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Articles Of Profound Interest

The thoughts and feelings of yours truly, In which my alacritious wit and unbridled creativity may be applied to issues of gaming and the MMORPG genre. Sort of.

Author: RoveMcBurns

MMOFPS: Where's My Game?

Posted by RoveMcBurns Saturday December 8 2007 at 11:45PM
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MMOFPS. Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter. Few of these games exist, and fewer still (if any) are popular. Why?

A first person shooter is all action, action, action. If you've gone longer than twenty-five seconds without shooting something, you've probably just respawned. In my opinion though, this fast, knuckle-whitening gameplay gets tiring after a while. You couldn't sustain it for longer than an hour or so.

Enter the MMORPG. Generally easy to pick up and play, and chatting and sociability is king. In an FPS you rarely have time to get to know the people you're playing with, in the intervals between shooting them and running back into the action after being killed. Making a game persistant and massively mulitplayer changes that somewhat, though.

So what defines an MMOFPS? Is it really just hundreds of people running around with guns, or is it something more RPG than FPS in nature á la Tabula Rasa? I'm firmly in the "Shooting people" camp for this issue; But that shouldn't mean RPG elements can't be blended into a first person shooter. In fact, many player-made modifications exist to make certain online fps games have "RPG" type gameplay features. The only differences I can see between a FPS and an MMOFPS is the number of players, and the social network.

One of the best examples of an MMOFPS is Planetside, a truly awesome game I used to play a while ago not long after it came out. I've got fond memories of it; For some reason, though, it doesn't run on my new pc. And that's a shame, because it's the probably one of the most enjoyable game experiences I've ever had.

I remember on my first day, I joined up with a guild (Called "Outfits" in Planetside) And we defended the control room of a base. I watched as they all sat stock still behind cover with their guns pointed squarely at the doors as I wandered around aimlessly trying to jump on top of air vents and suchlike. A persistant world where a war is always raging; It's a wonderful concept, and a wonderful thing to play. It gained tremendous devotion from it's fans; And rightly so because it was a truly wonderful game.

If it was so good, though, why are there no more MMOFPS's awaiting us on the horizon? Huxley is the only one I know of, but a well-seated distrust of korean MMO's leaves me dubious on this one - Doesn't mean I won't buy it, of course - Anything with the word "MMOFPS" on it's box art almost guarantees a purchase from me.

So what's the reason we don't have as many MMOFPS's as we do RPG's? Probably the reasoning lies in the numbers. Money money and more money - And they don't make enough of it. Is that true, though? We've only had one or two examples of something which is supposedly an entire genre! How do we know if it's unprofitable if no one has done it PROPERLY yet? I suppose we don't. I for one would love to see more MMOFPS's, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Thanks for reading, and I'd love to hear your opinions on this. Comment away and maybe we can get a discussion going. Until next time, gentle readers!