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Reader Comments (40)

Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:05PM Daemodand said

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I can sum up the future of MMOs in two words: story and casual.

Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:07PM Daemodand said

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@Daemodand And what MMO industry has Colin been watching because it isn't this one. MMOs are moving away from the virtual world concept, not towards it.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:24PM CCon99 said

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@Daemodand

We can only hope he means the future of MMO's and that they finally realize that dumbed down and linear just isn't working.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2011 9:07PM Sorithal said

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@Daemodand

Not really, unless you don't mean casual as "dumbing down content so everyone and our grandparents can get to endgame and do well".

Which is of course what Nintend- I mean, Blizzard, is seeming to push, but most other MMOs haven't really done that beyond making the leveling experience soloable or whatnot.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:20PM Khalus said

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Curt Shilling ~ "that's a loaded question because none of us could tell you what's going to happen in the next six months much less the next 10 years." ~ "This genre's changing so fast."


Yet damn near every MMO in the past decade has been the same thing over and over again, with a new skin and hardly anything unique. Even most of the older MMOs that had their own core uniqueness have been changed to reflect the common modern MMO.

Even GW2, TERA and SW:TOR that are promising dynamic events, twitchy action and an emphasis on story are still very much of the same common vein.

If anyone is going to change the current genre, suffice it to say, I believe that it will be Blizzard with their new MMO. They started this common genre that everyone else wants a piece of, and I feel they're the only ones atm that will be first to change it again...

Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:49PM Sephirah said

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@Khalus

"I believe that it will be Blizzard with their new MMO. They started this common genre that everyone else wants a piece of, and I feel they're the only ones atm that will be first to change it again..."

Apart from making a casual friendly EQ, what really new did Blizzard bring to MMORPG?
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Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:57PM paterah said

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@Sephirah How about 12 million people? They changed the genre with their game...whether that was based on innovation or not is pretty irrelevant cause I'm sure thats what you meant.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2011 10:15PM Khalus said

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@paterah

Nah, I wasn't necessarily referring to subscriber #s because there have been several other MMOs with a huge populace like WoW too, just not in the US ~ Lineage, Maple Story and Monster Hunter.

I'm talking about how they pretty much came in and streamlined & polished all the current architecture powering MMOs, and basically introduced massively multiplayer to the masses that didn't know about it or were on the fence because of it being such a niche thing to do prior.

Pretty much how Squaresoft introduced the Final Fantasy series to the masses that had never heard of the series or didn't like RPGs with FFVII. FF became ever more popular by the millions overnight it seemed.

I say Blizzard will be the ones to introduce the next phase of MMOs because they heralded the current one, and nearly 7 years later not a single other developer have tried to do anything to challenge that. Even though many have boasted they were, in the end if was just another re-skinning of WoW. And even though I dislike the direction Blizzard have been taking with WoW since vanilla, I still like Blizzard. They have created some amazing games of the past, most of which have never been revisted in any capacity by anyone, and if you look at those at the cornerstone of Blizzard's vision and talent, you can be sure there next MMO is gonna be grand!
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 12:42AM Halfcentaur said

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@Sephirah

WoW gave the gaming world a lush virtual world with actual focus on visuals and immersion instead of vast empty spaces with mass produced tree models and blocky cubes for terrain.

Until WoW came along and introduced their "painterly" illustrative style, there was no soul in the world design of MMOs.

WOW also made it actually FUN to move your character around.
From jumping to strafing to running and walking, the flow of these movements was responsive and fun. Many MMOs still don't get this idea.

WoW brought soul to the world of MMOs where there was mostly just technical systems with a token world tacked on. WOW realized the imagination and sense of an actual simulated fantasy world with whimsy and an eye for design. They actually had foreshadowing between zone terrain with climate and transitions that were blended.

It's amazing how literal some people's minds are and what they overlook. Compare the world and character movement of Starwars Galaxies and Everquest to WoW, it's a no brainer really why it's so attractive to a wide range of people rather than the small niche MMORPGs attracted in the early 2000s.

They also made combat seem more like a fast paced action game, which is a big part of where games are going with Tera and Firefox finally realizing.

World of Warcraft aside, this was a great panel I think.

The funny thing is, every single one of these developers is correct in their assessments, none of their views conflict. It's all part of how games will merge genres and turn the internet into virtual worlds for people to socialize in and have an adventure as well.

Worlds will get dynamic, seamless, and interactive. Combat will be tactile and more interactive with aiming and real time action. Avatars will seem more alive and more able to interact with other avatars. There's no reason to keep making the MMOs of the late 90s and early 2000s anymore.

That is my vision at least.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 12:45AM Halfcentaur said

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@Halfcentaur I mean Firefall. Whoops.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 2:46PM Skyydragonn said

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@Sephirah

Blizard did Innovate though, tehy looked at what EQ and other games at the time did well, and improved on that. They also looked at what didn't work, but could be "fixed" and fixed/improved those apsects too.

Innovation isn't always about making something new, but making something that works well. New cars aren't Innovative, they still rely on an engine, 4 wheels a transmission etc etc, but making them owrk 'better' is how the auto industry "innovates"
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Posted: Mar 25th 2011 8:53PM BadTrip said

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@Skyydragonn

Definition of INNOVATION

1: the introduction of something new
2: a new idea, method, or device

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/innovation
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Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:40PM Space Cobra said

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I think online gaming will be bigger, but one cannot discount single-player games. People still need them and play them in large and small chunks and the games are easier to make and make one feel special. Still very casual.

The problem is, we all have different opinions, even among gamers. Some want the Hard-Core-Grind and others want their game play in lite chunks and others want all PvP and others...well, there are LOTS of opinions. Games have to adapt to that. One-size does not fit all here, because games are a personal experience, even moreso than movies.

They seem to be chasing after the same numbers Asian MMOs get in Asia and, while they may achieve it, it is a different thing to achieve that in the Western World. It's hard to describe and saying, "they have a different mindset" is not fully descriptive or true, but it is short and saves you from my wall-of-text. ;)

I think games will continue to grow in many ways, online, offline, and tangently-connected-online. More genres will surface. More niche games, perhaps even people accepting that certain games are for RPG-fans, others are for open-world-PvP, and still others combining the two and many more. I am hopeful, but I see an explosion covering many interests and tastes for the many varied gamers who want certain things from their games.

Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:50PM Deadalon said

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There are few things we can guaranty - more and more games will be online cause thats how the game industry is fighting crackers. It also helps the industry sending out half finished content that is "fixed" up in the next 6 months. And.. ofc .. its all the same as it was before.

There hasn't been anything groundbreaking about MMOs in the last 5 years. If it was ... then WOW would not be the giant - considering the game is so dated and so stagnant like Cata goes to show. New games any better ? RIft with zero effort on gameplay and movement mecanics ? The game feels slllloooooowww. Slower than EQ2 was on release.

I am truly hoping that GW 2 and SWTOR will TRUELY bring in something special. I just hope Bioware wont go over the top in telling stories - and that GWs wont totally forget the roles of healers - tanks and dps.

One thing that we can be 100% certain of. WOW is dying.. and its dying really fast atm.

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 12:54AM (Unverified) said

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@Deadalon WoW is dying again? I've never seen a game ''die'' so many times in my life.............
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Posted: Mar 18th 2011 2:51AM PaperSpeaks said

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@(Unverified)
It won't die, there will always be the loyal crowd and new MMO crowd that WoW will gather due to its easy and generally friendly mechanics that was polished over 7 years.
However, it had stagnated, and even with the amazing (I LOVE IT) phasing technology that brought a whole new level of depth to quest stories, it is still the same thing in core: grind.
Well, Grind as in pvp, raid... pvp,raid...pvp,raid... Yeah.
The only thing that made me log on last month was for friends and guild, it had finally reached the point of becoming a much more social game (for me).
The interesting thing is that Korean MMOs, due to their excessive grind, are primarily one of the biggest port for social outing, well in Korea at least, where Lineage 2 consisted of people just talking endlessly as they killed the same group of mobs for hours.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:52PM Triskelion said

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lol - Curt Schilling. Yes, amongst MMO developers he stands taller due to his......well.....ummmm....well, he thinks that he is creating an MMO, right?

I think they should rename his studio to Vaporware Productions.

Posted: Mar 18th 2011 8:14AM Dunraven said

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@Triskelion The legion of Schilling fans a really staggering they thing he is going to lead them back to the glory days of drag your face across glass MMOs, and I have heard from several sources that both Salvatore and Mcfarlane are ready to pull out because it's basically turned into his pet project not a viable MMO.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2011 2:12PM Gildas said

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@Dunraven

Um just so you know Schilling doesn't actually make/design the game, he funds and manages the company and does pr. He has made it very clear that he leaves the development up to the actual development team.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2011 8:53PM Saker said

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I believe worlds is definitely the future. How long that'll take is another matter. Just like WhoreyWood these days these companies are very strongly drawn to try and re-make a certain game that will go un-named... It may take years till that mindless mind-set is finally gotten past. People certainly want some direction at first, but I believe ultimately people want a world to play in, to do whatever they please in (within a context, fantasy, sci/fi, old west... whatever).

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