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Reader Comments (44)

Posted: Aug 11th 2011 6:17AM (Unverified) said

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@Space Cobra I am the artist that put this together, I also work with a number of folks that worked for Kesmai back before the dreaded NewsCorp/EA buy outs. I have plans to delve even further into the where these games come from in a version due out later this year. Given the limited time and scope of this project, I think Kelly and I did well at creating this...glad to see such a reception.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 12:20PM Space Cobra said

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@(Unverified)

"I think Kelly and I did well at creating this...glad to see such a reception."

Oh yeah, definitely did well. But you know peeps like us, always picking on the details. ;) It's still quite a spectacular project and I am glad to see your studio considering all that was done in the past! And really, the graphic programming language we've seen so far, reminds me of one level of MUCK programming (where you could treat things as "objects" and put "objects" within, even if they had a text description of "Giant-World Battleship", one could carry it in a pocket. And the scripts look nice so far.)

Please, keep being creative and expanding on the work that has been done before! (And hopefully, get a Sci-Fi MMO at some point in the future! ;D )
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Posted: Aug 10th 2011 12:32PM donweel said

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Can't wait to lay that chart on the next bonehead that talks about something being a WoW clone.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 12:44PM (Unverified) said

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorldsAway

It falls in under the social "virtual world" catagory, much like There.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 12:47PM (Unverified) said

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Apologies, everyone -- the graphic was readable when I uploaded it earlier. We've added a direct link to the full (huge) version that should be easily readable:

http://www.blogcdn.com/massively.joystiq.com/media/2011/08/historyhuge.jpg

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 1:22PM Daemodand said

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There should be complexity charted as well. That would be the line that goes down instead of up, unfortunately.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 2:57PM RaQin said

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Hmmm...I thought Meridian was the 1st 3D MMO, while Nev Nights was the first graphical, and MUDs were the first period.  So I guess that neither MUD's/Multi User Dungeons (text based) played in the 1980's and later  and AOL's Neverwinter Nights, played from 1991 to 1997 don't count as MMOs...just as MOs

...And yes, I am old enough to have the memories of playing them when all three first came out (I played Island of Kesmai (a MUD) on Compuserve in 1985).

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 4:02PM (Unverified) said

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They seem to have left some out.
Like DC Universe Online.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 6:00PM Celtar said

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That they didn't include the precursers to the whole "massive" rpg concept bothers me. I played NWN on AOL in 1992, was on GEnie playing Gemstone also by the same time and Mechwarrior and Air Warrior. Also Drakar and Yserbius all of those and a ton of MUDs formed the foundation for what was to come by the late 1990s. Basically a nod towards what really started the whole thing would be a good thing.

When it comes down to it, graphical rpgs are nothing more then graphics laid over text. Basically like how Windows for many years was a shell sitting on top of DOS. Text based rpgs are still superior to graphical rpgs. They are more flexible, allowing for more on the fly customization by both players and staff etc.

Some day graphical rpgs will be as flexible, customizable etc as text based rpgs. Though I no longer play text based rpgs, I do miss many things that you could do with them.


Posted: Aug 10th 2011 6:26PM Resurge said

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with some MMO's and online games left out, one wonders how Torchlight made it into the list, considering you cant even play that game in co-op, online or anything other than single player offline mode. There is a torchlight MMO hinted to be in the making soonish, but the original torchlight doesn't belong here at all ..unless i am missing something?

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 6:36PM Ophelea said

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I'm sure this will only cause more confusion than it clears but here is the criteria for when I made the chart:

1. It had to be graphical. (I was covering MMOs, not MUDs or MUSHes)
2. It had to support 250 players on a server.
3. It had to be released in the United States.
4. It could not currently be listed as "in beta."

Yes, I accidentally left out Auto Assault and Shadowbane (now fixed on the original) and though the arrow for DCUO is there, the name was left off (also fixed).

As for the video montage, it did /not/ originally include WoW, it had to show a progression over time of design changes (hard to do when most design chances were taken in the early days), and the games had to be iconic.

Kelly

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 6:37PM Ophelea said

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Oh, and I forgot to mention, I had to drop about 60 titles completely because 2005 and 2009/2010 (when the Asian games showed up and again when the F2P games arrived) were just too crowded.

Not claiming it's a perfect graphic, but I did work hard on it.

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 8:03PM Yukon Sam said

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@Ophelea

It shows. Nice work.
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Posted: Aug 10th 2011 9:20PM Shazzie said

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What does the yellow highlighting represent?

Posted: Aug 10th 2011 10:19PM Ophelea said

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@Shazzie Because I created this to find those games that had made attempts at user-generated content or mission makers, they are highlighted in yellow for our own purposes.

It's sad how few there are.
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Posted: Aug 10th 2011 11:59PM Celtar said

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Though I appreciate your hard work on the graph, I still think it is faulty since the only difference between a graphical online rpg and a text based online rpg is the graphical overlay/shell on top of the text and code. Specially towards the start of the whole graphical online rpg gaming experience.

Again, most text based games offer a lot more "still" in comparison of what you can do in a graphical online rpg. For years Simutronics Gemstone III/IV and Dragonrealms had a user base in game that was a lot more then 250 in game at anyone time, thousands played and every year they had Simucon where thousands would show up, now a days its hundreds. Matterfact Simucon 2011 just ended this last Sunday.( I didn't go nor do I play their games anymore but I do keep tabs due to friendships etc)

Basically my issue is discounting games that really set the foundation of what became the online rpg industry. Btw Scott Hartsman got his start with Simutronics and Gemstone.

I think my point would be that you'd have to look at the guts of these games and compare them to their text based ancestors and see how simular they are. Basically they shouldn't be discounted as to the effect they had on the gaming industry as well as other types of rpgs like Never Winter Nights, Yserbius, Drakkar, Mechwarrior, Airwarrior etc.



Posted: Aug 11th 2011 6:29AM (Unverified) said

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@Celtar I understand your qualms. I've said it in a number of places, but I will say it here again. I have hopes to create a "complete" version of this graphic in the next few months. Since the scope of this was limited to the supplied content and the timeframe for creation was less than two weeks, I feel that we made a fairly complete snapshot of the games in those criteria.

The layout of this got me itching to do one that included those older titles that my friends who worked at Kesmai did, as well as showing exactly where these games came from. I want to show the MUDs, MUSHs and MUXs. I want to show the origins as well as where they ended up. I also plan on showing as much detail as possible such as detailed start and end dates (if they ended) and possibly a bit more granularity to the genres.

I'm psyched that folks are receiving it (mostly) on a positive note and the original on my site (linked a bit further back in the comments) has been updated with some of the issues that people posted on.

Torchlight has been removed, DCUO was found and added back in as well as a few titles (Shadowbane and Free Realms) that had been missed completely.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 2:42AM mattwo said

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Where's "Super hero" in that image?!

Posted: Aug 11th 2011 6:20AM (Unverified) said

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@mattwo Super-Hero is at the top of the chart populated by the City of X games and Champions and DCUO.

I used the hypenated version of the word here, but more than one is acceptable.
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Posted: Aug 11th 2011 8:16PM Celtar said

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Kesmai, I used to go out and party with some of those guys off an on and played some paint ball with them back in the early/mid 1990s, man its been a long long time. Live on the other side of the country now and of course Kesmai is nolonger around, always did like like those guys. Tempus Fugit!

Anyhow I look forward to your next graph and video short, really it was interesting to see it all mapped out.

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