Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

A Look At the Growth of MMOs In 2008 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the world-of-evertabconanhammer-online dept.
Zonk writes with news of a collaboration between Massively and GamerDNA to analyze the state of MMO player bases for 2008. Sifting through the data brought out several interesting trends. For example, Age of Conan took a substantial hit when Warhammer arrived on the scene, but none of the other major MMOs were significantly affected. Also, it seems Lord of the Rings: Online got a big shot in the arm from its Mines of Moria expansion — even moreso than World of Warcraft from Wrath of the Lich King, relatively speaking. The article also asserts the following about the recently-canceled Tabula Rasa: "... until the cancellation announcement in November, numbers were trending in the right direction, however slightly. Players were growing more interested in the sci fi MMO shooter, and logins were on the rise. If its development had not been so long, so expensive, and so vastly overhyped and mismarketed, this title could have been left alone to find its legs and found some small measure of success in a long tail environment akin to the Sony Station Pass."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Look At the Growth of MMOs In 2008

Comments Filter:
  • Funny to see (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aranykai (1053846) <slgonser@NOspAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @06:52AM (#26278309)

    I think its quite amusing to see exactly how bad AoC failed. Just wish I could say I wasn't one of the people who fell for the hype and bought it on release.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @08:44AM (#26278867)

    Oh, I almost forgot another cardinal sin of TR: No sensible grouping. For the longest time, it was virtually impossible to heal sensibly because of targeting issues. Now it's "better", meaning that you're almost as successful when you heal as you are when you just continue firing and hope the mob dies first. Grouping mostly means that you split XP, not that you're actually able to get too many synergies. Which, in turn, is mostly also due to people being too used to playing solo simply because there is no compelling reason to do any sensible group play.

    And, honestly, why bother paying monthly for a single player game?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @12:58PM (#26281473)

    Interesting perspective.

    Here's a list of the hobbies I tend to engage in: exercising; gardening (mostly foodstuffs); cooking; writing software; making music; watching movies; reading; and the occasional video game - usually vocabulary-based ones, except for the Wii Fit or Wii Sports game at a friend's house. I would argue that most, if not all, of these hobbies provide something of value - health benefits, cost savings, building useful skills, broadening or informing one's perspective. Sitting around on your ass playing a MMO likely has a few benefits, but, barring those games being fundamentally different from when I was familiar with them, the benefits drop off quite quickly after the first few hours.

    Even though I'm not a big fan of driving out somewhere to go walking in wilderness along with a bunch of other people, it at least provides some fitness benefit when you come back for your fortieth multi-hour-long session; coming back to the same MMO that many times is, as far as I can tell, just trying to whittling away the hours 'til you die.

  • by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @02:25PM (#26282703) Journal

    Here's a list of the hobbies I tend to engage in: exercising; gardening (mostly foodstuffs); cooking; writing software; making music; watching movies; reading; and the occasional video game - usually vocabulary-based ones, except for the Wii Fit or Wii Sports game at a friend's house. I would argue that most, if not all, of these hobbies provide something of value - health benefits, cost savings, building useful skills, broadening or informing one's perspective. Sitting around on your ass playing a MMO likely has a few benefits, but, barring those games being fundamentally different from when I was familiar with them, the benefits drop off quite quickly after the first few hours.

    1. I think the keywords there, are "if not all." Unless you can tell me that _all_ your hobbies are chosen purely for utility value, then you too have some time simply "whittled away". Same as an MMO player, as falcon5768 was pointing out.

    But, more importantly:

    2. You still don't have a dollar value there, to make that silly "if your time is worth nothing" meme work in a topic about a $15 a month MMO subscription. Sure, you broadened your horizons, but what is the dollar value of that? Exactly how many more dollars will you be paid for those horizons, to make the comparison to MMO subscription costs?

    Ok, you've learned some skills in walking in wilderness or in doing silly tricks with a Wii. How much will you be paid for those skills? Dollar value, please.

    Cost savings? Exactly which of your hobbies save costs? Even the health ones, actually, according to recent health insurance data, it's the healthy, lean, non-smokers which cost the most money in treatments during their life time. Just because they live more and end up for 20 years on lots of expensive medicine at the end, while the obese smokers died earlier and cheaper. So in the long run, the dollar worth of that time is actually a negative one.

    _That_ is the problem I have: that meme trying to shove some supposed "value of your time" in a discussion about _money_, _costs_, that kind of thing.

    I could swallow other arguments about that time, like your health benefits above, but "if your time is worth nothing" is simply the awfully stupid thing there. Unless your whole day, from waking up to crashing back in bed, 7 days a week, 366 days a year, is spent doing _only_ paid stuff -- or heck, let's even include stuff which is arguably useful in some vague way, like in your argument above -- you too have some time which you whittled away, and its value was exactly zero. You too have time worth nothing.

    3. If you still want to argue that, do you pick those pastimes to maximize utility per minute? Do you pick exactly which novel will broaden your horizons the most? Do you make an analysis of the benefits of 1 hour with the Wii vs 1 hour at the gym?

    Because, if not, you too have more wasted time indirectly. If you need 6 hours with a Wii to get the same equivalent workout as 2 hours at the gym, then you effectively wasted 4 hours in achieving the same result. Same as buying a $20k car for $60k is a waste of $40k. You can do the same maths with time to achieve something, if your time is that valuable. So, really, if your time is worth that much as to judge other people's hobbies by it, why _do_ you waste it like that?

    Or maybe, just maybe, we're coming back to the fact that the real purpose was to have fun, and the utility value is secondary at best.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:56PM (#26293131)

    WoW didn't commit any of the cardinal sins, actually. Or rather, they managed to hide them much better than most MMOs.

    I was in WoW beta and thus got a pretty good look at the steps between the "OMFG, does it sometimes NOT crash within the first hour of play" and release. First of all, unlike for some games, those two things were NOT synonymous anymore at WoWs release.

    WoW was actually pretty "ready" at release. Some skills were lacking, balance was so-so, but the two most important things worked at a satisfactory level: Quests and gameplay. Of course there was the odd buggy quest. But the main quest lines worked. There was quite a bit of downtime in the first days after release (IIRC you could play about 15 of the first 30 days) but they managed to shift this downtime away from prime playing time, so a lot of people didn't even notice it that badly. Balance was an issue, no doubt, but all classes were more or less able to play. PvP was anything but balanced, no questions asked. But then again, PvP was never intended to be a main focus of the game and that was communicated that way too. The battlegrounds people enjoy today didn't even exist yet, and they didn't for half a year or even longer after release. That PvP aspect was pretty much added onto it when Blizzard realized that it's a quick and easy way to keep people entertained without having to give them new content.

    It's also not true that no endgame content existed. Yes, no big raids existed. But there was Onyxia for those that managed to get to the top. Yes, it took some time to get the people together because you needed a lot of people for it. And the prequests were painfully long. Both in turn actually aided Blizzard. It bought them time and also gave them something else that's very important: People started to aid others to get the necessary amount of people to the top levels. You needed more healers? Ok, grab someone who's about to have the level and get him equipped because you WANT that dragon DEAD. It kept people busy even after they darted to maxlevel. This actually created, at least in some instances, a level of cooperation within the communities that I, at least, have never experienced in that extent since EQ, when far different reasons led to it.

    This effect was lost over time with more and more people reaching toplevel and more and more clueless people doing so, which actually hurts the willingness of people to team up with others they don't know, but that's a different matter. Actually, it is one of WoWs problems today. The other one is to make the accomplishments feel more and more like handouts. Personally, I think they've crossed the line to "too easy", but that's me.

    Back on topic, what really matters isn't whether all skills are perfectly working or whether balance is 100% equal (which it cannot and IMO shouldn't ever be, because team effects should play a role, but that's beyond the scope of this). What matters is whether people want to reach the top levels and whether people want to stay once they do so. And this in turn is usually accomplished by minimizing the frustration moments (e.g. playing for hours to finish a quest just to find out that it's buggy at the end, or dying to a bug), and giving people content to do once they reach the top. As WoW has shown, it needs only be one big endgame encounter if this is spun into a lengthy, winding story (but not lengthy enough to make it tedious). When you manage to do that, you have a successful game.

    TR didn't accomplish either. The frustrating moments during leveling were plentiful, and the endgame content was pretty much zero.

If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.

Working...