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General: MMOWTF: Console MMO Apocalypse

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member Common

Weekly MMORPG.com columnist Dan Fortier muses on the subject of MMORPGs for the next-gen consoles.

As online games become more commonplace and popular, we are seeing their growing influence in all sorts of unexpected and interesting places. We have already seen WoW on South Park and an animated Everquest Adventure cartoon (*shudder*), so frankly I'm sure that we can expect a lot more exposure for the genre in the years to come. This week I'm going to focus on another way that MMOs are pushing their way out of their perceived niche. With several MMO titles now being announced for the 'next-gen' consoles, I figured it was time to weigh in on the matter with a typically obtuse offering.


Console systems have generally shied away from any titles that exposed their weakness over their PC counterparts and concentrated on games that were much easier to play with a controller. While every so often a deep and interactive title, like Morrowind, would find its way to the controller geeks, games that required a massive amount of options have been the domain of the PC platform since their inception. Anyone that remembers the tedious button combinations required to give orders to your wing men in either of the Super Nintendo's 'Wing Commander' games will know exactly what I'm talking about. Of course, all this is starting to change slowly as the newest crop of titles are finding it useful to bundle multi-player and internet features to keep up with the online revolution.

Read the whole article here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • fansedefansede Raleigh, NCPosts: 960Member Uncommon

    You bet these big developers want their MMOS on consoles. The Console gaming market dwarfs the PC market. MMO developers want a piece of that pie.

    Anyone out there have any numbers on how well Everquest Adventures is doing?

    It will be interesting to see how AoC will be when it launches on XBox.

  • ItaniusItanius Phoenix, AZPosts: 136Member

    Money talks! We're all naive if we think this WON'T happen.

     

    However, I don't necessarily agree with the idea that all MMO's that have console access will be "dumbed down" to accomodate. THAT just may be a fatal mistake some of the developers may make, if they decide to do so.

  • DistilerDistiler BarcelonaPosts: 416Member

    Enjoyed the read thanks!

    Once one tastes what a mmorpg can reach (EvE, SWG, etc) every "criple" or simplification to cater the masses generally makes the genre involution. Sadly market just goes where the big pocket is and just a bunch of indi corporations keep alife. I find hard to think in a true mmorpg without specific "social" peripherals (keyboard, mouse, etc.)

  • SonofSethSonofSeth ZagrebPosts: 1,884Member Uncommon

    When money talks it  SCREAMS!

    image

  • Ransom73Ransom73 Somewhere, NHPosts: 227Member

    Considering that the xbox360 will recognize a keyboard/mouse, your worries about an MMO being 'dumbed' down for the 'simpler' controller is naive, ignorant, and unfounded. I don't know if a PS3 won't recognize it (I don't own one), but I would be very surprised if it didn't.

    You would do well to be a tad bit more informed before writing a sky is falling article such as this....

    Edit: As long as the MMO being coded for a 360 or PS3 is written from the get go to take advantage of the 360's/PS3's ability use a kb/mouse, there will be no worries.

  • KylrathinKylrathin Rockford, ILPosts: 426Member

    Originally posted by Ransom73


    Considering that the xbox360 will recognize a keyboard/mouse, your worries about an MMO being 'dumbed' down for the 'simpler' controller is naive, ignorant, and unfounded. I don't know if a PS3 won't recognize it (I don't own one), but I would be very surprised if it didn't.
    You would do well to be a tad bit more informed before writing a sky is falling article such as this....
    Edit: As long as the MMO being coded for a 360 or PS3 is written from the get go to take advantage of the 360's/PS3's ability use a kb/mouse, there will be no worries.
    Overall, nice article, Stradden.

     

    In response to the above, the concern shouldn't be over whether or not a game is dumbed down for the simpler controller, but rather dumbed down for the simpler player.  People who already play MMOs on PC who also wish to play them on a console will have little difficulty, but you aren't the market the developers are shooting for.  You're already playing MMOs on your PC, why would they care whether or not you also play them on your PS3?  And just the fact that you play PC games at all shows that you can handle a more complex game.  The market they are going after is the pure console player, and the games do indeed need to be dumbed down to reach this audience.  Not just from a controller standpoint, but from a gameplay standpoint.  Do you think WoW could possibly get any simpler?  We're going to find out.

    There's a sucker born every minute. - P.T. Barnum

  • JYCowboyJYCowboy Northlake, TXPosts: 652Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Kylrathin


     
    Originally posted by Ransom73


    Considering that the xbox360 will recognize a keyboard/mouse, your worries about an MMO being 'dumbed' down for the 'simpler' controller is naive, ignorant, and unfounded. I don't know if a PS3 won't recognize it (I don't own one), but I would be very surprised if it didn't.
    You would do well to be a tad bit more informed before writing a sky is falling article such as this....
    Edit: As long as the MMO being coded for a 360 or PS3 is written from the get go to take advantage of the 360's/PS3's ability use a kb/mouse, there will be no worries.
    Overall, nice article, Stradden.

     

     

    In response to the above, the concern shouldn't be over whether or not a game is dumbed down for the simpler controller, but rather dumbed down for the simpler player.  People who already play MMOs on PC who also wish to play them on a console will have little difficulty, but you aren't the market the developers are shooting for.  You're already playing MMOs on your PC, why would they care whether or not you also play them on your PS3?  And just the fact that you play PC games at all shows that you can handle a more complex game.  The market they are going after is the pure console player, and the games do indeed need to be dumbed down to reach this audience.  Not just from a controller standpoint, but from a gameplay standpoint.  Do you think WoW could possibly get any simpler?  We're going to find out.

    QFE

    Follow the money is the rule.   You can make the most involved complex but intrieging MMO in the market but it will remain a niche market holder as long as those that can/would enjoy it have to pay thier own Credit Card.  In other words, will the payer get the pleasure or thier children and of what value is it to that household.  The point of working a second job rings in here also.  Does the console masses want to work or play?  Good question is how indepth can a game go before it starts to turn hard working folks and casual players away, under the WOW effect?

  • aka_mythosaka_mythos Wayne, PAPosts: 23Member

    This shift give me mixed feelings. The general emphisis of consols are on casual play, something that isn't a trait of MMO's. It could be detrimental to the genre. I also see one issue with porting MMO's to consol: all the consols charge you to play online, but MMO's makers want to charge their own subscription, so would players be required to pay twice? And if they don't that will greatly hurt the MMO PC market, paying once to play all the online offerings of consols would be to promising to players but would pull moeny from developers.

     

  • DrowNobleDrowNoble Trenton, MIPosts: 1,296Member

    So Dan does read the posts here, nice to see his comment at the end commenting on something I said before.  

    Anyhoo, on topic...

    I don't think we will have to worry too much about any MMOG's being dumbed down for a console.  The companies will probably figure if you're willing to fork up $500 for the console then another $50 for a special keyboard won't be too big of a stretch.  I personally have no problem with playing with someone who was on a console over a PC, as long as he is given the tools needed to play effectively.  As Dan said, having to scroll through buttons to get the heal off would result in umm a lot of wipes to say the least.  

    Just someone tell Nintendo not to make Super Mario Online.....

  • vickykolvickykol Oakland, CAPosts: 105Member Uncommon

    There is historical precedent for what is being discussed in this article.  Hasn't anyone played FFXI (an MMORPG) or Oblivion (a single player game whose interface was dictated by being a dual-port game)?

    I do hope that the trend is for people to put keyboards on their consoles, rather than expecting me to pretend that I have a console and have to scroll through menus.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,699Member Uncommon

    Problem with MMO's on a console, the console owner has major expense to upgrade the console, more memory, hard disk, keyboard and optionally a mouse.

    Playing a MMO on a console out of a box is like tying both hands behind your back. 

    So yeah, you can do it, but not well.   MMO expose the weakness of the console system.

    Oh and AoC won't be out for the console market until 2nd qtr 08, 6-8 months after release on the PC.  If you want to play AoC, I would not wait for the console version.

  • SlaserXSlaserX Tempe, AZPosts: 37Member

    Now if developers ported more console-friendly titles over to console, they wouldn't have nearly as many issues.

     

    Imagine Dance!, Audition, Maple Story, Ghost Online, etc on a console? They would be _better_ than the PC versions.

  • UrdigUrdig ., DEPosts: 1,260Member

    I believe that consoles are going to be the driving force behind the developement of more FPS style MMO's.  Whether they be true FPS or quasiFPS. 

    I think that well see the number of abilities that characters play with begin to change as more and more dev. cross over to console ports.

    I just hope that it doesn't become MMO's porting from console to the PC. 

    I wish I could play my MMO's with a controller now.  Using a mouse and keyboard isn't much fun with nerve damage.  Controllers hurt less.

    Wish Darkfall would release.

  • boingedboinged LondonPosts: 161Member Uncommon

    I managed to play a few hours of Auto Assault with a Playstation-style joypad. I could control my car, use a small set of skills and target the nearest mob which is pretty much what I do with the mouse/keyboard. However, that is quite a simple, arcadey game and even for anything more complicated like crafting I'd need to use a pointer which is a pain to control with a pad.

    I share the same fear as other people - that my nice complicated GUI, possibly even the game, is going to be simplified to better fit a console. Graphics will need to work on a low-rez TV, not everyone has HD. Not everyone will have a keyboard and mouse either and I doubt it will be a requirement when so much more money can be made by allowing every console owner to play.

    What's more worrying is that I don't expect console players to be as sociable, again due to the input device problems. Even with a keyboard/joypad combo it will be too easy just to not bother typing. MMOs have already become casual-solo-friendly, and when it becomes acceptable to not even communicate with others then you're just playing a single player game on a server.

  • DownMonkeyDownMonkey Oh you know, that place., CAPosts: 159Member
    Originally posted by Ransom73

    I don't know if a PS3 won't recognize it (I don't own one), but I would be very surprised if it didn't.


    The PS3 will use a keyboard and mouse. It's very useful for the web browser and is required if you want to install Linux on it.

    image

  • ivan50265ivan50265 Des Moines, IAPosts: 67Member

    I wouldn't worry about it too much friends.  If you look at the PS3 and Xbox360 they are nothing more than little computers you plug into your tv.  Eventually Playstation and Xbox will be nothing more than competeing gaming systems much like Alienware or Dell XPS. Because eventually all the consolers are going to learn we can upgrade to newe technology where they have to wait until the new version of their console gets developed.  In the end they'll end up like us owning a computer whether it be plugged into a tv or a monitor will be about the biggest difference.

  • MordahMordah Oklahoma City, OKPosts: 199Member

    I have always thought that mixing PC and consoles could work if done properly.  As consoles get more advanced and begin to gain the capability to add keyboards and other standard PC peripherals I don't see any reason why they couldn't enter the MMO genre as well.  The only problem may be that many console players don't enjoy investing the long periods of time necessary to build a character in a traditional MMO.  Perhaps a compromise could be to allow console players to control premade characters in some situations such as support players in massive battles, premade chars in an arena or even controlling a boss npc in some dungeons.  That might give console players more instant gratification while allowing PC players the increased difficulty of playing against other humans as opposed to computer AI all the time.

  • DownMonkeyDownMonkey Oh you know, that place., CAPosts: 159Member
    Originally posted by ivan50265

    I wouldn't worry about it too much friends.  If you look at the PS3 and Xbox360 they are nothing more than little computers you plug into your tv.  Eventually Playstation and Xbox will be nothing more than competeing gaming systems much like Alienware or Dell XPS. Because eventually all the consolers are going to learn we can upgrade to newe technology where they have to wait until the new version of their console gets developed.  In the end they'll end up like us owning a computer whether it be plugged into a tv or a monitor will be about the biggest difference.


    I dunno what you're getting at here, the already are competing game systems. And modern consoles are a lot more than "little computers", they are dedicated machines which makes them very powerful in their own right. When games are written specifically for a certain console they always look wonderful, because they are being written for that specific piece of hardware, something you could never do with a PC.

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  • JheregJhereg University Place, WAPosts: 54Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DownMonkey

    Originally posted by ivan50265


    I wouldn't worry about it too much friends.  If you look at the PS3 and Xbox360 they are nothing more than little computers you plug into your tv.  Eventually Playstation and Xbox will be nothing more than competeing gaming systems much like Alienware or Dell XPS. Because eventually all the consolers are going to learn we can upgrade to newe technology where they have to wait until the new version of their console gets developed.  In the end they'll end up like us owning a computer whether it be plugged into a tv or a monitor will be about the biggest difference.
    I dunno what you're getting at here, the already are competing game systems. And modern consoles are a lot more than "little computers", they are dedicated machines which makes them very powerful in their own right. When games are written specifically for a certain console they always look wonderful, because they are being written for that specific piece of hardware, something you could never do with a PC.

    Sorry to disappoint you but consoles will never be able to compete at the same level as PC's.  PC's graphics are 25X times better, and the standard keyboard and mouse control movement is much faster than anything a console can do.  Even if they did hook them up to a console with USB, the pinpoint accuracy for a mouse on a PC and a mouse on a console doesn't even compare.  Unless they do something to the game or to the console itself to make it more high end then a PC will always beat a console in any game.

  • DownMonkeyDownMonkey Oh you know, that place., CAPosts: 159Member
    Originally posted by Jhereg

    Originally posted by DownMonkey

    Originally posted by ivan50265


    I wouldn't worry about it too much friends.  If you look at the PS3 and Xbox360 they are nothing more than little computers you plug into your tv.  Eventually Playstation and Xbox will be nothing more than competeing gaming systems much like Alienware or Dell XPS. Because eventually all the consolers are going to learn we can upgrade to newe technology where they have to wait until the new version of their console gets developed.  In the end they'll end up like us owning a computer whether it be plugged into a tv or a monitor will be about the biggest difference.
    I dunno what you're getting at here, the already are competing game systems. And modern consoles are a lot more than "little computers", they are dedicated machines which makes them very powerful in their own right. When games are written specifically for a certain console they always look wonderful, because they are being written for that specific piece of hardware, something you could never do with a PC.

    Sorry to disappoint you but consoles will never be able to compete at the same level as PC's.  PC's graphics are 25X times better, and the standard keyboard and mouse control movement is much faster than anything a console can do.  Even if they did hook them up to a console with USB, the pinpoint accuracy for a mouse on a PC and a mouse on a console doesn't even compare.  Unless they do something to the game or to the console itself to make it more high end then a PC will always beat a console in any game.



    I have a powerful PC and a PS3 so I'm not disappointed. I also code, very complex code. If I had to pick what I developed for it would be a X360, not a PC. You're missing the point entirely, it has nothing to do with power.

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  • RoyspiRoyspi mesa, AZPosts: 202Member

    As long as MMOs don't become more simplistic than they already are i dont mind games being released on consoles.

    what kills me are the upcoming FPS games being ported to PC and console (UT3 comes to mind). If you let everyone play together the pc users will destroy all the console players. Several console fps games give a slight auto aim too. If they put that in it will ruin the genre.

  • lemontreelemontree copenhagenPosts: 58Member

    I had my eyes set on AOConan untill i learned you have to use joypad to play. F''' that!...What an abomination.

    Im' a Pc snob and proud of it. 

  • havi0722havi0722 Joliet, ILPosts: 2Member

    It doen't make a lot of sense to want to play an MMO on a console if you're going to have to use a keyboard and a mouse anyways.  Part of the allure of console's is not being stuck at your computer.  There is a new keyboard attachment comming out for the 360 that may help though.  http://www.joystiq.com/2007/04/09/im-coming-to-xbox-360-keyboard-accessory-this-summer/

    The buttons look a bit small, but it might be a nice alternative from having kb/mouse cords running across your living room or having to slowly scroll through spells.

  • Firebird1Firebird1 Wichita, KSPosts: 222Member

    I gleefully await our brand new MMO Console overlords.  In fact that I have recently got a 360. It runs the advanced graphics that would slow down my computer much faster then my PC could.

     

    All I can say is that this should be an interesting Apocalypse...

  • BacchussBacchuss Nashville, TNPosts: 15Member

    I can't wait to see how it developes. In the end it will all turn out ok. I love video games!!!

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