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Not So MMO: Why MMO Discussions Should Include Clash of Clans

Columns By Beau Hindman on March 12, 2015

Why MMO Discussions Should Include Clash of Clans

I would like to apologize to my readers for my recent grumpiness; I tend to lash out when I feel that gaming and many of its fans are causing the genre more harm than good. If you have kept up with the last two or three years of gaming news, you’ll know why I am so adamant about pressing the opinion that of all of the forces that are hurting the genre, entitled gamers will always be the biggest source of damage.

I’d like to on record as saying that I am just reacting to the obnoxious, loud gamers. Not the good ones who make up the vast majority a good percentage of the playerbase.


I am also lashing out after years (15 in MMOs so far!) in the gaming hobby, after listening to so many stories about the death of “real” MMOs and the oncoming onslaught of “casuals” or newbies, as though all hardcore gamers started off life with a joystick in their hands.

Consider this: Clash of Clans is as important to MMOs as any “real” MMO.

See, what we suffer from now is a greater community that acts like a multitude of smaller communities. Gaming preferences divide players into religious groups; and the entire time we spend millions and millions of dollars on the same crap that we bought a few years earlier. Even indie is often infected with the same, repeated designs and mechanics. If we didn’t buy it, they wouldn’t make it (just look at movies for an example of this cycle.)

And now, e-sport threatens to strap fun to a table, cut it open and sell off its parts for profit. Only something like the need to win at any cost can turn an awesome thing like gaming into a cut-throat, cheater-filled arena of racial slurs.

OK, I exaggerate. Maybe.

To the point, what infuriates some MMO gamers about titles like Clash of Clans? I am not totally sure, but I think it comes from a few sources:

  1. The game’s monetization: At least, this is the go-to reason for disliking the title. Ironically, the title is almost perfectly tuned to being free. Its designed for very casual play; if you want to play non-stop for hours at a time then, yes, it will cost you, cheapo.
  2. The game’s “multiplayer” qualities: It’s not multiplayer enough. It’s not persistent. It’s not an MMO. I’ll never claim it is an MMO, but I will very easily say that the relationships it forms with its fans are just as important and real as any “true” MMO.
  3. It’s mobile and… eew: Mobile is not a genre. I have been repeating that for years. Mobile is not a genre. Neither is social or console or PC. Mobile is a form of content delivery. I can play WoW on a mobile device. There, now WoW is a mobile game. Happy?
  4. There’s no depth in Clash of Clans: Yes, there is. If you don’t know, go to YouTube and look into some Clash of Clans videos. Those people are in love with the game and have the hours of strategy videos to prove it.

Clash of Clans is wildly successful (note that I did not claim it was original, however) because it does what it does so well. It’s important in any conversation about MMOs because it reflects the joy of multiplayer gaming and the importance of ease of access, as well as the potential wads of cash that come from keeping things simple.

These are all things that many MMOs seriously need to work on.  

Let’s get on to the news!

Legacy Quest, a new roguelike (that means “sneaky” I think?) title by Nexon and Socialspiel Entertainment is going to be an action RPG dungeon-crawler and will be available later in 2015. As a bonus, it’s on mobile, which means you’ll be able to play it in the bath or while on the pot.

Players will be able to access crafted and customized weapons, guilds and even a form of permadeath! (We all know how popular that mechanic has been!) I’m excited for it, but mostly because Nexon is already involved in some very fun, high-quality action games. You can sign up for beta testing at the official site.

PlayStation 4 owners should be happy to find out that Dragon Quest Heroes will be heading for their favorite console later this year. If you’re into swarms of giant monsters and big-old-enemies, this title might be for you.

Check out the official PlayStation blog for more info!

In Elite: Dangerous news, (filed under “pretty games with space stuff”) players will be gaining the ability to take a screenshot while outside of their spaceship. Yes, this is as amazing and groundbreaking as Guild Wars 2 getting first-person-mode. Hype!

Coop adventures will gain some cool points when players gain the ability to drop beacons that will signal to others where to drop. The new wings update will also bring in area-wide text communications that will broadcast to all nearby ships. The update also brings new, lower ship repair costs for those knuckleheads who chip their paint.

In even cooler news, the space-based title will be heading to Xbox One later in 2015. Awesome!

Bandai Namco Games and Primal Game Studio recently revealed their creation, a sci-fi MOBA that will be called Supernova. It’s hard to say how the game will play or how it will be received by the constantly-growing MOBA playerbase, but our own Neilie Johnson has a preview that you can check out.

Overwatch fans have some goodies to chew on in the form of two new characters that were recently released by Blizzard.

First we have Jesse McCree, the BAMF Bounty Hunter, a six-shooter-carrying bounty hunter who looks like he needs a bath. Mike Bitton was able to get some time with the character, and here’s what he had to say. Next we got a look at Zarya, a tank character with mid-range attack and good defense. She might be slower than the others, but she’s sure to satisfy those who love the carnage. Garrett Fuller took a look at the new character, and you can see his thoughts here.

The Shadowrun Online Kickstarter page was recently updated to let backers know that a new agreement has been reached with Nordic Games to release physical copies of the title.

Nordic Games creating the box and handling logistics also means that we have more time to actually work on the game itself, increasing the quality of the finished product. And last but definitely not least, this deal allows us to release Shadowrun Online not just in English: We’ll also have a French and a German version (and maybe translations into other languages as well) by launch!

Read the full post on the Shadowrun Online Kickstarter page.

The World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition announced a new update, Imperial Steel, that allows players to advance through the Japanese tech tree and opens up a new map called “Sacred Valley.” The Imperial Steel update includes 13 new tanks, including light and medium armor.

Wargaming also announced that its World of Tanks-based trading card game kicked off on March 2nd. Players gained access to over 200 cards divided into several nations. The beta allowed players access to the unfinished title and the developers gained access to its gripey beta player’s feedback!

Oh boy, this last bit of news is about one of the titles that I am most excited about: Moonrise. Those lucky people who were able to attend PAX (well, those people who could afford to get con-crud) were given beta keys to try Moonrise’s creature battler system through Steam. So far, the game is said to be playable on Mac and PC with other platforms after that, but it looks so cool that we’d chase it no matter the platform. Did you get a beta key? Give it to me, now.

See you next time!

Beau Hindman / Beau is a writer, artist, PR/CM, game designer and pro moderator, and he's been blogging since 2002. He lives it up in Austin, Texas with his community manager wife. He's also the author of Anna the Powerful, a sci-fi book about the world's only superhero. Buy it here:

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