Playing different games together
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 March 2014, 4:57 am
Imagine a game which consists of different parts, one part being soccer, the other chess, played on the same field. Presumably the soccer players would complain about the chess players being in the way, while the chess players would complain about not getting the quiet required for their moves. Looks like a bad idea overall. So why do MMORPGs insist of having this mix of totally different games? One of the most frequent complaints in MMORPGs is about other players "not doing it right", which in most cases is due to those other players simply playing a different part of the MMORPG. Talking in Bartle types, for an achiever, an explorer is "not doing it right", and a killer thinks the same about a socializer.

Wouldn't it be much better to separate parts of those games into new games, for example make a game just about raiding? Not only would you not be forced to play hundreds of hours or pay $60 to level up a character in order to raid, you would also presumably find only people actually interested in raiding in that game. Then for the people who like leveling up, we could have a very different game, in which leveling takes much longer, and where reaching the level cap unlocks new classes which you'd have to level up again.

If you look at great computer games, they usually concentrate on doing one thing very well. As soon as a game has several parts, the additional parts are usually not that good, or get in the way of the main game. By trying to be all things to all players, you only end up making nobody happy. We will see that probably next year, when EQ Next comes out. Right now people are very happy about EQN Landmark, which does only one thing and does it well. It isn't all that obvious if the concept is still that fun if it is dropped into a MMORPG in which lots of players have very different ideas about what the actual game is.

As an added advantage, reducing the scope of MMORPGs would also make them cheaper to produce. I think it would be financially more viable to make a focused game, which costs less, and stands out from the crowd of MMORPGs that all have the same bloated list of features.
Tobold's Blog



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