Thought for the day.

Considering all the posts we’re seeing in the MMO blogsphere about how Warhammer Online is just another MMO in the same vein as World of Warcraft, Everquest and co – that is it’s based upon DikuMUD design philosophies, which in turn were based on ye olde Dungeons & Dragons – I wondered what features that didn’t get ported from D&D would be excellent to have in this current generation of MMOs.

The Eraser of Infinite Gold Supply would be a fine start. Need to get that epic mount? Don’t have the means to afford that magic sword? Simply wait for an opportune moment when the GM isn’t looking (perhaps distract them by throwing a cheese ball at their head) and then quickly apply the Eraser of Infinite Gold Supply to your inventory; suddenly you’ll have more money than you could ever spend! And don’t worry about the suspicious looks that the GM throws your way, there’s no denying that you earned that gold, it’s etched right there on your character sheet in indelible pencil…

How about the Gatling Wand of Token Healing? Grab a wand, stick a hundred charges of healing on it, and watch even the most unlikely characters become healing gods. But where one wand is good, ten wands strapped together firing off of a chain driven rotating cylinder is just enough to make your GM cry. Suffice it to say that I found wands in 3.5ed DnD to be a bit daft.

There are plenty of excellent skills that could be ported as well, including but not limited to:

  • “I meant to position myself out of their line of sight, honest.”
  • “We never declared our marching order so the armoured dwarf was definitely at the front”. (Handy for ambushes)
  • “Switch to a flanking position when the GM is on a loo break.”
  • “We never declared our marching order so the trap-spotting elf was definitely at the front”. (Handy for trapped hallways)
  • “Re-roll for attack because the ‘dice was cocked’, until you get a 20.”
  • “We never declared our marching order so the cloth-wearing gnome was definitely at the front”. (Handy for when you hate gnomes, or people who play gnomes)
  • “Re-use a weapon I dropped earlier and hope the GM doesn’t notice.”
  • “Retroactively add item to inventory.” (Always handy when you forgot to bring rope. Again.)

Then there’s the Instant Re-roll of the Alt Addicted, where your character of twelve levels, who has adventured through hell and high water with the current band of merry adventurers, suddenly and unexpectedly develops a bad case of buttock warts which prevents them from adventuring further, but luckily there’s another level twelve character of another class (which is going to be much more fun to play, oh yes) to take their place almost instantly!

It is interesting to note, though, that many forms of metagaming have already been ported to MMOs. For example, when your character enters a room that is full to the rafters with furnishings, it’s uncanny how they know to make their way over to the mundane and modest looking book that’s second from the left on the third shelf up of the fourth bookcase. Heroes have the funniest skills.