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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Browser Based Games the future for MMORPG's?

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39 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/17/08
Posts: 91

OP  1/07/13 5:25:12 PM#1

After a recent accident this christmas, I am without my gaming rig temporarily. In the mean time I've adapted to making use of my crumby laptop. Failing to run any of my steam games, I looked at some browser based games and stumbled across a list of best browser based games available today.

I'm actually quite shocked at how good looking some of these games look, considering that they are browser based!

18 Free Browser Based Flash Games

Take for example The Lost Titan (a game I had never heard of up until this list). It's a WoW like MMORPG game, but the main thing that shocked me is how they could get something this good looking on browser. I was just amazed!


What's your impression of browser based games? Do you think they will be used more often by MMORPG dev's? It's quite an attractive thought - a game you don't need to download and you can start up in a flash.

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Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/05
Posts: 253

1/07/13 5:27:23 PM#2

No they will never overtake native programs. They never will because of technical limitations. Native programs will always run faster and better. This is why HTML5 is not doing as well as they hoped on mobile platforms.


I am a mobile developer.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/21/12
Posts: 287

1/07/13 5:30:12 PM#3
No.  I am sure WOW could be run in a browser on a modern rig, but then it is 8/9 years old. 

currently playing: DDO, AOC, WoT, P101


Elite Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 2372

1/07/13 5:38:00 PM#4
Some day they will. It's a question of time and tech. But I wonder if some essentials might need to be on the player's comp or device. Things that will save time where needed. I'm not sure what those things might be, just something I've thought might be a problem solver.

Once upon a time....


Novice Member

Joined: 8/19/12
Posts: 312

1/07/13 5:59:08 PM#5
I honestly hope not. They lure you in with promises of free game play and often have cash shops set up in such a way that you have to spend real money in order to progress in their games.

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 736

game is also real

1/07/13 6:04:35 PM#6

I think these game has handy niche, and they working very good for people who has not own comp and such.
but quality of browser games is not as good as download, which means it's not a future for me, but just an alternative.

try before buy, even if it's a game to avoid bad surprises.
Worst surprises for me: Aion, GW2


Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4889

1/07/13 6:04:48 PM#7
Originally posted by Renton81

After a recent accident this christmas, I am without my gaming rig temporarily. In the mean time I've adapted to making use of my crumby laptop. Failing to run any of my steam games, I looked at some browser based games and stumbled across a list of best browser based games available today.

I'm actually quite shocked at how good looking some of these games look, considering that they are browser based!

18 Free Browser Based Flash Games

Take for example The Lost Titan (a game I had never heard of up until this list). It's a WoW like MMORPG game, but the main thing that shocked me is how they could get something this good looking on browser. I was just amazed!


What's your impression of browser based games? Do you think they will be used more often by MMORPG dev's? It's quite an attractive thought - a game you don't need to download and you can start up in a flash.

There some ok ones but they have some pretty steep limitations which is why they won't be taking over any time soon. By the time they are up to par enough to take over streaming will likely be firmly in place removing the need for the browser based gaming. Don't get me wrong, browser based gaming will always have a place for the casual facebook type of gamer. 


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

1/07/13 6:17:55 PM#8
Originally posted by skamper

No they will never overtake native programs. They never will because of technical limitations. Native programs will always run faster and better. This is why HTML5 is not doing as well as they hoped on mobile platforms.


I am a mobile developer.

But when computers get more and more powerful, it matter less and less to be computationally effiicent. Now you can do some 3d stuff on a web brower, in 5 years, it will be better than the current console graphics.


Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 6654

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

1/07/13 6:23:21 PM#9
the more options the better, but clients will always be better than browser in my opinion.


Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 13596

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

1/07/13 6:53:16 PM#10
Originally posted by Renton81

What's your impression of browser based games? Do you think they will be used more often by MMORPG dev's? It's quite an attractive thought - a game you don't need to download and you can start up in a flash.

Definitely. Free Realms, Clones Wars Adventures and Moonlight Online are three examples of what can currently be done in a browser down the line of 3D worlds. Who knows what can be done a couple years from now. 

Another thing to consider is the shift toward mobile has brought about far more acceptance of low-graphics and 2D game environments. 


Here's my take on it:

What we know as a browser now could be very different from the browser experience in a few years. The surge in smartphones since 2007 has contributed to the stagnation of the browser, as compatibility and standards considerations include mobile iOS, android, Blackberry and Symbian. The flash/java/HTML5 juggle is still up in the air in many ways, as well. Once a standard emerges or the scale tips heavily in the direction of a particular favorite, we'll see browser tech move forward again, much like we saw in earlier years.

It looks like that has already started, though, as both IE6 (2006) and the pre-2006 versions of Firefox are starting to finally disappear (IE6 still is on about 6.5% of machines). We're about to move forward again, but mobile compatibility weighs heavy in direction it goes. 

I'm not a mobile developer.

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


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3717

1/07/13 7:00:38 PM#11
Originally posted by skamper

No they will never overtake native programs. They never will because of technical limitations. Native programs will always run faster and better. This is why HTML5 is not doing as well as they hoped on mobile platforms.


I am a mobile developer.

       I dont see them overtaking either, but they are kind of a nice casual alternative.....I find myself trying more and more browser based games and a couple have become staples because I found no other real MMO equivalents (World of Dungeons & Trophy Fishing online 2)....The majority of browser games seem to be crappy RTS games that all look and feel the same but there are a few gems in the rough out there.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3068

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

1/07/13 7:08:04 PM#12

I don't think so. I played a few browser based games with the unity engine. Example BSG Battlestar Galactica. It stinks and it stinks bad. If games like bsg is the way of the future then there is no no future.


Elite Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1561

1/07/13 7:14:43 PM#13

I play "Mystical Land" quite a bit and find it offers more gameplay features than a lot of MMO's I have tried.  

  But I look at each game individually.  A game is a game to me.  I don't have the preconceived notions everyone else around here seems to have.  As in I would not be caught dead playing a browser game (you may  substitute P2W game , Sub based game, F2P game, any game made by SOE etc. etc. etc. here)

I just expect that any game that is fun to play will be the "future"!   It sure looks like there are a lot of decent games on that list though.   Too bad I don't have time to play them all.

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Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1161

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

1/07/13 7:15:39 PM#14
Browser based games have been around for decades. Why would they be the future?

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

1/07/13 7:16:22 PM#15

I fear I'm too jaded by past bad experiences with flash to really give any games a fair chance to impress me.

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/26/06
Posts: 811

1/07/13 7:45:27 PM#16

They can give the game a nice sounding name and good looking graphics and light effects.

But those are momentary properties. These games require depth ni all sort of aspects to compete with "fat client" games.

I seriously don't think there is a browser game that offers depth. And for the moment there probably will not be any. Why would a game contain tons of data....if it wasn't nescessary.

Evolution in computers and gaming: Better = more data.


Elite Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 8329

1/07/13 7:51:15 PM#17

I've seen games run with full 3d hardware acceleration inside a browser - so yes if you really wanted to it would be possible to run any current mmorpg inside a browser window.

Just because its in a browser window does not mean that it can't be codes to use your hardware acceleration.


Elite Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 2051

1/07/13 8:01:46 PM#18

Browser based games have been around awhile. I'm chiming in agreement on that one. Anyone remember Java and a little game called Runescape? Wow, I cut my teeth on that game, good memories and still can be entertaining today.
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The game I'm making is using HTML5 and I'm expecting it to be well received. Just the nerd factor alone of making a browser based game is enticing.

One of the best things about browser games is the portability they offer, you don't have to install the game in places you can't when they require an admin type access. A library, friend's house, at work. Your game goes with you everywhere when your portal is just a web browser. Because HTML is a web standard and will continue to be, it isn't going anywhere, it will never lose support. Even IE is catching up with the times and catching up their standards support. Browsers aren't nearly as cruddy as they used to be and they do utilize multi-core processors.

I see great future in web based games. If I didn't then I would just build my game in a version of C. I'm putting my proverbial money behind my mouth on this one.

Here's something on WebGL which is the most true 3d we have right now.,3013-10.html

My game I'm using SVG and Canvas if need but I want all my main objects to be DOM driven so they will lie on SVG for the heavy lifting. That lets me use the hydraulic lift I have had for years with CSS styling and DHTML offering UI design to be as simple as someone working on a website. Won't have to use LUA or anything that would take time to learn. People are slowly learning HTML as they traverse the forums and various websites. Eventually they will consider it second nature. Already, did you know you can use a local, custom CSS sheet at websites you visit and change them around? That was the first idea behind adblocking was just making ads display:none in their bounding box.

The biggest problem I see with browser games is security. Sometimes you have to try harder and lots of the Javascript routines will be view source available so that makes it less proprietary and more open source friendly. Big deal though, so what if someone snatches part of my source code, they won't be able to copy my game exactly, just have a lookalike at best. People have been reverse engineering for years anyway from all codebases. 

You want a topic to research - go check out websockets.

Even flash games have made money and HTML 5 is set to blow flash into pieces once they get it all ready. Adobe even stopped supporting flash on some devices because they are being pressured to finally jump on the standards bandwagon instead of riding the propriety based one.




Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14672

1/07/13 8:57:38 PM#19

At the moment, browser based means no modern graphics API support, which in turn means that you can't get all that much use out of the video card.  That massively cripples your performance.  That could change someday, but fixing it doesn't look imminent.

The inability to download the game and store it on your hard drive is also problematic.  As slow as hard drives are, they're still vastly faster than downloading off of the Internet.  That means that a browser-based game has to have very little data needed at any given time, which greatly restricts what you can do with it.

The other problem with browser-based games is that the developer can't entirely control what it's doing.  A game might work great on one browser and not run at all on another.  A game might work fine in one version of a browser, only to see the next version of the same browser break the game.

A standalone client gives you great control over what your program does.  You can write the exact source code that the video card will run.  You can specify which code runs in which threads at which priorities.  You can do that without any interference from a third-party browser.  And you don't have any risk of some other browser tab causing problems, crashing the browser, and bringing your game down with it.

Not only are all of those problems fixable, but they all have the same fix:  make a standalone client for your game.

Browser-based is fine for dinky little games that you play for ten minutes and then move on.  But if you're trying to do something more complex like an MMORPG, even if you want a browser-based version, it's foolhardy to not also offer a standalone client option.


Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 4116

1/07/13 9:17:56 PM#20

HTML5 and Flash both offer local storage. Most of these games have some download requirement; it's just fairly small, and almost always requires the Unity plugin and/or Flash.

Is it the future? Maybe. Honestly, I could care less if my games run in a browser. I just care about the game.

Is it going to be here soon? It still has a lot of problems. HTML5 helps a lot, and Flash is still a nice tool, but neither of them are "there" yet. I think it is an excellent idea; the browser acts as a nice sandboxing tool, it makes the game portable to any platform with a compliant web browser, and it makes distribution fairly straight-forward.

The two biggest hurdles right now are: differences in web browsers (this has been a long-standing problem, but it is getting better), and web browser performance across different platforms (for instance, accelerated graphics support). The latter is tricky, because you want game developers to have access to underlaying hardware, but on the flip side of that coin, you don't want hackers/malicious users to have access to it - allowing safe access is tricky, and if your the OS developer, you don't necessarily want to show your entire hand to competing web browser companies and allow them the same level of access.

Much like "Green Energy", there are a lot of compelling reasons to keep working towards it, but the technology isn't quite there yet to make it a defacto universal answer.

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