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Reader Comments (86)

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 2:11PM drginger said

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A game needs wolfs, mailboxes and gold-sellers before I consider it an MMO. Kill stealers are a plus, but is not a requirement.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 2:12PM drginger said

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@drginger "Kill stealers are a plus, but not a requirement.", sigh :/
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 2:22PM Saerain said

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It's not an acronym, it's an initialism.

NASA and LASER are acronyms. FBI and CIA are initialisms.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 2:25PM Saerain said

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I placed a /pedant tag at the bottom of that to show that I understood how petty it was, but it was hidden because I placed it in arrow brackets. Damn it.
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 8:01PM (Unverified) said

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@Saerain

Not necessarily. You are right that most dictionaries define it that way. But not all. And there is some confusion on the topic.

Wiki says: "Although the term acronym is widely used to describe any abbreviation formed from initial letters, most dictionaries define acronym to mean "a word" in its original sense, while some include additional senses attributing to acronym the same meaning as that of initialism.

There is no agreement on what to call abbreviations whose pronunciation involves the combination of letter names and words, such as JPEG and MS-DOS.

There is also some disagreement as to what to call abbreviations that some speakers pronounce as letters and others pronounce as a word. For example, the terms URL and IRA can be pronounced as individual letters or as a single word. Such constructions, however—regardless of how they are pronounced—if formed from initials, may be identified as initialisms without controversy."

I don't know when "NASA" was ever a word...except as a result of the acronym "NASA." As Wiki says, we can call MMO an initialism without controversy. I'm not entirely clear on the distinction but there does seem to be confusion even among dictionaries.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 2:21AM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) since unlike some other languages English has no governing body who's job it is to define the rules of the language it's pretty save bet to say all bets are off, currently English is evolving but consensus (words like cool get new meaning, new words get made up like bling etc.). In the absences of a higher authority on the subject the dictionary is at best a snapshot of how someone at one point saw the meaning of a word. In time words will change in meaning as it has done before.
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 2:32PM Saerain said

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For me, an MMO is simply a persistent world with more than about 200 players in that world, no matter how instanced.

The line lays somewhere between Guild Wars and Diablo II. There is nothing persistent about the latter but your character.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 4:09PM Sorithal said

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An MMORPG is an RPG where, when you run around doing stuff, you'll be running around in a world with other players who can be right alongside you at any given moment, even when you're not grouped up. Worlds should feel less linear and more open as a result of this, and ideally everything should feel "massive" enough to where you really are just one little person in a massive world where there are dozens/hundreds of others out there.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 4:19PM Doran7 said

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massive amount of players online playing together in the same game. "Massive" would be at least more than 8 because up to the intro of MMO's 8 was the standard amount of players who were able to play in a networked game.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 5:25PM (Unverified) said

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Allow me to pretend to be a wizened old master and offer the question to ask is what is the significance of a game being an MMO?

Some games take greater advantage of being an MMO. Many games do not.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 7:53PM corpusc said

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@(Unverified)

its populating a virtual world. making it come to life. the only thing that seems full of life in gaming is multiplayer games, because AI is so horrible. small scale multiplayer doesn't cut it, cuz 16-32 players is not enough to populate a world.

if you find single player games as compelling as multiplayer than you will never understand this point of view. but you should know that it exists.
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 6:09PM redsolar said

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To me, an MMOG would be defined as an online game where player-made decisions are persistent and change the world, including other real players, around them. Multiplayer games don't do this. They load a scenario and then reset for a new game, which is basically how the classic MMOG quest line works for every new player. To be truly persistent would probably be impractical. I could think of all the other aspects of an MMOG, but those are the same essential aspects found in many other genres. Online persistence is the key difference in my opinion.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 7:06PM Graill440 said

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The first thing people need to start doing is to worry about themselves and not what or how someone gets something, being a busybody lays a stigma on a person and guild that cannot be erased. People definfining MMO's as "must socialize" are busybodies that need their hands held.

Gamers, like to play their own way, pay a fee, and play the game with or without groups, solo, or join a guild, it is up to the person paying the bill, not the busybody calling themselves elite or hardcore or some other childish label they consider a badge of honor.....in a game, remember a game.

MMO, the term spells out what the games mechanic is, not the way it should be played. Sadly today devs program these games the way they want, not the way the customers want. Devs have for years directed how gamers play MMO's not the other way around, lessons learned?, only one company has successfully acomplished this.

The bottom line is choice, can a person get the same gear solo as a group of folks spending the same amount of time? Of course they should, everyone pays the same amount of cash, the only thing different are the busybodies mouthing off that the person on the otherside of the fence in their MMO is doing the same thing or something different they do not like.

I say tough shit to this. Mind your own business and watch your own lane in that MMO. You worry about what the next person is doing you are simply a narcissistic person, the acro is NPD, and a huge portion of MMO players have it.

Devs are lazy, and i have stated this time and time again, they do not want to program for everyone, and yes they can, unfortunatley they just want to pick the largest supposed group of folks as defined in some canned report and build the cheapest and quickest way, with the least dev interaction, which in the end is all about profit.

I loathe WOW, but those devs listen the majority of the time, have great CS, and even the most solo player can compete against the NPD busybody with the loudest mouth, all things that make an MMO profitable.

What is my definition of an MMO? A game in which masses of folks meet, or not, to play and enjoy a persistant and instanced game world in which people do not worry about what the person on the other side of the fence are doing. A game in which devs take the time to communicate regularly, problems are addressed in decent time and busybodies are ostracized from the MMO community as a whole, this includes entire guilds.

As a side note leave the "But i have to worry about everyone exploiting, cheating" soapboxes argument shelved, this is not what blog is about. It is soley dev responsibility to correct/punish poor dev design.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 7:57PM corpusc said

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@Graill440

while the term mmoRPG might be tied to certain mechanics, the term MMO is NOT. the mechanics of gameplay could be anything. as long as its MM & O.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 12:46AM (Unverified) said

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@Graill440 : so you managed to use this question as a coatrack for your usual tedious rant about how evil guilds are. How unsurprisement.
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 7:06PM (Unverified) said

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Nice concept for a article. I think it's one of those abstract ideas, what one person enjoys will be different from anouther. The big notions I see:

A large world enviroment
Players interacting with each other
and of course, the game it self

MMO gaming is different from traditional gaming, in that the game is persistence in growth, new additions, fixes. MMO games tend to be a much large scale in amount of content and features.


I think what alot of us wonder, what's makes the winning combination to be a successful game. That the one thing I think most players can agree on, we want something bigger, better, and new.

There a art theme, story, and a gameplay sructure.

There players vs players, and players vs the game enivroment gameplay.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 7:21PM Kawaii Five0 said

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I think the usage of "MMORPG" and "MMO" by extension has changed and broadened over time, although I still can't help but roll my eyes when I see someone call LoL a MMO.

Personally, I think of MMO's as what I imagine Richard Garriott had in mind when he first coined the term: persistent, open worlds inhabited by hundreds if not thousands of people concurrently that can interact with each and are not segregated by "instancing".

Games like Guild Wars, Vindictus, and DFO, while fun games, are not MMO's. They're online games with virtual lobbies.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 8:45PM Amlin said

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For me as long as you can play it online and be able to interact with many people or play with a group of friends against another group of players, for me it's an mmo. I'm not going to get uptight about the definition, for me mmos are evolving into many different styles and will suit players with varying tastes.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 8:53PM geololj said

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We even call online shooters MMOs most of the time (MMOFPS). This is right for games like Planetside 2, but not games like Battlefield, Counter Strike etc.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 9:26PM jakofascalon said

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Massive Multi-player means just that. Many players in a huge world. Online means anyone anywhere has access to said world. And that's kinda where a lot of companies are starting to draw the line. They are taking the RPG element out of video games and replacing it with FPS, RTS and the like.

The first game that I have come across that is putting the RPG element back into video games is SWTOR though to be honest, I'm not even sure their doing it right.

Arena Net didn't classify GW1 as a MMORPG at all when they first launched. They settled with MMOG and I think other people starting classifying it as CORPG and they followed suite. If you listen to some of the GW2 interviews closely you will find this to be true. I'd like to think GW2 will give a good run at putting RPG back into MMOs, but that may be the fan boy in me coming out.

I know of two true MMORPGs I would have liked to have tried was Asheron's Call or AC2 when they were in their prime. Unfortunately, I wasn't into MMOs at the time.

However, if an online game developer lackey is reading this, then I challenge you sir or madam, to give us something like Asheron's Call again. It sounded pretty entertaining.

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