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When to launch an MMO

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One thing i have always wondered with MMO's is when is it best to launch it to public.

Given you need alot of stuff to do before they get to a point that there is nothing to do, how do you work out that there is enough content for people to play allowing you time to advance the game in some way so they never reach a point of having nothing to do ?


Equally with such small teams for MMO designing how do small projects still achieve to write so many quests, I'm aware the likes of WoW have a huge staff base but indie projects do not... so was curious how people manage it.

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[quote name='thefollower' timestamp='1326745414' post='4903348']1. when is it best to launch it to public.
2...how do you work out that there is enough content for people to play allowing you time to advance the game in some way so they never reach a point of having nothing to do ?
3...how do small projects still achieve to write so many quests, I'm aware the likes of WoW have a huge staff base but indie projects do not... so was curious how people manage it.
[/quote]

1. When it's viable and fun. You want people to play with it and have fun and let others know.
2. By testing it. You could launch a free Beta or you can go recruit testers.
3. Small teams don't launch huge MMOs. They launch small games that are within their ability to create.

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Hmm i was looking for more of a game design type of answers. Such as how you can calculate playable hours based on total quests and ways in which to keep the players busy with stuff to stay one step ahead. Given some designers already have gone through the process they may have some advice.

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[quote name='thefollower' timestamp='1326753015' post='4903403']
Hmm i was looking for more of a game design type of answers. Such as how you can calculate playable hours based on total quests and ways in which to keep the players busy with stuff to stay one step ahead. Given some designers already have gone through the process they may have some advice.
[/quote]

As a rule of thumb, for MMOs you won't stay one step ahead unless you introduce some form of grinding, it will always take significantly less time to play through content than to create it, You don't really calculate playable hours, you measure them by testing the game.

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[quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1326755856' post='4903420']
You don't really calculate playable hours, you measure them by testing the game.
[/quote]

I third that.

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[quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1326755856' post='4903420']
As a rule of thumb, for MMOs you won't stay one step ahead unless you introduce some form of grinding
[/quote]
...or pvp

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[quote name='eugene2k' timestamp='1329150231' post='4912639']
[quote name='SimonForsman' timestamp='1326755856' post='4903420']
As a rule of thumb, for MMOs you won't stay one step ahead unless you introduce some form of grinding
[/quote]
...or pvp
[/quote]

Agreed. User-created content can make replayability go through the roof.

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