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MMOWTF: Where's the Wanderlust?

Posted May 18, 2007 by Jon Wood

MMOWTF: Where's the Wanderlust?

This week, in his most recent MMOWTF column, Staff Writer Dan Fortier tackles the idea of dynamic content and true MMORPG exploration.

A few weeks ago, I vented my frustration with the linear advancement scheme of most MMOs, but there is another aspect of this that is worth its own topic. A lot of work goes into the visual aspect of most modern games, but unless there is a decent level of interactivity in the environment, it quickly turns into a slide show more akin with a game like Myst than an actual virtual, persistent world (especially if the engine hasn't been optimized). This week, I want to explore the lost concept of exploration in MMOs. Make sure that your second chute is packed and jump on in!

This whole issue is tied directly into the whole Simulation vs. Game debate. At a certain level, most games try to simulate some aspect of our life, history or culture if only to suspend the disbelief and make a fantastic world more lifelike and enjoyable. Depending on the design philosophy and the type of game, aspects of realism are replaced with more simplistic, or measured systems that maximize fun rather than replicate boring realism ad nauseam. Obviously, it's important to keep only the elements that promote fun while removing elements that don't, but different people will have different ideas about what actually constitutes a fun game.

Read the whole column here.


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