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The Future of MMORPGs

michael posted about 12 years ago | from the it's-all-about-the-stuff dept.

Games 221

Fargo writes: "How often do you get the creators of EverQuest, Asheron's Call, World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot, Star Wars Galaxies, Anarchy Online, and others in the same room together? It happened at the recent Game Developers Conference in San Jose. GameSpy pulled together notes from three days' worth of talks and drew some common conclusions that point toward where the genre is going in the future. A good read if you're interested in where Virtual Worlds are headed."

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221 comments

I'll tell you where they're headed... (2)

FortKnox (169099) | about 12 years ago | (#3230912)

...into the firey pits of latency hell.... ;-)

Re:I'll tell you where they're headed... (-1)

propstoalldeadhomiez (444303) | about 12 years ago | (#3230924)

They are headed straight up your ass [goatse.cx] , mother fucker.

Re:I'll tell you where they're headed... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231177)

you smoke poles, yes? why so many long time fun for you i don't get. oh yeah, the other thing too

MEERKAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231199)

you sir can not understand the situation any further either

Headline Comparison... (1)

phyxeld (558628) | about 12 years ago | (#3231348)

GameSpy.com [gamespy.com] :
What's This World Coming To? The Future of Massively Multiplayer Games

Slashdot.org:
The Future of MMORPG's

FARK.com [fark.com] :
Multiplayer game developers declare the future of online gaming to be something like a "Fascist Disneyland."

I have seen the future of MMORPG's (5, Insightful)

haystor (102186) | about 12 years ago | (#3230935)

And here it is:

Progress Quest [progressquest.com]

Its not too addictive and it doesn't use up too much time.

Re:I have seen the future of MMORPG's (0, Redundant)

sien (35268) | about 12 years ago | (#3231052)

That is really pretty funny.

Re:I have seen the future of MMORPG's (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231123)

I'm playing right now! I just executed a preadolecent eagle scout!

Re:I have seen the future of MMORPG's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231319)

My level 49 Demicanadian would destroy you! Terence Phillip Micheal Thomas knows no equal!

Re:I have seen the future of MMORPG's (2, Insightful)

bonk (13623) | about 12 years ago | (#3231164)

It is NOT funny! Progress is a serious and worthy goal!

Go back to playing your puny Everquest and Ultima Online, I will be laughing at your camps and bread making while I make PROGRESS!

http://progressquest.com/hi.php?name=CheesePleas e

Yes, well... (3, Funny)

FenrirWolf (157612) | about 12 years ago | (#3231201)

I actually prefer StatBuilder [voidptr.com] . It's got a lot more stats!

- signed, a lvl 154 statbuilder character -- you cannot comprehend how high my tree-climbing stat is!

Re:I have seen the future of MMORPG's (2, Funny)

binarytoaster (174681) | about 12 years ago | (#3231521)

HA! My Enchanted Motorcycle Runeloremaster OWNS YOU!!! My character [progressquest.com] Bah to all!

Of course, I haven't had it running for about 5 days... so I've lost about 700 places in the standings.. Bleh. :P

Broadband (1)

wompychomp (560987) | about 12 years ago | (#3230947)

Maybe with more and more people playing MMOGs there will be a solid base of consumers to demand some sort of solution to the U.S.'s broadband dilemma.

Re:Broadband (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 12 years ago | (#3230968)

Most Internet consumer don't need and don't care about broadband.
all the MMOOG player don't add up to 10% of the total internet users. MMOOG's don't even take up 1% of total online time.

MMORPG's are going (4, Insightful)

sllort (442574) | about 12 years ago | (#3230950)

Where text muds went 10 years ago. All the problems of grief players, player killing, user grouping, experience sharing, and dynamic landscape generation were solved in text based MUDS like this one [medievia.com] years ago. Watching the graphical corporate players re-learn these painful lessons (with the added humor factor of corporate arrogance, pride, and a PR department) has had all the humor value of watching a blind baby learn to walk.

If you find that kind of thing funny.

Tradewars: Dark Milennium MMORPG (1)

Kengineer (246142) | about 12 years ago | (#3230953)

Any old-timers who played Tradewars 2002 should take a mosey on down to tradewars.com [tradewars.com] and browse the screenshots and forums for the new game in development, named Tradewars: Dark Milennium. Hopefully, by this summer, we should have a AWESOME space game will be reborn into this new genre. I can't wait.

- Kengineer

Roleplaying - the TRUE Draw (5, Insightful)

Ieshan (409693) | about 12 years ago | (#3230955)

Sure, people do "play for the spreadsheet, filling in points", etc, but the real draw of a good game is it's roleplaying value - at least for me.

I've been playing a Text MUD for quite a long time - Dragonrealms (http://www.play.net/dr) - and it's evolved into quite a large player base where anyone can make a mark on the community by roleplaying a character correctly.

Hundreds of addicts, or just hundreds of satisfied people? Not sure, but the Roleplaying Genre needs to focus more on roleplaying, least we end up instead with the "experience-game-in-which-players-gain-levels genre".

Re:Roleplaying - the TRUE Draw (2, Insightful)

Anthracks (532185) | about 12 years ago | (#3231084)

While happen to enjoy games for the same reason you seem to, I don't think the "mass market" segment--the ones who are making the game profitable and thus the ones who the game will be designed for--are motived by roleplaying. Have you actually logged into Asheron's Call or Ultima Online? The worlds are absolutely dominted by "31337 d00dz" who are at the maximum level with more or less the same skillset and equipment, precisely because they DO care mostly about filling in the spreadsheet to maximize their combat effectiveness. I would love it for roleplaying and exploration to play a primary role (no pun intended) in these games, but at the moment I don't see how that is possible. Any game that tries it will either get swamped by d00dz or simply go bankrupt.

Re:Roleplaying & Text MUDs (1)

56ker (566853) | about 12 years ago | (#3231188)

I used to play another text MUD - Utopia [swirve.com] - but it got so addictive I had to stop.

Re:Roleplaying & Text MUDs (1)

binarytoaster (174681) | about 12 years ago | (#3231492)

I don't see how it's so addictive you'd actually have to quit. There's a limit to what you can do in a given hour, and really if you log in every hour you aren't going to gain a whole lot.

Currently, I log in about 3 times a day and spend 5-10 minutes managing my province, then bounce out. It's a game where the amount you play does directly affect how well you do, but you get major diminishing returns on the time you spend after about 20 minutes a day.

Example: You can only send four or five attacks out, and that's assuming you found targets that have defenses low enough that you can break them with the troops you have four times. Remembering that the troops you send will therefore not be defending your province for the next real-time day or so.. and all this is is running the information from that province through your formatter and deciding how much you need to send to break them.

So you're a mage. You have a limit: number of runes you have, or amount of mana. Cast enough spells and you can't cast anymore for at least an hour - and an hour's regeneration gets you maybe two more spells.

Thieves? Just stealth... but you lose thieves if you fail, and sometimes even if you succeed. And you have "mana" too... a limited number of operations, and the more you attempt the less effective you'll be. You'll need to spend money to train new thieves, but first you have to wait for the soldiers to be drafted from your population, which requires realtime too - and money, which, surprise, takes realtime to be earned.

So there's not much point to playing this game more than, say, a half an hour a day... Even given that, it's a great game, and I suggest you check it out. Utopia [swirve.com] Have fun :)

Re:Roleplaying & Text MUDs (1)

56ker (566853) | about 12 years ago | (#3231587)

Yes - you're right - but I was playing it for up to 4 hours at a time. But at the stage I was 1000+ acres I was getting more runes than I could possibly need & I had to keep building on the new land to keep my taxes at a reasonable level - also constantly adding to the army to keep the dpa the same. When there's about 4 provinces all trying to cast about 3 negative spells on you at once it can take a while to sort out the damage. Anyway - it is addictive - trust me.

Re:Roleplaying - the TRUE Draw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231301)

I agree, and text is the best medium to roleplay in online.

Graphics.. Are nice, but don't work. Not everyone's an artist, and not everyone can afford to hire one. I've seen people on, say, Cybersphere [vv.com] describe their characters so vividly that a permanant image is etched into my mind.

The same can't be said for places like EverQuest.. Where everyone looks the same, and everyone's using the same equipment.

"You can't spray cheese whiz on the body of Christ!" -- Mr. Bungle of New Carthage.

If you build it (well), they will roleplay... (5, Interesting)

realgone (147744) | about 12 years ago | (#3231370)

Roleplaying Genre needs to focus more on roleplaying

I'm going to disagree, but not for the reasons you might think.

The true jump in quality won't come from masses of gamers deciding in unison that, yes, I feel like pretending to be a sweaty dwarf named Argus McGinley of the Axehandle Clan today -- or whatever one's idea of traditional role playing might be.

Rather, it'll arrive when these online worlds become immersive/enjoyable enough that you don't even have to think about role playing. Not consciously, at any rate. That is to say, as these games evolve and their in-game mechanics grow to be more fluid and natural (instead of the hundreds of little annoyances -- zone loads, clipping bugs, slash commands -- that constantly remind us of a game's limitations), a majority gamers will begin to act more naturally within them.

Setting influences behavior, in a sense.

Ultima Online/Everquest Engines? (4, Insightful)

MonkeyBot (545313) | about 12 years ago | (#3230956)

I've been playing UO on and off for about 5 years now. I tried EverQuest for a while, and although I could see how one could get into it, I still liked UO better.
However, both companies still have an advantage over all the newcomers--they have a game engine that they have been tweaking for a long, long time. I think that when the new generation of these MMORPGs come out and drag players away from UO/Everquest, Origin and whoever makes Everquest (I forget) will wise up and start selling an engine to the next generation of MMORPG makers so that they can implement a (hopefully) more debugged game more rapidly. It just seems logical; when your itellectual property stops making money in one arena, move to another...
...but that's just my 2 cents, and that's about all it's worth.

glipse of the future... (1)

saint10 (248611) | about 12 years ago | (#3230959)

MMORPGs will move towards having a real economy [project-entropia.com] , where people live out their lives totally online. When you can make more money hunting monsters in a cave than coding in a cube, ill jump in too!

prophesizing on the Matrix(ala Gibson, not Keanu) (3, Insightful)

Transient0 (175617) | about 12 years ago | (#3231112)

This article is excellent, and I particularly enjoyed the intelligent focus on copyright and intellectual property issues as MMOGs slide towards greater and greater online content. Admittedly, I haven't played an MMOG since the Tradewars days, but the idea still fascinates me. The most thrilling idea surrounding this topic as far as I am concerned however, is that of inter-game compatability. It seems only a short matter of time before, at first multiple games by the same company, but eventually games by competing companies, support the transfer of characters and wealth between game worlds.

From that point I can imagine very easily that the drive towards standards and cross-compatability would result in the creation of a standardized "meta-game" in which characters could interact devoid of any rules or constructions aside from user created content and the "laws of physics" of the virtual world. Some users, of course, would become massive creators of original content in effect turning their corners of the meta-game into games in their own right(whether free or requiring an admission fee). Of course the commercial games would still exist and could be easily entered at any time from the meta-game, but the meta-game itself would provide the perfect level for many types of interactions and for encouraging a seamless gaming experience.

There is only one small step left from there to envision this meta-game expanding to include near-infinite non-game content and eventually replacing what is now WWW-space with an avatar driven virtual world such as that envisioned in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.

Of course, everything i have just said is speculation and supposition, but my real point is that what is going on in the world of MMOGs may be something that warrants attention even from those who aren't gamers themselves. People may one day talk about EverQuest the way people to day talk about an old DoD project called ARPANet...

What they really need to become. (5, Interesting)

Xenopax (238094) | about 12 years ago | (#3230962)

The problem with MMORPGs right now is the players can't shape the world. It would be so much fun if players could build cities, destroy cities, take power over a nation, remove a person from power, eliminate an entire species of animal, etc. Sure at times you'll have things unbalanced, but as long as you have methods to rebalance it shouldn't be an issue (like destroying a boulder that stopped a river). Also it would be nice missions involved more than one person. For instance the game could give a high level character a mission that would take too long for him to finish by himself, but he could hire lower level people for a negotiated reward to help him along.

But like all people on slashdot I only have ideas and no plans to actually implement the crap I think up. ;)

Re:What they really need to become. (1)

Steveftoth (78419) | about 12 years ago | (#3231111)

I agree, the problem is that design of game systems has not reached a level where we can design a stable system. Every gaming world has these rules, and the rules are designed to increase the amount of power in the world through the accumulation of experience by players. Of course all this experience comes from the infinite supply of bad guys to kill. Thus the system is by design, unstable. The only system like this is UO, but uo has a problem with overcrowding, so UO is stable by artificial limits, not by natural design.

Real life may or may not be stable by design, but it much better then the gaming worlds that we have created. Unlike in UO, AO, or EQ, god doesn't have to intervene on a daily basis and reset the world, resusrect players, or nerf items/abilitys . (At least not to my knowledge, maybe god did, which is why the bible is so interesting) :)

Pull to Supervillany (3, Interesting)

Telastyn (206146) | about 12 years ago | (#3230980)

I've always wondered why the 'supervillain' players aren't just allowed to be supervillains... Some gameplay addition that gives them a fatal flaw, or restricts them to certain 'evil lands' when they PK. The 'good guys' could then search dungeons (after finding out about the fatal flaw at the local tavern/wise man) for the 'special thing' needed to kill the evil PKer. (note: the dungeon would be off limits to the PKer, and probably anyone 'evil' and just contain monsters and the such)

It'd be just like the predictable, mediocre plotlines of soo many stories we all love and enjoy. The PKers are happy that they can PK people foolish enough to enter their wicked realms, and the good guys can go off and fight 'eeeevil' (for great rewards of course)

Re:Pull to Supervillany (1)

lymond01 (314120) | about 12 years ago | (#3231225)

Easy...the "Supervillains" aren't usually the roleplayers. They're people who are out to kill other characters for fun and mischief. And you can call that roleplaying to an extent, but these folks also tend to be the people who level faster than others (more playtime) so they can easily ruin other's fun.

Stories from PKers are often funny, but I can see how it can be frustrating from an RPers point of view.

Re:Pull to Supervillany (1)

Telastyn (206146) | about 12 years ago | (#3231566)

Right right, the idea would be to make it so they cannot easily do so except within their evil realm.

Re:Pull to Supervillany (4, Interesting)

Psmylie (169236) | about 12 years ago | (#3231242)

A better system might be to put a bounty on the heads of any PKers, and post the username in some sort of "post-office" type place. The person who kills that player not only gets to keep his stuff, but gets a reward (and gets to PK without being branded a PK'er). You would quite quickly see a large number of bounty hunters spring into being, along with a rapid drop in random pk'ing.

Re:Pull to Supervillany (1)

greymond (539980) | about 12 years ago | (#3231511)

now that is the best idea ive heard - i totally agree - i for one would find it a fun element if i could go kill a PKer and not only get his stuff but get stuff from the game for doing it.

I want to be Werdna (1)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | about 12 years ago | (#3231325)

I think the day of being a true evil-doer is when I get to make my own dungeon and populate it with traps and evil monsters. It's been explored before with games like Dungeon Keeper or Return of Werdna. Somewhere to keep my accumlated treasure and gives good players a reason to come after me, my treasure and get experience for doing it. Best of all, it's done in the spirit of the game.

I think this would be a great edition for any MMRPG. It's a win-win for everyone. It gives me a reason to be evil, I get to PK in a role-playing manner and adds additional quests to the game. Forget building a huge castle and manning it with defenses. Give me a hole in the ground, some imps and some other evil characters and lets start making player-created dungeons.

Re:Pull to Supervillany (1)

Dances with Sheep (320393) | about 12 years ago | (#3231398)

The problem is that it's hard to confine the supervillians to just the evil lands. By their nature, they constantly scheme to take over the world.

Now if you could convince legions of coders that the coolest game around was to time and again desperately, heroicly save all that is good from the brink of certain destruction each time the exploits of supervillians are set into motion ...

The most important thing developers must note: (4, Insightful)

NeMon'ess (160583) | about 12 years ago | (#3230986)

More games are coming out, but the gaming populace doesn't seem to be joining in. The existing market is fragmenting. Perhaps there is a substantial number of gamers who are waiting for one particular game to arrive before they join online. I have my own complaint. I chose Asheron's Call and played for three months after watching friends try out Everquest. All four of us quit EQ and AC, the other three tried both first. For us, the fundamental hook of eternal leveling simply is not enough to make us play. This incessant cycle of endless battles for weak rewards do not make these games fun for us. Two of my friends play Diablo II still, so I think they if anyone should have the will power to fight hordes for hours at a time.

What seems to be lacking for me is a real sense of accomplishment. Leveling up is not fun in and of itself. The quests I do must actually matter to the game world. The game should change because of what I do. I should have other options besides fighting to earn credits. The classic game of Pirates! comes to mind. I want to be a trader sometimes, also a politician if I desire. Not just a patron, but I want government, and generals, military commands and so on. Neocron has some of these ideas.

Unfortunately what I want is like ten games in one. But that's exactly what every company must strive for. Releasing the hack and slash game, followed by the trading game, followed by the political game, followed by the military/bounty/mercenary/thief-type game. Last but not least, if the world has horses or cars, there needs to be a racing game, not just on tracks, but street races. All of this must be available together and integrated.

I know I ask the near-impossible, but if the game makers want me to devote my real life to their virtual world for years to come, shouldn't their world be at least as interesting as reality?

Re:The most important thing developers must note: (2)

Znork (31774) | about 12 years ago | (#3231239)

The problem is that if the world changes because of what you do, it will also change because of what the other 500K players do. What you do wont matter, in the end, because we all want to be heroes, Gandalf, Aragorn, Frodo, but if we all were there would be no difference and we'd be back to not making a difference.

Or should the games cater to the 10% players who have no job or life? That's what the feeble attempts at PVP MMORPG's do. 90% of the players get to be 0wN3D by the 10% who have no life.

Successful games will be the ones where you can do little to become special. People dont want to play the part of the victims or cheering public to other people playing heroes.

You ask the near impossible, but perhaps some day someone will implement it. But probably not as a commercial venture, because it is unlikely to be profitable or popular.

Re:The most important thing developers must note: (3, Interesting)

Transient0 (175617) | about 12 years ago | (#3231404)

I would of agreed with this until the Sims came around. It seems that if gameplay is challenging/rewarding enough, poeple will be quite happy to play a member of the mob. For many people the escapism/fantasy element is still there(the desire to be Aragorn) but for others, being a productive happy hobbit is escapism enough. Particularly if(as the Entropia [www.project-entropia] people are trying to do) a system gets developed which fully supports gamecash==realcash, rather than just really-cool-game-stuff==cash/fraud-from-EBay. I can imagine a lot of people who might think that spending a lot of time doing challenging and rewarding but unspectacular game tasks and making real world coin for it was as worthwhile as spending a lot of time trying to be a hero and maybe just ending up with a character who dies a lot(with a possible gamecash/realcash cost for resurrection). Of course you would still want a healthy helping of heroes, or else the game might get boring(only might mind you, there are No heroes in the Sims), but still... someone might just be able to pull off a game world which actually supported a heroic framework, adoring mobs and all.

Re:The most important thing developers must note: (3, Interesting)

NeMon'ess (160583) | about 12 years ago | (#3231454)

Nevertheless, developers are still on crack if they expect more people to play for two to three years just to level up endlessly. I think its possible to create a game where the 90% are just as powerful as the 10%. When the players decide they want to kill the evil NPC Mordrath who is in his castle deep in the mountains of Sloemp, everyone can take part in the battles to eradicate his minions from the mountains, lay seige to their towns, and finally kick his ass, which mind you will require cooperation from tens or hundreds of players.

How much one participates in this living world is up to the player, but the designers will have to stay on their toes to keep the world interesting. I figure this can be done, but it will take committment.

Re:The most important thing developers must note: (2)

startled (144833) | about 12 years ago | (#3231459)

"More games are coming out, but the gaming populace doesn't seem to be joining in."

Do you have any figures to back that up? I haven't been able to get exact numbers, but subscription numbers for both Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot seem to be quite high. (EQ over 370,000 last I looked; DAoC over 150,000?) Verant recently mentioned that every successive MMOG rollout has actually increased EQ numbers, possibly because it increased interest in the genre in general.

I highly doubt the Sims Online will take away from EQ subscribers; it'll likely increase the market by a huge amount. Neocron, Planetside, and other games with a twitch factor will increase the market once again; the space games like EVE will make it even larger; franchises like Star Wars and World of Warcraft will bring in casual gamers (if the games are accessible enough), making the market huge.

Current numbers don't seem to support your claim, and the future looks even brighter for the genre. I agree that to be successful they need to get away from the stupid leveling treadmills you mentioned, but even if they screwed that up (which the Sims won't, for example), they'd still be able to bring in a pile of cash.

Slashdots editors suck (-1)

forkspoon (116573) | about 12 years ago | (#3230988)

They keep posting duplicate stories. I've seen like five this past week. If you are getting sick of running Slashdot, let people from the community takeover who you say really support Slashdot. I mean is Slashdot a "community" site? Not really, it's more like the opinion of about 8 guys. Slashdot reminds me of the old style communist regines that were supposed to be run by the people but were really run by a few unyielding few.

Thanks,

Travis
forkspoon@hotmail.com

Re:Slashdots editors suck (-1, Offtopic)

0xbaadf00d (543340) | about 12 years ago | (#3231015)

> Slashdot reminds me of the old style communist regines that were supposed to be run by the people but were really run by a few unyielding few.

Wouldn't that be the current "democratic" regime? The good ole US of A???

Re:Slashdots editors suck (-1, Offtopic)

0xbaadf00d (543340) | about 12 years ago | (#3231214)

Ass! My reply is on topic. It's the parent that's offtopic.

Re:Slashdots editors suck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231264)

Oh go cry a river cock junky

Re:Slashdots editors suck (0, Flamebait)

0xbaadf00d (543340) | about 12 years ago | (#3231300)

Funny how you shit for brains are always anonymous... Get some fucking balls....

Re:Slashdots editors suck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231233)

Could it be your mother is a crackwhore? Food for thought

modhicks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231237)

these slashdot moderator hicks from the sticks of western michigan like to mod up troll posts like this but my posts always get the big fat zero.

i wonder why.

"u can take the boy out of the white trash, but u can't take the white trash out of the boy"

Re:Slashdots editors suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231344)

Don't forget that alot of the eurotrash, canadians, and other assorted fucktards that post are communists

Interesting questions. (4, Interesting)

gatekeep (122108) | about 12 years ago | (#3230996)

This article raises a number of interesting points. Not the least of which, is what are these things? Are they games, of other worlds of existence? A place for enjoyment, or a metaverse of sorts?

In my mind, they need to evolve beyond games and give users a reason to take part rather than stat building and killing progressively larger monsters. As a beta tester for Ultima Online, and short term user of several other systems I can tell you that gets boring real quick.

The problem, as I see it, is how to deal with that small percent of the population who want to just cause trouble for everyone else. Pkilling, newbie killing, etc will always be something people want to do. The key is to protect people from it while not breaking the suspension of disbelief that gets us so caught up in the world, and still allowing these sorts of things for those who want to take part.

Can you imagine how boring the metaverse would be if Hiro Protaganist just slashed through all the black and white avatars, simply because he could? That wouldn't go far to lure new users.

To continue the metaverse analogy, allowing users to carve out their own niche is a real bonus. MUDs, MUSHs, etc. have almost all had some capacity to allow the players to build the world. The metaverse allows people to create homes, buildings, hell even the Black Sun.. but in MMORPGs so far that feature has been poorly implemented. UO allows for building houses and hiring shopkeepers, but the former just cluttered the landscape, while the latter became pack animals for most players.

In short, this article asks some good questions. I can't think of any easy answers to any of them, but it's good to see people discussing this in an open forum.

Future of MMOGs, actual (1)

Demonix (140379) | about 12 years ago | (#3230998)

Personally, I think DIY MMOGs are the way to go...basically you release a toolset that allows someone to make thier own world with a pre-existing framework of rules...then you can turn the players loose in them.

It's not massive, but it is multiplayer...and people can restrict access to thier worlds as they see fit...ending the days of l337 camper and catass man.

Oh yeah..that's Neverwinter Nights, and its coming out in June...

I think the MMOG 'industry' is about to get a nasty surprise.

Maybe it's just me... (1)

mhyclak (35694) | about 12 years ago | (#3231019)

...but sitting around the table with a pen and paper and a few dice is much more fun than staring at a Monitor for several hours...

Progress Quest (0, Redundant)

Shadows (121287) | about 12 years ago | (#3231021)

Progress Quest [progressquest.com] IS the future of MMORPGs -- and it's here now.

Seriously, I've been playing this thing for weeks now. Every waking moment -- I'm at the point where I even feel like I play it in my sleep.

Re:Progress Quest (2)

TrinSF (183901) | about 12 years ago | (#3231056)

I was just about to post this! I think it's truly the future of MMORPG's -- it's the next step, the perfect evolution. All my friends play it *all* *the* *time*.

I can't wait for a wireless version I can play on handhelds when I'm on the bus, or in meetings. It's *so* addictive.

The problem with MMORPGs... (1)

ZiZ (564727) | about 12 years ago | (#3231030)

They all look virtually the same. This problem has been brought up with regards to other game genres, too...but I think the most important thing that MMORPGs would be able to do in the future is present a really new, innovative environment - one that doesn't focus on "Wander around, kill things, get stuff, sell stuff so you can wander around, killing bigger things".

Maybe an MMORPG with some real meat to the ability to develop a world, i.e. Ultima Online 2k2 (and I mean a really new version, not just the updated client). Maybe one that has real, obvious, easy-to-get-involved with politics and stock marketing built in. Heck, maybe one like Freedom Force [irrationalgames.com] , where you can destroy everything, except with the addition of a building mode. Something to get out of the "Kill to get bigger to kill bigger things until you can sell your character on eBay" mindset.

"Let me out! I'm not done making my wookies!" (5, Funny)

realgone (147744) | about 12 years ago | (#3231032)

...the creators of EverQuest, Asheron's Call, World of Warcraft, Dark Age of Camelot, Star Wars Galaxies, Anarchy Online, and others in the same room together?

Wow. Throw some heavy-duty padlocks on that door and you'll have just increased geek productivity by about 800%.

And if they start asking for food and water, just tell 'em to /petition it...

Re:"Let me out! I'm not done making my wookies!" (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | about 12 years ago | (#3231170)

Better yet, throw some padlocks on the doors, but first include a bunch of top-notch desktops and order them to start working. Two years later we'll have the best online game in history.

Re:"Let me out! I'm not done making my wookies!" (2)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 12 years ago | (#3231534)

And if they start asking for food and water, just tell 'em to /petition it...

"Umm, you guys just need to spend time working on your baking skill..."

Not too far, I think (1)

FurryFeet (562847) | about 12 years ago | (#3231037)

Two years ago, we saw several companies trying to impulse "a new way to surf the net" (cuecat, anyone?). It turned out that people were happy to type URLs and use search engines, thank you.
My point is, there are plateaus. There are points when you have to say "this is good enough, no need to spend a lot more time and money for less return". Some call it the 80-20 law.
I believe MMORPGs are very close to their plateaus now. There are only so many more changes that can be made without the need for mayor investent, both from enterprises and users, that I don't see happening anytime soon.
MMORPGs are almost as good as they're going to get, at least on fun factor.
I'm not trolling. I'm just sick of "the sky's the limit" mentality, when there's always a practical limit, and it's often closer than you want to believe.
Sorry about the rant. I'll shut up now and return to my rocking chair.

The future of online RPGs... (1)

Izang (569135) | about 12 years ago | (#3231039)

Online games will continue to be released in an incomplete state and their owners will fully expect the players to pay for finishing the game. That's the future of MMORPG's.

Where all gaming is headed. (2, Interesting)

Steveftoth (78419) | about 12 years ago | (#3231050)

I think that as we become more and more online, games will be the first to switch from a product like it is today to a totally service based system. You may goto a store and buy a cd that starts you off, but eventutally the game will be totatlly downloaded off the internet. It's already happening today in small amounts with EQ, UO, AC, and AO. Valve just realeased that technology that allows you to download a game completly from the internet.
If content providers hooked up with cable and DSL providers, and provided caching servers closer to the customer, there would be almost no wait for your games. That's something I can see people paying for.
Old school distribution is definatatly going to dissapear in the long run. Maybe not until the X-Box 3 or the PS5, but there will be a console released that you just plug into the internet, monitor/TV and wall. No CDROM/DVD drive, just games. The only thing that is stopping it today is bandwidth and the fact that Sony makes an amazing amount of money for those silver disks.
It really makes sense because right now they are almost doing it right now. Think about how many times you have had to buy the same game but slightly updated for the new system. Is Civ III really 50 dollars better then Civ II? Most sequels are just the same game, better graphics. The only difference is that you can NOT buy the new game, but if they charged a monthly fee then you have no choice, it's pay to play. Though I hope that they will charge less since they will be able to get much better market data from the consumer if the consumer has to download the game to play it.

Re:Where all gaming is headed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231332)

Old school distribution is definatatly going to dissapear in the long run.

Your starting to sound like those souls who dare utter the words "Radio is going to kill the newspaper business" or "Television is going to kill the newspaper business". Its not going to happen. Frankly, I will NEVER buy software online. Why? When I hold that li'l silver piece of plastic in my hands, I know I own it. If I can order online and recieve the program now, thats great, but I don't feel like I own it. Maybe if I recieve a CD a few days later in the Mail, would I feel that works. What happens if the company I bought the software from goes bankrupt? What if their tracking system dies a horrible death? How do I PROVE that I owned that product? Possession is 9/10ths of the law...

slumming it with MMORPGs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231086)

Just as candles went from being the commoner's means of lighting their house to a symbol of class so shall standard book, paper and dice RPG sessions become the highly sought after status symbols amongst people who have no life.

I'll be interested in MMORPGs once they have 10, 12 and 20 sided dice which are Mac-compatible.

my friend went to that conference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231114)

the guy loves these types of games.

i think they're ridiculous.

the guy sits for 6 hours every night slashing make believe rodents and other artificial beings just to go up levels. he loves to play dark age of camelot and anarky online. i ask him why can't he fight others. "because then people will be sad they're character is dead."

these guys are for anti-social morons. weirdos...

Re:my friend went to that conference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231445)

my friend went to that conference

and

these guys are for anti-social morons. weirdos...

What does this make you?

Intellectual property in user-created worlds? (1)

narfbot (515956) | about 12 years ago | (#3231117)

Of course, user-created content has a lot of sticky issues. Raph Koster, former Lead Designer for Ultima Online and current Creative Director for Sony Online Entertainment and Star Wars Galaxies, expressed the problem without mincing words: "Our corporations are terrified of this." Intellectual property, ownership, and copyright issues are just the beginning of the uncharted territory. More importantly, how can a game design rationalize the desire to give players creative power with the need for a controlled environment? Are the two mutually exclusive? Solving this problem seemed to be the top agenda in the next generation of games.


Why do corporations think they can control user-created content as their own, in MMORPG's? We have enough of this problem in the real world, just with their damn license agreements.

What an MMORPG needs is a GPL-like license, that way, all changes are made availible in return for promoting the world's depth. It doesn't have to be programming, but anything created from the world's sense of creation.

People make worlds, to achieve their own goals, not give corps fatter pockets.

It's not THEIR copyright they're worried about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231189)

It's someone elses.

What do you do when someone lovingly crafts and recreates someone elses copyrighted work inside YOUR game? By doing that, your game is now publishing someone elses copyrighted works. That's what they're terrified of, that some jackass is going to make a perfect replica of the Millenium Falcon in The Sims Online, and they're going to get their asses sued off by LucasFilm.

Re:It's not THEIR copyright they're worried about. (1)

narfbot (515956) | about 12 years ago | (#3231305)



What do you do when someone lovingly crafts and recreates someone elses copyrighted work inside YOUR game? By doing that, your game is now publishing someone elses copyrighted works. That's what they're terrified of, that some jackass is going to make a perfect replica of the Millenium Falcon in The Sims Online, and they're going to get their asses sued off by LucasFilm.


Easy:

Most likely, the game will some kind of account/character system. The person will have an account name. Whenever someone creates game objects, it records the creator account name. If someone creates copyrighted material, they can trace it down and they can delete/disable his account, while removing all his objects.

Really, it sounds like what I said before. Worlds will become easier to modify for the user. And there may be an ownership problem where a user creates something good, and a company wants to assume ownership, through their license agreement (you forfit all your rights of creation and ownership to them)

5 hours a month? (1)

datacaliber (202682) | about 12 years ago | (#3231124)

I agree w/ alot of the developers' comments except for one: "How do you make a player who spends five hours a month [playing] still feel relevant to the game world?"

The easy answer is: You Shouldn't.

The whole point of a MMORPG is to immerse yourself into a digital world. It's not like playing a quick starcraft game. 5 hrs a month isn't even enough to develop a good Diablo II charactar, and most people (me included) feel that D2 is too simple and should've been more in-depth. If someone is only willing to play 5 hrs a month then they're probably not willing to buy the game.

trying to cater to this "vaporous" crowd will only make the game suck

Re:5 hours a month? (1)

Hassman (320786) | about 12 years ago | (#3231183)

You're right! Only people who sacrifise real life for their virtual life should be catered to. After all, those are the people that really matter right? The ones who live in their mom's basement and live "life" though IRC romances...

Games are a release, therefore, you shouldn't have to put an ungodly number hours into it to get somewhere. something out of it, or to begin to have fun. In other words, go outside at least once a week.

Re:5 hours a month? (1)

datacaliber (202682) | about 12 years ago | (#3231380)

"You're right! Only people who sacrifise real life for their virtual life should be catered to"

Well in a sense...yeah. The only people I know that play MMORPGs are people who devote days worth of time a month to leveling their charactar. I personally don't play RPGs because I don't have the patience to sit on my comp all day and level up.

My point is that catering to "casual" MMORPG gamers is stupid. Stupid because of 2 reasons:
a) Casual gamers dont play persistant games. Especially if you have to pay a monthly fee. Making the game accessible to casual gamers might result in big signup at launchtime but will ultimately fail because the CGs will leave(no point in paying for something you hardly use).
b) the only real way to cater to CGs is to remove much of the complexity in the game. But when you remove the complexity you don't really have a MMORPG anymore, you have something more akin to Diablo 2 which is a great game but not a MMORPG.

Re:5 hours a month? (2)

NeMon'ess (160583) | about 12 years ago | (#3231493)

Uh, hello, 5 hours a month is about 1.2 hours a week. That's nothing at all. How many people are going to pay $10 a month for 5 hours of play? Thats $2 an hour. Do you think someone will pay $120 a year for that? I don't think so. Anyone who does is an idiot, and I think they make up a very small segment of the market. If gamers don't contribute more to the game, they will never feel relevant. Its more important that developers figure out how to make the gamers' contributions relevant. If the gamer has a genuine impact on the world, and currently gamers don't, then they will feel relevant.

Multiplayer Classics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231162)

We need a Multiplayer Online Breakout. We could all log on and play as the blocks. We sit there till someone comes and smacks us with their ball.

Or even better we could design a extremely detailed world with citys and towns and everything and then play MISSILE COMMAND! This would require a Beowulf cluster to play. (panic takes alot of FLOPS)

Painful Memories (4, Interesting)

pyrrho (167252) | about 12 years ago | (#3231166)

I worked in online gaming from 1992 to 1998 and we built a MMORG that never got to see the light of day.

During it's development it suffered from many of the things mentioned in this article.

(1) was it a game? No one knew, it ended up being made into an interface for our other previously developed games (like Spades and Poker and Bass Lake Fishing). The RPG aspect and personal space customization were to be done later, after this was decided. So the answer was, no it wasn't a game.

(2) it's for adults more than kids, and at the time people still thought only kids played video games (ooops, kids grow up and... still play)

(3) we were hot enough to be bought by AT&T and then AOL... ug, death!

(4) finally, we were around before the (commercialized) net and had a you-have-to-build-it-yourself mentality. This is not a "not invented here" syndrome, when we started making network games in 1991, you really did have to build it yourself. Email, chat, everything. We didn't survive all the help we would get, and never leveraged the explosion of the net to our advantage... instead it was a sort of tsunami that swamped us.

(5) Violence: it sells, the 3d "revolution" in games is associated with it. Making a peaceful game hedging on community and social play, construction exploration and politics... why, it's a hard sell now, it was even harder then. Thank god for the Sims for opening this up a little, potentially.

BTW: I still remember how to make these things... our technology could support tens of thousands of people on the hosts where there was no limit to packing, but you saw only the closest couple hundred people. It sits unused, now owned, I think, by EA. The hosts are in use for non-mmorg use, oddly enough. Inside these hosts people playing mundane card games have existence in a 3D world because the message passing paradigm is great... but they don't move in the 3D space and essentially sit in a matrix keeping track of an unpresented 3D position in the world.

re: Painful Memories (1)

flonker (526111) | about 12 years ago | (#3231405)

The hosts are in use for non-mmorg use, oddly enough. Inside these hosts people playing mundane card games have existence in a 3D world because the message passing paradigm is great... but they don't move in the 3D space and essentially sit in a matrix keeping track of an unpresented 3D position in the world.

I'm suddenly getting visions of people sitting, chained in a cave, watching shadows thrown against the cave wall, completely oblivious.

This is the Virtual Reality we heard about. (4, Insightful)

Binky The Oracle (567747) | about 12 years ago | (#3231182)

When I first stepped into Everquest, it was magical. This was the first online game I had tried and it was simply amazing that there was an actual person on the other end of that halfling.

While the magic and novelty is largely gone, I can't help but think that these MMORPGs are destined for the business world. Five years ago all I heard about was the coming virtual reality - meetings in cyberspace... working from home with an avatar in a virtual meeting room.

Well, I've been playing in one of those for the last year or so. With some minor tweaks and feature enhancements, this technology is ripe for virtual/avatar-based meeting spaces. Instead of logging in to the goblin city, I'll enter a building. My conference is going to be in the third door on the left (the door will be pulsing softly and there will be arrows pointing the way from reception).

I'll enter the room and the people I'm going to meet with will be there also. I can look at the "screen" and see the presentation, whisper to the person next to me... or the person at the other end of the table for that matter, raise my hand, whatever. I might even be able to have my macro script take control and nod appropriately so I can nip off to the mall and do some shopping while it records the presentation for me.

Yes, this is years down the road, especially for it to become an accepted business practice... but it will start with someone convincing their boss that the next staff meeting should be held in the North Freeport tavern or the Inn of Rivervale. Once it does happen, it will do more to eliminate the need for employees to be in the same place as their employers...

And that will be pretty cool.

Just one thing.... (3, Insightful)

The_dev0 (520916) | about 12 years ago | (#3231191)

The only reason I don't play any of the better MMORPG's about is a reason I think alot of people will agree with. If I just paid $50 or more for a game, thats it. I have a real problem with ongoing payment (mostly because I dont own a credit card)toward a game I already own! I understand it costs money to keep the servers up and other stuff, but hey, make the game slightly more expensive on initial purchase and eliminate the ongoing payment. I won't pay to play on principle. I would maybe consider it if the game cost had a ceiling, ie: you buy the game, pay to play for 12 months, then it becomes free. When a mate showed me Asheron's Call and explained how it worked, the only thing I could hear were the cash registers going off in my head.

So let me get this straight, you pay $50 for the game, then $12.95 every month? And how long have you been playing now? *ching ching*

NO. they should use the HBO model (1)

WinPimp2K (301497) | about 12 years ago | (#3231377)

I feel the payment system should go the other way.
The game should be free - or cost at most one months subscription fee and include that first month. Then you pay a monthly fee for as long as the company can keep your interest. And all of the "expansions" should also be free - after all you are paying a monthly fee, the least you should expect for your money is new programming.

Heck, if I were to pay for HBO or Showtime, I'd drop it very quickly if I only got to see the same movies as were available when I first signed up. HBO and Showtime (and other "premium" channels) understand they have to offer something new to keep my interest. They even offer free trial periods to help get people to sign up for their service.

MMORPG these games are not. (1)

chris_7d0h (216090) | about 12 years ago | (#3231198)

The current genre of the titles mentioned in the article is MMOLG, Massively Multiplayer Online Levelling Games. (I admit though, some like to call new titles in this genre "More Meaningless Online Running Past Groups").

It's the Economy Stupid (5, Insightful)

jheinen (82399) | about 12 years ago | (#3231235)

The central focus of all MMORPGs is the economy, and so far all of them have weak or artificial economies. The rewards of playing stem from the game economy and in order to be truly compelling the economy has to be robust and realistic. Take EQ for example. The economy is really driven by two things - experience (which can't be traded) and equipment, all of which exist in essentially unlimited quantities. Spend enough time and you can get everything the world has to offer.

What is needed is an economy that motivates people to cooperate and simultaneously drives conflict. Think RTS combined with RPG. There should be certain resources that are finite in availablity, but necessary for progress. To get the resources you need you can either find them, buy them, or steal them. To help this along there should be factions or groups to which you can belong and from which you derive certain benefits that help you get the resources you need. This sets up a natural conflict between competing groups vieing for the same limited pool of resources. You are effectively forced to ally with others in order to achieve your aims, since it is easier to defend your resources when you group together. In order to get some resources, it might be necessary to pool resources, for example to get enough cash to purchase a piece of equipment that enhances resource production. You would essentially be investing in an enterprise and expecting a return on that investment. The game could even support a stock trading system in which you could invest in various enterprises based on your interests and desires.

Once you have an economy figured out, everything else comes together. You don't need to provide monsters or quests, since the dynamic of the game creates them all on its own. You get people working with or against each other, which is what it should be about anyway. Other humans are going to be far more interesting and challenging opponents or allies than any AI creature.

Epiphany! (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about 12 years ago | (#3231236)

I was reading this article and suddenly had a vision. Combine MMORPGS with Augmented Reality [slashdot.org] ! Let the game world coincide and merge with the real world. A virtual world (or several) layered on top of the physical world, visible only to those who are logged in.

Dreadful Presentation (1)

Keighvin (166133) | about 12 years ago | (#3231256)

This was apparently written by, a participant of elementary education only. The writing and progression were light, if not fluffy, and without competent theme or concrete style of presentation. This story effectively reduces what are clearly some intelligent and well meshed ideas into 2-second text-bit mud. Bravo, you've sucked something of worth out of the world.

Nowhere, that's where. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231275)

Aside from flashier graphics and more sound, they aren't really going anywhere. EverQuest, for example.. Is nothing but a MUD. Tradeskills? Seen it. Hell levels (Which are now gone), been there, done that. Raiding planes of existance at the high levels? Hell, I implemented that myself on a mud a few years back. Only my system was cooler. :)

What's cool to see is old school mud ideas being taken to the extreme though. The amusing part is watching player vs. staff 'battles'. Look at EQ, again, for example. Players insist the staff of GM's are 'out to get them'. The GM's are trying to do their jobs amidst a bunch of people who will claim they just suddenly 'lost' all their high-end gear for no reason. You wonder why GM's get pissy? :P

Personally, I've never had any problems with Verant Interactive's customer service people. Hell, they've gone above and beyond for me - but maybe that's because I realize there's about 5000 players for every GM. Maybe it's because I was once a mud implementor and realize that, yes, players are out to exploit loopholes and do things the easy way.

Erm, I'm waxing off topic somewhat. Right, well, I don't expect any earth-shattering ideas from graphical multi-user dimensions. In the long history of muds, everything's been done. It'd take a rare stroke of genius to present something totally fresh and new.

At any rate, I think we may see an increase in normal mudding again as well. EQ, AO, DAoC, etc.. The graphics are nice, but nothing compares to the graphic processor that is your imagination.

I don't know about you, but I'm... (1)

Saxerman (253676) | about 12 years ago | (#3231308)

...scared to see the people with the greatest potential to control my future all gather together under the theme of how to milk us for all we're worth. After losing a little more than a year of my life to Everquest I'm a lot more leery of these persistent on-line worlds. I mean, I lost a lot of my life to MUDs, but I managed to fit those around a real life (well, for a geek) and still get a college education out of it. During my Evercrack phase, I gained nothing but a serious loss in productivity at work, and a nonexistent social life.

Nothing in the gamespy article gave me the feeling that these game designers were looking to make better online worlds for us to play in. This was a business meeting designed to maximize profits and reduce risks. And these people are suppose to be competitors. When major industry leaders get together like this it doesn't bode well for their consumers. "Higher prices, less content, join today!"

I read an article in the Wall Street Journey describing how kids today no longer fall prey to conventional advertising, as if a resistance has been built up to it over the years. I'm thinking the same thing applies to the geek community, and we don't yet have what it takes to say no to these escapist fantasy worlds. I predict a dark age in computing is coming and I weep for the future of us all.

Failures in the making (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231318)

SW Galaxies has a chance of becoming huge. The omniconsole Final Fantasy MMORPG will probably hit it big, at least for a while. Everquest might keep on truckin', though I don't see much growth. WoWarcraft is a wild card. Everyone else is toast.

I don't think the current MMORPG model is fated to last much longer. Too bad nearly every one of those games decided to model themselves after the developers' favorite text MUDs (Everquest seems suspiciously like Diku with graphics) rather than creating new systems from scratch. Mindless hacking and slashing through dumb mobs attempting to level and avoiding PK, etc., was fun on muds, but I'll be damned if I'll pay $10 a month to do the exact same thing with graphics and 7000% more 13-year olds attached.

Games like Neverwinter Nights, and to a lesser extent Dungeon Siege, are the future. I would kill for a NWN-style Fallout game...

Re:Failures in the making (1)

HobbitGod42 (568144) | about 12 years ago | (#3231570)

wow finally a post by an AC that shoudn't have gotten modded down! I used to play EQ.. I played about 10 hours a day... I had a lvl 29 druid and personally its not really an MMORPG its a MMOAG(massive multiplayer action game) on all the servers I played NO one RP'd at all. we had humand grouping with dark elves trolls grouping with high elves... thats not rp thats just hack slash get ph4t l3w7z...

I like Cheese.

The Future? MMORPG-based economies (1)

sgtsanity (568914) | about 12 years ago | (#3231320)

It's the future. There was even a recent survey that placed Everquest as having a larger economy than most (smaller) countries. Now if there was only some way to harness this for world peace. Think Arafat and Sharon going out and leveling up together in Everquest.

Why not (1)

Joe U (443617) | about 12 years ago | (#3231364)

Import characters from the Sims into EverQuest!

No wait, that was a few threads ago...

Ok, better, How about I import trains from Railroad Tycoon into Everquest!

Genre Merge (1)

or_smth (473159) | about 12 years ago | (#3231396)

Judging by the posts here, I can see that not much of the slashdot crowd really likes the current generation of online games. I agree anyhow, as every single new MMORPG is just Everquest in a different world. It's boring, anyone can see this.

There is one place left to go for it, and that lies in Player-Vs-Player combat. The problem with Everquest is that after you get to a certain level in the game, there is no where left to go, no motive to keep playing. What's left? It needs to be be PVP.

More and more games are going to have to get away from this idea that people will want to play forever to kill monsters. AI will never have the thrill of being able to know that you just did something to another guy sitting at his computer somewhere, it will never be able to call up your buddy and go on about the kill, and it will most definitely will never get the real players to be respected.

What we need is to merge the genre of MMORPG with the FPS genre, not to make it totally the same, but to have an eternal quake game that keeps your statistics and items is just what we need (not to mention want). We need dynamic leveling, where if a mage wants to be a mage he customizes all his statistics by working on only the things he needs to. Seperate HP, Mana and endurance from levels. Most of all, put the players more in control, so they control the world.

People are going to realise that fighting monsters is not what an online community is about. People need people, if only to kill.

(As a note, the thing that has been the thing that has kept Meridian 59 [neardeathstudios.com] alive and kicking with its 7 year old doom-looking graphics is the mechanics of PVP. It still has the most loyal fanbase in the world)

5 hours/month?! (4, Funny)

Logic Bomb (122875) | about 12 years ago | (#3231427)

I was sort of amazed at the line about making users who only play 5 hours a month feel involved or meaningful to the game universe. I can't imagine an entertainment persuit less suited to extremely casual commitment than RPGs of any variety. This is particularly true for the medium in discussion, which continues to run 24/7. If you're in a D&D group, at least the action stops when you go home. MMORPGs inherently only appeal to people with a fairly particular interest and a high level of commitment. For goodness' sake, the whole point is to *immerse* yourself an another universe! How do you immerse in just 5 hours? ;-)

I think Meridian 59 had it right... (1)

J23SE (107309) | about 12 years ago | (#3231444)

In that it mimicked small text-based RPG's and actually developed a community that multiplied its attractiveness tenfold. To gain popularity, MMORPG's will have to tend to the player-centric mentality that is common in all video games... otherwise, the player becomes a useless extension of the world. This can be done one of two ways:

1. Create a close-knit community, with many fragmented servers and about 1000 people max per server. Allow some sort of mass communication to make it like a chat room, build a small enough world so that people are constantly interacting, and display the status of people often (x was killed by y, etc). Mass communication will develop the community, and cooperation will flourish as a result of this communication and a relatively small world. I play Meridian 59 to this day with hundreds of others... the close-knit community setting sets it apart from RPG's like Everquest and AC by offsetting the monotony of leveling.

2. Allow complete control of the game world... This would require a humongous dynamic world, in which players could construct and destroy everything as they saw fit. This would propel interaction to new heights but would require a *lot* of innovations about pretty much every aspect of MMORPG's... So I think that's a bit off.

Current RPG's often amount to little more than single player games with no plotline. Community *is* the driving force behind these games, and it needs to be incorporated as such, or MMORPG's will remain as level fests and not as games.

Any RPG's coming out that try to veer away from this formula? I know UO2 was going to innovate in several areas, but sadly Origin decided to wage war against UO2's huge fan base and dedicate efforts to revamp its aging UO franchise... Blah... The success they could have had with UO2... *sigh*

P.S.: Shameless plug: Meridian 59 link (it's alive again!), if anyone is interested: http://meridian59.neardeathstudios.com/index.shtml

Seems like I've seen this story before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3231479)

Well, if news stories on Slashdot are any indication, the future of MMORPGs is the constant asking of the question, "What is the future of MMORPGs?"

I'm sick of hearing about it.

Forget MMORPG! Check out MURPEs! (1)

SilverThorn (133151) | about 12 years ago | (#3231505)

The art of the MultiUser RolePlay Environment/Entertainment (MURPE) focuses in on the unique role-play perspective, rather than just being a hack-n-slash game like Everquest and most other so-called MMORPGs. MMORPGs will prob hang around for a year or two, but MURPEs are more along the lines of MUDs, which have been around since the late 80's.

Arianne OpenSource MMORPG (1)

IDante (569156) | about 12 years ago | (#3231567)

It's good to know that there is GPL'ed mmorpg game project called Arianne. By now it's in alfa2 stage, but later WE will shape future of mmorpg genre ! Bwahahah! Join us! www.arianne.cx
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