- Rule number 1: Before You read any further, know that WoW defines an MMORPG, if its not WoW then its not an MMORPG, period. Try to clone WoW, if you can’t copy every last detail, extract and use as much of the original game as possible.
- Its really important you develop around all the stereo-typical races players have come to expect, never release a game without the usual suspects (Elves, Dwarfs, humans, etc)
- Its equally as crucial that you continue to reuse all the old class types, Warriors, Paladins, Mages, Druids, etc. While we’re discussing classes make sure you limit each class to use only certain gear and weapons. It would be blasphemous if a warrior somehow managed to learn a spell. Equally as blasphemous would be a mage that might have muscles and be able to wear plate armour. If you get stuck revert to what WoW did.
- Have mounts in the game, always call them mounts, because mounts are mounts. Limit the player’s ability to climb on a mount until later, late enough for him/her to be crying out in frustration for the mount. Make prior mount walking speed as slow as you can possibly make it. Even if 3-4% of players leave the game due to this slow walk speed, most players love starting off gimp.
- Include all the typical melee weapons for the warrior class (don’t even think about inventing new ones), and make sure all the spells in the game are based on the same tried and trusted elements (Earth, Fire , Wind and Water). Every other RPG does this, WoW did this, what makes you think you’re special?
- Thinking of releasing a truly good and up to date RPG thats based in the future, something mindblowing? Retire from game design, what the world really needs is ANOTHER WOW CLONE, and don’t you forget it. Be like WoW, be like AoC, be like EverQuest 1 and 2. Be like Oblivion, Be like WAR, ALL the rest of em. Think Medieval, Swords and Magic, nothing else exists to you.
- All NPC’s must always stand around looking dumb, if the NPC chops wood, let that NPC chop wood indefinately, never needing to break for food or drink. Remember NPCs are pixels and because of this can stand around for as long as it takes without ever needing to take a toilet break. just code NPC’s like they are in WoW.
- Make the monster AI really stupid, every single monster of its kind should respond in exactly the same way every single time, they should also stand around looking stupid until directly attacked, they should stand around looking at the wall, until the player gets close enough to them, then they can run out and attack. Any mobs standing more than 10 yards away from an active fight should also just stand around picking their noses, waiting their turns to be killed.
- Make all monsters carry stuff and gold. It makes perfect sense to players – crocodiles also need cash? Why not have them drop some silver. Good thing that wolf you just killed was holding some mana potion. And that Dino just dropped that Exceptionally rare blue sword.
- Include an unparamounted number of mobs for the player to kill and grind through, make sure the mobs are all mindless idiots that drop stuff (maybe), make sure you include enough of these grindable mobs in the game to really give the player a good grind for his money, remember all players love senseless grinding, if you get stuck – refer to WoW.
- Reuse the same questing mechanics as what you’ll find in WoW, either (a) walking from a->b (b) slaying a certain amount of mobs (c) slaying mobs to gather a certain amount of X (d) slaying some boss mob
- Implement a really poor and unbalanced PVP system. Anything will suffice, players aren’t really expecting too much.
- Include a complex crafting system, thats really taxing on players time. At the same time make sure all the very best gear drops from boss mobs. Make sure you include an auction house where the players can sell this rare gear. Include lots of hype about crafting in the marketing material for the game, so players will think. Crafting IS important, it is ESSENTIAL to reach a high level of my craft to make gold or items.
- Make a lot of areas inaccessible, yet include them on the map giving the impression that the game world is larger than it is. Remember if you get stuck think WoW.
- Brainwash players into thinking they’re playing the ultimate game, give them lots of marketing material to swallow, they’ll play your game for 4-5 years before realising they’ve been dupped into playing just another WoW clone.
Lastly don’t call your game WoW, WaR or AoC, but your game must comply with the 3 letter acronym naming convention. WoW did this, so should you!