Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a big push for MMO studios to talk up their numbers – and by that I mean how many people they can squeeze into an MMO’s functional play area, not total population. Camelot Unchained has put 5000 humans and bots on a battlefield. Dual Universe put 30000 on the same planet in alpha. Ashes of Creation says it’s hoping to launch with the “largest organized PVP battles of any MMORPG.” And CCP Games – which already holds the record for biggest PvP battle at just over 6000 bodies – is hoping to top that with an EVE Online collab that’s recruiting 10,000 pilots for a tech test.
Now, I gotta be honest, I freakin’ love seeing things like this, and not just because of the epic headlines. This is ambitious! This is truly capitalizing on the “massively” in MMORPG! This is what I want to see devs doing!
On the other hand, I am not actually sure whether it matters too much to me – or other MMO players – on a regular basis. I can unreservedly say there’s a big difference between 10 and 100 and 1000 PvP combatants, or 100 and 1000 on a server economy. But in a 5000- or 10000-person battle, I’m probably not going to interact with more than a few hundred of them anyway. I’m glad they’re there and we’re all together (and I especially don’t want to deal with multiple servers), but sometimes I wonder whether tech like this has the functional impact we’d like to think it does.
What do you think – does size really matter in MMOs, in PvP or out?