Over the weekend the same thought hit me again and again; CCP needs to make a fantasy version of EVE.
I know I know, blasphemy, but hear me out.
CCP has already proven they can create an open-ended world MMO that not only brings a slew of unique features, but also has some of the best balance, in both combat and economy. They have a game that is very hardware friendly while looking amazing, a server setup that is not only unique but a major feature itself being one giant world, and the ability to weave a great deal of compelling lore. I believe the major reasons holding EVE back from having WoW-like numbers are
A) It’s not a major franchise like Warcraft
B) It came out from a then unknown developer.
C) It’s Sci-Fi
D) It had a terrible launch
So with that said, let me lay out my vision of EVE with Elves. The words in parenthesis will be the EVE equivalent.
First you start with the same structure as the world in EVE, meaning you have a central area that is newbie safe and protected, and the outer areas are open pvp with little NPC interference. Each ‘zone’ could be its own province (solar system), a few provinces form a kingdom (domain). You travel within a province using teleport platforms (warp drive), and between kingdoms using special teleport towers (jump gates). The same area is protected by a guild of wizards, able to teleport to any offender and deal with them quickly (hi sec Concord), while the outer areas that are less safe will have soldier patrols to try and keep the peace (low sec Concord). Random gangs of thieves and other unsavory characters roam the mines and forests (NPC rats in asteroid fields).
Skills would be similar to EVE, no levels. Instead of spaceship command you get something like weapon proficiency, which each skill leading to others. You start with daggers (frigates), advance to short swords (cruisers) and eventually get to the top end stuff like bastard swords and two handed weapons (battleships). Other skill areas could be devoted to armor types, magic skills, rogue-like sneaking abilities, etc. Just like in EVE, you could focus on a few skills, becoming a master swordsman or a powerful mage, or go ‘jack of all trades’ style and get a little of everything. Long time players would eventually be able to craft the fabled ‘tank mage’, although even at that point more growth would always be possible. Non-combat paths would also be very viable, with crafting and trade being major areas to focus on.
Items would work in a similar manner as they do in EVE, in that on death they can be lost, and the idea of a ‘unique’ or ‘epic’ type of item does not exist in the way they do in WoW. Crafting would be extremely important, as players would be constantly demanding gear to replace what they have lost, or looking to upgrade. Markets would be kingdom based, enabling inter-kingdom trade. Replacing hauler class ships would be horse caravans, and they would again be a prime target for thieves (pirates) looking for a quick score.
The end-game would consist of guilds vying for control of the outer kingdoms, especially ones which hold mineral rich mines (asteroid fields) or are key routes in trade/travel. Guilds have the option to build castles and other defensive structures, hiring NPC guards, as well as building up a market and other town functions. Rival guilds have the option to bring some siege equipment (dreadnoughts) to try and tear down a castle, or they could send a smaller force and simply disrupt a town (gang raids).
Wrap all this up in some well known fantasy franchise, perhaps something like the Wheel of Time world by Robert Jordan (I say this because I’m currently re-reading the books, and they are great), give it ample time to be developed so it has a solid launch, and put some half naked female on the cover of your box, and bam! 10 million subs… right?