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"Massively Multiplayer" Designation: Game Design or Player Population?

fat_taddlerfat_taddler Wanaque, NJPosts: 286Member

What actually defines a game as "Massively Multiplayer",  is it based on game mechanics or is it related to player population (curent or intended)?

If the answer is the latter, is there a point during a game's inception or demise where it wouldn't be considered MM based on active players?

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by fat_taddler

    What actually defines a game as "Massively Multiplayer",  is it based on game mechanics or is it related to player population (curent or intended)?

    If the answer is the latter, is there a point during a game's inception or demise where it wouldn't be considered MM based on active players?

     

     

     

     

    In my opinion, Massively Muliplayer is defined by the game mechanics, current population is irrelevant.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,316Member Uncommon

    I think it's based on both, as in the number of a people that a game can support logging in simultaneously and have the ability to interact with in some way.

    The number is vague and just more than a multiplayer can handle, the interaction is vague as well (grouping/auction/chatting...).

    The actual population of the game is not a factor.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • CecropiaCecropia Posts: 3,472Member Uncommon
    I have to say that it's defined by game mechanics and the ability to support a large amount of players. I believe an MMO is still an MMO even if there is no one in game; it would just be a case of "nobody's home". 

    "Mr. Rothstein, your people never will understand... the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner. You ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the governor." - Pat Webb

  • BarrikorBarrikor Phoenix, AZPosts: 316Member

    A city mass-transit bus is built to seat 40 people, if the bus is empty it's still a bus.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

    I think it's based on both, as in the number of a people that a game can support logging in simultaneously and have the ability to interact with in some way.

    ^

    Orignally? Having 50 players running around on the same game screen was pretty amazing.

    16 years later, well...we probably lean a bit toward the game design (server architecture) side a bit more?

    And no, it don't stop being massive if most of those players are logged out. Unless it stops operating entirely, anyway.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,316Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

    I think it's based on both, as in the number of a people that a game can support logging in simultaneously and have the ability to interact with in some way.

    ^

    Orignally? Having 50 players running around on the same game screen was pretty amazing.

    16 years later, well...we probably lean a bit toward the game design (server architecture) side a bit more?

     Well that could mean 2 or 3 things I guess.

    1. If multiplayer games can now handle the same numbers as original MMO's than the two genres are and should blur.  This is actually happening.

    2. If multiplayer games can now handle the same numbers as original MMO's than current MMO's should push the envelope further to have evern more simulataneous players logging in. 

    3.  Perhaps new terms need to be coined.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,919Member Uncommon

    Game mechanics and capacity.

     

    I view it as "a connected multiplayer world with capacity of 500+ player characters in the same world at the same time".

     

    By connected, I judge this as "any player character can walk or travel to any other player character, in any location in the world, at any time".

     

    In fairness plenty of MMOs don't adhere strictly to this, but the general idea should fit the game under most circumstances.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

    3.  Perhaps new terms need to be coined.

    Or we can stop spending so many freaking hours trying to define acronyms. :shrug:

    I don't remember massive being adverb-fied (-ly) added, originally. Was that the subject of endless pedantry, too?

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,316Member Uncommon

    Possibly however unless there is some general agreement on words, including acronyms, communication is difficult.

    Yes we know that definiations are a huge part of these boards, but still there is some agreement among many people as to what constitutes an MMO.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,668Member Uncommon

    Barrikor said it best:

     

    "A city mass-transit bus is built to seat 40 people, if the bus is empty it's still a bus."

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    what constitutes an MMO.

    On this site? What the owners want to cover.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • BanquettoBanquetto CityPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon
    Mechanics, absolutely. For example, Alganon was an MMORPG, even though its total playerbase was smaller than a single big fleet battle in EVE, for instance. It put arbitrary numbers together in a persistent world, so its an MMO.
  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    Barrikor said it best:

     

    "A city mass-transit bus is built to seat 40 people, if the bus is empty it's still a bus."

    Agreed, here though, certain people who drive small cars, but think buses are cool, want everyone to call their car a bus and to limit the number of seats on the bus from 40 to 4.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

    Possibly however unless there is some general agreement on words, including acronyms, communication is difficult.

    Yes we know that definiations are a huge part of these boards, but still there is some agreement among many people as to what constitutes an MMO.

    Just use the industry categorization. Go to IGN, or gamerankings .. and games are listed by category.

    To me, it is just silly debate endless for a definition.

    Or better yet, discuss specific games. If i say "wow, LOTRO, and games have similar features ...." .. that would be clear what i mean, right?

     

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    To me, "massively multiplayer" still goes back to the notion of "more than just a multiplayer lan game", that is to say: enough users connecting at all hours of the day and night that the game never turns off.

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

    Frankendoodle, I think you found a quirk I hadn't pondered.

    If you name it Massive Multiplayer that says to me the world is huge, the words are both separate and don't complement in ascendence like Massively Multiplayer does. 

    Maybe it can be describing both depending on the way you word it.

    Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game = Massive Online Role Playing Game with multiple players

    Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game = Online Role Playing Game with a massive amount of multiple players

    I make sense of that by what effect a comma would have between the two.

    Massive, Multiplayer, Online Role Playing Game

    versus

    Massively Multiplayer, Online Role Playing Game

    I always thought of it as being a bunch of people online but I could see the wording meaning the gamefield instead. How many a bunch is was them claiming to have space for as many as would fit by hardware capability and networking instead of how many were online at one time. Since I use the lazy term MMO, don't think I'm even reading the complete words often.

     

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,668Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by greenreen

    If you name it Massive Multiplayer..

    ...then you'd be wrong because that's not what the letters stand for.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member

    It should be related to a large group of players that can access the same space (zone).  I would not classivy an ARPG, MOBA, Lobby Shooter or games with only persistent cities as MMORPG's.  

    HOWEVER - I agree to have them listed here since these types of games are of greater interest to MMO players since they are still online and involve playing with others.  A tomato technically isn't a vegetable, but it's sold in the vegetable section.  The asparagus isn't all "GTFO 'mater you don't belong here".

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
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  • Karu403Karu403 saint joseph, MOPosts: 48Member

    if you click on that link to the left of the forum that says "WWII Online", youll understand what it means to be an mmo. WWII Online is a single-instance persistant server 350,000 square km in size with a 10,000 player capacity @ 196 viewable. WWII Online was one of the first mmo's made along with Everquest and Ultima Online 12 years ago.

  • KraylorKraylor Chandler, AZPosts: 94Member

    I view it as both.

     

    When I think of what a MMO means to me, it means sandbox style games where crafting/economy, pvp, and pve are all meshed together and not separated out or dumbed down.  

     

    Massively Multiplayer for me is having a community and guild that stays together in the same game for years.  A game where guildies help gather resources for our crafters and in turn they make our armor/weapons/etc for us and we strategize a plan to go out pvping in the open world and look for fights.  Queuing up for an instanced pvp map takes all excitement away.  Getting to know players from opposite factions by name and guild tag and having rivalry is interesting and sometimes exciting.  Randomly being queued up in an instanced pvp map and seeing another list of random players who you never heard of and likely will never remember is not exciting.

     

    For me, game design defines MMO.  Player population is needed, but if the game design is good the population will be enough to where you will always run into people in the game world.

    Waiting on: The Repopulation

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,476Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

    I think it's based on both, as in the number of a people that a game can support logging in simultaneously and have the ability to interact with in some way.

    ^

    Orignally? Having 50 players running around on the same game screen was pretty amazing.

    16 years later, well...we probably lean a bit toward the game design (server architecture) side a bit more?

     Well that could mean 2 or 3 things I guess.

    1. If multiplayer games can now handle the same numbers as original MMO's than the two genres are and should blur.  This is actually happening.

    2. If multiplayer games can now handle the same numbers as original MMO's than current MMO's should push the envelope further to have evern more simulataneous players logging in. 

    3.  Perhaps new terms need to be coined.

     The question is WHY do YOU need new terms?  Unless you are in the industry making these games, it really is what? Endless discussion because of boredom? 

    Everything is fine.

  • laokokolaokoko TaipeiPosts: 2,003Member

    people are so serious about those terminology like they actually mean something.

    There are plenty of "sandboxer" who claim Wow isn't an mmorpg because it is not "world" focusing.  Mainly because they are upset no developer will spend big bucks developing sandbox games. 

    I mean, those terminology is meanless.  Just like a meanless argument the definition of gay means happy.

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iQw3YcLoQU

     

    that's Massively Multiplayer.

     

     

    image

  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Originally posted by laokoko

    people are so serious about those terminology like they actually mean something.

    There are plenty of "sandboxer" who claim Wow isn't an mmorpg because it is not "world" focusing.  Mainly because they are upset no developer will spend big bucks developing sandbox games. 

    I mean, those terminology is meanless.  Just like a meanless argument the definition of gay means happy.

    Rubbish, there are not plenty of Sandbox fans who claim WoW is not an MMORPG, can you provide examples?

  • laokokolaokoko TaipeiPosts: 2,003Member
    Originally posted by RefMinor
    Originally posted by laokoko

    people are so serious about those terminology like they actually mean something.

    There are plenty of "sandboxer" who claim Wow isn't an mmorpg because it is not "world" focusing.  Mainly because they are upset no developer will spend big bucks developing sandbox games. 

    I mean, those terminology is meanless.  Just like a meanless argument the definition of gay means happy.

    Rubbish, there are not plenty of Sandbox fans who claim WoW is not an MMORPG, can you provide examples?

    No really?  Just find a thread about mmorpg with instance and see how people will tell you those are not mmorpg.

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