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Reader Comments (27)

Posted: Mar 9th 2012 1:06PM (Unverified) said

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Say I wanted to try out an MMORTS. What game is the "industry leader" that's most likely to pique my interest? Which one should I try?

Posted: Mar 12th 2012 1:52PM corpusc said

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so which are the good ones that ARE NOT pay 2 win?
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Posted: Mar 9th 2012 1:32PM Stanzig said

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I would suggest Illyriad. I've tried a couple of the others but nothing really beats the friendly community in Illyriad. At first glance I thought it appeared simple, but the more I got into it the more I saw the complexity. It reminded me of eve-online in a mmorts world. I think eve has more depth, but considering Illy is f2p and the community consists of friendly players it really can't be beat. It can also be played on any device with a browser. Give it a shot http://illyriad.com/?55601, you really don't have much to lose other than a little time.

Posted: Mar 9th 2012 3:20PM scfs123 said

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@Stanzig
Checking it out. Thankies.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2012 2:01PM Yog said

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I've tried a good deal of MMORTS games. They are all pretty much exactly the same...and they all suck. I've been wanting to play a good MMORTS for a very very long time but not an one is remotely good.

Related to the article, though, the people who don't consider MMORTS games as MMOs are just misunderstanding what a MMO is. They think MMO is closely related to RPG because the first MMOs were RPGs. They don't consider MMO is imply a description of how the game is implemented. Obviously MMO means Massively Multiplayer Online...any game where you play online with a large amount of people is a MMO. Certainly this doesn't require 1000 words to explain...but I suppose Massively has to make money somehow...I just wish sometimes they would cut the needlessly wordy articles.

Posted: Mar 10th 2012 2:21PM c0gnit0 said

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@Yog This "needlessly wordy article" was more interesting to read than your comment. I guess they got that part right.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2012 2:10PM DarkWalker said

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Death and defeat penalties are a thorny topic.

Some players like them. They feel way more thrilled due to the extra risk that failure brings.

Other players, like me, really dislike harsh penalties. For me, at least, the main effect of harsh death penalties is that I become so careful while playing, the games become absolutely boring. Or, if I become reckless and lose more than I consider acceptable, I simply leave the game (what happened between EVE and me).

I don't have anything against some games having harsh penalties; while I don't like to deal with this kind of gameplay element, I do recognize some players just love it. just never expect to see me playing any game where death actually means something.

Posted: Mar 9th 2012 4:24PM AltarofScience said

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@DarkWalker
So to me that just seems like a personal problem. You don't like to lose and refuse to do anything which might result in you losing. That's not a problem with death penalties, its a problem with you.

More on topic, I really like the way MMORTS games don't let you just leave. I have been working on an MMORPG/RTS hybrid game for a while now, and I do not allow the avatar to disappear when the player logs out. I also set it so that the environment is not static like WoW where monster always spawn in the same place over and over, but rather if you kill them they are gone forever and new monsters only come from breeding or planar tears and then spread out from central locations.
I did take out PvP to focus more on a war against the environment.
Not allowing the avatar to log out is quite an issue because unlike an MMORTS where having your city sacked costs you units and resources you can't exactly kill a player's character. That would be more like having a city that loses a fight simply cease to exist.

Can you imagine how much rage would exist in MMORTS games if you didn't get raided you just got conquered or burned to the ground? I know some games do this but games like OGame and Travian which are among the more popular MMORTS games don't.

I also instituted local markets where you can only buy or sell items to someone at a distance. Although you can buy and sell while offline from your shop and so forth.

EvE is basically an MMORTS game, most sandboxes are.

I think the reason text MMORTS games are so popular is that the amount of time you have to play compared to an MMORPG is miniscule.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2012 9:43PM DarkWalker said

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@AltarofScience
My problem is not really with defeat; it's with permanent loss and huge setbacks.

When defeat has no extra consequences (for example, in about any game which allows the player to freely save and load), I can merrily keep trying to beat a hard level in a game a whole afternoon (though few single player games after Battletoads actually pushed me this far).

My problem is with games where players might lose something permanently, or else just lose way more character progression than I find acceptable (something I often only discover after the first death). For example, any game where a misstep might cost me a few days, or even weeks, of effort.

Thus, harsh penalties really hit me the wrong way. In a group of friends, I have no problem spending a whole day wiping in a hard WoW raid encounter, given the light death penalty; but it took being killed just a single time - and losing my ship - to make me leave EVE permanently.
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Posted: Mar 10th 2012 7:42AM halfcaptain said

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@DarkWalker

my first couple serious ship losses were soul-crushing, rage-inducing, emotionally-crippling kind of experiences. after a while though, you realize that loss, and the calculation of risk, is what makes eve and other such games with harsh death penalties unique. the loss may be major, but there is no such thing as a 'permanent setback.' you've made your decisions and you took the risk, and after some time, you get better at taking those risks.

i don't blame you for quitting; you want steady, linear progression and that's fine. i've come to believe, however, that a real sense of loss, or at least that element of percieved actual risk, deepens the immersion, and deepens our descision-making within the game. i mean, being a space pilot is supposed to be intrepid, isn't it? if there's no daunting risk or terrible death to fear, what's so intrepid about having a spaceship?
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Posted: Mar 10th 2012 5:35PM AltarofScience said

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@DarkWalker
I play Warring Factions and Space Fed and WF resets every year or so. SpaceFed had the ultimate weapon where if someone sets its off the universe resets and they get a slight bonus to starting resources. Thousands of people player warring factions and maybe a few million for space fed.
Even if you lost a huge faction system in WF or say a C2 planet cluster in SpaceFed it didn't mean you had lost the game.
Any game with long term PvP is going to have things like this.
Its not a big deal.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2012 3:14PM Maseno said

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Beau have you tried out Dawn of Fantasy yet?

Posted: Mar 10th 2012 5:43PM Beau Hindman said

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@Maseno I have a bit, but didn't make it far enough to know if it was a true MMO or just a multiplayer game.

Also, I don't do client-based games much anymore. The browser takes up most of my time. Mainly because as I started getting more into writing about mobile and browser games, the more I discovered.

Is it a true MMO?

Beau
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Posted: Mar 12th 2012 2:08PM corpusc said

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@Beau Hindman

quoting you: "I'm not sure why, but every time I stream an MMORTS live or write about one, I have to answer, at least once, the concern from the audience that what I am playing is not really an MMO."

well now that you asked somebody else the same question, maybe now you know why? 8) the "MMO" space is overrun with games calling themselves MMOs that ARE NOT MMOs, which leads you to ask that question..... just like the rest of us. and it sucks that we have to keep asking it, but until some MMO website starts to get religious about categorizing the multiplayer aspect as clearly an MMO or not, we WILL *ALL* keep wasting alot of time asking that question (and hashing out side tangents related to it) from here to eternity.

PLEASE try to convince the MASSIVELY staff, that THEY should be the first (afaik) MMO website that saves us all alot of time and grief by making clear whether games are MMOs or NOT, in a systematic way.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2012 4:28PM (Unverified) said

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It's disgusting how similar all these mmorts games are. Absolutely no originality at all. The latest innovation was having heroes that you can level up and equip, but unfortunately the best heroes are only available through the cash shop. These games are shameless in their greedy cash grabs, and exemplify the pay to win scenario.

Typical mmorts game goes like this: Spend months building up you kingdom and army, some griefer who is more powerful decides he doesn't like you, and you get crushed to the point where you can no longer play. Only reason these games exist is because it takes so long to build up before you get to the point where you are fun to crush.

Posted: Mar 9th 2012 4:29PM (Unverified) said

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Oh, and I forgot to mention the rampant cheating in these game. Multi accounting, while against the rules in the ToS, is almost never punished.

And if you don't have time to play 24/7, you don't stand a chance.

Posted: Mar 9th 2012 4:36PM Beau Hindman said

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@(Unverified) Well, you have to be careful making blanket statements like that unless you have played all of those games. None of us have. I have played many, probably over 80 or so, and the good ones I stand a chance in and I certainly don't play 24/7.

You just have to look for quality.

Beau
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Posted: Mar 9th 2012 11:56PM (Unverified) said

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@Beau Hindman

I allowed myself a blanket statement on these games because I with held one about the asian players doing 90% of the cheating.
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Posted: Mar 10th 2012 1:10AM Kalex716 said

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@Beau Hindman

You should try Shattered galaxy. I've recommended it before, and its an MMORTS. I bet you'd really like it. Its really old though, from Nexon.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2012 5:56PM TortoiseCan said

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I think most of these 'RTS' are actually 'Turn Based' - If you want to play an actual MMORTS - try age of empires online, it's an actual good product, with fun gameplay mechanics (not a pixelated spreadsheet that you can come and go with as you wish like these games) It's basically starcraft 2 , but you have endless missions that reward you with better gear to equip your army with and build your own 'empire' which is essentially like a housing system in a regular MMO.

And then there's also PVP (The only reason I play it) - although the PVP community is pretty weak right now compared to other true RTS games (namely sc2)

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