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MMOGs from Several Angles

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the one-isn't-enough dept.

PC Games (Games) 40

GameGirlAdvance has a look at the litigation between NCSoft and Marvel, examining exactly how infringy the character creator can let you be. The Square/Enix people are starting a roving FFXI party, to kick off later this month in CA. f13.net has an interview with Scott Brown, a developer on the upcoming car-based Auto Assault MMOG. The staple MMOG stats resource, MMOGChart.com, has been updated again by Sir Bruce. He's added several more games but doesn't have new subscription numbers for WoW or EQII.

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too many angles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11600168)

If they are looking at all these MMOG's from all these angles, does that mean they all play on the Xbox 360?

Trouble unsubbing? (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600172)

Anyone else have trouble unsubscribing from a MMORPG? Nothing online, and no alternate contacts (800). I had to cancel the credit-card number (ouch!). The CSR was very helpful and immediately suggested a fraud claim. They must be getting quite a few and have redlined the vendor. Are the sysops becoming just as bad as the rogue players they rail about?

Re:Trouble unsubbing? (2, Insightful)

Babbster (107076) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600265)

This is a good reason to go with MMOGs that allow you to buy time in stores with their game cards. Sometimes, you might end up paying an extra dollar or two a month for the privilege, but it a) doesn't expose your credit card to ongoing charges and b) gives you nice point every couple months where you have to consciously evaluate your game experience and decide whether or not its worth dropping more cash. It also ensures you'll hit the store every couple of months to see what's come out during the time you've been obsessed with your MMOG. :)

Re:Trouble unsubbing? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11600496)

Holy hell, those are some good points. And here I was thinking I just typed slashdot into the address bar...

Re:Trouble unsubbing? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11601534)

Aww, fuckall! Here I am without mod points AGAIN .

An insightful parent and a genuinely funny response?? Who are you and what did you do with /.??!?

<sigh>

Re:Trouble unsubbing? (2, Funny)

Skidge (316075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600271)

I've had no problems. Everquest, Puzzle Pirates and World of Warcraft all had easy to use interfaces on their websites that allowed me to update/change/cancel my account status and billing info.

Now, on the otherhand, I did have trouble unsubscribing from MMORPGs, but that was more of a minor addiction problem. :)

Re:Trouble unsubbing? (1)

UWC (664779) | more than 9 years ago | (#11601144)

I've unsubscribed from a few. Sony's is uniformly painless. The worst I've had was just needing to call in to cancel my Earth and Beyond account, mainly so they could try to convince me not to. Still, I had no difficulties with continued billing or anything.

Re:Trouble unsubbing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11601744)

Let me guess. You played FFXI, where if you canceled your account in the wrong way, you'd have to buy another copy of the game if you ever got the urge to play again - or, the other way, they kept your credit card information.

Most other MMORPGs aren't such hard-asses about it as Square-Enix are.

Re:Trouble unsubbing? (2, Informative)

patio11 (857072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11602944)

Never had a problem myself. FFXI allowed you to do it within the game client. Puzzle Pirates had an easy option at the website (the "Arrr, we be sad to see ye go!" made me regret it, too). World of Warcraft has a clearly visible easy option, not that I intend to take it anytime soon.

If it ever took more than a phone call to cancel (and I see NO reason why a game which I can purchase online, register online, and play online should require a phone call to stop playing), then I would immediately make a call to my credit card company and ask them to stop authorization for the recurring credit card charge to that vendor. This is free, doesn't hurt your reputation (gack, too many RPGs) with them in the least if you're doing it for coming months rather than retroactively, and perfectly within your rights under the credit card contract.

Final Fantasy XI (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600249)

I didn't realize FFXI was leading the pack. It was fun when I played it, but I never knew there was that many people online to earn 18%, the largest total of MMO's surveyed. What do the Lineage/Lineage II and Ragnarok #'s say? Anyone have a link to some info on them?

Also surprising is that The Sims Online is still active. I thought they pulled the plug?

Re:Final Fantasy XI (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600273)

as long as a mmo is making you money it would be stupid to ever pull the plug.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (1)

bonzoesc (155812) | more than 9 years ago | (#11604189)

Not necessarily - if another project will generate a better return on your capital resources, it's only prudent to axe the project that isn't profiting as much.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600296)

While I was also surprised about FFXI, I think the charts are misleading without WoW and EQ2 numbers. In fact I would say they are near useless. there are estimates of over 750k worldwide subscribers for WoW.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600381)

Actually, WoW has still only managed about 2/3rds of FFXI's subscriber base, which, contrary to one of the other replies to grandparent, is bigger than ever since the EU release. That WoW has attracted so much attention is just indicative of the level of US-centricity in the gaming press.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11600518)

Don't forget that WoW hasn't been released in Europe yet. Unlike FFXI, Europeans are getting it months after the US release, instead of a year after the US release.

You'll be able to play the game on fresh servers instead of competing with Americans who've been playing for a year and Japanese who've been playing for two and a half.

Once it gets released in Europe, expect people to leave in droves there too. Especially since you'll have actual European servers and won't be forced into half-second ping times because the servers are located in Japan.

Blizzard actually cares about doing a European release right. Square-Enix, as always, couldn't care less about Europe. If you're a European player, you owe it to yourself to try out WoW.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (1)

musikit (716987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600886)

thats BS.

i'm so tired of this whole SE love to JP > NA > EU.

in terms of market share the JP market share is much larger then the NA. especially toward a MMO written in JP.

similiarly the EU market share is less then the NA since the EU region has many different languages you have to either 1. port for or 2 disregard.

3rd SE gave you a MMORPG. weather you imported the game or bought it when it was available in your region you are part of a world community.

you live on the planet and are able to share the same resources as someone in JP or NA right now why can't you do it digitally?

what people who complain about this are really saying is that they don't want to have to "work" to play a game.

yes releasing the game in JP first did give the JP players a leg up on crafting/NM spawns locations/ etc. however you entering a world when a community has already established a working economy.

this allows you to have price points. item X sells for 1,000,000 money now. well in 6 months it might sell for 3,000,000 money or 3,000 money.

i see this when ever a new patch comes out with the new items.

item listing
1,000,000
500,000
50,000
5,000
25,000
20,000
21,000
20,000

obviously the person with the 1 million money bid was either really stupid or really in a hurry to be the first with the item.

what you fail to see is by releasing it slowly across a world base gives players time to establish living costs of items.

i play FFXI and i have 5 jobs 50+ and i can honestly say that you can live off a small amount of gil. however "power" items drive up costs.

the usage for "power" items are divided up into 2 reasons.
1. better my/my party's play experience
2. power hungry

which are you?

Re:Final Fantasy XI (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11601059)

First, I'm going to introduce you to a new sentence rule you apparently never learned. Sentences start with capital letters. "I" is always capitalized. Capital letters are not only for acronyms. Following these rules would make your post readable. As it stands, it is not.

i'm so tired of this whole SE love to JP > NA > EU.

in terms of market share the JP market share is much larger then the NA. especially toward a MMO written in JP.

similiarly the EU market share is less then the NA since the EU region has many different languages you have to either 1. port for or 2 disregard.


Square-Enix chose #2. The European version of FFXI is in English. The only thing they translated was the PlayOnline viewer, and I can't imagine why in hell it would take them a year to do it. (For non-FFXI players, the PlayOnline viewer is kind of this "shell" around FFXI. It's basically a very small set of menus to start the game and manage your account.)

By the way, I'm going to give you another lesson for free. It's called "inflation." As has been mentioned on Slashdot many times, almost all MMORPGs suffer from massive inflation.

The reason for this is simple. Money enters the economy every time you kill an enemy. It only leaves the system when you buy things from vendor NPCs.

This means that the total money supply is always rising. If you're an established character, your ability to generate money is many times higher than someone just starting. Ultimately this means that prices equalize such that new players get priced out of the game.

You can't look at a new item and say "there's no inflation" you need to look at the trends over a month or so, and the trends in FFXI have always been towards massive inflation.

I can't figure out what you're talking about when you say "power items" so I'm not going to respond to that.

By the way, WoW is better than FFXI for simple gameplay reasons. FFXI is really, really boring. Try WoW. You'd be amazed at how slow FFXI is by comparison, especially in groups.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11600365)

Square-Enix hasn't updated the FFXI numbers since before COP was released. Those figures are from the height of its popularity, the end of July last year.

It's been speculated that it's active subscriber base has dropped to about a quarter of what it used to be, although no one really knows. I expect that in reality it's something much less drastic, like 125,000 gone.

FFXI wound up filling the niche of "filler MMORPG" between EQ and EQ2/WoW. Now that those are out, people are starting to leave in droves.

Square-Enix is apparently in "panic mode" much like SWG has been for the past month, trying to update the game to win back subscribers who left for WoW. I know there's nothing they can do to win me back, especially since they'll have already permentantly deleted my character for the crime of not playing for a couple of months. Screw 'em.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11602043)

Hmmm I'd have to disagree... since CoP they've launched additional servers and, being on one of the new servers, the average population I see has risen from 1800-2200 to 2600-3000 on at any time... considering the count of servers I'd find it hard to believe they are actually at 1/4 of what they used to be.

Not actually being able to see the count of users on all servers I suppose it's possible, but I highly doubt it.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11604701)

This is definitely incorrect. The number of subscribers to FFXI has actually risen, following the European release. Several new servers have been added and a few simple in-game searches will tell you that the populations of the existing servers has also risen.

FFXI often seems to get passed over in MMORPG news, for some reason, which seems a bit bizarre as it's the world's largest MMORPG with a significant presence outside of East Asia. Far from being a "filler MMORPG", FFXI has set the benchmark, in terms of player numbers, that World of Warcraft and Everquest 2 are still struggling to catch up with. WoW might manage this once it has its European release, but it's highly unlikely that Everquest 2 will ever manage it.

Whether Square-Enix are in panic mode is perhaps debatable. There's no denying that the release of World of Warcraft seemed to spur them on to resolve several issues that had been outstanding for quite some time (we've now had some semi-effective moves to block the "real money" gil trade and we've seen some more interesting content added for players who don't want to grind to the very top levels). However, you have to consider this against the fact that SE have always been fairly active in developing the game; much of the content we now take for granted, such as Ballista (limited-scope PvP matches) and Dynamis (large-scale PvE battles pitched at ultra-high-level players) was added by free content patches earlier in the game's history. All that's changed since the WoW release has been the emphasis of the additions; the focus is more now on resolving old issues and adding content for lower level players.

On a more subjective, personal note, I knew a lot of people who "left" FFXI for WoW when it was released. However, almost all of them have now returned, after deciding they didn't want to stick with WoW for more than a month or two. FFXI has some very specific features which give it a unique appeal to a lot of MMORPG gamers. For example, the near total absence of PvP was a put-off for some gamers, but most people who play the game appreciate that it's done much to keep the hordes of lame "griefer kiddies" out of the game. The frequency and severity of griefing in WoW (even on the consent-only PvP servers) is one of the main reasons people give for returning to FFXI. The flexible job/subjob system is pretty much unique among MMORPGs and I know I'd find it hard to go over to another system now. Moreover, the presence of a strong, Final Fantasy-style central plot can be a big draw, even if the installments of this plot are often interspersed by weeks of other activities.

WoW and EQ2 may have received a lot of hype and they may have had moderately successful launches, but they weren't the genre-defining events that many have hyped them to be.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11608210)

This is definitely incorrect. The number of subscribers to FFXI has actually risen, following the European release.

I'll take your word for that, because I haven't checked since mid-December and have since canceled my account, but when I checked, the max server population was about half what it used to be.

However, you have to consider this against the fact that SE have always been fairly active in developing the game

Just like every other MMORPG developer in existance - impressive.

the focus is more now on resolving old issues

Left open for - (Hmm.), over a year now.

On a more subjective, personal note, I knew a lot of people who "left" FFXI for WoW when it was released.

Same note, everyone I know who left but kept thier FFXI account has since deleted it. We have a couple of people dualing WoW and EQ2, though.

For example, the near total absence of PvP was a put-off for some gamers, but most people who play the game appreciate that it's done much to keep the hordes of lame "griefer kiddies" out of the game.

Obviously you've never managed to piss off an actual griefer in that game. Certain classes are easier to grief with than others. If you tick off a Beastmaster, you'll never got another bit of XP in that game again because they can easily kill you - repeatedly - and argue that they simply lost control of their pet. If there's any chance that the player was simply trying to avoid their own death, GMs will do nothing.

You can't MPK people in WoW. You can easily MPK people in FFXI. Advantage WoW. Plus, I've never had a problem with griefers in WoW like I did in FFXI. (Think "guy and friends purposely trying to prevent you from mining" or "guy and friends purposely trying to MPK you for camping a certain location.)

The flexible job/subjob system is pretty much unique among MMORPGs and I know I'd find it hard to go over to another system now.

Flexible? Pull up a /search and see how many people are using the same support job for a given main job. In XP parties, you'll almost never see any variation. NIN/WAR. PLD/WAR. BRD/WHM. THF/NIN or THF/WAR. RNG/NIN. BLM/WHM. WHM/BLM or WHM/SMN if they have SMN. All the same.

You'd be amazed at how much more fun a game is where you don't have to return to the lower-level areas you've already completed to level up your "support job". Try it. You'll be amazed you ever put up with that shit.

Moreover, the presence of a strong, Final Fantasy-style central plot can be a big draw

I always laugh at FFXI claiming to be "story-driven". It isn't. WoW is much more story driven than FFXI is. In FFXI, the primary thing you do is level up. In WoW, the primary thing you do is quests for your faction. The story in WoW is tons more emmersive than it ever was in FFXI.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (2, Informative)

YomikoReadman (678084) | more than 9 years ago | (#11608482)

WoW and EQ2 may have received a lot of hype and they may have had moderately successful launches, but they weren't the genre-defining events that many have hyped them to be. "Moderately Successful"? While I can't really speak for EQII, calling WoW's launch "Moderately Successful" is completely wrong. They moved 250k units the first day, had 120k accounts the first day. Since then, they've actually had to stop selling the game until they can finalize the character migration process, and bring even more hardware online. I say even more because in the first two weeks of launch, due to the unparalled popularity, they had to double, yes double the number of servers available within two weeks of launch. Currently, less than 3 months after launch, WoW is boasting 600k subscribers. Blizz has broken pretty much every record for an MMO launch ever.

While EQII's launch was lackluster at best, saying the same of WoW is horridly inaccurate. Saying that WoW will have to catch up to FFXI's subscriber numbers is just a bunch of crap. They've already done it, and they hit FFXI's 2 year number in 3 months.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (1)

roche (135922) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600534)

Take another look at the chart. It specifically says except for all three of those games.

http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart4.html

Re:Final Fantasy XI (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 9 years ago | (#11601580)

thanks captain obvious.

yeah i noticed that. i'm curious as to why they were excluded (insufficient data?) and what their user base numbers are like.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (3, Informative)

SirBruce (679714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11603393)

No, I mentioned them specifically in my charts because I do have some data one them but they are still excluded from some of the charts. You can look at the other 120K+ chart to see L1 and L2.

For RO I only have Japan numbers, which are only a fraction of the total. L1 and L2 are excluded because:

1. They count subscribers in a different way.
2. They are so large, they'd take up most of the pie chart.
3. They are primarily Asian-market games.
4. There are several other large Asian games that aren't listed yet, which would make it very unfair to show L1 and L2 and not the others.
5. It's far more useful and interesting to most of my readers to have an idea of the market for North American & European MMOGs. While the data included is worldwide, for most of the MMOGs the number of Asian subscribers is limited; FFXI has maybe half of its subs in Japan; UO about 45%. So it still gives you a pretty good idea of their popularity. L1 & L2, on the other hand, are almost purely an Asian phenomenon.

Ideally, one would be able to break subscribers out by territory for each individual MMOG. Sadly, that's almost impossible; it's hard enough getting good data on subscriber numbers. So we have to live with the data as it is.

Bruce

Files the reasons under 'Exceptions' (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 9 years ago | (#11604219)

Lineage I and II are obvious exceptions just when you read about the news reports about them in Asia. I believe the number was somewhere around 1 to 1 1/2 million users but theres a number of reasons for that as well (not monthly, doesn't go into detail, etc). Throw that into the chart and FFXI would probably plummet to about 9% and everything not under the 120k+ chart that to fall off the overall market share chart completely. I donno much about Ragnarok Online tho, no comment there.

However, given the timing of EQ2 and WoW, I think its safe to say that its too early to make a call over who's 'winning' in the numbers game. (EQ2 is being written off as an overall failure, WoW still has server issues as well as an upset community and FFXI is 'supposedly' dying off due to WoW.)

Re:Files the reasons under 'Exceptions' (1)

Miaomiao (618330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606483)

For a very long time Ragnarok Online ran massive free subscriptions, which greatly inflated it's numbers with macroing players running 2~100 accounts simultaniously. It still allows the free accounts to be created, and from what I've seen it doesn't control them at all.

Currently it's success is kind of muggy, and it'll vary greatly depending on your country (they sell out the game to sub companies world wide). It's also important to remember that in asia it is the most popular mmorpg of all time, so including it will distort the numbers of other games by quite a bit. All that pretty much means... they don't really provide very good data to keep track of.

Re:Final Fantasy XI (1)

602 (652745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11608700)

I've been playing FFXI on the Alexander server for about 13 months. Lately, the number of players online is ranging 1800-3200, down from 2500-4500 in early autumn.

Valid test? (2, Interesting)

yotto (590067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600286)

I don't know if the article writer's inability to create Marvel characters in under 30 minutes is a valid test of if you can create valid Marvel characters at all.

However, the fact that NCSoft took steps to dissuade her from using said characters is good.

Re:Valid test? (2, Informative)

Tepshen (851674) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600426)

The GM's will readily admit that they are only chasing marvel characters ,vs DC or other copyrighted characters (I.E. DBZ characters which also run rampant last I played), because marvel is sueing them. Marvel is sueing because at the time they were not enforcing it as much. Now that the courts are involved they are bound to try a bit harder to deny marvel any further evidence to use against them.

scarier thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11600307)

what is an even scarier thought is that CmdrTaco has been playing Final Fantasy X-2 for several months now!

Re:scarier thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11600605)

It really was bad enough to scare you away from using the PS2 ever again. I had to get someone in a hazmat suit to remove that game from my PS2 before I could get back to playing GTA:SA.

Re:scarier thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11607055)

I don't know why so many people hate FF X-2? It's great! So many sidequests and secrets, and not a bad main story either.
Perhaps the all-female team does not deliver the usual homo-erotic thrills you require from a final fantasy game?

EFF is helping out! (4, Informative)

randalx (659791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11600609)

Check out this thread Looking for fans outraged by Marvel lawsuit [warcry.com] .

It looks like the EFF is getting involved in the lawsuit.

Why no cheesecake links? (2, Insightful)

jeblucas (560748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11601983)

Seriously. I read this article and the comments and not one person has mentioned the quasi-hot "booth babes" at the FFXXXIIXIXIIX Party site. I present:
  • One [square-enix.com] .
  • Two [square-enix.com] .
  • Three [square-enix.com] .
  • Four [square-enix.com] .
Sometimes you have to do everything yourself.

Re:Why no cheesecake links? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11603769)

It's FFXI, though. No one gives a shit about it.

Re:Why no cheesecake links? (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11606097)

It seems they forgot to cast Protect: Redeye before going on the camera shoot. Newbs.

Re:Why no cheesecake links? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11616847)

No no no... This is Final Fantasy we're talking about...

They need *EYEDROP.

WoW and EQ2 numbers are included (1)

gbartoli (80328) | more than 9 years ago | (#11607752)

check the 100,000 to 600,000 page and Market Share pages for WoW and EQ2 numbers.

Marvel vs. NCSoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11610432)

I'm just hopin Marvel creates a character that resembles the one I created in CoH so I can sue their ass...
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