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OP 12/16/12 5:00:11 PM#1
Back in 1997, there were really only two MMORPG's you could play. Meridian 59 or The Realm. Few years later, you received three more choices. Everquest, Asheron's Call 1, and Ultima Online.
And the MMORPG market kept growing. The thing with MMORPG's is that a player expects to work toward an end goal which requires time. So you would expect an MMORPG to run for 5-10+ years. The issue arises in these old times (1997-2002) when the player-base for MMORPG's was very low. Internet connections and computers weren't what they are now.
Fast forward to ~2005... World of Warcraft is launched and Asheron's Call 2 (Along with other old games) shut down and/or lose business.
What did WoW do? It took all these "time" factors in an MMO and made them faster. The player was rewarded in a faster manner and a very polished manner. This type of game appealed to a new audience which was much larger.
Fast forward to 2012... There are now millions and millions of players who play MMORPG's. There are thousands of MMO's to choose from. Farmville, Planetside, Everquest, WoW, DAoC, AoC, Star Wars..... The list goes on and the market is flooded. Everyone is trying to be "that game".
Why is this relevant? MMO's are getting increasingly more expensive to make so developers are trying to make them more accessible to a wider audience. Most of the time, this means very easy gameplay, easy crafting, easy dungeons, easy loot, easy everything.... A game you can play for a month and quit because you got everything or no longer want to play because it's boring.
Fact of the matter is, there is a reason old games are still running. Everquest, DAoC, AC1 (and now AC2)..... The GAME MECHANICS! AC always had a great loot system, a large open world to explore, PvP with looting, Kingdom vs Kingdom, a long-term progression system. AC has lasting appeal.... A place you can call home because not only does it take a long time to get to the "cap", but it's fun getting there.
I hope if Turbine is in fact making a new MMO, they take all elements into the equation.
1.) The fact that old school MMO's had things that still attract gamers in 2012.
2.) The fact that 95% of new MMORPG's are garbage compared to old MMO's besides there graphics.
3.) The fact that because of #2, graphics don't matter. GAME MECHANICS matter! (ie. Fun loot system, crafting, monster killing, skills, talents, progression, PvP.....)
4.) The fact that a new MMORPG could be made with less money than the "standard MMO" if you are efficient. Like #3, graphics don't matter, that can cut costs. CG also doesn't matter. Story can be told through a narrator just fine. (Also, kickstarter programs have been doing well in some cases)
If Asheron's Call 3 was made and it had elements of AC1/AC2 and a polished experience, it would get the attention it deserves because the MMORPG market not only has 100 times more players than 2002, but it's also starving for something great. There is not a single MMORPG that has been released in the past two years that was worth the hype. No MMORPG's out there with lasting appeal like AC has.
Few things I would suggest for AC3:
1.) Keep the inventory selling. (Love not having to go to town)
2.) Add an auction house to your inventory. (Again, convenience is key. I would rather spend my time exploring the land and PLAYING rather than running back to a town to sell items)
3.) Add a soulbound item system to random drops so the market isn't flooded. (Bind on equip)