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

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

Community Spotlight: Are you Happy with the Evolution of MMOs?

Posted by MikeB Thursday September 23 2010 at 1:58PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “Are you satisfied with how MMORPG’s have evolved?” by Creslin321. In the thread, Creslin321 comments on the evolution of the MMORPG genre and is curious to find out on the community’s opinion on the direction the genre is moving:

“When the graphical MMORPG genre was born, most games focused on a "virtual world" sandbox experience.  They featured large, expansive worlds, and attempted to make players feel like they were "part" of the world.  Many players enjoyed the freedom and flexibility these games offered.  However these games were not user friendly at all, and sometimes it could feel like they lacked direction.

As the genrea has progressed, games have become more streamlined and user friendly.  While the worlds are generally smaller, they are typically jammed packed with quests and such for players to do.  Many players enjoy the accessibility of these games.  However, others feel that the linear nature of these games make them shallow and the focus on leveling and large power-gaps makes players feel forced to "grind."

So what do you think?  How satisfied are you with the way that the MMORPG genre has evolved?  Do you think it has gone in the wrong direction, the right direction, or something in-between?”

Kyleran feels MMOs have become simplified and narrow in focus:

“When I played early MMO's I was impressed with the "virtual world" feel they had, and figured in the future they'd only get better. Instead they were simplified and narrowed in focus to make them more appealing to a broader audience and today's games are a shadow of what I thought this genre would evolve to.”

Drakynn dislikes the trend towards the F2P business model:

“I'm satisified in some regards and dissatisfied in others....I have notihng against intancing dungeons as others do because I remember the reason isntancing was implemented whixch was the vast majority of peopel were tire dof being having their boss stolen or mobs trained on them by other groups etc,it wa sone of the biggest complaints back in the day and isntancing was the response,however I tihnk instancing is being taken way too far by a few companies.

I don't like the push toward cash shops especially sub + cash shops and see it as one step closer to another market crash in the video games market. I really don't give a dman about the them park V Sandbox BS arguements here I enjoy both as long as they are actually good games.

I do agree thoguh the MMO genre as a whole is evolving very slowly compared to it's single and small scale multiplayer coutnerparts.”

Explorium is quite happy with the way things have gone, as they allow him to actually play while still maintaining a real life:

“I am happy with how they evolved. Unlike some people on here, I have a life...and I'm glad MMOs are becoming more casual based. No longer do I have to play 12 hours or more a day to compete with no-lifers. I can actually be a part of RAIDS, where as, before only hardcore no-lifers could be a part of them. I can actually take part in MMOs now, where as, before I couldn't.

I'm very happy with the way they are going. I no longer have to play MMOs as a second JOB, but now I can play it as what they are...a game...fun...ENTERTAINMENT. “

Like Drakynn, I too am a bit mixed with the way things have progressed. I do appreciate that the games have become a bit streamlined and easier to approach, however, this often seems to come with the cost of depth, and so we are left with games that are generally easier to approach, but are also fairly shallow. The earlier games of the genre were often overwhelming in their complexity, and so a middle-ground would have been preferable. It is also unfortunate that the concept of a “virtual world” or “sandbox” type MMO has really been all but abandoned by AAA developers. The commercial failure of many of these games in the past (read: Star Wars Galaxies) and the wild success of the themepark-styled World of Warcraft has all but doomed the sandbox/virtual world genre to niche games by smaller developers.

On the upside, there are enough new games on the horizon that are genuinely interesting that I am sure to be hard pressed for time to try and divide my time amongst them.

Robbgobb writes:

I can say that I loved EQ and played it as much as possible. It was nice and so big. DAoC is still a favorite. It is just as new games came out that they became smaller so the live wasn't there for the game.

I have found that I love playing MMOs but can't find any that offer me the fun factor I am looking for. I seem to find no challenge that keeps me interested. I play for a couple months max and realize that I am starting to not log in because there is nothing interesting me.

EQII was one that surprised me with this as I was having fun until I got to the point that I was just wandering around doing nothing. I had done most of the quests and was really down to party quests and yet I had hard times find parties to do them and my guild/alliance members were not around most of time I was or was wanting to raid.

I am hoping to find a game (hopefully a space game) that will keep me interested in an MMO. Guess ease of play with no real challenge (I don't mean difficulty) really makes games lose my interest. I remember how careful I had to be in EQ to get around. That was half my fun of going anywhere.

Thu Sep 23 2010 6:37PM Report
Nesrie writes:

I would like a combination. I like my games to be big, HUGE really, but have some guidance. I hate being thrown a bunch of quests over and over agai so for me its balance.

Thu Sep 23 2010 9:33PM Report
SkullDeep writes:

I loved FF XI but these days i wouldnt be able to spend as much time as i did then. Eight+ hours game days can be done as a student but not when being married and having a job hehe.

And yes games have become shallow and easy getting into but i guess that's because of the current market. A business isnt a charity afterall and EQ or FF XI games aren't really wanted any longer..

Fri Sep 24 2010 8:37AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

This genre is entering a death spiral as long as big companies keep throwing lots of money at the same failed formula thinking somehow this time it will be different.
 

Fri Sep 24 2010 8:53AM Report
UnleadedRev writes:

Very unhappy, as it seems 90% of the MMOs released are junk, but even worse are the horrible player communties consisting of griefers, whiners, cheaters, and a$$hats.

Fri Sep 24 2010 1:09PM Report
Trigan writes:

ALL creative works suffer as soon as the bankers take control. Pen & paper games were a lot more fun back before it became big business.

MMO's are having the same problem now - there are a lot of them out there but they seem to be sticking to patterns known to make money (right now that means immitating WoW).

I like a game that gives me a lot of freedom to get involved in storylines or just run around and do random stuff.

Sun Sep 26 2010 3:38AM Report
Shinami writes:

No.

Tue Sep 28 2010 10:04AM Report

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