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MMORPG.COM News: Debate: Major IPs and MMORPGs



  • SystemChazerSystemChazer Member Posts: 18

    Please change that poll into following choices:

    - Yes

    - No

    - That depends on how it will be implemented (story, gameplay, variety, ...)

    - I don´t care


    Otherwise I have no other choice than saying "No" or I don´t vote at all and can´t see the result...


    read ya


    Sig? My Yellowjacket has SIG 5 ;-)
    (Shadowrun insider)

  • NosferatuNosferatu Member Posts: 1

    I personally would love to see select IPs made into MMOs. Dont get me wrong, I dont want to see a Harry Potter MMO, leave that imagination to the books and movies, I see no reason for me to be running around Hogwarts for spells and I certainly dont want to be a Harry Potter.

    I agree that IPs with intense lore offer the best content for an MMO. Developers are the core of these games. Whilst IPs may be driven by marketing, the name can only go so long. Its up to developers to introduce material and present good reason for why this should be the way to take it. If marketing decides that they want to take another step and developers have to follow well you'll probably end up with a bad game, so what? Play the game, you dont like it you spent $50 plus a month, averaging $15 a month. Its not a big investment, so just stop playing. The game is garbage, so move on. There's so many other MMOs to play and so many more in line of production. Lincensing agreements and games can be sold and bought. Whats to stop another company from seeing an opportunity and grabbing it, and maybe producing a worth-while product.

    As a player I expect to be put into a world I can recognize. However, Im not limiting myself to what I just know. My purpose is to experience a world that is unique and not necessarily just re-visit and play through places that I've read or seen. I want the content I know but I am also open to new ideas. What would be the point of an MMO if I was to play the main character, revisit his battles and call it a day? That, ladies and gentlemen, is a console game. I think there is WAY to much expectations on IP MMOs. People expect it to be exactly like the IP. If you want it that way buy the console title. MMOs are about creativity and new ideas. I understand some people want the game to head in a certain direction but that limits everything else. With expansive IPs that have limitless possibilities you leave the world to the developers.

    Just remember that not all companies take the same direction. Every company takes a risk and investments when they produce any title. Its always a companies choice as a whole to settle for what they have. They could make the decision to put out what they have or not to put out what they have. In the end someone with more money can just take it away and make something else of it.

  • wouldzeywouldzey Member Posts: 59

    Some great points were brought up in the original post, now to debate.

    I could sit here all day and mention the possible bad points and the possible benefits of creating pre-existing and established IP mmos, but it would be pointless as it all depends on how you approach the IP.

    The reason why SWG was (in my opinion from seeing the game develope and playing it for well over 2 years) was poor management from the development stage and a complete lack of focused direction. Star Wars didnt fail because it could never live up to its foundation, it failed because it didnt direct it's game, it simply was a game that was designed to carry a star wars name, thats all.

    Instead more effort should of been spent of deciding how the game is going to use the IP. Should it take the players through the movies as they progress? Should it allow players to live in the SW universe? Should it take the spirit of the IP and make a game around various parts of that? Those are the questions that needed answering.

    Instead what we saw happen was that the dev team just put too much faith (not saying that the SW IP isnt a very strong, if not THE strongest punter puller) in the name of the IP. They tried to make star wars the game when instead they should of took parts of the films, the essence of the films and most importantly the feeling of the films and made a game around those. And infact this goes for all pre-existing or liscenced mmos out there.

    Warcraft had a massive following prior to WoW being launched. Instead of just making wow the game they took what makes wow unique, what is fun about it and what players (and readers) were intrigued about and made a game based around that.

    MMOs with massive liscences (as was highlighted) have massive drawing power and that should simply be the bait to get the customers through the door. Once inside the customers need to feel like they have actually bought what they were looking for and invested in, a game that is whatever the liscence depicted, for example, buying star wars galaxies should mean that you get a game where you can explore and live in the star wars galaxy, its never done this to even a percentile of what it could/should of.


    Im summary,

    Major IP MMOs are the future as they have a pre-existing fan base and pre-existing shout about them that cannot be matched with a new IP. The things that need to change is the dev thinking, management and direction.

    The team in charge of a game such as what we are discussing need to know what message/environment they are trying to make. What direction they need to go off in. How their limited resources are going to be allocated and ultimatly, how are they are going to keep the audiences interested.

    Once the team know these answers (by just sitting around and planning) they can start to make a game that not only brings the IP to life but also doesnt try to be the IP. instead through the use of interactive gameplay, project the main areas that fans and players are attracted to when they think of the IP.

    Blizz did it right, they were focused and got the job done, there is no reason why other studios cannot do the same on an even bigger scale (in terms of IP popularity)


  • TheoTheo Member Posts: 242

    I think the desire to bring proven markets to new MMO products can often be contradictory. SWG, for example, brings an established and successful franchise to the MMO market, but the MMO conventions we see in so many other games don't complement the story or feel of that world. Character levels (as they exist or HAVE existed in SWG), stat boosting clothing and equipment and arduous crafting grinds seem out of place, at least to me. The minute I put on my Smuggler's Pants of +3 Agility, I'm taken out of my Star Wars fantasy and thrust unceremoniously into EQ with lasers.

    Different worlds require different rules. Too many developers or publishers seem afraid to think "outside the box". I assume this is because they want to protect their investment by basing their new products on previously successful models. While we keep seeing advancements in graphics and delivery, we're seeing very few changes in gameplay.

    I want to walk the lands of Middle-Earth and fly the Kessel Run, but I want the developers of those worlds to build unique games that bring them to life in ways that make sense within the context of each. What we currently have are developers who take those properties and force them to comply with the same rules they use on every MMO that's ever hit the market, regardless of the impact on immersiveness or story.

  • wouldzeywouldzey Member Posts: 59

    Yeah i agree with what you are saying. It seems that developers and publishers alike are simply taking a generic mmo game (a base if you will), covering it with another skin (say for example a star wars skin) and then adding little bits to try and differentiate. What we end up with is more/less polished versions of the same game just with different paint jobs.

    I truly cant wait until we see developers pushing the boundaries and making these liscenced MMOs completely aplicable to the worlds they are suposed to represent. The guys over at Turbine have definatly made some headway in terms of fitting the existing systems into their world making them more applicable (the moral system for instance) but there is a long way to go. I crave for the day when instead of getting a brand spanking new set of pants that magically adds +10 stamina to me i get a brand spanking new set of pants that have some world meaning (in the context of the game). I dont need to know what stat is getting improved, i dont even need to know how much, i just need to know how these pants effect the character i play in terms of the virtual world.

    I supose little things can help a lot as well as the large things.

  • TheoTheo Member Posts: 242

    I'd really like it if my pants did nothing but cover my arse in most games. I like the idea that my character's abilities are a product of his experience and prowess rather than granted by his jockey shorts.

    In a lot of games, I can see how wearing armor would offer protection at the cost of maneuverability and precision, making it preferable for some characters to be as unencumbered as possible. Instead, there's a common "more is better" mentality that's designed to keep players reaching for the next piece of equipment on the ladder. Although few characters in the Star Wars films wear armor (and of them, only bad guys I think), eventually all characters in SWG find themselves wearing it because the devs couldn't think beyond the tradition of games like EQ and made it a necessity.

    The devs of City of Heroes have done a good job of eliminating stat boosting gear from their game entirely. Beyond that, however, the game is still little more than a grind of defeating mobs in instanced missions with character archetypes very similar to those of other MMO games. Very little creativity is put into creating missions or character roles that would capture the superhero genre and set it apart from other games.

  • wouldzeywouldzey Member Posts: 59

    I know this is off topic but:

    Isnt the new DC Comics MMO being developed by SOE (/gasp). I did have great hopes for new ideas and features in that game but i only have issue with the whole SOE links. Is this true? SOE going to do the DC Comics game?

    /cough..... Back on topic

    Yeah it would be great if again we could see some innovation enter the market and instead of going for the tried and tested route, developers try some new ideas without over complicating the end user.

  • TheoTheo Member Posts: 242

    It's true, yes.

    My only experience with SOE is EQ, EQ2 and SWG, which IMO are all pretty much the same game. Nonetheless, I'm curious to see what they do with the DC license. Will they learn from City of Heroes/Villains and incorporate those elements that work while innovating and adding new and unique touches that really take advantage of the genre? Or will they once again do exactly what we're discussing here by offering up the same kind of game in which heroes line up to defeat the Riddler for a Cape of +3 Dexterity?

    I think a lot of us are tired of seeing the same game repackaged again and again, something that's never been more evident than with SWG. One of the most successful licenses one could hope for, but it's floundered since day one in SOE's hands.

  • wouldzeywouldzey Member Posts: 59

    I just hope companys learn from past efforts and the market matures to the point that innovation is a nessesity. Much like the FPS market. You arnt gonna succeed now in the FPS market without something special and you only get great FPSs that innovation and surpass the norm in many criteria.

    I long for the day when development studios sit down at the table with fresh ideas and say "right we are gonna make a game based around this liscence. We need to be unique, innovative and fresh in order to suceed so what are you ideas".

    Once people are forced to come up with new ideas in order to succeed then games will really move on. I just hope the mmo market matures to that point soon as a lot of us are getting bored.

  • KormacKormac Member Posts: 297

    I'm inclined to think that the IP's are not the real problem.

    People keep throwing new settings at us.

    What we need is new games.

    There are some different games out there, but the game I want could be WoW, PS, EVE or Middle Earth Online, DDO...

    It happens to be Adellion for one reason only: The game is different. The actual game. Had these people been set on WoW, WoW would have been wildly different from what you see today.

    The future: Adellion
    Common flaw in MMORPGs: The ability to die casually
    Advantages of Adellion: Dynamic world (affected by its inhabitants)
    Player-driven world (beasts won't be an endless supply of mighty swords, gold will come from mines, not dragonly dens)
    Player-driven world (Leadership is the privilege of a player, not an npc)

  • EndemondiaEndemondia Member Posts: 231

    I have a few points I would like to convey

    a) much like a book will always be better than a film version of the book, so IPs will be poor convertors to mmorg. If consumers buy into a franchise on a game's name and not reputation that would be no big surprise. Ignorance is bliss maybe!

    b) Yes it is all about money and most business strategies play the safe card and to a certain extent finance over rules any morality. However the better games, in content and visual concept, to play are those invested with true love and a sense of appreciation for art and design. Originality is often part and parcel of good game structures.

    c) However there is no reason why a game can not achieve a healthy balance of creativity and financial acumen. GuildWars is a great example in that it is free to play, is a successful and original franchise, while having a very strong visual and conceptual design. I for one will buy into Age Of Conan even if it suffers at the hands of the critics as I am a big fan of Howard's world and I know it is free to play. It is the consumer's choice at the end of the day and the more choices the healthier the mmorg market.

  • KormacKormac Member Posts: 297

    If there is little relevant difference between the options provided, the choice becomes near irrelevant. I'm not saying it is that bad, and every little bit might provide a little help - but...

    I haven't really been out there and played it all either. But for most games (no, I do not play EVE) I find that I could just play subscription free runescape, and have equally "fascinating" gameplay.

    It's probably just me being picky. But if Runescape had happened upon the LOTR license and altered their images to match, then... It would be the same game. IP's don't make a game at all. Somebody needs to make a good game, and if they can fit that in an IP context, then it will still be good.

    I think I'm losing control over my own posting now, so I've probably said what I should and ample more. Thank you for your time.

    The future: Adellion
    Common flaw in MMORPGs: The ability to die casually
    Advantages of Adellion: Dynamic world (affected by its inhabitants)
    Player-driven world (beasts won't be an endless supply of mighty swords, gold will come from mines, not dragonly dens)
    Player-driven world (Leadership is the privilege of a player, not an npc)

  • wouldzeywouldzey Member Posts: 59

    The thing is, an MMO with a good liscence can pull in customers and keep them paying regardless of the quality of the game. You can see this with SWG. It has little to do with Star Wars, poor gameplay and many many many bugs even this amount of time after launch but many still pay up for it. I did for well over 2 years and some of my friends are still playing it, just because its Star Wars.

    I expect the same with LOTRO. The liscence can get you players that with any other game you wouldnt get, simply because they are in it for the pre-established IP, not the gameplay itself.

  • Tuor7Tuor7 Member UncommonPosts: 951
    My answer to the original question of whether or not it is a good thing for an MMORPG to be based on existing IP is: it depends.

    Some IPs are more suitable for use in an on-line game than others. I’ll give examples of both.

    The Lord of the Rings (and Middle-earth in general) is NOT a very suitable IP to use. It does not suffer the change of venue well at all. LotR is, in fact, a very delicate work: changing aspects of the story leads to having to make other changes, in order to maintain some semblance of consistency, until things start to spiral out of control. We need only look at the movies to see this, and the movies were static: one man’s translation that is the same no matter how many times you watch the movies.

    Death in Middle-earth is final. Most Men we read about are not much more capable then men you might see at the local grocery store. Magic is so deep you rarely see it acting in any direct manner: Middle-earth is largely mundane in many respects, which is part of why it seems so realistic. Very few people, even outside of the Shire, go on adventures of any sort, and those that do are chiefly attempting to accomplish some particular thing so that they can go back to their “normal” lives which involve doing some mundane sort of job, like farming or herding or running a shop or inn. Wars are rare.

    These sorts of truths very obviously do not provide a lot of fuel for non-stop adventuring of the sort we expect in an MMORPG. Yet anyone trying to make a game based on this IP will have to deal with Tolkien Enterprises, and Devs will not be allowed to deviate too far from the material in the IP, which is even more restrictive during the War of the Ring (the LotR time-frame) than it would be for Middle-earth as a whole. So, yes, I think LotR Online is doomed to fail, *regardless* of how well it is implemented: the IP itself will doom the effort.

    When I heard that Star Trek Online was coming out, I was pleased. I think it *could* make the translation. The IP allows for all sorts of things (though probably not character death/re-incarnation) while remaining self-consistent. Where the story of LotR is tightly woven, that of ST is loose and amorphous (up to a point). You can have dozens of ships and captains and crews, all with their own stories: the Enterprise was just one ship. There is only One Ring and one War of the Ring. You could create a lot of epic events the past or future of the Federation, but not in Middle-earth.

    The point here is to show that some IPs are much more naturally able to withstand being used as source material for a MMORPG than others. That, in fact, some IPs are positively poisonous to being used that way, no matter how able the Dev Team assembled.
  • bjb007ppkbjb007ppk Member Posts: 3

    I believe that there should be a balance between both. People who want to go into a universe that is completely made up in the minds of the developers of the game can do that. Those who wish to embrace their favorite tv-shows or movies by playing highly-adaptive games about them, they can do that too.

    MMORPG's would not be what they are if people did not have a good time with them. The way you have a good time is do something you love to do. And what better thing to do is there than to "live out" your favorite fantasy? As an example: Me and many of my friends love Star Trek. Now the new game called Star Trek Online is being developed by perpetual entertainment. When we heard the news back in september, we just couldn't believe it. Now we are sitting at the edge of our seats waiting for more information on the game.

    Now it is possible for one of these games to not go very close to the actual lore and make people pissed off. Well can't any game fail too? Look at some other MMO's out there that have had no success due to them just sucking. A game does not have to be part of a bigger franchise in order to have bigger probability of failing. All that is needed is a good, dedicated development team that will listen to the player, and you are set. Whether it is part of a bigger picture or not, it will have success.

    Star Wars Galaxies
    Ahazi Server

  • ShiloFieldsShiloFields Member Posts: 252

    This is a topic I have given a good bit a thought to, mainly because its been such a big issue in SWG.  Often time there is an inhernent conflict between designing a game mechanic that makes sense in terms of balance, the fun factor, etc. staying true to the IP's story.

    If its an IP that I care enough about to play a MMO in, I am going to be very upset if they go to far in deviating from the story.  There is not a problem with filling in the gaps and making reasonable inferences, but you can't desing the game to be in conflict with the IP's basic story.  For example in SWG, Jedi is the classic example.  At the time the game is set the Jedi were all but extinct, and of course very poweful.  So intially SOE was true to the story, make jedi hard to get and thus rare, and very poweful, compared to other classes.  This of course creates problems, but that's how the story is.  So either they live with the problems or piss off the Star Wars purists.  Neither is ideal. 

  • Briggy1701Briggy1701 Member Posts: 15

    Thout i'd just get my PoV across.

    I'd like to see more IP's as MMOs. The setting are familiar. It gives you chance to be part of a world you're already interested in and so on.

    Just look at Pre-CU SWG, that was fun. You were set in the Star Wars Galaxies. The groups back then where REAL fun. There was so much going on. Also Jedi where RARE like they should have been (around 1-6 per server max) which could fit into the mythos.

    Then SOE somehow managed to mess it up. It could have offered even more.
    Which I suppose is where the arguement for against comes into it.

    If companies continue to make MMO's from IPs eventually someone will get it right and it would have the potential to be so many times better than an original MMO.

    But like i said, Someone has to do it right first. We'll probably be flooded with a bunch of crap first. (So hoping that STO lives up to expectations.)

    And if they didnt make IP's into MMO's we may never see a Transformers MMO (which IMO I'm hoping someone will think about doing after next years movie release).

    Ok. They're my thoughts. Now start picking faults. hehe :::^D::


  • KruniacKruniac Member Posts: 132

    Im replying to the first two posts of this thread, as i didnt read anything else.

    NO! Major Intellectual Properties SHOULD NOT be made into MMOs for one simple reason...

    No game developer can do it.

    Seriously. The fux it up EVERY single time. Phantasy Star? Terrible. D&D online? THEY CHANGED THE RULES FOR FUDGE SAKES! I have seriously thought of smashing someone's head over that disaster of a game.

    Warhammer online? A fuxing teen rating? Eat me Mythic, you sodding wanks. Leave it to a big corp to screw up a perfectly good IP all for the sake of whiney 12 year olds who get to play it. I want chaos with nudity and excessive gore. Orks  ripping people's arms off. GIVE IT TO ME!

    Corporations only care about cash, not accuracy. Star wars galaxies? ...Im going to be sick. Lord Of The Rings Online? Why cant i be an Uruk again? < INSERT HORRIBLE OBSCENITY HERE, FOLLOWED BY THREATS AGAINST THE DEV'S CHILDREN>

    Sometimes... its not worth it to hear about potentially good things - they just break your heart.

  • IllyriaIllyria Member Posts: 1

    Natural selection ought to do the job

    With reference to the original debate and Zippy's original comments consider this:

    As in all things in life natural selection tends to weed out the unsustainable. IP turned into virtual worlds may be judged on more than one level. If you are strong on gameplay SWG might be a bore, if you get a thrill out of a aestethically well designed world you may love it. If your main activity is to socialise in-game the gameplay and setting both may be of little importance as long as there are good players to talk to and enough happening in the world to talk about. So one can carry on.

    BTW an excellent article on the types of players in VW's can be found here.

    The point being that if SWG and the like attract non-serious RP-players let them serve that market or die trying. Serious players will quickly discern which VW's are good as well as suited to their own playing styles and tastes.

    In short I voted for IP's to be turned into VW's but am not likely to spend much time there myself. Those who care about serious gaming in VW's can vote with their feet (mouse) and more importantly work/cooperate towards developing serious VW's to the next level

  • SeanBladerSeanBlader Member Posts: 21

    Originally posted by lilkev

    My love for a Major IPs comes from being able to interact with all the familiar things u see in the cool movies, not necessarily being the "lead" man.

    And this post early in the thread brings up an interesting point. Is someone's enjoyment of an intellectual porperty based on their ability to be the lead character in the story? In my opinion SWG worked in the beginning because they built a world that you could go do what you wanted in. Then with the NGE, SOE Development specifically said "We're getting away from it being a virtual world, and going towards it being a game." Games have a play value of about 3 to 6 months, sometimes a little longer. Building a virtual world where you can do what YOU want to do isn't the same as building a game.

    Originally posted by poopypants
    Moving from epic story to epic online world just seems like a completely natural evolution of IP. On the other hand, if the IP is not carefully nurtured and treated with utmost respect you'll end up with little more than a soleless counterfeit. Star Wars is the perfect example...

    Moving from epic story to epic online world just seems like a completely natural evolution of IP. On the other hand, if the IP is not carefully nurtured and treated with utmost respect you'll end up with little more than a soleless counterfeit. Star Wars is the perfect example...

    SWG was nurtured and it was an epic online world, and then someone in marketing said they didn't have enough subscriber base, so they said they needed to change things. And it became a soleless counterfeit. Realsitically having the game set in the time where there were no Jedi was ideal, because playing a smuggler or bounty hunter or storm trooper was such an amazing blast that it didn't matter for most of the people who started playing at launch.

    Intellectual Properties can be done, and done well, if you stay away from the "famous" people in the game. Everyone needs an opportunity to make their character into what they want, and if that's a 21st century slang talking 14 year old with a bad acent and poor grammer, then I suppose that's what your character will be known as. Although I've never had anyone say "LOL" to me.

  • noob-gamernoob-gamer Member Posts: 81
               i belive this game can be a wonderful game if it manages to avoid the pitfalls of others and preset a solid game with experiances for both pvpers and role-players alike.i would buy this game but i am hopefully reserved about this game becuase i dont want it to suck. i am talking about the star trek game if you cant tell
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