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I am a current student at Virginia Common Wealth University. I am a double major in Information Systems and History. Currently, I am working on a book and have developed several small ORPGs in the past. I am working on a new ORPG and want your help!

Author: Crusix221

2D MMORPGs: To little, to late?

Posted by Crusix221 Monday January 5 2009 at 4:23PM
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     As we all know the foundation for RPGs in general was laid out by 2D games. From the first Final Fantasy and Zelda series, to Chrono Trigger and Secert of Mana; these games will never be forgotten. My question is despite their infamy, will their art style ever die? Is immersion no longer possible in a "flat world"? To me, it depends on how creative you are.

    In my belief, 2D games are seeing the end of their time (and have been for a while besides in the mobile market). There are several small ORPGs out there that make due with a small community (I have designed and worked on several myself) but they never get close to seeing a "healthy" or even fair player base. Currently the market is flooded with 3D games most of the pay to play ones sporting passable 3D graphics and some free to play ones are on par as well (Sword of the New World). Besides the exceptions on the free to play side of things the majority of them seem to have very dated 3D graphics. Are they better looking then a well done 2D game (Dofus for example *Which I will note is successful but due to its browser nature)?

    This brings me to my argument; 2D games can be beautiful and sometimes part of the beauty is the fact that 2D games paint half the canvas and then give you the brush and say, "Finish it." A 3D game needs to be top of the line and absolutely sell that world to you. A 2D game gives you that looking glass where you have the basics (depending on budget and art direction of course) but you can see what you want to see. Most of you by now may be thinking "Well that's a shitty game then." but its not , its simply putting the RP back in. This is a whole other argument (Blog to come) but from my experience the community feeling is much more alive in 2D games than in any 3D game I have played. Everyone has there own motives, back stories, conversation (intelligent ones) just seem so much more natural and enjoyable.

    My final question is this: would you over look a MMORPG (even with your dream features and mechanics) if it where 2D (professional looking 2D at that)?

Vrika writes:

Written by Crusix221: 

"Dofus for example *Which I will note is successful but due to its browser nature"


Dofus is not a browser based game. It's a flash -based game, but it requires installation and runs as independent program.

Mon Jan 05 2009 5:10PM Report
aleos writes:

Al Hail Pac man!

Mon Jan 05 2009 5:25PM Report
Crusix221 writes:

Vrika - I thought I had seen a client for it before but I also know you can play it through a broswer as I did on my school computers (It may have been through an odd method). My point was though its very very accessible.

Mon Jan 05 2009 5:54PM Report
Thradar writes:

"Too little, too late"

That being said, yes I would overlook a 2D mmo.  It's just a matter of personal taste.

Mon Jan 05 2009 6:14PM Report
rounner writes:

If the game is a windows executable then it may as well be 3d even if it uses a 2d perspective. Ask yourself this though; if you were making a game on your own and couldnt afford professional artists, or perhaps were using a limited platform like a mobile phone, would you rather generate 3d terrain and models, or 2d tiles and sprites?

Mon Jan 05 2009 6:31PM Report
Crusix221 writes:

rounner - Valid point and exactly where my blogs are going to be  headed - what can ambitious ideas do with little to no expendable budget

Mon Jan 05 2009 7:23PM Report
zelldevil writes:

Graal 4ever

Mon Jan 05 2009 7:33PM Report
zelldevil writes:

Graal 4ever

Mon Jan 05 2009 7:33PM Report
bachanam writes:

i thought about this when i read the title, in short my opinion is roughly something like this:

i expect 3d games to phase out 2d games when i look at the 3d quality and the stage technology we are at, however i still see 2d games as a consumer-friendly product. I think i've figured out why, or atleast from my point of view. 3d games are too spacious, slow, dull, whereas 2d games are anything but spacious, are expected to be slow, and can't be blamed for dull as they aren't generally capable of miniscule or tedious visual additions (such as things moving even when you are not moving.)

This of course, is only about mmorpgs. Single player games are a whole other story, although not when talking about most 3d games.

Mon Jan 05 2009 8:29PM Report
lnfinity writes:


Personally I think it depends on the story line and content.  I played  Lineage for many years, and as you now, that's a top down game.  Had a period of time where I was homeless, so lost track of all my information along with the computer I had then, otherwise, chances are I'd still be playing it, as there were so many things to do in that game.   STILL the BEST seige experience by far of any mmo to this point.  Mainly because with the 3d games they don't seem to be able to stop characters from running through one another, so one can't set up proper  combat tactics, which means that the current siege systems all seem to be your basic run in  and hack/slash with no strategy of any kind.


So yes, if properly done, I could see my way to playing a 2d mmo again!

Mon Jan 05 2009 8:40PM Report
stayontarget writes:

XCOM was such a shock to me when I first loaded and played the demo. It was a great game for its time. Bards tale was also great.  And Sir-tech software had a good run also.

Tue Jan 06 2009 2:06AM Report
thirdechelon writes:

2D games need to pick up the pace. thyre laggin behind in features, complexity, content, and fun.'

the only reason you play them is to hang out with a good community.

if those games had great crafting systems, trade systems, great scripted quests and tactical boss fights, they could do well. also needs good class systems and rewarding loots.

My 2Dish game back in the day was Ragnarok Online, sorta 2D/3D, was a very fun game for me, complete grindfest, but i made alot of friends on it, thats why i played.

Tue Jan 06 2009 7:15AM Report
RPGOmen writes:

My first MMO being Ultima Online I've come to see the possibilities and advantages that 2d games have over 3d games if enough effort is put into the small things.  Intricate crafting systems, being able to place items on the ground that you create such as tables, chairs, plates on top of the tables, food on top of the plates, cups, drinks in the cups... Being able to sit in the chairs... etc. etc.  It adds up to some great sandbox MMO fun which is what a RPG world should be all about.  Doing such in 3d uses too much resources as everyone would be placing stuff on the ground or having huge castles with stuff packed in it and decorated.  

Therefore I actually tend to overlook 3d games and look into 2d games to see if they implement what strengths they have over the 3d games which spend most of their time looking pretty along with stereotypical 3d MMO gameplay due to how long it takes to make all these graphics and the like.  It's a shame that people would in fact over look a 2d game in this light because they are quite superior to the 3d ones in the ability that just about anything is able to be done within them due to having near limitless resources with today's technology and using 2d sprites and the like. 

In conclusion what with the mainstream 3d MMOs out there that tend to follow the same paths as previous games that were successful before them 2d games are rare enough to catch the eyes of old-school gamers or those of appropriate education in that they are open to newer things or know from experience that there are jewels even in graphics that seem to be date; though I find 2d games if appropriately made to be much more vivid in color and beautiful than a good amount of 3d games out there today.

The ability to have guild BBQs and picnics and treasure hunts and... tournaments and everything else is something I dearly miss.  Building fireplaces or stoves and placing tables and chairs... Who's bringing the ale?  Target practice with bows and arrows with crafted targets and training dummies... blacksmiths repairing armor and items for their guild mates via their hammers and anvils and such.... Being able to harvest EVERY tree and EVERY section of a mountain.... boating, fishing... cooking... Setting up restaurants in your house with actual in game books you make into menus and tables and chairs set up... Setting food you make on plates.

I miss those days.



Tue Jan 06 2009 7:24AM Report
Abrahmm writes:

I personally have an interest in 2d MMOs for one reason, and that is the attempt at making my first MMO. When I learn a bit more about graphics programming and network programming, I want to first start out with a 2d MMO simply for learning's sake. But past learning, I can't say I would ever seriously consider playing a 2d MMO.

Tue Jan 06 2009 9:16AM Report
Dibdabs writes:

No, I wouldn't even bother to load up the game's web page if it was 2D. 

Wed Jan 07 2009 12:37PM Report writes:
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