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General: The List: Five MMO Wishes
News & Features Discussion « General Discussion
6/30/09 4:53:49 PM
While it would take an extremely cold day in a very hot place in order for me to create an avatar that even remotely resembles my physical appearance (not that I'm some hideously deformed creature that lives on ho-hos, twinkies, and McDonalds - all of which I despise - but because I just have this "thing" about publishing my name, my face, or anything else about me anywhere on the internet), the point about creating MMOs that are not IP-based is exactly how I feel. I would be positively ecstatic if a game studio - Indie or "big name" - finally produced a playable MMO with a decent story and a decent UI that was not based on <insert major money-making intellectual property here>.
As for the more obvious distinction between Indie and "big name" MMOs, my thought is that if I enjoy playing a particular game, I could care less who made it (and therefore who is getting my money). I enjoy the game for what it is - bugs and all. I do wish, however, that everyone would stop comparing <insert game here> with WoW. Even Blizzard has stated that WoW is not a typical MMO; it's more like a freak of nature. 11 million subscribers (no matter how you come by the statistic) is huge! To my knowledge, no other game has matched that, though FFXI, from what I understand, comes close. But again, these are extreme examples: these two games (out of how many?) are not the norm, and it really irks me when people assume that they are and that a game, in order to be successful, must match these numbers. For the majority of MMOs, the 300k to one million active subs mark is pretty great performance for a title. It would be a wonderful thing, in my opinion, if the majority of gamers and the gaming press kept this in mind.
Great point on managing expectations. I wish that more marketing folks with sit down and talk with (and especially, listen to!) their respective games' development teams. Then they would know that, no, Snuffy can't dual-wield the BFG in a massive PvP ground battle while flying the magic unicorn mount - or whatever it is they're promoting this week.
And I wholeheartedly agree on the point about the time between beta and launch. In the betas I've been involved in, there was maybe 4 to 6 weeks of closed beta, followed by a month of open beta before the game launched - with almost as many bugs as working quests/items/NPCs/you name it. As a gamer, I would much, much rather see companies take the time to get the game right before launching. From my own point of view, if the company tells me that they're pushing the launch back three to six months in order to "polish" the game and eliminate as many bugs and issues as possible, I would be so thrilled I wouldn't know what to do with myself (except maybe take the time to recover from the shock-induced heart attack such an announcement - that a company was putting a quality product over a few more bucks at launch - would cause).