MCO Motor City Online Hardcore Server sign now

Motor City Online is not a dead product, it is still one of the most deep and satisfying gaming experiences I've ever had, but it has gradually lost something while pandering to the newer players. A hardcore server could become the definitive Motor City Online, while the standard servers worked like training wheels where new players could hop on and try almost every car. They learn the tracks, build their clubs, get the hang of tuning, and when they feel the game is done they can look to the Hardcore server and start playing at a much higher difficulty. Old players would return I guarantee (provided they know about it), and a large number of current veterans would switch in a heartbeat to try a new motor city experience.
It's obvious that the game can be worked in various stages at once. For example the test center is different from the live servers, so would it be so far fetched to ask for a separate hardcore server? heck it could share the hardware with the test center.

What would be different you ask? I will list a handful of things for you that could be changed on this server that are feasible and would require very little work to set up. This is just some idea's and if it happened much more discussion and preparation would definitely be required, but for the sake of getting your taste buds watering I will give you some possibilities.

1. Paint, paint is one of the most defining factors in the car culture. People take their paint very seriously in the real world and a good show paint job can cost well into the thousands. Rust is not something that is looked kindly upon, yet it is something many collectors collect in motor city. So my first suggestion would be to have several rusty paint versions for every single car (which could be made by players, heck I could make them all in less than a day) and they would be the most common variants of cars. Normal run of the mill paint schemes would cost 2-5k, flames/scallops 10k, player type paints and decal 20k-500k (would only be a few really expensive paints though to encourage something to spend money on). Every car could be painted every type of paint job from the detail shop and the rarity of cars would be determined by their price set in the detail shop NOT the flakey spawning at auction houses. This way prices would not be up one day and down the next which would encourage more players to not pursue money through buying/selling. Collectors could still collect, and money would be constantly drained from the economy as peoples funds would go straight to the detail shop owner. People would have more of a feeling of really building up their ride as well, they put on a nice 2k standard paint after purchasing their car from the scrap yard and later when they have won some races and gotten their money up they decide to add flames.... then the car is doing really well and they think a 100k decal paint on their veteran circuit runner would look nice and make their car unique. It could add another level of attachment to the cars which is sadly where the game is currently not doing the best at.

2. Goes with part of number 1, do away with the 3 factory auction houses, they just sell stock cars anyways... and who ever heard of a dealership that sells brand new stock versions of almost any year of car? Anyhow... Turn 1 of those old factory auctions into a scrap yard of sorts, it would take just a simple change in graphics files and you can just turn off the sound and not mix a new one... nobody wants to hear from the scrap yard guy anyways ;). The Scrap yard would contain auctions for every type of car and spawn only rusty variants. Of course you would need to tweak how rare certain cars are over others so for example a cobra might only show up in the scrap yard once every 2 weeks, or a stingray once a week. Coupes, bel-airs, etc. would comprise most of the scrap yard most of the time with an amx here, or a cuda there a few times a day. This would be the main source of getting cars that you want to be rares and would be the only way to get certain ones... boss, hemi, z28, SS, etc. Cars from the scrap yard could contain an assortment of badly matched parts or be incomplete (im sure wear on cars would need to be coded somehow so that is probably not feasible... would be nice though).

3. Performance auctions would be where you can get cars pre made with maybe a few performance parts here or there kind of like how it is now. The prices would be a bit higher than the scrap yard, but you wont have to build up the car from scratch either. Rare paints could be picked up here as usual but they should spawn about as often as rare paints spawn currently on cars like boss's. Often enough that a rare paint might show up a few times a week on a particular car if their spawning alot or one a week if things are slow. All the standard cars would be available from these auction houses as it is now except that all SS, Boss, RS, or any other variants of another car would be kept strictly in the scrap yard to encourage them being uncommon or rare. Standard cars like shelbys, stingrays, mustangs would spawn once or twice a week making for the rare paints spawning almost never in these auction houses. The regular cars would spawn maybe 1 at a time a few per day. There would only be maybe 1-5 cars in each auction house at any given time.

4. Auto Sales, closed, or would include all the standard cars at steeper prices than the auction houses. This would make any car available if your desperate and don't want to wait for one to come to the scrap yard or performance auction, but the price of course would be stiffer (much stiffer in the case of the rare cars).

5. Parts, everything in the catalog, with prices how they currently are. If money is scarce people will think more about cost efficiency of parts as well as performance. Not alot of people will run slicks and mega blowers unless they have money to burn, or it provides a distinct advantage. This would also encourage players to build up varying setups and possibly break people out of the "more horsepower" addiction.

6. Money! In the early days things worked very well. Money was worth something, and it was a grand accomplishment every time you purchased a new car. It would need to be like this again, and money would have to be so hard to come by that you could always have something to work towards as far as money goes. Nobody likes to be poor, but the whole idea of a hardcore server is to give real value again to everything in the game so this would be a definite requirement.

7. Trials. Glorified test drive. It would provide less than multiplayer racing, but would be enough that if you really wanted you could forge your way through the game alone being a trial monkey. payouts of about $25-$250 depending on the length of the track and relative difficulty.

8. Multiplayer racing. Very little extra money given in the standard race, these races would be mainly for staking your fortune against other people $40-$325 given by motor city. Multiplayer time trials. $75-$400 for a good finish if everyone does well, again depending on the track length and relative difficulty.

9. Racing in general. Nothing should ever be able to pay more than $500 per race, this would make it take perhaps a few dozen runs at your favorite track before you could afford a nice beat up old classic car from the scrap yard. Your race career would be built not around collecting but creating, you would be forced to change mindsets in this new world and you would truly have to work and build up your starter to get your foot in the door and buy your first decent car. There would be no jumping from a bel-air to a mustang in 30 minutes of work as there is now.

10. Points/levels. Scaled down with money. though not as necessary it would be nice.

11. Misc.... Paychecks. $100 per level per week. non negotiable. Level bonus (5,10,15,20,25,30) remains the same. Prize cars, holiday cars, etc. NEVER to be given out under any circumstances (not even custom skins winners :P). If you want handouts go to the live shards.

12. Price. This type of project was done on everquest I beleive (or ultima online? not sure which) and the cost was higher than that of the normal servers, in the range of $40, but included was constant monitoring and storyline amongst other things. While chat monitors and such would be nice I dont think we need babysitters... a simple change of rules and difficulty would be enough to constitute a $19.99 a month fee. This would allow access to 3 personas on the standard servers 1 on test as usual and 1 on the hardcore server. You could upgrade your account and not lose your original personas. Alternatively you could cast off the old motor city and pay $15.99 a month for 1 Test center persona and 1 hardcore persona.

13. Size. If this project went well and people flocked to this 1 server it would still probably be far less than the 2,000 that were stress tested during beta at any given time. If by some miracle though that the server got to the point of instability im sure another could be opened (you would be making a bit o cash from the first after all... and where there is demand you must supply)

14. For the devs. What is there to lose? I don't perceive alot (if anything) to be lost in a project like this aside from putting the EA tech support back to work to handle accounts being changed and moved around. There would be almost no overhead cost and nearly no developing to be done. Some work in the numbers tweaking department would be the biggest challenge, and the reward would be much greater than the little bit of time spent doing that. Imagine what could be done if it really took off and money started rolling back in. Even if it didn't take off you would still be making more money than you are now and at almost no cost to you.

There you have it, a server where value returns to even the lowliest of cars and parts and with enough elbow grease and knowledge you can build truly unique cars. This is what Motor City was meant to be... and what Motor City could still be.

Thanks for reading, Drakkan @ Uptown Pacific


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Sharron HoffmanBy:
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Motor City Online Developers

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