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I was reading this article:
"the game model seems to have a lot more in common with lobby-based MMOs. That's not a coincidence, as Neverwinter originally began as such and was fleshed out into a more full-featured MMO at Perfect World's insistence."
And i think .. there is a lot of truth in this idea. Look at successful games (use xfire as a guide)
MMO: WOW & GW2
- both have options to let players jump in, play a bit, and accomplish something.
ARPG: D3, PoE
- again, can jump in and kill some stuff for even 15 min and get a chance of good drops.
PvP: LOL, PS2, WOT, DOTA2
- all can jump in and starting playing in seconds.
And the interesting thing is that these are not all instanced lobby. While instanced lobby is clear one design to enable bite-size gaming (hence, this feature is so popular, almost in all MMOs), there are other ways to do it.
For example, PS2 is a world pvp game. But once in the game, you can directly port to a hot spot, snipe a few enemies, and log out if you don't have much time.
MMO devs certainly should feel pressured by some of these non-MMOs where the playstyle can be quite similar to MMOs. It is a time to adapt and change.