The Daily Grind: Would you be interested in a retro-styled MMORPG?


As it’s been about a year now, I know that pretty much nobody remembers John Smedley’s ill-fated Hero’s Song. For a while there, we were cheering it on pretty hard, even though it wasn’t a full-blown MMORPG. The retro stylings and promised agile development blossomed some excitement, especially for those of us who wouldn’t mind a modern MMO with a 16-bit aesthetic.

There certainly aren’t a lot of these types of MMOs out there, and those that do exist are pretty niche. Guild Wars 2 has its goofy Super Adventure Box sub-game, Realm of the Mad God makes the most of its permadeath world, and the upcoming Dragon of Legends has had my interest for a while now.

Would you be interested in a retro-styled MMORPG, one that would use pixel art, be presumably in 2-D, and yet have most of the features of modern games?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Considering that most of my time is spent in Creativerse and prior to its sunset was spent in Skysaga plus I’ve done quite a bit of Minecraft (but I prefer the Creativerse peaceful mode where it has all the mobs but they simply don’t attack without being prompted to …) – I care very little about graphics and much more about gameplay depth and features.
I’m a big UO fan too, just don’t like how it is impossible to gain a foothold on the official servers if you are a latecomer – ghost towns and utterly cluttered areas full of very aesthetically questionable player constructs.

I love that more companies are now looking and open for more diverse and more abstract or simplistic looks to keep costs down and enable more computing power to go to features. Look at the Czech YLand, that is very interesting for example in my opinion!

Kickstarter Donor

I would do 2D if the art work was good. As @Thithega below mentioned, Glitch was really fun and beautiful, but that pixelated stuff, no.. I don’t want that.

Loyal Patron

Potentially, yes, depending on the aesthetic. I’d be up for something like a Legend of Dungeon MMO, but not something that was more visually inspired by classic jrpgs.




Tibia is online, no need to cry lol…

Jake Boller

Definitely. If the gameplay is there, and it has a nice retro style, I would be totally in.


If it had an open world, great systems for crafting and non-combat stuff and other modern MMO trappings I would definitely give it a shot. It would need some decent pixel graphics. Hell, I’d play UO if it didn’t hurt my eyes to look at it.


So in other words SWG :P



Why would you voluntarily go for worse graphics? I generally don’t care about graphics, I don’t have a top-end PC and it’s not a factor for me. But, I always try to aim for the best graphics that my computer can handle because….well, why wouldn’t you?

So, the only reason I would be interested is if the game does something that cannot be found elsewhere. Its why I bought a Wii U – games and gameplay you can’t get elsewhere. So, in the MMO world, I would assume the reason for going with shitty pixel art is because you want a massive scale – 1000s of players visible and interacting, fully destructible environments etc. You know, stuff that wouldn’t be possible with modern graphics because there would be too much going on.

Rolan Storm

Not really. 2.5D modern engine similar to Baldur’s Gate or Fallout will be fine if the game is good. But those pixel games… Why? Just – why?


Hmm. Modern game mechanics with pixel art?

The only way to sell a pixel art game is for it to be unique and fun. Incorporate the best of the old with the best of the new and stir it up with innovation and good writing. Put that in the microwave and hope for Stardew Valley and not Hero’s Song.

But, pixel art is not an attraction. IMO, pixel art games like Stardew Valley are successful in spite of their outdated graphics and not because of them.