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MMOGs Only For the Hardcore? 236

Posted by Zonk
from the not-really,-no dept.
Gamepro has an editorial up asking the question are Massive Games only for the hardcore? From the article: "Part of it has to do with the conventional pricing model. With a game demanding $15 a month, you can't afford to just casually log in a few hours on the weekend without feeling jipped. So the casual gamer's MMO has to be a game entertaining enough to pull people away from their usual games (let's face it, most MMOs are boring), and rewarding enough in a 1-2 hour timeframe so it doesn't require you to neglect your daily routines."
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MMOGs Only For the Hardcore?

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  • site slow (Score:5, Funny)

    by hobotron (891379) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:33AM (#12947961)
    here is the text from the second part of the article

    "duh"
    • Re:site slow (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mogalpha (782997)
      Well, in China (and most likely other parts of Asia) they price MMOG's by the hour (I know WoW is, and I'm fairly sure Lineage II is as well). If companies like Blizzard can adapt to the economics of other countries, they can, and should adapt themselves here in the US to tap into the market of (softcore) gamers who are currently undecided on whether or not to join a MMOG. It doesn't even involve coming up with any new pricing models; all they have to do is have pay-by-the-hour plans at reasonable US dollar
    • Re:site slow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcmonkey (96054) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @01:21AM (#12948135) Homepage
      "duh"

      Spot on. And is this a bad thing? Is this even unusual in gaming?

      Where are the articles lamenting, "Is Chess only for the hardcore?" Or, "Is bridge only for the hardcore?"

      Those examples lack the monthly charge that raises the barrier for entry to most MMOGs, but in terms of gameplay and competitiveness, the casual player just can't hang with the serious gamer. Some people enjoy some games on a casual level. Some people devote more time to some games.

      I'm sure some where out there is a chess club with $15 monthly due, and it only attracts players for whom that chess playing experience is worth $15. Likewise for any MMOG with a similar fee.

      • by Draigon (172034)
        I'm sure some where out there is a chess club with $15 monthly due, and it only attracts players for whom that chess playing experience is worth $15.

        That place is my house. Bring your friends and, more importantly, 15 dollars.
      • I'm sure some where out there is a chess club with $15 monthly due, and it only attracts players for whom that chess playing experience is worth $15

        The first rule of chess club is you do NOT talk about chess club.
    • Quite eloquent, and 100% right. MMOGs have been constructed in a way that not only hardcore gamers are willing to pay for them, but that they are not fun unless you spend countless hours chopping up rats with a "+2 board with rusty nail" just to build up your stats.

      The two hours/week that I get to play games are not going to be spent so that some 10 year old with nothing to do in the summer and a level 99 "ultimate fiery dragon shotgun of death" can mow me down when I walk out of the gate, board in hand.

  • by Sancho (17056) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:34AM (#12947969) Homepage
    It seems difficult, possibly even impossible, to create a game where advancement does not depend upon a particular path. Put simply, it's nearly impossible to create a game where you can advance as quickily by soloing as by grouping. In World of Warcraft, you can almost do this for the first 1/3 of your levels. Almost. Eventually it becomes impossible, and you're left with the same problems other MMORPGs have--you either have to be able to devote the same amount of time to the game as your friends, or you have to constantly find new groups. New groups can be fun, but I generally prefer to play with people I know or just solo. Of course, this means soloing, but then if I wanted to solo, why would I play a MMORPG?

    The sad reason is that there just aren't that many good RPG-esque games out there. I'd love to play a single-player version of WoW, particularly with an added over-arching quest.
    • I'm up to level 38 (as a hunter, which is a good solo class) without ever going into dungeon or doing an elite quest. Now I admit eventually I'll have to, but I just haven't had the time to devote several hours to a dungeon with a bunch of people and then cut out before it's done.

      (There's also the small fact that for some reason no one wants to party with a hunter, despite the fact that if it's played well, it's a great puller and can prevent wipes).

      Also, WoW's rested state helps give a boost to people

      • Of course, any class with a pet is already effectively grouping :)
      • Most people don't like partying with hunters because too many hunters are really bad at partying. They only know how to solo and end up doing things that wipe the party, when they could have gotten a different class and perhaps done the dungeon a little slower, but safer and with less chance of bad pet pulls. As a mage, I hate hunters because they seem to not know when to aggro and when to aggro. I'll just get finished casting polymorph on an extra and then the pet always seems to want to attack it instead
        • There's a reason why, when I'm in a dungeon the first time I ask "pet?", and if no one responds with a "it shouldn't be a problem", I dismiss it. It's just too risky to get bad pulls, esp on the longer instances. I guess a lot of hunters haven't learned to let the warrior do his job of holding agro.
    • Have you even played WoW? You can solo from 1-60, with any class you want. Mage, priest, warrior, rogue, doesn't matter. Saying that you can only go for 20 levels is nothing but BS, pure and simple.
    • by JavaLord (680960) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @11:28AM (#12950561) Journal
      Put simply, it's nearly impossible to create a game where you can advance as quickily by soloing as by grouping. In World of Warcraft, you can almost do this for the first 1/3 of your levels. Almost. Eventually it becomes impossible

      I solo'ed 1 - 60 in world of warcraft. The only time I group was for instance runs (which I did 3 of pre-level 60). It is possible to go from 1-60 in WoW without grouping.

      Of course, this means soloing, but then if I wanted to solo, why would I play a MMORPG?

      To PvP. The sad reason is that there just aren't that many good RPG-esque games out there. I'd love to play a single-player version of WoW, particularly with an added over-arching quest.

      I like solo'ing and PvPing in WoW, my only problem is the forced socialization in the end game. If you want to do endgame dungeons you have to make friends with the social misfits that are in the big guilds. It's not enjoyable.

      I think World of Warcraft has done so well because levels 1-30 are easly accessable to the casual player. You can log in, play 2 hours and level or get some new gear. After level 40, that totally wears off and it becomes a grind/questfest like every other mmorpg. I found WoW to be very enjoyable for the first few weeks I was playing, but after a while I decided that I was putting too much time in for too little reward. I cancelled my account two days ago. Yey, back to real life. My only regret is not leveling a rogue high enough to pvp, as they seem like the best class for ganking.
    • Actually, in WoW soloing is faster than grouping, except for priest/druids/pallies. Without dungeons I leveled 1-60 in 15 days played my first time through, and did 1-40 in under 4 days my second.
  • But consider how deeply some lives of normal non-geeks have been affected by MMOGs like Everquest. The difference between MMOGs and a monthly pass at your local video arcade is that the MMOG provides for a level of social interaction that simply isn't present in normal games.

    The communication aspect of the game is built directly into the game, so for many people who are not typical gamers are able to enjoy the MMOG whereas they would be turned off by something like Pac-man. So it isn't that MMOGs need ha
  • by Meph_the_Balrog (796101) <[obsidian.gargoyle] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:35AM (#12947971) Homepage
    of early ORPG's, but everyone I hear harping about WoW and Eq2 and how they get XP boosts if they don't log in for a few days, tell me that they easily catch up to their guildmates who game almost constantly. With this solution to the problem of leveling gaps, the game becomes much more social, as friends can game together more regularly.
    • The XP boost is pretty minimal - at least in WoW. Staying logged out for two days will net you the same amount of bonus exp as playing for an hour or so. It's hardly a balanced trade-off (and rightfully so).
      • What you are saying here isn't exactly true. The bonus is on whatever exp you earn from killing mobs. When you turn in a quest in your 'blue' phase your blue bar moves out in direct proportion to your quest experience.

        I had a blue bar from level 53 to level 57 and counting. I generally gain 2 levels a weekend (and I'm in the upper 50s now) by using the blue to my advantage. When I turn purple it's time to go do something else, like visit the big room.

      • Perhaps I'm simply not 'hard core' enough. However after one instance where everyone on my server was given a day or so's worth of rested xp, I've not yet been able to actually empty the bar. Which is actually a bit of a hinderance, since it means that I get double xp for any kills I make and I'm quickly out leveling the quests in the area's I want to be in.

        I think, for 'hard core' people the bonus might not be much. But for those of us with only an hour or so a day to play, it's pretty much a giant turbo
    • The XP boosts work only if you play a bit less than other people; a week off can easily create a gap big enough to make playing together a problem. I made a fair amount of friends early in the game that I played with regularily, but as time went on I logged on less often and they all easily surpassed me.
    • Close but no cigar (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MMaestro (585010)
      The XP boost you gain in WoW (I haven't played Eq2 so I'm commenting on WoW only) is minor at most. The XP boost you gain only affects the XP you gain from killing monsters and at higher levels you quest for XP rather than kill. After a while, killing for XP just isn't worth it, quests either give too little rewards (read: low level quest), or are too hard to be done solo.

      Throw in high level raids (which implies teamwork), instanced dungeons (normally done with multiple people) and a weak economic system (c

    • It still doesn't do enough. I like EvE's solution- everyone levels at the same rate, wether playign or not. You pick a skill to learn, and it takes n hours to learn it, logged in or not. THe only advantage you can get is by logging in at 2 am to swap skills when one finishes. And you can get around that by leveling long skills overnight.

      Better yet- get rid of the fucking leveling and gear grinds already. Its boring, overdone, and not fun. Base the game around questing, PvP, and exploration- actual
  • by agent oranje (169160) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:37AM (#12947984) Journal
    The problem with MMOGs is that casual players cannot compete with those who dedicate a significant portion of every day to playing. Someone who plays for a couple of hours on a boring Sunday afternoon is fresh meat for seasoned veterans of a game - and there's really no way to change this other than limiting how much people can play. I'm not entirely opposed to that, either.
    • by JVert (578547) <corganbilly@NosPAm.hotmail.com> on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:41AM (#12947994) Journal
      Limiting daily gameplay per character would definatly force everyone to be a casual player. Maybe this is a new server idea vs the player vs player and role playing and carebear servers. You would just add a "not in school anymore" server.
      I like this... You still never get to play with the hardcore gamers, but you would have alot more casual gamers to group with and be able to make friends with and all level together.
    • You're not supposed to compete. You're suppose to role play. Just join a faction/guild and participate. Your teammates really won't mind if you can't do all the things they can do.
      • Nope. The point of MMORPGs is to "win" the game. Winning is having more stuff that everybody else, more status, a house, etc etc. How many times have you seen someone say, "Whew! Finally made it to level 60! Hooray!"
      • Wrong, and thats exactly the problem. Lets say I play 10 hr/week. My guildies play 20. In a week or two, I am no longer able to group with them and do anythign with them. My options at that point are to be alone, or leave and find a new guild. Neither is a fun option. Guilds in MMOs are great, but they don't solve the problem.
    • " The problem with MMOGs is that casual players cannot compete with those who dedicate a significant portion of every day to playing."

      Okay...

      The problem with Golf is that casual players cannot compete with those who dedicate a significant portion of every day to playing.

      The problem with Tennis is that casual players cannot compete with those who dedicate a significant portion of every day to playing.

      The problem with Racketball is that casual players cannot compete with those who dedicate a significant p
      • The problem with Golf is that casual players cannot compete with those who dedicate a significant portion of every day to playing.

        The problem with Tennis is that casual players cannot compete with those who dedicate a significant portion of every day to playing.

        Yes, but in Tennis and Golf, the experienced players don't swoop out of nowhere and frag the beginning players for shits and giggles.

        The problem with the MMORPGs is if I just want to play around and experience the world without really being inte

        • Ahh I think I see the major difference. Playing these games more does not just increase your skill at the game as much as make you MORE powerful. Maybe the whole level thing has to go. Or maybe an enforced honor system. If you attack an unworthy adversary you do not gain ex points but loose them.
          Your at 10th level and you attack a 1st level you loose points. If the first level attacks you of course then you could defend yourself but if they surrender you would have the option to accept.
        • > Yes, but in Tennis and Golf, the experienced players don't swoop out of nowhere and frag the
          > beginning players for shits and giggles.

          Which is why unrestricted player-vs-player has almost disappeared from MMORPGs.

          > Can anyone reccomend a not-necessarily combat-based game in this genre in which your not
          > putting in a lot of time won't detract from the experience? Or are they all about shooting and
          > killing?

          Star Wars: Galaxies, from my understanding, can be played without a combat-based or
      • But in golf/tennis/racketball, even if my best friend will whip my ass every time, we can still play together and both have fun. In an MMO, if we're a few levels apart we generally can't even xp in the same zone, much less together.
    • "The problem with MMOGs is that casual players cannot compete with those who dedicate a significant portion of every day to playing."

      "The problem with MMOGs is that casual players cannot compete with those who dedicate a significant portion of every day to playing."

      I completely disagree. I don't play video games that much these days. I am too damned busy. That said, drop me into a game of Counter Strike, UT2004, or any FPS and bodies will fly. Just the other day I picked up CS Source after a few month
    • Why is this a problem? It isn't. Only to people who have some weird game egos is it a problem. Will hardcore gamers pass you up? Sure..but who the hell cares, the point of games isn't the destination, but the journey. Too many people lose track of that. Limiting others playing time just because you can't is just selfish and dumb. Oh wait, you can't play for a whole week...better shut down the servers for you. Saying casual and hardcore can't be mixed flies in the face of every single MMORPG to date.
  • Let's be honest. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by schild (713993) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:43AM (#12947998) Homepage Journal
    By ignoring Puzzle Pirates, Planetside and the rest of the casual gaming market, he's gerrymandered the online market to support the argument of his article. Bleh.
    • Planetside is about 50,000 users. Puzzle Pirates barely tops 10,000. WoW is over 2 million, as are each of the Lineages, FFXI and EQ are about 500,000 each. There doesn't appear to *be* any real "casual MMORPG market". Maybe there will be, but it's not there yet.

      chris Mattern
  • Guild Wars. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by McKinney83 (687821) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:45AM (#12948006)
    (note I did not RTFA):
    "With a game demanding $15 a month, you can't afford to just casually log in a few hours on the weekend without feeling jipped."

    Guild Wars has the one time cost of $50, and there's no monthly fee.
    And about the whole leveling up and everything, in Player vs Player in Guild Wars, it's all skill based, so having a higher level doesn't really help that much.
    • > it's all skill based, so having a higher level
      >doesn't really help that much.

      So what is the point of having levels at all then?
      • Re:Guild Wars. (Score:3, Informative)

        by SScorpio (595836)
        In Guild Wars you can have two different types of characters. Roleplaying characters start a level one and follow a story where you progress and unlock new skills for PvP. PvP characters automatically start at level 20 with the beginning skills for their class. To unlock new skills you need to play a roleplaying character in PvE and either quest them, or purchase them from skill trainers with skill points which become harder and harder to get as you use them up.

        The whole level thing in Guild Wars is ma

    • Lots of games don't have monthly fees, but that's got nothing to do with MMOGs. And yes, having a higher level does help that much, its just that the level cap is 20 and you can get to it in a day. Also, how much time you waste wandering around capturing elite skills from bosses matters alot too, and is rather time consuming.
  • by BlueHands (142945) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:47AM (#12948018)
    <i>With a game demanding $15 a month, you can't afford to just casually log in a few hours on the weekend without feeling jipped.</i>

    Was is this taken as gospel, that cost is still an issue?? I hear people say that all the time, but even if you only play 3 hours a week, that means you are paying a little over a dollar an hour, where is the big deal? i used to go to arcades and spend ALOT more then a buck an hour.

    Lord people whine.....in fact, let me now rant about people whining......

    • Exactly, compare that to renting a DVD or two. Oh, 3 hours entertainment for $15, jesus, what a jip. The problem is that people keep comparing MMORPGs to single player games. Personally I find Halflife 2 a lot more "boring" than The Matrix Online.. but hey, I actually team other with other people and role play.
    • I saw this one game called Dragonrealms that is entirely text based and you'll never believe how much they charge. The last time I checked, their rates were around $40 for a premium account (basically gives you a text based house and a few extra characters) and around $15 for a standard account (just one character). So considering that there's actually graphics in these games, $15 hardly seems unreasonable.
      • Wow, I didn't believe you, thought maybe you meant per year, till I looked it up. It must be a really really good game if people are paying those prices. I just don't get it.
        • DragonRealms used to be attached to AOL. I remember playing it when I still had AOL circa 1996. My current girlfriend used to play it as well. (though I didn't know her when she did) There is alot of people addicted to it and for being a text based game, it's pretty damn good though I'm not sure I would pay for it considering games like EQ2 and all exist for a better price and much more graphical.
    • Yes. There are lots of games out there, and I tend to have several installed at a time ($80 per game + potentially that again per month in access fees).

      I haven't played Freelancer or CounterstrikeWC3 (for eg; these are persistent state games that aren't pay-to-play MMOGs) for months, but I can still go back and find a couple of populated local servers to play on, which I do from time to time.

      If they were $15 a month each, I, and probably most other people, would have cancelled our accounts and never play
    • It's a combination of a psychological issue and a realization that the "Bill tax" could be extremely pervasive, if you go down that slippery slope.

      Despite having the income to support it, the only MMO I've ever played is Guild Wars (and loving it a whole lot, thanks for asking). My friends & I were looking for something new to do, since we've been doing our "Neverwinter Saturdays" pretty much since the game came out. The idea of _paying_ a monthly fee for something like that is abhorrent to us - we'r
    • I don't play MMORPGs because they are too expensive. You point out that it is no more expensive than arcades. I don't play arcades either: They are a jip too. I am a casual gamer, so I buy a game, play it for 6 months, then buy another. So to me, that's $40 over 6 months = $6.67 per month. Then I give away the game or donate it. Sometimes I borrow a game from someone else.

      That is the casual gamer. This is also the person who doesn't have cable because it is not worth it.

      They need to offer a per hou
    • Here's a comparison.

      I buy a PS2 game for $20 or $30, play it for about 30-40 hours over the course of three months, then sell it on eBay when I'm bored with it and get $10 back. Cost of entertainment about 25 cents an hour. And that's for an average game--something like GTA or WipeOut can keep me amused for three times that.

      I buy EverQuest for $50 plus $20 for the first month. I play it for 30-40 hours over the course of three months, spending another $40 in fees, then get bored with it. It has zero resal
    • $15 a month compares favorably to many entertainment activities people would describe as casual:

      Going to the (first-run) movies twice, alone, without any refreshments -- $10-12 at the cheapest US prices, $30+ in New York or Japan.

      Buying one hard-cover Clancy/Grisham/Da Vinci Code -- $20.

      Buying two mass-market paperbacks of any genre. -- $12-15

      Going to a single major league sporting event. -- Don't even get me started.

      Going out for drinks with friends, for two hours, once. $20+

  • Not Really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nz17 (601809) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:48AM (#12948023) Homepage
    I'd say it is to the contrary, really: most MMO'ers I know play it because it is only $15/month. After the initial purchase/download, if the game can keep their attention, they are pleased as punch because otherwise they would spend at least that much buying one game every few months.

    With an MMOG, they can keep their same game going from month-to-month, without fear of starting over from scratch, for only a pittance compared to buying a new game every few weeks. And since MMOGs are tiered to release new content the higher a character's level is, and release brand new content for everyone on a regular basis, that one "golden game" can keep thousands of people for months.
  • First of all, the $15 month is fairly trivial when weighed against the opportunity cost of the time spent playing, even for the most casual of players. But most MMORPGS do tilt toward the "hardcore" obsessive players by imposing a competitive environment, where the overriding advantage is given to time spent playing, rather than skill or intelligence.

    Personally, it's a turn-off for me, and one of the main reasons I've not particulary liked any of the MMORPGS since original Everquest. In original EQ, one

    • hardcore vs. causual does not equate to time-spent vs player skill. Time spent will always be a factor because gaining expierence and practice takes time, as games like counterstike or warcraft3 will tell you in no uncertain terms.
  • /. MMOG. STOP.
  • by ezraekman (650090) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @03:00AM (#12948458) Homepage

    This is not intended to be a flame or troll, but as constructive criticism. You might want to refrain from the term "jipped". The root word is "gyp", which comes from "gypsy". This refers to the idea that all gypsies were thieves, and not to be trusted. It has become a derogatory term similar to "jewed". I assume that you would not use the terms "chink", "spic" or "nigger" here, so you might want to consider what effect using terms such as these might have.

    This is only intended to be advice, from a political perspective. If you disagree, that's fine. It's just my opinion, which may be quite flawed. ;-)

    • If the world needs one thing, it's more political correctness.

      PUH-LEEEEEZ! Never been to a European train station, eh?

    • It had very litle effective since very few people knew the jipped comes from gypsy(if that is even true).

      Seems like you go looking for ways to be offended.
    • You're just a whiney bastard. No offense intended to actual bastards.
    • Mod -1 clueless (Score:3, Insightful)

      by metamatic (202216)
      The Oxford English Dictionary seems to have a different opinion of the origin of "gypped". It says that "gyp" comes from "gippo" meaning "scullion", the French word "jupeau", and was a 19th Century term for a college servant at Cambridge or Durham universities.

      It's also possible that the current meaning derives from "gyp" meaning "pain or severe discomfort", which is another 19th Century word perhaps derived from "gee-up".

      They don't even mention the possibility that it has anything to do with Gypsies, nor
      • They don't even mention the possibility that it has anything to do with Gypsies, nor is it flagged as offensive.

        Yes, as we all know, there's only one definition for each word, right?. Oxford [askoxford.com] lists TWO definitions for the word, and that's just the compact version:

        gyp1
        /jip/ (also gip)
        noun Brit. informal pain or discomfort.

        gyp2
        /jip/ informal
        verb (gypped, gypping) cheat or swindle.
        noun a swindle.

        Perhaps you might consider looking in [answers.com] more [reference.com] than [urbandictionary.com] one [m-w.com] place [cambridge.org]. Miriam Webster, Cambridg

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Can't agure with an academic source like urbandictionary.com

        • Please pick up the courtesy cluephone: I quoted from the two definitions in the Oxford Concise OED. Go back and read what I wrote. Paragraph 1, paragraph 2. Two paragraphs, two definitions, two possible derivations.

          Yes, multiple dictionaries "agree on the term" in that they agree on its definition. They don't, however, say that it has anything to do with Gypsies. I wasn't arguing that the term meant something else; I was pointing out that your claimed etymology was bogus.

          UrbanDictionary takes content anyo
    • This site purports to support freedom of speech and expression. Racism is one such freedom that everyone has a right to, though it may be one of the more unsavory freedoms.
  • Okay we've all identified the problems that exist in MMOs with hardcore gamers vs more casual, sunday afternoon type players.
    All MMOs will discriminate in favour of the hardcore gamer, so what about keeping them apart ?
    Most MMOs use multiple servers, this is usually for geographic or language reasons, they may then deploy multiple servers within each region in a sort of load balancing solution.
    Why not move the player's characters around so that they wind up on a server where folks tend to play as much (or a
    • Especially in games where most gear is player made. The more stuff thats made by players, for players, the more you NEED high level, hardcore players (see: FFXI). The less stuff thats made by players, for players, the less high level, hardcore players (see: WoW). Simple as that. Where do you think that Plated Armor come from? That Robe of Intelligence? That Sword of Stabbyness +1? Theres a reason why crafting systems are almost always implemented into MMO games.

      To be fair though, I'll admit casual gamers a

      • Yup, the polaters can make some good stuff in WoW, but the best items are still the Epic quest items from instances that take large groups and long hours to beat. So far as I understand it, the quintessential player-driven economy is in Eve. Build gear, build ships, build a big-ass space station, take over a whole sector. It's also the only MMO where even screenshots rival WoW for art direction. I think Eve's graphic engine may be more buzzword compliant than WoW's, but both are very well designed and a tre
  • I'm a casual gamer myself, with about 3 hours of gaming per week at most.
    As much as I'd like to try an MMOG, the article is right in that it is just too expensive.

    So should the programmers start building casual MMOG's?
    No!
    There simply isn't enough money in that market to make a good enough profit out of an MMOG.

    Sure, you could probably make a profitable casual MMOG, but you can make a 10x more money by building a hardcore MMOG, so why bother?

    Then again; a casual gamer will probably not tolerate any grindi
  • Most of the (rather short) article is uninspired whinging about MMORPGs and can be discarded. The only point they made that seems valid is the bit about solo, class-specific instances. The idea of providing a class-tailored quest that focuses on the players skill with their class' unique skills sounds like it would be good, especially if you can break it up into several sessions and use it to fill time between finding groups.

    Everquest 2 has an element of this in the Halmark Quests that you need to progre
  • by eyeball (17206) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @07:33AM (#12949072) Journal
    Many of us at the top end of the age bracket for gamers (mid-30s) have few blocks of uninterrupted time to invest in larger quests and campaigns. We're lucky to get a few solid hours on a saturday evening. Even at 2 hours/weekend it's still a bargain when compared to other entertainment, it still seems like a rip-off if the user can't use the game outside of those blocks. MMOG products can address this a number of ways:

    - Create longer puzzling or strategic challenges that can require thought, planning, and possibly even group discussion outside the game. (In other words, a guild could chat on IM during the day and plan out how to infiltrate an enemy compound.)

    - In addition to the current adventures, make shorter ones.

    - Alternative non-play interfaces into the virtual world, such as access to the chat channels, virtual in-game web-cams, real time stats, mail, auctions, etc. The trick would be to do it without the usual 3d game client, using standard desktop technologies like DHTML, Java, RSS feeds, Flash, etc. Anything that allows the user to be a part of the world without a huge time and client investment, so they can be connected at work or in the short gaps between 'real-life' tasks at home.

    - Make more real-world resources accessible and standard within the game client. Provide an IM client to major protocols (AIM, ICQ, Y!, etc). Obviously nobody wants windows popping up when they're battling a 60th level tit-mouse, but careful GUI engineering can provide unobtrusive notifications and even auto-responders. Same for other real-world resources, like email clients. Point being, for those of us that do get a few hours to play, keep us there.

    - Hire me. :)

    • It's been suggested numerous times to allow auctions to be viewable on the web for Wow, but they don't seem to go for it. That would enable a good deal of immersion for me (I'm always wondering how my auctions are doing).
  • Guild Wars [guildwars.com] has free servers (i.e. buy the game and you can MMO as much or as little as you like at no extra cost).

    If you're a casual weekend gamer and you need some henchmen to help with a difficult quest and you don't want to bother any human players, the game always has a few frendly computer henchmen waiting to be recruited by the gate.

    • Even their website tells you, its not a MMOG. Its an ordinary diablo 2 style online RPG. In fact, its pretty much diablo 3. A MMOG would imply a persistant world. Guildwars just put a city backdrop behind the chat portion of the game.
  • I frequently spend $25 on a movie and snacks for two. Total time is usually 90 minutes. The maximum amount of interaction with the movie is laughing, being surprised or scared, and shushing the idiot who spends $25 to talk on his cell. Most of the time, I feel the experience was worth it. Yet $15 a month for an online game is a lot?

    I also feel the $15 a month is high, but we're equating the game servers with internet servers. Since game servers are highly specialized, we should be happy the price is s
  • Has anyone ever played Morrowind? It's basically a single player RPG, but the plot is fairly open ended and the word is roughly the size of a MMORPG. It's really fun, but it would really be something if you could play it with 2-64 other people on your server. The community based Neverwinter Nights servers somewhat serve this purpose, but they typically have to use a series of kludges to have real persistence. It would be great if a company would develop such a game. You could run a private or public server
  • by mattgreen (701203) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @03:36PM (#12952820)
    Frankly, I'm too easily bored by the rote style of play that MMORPGs tout. You practically need a second computer so you don't become bored.

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