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Taking the P out of MMORPGs

Inspired by the recent cancellations of both Mythica and URU Live, Flood of games, too few players cause change in online realm (thanks [In Praise of Ammo]LadyCatra & [In Praise of Ammo]Stormalong) is a Boston Globe article with reflections on what may be an overestimation of the demand for more online games.

33 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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33. Re: More of the same?! Feb 20, 2004, 10:35 osaurus
Uri live was a total ripoff, they had nothing working and after a month of waiting i reported ubisoft to the California state attn. gen. and told them i'd sue the next day i recieved this
From: Add to Address Book
Subject: Official Invitation to D'ni
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 09:34:19 -0000

Dear stephen,

Lucky you. The DRC has bestowed their blessing on you (thanks to a little "help" from myself), and you're invited down to D'ni officially. For you, that means access to the areas that they've been holding back "for safety reasons." You'll get to the city, you'll see the neighborhoods, and hopefully you'll meet the others who are coming down. The numbers are still limited, but they are increasing every day.

For me, I hope your going down to D'ni means another supporter to fight for our cause. Remember me if things ever come to the point of choosing sides.

Have fun, and I'll be seeing you around. Watch yourself.

- Zandi

P.S.: Our partners at Ubisoft want me to tell you two things: (1) Your link to Uru Live in the game "front end" menu should now work just fine, and (2) Help and support is available at
i had already learned what they were up to so i so i never clicked on this invite.

This comment was edited on Feb 20, 10:37.
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32. Re: No subject Feb 20, 2004, 02:37 Awesome Spume
There was some game mentioned on Blues earlier in the week that was going for Permadeath. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Death of a character can often lead to cancellation of an account. For instance losing your body in Everquest can mean months of work down the drain. OTOH it would make for an incredibly engaging game. Actual death, as opposed to incapacitation would have to be pretty hard, eg in SWG something may knock you out then wander off and leave you to recuperate. Something else may finish you off.

If everyone starts with 1000 gold, and we're basing the economy on real dollars/euros then that money entering the economy has to be accounted for by part of your initial payment. ie it can't just appear out of nowhere. Ideally we want an exchange rate - game dollar against real dollar that favours the game devs slightly but not massively. ie if you make 1000 gold, you cn exchange that for $4.00. If you want to buy 1000 gold, it'll cost you $5.00. Nothing can drop gold, but you'll also earn a small amount of gold each month - based on your subscription payment. This would do away with ebay and give devs a direct cut of the action. If someone has a cool sword for sale at 10000 gold, you agree to buy it, either from your own reserves or you fork over fifty bucks to get it. The seller then takes that gold and cashs it in for 40 bucks. Game makes 10 bucks and the players have a secure and easy transaction. So long as nothing drops gold and gold can only be gained from other players the economy will mirror the real world economy. You don't need ebay.

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31. Re: Fun MMO Design Feb 19, 2004, 22:05 ULTRAS
Interesting, I did a search on Google and came up with a blank page on EB for an online game due out at the end of the year. Sounds interesting, I will take your advise Sam, thanks.


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30. Fun MMO Design Feb 19, 2004, 19:49  SamPenguin 
Must... resist... urge... to... shamelessly... promote...

bah screw it. Seems like every day there's another thread like this one... so...

Ultras, there are a few developers that agree with you. Ever heard of Auto Assault, a vehicular combat MMO set in a post-apocalyptic theme? It was announced only once in a press release years ago under the name Wreckage. If not, keep your eyes peeled in the next few months leading up to E3. I have a feeling it will be up your alley.

Man, I can't wait for the screenshots to hit

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29. Re: Huh? Feb 19, 2004, 19:31 f13
ragnarok online is fun! i was tempted to pay for a month..

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28. Price Plan Changes Needed Feb 19, 2004, 19:19 ThirdStarr
In order for the MMORPG's to regain peoples interest again someone is gonna have to create a game that has a good to excellent rating as far as game content and then change the price plan to a lower price. This concept is what changed the ISP wars and forced companies like AOL, Prodigy and several other companies that are now out of business, because they had sub-par service at high prices to change.

I'm sure not everyone agrees but this is only the observations of someone who has been in the industry since Pong.

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27. No subject Feb 19, 2004, 19:14 Nonicknameforme
Permadeath, along with real cash for game cash as an option. Give everyone 5 lives, and 1,000 bucks/gold/credits/penisknives and let them go at it. You'd see more immersive roleplaying and more realistic socitiys than is ever going to be possiable in the carebear treadmill world that Verant and SoE have created. You think E-Bay is popular now...

"I'm too much of a narcisist to really hate stupid people."
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26. No subject Feb 19, 2004, 17:49 ULTRAS
The demand is there, what most of these companies have just totally missed upon is what most people looks for...innovation. Remember that? 95% of these companies play follow the leader (EQ). Wake up people, EQ was one of the FIRST online game to offer 3D graphics along with immersion...they have no special "magic" to them, they don't have that "special formula" they were simply, hear this loud and clear please, simply there at the RIGHT time and PLACE in this genre...that's it!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that they brought nothing to the table, on the contrary, they were innovated through using most of what UO had come up with, but creating a more immersive world with 3D instead of sprites.

How bout stop creating online games that follow EQ's formula with just some minor changes and innovate? Why not bring back "fun" into the equation? Remember fun? The entire reason you played such a game? Is it that hard to make a fun game? ( lol, I am sure it is, but hell I'm not devoting my career to it either...)

Here's a simple formula to all the big shot companies out there creating or even thinking about creating an online RPG, and I'll give this advise for FREE even.

Make the game FUN. Don't make everyone that play's the game go through the carrot on a stick routine. Sure there are some people( what's wrong with you people?) that enjoy that so create some major content to satisfy that bunch, but don't make us all go through tiresome grinds with next to little rewards. Your game should allow me and my buddy to log on, play for 1-2 hours and find that cool crystal of which once we have 10( or whatever) we can go get that uber sword or armor, let us feel like we accomplished something in our limited amount of time. Speaking of buddies, don't create a game that MAKES me have to go through the laborious routine of finding a group of strangers to group with just because my buddy decided to hang out with his wife, get rid of that crap. Groups should only EVER be necessary for quests, that's it, never should I need a group for anything else, ever. If I want to group, I will, you dont need to make some special bonus in order for me to do it, I just will. Plain and simple. I want to be able to solo crap all the way through to the level caps if I want to, is there no way to satisfy both groups and solo artists? Surely you guys who devote your entire work week to this can think of something creative? Make leveling easy, why should I play a game for a year and still feel like I can barely handle the mid level content, hell, I could be promoted to top-dog at Burger King before I can make it to a respectable position in the fake worlds during the same amount of time. Make it just take a couple of months for the average player to reach the level cap, create content mostly for that level cap and use perma deaths so you can keep it dangerous( again, surely you have enough time and creative talent to make this sort of this viable, come on. Speaking of jobs, these are games people NOT second part time jobs, you hear me? I don't want to log on to...grind...I pay to have fun remember? FUN.

If this sounds like I am a bit upset, you got me. I can't stand the fact that there are people who have what I would consider a dream job and use most of their time devising ways to keep us addicted to the game instead of devising ways to keep us having fun in the game, what are you people smoking? I love these types of games but dam it I cannot justify paying after a few months just to torture myself with some unfun grind for hours, days, weeks, months...just so I can go kill some dragon in some cave who is just a different color than the lizards I used to kill at first level only bigger! Whew....glad I got this off my chest, sure hope it helps. It surely helped me, heh.


This comment was edited on Feb 19, 17:57.
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25. No subject Feb 19, 2004, 17:44 Nonicknameforme
When they take the Suck out of MMORPG's I'll play them agian.

"I'm too much of a narcisist to really hate stupid people."
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24. demand Feb 19, 2004, 16:19 Jerry S Ku
Demand is not the problem. I think the main problem is that game companies are essentially FORCING you to choose only ONE MMO to play. The subscription rates of 15/month are far too expensive to allow MMO fans to play several MMO games at once. So if you look at it this way, the MMO industry is damaging itself by asking people to stick to just one game.

MMOs usually say their rates are expensive to pay for server costs and what not. I'm highly suspicious of this claim, but if true, I think the MMO companies need to figure out a way to have player-run servers instead. Half-Life and other FPS games have thousands of servers that are entirely payed for by fans themselves. I forget the calculations I made, but millions of dollars every year are forked out voluntarily by generous server admins who simply love the game. Maybe MMO companies could make a deal where the game is run on many player-owned servers, but they still get some sort of money from the subscription rate.

I'm not an MMO fan myself, but primarily because I simply can't stand playing just one game of any genre for very long, and paying a sizeable chunk to do so.

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23. No subject Feb 19, 2004, 15:47 Nonicknameforme
I dunno about that UO game, it still seems based around getting phatlewt to kill mobs to get more phatlewt. You won't see me impressed with mmo's until I can load the game up, actualy speak to an npc. Have said npc understand me, get pissed off, slap me in the face, and I feel the blow. That goes for other games too, to a point but agian its mostly directed at mmo's because they charge monthly fees. I'll lower my standards for awhile, but not for any great legenth of time. Usually just enough to get the game beat, maby twice if its expecially engaging.

"I'm too much of a narcisist to really hate stupid people."
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22. Re: mmouw Feb 19, 2004, 15:31 Steele Johnson
Actually, Ultima X: Odyssey is the only mmorpg coming out in the near future that will at least try to raise the bar (well, nudge IMO).

If you read the FAQ, you'll see what I mean (i.e. interactive combat, group teleport, instancing, etc).

Avatar 12787
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21. No subject Feb 19, 2004, 15:12 Nonicknameforme
I have to say, a Sim's type game that used real cash as the basis for its economy would rake in more money than God. I would never even be tempted to play, but who cares, the example of ring tones and txt messages are sucinctly accurate. This would create a stable foundation to allow truely creative and original games to be made, because frankly they could afford the risks with that much bank. So, I want a job on this project, alright? I promise to be a good corporate executive!

"I'm too much of a narcisist to really hate stupid people."
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20. Re: Haden Blackman is an Ass Feb 19, 2004, 15:11 PropheT
Average people don't want to live in Star Wars, they want to live in the real world where you just play games to kill time or have fun for a little while.

SWG appeals mostly to people who want to live in an MMO and spend all their time there.

Also, SWG has sold a lot of copies but their subscriber base, as far as I've seen, has never been what EQ's is.

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19. Re: More of the same?! Feb 19, 2004, 14:32 DrEvil
If anyones interested, visit if you want to get a free MMORPG. Free to download and free to play.

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18. Re: More of the same?! Feb 19, 2004, 14:06 fujiJuice
It's possible poor netcode was the reason, but I don't think such an ambitious project would be cancled by something that has the potential to be fixed.

I recall URU Live site indicating a lack of warm bodies as the reason. Of course the only people who really know are Cyan.

Avatar 14675
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17. Re: More of the same?! Feb 19, 2004, 14:01 Rebian
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they also cancel Uru's online capability because the devs had no clue how to make decent netcode? What I hear from the beta testers was that it was buggy as hell and would have taken months more to be even playable. I would think that would factor, keeping it in would have meant another few months of dev's milking paychecks.

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16. Re: New ideasfor on-line games Feb 19, 2004, 14:01 fujiJuice
I tried out the public beta test of There. While not exactly something I was interested in, I thought they had a very unique, and potentially lucrative way of managing your character, somewhat similar to what you were talking about. You pay say $5 dollars and get 500 game dollars (I forget the real exchange rate). Then you had the ability to buy your character clothes, a house, stuff like that.

I can see where people would be interested in that to the point of forking over many dollars to create an online alter ego to forget your lackluster real life one.

This comment was edited on Feb 19, 14:02.
Avatar 14675
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15. mmouw Feb 19, 2004, 14:01 f13
someone should make a massively multiplayer ultima underworld game.

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14. Re: More of the same?! Feb 19, 2004, 13:55 DDI
I was just reading the Worlds of Warcraft preview on Gamespot.. they aren't doing anything new there either. Same stuff that has been around since UO. However their questin system sounds great. But I wish combat was more interesting in MMORPGS. Some kind of action point system that recharges letting you queue up different moves which are effective vs different types of monsters etc.

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33 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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