPC, recover a data disk, kill ‘X’ amount of zombies, etc.,) that continually scale in difficulty based on rank and experience. The possibilities are plentiful with a game like this and I’m shocked Capcom has yet to capitalize on it.
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No. 4: Splinter Cell: Global Ops
Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell franchise has a lot going for it. One of the strong points of the game has always been its multiplayer features, though. It’s a little shocking that Ubisoft hasn’t capitalized on this sooner, but an MMO for the espionage spy game could be just what the franchise needs to become relevant again in the current and upcoming generation of gaming.
The game could focus on two different rival organizations that handle global security for a number of corporations and Governments. Players would have three classes to choose from, including a Mercenary, a Spy and an Infiltrator. The Mercenary would be just like the standard mercs from previous Splinter Cell games, with the exception that while they may have heavy weapons at their disposal they can also use mild stealth mechanics to sneak around corners or hide in shadows, but they lack the ability to scale walls and vertical surfaces. The Infiltrator is a straight-through physical grease monkey; players who choose the Infiltrator cannot use firearms, only various melee weapons. However, Infiltrators can pretty much scale surfaces with ease, hack into systems quickly and hide like an elite pro. The Infiltrator’s main highlight is their ability to avoid detection and stay hidden. The Spy is basically a mix of the other two, with slightly less hacking speed and agility than the Infiltrator but not as much access to heavy weapons as the Mercenary. The Spy would be considered as the “classic” splinter cell that players have been used to playing in the series.
The reason this would be cool as an MMO is that the maps available for questing would be persistent, so players of rival factions can spawn into maps with other players trying to complete missions as well, sort of like a spy-version of APB: Reloaded but with a heavier focus on getting into and getting out of high-security facilities. The PvP, I imagine, would be straight-up insane.
Tack on some upgradeable suits, advanced spy-gadgets and some additional goodies to help players fulfill the role of being the ultimate spy and this game could be around for ages.
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No. 3 Lost Planet Online
All right, I don’t have a snazzy title for a Lost Planet MMO but Lost Planet Online should suffice. The game is ripe for the pickings when it comes to the MMO territory and this also marks the second Capcom game on this list to get a firm nod as a potential franchise that could make some massive waves in the world of MMOs.
The entire map and travel aspect of the game could be setup like Anarchy Online, where there are just massive expanses of land with all kinds of Akrids running amok. This game would be like a shooter fan’s grind heaven. Players would basically choose from the various factions such as the Snow Pirates, Femme Fatales or Nevec, to name a few. Your armor, outfits and a few specialty weapons could be attached to each faction. To help offer up some variable gameplay options for class enthusiasts, they could separate weapons into categories and attach them to classes. Heavy weapon specialists focus on wielding huge guns and artillery. Technicians use standard assault weapons but have access to the VS’s (or mechs). Assault troops would basically wield a variety of guns but can’t use the heavy weapons nor pilot mech VS’s.
Gameplay would basically stay exactly the same as it has in Lost Planet 2, with a heavy focus on multiplayer cooperative play and some occasional PvP bouts. The primary goal of each faction is to retrieve as much thermal energy from Akrids (primarily category G Akrids) and that would require players to venture out into the massive world and use teamwork and guts to find Cat G Akrid nests. To help keep the gameplay intense and progressive they could have it setup where thermal energy counts allow for the production of more upgrades, VS’s, new weapons or even faction installations built out in the middle of nowhere to work as a checkpoint for discovering new Akrid nests and thermal energy sources.
One of the real highlights of a Lost Planet MMO would be that Capcom could just keep expanding the game world like Anarchy Online, Capcom's own Monster Hunter Online or the way EA does with Need for Speed: World. It could easily be one of the very best action oriented MMOs out there.
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No. 2: Mass Effect: Universe
BioWare has been taunting gamers with a possible MMO for Mass Effect ever since the success of the first game secured the inevitable production of a trilogy. Out of all the games on this list Mass Effect has an undeniably rich history of galactic war affairs, diplomatic tensions and political conspiracies. Many people claim that Mass Effect is the new Star Wars, and it definitely feels that way. As an MMO the game could easily be a story-driven affair like Nexon’s Vindictus, with progressive plot points driving players through the deep universe of Mass Effect.
Unlike some games where choosing sides, races and abilities might come across as limited, Mass Effect is just the opposite. In fact, the game may have the trouble of having too many alien races that may not all be able to fit within the create-a-character feature. Unlike other games, though, where players choose a faction, Mass Effect: Universe could focus on player decisions as the deciding factor for the outcome of the player's final alignment.
Much like Star Wars: The Old Republic, moral choices will play a part in how the player shapes the galaxy and ultimately, the entire universe of Mass Effect. An example of the free-forming moral system could be something like becoming a neutral trader/smuggler by always avoiding conflicts or avoiding choosing a particular side during a conflict. Another example would be always killing everyone whenever you get the chance and eventually commanding an armada, making you a sort of evil space general. The possibilities are limitless.
Combat could stay the same from the newer Mass Effect games, with third-person shooting and light melee mechanics being the prime way to dish out damage. The game’s heavy RPG qualities already make it perfectly suitable and potentially balanced to make a nice transition over in the realm of MMOs. Added to this, I imagine space travel would play a much bigger role in getting from one place to the next, with ship customization also playing a big part in the progressive elements of the game. This feature alone would open up huge possibilities, especially with having a guild that focuses on commandeering trade routes and stealing cargo vessels or a guild that goes around policing incidents carried out by renegade players.
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No. 1: Tron Revolution
This obviously has to be hottest game on the list, mainly because it’s a game based on the idea of a game that takes place within a computer world known as the Grid. Confusing? Well, not really. It’s basically a game within a game. But what makes Tron a hot property for becoming an amazing MMO is that it facilitates so many awesome ideas that are rarely taken advantage of in the world of MMOs, especially in terms of territory control and the benefits that come along with it.
Players would basically assume the roles of Programs. Instead of just being Red vs Blue, like in the first Tron movie, the MMO could expand on the lore by including the Isos and Viruses (Green and Yellow, respectively). Each faction would aim to control the Grid by having raid quests to control checkpoints along the Grid leading to the Central Processing Mainframe. The more control a faction has of checkpoints the more they gain access to buffs, program upgrades and specialty abilities.
Where the game would really shine is with the optional open-world PvP mechanics. Players can turn on or off their PvP flag (enabling extra experience points of course) where they can battle rival members of different factions at any time once outside the initial safe zone. What's more is that the more experience players rack up in PvP they can earn titles that reflect their rank in the Grid.
Traveling from one city or checkpoint to the other would be handled with various mounts. Low level mounts would include Lightcycles while mid-grade mounts would include tanks and high level mounts would include flying vehicles such as the Recognizers. Disney could really clean up on the cash-shop by allowing players to buy customized mounts, such as the original Lightcycles from the 1982 Tron or the scout planes from Tron Legacy.
Combat inside the vehicles would be standard-fare, with light-walls from low-level Lightcycles doing low damage while high level Lightcycles would have light-walls that do more damage if you run into them. Activating the walls would be no different than entering or exiting combat. On-foot combat would be similar to Funcom's Age of Conan, with light-disc battles requiring the right combination of skills to score instant-kills. What’s more is that you could even have different types of evolutionary combat, with special skills attached to single light-discs, dual light-discs, saber-discs, glaive discs or even quad discs (for those who rely on their throwing skills).
Tron has a ton of untapped potential and it amazes me how little Disney has done to capitalize on the property. Nevertheless, an MMO with a few of the above features could really help expand the franchise to whole new heights.