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Community Spotlight: The MMOFPS

Posted by MikeB Sunday June 17 2012 at 6:26PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight we focus on the thread, "Do FPS players really want an MMO?" by Bigbadwlf. In the thread, Bigbadwlf notes the many MMOFPS games on the horizon but wonders whether or not there is actually a market for these sorts of games:

So there's a lot of new MMOFPSes coming out, Dust 514, Defiance, Planetside 2 and they all look exciting to me.  But my question is this:  Is there an actual demands for these sort of games? I can see why an MMOFPS would be a good idea:  new PvP maps, more weapons and more frequent balance patches are necessary for most fps games to sustain a community. However this has been covered pretty well with DLC.

MMORPGs make a lot more sense. Huge titles like Final Fantasy, KOTOR, and Elder Scrolls series traditionally take a very long time to release their next iteration. Also these are largely single player experiences.  An MMO version with persistent characters, online multiplayer, and frequent content updates of their favorite IP are what gamers dreamed of. 

FPS players however seem to be less interested in persistent characters and multiplayer updates, and more towards a standardized competitive format or E-Sports.  CoD and BF3 communities would probably value a year long PvP tournament with a million dollar prize pool then a MMOFPS version of the same game that would take 20+ million dollars to produce. 

What do you think? Do you think big budget MMOFPS are the future of the FPS genre and these new mmos will capture the hearts of the FPS communities? Or do you feel that clans will stick to the regular games + DLC + more E-Sports tournaments?

So, what is the community saying? Read on to find out!

TruthXHurts makes a strong point regarding the interest level of MMO-esque FPS mods and games released lately:

I think DayZ and the Arma 2 RP life mods show that FPS players do appreciate a persistent world. City Life 2 mod has been a more rewarding MMO experience than 99% of the actual mmo's I have played in recent years.

agriffin85 offers a different angle on the topic:

Honestly, I feel you are all looking at this from the wrong perspective.  I keep seein posts like "A persisent world brings nothing to the FPS genre."

In my mind it's not what a MMO world brings to FPS's, it's what FPS's bring to an MMO world.  As an MMO player I love the idea of variation, and I'm very good at FPS games but I don't stay interested in them long because of their shallow nature.  I for one am happy to see an MMO with FPS elements because I can still be in a persistent world and enjoy twitch based gameplay.

I think most of the demand comes from people like me.  People who shy away from FPS's not because they're bad at them or don't like twitch gaming but because they offer little in prolonged gameplay.  I played and enjoyed cs1.6, battlefield 2 (mostly for the pioloting, halo (mostly for the co-op campain, Quake (for the multiplayer), Doom (for the atmosphere) but they would not hold my interest as long as UO,EQ,EQ2,WoW,etc.

Mixing the genre's is perfect for me because as an MMO minded player who enjoys twitch gaming, it will hopefully encourage me to play more having the best of both worlds in one game.

Inf666 is definitely looking forward to more MMOFPS games:

A lot of you seem to be biased against FPS players. As one of them (long time counter-strike player) I have to protest. I am looking forward to any MMOFPS that gets released and am playing TERA right now (kinda FPS like). FPS players are not really solo players as many think. For FPS players the social interaction occurs inside their team just in the same way as it is in a MMO guild. Unluckily the common FPS gaming platform does not enable much of visible inter-team communication in-game. This happens in forums outside of the game. FPS players can be very reliable guild mates especially if they have a goal they want to reach together with their team / guild.

As for the FPS view: I feel far more comfortable in this view. The game allowing me to move, strafe, jump, dodge and aim in the usual FPS style increases my immersion far more than a third person view ever could. I also think that the FPS view allows for more difficult PvE as the FPS style is more exact and promotes player skill far more. For me the TERA FPS mechanism is very entertaining. I can hardly understand why it is rejected by so many common MMO players. Even GW2 is moving in that direction though not as much as I would like.

So as an FPS player I say: YES, we want more MMOFPS games. We want to compete in a persistent world using our FPS skills. We want to overcome the difficult PvE obstacles the game provides just like anyone else. We want to achieve goals together with our team just as much as you want to with your guild. Trust me, once you have gotten used to the FPS view it will be hard to go back.

I disagree with some of the generalizations raised by the OP, but I do think the natural evolution for FPS games might be the MMO route. It really depends on the type of FPS game. Games like Call of Duty are inherently focused on tight maps and fast rounds. I don't think Call of Duty makes sense as an MMO. However, games along the vein of the Battlefield or ARMA series certainly do, and I think this direction would appeal to gamers who prefer those types of FPS games.

Battlefield, for example, has been leading the push towards driving persistence in FPS games, going all the way back to Battlefield 2's unlock system. Taking Battlefield gameplay and creating a persistent conflict around it seems like a great fit for that type of game. As a long time fan of the Battlefield series myself, this is why I'm looking forward to PlanetSide 2. It basically merges what I love about Battlefield with what I love about MMOs.

In short: I'm an FPS fan, and I definitely want a solid MMOFPS.

How about you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!