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Community Spotlight: The First Thing You Look For in a New MMO

Posted by MikeB Thursday February 3 2011 at 9:40AM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "The first thing you look for in new MMORPG's?" by Inzra. While the discussion is still early, it's a solid subject and we'll be highlighting some of the community's thoughts so far. Oddly enough, the OP never offers his take, so let's jump right in then!

Just about everyone couldn't hold back from offering a laundry list of things, but they all start with something so let's go with Phry first:

1. for me would have to be the community, which means that social interraction, should be comprehensive and well supported. any game that lacks that as a baseline, is for me, unplayable.

2. UI, any user interface that is overly complicated or requires at least 3 hands to operate is a fail, UI's should be simple and straightforward, and, customisable.

3. gameplay, call it the fun factor if you will, if its frustrating then forget it.. too easy.. meh.. highly repetitious.. no chance.. fun = varied and challenging.. not easy though.. but how close a game gets means the more fun it ultimately is.. for me at least.

4. graphics/sound etc.. icing on the cake really.. they make good games great, or not..

MMO's should be about interacting with other people after all, or why bother playing them?

Kuvajokeri looks for the game's theme first:

For me personally, I think the first thing I look up is the theme of the game. I prefer (cliché-ish) high fantasy themes, so the first thing I normally do is check out some screenshots of the game to see if the game world seems "fantasy" enough.

Only after that do I look up the other features of the game. I prefer games with minimal instancing/world loading screens, so that's one of the things I look up, the level of "seamlessness" of the game. There are some exceptions to this for me, such as LOTRO, so I won't get any further into it.

Ihmotepp will instantly dismiss a game if it has a cash shop:

The VERY first thing is whether or not there's a cash shop. If there's a cash shop, I dismiss it, and don't look further, but that only takes a minute or two. F2P, got a cash shop? Ok, not interested.

Second thing is art style. Not quality of graphics and animations, but the style of the artwork. Is it realistic, representational, anime, etc.

I'm going to look at the game a long time while I play, and the graphic design has to be appealing to me.

For example, I've just never liked the art style in WoW. It's to bright and cartoony for my tastes.

I'm also not a big fan of anime, but it's ok if it's subtle.

This is a tough question for me as well. I think the theme / art style are probably the first thing I consider, though I am not sure this is a conscious thing. If I can't see myself enjoying playing a character in a type of world then all the rest of the features probably won't matter as much to me. World of Warcraft is a good example, I've never been a fan of the Warcraft art style (more specifically Warcraft 3) and so when the game was coming out I dismissed it simply due to that. None of the art, from the character designs, to the itemization appealed to me, so I saw no point in getting into it as I'd never really care about anything. It didn't matter that everyone and their grandma (in this case, literally!) was playing it.

Beyond that, I look for a good character customization system. I love Star Wars, but I don't want to be playing Attack of the Clones if you catch my drift!

neilkjos writes:

I am one for Eye Candy. Graphics must be beautiful and all else follows after that.  And it must be believable.  A 120lb female with a 600lb, 9 ft greatsword kills it for me immediately.  Afterwards, I can focus on combat, gameplay, quests,...  I also need some sort of death penalty (something to give me apprehension as I enter a battle).  Even a monetary damage is helpful.  A seemless world is always appreciated.  It is hard to get everything you want, is it not?

Thu Feb 03 2011 10:35AM Report
Annwyn writes:

The first thing I look at is usually the gameplay. Although there are some exceptions, I'm really tired of the typical "stand still and wait" combat.

Then the second thing I look for is usually overall information about classes and lore. I really like MMOs that gives you a wider variety of playstyles and also offers classes meant mostly for support  (Bard, Debuffer, etc). As for the lore, it's a good indication as to wether or not the developers have put any thoughts in their game's story, which usually determines wether or not it's worth reading the quests or just skip them. I prefer to read quests, so if there really is no effort behind them, chances are I'll just won't bother with the MMO.


That's pretty much what I look at when trying out a new MMO.

Thu Feb 03 2011 10:39AM Report
dannydeuce writes:

My top 5 I guess would be:

5.  Community

4.  PTP vs FTP (LOTRO & GW are exceptions)

3.  PvP

2.  World (instanced vs open)

1.  Character Creation (race, class, body features, etc etc)

Thu Feb 03 2011 2:52PM Report
Kizzatta writes:

The main things I look for in a new MMO are:

- Gameplay and/or innovation (must be fun & different)

- Good Community

- No cash shop unless it's completely optional like Guild Wars

- Graphics absolutely do not matter

- Theme, art style, and artistic direction. Eventhough I played WoW for over four years, and I am looking forward to Guild Wars 2, I prefer a futuristic setting or cyber punk like Shadowrun. Fantasy is getting old. Try something new please devs, kkthx.

Fri Feb 04 2011 2:19AM Report
Terranah writes:

Character creation is something I notice right away.  It helps me to get into the role if I have a character i like.  I like to have lots of options and freedom to look how I want. 


Next thing I notice is the UI.  That's really important.  After that, probably animations.  Terrible animations really can be jarring to immersion.


I guess two of those are kind of superficial, and one is functional, but those are the first few things I notice.

Fri Feb 04 2011 2:46AM Report
Athcear writes:

The thing that compels me the most is the world.  The story and lore of the place.  If I'm going to be spending time in this universe, I want it to be a universe that interests me.  LotRO is awesome because I'm playing in Middle Earth.  WoW was good because I had all the previous Warcraft games to build the world up.  DCUO is cool because it's immersed in the details of DC comics.  Allods was cool because it had so many previous games to build on for its world.  Sadly, the cash shop destroyed that...  But it satisfied my first criterion.  Aion's world was pretty nifty, but again, it failed on later criteria.

Conversely, Runes of Magic has the most boring world imaginable, and I felt absolutely no connection to the world in Darkfall.

If I'm going to hang out in a virtual world, I want it to be an interesting and exciting world.

Fri Feb 04 2011 9:30AM Report
garry writes:

Your question indicated that you wish to know what we look for when we open a baox. That means we already are interested in the genre. But in fact I check out the homepage of the game before buying it and see if it is PvP/Raid etc...centric. Then the movement UI (Console/joystick oriented - DCUO -) is not for me. Also check out videos and screenshots to see artstyle - anime no. Finally want to see characters/customization features.


I use this Website (MMORPG) and a few others for reviews among other things, especially your game list and website location of any game I want to check out. There are a lot.


OK - now I open the box (or download from a site). Now I WANT TO KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE FRIGGIN GAME!

Fri Feb 04 2011 9:33AM Report
garry writes:

Oooops! May post was cut off . Add this please. The longer it takes me to learn how to operate the controls, how to customize the keyboard/mouse to my own likes, movement (smooth or jerky) - yes my computer has a lot to do with this but I already said I check out the game website and that includes minimum/max requirements. As a matter of fact no matter what we like or how bad we want to get in the game all this kind of thing must be addressed by me (player) at the start. Most (maby all) games should have at least an optional tutorial to help get us started, and if well done help immerse us in the game. A reward (usually levels) for running the tutorial (a plus for the game company) is common here.


I am not saying that what I do and desire is for everyone, since you asked what we (I) wanted to see when the box was opened. Most everything else after this, sound, graphics, playstyle etc...will be decided upon after playing.

Fri Feb 04 2011 9:43AM Report writes:
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