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The future of MMO lies in the following:
[quote]In a related vein, we see little talk among readers about how the MMOG audience has shifted away from what it was years ago and is continuing to. It seems as if certain people want things to be the way they were, and just refuse to recognize that those days are gone, never to return. The problem isn't the change itself; it's not being fully open to seeing it and to adapting accordingly.[/quote]
You talk like everyone who liked "the old way" is wrong for wanting that in their games. They aren't wrong for wanting that, not at all, and if the MMOG industry has changed such that none of them exist any longer, then it's time for them to just quit playing them. Not because the changes are wrong, but because their kind of game simply doesn't exist, and the modern MMOG can't fulfill that desire.
There's nothing wrong with anyone asking for publishers to make games they like! There's nothing wrong with asking them to limit their player base to the kind of players that want a certain type of game. Certainly we should all recognize that we are asking them to take a bigger risk, or settle for a smaller subscription base (so make less money), but there's nothing wrong with asking them to choose what we might see as quality over quantity.
Not every book is made for every person; not every movie, painitng, graphic novel, is made for every person to enjoy.
I think that the right game, made with all the heart a talented developer team can put into it, with little consideration for who will buy it and so distortion of the game to fit the modeling of some market analyst, can be as big or bigger than WoW, with a more loyal player base over a longer time. I think every fantasy reader could be a market for the right kind of MMORPG that makes no compromises, and there are many millions of us!
For those of you like me - don't do what I did by playing WoW all these years, which helped Blizzard and other publishers to come to think I liked all of the things WoW offered, when there was plenty I didn't like. Just quit spending money on them at all until they start giving you what you really want.
The modern MMOG publisher is targeting gamers, not readers, and that's the biggest mistake I think they are making. I didn't come to Everquest because I was a gamer, I came to immerse myself in the kind of universe that existed in the books I read. I came because I'd lost my roleplaying group (something like a Dungeons and Dragons group) and was looking for a more stable replacement, one that was more stimulating in the way an online RPG could be.
There is nothing wrong with a publisher doing market analysis and trying to make as much money based on their guesses as they can - but as we've seen time and time again in the movie business, market analysis only takes you so far, and rarely produces memorable movies. Fun movies, profitable movies, but not memorable ones that the critics expound over. And, independent movies made with a vision and with the heart of storytelling in them can make as much or more money than formula movies.
So; if all the current publshers think they should make their MMOGs based on some version of the WoW model, fine, maybe they'll all keep making money, but they won't keep making money from me and the kind of player I represent. Give me heart, give me depth, give me the kind of immersion I get from a good novel, in a persistent universe. There's nothing really wrong with WoW as it is today, or making games for people who want their RP on the very light side, they just aren't what I really want. And, I think you can actually make more money off the kind of game I want as opposed to what you are making based primarily on a marketing strategy targeting gamers.
Have played: Everquest, Asheron's Call, Horizons, Everquest2, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer, Age of Conan, Darkfall
If a butterfly learnt to speak, to live in human society, paid its bills, had a job, lived in a fancy house and married a human, is it human?
Now what if that same butterfly knew how to write code better than any human and had years of experience in the game industry, would that make it a game designer?
If u wouldn't let a construction worker design your house, then why let a programmer design your world?