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SOE Pulls the Plug On The Matrix Online

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the i-can-only-show-you-the-door dept.

The Matrix 111

Yesterday, Sony Online Entertainment representative Daniel Myers announced that The Matrix Online will be shut down on July 31st. The game launched in 2005 after several delays and false starts, and shortly thereafter SOE bought the rights to operate the game from developer Monolith. Now, four years later, the game will join the ranks of closed MMOs. In a forum post, Myers said, "The team will also be whipping up an end-of-the-world event. It won't be quite the same as having over 100 developers in the game as Agents like when we ended beta, but we have 4 years of tricks up our sleeve. It'll be a chance to revisit all the things that make MxO the memorable experience it is. And how could we pull the plug without crushing everyone's RSI just one more time?"

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I'm pissed (3, Interesting)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147011)

I didn't know there was a matrix MMO- and I'm pissed to hear it's shutting down, because I would've played it. No point in signing up now though. Shame.

Re:I'm pissed (4, Informative)

thejynxed (831517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147109)

You didn't miss much. It was over-priced and buggy. The game seems to have fallen victim to the SWG (Star Wars: Galaxies) syndrome, only right out of the gate.

Re:I'm pissed (3, Interesting)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147169)

I have to admint that during the beta it was a good back and forth with the developers, but 2005 was just way to late. Maybe a year or two after the first movie, but by 2005 the steam has gone out. The end of the beta rocked, but after about a month or two, it just felt like SWG.

I mean they killed Morpheus! That didn't even bring in the numbers. Only reason I am going to log in is to see the ending.

Re:I'm pissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28148415)

I have to admint

Careful, adminting is illegal in many places.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147195)

Does that mean there's a DANCER archetype?

Oh joy!

Re:I'm pissed (2, Interesting)

ibbie (647332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147253)

I didn't know there was a matrix MMO- and I'm pissed to hear it's shutting down, because I would've played it. No point in signing up now though. Shame.

Look at it this way: maybe you'll get lucky, and someone will fork OpenSim [opensimulator.org] to create a clone.

We can rebuild it. We have the technology.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147387)

I didn't know there was a matrix MMO- and I'm pissed to hear it's shutting down, because I would've played it. No point in signing up now though. Shame.

Look at it this way: maybe you'll get lucky, and someone will fork OpenSim [opensimulator.org] to create a clone.

Why would you want to fork it? OpenSim looks like you could build an MMO over the top of it without any adaptation at all.

Re:I'm pissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147397)

Aren't there already private servers of matrix online that you can continue playing on?

Re:I'm pissed (2, Insightful)

penginkun (585807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148947)

We can rebuild it. We have the technology.

But we don't want to spend a lot of money.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149075)

You don't want to play a game in OpenSim. You can't even reasonably navigate structures which have reasonable-scale-doorways, everything has to be built over-sized if you want people to be able to walk through it. OpenSim is interesting and amazing but it's a shame they can't get right what works in every first person shooter every conceived.

Re:I'm pissed (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147373)

I didn't know there was a matrix MMO- and I'm pissed to hear it's shutting down, because I would've played it.

The fact you never heard of it kind of proves how good it was. I mean, when was the last time you met someone who was under 50 and never heard of WoW?

Re:I'm pissed (2, Insightful)

Niris (1443675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147423)

On the contrary, hearing about something doesn't mean it's any good, either. Just because everyone's heard of WoW doesn't mean it's that great.

Re:I'm pissed (1, Offtopic)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147451)

On the contrary, hearing about something doesn't mean it's any good, either.

The contrary would be: "Everyone's heard about WoW precisely because it's so bad."

I played it for a few months, and liked it for the most part. Actually, it's the first computer game I've ever spent money on. Then I got to the raid-scheduling part, and realized my life is worth more than that.

Re:I'm pissed (3, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148741)

The Matrix Online was _painful_. The information about what widgets were needed in what order to develop what new devices and abilities was far, far too complex and far, far too painful. You had to play it for at least six months, with a a very detailed notebook on hand, to work out enough detail to begin to survive Player versus Player with the people who refused to sleep and exchanged all their information offline or bought guides.

You may enjoy that, but I found it painful.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149255)

I agree, I played WoW for years and raided for the last 2. Bliz has a good product, but the end game content has become time consuming to the point you're playing 20-40 hours a week just to do any of it, if you do not meet those schedules the guilds will ultimately bench or boot you for someone else who can meet the schedules required to master the complexity and beat these bosses.

Re:I'm pissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28150287)

Raiding has only gotten easier and less time consuming over the years, not more. I raid about ten hours a week and we've cleared Ulduar 10.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 5 years ago | (#28154537)

i play about 8 hours a week and we're about half way through ulduar 25

Re:I'm pissed (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147477)

Under 50? No small number - it's part generational gap, and partly because most of the older people I know are too busy for it. That said, Niris has a point - WoW is colorful, popular, and fun, just like McDonald's.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147509)

Having heard of WoW is very different from actually having time to play it, it seems like it's been featured on several fictional shows, been parodied, and I think I read that some regular talk shows covered it.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149373)

The poster in question may not understand the sheer amount of marketing that went into releasing WoW, or the effect of marketing dollars on him or her.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28150067)

It is like McD, but I'd give it another angle. It's one of those "least common denominator" things.

You have a few friends that you played MMOs with and you're looking for a new one. Which one will it be? One will pull towards EvE, but it's too tedious and abstract for some. One will pull towards AoC but some will shy away from heavy PvP content. In the end, they'll end up in WoW. It's not really what anyone wanted, but it's what they can agree on.

It's like picking a place to eat when you're out with friends. One will call for Sushi, but there's always one who can't stomach raw fish. One will want Mexican, but you'll always have someone who likes neither beans nor hot food. In the end, you'll end up in McD. Not because anyone wanted to go there, but because it's the only place that everyone could somehow stomach.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

MeatBag PussRocket (1475317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28150981)

sounds like you have a very limited pool of easily folding friends. while my friends may not agree on what they do want, none of us want McD, better to skip a meal than ingest a heart attack. same goes for WoW... i'll play no MMO before choosing to play that mind melting fecies... Hulu only claims to melt your brain because its clever advertizing, WoW really does, Blizzard reall _are_ aliens taking over the earth

When? Yesterday. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28153519)

My cousin just had a baby.

Re:I'm pissed (5, Funny)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147393)

Yeah its hard for a game to get much word of mouth publicity when you can't tell people what its like because they have to experience it for themselves.

Re:I'm pissed (3, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147499)

Is there a failed MMO graveyard? Like a wiki where we could post MMOs that have died and analysis of what went wrong?

Re:I'm pissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147569)

Is there a failed MMO graveyard? Like a wiki where we could post MMOs that have died and analysis of what went wrong?

One way you can get to seeing a graveyard of failed MMOs is reading up on Woody's Zapper comics at GU Comics [gucomics.com] . I just emailed him about this one, so you'll probably see MxO heading for the zapper in a day or two.

Re:I'm pissed (2, Interesting)

OutLawSuit (1107987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148045)

In general, what kills most MMOs is releasing too soon. If they release too early and ruin their first impressions with people, there is really no way for them recover. They need subscribers since box sales can only do so much. This is also the key reason why you're seeing fewer MMOs and more delays these days.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28150081)

Is there a failed MMO graveyard?

Yeah. It's called "SOE station pass". Matrix Online was already in that fold IIRC.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149197)

I had exactly the same reaction. With all the money they waste on bad advertisement, seems like they couple have put a few dollars toward letting people know this existed.

Re:I'm pissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28151567)

WOW was pretty bad when it was released, while Eve Online was at perhaps early alpha quality - extremely incomplete and virtually unplayable. They went on to become the #1 and #2 US MMOs, respectively.

On the other hand, Lord of the Rings Online and Warhammer Online both had very smooth launches, but neither has managed to attract much of a following.

Re:I'm pissed (2, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149253)

Don't feel too bad, you didn't miss much. It was a failure from the start; that's why it's shutting down.

Re:I'm pissed (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149903)

We, new players, can't play for free until the end? :(

RSI (5, Informative)

Tofof (199751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147051)

Residual Self-image:
http://matrix.wikia.com/wiki/Residual_self_image [wikia.com]

Re:RSI (2, Funny)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147283)

Thanks, I was going to ask that. I was thought it was weird that they were making one final attempt to give their most loyal players Carpal Tunnel.

Re:RSI (2, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147413)

Residual Self-image

My wiki's bigger than yours. [wikipedia.org]

I played for about two years (5, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147069)

One of the few MMOs where basically everyone was looking for bugs.. cause if you were in the matrix, that's what you'd be doing too :)

I think the most fun I ever had was when our little clan would stand around in the park and run into an area that we weren't allowed in... an agent would show up and we'd all kick the shit out of him, not that we had a chance of defeating him, and then run back into the park.. where he wouldn't follow us. Basically bear baiting. :)

But like all MMOs, it eventually became about the grind.

Re:I played for about two years (2, Informative)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148325)

> all MMOs

There's no grind in guild wars. It's against their philosophy. In fact, when I played, my dude was maxed out way before I ran out of quests. The game has a few problems, but the grind isn't one of them.

Re:I played for about two years (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149049)

As of the latest WoW expansion, the grind is pretty much gone. They massively sped up leveling through the original content and first expansions (1-70) and the new 70-80 content is well-paced and actually Fun to play.

In fact, the forums are now full of people whining that things are "too easy" and that content is being cleared too fast (by people other than them..lol)

Even if one argues that WOW went from being a million times too grindy to a thousand times too grindy, it still got better by a factor of a thousand ; )

Re:I played for about two years (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28150101)

What bugs me about WoW is that questing actually is grinding. What's grinding? Well, basically doing the same shit over and over and over 'til you don't want to think about it anymore, and generally don't have to because it's mind numbing, no fun and repetitive to the extreme.

See any similarities with WoW quests? Bring me X of Y, kill X of Y, carry X to Y... From level 1 to level 80.

Re:I played for about two years (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#28151329)

This is true - there isn't much grind in WoW, but it still exists. You have to do daily quests for instance to raise reputation or earn tokens to purchase items (like the argent tournament or dungeons/raid badges). The only difference is - games like Lineage 2 where it could actually take years to hit max level playing 24x7 - WoW it only takes weeks or months, but its still grind.

Re:I played for about two years (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28151577)

I was just posting about dailies in the wow forums too - I think these are really interesting.

Personally I have zero interest in repeating the same quest over and over every day. And I don't. You can equip tabards for most rep in LK and get it "incidentally" through going to dungeons/raids. It's also optional, as rep just gives gear that you can get through dungeons/raiding as well.

But there are some people who just seem to *love* repeating their dailies every day. I've got one friend who I see on every single day in Icecrown doing the same set of horrificly bad quests (I did them once, and never again, yet I'm exalted with both factions out there). Beats me, but I guess it's the same thing as the people demanding that they want leveling to take a year, etc. Some people *want* MMO's to being mind-numbingly boring time sinks.

I'm glad Blizzard is choosing to ignore that crowd and move towards just making a fun game.

Re:I played for about two years (1)

thejynxed (831517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149681)

I surely hope you are jesting. We don't call it BuildWars and GrindWars for nothing you know.

You want that slim-to-none chance of the monthly Everlasting Tonic drop? Go grind in PvP for Balthazar Faction to purchase Zaishen Keys with.

You want that nifty Obsidian Armor set? Go grind for months in the high-end PvE areas for the low-drop-rate Obsidian Shards and Ectos.

Oh? You want to participate in Heroes' Ascent? Go grind in Team Arenas for months to get your Gladiator ranks up high enough so that a semi-decent team even takes a second look at you.

Want max titles? Go grind.

So yeah, I reiterate the hope that you are speaking in jest.

Sounds normal to me (2, Interesting)

GraphiteCube (1437703) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147197)

It won't continue as the game is about a movie only; nobody will interest in the game as nobody will interest in putting more effort in products related to an old movie.

Sure The Matrix trilogy is a good movie (yes I have DVDs of The Matrix trilogy), but once the story ends (The Matrix Revolutions), people won't focus on/ talk about it anymore.

Re:Sounds normal to me (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147281)

Revolutions? trilogy?
They only made one Matrix movie. *drags you off screen*

Re:Sounds normal to me (5, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147491)

They only made one Matrix movie. *drags you off screen*

Too bad they never made any sequels. [xkcd.com]

Re:Sounds normal to me (2, Funny)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149057)

The second one was notable for its fight scenes and soundtrack. Worth a viewing for at least that.

Re:Sounds normal to me (2, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149289)

And if you like continuous gunfire part three was fine.

Re:Sounds normal to me (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28150119)

Shame they didn't make the second movie to the early script.

I had the pleasure to read an (alleged) early draft for the 2nd part, which was considerably different from the (not so allegedly) crappy movie. With a lot more philosophic challenges for Neo and delightful puns, and a Morpheus that's revealed as a basically overzealous fanatic who'd gladly make billions of people die (the "sleepers") to save the handful of people who are free outside the Matrix.

I loved the script, I went to the movie... the disappointment can never be topped.

Re:Sounds normal to me (2, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147341)

Sure The Matrix trilogy is a good movie (yes I have DVDs of The Matrix trilogy), but once the story ends (The Matrix Revolutions), people won't focus on/ talk about it anymore.

Well it's a trilogy, not a movie. And two of the movies sucked. And one was alright but still overrated.

Re:Sounds normal to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28148511)

Massively overrated. Nothing more than a badly acted blatant rip off of Darkcity and The Invisibles.

But of course no one reads or watches anything that isn't waved under their noses.

Re:Sounds normal to me (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28148811)

Is there a noticeable difference in the weather when you're that far up on your high horse?

Re:Sounds normal to me (1)

Obyron (615547) | more than 5 years ago | (#28151313)

Go back to Shell Beach. Dark City was was good, but it wasn't all that. The Matrix was a great movie. It really summed up the Zeitgeist of the fin de siecle. It came at the end of an era when everyone was looking for meaning, and things were about to change drastically. If you didn't walk out of the theater after seeing The Matrix for the first time wanting to break shit, completely pumped to see it again about 10 or 15 more times, there's something wrong with you. It's easy to hate on it in retrospect because the two sequels were lackluster (but, I would contend, not really bad), and because it's become trendy to hate on things that a lot of people think is good. It's like hating your favorite band once they become popular, just because they're not "yours" anymore.
 
It kind of makes me wish The Matrix had done worse at the box office, because it would now be more of a cult classic, like Fight Club, which had a disappointing box office take but thrived in DVD sales.

Re:Sounds normal to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28154079)

I'm sorry, you're both welcome to enjoy something all you want but no, I didn't walk out of seeing the Matrix "completely pumped to see it again about 10 or 15 more times" I walked out of the Matrix thinking "holly crap, that was a shot by shot, clip by clip, second by second blatant rip off of The Invisibles".

I stand by what I said, it was massively overrated. It was hailed as this amazing, deep original film that looked at reality like never before when it was actually a photocopy of Grant Morrison's work. My dislike of the Matrix has nothing to do with wanting to look trendy.

Re:Sounds normal to me (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148853)

I was thought they got too preachy in the second and third and missed a great opportunity for a killer twist to end it. I always thought after Cypher tried to make the deal with Agent Smith to get back to the Matrix that it would have been a damned cool twist if in the third one he went to the machine city and found out that...there simply was NO Zion. Nobody had ever actually left the Matrix at all. That Zion was simply a sub program for those that refused to accept the "reality" of the Matrix proper and that "Zion" was wiped out every so often to keep those who refused to believe from "infecting' those that did and throwing the whole thing out of whack.

They would then show him the 'real" world, that thanks to the war was uninhabitable by all life and then be given the choice: either allow a good portion of "Zion" to be wiped out so they will quit screwing up the Matrix, try to get those in Zion to accept that they will NEVER get out, as there is no where to actually go that they could survive and thanks to their doubts they will be forced to live out their days in "Zion", or allow those in Zion to keep screwing with the Matrix causing the eventual collapse of the Matrix and forcing everyone to live in the crappier Zion program.

That would have been a better ending than all the messiah junk they piled on in the second and third. Pretty much the only thing that kept me from falling asleep during the second and third was Smith. Smith for me was the only thing worth watching in the second and third, as he seemed to me the only one that just didn't seem to be a sheep going along with whatever the Oracle said.

Which is why I am frankly surprised that the MxO lasted as long as it did. When you base a game on a franchise that 2/3rds of the movies feel like "Spaceballs 33 1/3rd: The search for more money" I just didn't see how they would be able to build up a big enough fan base to keep it going. The characters and 2/3rds of the movies just weren't that interesting IMHO.

Re:Sounds normal to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28150679)

HEY! Don't knock Spaceballs, man.

Re:Sounds normal to me (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28152203)

I always thought after Cypher tried to make the deal with Agent Smith to get back to the Matrix that it would have been a damned cool twist if in the third one he went to the machine city and found out that...there simply was NO Zion.

Shit, that's what I thought I saw on-screen when Neo zapped the squiddies out there in the "real world." I thought "Holy shit, he never actually left the matrix!"

The Matrix really should never have had sequels. There simply wasn't any more story that needed telling. But if they had to make a sequel, that's the angle they should have gone with. The only thing that could have possibly been more entertaining would be for them to escape into the real real world and find out that the blackened skies and body farms was still part of the matrix and that the real world was actually quite nice and pleasant. Some machines decided to keep living in VR worlds because they felt it was real enough but others insisted on inhabiting physical bodies and living in physical space because it felt more real. And among these types you have Machines for the Ethical Treatment of People (pronounced meat-pee) and then the whole thing could be played for the social satire. That'd work better as a Mad TV sketch than a proper sequel but what the hey.

Re:Sounds normal to me (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28152451)

If the world would have been nice, then they could have just stuck the meatbags on a little island away from everything, like that island with the rhesus monkeys.

No, it would have been a better story with a LOT more ethical conflict if when he got to the machine city not only did he find out there was NO Zion, but that the machines had kept the true history of the war. There he would find out that the AI was basically treated as a slave race, forced to work in dangerous jobs, to be sexual servants,etc and when they dared to ask for equal rights the humans declared them dangerous and tried to exterminate them. He would then see that the devastation to the planet was brought by the humans going nuclear as well as scorching the sky, and that the machines had long ago developed geothermal and nuclear technology and simply didn't NEED the humans at all. They kept the humans because some of the machines felt it was wrong to exterminate an entire race for the bigotry and hatred of a few, and finding there was no place left on earth that a human could survive by the end of the war created a Matrix as a holding pen until the planet could be made inhabitable for both races.

This would have created a serious ethical conflict for Neo. After all he and those in the Zion sub program will have been rallying to destroy the very race that was trying to save their lives, in essence keeping the old hatred and bigotries from the war alive. He would see that the machines could have simply flipped the off switch at any time on Zion, and yet while he and his friends were trying to destroy them the machines through the oracle was trying to find some peaceful solution that would minimize loss of life on both sides. That to me would have been a hell of a lot more thought provoking than all the messiah crap they loaded the story with in the second and third movies, and if written right it could have maybe even had the impact of Taylor finding out he was on earth at the end of Planet of the Apes. After all, how do you go back to those "freedom fighters" in Zion and explain to them that there is NO freedom and it is all your race's fault? Now THAT would have been a good ending.

Re:Sounds normal to me (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28154945)

I enjoyed your four paragraphs far more than I enjoyed the last two movies.

The Singularity Online (0, Troll)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147221)

I'd die for that.

The Singularity Up Sybert42's A$$ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147233)

As a citizen of this country, which I believe in and which I have seen Sybert42 tear apart, I must offer a framework for discussion so that we can more quickly reach a consensus. Instead of focusing on why Sybert42 places his indelible imprimatur upon a form of terrorism that is fundamentally, pervasively, and inescapably unsympathetic, I would like to remind people that the very genesis of Sybert42's noxious précis is in mysticism. And it seems to me to be a neat bit of historic justice that he will eventually himself be destroyed by mysticism.

I do not find campaigns that are prudish, prolix, and pestiferous to be "funny". Maybe I lack a sense of humor but maybe the most shiftless devil-worshippers you'll ever see are intrigued and puzzled by Sybert42's amalgam of frightful favoritism and saturnine radicalismâ"a tangled web of KKK, Freudian, encounter-therapy, populist, Ayn Rand-like, and Marxist notions. And here, I insist, lies a clue to the intellectual vacuum so gapingly apparent in Sybert42's precepts. What we have been imparting to Sybert42â"or what he has been eliciting from usâ"is a half-submerged, barely intended logic, contaminated by wishes and tendencies we prefer not to acknowledge. He likes destroying our moral fiber. That's the most damnable thing about him. It's also why it's undoubtedly a tragedy that Sybert42's goal in life is apparently to make our lives miserable. Here, I use the word "tragedy" as the philosopher Whitehead used it. Whitehead stated that "the essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things," which I interpret as saying that Sybert42 sees himself as a postmodern equivalent of Marx's proletariat, revolutionizing the world by wresting it from its oppressors (viz., those who prevent his longiloquent plans for the future from spreading like a malignant tumor).

Don't be intimidated by Sybert42's threat to reduce us to acute penury. Perhaps if Sybert42 thought about it, he'd realize that his unctuous, jaundiced musings rot our minds with the hallucinatory drug of revisionism. News of this deviousness must spread like wildfire if we are ever to deal summarily with self-indulgent, ungrateful idiots.

It may not seem to be very important right now, but thoughtful people are being forced to admit, after years of evading the truth, that I have been right. I was right when I said that Sybert42's faction is a distant cousin of the communist political organizations that were responsible for the murders of at least 90 million people. I was right when I said that Sybert42's machinations are part and parcel of a larger game plan to incite an atmosphere of violence and endangerment toward the good men, women, and children of this state. And I was right when I said that I recently overheard a couple of truculent sociopaths say that space aliens are out to lay eggs in our innards or ooze their alien hell-slime all over us. Here, again, we encounter the blurred thinking that is characteristic of this Sybert42-induced era of slogans and propaganda. He says that people are pawns to be used and manipulated. Should we care that large numbers of myopic polemics actually believe such audacious things? Should we try to convince them otherwise? I don't think so. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if he believes that it's okay to leave the educational and emotional needs of our children in the shabby hands of presumptuous, hotheaded ochlocrats, then it's obvious why he thinks that we can stop allotheism merely by permitting government officials entrée into private homes to search for sordid harijans.

Astute observers have known for years that Sybert42 gets a lot of perks from the system. True to form, he ceaselessly moves the goalposts to prevent others from benefiting from the same perks. This suggests that I intend to look closely at Sybert42's metanarratives to see what makes them so effectual at breaking down our communities. I should expect to findâ"this is a guess that I currently lack sufficient knowledge to verifyâ"that if everyone does his own, small part, together we can open minds instead of closing them. All the same, I've heard Sybert42 say that his mistakes are always someone else's fault. Was that just a slip of the lip, or is Sybert42 secretly trying to skewer me over a pit barbecue? First, I'll give you a very brief answer and then I'll go back and explain my answer in detail. As for the brief answer, his behavior might be different if he were told that it is saddening to have to tell him that he is the most counter-productive, inhumane heretic witnessed by the history of mankind. Of course, as far as Sybert42's concerned, this fact will fall into the category of, "My mind is made up; don't confuse me with the facts." That's why I'm telling you that all of his diatribes are burdened by a specious magniloquence. I mean, think about it. Finally, no letter about Sybert42 would be complete without mention of some of the entirely brainless schemes that he supports. Although there are a plenitude of examples from which to choose, the most brainless would have to be his proposal to sue people at random. That's the sort of thing that keeps me up at night.

well that's good at least (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147241)

You gotta hand it to them and some other MMOGs for planning epic endings. Sometimes the game does get kinda boring over time but people keep playing anyway so to just have a boring end date with nothing happening is crap. You gotta at least do SOMETHING. So that's cool that they're not just going all corporate on everyone and setting a date then enforcing it heartlessly without a big ending. Ever since some people started playing the game, they've been fantasizing about some epic event that they knew would never happen and here it is to make all their dreams come true. It's like if you know your car's gotta go, you want to at least see an air force Raptor hit it with a hellfire missile :D

Re:well that's good at least (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147435)

Actually in my opinion, many of these MMOGs could have epic endings as part of the game. Then you restart it again (or not if you have the next version ready).

I used to play an online webgame where the ending was part of the game AND inevitable. Players could also do stuff to cause the game to end early - so there would be people who'd choose to try to end the game early, and others who would try to stop them.

While some people might not like the idea of having to regrind to build their chars up again, they could just reduce the amount of grind involved in getting the chars up.

Because it doesn't matter that the players get to heroic levels fast, you need them at heroic levels for the ending. And after the ending they start again from scratch.

I figure the biggest problem is almost everyone might be online for the ending and that'll crash the servers :).

I mean it when I say "The End" (4, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147287)

It strikes me that an online RPG might begin with a book: a three or four year story arc that has a clear beginning, a middle and an end.

It would be a particularly rewarding experience for those who came in and early and stayed the course.

But you could enter and exit at any point with some sense of achievement - and a unique experience of the game.

 

Re:I mean it when I say "The End" (2, Interesting)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147305)

That's a really interesting point. I wonder how many MMO developers have ever thought about ending their game gracefully. A storyline you could whip out once subscriptions fell to a certain level.

Well, A Tale in the Desert [slashdot.org] has this. They end the game and start another version after a certain period. That game is the exception to a lot of rules, though. If it wasn't so mismanaged it'd be a close second to WoW.

Re:I mean it when I say "The End" (1)

Lueseiseki (1189513) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147389)

Tabula Rasa did the same thing. It's a shame that you'll never see these kinds of events until a game has nearly perished, but I do also agree that it's fun to be a part of that story. It makes you feel like you actually changed the game within itself, and really help decide what route the final epilogue will take.

Re:I mean it when I say "The End" (2, Interesting)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147845)

WoW's 3.0 patch had a fantastic world event. Ok, the random citadels spawning mobs in the most desolate areas was lame but the zombies and the plague made it the most memorable couple of days in the game.

Re:I mean it when I say "The End" (1)

StillG60Rado (1518543) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148823)

Until they called it off because the second-coming of the scourge was interfering with important things like cooking dailies and dueling in front of Orgrimmar.

Re:I mean it when I say "The End" (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 5 years ago | (#28155291)

Sigh... I know they said that's not the reason (well, general outcry anyway) but yeah, the way they ended it was shamefully weak. Just... bam! Everything is fine again. This after steadily increasing populations of zombies throughout the week.

Yeah, it was griefer heaven (oh, the fun in chasing down guildies or infected quest hub areas, horde and alliance alike) but if you WEREN'T trying to get infected, it certainly gave the feeling of the end of civilization. All those Shattered Sun NPCs in Shatt made for quick and easy army of ghouls. Oh, and auction houses.

Ah... good times.

Re:I mean it when I say "The End" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147419)

Anarchy Online was originally supposed to be a 4 year story arc that ended gracefully.... somewhere along the line they threw the baby out with the bathwater.

Re:I mean it when I say "The End" (2, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147777)

Not a good idea though. Remember that the ultimate goal of any commercial game is to make lots of money. They cost a lot to develop, you want a big return. Well, you get that if you get a lot of subscribers who stay on a long time. So you don't want to end a game when there's still lots of people playing.

Also you'll likely piss off a lot of people. While there are plenty of people who play a game for a time, get bored, and move on to something new, there are plenty who don't. There are people who really come to enjoy the game and the community in it. They don't want to leave.

The two best examples are Ultima Online and Everquest. UO was a very early MMO and had/has a great many problems by today's standards. None the less, there are still over 100,000 subscribers, and it is still in active development. Everquest is a good example because a sequel even came out, Everquest II. However classic Everquest is still running. People still want to play the original, and in great enough numbers to make it economically advantageous to run it and continue active development.

So really, it isn't a good idea for MMO developers to plan an end to their game. When the game is going to end I think it is a great idea to do a "big ending" event like is happening here, but that should happen when it is naturally time, not at some earlier point.

Re:I mean it when I say "The End" (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148455)

Not a good idea though. Remember that the ultimate goal of any commercial game is to make lots of money. They cost a lot to develop, you want a big return.

"The Matrix" is fundamentally no different from Disney's online "Pirates of the Carribbean." When the big tent comes down and the franchise grows cold you are the last living cell in the dead body.

The franchise product that is solidly anchored is rare.

The iconic DC Comic character exists in recognizable form as early as 1940. He will have a had a long career in radio, the movies and TV. He will have found an adept and sympathetic chronicler in a contemporary artist and writer like Frank Miller - and in later films like The Dark Knight. That is a foundation on which you can build with some confidence.

UO was a very early MMO and had/has a great many problems by today's standards. None the less, there are still over 100,000 subscribers

Games like Ultima Online and Everquest are the originals, the archeytpes. They have their own history, their own story.

They owe nothing to no one. That is their strength.

Re:I mean it when I say "The End" (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28152155)

It strikes me that an online RPG might begin with a book: a three or four year story arc that has a clear beginning, a middle and an end.

It would be a particularly rewarding experience for those who came in and early and stayed the course.

But you could enter and exit at any point with some sense of achievement - and a unique experience of the game.

Part of the problem is epeen stroking. People want to have something to show for their time in the game, more levels and greater loot, etc.

I know I'm personally sick of mmorpg's because of the content recycling. I play a stand-alone game, there's 20 hours worth of material and then I'm done. I play an mmorpg, the devs only have the budget for 20 hours worth of material so it ends up getting recycled to make four the thousands of hours of lifesucking gameplay. A mechanic that was fun the first time gets old when you have to grind for gold, grind for xp, and then you go into pvp and lose it all.

Resetting the game world and starting a new story would appeal to the causal gamers but the hardcore would be up in arms. While they are a smaller percentage of your total playerbase, they're also going to be the ones who are spending the most money like with a dozen alt accounts.

I think that the one innovation that might get more people playing would be to make new mmo's more like the old BBS door games. For those who don't know, door games were games on the old dial-up bulletin boards that predated the internet for most of us. Because access was limited to phone lines, a bbs couldn't allow people to hog the connection all day so games were limited to an hour a day, maybe less. The computer stored a persistent world but it was only shared amongst other users on the same BBS.

So my thinking is that they can create a game where there's a limited amount of time you can play in a day to dissuade gamers from power-grinding and where you can select who your other players would be. For something the equivalent of Trade Wars, it would effectively be a turn-based multiplayer game where each turn occurs on a day by day basis. A full game may take a month or two from start to finish.

The other alternative I can think of is for serious PVP action. Games like EVE boast that their pvp is serious and has consequences. And this is true. It takes a lot of time and effort to scrape together the isk to build your kewl battleship and it can be lost in 30 seconds. That's a pretty big penalty when you realize that it's going to take another two weeks of solid play to get another one of those. But perhaps instead of requiring grinding, make it be more like a time-out in a death match game. You earn the right to a certain class of ship, fine. You lose it, you have to wait a day to take it out again. So there's the sense of risk and fear in taking out the cool toy but not the same amount of lost time replacing it. Then again, the masochistic types who like this play dynamic might demand to keep the pain.

As the Oracle Once Said... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147407)

Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo.

um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147459)

Who knew there was a matrix mmo? This is the first I've heard of it.
Reaching target audience fail.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147483)

as with most things, it's all about the money.
One could argue that with compelling story-lines and exciting, climactic endings the fans would drive the money frantically into the pockets of the developers. Who, being businessmen, take the safer approach of just stretching the grind and hanging a new carrot on the stick occasionally. Enjoy!

SOE...Always messing things up! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147515)

That's really a shame...Well just like the other MMO that SOE got it hands on, the marvelous jewel that was tarnished by the grimy hands of SOE, you guys know what I'm talking about SWG! I swear it's like SOE had to go ahead and destroy everything that has the potential to be awesome or that was awesome. SWG was the greatest MMO I had ever played and they came along and ruined it!

now "The Matrix" has to suffer because of their evil! I wish I was a billionaire so I could use my money for the greater good, and that's Buying SWG from SOE and pressing the reset button so it would become the Great game that it once was before SOE.

Re:SOE...Always messing things up! (2, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147663)

Yeah they did basically the same thing with planetside too.

Re:SOE...Always messing things up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147835)

SOE isn't all bad. They do a great job with their fantasy MMOs, keeping them going with decent new content, and free expansions. Everquest 2 just had a major free content patch, and another one that is quite large is on the Test server to deploy to live.

Everquest is still going. The devs had to resort to hirable mercenaries to help people solo, but IMHO, it was a sorely needed class balance addition.

SOE is keeping Vanguard not just on life support but continually adding content. If it wasn't for SOE, Vanguard likely would have suffered the same fate as DNF.

Finally, SOE still keeps EQOA running, a console MMO designed for the PS2.

SOE supports a lot of titles, and it is astounding they can keep so many MMOs going, and in good order. Seeing them decide to shut down ones that can't be sustained is sad, but in these economic times, perfectly understandable.

To use a random example: Yes, WoW is more popular than EQ2 or EQ1, but Britney Spears is more popular than Joe Satriani or another master guitarist. Popular != high quality.

There should be a movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28147577)

Someone should make a movie of the game, recapping its history from beginning to end (kind of like what was done for Futurama: The Game [imdb.com] ). My Matrix DVD collection would be incomplete without it.

More proof (1)

OriginalSolver (552648) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147615)

Therein lies the problem of proprietary solutions.

Re:More proof (5, Funny)

MLS100 (1073958) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147843)

Yeah, if only SOE had open sourced the Matrix world...

Where Morpheus makes Neo read the matrix mailing list archives instead of giving him the pill.

And instead of the climactic battle with Agent Smith, watch as Neo instead goes to the Matrix bugzilla and files a dupe bug report of an Agent attempting to kill him that's been open since the first alpha.

In the exciting conclusion, the bug is patched but Neo doesn't have the right version of the new sound library they threw in with the bugfix release.

Will he track down the new library version, compile and install the new dependencies that aren't in his package manager, install the library, and compile the new Matrix in time?!

Stay tuned.

Re:More proof (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28147927)

Why would Sony make an open source MMO game? Someone could just take the code, host it on their own server, and now all the people they are expecting to pay $15 a month are now flocking to the free server instead.

Yeah, it's good for the players because their gameplay can't be cut off by the whims of a single company, but running the server, let alone developing the game (which is more important for MMOs than other types of games), costs money that a virtual "tip jar" isn't gonna cover.

There are open source games that are relatively popular, but I can't recall the last time any of them became profitable (or even had a revenue plan, for that matter). The biggest name I know of in that aspect is Second Life. While it has an open source client, which is a smart idea as it maximizes the amount of potential customers, that isn't the same making everything open source.

Re:More proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28148403)

LOL are you kidding?
The point of an MMO is to be massively multiplayer.
Even with open sourced client and server code only a powerful entity (a corporation for example) would be able to afford running substantial game servers.

Playing wow with yourself and your 3 friends hosted on your pos computer would get old ridiculously fast.

Re:More proof (2, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148173)

Was there a large warning sticker on the box ''what you are buying will cease to work in July 2009'' ?

If not, then are they guilty of breach of contract -- especially for those who have bought it recently. Or have I got the wrong end of the stick ?

Re:More proof (2, Informative)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149005)

you pay monthly - i would imagine when you purchase the game you get a month or two free which covers the price you paid for the software.

Re:More proof (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149163)

Or have I got the wrong end of the stick ?

Unless they promised that the service would go on forever, there has been no breach of contract.

Everyone knows that businesses and products fail. You have to make the decision of whether to deal with a vendor based on past performance. I won't buy the average Ford vehicle because Ford makes stupid, unnecessary changes to a given motor every couple years, even if they're still using it, that defeat parts interchange. I have a Ford truck because it has an International motor, and I know I can get parts even if I take the truck to another country.

Re:More proof (2, Informative)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149873)

most MMORG boxes have fine print that the company reserves the right to end the online features with 30 days notice... this is it!

Of course I still see boxes of Tabula Rasa on shelves... nobody's bothered to tell the stores the game's closed!

RE:Not a Breach of Contract. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28150629)

SOE is pro-rating those who have paid for the game beyond one of the dates mentioned in that letter to subscribers.

By giving the money back they are nullifying the contract and you do not lose anything. Like most MMO's the companies who host them reserves the right to terminate the contract (server, game, etc). That much is in the EULA and therefore by playing the game you agree to those terms.

The definitive end of The Matrix (2, Insightful)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148515)

Fun fact; the MMORPG was actually considered canon. So when the game ends, that, rather than the third movie, will be the actual end of the story.

The fact that, from what I read at least, it was so story driven in nature was probably what ensured that it only had a finite lifespan. If WoW's devs hadn't screwed the class dynamics to the degree they have since 3.0, that game could have conceivably lasted more or less forever on the basis of the pre-existing content, without any further developer interaction.

MxO, however, was different. It was apparently built around ongoing episodic/developer involvement, and comparitively speaking there apparently wasn't a lot of repetitive/static content at all. As a result, once the devs stopped doing the live stuff, the game itself would die.

The franchise has existed for ten years, and that is a better run than many get; I know the screenplay of the first movie more intimately than Muslims are supposed to know the Qu'ran. Although I've still got it on my hard drive, I also wouldn't have watched it more than probably three times in the last five years; I saw it literally close to 100 times within the first six months of its' release, and I've since got it out of my system.

Adios, Neo. It's been a great ride.

Not the only MMO to recently get End of Life'd (3, Informative)

Kylock (608369) | more than 5 years ago | (#28148617)

It was also recently announced the Shadowbane is being shut down [ubi.com] soon as well.

Re:Not the only MMO to recently get End of Life'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28148797)

Good, hopefully now the MMO fad is dying down & we can start to get some decent single-player RPGs again.

Sad, Very Sad. (1)

BloodAngel_Au (449499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149047)

I really liked the matrix online, at least during it's warner brothers run, that damned combat 'upgrade' and removing almost all the live events (and staff) just farking nurfed a great combat system and game into button mashing grind fest. But it is sad to see, but I figured SOE agreed to keep MxO online for 3-4 years so they could get their hands onto the DC online license (and possibly other things, we'll never really know.) It sad I have been proven correct, hence goes another different(read non-WoW) MMO that could have been something with more support. Enjoy MMO Heaven and tell Auto Assault I said Hi. I just noticed they are suspending billing from 1st June. Does this mean if you haven't pre-paid until the end, you can't go back for the finale ? And the main 'The MAtrix ONline' webpage is going down as of then also.

Should all MMOs die at some point? (5, Interesting)

sircastor (1051070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28149363)

Reading this and a number of the comments, connected with the question posted to /. a few days ago about severe gaming addiction, I kind of wonder if, at some point, all MMOs need to die? Like a good television show, you get to a point where the show needs to be retired. It's lived it's life and been popular and made money. I think this is probably natural and needed. This gives the creators a great opportunity to move on to another MMO, or a different project entirely - flex their creative muscles in a different way.

Re:Should all MMOs die at some point? (1)

Haxamanish (1564673) | more than 5 years ago | (#28154081)

Well, the MMO which does not dies will one day be called... "The Matrix".

An ill-conceived project (1)

loox (517560) | more than 5 years ago | (#28150239)

Games made to be played on the Internet should be compatible with the whole Internet. The Matrix Online was Windows-only, like today is 1995. Ill-conceived projects die, not because they weren't Linux-compatible; because not being Linux- (or Mac-) compatible is, in year 2009, an evidence of ill-conceiveness.

lux

Explains WoW then, doesn't it (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28152495)

Oh no, it doesn't.

Last Chance Download (1)

peterofoz (1038508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28150967)

The Download game button the Matrix game website seems to be disabled, but you can still download the game here: http://pdl.warnerbros.com/thematrixonline/game_client/MxO.exe [warnerbros.com]

Re:Last Chance Download - NVM (1)

peterofoz (1038508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28151029)

Looks like there is no free trial and you can no longer purchase a subscription. Ah-well.

No, not like this... (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 5 years ago | (#28151637)

Relax, this is just the Cipher-pulling-the-plug part. You'll be back online as soon as the latino guy in the spaceship recovers from the plasma ray hit.

Another game killed by Soe. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28152969)

Thats 2nd after they managed to kill a mega title like Star Wars Galaxies. And the ceo of its parent company still babbles shit about the internet and whatnot, instead of doing his f@cking job. if he spent a fraction of his time overseeing their divisions, instead of babbling sh@t to shape internet to make up for their gross incompetence, those two mega titles wouldnt go down the drain like this.

guy. do your f@cking job. leave internet, to, well, the internet. wisdom of the crowds is much bigger than your 2 cell brain.

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