When it comes time for whatever reason to put an MMORPG to pasture, how should a studio do it? For Brian “Psychochild” Green, this question is not merely academic. Green has been through an MMO sunset twice with Meridian 59, and in an interesting essay he talks about the difficult choices involved in the process.
“Let’s say you’ve decided to shut down a game. When do you announce the shutdown? Again, cold, hard reality means that you probably want to give as little time between announcement and closure as possible. First, some players may buy into the game a little more before the announcement, although some of these players will probably seek refunds. […] The other big issue is the amount of time you have to officially deal with the fuss from the remaining players about closing down the game.”
It’s not all depressing sunset talk in today’s tour of the MMO blogosphere! We’ve got unconventional takes on classes, comparisons of PvP styles, cries for gaming assistance, and more waiting for you in today’s blog roundup.
“This is quite possibly the weirdest damn thing I’ve ever seen in a video game. Might have been the weirdest thing I’d seen period, but I used to live in Parkdale.”
“I don’t know if I’ve ever written this, but I feel like LOTRO is one of the last of the ‘old school’ generation of MMORPGs. By which I mean the generation of MMORPGs where the world is actually massive (ie. it takes a long time to run from one side to the other). (That, by the way, is what I’ve always thought the ‘massive’ in MMORPG meant — not the number of players, but the size of the world.)”
“The profusion of classes and races is one of the reasons why I recommended we try EverQuest II over other, older, MMORPGs. The game also has some systems that help make duo gameplay that much more viable — mercenaries, mentoring (if one of us gets out of sync level-wise) and chronomancy level-sync so we can repeat lower level dungeons for variety.”
“That’s why when a game takes a chance on a new take on one of these archetypes, I’m always interested even if the first pass isn’t so great. The Disciple in Warhammer Online healed by doing damage in melee. The Sith Assassin in SWTOR can be built as a double-bladed lightsaber wielding tank, wading into the fight with disruptive abilities while garnering attention. And recently, Overwatch’s newest character, Ana, is a healing sniper, with a rifle capable of both damaging and healing at the same time.”
“Any time you feel that MMOs like WoW have gotten too silly over the years… well: This is TERA.”
“I have a love-hate relationship with event rewards. The limited time nature of these events make it a little stressful. If you can’t grind all the things or can’t log in everyday to get your rewards you miss out. Then the item is either forever unattainable or some guy will sell it to you for way to much. At the same time because it’s a limited time event it makes it all that more special to have.”
“I know these are embarrassing quest fails. And I won’t get started on the real life things I can’t do very well. Suffice to say knives, tin openers and bottle openers are usually stored out of my reach and there’s not a door in the house I’ve not walked into. Poor reactions and general clumsiness — both in and out of game. And I’m meant to be a hero in Azeroth? Somehow I suspect I’m more of a liability.”
“And of course, the city has changed since we last spent time in it in Northrend. There are some wonderful updates — most notably the city square, the shops and the general details about the place that make it seem downright spiffy.”
“I feel both games have their pros and cons when it comes to PvP and I like PvPing in both games, Perhaps SWTOR and WildStar could learn from each other and improve PvP for the players. Unfortunately in both games, PvP receives minimal attention compared to other aspects of each game. Overall though, I feel that PvP is in a healthier state in SWTOR (despite class balance issues) then in WildStar.”