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News & Features Discussion  » General: Five Dead MMO Horses

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16258

OP  1/31/12 11:41:31 AM#1

There are many things that we, as MMO gamers, feel very passionately about yet sometimes spend way too much time talking about, arguing fruitlessly. In The List today, we take a look at the top five horses we love to beat into oblivion. Check it out and then weigh in on the subject in the comments.

There are a ton of topics we MMO gamers like to beat to death. Hell, saying we like to beat dead horses is beating a dead horse in and of itself. But that won’t stop me from bringing them up here once more for us to whack like Rhianna when Chris Brown is grumpy and sad about being Chris Brown… was that in bad taste, or just untimely? Both? Oh well. Anyway, let’s get this show started so we can all get back to talking about the following five items in the comments below. Here is our list of the Five Dead MMO Horses.

Read more Bill Murphy's The List: Five Dead MMO Horses.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/23/08
Posts: 694

2/01/12 7:13:12 AM#2

lol. If people stopped talking about these things, would be deader than the horse.

This is like CSPAN creating a "No Politics" rule.



Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/11
Posts: 88

2/01/12 7:34:55 AM#3

Maybe it's less complaining about it and more, creating valid points and counter points that he may be going for.  The themepark vs. sandbox is totaly right on.  They are opinions, unless the other person's opinion is that it's ok to punch you in face each time he sees you, then why are you getting so worked up about what some other person on the internet says lol.

Seriously though... pistachio? *shudder*  I attack your opinion!*

*sarcasm intended


Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

2/01/12 7:39:40 AM#4

Yeah those topic was , are and will be endlessly discussed cause those are core of mmropg's.


What took worst 'hit' in recent years is immersion though.


Swtor tried to build immersion and while it works for some part of players , it does not work for me. Just VO and cutscene does not build immersion at all for me. (especially that many of them are just silly)


Virtual world does.  (see non-MMO Skyrim) Sadly no AAA developer is trying to create one.

Instead they create mmropg's that are clearly NOT-disguised games. From first minutes since first log in - you obviously know you're in game.


Even more with recent cash shops and freemium things. Even best immersion is immedietaly and irreversably ruined for me when there is cash shop in game. It is like this big sign "This is game, we give you items and stuff for your RL $ or euros". Destroy level playing field as well, etc



Novice Member

Joined: 7/01/04
Posts: 80

2/01/12 7:48:08 AM#5

These five topics are the most important aspects of an MMO to people that already fans of the genre. That is like saying representation, abstraction, form and color are dead horses in the art world. It is actually the opposite of what you imply by this list.

  User Deleted
2/01/12 7:49:10 AM#6

Getting my swings in:

- it's not really a dead horse when companies aren't balancing their games to make them the best releases they can be even after spending an insanely large amount of money ($200mil anyone?)

- there are things she left out that have been discussed in the forums forever like cash shops and freemium vs b2p models

- endgame woes is absolutely on par, are they going to keep throwing us dogturds like endgame raiding as the only means of advancement or what? Where's the innovation?

- pvp and imbalance - if every company doesn't begin following the rule that GW2 will be implementing at the launch of their game where they separated the code for the pvp and pve skills, then the backlash they get from the community as a whole is their own fault, it's 2012 folks time to roll out the newest code for the newest games, using the time honored tradition of being lazy isn't going to cut it, i don't care what the IP is.

- where are all the sandpark games? you know just enough of each to be enjoyable? how long ago were mmo's created that these companies can't balance that one? and why aren't companies learning from the mistakes of other mmo's along the way is no one hired for corporate mmo history on the devs teams these days?


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/10
Posts: 2131

2/01/12 7:53:40 AM#7

Employees tend  to rise to their level of incompetence......"THE PETER PRINCIPLE". The latest crop of MMO game prooducers/directors continues to validate  this truism.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/04/04
Posts: 118

Can I have your stuffz....???

2/01/12 8:10:25 AM#8

I thought this was an article about actual dead horses in mmo lore lmao



Novice Member

Joined: 7/02/04
Posts: 158

Sugar and spice and MMOs.

2/01/12 8:29:03 AM#9

On the topic of immersion...

To a large degree creating a virtual environment in which a player can feel immersed in that world of course falls squarely on the developers' shoulders.  This includes everything from presentation (graphics, art direction, customization options, etc) to well thought out questlines~or not so well thought out (!).  Decent player housing is one of the best ways a game can help me feel attached to that world.  Clunky, in-your-face UI's and glossing over too many of the little things, however, are not.

That being said, a lot of my attempts at staying immersed, even in games where the developers have done a pretty good job on their side, are wrecked (or at least have been greatly interfered with) by *actual players*, oh and bots, defintely bots.

Examples include players jumping everywhere, leet speak & attitude, silly or disgusting in-game names, arguing about dumb things in global, players just being rude to one another, getting kicked from groups for no reason other than being perceived as 'newb', being asked what I made my husband for dinner, hearing Darth Vader eating cheetos in your headset, gold sellers PMing me, people racing to endgame (it's the journey people, the journey!), unsolicited duel challenges (then they call you something rude for declining), people dancing on mailboxes, people and *their freakin huge dinosaur mounts* jamming around npcs and in buildings, general griefing, the list goes on and on.  I guess it's kind of funny, but at the same time it's not.  It kills immersion, and it has nothing to do with how immersive the game itself may actually be (to me).  Oh well.  /endrant. ^.^

Btw, that poor horse (first picture)!



Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 498

2/01/12 8:30:58 AM#10
Sandbox is the future of MMOs, I dont know how anyone can argue that. Thats the whole attraction of MMOs for me, other players. If I wanted to be led through a game Id play a single player title. If you give players the ability to create the content themselves then there will always be new content. Shooters that let people mod the game is a prime example. One of the most widely played shooters ever started as a mod (Counter Strike) and I got so much replayability from Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament, and Battlefield because of mods.

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/23/08
Posts: 694

2/01/12 8:41:44 AM#11

Originally posted by 77lolmac77

Sandbox is the future of MMOs, I dont know how anyone can argue that. Thats the whole attraction of MMOs for me, other players. If I wanted to be led through a game Id play a single player title. If you give players the ability to create the content themselves then there will always be new content. Shooters that let people mod the game is a prime example. One of the most widely played shooters ever started as a mod (Counter Strike) and I got so much replayability from Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament, and Battlefield because of mods.


I agree.  That's also a very good point about the modded community. Come to think of it, that's the real reason I kept playing those old games for so long, e.g., Galactic Conquest Mod, Desert Combat Mod, GI Joe Mod, etc.

Sandbox is certainly the future. The current and terrible track record of Theme Parks should show this.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/09/03
Posts: 1192

2/01/12 9:06:43 AM#12

Originally posted by precious328

lol. If people stopped talking about these things, would be deader than the horse.

This is like CSPAN creating a "No Politics" rule.

So true, forums are a glue factory.

"They essentially want to say 'Correlation proves Causation' when it's just not true." - Sovrath


Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/06
Posts: 898

2/01/12 9:09:27 AM#13

6. F2P Vs. P2P

So dead. We all know all the reasons to prefer one to the other. We shall never mention it again.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/08/07
Posts: 181

2/01/12 9:11:18 AM#14

Endgame is definitely what kills it for me. I'm truly not bothered by either extreme, with SWTOR being insanely easy to level or original FFXI/EQ I taking everything you've got to make it to that max level. My problem is content waiting for me when I get there. I have found that more recently, these MMOs just have nothing to offer in the way of innovative end game content, it just turns into the same gear grind. Now, I know for me personally I get nostalgic at the end games of titles like FFXI where there was almost TOO many things to do, where you literally had no excuse to be bored ever because things were waiting for your group / linkshell to get them done. I just think about that, a game from 2003 and compare it with what was waiting for me when I hit 50 on my sorc in SWTOR and I almost feel like this genre has gone backwards, especially when they spent so much money for so little. 

For now I've gone back to FFXIV. Game was complete shit at the beginning, and it's still pretty bad in some regards (mostly ways to level up). The difference is when you are max level in that game there are still way more things to do with your guild in that game than SWTOR, and I feel like there is something seriously wrong with that picture. I'm hoping Bioware can make some serious improvement and provide me with other ways of progressing my character outside of the whole useless pve/pvp gear grind that we are all too familiar with from other titles. At least you know I'm willing to go back and give other games a shot if they make improvements since I'm playing FFXIV now =P The difference is at least SE admits they made big mistakes. BW for now is mostly just covering them up ><


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 150

2/01/12 9:12:25 AM#15

The blended sandboxy-centric gaming model has always been preferred, imho, by most that really enjoy mmorpgs.



The OP isn’t writing anything new.  This article from 2-years ago says it all.



There is a reason why 60-70% of mmorpg box purchasers to subscription-based mmorpg's begin to unsubscribe 3-months post-launch to these supposed AAA titles once launched. 



They are experienced for what they are, SW:TOR being the most recent; virtual micro social networks with heavily emphasized single-player content and very limiting group or large-scale community content.



Boiled-down to a combination of independence in major game-play combined with 4-person static instances or 10-person vs 10-person third-person timed pvp matches that contributes nothing to massively-multiplayer organic community-based in the slightest.  Such products do nothing but highlight the profound nature of the lobby-system-like single-player rpg that one is influenced into purchasing with grossly inaccurate reviews like the one on this site, that make it appear as though said game is an immersive massively-multiplayer game.



Save Rift and EVE, which I think have the better elements of massively-multiplayer, I think the mmorpg enthusiast market will continue to say otherwise with their wallets, that most recently delivered products fall way short of expectation compared to those farcical reviews, as evident by metacritic.



Advanced Member

Joined: 2/19/07
Posts: 1703

2/01/12 9:21:53 AM#16
Originally posted by 77lolmac77
Sandbox is the future of MMOs, I dont know how anyone can argue that. Thats the whole attraction of MMOs for me, other players. If I wanted to be led through a game Id play a single player title. If you give players the ability to create the content themselves then there will always be new content. Shooters that let people mod the game is a prime example. One of the most widely played shooters ever started as a mod (Counter Strike) and I got so much replayability from Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament, and Battlefield because of mods.

It definitely can be argued against.  Look at the history of sandbox mmo's, it's not good.  Sandbox MMO's have, in the past, for the most part, have been some kind of failure.  MMO companies look at the past successes and failures and usually try to build on them.  If I had a MMO company and I wanted to make a profit, I'd make a themepark.  That's what makes money.  And after all, that's what MMO companies want.


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Joined: 9/13/09
Posts: 2370

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to post."

2/01/12 9:43:27 AM#17

The sad fact of the matter is the reason all of these never ending litanies of bitching exist is due solely to the inherent weaknesses of the MMORPG platform.


That is the only true dead horse that needs to stop being beaten, at least until these companies are willing to try to improve on earlier designs rather than just slavishly copy what worked for someone else.

"Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "


Novice Member

Joined: 11/24/09
Posts: 3001

The more you hype an upcoming game in your mind, the more it will fail to meet your expectations.

2/01/12 10:14:12 AM#18

5) Personally I found UO to be by far, the most immersive MMO I've ever played. The game world and gameplay in general was very non-linear. When you started the game you could choose where to go and what to do with your character right out the gate. The game mechanics also offered a wide variety of skill choices, which you could mix and match to make a character that fit your play style. You weren't restricted to a specific class, or a specific line of tasks you had to perform in order to advance -- which is what questing is.


4) The grind seems to be an issue for most. But again I found UO to be the best MMO in this regard. You didn't have to be the absolute max skill to enjoy the game. Even things a noobie character could do had value in the game world. For example creating a brand new character and going out mining, the ore and metal they produced was still wanted by GM smiths for crafting. Likewise being a brand new combat character you could kill orcs for gold and weapons, and sell the weapons to smiths to melt down... or alternatively you could hunt deer to skin and sell their leather to tailors. In the later game you could still participate in 'end game' content such as killing dragons, without being maxed out in your skills. Sure being maxed out helped, but it wasn't absolutely required. In the end, the game was more about the journey than the destination.


3) I've never, ever, seen an MMO that does PvP truly well. I honestly don't think there will ever be one. That's why I tend to avoid PvP in MMOs, and PvP heavy MMOs. If I want a fix of PvP, I stick to games made explicitly for it such as Battlefield or TF2.


2) It's preference yes. But honestly I think the arguement is more linear versus non-linear gameplay. Though with SWTOR, it seems like even many of the gamers who do prefer themeparks still find a game like SWTOR too confined and linear. I don't have any problem with the existence of themepark MMOs. They can be fun from time to time, hell I played WoW for six years. My only real gripe on the topic is that there aren't more decent quality sandbox MMO options available.


1) The endgame issue is one borne out of linear content design. When low level characters and content are easily overshadowed and made irrelevant by higher levels, you fall into end-game syndrom. Players feel the need to rush to the end because they feel like the more time they spend at low levels is a waste. Why would you want to take your time leveling when in the grand scheme everything you do is relatively useless until you get to max level? Which is why again I will point to UO, where your actions still held value no matter how advanced you were.


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Joined: 7/30/07
Posts: 388

2/01/12 10:53:51 AM#19

Your statement under # 2 "the argument is pointless" is not true.  The argurment most Sandbox lovers are arguing, is if a polished sandbox game was ever made, more people may prefer this flavor of a game.  The fact is the market is so dry of sandbox options.  Large companies continue to feed us these themepark games.  The day we stop arguing is the day we have given up hope. Which i'm sure a lot of sandbox gamers have already.





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Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7205

2/01/12 11:02:52 AM#20

First off, you don't need balance in a pvp game.  Want to know why?  Because it is supposed to be played with others, a well knit group should be able to hold it's own against any of the Fotm people.  Pvp should never be looked at from a solo perspective.  DAoC had great pvp and none of the classes were balanced from a solo perspective.

Immersion is up to the individual.  I think a quest less game supports that a bit better, but it is up to whoever wants it to allow it.

End game is for those theme parks that let you level to end game so fast.  A skill based system really does not need nor have anything specifically end game.  

A skill based system like Eve has really no grind, just time in game.  You just have to specialize your skills initially.

So you might beat those dead horses, but I really don't think they are horses in the perspective you are using.

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