For as popular as Samurais, Ninjas, and Japanese architecture are, it’s surprising there isn’t a mainstream MMO that makes full use of them.
Unfortunately, virtually all fantasy MMO’s are stuck in some derivative of Middle Earth, a western style fantasy. Not that there’s anything wrong with Middle Earth, what we’re complaining about here is the lack of variety.
WoW, WAR and D&D… all derivatives of Middle Earth.
Obviously we’ll give LOTRO a pass.
AoC takes place in a low fantasy version of ancient Rome, Egypt, and Germania. Once again, western. And DAOC is of course, Camelot.
The closest we have to a mainstream MMORPG that touches upon feudal Japan is an expansion for Guild Wars.
But here’s where it gets weird…Wander over to Asia and sure enough, they have their own MMO’s that touch upon feudal Japan. But when Asian developers do it, they prefer an over the top high fantasy magic, extravagant armor, etc. etc.
What we need is a well done version of AoC with Samurai, Ninja’s, etc. In other words, a MMO that takes place in a low fantasy version of Feudal Japan.
Let’s face it, a lot of us would love to play a flat our Ninja, or Samurai. For magic users we could have mystics and priests. Feudal Japan even had primitive rifles, which could make for a fun ranged class.
The pool of lore for feudal Japan (especially a low fantasy version of it) is a lot deeper than it appears at first glance. Hopefully at some point a game developers will realize this we’ll get one heck of a game.