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Reader Comments (29)

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 8:03AM Tom in VA said

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I have been hoping for some time that you guys would widen the net a bit, and I see that's what you're doing.

I think you should also reconsider your stance on Cryptic's Neverwinter. From what I can tell, it will operate using basically the same structure as DDO or GW1, with "MMO lobbies/community areas" and instanced dungeons and explorable areas.

I recall Seraphina Brennan's post some time ago saying Massively would not cover Neverwinter, and I get the reasons why, but I still think that position is too exclusive -- especially considering that you cover such similar games as DDO and GW1; even the bulk of STO is basically an SP/CORPG.

For that matter, in most current MMOs, players spend 90 to 95% of their time (if not more) either questing alone or in very small player groups. There's nothing terribly "massive" about that, imo.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 11:54AM socialenemy2007 said

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@Tom in VA I think they should just stop covering cryptic games all together out of spite :P
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Posted: Apr 10th 2011 3:59PM (Unverified) said

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So glad they've added this. Yeah, they aren't precisely MMOs. But when I played MMOs, my favorite thing to do was sit around and play BGs. So there's a lot of cross over between people who enjoy MMO PVP and MOBAs.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 4:12PM BadTrip said

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nice to see a beginning in the steps to separate out the lingo. When MOBAs came out labeled as MMOs it really confused things - what I'm interested in, actual Virtual worlds, got push further into obscurity and all mixed up with the theme parks.

Now if we could just get the industry to move to three labels - MMORPG, MOBAs, MMOVWs and get all these sites repeat the terms like a mantra, we might actually get some cash flowing into Virtual Worlds again.

I know that a lot of times I've purchased MMOs looking for a virtual world and been sorely disappointed. They don't get a sub at the end of 30, but I'm included in the financial results for initial box sales. If there a lot of people with the same experience, what this looks like to the industry is that MMOs are profitable, but mostly for box sales like any other game. This leads to a lot of companies rushing out hype and shallow games. If the company has actually figured out the mechanism behind all this then it is also to their advantage to have the terminology to these three very distinct genera muddied.

Global Agenda tried to take advantage of this at initial release, but unfortunately for them the confusion about MMORPGs hadn't spread so far as to let them call a scoreboard a persistent world. Don't get me wrong - they've come around and have a fun game for when I'm in the mood for a MOBA, but I was pissed when I got my pre-release beta key and found out that the world was just a 3D instance queue.

There are a lot of heated debates in the MMO community and most of it is fueled by crushed expectations. People like different things, features and mechanics aren't so much fully explained as press- released with an excited gamer/salesperson chatting underneath digital bouncies and beautiful explosions. We don't know until we get in-game how things will actually feel.

Gaming preferences aside, this is a callout to all the young executives at the biggies - your old farts are too convinced they're infallible (the creator of UO pushing facebook games??) Knock Knock Knock

If you want to make that Wow killer with subscriptions keeping your butt planted squarely in a Ferrari for 10 years then recognize the differences in the genera and be clear about what you're offering up front. You'll be filtering your own forums and thereby the all important word of mouth weighted towards fans vs screamers right at the beginning. Here's a Ferrari recipe for you:

1) Get an idea (you can't have mine). It doesn't have to be unique if you have some passion about how you'd do it differently. Don't associate with famous IP - at best you'll get 50% lovers 50% haters and a limping game like STO, DCUO or Champions.

2) Break your features into subsets, get a few accounts at an MMO forums site and test the waters starting or getting involved in topics talking about your features. For your own topics, try to pick names where you'll attract the right audience but your boss will skip over. You don't need some plagerist hitting the boardroom before you.

3) Failure is a given so launch your ideas under different indy names - the one that sticks can "suddenly gain a parter" or something.

4) Clarity, clarity, clarity - push for clarity in your industry at every opportunity. It is the only way your idea will ever stand out. Muddy language only benefits the old pigs trying to make a splash before retiring. To them, company longevity is less important than their parachute out.

So there you go. The ring over my head is grey and your log is full. Happy Ferrari hunting.

Posted: Apr 10th 2011 10:29PM (Unverified) said

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Where do games like Roblox and Atmosphir fall in those categories? MMOVW?

Posted: Apr 11th 2011 1:13PM NeverDeath said

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That may be true, but WoW isn't exactly the pinnacle I was talking about, given that it has no challenging content and the smoothest learning curve of any game probably in existence. WoW carebears post damage meters like they're doing something incredible and pride themselves on besting content in one of the easiest games I've ever played. Zombies Ate My Neighbors was a more challenging game than modern-day WoW. So as easy as HoN is, I don't doubt that at all. HoN is practically a carbon-copy of DotA by the way, much more so than LoL, and like it, is not that difficult a game once you acquaint yourself with the three or four very basic gameplay elements that are in play. Like them or not, MMOs are the pinnacle of game design because of their persistent world, in-game economies, player-driven gameplay experience and the fact that you never really "win", which keeps people playing. These are things an MMO offers that no other game genre does, because they can't.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2011 12:08PM socialenemy2007 said

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@NeverDeath static worlds that never change, fedex quest-lines, hardly groundbreaking stuff man. I like MMO's, but lately it seems like MOBA's offer more challenge.
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Posted: Apr 12th 2011 9:44PM NeverDeath said

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From a design standpoint, there are certain games which are much more complex or offer a greater variety of gameplay mechanics than other games. From that standpoint, you will be hard to find a game genre that combines more gameplay elements and mechanics harmoniously, as an MMO does when it is well developed and well supported. I'd be hard pressed to find myself in a "bit of trouble" because you disagree with me, but I am delightedly amused that you think so highly of yourself. Carry on.

Posted: Apr 13th 2011 8:55AM (Unverified) said

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Nice to see a MOBA column on Massively. Honestly haven't been around here much lately due to leaving the MMORPG scene completely about a year ago. Cheers!

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