I recently loaded up Elite: Dangerous and have heavily backed Star Citizen. It’s been an interesting ride on E:D, and it makes me think of the game I really want to play.
I love Firefly. I love Star Wars. I badly, badly want a game that lets me play out the fantasy of cruising through the stars with my friends, getting into fights and blasting our way out of them. I want to be navigating an asteroid field while Bel and Kodra fight off a boarding party, Rae is keeping my ship running, and Ash is shooting down fighters who are chasing us. I want to be the aerial support while my friends go treasure hunting on a hostile planet, chased by bounty hunters. I want to fly under a catwalk and catch my team as they flee an overwhelmingly powerful boss.
Elite: Dangerous gives me the flight part of this. I really enjoy the flying, and the space combat is really enjoyable. I also grew up with flight sims, so I’m familiar with flight controls. I want to play it with my friends, but I want something for them to do while I’m flying the ship that’s just as interesting.
The closest I’ve been able to come to this sort of experience is games like Battlefield or certain Halo maps, where you can be the pilot for a vehicle and race for mission objectives. I want that experience in a co-op PvE game.
One thing that I think MMOs have missed the boat on (so to speak) is the idea of travel as a skill, like combat. Getting from point A to point B is rarely interesting or exciting. At best it’s uneventful, and at worst you’re actively annoyed because something attacked you on your way to somewhere. I’d love to see an MMO with a suite of travel skills, allowing you to get from place to place in various ways and making the travel itself an adventure. Having travel be an adventure unto itself is one of the really big advantages of a persistent world, and a great way to meet new people and be glad there are other players in this giant game you’re in, and I think we’ve lost sight of that.
Long story short: starship pilot, LFG.