Posts Tagged MMORPG
Defiance E3 media shows more MMO sci-fi destruction
Due for release next year, TRION’s MMO TV tie-in looks to be shaping up rather nicely.
BioWare talks forthcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic features
BioWare’s Ray Muzyka spoke to the audience at EA’s E3 conference about a mass of forthcoming features for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
MMO Weekly 21/07/09
Ahoy there, my fellow game-heads, and welcome to the very latest edition of MMO Weekly. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been whacking away at a bees nest, going after the untouchable sacred cow and, in general, upsetting all the Blizzard fanbois and fangurls by suggesting that WoW, because their endgame content is based largely upon doing work, was in the long, slow process of committing suicide.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
My argument in part 1 was that WoW was based primarily on two older MMOs. The first was Everquest, and the second was Dark Age of Camelot. Both games, I argued, grew because they followed the well-established dungeon crawl model invented by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in Dungeons and Dragons. Their style of play based itself on the idea of small group of friends having a fun adventure. That might take the form of, say, exploring an abandoned tomb, discovering a secret or two, and fighting a slew of baddies. However, there was a lot of variety in the D&D adventures (both the official modules and many unofficial, but publicly available knock offs), and D&D fully encouraged this kind of creativity by DMs. Play sessions were full of battles, races against time, traps, survival challenges, rescues, mysteries, and all manner of swashbuckling. Both EQ and DAoC captured the feel of this kind of content extremely well.
Inexplicably, at the endgame, the developers of both EQ and DAoC decided to change the very basis of gameplay, and they introduced very difficult, grind-heavy content. This content (primarily raids in EQ, and large scale, grind-heavy PvP in DAoC) rewarded players with both loot and skill unlocks unavailable to normal players. What’s worse, willing players were rewarded not primarily for their skill or creativity, but instead for spending endless amounts of time in the game, participating in this artificially hard endgame content. In a moment of extraordinary maturity, I referred to this endgame content as DICC: Difficult and Increasingly time Consuming Content.
DRIVING YOUR PLAYERS INTO THE ARMS OF OTHER GAMES
This approach, I argued, slowly alienated normal players. It essentially made them less-powerful, second class citizens, simply because they were unwilling to participate in the endless grind. By emphasising DICC, and thus alienating the average player, both the DAoC and EQ developers were slowly killing their own games. They simply made their respective games a lot less fun, and therefore vulnerable. The moment a viable alternative/replacement MMO came along – one that made playing fun again – players bolted, leaving both the EQ and DAoC subscriber base shadows of what they once had been. That game was WoW.