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Reader Comments (12)

Posted: Nov 9th 2007 12:25PM Poddo24 said

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::rant warning::
(Obviously we all have and are entitled to our opinions.)

I'm not sure how anyone can say that "fully instanced environments" and "player run servers" are hoped to be the future of MMOs. I would consider them maybe the future of these psuedo mmos you speak of, but when I want to play a true MMO, get involved into my character and feel like I'm in a real world, instanced environments are not on my wishlist.

Infact, instanced environments are what shy me away from those games. I want fully populated environments. I want to see my friends running around doing the same quests I am. I want to run into my friends while grinding. I want to find opposing faction people while questing, and rough them up a little. The last thing MMOs need right now is to seclude you from the "MM" part of MMO.

endrant

Posted: Nov 9th 2007 1:48PM (Unverified) said

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The kicker is, you can get that with fully-instanced environments! The implementation right now is following the Guild Wars model though (Towns are MMO, wilderness is instanced) as opposed to Tabula Rasa (Many instances of the same environment on the same server) Somewhere in the middle ground between the two is the perfect mix.

Maybe a system where in town is MMO, and then you choose an instance you want to play, based on whether you are aiming for a more solo style of play or what you described above. It would offer players significantly more choice and (Possibly, I'm no technical expert) reduce costs on the developer end.

Also: sometimes you just gotta have instances. Getting ganked in WoW is no fun :(
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Posted: Nov 9th 2007 6:59PM Poddo24 said

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Holy crap, a blogger that responds to his comments! A discussion is to be had!

I guess you're right about giving the players the choice. Given the choice myself, I'd take the more populated servers. The problem I have with giving players that choice is that on a server for 5000, if they have a choice, maybe 2,000 will choose the solo style, leaving only 3000 on the realm to interact with, whereas if that choice didn't exist, I'd have all 5,000. So I probably just wouldn't play a game that catered to a more solo style of play, but who knows? Thats what trial subscriptions and betas are for.

the Gods of MMOs know that the genre needs an injection of something, I just don't know what it is :)
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Posted: Nov 9th 2007 8:49PM (Unverified) said

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Another thing is, bassed on your hypothetical situation, there's now 2k unhappy solo players who are more likely to be irritable, unkind, and just generally ill-behaved. I'd rather have 3k people who WANT to be a group environment than 5k where 2k don't want anything to do with it. But it's all about striking a balance between size, gameplay, and interaction, which is REALLY hard.

And yeah, I know. Surprising! You're the first commenter to reply to my responses so hey, good times. Hope you keep reading and discussing :)
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Posted: Nov 9th 2007 8:55PM Poddo24 said

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Yeah, I see where you're coming from. The World PVP in me just likes more bodies around. But I can see where I'd rather hve more people that WANT to be there.

I've been here since launch, just kind of lurking though. But now I'm gonna try to get other posters toreply to my comments, hehe
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Posted: Nov 9th 2007 12:59PM (Unverified) said

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/agree with Poddo

Neverwinter Nights was really fun for it's "time". Obviously not MMO. I wouldn't even really say it's "pseudo-MMO". But I guess from certain aspects you could classify it as such but I mean it really was just a multiplayer game. Just like Dungeon Siege. IMHO

Still it would be nice though to get more games that have the "MMO" feel to it where you don't have to pay. Although WoW and TR are WELL worth the money... and I was thinking about Power lvl'n another wow account...humm..... *drifts off into thought*

Posted: Nov 9th 2007 1:44PM (Unverified) said

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The thing that sets NWN apart from other titles in the genre is the fact that its multiplayer servers are persistent worlds. Often with continual gameplay updates. This lends a very MMO feel to the game, even though the player count per server isn't nearly as high as most MMOs. It straddles the line, really.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2007 1:12PM Kamokazi said

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Thank you! Finally, someone calling Guild Wars out for what it truely is. I hate it when people give me crap about paying subscription fees when they are playing Guild Wars for 'free'. Now I have something to show them.

Something I think that you almost hit on but quite didn't...the possible father of psuedo-MMO's, Diablo II's 'Closed' Realms. It is probably the first significant instance of multiplayer RPGs that house character data server-side as a free service. So maybe that is the first Psuedo-MMO? Just a little thought.

Now to the rant :-) I don't think this is the furture of MMO's, but it will definately help shape them for better or for worse. I actually hope it is NOT the future. I don't mind paying a subscription fee if the service I get is worth it. I don't like instancing, I like seeing players encouraged to cooperate and achieve goals. But this is of course ruined by uncooperative and generally rude players. Which brings me to something else I thought of earlier.

EQ had one of the best MMO communities ever, and I thought it was just because the players were generally more mature, but someone in Tablua Rasa a couple nights ago made me realize something. EQ was more mature, because server populations were smaller, and if you ticked people off, your reputation was screwed. Maybe devs should try to focus on worlds and servers designed for smaller populations? No name changes or transfers, and advancement should be slow enough that you are forced to think before doing something rude or obnoxious.

As far as your other points, a single-player mode seems kind of pointless....just make good solo content in a game for that...at any given level, there should be a productive solo play option that can doesnt have a minimum time investment.

Player-run servers aren't so bad, but very, very few 'players' would have the hardware to support thousands of players, which is what makes a MMO a MMO.

So, I really hope these games are NOT the future of MMOs, but they could (and should) be their own future sub-genre of MMOs.

Posted: Nov 9th 2007 1:41PM (Unverified) said

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Wow! What an awesome comment! I think I'll just address a few of your points first.

Firstly, I do not think that the "no name changes/transfers" would not go over well. MMOs are a very social medium, and when people play, they like to play with their friends (I play with my IRL friends myself). As friends shift around, so do servers, so the name change and transfer options are there to ENSURE it stays social, rather than give you a way out.

Secondly, I can tell my "hopefully" comment got your attention :) I didn't mean it quite as what you took it for, though. My thought was for MMOs to include things from pseudo-MMOs, like a single-player mode (Great for people with poor connections but enjoy that sort of thing), instanced environments (As controversial as this is, I'm sure that the town/wilderness set up from Guild Wars works just fine. Just needs some tweaking to be more "MMO-eqsue"), and player-run servers (This one is pretty controversial too. Publishers don't like people running private servers as it cuts back on the cash flow). Subscription fees aren't really a big deal with me (Except right now, when I have 3!) as long as it guarantees FREE added content and continued technical support for the game.

The player-run rooms of Diablo II are close to being the first pseudo-MMO, but fall just short of the mark. You could call it a "pseudo-pseudo-MMO" :P

But again, thanks for your comment! You raise some really good points :)

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Posted: Nov 9th 2007 6:02PM (Unverified) said

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I've always been tempted to refer to the Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe games as MMOs, but I've retracted that description recently for the same reasons as above; it uses instance-based towns/outposts (PSO only) and explorable environments, with only the room/group creation lobby falling outside this rule (much like Guild Wars). Despite this, they still FEEL like MMOs, which is why sites like this do coverage them. Simple as that.

Yes, I realise there's not a jot of news about either Phantasy Star game on Massively. PSO, for one thing, is only barely surviving in the form of Blue Burst for PC (psobb.com). PSU, on the other hand, has an upcoming expansion and in-game sponsored events and giveaways every so often (eg. the 1-Up Cup that's currently running).

Writers of Massively, I humbly ask that you add Phantasy Star Universe to the (already vast) lineup of games that you cover.

Posted: Nov 9th 2007 8:50PM (Unverified) said

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You are ahead of your time. Read Under The Hood next week and you'll know what I mean :)
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Posted: Nov 9th 2007 11:40PM (Unverified) said

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Ah, yes; I just spotted the second-to-last paragraph in the article.

Be sure to give PSO: Blue Burst a little plug; the official servers are on the verge of removal, and the remaining players are desperately trying to attract people back (mostly the people who played the console versions and have fond memories of them; usually tempted back when told that an 'Episode 4' now exists). I'm not hoping for a sudden revival, but a swansong for the dying game would be nice.
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