If Chess Were Invented By MMOG Developers

After millennia in beta, Échecs Games presents the interactive strategy game for the twenty-first century: Shah-mat 64.0!
• More character possibilities — now any unit can be any colour or gender! Male queens, female bishops, chartreuse rooks!
• New game board maps featuring additional continents and unoccupied areas — no reason ever to go back to boring original 64 squares!
• No more grinding through tedious opening levels — move quickly into endgame content!
• New bosses — more powerful pieces, but they move entirely predictably and unintelligently!
• New special moves: dimensional portal allows King to escape to any unoccupied square in the game!
• High-level Bishops can now reflect off the edges of the game board!
• Become a grandmaster with little persistence or effort, like the 9.3 million other grandmasters playing Shah-mat around the world!
• Equip your side with new Level 64.0 gear, featuring:
     — Single-attack immunity (must be vulnerable
        to capture by two or more pieces
       before unit can be removed);
     — Double-move power (unit can take
       two consecutive moves in one turn)
     — New Knight move (put your left hand in,
       put your left hand out,
       put your left hand in
       and you shake it all about,
       then move to a square that bears no relation to what you’ve just done)
     — Adamantium Throne protects King from all attacks
     — Infinity Crown allows Queens to do whatever they want
• New varieties for the most undervalued unit: Pawns, Prawns, Pompawns, Crampawns, Harpawns, Weapawns, Coupawns, Marzipawns, and Thereupawns
• New Potions, Power-ups, and Buffs that entirely alter units’ capabilities and render most pieces functionally identical!
• Achievements and badges for accomplishments that bear no relation to game skill!
• $15/month to play, upgrade to Shah-mat 65 in 18 months for only $50
(Add your feature suggestions here). . . .

14 thoughts on “If Chess Were Invented By MMOG Developers

  1. Chris, I was sure that someone must have done something along these lines before, though I hadn’t seen the Kuro5hin iteration. Well done to Blarney over there for thinking of the idea before me, and for realising so fine an approach!

  2. In 2 months, all the pieces would have their powers nerfed down to pawns in the interest of “game balance.”

  3. Am I supposed to be “LMAO”ing myself right now? There is nothing really clever that makes the satire amusing, it just sounds like a little kid whining about how hard WOW was.

    I can’t believe it going Boing Boing’d.. Their standards are really low these days.

  4. Steve Jackson games has a pen and paper version alot like this called Knightmare Chess.


    It’s hella fun to play, and with there is another (possibly SJ again) variation that changes the geometry of the board so that the 8 by 8 square morphs into all kinds of shapes and arrangements. Play those two modifiers, and you’ll never look at chess again.

  5. Zentram,

    I think it is an interesting perspective. No one will argue that Chess is not a classic game. It has stood the test of time and as far as I know no changes have been made to the games rules. I think they have a good point here that what makes a game a classic game need not be altered so heavily to keep up some sort of pace. The problem with the cutting edge of technology or advancement is that it is also the bleeding edge.

  6. Now I just need to figure out how to express consumable farming in chess terms and that would describe how I lost interest.

  7. Chess was already wowified in order to become chess in the first place, personally I prefer go. From a stark games designer perspective anyhow

  8. I think its more a comment on how tedious wow has become. My complaint is with all the great things you can do and all the stuff you can collect, your main character can only belong to 1 “club” and there’s only one way to master (win) the game. Been an 80 a long time now, doing dungeons and instances and just getting bored. Any recommendations for a new game?

  9. @imposter lobster:

    There is constant tinkering with the rules of chess, as people propose variants to make the game more interesting to them. For instance,
    Fischer’s randomized chess is supposed to emphasize theory over the memorization of opening moves.
    There has also been a long history of considering variant and unconventional chess pieces, both from the idea of varying game play, and from the idea of constructing chess problems beyond what the standard pieces permit.

  10. Not to spoil the fun by taking the joke too literally, but many of these enhancements (OK, not the “bosses”) have already been proposed over the past few centuries as Chess variants (often called “Fairy Chess”.)

    I’m with @krss above, though — Chess is a hopeless pile of kludges and arbitrary rules compared to Go.

  11. Amusing Satire. However it doesn’t honestly fit, as the two games themselves are of different genres and would be similar to comparing the balance of Football to Super Mario Brothers.

    Essentially it would be closer to say Chess is like an MMO where everyone is the same class and has the same skill sets (reflecting the fact that both sides have the same pieces) and the only difference between them is that one goes first, and that the players constantly argue which is more powerful. (the ability to go first, or second) and in the end its a moot point and they should shut up and enjoy the fucking game.

  12. It does fit, as the multiplayer online games tend to be unfair to newcomers, and, well, boring and repititive (atleast to me, I can’t stand them), and they tend to charge more for unfair advantages into the game. I just don’t like games that seem like work, I like games that are fun, and I don’t especially appreciate having to play a game against annoying teenagers with better reflexes than mine. I enjoy a good story, something to think about, and well, a good shootout isn’t that bad, if it’s well done, like in Mafia II.

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