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Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 11:49AM (Unverified) said

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And that's what makes the world go around, Wildhammer... see, I don't much care for fantasy in the typical sense. But it seems you're kinda missing the point. People (not all) are genetically predisposed to liking fantasy because it's been ingrained into our collective human psyche since... well, literally forever. Science-fiction has not.

Because of this fact, fantasy MMOs statistically have THE BEST CHANCE to succeed. It is a HUGE factor in why WoW is successful. But it doesn't mean it's the end all be all. Gaming companies are in the business to make money. They don't make a game unless it has a shot at earning someone huge chunks of money. And that's why there are dozens of MMOs in business, with dozens more on the way.

Not everyone likes fantasy. Personally, I can't stand WoW. It's boring, ugly (it reminds me of a cheap Disney movie graphically speaking)... it simply has ZERO appeal TO ME. But I understand WHY it works - 10 million people can't be wrong, and it all boils down to the collective predisposition that humans have for fantasy-esque stories. I'm a total non-traditionalist though. Games like Auto Assault, Tabula Rasa, City of Heroes, Pirates (both of the Caribbean and Burning Sea varieties), Stargate Worlds, Jumpgate Evolution... those will always and forever appeal to me more than something filled with orcs, elves and mages.

As for just dragging this out for the sake of posts... hmmm. I've been a "game journalist" for over 4 years. What makes this any different than the 1,983, 476 posts about Halo 3 that were found on every single gaming site on the web for months? I'll tell you... this thread actually has legitimate EDUCATIONAL value.

Akela's post deals with the other side of the coin I was talking about. It was something I wanted to touch on, but due to brevity left it out (the Ancient Gaming Noob does talk about it). This is a great continuation of the topic because I'm a HUGE fan of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, and as Akela mentions it's the very basis of Lucas' Star Wars films (which I was a freak for back in the day). Ironically, it's also the very basis for virtually every fantasy story ever told, so there is a deep rooted connection to the fantasy genre and the best sci-fi has to offer.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 11:58AM (Unverified) said

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I know one sci-fi series that is never m). entioned when it comes to MMOs, its Frank Herbert's Dune. You could have 3 factions warring over the planet Arrakis for control of the spice (Harkonnen, Fremen, and the Smugglers, or possibly even the Spacing Guild).

Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 12:28PM (Unverified) said

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Absolutely! Good point, Fred. That would be a great MMO. Geez... I feel like an idiot for not mentioning Dune. What makes that faux pas worse for ME... Kevin J. Anderson is a very good friend of mine. And if you're a Dune fan, you know who KJA is (http://www.wordfire.com/). ;)
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 12:53PM (Unverified) said

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Thats awesome, I have yet to read Sandworms of Dune, but I enjoyed his previous works in the Dune Universe.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 1:01PM (Unverified) said

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How the hell did I miss DUNE? I'm a big fan of the boardgame, which lets you play one of 6 factions, including the Bené Gesserit and the Guild, and when you have even just 3 factions warring at once, it gets pretty back-stabby. Would the intricate dance of espionage and tactical troop movement make a good MMO? It could certainly do worse!

Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 1:14PM (Unverified) said

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I have never played the board game but I definitely think that the Dune Universe could work in an MMO. Maybe we will see it when the new Dune movie finally gets made, Pre-Production is being held up by the writers strike.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 2:02PM fanguad said

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I liked this post (I've only read a handful of the posts on this topic), and generally agree with what has been said.

One of my favorite universes is Shadowrun, and I've thought about what it would take to turn that into an MMO. My conclusion is that it can't be done [well], and some of the reasons I came up with are like those above.

1) Shadowrunners (criminals) make up a teeny-tiny fraction of the world. You certainly won't see them standing on street corners yelling "LFP RENRAKU ARCHOLOGY RUN".
This contrasts with fantasy worlds slightly. It's true that adventurers would still make up a small percentage of people in a fantasy world. However, if hunting the dangerous fauna that inhabits such MMO worlds is profitable, you'd see a noticeable increase in adventurers. If you think of adventurers as mercenaries, especially in a setting like WoW's, where anyone who can fight is useful, it becomes more realistic for large numbers of adventurers to exist.

2) Most of what shadowrunners do is illegal. If 10 million hardened criminals decended on the universe, it would be impossible for the authorities to ignore them.
Adventuring is (generally) legal. Authorities might have some issues with them, but most of what they do is beneficial or neutral to the community at large.

I have a few more, but I'm posting from work, so I'll leave it there for now.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 4:44PM (Unverified) said

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Why does everything have to be either sci-fi or fantasy? Some of my favorite video games are really a mixture of both. Games like Oddworld, Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, Beyond Good and Evil, and Final Fantasy. Hell, Star Wars is the best example of a sci-fi/fantasy story.

Fantasy is basically defined as a story that takes place in a fictional universe and sci-fi is defined as a story that takes place with fictional technology. There's nothing mutually exclusive about the two. The best experiences are achieved when you actually combine them.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 9:11PM (Unverified) said

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@2


I'm not saying that sci-fi isn't valid. There's some sci-fi I like (Warhammer 40,000), I just like fantasy more. For me sci-fi is too "shiny". Everything's bright and towering graphically impressive. Fantasy tends to be darker and I believe it typically has more engaging backround stories.

I'm just saying, I think this particular site has done it to death. This is a site dedicated to posting about MMOs as a whole and most of the posts as it is are already incredibly short. Fantasy vs. Sci-fi MMOs seem to have become the new filler topic.

Posted: Jan 25th 2008 3:49PM (Unverified) said

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Not all sci-fis are "shiny" as you put it. One of the best examples, although not an MMO, is Half-Life 2. Yes, everything is towering and impressive, but at the same time below the shiny surface, you see destruction and urban decay as the antagonists slowly but surely destroy and absorb humanity.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 9:14PM (Unverified) said

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@9

Breck has a point. He actually named two of my favorite game series of all time. (Jak & Daxter and Rachet & Clank) Both have aspects that intruige people, why not mesh them together? The result can easily be the best of both worlds.

Why not have melee and guns in the same game? Or technology and magic? It worked for Naughty Dog.

Posted: Jan 24th 2008 10:17AM aboutblank77 said

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@11
shh. Stop giving away all my ideas.

Posted: Jan 30th 2008 4:41AM (Unverified) said

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Can't believe that in such an article there's no mention of one of the oldest sci-fi MMOs out there, Anarchy Online. Certainly not as successful as other giants out there, but still has a dedicated player base (of course offering a part of the game free as a sort of extended trial to get a taste of the game had some part in increasing subscribers but probably not as much as they, Funcom, hoped). And for those that look at the graphics first, it will have its looks significantly upgraded, starting later this year, since of course they are dated. The mechanics of the game are top notch in my opinion though.

It's still a very fun, complex, huge and entertaining game to play, and I prefer it to any fantasy MMO I've played (not that many, but a few nonetheless). I do love sci-fi more than fantasy generally, bar the classics, so I'm probably biased.

Posted: Feb 15th 2008 4:30AM (Unverified) said

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Wild Hammer, I must honestly say... you are the very first Fantasy fan I have ever met who doesn't like sci-fi because it isn't dark enough and does like fantasy becasue it's so dark...

So here is a reminder to everyone - A Genre cannot be light/dark, only particular stories and settings. Which is kind of the grand moral of Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy, neither holds any advantage over the other, only particular stories within them are more or less popular than each other.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 10:12AM (Unverified) said

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Or..... You know..... People may just like fantasy more. I know I do. = /

It seems to me that this is being dragged out simply for the sake of posts. I'm pretty sure this site has anaylized this subject to death. What else is there to cover?

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