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Nytehauq

Why is everything MMO?

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Having participated much in the MMO craze (and still being a participant, don't get me wrong) - why has the MMO concept gained so much popularity - on these boards and otherwise? It seems that every other topic is about a hypothetical MMO game - why is that? EDIT - I'm aiming more for the reason that developers (Or just gamedev.net geeks) seem to be drawn to the MMO idea - the reasons that the market focuses on them are rather obvious and uninteresting. Why do people want to develop them, finances aside? [Edited by - Nytehauq on March 30, 2006 10:53:01 AM]

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Because MMO games are popular. The same thing happened with first person shooters. Everybody wanted to create an FPS, and nothing else. People wanted to integrate everything into an FPS game, and some really bad ideas came out of it. Just like now, there are some downright horrible MMO game ideas floating around. How about MMO Fishing?! We haven't seen a good fishing game in a while now. My level 74 Angler has a kickass Carbon Rod +7 of Accuracy and a Steel Hook +3!

I personally don't see what the fuss is about. The games themselves are BORING. Granted I haven't played every MMO game, but I don't see the concepts changing all that much. Playing a game with 50 other people at any given moment doesn't make up for the fact that the game is boring..

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It gives the illusion of ultimate freedom every player and designer wants. Too bad it IS an illusion.

For many a MMO is the perfect environment in which poor defined ideas are percepted as good.

It was a time when RPGs, RTSs and FPSs were hunting forums :). Now it is MMO time. And it cycles. I think it depends on a large measure on industry way of going at the settled time.

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Original post by Nytehauq
Having participated much in the MMO craze (and still being a participant, don't get me wrong) - why has the MMO concept gained so much popularity - on these boards and otherwise? It seems that every other topic is about a hypothetical MMO game - why is that?


It's a fad. A book is written, which is redone as a movie, a multiplayer game is released, a line of toys and clothing and lunchboxes and flamethrowers (the kids love this one) with the branded name flood the market, and eventually the craze dies down.

Merchandising! Merchandising!

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another advantage to MMO games is that they are easier to keep from being pirated as much. If the company can be fairly sure that a major part of the game can't be copied and put on the web for just anyone to download, they can be fairly sure that the midliners (people that will pay if they can't get a free copy, what is likely the smallest group of people) will actually pay for their game.

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You can merchandize a brand, but not a genre...

Anyway, a well done MMO talks to a deep-rooted instinct in the human being: working together against a dangerous and hostile ouside world. Because we are social beings, who used to have to work together against a dangerous and hostile outside world, there are probably certain reward buttons in our being being pushed when raiding the Molten Core or whatever -- the same buttons as were pushed when we slaid the wooly mammoth threatening our tribe on the steppe :-)

In my opinion, that's why MMO is so powerful.

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Original post by hplus0603
You can merchandize a brand, but not a genre...

Anyway, a well done MMO talks to a deep-rooted instinct in the human being: working together against a dangerous and hostile ouside world. Because we are social beings, who used to have to work together against a dangerous and hostile outside world, there are probably certain reward buttons in our being being pushed when raiding the Molten Core or whatever -- the same buttons as were pushed when we slaid the wooly mammoth threatening our tribe on the steppe :-)

In my opinion, that's why MMO is so powerful.


I concur. I never found any genre to be particularly exciting unless it had a certain amount of depth and complexity to it. While FPS's are fun, I've never had a strong desire to build my own - I like to craft worlds, not so much individual games. The massive and the multiplayer allow that kind of freedom - we are social creatures in a rather large world. It only makes sense that our games would eventually reproduce that setting more accurately, and that we would be enthralled by the oppurtunity to build them that way. Technically - most everything we do in life is massively multiperson - simulating THAT instead of just the individual an unrelated events (playing ping-pong for instance ;P) seems to be the logical step.

However, one caveat:

Raiding Molten Core isn't fun, I must say ;P

Quote:
Original post by Codman
It gives the illusion of ultimate freedom every player and designer wants. Too bad it IS an illusion.

For many a MMO is the perfect environment in which poor defined ideas are percepted as good.

It was a time when RPGs, RTSs and FPSs were hunting forums :). Now it is MMO time. And it cycles. I think it depends on a large measure on industry way of going at the settled time.


But MMO isn't a genre. It's a modifier - you can have an MMORTS, MMORPG, and an MMOFPS.

Quote:
Original post by jonahrowley
Because MMO games are popular. The same thing happened with first person shooters. Everybody wanted to create an FPS, and nothing else. People wanted to integrate everything into an FPS game, and some really bad ideas came out of it. Just like now, there are some downright horrible MMO game ideas floating around. How about MMO Fishing?! We haven't seen a good fishing game in a while now. My level 74 Angler has a kickass Carbon Rod +7 of Accuracy and a Steel Hook +3!

I personally don't see what the fuss is about. The games themselves are BORING. Granted I haven't played every MMO game, but I don't see the concepts changing all that much. Playing a game with 50 other people at any given moment doesn't make up for the fact that the game is boring..


I agree with the boring part. But it that a symptom of the type (MMO) or the quality of MMO games that people produce? I'm thinking the latter.

Quote:
Original post by Talroth
another advantage to MMO games is that they are easier to keep from being pirated as much. If the company can be fairly sure that a major part of the game can't be copied and put on the web for just anyone to download, they can be fairly sure that the midliners (people that will pay if they can't get a free copy, what is likely the smallest group of people) will actually pay for their game.


Yeah. Not quite what I was getting at, but true nonetheless.

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Original post by MatrixCubed
Quote:
Original post by Nytehauq
Having participated much in the MMO craze (and still being a participant, don't get me wrong) - why has the MMO concept gained so much popularity - on these boards and otherwise? It seems that every other topic is about a hypothetical MMO game - why is that?


It's a fad. A book is written, which is redone as a movie, a multiplayer game is released, a line of toys and clothing and lunchboxes and flamethrowers (the kids love this one) with the branded name flood the market, and eventually the craze dies down.

Merchandising! Merchandising!


I disagree and agree. While publishers have been marketing the hell out of the MMO name, it's still just the same concept as chat rooms and all the other massively online social "thingies" - most of those "thingies" having been around too long to really be considered fads. I think it taps into something more than just passing.

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Original post by Nytehauq
I agree with the boring part. But it that a symptom of the type (MMO) or the quality of MMO games that people produce? I'm thinking the latter.


I'm thinking the former. In my estimation MMORPGs are boring precisely because you're one citizen out of thousands or even hundreds of thousands. When people play RPGs they want to be the hero, not the baker down the street. It's analogous to the fact that fiction is written from the point of view of (or at least describing) the main characters in the overall dramatic arc, not one random inconsequential villager out of thousands.

Note that I'm specifically talking about RPGs. This observation may not hold water in other MMO-genres, which are still mostly untested. The one that comes most readily to mind is MMOFPS, but I think comparing MMOFPSs to MMORPGs is like comparing apples to oranges. An MMOFPS (at least those I've read about, haven't ever tried any admittedly) is really nothing more than a glorified multiplayer FPS with a HUGE lobby.

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The whole paradigm of multiplayer gaming is being irrevocably changed by the simple fact that connectivity is improving so much.

Lobby services offer a simple glimpse of what I think is coming - service offer 'private' games to thousands of potential players. Instanced dungeons in games like EQII, SWG, WoW are little different when you consider it. Only the format has changed - from a simple menu to a 3d environment.

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