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Golden age of MMORPGs?

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  • RamajamaRamajama Member UncommonPosts: 271
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Ramajama
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    I put it at 2003. Only one year, and here's my thinking on that: 

     

    2003 seemed to be both the apex and the end of diversity in MMOs. It was a year when not only were many titles released but each was significantly and uniquely different from the next in many ways. Here’s a list of notable MMOs released that year:

    • Second Life
    • Star Wars Galaxies (SWG)
    • A Tale in the Desert (ATITD)
    • There
    • Puzzle Pirates
    • EVE Online
    • Project Entropia (now Entropia Universe)
    • Shadowbane
    • Horizons (now Istaria)
    • ToonTown

    Nice... Now that is a pretty strong lineup for one year. Now I see that 2003 is a strong favourite for a Golden Year of an Golden Age.

    And here I was thinking I don't consider any of those games as "good".

    Now that is a twist! image

    Well it seems to me like an exciting year to be an MMO gamer, based on TODAYs perception of those games. Exactly why Loktofeit suggested - very different approaches from different developers. 

  • paul43paul43 Member UncommonPosts: 188

    I would say it was back when a game could sell 200k copies and still have several retail expansions. In many ways that ended with WoW. So I would put it at around 2005 when the true number of subs had sunk in. Everyone who could then changed their plans and became more like WoW.

     

    Today if you sell 200k copies the company is almost bankrupt like what happend to Funcom with TSW.

  • SulaaSulaa Member UncommonPosts: 1,329
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Sulaa

    97-2004

    BUT

    None of games from that years would be good enough today.  

    That's true of any Golden Age of anything.

    True, but not entirelly.   Some products from "Golden Ages"  age worse than others.

    Music often age very well.

    Games wise Interesingly enough though I can play best single player crpgs from that times even today (Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate 2) or selected strategy games (Panzer or Allied General and few others).  I've played some of them past year and I still had fun.

     

    Ultima Online, EQ 1, WoW, etc    hell no.  Aged much worse it would be impossible for me to play them today. Not only because ancient mechanics or content, but also due to such factors like cheating, RMT or my lesser wilingness to go on the compromise.

    MMORPGs really aged badly kinda like first electronic music from 70s/80s or graphics in first 3d games from 90s + external influences are much stronger and more important nowadays than when they were in MMORPG infant,  niche years.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,761

    Interesting one... Now that I think about it, there are nice similarities between comics and mmos in my case, if I look onto the Ages :)

    (and an addition, I know it's a US site, but there are plenty of other comics as well, so it's a bit restricting just talking about the US comics... Just for the record.)   So, Ages:

    Golden age (in comics the early days, up to the '50s): imo 99-03. Just like the US comics Golden Age I can admit and accept this age as an important, starter era, but never liked it. In comics I think it's pulp, average writing, sometimes even dull, weak stories, the lines and the art style is meh, etc. In games as a huge Ultima fan that cr*p UO "chased" me off completely from the whole mmo thingy, and while I tested the waters occasionally, the games of this age were weak to me (spent these years in CS tournaments and with singleplayer games instead). AO was the only pretty decent game for me from this era, but maybe because I liked FC since The Longest Journey.

     

    Silver age (in comics, up to the late '70s): 2004-2010. My favourite from both sides. In comics it's obviously Stan Lee and the shine of Spidey. In games it has the best ones too (also some of the worsts, like wow). In 2004 CoH brought me back to the online rpgs, but AC was nice too. After that, there was AA, Tabula Rasa, DDO, LotRO, AoC, Vanguard, CO, and in 2010 STO. I still play all of them, except the closed ones.

     

    Bronze age (in comics, up to the early '90s): 2011-  . In comics the Bronze age was a downward period for me, with some decent books and a stellar one (Watchmen, of course). In games it's the same, a few decent ones, like DCUO or TOR, and an awesome one, TSW.

     

    Comics started to rise again after that (from the '90s, with a new generation of creators), we'll see where will the mmo genre heading in the future :)

     

    edit: as Ender4 noted it was easy to misread so I added the comic dates too. Also

    Originally posted by Ender4

    It also depends on which definition of golden age he is meaning.... It is usually meant as the best period by most people.

    in that meaning, to me it's obviously 2004-2010, with TSW slapped on the top :)

  • nebb1234nebb1234 Member Posts: 242

    back when you saw more ads for Warcraft on TV than for the Gap...

     

    ....back when people didn't have a DVR/Tivo to skip commercials....

     

    ....back when people watched TV....

     

     

     

     

    .....pepperidge farms remembers

  • Ender4Ender4 Member UncommonPosts: 2,247

    Golden age of comics was way before '99~. It was probably in the early to mid 80s somewhere.

  • aesperusaesperus Member UncommonPosts: 5,135
    Originally posted by Ramajama

    Now when I read history of different things - comics, book genres, etc. I always find a reference to golden age of that specific genre. I imagine, what it would be like to live in that period and enjoy this genre and how people felt about it.

    When I look at number of players across all MMORPGs today and look at number of MMORPGs and how many are popping every year, the Golden Age of MMORPGs comes to my mind. image

    Would you define current period as an Golden Age? And if not, what "Age" would you call it? image

    If you say its in decline, you have to define a period that you would call Golden Age and would be great to give some argument to support your claim. I only lay it based on pure numbers.

    Golden Age has already passed.

    If you wanna know what it's like to live during those types of times, it's simple.

    Imagine you're constantly looking forward to the next big thing. And by the time you realize you've already experienced it, it's too late.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,761
    Originally posted by Ender4

    Golden age of comics was way before '99~. It was probably in the early to mid 80s somewhere.

    Nope :) Golden was the beginning, and around WW II. Silver was after the war, up to the '70s. Bronze was the '80s, early '90s. After that it varies, most calling it modern era.

    And the borders are not strictly defined, for example we used to have nice debates over where to put Gaiman's Sandman, or Miller's Sin City :) (his Dark Knight is definitely Bronze)

  • Ender4Ender4 Member UncommonPosts: 2,247


    Originally posted by Po_gg

    Originally posted by Ender4 Golden age of comics was way before '99~. It was probably in the early to mid 80s somewhere.
    Nope :) Golden was the beginning, and around WW II. Silver was after the war, up to the '70s. Bronze was the '80s, early '90s. After that it varies, most calling it modern era.

    And the borders are not strictly defined, for example we used to have nice debates over where to put Gaiman's Sandman, or Miller's Sin City :) (his Dark Knight is definitely Bronze)


    Ok I misread your post and thought you said those dates were also the dates for comics. I can buy the 40s but couldn't buy the 00s~.

    It also depends on which definition of golden age he is meaning. Strict Greek meaning is just the beginning. It is usually meant as the best period by most people. The best period of MMORPG pretty much has to include WoW unless you are being really heavily biased. Comic books really don't have an equivalent thing that dominated them the way WoW did the MMORPG.

  • BulletToothBulletTooth Member UncommonPosts: 30
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Foomerang

    Golden Age was 2000-2005. EQ,UO,DAOC,SWG,AC,SB,AO,WoW,PS,MXO,FFXI,EQ2,COX and EvE

    Fixed it for you

     

    Lets not leave CoX off the list yes? *CoX- City of Heroes/Villians

    I agree with all of  this^

  • Overlord_NeizirOverlord_Neizir Member UncommonPosts: 136
    Imo, the golden age ended in 2010 and started in 1999.
  • desdecardodesdecardo Member UncommonPosts: 6
    Originally posted by Foomerang

    Golden Age was 2000-2005. EQ,UO,DAOC,SWG,AC,SB,AO,WoW,PS,MXO,FFXI,EQ2,and EvE

     

    This sums it up.  I think around the release of WoW: Wrath of the Liche King was when the Golden Age ended.  That was when companies started struggling and then shuttering games.   2000-2005 was really the hay day of the MMO genre.  

     

    Where companies were making tons of money off of subscriptions.  Before the dawn of the fremium and f2p games.  

  • ArtificeVenatusArtificeVenatus Member UncommonPosts: 1,236
     
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247
    Originally posted by Sulaa
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Sulaa

    97-2004

    BUT

    None of games from that years would be good enough today.  

    That's true of any Golden Age of anything.

    True, but not entirelly.   Some products from "Golden Ages"  age worse than others.

    Music often age very well.

    Games wise Interesingly enough though I can play best single player crpgs from that times even today (Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate 2) or selected strategy games (Panzer or Allied General and few others).  I've played some of them past year and I still had fun.

    An MMORPG is a platform(service), a social arena(community), and a game(product). While I do not doubt that some aspects of products can, to one degree or another, stand the test of time, the more service and community oriented the offering is, the less it is able to 'be good enough today'. Look, you bring up CRPGs, and I'm the first to admit that if you fired up Day of the Tentacle today, you'd probably enjoy it just as much as you did way back when. Now put that pixelated experience on store shelf and see how well it does. Is it a great game? Yes. Is it 'good enough for today'? Not at all. 

     

    This is why we revel in the classics of any Golden Era, especially with entertainment. They were great when they came out and we enjoy them now, but as a modern service, product or social environment, they would not be 'good enough for today'. If they were, we'd still be paying for their level of quality and features. 

     

     

    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

  • Flyte27Flyte27 Member RarePosts: 4,574
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Sulaa
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Sulaa

    97-2004

    BUT

    None of games from that years would be good enough today.  

    That's true of any Golden Age of anything.

    True, but not entirelly.   Some products from "Golden Ages"  age worse than others.

    Music often age very well.

    Games wise Interesingly enough though I can play best single player crpgs from that times even today (Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate 2) or selected strategy games (Panzer or Allied General and few others).  I've played some of them past year and I still had fun.

    An MMORPG is a platform(service), a social arena(community), and a game(product). While I do not doubt that some aspects of products can, to one degree or another, stand the test of time, the more service and community oriented the offering is, the less it is able to 'be good enough today'. Look, you bring up CRPGs, and I'm the first to admit that if you fired up Day of the Tentacle today, you'd probably enjoy it just as much as you did way back when. Now put that pixelated experience on store shelf and see how well it does. Is it a great game? Yes. Is it 'good enough for today'? Not at all. 

     

    This is why we revel in the classics of any Golden Era, especially with entertainment. They were great when they came out and we enjoy them now, but as a modern service, product or social environment, they would not be 'good enough for today'. If they were, we'd still be paying for their level of quality and features. 

     

     

    It seems to me that you are saying that because of the graphics the game would not sell today.  That is very true and also because the audience for those games was different when they came out.  Now they are targeting the masses instead of a few computer nerds who like to fiddle with their computers, play D&D, and play games on their computers.  Personally I think that is for the worst.  In terms of features I find that old games actually had a lot more features then today's games.  No they didn't have things like instant travel, instant rez, auction houses, but that was part of what made them great.  They did have things like day night cycles, long hard quests, a much larger array of abilities for each class, far more complex dungeons, and many more things you don't see in most of today's RPG games.

  • DelCabonDelCabon Member UncommonPosts: 257

    Just on nostalgia alone my most memorable years started in late 1997 with UO to EQ > AC > DAOC > WOW ending in Nov of 2008 with the release of WOTLK and my departure from the genre until joining LOTRO.

    I call 97-2008 the "Classical Years". It was then the holy trio was untouchable, each level was well earned and hot bars filled up half the screen. However I wont miss the time lost watching my mana tick up, or the endless buffing or the hour long corpse recoveries.

    I may be one of the few that believe  MMO's  "Golden Age" still lies ahead.

    Maybe one day 40 years from now people will look back and see that these last 18 years laid the groundwork for the "Golden Age" of virtual MMO's with levels of immersion, innovation and game play we can only imagine today. There is some amazing technology that is being developed that will one day see us living out our gaming experience in virtual, seamless fully customizable worlds that are almost completely immersive. I just hope it happens before I die. 

     

     

    Del Cabon
    A US Army ('Just Cause') Vet and MMORPG Native formerly of Trinsic, Norath and Dereth. Currently playing LOTRO. 

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 27,356
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    I put it at 2003. Only one year, and here's my thinking on that: 

     

    2003 seemed to be both the apex and the end of diversity in MMOs. It was a year when not only were many titles released but each was significantly and uniquely different from the next in many ways. Here’s a list of notable MMOs released that year:

    • Second Life
    • Star Wars Galaxies (SWG)
    • A Tale in the Desert (ATITD)
    • There
    • Puzzle Pirates
    • EVE Online
    • Project Entropia (now Entropia Universe)
    • Shadowbane
    • Horizons (now Istaria)
    • ToonTown

     

    I'll also add that Ryzom, started in 2000, was releasted in 2004. It was started the same year as Star Wars Galaxies. I supppose the point being, there was a starting point with a lot of mmo's where they didn't copy each other but had different end goals as far as what type of mmo they wanted to be.

     




  • jmcdermottukjmcdermottuk Member RarePosts: 1,567

    I'd have to agree with the majority here and say the golden age was 99 to 04, the EQ to WoW period. M59 and UO were the foundation years, then EQ started the Golden Age.

    Post WoW there were several worthy mentions that all had potential but failed for various reasons. AoC, WAR and a few others. Mostly now we're in what I call The Clone Age, which pretty much amounts to the same thing as the Dark Age. We're mired in mediocrity and petty cash grubbing F2P turds. Community has devolved into utter ass-hattery as the integrity of the genre has fallen to an all time low, along with player retention, developer ethics and, to all outward appearences, IQ's.

     

    Looking forward in 99, trying to imagine where the genre would be in 10-15 years time, the mind boggled at the sheer potential. Now looking back I can't help thinking where did it all go wrong? Where did those magical worlds we lived in go? What happened to the great communitites that we built? Seems they were traded in for welfare epics and a cash shop.

     

    Fucking sad shit man.

  • RamanadjinnRamanadjinn Member UncommonPosts: 1,365

    IMO the golden age for MMORPGs is when a good company comes along in the future who understands customer driven value better and we see a bit of a change on the scene as far as how these things are made and run.

    So i am one who thinks the golden age of MMORPGs is some time in the future.

     

    If you relate MMOs to cars we're just a derivative step or two beyond Model Ts.. Maybe we're in the 40s or 50s well into the era of mass production.  But we're not modern.

  • CecropiaCecropia Member RarePosts: 3,972
    Originally posted by Ramanadjinn

    IMO the golden age for MMORPGs is when a good company comes along in the future who understands customer driven value better and we see a bit of a change on the scene as far as how these things are made and run.

    So i am one who thinks the golden age of MMORPGs is some time in the future.

     

    If you relate MMOs to cars we're just a derivative step or two beyond Model Ts.. Maybe we're in the 40s or 50s well into the era of mass production.  But we're not modern.

    Now that's an interesting point of view. My immediate reaction is you're full of shiite, but my instinct begs the question: what if you're right.

    Fascinating post.

    "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

  • ArChWindArChWind Member UncommonPosts: 1,313


    Originally posted by Ramanadjinn
    IMO the golden age for MMORPGs is when a good company comes along in the future who understands customer driven value better and we see a bit of a change on the scene as far as how these things are made and run.So i am one who thinks the golden age of MMORPGs is some time in the future. If you relate MMOs to cars we're just a derivative step or two beyond Model Ts.. Maybe we're in the 40s or 50s well into the era of mass production.  But we're not modern.
    I was going to say this myself. The golden age is yet to come.
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247
    Originally posted by Ramanadjinn

    IMO the golden age for MMORPGs is when a good company comes along in the future who understands customer driven value better and we see a bit of a change on the scene as far as how these things are made and run.

    So i am one who thinks the golden age of MMORPGs is some time in the future.

    If you relate MMOs to cars we're just a derivative step or two beyond Model Ts.. Maybe we're in the 40s or 50s well into the era of mass production.  But we're not modern.

    Interesting view. While this may seem nitpicky, in regards to MMOs I think you may be right. In regards to MMORPGs, I'm just not seeing it.

     

    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

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247
    Originally posted by Flyte27
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Sulaa
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Sulaa

    97-2004

    BUT

    None of games from that years would be good enough today.  

    That's true of any Golden Age of anything.

    True, but not entirelly.   Some products from "Golden Ages"  age worse than others.

    Music often age very well.

    Games wise Interesingly enough though I can play best single player crpgs from that times even today (Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate 2) or selected strategy games (Panzer or Allied General and few others).  I've played some of them past year and I still had fun.

    An MMORPG is a platform(service), a social arena(community), and a game(product). While I do not doubt that some aspects of products can, to one degree or another, stand the test of time, the more service and community oriented the offering is, the less it is able to 'be good enough today'. Look, you bring up CRPGs, and I'm the first to admit that if you fired up Day of the Tentacle today, you'd probably enjoy it just as much as you did way back when. Now put that pixelated experience on store shelf and see how well it does. Is it a great game? Yes. Is it 'good enough for today'? Not at all. 

    This is why we revel in the classics of any Golden Era, especially with entertainment. They were great when they came out and we enjoy them now, but as a modern service, product or social environment, they would not be 'good enough for today'. If they were, we'd still be paying for their level of quality and features. 

    It seems to me that you are saying that because of the graphics the game would not sell today.  That is very true and also because the audience for those games was different when they came out.  Now they are targeting the masses instead of a few computer nerds who like to fiddle with their computers, play D&D, and play games on their computers.  Personally I think that is for the worst.  In terms of features I find that old games actually had a lot more features then today's games.  No they didn't have things like instant travel, instant rez, auction houses, but that was part of what made them great.  They did have things like day night cycles, long hard quests, a much larger array of abilities for each class, far more complex dungeons, and many more things you don't see in most of today's RPG games.

    I don't disagree at all. I personally found far more depth and engaging gameplay to some of the earlier MMOs than I find to most MMOs released since then. Would they be good enough for today, though? Never. They are built for a different culture, different players and different interests.

     

    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

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 5,523


    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    I put it at 2003. Only one year, and here's my thinking on that:  2003 seemed to be both the apex and the end of diversity in MMOs. It was a year when not only were many titles released but each was significantly and uniquely different from the next in many ways. Here’s a list of notable MMOs released that year: Second Life Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) A Tale in the Desert (ATITD) There Puzzle Pirates EVE Online Project Entropia (now Entropia Universe) Shadowbane Horizons (now Istaria) ToonTownSeveral of those titles still exist today, and quite a few still have healthy, active communities. Some of today’s MMO enthusiasts would probably call it the “Age of Sandbox,” as many of these titles offered more social tools, more open-ended gameplay and more player-driven content than most modern titles. To a good degree, I agree. Some may also say that some of those games only have a few thousand or so players. In my opinion, an MMO that entertains 5-30k players and makes a profit for eight years straight is a better path than building for 300k, hemorrhaging at 50k and closing up shop after a year.I think the success of many of these titles is the result of several factors, the three biggest being no predispositions on the part of MMO gamers, a more audience-specific design, and an appropriate balance of the Forgotten Trinity that makes up a virtual world.No Predisposition as to What an MMO ‘Should Be’ – Asheron’s Call, Ultima Online, Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot paved the initial road for persistent state worlds with rather varied approaches to advancement, game design and community structure. There was no One True Path yet as each was exploring new approaches to creating these incredible new online worlds. An MMO at the time was not measured by the restrictive and unrealistic standard that MMOs today are held to. I want to stress that I’m not speaking about quality, stability and polish as those should be expectations regardless of when or how the product is released.Over the past 6-8 years, most MMOs have become so similar and followed the same high fantasy, class-restricted, level-based, gear-dependent design and the surrounding common mechanics, that when an MMO deviates from that, the developers have to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to sell the new direction or mechanic and why the path was chosen over the tried and true method.A More Defined Target Audience – These MMOs were not trying to be everything to everyone. Their core audience was obvious to everyone from the start. From ToonTown’s publisher and artwork to Shadowbane’s Play to Crush mantra, the games were clearly being made for specific groups and the advertisement made it clear which groups they were for. They weren’t trying to mix and match unlike playstyles and conflicting communities within a single game world. This allowed the developers to attract a strong core group for their game and to focus current and future development for that audience.The Forgotten Trinity – MMOs are made up of scripted content (themepark), player-driven content (sandbox) and social content (coffee house). Each exists as part of the virtual world to one degree or another. Most modern MMOs weigh heavily toward one or the other of the first two. Also, most modern MMOs seem to relegate the last one to an IRC-style chat box and a system or need for grouping with other players to kill stuff. In many cases there is more functionality to support social interaction on a modern MMOs forums than there are in or around the game itself.It seems that an MMO developer that wants to break from the standard design and improve chance at success and longevity would benefit from addressing those three points directly.1) Don’t call it an MMO. Use any other term but that. In this day and age, simply calling it an online game is definitive enough without pigeon-holing the project.2) Target your audience. Make sure your players know what they are getting into ahead of time. Build a strong core community that you will be able to cater to. The Kitchen Sink hasn’t really been a successful approach to MMOs, especially when it comes to the whole PvE/PvP thing.3) Design the social aspect to emulate the ways that people normally interact. Allow the players to create and choose social circles based on something other than chasing rare drops. Mirror how people communicate in real life so they are more comfortable communicating with each other in your online community.The early pioneers (The Realm, M59, UO, EQ, AC, DAoC) set the stage, but it seems there was a golden age that shortly followed that never really gets the recognition it deserves. The MMOs of 2003 offered a level of diversity and a gamer acceptance of such diverse design that has been absent ever since.  I’m curious to see if history repeats itself on the mobile platform or if there is a wide enough audience that One True Path takes longer to rear its head.
    Gorgeously written, Lok. I may even go as far as 2004, to include the first Super Hero game, CoH. It was really not until WoW's success that MMOs started copying what was working for Blizzard, so a couple of years leeway seems appropriate to me :)

    OT:
    The Golden Age business-wise is now, today. MMOs are raking in more cash then ever before.

    The Golden Age creative-wise was as Loktofeit put it, when there was so much variety and audiences were targeted.

    I did not play a great variety of MMOs when I started (2001). Not many of them interested me at the time. But I had enough fun with EeverQuest as I played it. I never felt a need to play any others :)

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


    (And now Burger King has MEATLESS burgers!)

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