We’re here. The last day of Blaugust 2016. My goal was a new MMOBro post for every weekday of August and with this special edition topic, that goal will be reached.
At the beginning of Blaugust, Brian “Psychochild” Green and I began discussing a collaborative project. We went back and forth on a number of topics, occasionally getting sidetracked by various design theories. Eventually we settled two opposing views for MMO servers. He’ll be taking the angle that multiple servers are best. I’ll be taking the stance that a single, monolithic server is best. Technically, monolithic servers are actually multiple server machines clustered together. So by monolithic vs. multiple servers, I mean in how it appears to the player. For multiple servers, think World of Warcraft. Each named… Continue reading
World of Warcraft is the beast that can’t be beaten. Well over a decade after launch, World of Warcraft has just released their sixth paid expansion pack. People like to point to declining numbers as the game’s demise, but populations naturally ebb and flow. The venerable MMORPG still boasts millions of monthly subscribers, a claim no other game can make. From all accounts, Legion will be the addictive experience people hoped for from Warlords of Draenor.
This massive success has been great for Blizzard but hasn’t been all rosy for the MMORPG landscape. Due to World of Warcraft’s success, certain design elements and player expectations have negatively impacted the genre as a whole… Continue reading
PvE (Player vs. Environment) systems in MMORPGs are systematically all very similar. Obviously some games deliver more enjoyable challenges from artificial intelligence than others. Yet the core gameplay boils down to the same objective: kill bad guys and take their loot. On the other hand, PvP (Player vs. Player) in MMORPGs vary widely by objective, scope, and type. Which PvP system is the best for MMORPGs? To some extent, this depends on the game. Arena combat is a better fit for World of Warcraft than Eve Online. That doesn’t mean arena combat is better than Eve Online’s free-for-all PvP combat. People seeking a PvP MMO typically come to the table with a vision in mind. To me, the best PvP systems for MMORPGs coincide with the experiences people see… Continue reading
American and Korean made MMORPGs dominate the market, as demonstrated by an earlier infographic on Which Country Makes the Best MMOs. Yet their paths to prominence have led to unique deviations. It’s easy for nationalists to say one is better than the other, but that’s largely subjective. It’s clear though that developers from these countries exhibit very different design decisions.
What appeals to one audience may not appeal to another. In the context of two countries on opposite sides of the world, most of that appeal has to do with the culture itself. This Google translated page of top Korean MMOs tells a different story than does our list of… Continue reading
Reputation grinds are one of the most common types of MMORPG content — nearly all games have them in some form — and yet also one of the least beloved. They are, almost without exception, tedious chores with few if any fans. They’re something you do because you want the rewards at the end, never because the gameplay is compelling.
It doesn’t seem like it should be such a terrible thing. In theory, currying favor with NPC factions shouldn’t be any worse than any other type of content.
So why do reputation grinds suck so much, and what can be done to fix them?
You just started playing a new MMO or other online multiplayer game. You’re really excited and get to thinking how cool it would be to play with your friends. So what do you do to sell them on this newfound addiction? Do you tell them how awesome your rewards will be for recruiting them? Or do shower them with details about the game’s most attractive features? Unless you have a weird friend group, it’s probably more of the latter.
Until recently, MMOs and MOBAs only incentivized the recruiter and not the recruitee for participating in recruit a friend programs. It made little sense because the recruiter was already incentivized by wanting to play… Continue reading