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Reader Comments (32)

Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 8:05AM potaco said

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To a player, of course maintenance mode is better than a closed game. You aren't forced to pay for it or play it if you don't want to, so why not have the option to pay/play if you still want to?

As long as the developers aren't stringing people along with lies about upcoming content, I think it makes perfect sense.

Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 8:11AM avaloner said

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I say yes. If I played a game like Vanguard that was not really being updated I would rather that then is closing for good. It would have been good if they had done that sort of thing for SWG.

I imagine that a game like WOW could exsist in "maintenance" mode for many years after Blizzard has stoped working on it. PVP would likly keep it going for a long time after PVE'rs have stoped playing.

I think if a game has enough players to justify even one server why not keep the game online, especialy if those players are paying enough to keep the server open. It would be nice if the devs worked out roughly how much it would cost each player to keep the server running and only charged them whatever that price was. Eg $1 a month per player.

SO basicaly its seems stupid to just shut a game down when I am sure just keeping one server open somewhere and not developing a game is not very expensive, and worth the cost just for the customer loyalty.

Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 8:18AM (Unverified) said

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@avaloner

Yeah that would have been great for SWG. I really never expected the game to ever be shut down (obviously i knew it would at some point, but not anywhere near as soon as it was). I played SWTOR and really just couldnt get into it. Just your regular run of the mill MMO with voice overs and a Star Wars theme was what i got out of it.
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Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 2:03PM (Unverified) said

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@avaloner

Unfortuately, SWG was a special case. I have no doubt that SOE would have kept SWG operating years after they made the decision to stop maintaining it (though, I note, they were still actively developing it at the time of its demise). What SOE could not control was the license from LucasArts, and there way no way LA was going to let another SW game "compete" with its shiny new baby SWTOR, no matter how extremely different the two games are.

Personally, I still maintain that LA was bone-headed in this decision. Most SWG players who had any inclination to try SWTOR (such as me) would have played both. Now, I play neither: SWG because I cannot; SWTOR because I will not. I doubt I am alone in this.
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Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 2:06PM Brianna Royce said

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@(Unverified) Hear, hear. I hate that people seem to assume that SWG was closed down because it wasn't making money. If you look at it from LA's POV, it was closed down because it WAS making money, and that was bad for TOR. I don't want that getting lost in the noise.
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Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 8:13AM (Unverified) said

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I would say so. I would have loved to play Tabula-Rasa while in "maintenance mode" rather then the game being flat out pulled. These people need to quit complaining and be glad they actually have something to play.

Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 8:21AM (Unverified) said

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When you think about it, Maintenance Mode is basically what everyone always gets for a box game. You buy it and never expect any updates, and we're generally okay with that. Now for an MMO you have to pay a fee, but that's reasonable considering the servers have to keep going, you're paying for the online interaction with other players and basically renting out the servers. I do agree with avaloner up there though that the fee should be reduced to merely cover costs at that point.

Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 8:56AM real65rcncom said

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@(Unverified) I'm not sure if I misread you, but when I buy a box for a mmo I expect updates for my monthly fee, not just to keep servers running.

If I was playing a game where their corporate attitude was "Well, we are paying for your servers. What more do you want?" as the default to getting new content, I'd quit.
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Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 3:09PM StClair said

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I'm pretty sure you are misunderstanding, and/or the OP meant "single-player game". Though even there, post-launch patches and DLC are increasingly common...
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Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 4:52PM real65rcncom said

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@StClair
"the idea that an MMO is just kept as is with no updates and only enough attention to keep the servers running."

This is what the thread is about.. mmos. The guy above did not mention single player games at all, just 'box' games. Mmos also come in a box. Even B2P mmos like Guild Wars 2 are said to 'buy the box, play for free'.

You are trying to clarify something where none is needed as the it's is clearly labeled by genre (mmos) AND by games mentioned (Vanguard, (Tabula Rasa, Asheron's Call 2, and The Matrix Online, to name a few)
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Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 8:43AM Graill440 said

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These last few generations of gamers have been brought up to think that an mmo only recieve "content" updates every so often, this wasnt the original case nor was it the goals of developers back in the day, when they cared about gaming and not money as the first priority. Interaction by devs was constant and content was often on the fly, a great thing.

A huge number of Gamers nowadays are weakminded to the point the vast majority NEED to play something, even if it is a dead game, they cant walk away or not play something, they are to programmed or addicted to stop. Most would rather play a maint mode game than go outside and do volunteer work or the like, sad.

Todays choice by gamers to continue to play a maintenance mode game by choice is wrapped up in such deep consequence i am sure Massively could do a weeks worth of articles if they had a person qualified to do so.

There is no reason at all to play a game in this condition.

Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 9:50AM avaloner said

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@Graill440
"There is no reason at all to play a game in this condition."

What happens if you like the game or the people playing it and you don't mind it being it not having new content developed for it? I feel that is a pretty compeling reason to keep playing. Sure ideally people should go out and volunteer for charaty or something but that has nothing to do (or very little) with people wanting to play a game like Vangaurd that was not being actively developed.

Just because a game is not reciecving new content does not mean it is not fun to play.
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Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 10:59AM Gaugamela said

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@Graill440

Depends on the type of game actually. A theme park will die without new content but I could see a game like EVE continuing for years without any new content at all.
The only game company that actually does something to justify a sub fee nowadays is Trion with Rift. In that aspect they remind me of older companies that sticked truly to the subscription model releasing content regularly which justifies a subscription. Maybe that will change as the company grows and gets older as it did with every other company.
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Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 11:38AM (Unverified) said

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@Graill440 "Most would rather play a maint mode game than go outside and do volunteer work or the like, sad."

If we're going to judge how we spend our discretionary time by those criteria, then we shouldn't play games at all--we should be out in the world, making it a better place for all. While you're at it, why don't you excoriate every person who wastes time watching television?

I play games for fun and relaxation. If a game I love has gone into maintenance mode and I still get enjoyment from it, what difference does it make? It's not like new content produces any sort of meaningful achievement in the real world, any more than the old content does.

Not everyone will agree to paying a monthly fee for a game without new content, but they can vote in the way that matters: By quitting the game and taking their money with them. If a game falls below viable subscriber numbers as a result, pull the plug. Otherwise, what harm is there in keeping it going?
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Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 8:46AM Wic said

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If you are paying a fee to a game you expect a portion of that fee to be funding (even if its small) a development team. If all that is being funded are the servers and maintenance then the fee asked of the consumer should be very small.

This comes to the reason why I play mmorpgs one game with lots to do and a future that continues my character.

Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 8:53AM real65rcncom said

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just thinking about Warhammer Online and their maintainance mode. They don't have hardly any players but the few they enjoy always post about being their until 'the lights go out'.

Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 9:51AM avaloner said

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@real65rcncom And sadly I think EA would rather shut it down then keep a server open for people like that. But who knows they might grow a heart and keep a server open for them.
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Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 9:00AM Dumac said

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Depends how long you can take the torture. The game isn't going anywhere but that doesn't mean the players will stay as well. You have to wonder how long before your friends decide they're going to play something with more perspective, how long before your guild disintegrates or how long before crafting becomes useless because there is no one to craft for and such... How long before you are "forced" to leave by external factors...

Then again, there is always some hope, as with Vanguard now. For some, a vague maybe is better than a definite no on Tabula Rasa coming back... For me, no, I don't want to play dead games.

Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 9:06AM Ardwulf said

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Maintenance mode is better than sunsetting. All those players who loved SWG and Tabula Rasa and Asheron's Call 2 would agree. MMOs as virtual worlds encourage affection by players. That's one of the reasons I'm always saddened when an MMO goes under, even one I didn't care for myself.

Posted: Apr 2nd 2012 9:14AM MMOaddict said

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My Heart and Mind say yes, if I love the game. My Wallet however says NO.

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