First I have to point out that I'm addicted to multiplayer games, so I have a bias towards
1. Session based gameplay
2. Little to no power creep
3. Being able to play the game (I wanted to play) 1 minute after install
MMO's generally violate this principle and the only mmo that held my interest has been Guild Wars 1...so yeah not a lot of practical love of the genre. However I do love the concept. And when I was first getting into and eventually out of mmo's the one thing that held my interest and my imagination has been the concept of open world pvp. Because who doesn't love a good FFA?
As it turns out a lot of people, mostly due to what the concept looks like once implemented into an mmo.
So I started thinking.
You take the FFA pvp model out of the "mmo" and put it into a session.
Now why would I do that crazy thing, well for one most people are fond of server resets. The idea being if you play the game long enough, a certain power arises, this power beats everyone, no fun is had, and your stuck with a dead server. So you reset the server when the game board is won, keeping the game new and fresh for everyone. Except the server reset can't happen too soon or too late, because the idea is a persistent world. 9 times out of 10, the game balance remains in the state of suck for a rather long period of time, burning out all who play and making the server reset too little too late. Also it doesn't do much to solve the reasons why the old alliance won the game in the first place, merely reshuffles resources with the hope the players are willing to grind them out again. Because resetting the persistent game world infrequently usually doesn't solve anything fast enough (and conceptually works the same way as a session), wouldn't it be more prudent to treat the FFA world as a single instance that occurs over the course of at max 72 hours or whenever someone or some faction wins the game in a very clear and concise way the server can recognize and close the session automatically.
Secondly sessions allow for drastically increased ease of entry and leveling the playing field mechanics that actually work. Persistent worlds are inherently going to favor the entrenched, which usually becomes the killing blow of both new comers and new factions.
So what is this game?
Take a zombie apocalypse setting. The world ended everyone must survive.
Maps come in categories of 32, small town sized, 64, city sized, and 128, metropolis. (only an example)
The winner of a game is the last 'man' or faction standing.
Every player has 3 lives. The first life the player starts off fresh. A fresh player gets a starter weapon and some survival gear, players can customize their load outs and earn gear by crafting.
The second life, after he/she dies, is the life where players can add points to their characters upgrades to improve survival. These upgrades are persistent to the session, so you can further upgrade your character by the third death. After a session a player can keep a portion of the points earned for upgrades, but there is a cap to the number of points a player can pool for said upgrades. This account persistent points contribute to the level of your character.
Players earn points by PK or killing large number of enemy npc's. Players earn more points in PK proportional to the difference in level between the players.
Players lose items held on death to be looted. Players however do not lose items permanently once unlocked on that account, they only lose the instance of that item within the session.
Players can leave and reenter sessions, even different sessions at will. However deaths incurred in a session do not reset when your account leaves.
Players who die three times, are merely turned into buffer than usual zombies that chase after players for the rest of the session.
Players can form impromptu factions within the session. Cooperation is encouraged since if either player survives you and whoever is in your factions win the session. Players can of course form factions before they start/enter a session.
Players can craft tools and weapons to be used in games by collecting raw materials during the game. Crafting is done before the game starts.
Tools are crafted items that interact with the game non-offensively. You can use tools to build defenses and repair items in game.
Alright this is the game as a concept for now. More thoughts and ideas to be shared as I think about this further. Any thoughts, opinions and insights would be interesting. I don't have the means to develop this on my own so for now this is purely for discussion.