The State of MMORPGs - End of an Era

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I can't talk about the last mmo i've played because it isn't out yet. I'll just say its one no one else here has mentioned yet. I can only play it during testing phases. I've spent so much time on so many mmo's that i cant even keep track anymore. I'm not sure if i'm looking forward to any mmo's atm. The one i want might already be out but i just don't know.

Ideally i would love to find one with good graphics(my gf is all about that), that isn't a gear treadmill or a constantly moving endgame. I'm tired of investing into my character to just have a new expansion or patch make all my progress obsolete. I'm tired of constant level cap increases and added gear tiers. I just wish that they would just add more content and different types of rewards vs. just slapping bigger numbers on new rewards, making my old gear garbage. I would love a game where you aren't forced to do any one type of content to get the best possible gear. I like the idea of being able to randomly kill an open world mob and have some possibility of an amazingly epic drop, rather than being forced to farm a dungeon for good loot which won't be good anymore come next patch.

Guild Wars 1 did a great job of this. Guild Wars 2 did until the august patch where they introduced ascension gear and told us they were going back on their word about gear treadmills. Just hoping to find something like this.

4RM3D:

And while on the subject:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?
- Are you still playing it?
- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?
- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

The answer to all of those would be Lord of the Rings Online, and no, I'm no longer playing it anymore. I'm not necessarily a dedicated LOTR fan, but almost everyone I know is a huge fan, some even being dedicated enough to read through everything Middle-Earth related. Anyways, they got me into it, and I fell in love with it. No doubt, it was the best time I've ever had in anything LOTR related. I sort of ended when many of my friends stopped playing due to life getting in the way. It also helped that life got in the way for me around the same time.

4RM3D:
What do you think of the state of MMORPGs these days?

bad, always trying to pander towards the player.

4RM3D:
- Are you still playing it?

4RM3D:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?

World of Tanks cannot remember. Runescape maybe?

4RM3D:
- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?

Runescape, played that alot as a teenager.

4RM3D:
- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

nope...Maybe World of Warships Nothing RPGish.

What is the last MMORPG you have played?

The Secret World & EverQuest 2

Are you still playing it?

Yes, EQ2 once a week with a friend in New York, and TSW daily.

Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?

EverQuest 1 likely, due to the length of its life.

Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

Interested in Elder Scrolls, but will likely stick with TSW for quite some time to come.

likalaruku:
Well, if that PS4 poll was to be believed, multiplayer has become mostly undesirabel...Most people are tired of it.

That's a wild claim, there are lots of people who hate multiplayer here in the escapist but that doesn't mean it's become mostly undesirable there's still a very large audience for multiplayer games, and not just MMO's. Every Blizzard game is multiplayer focused, Counter Strike GO is doing big on tournaments again, LOL is the most popular game in the world and Dota is doing very well.

4RM3D:
What do you think of the state of MMORPGs these days?

They seem to be a dime a dozen, as I see it. But, admittedly, there are some gems.

What is the last MMORPG you have played?

Scarlet Blade. If you're a fan of female cyborgs with big weapons and bigger knockers, then this is the game for you (there's a lot more to it, of course, but that's the easiest way for me to describe it).

Are you still playing it?

Off and on, yeah.

Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?

Vindictus. Nothing like playing as a young girl with dual swords and doing an Ultimate Warrior-style backbreaker on a werewolf.

Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

Honestly, Age of Wushu intrigues me quite a bit, if only because it's about the the only other martial arts-themed RPG out there (next to Jade Empire). Plus it's endorsed by Jet Li himself. :D

I'm playing Darkfall Unholy Wars while waiting on the DayZ standalone and World of Darkness. I like that "oh shit i'm gonna get looted" feeling in the gut. DayZ's additional survival mechanics are also a big kick.

I severely doubt I'd commit to a pure "dailies, dungeons, raids and battlegrounds with achievements on top" experience again, even if it had true action combat and a well crafted seamless world, which none of them do.

I think that MMO's are suffering as much from a lack of imagination and oversaturation of the industry as anything.

Last MMO I played is Aion, and it's also the longest one I've played - still playing it off and on.

I'm kind of looking forward to seeing what Elder Scrolls Online will be like and if it's anything like Skyrim.

My current choice of MMORPG is Mabinogi, but I'm honestly a little saddened by the amount of people who have only ever played WOW. My major MMORPG history has been ROSEonline, Ragnarok, then Mabinogi. I've at least tried Aika, Dungeons and Dragons, Eden Eternal, Flyff, Maplestory, Runescape, Scions of Fate, and Seal Online, and have seen reviews of or read about dozens of others. I realize people's choices are their own but I think they miss something by only ever trying WOW. I've played quite a few MMORPGs and one thing I've learned is that while many have the same or similar core gameplay, the slight differences in interface, graphics, or mechanics makes WORLDS of difference. Each MMORPG is like a world unto itself and by sticking with WOW people are missing a few new other completely different atmospheres. It's like reading one book of a genre you like, and then never seeing if you like other books of similar genres.

I still look every now and then for a new MMORPG to play, because I have not yet run into that one MMORPG with massive PVP, and cute cartoony graphics, that runs on this POS computer of mine ;_;

- What is the last MMORPG you have played?
I got into the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn closed beta.

- Are you still playing it?
No, but I can't state why because it's still under non-disclosure.

- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?
World of WarCraft.

- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?
No. The genre as a whole has gone to theme park hell. I'm sick of the lack of freedom and depth the genre offers today. The saddest thing is that MMORPGs are still my favorite genre of games. It's too bad so many of them waste the potential of the genre by just cloning WoW one after another.

4RM3D:
What do you think of the state of MMORPGs these days?

First off, I think the OP is selling the MMO market short. It's in a rut, true, but that doesn't mean it's done for. There are a couple of sandbox MMO's scheduled for release that look promising. I do agree that the glut of WoWlikes in the market is responsible for that rut, but I don't think developers are necessarily taking the view that the MMO market is a waste so much as they can't compete with WoW by copying WoW. Large publishers certainly might be, but large publishers aren't the be-all, end-all of what makes an MMO. I might not always be totally enthused with the Korean market, but they at least prove that there is a market for MMOs still.

4RM3D:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?

The last new MMO I tried or the most recent MMO I've played? For the former, Guild Wars 2 and for the latter EVE Online.

4RM3D:
- Are you still playing it?

I haven't touched GW2 in awhile but I still play EVE regularly.

4RM3D:
- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?

EVE, by far.

4RM3D:
- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

I've been playing EVE for years and have done everything short of ruin a major corporation's good time. So, yes, I'm very much looking forward to a few MMOs, particularly something F2P as I dislike paying for more than one subscription at a time.

Wildstar, so far, looks great and claims to fall in the middle between a themepark and an sandbox MMO. Time will tell and I tend to be skeptical of such claims.

The Repopulation has a massive crafting system that is very different from themepark MMOs, which seem to be more tacked-on not because the developers really want one but because it's an MMO and an MMO should have a crafting system. They're also promising not only player-built houses but player-built cities that can be part of player owned and operated nations. It looks promising and some people are calling it a spiritual successor to Star Wars Galaxies, one of my favorites while it lasted. It's billing itself as free-to-play and claims it can avoid the pitfalls of other free-to-play games in that the game was built from the ground-up with a F2P model in mind. No details on that yet, so time will tell.

Greed Monger seems interesting but I'm very wary of their claims. Supposedly, at launch the game will be a completely blank slate; there will be no cities, no shops and no random drops of complete items from mobs. The game is also billing itself as totally F2P with an optional monthly subscription that gives new perks like...things they haven't gone into. They're going to monetize by selling in-game parcels of land that players can build on, they believe that will be more than enough to keep the game funded. The problem I foresee is that they will allow players leaving the game to sell their land at auction for real money. Seems nice, but I can foresee gold sellers making fake accounts and buying up land, keeping prices artificially high, and selling for huge profits. Given that the game requires you to buy a parcel of land so you can open a shop, and player owned shops are the only place anyone can buy anything, this seems like a huge problem.

I'm kinda surprised that the OP mentioned Neverwinter but not that Pathfinder Online has been funded.

- What is the last MMORPG you have played?
Guilds War 2

- Are you still playing it?
Yep.

- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?
6 years on Anarchy Online back when it released.

- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?
Not outside of Guild Wars 2. I like the idea that I can take a break for a couple weeks/months and come back not having a "chore list" to catch up. With everything Anet does in a couple months time, leaving for a couple months means coming back to newly added content as well. Then when you add in the major events like Karka Isle, this game offers a lot, especially for not having a subscription fee.
Karka Isle, Living story (Not personal story), fractals, and this new upcoming event would have all been sold as an expansion or in the gem store under other companies.

WoW was the worst thing that could have happened to MMOs as now everyone seems to go into MMOs thinking THAT is the way it should be. They go into not-WoW MMOs wanting WoW, which is retarded. Not only was WoW outdated as a MMO model when it launched thus stifling innovation then, but it seems that it is going to stifle innovation even after its run. WoW is the CoD of MMOs, which both are pop culture phenomena. Like Paris Hilton, they each got popular for being popular. For some reason the game was in the right place at the right time and made a perfect storm in society. It isn't something mechanical or design centric that influenced this either. It isn't polish, it isn't accessibility, it is merely that they became a "thing". A fad, a trend, call it what you will. But the fact remains no other MMO has achieved even close to WoWs profits despite many games being 90% WoW similar. No other FPS can touch CoDs numbers even with so many also being ridiculously similar.
WoW and CoD are brands, not games. THAT is why they are what they are and no one can mimic them and expect to be as successful and in fact are looked at as "knock-offs" (clones). You can copy them all you want but you can't have the brand name, which is what is actually selling.

Consumers need to recognize this to actually be able to enter a new experience unbiased. I remember when GW2 launched and for months people actually said that the dodge mechanic was pointless and didn't help. This is ridiculously untrue and I suspect many were refuting it because WoW didn't use anything like it. As well, dungeons weren't about a fun party experience but serious business. They apparently didnt realize that the reward for the dungeon was pretty mediocre. Didn't have experience in the dungeon? GTF out of our party. Did the raid have a team wipe? Call everyone noobs and abandon party. WvW losing? Berate the server constantly on map chat. Didn't login for a week? Kick you out of guild.

WoW and it's ilk have created a very detestable MMO audience. I can't stress this enough. That is the reason why so many people go into MMOs to solo, then leave sour when the content wasn't catered to them. My guild is a casual guild mostly active on weekends and we have had problems recruiting people because "I mostly only play on weekends" fearing they will just get kicked anyways for not playing enough. Casual players are skittish of people and guilds like deer. God forbid someone makes a game about questing with your mates. I am glad that crowd has largely dispersed from GW2 personally. Things have gotten a lot more relaxed and friendly, on my server anyways.

I've tried all free trials I have come across. The reasons why mmorpgs fail is because they are more or less the same.

-Collect 5 carrots-Go kill 5 ghosts
-Collect 5 carrots-Go kill 5 ghosts
-Collect 5 carrots-Go kill 5 ghosts
-Collect 5 carrots-Go kill 5 ghosts
-Collect 5 carrots-Go kill 5 ghosts
-Collect 5 carrots-Go kill 5 ghosts
-Collect 5 carrots-Go kill 5 ghosts
*level up*

Go dungeon, kill boss, some tank others deal damage.

The most not boring I have played was Star Trek on-line because warp speed and phazers are cool.

4RM3D:
What do you think of the state of MMORPGs these days?

Well, let me put it this way: I'd rather wish for an Elder Scrolls or Mass Effect with coop mode than a new MMORPG following the traditional formula.

And while on the subject:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?
- Are you still playing it?
- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?
- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

- Guild Wars 2
- No. I had a good time there, and definitely my money's worth, but it wasn't as engaging as I hoped it to be. No RPG where I don't have to aim with my bow myself will ever be, I guess.
- WoW
- That depends on whether you want to call Destiny an MMORPG. If not, then none.

What is the last MMORPG you have played?

Guild Wars 2.

Are you still playing it?

Nope. I did spend a lot of time on it, though. I have reached level 80, and explored a good amount of the game's content. I don't feel like I need to do anything more.

Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?

Probably Runescape. I had much more time to spend on MMOs back then.

Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

Phantasy Star Online 2 only.

Nowadays, I'm generally uninterested in MMOs. I just can't get behind subscription fees or the current MMO free-to-play model.

- What is the last MMORPG you have played? World of Warcraft, SWTOR, TERA. WoW was the most recent

- Are you still playing it? Yes to all.

- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on? World of Warcraft, been playing since January 2005 and it's ongoing. I haven't quit yet.

- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG? Maybe ESO if they don't screw it up, other than that I can't think of any.

The trouble with MMORPG for me is that so many fell in love with the idea behind it, without realizing the reality was far from what they were actually looking for - namely a suped up, table-top RPG experience.

Had MMORPG's continued to evolve then they could have become that, sadly the money-men steered the ship towards nothing but profit (again) and MMORPG's became about gimmicks, subscription renewals and Mr T.

I think the industry as a whole needs to have the powers to make decisions, and thus emphasize focus on creativity, swing back in favour of the devs/gamers who work at these companies, and not the suits.

4RM3D:
What do you think of the state of MMORPGs these days?

Most of them have realised by now that they cannot be World of Warcraft, which is at least a step in the right direction.

4RM3D:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?

At the risk of drawing the angry mob, that would be Runescape.

4RM3D:
- Are you still playing it?

No, im usually subscribed for about 3 months a year for blitzing the new content. Otherwise i get bored and move on.

4RM3D:
- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?

Runescape, again. Planetside 2, though not an RPG, is the only other one i played for any significant length of time.

4RM3D:
- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

None. The Warhammer 40K MMO might have drawn me, but as we all know that got canned when THQ went under.

4RM3D:

And while on the subject:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?

Perfect World (irony) a few years ago for about a year.

- Are you still playing it?

No, our faction got top of the server from the get go and was so for months, so things were turning a bit dull. Then the company released $1 gift packs with a chance to contain weapons and armors that are normally very rare or take months to farm the materials for. Everyone and their mother suddenly had that sort of thing. The game turned into pay2win and I wanted no part of it anymore.

- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?

FlyFF with my ex-girlfriend.

- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

Generally done with the genre. No matter the packaging, the content is the same. Talk to X and Y NPC, killing 80 thingamabobs, gain insignificant skills for 20-30 levels to get to the good stuff etc. And either pay to win or pay a ridiculous amount every month to play games that without the proper company (a ton of friends to play with) are worse than the most shitty of single player games.

Finally a small list of recent big MMORPG for a complete picture:

Upcoming:
- The Elder Scrolls Online is coming, but IMO it doesn't look that great. Just a multiplayer version of Skyrim.
- Neverwinter is coming too, but it seems fairly small... Not sure if it's going to be good. But it won't be great.

Released:
- Guildwars 2 was fun for a while, but the player base has dropped rapidly.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic was doomed from the start and has seen a significant drop in players also.
- Lord of the Rings Online is holding steady but hasn't made a great impact.

- Eve Online is the only other popular MMORPG that is still thriving. I reckon that is because there really isn't anything like it.
- League of Legends, though technically not a MMORPG, is thriving also.

Dota, LoL, HoN etc are not MMORPGS but MOBAS. There is a huge difference between them, which is why MOBAs are thriving harder and MMOs are dying. MOBAs (as the acrronym suggest) leaves out the 'massive' and the roleplaying in a sense. In MMOs, you create an avatar and make choices through your 'career' to gain favour or fame from your MMO peers. In MOBAs you play a character that has it's own lore, the game forces you to farm creeps and kill other heroes in a small static environment and only one or sometimes two item/skill setups are the right choice, otherwise you will be murdered brutally by a smarter person.

- What is the last MMORPG you have played?
Guild Wars 2

- Are you still playing it?
No, sadly it seems to have ditched most of the features i loved GW1 for to appeal to a broader audience and fish from other MMOs

- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?
Guild Wars 1 and it's Addons

- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?
Not really

i miss MMORPG's, WOW destroyed the genre, i played it from beta till wrath pretty hardcore and enjoyed it because of the guild i was in but its a bad game compared to the ones that came before especially Everquest.

just finished a 5 man SWTOR flashpoint actually, drop into firefall from time to time but it doesnt seem to be going well , and GW2 from time to time.

Everquest without a doubt has the most time logged . those were good times!

Future? well i dont really read around about games in development so i am not very aware of whats coming. but i hope for one that breaks the wow mould and puts the first M and G back into MMORPG's

Souplex:

4RM3D:

- The Elder Scrolls Online is coming, but IMO it doesn't look that great. Just a multiplayer version of Skyrim.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Not necessarily, but the whole premise doesn't appeal to me. Also the stories I have heard of TESO is that it is pretty lackluster ATM.

ScrabbitRabbit:
I thought most of the ire being directed towards it was because it doesn't look like it plays anything like an Elder Scrolls game?

The combat is different. It has been made more MMO'ish. Not sure if it has been for the better, though.

PeterMerkin69:
*snip*

Yeah, I had that phase too. I was hardcore once, raiding 7 days a night to get the best of the best. But over time MMORPGs became more easy, less hardcore. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. However as you described, those MMORPGs also starting to feel more like a single player game, which is kinda bad. Also, I've lost my drive to push forward in World of Warcraft past the LFR raids. It doesn't feel rewarding anymore.

xefaros:
I shall point out that the post only accounts for western MMOs.

And it is better for Asian MMOs? As far as Korean MMOs go, most of them were either gigantic grind fests or very broken. Some of those Korean MMOs did have an original idea which works on its own, but not enough to justify building a MMO around it. Dunno, about Chinese MMOs though.

piinyouri:
A sea of sameness.
It's funny because many a year ago when MMO's were just a secret whispered word at my high school that I could only dream of since we didn't have a PC nor internet, I imagined they were the omega ultimate end all of gaming experiences.

I mean, playing a game, but with a thousand other people? How amazing! The potential for incredible stories of chivalry, teamwork, betrayal, and maybe even love astounded me. I basically thought it would be gods gift to gaming.

How naive I was back then. I had no idea what 'meta' was, not an incling of 'sword and board', DPS, tanks, and all the other stuff that in my opinion, takes the "game" out of MMO's

Hehe, so much potential... so little is being used.

likalaruku:
*snip*

4RM3D:

- Guildwars 2 was fun for a while, but the player base has dropped rapidly.

What are you talking about? I'm seeing more players on my server than ever before, and I haven't found a source for this sort of claim, only biased articles that used quote mining to misrepresent AreaNet's statements.

4RM3D:

And while on the subject:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?
- Are you still playing it?
- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?
- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

- GW2
- Yes
- WoW
- No

Every MMORPG has been garbage imo since Ultima Online instituted trammel. Planetside is interesting, and I enjoyed the origional quite a bit(the sequel less so) but it's an MMOFPS not an RPG. And such games seem just like giant skinners boxes to me. Grind away killing npcs, then fight in meaningless PvP.

A real MMO should be as accurate a construction of a world as possible. The ability to do most anything you can imagine. Fish in lakes, build houses, form guilds, build a business, hunt down other murderous players, be a murderer yourself. Here are a couple of things that I feel modern MMORPGs do horribly for the most part:

Chat functions are garbage. It's a tiny box in some top corner with way too many unnecessary chat functions. I love taunting people while I'm beating them. UO made this perfectly. Chat floating over your head so when you were fighting a target you would read what they said. I like to play mind games with my opponents, which isn't possible in most new MMOS. I've heard that Age of Conan had chat bubbles which is good. I would also hope more games would use AOE microphone usage even though the potential for abuse is huge.

Create real worlds that aren't fully controlled by a series of command buttons using powers or attacking. One of the things that made UO great was that items could be dropped on the ground and moved about by players like a real world. People would build forts out of boxes to hold passes. They would set up elaborate traps for players teleporting in. People would hide transmission crystals under trees or behind walls in order to listen in and spy on people. And that's only breaching the surface on a gigantic array of things you could do that added to the depth of the world. MMOs nowadays are only skin deep. And it's a fault of the push for 3d games. I'd much rather have a 2d game that has a real world I can interact with.

Risk. There is such little risk in MMOs these days(Eve online notwithstanding, I just don't play it because I've heard everything else about it is boring.) In Ultima Online equipment that was expensive, was not hugely better. It could help you out in a 1v1, against a player of equal level, or a 1v2/3 against worse players. But you can still be killed really quickly and lose it all. And it give the fighting meaning. It makes people run, it makes people cautious, it makes others more brazen, you actually see a dynamic because when you go and fight. You are risking something. Now adays I log into TOR and run into a Jedi twice my level and he kills me in 2 hits then starts dancing ontop of my corpse waiting for me to res. And I'm sitting there thinking: who gives a shit? I didn't lose anything. He didn't take my equipment. He barely even slowed me down. So I read a book for a few minutes until he gave up. Later on I was fighting NPCs and was ambushed by a Jedi a few levels higher than me and was able to get the upper hand and kill him. But I risked nothing and so winning or losing had no consequences, it didn't make me feel happy or sad at all either time. It was just watered down and bland like an arcade game. That's not what MMOs are supposed to be.

- What is the last MMORPG you have played?

The Old Republic.

- Are you still playing it?

Yes. But to be fair I've only been playing it for like 3 days. I'm probably only going to have it registered for a month. And I'm playing it like a single player RPG, but with a chatbox where I can troll people.

- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?

Ultima Online. Early to mid t2a era and then freeshards with a similar ruleset.

- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

Not really. I don't get excited about MMORPGs anymore. The one I am most hopeful for however is CCP's World of Darkness MMO based on Vampire the Masquerade. I like the idea of betrayals, politics and the possibility of perma death. Plus it's the only MMO coming out that promises to have open pvp.

- What do you think of the state of MMORPGs these days?

Can't say I've really been following it. None of the "big" MMOs like Tera, Guild Wars, LotR, etc appeal to me. My "perfect" MMO would prolly be a Korean meatgrinder, maybe sandboxy maybe not but certainly not WoW-style linear (character level used to open up/close off zones as a way to force you to follow a defined path through the world), focused exclusively on PVP, where if there's a PvE endgame at all, it exists solely to be exploited to improve your character in PVP.

- What is the last MMORPG you have played?

Ragnarok Online 2.

- Are you still playing it?

No. Hit max level in about a month and found there wasn't really anything interesting to do besides raiding. Overall the game was a pretty generic WoW clone.

- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?

Ragnarok Online. (Perhaps you are seeing a pattern emerge!) Played it for about 6 years. I could write a novel about all the things I liked about it, all the memories, etc, but briefly...

a) PVP was the endgame, period. Specifically, scheduled twice-weekly, two-hour guild vs. guild battles for control of castles. Owning a castle was orders of magnitude more profitable than any other ingame activity, so all "elite" players devoted most of their time outside of that to improving their ability to contribute to their guild winning, and community prestige was entirely oriented around skillful play in that environment.

More broadly, there were far fewer barriers to interacting with other players: no "tagging" monsters as your own, no threat (some aggro monsters followed their initial target forever, others could be "trained" on others as they attacked the nearest target), boss monsters were free-for-all with the spoils going to whoever did the most damage (prompting indirect PVP there), and the best leveling area for years was PVP-enabled (with exp loss if you die.) Essentially, it was impossible to act as if it were a single-player game.

b) The design was incredibly broken. I'm listing this as a huge plus, btw. The people who created items, monsters, classes, etc clearly had no idea all the ways any individual thing could affect all the other systems in the game. Tons of items were totally worthless, while others were unbelievably powerful. If you watch Extra Credits, the game was basically full of hundreds of incomparables. This turned out to be an incredible boon: with so many different systems interacting in weird and unpredictable ways, there were so many opportunities for intelligent players to find exploitable loopholes that totally changed how the game was played.

Cleverness, foresight, experimentation, and encyclopedic knowledge of the game were all rewarded when a design oversight radically alerted the game. A "useless" new skill that summoned a boss and its mob could be farmed by another "useless" class to get 2-5x more exp/hr that "traditional" leveling in a game where it took at least 6 months to get to max level. Exp could be shared with other characters, enabling you to level PVP-oriented chars that would otherwise be impossible to create. This led to at least a year where everyone was summoning this boss (it took forever), hunting for copies of the boss that others had summoned and abandoned, hunting for enemies' bosses to kill them and ruin the enemies' ability to level, hunting for copies and threatening to reveal their location if you were not let into the exp share... it was a totally different game. Or the discovery that an aura that does damage and knocks back enemies can be used on bosses (which are immune to knockback) to machinegun damage, or discovering a skill that summons people next to you can be used to put people on ledges, bypassing several floors of a castle, etc etc etc.

c) Major cities as hubs, open/public communication. Y'know how in WoW, you can just afk anywhere near guards and generally be safe, or even afk in fields and just fetch your body if you get ganked? RO, with free-roaming monsters, items that could spawn incredibly powerful monsters anywhere, and exp loss for death outside of towns, you couldn't do that. There were also no chat channels: you had public, 1-to-1 PMs, guild, party, and that's it. What this meant was that people were force to congregate in towns, and people tended to communicate in public chat with people in their immediate vicinity. This had a huge impact on giving the game a social life more like offline spaces: people and groups had specific areas in town they tended to meet and hang out, passers-by could overhear and join in, being in proximity to another character had meaning, and everyone could see who you were talking to. So you had cliques and circles of friends, news and rumors could spread organically, and the various communities in the game were all "aware" of each other because the dynamics mimicked functioning, "real-world" neighborhoods.

Furthermore, there were a limited number of "best" maps for specific classes for leveling, farming, etc, but they were equally accessible to people who'd been playing 2 months and 2 years (grinding revolved on killing large groups of weak monsters as quickly as possible, so low- and high-level players leveled in the same areas with varying degrees of efficiency.) Thus, all the knights knew each other, all the wizards knew each other, etc. This kind of direct interaction between the different strata of players is unheard of in games like WoW. Even though all the guilds that "mattered" were maybe less that 5% of the total playerbase, and for the vast majority it was an anime chatroom with leveling minigames, everyone knew the political situation and had a side they were rooting for. It was so much more like a community than most MMOs. Edit: (Also it was remarkably close to gender parity, possibly because of the cutesy graphics. And character gender was defined by the account as a whole's gender. So with close to equal male/female rep and a relatively high rate of online/offline gender correspondence, aaaaall the relationship drama of a high school came into play as well.)

Anyway...

- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

I'm cautiously optimistic about ArcheAge. It seems to shun the WoW approach ("Do this, then this, then this, then...") and take the Eve approach ("Here's a world, we don't really give a fuck what you do.") Player-built and player-run cities, farms, castles, player-run trade routes, shipping, crime system/jails, faction-based and indisciminate open-world PVP, piracy (!), basically just seems like a sandbox with the right systems in place that it could develop a rich culture/politics/etc rather than just being a series of PvE fights.

I've played a few MMO's. I started with Runescape which I played for a couple of years, then I moved onto Guild Wars which I played for 7 years.
The last MMO I played was Guild Wars 2, which I played yesterday, I'm not really looking forward to any other MMO's though I'm mildly interested in the Neverwinter one coming out soon because I loved the old Neverwinter games.

Ok, first and foremost:

4RM3D:
The Elder Scrolls Online is coming, but IMO it doesn't look that great. Just a multiplayer version of Skyrim.

No. If that was the case, it'd be the single most promising and innovative MMO in history. No, TES online isn't an MP version of Skyrim, it's a shitty cliched MMO set in the TES universe.

4RM3D:
What do you think of the state of MMORPGs these days?

Everyone's doing the same thing and sticking with the hotkey system. Few developers are trying something a tad different with combat, but no one's really trying to get it up to a level where it's an actual (singleplayer-like, if you will) game with MMO properties (massive, multiplayer, online, persistent world, continuously added content etc.)

4RM3D:
And while on the subject:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?
- Are you still playing it?
- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?
- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

- Does beta count? If so, Firefall. Seemed fun and a step in the right direction, but could still do better. If betas don't count, GW2. Just got bored as I do with any other hotkey MMO.
- Nope
- WoW. 5 solid years, if not more.
- Nope, none catch my interest. They're all too stuck up trying to use the obsolete WoW model or just aren't really interesting (case with Firefall). I'm waiting for a game-changer and hoping the new console generation might inspire some bigshots to try something new, but from the look of the industry right now, I'm expecting we'll see another 5 years at least of the same crap being regurgitated one way or another.

VanQ:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?
I got into the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn closed beta.

- Are you still playing it?
No, but I can't state why because it's still under non-disclosure.

I have played the original beta (FF XIV version 1.0 0.1). That was a huge disappointment. A half finished game with a myriad of trouble and bugs. Also, give a jump button, damn it! The game came out way too earlier. At least the monthly subscription was put on hold. Anyhow, Final Fantasy XI was much better.

PS. Also why was Final Fantasy XI not called Final Fantasy Online (and FFXIV FF Online 2)? It makes no sense whatsoever to call it XI. It was a stupid decision, IMO.

Epomis:
Large publishers certainly might be, but large publishers aren't the be-all, end-all of what makes an MMO.

The thing is MMORPGs are expensive and require a big budget. So we have to look to large companies for a grand MMORPG. Of course there are games like Realm of the Mad God. But those are far and few in between. And because they operate on a small budget a lot of cuts have to be made, which usually leads to a decrease overall quality. RotMG seems to be the soul exception.

Epomis:
Greed Monger ... They're going to monetize by selling in-game parcels of land that players can build on, they believe that will be more than enough to keep the game funded.

The real money thing kinda ruined Diablo 3. But that's a different story.

Epomis:
I'm kinda surprised that the OP mentioned Neverwinter but not that Pathfinder Online has been funded.

Yeah, I missed a few. I also forgot to mention Final Fantasy XIV.

World of Warcraft I've played obsessively. I'm not at the moment, but I'll probably go back after the last raid is released for Pandaria.

I've played a lot of MMOs before though. None seem to manage the level of polish WoW has though. It just can't be done, against a game that has about a decade of polish. The only way to really impact the MMO market is to actually innovate the market with something truly ground breaking, and I just don't see any developers doing anything drastically different with their games. Elder Scrolls Online at least does look a little interesting, but we'll see how it's launch goes.

Savagezion:
*snip*

But it isn't Blizzard's (WoW) fault that every company wants to be like them. Like I said, companies thought they found a gold mine. But they didn't dig deep enough and now they are left with nothing.

SpunkeyMonkey:
The trouble with MMORPG for me is that so many fell in love with the idea behind it, without realizing the reality was far from what they were actually looking for - namely a suped up, table-top RPG experience.

Dungeons & Dragons Online should have been like that with a huge toolkit for dungeon masters to create an unique scenario for fellow players. There each dungeon is controlled by a real person, not a boss NPC. But alas, it was not so. It didn't work out.

The idea is nice though.

ItsNotRudy:
Dota, LoL, HoN etc are not MMORPGS but MOBAS.

I know. That's why I said: "though technically not a MMORPG". I just couldn't remember the right acronym 'MOBA'.

That Hyena Bloke:
What are you talking about? I'm seeing more players on my server than ever before, and I haven't found a source for this sort of claim, only biased articles that used quote mining to misrepresent AreaNet's statements.

There were a few articles floating around. This one is from The Escapist:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.402677-Guild-Wars-2-May-Be-The-End-Of-The-Franchise

4RM3D:

Dungeons & Dragons Online should have been like that with a huge toolkit for dungeon masters to create an unique scenario for fellow players. There each dungeon is controlled by a real person, not a boss NPC. But alas, it was not so. It didn't work out.

The idea is nice though.

Yeah, shame but I like to think that somehow - when gaming swings back towards being more of an art form than a money-spinner, and real gamers become more prevalent in games development once again - they'll return to that idea and perfect it, as opposed to laying the foundations then just seeing how much money they can milk from it.

4RM3D:
And while on the subject:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?
- Are you still playing it?
- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?
- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

- I played Final Fantasy XI for about 7 years. It was great, I loved the stories and even though I quit about three years ago I'm still in contact with the people I played with.

- I'm not still playing it. I was forced to quit because I moved to a place where my Internet connection wasn't stable enough to run an MMO properly, but even when I came back I just didn't have time to play it anymore. I'm tempted to go back because there's a new expansion coming out, but I'd have to start back from level 1 at this point and there's just no way I can do that right now.

- Again, Final Fantasy XI.

- I'm tempted to start Final Fantasy XIV in the summer once I get better Internet at my apartment. I'll have to see what sort of work I'm doing then, but the reason I'm willing to go to that instead of XI is because my XI friends are there, and because it's still new starting at level 1 won't be so difficult. I believe the beta just happened for the game's re-release.

4RM3D:
And while on the subject:
- What is the last MMORPG you have played?
- Are you still playing it?
- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?
- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

In the same order:

- The Secret World

- Sporadically, though Natural Selection 2 is stealing my time. Though I do have a life time sub to TSW.

- Corum Online, really really old Korean Final Fantasy/ Diablo 2 workalike.

- World of Darkness by CCP. As a guild leader I am however obligated to assess Elder Scrolls Online and ArcheAge too. My (really awesome and well developed) instincts tell me however that TESO will be shallow shit (much like Rift) and that ArcheAge will give way too much advantage to alpha and beta players who have already been playing the damn thing for 2 years.

4RM3D:

What do you think of the state of MMORPGs these days?

I wouldn't really know to be fair. I've searched around a bit for a new MMO to play, but never found one I liked enough to settle.

4RM3D:

- What is the last MMORPG you have played?

I tried Dragonica but didn't like it after a few days. It really lacked content, Ideas and community.

4RM3D:

- Are you still playing it?

Nope

4RM3D:

- Which MMORPG have you spend the most time on?

Maplestory Europe. I played it for about 3-4 years since its beta. It was originally a very tough, hardcore grind fest that had great mechanics, was user friendly, an awesome community and fairly original to boot. I was rank 1 for my class during the time I played. Unfortunately, over time, the company who owned it became money grabbing dickwads and forced so much of the core elements of the game towards micro payments. They neglected the user base and let the game become overrun with hackers, advertisements and currency sellers. After a big patch a few years ago it also became incredibly easy which took all form of challenge and fun out of it for me.

I will say though, I have made some great friends from that game. Many of whom I keep in contact with and still visit them.

4RM3D:

- Are you looking forward to any new MMORPG?

Not really. I'm not a responsibility-free kid anymore. MMO's are such a time baron and I just don't have that sort of freedom in real life to dedicate a few years to a game. I'd rather just play game in my own time without the feeling that "I need to be playing it right now or I could be falling behind/missing out"

4RM3D:

That Hyena Bloke:
What are you talking about? I'm seeing more players on my server than ever before, and I haven't found a source for this sort of claim, only biased articles that used quote mining to misrepresent AreaNet's statements.

There were a few articles floating around. This one is from The Escapist:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.402677-Guild-Wars-2-May-Be-The-End-Of-The-Franchise

That's actually exactly what I was talking about. The article is rather poorly written and misses the point they were making. GW2 isn't creating expansions or a sequel, but WoW doesn't have a sequel either after more than ten years. The quotes from AreaNet were talking about how they're focusing on their living world approach to the game, which has actually been quite successful. You should also keep in mind that GW2 hasn't even been out for a year yet, talking about sequels is extremely premature for an MMO.

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