This is a couple of posts I made on another form when discussing what I'd like to see in an MMORPG.
I want a village/town life system where the villages are started by the players deciding they like the area and then living together because of the benefits it provides. I do not want preplaced craptacular buildings that you can buy off a NPC and all they are good for is a place to rest and leave stuff. I want to build my home and have it mean something to me. I want it to be able to be destroyed so I have to defend it if needed.
Not like WoW crappy crafting.. I want to be able to build things cheap and sell them for a decent profit in an NPC run shop. I want NPC traders to bring me the ingredients if I buy them off other shops. I want to go up in skills not by grinding but by good marketing strategy and actual skill.
I want to be able to learn from other players, books, from studying objects. I want a system that allows me to take a microscope/home chemistry set to objects, play around with them, use some intuition and discover something about them. I take a sugar cane, I play around with it.. hrm.. what would happen if I heated the sugar.. woah.. toffee. cool.
I want there to be so many things to learn that one person could never learn them all... but I want to let them try. That means no classes.. no racially exclusive technologys. No artificial barriers to the player. Ever.
(This was the start of a new thread I made on the subject.. at this point several people came on talking about SWG and how the original had most of what I wanted. Another person came on saying UO was perfect and everquest ruined the mmorpg genre. I also made a shameless plug to this site )
I have been thinking about this a bit more.. I'm going to try and describe a theory I'm forming..
Basically at the start of the game on it's very first release there would be an auto-generated land, auto-placed resources, herds, rivers, lakes.. all the shebangle that's needed. The first 100~ players would be placed into this land of around 10km^2 (to keep it manageable). The next 100~ players would be placed into a new land next to this but blocked off (for now). The next 100 players would get their own land.. and so on.
The people in these lands have to work together to build up a village and gain not only personal points but upgrade their village as well. The land they are in would be graded by the status of their village. Once their village reaches a certain level they can create a road system to link them to the villages next door that are also of the same grade or a grade above.
Basically this would limit access from villages too high up to those too far below them. But anyone in a grade 2 village for instance would be able to get to a grade 1,2 or 3 village just by using some sort of NPC travel system to get between these lands (essentially each an individual server).
The benefits of this would not only be that each 100 people have a sense of working together to build up their village. They would not be mining ore just for themselves but so that their village would benefit once the ore has been processed and can be turned into useful things.
It would also mean that each new player would go into a new world, completely fresh and able to be worked however that particular group of people want it to be worked. I would suggest some sort of town elder system whereby a player from 2 or 3 grades above can volunteer to lead this new group of settlers and guide them in how to build up their village. I presume there would be quite a demand to lead these groups so the best people for the job could be voted for by their own villages. Maybe the village the leader comes from could benefit somehow by how well the new village is doing.
The idea of being a pioneer in a fresh landscape where there isn't already a level 70 ubermonger of the umpteenth order is very appealing to me and I presume others too. As your village rises through the grades you would get access to these higher level people and can trade in their villages to get the higher level armour and such. You could apply to emmigrate to a village but each village should have a population cap determined by its grade so that there isn't a 'brain drain' from the lower level villages.
There could be alliances and wars between villages, robbery within each village (which can be punished harshly if caught). I believe there would be a sense of pride from each small community that would help motivate them into doing the best for their village not just for themselves. Obviously there would still be lone wolves and I have nothing against lone wolves but there would be such a large land for each 100 people that you could have your house out in the wilderness if you choose and play the game just for yourself.
So what do you guys think? Would this fit in with our general idea of Sovereignty?
" There's nothing like a bit of destiny to get the ball rolling " - Terry Pratchett - The Wyrd Sisters