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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Sci-Fi VS Fantasy MMORPGs

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69 posts found


Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

11/07/11 7:11:21 AM#61
Originally posted by Adamantine

If you talk only about stories, then yes. Stories usually contain very little variance to the magic or technology possible. Thats because stories mentioning hundreds of skills as they are in a MMO arent exactly very readable.

However, the question of this thread is rather fantasy or rather SF MMO, and I was thinking more of the variance you can have in gameplay in a typical fantasy game versus the variance you get in a SF MMO.

Its already showing in the SW:TOR mentioned here: SW:TOR only has Jedi, which only have a certain kind of magic, which is far more limiting than what you get in classic fantasy. And SW:TOR is bending the possibilities very hard already. I dont remember a single instance in the movies where the force provided any kind of healing.

So SW:TOR doesnt have anything like, for example, the typical D&D tank with healing (Paladin), group buffer (Bard), natural magic oriented classes (Ranger, Shaman, Druid), martial arts combattant (Monk), death mage (Necromancer), pet class (Summoner), mind tricks and illusions focussed mage (Enchanter, Illusionist, Psionicist), and so on.

I do not have studied what you get in actual pure SF games like Star Trek Online, which apparently wasnt much of a success in the first place. I stopped being interested at the moment I read that everyone gets to be a starship captain. As such, there is only one class in the whole game, which is IMHO a total failure by its very design. Even if not, the available classes wouldnt be too varied: Command, Soldier (aka Security Officier), Scientist, Doctor, Engineer.

? Are you talking about theme, lore and setting or game mechanics?

Because game mechanics, or what's possible in gameplay mechanics, will always be the same no matter if game designers give it a coating of fantasy or scifi or horror, that's just the coating or theme, the underlying mechanics that are possible will be the same.

I don't know if SWT:TOR is the best example in this, it's just 1 game with a specific lore and setting. Other scifi MMO's as AO or Tabula Rasa had its own mechanics they used and who weren't limited by some artificial lore/context boundaries of a franchise IP as Star Wars or Star Trek. This'd be even more the case if you pick extravagant settings like an Otherland MMO, an MMORPG regarding a virtual reality simulation where all physical rules and laws could be thrown out of the window.

Scifi, yet with all the unhindered gameplay possibilities that their creators can think of using.

Also, a game like Mass Effect shows what's possible regarding game mechanics in a scifi setting, if you extrapolate that into an MMO format then it'd have its own wide range of game mechanics.


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Joined: 3/01/11
Posts: 385

11/07/11 7:11:53 AM#62
Originally posted by Bigjit

I'm leaning towards the sci fi, likely due to ToR coming out.

Reason?: Mostly because fantasy has been done to death and back. It will be a nice change of pace, even if it's only cosmetic at best.

How will it be a nice change when SWTOR and the SW world is magic and fantasy more than SCI FI. GW2 has tecnology in it and machines and it's classed as fantasy by most people. The thing is GW2 and SWTOR both fit the fantasy bill rather than SCI FI.


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11/07/11 7:21:35 AM#63
Originally posted by MMO.Maverick
Originally posted by Adamantine

Plus of course, people who make fantasy games simply tend to be more creative at inventing new ways to play the game, because "magic" is much less limiting than "technology". We simply assume technology has to conform to the laws of physics, while magic can ignore just any such restriction.

I agree and disagree.  Yes, fantasy writers and creators have the advantage that they don't have to take into account universal laws or find explanations to explain the world they create: if a mage can summon up a sword out of thin air or transform an enemy into a sheep, well, easily done in a fantasy setting. However, scifi writers and creators have shown that even in a scifi setting a plethora of options are available that easily equal or surpass fantasy settings: time travel, teleportation, cloning, nano technology, virtual reality travel, etc.


Also, while the fantasy genre offers a wide expanse of possibilities, in reality you see game designers just like most fantasy writers stick with the Tolkien and D&D based medieval fantasy meme, and not explore the wide range of other potential fantasy ideas.

I'm in the same camp as Mav on this one. Magic and fantasy does allow for a wider range of possibilities, but outside of Asheron's Call and a few other MMOs, we haven't seen much down the line of creative backgrounds, races, or lore. It all seems to return to high fantasy, with little exploration into sub-genres.  With sci-fi there's more branching out into post apocalyptic, space opera, cyberpunk and other sub-genres.


Some Sci-Fi MMOs (good, bad or otherwise)


There is massive diversity in races, gameplay, and UI among the sci-fi games, whereas the fantasy MMOs seem to be compartively similar to each other. I'd really like to see another game like Asheron's Call or the old Star Wars Galaxies arrive on the scene because I think it would add a refreshing new approach that both fantasy and sci-fi fans alike would enjoy.



There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/04
Posts: 340

11/07/11 7:39:13 AM#64

I don't have a preference, but i seem to play much more fantasy games. The only sci-fi game i really liked was Anarchy Online back in the days. If there would be a good sci-fi game, i'd play it, but there is nothing good on the horizon so far... swtor will probably be another quest grinder, or "WoW with lightsabres", as someone said.

And i don't even think sci-fi and fantasy even differ so much - all we need is such fun things, like getting some personal wealth, gear, spells/skills and having a beautiful, immersive world.

I believe a lot of fantasy players would play sci-fi games and vice versa, if the game were really good.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4889

11/07/11 7:40:48 AM#65
Originally posted by Yakkubb

When most people think of MMORPGs they almost always think of the fantasy genre rather than science fiction. So I was wondering which type of MMO do you prefer and why. 

For me I'll go with either really. When it comes down to it the only difference between sci-fi and fantasy now days is aesthetics. 

Star Wars is a good example as it uses many fantasy centric elements and explains them away in a sci-fi way. 

Whether it's a blaster rifle and a light saber or magic bow that shoots enchanted arrows and a flaming longsword does it really matter?

Whether your storming the castle with a magic powered tank or a motorized tank does it really matter?

Does it really matter whether that orc is an alien race or simply created by magic?

You use a stargate or a runic portal

Scout ship or Griffen

Speeder Bike or Ostard


The only difference I've found thats constant enough to count is more often than not Fantasy focuses on melee while Sci-Fi focuses on ranged combat. Though this isn't always the case. 


What I can do matters more to me than how I can do it. 


"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Clarke


Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/08
Posts: 344

11/07/11 8:26:47 AM#66
I prefer fantasy.
Sci-fi games always seem to lack depth across all fronts.
It’s far easier to take actual history, throw a load of existing myth and magic concepts at it and come up with a few novel ideas (fantasy) than it is to take the real world, make it somehow novel and at the same time predict the future (sci-fi).
In games I prefer brutal, wild, animalistic grit and gore to flawless, polished metal, a thousand shades of grey and black, incongruous technology and the inevitable dystopian world of misery.
The mood of fantasy settings always seems to be one of wonder, positivity and the joy of discovery.
The mood of sci-fi settings always seems to be one fear, regret, gloom and impending doom.

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Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 37

11/08/11 10:19:30 AM#67

they almost always think of fantasy because the largest genre of mmo games is fantasy


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Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

11/08/11 11:02:49 AM#68


Really guys? Really?

Why does it have to be either/or? Why the "Vs."?

I swing both ways on this issues. Sometimes I want to blow shit up with a big fucking gun, and sometimes I want to blow things up by flamboyantly waving my hands around. The two genres really aren't that different.


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11/08/11 12:32:20 PM#69
Originally posted by ArcheAge
Originally posted by Bigjit

I'm leaning towards the sci fi, likely due to ToR coming out.

Reason?: Mostly because fantasy has been done to death and back. It will be a nice change of pace, even if it's only cosmetic at best.

How will it be a nice change when SWTOR and the SW world is magic and fantasy more than SCI FI. GW2 has tecnology in it and machines and it's classed as fantasy by most people. The thing is GW2 and SWTOR both fit the fantasy bill rather than SCI FI.

Thats a good point, one that I hadn't really thought of. I mean in SW its the force this the force that.....its just magic really.

"use the force luke, ..... just like I showed you with those dolls"

Now startrek is a true Scifi, if only they would make that into a MMO......oh wait.

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