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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.

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

Community Spotlight: Why Are People Into F2P MMOGs?

Posted by MikeB Thursday December 31 2009 at 2:28PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on a thread started by forum user maji entitled “why are so many people into ‘free’ MMORPGs?” In the thread, maji wonders why free-to-play games are so popular, especially when given the number of cons he feel the genre inherently has:

“Sure, there are some great ones, but there are quite some reasons why I wouldn't play one.

• in general, the companies who make f2p MMORPGs have a lower buget for the game than the P2P ones, and more often you not you notice this as well in the game
• they are not really for free but rather like free trial. The deeper you get into the game, the more likely you are to pay some €€€ anyway and then you could also play a P2P game
• in many f2p MMORPGs, the one who pays most gets most. they level faster, look better, hit harder, have more options in general and whatnot. It's as if you'd play Monopoly or something, and you could buy an additional dice by paying 50€. In P2P, everyone got basically the same chances.
• if you are really into the game for a while, you risk to get into the mood to pay a lot for the game. Far more than you'd pay for a P2P which has a fixed subscription fee

I mean sure, you can download them, try them and play them for free. But if they are great, you're probably going to pay €€€ anyway. And if they are bad, then you wouldn't want to play it anyway. In addition to that, you often get less depth or less content. Not always, but often.”

I don’t have a huge amount of experience with F2P games myself, but a number of the criticisms ring true for me, while some do not. One of the main reasons I have personally stayed away from F2P games in general is found in maji’s first point. Whether we like it or not developing an MMOG is a long and expensive process, with a lot of variables involved, and many competing games whose feature set must also be matched and innovated beyond to get the attention of players. This essentially makes developing new competitive MMOGs harder as the genre ages.

For every new MMOG that innovates even with a single wildly successful feature, every game that follows it must be complete with said feature as well as many of the various successful features found in games dating all the way to back to games like EverQuest. If they are missing a number of these key “checklist” features they are considered lacking. The likelihood of a small F2P game as it is traditionally known to accomplish this is generally slim, and so that is generally a heavy consideration, at least for me, when deciding whether I want to spend time in a F2P MMOG.

However, games in the F2P genre, like indie games, do tend to do some things entirely differently, and many gamers find this more appealing than P2P games that simply say “me too!” The lack of huge budgets, and the risks that come with them, means they can also try out different ideas. Games like Dungeon Fighter Online are essentially side-scroller MMOGs, where do you see that in the P2P genre? You don’t. A smaller developer looking to create unique games like this would have a hard time convincing already skeptical gamers to shell out $15 a month, so F2P is a fitting genre for such experiments.

There’s also the future to consider. F2P games with item malls have been pretty successful, and appear to be emerging as a legitimate business model for future games. This means we may be seeing the sort of big budget games many of us look forward to playing, without the monthly subscription fee, in the relatively near future. I think what is more likely to emerge is a hybrid model similar to Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited.

One point I mostly disagree on with maji is the point the idea that F2P games are essentially “pay-to-win,” as many of our community members describe them. It is true that some games offer item malls stocked with items that make a significant difference to gameplay, if not entirely necessary, but at least everyone is on a level playing field here. P2P games that traditionally don’t offer this functionality are subject to gold farmers and powerleveling services which accomplish the same goal but are not freely available to all players without the inherent risk of dealing with these unscrupulous people. The point is “pay-to-win” is happening in both types of games, it’s just that one is upfront about it.

But how does the community feel about F2P games? Let’s find out.

User Latella makes a compelling point about F2P games:

“To me, free to play games are not really free, but simply the same as a pay 2 play , only that i get choose when, how much and for what i do pay.

They also have the benefit that i can try them as much as i want and decide if it´s really a game worth my time and my money or not.

I tried many pay to play games where i paid the big $ buying the retail boxes only to find out i did not really enjoy it, where as in a free to play game, i would ´ve never paid a cent before i found out i didin´t like it.”

Many people don’t like to subscribe to P2P games because they feel that now that they’ve shelled out $15 bucks for the month they have to play a ton to get the most out of it. While I don’t subscribe to this practice, I can certainly see why it would give some pause to players. On the flip side, in my brief experience with F2P games I’ve come across games with play limits, which is extremely awkward and a huge turn off for me. For example, in my earlier example of Dungeon Fighter Online, you can only enter a certain amount of rooms per day, arbitrarily capping your play time. Obviously, this isn’t true for all F2P games, but it does occur.

Latella also brings up the point of having to pay for the game just to give it a spin. Obviously, most games have free trials, but they don’t often appear until later in the game’s lifetime so many gamers end up shelling the $50 out and finding out the hard way that the game isn’t for them. F2P are obviously free right out of the gate and avoid this issue, but it doesn’t mean P2P games can’t address this issue either.

The Chronicles of Spellborn was a “Freemium” MMORPG, where levels 1-10 were free to play for as long as you wanted, but if you wanted to advance further you’d have to actually pay up. Recently we’ve seen this strategy appear in troubled AAA games like Warhammer Online, Age of Conan, and Champions Online, which have embraced this “Freemium” idea. If this becomes a trend for new P2P games, I think they would have a leg up on one of the positives of F2P games.

Eqvaliser hits on another reason that F2P are popular:

“Im just tired of paying 15$ each month to a game thats not really that great anyway,
for 15$ a month i can get so many other things i rather have, like nice graphics,
amusement, excitment, depth.

Since most mmo's are by default developed to have some 600-800 hours of gameplay
why would i spent 1000's of hours, unless they continuely add content which alot fail todo.
Free mmo's or micro payments such as ddo. are great cause when im fed up with it
i donot feel as attached to my character as one i might have spent years and 100$
building up. and for what,.. ... nothing..”

Many of our community members are disenchanted with the genre as a whole, with so many new P2P games releasing in recent years and failing to meet expectations, I get the feeling that, at least in our community, many members are less willing to give new games a chance. This makes F2P games a bit more appealing as the barrier to entry is incredibly low, something we touched on with Latella’s point. As I mentioned earlier, I think P2P games can get around this issue by launching their games with a “Freemium” strategy right out the gate.

So what do you think? Why are F2P games so popular in your opinion? And how do you personally view the genre? Do the games appeal to you?

Let us know in the comments below!

Three Christmas Wishes

Posted by Stradden Friday December 18 2009 at 6:49AM
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Well, it’s that time of year again, time to deck the halls, if you didn’t deck them as soon after Thanksgiving as your little hands could get the plastic Santa out of the attic, and wait for all the warm fuzzy feelings of the Christmas season to overwhelm you.

Forgive me if I’m feeling a little bit cynical this year, I normally let myself get caught up in and carried away with the fun and excitement of the season, but this year I’m finding it a little bit more difficult. I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s been a busy year and exciting year, so Christmas just doesn’t feel that exciting or what it is, but this year I’m finding it hard to locate the magic.

With that said, I’ve been trying to get into the spirit and with that in mind, I wanted to dedicate my blog to the magic of Christmas and what, if I could harness all of those Christmas miracles and wishes and use them to my own MMO based ends, I would do.

So, let’s adhere to the golden rule of wishes: I get three. I assume the same rules apply for both Christmas and Genies:

Wish #1

I sincerely and wholeheartedly wish that we could all take a less negative spin on things. It honestly bothers me that we live in a world where we always assume the worst about people and scoff at the idea that there’s any honesty left out there in the face of the all mighty dollar.

I bring this up because I’ve noticed a couple of growing trends. The first is the assumption that all MMO companies and developers are evil, black hearted people who are literally sitting around trying to figure out how they can ruin your gaming experience while still pocketing your cash. Most recently, at least around here, that’s been the default assumption for many people. That makes Jon a sad panda.

What makes Jon an even bigger and sadder panda is that the same philosophy is applied to media. Why is it that whenever I write something negative about a game, people think it’s because their competitor advertises at our site and if I write something positive, this same people think it’s because they advertise on our site? Why is it the assumption that when I, or any of my colleagues express an opinion, that people assume that it’s bought and paid for?

While I’m not saying that some development companies aren’t in it for a quick buck, nor am I saying that there aren’t any dirty journalists out there (though not at this site). I just think that these should not be our default assumptions.

Wish #2

I wish game studios would be given the time that they need to actually complete a game. I mean, I don’t know for sure who’s at fault for this. It could be the publishers / investors demanding too fast a turn around for too little money, it could be studio heads estimating low on what they’ll need in order to complete the game as promised. It could be any number of smaller factors all aligning to much up the development schedule. I don’t know. The thing is though that I, and many others, are tired of games that aren’t launch complete when they launch. It’s hurting the industry, so whoever’s to blame, and you know who you are, I’m sure, please stop.

We all know that MMOs are works in development, even after launch. That’s one of the truly awesome things about these games. A game six months to a year down the road doesn’t need to be the same as the game at launch… it shouldn’t be.

There is, however, a difference between a game with room to grow, and a game that’s not done. When a game launches, it should be and feel like a complete product. The things that are added to it should actually add something, they shouldn’t finish something. Talking about features to your fans and then cutting them pre-launch is going to make the game feel incomplete so either make sure those features you’ve yacked about and juiced people up with are in the game, or do what more and more companies are doing these days and stop talking about a feature before the feature is in the game. I can’t miss something I didn’t expect to be there in the first place.

And no, before people start assuming I’m thinly veiled calling out Cryptic for their recent STO announcement, I’m not. If I wanted to complain about them specifically, I would. This isn’t the first time that something similar has happened, and we don’t know what the results are going to be. I’d rather point my icy gaze at games of the past that have done so and suffered for it.

Wish #3

World Peace – I figure I’m about as likely to get the first two as this last one, so I figured I’d shoot for the moon.

Community Spotlight: What is a "real" MMOG?

Posted by MikeB Thursday December 17 2009 at 1:59PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on a thread started by form user aranha entitled “Quit the BS devs and gives us a real MMORPG for once!” In the thread aranha laments about the direction the MMOG genre has taken in recent years:

“Im done searching for mmo's since the games just arent fun anymore. I play EvE from time to time and its great but wth happend in this genre?
If we look back to the oldies of UO, EQ, AO, RO and the rest of the oldies there was passion and fun ideas for the games. There was something to do everyday and it was FUN

Ive allways been against WoW not becose it sucks or that smelly 11 yearolds call them self mmo vets for playing it for 8 months but becose of the negative impact it had on the mmogames. Arent we freaking tired of doing 213 quests everyday to gain a level and get a few more crappy skills that barely do any diffrence at all since you have to kill higher lvl mobs anyway becose some bum in a camp would give you a cheeseburger and XP if you did?

What ever happend to stat and skills that affect eachother and making characters with real builds that stood out from eachother and especially how those builds had an effect in PVP making the class you played diverse and something YOU layed thought into and created. The char becomes more than just one of "that" class that just differ in levels.

What ever happend to free choices like entering a game and just walking a path and see where it leads instead of some hobo telling you to go kill 10 hogs or whatever. Theres so much old good stuff like the sandboxing ideas and real character customization that just got lost when all the new features got implented. Features that some of us mmorpg vets still see and the best things in mmorpgs and that kept us playing those old games for months and years with nothing more than a smile on our faces.

For me WoW isnt something i like to call an mmorpg as it showed the gamedevelopers that simplicity is a winning concept. That any player can jump in and enjoy it no matter how young or stupid. Doing quests for exp, Grinding for crap, Raiding for gear, PvPing for gear or faction status. What ever happend to PvPing for your clan or territory or fun?”

One thing that stood out about aranha’s thoughts was the bit about PvP. What happened to players simply PvPing for the fun of it or for the pride of their faction or realm? This particular point sticks out to me because we have a very recent example to refer to: Warhammer Online.

I used to write a column on Warhammer Online at the now defunct MassiveGamer before coming here to MMORPG.com, and it was interesting to examine the fact that Mythic had really banked on that apparently now apparently “old school” concept of realm pride established by the now venerable Dark Age of Camelot to drive the RvR experience in WAR.

That didn’t pan out.

RvR lakes were empty, no one really cared or participated in RvR. Everyone was cobbled up in scenarios simply trying to get as much exp as possible as it happened to be the path of least resistance. It was only when Mythic took action in the late Fall of 2008 by adding more incentives to the RvR lakes such as RvR influence, exp boosts, etc that players started paying any attention at all. This, I think, marked the death knell of realm pride as a major driving force for large-scale or territorial based PvP in a contemporary MMOG.

Now there are clearly many MMOG gamers who are still around that love the idea of fighting over realm pride and territory, but I think we are a bit of a minority now.

PvP aside, it’s clear that aranha in particular recalls joyous times in sandbox MMORPG’s, but is he really asking for developers to put out a “real” MMORPG, or a sandbox MMORPG? More importantly, what IS a real MMORPG?

I think that is the crux of this entire thread, and a contentious issue for the entire MMORPG.com community. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve added games to our game list only to have members of the community cry out that the game is not a “real” MMORPG, or even when we break news of a new game’s announcement, or an update to an existing game that some sects of our community don’t consider to be a “real” MMORPG.

The industry and the MMOG genre in particular are far too young to really establish what is a “real” MMORPG. The definition, it seems, for most users appears to be very personal. If you ask someone who started playing MMOG’s with World of Warcraft you will get a very different answer from someone who started with Ultima Online.

User Ceridith thinks he may have found a common thread between us all, however, “I think what's missing from MMOs these days is the virtual world aspect. The original MMOs were made with the focus on making a gaming environment that felt like it was a living world that players could explore and interact with, and then the gameplay was built around that world. It feels like these days however, the gameplay has the main focus, and the game world is made as an afterthought simply as a container to jam the gameplay into. That is why I think we're ending up with so many static and bland feeling MMOs, because the MMO environments aren't being designed nearly to the quality they previously were.”

User wisesquirrel concurs with Ceridith, though he also adds that community is also a key factor in a “real” MMOG, “I agree on that, gameplay is crucial, but for an MMO to be an MMO there has to be a sense of community, the best way to do this is let players handle their own economy, cities and politics in some way.”

The aforementioned two points struck a chord with user Kaneth, who has to search back all the way to the original Asheron’s Call to recall the last time he felt a MMOG felt like an actual world, “I agree with both quoted posts. The last mmorpg I played that felt like the world was living and breathing was AC1. I really loved that game and I often think about going back. I remember loading up my packs with the basic essentials and then running out into the wilds. Coming across merchants in the middle of nowhere, finding a nice hunting spot where there wasn't another soul for miles, or just roaming from lifestone to lifestone killing whatever was in your way.”

So what makes a “real” MMORPG to you? And do you think any game on the horizon embraces these qualities? Let us know in the comments below!

Game Impact

Posted by garrett Wednesday December 16 2009 at 9:01AM
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Taking a close look at popular culture today it is a wonder how much of an impact games have had. I think back about ten years to The Matrix. Yes that was ten years ago. But The Matrix (forget the sequals) was the first movie to really make the leap into video game action on the screen. There may have been others, but The Matrix was a huge success. Look at what movies have done since then.

Most big summer movies now a days are based on a video game or a comic book. That was unheard of when I was growing up as both games and comics were considered more nerdy than anything else. I look at kids today and realize that every kid has a game system, every kid sees movies like Iron Man and Wolverine.

More than anything else I wonder what this change will bring to the future. My generation started with Atari and Dungeons & Dragons, look where that has taken us. The next generation has thousands of games to play, books to read, movies, comics, and even television has all been overrun by what was once considered nerdy.

Games today are really taking over as the main medium of entertainment among kids. Look at Modern Warfare 2 sales, top games overall are out selling major motion pictures. The only reason you hear about the movies doing such major numbers is because movies reach back to older generations who still believe in those big numbers.

As games become more interactive and more players join the ranks, there soon won't be a reason to go out to the movies on a week night. You will be too busy hunting down foes in some intense interactive world with your reception suit on.

Sound cool, it will be....

WoW 3.3's Dungeon Finder and the Community

Posted by MikeB Thursday December 10 2009 at 4:02PM
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It is undoubtedly World of Warcraft week this week, with the launch of the last major update to World of Warcraft before the game’s next expansion, Cataclysm, which is due out some time next year. As with every new update, a number of new controversies are generated due to something Blizzard did or didn’t implement in their game. For this week’s Community Spotlight, we are focusing on a thread started by forum user alecbr entitled, “patch 3.3: What SOE did to SWG Blizzard just did to WOW”.

In the thread alecbr asserts a somewhat sensationalized, though salient point. He draws a comparison between the scope and impact of what he believes was SOE’s conversion of Star Wars Galaxies from a sandbox game to a “themepark” game with the introduction of the NGE, to what he believes Blizzard has done with the newly introduced Cross-Realm Dungeon Finder feature of patch 3.3, namely turn World of Warcraft from a massively multiplayer game, to simply a multiplayer game.

Alecbr explains his point:
“SOE changed SWG from an sandbox MMO to a theme park MMO. Blizzard with patch 3.3 just changed WOW from a theme park MMO to a multiplayer game. But where SOE failed Blizzard might just succeed.

I'm talking about the cross realm looking for group option. I didn't thought this option was important when I heard about it. I thought it was just some small change to make the game a little bit more user friendly.

But I was checking the whole evening how my girlfriend played WOW after this patch 3.3. She is an ordinary WOW player. She has several characters. She is leveling them as quickly as possible. She has joined some guilds and made a lot of friends. She doing instances and raids with her friends almost every day - playing about 5-6 hours every day.

That was before patch 3.3. After the patch she just loves the cross realm looking for group option. The whole evening she is doing instances with this option. She isn't playing with her guild or other friends, she isn't chatting with them. She almost completely forgot them.

…When I asked her why isn't she doing the instances with her friends she answered that it is more efficient this way and you level and gear up more quickly. You are doing exactly the instance that you want and you are doing it immediately. This is the fastest way to level up and to gear up. During the evening she checked with some of her friends. They were doing the same.”

The post is indeed a bit alarmist in tone, claiming that this change will single handedly destroy guilds and such, but there is a point to be made here: Is Blizzard’s philosophy of breaking down barriers to entry a boon or a bane to their game, and to MMORPG’s?

Undoubtedly, the new feature is and will continue to be popular. Dungeons no one ran previously, especially lower level ones, will, and likely already have seen, a huge uptick in activity, as they are much more accessible now. However, does that accessibility come with a cost?

The new system is so easy to use, you could consider it almost like console match-making. You simply plug in what you are interested in doing, queue up, and in most cases, within five minutes you are whisked away to your desired instance. This sounds great, but it also makes me think of early Warhammer Online when scenarios were the best way to get experience.

Warhammer Online introduced the cool new idea of public quests, which required people be around to complete. So it was not without a sense of irony when the general game world was empty (before the mass exodus of players), due to the effect of the much more accessible, and rewarding, anywhere, anytime scenario queuing.

Will World of Warcraft suffer the same fate? Will people start disappearing from the actual game world, endlessly churning through dungeons, many times with people they don’t know or will ever see again? I’

To that end, user TJKazmark brings up an important point about the effect the introduction of this new system will have on the approach Blizzard took with Cataclysm:

“This brings up a concern I have for WoW's world and quests. How is it going to affect normal questing? Will players abandon the areas and storyline all together for the advantage of almost constant instancing and gear? I realize that the coming Cataclysm expansion is meant to give the world a face-lift and breath life into old content, but it still concerns me as to how this will impact the overall immersion and enjoyment of the game.”

Blizzard is, for the first time, emphasizing horizontal over vertical expansion with their newest expansion, by revamping the World of Warcraft's “old world”, the 1-60 experience of vanilla WoW. If this new dungeon finder feature is as popular as WAR scenarios were, however, will anyone actually care? If players can level up and get awesome gear, all by pressing a button and teleporting to their desired dungeon, why would players want to run around in the newly revamped old areas? It is certainly something to consider, and to watch for.

User Metza doesn’t see things as potentially negative; instead, he sees this as a great opportunity for more people to get into raiding:

“I see this making the pure "RAID" guilds even stronger as there will be more people that have top gear from the 5 mans to make more teams within one raiding guild or multiple raiding guilds that are able to tackle the raids because of gearing up being so much faster with this option. Blizzard may even start to increase the difficulty of the raids due to the fact you can get 5 man geared up so much more quickly than before. “

What about those of us with little time to play? The dungeon finder is surely a great and convenient feature, as our own Garrett Fuller (who is an avid WoW player) explains:

“I actually think what WoW did was a good idea. I had 30 minutes this afternoon to play and was in a group in like 3 seconds and in the instance in no time.

Makes getting to the game play easier.

They will wait until Cataclysm to change the open world game play.

Right now for long time players this definitely makes things faster.”

It seems in the end it comes down to a culture clash. We have many members in the community who are attracted to MMOG’s mostly or at least in part for the potential to create and maintain social bonds with other players, and this clashes with the advent of instant gratification, which is a trend that seems to be growing.

Whether this latest new feature will be a positive or negative for you all depends on your perspective on the game, and why you play it. If you’re simply there for the addicting acquisition of gear, the dungeon finder feature will be a godsend. If you are playing WoW for the reasons mentioned above, there is some potential that it may affect your experience. I suppose we’ll find out in the coming months!

Are you noticing  less people in the game world proper? Or do you have any experiences like Alecbr’s to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Lich King 3.3

Posted by garrett Tuesday December 8 2009 at 9:31AM
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In today's MMO news there are only two numbers that can make a headline.

3.3

WoW is giving us the last major game patch for Wrath of the Lich King. More importantly it is the last major game patch before Cataclysm.

The new Looking for Group/ Dungeon Search Feature will push more players through raid content than ever before. WoW still has its hardcore roots with Heroic and Hard Modes. However, the game is now becoming the very friendly to casual players. Everyone will have a crack at the Lich King it seems like, a fitting end to one of the best MMO Expansions I can think of.

I say that because I was a hardcore WoW player for two straight years. However when Burning Crusade came out, something was lost for me. I was a huge fan of the new zones and thought the game added the expansion without really studying what players wanted. It was simply more of the standard MMO advancement.

I know WoW has copied many other games, but if you take a look at Lich King as an expansion it really did make the game faster and more fun. The quest hubs were positioned better so you could do 4-5 quests at a time rather than just one 1-2 at a time. The zones had character and lets face it, frozen undead vikings are cool. The realm of the Lich King was Mordor in Ice and it was fun. The instances were faster and easy to access and players from hardcore to casual ate it up.

3.3 arrives today adding even more options for players to see all the content in the game. As the MMO landscape changes, WoW is lucky enough to change with it. The question is what will Cataclysm do next year? Will it be a huge mistake liek the NGE was for Star Wars? If there is one thing I know about Blizzard, they test the heck out of stuff before they put it out there. 

For now, I know I am looking forward to fighting the Lich King and getting some of the best looking Shaman gear in the game that I have seen for a while. Emblems of Frost are in my future now and I'll have to put the work in like everyone else.

Let's hope the last big patch for WoW before Cataclysm changes the game can deliver, I think it will.

Community Spotlight: Seeking Adventure? Join “The Path Ahead”!

Posted by MikeB Thursday December 3 2009 at 2:56PM
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This week’s spotlight focuses on a thread started by MMORPG.com forum user Goronian entitled, “Having an ‘adventure’ again?” Goronian is looking to tap into the MMORPG.com community and start a guild from within so that you can all meet up and adventure together in an as-of-yet undetermined MMOG to be selected by participating community members. This is what Goronian had to say on the topic:

"I see a lot of people on these forums are disappointed by the community in modern games, in the lacking grouping and the fact, that most modern MMOs are shallow, while there is no one to play older ones with.

Why don't we use the forums creatively?

Let's make our own little clique, find an older or a less-popular game and explore it together? Come on, there are quite a few of us, we could make this work! Find common ground, and things like that. Who's with me?

We'll try to make this more organized. First of all, I'll be listing people, who agreed to try this out. After that, I'll be listing potential MMOs, with pros and cons, from our (meaning potential team) point of view.
I hope something will grow ut of this. Oh, and don't shy away from the debate, we want to make everyone at least happier."

So far many of the community members have replied with their interest, and Goronian is currently soliciting community opinion on what game the group should jump into. To accomplish this, users are asked to submit their suggestions in the thread along with pro’s and con’s for the particular game. As of this writing the top contenders are EVE Online, Vanguard, EverQuest II, FFXI, and Ryzom.

After some careful consideration it appears that the community has decided that the guild will be called “The Path Ahead”, though the game has yet to be settled on, but Goronian seems confident that the issue should be resolved within the coming days.

To those concerned with falling behind others due to whatever reasons limiting your play time user Alamor0 had this to say:

"I think there is much too much worry about experiencing the content at the same time right now. It's not about he or she fell behind, or he or she is such a higher level. It's about having a good time with a good community. We don't all need to be the same level and do the exact same things for that to be the case. Of course, it's all up to the individual, and if you had someone you played with a little more regularly and you guys had figured out something, then that's great. The more rules we set, though, the more restricted we'll feel."

I’m going to have to agree with Alamor0 here. Our community is diverse in both tastes, and likely locations, availability, etc. It is unlikely the guild you are all forming will have perfectly matched schedules, so it is my opinion that you all should come down to a game you like and I’m sure you will be able to split it down into smaller groups of level ranges or time availability.

FoeHammerJT contributes his thoughts (and his TeamsSpeak server!) to the cause:

"Goronian, you've truly started something. As a gamer that feels like the current crop of MMOs (and their respective communities) have lost the "fun" of group/cooperatively gaming, I thank you for reaching out to others. Please add me to the list, I have a 50 man Teamspeak server I'd happily commit to the cause (I could swap to Vent if thats the consensus). My vote would be FFXI, then Vanguard. I think those games cry out for a mature group of gamers to enjoy exploring without an obsession for endgame and more phat loots a la WoW."

Given the real melting pot of a community we have here, it is certainly a surprise seeing the community come together like this and I find it particularly inspiring as a Community Manager. Congrats to Goronian for taking initiative!

Do you have any suggestions for what we can do at MMORPG.com to help support this effort? If so, leave us your thoughts in the comments below! You can also contact me at community@mmorpg.com. Keep us posted on how things turn out!