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Reader Comments (6)

Posted: Jul 22nd 2008 8:38AM (Unverified) said

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I think Starseige: Tribes had 128 player functionality. I don't remember if I ever got in a game that big, but it certainly felt massive at the time. I played Asheron's Call at about the same time I played Tribes, and I think I saw more people in one place in Tribes than in AC.

Posted: Jul 22nd 2008 8:55AM Wgraves said

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Does it feel massive? you could have 50 players and have a "massive" experience, or you could have a poorly implemented 9 million and it still feels like a LAN game with a bunch of people running around screaming.

Its all in implementation and perception.

Posted: Jul 22nd 2008 11:03AM (Unverified) said

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Depends a lot on the focus of the game as well. Bottom line is that if you have a crafting/questing/social system in a game then there are going to be a good portion of your players who are not in organized combat.

You just have Combat (like Tribes or Unreal Tournament) then you are far more likely to get those furball-type of massive combat.

Massive? Hmm, I guess that word is going to be used pretty broadly for the next few years until someone makes the next "World of Warcraft" type of success that everyone else wants to duplicate and we get a new buzzword.

Posted: Jul 22nd 2008 11:44AM (Unverified) said

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I remember Tribes, and ya that was massive to me. It had huge areas and battles that lasted forever. Vehicles and turrents and traps and a whole bunch of crazy that makes me which that it went further and had more popularity and expansion on it.

CoD4, on the other hand, has 50 people on a server and yet feels very shallow and more of a giant cluster**** instead of anything bigger then a mouse maze. Maybe the "massive" feel comes with the areas as well as the players. UT2004 had maps that were huge and expansive that made the battles epic.

As for other games, let's go back to real MMOs for a min: People say that Guild Wars and Age of Conan are not MMO games because they instance and seperate players. Now, I've never played GW, so I can't tell how that's set up, but Age of Conan does instance, but it still feels massive and it's freakin' fun. Maybe it's in the combat that makes it feel like that, IDK. But, in Kheshetta the city there's always fights going one, and at the Oasis, and at the Deathfighter Camps, and at the East Ruins, and at the Scorpian pits, and everywhere. It's not just individual hit-n'-runs (although they do happen), but groups vs. groups and that's what makes an MMO, I guess. Just as well, crafting requires being in a semi-massive guild to get a Tier 3 city. Sieges require massive fights with big groups. And, this winter, they're adding Kingships, with even more massive fights and ownerships.

Groups of people with options of fighting other groups of people, that's what makes an MMO. Although some people say that the ability to PvE is just as MMO-like, but that kind of thing was better done in MUDs and should stay there. It's the ability to massively group up, make goals, conquer others, ect. That's what an MMO truely is about.

In all honesty, WoW is getting rid of the massive part and making it too small. Arenas are a central ideal, and it's max of 5 people per team, where 2v2 is main for alot as well. Gathering and crafting is solo, raids are getting smaller, there's no "major PvP" outside of Alterac Valley because every enemy point has infinate NPC "guard-o'-death" spawns. As for guilds, all they got going for them is the association, the tabards, and the bank.

Warhammer, on the otherhand, will hopefully have that massive feel on a bronze platter (already lost the silver and gold with the class and city removals). The questions that come up though, is with only two major cities per server, what's the player restriction per city (if none, will lag completely bog down to the point of non-playability)?

Posted: Jul 22nd 2008 11:44AM PlasticSpork said

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Guild Wars isn't massive by that definition. Any game where you have the Massively part hanging out in lobby areas isn't really an MMO. Either that or Diablo II was a really good MMO. :)

Posted: Jul 22nd 2008 2:59PM Ayenn said

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It seems more and more that players are beginning to equate “massive” exclusively with PvP, which confuses me because the PvE population across all MMORPGs still constitutes 80% of the MMORPG community.

Tribes was “epic” not massive… MAG will be the next notable “epic” game. Massive implies much more than a moderate number of people (when comparing 256 players on a “server” to a range from 5k to 250k or more possible people logged on a server the 256 doesn’t sound all that big). Massive also describes presentation, huge global economies, and depth of lore which leads to a “massive” degree of choice and opportunity.

I have no idea why an instanced MMORPG would be considered not massive. The only MMORPG out there that has really broken the instancing tradition is Vanguard, which a lot of people discount before they even play it because of the “he said she said” issue.

What is “massive”? I would have to say it is a presentation of a variety of opportunities of engagement including interaction with an active, persistent, in environment community numbering at or over 5000 individuals possible on a server at any given time participating in an evolving global lore or fiction presented in episodic segments via quest/task mechanisms (my dissertation covering notational and co-narrational visual and social landscapes is forthcoming… it should be submitable to my dissertation comity by late 2009) or player created content (meaning their existence and pursuits create incidental plot or fiction). A 256 player FPS is simply not massive. As was said before in the above responses; it is a marketing strategy.

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