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How Modular Can MMOs Be?

ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 13,296
edited August 2015 in The Pub at MMORPG.COM

We expect everything in our new MMO to be working, polished until you can see your face in the plate armour and all content complete at launch. But this is solo game thinking applied to MMOs. Way back something like end level PvP was often not completely working at the start of the game.  

Today it must be there from day one and there are very few items apart from a new zone or mini game that players even expect to see later. Player and Guild housing, what on earth is that you ask?

But we know MMOs take ages to build and once launched that new development slows down. The average player’s patience for new development has become very short. While with some exceptions developers themselves seem to have given up on the idea you can keep players happy with new material. The high point to me was Lotro when it came to brining out new material to keep a MMO sustainable, since than the priority of great graphics and flawless gameplay and polish have taken over everything else.

MMOs need to be modular; you can't have it all at once. I once held out hope that player modders would be allowed to take up the call and help add the extra content. But we were talking about that ten years ago and still hardly any sign of it.

It seems MMOs are trapped, caught between the need to launch flawlessly and the need to add something that will keep players interested longer than two months. For most players that's how long they seem to last now.

When it comes to solo games we accept DLC down the line, sometimes months down the line. But when it comes to MMOs that is just not acceptable, most players are gone before anything substantial is released. Can this ever change?

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Comments

  • AntiquatedAntiquated Member RarePosts: 1,415
    Would anyone pay a cent for a game only developed far enough to (say) gather crafting materials? (Actual crafting won't be done until next year, but you guys can stockpile in the meantime!)
  • fivorothfivoroth Member UncommonPosts: 3,916
    The issue with MMOs is that they try to last players a very long time. All game content is finite. This was always the case. There isn't any way developers can pump content faster than what some of their hardcore playerbase can consume. Even the casuals eventually run out of things to do and that's normal. MMORPGs in the past used insane time sinks to keep players playing for long. Nowadays you can't have time sink.

    ALso not having things like PVP is a big no no. EQ back in teh day could afford to launch without PvP cause there wasn't much competition anyway. A lot of the big features that are not at launch somehow never make it into the game later, one big notable example being housing. Developers always say they are going to bring housing down the line but they almost never seem to do.

    Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,834
    OP developers are going to release by their said time line no matter what state the game is in.

    They see gamer's as easy cash grabs,jump in on a trendy gimmick,make a few promises sell them nothing but call it a early access/Alpha release.

    Developers of mmo's are not trapped whatsoever,they should know what they are getting into from day 1,the truth is they don't care,they have a budget and where that budget takes them,that is what they sell you.

    NOWHERE else is that mentality acceptable,you wouldn't say  my new car doesn't have a heater or tires or a paint job or a motor,it is early access car buying.It doesn't matter my snow shovel doesn't have a handle your budget couldn't allow it and it is only an Alpha test snow shovel.


    That is why we  see literally thousands of new game studios pop up.Geesh the market can't even support that many games but thing is gamer's are just buying them and not playing them or playing them for one month and then buying another game or three.

    Really bad consumers are helping to promote a terribly flooded market full of crap games.We even have gamer's now defending crap games with terms like "cute" or "you do know what early access is right?" or "This game is GOING to be great"  lmao "going to be" and you know this how?


    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

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