The Anno 2070 download is free and it is niiice. I really like the way this game storytelling is used. Sure it is an ideological message strongly advocating sustainability (and that’s more education than propaganda) but what’s the harm here? And aside from the message the graphics are again, a new stride in to amazing.

To be honest, I’d love working *sneeze!* (concept/design wise) on an open world MMO based on this paradigm – farmer type gamers building structures and defences in a ‘free game’, warrior type gamers paying monthly game revenues and being able to create feudal protectorates. Yes, very REAMDE, but with mining, research, territorial disputes, occupational forces and mechs. Imagine players sitting in those mechs shooting the cities of enemy factions to smithereens. Imagine walking through those cities as they are attacked.

Imagine the procedurally generated landscapes as they unlock, one after another. Imagine instances. Best would be to let players constantly give feedback on new factories or military equipment (abstract research proposals, company creates an animated sprite and decides on cost-to-produce). Imagine every month new units being added, including very specialized military units. Remember those extremely fragile, extremely expensive Atreides sonic tanks in the original Dune? Or the fat bloated Harqonnen tanks?

Now here is my killer idea. A game such as an Anno2070 MMO could be made geographically fixed – your base is always in a geographical region ‘not too far from where you live in the real world’. So players in Jersey are living on the US eastern seaboard corresponding in their game world, creating a resource extraction base, military units and all that where they are situated. They can only send military units on loot& pillage missions to other regions – with the proper heavy transport vessels they could send PvP missions to Europe and lay waste to the Yurpians.

Unoccupied regions (no players) would be riddled with NPC ‘monsters’ that would attack foreigners. Yanno, make sure people don’t go on random exploratory looting. You have to know where your enemies are with precise coordinates.

The strategy/mech-shooter MMO dimension would be potential fabulous. Imagine that geographical component, as well as an ideological component. Imagine a collapsed ‘mad max’ world inbetween the colonies. Different industrial paradigms where one faction might be (a) exploitatively corporate and viciously ruthless, (b) another might be sustainability driven and defensive, (c) a third might be survivalist, lean and stealth based and a forth might be (d) technology driven, aloof but more slow to create new resources. You can easily see these ideologies be no guarantee for cooperation. Chinese Taiwan/Faction A units might as easily clash with Chinese Mainland/Faction A units as either would be to cooperate with US based/Faction C rogue mercenary units.

The success of such a game would depend on the potential for casual fun, chat, an easy interface, silly jokes. Not cheesy mind you (we have WoW for Cheese rampage and kneeslapper geek references) but minigames, social interaction and (my personal favorite) actual social games or even a bit of raunchyness. Hey if it works in Saints Row it should work here as well.

Priorities right? 🙂

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