MMOs differ in a multitude of ways from their single player cousins. One could easily argue that the most prominent difference between MMOs and non-MMOs is the potential lifespan. Single player games will typically last somewhere in 15-80 hour range. On on the flip side, some people have been playing MMORPGs like Ultima Online for over 15 years. The content that keeps players hooked in MMOs is typically referred to as the endgame. This is where characters engage in PvE raids, PvP battlegrounds, crafting high end gear, or doing some other activity where the ‘real game’ begins.
Typical MMO endgame raids take hours or days of playtime to reach
The unfortunate truth is that MMORPGs are not games that are going to be around forever. They’re reliant on developers to continually maintain and support their servers, and eventually there comes a day when that is no longer economically viable and the game is shut down forever.
Short of that, aging and unpopular games can slide into “maintenance mode,” where the servers are still running but new content and updates are no longer produced. Such a game will be abandoned by all but a small core of devoted fans, and even they may not last forever.
This knowledge can be a source of anxiety for MMO players. When wondering whether to invest time into a game, one may wonder how much longer it’s likely to operate and receive… Continue reading
Like many, I played Overwatch during the free weekend. Tyler Bro already discussed his thoughts regarding Overwatch, and I don’t have that much to add regarding its core gameplay. What I do have to add is an observation that really surprised me about the Overwatch community itself from my several hours of playing. No, they weren’t bullies, miscreants, bossy types, trolls, jokers, or fan bois. They were something much worse. They were silent.
Will you brave the silence and talk in Overwatch?
Overwatch arguably entices players to communicate more than any of its previous titles. The potential for coordinated teamplay is so deep that it should inherently encourage communication. Blizzard has done their part… Continue reading
Every MMORPG currently available employs some method of grinding for advancement. And it doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way.
Grinding is the act of completing (typically repetitive) tasks primarily or solely for the purpose of character advancement by expending minimal effort. If the reason you are questing, killing mobs, chopping trees, or raiding dungeons is for ph4t l00t, levels, or to breach some gated activity then it’s grinding. Don’t get me wrong. I know some people like grinding. Grinding can be relaxing. Meditative even. But the entire market is saturated with grinding-centric MMORPGs so we really could use a game with a different approach.
The difficulty developers typically run into when combating grinding is keeping character progression alive. Many would say this is… Continue reading
Blizzard Entertainment is currently running a free open beta for their hotly anticipated new sci-fi shooter, Overwatch, which is due for release later this month. It’s shaping up to be a strong PvP game… but that’s all it is.
Overwatch consists entirely of competitive 6v6 matches played out over a handful of very similar capture-based game modes. It offers nothing else whatsoever. For a company as large and storied as Blizzard, that seems strangely unambitious, and the closer one looks at the missed opportunities of Overwatch, the more one begins to wonder if the game is missing the mark.
Actively playing a new MMORPG has really got me thinking about how I spend my time. Although I love the concept of virtual worlds I tend not to stick around very long because mechanics tend to feel very rehashed. Black Desert Online does rehash a lot of typical Korean features such as heavy grinding and the worship of RNGesus. It also brings a lot of new or underutilized features into the fold, which is why I’ve stuck around. One of these features is away from keyboard (AFK) progression. Creating a proper AFK MMORPG isn’t easy though as a game needs to balance automated progression with an actual reason to play.
In Black Desert Online players can engage in a few activities that progress their character even while they’re… Continue reading