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General: The Sci-Fi MMO: The Present

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

In the second of a three part series, MMORPG.com's Bill Murphy explores the Sci-Fi sub genre of MMOs and looks at its present and where we stand today.

Last week we took a look at some of the major past players in the Science Fiction MMO landscape. While many fantasy-themed games have risen to prominence in the industry, for the most part Science Fiction settings haven't quite caught on as widely. Some of our community theorized that this could be in part due to the fact that Science Fiction doesn't lend itself as easily as Fantasy to these types of games. Whatever the reason for Sci-Fi's slow growth in the MMO space, it doesn't seem to be preventing developers from tackling the setting and trying to make their mark. This week we take a brief look at the landscape of Sci-Fi MMOs as it stands now, with several new releases making a debut this year and other classics holding strong amid the onslaught of "new & shiny".

Read The Sci-Fi MMO: The Present.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • sacredfoolsacredfool prague, TXPosts: 760Member Uncommon

    o.O The Secret World is more of a Horror alternate reality game then Sci Fi.



    Except for that, great article.


    Originally posted by nethaniah

    Seriously Farmville? Yeah I think it's great. In a World where half our population is dying of hunger the more fortunate half is spending their time harvesting food that doesn't exist.


  • Rockgod99Rockgod99 Manhatten, NYPosts: 4,640Member

    Sci-fi is more than just spaceships and laser guns. Check any sci-fi periodical and horror and other sub genres fit into it.

    If its not fantasy its sci-fi from Star wars to the Blob to Superman to Godzilla.

    Sci-fi is the future of mmorpg, fantasy has saturated this genre for far too long.

    image

    Playing: Rift, LotRO
    Waiting on: GW2, BP

  • ProcyonievProcyoniev ParisPosts: 8Member

     HI 2 points here to the writer of the article:

    1: anarchy online new engine is close to completion for further details just have a look here.

    2: you could have mentioned earthrise as a respectable challenger in terms of gameplay and depth.

     

    otherwise i appreciated the article.

    - censored -

  • shavashava Somerville, MAPosts: 282Member Uncommon

    It's kind of funny to see CCP praised for risk taking with Eve Online, and a few paragraphs later SOE bashed for taking risks with SWG.  Of course, the difference is not the risk taking, the difference is the quality of innovation and the agility of response to use requirements.

    Yrs

    Shava

  • MinscMinsc Burford, ONPosts: 1,271Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by shava


    It's kind of funny to see CCP praised for risk taking with Eve Online, and a few paragraphs later SOE bashed for taking risks with SWG.  Of course, the difference is not the risk taking, the difference is the quality of innovation and the agility of response to use requirements.
    Yrs

    Shava



     

    What risk? SOE changed SWG into a cookie cutter MMO with the NGE in hopes of pulling in people from games like WOW and EQ.

    The risk that CCP has taken is in unproven gameplay mechanincs.

    Big difference.

  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,301Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rockgod99


    Sci-fi is more than just spaceships and laser guns. Check any sci-fi periodical and horror and other sub genres fit into it.
    If its not fantasy its sci-fi from Star wars to the Blob to Superman to Godzilla.
    Sci-fi is the future of mmorpg, fantasy has saturated this genre for far too long.

     

    Completely true. I always look at Sci-Fi MMO's the way I used to look at the Alternity RPG system. It has one huge space opera setting called Star*Drive, but also a post-apocalyptic setting (Gamma World), and even a SF horror setting (Dark*Matter).

    Funny thing is that Dark*Matter gives the player the ability to play in both the past (1950's) to investigate odd things up to our current date and gives a more X-Files look & feel to the setting.

     

    Back on topic... The last paragraph (the future), William dropped a couple of names there, but I missed one: StarGate Worlds. Though it's almost dead, we still keep our hopes up for the release. With the recent release of StarGate Resistance, you never know if CME will gain enough money to stay alive and one day even release SGW...

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  • M4koM4ko afefasdfPosts: 385Member

     The author didnt really have any depth to this article, he seems to just join the hype of SCIFI mmos saving the MMORPGS.

     

    Where is EarthRise, where is Neocron?

  • dethduckdethduck Worcester, MAPosts: 21Member

    You know what?  I really appreciated this site a helluva lot better when it was just MMO News, reviews and previews.  Not so much now that it's glutted with these "articles" and opinion pieces.  Beginning to wonder why I keep coming here.

    image

  • MorningStarGGMorningStarGG Lamar, MOPosts: 394Member

    For one, Anarchy Online's engine overhaul is still being worked on. And for two, There is not a million accounts made for STO, they said that was a million Cryptic accounts, not only STO accounts.

     

    And finally, third, please research and get you facts straight MMORPG.com, this is the second day you have posted something without proper research or checking it for yourself. Credibility lost is harder to gain back then it is to lose it forever.

    Owner/Admin of GodlessGamer.com - Gaming news and reviews for the godless.

  • JestorRodoJestorRodo Albany, NYPosts: 2,834Member


    Originally posted by Minsc

    Originally posted by shava

    It's kind of funny to see CCP praised for risk taking with Eve Online, and a few paragraphs later SOE bashed for taking risks with SWG.  Of course, the difference is not the risk taking, the difference is the quality of innovation and the agility of response to use requirements.
    Yrs
    Shava


     
    What risk? SOE changed SWG into a cookie cutter MMO with the NGE in hopes of pulling in people from games like WOW and EQ.
    The risk that CCP has taken is in unproven gameplay mechanincs.
    Big difference.


    SOE changed in an effort to make dollars while CCP changed in an effort to make senses and at the end of the day, who is really who was richer for it?

    Unaware of the Jestor?
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  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,250Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by shava


    It's kind of funny to see CCP praised for risk taking with Eve Online, and a few paragraphs later SOE bashed for taking risks with SWG.  Of course, the difference is not the risk taking, the difference is the quality of innovation and the agility of response to use requirements.
    Yrs

    Shava

     

    I think the primary difference is that CCP took a risk in how they designed the game from the start; to this day it fundamentally plays the same as it did from day 1.  I doubt Dust will change how your ship targets, shoots, flies, etc.  Probably the biggest change it will make is in the economy, which sure, in a game like this one is pretty important. 

    SOE took SWG and fundamentally changed the way the game played after it had already been released for a couple years.  It's akin to taking a game like Call of Duty and forcing people to download a patch that makes it play like Fallout 3.  What you think of either game really doesn't matter, what matters is that you bought Call of Duty for a reason and likely wouldn't appreciate the change.

    Edit for better context.

  • ZilverrugZilverrug RandstadPosts: 132Member

    fun read!

    I wouldn't call the World of Darkness a Sci-Fi setting though...

    I think a something like "Dark Fantasy" would be more appropriate.

  • leafaeleleafaele odensePosts: 11Member

    Why is Ryzom never mentioned in all these sci-fi postings? It is, in my opinion, one of the best (and most underrated) mmorpgs out there.

  • astoriaastoria Silver Spring, MDPosts: 1,681Member

    this https://xsyon.com/ has features that sound too good to be true. I am still not sure if it is sci-fi or fantasy. Sounds like a sci-fi premise with a fantasy result a la Zicree's novel Magictime: Ghostlands where a techological disaster creates a magical rift. Or is it magic? or just a new science we don't understand? (review/summary below with my colored edits)

    Sounds like they might have a viable plan for a small dev house though - start with a small area, promise larger world as time goes on (and subs come in) but leave out details. Possibly, they will enlarge it as space is needed as resource 'nodes' can be depleted.

    In any case, bump & +1 for EVE, Fallen Earth, and Global Agenda - enjoyed or still enjoying them.

    "SF screenwriter Zicree (The Twilight Zone Companion) teams with Philip K. Dick Award–winner Wilson ...blah blah blah ..Since the Change, which nudged the universe into another dimension thanks to a U.S. government agency's snafu, unpredictable magic has replaced modern technology worldwide. Former New York lawyer Cal Griffin leads a courageous band out West in search of his sister, Tina, while another stalwart member of the group, Herman Goldman, looks forlornly for his lost sweetheart, Magritte. [meaningless sentence if you haven't read it] As Cal and company attempt to destroy the evil that caused the Change, the authors effortlessly move the action from New York to Chicago and the old West, where buffalo still roam, a few guns still fire and simulacra of Indians and Calamity Janes lend a helping hand. .... " Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

     

    "Never met a pack of humans that were any different. Look at the idiots that get elected every couple of years. You really consider those guys more mature than us? The only difference between us and them is, when they gank some noobs and take their stuff, the noobs actually die." - Madimorga

  • Shooter-90Shooter-90 Toronto, ONPosts: 100Member




    Originally posted by Stradden


    In the second of a three part series, MMORPG.com's Bill Murphy explores the Sci-Fi sub genre of MMOs and looks at its present and where we stand today.


    Last week we took a look at some of the major past players in the Science Fiction MMO landscape. While many fantasy-themed games have risen to prominence in the industry, for the most part Science Fiction settings haven't quite caught on as widely. Some of our community theorized that this could be in part due to the fact that Science Fiction doesn't lend itself as easily as Fantasy to these types of games. Whatever the reason for Sci-Fi's slow growth in the MMO space, it doesn't seem to be preventing developers from tackling the setting and trying to make their mark. This week we take a brief look at the landscape of Sci-Fi MMOs as it stands now, with several new releases making a debut this year and other classics holding strong amid the onslaught of "new & shiny".

    Read The Sci-Fi MMO: The Present.

     

    What about Face Of Mankind?

  • wgc01wgc01 Las Vegas, NVPosts: 209Member

    I am an mmo fan and a SciFi fan, I have been playing mmo's for over 10 years, I have to say I am burned out on the Sword and board fantasy games at this time, how many ways can you you swing a sword or kill an orc.. :) I have played lotro since phase 1 closed beta, and have a lifetime account for me lotro has been one of the best pve games I have ever played, but I have to take a break.. I went on to STO yes it has it problems, but I find allot more to the game than what I see people posting about, breeding tribbles is almost a game in it's self,and if you get into fine tuning your bridge crew and ship stats, along with the quests and pvp I seem to never run out of things to do, I hope Cryptic/Atari know what kind of cash cow they are setting on if they keep the support and content flowing.

    I played SWG from shortly after launch through all the changes and the nge, that game was made in the wrong time period, for what they wanted to do, Jedi love them or hate them, they are what sets Star Wars apart from the standard scifi stories, the force, the struggle of light and dark. Looking forward to SWTOR, I know Bioware is a quaility company, bieng the fisrt mmo for them, I can see were this could be bad and good, /crossing fingers for the good.. :)

    Earth and Beyond, a game ahead of it's time, I really enjoyed that game was sad to see it go.

    I am looking forward to new Scifi games, and some true next gen mmo play...:)

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member
    Originally posted by shava


    It's kind of funny to see CCP praised for risk taking with Eve Online, and a few paragraphs later SOE bashed for taking risks with SWG.  Of course, the difference is not the risk taking, the difference is the quality of innovation and the agility of response to use requirements.
    Yrs

    Shava

    CCP with Eve took a risk by creating a game which did not follow the mainstream thinking when it came to how MMOGs were traditionally like.

    SOE with SWG took a risk by radically changing a game, that did not follow the mainstream, to try and follow mainstream.

    So CCP took a gamble by being innovative and not following the flow.

    SOE took a risk, with their existing customer base, by instead going against the flow and be innovative instead trying to follow the flow which ended up alienating their existing customer base.

    So risk taking is not just risk taking, it depends on what and why.

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,605Member

    Precu SWG was an amazing game and was my favorite of all games ever. It had so many intriguing qualities.  The NGE was a huge mess and to this day the combat, while more lively still suffers from a poorly designed, awkward user interface.  SWG had so many problems on the surface, but had very simple solutions.  I am not a programmer so maybe these seemingly simple solutions were more complex than they would appear. It's probably the worst mmo company out there, and the stain of what they did with NGE taints their other games as well.  It's an overlying philosophy SOE has that customers opinions don't matter.

     

    Fallen Earth while not exactly like SWG is kind of a spiritual successor in some positive ways.  But as big and open and intriguing as this game is, I've felt a lacking social component that was one of SWG's strongest aspects.  But they have an amazing dev team, one of the few out there that I believe in.  I only hope they add housing and maybe social clothing.  The game needs to develop a stronger social component and all the quests, while some are very good, take people away from each other.  Maybe that's why SWG was such a social game.  There was nothing to do so we banded together and made our own content. 

     

    Eve is clearly a game with compelling gameplay for some, but I can't get past the aspect of just being a ship.  I need to have a little person to run around with.

     

    STO I haven't made up my mind on yet.  I think they make many design decisions that are just wrong on many levels.  It also enjoyes the distinction of being the buggiest mmo I have ever played.  I probably file 5 or more bugs every play session.  It's appalling really the craptastic quality of this game, and yet it has fun elements to it that while shallow are still fun.   But in all the ways SWG was great, STO is terrible.  SWG had a huge world and a social component that was like living in a universe far, far away.  STO feels like a game that is comprised of a bunch of closets, and you must load the adjacent closet before you can walk into it.  SWG had a social complexity that was a group of friends, a guild, a city, militias, allied towns, factional warfare that extended beyond just faction, and role play galore.  STO has anonymity and a feeling of loneliness, which is perplexing as an mmo.  Cryptic I think is a strange company that has very bad ideas for the future of mmos.  But I play it....some aspects I enjoy in a superficial way.  I'm a huge Star Trek fan...that is probably it's saving grace but no where near enough to make it a success.  It pains me to say these things about an IP I care so much about.

     

    What should the future hold for sci fi mmo.  I'd love to see another sandbox type game like SWG, that captures the social component.  The fps hybrids while more engaging in an action sense is always implemented in a way that feels awkward and poorly done when combined with rpg aspects, and I have not yet seen a user interface mated with pseudo fps style game play that is well done and doesn't have your hands racing across the keyboard as if I was some kind of virtual virtuoso.  It creates more frustration than excitement as I am always hunting for keys and pusing the wrong ones.  Precu SWG2 with better implementation and a strong dev team behind it would be my dream game.

     

     

  • battleaxebattleaxe Baton Rouge, LAPosts: 158Member

    Mechwarrior is an IP that could be simply awesome as a scifi MMO.

  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member

     

    Gorge Lucas back in '77 took a gamble on some b rated movie called Star Wars when in fact many of the main stream Movie companies back then did not want anything to do with it. Sure it put Fox on the map and it became the biggest grossing movie until 2010 when another movie direct slash genius James Cameron of course came out with the movie Avatar. took over Star Wars with in a matter of just a few weeks. Point being that these two men in there on right knew that Sci Fi was the way of the future.

     

    Now thankfully gaming companies like Bioware along with yes even Sony took on Sci Fi games. Thanks to the latter mention today's companies learn from the mistake of others. Just to give us the gamer a real real good gaming experience in our MMO life.

     

    Besides who here is not sick of the elf or the orc lol.

     

    image

  • RodentofdoomRodentofdoom NottinghamPosts: 273Member
    Originally posted by battleaxe


    Mechwarrior is an IP that could be simply awesome as a scifi MMO.



     

    hmmmm mecha ...

    theres a hell of a lot of mecha based anime out there, some of it is awesome, some is a bit meh, but theres a lot of IP resourcing available to a dev studio that dared to be brave

    a good mech based sci-fi mmorpg would be gaming heaven

  • BenediktBenedikt PraguePosts: 1,406Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by astoria


    this https://xsyon.com/ has features that sound too good to be true. I am still not sure if it is sci-fi or fantasy. Sounds like a sci-fi premise with a fantasy result a la Zicree's novel Magictime: Ghostlands where a techological disaster creates a magical rift. Or is it magic? or just a new science we don't understand? (review/summary below with my colored edits)
    Sounds like they might have a viable plan for a small dev house though - start with a small area, promise larger world as time goes on (and subs come in) but leave out details. Possibly, they will enlarge it as space is needed as resource 'nodes' can be depleted.
    In any case, bump & +1 for EVE, Fallen Earth, and Global Agenda - enjoyed or still enjoying them.
    "SF screenwriter Zicree (The Twilight Zone Companion) teams with Philip K. Dick Award–winner Wilson ...blah blah blah ..Since the Change, which nudged the universe into another dimension thanks to a U.S. government agency's snafu, unpredictable magic has replaced modern technology worldwide. Former New York lawyer Cal Griffin leads a courageous band out West in search of his sister, Tina, while another stalwart member of the group, Herman Goldman, looks forlornly for his lost sweetheart, Magritte. [meaningless sentence if you haven't read it] As Cal and company attempt to destroy the evil that caused the Change, the authors effortlessly move the action from New York to Chicago and the old West, where buffalo still roam, a few guns still fire and simulacra of Indians and Calamity Janes lend a helping hand. .... " Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
     



     

    wow, what is this? never before heard about this game, feature list seems amazing.

    is this for real?

  • KyngBillsKyngBills Charlotte, NCPosts: 449Member Uncommon

    Good article...

    Just a thought...My Guildies and I all met on SWG years back and we've stuck together since in quite a few Games...A few of us saw the CU/Pre CU and the NGE...The good and the bad...I'm about the only one who has kept at least one Account open...One thing we all seem to agree on...IF SOE would ever raise the cap on Characters per Server to 6-8 we would all keep an Account...The 2 Characters Per Server thing is SUCH a rip-off in the current Market...I think if they only changed that one thing it would REALLY help their Sub numbers overall...Not that it would solve anything about the past...

    6-8 Characters Per Server, and one each Pre CU and CU Server...I think that would REALLY spark some interest...I don't see why they would not consider it. Based on the fact the Game is dead on most Servers...What could it hurt?...lol

  • Einherjar_LCEinherjar_LC MelfiPosts: 1,055Member Uncommon

     

    Wouldn't Anarchy Online technically be the "longest running success story in Science Fiction MMOs" rather than Eve seeing as how it's nearly two years older than Eve.  Even considering it's disastrous launch, it was well on it's way to recovery when Eve launched.

     

    Secondly, I cannot believe an MMORPG staffer used the same marketing BS that Cryptic did with the "over 1 million accounts" for STO.  Talk about losing credibility.  The kicker is it was used to counter the almost universal panning of this game from industry reviewers. 

     

    Yeah, I think I may have to quit reading the articles here as well.  Insults, and inflammatory comparisons, coupled with innaccurate, and unverifiable/unconfirmed/anonymous sources as substantiation for the writers point of view leave me disappointed.  This certainly doesn't apply to all the contributors here as a fair number of them are good at tipping the scale back and forth while writing.

     

     

    Einherjar_LC says: WTB the true successor to UO or Asheron's Call pst!

  • solusar66solusar66 DrammenPosts: 20Member

    Bill Murphy.. at least get it right bro. Anarchy Online's engine overhaul is still working, it's recently come to the state of where the majority of the old code has been removed, and work is moving along quite well.

     

    However, FunCom did cancel working on a OGRE based rendering engine, in favor of going with the DreamWorld engine instead as having 3 inhouse mmo's share the same engine made more sense.

     

    Good effort tho

    Ad astra per astrada

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