Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

On Transitioning To an Asian-Style MMO, Such As Aion

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the mixing-real-culture-with-virtual-culture dept.

PC Games (Games) 256

A. Harvey writes "Ten Ton Hammer has an interesting article about the transition to Asian-style MMO games, specifically Aion. 'In many ways, the West is catching up to the East in terms of gaming. Per capita gaming ... and broadband proliferation is markedly higher in Asian markets. Gaming is much more social in the East as well; many players gather together in internet cafes to spend their game time with each other. Another surprising difference in most Asian-based games is that most functions of game control are mouse based.' I think the author hit the nail on the head that Aion will be a big success in North America and will introduce a lot of players to games with an Eastern feel."

cancel ×

256 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

sweat shops (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061469)

i'm sure sweat shops are very social - all day farming gold leaves time to talk.

Re:sweat shops (0, Troll)

nhat11 (1608159) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061509)

What the heck does sweat shops and online gaming have to do with anything?

Re:sweat shops (1, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061663)

Sweat shops are how companies gold farm in Asia.

Re:sweat shops (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29062357)

Flamebait? For real? How the fuck do you think anyone can accumulate that much gold in any decent amount of time?

Re:sweat shops (0, Redundant)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062481)

Flamebait? Isn't this common knowledge?

Re:sweat shops (4, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062257)

To better answer your question - online games are "gamed" for in-game currency, which is converted into real life currency, by one means or another. There are companies in poor countries that employ dozens or hundreds of people to farm MMO's for ingame currency, to be sold on the black market to wealthy gamers. It is a lucrative business for them, considering that most come from poor countries, and they can pay people a bowl of rice of two for a day's work in front of the computer.

The same guy might be logged into 4, 6, or more online games, and he has a quota of gold, or whatever, to harvest before his shift is over. He never gets to adventure, or explore - he performs rote actions, with the purpose of increasing his bank.

Re:sweat shops (3, Funny)

lxs (131946) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063063)

he performs rote actions, with the purpose of increasing his bank.

Boy that was just like my year of playing WoW. You mean I could get paid for that?

Re:sweat shops (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061545)

There is a chink in your armor. Your viewpoint is slanted.

Re:sweat shops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061577)

How the hell did that happen? Asian broadswords are only 4 inches long!

Pedophiles? (1)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061471)

Asian women look like little girls--with the flat nose bridge.

Re:Pedophiles? (2, Funny)

exley (221867) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062431)

Asian women look like little girls--with the flat nose bridge.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

On transitioning to Goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061475)

First Post Troll has an interesting article about the transition to gay shocksite, specifically Goatse [goatse.fr]

Asian style gaming (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061521)

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue...who will be hungry again in an hour.

Re:Asian style gaming (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29063527)

Asian style MMO = grindfest.

I rofl at the WoW players that have never played another MMO (besides briefly the OTHER "WoW killers" there have been in the past) who think that Aion will be ANY different from the hundreds of previous Korean MMOs that have been released in the past.

You. Will. Have. To. Grind. Your. Ass. Off.

90% of the American Playerbase will quit after hitting level 40. I guarantee it. (And then come back to WoW, lol.)

Gaming is a very personal social activity in Asia (-1, Flamebait)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061547)

Asia (well, Japan and Korea) is a huge gaming market for several reasons.

First, games allow a user to step outside of themselves for a short period. One of the central tenets of Asian culture is adherence to hive mentality. If one were to step outside of what is universally acceptable, they would find themselves shunned, ridiculed, and possibly physically threatened. Gaming provides an outlet for the frustration brought on by such external oppression. Now, instead of being Kenji the juku slave, he can be Wang Hung Lo the Lvl40 Mage.

Another reason is that gaming takes the player out of the milieu of socializing with peers and puts the gamer in a very secluded world. This is a well known phenomenon and is used to great effect in the military where removing the soldiers from the battlefield allows them to make kills remotely without suffering from the shock of actually killing someone. The technical term for this mental state is solipsism. Most gamers are losers in real life and need to find a way to either take revenge on their tormentors or to become something they can never be. Games provide this in spades. A young kid can lead a platoon into battle or he can pick off enemies as a sniper. To the gamer, the other objects on the screen have no significance as other human beings. They are just another part of the game.

The last reason that Asians find gaming to be more rewarding (and thus take part in it more than North Americans) is that their popular culture lends itself to the cartoonish graphical descriptions of games. Anything from wide-eyed Cho-bits to tentacle rape fantasies to huge mechanical suits to feminized men, Asian culture identifies these things as good, and the games can easily reflect them. Real life would frown on rape, but games give some players the ability to practice their sociopathic misogyny on a carefully-drawn crying anime character. North Americans identify strongly with such archetypes like gangsters, so games like GTA appeal very directly to that feeling. Asians, OTOH, due to their small stature and relatively weak political power, want to augment their bodies (through Gundam suits, for example) and take out their aggressions on their oppressors (as in Boss Kancho).

To sum up, it's not necessary to emulate or try to learn anything from Asian gaming. Their culture is fundamentally different from ours, so things like negative points for kills would only frustrate American players. We have our ways, they have theirs.

Re:Gaming is a very personal social activity in As (3, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061653)

their popular culture lends itself to the cartoonish graphical descriptions of games.

Yeah, you'd definitely know this game is Asian based just on the style of all the armor and weapons past about 25. The equip for Templars/Gladiators looks straight out of RFO. Everything else looks totally unnecessary, highly colorful, and actually really cool.

Re:Gaming is a very personal social activity in As (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061659)

To sum up, your post is bullshit. In the spirit of your post, I offer no credible examples or research to back up my claim.

Re:Gaming is a very personal social activity in As (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062283)

BadAnalogyGuy, you've never been funny to me but this trolling, intentional or not, is some of the best I've ever seen. Great work.

Aion will Flop (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061591)

Aion will go the way of every other non-WoW MMO, because it can't compete with the dumptruckloads of development money and years of lead time that game has had. It is just a poor copy of The One MMO that yet again tries to outdo it with the graphics, while the developers continue to ignore the fact that part of WoW's mass market appeal is that it will run on any piece-of-crap computer with some sort of 3D accelerator in it.

Aion will have a couple hundred thousand subscribers if it's lucky, and those will churn out in a few months, the numbers will stabilize somewhere around 80K, and NCsoft will still be scratching their heads wondering why they can't publish a GOOD MMO.

Age of Conan had BOOBIES and awesome graphics and some new game mechanics, but it was poorly balanced and the highly polished tutorial was just a facade. Once you went to the mainland the game got dull and boring with a quickness. Plus, low-level male characters looked like gay pirates and the sexiest female clothes you'd see were the ones a character started with. And Age of Conan flopped.

Warhammer Online was accessible, with graphics comparable to WoW's; it had fun gameplay comparable to some of WoW's more recent additions, and it still flopped. Why? Because it was TOO MUCH of a WoW clone on the surface, and many of its systems were not polished or balanced and relied too much on social interactions where "alone together" is king.

For what it's worth, I think Bioware's KOTOR Online thing will have huge box sales and big initial numbers, and it will be a great Bioware RPG, but static content does not make for MMO subscriber retention. They'll have huge initial numbers and huge churn. But they at least have a little bit of a chance, if only because it's not more cookie-cutter mythical fantasy; It's STAR WARS.

The MMOs that are succeeding these days are not MMORPGs. They are MMO-strategy like lighter-fare Web/social network games. To make a new MMORPG be massively successful, it's going to take a re-invention of the genre. EVE Online has carved out a nice niche for itself and is clearly a shining star. The current MMORPG monoculture sucks and it's time for more experimental and different kinds of MMO games.

Re:Aion will Flop (4, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061791)

Have you played the Chinese game? How about the Closed Beta? I have, so I'm going to comment from actually playing the past 2 months, both in beta and on Chinese servers.

Speculation on numbers is rubbish if you don't have any reason for them other than "it happened to every WoW-clone before it". This isn't quite a WoW clone. It's familiar, but no the same.

Aion is actually very well polished compared to AoC. It's at 1.0.12 in China, and it's supposed to be at 1.5 by the NA release. That will make it much better than it already is, which is on the level of good. AoC fucking BLEW at launch. Completely.

I never played warhammer, won't comment.

You negelct to realize that every day brings WoW closer to it's death. You know how many people jsut get so damn bored of it already? Do you think eternal life is possible, even for a given product?

Granted, reinvention is usually the winner during a change between generations. But you don't need to reinvent the Corvette to sell more; you need to give it a bigger engine. Then, when that doesn't catch people atttention anymore, change the body. Then, some large number of years later, scrap it for a new kind of car.

Re:Aion will Flop (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061877)

How about the Closed Beta?

Yes, I have. As far as I've seen, it's just more of the same. Same kind of quests, same kind of combat mechanics, same character class-and-level mechanics. Same old grind, same old tedium. Players will get bored with it. Everyone declaring they will quit WoW to play Aion will find something they miss about WoW that is lacking there, get frustrated, and will go back.

Sure, WoW will die eventually, but that day is clearly a long way off. I'd say it's more likely to become antiquated than be abandonded by its playerbase.

Re:Aion will Flop (2, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062049)

Every MMO has been the same old shit, including before WoW. I'd attribute it's success more to being contagious and being able to attract a large crowd at the start due to known IP that I would nearly anything else. The contagious factor can be brought into any game, and so can the crowd. It's just a matter of marketing, and getting word out to every last person possible about the awesomeness of the game before launch. I don't think enough people will be fickle enough to go "oh damn, they don't have a stun at level 15 on my warrior-type, back to WoW". Oh, and one thing Aion has far above and beyond WoW: it forces you to meet people within 15 hours of starting. At lv. 18, you stop getting quests except for ones that are for elites. You don't get another till 20 (ok, so you get like 2. Not nearly enough to level up). It forces community building, which is one of the main reasons people turn to MMO's, and by far the main reason people stay in MMO's for so long. They're really shitty games in general in terms of raw fun level that's built-in. Do you think anyone would play an MMO if it were single player?

Re:Aion will Flop (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29062191)

Do you think anyone would play an MMO if it were single player?

I thought that was 80% of the population in WoW.

Re:Aion will Flop (2, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062381)

....whom then leave within a couple days. This is the problem I had playing WoW: There were really no guilds for me to join on my server that didn't have a bunch of people who have been playing for massive amounts of time. I couldn't find people who didn't play, so every time I asked a question, snyde response. I had no reason to stick to the game, just because there was nothing special about it, and (at least on the servers I tried) found 0 people to talk to regularly. MMO's are really, really shitty games. Wash, rinse, repeat times 80 million. Once you have the best formula, there is no improving on DPS. You can improve on CC, but once you're used to using a fear and a restraint and a stun on 3 different guys, you're done. Healing is just waiting for bars to go down and avoiding aggro. If I can describe exactly how to play a type of character in a (long) sentence, that's really not deep gameplay I can do for hours on end myself with nobody to talk to.

Re:Aion will Flop (4, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062547)

This is true. Warcraft is a tough game for a new subscriber to start, now. Not the game itself; that's fine. But the culture, the MMO part of the RPG, is not at all friendly. It's great, I assume, if you've been playing for years and know all the lingo and social conventions.

I never played. I watched my son try for a few weeks. He ended up canceling because nobody wanted anything to do with somebody who didn't already know all the proper etiquette on how to do multiplayer raids or whatnot. He was accused of pretending to be new; one guy said something like "You just started playing Warcraft NOW? You're lying."

And without the promised extensive social interaction, Warcraft looked like a pretty mediocre RPG. I'm sure he could have stuck it out, eventually wormed his way into some guild or another, but why would he WANT to? That sounded about as thrilling as repeating your freshman year of high school. The startup of a new MMORPG would be far more attractive.

I concur, i ahd the same experience (4, Informative)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063087)

I started playing WoW in march 2009. I kept hearing stuff like I am "faking being a newb" that I am a "fucktard" for not knowing what to do or not to do during boss fights, I was disbelieved when saying I had no alt (shortly after they laughed at me because I did not know what an alt was or an "owl" or a "dudu"). When i reached the burning crusade floating island this went even worst so I decided to stop, and I will only flock to new MMO now. So I am pretty sure everybody is about as newb as I am.

Re:Aion will Flop (3, Insightful)

Exitar (809068) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062939)

"Oh, and one thing Aion has far above and beyond WoW: it forces you to meet people within 15 hours of starting"

Forces you? Who want to play a game that forces you to do something if you don't want to do it?

If a MMORPG can't be soloed it will fail.
A percentage of people like to quest alone and maybe instance in groups, so Aion would piss them off.
But, more importantly, after some months a new player will find hard to be accepted in groups by more experienced players ("Hey, you're such a noob").

The reason for WoW success is that it allows a large number of play styles (questing, raiding, pvp...)
Games not so balanced will only satisfy a niche of population, so maybe people will start to play, see they don't really enjoy the game and leave.
When many players leave, others will follow as the servers will start to look empty. Empty servers must be merged.
Server merges helps the playing population to continue to enjoy the game but from outside it's seen as "ok, another failed MMORPG, I won't even try it"

And I'm being optimistic, regarding Aion, as in all my reasonings above I assumed it won't be bug filled or with huge imbalances...

Re:Aion will Flop (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063507)

If a MMORPG can't be soloed it will fail.

Explain to me why I should pay 15 bucks a month to play a solo game? I can do that for free (after paying the initial price for the game, which I'd have to play for an MMO as well as for a "normal" game).

The "solo-able" appeal of MMOs has always puzzled me. I'm all for games offering some sort of solo activity, so you can remain busy and active even when your friends aren't around or your class is currently not in demand, but making it a sensible way to spend your game time is certainly a way to drive me away from it. I do not pay 15 bucks a month to play a solo game.

Yes, yes, just for the level grind... Huh? To quote you, "Forces you"? Forces me, in this case? I am forced to do something I don't want to do to play the part that is finally to my liking? It's probably not going to take long, these days leveling is done in a matter of weeks. Yet I am supposed to play a game I don't want to play for weeks to finally get to play what I want?

Sounds insane if you ask me. It's like having to play through stages and stages of RTS game if you hate them so you can finally get to the FPS game part you want to play in the first place.

Re:Aion will Flop (4, Insightful)

Impeesa (763920) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063549)

If a game doesn't allow solo play, then the corollary is you need a group to do anything. Groups can be hard to assemble and coordinate - sometimes it takes a while to get going, and sometimes you just don't feel like dealing with it, even if you normally enjoy it. If you can't do anything useful ungrouped, then why bother logging in for anything other than a scheduled guild raid? And if you're logging in that infrequently, why keep logging in at all? This is the downward spiral of a strictly group-only MMO.

Re:Aion will Flop (2)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063331)

Wait. So you stop getting the ability to advance yourself without grouping?

Yeah, this game is screwed. That model was popular in the past, not anymore. Nobody wants to log in, then discover they can't do anything in game without first spending 45 minutes trying to find a tank and healer. The whole appeal of WoW is that you didn't need to team up with a bunch of random asshats and wait around all day before being able to play.

Re:Aion will Flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061941)

You negelct to realize that every day brings WoW closer to it's death. You know how many people jsut get so damn bored of it already? Do you think eternal life is possible, even for a given product?

You clearly haven't played Diablo II. People jones for it. It's like nethack... we'll still playing it 20 years from now even when we have holographic touch displays. Unless Diablo III is even better... which should be out before WoW really starts to decline.

What you are neglecting is that Warcraft was the first MMO to really lock a lot of people in. These people are addicted to warcrack, but they also know how much time it wastes and how destructive it is. You hear them in chat and blogs with many people saying 'my next mmo will be real life' when somebody brings up warhammer, or kotor, or any other mmo. They'll stay with warcraft until they get really burned out, then they'll stop.

Re:Aion will Flop (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062075)

Like I said in another post, MMO's are about community. Any MMO can do it, if they're able to get and keep a crowd by getting them to talk to each other. It's somewhat like the (definitely not possible but great as an example) idea to take water in through a cell membrane, then link them so it can't get out. Aion literally forces you to do this around level 19, or suffer through a couple hours of grinding where you can't get good equipment.

Re:Aion will Flop (4, Insightful)

ghostdoc (1235612) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062323)

Like I said in another post, MMO's are about community.

Not any more.
I played DAoC, then switched to WoW at launch and watched my guild fall apart because they could solo in WoW.

People's preferences are clearly and absolutely:
1: Group with a small number of very good friends
2: Solo
3: Group with guild mates (or people they know a bit and trust a bit)
(and way down there)
457657465674: Group with strangers

For some people, 1 and 2 are interchangeable. I know people who play WoW daily and have *never* grouped to quest, only to pug instances.

I think that part of WoW's huge success is because you can solo effectively in it, and that suits a lot of people just fine. I don't think any MMO that forces you to group up will get anywhere near WoW's numbers.

It's sad, because my best memories are of times spent grouped up and laughing in either game.
On the other hand my worst memories from either game are from other people too. I can understand not wanting to risk the bad stuff to possibly get the good stuff.

Re:Aion will Flop (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062393)

I'd definitely put grinding with guildmates above grinding solo, granted that they actually say shit. Part of my problem is the lack of people who are willing to talk at all. I'd risk some guy getting a roll on a epic item I want, if the dudes say SOMETHING over the course of the 3 hours we're grouped. I really an't think of anything much worse than that happening, other than a wipe (maybe). Grinding solo is absolutely the same thing as staring at your ceiling moving your fingers in a pattern. There's nothing special about having to kill 400 bears to collect 10 teeth. There's a potential for something special when you're out killing those 400 bears in a ragtag party of people who aren't so socially awkward and withdrawn that they just don't talk at all.

Re:Aion will Flop (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063177)

I've been in the Aion Beta, being an Ex-TR player gave me that "privilege". If I could sell my free 3 months (once Aion finally gets available...), I would.

Say what you want, Aion is "WoW meets JRPG". It has the graphics and style of a JRPG (cynical me would say they salvaged some of the original TR graphics and slapped them together for a "new" game) and basically the same game makeup and system mechanics as WoW. Yes, it looks different and probably, with any luck, we'll see a more mature and stable game at release, simply because it's been released already and in production. Even the translation is already better than what I'm used to from other JRPGs (some really sound like Korean-after-Babelfish and probably are... when you can't even begin to decypher wtf the quest is about, let alone figure out what you should do, you know something's gone bad). Still, you have the twofold problem that killed every WoW-clone so far:

1) Why should anyone who sunk 4+ years into WoW abandon it, there's no need. The game is still offering what it always offered, the people are still around, they managed to avoid pretty much everything that fu..ed up other MMOs in the past, why switch?
2) Why should anyone who went away from WoW in disgust play a game that is way too similar to WoW?

What those new MMO makers fail to see is that WoW isn't targeting the "MMO players" market. Maybe, just maybe, it did in the beginning, but the majority of WoW players are not "old school" MMO players. They are more players of other games that looked at WoW as their first MMO, or people who didn't play computer games too much before WoW altogether. These people often don't even know what "MMO"s are or that there are others. They also don't look around and probably they don't even care. It's like the average non-technical computer user that uses Windows, not because it's better or more accessable, but simply because they don't know that there is any alternative, and there is no need for them to shop around because they're fine with what they got, why bother looking at something else? I'm happy with my dishwasher, so why ponder another manufactuerer? Yes, yes, it has those insanely nifty features and it needs less water... look, I don't care, mine is cleaning my dishes and it works ok, I don't wanna be bothered by constantly comparing what's out there...

And it's the same for these people and MMOs. They're happy with what WoW offers them and they won't even consider looking around. First, they already "invested" a lot of time in WoW. Going somewhere else to play essentially the same game means starting over. Second, their "friends" are there. People don't really easily move away from their home, it's not that different for MMOs. Third, that other game offers only what they already have, so why bother moving at all and swallow the problems and hardships associated with 1. and 2.?

It's like making the better Windows. Yes, you could create an OS that costs next to nothing and offers all the functions of Windows, be 100% compatible and whatnot, and still you will not be able to compete, simply because people don't switch away from what they know until there is a compelling reason to do so. More often than not, they don't even know there's something else and they don't even want to know because they're happy with what they got.

Re:Aion will Flop (2, Informative)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063339)

I played the first EU Beta weekend - for a couple of hours. I don't have great hopes for the game at release. There's much made of the quest system, but it still comes down to grinding monsters for experience. I actually had more fun with Runes of Magic, for the also couple of hours I played it.

Re:Aion will Flop (4, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062009)

"To make a new MMORPG be massively successful, it's going to take a re-invention of the genre..."

I'd like the see the MMO genre die, single player RPG's have all but been abandoned in an attempt at a cash grab for monthly fee's from MMO's.

The real problem is RPG's can't evolve within an MMO framework since the gameplay is ALWAYS the same in every god damn mmo, it's ALWAYS auto controlled and non-action (twitch/full control ala God of war) based.

That's one of the things I can't stand about MMO's is the focus is on a single character and yet everything is automated out the ying yang and there is barely any skill involved. Not only that, the lag prevents certain kinds of design in terms of action and effects from happening due to latency.

I hope all MMO's start to fade away as players get sick and tired of their monthly fee's. IMHO I've hated the MMO trend since the beginning how gamers can stand to get dinged $15 a month on top of full price for a game is pure insanity.

Re:Aion will Flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29062377)

Oblivion, the Fallouts, Fable II, Mass Effect...
I must have missed the MMO aspects of those RPGs

Re:Aion will Flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29062383)

I didn't drop WOW because of the subscription. I dropped it because of the Godawful grind and I finally got trapped in one of those BS places where you'd need to be 10 levels or more higher to fight your way out so I was supposed to take a 50% dig to everything. Instead I said fuck it and canceled my membership. Why does it always come down to free or nothing? Servers and upkeep cost money. The ones that don't charge monthly fees will never survive. How could they? Eventually they max out on people that paid for the entry software then they get stuck supporting a world that isn't paying for itself. It's a doomed scenario. If it was better designed I don't see a problem with the model for WOW. If you buy multiple months it's the cost of one movie ticket a month. In a sense if you played it two hours a month it's worth the money. Most play it that much a day. You're talking $0.35 to $0.50 a day for entertainment. Your internet service and cable TV cost much more than that. So long as it's worth the time it's worth the money. I'll tell you this much you will never, ever see a free MMO that is worth your time. They are simply too expensive to develop and maintain. When you consider entertainment hour per dollar games are a great value including the expensive ones. Stop reducing everything down to "I want it for free". Just because you blew a couple of grand on a computer doesn't mean you paid for the content too. The game developers didn't get a cent of that money and they deserve to make a living just like you do. Don't bitch about paying $12 to $15 a month for a 100 hours of entertainment, marvel at how cheap it is.

Re:Aion will Flop (0)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062397)

Exactly why I think it's all about the people and bonding, but nobody else seems to think that way. I know it's not that way, and people just do their own shit, but there's no reason not to group up with a couple peeps and have a ball. Honestly, what good is going to a party with shitty music if everyone stands in their own corner and doesn't say a word?

Re:Aion will Flop (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063189)

There needs to be a good balance of being able to solo and being able to group in any mmorpg. If a game is designed in such a way that you practically HAVE to group up to get anything done, you will get to experience lots of problems:

a.) not everybody plays at the same time, i.e. it is possible to log on and everybody on your friendlist / in your guild is already doing something in game, so you just sit there and can't do shit.
b.) partying with random people in the game (i.e. people you do not know) often turns out to be a Bad Thing, because there ARE idiots and 12 year olds out there, and many people think they can get away with anything if they can hide behind the anonymity of an online game. Just read e.g. the WoW forums and the funny threads about horrible experiences in pick up groups.
c.) a.) and b.) makes people build their own private parties (e.g. fire up a second game client and run your own support class character for your own private party) so that they CAN solo even if the game is not designed for it.

NCSoft's other game Lineage 2 is a good example of how not to do it when you want to create a game for US/euro players. It is a pretty good game, because it allows for lots of guild vs. guild politics and drama, but it fails horribly if you just want to log on in the evening and have a little bit of fun. You cannot really do much at higher levels without either having REGULAR game sessions with players of all the necessary classes, or you have to buy several game accounts and build your own little xp party with the needed support classes. So it definitely is not a game for casual players, and that is why it never became any big thing on markets outside Korea. It definitely is not a flop, it has its dedicated followers and people who leave it sooner or later come back because there just are not that many games which put such emphasis on politics/drama and working together as a guild, but it still is a niche game and casual players who try it out leave in horror after a few days. It works very well in Korea though, simply because of the player mentality there. Where western players prefer individual success, they have a much easier time building regular groups of friend who do everything together, and then this kind of game design works, of course.

Re:Aion will Flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29062903)

The real problem is RPG's can't evolve within an MMO framework since the gameplay is ALWAYS the same in every god damn mmo, it's ALWAYS auto controlled and non-action (twitch/full control ala God of war) based.

That's one of the things I can't stand about MMO's is the focus is on a single character and yet everything is automated out the ying yang and there is barely any skill involved.

Maximizing your potential in an MMO is a very math-intensive process. I guess I didn't realize that it was now a popular opinion on slashdot that twitching harder was a more "skillful" activity than thinking.

Re:Aion will Flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29063231)

I think what you fail to realize, and so do all asian developers, is there taste of western audiences is flat out different. Every single asian MMO can be described with the following equation:

Street Fighter + 3D + Persistence = Asian MMO.

It's all about graphics, button mashing, arcade style play ("easy to learn, lifetime to master"). It's not about character development, deep story or plot, solo content, questing, crafting or socializing. Look at what Darkfall was trying to offer and why it appealed to western audiences, look at what vanguard was offering as well. For some reason, the appeal of western MMO's is as a second job. The appeal of asian mmo's is thinly veiled grindfest with arcade style graphics and pvp.

Aion is only getting so much buzz because of how many people are tired of World of Warcraft, have tried every single other MMO on the market and are dying for some new content. If warhammer online wasn't doing so poorly, Aion wouldn't be doing nearly as well. The minute a western audience realizes how asian MMO's are structured (and Aion isn't any different than Lineage 1 or 2, RYL, Archlord, etc) their subscription numbers will be nonexistent in North America / Europe.

And as an aside, all of the Asian MMO's have an absolutely bizarre way of handling pvp. They all "encourage" or market their game for pvp, but the penalty for losing in pvp is absolutely severe (or they training us to be spartan soldiers? Is this where we steal food to survive as part of our training but if we get caught are beaten to death?). How many times does the chimp need to be shocked before he stops reaching for the pellet? It's nonsensical.

Re:Aion will Flop (1)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062119)

Everyone I know who plays WoW is quitting to play Aion. None of them are raiders, and they are very adamant about quitting forever. They weren't this way with Warhammer.

I forswore MMOs, but I'm seeing a paradigm shit here. I think Aion has the ability to last.

Re:Aion will Flop (5, Funny)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062145)

I'm seeing a paradigm shit here

A paradigm shit? I didn't even know they had anuses, or could even eat or drink for that matter. Do you have a camera? Could you take a picture? Or tell me where it is shitting?

Re:Aion will Flop (1)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062671)

Oh MAN, that typo is so funny it's not even work safe! xD I, in all seriousness, laughed out loud. Good thing I wasn't at work or anything! *cough*

Re:Aion will Flop (4, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062143)

You are confused. Not reaching the userbase of WOW does not make an MMO a flop. EVE has been thriving for years with just ~250,000 users.

Re:Aion will Flop (4, Informative)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062165)

Aion will have a couple hundred thousand subscribers if it's lucky, and those will churn out in a few months, the numbers will stabilize somewhere around 80K, and NCsoft will still be scratching their heads wondering why they can't publish a GOOD MMO.

You do realise that the game has been out since November 2008 and has millions of active subscribers in Asia?

Re:Aion will Flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29062281)

This is a Western site populated by Western readers and it should be obvious I was speaking of its launch in the Western world and comparing its potential performance to other Western MMO launches. Comparing our market with Asia is apples and oranges; the subscription model is different, the way profits are realized is different, the psychology of the players is different. There are plenty of Asian MMOs that have plenty of players in the Asian market that just can't compete in the West. Oh, and WoW kicks ass for player numbers over there as well as here, but no Asian MMORPG has yet to achieve the same kind of crossover success.

And I'm here saying I don't think Aion is going to be the one.

Re:Aion will Flop (2, Informative)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062307)

There are plenty of Asian MMOs that have plenty of players in the Asian market that just can't compete in the West. Oh, and WoW kicks ass for player numbers over there as well as here, but no Asian MMORPG has yet to achieve the same kind of crossover success.

Since The9 and Blizzard became entangled in a web of legal disputes, China doesn't even HAVE official WoW servers anymore. Some chinese have flocked to the Taiwanese servers, but judging by the amount of players chinese Aion has managed to gather all out of nowhere, a lot of them didn't.

Re:Aion will Flop (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062409)

The sheer number of players is even different. There's a much bigger potential market when there's 1.3 billion in a country compared to 300 million.

Re:Aion will Flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29063187)

Doesn't it also matter how many of them have internet access and also have the time and money needed to play? Last I heard, most people there have working hours that would be illegal in the west and do it for a fraction of the pay.

Re:Aion will Flop (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062761)

You do realise that this is about Eastern MMORPGs appealing to Western players don't you?

Re:Aion will Flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29062335)

Exactly right, for example ffxi has been running much longer than WoW with a stable user base of 500,000 and is frequently cited as one of the company's biggest source of income. Remember, $15x500,000x12 is 90million dollars a year, I somehow doubt server costs/developers cost more than $50million a year. And there are quite a few MMO's out there with over 100k users, most MMO's can remain profitable with as little as a few thousand suscribers (which is why some barely played mmo's seem to be able to survive for years and years, as long as there's profit, why stop?) I think Everquest is still running, and plenty of other old mmo's are still about.

Re:Aion will Flop (1, Flamebait)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062177)

For what it's worth, I think Bioware's KOTOR Online thing will have huge box sales and big initial numbers, and it will be a great Bioware RPG, but static content does not make for MMO subscriber retention.

What do you mean? The world in WoW is very static and we see how well that has done.

AoC was a terrible, shit game and flopped for many other reasons than you stated. One, a lot of stuff advertised was not in launch, I don't even know if DX10 is implemented yet, I stopped paying attention to that wreck a long time ago. Two, there were bugs upon bugs upon bugs. I've seen games in beta FAR more polished than AoC was. Three, the big attractions to the game, like sieges, just didn't work right. Four, the GMs were volunteers and were brats that didn't know what the rules and would suspend people on FFA PVP servers because they personally felt that people shouldn't gank lowbies, or such. WoW had a much better GM staff.

Warhammer just got boring after awhile and the questing world is no-where near as fun or as interesting as WoW's. Kind of ironic given that WoW's world (or at least elements from it) are obvious ripoffs from the Warhammer universe, and they didn't offer enough incentives for capturing areas. I don't know what the current state of the game is, I quit because of lack of interest and (college) classes.

A random aside: Of all the MMOs I played, WoW really was the best, and whether WoW was enjoyable or not is completely contingent on the people you play with. I had a lot of fun playing WoW back with my (old, now disbanded) guild, probably more fun than I'm having now. I still chat with people I met in the game years later. I don't really know where the game has gone now.

I have faith in KOTOR, though, because Bioware always seems to release truly great stuff. But only time will tell. As for Aion, I'm not really sure what is supposed to be unique about it. I have to say I doubt it will hit WAR's launch numbers...

Western vs Eastern RPG's - W vs E MMORPGS (5, Insightful)

Cordath (581672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062293)

One thing that I think the article is absolutely wrong about is that Western RPG's or MMO's are in any way behind Eastern ones. From Baldur's Gate to Planescape: Torment to the KOTOR series, single player western RPG's have really pushed the boundaries and given us compelling and unique experiences. While the West churns out fewer RPG's than the East, they tend to be much more varied and innovative, especially in terms of characterization and plot. When a good Western RPG comes out I can look forward to a fresh experience, while most Eastern RPG's feel annoyingly familiar. Playing them, I always experience deluges of deja vu and have to carefully switch off parts of my brain. (e.g. The part that doesn't want to play a bitchy adolescent male prodigy saving the universe... again.) The things that appeal to Eastern audiences, like those fucking chocobo's, aren't what float my boat. Likewise, to say that the West is behind in the MMO department, with WoW absolutely stomping Eastern MMO's in their own bloody markets...

Aion looks like a solid eastern MMORPG, but nothing compelling enough to dethrone WoW. It's artwork also feels distinctly Eastern, which means it will flop in the West. Lots of people in the West love anime, love Kurosawa, love Chan-wook Park, but they're still a very small minority. The majority of people will not go for something that feels too Eastern, just as Eastern audiences flocked to Lineage but not to western MMOs. Cultural barriers definitely do exist between the East and the West and Aion doesn't look like a MMO that transcends them. It really is extraordinary that WoW has somehow managed to appeal to both the East and West, and I'm not sure even Blizzard knows how they managed it.

So, what's going to dethrone WoW? Slap me silly with a mackerel if I have a clue. Probably WoW2. It's not really a terribly interesting question. What is an interesting question is when we're going to see hugely popular MMO's on the scale of WoW in genres other than fantasy. There are a lot of people out there who love sci-fi and not fantasy, or who love historical settings and not sci-fi or fantasy. These are largely untapped markets. There is probably room for several big MMO's to do well at the same time, provided they target different genres. (another reason why Aion is probably doomed.)

Bioware's KOTOR MMO looks promising. It's sci-fi, which hasn't really been done well in a MMO sense except possibly for Eve Online, but the space-sim market is arguably a different genre from what KOTOR targets. Bioware has a long track record of excellent single player RPG's, but it remains to be seen if they have what it takes to put out a MMO, especially now that they have their own sort of "imperial entanglement" predicament now that they're under EA's umbrella. (You can bet there will be pressure to release early coming from EA, no matter how much Bioware claims they are the master of their own domain!) A lot of single player RPG fans are up in arms over KOTOR being turned into a MMO, since KOTOR's strength was it's compelling stories, which are remarkably hard to do in a MMO that is more about player dynamics. Bioware claims they've found the holy grail of MMO's though, a way to bring single player plots to massive online environments. That's a bold claim, if ever there was one. I wish them luck.

Re:Aion will Flop (2, Interesting)

xalorous (883991) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062545)

Regarding SW:TOR. It is a fully realized MMO, not just a RPG. Bioware's first. LucasArts is fully behind the project. The graphics look gorgeous, and they're claiming that it will be "fully voiced". They have a really deep background universe to draw on including the movies, novels and prior games (MMO and RPG and action and FPS and flight sims, etc.) Plus they have probably the (most, second most, top 3 most) rabid group of fans in the sci-fi world, and probably the largest.

If Bioware/LucasArts can pull off what they've started to the level of quality and polish that matches what they've released so far, this could be the one that competes with WoW.

Re:Aion will Flop (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29062663)

You are so off it isn't funny. The Lineage series is vastly superior in terms of longevity when compared to western mmos. Conan is a bad analogy because the gameplay is horrid at best. Aion may stabilize at 80k North American subs, but it will rival the numbers of wow world wide.

Your asseveration of what is or is not a wow clone is flawed. Wow is a clone of every game before it. The small minded, crack head gamers that think it was the first and only are the ones that make even playing an mmo horrible at now. Wow is the clone, not the games that came after it. I sincerely wish that you half retarded wow fan boys would stick to wow and never play another mmo ever. It would make the experience much better for the people that actually want to play the game.

Wow is an itemcentric grind fest. You do a dungeon to do another dungeon to do another dungeon to do another dungeon to wait for an expansion to do another dungeon to do another dungeon to wait for another expansion. fun eh? How is a game that is build around pvp even remotely similar? Because it has an interface and is fantasy based? You are a fucktard at best. And don't even bring up the fact that wow has SOME pvp It is the worst pvp since guild wars, and has no substance. There is no war in Warcraft.

Re:Aion will Flop (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063007)

Lineage and L2 are amazingly long lived.

L2 is still the biggest single earner for NCSoft world-wide (based on the most recent Q4 2008 figures). This is despite it being over five years old. Lineage 1 (Which is ANCIENT ... it's literally VGA graphics and must be 10+ years old surely) STILL brought in almost as much as L2 did last year.

If WoW is doing as well (worldwide) as either L1 or L2 on it's 10 year anniversary, I'll be very surprised.

Aion won't be a WoWkiller in the West. But it will attract enough players to be a financial success for NCSoft here. And frankly, they don't really care that much if Aion in the west gets 500k or 50k long-term subscribers ... it's a drop in the ocean compared to their multi-million subscription figures in each of: Korea, Japan, China etc.

Unintended consequence? (4, Insightful)

Guppy (12314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061593)

From the Article, concerning killing a PKing player (a "slayer"):

6. If you or someone else kills a slayer, 12 nearby players of the dead body will receive buffs.

Is the buff substantial? It sounds like it may be possible for players to use an alternate char to PK deliberately for the purpose of getting themselves killed, to buff their main characters. This might have the unintended consequences.

Re:Unintended consequence? (4, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061623)

You'd need a separate account, as in, if you roll an Asmo, you can't roll an Elyos on the same server. So, it's possible, but costly just for the buff. Plus, PKing is such a huge problem in the Chinese Aion, it's ludicrous. Capped chars (45) run into lv. 20 areas all the time. They needed to do something, and I hope it works out. I don't know, as they haven't rolled out the patch with this upgrade to all the Chinese regions yet.

This is reverse corniness (5, Funny)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061637)

Right now someone in Japan is writing an article about how he's going to try putting on 300 pounds and importing a La-Z-Boy, just to get the full Western experience. Then he's going to see about getting one of these "basements." The idea is appealing to him; it's like an underground lair of sorts, typically accompanied by a pronounced lack of responsibility for personal development and a corresponding absence of hygiene. Sugee!

Re:This is reverse corniness (4, Interesting)

brogdon (65526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061887)

As in many other things relating to computers, Japan already has the lead in sexless, marginally employed men who live with their parents and play on the internet. They call them "herbivores."

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE56Q0C220090727?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=10522 [reuters.com]

Well, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061651)

I have not read the article, and I don't know much about MMO's but I feel I must comment anyway. Asians suck and all you stupid Linux-lovers need to stop playing Asian games to try to pick up Asian girls. It wont work. They hate you.

Warhammer (2, Interesting)

gearloos (816828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061655)

What? Warhammer Onlines dead? oh dam.. and I just hit rr70! Well, there is a couple servers still cranking along with good population.. but only a couple.

Re:Warhammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29062045)

It's not dead, but it's dying. Look at all the server merges, which are skewing the server populations. Not to mention that Mythic hasn't put a lot of effort into listening to its players; if you've ever played a high level Magus, Marauder, Witch Elf, or Black Guard, you know what I mean. I can't report for order classes, since all I care about them is Bright Wizards and their insane damage.

Re:Warhammer (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062259)

Warhammer sucked. Just trying to log in and log out was a chore. You would think that at least they could get that right. WOW was one click to log off. Warhammer was a series of click and a giant pain in the ass. I guess they though that you would some how play longer, but instead of watching the stupid splash screen for the 1000th time, most people choose to never login again.

Re:Warhammer (2, Insightful)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062437)

I don't have any personal experience with the game, but are you really concerned about a few mouseclicks before jumping into a game driven almost entirely by mouse-driven activities?

catch up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061665)

I admire the bandwidth they have, but I don't believe gaming is something we need to catch up to.
Nothing against casual gaming, but you haven't lost much if you never play MMOs.

Why would anyone *want* to transition to an... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061693)

"Asia grinder"? ;)

Aion = Asia-glindel is only (fol) noobs. :P

And you know, noobs can't marry their loved ones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06zjrdjVQgo [youtube.com]

Catching Up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29061795)

'In many ways, the West is catching up to the East in terms of gaming."

Catching up? Haven't we passed them?

"Asian Style"? (5, Insightful)

countvlad (666933) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061853)

Can someone explain to those of us "stuck in the west" exactly what an "Asian Style" MMO is? Is it a game where the men look like women and the women are hot? Mouse-driven gaming sounds scary, kind of like using Macs before the switch to OSX and multi-button mice.

Re:"Asian Style"? (2, Interesting)

Impeesa (763920) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061973)

The distinguishing characteristics, as I understand it, are typically A) free to play, supported by micropayments for vanity stuff, and B) monotonous grindfests.

Re:"Asian Style"? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062423)

What MMO, at all, isn't a monotonous grindfest? WoW doesn't count, because it doesn't matter if I'm gathering gold or Mithril, I'm still grinding the shit.

Ultima Online isn't (or wasn't, anyways) (3, Informative)

countvlad (666933) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062885)

When UO first came out (almost 11 years ago now) there was really very little grinding. Things got harder as the in game mechanics were adjusted, but macroing took a lot of the monotony out of the repetitive tasks required to raise skills.

Of course when UO came out, it was raw, untamed, and breaking new ground in gaming. There was a lot more risk involved and a lot less rules enforcing any kind of social behavior; looking back, I miss watching the enforcement of social order by the players and not the game. It was an exciting if sometimes frustrating time in gaming. As "hardcore" as games like EQ and WoW turned out to be, they don't even compare to UO in a lot of ways.

In the end, it was crushed by its own popularity - things have a way of inevitably declining into mediocrity as their popularity explodes, only to die a slow death as they breath life into new stars around them.

But if there's one phrase I would never use to describe UO, it would be "monotonous grindfest."

Re:"Asian Style"? (4, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061991)

They usually let you use the keyboard alot too. I dunno what the mouse thing is about.

There really isn't much of a difference between Western and Eastern MMO's IMO. There's the difference in raw ridiculousness of the graphics, and sometimes the quality because if you target China, the shittiest MMO will bring in some players. Sometimes there's a difference in ridiculousness of story and various mechanics, such as Aion's flying vs. WoW's only-walking. I don't know what else is really different between the two. Maybe level of grind is one thing, and wether grinding PvP or PvE is better for equip at endgame.

The biggest difference wouldn't be in the game itself, but in the players, IMO. Chinese players on Aion don't give a fuck about killstealing or anything. Ganking is ubercommon. One time, I was gathering some oysters, and a guy running up to me says stop, so I go to type "Why?" (I was in Asmo territory, in an area where Elyos were common and there was a rift open for them to get there). As I hit enter, I get back to him gathering the last oyster right there, and he sends a message going X-P. That would definitely empitomize the difference in culture when it comes to playing MMO's.

Re:"Asian Style"? (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062379)

WoW's only-walking? What? WoW has flying in 2/4 of its continents, which was introduced to players at level 70 in the previous expansion (released in 2006). Flying continues to be enabled for players entering the Northrend continent from 77 onward. There are many different types of flying mounts from magic carpets, dragons, giant robot heads, giant red rockets, hippogryphs, etc.

Re:"Asian Style"? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29063113)

As of 3.2 patch, you can learn flying in Outland when you enter it around 60. Also when you have one level at 80 (2nd expansion max), you can buy a book you send to your alt to learn cold weather flying at 70 instead of waiting to 77.

"Ganking"? (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062401)

I dunno what it means, but it sounds unpleasant. And possibly messy. Hmm, better watch where I step... :P

Cheers,

Re:"Asian Style"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29063345)

The biggest difference wouldn't be in the game itself, but in the players, IMO. Chinese players on Aion don't give a fuck about killstealing or anything. Ganking is ubercommon. One time, I was gathering some oysters, and a guy running up to me says stop, so I go to type "Why?" (I was in Asmo territory, in an area where Elyos were common and there was a rift open for them to get there). As I hit enter, I get back to him gathering the last oyster right there, and he sends a message going X-P. That would definitely empitomize the difference in culture when it comes to playing MMO's.

Wut?

Re:"Asian Style"? (1)

mako1138 (837520) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063351)

I dunno about MMOs, but my friend was telling me about this "crappy Chinese RPG" he was playing. Apparently he got to the final boss and was expecting this big, huge, epic battle. So when he hit the boss a few times and the boss proceeded to roll over and die, he was pretty disappointed.

So yeah, how about balance issues?

Re:"Asian Style"? (2, Insightful)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062019)

I think it means you spend a thousand hours picking grass so you can raise your grasspicking skill 1% which increases your rabbit faction by 0.001.

Re:"Asian Style"? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062121)

GrindGrindGrind Also requires that tag. That's an Asian MMO, very work oriented, aiming for a specific goal with a long train that you need to follow through. It's very high on the skinner box. For most western gamers, we enjoy a reasonable amount of time with a reasonable return for that time. Either some type of reward, enjoyment, etc. It just seems to go on...forever.

Lineage II in the US? (2, Interesting)

Roman Mamedov (793802) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061863)

Lineage II seems to have nowhere near WoW's popularity in the US. Given that Aion is done by the same company and is viewed by many as a LA2's "more/bigger/better", would it see the same fate?

Depends on if you want NCNA's L2 with wings. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062339)

If you mean that by people banging away at the engine to find the "unfixable" engine bugs and 80% Chinese goldfarmers, yes.

If you mean that they'll create another region for a market test(that ends up being the most anti-bot region outside Korea), and dump it a couple of years later, yes.

If you mean that the only way to get a truly permanent ban is to royally piss off NCKR, yes.

It certainly will meet the same fate as L2.

Re:Lineage II in the US? (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063023)

In many ways yes.

In one very important way, no. Aion is nowhere, nowhere, nowhere near as grindy as Lineage II (or Lineage I for that matter).

Lineage II: you could count the number of genuine level 85s (the level cap) on a given western server on one or two hands. It has taken them literally years. I've played Lineage II hardcore for 5 years and I am only level 79 (which is a long, long, long way off 85 because of the insane exponential level curve at levels 75+ ... level 79 alone is equal to levels 1-78 combined, and it continues like that).

Aion: even a relatively casual player can hit the level cap (currently 50) in a few months.

They aren't even in the same order of magnitude when it comes to grind. Sure Aion is still tougher than WoW in that respect, but then again, WoW is ridiculously easy.

Re:Lineage II in the US? (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063259)

If by "genuine" you mean "non-botted", then I guess one hand is enough to count them. All the lvl 85 players I can think of right now are VERY suspicious.

Subscribtion kills it (2, Interesting)

obi (118631) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061901)

I think there just isn't a lot of room on the market for subscription-based games. I suspect most people will have a budget for one or so, and they will have invested quite a bit of time in it - so there's very little incentive to switch.

I think the Guild Wars model is much better: you pay for the game, you play for free. If you decide to stop for a few months, and pick it up later - no problem. If you decide you like the game and want access to more content, you buy the expansion packs.

Re:Subscribtion kills it (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062005)

Or the Chinese model (at least for Aion): don't pay upfront, pay like 20 cents an hour for playtime.

And the asian arcades are better too (1)

RomulusNR (29439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29061933)

A few years ago there was a Korean operation in my town that was basically a big LAN farm (ok, they had a couple DDR machines too). It didn't seem to catch on (and we were fish out of water as we weren't Korean), though a new one has opened up.

North of the border they have a number of Asian arcades that are both full of those sit-down arcade boxes (all of which seem to play a Mechwarrior sort of game), and desktop gaming farms.

Despite the (young, childless) American geek's love of LAN parties, and the popularity of the PAX PC Gaming room, the commercial, always-on LAN Party business just doesn't seem to work down here.

What I want to know is (5, Funny)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062161)

Why all these games have pictures of half naked women running around in the snow like it's no big deal. They look really, really cold.

Another "journalist" wannabe making up reality (1)

santiagodraco (1254708) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062297)

"Transitioning"??? Hogwash. This is just another attempt at creative writing. The only reason Aion will do well, IF it does, is that it's new and might not suck. Period. Comparatively there's no way it will come close to WoW from a quality of design perspective, or Everquest 2.

Asian MMO's do well in Asia... because they are written to conform more to the console style of play and are localized immediately in those languages. They are also homegrown, so have that appeal as well.

But us transitioning, jeese, I wish these writers would not make up their own reality and pass it off as having some basis in fact.

Just wait until Star Wars: The Old Republic launches and tell me we are "transitioning" to an asian MMO.

Try the Asian model for free for first-hand info (3, Insightful)

PsyQ (87838) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062369)

Most Americans (at least judging by American MMO bloggers' postings) don't really like the concept of MMOs running on RMTs, but if you want a preview of the Asian style of MMO, try Runes of Magic [runesofmagic.com] . You'll notice that most Asian games come with a lot more convenience features than you'd find in e.g. WoW, where basic things turn into a chore. In RoM you have auto-walk, auto-find-NPC, your quest journal's important words are linked directly to an auto-walk path to the monster/person you need to find, there are many methods of instant or fast transport, free player housing from level 1, permanent mount available for purchase from level 1 etc.

If you can for one second swallow your hate of mouse-based walking (there's WASD too, for chrissakes) and RMTs, you'll see that a game doesn't become stupidly easy just because it is convenient to play.

You can find some of that in Perfect World and Jade Dynasty [perfectworld.com] or any of the Aeria games [aeriagames.com] as well, but I wouldn't recommend those. Runes of Magic is very well-adapted to the Western audience. Many other Asian MMOs are endless grindfests, because it seems that people there don't mind grinding to achieve things in a game. Radiant Arcana (as the original Runes of Magic is called in China/Taiwan/Japan/Korea) is a much more grindy game than Runes, since Frogster figured that Western players don't have the patience for a grindfest. I think they may be right.

So before someone writes an article about Eastern vs. Western-style MMOs, they should perhaps look at deeper game design elements rather than just imply "oh wow, mouse control is so you can smoke with your other hand". Also, I think the author of TFA didn't even notice that Aion's Western version had a lot of grind removed and is faster to play than the original. If he thinks the leveling curve is bad here, he should play the Korean one.

Someone get a Taiwanese, a Korean, a Japanese, a British and an American game journalist to work on an article, that way they'd talk to each other and debunk some of the myths :P

Re:Try the Asian model for free for first-hand inf (2, Insightful)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062387)

A) I'd rather pay a monthly subscription to a game than enter a game that has micro transactions for items. The potential for impulse buying is way too high. Yes, players should be more responsible with their money blah blah blah......but you tell me that impulse buying isn't going to be a significant problem for the players (obviously not for the company).

B) I don't like grinding--period. The only time I ever grind in wow is on the very rare chance I am bored and have nothing better to do. My grinding lasts no more than 30-45 minutes at a time. Grinding being: killing the same group of mobs repeatedly, flying around a zone mining, etc.

If the game requires any of these two elements, I just am not going to play it. If anything, I'd rather WoW become more difficult and skill-based to play. I'd rather the higher end content require more effort, coordination, and dedication than it takes now. Grinding for hours on end is not my kind of fun.

Re:Try the Asian model for free for first-hand inf (1)

PsyQ (87838) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063305)

Then you'd be happy to hear that Runes of Magic requires neither purchase nor grinding :)

Also, the items for sale there are convenience items. They are both truly useful and not required to complete the game. You should really try out the game before forming an opinion, chances are you'd even like it.

If you want a more difficult WoW, you probably need to go back to old-school games like Shards of Dalaya. It needs good coordination, strategy, planning and all that, but the downside is that you are forced to find a group (as early as level 6) because you simply won't survive without a balanced group of roles. It all has advantages and disadvantages, I don't think they'll ever succeed at making a game design that is easy but challenging, group-friendly but solo-friendly etc. There are many opposites that players want to have BOTH of, and that won't work.

I don't see the potential for impulse buying as a problem at all. You play the game for a week, you think "bah, I'd like to travel faster", so you buy a few transport runes or rent a horse. Horses are cheap to rent with pure in-game currency too, by the way. After a week you find out that you won't have time to play much in the next three weeks, so you won't be spending any money on the game either. With a subscription-based game, you'd still be paying money.

For people like me with our three hours a week game time, free RMT-based games are perfect and subscription-based games would be a waste of money, since I'm paying for time I can't use anyhow.

But seriously, download RoM, play it for a month. Then form an opinion. I see many people who are so opposed to the idea of trying an RMT game that they keep repeating mantras they've heard from some people who tried some OTHER RMT-based game -- every game is different, and you have to try them first-hand to really have an opinion that counts.

Not your typical asian mmo (2, Interesting)

Electros (1166421) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062521)

So I wanted to correct a few assumptions people are making with this post, I'm biased but will try to stick to facts =p 1. Aion is a grindfest ~ Untrue, aions leveling is a little bit easier than WoWs. I can't comment on raiding and crafting but early crafting is easier than WoW also. 2. Aions graphics are too good to beat WoW in the casual segment with older computers ~ Also untrue, Aion runs much more smoothly than WoW for me on my rig. I have a nice rig but I get 70-100 fps in Aion, I'm lucky to hit 30 in WoW. 3. WoW has been out for many years and is very polished, New mmos are buggy and will fail like age of Conan and warhammer did. ~ Aion has been out for a year in asia, and is very effecient. I haven't noticed any bugs in the game. I played age of conan and the comparison is apples and oranges. Aion may not be the runaway success people are making it out to be, it may not beat WoW either. There's no question in my mind that the game is better than WoW, but Asian mmo's seem to carry a large stigma and its hard to get people to switch mmo's either way. Also there remains the question of the dev team and how they deal with hackers//bots//exploits that can't be answered yet for obvious reasons but from its history in asia they have pushed out huge content patches relatively fast and bug free.

Re:Not your typical asian mmo (0)

Electros (1166421) | more than 5 years ago | (#29062557)

So I wanted to correct a few assumptions people are making with this post, I'm biased but will try to stick to facts =p
1. Aion is a grindfest
~ Untrue, aions leveling is a little bit easier than WoWs. I can't comment on raiding and crafting but early crafting is easier than WoW also.

2. Aions graphics are too good to beat WoW in the casual segment with older computers
~ Also untrue, Aion runs much more smoothly than WoW for me on my rig. I have a nice rig but I get 70-100 fps in Aion, I'm lucky to hit 30 in WoW.

3. WoW has been out for many years and is very polished, New mmos are buggy and will fail like age of Conan and warhammer did.
~ Aion has been out for a year in asia, and is very effecient. I haven't noticed any bugs in the game. I played age of conan and the comparison is apples and oranges.

Aion may not be the runaway success people are making it out to be, it may not beat WoW either. There's no question in my mind that the game is better than WoW, but Asian mmo's seem to carry a large stigma and its hard to get people to switch mmo's either way.
Also there remains the question of the dev team and how they deal with hackers//bots//exploits that can't be answered yet for obvious reasons but from its history in asia they have pushed out huge content patches relatively fast and bug free.

Sorry about it being hard to read originally due to formatting

Re:Not your typical asian mmo (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063357)

According to another post in this thread, Aion stops giving you soloable quests by level 18. If that's true, then by definition levelling is not easier then it is in WoW. In WoW, you can get to 80 compeltely solo if you want to.

West vs Asia? (4, Informative)

andersh (229403) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063363)

What a bunch of nonsense. The "West" is not exactly lagging in broadband, however the US is. The West is not synonymous with the US. Europe is doing quite well in the broadband ratings, especially Western Europe [or Northern Europe].
Furthermore Asia as a whole is not exactly leading the broadband race either. While Japan and Korea are of course very well developed, try making the same comparison with India or other large nations such as Indonesia.

What transition? (3, Informative)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#29063465)

I've played in a couple of these beta events. Far as I've seen, no transition is required. It's the same game.

- Combat: You stand there pushing buttons to activate abilities, same as every other MMO on the planet. Some skills can chain into other skills, but the UI puts the next skill in the chain on the same button as the first skill, so you can really just mash that button and make it work. If you're playing the healing class (Cleric), the number of offensive skills you get is pretty small and they're boring as shit (primary nuke with a 2 second cooldown, yay autoattack?).

- Flight: Flying around is neat. But for some reason, you can't use it in Sanctum (one of the capital cities). You can't use it in the zone immediately after the one where you are first allowed to use it. Flying as a part of combat is mostly... floating stationary so you can cast spells. It probably becomes more important in the Abyss, but from as far as I got it was a gimmick.

- Quests: Kill 10 of these, go collect this, go talk to this guy and report back. Nothing you haven't done in every other game. In the beta there's no particular etiquette regarding gathering, people will run up and try to take nodes that you're already working on. Gathering itself actually uses some weird random system with two bars (pass/fail) dueling that takes far too long and is like watching paint dry. They could have added something interactive here to improve it considerably over WoW, but they didn't.

- Grouping: Remember "LF1M, need healer"? It's back. Only two classes can heal, and only one of those is "the primary healer". That class is incredibly boring if you're not healing, which is great since you can't heal mobs to death in the soloable areas. Is it some kind of design law that healing classes in MMOs must be designed to be mind numbing to play when grinding? There's no option for dual spec like WoW has to turn yourself into a DPSer and make the suck stop.

- Graphics: It looks really nice, if you have the hardware. High end performance is better then WoW, considerably. Low end performance is non existant on a lot of hardware that will play WoW. Which isn't surprising since WoW is optimized at the low end and totally CPU bound at the high end.

I cancelled my pre-order this week. May pick it up in a few months if I'm bored, but right now I'm not bored of WoW, and Aion pretty much plays like the same game.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>