1 April, 2007
Let’s continue thinking about MMOs, but let’s be nice to Neil Sorens for a change. :) This week’s design is to dissect MMOs and determine what parts make up an MMO. Pick one aspect of MMOs and discuss it; this can be either positive or negative.
I’ll start with some we’ve already discussed, below the fold.
There are two obvious answers here based on my previous post linked above:
Community. Other people. This doesn’t necessarily mean making deep connections or cybering with the priest during a raid, but the presence of other people in the game enhances it. WoW is fun, but if it were a single-player game it would lose a lot of appeal. Single-player RPGs do more to make the player feel like the center of the universe, whereas the other players and the social opportunities make that harder in an MMO. I still advocate that this is the core of the MMO experience, and without community you no longer have an online game, virtual world, MMO, whatever.
Persistence. Your cumulative character, as Mr. Sorens has pointed out. This is mostly why we get away with charging a monthly subscription. Without this, you might still be tempted to play a game, but most players would probably realize they’re “just wasting their time” sooner. (Note that most game playing is “wasting your time”. Having some figures saved in a file or database on a remote server that you have no access to isn’t really making it worth your time. But, I digress.) This is an important part of the game which gives you context from one game session to the next. In general, the more that is saved regarding your character and your play session, the more attractive the game is.
So, what are your thoughts? Perhaps there’s some subsection of one of these two aspects that you think it important to point out?