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Reader Comments (33)

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:06AM Dril said

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So, what he's saying is, he wants a real-world simulator, the likes of which is not technologically possible without a budget to rival NASA's?

It's a grand vision for the future, sure (apart from having an ending. MMOs don't end) but it's all well and good saying "this should happen" without explaining HOW it would happen.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 11:18AM SnarlingWolf said

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@Dril

Same thing I was thinking when I read it.

Maybe that is why he is a freelance designer? He never designed anything realistically that could actually be implemented by a company. That is like calling me a freelance politician. Sure, I've never once had any form of political position and I've never bothered to learn all the laws that would prevent me from doing things, but I can dream big so clearly I could be one.
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Posted: Aug 16th 2011 3:01PM KDolo said

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@Dril

NASA doesn't have a big budget. Never really did. Adjusted for inflation, NASA's yearly budget of the last 50 years equals about $16 billion dollars.

This represents .6% of the $3 Trillion the country does in spending, most of which has recently been cut. Another way to look at it is to say the TARP bailout could have run NASA for that 50 years, again when adjusted for inflation.

So, to say that you would need a budget to rival NASA's about anything is really saying that youre plunging into the unknown on a bare-bones budget dwarfed by most other expenditures by those funding the operation and then expecting extraordinary results. Basically, this is how most MMOs are funded.
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Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:32PM JuliusSeizure said

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@KDolo

I'm sorry, how many MMOs have a 16 billion dollar per annum budget?
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Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:15AM Malagarr said

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The WWII setting aside, I think this will eventually be the direction MMOs will have to go. But I'd say we're a decade or so away from that.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:21AM Jepu said

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I sort of agree, except with the "the game should ultimately have an ending" part. This is a severely limiting factor for any long-term social interaction, and that is a major selling point of MMOs for many people.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:34AM (Unverified) said

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I kinda like the idea of starting a new character and making a new story in a dynamic persistent world. Problem is, that would require beyond dwarfortress simulations to make it decent, playable and fun.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:42AM PsiLAN said

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And this is new?
Apart from the ending thing i guess no one really wants, the fact that players want to really affect the game has being a mayor discussion since times past.
Even more, all new games include this in some way or another, but at this moment is only more "open quests" ala WAR than actually modifiyng the environment.
Not something noone havent noticed earlier ¬¬

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 11:16AM SquirrelKing said

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Aren't these goals what Guild Wars 2 is trying to accomplish? To a certain extent, Blizzard has accomplished this in the revamped zones in Cataclysm, but it still doesn't make the game any more fun.

We've all realized that MMOs need to be purpose driven in order to feel more involving, but that's why having decent storylines with characters we can recognize and care about are key factors, I think.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 11:16AM AceSteveC said

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@Ren54

Agreed.

Anyway where's the fun in a real scenario translated into a virtual environment? MMOs are escapism with a risk-reward balance that is part of what makes them fun. If you can perma-die that throws that whole balance out of whack and you could end up skulking about scared of your own shadow - not my idea of fun and I doubt I'm in a minority. And what about when you're teaming at high level and the healer or tank messes up and everyone dies. Oh that would be great to live with. Your friends might not even talk to your for months. Or you're trying to form a pickup group - what are you going to do, get references for every player to ensure that he's not a &%£# that's only joining to drop you in it and run away laughing?

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 11:21AM Borick said

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I think that most everyone is focused on technical impossibilities and their own salaries, when the real problem is that the genre has been overleveraged by investors and marketers and game designers who want silly things like salaries and families and job security.

I agree that we may see some quantum technical developments in the next decade, but I think it's a cop-out to blame the lack of these for the desertification of the MMO genre. People got greedy, Hollywood invaded along with the marketing machine and corporate taxation has done its best to stagnate R&D.

It's just my opinion, but I think we could already have had a next generation MMO without all of this process, hype and hooplah.

Game design should be like science -- if you're doing it for the money, you're doing it wrong.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 12:55PM Saker said

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@Borick "corporate taxation"? you've got to be f'in kidding? Those people don't really pay. They get away with paying less then individuals (and not the precious rich either, who pay less then real working people). Please enough with wrong-winger-brain-dead-dogma, the endless wringing of the hands for those poor heroic corporates just trying to do gods good works and make a honest holy-dollar.
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Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:35PM Borick said

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@Saker In this context, 'corporate taxation' refers to the overhead of having a large parent company financing your team. Blizzard doesn't budget its own income to itself, it has a parent company that takes the profit and 'reinvests' only a fraction of the proceeds back into the product.

If you have EA or Activision or Vivendi as your sponsers, you are being taxed by corporate overhead.
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Posted: Aug 16th 2011 11:42AM (Unverified) said

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I honestly think we will get to a point where the MMOs are less 'massively' as technology expands and the thought of playing with folks we already know grows. Multiplayer games of small community servers like minecraft could possibly be a growth industry as folks tire of the huge crowds.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 11:51AM Borick said

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@(Unverified) Minecraft may be 'not an MMO' to the 'MMO' guys. I could care less. Three million plus people have paid for the beta alone. Minecraft is Massive.

So, my server only has fifty people online. Those fifty people have their own WORLD, and there are hundreds of others like it, all of them building and designing their own content. Compare this to some AAA 'You're in OUR world' game where you may be surrounded by a thousand or so people who buzz past you or roll over you. Which is the more social experience?

I can log into my Minecraft server right now and build a park full of dinosaurs, or tame a dragon or build my own skyship -- all thanks to an open and vibrant modding community.

Is it rough and unpolished? You bet, and thank God. The AAA teams are too locked-in to push anything risky or new.
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Posted: Aug 16th 2011 11:54AM Borick said

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@Borick And don't tell me that there isn't still money to be had. Three million sales of Minecraft, most of those at 20 euro a pop, with a design team that has very little corporate overhead. If you're looking for a revolution in game design, keep looking at Minecraft.
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Posted: Aug 16th 2011 12:10PM Liltawen said

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It's just the usual nonsense when you have some RPG designer saying what's wrong with MMOs=> they should be more like RPGs.

What happens when 300,000 people can "change the world in a real, significant way-and be permanent"? and what about the 300,000 who missed the 'event' opening and want to change it permanently next month?

What these RPGers miss is that there are more than 1 person playing and that MMOs have continuing worlds-not one that ends in 10 hours (or 4 years in WW-2s case) when you 'win'.

I'm getting really tired of these RPGers saying whats wrong with MMOs and then releasing lousy 'pay-per-month online RGP/MMOs' to prove it.

This is not how WOW became a success, or even LOTRo.EVE,CO or any of the others.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 12:50PM Jef Reahard said

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@Liltawen

This is really a two-way street, as you could also say that "MMO" types are married to the fact that they have to be the hero instead of part of a larger community, and any change that happens to the game world should wait and happen on their schedule so that they don't miss it.

Imo, the 300,000 people who missed it simply missed it. Try again next time. Don't limit the possibilities for others because you don't have time to play (not you, directly Liltawen, but in general).
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Posted: Aug 16th 2011 12:57PM Saker said

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Give him credit for dreaming of something different. Anyone who hasn't drank the conformist-corporate-koolaid. It can only be like holy-WoW. This is the one-true model, all shall bow before. One game to rule them all!

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 12:58PM Technomancer8 said

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People in MMOs SHARE the game world with each other and NEW PLAYERS, somewhat like sharing a book. It's the same naivety as saying that once the first person does a quest, no one else can do that quest because it's already been done. As soon as someone invents super-genius AI that can create game content for you endlessly, you'll just have to watch Star Trek and wish you had a Holodeck of your own. It goes even beyond the technical limitations of an alternate reality. It's the pure selfishness of wanting to change a world and no one else being able to experience that same thing. It's pathetic how many people want even a video game to revolve around them.

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