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Bioware's Daniel Erickson: "No point" to Existing MMOs

Posted by Michael Bitton on Jun 02, 2010  | Comments

Bioware's Daniel Erickson: "No point" to Existing MMOs - MMORPG.com

Speaking to CVG last week, Bioware's Daniel Erickson, Lead Writer on Star Wars: The Old Republic, discussed the poor track record of existing MMORPGs when it comes to really living up to those last three letters, declaring that early MMOs to current MMOs offer "no point" and possess a marked "lack of fun".

"In the early days when they first announced that there were MMOs, like the existence of them, I knew in my head what that meant - because I played Role Playing Games. It was just giant Role Playing Games.

"And then MMO [games] showed up, and it wasn't that. It was the ruleset to an RPG: There was combat, and there were areas, but that was all. Someone had left out the module. There was no story, there was no point. You just kind of wandered around. And that hasn't really changed all that much over the years.

"We've always had that thought in the back of our heads: That Old Republic should be all the things we thought an MMO would be in the first place - which is all the parts of an RPG. Which means - and this is the most radical idea - it should just be fun. Like, just fun to play. You shouldn't be trying to ignore all of the content to get to the end as fast as possible."

Things aren't completely bleak, however, as Daniel does note that a few of the more recent MMOs have been offering better content, albeit only in the early or "first 20" levels, though, at least to Daniel, it's still not up to snuff.

Daniel also doesn't believe that MMO creators originally sought out to create games that were just a grind, with no fun in them, it just happened to turn out that way, and we've been too strongly attached to the formula ever since. Bioware is intending to chalenge the status quo by injecting "interesting bits" into the MMO, something that could be considered "sacrilege" with the way the traditional limitations of MMOs tend to be upheld.

Read the full article over at CVG.

Do you think Daniel has a point? Do we guard the traditional limitations of MMOs too much? And you do agree that MMOs of past and present have eschewed fun for boring pointless grinds?

Going even further, even if you do agree with Daniel, do you feel Bioware's particular approach, namely adding storyline, is the right way to go to address the aforementioned issues?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Michael Bitton / Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB
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