A View From the Road: If You Can't Beat 'Em...

A View From the Road: If You Can't Beat 'Em...

If you want to beat WoW, you have to be Facebook.

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Hrrrm

I disagree

Reason? Facebook is 50% love, 50% hate. WoW is 99% love, 1% "hate but stays for the social aspect"

While WoW gives you chance to be a douche, Facebook doesn't. And that, ironically, is what I think will kill this MMO idea.

In terms of user base, there are already a ton of WOW-killers. Farmtown alone has 14 million active users on Facebook. It's not a fantasy themed MMO, but it is still an MMO. A very small portion of the user-base buys stuff to advance themselves. But even if a small number do, that's still extremely lucrative. They already exist.

Word Salad:
In terms of user base, there are already a ton of WOW-killers. Farmtown alone has 14 million active users on Facebook. It's not a fantasy themed MMO, but it is still an MMO. A very small portion of the user-base buys stuff to advance themselves. But even if a small number do, that's still extremely lucrative. They already exist.

We're talking MMOGs in the traditional sense, which usually rules out F2P games or social browser games (like most Facebook games). But yes, you're certainly right.

I'd really like to see that quiz option integrated into some games. I hate picking up the trial of some new big name and expecting to play something Rouge or Hunter -esque only to find that this game has a totally different definition of what a rouge or hunter is... Or has neither and thought up some new name or archetype that at first glance is no where near what you thought it was. would save me the trouble of hitting lvl 20 and finding now that i am in the really big areas that this class and my style just dont jive.

Good article as usual, but I think you're onto something really interesting with the way you propose to introduce a game to a newcomer by coming right out and asking then what sounds like fun to them. I'm picturing asking a new gamer if they want to be a paladin or a cleric. You might as well ask an Amish guy which Batman movie he likes best. It's got to be a stressful point for the uninitiated, because they most likely know it's an important decision, but have no idea how to make it. And actually, as GamerLuck points out even us vets can get lost.

Now, actually hooking INTO Facebook would be even cooler, and should be technologically possible now. It would be nice to browse servers according to how many FB friends you have on there, and which sides they're on.

Doing so might have another interesting side effect: If you encourage people to relate their account with their real Facebook page and reward them for doing so (by opening up cool social features) then you're encouraging them to give up their anonymity. This could have a powerful suppressing effect on the ambient level of douchebaggery you get in these games.

EDIT: For full disclosure, I don't use Facebook myself, but I see the appeal. I have an account. I'm pretty sure I haven't logged in this year.

This is an interesting article, I really enjoyed reading it. You offer an interesting solution, but part of me wonders... is the "non-gaming world" at large really ready for direct-download? I've gotten about half my family into gaming, but the rest (and a good portion of those who do) shy away from the idea of "buying a download".

Granted, I know it's the way of the future (or the present, depending on how technologically savvy one is), but since we're talking about the uninitiated here, is that future close enough to bank on already?

1. MMOs aren't games: they are social networking sites for nerds.

2. MMOs are games: good gameplay matters.

These two points need to be realized by MMO developers, in that order. If you can beat WoW on these two points, you have a WoW killer. While Azeroth is seamless and well crafted there is nothing special about it. The story is mediocre.

Facebook does capture a broad demographic--now, how to turn that into a game that justifies $15/mo. Instancing with Bejeweled bosses? I don't know. Something involving John Hughes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer themes perhaps?

Shamus Young:
Good article as usual, but I think you're onto something really interesting with the way you propose to introduce a game to a newcomer by coming right out and asking then what sounds like fun to them. I'm picturing asking a new gamer if they want to be a paladin or a cleric. You might as well ask an Amish guy which Batman movie he likes best. It's got to be a stressful point for the uninitiated, because they most likely know it's an important decision, but have no idea how to make it. And actually, as GamerLuck points out even us vets can get lost.

Now, actually hooking INTO Facebook would be even cooler, and should be technologically possible now. It would be nice to browse servers according to how many FB friends you have on there, and which sides they're on.

Doing so might have another interesting side effect: If you encourage people to relate their account with their real Facebook page and reward them for doing so (by opening up cool social features) then you're encouraging them to give up their anonymity. This could have a powerful suppressing effect on the ambient level of douchebaggery you get in these games.

EDIT: For full disclosure, I don't use Facebook myself, but I see the appeal. I have an account. I'm pretty sure I haven't logged in this year.

The second your family finds out you are on Facebook you'll see where that appeal wanes.

I (at least thought) I loved my family, I'm starting to have second thoughts after facebook.

Fearzone:
1. MMOs aren't games: they are social networking sites for nerds.

2. MMOs are games: good gameplay matters.

These two points need to be realized by MMO developers, in that order. If you can beat WoW on these two points, you have a WoW killer. While Azeroth is seamless and well crafted there is nothing special about it. The story is mediocre.

Facebook does capture a broad demographic--now, how to turn that into a game that justifies $15/mo. Instancing with Bejeweled bosses? I don't know. Something involving John Hughes and Buffy the Vampire themes perhaps?

Mediocre stories sell as long as you have implied sexuality in them. Look at Twilight.

WoW works on a similar system, sexuality is a large part. Busty women and rippling men :P. Also dudes with tentacles on their face...some ladies are into that.

theultimateend:

Mediocre stories sell as long as you have implied sexuality in them. Look at Twilight.
WoW works on a similar system, sexuality is a large part. Busty women and rippling men :P. Also dudes with tentacles on their face...some ladies are into that.

My point exactly. The story and even the world is not where the focus of MMO development should be. Pretty graphics hold a player for a month or so. Sure, throw in some sexual themes and then focus on community and gameplay.

hmmm...facebooks beating wow.too bad the chances are that a very certain mmo coming to america will beat the both.

yes I'm talking about

too bad the mmo coming to america isn't the actual .hack// game they've got.

TheNumber1Zero:

yes I'm talking about...

Shiver me timbers, I thought they just made that up for South Park.

Fearzone:

TheNumber1Zero:

yes I'm talking about...

I thought they just made that up for South Park...

nope,it's real,and it's coming.

TheNumber1Zero:

Fearzone:

TheNumber1Zero:

yes I'm talking about...

I thought they just made that up for South Park...

nope,it's real,and it's coming.

If you need me, I'll be under my bed.

samsonguy920:

TheNumber1Zero:

Fearzone:

TheNumber1Zero:

yes I'm talking about...

I thought they just made that up for South Park...

nope,it's real,and it's coming.

If you need me, I'll be under my bed.

You're making it sound like Gojira, not Hello Kitty.

theultimateend:
Mediocre stories sell as long as you have implied sexuality in them. Look at Twilight.

There are few truer statements than that. Look at those crappy PG-13 movies that come out every year. Suffer through 95 minutes of crap for the off-chance that the cute blonde goes topless for a couple of seconds. If she does: Instant $50 million box-office.

I really like that personality test idea - it really would help those who don't know what classes do to choose one which suits them.

However, I don't think the whole idea will work that well because of what has already been said:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Hrrrm

I disagree

Reason? Facebook is 50% love, 50% hate. WoW is 99% love, 1% "hate but stays for the social aspect"

While WoW gives you chance to be a douche, Facebook doesn't. And that, ironically, is what I think will kill this MMO idea.

Entropy_kC:
I really like that personality test idea - it really would help those who don't know what classes do to choose one which suits them.

However, I don't think the whole idea will work that well because of what has already been said:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Hrrrm

I disagree

Reason? Facebook is 50% love, 50% hate. WoW is 99% love, 1% "hate but stays for the social aspect"

While WoW gives you chance to be a douche, Facebook doesn't. And that, ironically, is what I think will kill this MMO idea.

But there is one important aspect that you are leaving out here and that is having the social aspect play a big role throughout the entire game, not just at level cap, which is exactly what WoW does now. If a new player would join WoW by themselves right now, the first 79 levels are mostly solo play, which is why people always tell newcomers to join with friends or they will be bored out of their skulls. It's the price that is paid for having an ever-increasing level cap in a "top-heavy" content game.

I'm with Proteus here. The level-cap thing really hurts WoW. City of Heroes had a great way around it - through the Sidekick system, you could basically jump a lower-level player up to the higher-level players' levels. Or down, with the... uh... I forget the name. It's been a while since City of Heroes.

But in that case, the high level player kept their skill enhancements, but lost any skills they didn't have at the lower-players' level. Even if that's level 1, so be it. You lose everything but Sprint, and your two basic moves. It worked so well for letting people play together. The XP scaled accordingly, too. So you couldn't power-level like this, but you could totally spend time together productively. CoH did a lot badly, but a lot just amazingly well.

WoW has nothing on that level-adjustment system. So when I joined the game, and made some friends, and they were 80, and I was 40, I could pretty much not hang out with them at all, except to chat.

That needs fixing. HOPEFULLY IN THE OLD REPUBLIC! BIOWARE, YOU MUST LISTEN.

Shamus Young:
Good article as usual, but I think you're onto something really interesting with the way you propose to introduce a game to a newcomer by coming right out and asking then what sounds like fun to them. I'm picturing asking a new gamer if they want to be a paladin or a cleric. You might as well ask an Amish guy which Batman movie he likes best. It's got to be a stressful point for the uninitiated, because they most likely know it's an important decision, but have no idea how to make it. And actually, as GamerLuck points out even us vets can get lost.

Now, actually hooking INTO Facebook would be even cooler, and should be technologically possible now. It would be nice to browse servers according to how many FB friends you have on there, and which sides they're on.

Doing so might have another interesting side effect: If you encourage people to relate their account with their real Facebook page and reward them for doing so (by opening up cool social features) then you're encouraging them to give up their anonymity. This could have a powerful suppressing effect on the ambient level of douchebaggery you get in these games.

EDIT: For full disclosure, I don't use Facebook myself, but I see the appeal. I have an account. I'm pretty sure I haven't logged in this year.

I think this is a very valid point (and have I ever mentioned you do the best analogies, Shamus? You really do). Beyond the "no more anonymity" point, I think anything that developers can do to improve accessibility in these games before the player ever logs into the world is ultimately going to be to their benefit. Even if that means going through completely non-game-related means of doing so (personality test -> feed results into the Bartle types -> recommended race/class pairings!)

Shamus Young:
Condensed

It's interesting that we're talking about this in context of MMOs but aren't talking about how Microsoft is already doing this with XBLive. It's an ingenious move, one that will surely secure their place in the market and bring new people into the service. For example, I'm bored in the evening and I see that one Shamus Youn, obvious envy of my life, is playing Barbie Adventures. I, being the unhip loser who doesn't own a 360 -OR- Barbie Adventures, am jealous that you have such a mind-bogglingly awesome game or just want to chat with you in run-on sentences as we do whatever the hell it is that Barbie does, I go out and buy the system and the game.

It facilitates sales for Microsoft, while reinforcing both services' market dominance. It's genius and I am surprised that no one has tried it before Microsoft. Blizzard does seem to be reinventing Battle.net for a similar purpose but it requires you to already be looking at the game to meet up with your friends.

Would this be a nice addition: definitely. Would it matter for people who normally wouldn't start playing your MMO: hell no. Most people don't know about this barrier before they bought the game. And once they bought it they'll climb the barrier anyway. They paid for your DragonKill Quest, after all.

muhahaha!!!! well i rally never liked Gmod but i didin't give it a second chanse so that's MABEY my fault^^ (This person will denie any mesages about it being his fault and he can stop writing about himself in 3rd person.... Benjamin) ;D

 

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