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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 10:12AM monkeybones said

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I don't understand it, but it's Huge. And my friends that play Mafia wars and Farmville don't understand why I like MMOs.

By biggest concern with any of the Facebooks Apps is how are they going to use my personal information.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 11:02AM (Unverified) said

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It easy, if you want to try out all this facebook games nonsense, make a fake profile. Then you can play all you want and not spam your friends. I'm much less concerned about them misusing Jesus Chistoferson's personal info since he is a figment of my imagination. Problem solved. Believe me, you aren't missing anything, many of these social games are trite crapware which panders to the lowest common denominator. Kinda of like wow lite.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 11:40AM Rich said

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Or just plain WoW lately.
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Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 11:40AM TheJackman said

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Just today, my farmvile was hit with a twister.... they still where not able to locate my cows :S

And after let something over cook my cafe world cafe burn too the ground taking my only 2 clients with it in the fire...

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 12:20PM Dblade said

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I don't know, why not pick up a Nintendo DS or PSP and play one of the many excellent harvest moon or rune factory games instead? I'm not against a farming MMO at all, but very few of these sound to me like real MMOs as opposed to offline games with a chat channel, microtransactions, and unwanted spam.

I'd fall in love with a real farming MMO though.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 12:24PM Robiness said

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These games are free, really low resources, don't require any special equipment, can be played from any computer you sit down at, and can be played with friends you already have.

They are absolutely online and you can visit your friends' farms, exchange gifts and otherwise interact, depending on the game.

But sure, if you don't want to even try one, it's your choice. :)
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Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 12:28PM Thac0 said

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These Games like Farmville have all the same mechanics and depth as your typical MMO. You grind levels and get money by harvesting and can then buy or earn things to show off to your friends like Houses just like a News set of Armor. I really don't see any difference except for the fact that you don't have a hot bar with skills in farmville.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 12:43PM myr said

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You got Facebook in my Massively again!

But no, seriously, if this is going to be a regular column, could it uh, not show up on RSS like the "from WoW.com" articles please? Thanks.

Either that, or change the title from "The Fringe" to "Crappy Facebook Games". Or something else more obvious! (That was constructive, right?)

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 12:59PM thud said

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FYI, Farm Town is NOT a FarmVille clone. Farm Town came out first and then Zynga made a clone...like most of their games.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 1:02PM Robiness said

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Ah I will edit a wee bit then.
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Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 1:11PM (Unverified) said

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Having been on Facebook and playing Farm Town before Farmville was introduced, I only have one real comment about Robin's article that is in disagreement.

Farm Town is NOT a Farmville clone. Farmville is a Farm Town clone. ;)

When Farmville first 'came out' there was really only a few differences: Cuter (and less 'real') graphics and more crashes. Farmville then 'improved' on the concepts I had seen in Farm Town and started to diverge from there.

As stated above, Farm Town is social INSIDE the game. (with chatting and getting people to work your farm, etc) Farmville is social outside the game, with any interactions (until recently) limited to that seen in the Facebook feeds (the stated spam) and the occasional 'sign post' with someone's comments plunked down in the middle of the place.

Farmville has recently introduced comments/bulletin boards inside the game to further the ability to be social with friends inside the game.

As to all that spam... there is change coming down the pike. Or so all the app makers have been saying, using that as an excuse to want our email addresses and the like so they can spam our emailboxes rather than the Facebook feeds.

And yes, anything with the 'zygna' name on it is going to be generating a LOT of spam. Special events (like collecting Xmas presents, Valentines, or gold) spam the feed with people bragging about how much presents/valentines/gold they have (one message to the feed for every 20 collected), their having more than a neighbor (which if you have a lot of neighbors, can happen a lot), or wanting MORE of the current special items (once per 4 hours or so, sometimes more often) on top of begging to have their crops fertilized and their chickens fed (daily), or begging for construction pieces to build their latest special building (stables, mansion, etc) or expand the building that is also storage (barns, storage sheds, chicken coops, etc)... and then there is spam from wandering 'lost' critters (cats, cattle, horses, and even penguins). It is a MAJOR spam fest of the Facebook feed.

But you can not deny that all this spamming causes some form of social interaction. But the more neighbors/friends you have, the more spam there is to wade through.

My wife LOVES Farmville. I find it interesting to see what sort of things I can build and just to see the game form grow and evolve. Just want sort of beast are these games going to become. They are evolving FAST and FURIOUS. And they are starting to make MONEY. And not just with ad revenue. People pay REAL MONEY to get some of (or more of) the things in the game. And if even only 1 out of 100 people out of the 82.5 million mentioned is paying the $10 for 55 FV Cash in a month ... you do the math! That's MONEY. And lots of it.

Don't be too surprised if you see YOUR favorite MMO company seeing if they can't move their favorite IP into this gamespace.... and perhaps trying to add one or more features of the farming and social game items and playstyles into their game worlds to try to get those people to spend the money on them instead.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 2:32PM Darkdust said

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I love the fact that Massively has this new column for social games. But please keep in mind that not all social games run on Facebook. For a great example, take a look at Echo Bazaar (linked to Twitter): not spammy, and it has some of the best writing and worldbuilding I've seen in a game. Sort of a Lovecraftian steampunk, if you will.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 2:49PM (Unverified) said

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I was about to take exception to your attitude (" only constructive criticism will be allowed from now on") but instead I'll leave a bit of constructive criticism for my fellow readers. I enjoy reading Massively daily, but I am skeptical about the scope creep that I'm perceiving with some of the content so I'm using feedrinse.com to prune it back a little - my thought is that the advertisements in articles about real MMOs will see a higher impression rate from following links into the site as compared to the front page and articles about non-MMOs.

I found feedrinse.com here by looking at the URLs for "Second Life free" RSS feeds from Massively. Turns out the site is free and you can filter out site content by keywords in the post title, body, author, etc. You'll want to be careful when you add your keywords though - for instance I am interested in MMOs that have features integrated with social networks like Facebook, but not in Facebook's "games" - so I used the keyword (keyphrase) "Facebook game" so I'll still see posts that just use the word "Facebook" - it'll probably take some tweaking, but I guess its one way to express my opinion when "only constructive criticism will be allowed from now on"

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 3:00PM (Unverified) said

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You forgotten Country Story by PlayFish

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 4:44PM Ingrod said

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I want a farm in my current MMO to cultivate resources for crafting instead of gathering then killing things.

Posted: Mar 22nd 2010 5:02PM (Unverified) said

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It kind of feels like the execs at various gaming companies heard about Facebook for the first time at GDC this year. "Facebook games make money?! Holy crap! Make some!"

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