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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Why We Won't De-List STO

Posted by Stradden Friday February 12 2010 at 12:45PM
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Ok, I guess it’s time to pull out this old chestnut again. Have you ever noticed that every single time a new game launches on this site, one of our staff members has to come out and write some kind of post or article defending the way that we categorize MMOs, or how to determine if something is indeed an MMORPG?

Well, it’s that time of year again and I suppose this time around the duty falls to me, so I’m going to get into it… Yet again.

First of all, no, we will not be de-listing Star Trek Online because a group of readers feel that it isn’t an MMORPG, and so shouldn’t be listed here on the site. We heard this same argument about Age of Conan when it launched due to its extreme use of instancing. We didn’t de-list Conan, and we’re not de-listing Star Trek.

Yes, I am aware that in his recent column, our own Scott Jennings said the following: “Guild Wars doesn’t call itself an MMO. It may be that Star Trek Online shouldn’t, either.” And I think that he has a point. Star Trek Online (and Age of Conan for that matter) does indeed have far more in common with Guild Wars than, say, EVE Online.

So, why do we list it here at MMORPG.com? Why do we list a number of games that maybe don’t quite fit the exact and rigid definition brought on by what the acronym stands for: Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game?

We don’t do that because it isn’t a hard and fast, rigid definition that we’re looking for. The games that we cover are constantly evolving and developers are always trying new approaches and new ways of doing things. We don’t want this site to impose restrictions and instead shoot for rules that embrace the spirit of what an MMORPG is rather than trying to directly define it.

Still, I know some of you would like a better explanation than that, so here goes:

Generally speaking, there are two stumbling points that we come across in the name of our genre, and our site. The first, is Massively and the second is Role Playing. We’re going to discuss the massive part of things today and if people want to hear my rant on the role playing aspect, that can be a topic for next week.

The word Massively or Massive would seem to mean different things to different people. To some, it means nothing less than a world where every single player can interact with every single other player any time and any place. To others, it means a large shared space world that houses thousands upon thousands of players, even if they can’t always interact with one another.

So how do we, at MMORPG.com, actually make our decision? We’ve placed the requirement on “500 congruent users on a single server.” We left it there and didn’t include a requirement about the number of players who might happen to accidentally run into each other all in the same place at the same time because that is a stylistic choice left up to the developers. We just want to know if that massive number of players can play together on the same server or not. This discounts games like, for example, Battlefield 2142 because even though the game supports large scale battles, it does so on different individual servers (that’s to say nothing of the fact that we discount non-graphical lobbies, the lack of any over-arcing story tying to all together, etc. etc. etc.).

Star Trek Online and Age of Conan both offer servers that carry more than 500 congruent users and even though the games compartmentalize their players into smaller instances that allow more players to be in a single area at a time without causing the unnecessary headaches associated with too many characters being on the same screen in an MMO. Players can still communicate with others outside of their instance and can move between instances freely.

So, are they Massive on the scale that some people would like? No, they’re not. They don’t pretend to be, but neither are they the same as a multiple small server game like Battlefield. They are still in tune with what, at heart, makes an MMO an MMO by today’s standards and so will stay.

Will that explanation make people happy? No, probably not, but in the end we want to be a site that grows and evolves along with the genre that it represents and that includes being open to new ideas.

With all of that said, I fully respect and endorse each and every player’s right to not like these games, or any of the games on our list. Contrary to the beliefs of some, a listing on MMORPG.com isn’t an endorsement of the product, merely a recognition that the title fits within an intentionally broad definition laid out for listing. So, hate Star Trek Online if you want, but telling us to remove it from the site just isn’t going to happen.

JestorRodo writes:

Thanks Stradden!

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:02PM Report
Esther-Chan writes:

Agreed. STO shouldn't be de-listed. MMORPGs are evolving and with it the definition. That's what technology does. It evolves. MMORPGs are really no different.

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:10PM Report
Reizla writes:

Thanks for clearing up the MMO.

Please do teh rant on RPG next week. I'd love to see your view on that :D

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:13PM Report
UnsungToo writes:

I agree.

I don't agree with Guild wars not being MMO, but hey if they want to go that route, it's their game.

I call a MMO an MMO if I can go into the game and there are lot's and lot's of people playing in the same place, even if it is instanced only gameplay, there are still massive amount of players in community area's such as Lion's Arch. I actually kinda like instanced gaming, nobody can really mess with me.

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:14PM Report
x3r0h writes:

Well said, and beautifully explained. I never thought there was such an official thing such as "criterion" for MMORPGs, as I too always felt that you just know what an MMORPG is, kind of like a sixth sense. But to hear it be attributed to having at least 500 players registered on a server is quite...ingenious, really. I mean you are defining it literally at that point, and that, is something I would have never dreamed of. There is this "idea," or "concept," that makes an MMO what it is and you have given an official name to it, by applying a criterion for listing games on your site. So now I have, in my mind, an idea of what an MMO is in terms of literal definition, and in fact ideologically. I hope I didn't confuse anyone, but I really enjoyed reading this article. Thank you for taking the time and explaining!

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:21PM Report
kasta writes:

 Please do your RPG rant next.  I would love to hear that.  I also agree with the site's definition of MMO.

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:28PM Report
CyanSword writes:

good thing not to listen to the whiners, STO and AOC are both MMOs by almost every definition you care t throw around. Instancing is a part of the MMO toolset whether the stone age trolls want to acknowledge that or not. I would rather a game played well and looked great and had t be instanced to achieve it than play a bland, low rez or low texture count flat lands of a gameworld. Instancing or not for example I think Conan's gameworld is the best looking out there by far (subjective of course and if you like the high fantasy glitz I can understand if you argued for Aion there)

I am glad you don't pander to the trolls.

 

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:34PM Report
cabgold writes:

I don't care how you define which games qualify as MMORPG however I think it should be made clear both in the reviews and how the site is organized where within the spectrum of massive and role-playing it is.  For example, the Game List categories include headings such as developer, PVP, monthly sub, etc.  I suggest that you include some other categories such as whether it is heavily instanced and fractionated versus open and seemless etc.  It would help your readers put into context the information it receives from the developers and blogs.

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:34PM Report
virtualfog writes:

Not to mention that STO only has 1 server at the moment, instead of hundreds like WoW, and even then they couldn't all fit into one zone since their servers would crash from what I hear.

If anything STO more then fits your definition.  It's just not acceptable to the uber hardcore and eiltes that this game is called something they take very seriously...and those few feel as if they have to preserve their favorite genre.  Truth is, times change and so do games.

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:36PM Report
GamerAeon writes:

MMORPG

Massively Multi ONLINE

Role Playing Game

STO - More than 24 - 36 People playing at once? Check

so that's got Massively and Multi

Only Online Content? check that's got MMO right there

RPG...Oh you play different races and take on the role of said Race in your own persona?

Ooh looky it IS an MMORPG

Bottom line if there's a ton of people playing AT Once on a server ONLINE and it's ONLY Online. It's an MMORPG

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:42PM Report
alderdale writes:

Heavily instanced "MMO"'s are a way to shortcut the develpoment cycle period.  Its far far easier to develop a game world when you can break it up into smaller pieces.   It also reduces the load on your servers and how well you have to optimize network code and manage connections. 

Huge open world "MMO" will always provide a more persistant and real gaming experience.  Intancing reminds you over and over that your just playing some companies game "see its loading for you again".  Personally I prefer non instanced game worlds, with instances making up a fraction of the games total size.

Fri Feb 12 2010 1:45PM Report
Fusion writes:

Funny thing is that Battlefields have battles of up to 32 vs 32 where as Global Agenda only host 10 vs 10 at max! and yet it is listed because of the 3d-chat lobby it has..

Fri Feb 12 2010 2:09PM Report
D_TOX writes:

Well could you at least de-list STO for being a rushed, unfinished, boring, repetitive, skill-less, unrewarding, tiresome, overrated, overhyped, money-grabbing, IP sodomizing, let-down of the year, heavily instanced single-player pile of turd bore-fest - experience? Pretty please?

Fri Feb 12 2010 2:20PM Report
biofellis writes:

Wow.

I bet all Yahoo games are MMOs by your definition.

Way to move MMOs forward.

Where's the 'Checkers' forum? 

Nerf double jump!

Fri Feb 12 2010 2:37PM Report
Sorrow writes:

LOL by this definition the facebook farmville game is a  MMO  its all hosted off one server.

BTW may I ask how old you are?

Were you gaming when the term was coined?

I was and I can remember the first time I heard Richard Garriot use the term he coined.

I really think the only person who has the right to define the Acronym is the person who created it., but thanks for playing and better luck next time.

Fri Feb 12 2010 3:21PM Report
gordunk writes:

So, we should just ask Richard Garriot every time a new MMO comes out if it fits his description?  That makes tons of sense...

Oh wait, it doesn't.

Farmville would be considered a browser based MMO, yes, get over it.

When you want to actually think out what you're saying.  Otherwise, Thanks for Playing!

Fri Feb 12 2010 3:32PM Report
booskA writes:

Guild Wars is more of an MMO than STO. It was at least planned with cooperative missions at all levels. STO is not. I don't think you should delist it, as it is more of an MMO than say, Diablo 2. It is on a scale. STO just happens to be pushing the bottom of that scale.

Fri Feb 12 2010 3:55PM Report
GrayGhost79 writes:

 Yeah, sadly it seems MMO's are de-evolving and becoming less and less massive. Where developers once strived for 200 vs. 200 battles there now cutting corners wherever they can to save a buck. Less servers needed less money out of there pocket. The players suffer for it. 

 

It warms your heart when a dev comes out and tries the old ways such as Aventurine. They managed to pull off 1 server and a large seamless world, then they eventually opened a second server but did so for region lag (NA players playing on an EU server = not so great fps lol). 

 

In any case, while I do not like Darkfall it's still nice to see a dev house still do the large seamless world (especially on a single server) as it proves all this heavy instancing is a lazy shortcut being abused. I mean if it works for a no auto attack, no lock on combat system then could someone please explain to me why it's so hard for STO, CO and others which use a lock on targeting system and such?

 

Aventurine proved the heavy instancing excuses are just that, excuses. 

Fri Feb 12 2010 3:58PM Report
NightCloak writes:

Shouldn't League of Legends be de-listed then?

They have only have a non-geographical lobby. They have no avatar system in which you can freely move from one instance to another to visit other player. They just have chat channels and instanced battles.

I do play and enjoy the game though.

Fri Feb 12 2010 4:02PM Report
cukimunga writes:

Everyone has their own definition on what the Massive part means, so people are always going to have different views.  

Massive to me means you can interact with a massive amount of people most of the time. I'm ok with instanced dungeons but the rest of the world has to be open, so everyone on the server could be in one place. Granted it would be a cluster fuck and could crash the server.

So I guess I would call games like GW and AoC  MORPG, Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.  Here's why. Lets say there are 6 channels per zone and the server is full.  If everyone was to go to that one zone you can only interact with 1/6th of the total population.

Yes that amount of people could be considered massive compared to the amount of people that can all play a FPS at once. But when you can only interact with a fraction of the total population, that doesn't seem to massive to me.

 

Fri Feb 12 2010 4:05PM Report
Thanosxp writes:

 Wow,nice definition of MMO!
Don't forget to include diablo 3 if they support 500 or more in same server. Or maybe 450,350...well,time changes,maybe soon 126 people at same server can be a MMO.who's to know?

Fri Feb 12 2010 4:14PM Report
Airwren writes:

Based on this can we please get Farmville and Mafia Wars added to the site?  They are by definition MMORPG's and I would like a forum and some discussion of those family oriented type games.  And yes I do roleplay a farmer and murdurous mafia capo whilst playing them. 

 

P.S. I'm teasing.  It's your site and last I checked I didn't pay a ****ing dime to visit here.  If people don't like what's contained here then gtfo and go back to your gamespot account.

Fri Feb 12 2010 4:22PM Report
Amathe writes:

I'm thinking that if you de-listed every game that a bunch of people don't like, we would all have to go read a book because there would be no games left to discuss.

Fri Feb 12 2010 4:27PM Report
Ceohai writes:

It would be a nice change of pace if you guys actually stuck to that definition, and removed some of the games that in no-way fit in. Rakion, a host of diablo -ish games, and the majority of sports games don't belong here.

Fri Feb 12 2010 4:39PM Report
Manchine writes:

For once I actually agree with something from MMORPG.  Usually logic and MMORPG don't go together.  To many dang trolls.

Fri Feb 12 2010 5:16PM Report
Robsolf writes:

Thanks, Stradden!  If only I could believe that would nip it in the bud once and for all...

Fri Feb 12 2010 5:18PM Report
ascroobla writes:

A neat explanation, though I'd have abbreviated myself...

1. We're a magazine

2. As such we need content

3. Without content, we'll have no readers and no advertisers

4. It is clear that the vast majority of STO players do consider this to be an MMO and might come here looking for opinion

5. Elitists are fun, but boy can they get dull in a hurry

Fri Feb 12 2010 6:46PM Report
Silverdagger writes:

To put the issue to rest requires that the definition be in clear, solid terms.  That is not to say that the definition cannot expand to accommodate innovation, but rather that there exists a meaningful criteria.  Until such time as that occurs, this topic and others will resurface ...again and again. 

Fri Feb 12 2010 7:30PM Report
Artymas writes:

whiners/haters need to get a freaking life, dont like anything dont play it go to something else.

Fri Feb 12 2010 11:08PM Report
RealmLords writes:

Time to add Yoville to the site.  At least it does have common areas.

Fri Feb 12 2010 11:21PM Report
AmazingAvery writes:

At least with STO there are no specific EU / NA servers, There are four game servers set as one http://www.mmoserverstatus.com/star_trek_online

I can talk to, group with see, play and trade with anyone who plays the game from anywhere.

So if the starting sector has 75 people playing in that sector I can switch to any one of dozens of instances for the same sector and speak and play with 75 other players.

Would I prefer them all in the same spot with traffic jams and lag heaven - not thanks.

Sat Feb 13 2010 12:33AM Report
Krishnak writes:

Do you list Diablo soon aswell as mmorpg? 

Sat Feb 13 2010 2:33AM Report
-Zeno- writes:

EVE online is a bunch of instances as well!  Its not one seemless world.  Each star system is its own instance, so its just like AoC.  There are very few "real" mmo's out there.

Sat Feb 13 2010 2:34AM Report
Rydek writes:

Finally an article that will people stopping making threads about taking games off ect. SWTOR. STO. ect ect. It was getting annoying thanks :)

Sat Feb 13 2010 5:31AM Report
just1opinion writes:

Great article. Good explanation. Now explain to me why TORCHLIGHT is listed, and is definitely a SINGLE player RPG.....

I understand your definition now, but even with the definition of MMORPG the site it putting forth, there are still games listed that don't qualify even with the very loose definition you're working with.

Mind you, I LOVE Torchlight and play it...a lot. It's one of my favorite "just have a blast slaughtering things" games, but...it is without any question NOT an MMO.

 

Sat Feb 13 2010 5:33AM Report
just1opinion writes:

Never mind my previous post...I see you're PRE-listing it as an MMO-to-be. So...okay. I'm just playin' devil's advocate here. lol

Sat Feb 13 2010 5:35AM Report
solarine writes:

Genres are not defined by numbers and neither are they defined by rules. They are defined by strength of opinion and significance of the person with the opinion. 

For instance: No matter how much something you say makes sense to you, Heinlein's or Dick's definition and categorization of science-fiction will have more impact and staying power.

In short: An MMO is precisely what game developers and gaming journalists (or sites such as these) see it as. Simple as that. The categorization is purely intuitive. As it should be. 

Some people just don't get arts & humanities. 

 

Sat Feb 13 2010 5:52AM Report
thinktank001 writes:

" So how do we, at MMORPG.com, actually make our decision? We’ve placed the requirement on “500 congruent users on a single server.” We left it there and didn’t include a requirement about the number of players who might happen to accidentally run into each other all in the same place at the same time because that is a stylistic choice left up to the developers. "

I don't know how you can justify this as a stylistic choice as it is not.  MMORPGs need to have an area where everyone can meet as that is what defines an MMORPG. 

Sat Feb 13 2010 5:57AM Report
PoopyStuff writes:

of course your not gonna delist it

your getting paid to advertise it on this site.

 

Sat Feb 13 2010 7:13AM Report
PoopyStuff writes:

"Why We Won't De-List STO"

Answer : Your getting paid to advertise

Sat Feb 13 2010 7:16AM Report
Kyleran writes:

The trend towards heavily instanced MMO's is anything but an evolution however I agree, the definition of what is a "true" MMORPG has to be somewhat broad, because IMO, they're been very few "true" MMORPG's created in the last 5 years. 

They all fall short.

 

Sat Feb 13 2010 7:50AM Report
kruler writes:

I myself still think it was a golden oppertunity wasted to send something of a message about certain trends, the news of a de-listing would send quite a ripple, however seeing all the adverts for STO spalashed all over, that would require a revenue hit, the real reason for waxing lyrical about the MMORPG genre and terms.

Anything can be justified given time,spin,money...

Sat Feb 13 2010 8:44AM Report
Scot writes:

Just make it clear when a new 'MMO' does not fill all the normal expectations. Highlight the instancing, or how you get less players than you would expect on a MMO. I see nothing wrong with with having an expanded definition.

However with the move to all games going online, I think the staff do have to start thinking about where to join the line. They already do, but it is becoming harder. Also you might think about putting these games in a separate section of the games list, with their own unique symbol.

Sat Feb 13 2010 10:21AM Report
KyngBills writes:

Totally fair...I was one of the CB and OB Players who was bored to tears by STO...But I definitely think it belongs here on this Site...If for no other reason than to see the ratings race between it and SWG...lol

Sat Feb 13 2010 10:33AM Report
s1th80 writes:

Thanks for explaining. The haters can of course start their own mmorpg site which will only contain their loved stuff and leave all they hate out of the picture 8)

Sat Feb 13 2010 10:38AM Report
TacBoy writes:

A good explanation. And if 500 players per "server" is the criteria then STO falls within your definition.

However if that *is* the criteria (along with the graphical lobbies, etc.) then there *are* games that should be de-listed like League of Legends.

It does explain to me at least why Love isn't listed.

Don't get me wrong, personally I think the criteria should be "Games that are 'of interest' to players of the MMORPG genre" and that there be no hard-and-fast rule. And by "of interest" I mean interest... meaning loving it or hating it.

Ultimately, it's your site and why people care so much if it is in the list or not I don't quite get. I guess it is a good thing... shows they care about your site. So... good job!

Sat Feb 13 2010 11:35AM Report
vinemt writes:

 I come here to read about a certain type of game. Could you at least add a tag or something to sort by? There's no where here where I can sort out the heavily instanced games from what I'm here to read about.

And you tricked me into buying Global Alliance - luckily they were still in beta so Steam refunded my money. That game is in no way an MMO - calling it that is some marketing guy's bright idea of a way to make it stand out from all the other FPSs out there. Next you'll be watered down to defining an MMO as several people in the same city being able to play the game simultaneously while talking on a cell phone. Email me when your review is up for the next Sonic game.

Sat Feb 13 2010 12:56PM Report
WSIMike writes:

What I don't get is...

Why are people so hung up on what games are listed here anyway?

Does it *really* affect anyone personally if a game that they
personally don't consider a "true MMO", by any definition, is included?

Is their life impacted in some meaningful way? I would hope not.

So... why not just pay attention to the games you *do* follow and consider MMOs and ignore those that don't.

What's all the fuss about?

 

 

Sat Feb 13 2010 1:02PM Report
PoopyStuff writes:

"What I don't get is...

Why are people so hung up on what games are listed here anyway?

Does it *really* affect anyone personally if a game that they
personally don't consider a "true MMO", by any definition, is included?

Is their life impacted in some meaningful way? I would hope not.

So... why not just pay attention to the games you *do* follow and consider MMOs and ignore those that don't.

What's all the fuss about?"

It's called having principles.
Which this site is lacking.
 

Sat Feb 13 2010 1:20PM Report
Vegaa writes:

My very first MMO was Anarchy Online. I didnt know it then, but boy was I spoiled! This game was released 9 years ago and offered an entire virtual world to explore with thousands of other players! "Incredible!" I thought.

My next MMO was World of Warcraft, it also offered a vast virtual world to explore with thousands of players! "This is amazing technology, what will come next?!!!!"

Instancing!!!!! Just copies of zones!!! No world at all!!! Just limited repeating boxes to play in. Where I will never again, get to see that guy I saved from dying on that mob! Or that jerk who ganked me! Or familiar faces I've grouped with :)) Hey, weren’t you in my last team too!??... will never happen. With instancing, you miss out on all those fun random encounters you have with people you see again and again, which make up a game community!! People mattered! Your actions mattered! Because you had a reputation to uphold in your game community! Just like in the real world! Talk about fun!

So for me, I just can’t be happy with heavily instanced games such as AOC and STO, where none of these social dynamics exsist.

I can’t understand how people are happy with these games? I think that maybe they are just ignorant of the incredible virtual worlds from past MMO titles. They just don’t know what they are missing.
 

Sat Feb 13 2010 1:26PM Report
WSIMike writes:

@Poopystuff

errr... having principles?

What the hell does having principles have to do with what games mmorpg.com chooses to list or not? It's a frigging website about video games, ffs. If a game interests you, you check it out. If it doesn't, then you don't.

What "principles" exactly are they being held to... Did they take your lunch money or something? They're listing games that you personally don't like? Are they tying you to a chair and making you read game forums that you don't like? Have hey hijacked your internet connection so all you can browse is mmorpg.com? What exactly are they doing that's so "unprincipled" by listing games based on their own criteria?

Talk about mountains out of mole-hills.

Good freaking grief, people. At least find something more worthwhile to aim your angst at.

 

Sat Feb 13 2010 2:51PM Report
Deivos writes:

Uh-huh.

 

So the defining difference is whether not not it has a virtual lobby.

 

I'd still call Battlefield more of an mmo than a few of those listed.

 

The idea of congruent users on a server only goes so far as to how those server stacks are built and data is shared. The best difference they have going for them is the idea that all users can move freely across server fragments within a server to meet and greet, which really isn't much different at all because you have the same damn loading screens as if you just swapped servers in BF.

It is in fact no different, or the difference is purely a cosmetic aspect.

Sat Feb 13 2010 4:46PM Report
Votan writes:

Just a suggestion but the time may have come with the vast amounts of games out now that MMORPG.COM should break games into catagories rather than just listing everything as a MMORPG.   

Think of the hate you could get, my game is not a Massively Instanced Multiplayer game!!!  :) 

 

 

Sat Feb 13 2010 4:59PM Report
vinemt writes:

 I tried joining a roleplaying fleet in STO. We can't have events because all of the members can't fit in one instance. That's not massively multiplayer.

Sat Feb 13 2010 5:15PM Report
Dreadstone writes:

Good article.
I agree, STO meets the basic definition of an MMO.  It seems to be getting support from a lot of players.  It took a slightly different approach to launch than many people are familiar with but so far it doesn't seem to be hurting it.  It will be interesting to see where this MMO goes over the next 6 months.

Oh, and you did so well with this article I wouldn't mind hearing your definition on RPG as well.  :)

Sat Feb 13 2010 6:18PM Report
GutPunch writes:

Haha what a pathetic excuse to not de-list this subpar single player experience - if you can call it that.  The only reason you have this is because the guys at Cryptic spend a lot of money in advertising.

Sat Feb 13 2010 7:31PM Report
Slineer writes:

I laughed at most of the comments made here tbh. MMORPG.com is a news site, they make their money on advertising, they make that money by having readers. They have readers because they host news articles and editorials people want to read. The more news, the more people reading = the more money from advertisers.

On a personal note, I don't believe GA is an MMO at all, they locked out features to try and justify a monthly fee.  With that said, I also couldn't care less that I see an occasional GA news article next to the latest Earthrise or APB news. As far as STO goes, it only serves as a source of humor watching forum trolls argue pointlessly on both sides.  This blog entry would have been better suited saying 'some people really need to grow up'.

In addition, I too would like to hear to RPG rant next week.

Sat Feb 13 2010 10:34PM Report
Kruul writes:

Should win the most crappy mmo of 2010 award

Sat Feb 13 2010 10:37PM Report
Cemm writes:

“500 congruent users on a single server.”

Would it be possible to get a listing and forum for DragonRealms and Gemstone IV of Simutronics here? Both still have active and loyal communities that surpass the above stated requirement by reaching about 700 congruent users on a single server every day of the week.

I'm a long time fan of their games, and MMO gaming in general, and while they're a different sort of offering than the ever changing graphical game landscape, I think they're both excellent and worth mention and discussion here.

DragonRealms: http://www.play.net/dr/
Gemstone IV: http://www.play.net/gs4/

Sat Feb 13 2010 10:46PM Report
Cemm writes:

By the way, I realize you mentioned that non-graphical lobbies have been discounted in the past, but it is notable that you have a listing for Omerta 3 (http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/462) that is a non-graphical browser based strategy game, is it not?

DragonRealms and Gemstone IV are both played through a similarly slick 'graphical' front end that includes pictures and various display options, if that is the necessary component in addition to meeting the congruent users requirement to get listed here.

Sat Feb 13 2010 11:00PM Report
Terranah writes:

Guild Wars, STO, AOC and next up the Star Wars mmo.  This is the direction corporations are wanting to take mmos.  Highly instanced, zoned with npc characters, aka henchmen, aka bridge officers, etc; I don't think it's necessarily what the fans of the genre would like to see.

Sun Feb 14 2010 3:20AM Report
Saorlan writes:

Eve Online is the biggest user of instances out of the whole lot !!!

 

Each system is seperate instance.

Sun Feb 14 2010 3:51AM Report
Thanosxp writes:

@Sarolan: Go and learn the difference between zone and instance. After that,talk about EVE again,since you'll never hear a EVE player saying:
-Man,i'm at Amaar! Where r u?
-Hhmmm...Amaar too.But,another instance of it.Wait,i'll try again

But,in STO... 

Sun Feb 14 2010 4:59AM Report
Zayne3145 writes:

I don't understand why people have such an issue with this. Is it causing them deep offense or distress that a game they do not consider a 'true' MMO is listed on the site? Sheesh people, there are more important things to worry about. As long as the game that you enjoy is featured, what's the big deal?

Sun Feb 14 2010 5:14AM Report
Digna writes:

Mods shouldn't ever rant.

Is this really a big enough issue to warrant this article? There will always be people who say 'yea' and those who say 'nay'. If they were beating at the gates with lit torches, sure explain away. Otherwise ignore.

Sun Feb 14 2010 6:03AM Report
WSIMike writes:

@Zayne

Bingo.

I seriously - no sarcasm intended - can not fathom why people are so bent out of shape about something like this.

There are many things in life that warrant the degree of "righteous indignation" on display by some here. However, what criteria a website staff uses to categorize a game as a "MMORPG" is not one of them.

I know there are people out there who are willfully, even eagerly offended by anything they can be, just so they can cry "travesty!" from their personal mountain tops... but seriously folks. Video games?

@Digna
Considering the hysterical responses the article got, it seems that to some here, it's a *huge* issue.



 

Sun Feb 14 2010 8:23AM Report
machias writes:

I'd like to know how much consideration is given to the amount of money these games pay to advertise here. perhaps thats how they get listed or not.

Sun Feb 14 2010 8:27AM Report
WSIMike writes:

@machias

Here's one way to answer your question... Go through the games list here. Take note of how many there are - there's quite a lot and it's easy to overlook any of them if you don't know what you're looking for.

Now go through and count how many are listed that - aside from their spot on the master list - aren't advertised on the site at all. No banners, no feature articles, etc. etc. They have the same amount of "real estate" on that list as any other game listed. WoW's spot on the list is no more "prominent" than the most obscure one you can find.

I think it's safe to say that while some companies spend a considerable amount in advertising here, there are many others who pay very little, if any.

Regardless, they're all listed. 

I believe that answers your question.

Sun Feb 14 2010 9:13AM Report
ryuga81 writes:

A lot of people is confusing "zoning" (as opposed to seamless) and "instancing" (as opposed to, well, unique?).

Zoning is ok unless it becomes too heavy. A MMO can have zoning, and it also can have instances. But when a MMO is ONLY made of instances, is it still a MMO?

Even by excluding browser games, i can still think of games that do *not* claim to be MMOs but they do fit in the 500-per-server description... Battleforge servers can hold some 2000 people that can interact the same way as in STO. Every battle.net based game as well. Even in fps shooter games like Wolf Team and Gunz people can interact in lobby-servers and venture into same instances just as in STO. Pretty much every multiplayer online game being released in the near future could be defined a MMO, as there probably will be a server that lets more than 500 people interact.

Sun Feb 14 2010 11:53AM Report
Herodes writes:

IMO MMORPG.com should even expand their spectrum of games. I guess, Diablo 3 will have a huge fanbase, or Borderlands (Diablo goes FPS) is quite fun too.

For me fun is more important than defining a certain category, since there are so many cross-overs.

 

Sun Feb 14 2010 1:14PM Report
Jetrpg writes:

 

I honestly do not agree.
There is a difference between orpg and mmorpgs and lazy near sighted dev teams should not get a free pass and call their orpg a mmorpg. It takes more work and vision to pull off games that hold large number of players without making a game massively pointless/unbalanced. AOC has enough open world player to player interaction to make it feel/act/provide the game play of a mmo. Global agenda does most definitely does not have the qualities to be called or feel like an mmo. It is an online fps with a small amount of character development. (Its certainly not a rpg, as character development is about as limited as possible).

Still mmorpg.com should have the right to list this game but should have maybe a tab/pic/something to indicate where a game falls in the mmo category. And this is easily done based on the number of people allowed in one area where actual game play takes place. Ga should be listen not massive, 10, or very limited. AoC should have a higher listing, wow a higher, eve higher, doac higher. (a number is the most effective no subjective aspect).

Well that is my 2 cents

Sun Feb 14 2010 2:17PM Report
Ruinal writes:

If this is indeed the trend that MMOs are going with for Next Gen / AAA or new titles then it is one very very sad development. I can see the new Star Wars one heading in this same direction and that would be a much worse kickintheballs than STO is.

Sun Feb 14 2010 3:41PM Report
zephyr86 writes:

I agree that trying to create a set of rules to define whether a game is an MMO or not is stupid.

But I have to disagree to some extent that MMO's are 'evolving' as you put it, if instancing is a core feature of a game.

We see it far too much nowadays and frankly... its getting kind of old.

Sun Feb 14 2010 6:02PM Report
ryuga81 writes:

Yup, just take a look at Eve online: CCP is struggling against their machines to accommodate more and more people in a single area (as of today, some 1500 people can pop up in a system and say "hello" to each other before everything goes slideshow. CCP is always looking into improving that limit). Other developers say "why bother" and limit interaction to 100, 50, 20 or even 10 people, that's so easy and cheap to do. That kind of behavior shouldn't be endorsed.

Sun Feb 14 2010 7:28PM Report
Zairu writes:

When I went from playing online RTS games to playing MMORPG's I asked my self what made the difference and felt that it was whether or not the game depended on a player to host the game v.s. a persistent world that was always on and alive (for the mmo part)- and having a character of some kind that represents yourself in the gameworld, that is always growing and evolving in some way(for the rpg side). Of course I'm not suggesting that is the true definition. 

Honestly it's kind of a broad term -massive-, and of course thats the part of the acronym that causes such a fuss. The word massive has no number to define it so all we can really base that on is what we as individuals consider massive.

 

and I have to point out that even EQ2 uses instancing. the same zones are split to lighten the load. i think each zone will only have 1 duplication but still it does have it. Not to mention the world is nothing close to seemless. still. It is deffinitly by all terms a MMORPG. A game like AoC might take more advantage of instanced zoning but it still has the qualities that make a MMORPG what it is.

I'm not defending companies for taking an easier road and giving a game a zoned world VS a seemless, or even creating duplicates to make it easier for them to host the games for us. I wouldn't start to defend it in the first place. Guess why? I dont have to play anything I don't want to. I have the common sense to only pay for something that I actually want to have, and to understand and accpet that if I don't reserch it myself than I can't cry about being dissapointed if the game didn't reach my standard.

You can point out that companies lie about features and still I can only look at you like an idiot for putting any of your trust (even a sliver) in any company. They only want your money. If you haven't learned that yet than maybe you pay your subs with your allowance. Who knows...

In closing. This is video games were talking about. They are meant to be enjoyed. If you don't enjoy it, don't play it. If you want to cry all day about over forums and make yourself look like a 5 year old. Do that too. Just at some point try to realize why you are here in the first place.

 

Mon Feb 15 2010 3:18AM Report
sadeyx writes:

De-list Guildwars FFS !

Mon Feb 15 2010 3:45AM Report
thark writes:

@Zairu

EverQuest 2 uses the same system as AoC does, in the beginning there could easily be 10 (copys) instances of Antonica...The reason why you only see 2 Nowadays or mostly 1 is because the population has shrunk.. When the player limit is reached the game creates another copy. But the only time you will see this in EQ2 today is when they create a new area(expansion) where all players flock at once..

 

Same as AoC does.....

Mon Feb 15 2010 4:35AM Report
grenademaste writes:

 Great article!

Mon Feb 15 2010 5:23AM Report
erictlewis writes:

Lets give sto 6 months and see where they are.  If they can survive and grow I might look them up then

Mon Feb 15 2010 7:54AM Report
dknifton writes:

its the same as calling diablo 2 a mmorpg lol.. STO blows let it die

Mon Feb 15 2010 10:18AM Report
wcoq458 writes:

 idk if itll be the same or not.

 

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Mon Feb 15 2010 10:46AM Report
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Mon Feb 15 2010 11:56AM Report
Zairu writes:

Yea Thark, that makes sense.

I only played EQ2 for a few months. got a wizzy to 75 and a few alts from 30-50 and eventually came to the conclusion that the game was not worth keeping due to it's shotty engine (I can play games with better graphics than EQ2 way smother than that would ever run) and the fact that I didn't feel it was giving me anything I couldnt find anywhere else, except for maybe the amazing feature of player housing. Designing my Wizard lair was alot more fun than the constricting combat the game offered. Also upgrading spells cost way too much. Dropping plat on grandmasters only to need more in just a few lvls after it was no longer any good was not my idea of fun. there are plenty of other expenses in that game without having to pay 50plat just to get grandmaster shackles.

 

I just started AoC and think graphics, combat, and lore are rich and rewarding. But at lvl 30 its starting to seem like all I do is solo which defeats the purpose of an MMO. i can only play fairly late most nights as well, which I know has alot to do with it.

 

anyway I'm rambling about topics that have nothing to do with this thread, so I guess I leave it at that. 

Mon Feb 15 2010 5:59PM Report
Rydeson writes:

It's pretty simple.. the more games MMORPG can add to their list the more business they have.. Even sites like this, it's all about the money.. The more generalization one uses, the more options that appear..  I have to ask the MMORPG staff.. I play alot of games on my PS3 with and against others.. The server lobby I believe can sustain OVER 500 people, does this make PS3 games an MMO by your definition?

Tue Feb 16 2010 12:35AM Report
greytail writes:

I just have one question.  Of all of you who are whining that STO isn't an MMO, how many of you have actually played it?  I have and will.  I have also played Guild Wars, WoW, and LOTRO.  They are ALL MMORPG's.  Of course, not all of them are fully open world and non instanced, but that doesn't mean they aren't MMORPG's. 

As for not being in the same area as other people?  In STO, the only time you are alone is when you WANT to be alone.  It does automatic grouping by default.  I had to actually hunt down the settings so that I wouldn't have to group with someone who didn't know what they were doing (and to keep others from seeing that I didn't know what I was doing).

Should either of the above games mentioned be de-listed?  I think not.  If anything, and this is just my two cents worth, NCSOFT, the company who owns/runs the IP for GW and Aion should be banned from being mentioned for their lackluster treatment of their subscribers and players.

 

Tue Feb 16 2010 1:24AM Report
AI724 writes:

The word Massively or Massive would seem to mean different things to different people. To some, it means nothing less than a world where every single player can interact with every single other player any time and any place. To others, it means a large shared space world that houses thousands upon thousands of players, even if they can’t always interact with one another.

 

 

Totally agree with Stradden.. thanks.  To me, Massively Multiplayers means both.  If the game has one of these... then it is an MMO.

Tue Feb 16 2010 7:57AM Report
raistalin69 writes:

how about delisting it on the grounds that its just REALLY bad?

Thu Feb 18 2010 6:52AM Report
Cik_Asalin writes:

Please.  STO is a cheap attempt at a mmorpg.  There is evolution in the mmo/mmorpg genre but to remotely suggest that STO is anything but a de-evolution of the genre is silly and flat-out dishonest.

 

Don't de-list it, but at least be honest.

Thu Feb 18 2010 12:33PM Report
Rasputin writes:

If the only thing that distinguishes these games as MMO's, is the common area, then a standard lobby for  - as mentioned - battlefield fulfill the requirement. There is simply no difference between the standard multiplayer games and these socalled MMO's, whether you defend that stance or not.

I believe the reason why you list just about anything as MMO, is so you can get more money. Im sorry to say, but I think it is THAT simple.

Fri Feb 19 2010 6:53PM Report
Rasputin writes:

Furthermore, it is thought provoking to think, that a standard multiplayer FPS game like Joint Operations featured 128 players on one server, while many MMO's can't even hold that many players on each server (ya, each instance can be seen as a "server", they would have been if they had been standard games).

Fri Feb 19 2010 7:11PM Report
Kells writes:

I am fine with STO being listed as an MMO. I played it in beta and didn't like it even though I was raised on Star Trek and am a huge fan of the television series and films. Having it listed as an mmo gives folks a chance to talk about it, good and bad. I believe this site offers an honesty about the game that I didn't see on the Cryptic forums.

Tue Feb 23 2010 12:33AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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