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Reader Comments (43)

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 8:35AM (Unverified) said

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I have tried many eastern MMOs, but very few have actually stuck. My main concern falls into two categories: control and content.

Most eastern MMOs utilize a point and click interface, which I find incredibly clunky and makes me feel disconnected from my character. The only game I played for a length of time that used this setup was Ragnarok Online, but that's only because my sister played it too.

Content has always been a huge problem for me. Eastern MMOs are almost always grind fests or the translation is so horribly done that I can't figure out the quests anyway.

In the end I find myself leaving after a week or two and returning to familiar grounds; games that use the WASD controls, understandable storylines, and better overall polish.

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 8:51AM AlamoeJones said

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I've only played western mmo's. I can't stand the anime art style. Also, the article points out how easterners love wow...that's a poor example, everyone loves wow haha

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 9:06AM HackJack said

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It's all about the art style and the leveling pace... nothing against any good games made in Asia...

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 10:20AM (Unverified) said

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The grind fest, it hurts! ><

I've tried a lot of eastern mmos myself. However, I often grow tired when the only thing you can do to advance is litteraly kill 1000 somethings. Even the deeds in LotRO aren't that bad compared to this.

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 9:18AM (Unverified) said

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I won't sound diplomatic here.

Asian MMOS are always suckfest clone games with 1 interesting feature.

Their gamer culture has trained it's players to want to play 200 versions of Lineage for 1 month at a lan cafe then move on to somebody else's game that looks and plays exactly like the one they already game with, but has one clever feature to differentiate it.

They also all have low low system requirements and tiny installs since the makers know the user will play this for a month in a cafe before moving on. KMMOs don't build for the long haul.

Wanna know how this thinking translates to the west? NCsoft does a study, concludes the average gamer plays the same mmo for 3 months then moves to another.

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 9:22AM (Unverified) said

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I have yet to come across a good Asian MMO. They have all sucked, usually sucked pretty badly. Their idea of fun is definitely a far stretch from mine.

North American MMO's tend to be more user friendly, and more fun. European MMO's, and European gaming in general, is typically more complex, but still good. Europe and Russia made hardcore PC games.

So yes, it is important to me, not just for MMO's, but games in general. If a game is from Asia, chances are I won't like it.

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 9:30AM TheJackman said

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For me Final Fantasy is overrated I do not like turn base combat I also never owned a ps2 or ps2 so I never played the last few games! All that Asia mmos mostly are a big joke with lots of grinding. My MMO fun started with Everquest and later WoW (I did never like EQ2!). I did try some Asia mmos like after 2 and a half year WoW get pretty boring no matter how good the game is. North American MMO's tend to have more content like unlike the people in Asia I looking for mmos I can play for years for me the box price and 15 bucks a month is a lot of money still and I want the best!

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 2:13PM (Unverified) said

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I've played both western and eastern MMOs sind the early 1998 when the first graphic (MM)O came out. No it wasn't Ultima Online as most of you may think. It was Meridian 59, which came a year or two before Ultime Online, later Shadowbane Online.

I enjoyed all of this games, but as they passed/outlived their living circle, the remaining western MMOs wasn't very of my taste. This was Everquest and Dark Ages of Camelot. As for Everquest, it was first pure grind western game. So this isn't something the asian invented as most may think. DAoC in the early days was very grindy too.

However, the first asian games were pretty grindy PvE games (Ragnarok Online, Priston Tale and such). While Ragnarok was Grindy, it had one good thing: You could pretty much develop your char in several ways by distributing stats yourself such as Agility etc. A feature which sadly was abandomed in newer MMOs and took of the character development and replaced it with item grinding (like in WoW). In Ragnarok equpiment wasn't as much required as in WoW and you got stats by leveling up. In Lineage II the PvP took a new level with hard death penalities. Everyone played very well, the number of low-skilled players was very low, as low level players never (or very lately) hit high level because they didn't played their character well and died often.

In WoW every retard can get 80, no matter how often he dies. 85% of all WoW players are very low-skilled and can't play their characters, 10% have average skill and only 5% are quite skilled. This made me very sad to see so many bad players and it's not funny anymore. In Lineage II you could do Pick Up groups on High level and it 90% of the people were average or above average skilled, because everyone played their class to it's best to avoid the hard death penalities.

One thing i really disliked in Lineage II (one of the most popular asian pay2play games) is that the PvE in this game really sucked. It was all about grinding, barely any quests. But on PvP side, it was one of the best PvP games ever (together with Meridian 59 and Shadowbane).

Sadly most people think of Free2Play games when you say "asian/eastern MMO". The Free2Play games are very bad, had very bad PvP/PvE systems and no story/interesting content due to the nature of this game and no steady income (take out the item shops which also breaks the balance of these games).

However Aion is pretty nice, I played the chinese Beta. It has many quests and most time of your early leveling (at least until 25 haven't had chance to play further) you can level quite good through quests. One very nice thing is, starting at level 10, solo leveling in Aion gets really hard. However, this is not a bad thing. In fact, it's very good. This forces the players to earlier start grouping and playing as a team. Unlike WoW where most people start to learn how to play once they hit the endgame, which is sad for a MMO to be able to do all the stuff solo and never learn to play as a team player, which significantly increase the skill of players.

Aion was developed with western world in mind (reads: less grinding, more quests/group play).

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 9:39AM bate said

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Pathetic interfaces and absurd grinds. That's what's been keeping me out of asian games. I love the graphics.

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 2:24PM urgan said

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ditto
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Posted: Jun 7th 2009 9:48AM (Unverified) said

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never played a good Asian MMO as well...they were all atrocious, generic grindfests with poor artstyle and every character looked the same...call me crazy here but its the same impression i had after watching Aion's videos.

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 10:02AM AlamoeJones said

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No, I agree. The only reason people, like Massively, are hyping Aion is because nothing new has been released over here in quite a while, not counting Free Realms.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2009 10:04AM (Unverified) said

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@ odessa
If you really want to get fussy about which was the first graphical MMORPG, then it was Neverwinter Nights in 1991.

UO made the genre popular then what it was, it was the game which found out what you could or could not do in a MMORPG with a larger population. So, you MUST regret missing out on it considering you were playing another MMORPG, I know I regret it but of course I had good reason (internet down under got off to a slow start).

From what I can tell M 59 didn't make MMORPG history like UO did, so IMO you are just trying to justifiy yourself by say "I WAS IN A MMORPG THAT WAS MADE BEFORE UO SO THERE!!". And you use it to prove that you have experience, which you don't considering you didn't play UO and you didn't specifically say that you player EQ or DaoC.

Nice try on trying to make it look like you actually have a vaster MMORPG history then you actually do. I'm not denying your opinion is wrong, just noting that for some reason you feel the need to justify your opinion even though it is shallow when looking at what you have written (for all I know you just didn't say what your other experience was). Playing is some minor MMORPG in 1995 and then stopping? Lol?

Anyway, I'm not going to judge Eastern MMORPGs, I have never played them. Maybe Aion is good maybe not, but TBH the Aion haters look like the Darkfall haters... People that haven't actually played the MMORPG but willing to troll and spam about how bad it is because they are different from what they play. Maybe Aion is good, maybe not, I just know that WoW is not good anymore... It ceases to be a MMORPG because most content is solo or requires tiny amounts of communications. Before MMORPGs used to be a hard world where you were forced to come together and to become one with the MMORPG because of the socialising that was required and the hard work that was required.

Western MMORPGs have failed recently, so I'd be a hypocrite if I just thought Eastern MMORPGs were bad because they didn't have the Western background in tabletop games (pretty much Everquest influenced MMORPGs). Even then West MMORPGs have lost that D&D influence anyway.

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 10:09AM Greeen said

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ahum, Neverwinter Nights never has been or is a MMORPG. It has online multi player, but it is not "massive multiplayer". If you want to catergorize it your way, than anything like Battlefields, CODs etc would become mmorpgs as well.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2009 10:34AM (Unverified) said

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@Greeen
FYI there have been 2 Neverwinter Nights games, one was a RPG with a online component, the other was a MMORPG from AOL.
Please think before you post.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2009 3:43PM (Unverified) said

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I never heard of the AOL version either and I have been playing MMOs for a while.
Please don't be a condescending Jerk when you post. =)
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Posted: Jun 7th 2009 3:45PM (Unverified) said

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Although I admit that's probably asking too much.
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Posted: Jun 7th 2009 10:46AM LaughingTarget said

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I've long ago lost interest in the Eastern MMO philosophy. From the first ones I tried, the games felt little more than someone built an MMO making kit and everyone who had access to a PC would then dump out the exact same thing with the exact same radial world design and the exact same "kill thousands of X" as the only way to advance anywhere.

My best guess is it fits well with Asian, primarily Korean, Japanese and Chinese cultural behaviors. They're a VERY specialized society. People do one thing and they do that one thing remarkably well. It comes from the day in, day out practicing of that specific skill set. Western audiences, which have a foundation of being "well rounded" find that kind of behavior dull and ponderous. Variety is the key to western gaming, which is why games like Free Realms, which specifically advertise it, pulled 2 million players in such a short timeframe.

It's a basic cultural divide. East likes grind, West likes variety.

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 10:50AM SkuzBukit said

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Even if you've no information about where an MMORPG was made you can make a pretty good guess within the first hour of playing it.

I've played a few western mmo & a few eastern & the differences are small but the cumulative effect of those small differences is massive, western mmo's tend to try to build a believable fantasy world that operates upon similar laws to our own, whereas eastern mmo's tend to be even further entrenched in ethereal fantasy, western mmo's have a grittiness about them & a stronger connection between the player & their onscreen avatar with typically more well-thought out stories, whilst eastern mmo's have overly grand plotlines full of holes in the story that make then utterly unbelievable (in a bad way), "young kenso , who at the age of 9 saved the whole of tokyo, then went on to mastermind the resurgence of mankind" kind of stories that never get into such trivial details as how the hell that was even possible.

Posted: Jun 7th 2009 11:04AM (Unverified) said

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@Sibe
I played all the time MMOs since then. Meridian 59 happend to be my first one, and it had all (and even more) PvP features than most of the games that where released later. Guild wars, faction fights for zone control of your faction, a murderer game (with no item/hp/skill loss on death), guild housing (something that most MMOs don't have today, not even WoW) and the possibility to conquer the guild halls of other guilds (forerunner of keep sieges).

I did played UO too, and i really liked the sandbox-system. This one of the great things UO introduced. DAoC on the other side I only played for a short while and I didn't really liked it. EQ i haven't played, but i had enough friends i've met in Meridian 59 who played it and know enough of it to know that early EQ wars grind festival pure at higher levels.

Since then I played many other MMOs, like Ragnarok Online Alpha, Beta and later release (together probably 1 1/2 years), Project Entropia (now called Entropia Universe, another kind of MMO, which connects real money with a sandbox-game-camouflaged casino). In between i often tried some of the asian games, such as Priston Tale, Cabal Online, Silkroad Online. However, they weren't very good and i usually haven't played the for very long. 2004 Lineage II came out, and I played it for about 2 years. However, I played it less often after WoW was released and I'm playing WoW to since release too. However, if it wouldn't be for the friends I met there, i'd quit it 3 years ago when before BC came out.

As I said, WoW is successful in numbers. No doubt there. However, technically it was a step back in MMO development. You don't have a in-deep character developerment like in previous games. No freedom in creating your character. I loved to be able to create my character in any way I'd liked in Ultima Online. You didn't even needed to be a warrior or caster to have fun in UO. You could have fun by being a good and dedicated smith, crafting weapons for your guild, friends and others. You had housing. And you feared death and there was barely any ganking.

Take Lineage II as an example: You did PvP there for prestige, fame, power and for PvP's sake. And WoW? People only doing BGs/Arena for points/honor to buy new items. A PvP which needs to lure people with items to do it, is obviously a bad PvP. Not to mention the unbalance of the game.

To Aion: I don't know if Aion will be good in the endgame. I can say that in the first 25 levels it plays very good, similar to WoW's questing part. Only difference is, that grouping is more than encouraged which is a good thing. If you want to solo, there are enough offline/single player games.

I can't say anything about Aions PvP part, and since Aion is a PvP game with PvP as main endcontent this should be an important part. However, I'm sceptical, mainly because it's a faction vs faction PvP (like WoW, DAoC and Warhammer are) and you can't fight on a guild vs guild base, which is much more interesting, as there is much more drama (alliances breaks up, new allinaces forms, old enemies becoming new allies etcpp.), no FFA PvP (don't confuse FFA PvP with WoW's gank everything you come accross PvP), no guild wars.

This are very important aspects for a good PvP game (I'm PvP player in heart, Merdian 59 was PvP game and I loved it back then).


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