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The Future of MMOs 224

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the time-to-level-up dept.
IGN has some interesting coverage of a panel at GDC 2008 that featured some of the top names in the MMO world who got together to discuss the future of the genre. "On hand were Jack Emmert of Cryptic Studios, Mark Miller of NCSoft, Min Kim of Nexon and Rob Pardo of Blizzard Entertainment. MMO newbie Ray Muzyka was also on hand to share his thoughts as BioWare moves into the MMO arena. [...] The conversation got a lot more heated when the subject of micro-transactions was introduced. This is a popular revenue model in Asia, where the games themselves are free to play but charge a premium for a variety of premium extras, from vanity items to additional content or abilities. It's a model that's working well for Korean developer Nexon but hasn't been adopted by many American developers."
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The Future of MMOs

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  • Involves a lot more use of the phrase "Ememomorpuguh," and a lot more Yahtzee reviews.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2008 @02:11PM (#22517680)

    This is a popular revenue model in Asia, where the games themselves are free to play but charge a premium for a variety of premium extras, from vanity items to additional content or abilities. It's a model that's working well for Korean developer Nexon but hasn't been adopted by many American developers.

    Making your games so awesome that people pay for 5 days straight and die from exhaustion is also popular in Korea. Let's not import that, though.

  • by Wandering Wombat (531833) <mightyjalapeno AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 22, 2008 @02:11PM (#22517684) Homepage Journal
    Because I have a wife, and kids, and a job, and all these MMOs are just lurking around in local stores, threatening to take it all away from me. Fortunately, none have been good enough to get me to play, but someday... someday...
    • by superpulpsicle (533373) on Friday February 22, 2008 @02:26PM (#22517952)
      Cause they are all too similar. This wizardry medieval theme maybe is getting old.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Svartalf (2997)
        Considering that there's superhero/supervillan, military, and sci-fi MMOGs as well...

        It's not the genre that's the problem. It's the networking and gameplay that comes from being multi-player
        over the internet that's part of it- plus how things like PvP are handled that ends up scotching most of them.
        • by thanatos_x (1086171) on Friday February 22, 2008 @02:56PM (#22518498)
          You've listed just a few of the current genres in MMOs. I predict in the future you'll take on the role of a denizen of a tough world. Initially you'll barely be able to do the simplest of things, but as you spend time, you'll level them up. Strange and arcane rules will be placed upon you, but as you level up you'll face less and less of the, until you hit the 2nd stage of the game where you rapidly level up abilities, but just as you're about to make use of them and rule the world, a new set of rules is placed upon you, and even tougher bosses appear, many of which you can't directly attack, unless you want agro from the mega boss force. Eventually after years of struggle, you'll slowly get promoted in whatever job you've chosen to level in - but the great thing is that you're almost unlimited in what 'jobs' you want to take, but various characters have aptitude for certain jobs based upon training and the options at character creation.

          Of course they're already predicting that people will complain this is far too similar to 'life' and not want to play it, but that's expected to take a fair amount of time.
      • by wyewye (1206270) on Friday February 22, 2008 @02:46PM (#22518324)
        Try some SciFi MMORPG for a change. There are really tons of them out there. Some with notable success, like Eve Online or Anarchy Online. About MMORPG sucking all your life: this is actually not news, everything you do in your entire life requires time management. That includes entertainment. If you fail to manage it, all sorts of really bad results can come, ofc. At the core, the question is: do you really need to be number one? If yes, expect a huge effort to be required if you want to succeed. Oh, unless you are still dreaming that you can reap big rewards with no or close to no efforts at all.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PietjeJantje (917584)

          Try some SciFi MMORPG for a change.

          Seriously, I saw this exact discussion way back in the dark ages, in 1990, when people discussed which MUD to play.
          SciFi is just the same with different names for stuff.

          The problem is the target audience is the same: mainly spotty teenagers en young men. Nerds (hi!). And they all have the same target audience. Second Life does best, but that's not a game.

          A problem they will encounter is that for 90% or more, it is an addiction that blows over after some years. It did for me and I have found nothing th

        • Yeah, ok. You're right, but let's not lump everything together like they are the same. Consider a marathon of Lost and a marathon of Law&Order. Assuming you like both shows, which one are you more likely to watch longer? Law&Order is a good show, but there is little or no continuity between episodes. Lost is a good show, and the bastard writers leave you wanting to curse the TV at the end of many episodes (How could they end the episode like that?! Et cetera).

          Now let's talk about games. Play Peggle [popcap.com]
      • by spun (1352)
        Let's not forget pirates. That's a fairly popular theme too.
      • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Friday February 22, 2008 @03:12PM (#22518782) Homepage Journal
        It's not the theme, it's the gameplay.

        I want something that will shake to the core. Something that doesn't feel scripted.

        No more quests from NPCs, no more boring and predictable leveling (ding, new skill!), no designed 'tanks' and 'healers'. I'm not sure exactly what I want, but I'm bored of the gameplay. I want more chaos, combats that require realtime strategizing and role changes during the flow.

        I would also like improved customization. It's impossible to be unique in these games. Sad that they work so hard on graphics and then you choose from faces 1-8, and all wear the same armor. Make me feel special. I want to design my own emotes, and design my own abilities.

        Just some crazy ramblings though...I ain't expecting anything.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Korin43 (881732)
          The game you're describing sounds like an FPS based on the Sims.
        • by Spad (470073)
          City of Heroes / City of Villains meets some of those requirements. It does have NPC mission givers and the inevitable levelling, but the combat is pretty chaotic (especially on pick-up teams - or very good teams), you definitely don't need the WoW-esque Tank/Healer/Damage triumvirate and the costume designer is truly epic compared to all the other MMOs I've come across.
        • by j1m+5n0w (749199) on Friday February 22, 2008 @06:41PM (#22521772) Homepage Journal

          I think one of the fundamental problems with MMORPGs is that the world never changes. Cities are never overrun and burned to the ground, quest givers never die (or if they do, they respawn quickly), trees never grow, the seasons never change, even things like weather and time of day are mostly cosmetic and don't impact gameplay much if at all. Monsters always spawn in the same places and if you kill them all, they'll be back in ten minutes. The modern MMORPG, it would seem, was designed with Sisyphus [wikipedia.org] as the target audience.

          A related problem is that too much is abstracted away; players and NPCs don't need to eat, they don't need shelter, items spawn magically in the vendor's shop and money spent disappears into a black hole. Animals spawn, they aren't born in the natural way. Species can't become extinct by killing the last breeding pair. A town does not trade with the outside world, it does not suffer if it is besieged, and there are no famines if the year's harvest is poor. The terrain can't be altered.

          Designing a mmorpg around a realistic world would be much harder than the current crop; it may be too much to ask for a MMORPG to be able to support any of the events of the preceding paragraph, but couldn't the world be at least slightly interactive? Like, maybe we could plant a tree every once in awhile and watch it grow, or maybe the grass could be worn down by the passage of many feet? I've played WOW and I'm currently playing Lord of the Rings Online, and I just don't feel like I'm part of the world. It feels more like an amusement park.

          The questing/leveling/grinding rut is a big problem too, I'm not disagreeing with you there, but it would take a book for me to say what I want to say about that.

      • by Thaelon (250687)
        You should try EVE Online [eve-online.com] then. It's a space MMO with a single server (you play on the same server as every other player in the world) where your characters level while you're not even logged in.*

        *I am not affiliated with CCP beyond playing their game.
    • by everphilski (877346) on Friday February 22, 2008 @02:43PM (#22518266) Journal
      Yeah, I played Everquest hardcore in college. And when I first got married I still played some. My wife was convinced she'd "fix me" ... but turns out I got her into EQ (I sat her down one night and made her make a character and just said "honey, just try and see what I see when I play the game, then tell me what you think" ... after the evening she was hooked). We played till our first kid was born then laid off it. Now our two kids are older, sleeping through the nights, we play again after the kids are in bed for a few hours (8pm-10pm). It's a fun outlet, and it's cheaper than dinner and a movie once a month (and the damn babysitter, they are so expensive nowadays). The other factor for me at least is I moved 1000 miles away to go to college, and it was a good way to keep in touch with friends. A few of which still play ...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Me and the 'little woman' play Civ 3 and 4 when the kids go to bed, just because it's really easy to play for however much time we have to spare. We started with Civ II, but I kept kicking her ass. Then we moved to Civ III, and she started kicking MY ass. Fortunately, we're pretty matched at 4, and it keeps us humble.

        But all these MMOs... I played WoW for a little bit, and City Of Cookie Cutters, and some other ones, and all I could remember of the experience was "Man, Diablo II was more fun than this
        • Oh yeah, I played Diablo those months in college when I couldn't scrape up $15 and was living off of Ramen :)

          I played WoW for about 2 months (right after release) and promptly sold my account. Didn't really like it, although some of my longtime friends are still playing it. Wasn't enough depth for my taste. EQ, I feel like even though I've played for 6 years, I've barely scratched the surface.
      • by morari (1080535)

        It's a fun outlet, and it's cheaper than dinner and a movie once a month (and the damn babysitter, they are so expensive nowadays).
        Not if you have a $15 NetFlix account and learn to cook for yourself. You can get six films a week (three at a time) and then spend about $5 on any given meal for two. Much better meals with a much better atmosphere than any restaurant!
        • $5 !?!?!?

          Where do you live?

          Here is a summary for Spaghetti:
          1/2 box of speghetti - 1.75
          1 jar of sauce - 4.00
          Ground beef (couse you have to have meat sauce and canned meat is sick shit) - 4.00
          Total: 9.75

          FOR SPAGHETTI!!!

          It may be cheap if you are vegitarian (I can't even spell it apparantly), but when I eat, something dies.
        • We do watch movies from time to time, but tend to prefer video games for entertainment. Only slightly less brain rotting :) And again there is the social aspect. You are right about the home cooking, I'm thankful my wife is a good cook, cause I'm useless beyond mac and cheese and hot dogs.

          But come football season... watch out. Green Bay Packers on a 50" DLP :P.
      • by Kamokazi (1080091)
        I started playing EQ my senior year of highschool and played it well into college myself. Funny thing is, my G/F actally bought the game for me (old style big box Ruins of Kunark)...she ended up regretting that. I never got her stuck on EQ but got her to pick up being a tailor in SWG and later EQ2. (We eventually broke up, but not because of the games, but because she was an obsessive bitch).
    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Friday February 22, 2008 @04:34PM (#22519950)

      Because I have a wife, and kids, and a job, and all these MMOs are just lurking around in local stores, threatening to take it all away from me. Fortunately, none have been good enough to get me to play, but someday... someday...
      Don't worry, the very game model requires they end up being crap. That being said, reality is catching up to scifi. Back when Trek and Red Dwarf featured VR games that left people as zoned out pixel junkies, I thought the drug metaphor was a little hard to reach because gaming required a computer or a console and television. That implied a house. You lose your job and can't pay the electric bill, that breaks the cycle of addiction. But with wifi technology and portable computing getting so powerful, it really is plausible to imagine homeless bums sitting under overpasses, logged into the game world. With a game like EVE Online, you can pay your monthly access fee by buying time cards from other players with in-game gold. When the panhandler comes up to you at the traffic light, he'll be wanting to know if he can bum a charge off of you instead of a smoke or spare change.

      It's all kind of trippy when you think about it. Lovecraft's dreamers were among the literary firsts, people who were unassuming and mundane in real life but fantastically respected and powerful in a separate world. That could be seen as an extension of the literary world where some authors were hugely famous and respected but only within very small circles of admirers. Cyberpunk liked to take that idea further with the idea that online personas were as famous and powerful as super-heroes and yet could be stuck working as pizza deliverators and living out of converted storage units.

      If one pushes the whole idea of cyberspace to a semi-plausible future, say 50 years out, so much human interaction would be virtual, and not just via telephone or using what's basically a chat client with a game attached like Warcraft. Falling back into fiction tropes, you could have someone as powerful as any mob figure or revolutionary or super-criminal conducting all his business as a digital avatar. When it comes to mobsters, the best way to make certain competition is dealt with properly is a hit. But how do you assassinate someone you've never even seen? Faerie tales like to talk about knowing someone's true name as being power, there's also the idea of the magic talisman that is the key to a monster or wizard's power and thus his ruin. Well, you'll end up having a real world comparison of that here: knowing who that person really is will be true power, knowing where they live means you can also kill them.

      That sort of thought just has me thinking of the sort of cat and mouse game you'd have when bad people with guns try to personally remove one of these metaverse important people. I'm imagining this great online force of nature and information broker being a paraplegic in a nursing home who is living out his life online because the real world is unbearable. The guys with guns hit the nursing home and blow away the guy two rooms down from him, falling for the misdirection. The guy they killed was just playing Warcraft but the one they meant to kill was fucking with the Russian Mob's phishing operation. That would be an awful kind of situation, motionless in a bed and knowing that the bad guys are coming. Let that be a lesson for you, don't play MMO's or the Russians might kill you by mistake.
  • by sethstorm (512897) * on Friday February 22, 2008 @02:12PM (#22517710) Homepage
    Regionalization does work, and it has kept the bots out of regions where they've actually gotten on top the game versus just letting goldfarmers violate the rules endlessly.
  • "...but charge a premium for a variety of premium extras, from vanity items to additional content or abilities..."

    I play the web-based MMORPG Kingdom of Loathing, and this has worked well for them for at least the past three years. They do a decent job of balancing it such that purchasing these extra items does give you a sense of being 1337, but doesn't necessarily give you a huge advantage over other players.

    Plus, you can (in most cases) sell the premium items purchased with your hard-earned cash for in-game currency.

  • Emmert? Oh, no. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bieeanda (961632)
    The man is this generation's Brad McQuaid. Gameplay changes made merely to punish player ingenuity and enforce his 'vision', and pointless choices and grinds simply for their own sake. The number of quality-of-life changes that have been made to City Of... since NCSoft bought it (and hired most of its devs) is simply staggering.

    Similarly staggering is his apparent inability to learn from his mistakes. Early in City of Heroes development and testing, it was discovered that tabletop-style 'choose your own

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by geekoid (135745)
      Most the rules from the books can be automated.

      For example, you don't need a pages an creating a energy blast.

      Assuming the game will enforce a speicif point range during creation that limits the number of rules as well.

      However, you will still have people who can optimize a character more then someone else.

      For 100 point's I could pretty much make an unstoppable character. Fortunatly, I put role playing first.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Danse (1026)

        For 100 point's I could pretty much make an unstoppable character. Fortunatly, I put role playing first.
        But others will not put role playing first. They will create characters that exploit whatever defects there are in the system (and with such a complex system, there will be many), and even worse, some will create characters to use for nothing but griefing, and probably be wildly successful at it.
    • Man, generations must be getting tighter, Brad McQuaid was still relevant as of last year with Vanguard :). It's too bad...
    • by rickb928 (945187) on Friday February 22, 2008 @03:01PM (#22518574) Homepage Journal
      The ultimate offense is when the weezil newbies scout out the blogs and make these game-rapers by the hundreds. Not only do they ever get the thrill of figuring out how to play with reasonable chars, but any newbs that start with a simple char get crucified. Bleagh.

      No wonder I don't play any of these things. Hard enough on a level playing field. Getting gang-raped by the n00bs is what I bought BF2 for.
    • Not really fair (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MattW (97290)

      Gameplay changes made merely to punish player ingenuity and enforce his 'vision', and pointless choices and grinds simply for their own sake. The number of quality-of-life changes that have been made to City Of... since NCSoft bought it (and hired most of its devs) is simply staggering.

      This isn't really fair. The devs did underestimate the extent to which people would minmax and the extent to which it would break the game. However, despite that, the game is CLEARLY a better game post-ED and post-GDN, where

  • by orclevegam (940336) on Friday February 22, 2008 @02:27PM (#22517988) Journal
    Micro-transactions aren't as popular here because they tend to give an advantage to people with more money. Most American gamers prefer games that emphasize skill and reward players for that, and would tend to be put off if you could simply buy an uber-item and win every time. On the other hand those same individuals wouldn't want to shell out money for only a slight advantage, so you have almost a cache 22, where you need to make the items powerful to get people to buy them, but limit them so that skillful players would still have the advantage of those that merely have a lot of money to spend on the game.
    Personally, my suggestion is to eliminate the grind by allowing players to buy levels. That preserves the skill because at high level they still need to be able to use the character, and there would still be items that must be collected, but eliminates the tedium of grinding and is compelling enough that many people would be willing to pay for it.
    • The booming grey market for wow gold and levelling services is proof positive that there is plenty of interest in micro transactions. They ought to set up online vendors allowing purchase of in-game items and character levels. This would undercut the farmers and allow people that really want it to skip levels and get a new character up to speed. When I played wow I hated levelling. I was bored with the content and my main character - all I wanted was to change classes. They could put limits on what ite
      • by geekoid (135745)
        Buying levels, interesting. After thinking about that, it would be ok IF there was another marker to indicate the players experience in that game. Maybe after the first character maxed out, you could gain levels.
        hmm.

        Blizzard did a great job of allowing you to learn your classes abilities one a few at a time.

        difficult. Perhaps an exp bonuses for every character level on a server? A small amount per level. I figure if you have 3 different classes at 70, a 30% increase in XP and rep would be fine.

        I just want t
        • by Minwee (522556)

          I just want to limit the level 70 Johnny B. Noob syndrome

          Then perhaps World of Warcraft isn't the game for you.

    • by Jack9 (11421)

      Micro-transactions aren't as popular here because they tend to give an advantage to people with more money.

      Most American gamers prefer games that emphasize skill and reward players for that, and would tend to be put off if you could simply buy an uber-item and win every time.

      This is simply, untrue. Almost every MMOG has resource monetization. While it's true players prefer not to link endgame content to real-world money, micro transactions are wildly popular and there is little stigma to "buying in" to an

      • by Endo13 (1000782)

        This is simply, untrue. Almost every MMOG has resource monetization. While it's true players prefer not to link endgame content to real-world money, micro transactions are wildly popular and there is little stigma to "buying in" to an elevated gear/skill level.

        Micro-transactions are unpopular in the US because Americans for the most part want convenience above everything else. One monthly fee that happens automatically is pretty darn convenient. Having to confirm payment for craploads of little $1 purchases all the time is not convenient.

        Buying gold or a max-level character is not at all the same thing is a micro-transaction. Micro-transactions in WoW terms would be that every piece of epic gear would have a small price in real world money. Like perhaps a cheap

        • by Jack9 (11421)

          Having to confirm payment for craploads of little $1 purchases all the time is not convenient.

          What you describe is not a system anyone would implement (might want to describe how someone would come about choosing that model?)
          If you implement micro transactions correctly, ideally they would be optional, periodically available, and easily accessible.

          The idea of MTs for ORIGINAL kinds of items (previously unavailable items like WoW BoP Epic gems of +5Int/+5Dodge or even vanity item graphics, look at the crappy

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Orne (144925)
      It's interesting that you put it that way, since I think it kind of exposes the difference in values between our two cultures.

      In the USA, there is a strong belief that, with all things being equal at the beginning, the amount of labor that an individual is willing to perform should determine the advancement of the individual. This is especially prevelent in the modern racial/sexual/*-equality work ethic, and is a common conservative/libertarian political plank that the only thing that holds people back is
      • Asian MMORPG players are about 5 years older, on the average, than western MMORPG players. They have more money, and perhaps less time, than their Western counterparts. For them, time is money - an equation (informally) that is less attractive as a transitive one to people with a lot of time and not much money.
    • Actually, there's a ton of evidence that you can make a mint off purely cosmetic items.

      I'd imagine if you had a game where a couple pieces of clothing were purely cosmetic and not 'gear', you could do quite well with for-pay cosmetic stuff. Blizzard has basically done it themselves with tabards and non-combat pets alone. Though they're currently using that demand to drive people to Blizzcon and their CCG.

      Imagine what they could pull off with housing, decorations or even just 'exclusive' guild logos for ta
  • Pay to win, not play (Score:2, Interesting)

    by achosler (1114023)
    The idea of offering an MMO for free and then charging for extras seems wrong to me. It's like a dealer getting people hooked with a free crack giveaway and then saying for 100 bucks you can give him some heroin that will make him stronger than all the other crackheads. Of course every crackhead is going to want the heroin, that's how drugs work. So by adding premium content to free games your just making it to in order to be competitive with people you have to keep spending more money. In a pay to play
    • by orclevegam (940336) on Friday February 22, 2008 @02:32PM (#22518078) Journal

      In a pay to play game like WoW you only have to invest more time in order to be better than others, which is another post all together, but I think is cheaper in the long run.
      Depends greatly on how much your time is worth. It's one of the reasons that leveling services are able to stay in business, some people value their time much higher than others.
      • "Depends greatly on how much your time is worth. It's one of the reasons that leveling services are able to stay in business, some people value their time much differently than others."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by VGPowerlord (621254)
        Unfortunately, the problems with leveling services is four-fold:
        1. You're trusting complete strangers not to steal your account and the money you paid them to level you.

        2. You don't learn how to play your character's class.

        3. You don't run dungeons and get those nice rare items.

        4. You miss out on the part of the game that's actually fun. Seriously, maybe some people enjoy the whole raid scene, but most of the time it seems like an exercise in masochism to me.
      • by readin (838620)
        The MMOs I'm familiar have multiple servers and you get to choose which one you log into when you play. Suppose the game owner were to establish some fraction of those servers as the "pay for stuff" servers where you can buy levels, equipment, etc. using real money. Those who didn't want to play that way could still play on the other servers feeling more confident that those around them didn't buy extra stuff. Which servers do you think would be more popular?
        • Everquest II does this to a point. There are Station Exchange-equipped servers in which players can buy/sell any droppable item, cash, even characters. Sony released a report about station exchange server statistics (including differences in playtime, leveling, etc.) and it was pretty interesting.

          My wife likes EQII (I was more of an original Everquest type myself) and I play occasionally on both a station exchange server and a non-exchange server, just to try them both out, and at mid-40's I can't really
    • Some of the free one work like this

      you can play for free but you may get kicked off at peek times / have to wait a long time to log on / you are caped a low level / locked out of some area and so.

      To be able to play the full game you need to pay xx a month and this lets you do more then what the free people can do but does not give you a boost over others who are paying to play as well by paying even more.
  • Okay, so maybe it's not your traditional MMORPG, but Kingdom of Loathing [kingdomofloathing.com] has been free to play and has offered special items in return for cash donations for quite a while, now.
  • Hellgate London is an example that is free to play but you get extra content if you subscribe. You do initially have to buy the box however. It is the *very first* MMORPG I've ever played and the fact that there were no subscription fees is actually what tipped the balance for me and I bought it and its great. It's nice to know that I don't have to run out and buy a time-card or charge-it to play again in a few months - so for infrequent players the free to play model is better than WoW's. Tabula Rasa i
    • I wouldn't really call Hellgate an MMORPG, even though its developers sometimes do. It fits the literal definition, but doesn't really hold up the connotations/baggage that go with the MMORPG term. It's more two parts Battle.net-style Diablo and one part FPS.

      (Note: I really like the game; I just wouldn't call it an MMORPG in the traditional sense.)
  • This is a popular revenue model in Asia, where the games themselves are free to play but charge a premium for a variety of premium extras, from vanity items to additional content or abilities. It's a model that's working well for Korean developer Nexon but hasn't been adopted by many American developers.

    Your face and my ass, sweetheart. The entirety of the World of Warcraft CCG is a microtransaction, with the addendum that you're not actually guaranteed to get a vanity item when you buy them. Just go l

  • I think we need to see more development towards other settings (not counting TabulaRasa, its basically the same as Orcs and Elves and all that mess). I always though Planetside was an interesting one that certainly could be improved upon for a decent MMO FPS experience.

    Also now that the creator of FASA (Battletech/Shadowrun) has his IP back, maybe we can see a decent Battletech MMO, so long as its better than that one they tried several years ago that wasn't even really an MMO because you could only play 4
    • by Macthorpe (960048)
      *coughCityofHeroescough*
      • City of Heroes is still just a MMORPG, there's not really much differentiation from your typical fantasy game.

        When I say that what I mean is you level, you grind, you get new gear. and thats it. Sure some of these games throw in some weak PvP once in a while, but nothing groundbreaking. I guess I just don't get impressed much and get bored to quickly when actions become repetitive.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by esper (11644)
          So, then, what I'm getting from this is that your issue is not in fact with the "settings", "Orcs and Elves and all that mess", or "swinging swords and fighting orcs", but rather with the grind-based mechanics of typical MMOs?

          I'd have to agree with you, although my bigger complaint with MMOs is the inability of players to affect the world in any meaningful way. If you make 10 characters, you'll end up going through the exact same world 10 times, doing pretty much the same missions/quests 10 times, without
          • by Chris Burke (6130)
            Now, granted, I don't have any practical ideas for ways to have 1,000 people running around all making their own changes to the world without it devolving into a complete mess as soon as you open the doors, but there's got to be something better possible than the current standard of every action being undone as soon as it's completed (perhaps immediately, perhaps after a brief respawn timer).

            I have an idea that is at least an intermediate, and it stems from my initial thoughts on what a Warcraft MMO would m
    • ...maybe we can see a decent Battletech MMO...

      Crom! I have never prayed to you before, I have no tongue for it...
  • I currently have my WoW account terminated. Instead, I've been spending my gaming time playing a heavily-modded (read: boobies) version of Oblivion. As I've said before, I would kill for a multiplayer version of Oblivion. Multiplayer, not MMO. Having spent nearly three years of my life playing various NWN RP servers, I think such a setup would be ideal for the game.

    MMOs stopped being fun for me once I realized how shallow the gameplay felt compared to my other, non-MMO games.
  • by myowntrueself (607117) on Friday February 22, 2008 @03:55PM (#22519394)
    Can we *PLEASE* have an MMORPG in which character development is more than just acquiring new gear?

    • Play Eve. Take two characters with the exact same gear, but one has 2 million skill points, the other has 10, and the 10 million point char should slaughter the other without breaking a sweat.

      Provided they're both training combat skills that is. If that 10m SP char is an industrial character, they don't stand a chance.

      After skill points, or in some cases before, it's all about your skills. Take someone who doesn't know how to put together a good ship, or how to fly one well, and then your 2m SP char is ruining the 10m SP char's day.

      Plus scamming is part of the game. Makes for a very paranoid, careful feel. Get out into 0.0 security (no law enforcement at all) and suddenly you're in the wild west. In spaceships.

      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        or how to fly one well

        You must have played a different version to eve-online then I did, there was no "flying" skill in eve as you double click to move in certain directions. Since you don't directly control your ships I fail to see any "skill" in it.

        Combat as in most MMOGs is about pushing the right combo buttons at the right times, that is all. There is no skill involved in pushing buttons and having your random damage count upped by your characters statistics.

        Sorry if this makes all that time you spent f

        • Calm down.

          The skill comes in a lot of ways: being able to identify the capabilities and probable loadout based on ship type, knowing how to approach an enemy while keeping your transversal speed up so their turrets can't track you, orbiting at the right distance to do the most damage, balancing your MWD (turbo boost) added speed vs the fact that it makes it easier to lock you and hit you with missiles (unless you're going fast enough to counter-act that). Some people's setups can run permanently, some can

          • by LingNoi (1066278)

            Calm down. ... It's not a nuclear power plant. This is fun. Now go away little troll.

            I don't know where you got the idea from my text comment that I was at all angry... but you completely missed my point.

            I said the following..

            I hate it when elitists compare playing a high level character as though you're operating a nuclear power station.

            If you read closely you'd see I was saying that eve-online isn't difficult to play and that pretending you have some kind of "flying skill" is ridiculous. If this was a fli

    • I think both EQ and EQII tackle that problem pretty well. In EQ you have alternate advancement, where you willingly funnel experiance into ability points to guide your character's abilities beyond spellcasting/melee abilities you natively receive through leveling. Faction also plays heavily into the game, if you want to play in certain areas, which drives your character's "story".

      In EQII there are a number of abilities and spell upgrades that come with levels and quest completions. You can defect from you
  • I don't care about what financial model their undertake; all MMOrpgs are based on stat pumping or grind. They focus on things
    that are not FUN to play at all (more "realistic" just ruins games).

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