The World of MMOs
INSIDER ESPORTS - Kai sits down and talks about Massive Multiplayer Online games.
Once upon a time, I’m sure everyone has played older MMO games such as Runescape or EverQuest or even the not so old Guild Wars. These were and some still are great games depending on the age group and what kind of games you’re into.
EverQuest had set the standards pretty high, but the standards of MMOs have been set even higher since the release of World of Warcraft. Few companies have tried to make games that are better than Warcraft and even fewer succeed at making a game that can compete with Blizzard for it’s players.
World of Warcraft was released in 2004 and now has over 11.5 million monthly players. The game has two expansions, the Burning Crusade and the Wrath of the Lich King. It is estimated to hold about 62% of the MMO population. The scary part about this is that there are rumors floating around that Blizzard plans on making another MMO.
Warhammer Online was released a few months ago and prior to release was hyped to be one of the games that could take the glory from Warcraft. While I don’t believe it has taken that glory, I do believe it is able to compete with Blizzard for its players.
What makes a good MMO game good?
It’s simple really. A big map that allows for exploration, two different factions with many different races and classes to compete with each other, quests and achievements, a storyline, and of course PvP, and PvE servers.
PvP (Player vs. Player) is pretty self-explanatory. It’s an environment where the user can attack another player from the opposite faction. PvE (Player vs. Environment) is where the user can only attack computer-controlled opponents.
What’s one thing that we’ve seen in common between all successful MMOs?
It has a good storyline and history that players of other genres can relate to. World of Warcraft had the Warcraft RTS series along with its lore; Warhammer Online had Warhammer Fantasy.
The only exception that needs to made is Lord of the Rings Online which although has many players playing it, isn’t that great of a game.
At E3 last week, we saw the announcement of two new MMOs – Final Fantasy XIII and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Personally, I’m excited for both games.
Final Fantasy is one of those games that have had a long history, which includes other FF games and movies (Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children). It’s also going to bring something rarely seen. An online MMO game to be played on either the PS3 or the Xbox 360.
As for Star Wars: The Old Republic, it too has a long history, which includes the six Star War movies, books, and video games. The story takes place thousands of years before Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. This Star Wars game seems like a game that could involve expansions over a span of a few years to give it a chance to move along the story.
What other games can we expect to be turned into MMOs in the future?
Well judging from where these successful MMOs are coming from, I can only make assumptions. It is very likely we may see a Halo MMO sometime in the future and possibly a more modern realistic MMO that involves modern day weapons.
All these games that were named were P2P (pay to play) games, but there are lot of F2P games too. Most of the better F2P (free to play) MMOs come from countries in Asia. Ragnarok Online, FlyFF, and other MMOs whose names escape me at the moment.
It seems that every continent produces more of one specific type of genre than another. North America seems to produce more First Person Shooters while Asia seems to produce more MMOs whether they are F2P or P2P.
The problem no matter what the genre of the game is addiction. Many teens and even adults find themselves sitting in front of their monitor or TV playing these games for hours. There are ways of course to moderate your playing time, but many players still find themselves playing for longer than they would like.
I will admit that I use to be one of these people. I use to play games whether MMO or FPS (Counter Strike mainly) for hours and hours until I couldn’t take it anymore.
Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung once said, “Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.”