Defining "MMORPG" isn't difficult: it means "massively multiplayer online roleplaying game." It's an acronym. But drawing the line between what is and is not an MMO is significantly more difficult. Guild Wars
has persistence and shared areas, for instance, but as soon as you leave a town, you're in an instance unique to you and your party. There are elements of persistence in games like League of Legends
. Heck, there was a time when people wondered if you could call World of Warcraft
an MMO with its instanced dungeons and lack of housing.
As with a lot of subjective categories, there's really no right or wrong place to draw the line, but pretty much everyone seems to think that there's a line to draw. More often than not, it's not even a matter of quality so much as a set of consistent characteristics. So what about you? Where do you draw the line between an MMO and something else? How do you define a game as being an MMO instead of a similar sort of game?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!