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Reader Comments (6)

Posted: Aug 14th 2009 3:48PM (Unverified) said

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Persistence may not be required for a game to be considered an MMO, but that doesn't make it any less awesome. I think persistence is only one element of a much more important online game concept: immersiveness. (It's a word... now!).

Static instances are not persistent, but the degree of immersion certainly varies. WoW went to great lengths to make the instance immersive, but it's never changing.

WoW has a large following and feels so different because it immerses the player in content. Players have a feeling that the world is changing in some regards. For example, you do a quest chain and the quest giver is excited that you have defeated his enemy! Sure, he's going to respawn, but it feels like you are actually doing stuff.

I think persistence is probably the single most important aspect of immersiveness, but I would agree with the author that we don't need to get hung up on it.

If the game really sucks you in, who cares whether it will be the same tomorrow? It would probably suck you in even deeper if the world changed via your actions, but it isn't required.

Posted: Aug 14th 2009 4:16PM (Unverified) said

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I believe you are using persistence in an interesting way. Assuming that "persistence" is defined as permanent change rather than continuation or remaining the same. As in a persistent world... a world that does not disappear when you log off. A world that other players are sharing with each other and cooperating or competing with each other.

To say that something is not persistent because it can be repeated by someone else or gets reset after a time (as in a quest or a raid) is to define the word "persistent" to a very particular connotation.

You say you don't support Exteel because it was not persistent and focused on small team combat, yet you continuously post about Global Agenda and Huxley which are the same thing. Neither have a persistent world. They have instanced areas that are reset when you leave/re-enter. And while WoW has these same instances in the raids and dungeons, the majority of their content is an open, shared, persistent world.

Posted: Aug 14th 2009 6:27PM (Unverified) said

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You hit the nail on the head. The author is definitely not addressing the definition of persistent that is really in major use.
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Posted: Aug 14th 2009 4:56PM (Unverified) said

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"No quest is ever truly completed forever."

Something that makes me love WoW even this long, is the Death Knight starting area. Things change, you can't go back to how things were. I know it's only one area, for one class, but there are some other examples in the game. It's also something i wish more of the games and more often in WoW. Your actions having an effect that change things. I also seem to remember in Lotro, archet changing in the beginning. This might be something that would work better in a server-less game, as more people would be in the same phase as you, but it's better than seeing things never change.

Posted: Aug 14th 2009 6:47PM Yoh said

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While persistence is a key element in MMO's, it is however a variable. It varies from game to game, short of 100%.
And as the article suggests, it is only one of the elements that qualify the game as an MMO.
Being massive and online is not enough.

This is because MMO is used as a shorthand, for MMO'RPG'. It's the roleplaying in conjunction with persistence that makes an MMO what it is.

And as part of the roleplaying aspect, it also includes a 'world' of sorts to explore.


As to the future of MMORPG's, I would like to the them having higher levels of persistence, where what you does matters, and isn't reset every five minutes.

~Yoh

Posted: Aug 15th 2009 12:54AM (Unverified) said

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I'm with Yoh on that topic.

I think the whole MMO genre has to diversify and we need sub categoties.
While I fought countless battles over the RP part of the MMO RP G I'm also wondering about the G.

Reading the topic I came to the impression that G (for Game) is some kind of contradiction to the genre itselve and to a persistant world because a classic Game has a limited timeframe, a goal to achiev and often winners and loosers.

So in closing, I think what me and many sandbox fans are looking for is more of an Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Environment (MMORPE) where the Game Part is still in there (opposed to a pure virtual world like second life) but far less limited by rules and short term goals

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