Communist Zombie MMORPG attack

The Three Hundred project is Sean Howard's attempt at coming up with 300 completely unique game ideas in 300 days. I posted previously about Sean's idea for the smallest RPG ever, but I like today's idea even better: game mechanic #030, Communist Zombie Mud.

It's not literally communist, but it does turn the current model of MMORPGs on its head. Rather than hoarding items and experience for your own advancement, you quest to better the chances of your community against the threatening zombie hordes.
The basic premise is simple. You play as a survivor after a zombie holocaust. When your character dies, you must create another one. There is advancement, both on a character scale (the longer you play a single character, the better he gets - to a small degree) and on a player scale (you can earn advancements that exist between characters). You can only create one character at a time, and to play another character means killing that one off. Each character you can create belongs in an archetype (ie policeman, doctor, farmer, biker, etc) that has specific advantages and disadvantages. Playing the game will unlock further archetypes to play as.

To combat rampant individualism, the idea is that you cannot keep any items between gameplay sessions. That's right. Individually, you do not accumulate anything. If you log off, you will drop everything on the ground. The next time you log in, you start with nothing. Instead, you are able to donate your items to various outposts in the world.
The full write-up is much more detailed and explains how players would be encouraged to play co-operatively. I encourage you to read, or skim it, it here.

With the power and prevalence of guilds in MMORPGs it seems as if players do have a strong urge to play co-operatively. I'm not sure how the loss of items would be justified in the story. Perhaps if you log off with items in your inventory you automatically return to town, and you're searched upon entry for items, which are collected and distributed automatically. Therefore, it's in your interest to distribute your items manually so that you can build relationships with certain outposts and impress everyone.

There's plenty to chew on here. What do you think? Could an MMORPG where you quest for the good of the community, not just the good of your character, work?

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digg this: | posted by Natasha, 10:10 PM |

about the author

Natasha is a political science student, a gamer, a writer, an armchair philosopher, and a geek. Her first cRPG was Castle of the Winds.

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