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With MMOs shutting down, it leaves you with no game to play, and with SWG and City of Heroes still doing reasonably well when their closures came, it kind of puts you off bothering with other MMOs.
City of Heroes may be about 8 years old now, but my MMO was SWG, and I played that from July 2003 to Dec 2011, virtually its entire time it was active. I did play CoH briefly during that time, but not much, but now since SWG closed, started playing CoH more so, but now it is closing as well, I feel cheated, and want some more years with the MMO like what others have had.
With all this disappointment, and with MMOs costing money vs games that do not cost you any money after initial purchase eg GTA San Andreas, I think MMOs are a dying breed of MMOs.
However, I think that if they incorporate an offline mode to MMOs, it would not only add more variety to the game, but also leave you with the game to play once it shut downs. It would also be innovative and still be able to play game when servers are offline. If they do a cash shop and you buy items then you can still use them in the offline mode, which will give you more willingness to buy as much as you want in these stores. As now, with MMOs and ones with cash shops closing, there is no way I am spending money on cosmetic items. So if they do implement an offline mode, then the companies will get more money while the game is active and online, because you know that you can keep all the stuff when it shuts down, and play with it in offline mode.
PSO on the Dreamcast did this, and had no monthly fee, although the Gamecube one did, and the GC one went one better and offered split screen offline mode, and can still play this today with up to 3 other friends, despite the servers being shut down.
At first there was a bit of cheating, as people managed to manipulate the offline charcter, but then they modified it that if the system noticed any tampering, you would be banned. This is the only downside, but I am sure this could easily be overcome, and MMOs are not completely free of exploits which has caused people to get banned too.
Phantasy Star Universe, which only just recently got shut down last week, also had an offline mode, but it was completely different to online, and you levelled up a different character, main story mode. Online mode was like SWG, where you could create your own character and do what ever you want, and offline mode was like SWTOR where you followed the story the game provided.
Offline mode would be rather restrictive though, and only be able to do a set amount of stuff, that came with the original disc/DL, unless they can update the offline game as well. Also in online mode you would get the better rewards and loot items, as would be easier to keep updated than the offline client. But if game shuts down, then being able to play the game in any capacity is better than nothing. If SWG was like this, we would be playing in a Pre-CU offline world officially - It is nice to viisit the many areas of Star Wars in SWG, although obviously better to be able to play it with others, but it would not be totally useless in an offline mode.
Maybe they could add LAN support or a split screen mode? Then you could play the game with others again.
EDIT: The below POLL is intended to get a final working offline version to play online with other people that do not need official servers (while official servers are active the LAN option may be locked, then unlocked when game shuts down), but assuming at the end of it, it all works OK with no possible way of cheating. It is what we all should want, it is up to the devs to see if they can work it, as currently the future of MMOs is not looking too bright. It works with DC and Original Xbox games with their official servers offline, as they mainly have LAN modes.