Although Pokemon Go isn’t advertised as an MMO, both experts and players have noted it does present some interesting similarities: Both have tons of players on servers where player locations are tracked. Both games task players with interacting with AI and (in simple ways) other players. And the game worlds in both are directly impacted by player action (remember, Pokemon Go is based on the Ingress map that was sourced out to the players). Being an MMORPG site, we’ve talked about socialization and how it relates in particular to our genre. However, much like other modern MMOs, PoGo can lead to the sort of “alone together” situation that seems to eternally threaten our genre’s relevance — indeed, its existence. Out-of-game communities Pokemon Go from the outside appears to have a thriving community. Like World of Warcraft, PoGo is based on a mainstream IP that’s been applied … [Read more...] about Exploring real-life PUGs, the Plus, and the antisocial nature of Pokemon Go
Whose goings forth are from eternity
My husband and I reaching max level at the same time. Sure, I *could* insert a dirty joke here...but I won't. That’s right, we are one of THOSE couples. The kind that controls their experience gain so they can do the big ding together and take screenshots of the occasion to look back and go “aww” and say “sweetheart, do you remember when?” and all that lovey dovey crap. So saccharine and sickly sweet, guaranteed to rot your teeth and make bystanders want to throw buckets of cold water at us! The journey to level 50 took almost two months playing at a medium, semi-casual pace. In terms of total time played, it took approximately 6 days and 4 hours. I’d say Trion did a pretty good job of pacing the game; it’s a pretty reasonable time frame — not too long and not too short. On the other hand, I’m sure if I hadn’t been constrained by a pesky spousal leveling contract, I might have hit the levelcap sooner. See, I think I’m … [Read more...] about Rift: Ding! Level 50!
Do you believe that time travel is possible? It most certain is in the realm of fantasy virtual worlds. Legacy servers from many early MMORPGs are popping up all over the world. Recently, I had the privilege to take a time machine and travel back to Azeroth exactly the way it was back in November of 2004 on the Elysium vanilla WoW server. Since then I have been enchanted and captivated yet again by the enthralling World of Warcraft MMORPG. This was all made possible by the hard work and dedication of the Elysium vanilla WoW team. Why are legacy servers so popular? It’s very simple. After years of bad design decisions made more out of concern for growing the demographic to increase profits than for the good of the game, the current version of World of Warcraft comes off as a pitiful shadow of its former self. Like a cheap knockoff of a Rolex watch sold by a street vendor, the WoW of today is WoW in name only. Over the years, WoW has been continually dumbed down and degraded … [Read more...] about The Majesty of Elysium’s Vanilla World of Warcraft
This week’s Overthinking topic comes from longtime MOP reader and commenter Sally Bowls. It’s about monetization, but it’s a nuanced argument we don’t see all that many people making. “Does ‘buyable in game’ change the monetization argument? For example, there is a $20 (sigh I’m old, make that $1000) mount in the ca$hshop. But you can also earn ‘gold’ in-game to acquire it. One one hand, $0 players can still get the mount, so their complaints are not that they can’t have it, just that they would feel better if others don’t. Which I have always thought of as shallow; drive a nice car because you like it, not because your neighbors don’t have one as nice. On the other hand, at some point, it feels like a sham – if the $20 item takes 400 hours of grinding to get or worse, each hour of grinding gives you a .25% chance of the item. I join the social media consensus: ‘also buy it with gold’ is a … [Read more...] about Massively Overthinking: If an MMO item is buyable with gold, does that excuse its presence in the cash shop?
With all the controversy swirling around lockboxes and other monetization strategies, I see an increasing number of people pining for the day when subscriptions were the standard business model for online games. I think it might be time for a reminder of how we ended up here. There’s a reason that free to play and buy to play are now the norm, and it’s not that developers are conducting an evil international conspiracy to make us lockbox addicts. It’s that subscriptions failed as a model, and they failed because people realized there are better options. For all the flaws of other business models — and oh boy, they do have them — none are quite so bad a deal for the player as a monthly subscription fee. I firmly believe it is the worst business model for an MMORPG. Let’s look at all the ways subs ill-serve players, and please note that for the purposes of this article, “subscription” refers only to games that require a regular fee in order … [Read more...] about Subscriptions Are Still the Worst Business Model