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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Are MMOs too Massive?

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  FoeHammerJT

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 146

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

 
OP  9/05/13 8:04:31 PM#1

Recent play time on FF 14 ARR, have led my guild to discuss MMOs in general and an interesting theme among those with disappointments reared up.

Are there too many players per server now?

How many does it take for a title to be "Massive"

Would a few hundred players on a game world the size of Ezorea be enough?

Could "community" and players band together around a smaller server size where interaction was a requirement?

I'm interested in the communities thoughts on this topic. Especially with a another "AAA" title release (or re-release as it were.)

  sirphobos

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 532

9/05/13 8:13:52 PM#2
In my experience MMO servers have less people on average now than they did when MMOs were in their infancy. In their primes, games like Everquest and Asheron's Call had 2-3k people per server online in prime time, even WoW doesn't come close to that I don't think, though instancing may make it seem like there are less people than there actually is. In short though, I don't like the idea of less people per server, if anything I'd like more.
  orionblack

Elite Member

Joined: 7/25/09
Posts: 299

9/05/13 8:23:20 PM#3

Are mmo's too massive.....GTFO of here!!! Lord help us if you just want to solo play in a mmo...just stick to single player games with online options for that. Sorry man but yes, MMO's are supposed to be massive hence the name MMO..Why would having too many people online be a problem?

If you are having problems with douche bags in general chat or just in general, you can thank F2P games for that. No commitment to pay and buy a box means any joe shmoe can download and play, regardless of any actions taken against them.

  Robokapp

Elite Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4151

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

9/05/13 8:28:04 PM#4

there is a concept of UMMORPG or Ultra-MMORPG. It's defined as 100k+ onlnie at same time in same server unseparated by instancing.

 

No MMO reached it yet, Second Life came closest with 80K. When an MMORPG becomes an UMMORPG it's when an MMORPG is too large, hence the namechange.

 

So are MMOs too massive ? No. Massive games are supposed to be massive.

  CommoX

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/12/12
Posts: 57

9/05/13 9:20:40 PM#5

I think that is kind of relative.

Games with more defined quest hubs will seem more crowded because everyone has to be in the same place, around the same level.

Take that, and the size of the maps/zones whatever you want to call them in FFXIVARR, I beta'd so I didn't get outside the level 10 areas, but they were small in comparison to some other MMOs open space.

Too many small zones and artificial walls make things seem a lot smaller than they truly are.

You are also contending with basically everyone at a launch as compared to a more spread out crowd on established games.

I honestly wish there were more people in MMOs, to make them feel more massive. I always envisioned a world full of people going about various tasks.

It's sad when you don't see a place like Ironforge teeming with Dwarves.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

9/05/13 11:16:02 PM#6

Massive games are supposed to be massive, as Robokapp said.

The important question then becomes, "What value does 'massive' add to a game, and is it worth the drawbacks?"

  FoeHammerJT

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 146

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

 
OP  9/06/13 1:42:15 AM#7
Originally posted by orionblack

Are mmo's too massive.....GTFO of here!!! Lord help us if you just want to solo play in a mmo...just stick to single player games with online options for that. Sorry man but yes, MMO's are supposed to be massive hence the name MMO..Why would having too many people online be a problem?

If you are having problems with douche bags in general chat or just in general, you can thank F2P games for that. No commitment to pay and buy a box means any joe shmoe can download and play, regardless of any actions taken against them.

 Not at all. My preferred game would be one with a very challenging environment that almost required group play for long term success.

Let me explain:

In the current crop of MMOs, I look around at a carpet of easy to kill mobs, surrounded by dozens and dozens of players slaughtering them wholesale and without even acknowledging other players most the time. I feel no fear/concern even in late game zones, and just see mobs of people everywhere.

It has the effect of making me feel un-heroic and un-special.

I also feel like the large crowds and instant queue multiplayer experience completely detach players from the anything outside their guilds. Even most guilds feel pretty isolated.

I've run instances in GW2, WoW and FF14 now, and it may as well be NPCs in there with me. We aren't forced to form strategies and we just charge thru in as fast a manner as possible.

Is this what you consider good "group" play?

I think the size of MMOs and the chaining of multi servers for "group play"/queues has really made the games feel too large, and wrecked the community as a whole.

I played Asheron's call, I knew people outside my Monarchy. I would see them and talk to them. In 50 hours of FF14 I haven't had a single conversation with anyone outside my guild. At all. Nor has anyone bothered to speak with me. Not even a thanks for the run after I flawlessly tank or heal with them thru an instance......

I cant help but believe the massive scope of the player base is a part of the cause. Those players figure they will never see me again, why bother talking to me?

  FoeHammerJT

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 146

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

 
OP  9/06/13 1:47:25 AM#8
Originally posted by Robokapp

there is a concept of UMMORPG or Ultra-MMORPG. It's defined as 100k+ onlnie at same time in same server unseparated by instancing.

 

No MMO reached it yet, Second Life came closest with 80K. When an MMORPG becomes an UMMORPG it's when an MMORPG is too large, hence the namechange.

 

So are MMOs too massive ? No. Massive games are supposed to be massive.

I guess I see your point.

Then maybe I am ready for a Post-MMORPG game.

Like a Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. I'd really like to see what a smaller community/server could be like. Something like 3-400 people you could get to know. Relationships might matter. Being polite to each other as you lost your anonymity could be important. People might scorn the guy whose name was: Billy Likes Douches.

Anyone else out there sick of seeing 743 people killing the same easy mobs as I am for hours upon hours in the same small spawn location. .........

 

  FoeHammerJT

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 146

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

 
OP  9/06/13 1:50:16 AM#9
Originally posted by Axehilt

Massive games are supposed to be massive, as Robokapp said.

The important question then becomes, "What value does 'massive' add to a game, and is it worth the drawbacks?"

 Yes Axe!

That's what I am asking.

All RPGs are either 10000000s of players on 15 servers or 16 people.

Cant we try something different? Like a large DayZ server size. Something more easily moderated. Maybe a GM could create content on smaller servers spontaneously. GM sees a dozen people in town and spawns some mobs to attack the city, etc. Have a GM playing DM on a dozen servers for several hours a day to mix it up.

There has to be ways to innovate and I feel like "Massive" is getting the dang way!

  Bacchira

Novice Member

Joined: 8/01/13
Posts: 42

9/06/13 2:00:14 AM#10
Originally posted by orionblack

Are mmo's too massive.....GTFO of here!!! Lord help us if you just want to solo play in a mmo...just stick to single player games with online options for that. Sorry man but yes, MMO's are supposed to be massive hence the name MMO..Why would having too many people online be a problem?

If you are having problems with douche bags in general chat or just in general, you can thank F2P games for that. No commitment to pay and buy a box means any joe shmoe can download and play, regardless of any actions taken against them.

Swoooosh!

 

What was that?

 

The point of the OP's thread going right passed Orionblack's head!

  Robokapp

Elite Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4151

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

9/06/13 3:56:48 AM#11
Originally posted by FoeHammerJT
Originally posted by Robokapp

there is a concept of UMMORPG or Ultra-MMORPG. It's defined as 100k+ onlnie at same time in same server unseparated by instancing.

 

No MMO reached it yet, Second Life came closest with 80K. When an MMORPG becomes an UMMORPG it's when an MMORPG is too large, hence the namechange.

 

So are MMOs too massive ? No. Massive games are supposed to be massive.

I guess I see your point.

Then maybe I am ready for a Post-MMORPG game.

Like a Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. I'd really like to see what a smaller community/server could be like. Something like 3-400 people you could get to know. Relationships might matter. Being polite to each other as you lost your anonymity could be important. People might scorn the guy whose name was: Billy Likes Douches.

Anyone else out there sick of seeing 743 people killing the same easy mobs as I am for hours upon hours in the same small spawn location. .........

 

Vile Rat's funeral in EVE is proof that size of world or playerbase doesn't afect the sense of community necesarily.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWMNlEdRCw8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzBGHNzGi8M

 

  Deivos

Elite Member

Joined: 10/14/04
Posts: 1700

Iarð skal rifna, ok upphiminn.

9/06/13 4:57:35 AM#12

This is something I've noted previously. Many MMOs are very simply not designed to take much advantage of the MMO infrastructure or gameplay possibilities.

 

A lot of what you see comes down to a form of game management. Having the game hosted through the company, while more expensive, gives the developer and publisher more control over the game and the player base. It's not so much a choice consistently made because it grants a boon to the players than it is one that keeps the bulk of data and control with the company.

 

Many game worlds could be paired down to a smaller scale with players hosting their own game worlds. Community would still rise up and build around certain worlds and players would have their dedicated spaces. You can see that pattern happen in older titles that more or less lived in this exact space such as the first Neverwinter Nights by Bioware or the CRPG server community for Mount & Blade Warbands.

 

An MMO that is built without presenting mechanics to support a 'massive' experience fit rather cleanly with the response 'Yes, they are too massive for their design'.

 

The titles that take advantage of a 'massive' context, when their mechanics are ones that just can not be built in any other kind of architecture, are few and far between.

 

Another way to frame the comment is that in many MMOs the population count simply doesn't matter. The player's experience with the title would be the same with twenty people on the server as it would be with 2,000.

 

Take Final Fantasy ARR for example. If you took the chat and trade and put them on a unified server you could access in panels, the entire rest of the game could be broken into smaller private servers and your personal experience of the title would likely change little to none at all.

 

Same thing can be done to titles like WoW. The way PvP and raids are structured makes it simple because it's already partitioned off and you can consequently just provide PvP and raid servers running arenas and instances as their own things.

 

A title like Planetside 2, on the flip side, can not exist without that massive element. It's an integral factor to the game and it's sprawling conflicts that range from teams striking across long war fronts spanning a dozen facilities to the, well, 'massive' zerg conflicts you'll see at any major facility or alert location.

 

You take the massive out of a title such as that and try to make it small scale lobby, it suddenly becomes a very different game with a very different feel. It's a case where changing the scale affects the game play itself.

 

So in summary.

If an MMO takes advantage of what an MMO infrastructure can provide, then it is not too massive and is fulfilling at least in part the potential of 'MMO' for the user experience.

 

If an MMO doesn't take advantage of what an MMO infrastructure can provide, then it might be too massive as it's not fulfilling the potential of 'MMO' for the user (though it could use the MMO infrastructure for alternate reasons, such as providing the publisher/developer better control over the title and user base).

As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero. - Vaarsuvius

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17961

9/06/13 10:19:05 AM#13
Originally posted by Robokapp

So are MMOs too massive ? No. Massive games are supposed to be massive.

I don't think the label needs to be interpreted literally. The industry does not.

The fact is many games that are classified as MMOs focus on non-massive gameplay. Many can be played as solo-games.

Now you can argue semantics and insist that they should be called something else, but i doubt you can change how a term is commonly used.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11358

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

9/06/13 10:34:18 AM#14
Originally posted by FoeHammerJT

Would a few hundred players on a game world the size of Ezorea be enough?

Could "community" and players band together around a smaller server size where interaction was a requirement?

I'd say the best way to approach this wouldn't be with server size but with better tools and resources to support the growth of individual communities. A couple features that could work toward that end are:

  • - have multiple viable central cities, rather than one hub, so that communities can adopt a city that is 'theirs' which also often introduces a certain sense of local pride and positive rivalry between them such as seen in real life communities (Mets vs Yanks fans, Brooklyn vs Queens, Rangers vs Islander fans, etc). 
  • - offer quick travel to a small number of player chosen locations with zero/low cooldown, This allows players to quickly access their favorite hangout or haunt, making access to the specific players they choose to interact with faster and easier.
  • - provide tools to allow communities that exist beyond the guild unit to identify themselves. Banners, badges, sashes, titles, etc.

A healthy server is comprised of multiple communities, each with strong core members, an outer ring of contributing members, and that further ring of those that want to be part of something bigger but aren't comfortable with or ready for deeper engagement.

 

On a smaller scale, the FFXI linkshells worked every well toward that end. I haven't played the new FFXIV and only played the original abomination for a short while so I don't remember if such things existed there as a lot of my time was spent begging an NPC to cough up a leve or two for me.

 

A few hundred (or even less) per community in a server with mutliple communities seems ideal, but your overall goal of smaller, more meaningful groups is a great one, and one several MMOs actually do work toward.

 

  FoeHammerJT

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 146

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

 
OP  9/06/13 11:11:08 AM#15
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Robokapp

So are MMOs too massive ? No. Massive games are supposed to be massive.

I don't think the label needs to be interpreted literally. The industry does not.

The fact is many games that are classified as MMOs focus on non-massive gameplay. Many can be played as solo-games.

Now you can argue semantics and insist that they should be called something else, but i doubt you can change how a term is commonly used.

 Can you provide some evidence that the community doesn't believe that massive has to equal thousands of players on each gaming server?

I ask completely out of interest. I'd like to see a game world with a smaller community. Please share! :).

  FoeHammerJT

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 146

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

 
OP  9/06/13 11:14:39 AM#16
Originally posted by Robokapp
Originally posted by FoeHammerJT
Originally posted by Robokapp

there is a concept of UMMORPG or Ultra-MMORPG. It's defined as 100k+ onlnie at same time in same server unseparated by instancing.

 

No MMO reached it yet, Second Life came closest with 80K. When an MMORPG becomes an UMMORPG it's when an MMORPG is too large, hence the namechange.

 

So are MMOs too massive ? No. Massive games are supposed to be massive.

I guess I see your point.

Then maybe I am ready for a Post-MMORPG game.

Like a Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. I'd really like to see what a smaller community/server could be like. Something like 3-400 people you could get to know. Relationships might matter. Being polite to each other as you lost your anonymity could be important. People might scorn the guy whose name was: Billy Likes Douches.

Anyone else out there sick of seeing 743 people killing the same easy mobs as I am for hours upon hours in the same small spawn location. .........

 

Vile Rat's funeral in EVE is proof that size of world or playerbase doesn't afect the sense of community necesarily.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWMNlEdRCw8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzBGHNzGi8M

 

 I agree, but I think the amount of real estate in EVE really changes the perceptions. I've actually played and enjoy Eve and it is evidence of Massive done very well. The game world (or galaxy in this case) is extremely large. I am fairly confident that no player has visited each and every star system in the game.

I will also agree that this illustrates how important size of the world divided by number of players on that world can be. Eve in many places feels desolate and empty, much like space should. I also think that places on a ground based world should feel wild, untamed, dangerous and not have 12673 players running around cutting all the mobs down.

  FoeHammerJT

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 146

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

 
OP  9/06/13 11:17:37 AM#17
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by FoeHammerJT

Would a few hundred players on a game world the size of Ezorea be enough?

Could "community" and players band together around a smaller server size where interaction was a requirement?

I'd say the best way to approach this wouldn't be with server size but with better tools and resources to support the growth of individual communities. A couple features that could work toward that end are:

  • - have multiple viable central cities, rather than one hub, so that communities can adopt a city that is 'theirs' which also often introduces a certain sense of local pride and positive rivalry between them such as seen in real life communities (Mets vs Yanks fans, Brooklyn vs Queens, Rangers vs Islander fans, etc). 
  • - offer quick travel to a small number of player chosen locations with zero/low cooldown, This allows players to quickly access their favorite hangout or haunt, making access to the specific players they choose to interact with faster and easier.
  • - provide tools to allow communities that exist beyond the guild unit to identify themselves. Banners, badges, sashes, titles, etc.

A healthy server is comprised of multiple communities, each with strong core members, an outer ring of contributing members, and that further ring of those that want to be part of something bigger but aren't comfortable with or ready for deeper engagement.

 

On a smaller scale, the FFXI linkshells worked every well toward that end. I haven't played the new FFXIV and only played the original abomination for a short while so I don't remember if such things existed there as a lot of my time was spent begging an NPC to cough up a leve or two for me.

 

A few hundred (or even less) per community in a server with mutliple communities seems ideal, but your overall goal of smaller, more meaningful groups is a great one, and one several MMOs actually do work toward.

 

 Great thoughts, I'm glad to hear this idea floating around out there. If you see any games on the horizon espousing such aims please send me a message!

I really think this is something being overlooked by the industry AND the community at large. I think there is a certain pride in the moniker of playing "Massive Online" games that many players may be loath to let go of for a puny population of a few hundred.

 

  FoeHammerJT

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 146

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

 
OP  9/06/13 11:33:31 AM#18
Originally posted by Deivos

This is something I've noted previously. Many MMOs are very simply not designed to take much advantage of the MMO infrastructure or gameplay possibilities.

 

A lot of what you see comes down to a form of game management. Having the game hosted through the company, while more expensive, gives the developer and publisher more control over the game and the player base. It's not so much a choice consistently made because it grants a boon to the players than it is one that keeps the bulk of data and control with the company.

 

Many game worlds could be paired down to a smaller scale with players hosting their own game worlds. Community would still rise up and build around certain worlds and players would have their dedicated spaces. You can see that pattern happen in older titles that more or less lived in this exact space such as the first Neverwinter Nights by Bioware or the CRPG server community for Mount & Blade Warbands.

 

An MMO that is built without presenting mechanics to support a 'massive' experience fit rather cleanly with the response 'Yes, they are too massive for their design'.

 

The titles that take advantage of a 'massive' context, when their mechanics are ones that just can not be built in any other kind of architecture, are few and far between.

 

Another way to frame the comment is that in many MMOs the population count simply doesn't matter. The player's experience with the title would be the same with twenty people on the server as it would be with 2,000.

 

Take Final Fantasy ARR for example. If you took the chat and trade and put them on a unified server you could access in panels, the entire rest of the game could be broken into smaller private servers and your personal experience of the title would likely change little to none at all.

 

Same thing can be done to titles like WoW. The way PvP and raids are structured makes it simple because it's already partitioned off and you can consequently just provide PvP and raid servers running arenas and instances as their own things.

 

A title like Planetside 2, on the flip side, can not exist without that massive element. It's an integral factor to the game and it's sprawling conflicts that range from teams striking across long war fronts spanning a dozen facilities to the, well, 'massive' zerg conflicts you'll see at any major facility or alert location.

 

You take the massive out of a title such as that and try to make it small scale lobby, it suddenly becomes a very different game with a very different feel. It's a case where changing the scale affects the game play itself.

 

So in summary.

If an MMO takes advantage of what an MMO infrastructure can provide, then it is not too massive and is fulfilling at least in part the potential of 'MMO' for the user experience.

 

If an MMO doesn't take advantage of what an MMO infrastructure can provide, then it might be too massive as it's not fulfilling the potential of 'MMO' for the user (though it could use the MMO infrastructure for alternate reasons, such as providing the publisher/developer better control over the title and user base).

I like this summary, very well thought out response.

I agree with most of this post except these key points:

-Final Fantasy ARR with significantly fewer people might actually feel and play different. With only a few hundred people some of those FATEs might be challenging and you might have to call in some help. You might actually speak with those that came to help you. They might call on you down the road to help with something.

This certainly wouldn't fix my overall issues with the game itself but I do think it would alleviate some of my disappointment in the game.

-Is the push to make worlds Massive slowing their innovation? Are there mechanics that people "expect" with a massive game that are potentially hindering/slowing development of new gameplay and specifically having a negative impact on social improvements and innovations.

Also, I might add that I in no way feel that ALL games should not be massive. Eve and Planetside 2 are great examples of Massive done well.

  FoeHammerJT

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 146

Knowledge is the enemy of faith.

 
OP  9/06/13 11:49:51 AM#19
Originally posted by Deivos

This is something I've noted previously. Many MMOs are very simply not designed to take much advantage of the MMO infrastructure or gameplay possibilities.

 

A lot of what you see comes down to a form of game management. Having the game hosted through the company, while more expensive, gives the developer and publisher more control over the game and the player base. It's not so much a choice consistently made because it grants a boon to the players than it is one that keeps the bulk of data and control with the company.

 

Many game worlds could be paired down to a smaller scale with players hosting their own game worlds. Community would still rise up and build around certain worlds and players would have their dedicated spaces. You can see that pattern happen in older titles that more or less lived in this exact space such as the first Neverwinter Nights by Bioware or the CRPG server community for Mount & Blade Warbands.

 

An MMO that is built without presenting mechanics to support a 'massive' experience fit rather cleanly with the response 'Yes, they are too massive for their design'.

 

The titles that take advantage of a 'massive' context, when their mechanics are ones that just can not be built in any other kind of architecture, are few and far between.

 

Another way to frame the comment is that in many MMOs the population count simply doesn't matter. The player's experience with the title would be the same with twenty people on the server as it would be with 2,000.

 

Take Final Fantasy ARR for example. If you took the chat and trade and put them on a unified server you could access in panels, the entire rest of the game could be broken into smaller private servers and your personal experience of the title would likely change little to none at all.

 

Same thing can be done to titles like WoW. The way PvP and raids are structured makes it simple because it's already partitioned off and you can consequently just provide PvP and raid servers running arenas and instances as their own things.

 

A title like Planetside 2, on the flip side, can not exist without that massive element. It's an integral factor to the game and it's sprawling conflicts that range from teams striking across long war fronts spanning a dozen facilities to the, well, 'massive' zerg conflicts you'll see at any major facility or alert location.

 

You take the massive out of a title such as that and try to make it small scale lobby, it suddenly becomes a very different game with a very different feel. It's a case where changing the scale affects the game play itself.

 

So in summary.

If an MMO takes advantage of what an MMO infrastructure can provide, then it is not too massive and is fulfilling at least in part the potential of 'MMO' for the user experience.

 

If an MMO doesn't take advantage of what an MMO infrastructure can provide, then it might be too massive as it's not fulfilling the potential of 'MMO' for the user (though it could use the MMO infrastructure for alternate reasons, such as providing the publisher/developer better control over the title and user base).

 I wanted to post and reply separately on the WoW comments you made. It is this part of the "New Massive" ideology that I feel is having the most negative impact on the multiplayer experience. Running a Raid Finder or Dungeon Finder dungeon feels VERY single player. Its a race with players you will almost certainly NEVER meet again. They might as well be NPCs you are running around with in Dragon Age during an epic fight I can find no discerning difference. The content is so easily that anything resembling real teamwork isn't required and many people afk or semi-afk through them with no real consequence.

 I am aware that Raids in WoW can be and are run by guilds that are more challenging, but I've watched a rapid deterioration in guild counts and composition since the Raid Finder release. Many more people are choosing the faster way to see content and grab items and then un-sub until the next content patch. This might say something about that particular community.

I am for player choice....until it works against the multiplayer features, feel and functionality of an online game.

To me the Raid Finder is Blizzard's continuing efforts to streamline the MMO experience into something like Call of Duty/Halo matches.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17961

9/06/13 11:51:55 AM#20
Originally posted by FoeHammerJT
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Robokapp

So are MMOs too massive ? No. Massive games are supposed to be massive.

I don't think the label needs to be interpreted literally. The industry does not.

The fact is many games that are classified as MMOs focus on non-massive gameplay. Many can be played as solo-games.

Now you can argue semantics and insist that they should be called something else, but i doubt you can change how a term is commonly used.

 Can you provide some evidence that the community doesn't believe that massive has to equal thousands of players on each gaming server?

I ask completely out of interest. I'd like to see a game world with a smaller community. Please share! :).

I never claim that. The claim is that many (not all) games categorized as MMORPGs have a large part of their gameplay non-massive.

Examples. WoW, NWO, DDO, Marvel Heroes, Vindictice.....

In many of these games, the gameplay, particularly end-game is focused on instanced small group (may even go up to 25, but still not massive) dungeons, battleground and arenas. Even if there is a massive zone (such as a city), it is often used as little more than a lobby.

 

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