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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 5:15PM Triskelion said

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"The game was changing; technology was allowing the MMO to step out of its turn-based comfort zone and take on new challenges. We began to see the MMO-shooter, the MMO-RTS, and the MMO-does-that-even-fit-in-a-genre. The staff penned a series of articles called Redefining MMOs. Have things changed in two years? I'd say no."

Agree.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 5:57PM Epiny said

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Every developer defines a MMO with the features of the game they are creating.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 6:13PM Drunken Irish Sniper said

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"It happened before it will happen again."

Pretty much sums up MMO's as a whole.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 6:31PM Dunraven said

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I think that companies like Bioware and Arena net are getting it right while Mega Corps like Blizzard will slowly rot from their own arrogance of what a MMO should be. The days of mega guild forced grouping slide rule /spreadsheet mechanics and min/max builds are over with

People want to have adventures and be entertained yes maybe with friends but not with some Simpsons comic shop guy clone because they need a Tank. I'm excited about the future of MMO's mainly because it gives the stereotypical MMO player archetype the finger.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 8:38PM KDolo said

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@Dunraven

"The days of mega guild forced grouping slide rule /spreadsheet mechanics and min/max builds are over with"

And yet RIFT had a successful launch...
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 8:45PM Larry Everett said

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@Dunraven

I like the idea that the stereotypical MMO players is being redefined, too. Although I don't think that Blizzard is rotting by any means, I do think that the player base is broadening, so not everyone is a smelly fat guy living in his mom's basement (thank you, South Park.)
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 8:52PM Dunraven said

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@KDolo A successful launch means nothing AoC had a successful launch as did WAR and those games are dead today also unless you are in denial you can see that most RIFTERs are or becoming very disillusioned once they get past level 35. Old school MMO players and fold their arms and proclaim that MMO’s as is are here to stay, but that just isn’t reality. Yes a few niche low budget MMOs will cling to the EQ style of game play but the innovators are running as far away from that paradigm as fast as they can.
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Posted: Mar 31st 2011 8:51AM Tom in VA said

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@Dunraven

"The days of mega guild forced grouping slide rule /spreadsheet mechanics and min/max builds are over with."

I'd like to add a hearty AMEN to that. I'm done with MMOs that are built around the basic "golden rule" that "you MUST group with other players (at random if need be) to access the good content."

Smart MMO developers are going to recognize that people are going to group because they want to, but they are going to resent having to group because the game gives them no other choice. Guild Wars always appealed to me because I could run a dungeon with a full group of players, with a mix of players and AI, or all by my badself with AI -- depending on how I, the player, felt like playing a particular day.

That's the kind of MMO archetype/playstyle flexibility I will be looking for in the future.
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Posted: Mar 31st 2011 11:28AM Epiny said

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@Tom in VA

If you don't group with other players that's not really a MMO, it's just an Online RPG. I WANT forced grouping, I want a game where players depend on one another. I don't want Dragon Age or KOTR online... well actually I wouldn't mind an online feature for those games ala Dungeon Siege... but not a MMO.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 6:33PM Mystal said

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I especially liked the comment from the Bioware chap. He basically said that the future of MMOs is exactly what he's working on right now.

Notice that no one is really talking about virtual worlds any more. This makes me extremely sad.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 8:41PM Larry Everett said

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@Mystal

I believe the Guild Wars 2 people are talking about virtual words. In fact, the quote from Colin Johanson mentions "worlds"
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 9:42PM DarkWalker said

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@Larry Everett

Sandbox MMOs didn't really work out; not a single one can get even close to WoW's success, and apart from EVE (and perhaps SWG) I can't think of a single fairly successful sandbox MMO.

Like it or not, people flocked to theme-park MMOs, i.e., those MMOs where the fun bits are provided by the developers, instead of being provided by the community. Players seem to prefer a complete game, where almost all the fun is provided by the developers ready for consumption, over games where building the game environment is part of the fun.

TBH, I'm more into theme-park style MMOs than sandbox MMOs myself. I'm not really willing to dedicate effort and time to a game that might or might not be fun depending on how the players behave. If I'm not sure the game will be somewhat fun even when I'm by myself, without other players to support me, it will take a much better experience to draw me in. I don't even count on being able to do group content or raid, so if I don't think the game's solo content would not be enough to keep me entertained for a few months at least, I won't even attempt the game.

From a developer and publisher point of view, theme-park MMOs also leaves them with much more control than sandbox ones. For developers or publishers that are control freaks (i.e., most of the big ones), doing a sandbox MMO is almost unthinkable.
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Posted: Mar 31st 2011 11:46AM Djinn said

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@DarkWalker "Sandbox MMOs didn't really work out..."

I firmly believe that SWG was a successful sandbox because it didn't have FFA PvP. I think that single factor is why most sandboxes aren't more successful. The "average" person doesn't want to be ganked while they're trying to have fun. There are only so many "hardcore" players who enjoy that type of thing. If a game wants to draw large numbers, they have to appeal to the "average" players. Obviously such a game is possible since SWG did it but for some reason Devs making the newer sandboxes prefer to make them FFA PvP.

And before people point to EVE, I said "most" FFA PvP games aren't more successful. I believe that EVE is an exception because it is so unique.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 7:05PM Rayko said

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The reason the definition on MMOs needs to be redefined is because the game developers are looking to cash in on any game that can be played online. If devs can get away with calling their game a MMO then they feel justified in charging a monthly fee/having a cash shop. The word "Massively" disqualifies most of these games trying to slip into the MMO scene. Massively is not 2 people playing against each other in a RTS game, nor is is 10 or 20. It's hundreds , if not thousands. So I would ask the game developers trying to pull this scam please stop pissing on our legs and telling us it's raining.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 8:12PM Randomessa said

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@Rayko

This disconnect could be easily avoided if game companies would get back into the business of letting us set up servers for cooperative play in multiplayer settings like NWN 1&2, etc. Instead, they shut down attempts at playing games like Oblivion or Fallout or DA with friends, and those of us who want a multiplayer experience are pushed into MMOs. We're all just making the best of a situation here, but there used to be room for all three types of game.

I await games like Neverwinter and the LotR and D&D games to see if there is still room for a small-group multiplayer experience. Then, after GW2, game developers can go back to making the Everquests of the world, cause I'll have got mine :).
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 8:18PM Samael said

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@Rayko

Well the definition of Massively have changed. Look at my most hated company Cryptic, they can get away with calling STO an MMO. Yes, they have a lot of players playing at any given time, but in one instance of the world, only 75 are allowed to play together (please correct me if I am wrong here). They are still calling it a MMO.

I think we as players have become soft, and started lowering our expectations from companies. We let MMOs devs get away with launching an unfinished product because "that is how MMOs are."

I will go a little off topic and say that in general we have come to expect less from our entertainment, and other things. Which saddens me to no end. But the majority has spoken and they like the way things are, and are ok with spending ridiculous amounts on cash shops to play a game, hell even supporting games which have a cash store and a sub at the same time. The same with music, we have Lady Gagas and Justin Beiber now. Look at the movies, when was the last time a decent movie came out and did well at the theaters?

It is sad, but it is our fault and no one elses. We are reason why this can still happen. If we demanded more, the companies would have to provide more or risk loosing business.

Some will say we demand too much, in some instances that might be true. But from my own experience, we do not demand enough of the companies. They act like they are doing us a favor, while I say we are doing them a favor.

These are all just my opinion, from my own experiences.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 7:29PM Magnux said

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Aptly put Drunken.

We as MMO players are a fickle bunch. We expect a lot of the games that are coming out. We want innovation from the developers but when they try and bring innovation we fall back on the old norms. We expect there to be quest, we expect there to be good old holy trinity, we expect an AH or some way of moving what we create with crafting and anything that mobs drop. And a bunch of other things that we are used to. With this in mind as Drunken put it; "It happened before it will happen again."

When something that a developer does to change our view's on MMO's goes badly we rage at them and say they should of just stuck to the way its been done before. With that said how can we expect MMO's to redefine themselves. Sure the developers are saying that they are trying this and that but what are we going to say if not everyone likes it or fails to please us?

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 8:36PM KDolo said

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amazingly, you didn't talk to the developers of Guild Wars 2 for this article.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 8:39PM Larry Everett said

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@KDolo
Except that I did. Two, in fact: Colin Johanson and Mike Zadorojny
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 8:41PM KDolo said

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@KDolo

Disregard that. In the future, I will read articles before commenting.
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