The State of MMO's

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 54



MMO isn't really a genre.


Bear with me. When I used to play Red Alert over dial-up with friends, nobody had the audacity to suggest that Command&Conquer and Super Bomberman were the same genre because they both had multi-player components. Why then are most MMORPG's nearly indistinguishable in concept outside of the multiplayer model?

We live in an incredible time where information and ideas flow freely between individuals across the globe, and the figurative incarnation of that in gaming is the massively multi-player game. The concept itself is the pinnacle of innovation in gaming. Assuming you agree with any of this, why are MMO's where ideas go to die? I used to mock companies like Zynga that shamelessly harvest money on recycled ideas, but is the next Triple-A MMO really any different? It's pathetic. It's so pathetic that gamers are donating millions of dollars to campaigns that claim that they are going to do something different. I say claim, because they have no real obligation to not use that money on mansions.

Holy shit guys.


Star Citizen is at 43,000,000 USD and counting. That sounds like a whole lot of money to develop a MMORPG, but as you might recall a certain fucking terrible piece of shit cost only 200,000,000 to make, and had virtually no decipherable innovation over a 10 year old World of Warcraft. According to that ROI model, Star Citizen probably needs you to turn your pockets out a little more, but we all know most of that 200mil went towards fancy trailers and feeding EA executives' fancy show-dogs.

I'm not falling for that shit. Millionaires begging for money after they meet their original Kickstarter goals seems a whole lot like shameless exploitation. 500,000 USD was enough to prove interest in the project, so why do you keep milking pitiful nerds? If you actually needed that much cash (which is possible), why not partner with a publisher like Obsidian did to finish Pillars of Eternity? Publishers would love to flex their finances for a project that has already been theoretically proven by massive support, and at a certain point you can't hide behind the 'creative control' bullshit.

As a side-note, am I the only one curious about how 50% of all games published on Kickstarter are built in Unity? I mean, I could make a game in RPGMaker and publish it on Kickstarter, but that doesn't mean I should. Then again, To the Moon was scary-good. Hm.

Emulators are gaining steam.


SWGEmu and SBEmu are generating massive interest, and developers should be paying attention. If anyone is willing to play games that are a decade behind in UI and control standards simply by the merit of their ideas, it makes sense that there would be consumer interest in any game that attempts to break traditional molds or at the very least copying old molds. Sadly, projects that have attempted to fill this gap have executed so poorly, it sets a premise in the eyes of observers that the ideas are bad, and not the amateur developers themselves. Lets call a spade a spade.

Ultima Online emulation is likely more popular than the game itself, and all the emulated servers are trying to do is roll back all the bullshit that makes current-gen UO as innocuous as possible. Are we all forgetting that MMORPG's are games, and not hand-holding simulators? Games are supposed to be fun, and challenges are fun.

Final notes:

I apologize to people who have been checking the site in previous months. I haven't had the time or the will to attempt playing anything. Hopefully writing this has made me angry enough to press on to weekly updates again. If you want my opinion on anything in particular, ask me in the comments section or on twitter.

54 comments :

  1. You aren't alone, I haven't had the will to play anything in years. Everything is recycled ass.

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  2. Great article! What I want:

    Eso review
    Wildstar beta impressions
    More mmorpg personalities (unless you covered them all)

    -Your Greatest Fan

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  3. Besides all the lack of originality, the communities of these games really finishes any chance of me playing them. My question is: does a way to remove a significant amount of jerk-dicks exist? EVE Online had the complexity thing going for it, but surely there's a better way isn't there? How does one eliminate those that enjoy these repetitive abominations as well as some of the individuals on the opposite end of the spectrum who can be just as bad?

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  4. How do we do it in real life? Beat-down city, of course! It's not that simple, but In games where self-governance is possible, you tend to see a much stronger community. Problem players exist on the outer-spectrum of bell curves, but they tend to be more visible than normal players because they're provided with few repercussions, and sometimes are rewarded for being a negative influence. If you similarly incentivize players to punish outliers, like EvE has done with the bounty-system, I think this dynamic could change.


    One thing that I don't think is a solution is to change the rules of the game to take freedoms away from players. Without evil, good isn't very fun at all.

    You could also try and get assholes to stop using the internet, but then this site wouldn't exist anymore.


    Good question.

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  5. Already reviewed it, unless you mean the stand-alone. Use the search.

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  6. The twitch streaming, yolo, swagger personality (cancer) should have some light shed on it. It's just the latest in the list of gaming related things that piss me off.

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  7. Miguel there are two WoW clones that require your immediate attention
    - WildStar
    - TESO

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  8. There isn't a lot of hope on the horizon either. When I was a young lad, and stepped into the online world of Britannia, and then a couple of years later, the world of Asheron's Call -- I thought to myself,

    "MY GOD, I have a whole life of awesomely advancing massive multiple player games to look forward to. They are going to get some incredible, and I'm going to get to play them all!"

    Then WOW came out, and the dream died.

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  9. I'm not entirely sure I'd call those two WoW clones because their combat systems are completely different. I'll be giving impressions, either way.

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  10. On the plus side, the indie scene is more compelling than ever.

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  11. everything is shit. so, i can't blame you for not playing anything even though i enjoy the blog. ...might check out shadowbane emu. hmm...

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  12. With all trends in modern gaming I feel like getting proper brick game is the right way to go!
    (ilustrative photo http://i30.tinypic.com/oqkvlw.jpg )

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  13. Time to rip ESO a new one, seriously.

    Youtube is being WAY too forgiving for the most part. (probably because they already all went out and bought the fucking thing, they're butt hurt.... Little do they know you can get a refund for its suckitude, and if they had played the last beta they should have felt a disturbance in the force)

    I'll share it if you write it. No one listens to girls in gaming circles though. So, you know. Chop chop! Speak for me, because my opinion isn't valid (even though I was playing EQ when some of those kids were BORN, whatever).

    As bad as some of the cookie cutters have been.... ESO is ballsy in what it gets wrong. It's a fucking MMO with broken grouping.

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  14. Well it isn't "that" bad depends on what you focus on. But I think it hurts more 1) because it's been a while since one of these generic MMOs came out, and they're kinda the laughing stock of the internet, there's been so much criticism over them we thought we were past this, 2) because there are upcoming games for 2014-15 that ARE doing new things and they claimed this was one of them, 3) because of the size of the beta and its apparent uselessness, coupled with its insulting business tactics and 4) because it's the ELDER SCROLLS and that's an IP close to peoples' hearts, something they USED to be able to count on for consistently, reliably good games. (blah blah Skyrim is overrated whatever, they have still been reliably GOOD games)

    Lol no one reads your site ; P Just joshing. But if you're looking to crowdsource I wouldn't turn ya down. Be ready for the "tits or GTFO" comments, IDK maybe you get those too.

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  15. My issues are more with how greedy this whole thing seems. Every fan of TES knew that their equation couldn't translate, but their marketing kept insisting that it would. I couldn't stomach the game play because it felt like a huge step back from even Oblivion, likely due to a lack of expertise in network programming.

    I've been trying to reign in hobbyists to write here since my daughter was born, but you can't sell bad news so there isn't money in it.

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  16. Sure, wait for finals to be over (next couple weeks) and I'll send you a thousand item text wall for free. If people share it and it makes them think twice about buying it, it's worth it. I dodged a bullet, canceled my preorder after the last beta.... But maybe a less experienced gamer or one with less developed spidey sense might have gotten sucked into it, drawn in by flashy shit. And that is patently WRONG, to prey on gamers' hopes for a decent TES iteration with a social component, something we've been asking for since Morrowind, and then charge hundreds of dollars and throw in paywalls and cash shops and lazy mechanics.

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  17. Sounds good. Hit me up on Twitter or disappointed@ihatemmorpgs.com when you want to move forward. This comment section is exclusively reserved for telling me how handsome or stupid I am.

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  18. Woah. I need to address that. I come from cattle ranchers, so my scruff is Texan, not hip. You can't just float these rumors.

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  19. Lol I'm from Houston. I would never have called that, looks pretty hipster/vegetarian to me >.>

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  20. If you're talking about my twitter picture, I'm wearing an A&M jacket, as is the hipster custom.

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  21. MMOs will never again be the giant phenom they were in the late 90's and early millennium. Blizzard has made sure of that. Companies are too scared to innovate because they don't want to bomb and not at least get a cash grab in on the deal. And, the ones that just copy the big dog on the block (who is still hemorrhaging accounts, right now) get about a year in before they have to go F2P.


    ESO wanted to be the next big dog, and billed themselves as such. But, like SWTOR, they bombed on a massive scale. They will likely be F2P by July 2015 and they should have just went the F2P route to begin with.


    To be honest, I'm sick and tired of the MMO "genre", now. All they are is glorified chat rooms with decent graphics.

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  22. Hell, I like to think I'm an experienced gamer. My husband and I have been playing MMOs since 1997. And, we fell for the ESO hype. "Oh, don't worry. Things will be better at launch."


    We basically used $80 as high grade toilet paper. Never again.

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  23. GOT to work on that spidey sense then, dude.... I felt something off in the last beta when we tested the imperial stuff, I smelt a cash grab. The horse was the first clue.

    But yeah never again. I'm glad my spidey sense ticked off, because me and my hubby were gonna have our own copies (2 regular copies =$120 + $30/month). I canceled our preorders last minute, dodged a bullet.

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  24. ArcheAge, Black Desert, and EQNext are all breaking the mold.

    There may be light at the end of the tunnel. I'm very cautiously hopeful. But yeah me too, I am over the cookie cutters, they just don't do it for me anymore.

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  25. I don't trust SoE to do right with EQN, but at least they have the budget to try. Indiebprojects like DF and Mortal have failed gloriously.

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  26. I'll admit that I'm already eyeing ArcheAge. I'm just gun shy, now. I can honestly say, without a doubt, I'll never again preorder a game, though.

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  27. Well what's most important is it's at least going to be different. All of those games have unique dynamics behind them.

    But I honestly don't get the SOE hate. They do F2P about as well as it can be done, IMHO.

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  28. Yeah sound practice. I usually don't preorder for this exact reason.... But I did drink the ESO koolaid for a while. Never again.

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  29. We bought ours right from ZOS. I figured, oh hell, I'll do my free 30 days and come back and troll around when it goes F2P, because I knew from beta that it would never manage to stick a subfee very long. When they required the credit card just to even be able to SEE the 30 days free, that was the final knife in the back. I'd be hardpressed to name a company more douchey at the moment.

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  30. I'll agree with this. I'm twitchy with EQNext. The videos and the reveal were so spectacular that you know it would be damned hard to live up to that kind of hype.

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  31. That sucks, I don't think you can get your money back from them. But all the retailers (gamestop, amazon, etc) are giving refunds, so maybe if you bitched enough.

    LOL man that was my exact plan until the last beta.

    We all knew deep down, we were just kidding ourselves : (

    If you aren't safe from this shit in a TES game then what the hell is sacred.

    ZOS can suck my imaginary testicles. They're horrible. 2 million beta testers telling them the same shit in 10 page long surveys for months and they couldn't do THING ONE about it. Ugh. The worst part is the whole "open" development process where they acted like they gave a fuck.

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  32. At least it's guaranteed not to screw you out of 80+ bucks then tank.

    I agree it'll be hard to do everything as awesomely as they claim and they're kinda setting themselves up to fail. But I do think it'll still be a great value, and probably a decent game. It's just that very little could live up to its hype.

    I'm in the Landmark beta on Serenity (NagafenKaty), it's pretty damn cool. If this is how they do a building game, they might, just MIGHT, not be bluffing about Next.

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  33. I hope so. I want to like MMOs again. And, hubby and I both are were just talking last night about how MMOs might be a thing of the past for us.

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  34. And, even after having scores of beta testers telling you what's wrong with you game, they ignored crap like duping bugs that were being reported to them as early as February. They didn't even bother to address those until the "how tos" showed up on Reddit on YouTube.


    Way to go ZOS, let me hand you a shovel so you can dig the grave faster. Oy.

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  35. Are you referring to Planetside 2? I don't hate SoE, I just think EQ1 was their first and last unique MMO (in part because it was the standard for 3D MMORPGs before WoW ate its children). I've seen enough out of ArcheAge to know that the game offers something for everyone, but they also have a F2P model controlled by Trion.

    If you don't remember Trion, they're the makers of the most generic MMORPG in history (Rift), and Defiance which was pretty interesting, but had a really shameful P2W model. Then again, XLGAMES (the makers of ArcheAge) follow me on twitter, so they must be totally cool dudes...

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  36. I smell a kickstarter campaign!

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  37. I'm more worried about Trion than I am about SOE. I SO hope they don't screw AA up. And I already have concerns...

    EQ was SOE's last original thought (actually the original was developed by 989, just published by SOE), but it's probably time again. EQII was developed in competition with WoW, in response to a lot of complaints about EQ, like WoW. I don't think it's fair to call it a WoW clone technically, because WoW didn't exist yet, but gameplay wise, results wise, absolutely it is. But still we shouldn't hold that against them too much. It's definitely possible they have brains we don't know about.

    Like I said the building game is promising.

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  38. Blizzard has a long history of taking things that are pretty close to perfect and refining them into endless-money machines.


    The one thing I've seen out of SoE recently that gives me hope is they appear to be testing various systems by releasing lesser games (H1Z1).


    I'm shocked that nobody mentions Star Citizen, but I know how you girls are with space games :D

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  39. OH HEEEEEELL NAW, no you di-int.

    I like the space strategy games (Galactic Civilizations I'm gonna be on that shit like white on rice), but have yet to find the sci fi MMO worth playing.

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  40. Anarchy Online was pretty incredible, but it got crushed by shinier graphics and less-confusing game play. Most people who played SWG early on have very fond memories, but I was too far into Ultima Online at that time.


    Star Citizen seems like EvE without the spectator-style gameplay. I've always felt like if EvE wasn't garbage, it would be amazing.

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  41. Ugh, I can't stand eve. I would rather watch paint dry. I would rather count wall dots. I would rather watch my grandparents have sex. I would rather shove olive forks into my eyes. My dad loved it-- right before he died, he got me to try it, like "it's good, you'll like it, it's very smart". HOW is it good? WHY do so many people like it? It's torture. What a HORRIBLE way to spend your time.

    And I was too busy EQ fangirling for SWG.

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  42. My opinion of EvE has been well documented: http://www.ihatemmorpgs.com/2011/08/eve-online-raising-bar-for-terribleness.html

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  43. How about Archmage? Is it the sandbox MMO to relive Shadowbane & UO or just broken dreams?

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  44. ArcheAge isn't a 'hardcore' MMO, and it's not really trying to be. It is, however, a very robust sandbox game with varied and interesting mechanics. Everyone I know and their mom is streaming it right now on twitch. It's going to come out F2P, so no reason not to try it.

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  45. If they design a PvP server there has been a lot of talk about player loot those two things together would give us something we haven't had in 10 years.

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  46. yes very true in tor i leveled both jedi knight classes and one is at max lv to be honest the other classes bore me so i resort to chatting around the game thing is some classes in the game excel well in pve and pvp.

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  47. Ever been on the Firefall forums? Players been raging a storm of hatred for months and the game is still limping towards a release!

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  48. I'm sure it's just a rehash of classic Darkfall forum rage.

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  49. My take on MMOs is the following:


    In single player games (and sometimes multi-player) you have NPCs that are interesting because they are created by people who are good at writing dialog and creating characters, or at least there is the possibility that such people will be involved.


    In MMOs, on the other hand, the vast majority of people are just regular joes, drawn from the same population of feckless unimaginative morons that you see on the street everyday. The guy who calls technical support because he can't find the Any key? The guy who screams at the cashier she said "happy holidays" instead of "merry christmas"? The guy who nearly hits you while you are crossing the sidewalk because he can't see a read light, and then blames you for it? Those are the people that populate the MMO world.


    I don't want anything to do with them for free; why would I pay a monthly fee to hang out with them?

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  50. The point of a MMORPG is the possibility for random and unpredictable encounters. When you add a social component to any game, you never know for sure what the outcomes of any interaction will be, and with a single-player game you can just look at a guide to know in advance. Sadly, most MMO developers don't embrace the butterfly effect, so their games are shitty.

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  51. Archeage just another three mother. No one is playing it in Russia any more.

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