Sunday, August 7, 2011

Trends in MMOs

I have seen many different trends recently in MMOs.  Some have greatly advanced games and some have set games back considerably.  Here is a list of current trends with my opinions on them:

1) Rated BGs - While this seems like a great idea and leads to a more competitive enviroment, the fact of the matter is if teams are equal, it comes up to either luck or gear, neither of which are great ways to determine a rated BG winner.  While arenas can be quickly changed by tactics, the tactics for rated BGs stay the same and it comes down to execution.  If excecution is equal on both sides, it comes down to luck or gear.  Opinion: Thumbs Down

2) Reputation Grinding - I know yesterday I complained about reputation grinding for Firelands.  The fact of the matter though is that games need reputation grinding.  It seperates those who are committed from those who play casually.  The issue I have is the style of grinding.  If you put your all in to it, between tabards, daily quest, etc., you should be able to hit the highest reputation with a faction relatively quickly, not 30 days.  Opinion: Thumbs Up

3) Looking for Dungeon - Any MMORPG that does not come with this standard will fail in the current state of MMOs.  This has been the biggest improvement in any game.  I remember trying to run BC and Wrath heroics with people.  It was a pain in the ass.  Even in Rift before they implemented the LFD, it was a pain in the ass.  This is a requirement for any successful MMORPG in these days.  Opinion: Thumbs Up

4) Add-Ons - If you are exclusively a WoW player, you may say that addons are a necessity to playing the game.  If you are exclusively a Rift player, you may say screw addons, just give me a highly customizable UI and I will be happy.  My opinion is that addons should not be a requirement.  If your UI makes it almost impossible to play without addons, that is a problem and is something that should be addressed.  Hell, free MMORPGs like Dungeons and Dragons Online have a more customizable UI then games you have to pay for.  Opinion: Thumbs Down

5) Free to Play - A lot of games are going free to play (F2P).  While I admire companies trying to increase their numbers, this is a false increase.  Sure, a F2P MMORPG may have 15 million players, but how many are actively playing.  Why do you think WoW implemented a F2P model up to level 20?  They have lost subscribers and want people to boost their numbers.  Going F2P is ok, but you have to do it for the right reason.  Unfortunately, a lot of companies are doing it for the wrong reasons.  Opinion: Thumbs Down

6)  In Game Money for Items Shops - Along with the F2P model is the implementation of spending real money for in game items.  You have two extremes for this.  One one hand, you have Blizzard selling pets and mounts in game.  On the other, you have Runes of Magic that allows you to buy nice gear, etc. for real money.  While I'm ok with paying money for pets and mounts, if any MMORPG goes to buying an advantage in a game however, that is where I draw the line.  Opinion:  Thumbs Down

7) Real Money Auction Houses - While not technically an MMORPG, Diablo 3 has announced a real money auction house to buy other players equipment.  While I like this idea better than the in game item shops, it falls along the same path.  People with more money will buy an advantage.  If Diablo 3 is successful with this, don't be surprised to see this in other MMORPGs.  The one thing I do like about this is that it benefits players selling as well as players buying. Opinion:  We will see after Diablo 3.

8) Guild Leveling/Challanges/Quest - This is probably the biggest change in the past year of MMORPGs and I love it.  This encourages guilds to run dungeons, raids, rifts, etc. together to get benefits.  It adds a whole new dimension to guilds that is incredible and makes it where you almost have to play with a guild.  And if you want to get anywhere in an MMORPG, you should be in a guild.  Opinion: Thumbs Up

9) Quest at the Start of the Dungeon - Yes, the good old days before LFD, you had to go through an entire quest chain just to get the quest that will take you into a dungeon.  Not anymore.  Usually, the quest you need for a dungeon are right inside the dungeon to begin with.  Especially while leveling, this makes it so much better to get good gear and gives a great incentive to stay queued in the LFD while leveling.  Opinion: Thumbs Up

10) World Events - It is so unfortunate that some games only have world events right before an expansion because world events are insanely fun.  They are a different type of daily quest that provide greater benefit and you actually feel like you are part of the world itself for once.  Opinion: Thumbs Up

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Note: This is pure speculation, please anyone reading this don't go batshit insane.

The real money AH with Diablo 3 is going to be a game changer. Blizzard isn't selling stuff on it, and honestly the advantage of money will only really be there for those who either have it to burn, or those who are savvy with the AH. They posted something about a free once a week post on the AH or something like that.

My real concern with it actually isn't people being able to spend their way to better gear. I want to know if Blizzard is anywhere *near* secure enough to handle monetary transactions like this. They're playing Bank of Blizzard with this, and they're going to get burned if they're not super careful with account security.

We're talking account security issues leading to REAL crime since it will be real money and not just virtual currency with no real meaning in court.