MMO Adaptation Will Ruin What You Love About Your Favorite Franchise

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MMO Adaptation Will Ruin What You Love About Your Favorite Franchise

For good or ill, the fact remains that any robust enough franchise with a loyal enough following will eventually become an MMO. Spoiler: It's rarely for good.

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This GOT mmo could be i-.. Yeah, no.

Honestly, why does everything need to be an MMO? Isn't like, every MMO but WoW a failure these days? Why do they keep tryng? It never works! We still have WoW after all. Stop trying, you will fail.

Thank the Nine that the proper Elder Scrolls games are made by another studio. Losing them would've just been... No, can't really bear the thought.

While we're petitioning things, I'd like to suggest some sort of law or ordnance that effectively protect existing intellectual properties from being made in a MMO format. Every single MMO universe had to be build from the ground up, with the problems and benefits of the format in mind. Not to mention, some fresh IPs are always welcome.

Roofstone:
This GOT mmo could be i-.. Yeah, no.

Honestly, why does everything need to be an MMO? Isn't like, every MMO but WoW a failure these days? Why do they keep tryng? It never works! We still have WoW after all. Stop trying, you will fail.

There are MMOs out there that are rather healthy on their own. However, they're portrayed as a failure since they haven't been able to reach twelve million subscribers, like World of Warcraft seems to have promised all publishers that every MMO would get.

Of course, the root problem to most failed MMOs are that they've attempted to clone WoW's success by cloning WoW itself, with predictable results. Those that do survive tend to be the ones with their own direction, that focus on a tall player group rather than wide.

The idea of taking a successful property and giving it an MMO is long dead. Players have realised how shite it is and they've stopped getting exciting for them or forking over millions of pounds for them.

Only the most short sighted of publishers, developers and IP holders still think it's a good idea, and any dickheads who think an ASoIaF MMO would be anything but a dismal, soulless trudge through hell need a kick in the ear. The things that make that series so brilliant and rich are the same things that would make an MMO (or a single player RPG, as seen by the existing terrible one) a bad idea.

Roofstone:
This GOT mmo could be i-.. Yeah, no.

Honestly, why does everything need to be an MMO? Isn't like, every MMO but WoW a failure these days? Why do they keep tryng? It never works! We still have WoW after all. Stop trying, you will fail.

They keep seeing the ridiculous amounts of money WoW pulls in and they want that. It's also the easiest way to turn a game into a revenue stream instead of a product. The problem with the MMO mind set. The game is designed to keep you playing. News flash, no game can really be played for 3 months at that level...at that point you're not playing it out of enjoyment as much as you are out of sheer habit.

This isn't to say MMO's are bad but the problem is as Mr. Hat said. They're time locked. One of the unwritten things in games is the feeling of accomplishment knowing you've changed the game world in some way.

This is where MMO's can shine but fail. The developers don't give the player any real way to affect the story. As it has been said before: Did you vote for Hellscream to lead the horde? No? Well guess what it's happening anyway.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
But an MMO in particular is a cruel thing to subject an intellectual property to. For one thing, it hardly seems to matter what kind of wallpaper you paste onto an MMO, sooner or later all MMO experiences are reduced to going to a place indicated on the map, touching the things you find there, and enacting endlessly repeating combat sequences until you get carpal tunnel syndrome.

Secondly, all MMOs take place in a frozen moment of time, where the status quo can never change, for the sake of all the other human players who are going to want to come along and do the same quests as you. You leave what might have once been an ever-changing political landscape of intrigues and frequent struggles (as with Warcraft pre-WoW) in a state of permanent "and things basically went on like that".

I'm going to have to boldly disagree here. It's important to remember that you're describing strictly Theme Park MMOs. They're certainly the most common right now, but a true sandbox MMO could possibly pull it off. It could work if the game design is essentially just laying out the basic world, throwing players haphazardly into it, and leaving the majority (~99.99%) of it to political posturing. EVE stands out as the glowing example, but the recently canceled World-of-Darkness MMO was going to be exactly that - a fantasy game with full anytime PvP, but with alliance and political posturing systems that discourage random ganking.

This would never happen to GoT because it's such a big property the money men will never take such a big 'risk' on what is literally a social experiment. That's the reason people even forget these types of games exist - they are so rare, because the devs take a hands off approach, hoping that the community is the reason players stay. That's dangerous because online communities often hurt more than help (this is the internet after all). Theme Park MMOs are much safer because investors and developers can see very concrete "Reasons people will buy the game."

(I do like Theme Park mmos, but too many people make them for the wrong reasons, typically leading to less than stellar products)

But in that case, why was DC Universe Online so crap?

Well, because most MMOs are pretty crap on release.

I'm led to believe that it's actually pretty decent now, as far as MMOs go, not that that would be reflected by any of its media coverage because the media stops caring about most MMOs roughly a month or so after their release, and by that point they're permanently tarred by the initial reception, no matter what changes might happen.

But yes, a Game of Thrones MMO seems like it would be a silly idea.

I want to bring The Old Republic into this discussion because I know what it did to many Kotor fans in general, especially with

I think what Yahtzee says is true and for a lot of MMO's, much of the lore gets made for non-fans so the MMO, in question, can be as appealing to them more than fans of the franchise.

I think Guild Wars has been doing interesting things. Every so often they move the world forward as major events take place. I am an on-again/off-again player and it seems like every time I hit an on-again phase I have to start by learning what happened. Last phase I logged out while in Lion's Arch, a bustling central hub where all races came together as one unified force(my impression) and recently I logged back in to find that Lion's Arch had been pretty much destroyed in a recent conflict.

Guild Wars also serves to illustrate how many things that other MMOs do wrong can be fixed. You can hop in and out of fights and events without stealing credit from others allowing a loner like me to have fun and adventure without being screwed by spawn farmers who run around wiping out mooks which are still a challenge for my character and when you harvest a gather point or treasure chest it is not removed from the world for everyone else until it respawns. Add to this that they built their own world instead of trying to force some other property to function in a system it wasn't intended for and you get a fun game that is not such a static theme park.

Unfortunately I can't speak on the subject of PvP since I have no interest in having my rear handed to me constantly by the people who devote their lives to these games.

We've seen failed MMO developer kill studio after studio. It killed THQ, it killed 38 studios. These stupid executives going starry eyed when someone shows them the size of the "MMO market" never understand the important reasons why you should never make an MMO:

1. MMOs are really expensive to make.

2. MMOs are really hard to make correctly, especially if you're never made one before.

3. The MMO market is slowly falling apart.

If you ever wonder "Should we make an MMO of this" just stop yourselves before you fuck it up.

dude, yatzhee you are a reviewer, we NEED you to tell us things are shit AFTER they are out, its your damn job. if we could tell before hand, we wouldn't need you.

yeah yeah I suppose if something is 20 years in development and the people working on it spent all their money on crack parties its PROBABLY going to be bad as a given but you never know.

I guess we could go with 'product' vs 'art' but since nobody wants a product and a product is designed to get people to like it...even products could be art.

anyways point is you should know you can't tell its going to be bad at this point. MOST things are going to be bad so your probably right but its not something to say at this point.

"and eventually become better people."

Whoa, this week you're doing a PSA? ;)
Good article as always.

It seems like MMOs as an attempt to grab the WoW market is much smaller now, but that was already noted in the ZP video. Still I see this as a positive as I agree with the point, MMOs are (for the most part) a bad thing for a creative series.

"It could be interesting" is a phrase I usually chalk up to Damning With Faint Praise. It's a code word for when you think something is going to be dumb but can't say it lest you hurt the feelings of the fanboys.

I'll go one step farther and petition that anytime someone says "hey let's make an mmo out of..." you punch them in the face before they can finish the sentence. Because no, we should not make an mmo out of anything just because it popular. Unless you have something new to add to the formula besides a change of wallpaper, then it has no reason to exist. That's why there are so many cookie cutter mmo's out there that thought that a slightly different change of scenery would hide the fact that everything else is paint by numbers dull.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Do you like playing violent games while holding a vibrating controller against the front of your trousers?

I-it was just the one time, man! I s-swear!

>_>
<_<

I REGRET NOTHING!

EDIT:

Ken Sapp:

Guild Wars also serves to illustrate how many things that other MMOs do wrong can be fixed. You can hop in and out of fights and events without stealing credit from others allowing a loner like me to have fun and adventure without being screwed by spawn farmers who run around wiping out mooks which are still a challenge for my character and when you harvest a gather point or treasure chest it is not removed from the world for everyone else until it respawns. Add to this that they built their own world instead of trying to force some other property to function in a system it wasn't intended for and you get a fun game that is not such a static theme park.

That sounds suspiciously like Firefall, which I myself have been on-offing into now and then. As someone who wouldn't normally go for MMO's, I have to say I'm finding the whole experience rather refreshing and enjoyable.

I'm kinda surprised Guild Wars 2 isn't mentioned in here since unlike most other mmos, it does have an evolving landscape. The main hub city, Lions Arch was destroyed in the last living story event and now the main hub is in an adventure area at the Vigil Base but its lacking crafting stations, there are the ruins of a giant tower across the landscape in another area from an earlier living story, and that's just the stuff I noticed.

Ken Sapp:
I think Guild Wars has been doing interesting things. Every so often they move the world forward as major events take place. I am an on-again/off-again player and it seems like every time I hit an on-again phase I have to start by learning what happened. Last phase I logged out while in Lion's Arch, a bustling central hub where all races came together as one unified force(my impression) and recently I logged back in to find that Lion's Arch had been pretty much destroyed in a recent conflict.

Guild Wars also serves to illustrate how many things that other MMOs do wrong can be fixed. You can hop in and out of fights and events without stealing credit from others allowing a loner like me to have fun and adventure without being screwed by spawn farmers who run around wiping out mooks which are still a challenge for my character and when you harvest a gather point or treasure chest it is not removed from the world for everyone else until it respawns. Add to this that they built their own world instead of trying to force some other property to function in a system it wasn't intended for and you get a fun game that is not such a static theme park.

Unfortunately I can't speak on the subject of PvP since I have no interest in having my rear handed to me constantly by the people who devote their lives to these games.

See, this is why the only MMO I've really been interested in playing is "Guild Wars". (Not "Elder Scrolls Online" and certainly not "WoW", despite having played "Oblivion", "Skyrim", and every single Warcraft game and expansion since #1.) I just don't get why anybody would think those games would be improved by having more people in them.

But everybody who's played Guild Wars seems to genuinely love it. I seriously want to try it but I'm afraid of the time sink I think it would be.

A Game of Thrones MMO sounds teeeerrrrible.

Like, probably 100x worse then ESO. If you want to make GOT a video game you either need to go the CK2 mod route and simulate the feudal politics or go the Telltale route and simulate the in-depth character interactions. A combat focused game would completely miss the point of the series.

Oh look another Extra punctuation. It could be interesting :P

Mahoshonen:
"It could be interesting" is a phrase I usually chalk up to Damning With Faint Praise. It's a code word for when you think something is going to be dumb but can't say it lest you hurt the feelings of the fanboys.

Beat me to it. It's like a partner saying they're "really fine". A completely snide way of suggesting you go look for entertainment elsewhere.

The only game I ever looked forward to an MMO for was Amalur, because that was designed for it up front and the single player game was just single player MMO.

Otherwise... no thank you.

I keep bringing it up, but I still think City of Heroes remains the best example of an MMO. Yes, it exists in a similar status quo but it doesn't keep a singular story thread going for too long and only a few game zones had a single plot to follow. Rather then an over-arching narrative that covers the whole level range, the short sharp plots didn't force you down a singular path within the world or overstay their welcomes (though some of the original content released early in the game's life did drag on a bit) and you didn't even have to do them if you didn't want to.

The current trend of MMOs to funnel you through different, huge fields on a tight plot that's getting played through by everyone else (who you're usually fighting with for objectives) is more then tired at this point.

Yeah, I never say "this could be interesting" unless I specifically emphasize "could" as a way expression my doubt that it "will" be interesting. Because, really, everything *could* be interesting, but most things won't.
More often, I employ the phrase, "It could have been interesting," as a way of expressing my disappointment for things.

But I'm a cynic.

I disagree, I think that plenty of franchises can work as a mmo, the problem is that most mmo games are created not because people think this franchise would make a fun mmo, but because publishers want to make wow money.

Both you and more recently, Jim Sterling really inspired me to be more critical of the games I buy and who I give my money to. It's amazing how easy it is to just completely put out of mind how not engaging so many games are simply because this is the system that gets hammered into a gamer's mind all the time.

That said, I still play WoW and SWTOR. So, baby steps I guess.

Phrozenflame500:
A Game of Thrones MMO sounds teeeerrrrible.

Like, probably 100x worse then ESO. If you want to make GOT a video game you either need to go the CK2 mod route and simulate the feudal politics or go the Telltale route and simulate the in-depth character interactions. A combat focused game would completely miss the point of the series.

The real way to make a Game of Thrones MMO would be when you make a new character you have to start out in some crappy kingdom as a regular troop, a mercenary, or at The Wall, and then have to work your way into power and influence before you can even go to King's Landing or what have you to compete with the people who hold actual power in the Kingdom.

And the people at the top are constantly backstabbing and assassinating each other, opening the way for new people to muscle their way in. People form alliances out of paranoia and trust no one. Guild "families" would form hoarding all the resources and killing anyone who got in their way.

See, the only way you could make a good Game of Thrones MMO would be for all characters to have PERMADEATH. Good luck trying to get that past the suits.

There are so many MMORPG's based on licensed properties (not inherently bad, it's in the execution), I'm forgetting about MMO's from the pre-WoW era. The only series I can remember is Ultima, and I think Everquest.

TheMadDoctorsCat:

Ken Sapp:
I think Guild Wars has been doing interesting things. Every so often they move the world forward as major events take place. I am an on-again/off-again player and it seems like every time I hit an on-again phase I have to start by learning what happened. Last phase I logged out while in Lion's Arch, a bustling central hub where all races came together as one unified force(my impression) and recently I logged back in to find that Lion's Arch had been pretty much destroyed in a recent conflict.

Guild Wars also serves to illustrate how many things that other MMOs do wrong can be fixed. You can hop in and out of fights and events without stealing credit from others allowing a loner like me to have fun and adventure without being screwed by spawn farmers who run around wiping out mooks which are still a challenge for my character and when you harvest a gather point or treasure chest it is not removed from the world for everyone else until it respawns. Add to this that they built their own world instead of trying to force some other property to function in a system it wasn't intended for and you get a fun game that is not such a static theme park.

Unfortunately I can't speak on the subject of PvP since I have no interest in having my rear handed to me constantly by the people who devote their lives to these games.

See, this is why the only MMO I've really been interested in playing is "Guild Wars". (Not "Elder Scrolls Online" and certainly not "WoW", despite having played "Oblivion", "Skyrim", and every single Warcraft game and expansion since #1.) I just don't get why anybody would think those games would be improved by having more people in them.

But everybody who's played Guild Wars seems to genuinely love it. I seriously want to try it but I'm afraid of the time sink I think it would be.

I tend to stay away from MMOs to avoid the time sink as well, especially when they have subscriptions. Just having an active subscription makes it into an obligation for me to log in and "get my money's worth" out of it every month. Add the un-fun mechanics of most MMOs (and ESO found a way to include all the ones I hate) and I have plenty of reasons to stay away from any that ask for my money. To me Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 were both worth the purchase and since there was no subscription I could pick them up and drop out of them as I felt like it.

I was going to bring up Warcraft Pre-WoW as an example while reading the article, but you already nailed that one. I remember visibly wrenching when I learned that Illidan, who used to be the closest thing to a protagonist in Warcraft 3, became a raid boss that hundreds of people would line up to shit on each and every day.

Which really is the definition of MMORPGs, right? You chain up important characters to locations and charge an entrance fee for people to come in and ejaculate all over their faces. While they can only struggle against their bonds, swiping at the dirty, hairy person who has decided to put their digital filthy man jam all over their faces. MMOs don't seem so glorified when you look at them that way, do they? Probably because that's actually what you are doing when you go kill a boss who is unable to leave a dungeon or even put a dagger through the neck of some Orc who's job it is to stand around in a field all day being slaughtered by player characters. All because some NPC in town told you they were evil, one has to wonder who the real villains of MMOs are.

Tabula Rasa will remain one of the few games that was an MMO and actually did the player vs monster aspect correctly because the monsters there actually teamed up to complete their agenda and take on the players. Too bad Burning Crusade crushed it like a tin can when it released the same week. I guess it really does speak about the personality types of the MMO playerbase when they choose with their wallets what kind of gameplay they prefer.

Everquest Next is about the only MMO I have any hope for, and that only because it looks like they're trying to move away from the whole static theme-park approach. I have some friends who keep trying to convince me to get on ESO because "It's not like any other MMO," but everything I've seen on it points to it just being another same-old grind with slightly different combat and art design.

Darth_Payn:

See, the only way you could make a good Game of Thrones MMO would be for all characters to have PERMADEATH. Good luck trying to get that past the suits.

While I agree with you to a degree, this would be hard to implement, since one of the primary reasons people get offed in GoT is to keep them from spilling your secrets and plots.

So let's say you're some high lord in King's Landing, and you're planning to assassinate some prick you don't like. But then this other guy finds out about your plan and threatens to squeal, so now you have to kill him. Once that character is dead, you can scheme in peace... for five minutes as the player rolls a new character and PM's the guy you were gonna assassinate.

See, exchange of information is key for player-driven games. In Westeros, information can only ever travel as fast as a raven can fly or a messenger can ride. But in an mmo, information moves at the speed of instant messages and Skype calls. What people know or don't know about the actions of other characters is integral to the intrigue of GoT, so having players who are able to communicate instantly from across the map, or retain knowledge from previous characters, would make it nearly impossible to simulate.

I tend to be fairly inclined to point out that certain games are not nearly so bad as people say. Aliens Colonial Marines, for example, isn't a particularly bad game; indeed, that game's greatest flaw is that it never seemed to know what sort of game it wanted to be. The result was a game that jumped from poor COD clone to tense survival horror to arcade shooter to arena shooter ever few minutes. While I agree that the game that resulted was far from good it at least had moments where you could see how it might have been good. That isn't a defense of the game or an argument that it ought to be better received but simply pointing out that it occasionally got things right.

Pointing out when a game does something right is just as important as pointing out all the ways in which it fails.

"This could be interesting" is a phrase I will continue to use that more or less translates to "This has the potential to not be utter excrement". As such, I probably wouldn't apply it to Game of Thrones: Seven Kingdoms.

TheMadDoctorsCat:

Ken Sapp:
I think Guild Wars has been doing interesting things. Every so often they move the world forward as major events take place. I am an on-again/off-again player and it seems like every time I hit an on-again phase I have to start by learning what happened. Last phase I logged out while in Lion's Arch, a bustling central hub where all races came together as one unified force(my impression) and recently I logged back in to find that Lion's Arch had been pretty much destroyed in a recent conflict.

Guild Wars also serves to illustrate how many things that other MMOs do wrong can be fixed. You can hop in and out of fights and events without stealing credit from others allowing a loner like me to have fun and adventure without being screwed by spawn farmers who run around wiping out mooks which are still a challenge for my character and when you harvest a gather point or treasure chest it is not removed from the world for everyone else until it respawns. Add to this that they built their own world instead of trying to force some other property to function in a system it wasn't intended for and you get a fun game that is not such a static theme park.

Unfortunately I can't speak on the subject of PvP since I have no interest in having my rear handed to me constantly by the people who devote their lives to these games.

See, this is why the only MMO I've really been interested in playing is "Guild Wars". (Not "Elder Scrolls Online" and certainly not "WoW", despite having played "Oblivion", "Skyrim", and every single Warcraft game and expansion since #1.) I just don't get why anybody would think those games would be improved by having more people in them.

But everybody who's played Guild Wars seems to genuinely love it. I seriously want to try it but I'm afraid of the time sink I think it would be.

mainly people didn't want an Elder Scrolls MMO, we wanted an Elder Scrolls game that we could have two or three buddies run around with in the world.

Not one where if you even dare think about teaming up with people, you are punished, or that every mob, including bosses, only drop 1 or 2 gold per kill.

At least that's what I wanted, back with Morrowind it would of been pretty awesome.

As for Guild Wars, it's okay from a gameplay standpoint, what get's me is the story line.

I cant take any MMO seriously that goes the route of "YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN SAVE US along with all those other guys over there"

but if that isn't a big thing for you, or you are able to look past it easily, then you could do a lot worse than Guild Wars 1 or 2, only money you spend is buying the game, no subscriptions.

I think there was an item mall, been a long time since I played it though.

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