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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,

Community Spotlight: Existing RPG to MMO

Posted by MikeB Sunday April 28 2013 at 11:46PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "What RPG would you make into an MMORPG?" by Wakygreek.

Wakygreek says:

Hey,

I was playing a couple of old classic RPG's on the SNES-PS1-PS2-PS3 and thought to myself which one of these would actually make a good MMORPG in todays modern market?

So let me ask you this, which RPG from any system prior to the PS3/Xbox360 do you guys think would make an awesome MMORPG. Please include a few suggestions as to what the world would be like etc.

I would like to see The Witcher made into an MMORPG. I think there is plenty of lore to create a masterpiece if made correctly with a talented team. Offer faction combat by dividing the races between the Humans and Non-Humans. You could even throw some RVR into it and create a bunch of different classes.

P.S. You can use any RPG from the PC as well as long as it pre-dates the PS3/XBOX360.

Read below for a couple of highlights from the thread!

Kaneth picks Secret of Mana/Chrono Trigger:

The world of Secret of Mana and/or Chrono Trigger would make for interesting mmos. For Secret of Mana, you could set it during the time of the War of Mana 15 years prior to the SNES version. Multiple weapons and magic skills that you would have to level up, like in the SNES version.

Chrono Trigger itself would be a hell of an accomplishment in a mmo space. You would have to have the time travel element present, so you're making a world for Pre-Historic, Kingdom of Zeal, Dark Ages, "Present Age", and then the Future. Not to mention you could probably make an "End of Time" zone that could be like a personal housing instance of sorts. Along with all of the ages, you'd have to create appropriate creatures and content for the time period. You could even go as far as adding a "new game+" feature in place of a leveling system. Where completing certain tasks, achievements, story elements, etc would then allow you to unlock a new tier of powers for your character. At that point you could choose to continue your original character, or perhaps make a new character with the stats you've unlocked, but perhaps with new race/class options after completing certain time period tasks. Then you could play as Tribal People, Magic Race of Zeal, Robot, Modern Human, and possibly even add some monster races.

Rednecksith offers up Arcanum and Dark Souls:

Arcanum would make an excellent MMO. There aren't enough steampunk or dieselpunk games out there as it is, and I'd love to see one finally done competently. The world of Arcanum would be a near-perfect setting for an MMORPG.

Dark Souls, or at least the world of it. Part of the atmosphere of the game is derived from just how lonely & desolate the world feels however, and I don't know how they could replicate it in an MMORPG format. Then again, being surrounded by people can sometimes be just as lonely as standing by oneself...

BethelsBoy is feeling the Legend of Zelda:

I know it's been said to death, but Legend of Zelda, IMO, would be an awesome MMO!

Just imagine, you can pick from all the different races: Goron, Kokiri, Gerudo, Hylian, Sheikah, Zora, etc. You start in their home villages, and it is action-based combat like TERA and RaiderZ.

The series is singler-player based, but with enough thought put into it, it would be an amazing MMO. You could include gathering, crafting, a ton of skills for each race, and all the amazing landscapes that you traveled through in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. 

You could bring back all the old dungeons, make them harder, so that you will have to form raid groups to complete them. Boss fights would be harder, mini-games would be fun additions for players to go against each other. 

I honestly feel like it could be done. The storyline is so deep with The Legend of Zelda and there is so much content they could put into the game. Using the newer game engines that are coming out like the Unreal Engine, they could design a high def Zelda MMO that looks amazing and has an awesome gameplay.

There are so many options! It'd be hard to choose just one. But if I had to, I would say Final Fantasy Tactics and in particular the setting of Ivalice. There really aren't any MMOs other than Atlantica Online or Dofus that really tackle that sort of turn-based tactical RPG combat system and it's a real shame. Sure, it'd be pretty niche. I don't doubt the logistics of recreating Final Fantasy Tactics as a viable MMO would be challenging, but I definitely feel there is a missed opportunity here.

If the gameplay can't happen for whatever reason, I'd still love to see the world of Ivalice come to life in an MMO. Or even the world of Final Fantasy VII. Midgar would be an awesome sight to be hold in an MMO.

Runners-up? Pokemon. I'm not even a huge Pokemon fan, but this game series fits the MMO genre like a glove. Come on, Nintendo!

What are your picks and why? Share 'em with us in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: Reviews and Metascores

Posted by MikeB Sunday April 21 2013 at 10:37PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "How much weight do you give to metascores?" by PWN_FACE. PWN_FACE simply wants to find out how much stock the community puts into MMO game reviews and scores:

When you consider buying a game, do you look into reviewer scores? How much weight do you give to meta-scores?

I consider a lot of factors. I don't always consider such scores knowing they can be off for certain games that I might really like if I had given them a try. On the other hand, they can influence my decision to take a risk in certain situations.

I've been looking at a game on Steam which had a metascore rating of 70 yesterday. I checked a little while ago and it's down to 67. 

How do you look at metascores when making your decisions about whether to buy or not?

EDIT: Has there ever been a game that had a relatively low metascore (on Steam for example) that you bought and enjoyed and thought deserved better?

Menzeldinho relies more on gut feeling than scores or reviews:

Metascore gives you a vague idea of the game, and if its really really low then you know its not worth it. i think anything 60ish plus has potential, so if i feel im interested in the game i'd look it up a bit more, maybe a few gameplay videos and infomation on what the game has to offer. Obviously if there is a demo available try that but they don't always give a full representation of the game either.

Normally you just have to use your gut feeling whether you will like a game, and you are normally right.

Rusque avoids extremes on either end:

I ignore the extremes, those 0's are going to be useless feedback from trolls and angry fanboys. The perfect 10's just mean the person is either a fanboy or refuse to have a critical view of a game they like.

D3 is the perfect example, lots so people gave it low scores due to rmah and being opposed to some of the design decisions. Even people who put in 100-150 hours of game play into it gave it paltry scores. And that's because they were not rating the game as its own entity, but rather rating it against d2 and their expectations.

i also tend to avoid major "official" reviews as so many of them are bought these days that its all noise. So I look for players taking the time to outline what works and what doesn't and then I can decide if its something that I'm interested in.

Bananaramaa refuses to purchase anything under an 80 in most cases:

Excepting the rare occasions when I'm convinced reviewers are wrong I won't buy anything below 80 or 4 user rate. No way in hell.

Same with movies, generally I find reviews are spot on my taste. Excepting a very small amount of the time.

That said, I'm still dissapointed with many things that get above 80, so I have to again be picky about what I want in that bracket.

Like many of you, a game's Metascore will give me a general idea of what to expect from the game. Something with a Metascore of 36 is probably not going to be worth looking at in most cases, while something higher up may warrant closer inspection. However, reviews and Metascorse are only part of the checklist. If I haven't heard of a game at all and I've only found out about it once reviews have begun to roll in, I'll use tools like Metacritic to give me an idea of whether or not I should even bother looking into the game further. 

In this day and age, it's pretty easy to get yourself a hands-on experience with a game's beta test, especially towards the launch of the game, so going into a new MMO completely uninformed is a pretty rare occurence. Of course, the fact that most new MMOs are also F2P these days means the barrier to entry is even lower. If you're curious about a game -- it shouldn't be too hard to simply give it a spin for yourself!

How much stock do you put into MMO reviews and Metascores? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: How Long Does it Take?

Posted by MikeB Sunday April 14 2013 at 10:29PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "How long does it take you to know whether an mmorpg is for you?" by PWN_FACE:

Whether you buy a game, play f2p, or download a trial: From the time you log in and make it to character creation, how long does it take you to figure out whether this game is for you?

What are the variables that influence you the most? 

What is the fastest you've made your decision?

Have you ever changed your mind about a game you had judged harshly and then found yourself going back to and enjoying?

Read below for some highlights from the thread!

thecapitaine offers a comprehensive response:

Most games never make it to install because I know they're not for me based on their description.  Of the ones I do try, it most takes me 10-20 hours after character creation to know.  Any game that requires that I install an unfamiliar set of programs to make it run gets the boot before I can click install.  For the most part, it comes down to the fun I'm having and the fun I can foresee myself having in the future. 

Maybe I'm one of the 'new generation' of gamers, despite having grown up with arcades and tabletop games, but I don't play a game expecting to hang my hat there for years and years.  If it entertains and shows promise of continuing to entertain for the foreseeable future, I'm all for going with it. As for the games that got uninstalled quickest, probably Forsaken World.  It may actually be a great game later on, but the tutorial and early levels were so insultingly easy that I could have played the game with the quest log covering the whole screen and randomly clicking tab and firing off attacks.

As I've ranged farther afield from my MMO comfort zone, I've had to go back and re-evaluate some of the games I gave up on earlier.  I got TERA on sale and it exposed me to action combat which led me to trying other actiony games that had never clicked before (like DCUO and GW2 and, now, Defiance).  My experience with MMOs has been much enriched recently by going out on a limb to play a game like Rift, which I avoided for over a year thanks to this site-- I won't make that mistake again-- and by realizing that it can sometimes be worthwhile to discount a first impression and dig deeper.

for treelo it can start as early as the game's website:

The state of a games website is usually enough to make or break a title.  The cookie cutter F2P sites with a huge emphasis on cash shop items, no thanks.  Generally speaking if information is hard to find, I just won't bother.

Character creation is the next hurdle, a lack of options can put me off but isn't a game breaker, I'll simply be more inclined to pick a game with more variety.

Assuming I make it past this point, five minutes of gameplay is more than enough.  MMO mechanics are fairly generic so it really boils down to if I can stomach the game engine.  Poor environments, woeful animations, a terrible interface, these are what ruin games.  I like a good grind, but if I can't stand watching it take place... well, what's the point?

A quick trip to youtube is the most efficient method of judging a game.

Jaedor has a checklist of sorts:

I have three tiers of "check":
1st tier is character creation and the first couple noobland/intro quests.
2nd tier is after about 8 hours of game time.
3rd tier is midway to cap.

For TSW I almost didn't make it past character creation because it was terribad. But I'm glad I stayed with it. Great game for explorers and lore hounds and I'm happy to have bought the lifetime.

Slowest fail was Aion; I made it to tier 3 before discovering the endless grind. Was very disappointed because I had invested significant time and money, and it was decent up to that point.

Fastest fail was Wizardry Online beta. Failed the intro and I deleted the game as soon as it finished loading.

I have a pretty similar checklist to many of those who posted in the thread. The first major checkpoint is character creation. If I don't like how my character looks, then it really doesn't matter what else your game has going for you. I play MMOs to get lost in a world and I want my character to feel and look unique. If the game can't fulfill this basic desire for me, it's hard for me to get into it and stick with it.

Beyond that, it's hard to say. I tend to tailor my expectations to the type of MMO I'm playing. For example, I get quite a lot of flak for enjoying Star Wars: The Old Republic. Some people probably wonder how I can like it as much as I do. For me, it's simple: it's Star Wars and the content is fun. I like the game for what it is, even if I prefer a Star Wars game along the lines of Star Wars Galaxies as an ideal game. I don't compare SWTOR to SWG. It's a themepark game; I knew that going in.

I can kind of gauge what a game is and tailor my expectations to that. I'm not going to fault a game like Vindictus for not being a sandbox, for example. Different MMOs offer me different things and as long as they do what they seek out to do well I may find them enjoyable if they fit the type of experience I'm looking for at the moment.

I can tell you when I know I am NOT enjoying an MMO. The first time I catch myself idly running around in circles? That's the beginning of the end for me. It always sneaks up on me, too. I just catch myself running in circles and then I know that I am starting to get bored of the game and it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that I am going to quit sometime in the next few days or weeks.

How about you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: What Brought You to MMORPG.com?

Posted by MikeB Sunday April 7 2013 at 8:36PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "What Brought You To MMORPG.com The First Time?" by AlBQuirky. This discussion is more about our community than MMOs themselves, but it's an interesting topic nonetheless:

Were you searching for info on a specific game?
Maybe you came just looking for general info on MMOs in general?
Did a friend or guildmate tell you about the site?
Did you come across it in a Google (or other search engine) search on MMOs/MMORPGs?
Were you bored one day and just type in the web browser "www.mmorpg.com"?
(I did the above sometimes, just type in random addresses in the web browser when I got bored...)

What was it that brought you here that very first time?

For me, I originally came before making this account looking for general MMO info back in 2003 when my fun in EQ was waning. I think I did the "bored web address" thing... I don't think I created an account and certainly never participated in discussions :)

A few computers/hard drives later (and lost bookmarks) I found it again and created this account to keep abreast of the MMORPG industry.

What's your story?

Read below for some highlights from the thread!

Cecropia came to us in search for an MMO beyond WoW:

I started coming to this site in 2005 in search of a new MMO home after WOW began heading in a direction that I was not comfortable with. I am very thankful I did as mmorpg.com led me to discover the MMO I would eventually spend more time playing than any other video game in my life: EVE.

Thanks mmorpg.com.

Fearum too came to us in search of a new MMO:

I think the first time I came to this site was around when WoW launched. I was looking for a game after ToA came out and ruined DAoC for me and typed MMORPG in the search engine. Had some interesting articles, a nice game list and an active forum. I forgot my user name and password from way back when so I had to make this new one when I came back into looking for another mmo recently. Back then most games had a free trial so I would search through them trying to find a game to try out before purchaseing it. Never found a game I really enjoyed though so I kind of forgot about MMO's for years until Rift came out, which grabbed my attention and brought me back into the genre. Still havent found a game that can hold me longer than a few months, but I will keep looking.

Brenelael came to us in order to participate in some forum PvP ;):

When I was a clan leader in Lineage II way back in late 2004 my second in command suggested I come here instead of L2Blah to get a more moderate forum to read about game tips and features. I came here and have been here ever since although I lurked for about 2 years before actually creating an account. What spurred me to create an account was that I was getting a little tired of all of the SWG vets flogging SOE in any thread where it was mentioned even if it had absolutely nothing to do with SOE or SWG. When this started to creep into even the L2 forums I had enough and had to create an account to tell them to... Well what I told them back then would probably get me banned now so I'll leave it up to your imaginations.

In truth, before I started working here at MMORPG.com, I only lurked and dropped by occasionally. I can't really pin down what first brought me here, but I suspect it may have been an internet search for Star Wars Galaxies, as we've always had a strong SWG forum community here. In any case, I am glad to have ended up here, as you guys are a great, lively community that I'm proud to work with each and every day!

What brought you to MMORPG.com? Share your tales with us in the comments below!