The other day, just sitting around at work like I normally do (I’m employed now, didn’t you know?), I had a sudden vision of something so obvious that I couldn’t believe Nintendo hadn’t cashed in on it yet (like they have everything else). It had come to me as my coworkers were discussing whether they should stick it out with World of Warcraft or hop the fence to Warhammer Online, where the grass is greener. I have personally had a fairly dissapointing history with MMORPGs. Warcraft had interested me just enough during it’s free trial period that I thought I could spend a few bucks a month just to keep at it, but then I learned that I had to buy the $50 game disc as well… even though I already had the entire game loaded on my hard disc and already had my credit card out for the monthly fee. A little bit of money a month would have pulled me in, but that fifty dollar deposit was a big brick wall.
Anyways, back to the post as I originally had intended it. Nintendo. They’ve played around with the quasi-social gaming experience, bringing us casual games like Wii Sports and interesting experiments like Animal Crossing, but they haven’t really dove into the lucrative world of reaching into gamers’ pockets every month via a subscription model. But it somewhat makes sense, as Nintendo doesn’t do a lot of “War,” and that seems to be a necessity for modern MMOs.
But wait! There’s one property that would make perfect sense in a massive online environment! One that Nintendo is already squeezing the life out of, and has enough popularity that it would immediately grab a demographic here-to untapped in the world of MMORPGs. One with dueling and fights with wild beasts, and even ranking system.
My god… Pokemon would make a perfect MMO.
Think about it. An entire world of free-roaming Pokemon to catch, train, battle, and trade. A server-wide ranking system of wins and losses, creating a giant never-ending tournament. Raids on dungeons not to collect epic loot, but rather epic Pokemon. The RPG elements are there, they’d just have to be tweaked a bit. And obviously there are a few off bits, but the game fits well in the mold.
Just like in the old Gameboy game, a player would start by picking out his or her first Pokemon. This decision would choose their hometown, much like choosing your race sets your starting point in World of Warcraft. Players could style their characters however they liked, not worrying about having to wear rediculous-looking armor later. There’d be no armor, no weapons. All of these things would be built into the Pokemon themselves.
Ah, and the classes! No more rogues or paladins, just different types of Pokemon. Not only that, but players could switch out their Pokemon at will, meaning one player can hold a multitude of classes all at once, able to use just a fraction of their abilities at a time by carefully tossing a Pokemon to the battlefield.
A game like this couldn’t have a weapon or armor marketplace, but players could teach their Pokemon different skills. Though the amount of skills available would be great, each Pokemon would only be able to remember about four, meaning players would have to be very careful of how they trained their Pokemon.
Well, this is just what popped in my head at the office. I haven’t played Pokemon since Blue and Red, but I’ve always appreciated the catchy idea behind it. I just thought it was interesting enough to share (and also I haven’t posted in a while, so I needed to put up some content).