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Posted: Feb 28th 2012 4:49PM Lenn said

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@Ref Minor Jesus isn't Time's Man of the Year every year.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2012 4:54PM Space Cobra said

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The "miracle MMO that will rule them all" is just like chasing Utopia; it's a nice, noble goal. Devs still need to chase it, but it will never come to pass for all people. "Utopia" is different for different people.

I am tempted to use "sheeple", but consider this: The mass bulk of people tend to prefer to choose a side rather than analyzing/criticizing things they love and hate and seeing both sides. You see this in life, from political parties to what soda brand you prefer (the Cola wars!). Heck, I even remember a "chocolate vs. Vanilla" fight years back.

In some ways, some people like to add/suggest improvements, such as "building a better sandwich" to a sandwich they already enjoy, but may have grown tired of, since they have started eating the same sandwich everyday for the past few years, but they want to get that "first love/taste/bite" feeling. I can tell you, recapturing that in your field of interest/expertise is hard to impossible. My first Sci-Fi con was fantastic, all the others, even the big ones I've gone to, are great and all but, not quite like the first. There is a bit of jaded experience, but it is more than that. One wants to be surprised and really, when you play any game, MMO or single-player, there is only so much Devs can put in there to occupy your time that is different from other such attempts.

Also consider: If/when a new innovation comes to pass, eventually, most other games will adopt it. So that "innovation" becomes less sparkly and new. And really, there is a saying, "Everything old is new again". Maybe someone will come up with a new wrinkle on an old system and people who don't connect-the-dots or know about older systems will label it as "innovation". Nothing wrong with that, even the Romans and Japanese had a successful go at copying former cultures and taking what worked from them and adapting it for themselves.

And always, consider another point: Sometimes people are not ready for innovation or something "wildly different" and will deride it (or at least not participate in it). Again, we've all heard of inventions and things that were "ahead of their time". I can think up a few things for MMOs, but it would either be niched or have people shaking their heads wondering about it.

Really, sometimes the fault is in the person. Sometimes it does require one to "walk away" from their hobby and return with "new eyes". But, many want to scratch their "pleasure centers" of their brains and don't seem to go. It's a bit of catch-22 for themselves, IMHO. So, a place doesn't serve almonds and reese's pieces with their Ice cream any more, what's to prevent people from bringing their own or making such additions at home? Maybe only themselves.

Posted: Feb 28th 2012 5:52PM (Unverified) said

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@Space Cobra

That's a really good comment, and I like your point about recapturing the moment a game has given you. Older games and older versions of games are glorified in players' minds, due largely in part to the feelings and memories produced. And it's impossible to reproduce that exact situation since they've experienced it once before, and it won't ever be new again. Vanilla WoW is a good example of this, and it makes me wonder how many players would genuinely enjoy that style given the chance.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2012 5:21PM (Unverified) said

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Sorry to call BS on this, but this hasn't always been the case. It's not rose-tinted glasses either, from 1998 - 2004 we saw actual innovation in the genre. Virtually each MMO that came out built on, but was markedly different from, its predecessors.

Then WoW came along, showed you could make hundreds of millions in this genre and much like Hollywood movies, crappy network sitcoms and pop music, it was found that the easiest way to make money was to churn out the same crap, with a slight variation on the theme.

I'm always skeptical of new MMOs promising the earth, so I do agree with you there. But it's a shame that you want to make people feel bad for railing against the lack of innovation in this genre, and trying to present it as being the accepted norm.

Posted: Feb 28th 2012 5:27PM Lethality said

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I'd say World of Warcraft was the miracle MMO. None since.

Posted: Feb 29th 2012 12:12AM SgtBaker1234556 said

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@Lethality

Pretty much this.
WoW is still, after seven years, larger than the rest of the MMO-market together. Many games have tried to "clone" the success, but none have managed to get anywhere close.

That's your miracle MMO right there.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2012 5:29PM grammarye said

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Great article. A shame it whizzed over the heads of the audience busily concentrating on their latest miracle MMO.

To me, most of this comes down to psychology - lack of empathy. Most gamers can't cope with the idea that other people might enjoy something different to them, and that that neither invalidates their choices nor those of others. This is not really unique to MMOs but it does get amplified by them.

Couple that with 20-20 hindsight, a massive sense of entitlement outweighing their minuscule financial contribution to any MMO, and usually a cynical & rose-tinted chip on their shoulder about how it all used to be better, and we have today's MMO market.

Posted: Feb 28th 2012 5:55PM (Unverified) said

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@grammarye I'm not after an impossible miracle MMO. I just want something that goes outside the rubrique of a WoW with a new splash of paint. I like WoW, played it for many years, but like I moved on from UO, EQ, DAOC, SWG, I want to move on from WoW too. Today's MMO market doesn't allow that.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2012 6:01PM Mtor said

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@grammarye 1. We don't need hindsight to determine if a game is garbage. It's easy for anyone with even a little objectivity to spot a turd incoming.

2. The financial contribution isn't important. The sense of entitlement comes from the huge time investment a developer is asking mmo players to take on. If you're going to potentially spend hundreds or thousands of hours in game, you'd be a fool not to demand the very best product.

3. It was better in the past.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2012 6:17PM Deliverator said

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@grammarye
Way to generalize your contempt for your peers.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2012 6:05PM (Unverified) said

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That was fantastic Justin, thank you for this frank edition of the soapbox. Your analogy of finding a boyfriend/girlfriend is spot on, I like that.

I see the issue as people being too unforgiving. No two MMO's will create the exact same sense of enjoyment for a person. People should consider the whole picture when evaluating an MMO. It's fine if they decide an MMO is not for them, but it's not okay to use the exact same rigid template to judge every MMO that comes out. Yes, it'd be nice if a developer could reproduce your MMO love with updated graphics, but that shouldn't mean a game is a failure if they don't.

Appreciate the additions to the genre, big and small. And respect the differences a game brings that might not fit your template. Loosen up else you find yourself spending time full of disappointment.

Gosh, this really could double for dating advice. How uncanny.

Posted: Feb 28th 2012 6:16PM (Unverified) said

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Awesome article. Justin Olivetti is consistently the best writer on Massively. Massive props to you, sir. As for the article itself, as a monogamous MMO player (LOTRO), I always felt that my "miracle MMO" is the one I'm playing. The IP roped me in, Turbine's respect for the lore (and amazing adherence to the geography) kept me playing. That said, MMOs suffer from a rigid architecture: To advance you must "play" the game in the industry's definition of that term: Healer, Tank, Crowd Control, etc. This is flawed as a future business model because it relies too much on rules set down for D&D, a pen-and-paper approach that seems constrained for the limitless possibilities of MMOs. I know several games have attempted to diverge from this strict architecture to varying success. And certainly not saying I know the answer. But the game that allows for a undefined approach to playability, you can be whatever you want to be, seems to me to be the future of the genre.

Posted: Feb 28th 2012 6:19PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) It's a well-written article and re-states many truths discussed at length by the MMO blogosphere.

But I think this article's main failing is that it derides people for expecting more out of the MMO genre. Personally I think that's the wrong attitude to take.

Yes, a miracle MMO is impossible, but we *should* be asking our MMO devs to push the envelope and not settle for the bankable, easy way out.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2012 6:39PM Graill440 said

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Of course a miracle MMO is possible, but i prefer to call it simply "A finished game". All it takes are devs that give a Sh!*, have some inkling of wisdom and creativity, and money that goes to the production of the game, not investors.

Posted: Feb 28th 2012 8:38PM Ref Minor said

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Not for long
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Posted: Feb 28th 2012 8:09PM (Unverified) said

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I'll admit that ever since my first love broke my heart "WoW" /sniffle, I have been trying to find the perfect MMO ever since. I have tried just about everything out there and will often eat into the hype just to be let down. I have decided to just give up on the MMO market for now. I will not spend anymore money on a game until I have personally tried it, and it has been out for at least a year. I am keeping an eye on GW2, and truly hope it is worth all the hype.

Posted: Feb 28th 2012 8:44PM dndhatcher said

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Your faith in your fellow gamers is a your weakness.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2012 10:43PM BeanSoup said

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From experience, I've learned that hoping for a groundbreaking revolution of perfection in a game is just setting yourself up for failure. That being said, being excited and hyping for a game that looks fresh and extremely fun to play does not necessarily mean I think it's a "Miracle MMO".

Posted: Feb 28th 2012 11:20PM (Unverified) said

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Best games related post on the Internet. Evah. Added to my bookmark hall of fame, thanks very much!

It's also highly ironic that several sandbox fans have totally missed the point of the article. Colour me amused :) UO and EVE are both sandbox and still running, but here they are hoping that maybe the one coming will be "the one". Classic stuff :)

Posted: Feb 28th 2012 11:37PM Yukon Sam said

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We all get weary of the nattering naybobs of negativity.

But I think it's swinging too far the other way to think no new MMO can make a quantum leap into new and better territory. There are hints of the possibilities ahead of us in experimental projects and little virtual enclaves scattered about, and it's some pretty mind-blowing stuff.

So I don't blame anybody for being a bit impatient. So am I. We could use the big studios to put some major bucks in R&D, taking some risks on new tech and pushing the envelope in an environment not constrained by the demands of profitability. But failing that, it'll get done in bedrooms and basements. Eventually.

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