The Daily Grind: Which ‘MMO-lite’ utilizes the best parts of the MMO genre?

    
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One of the interesting twists and turns of the MMORPG market over the past decade is the rise of what we’re starting to call “MMO-lites” — titles that offer a streamlined and scaled-down online RPG experience. These may contain the basic gameplay loop of your standard MMO (quest, kill, loot, level up), but they’re not quite as full-featured as our favorite virtual worlds.

Titles such as Warframe, The Division 2, Anthem, Destiny 2, Fallout 76, and Sea of Thieves have all given us a different way to approach online gaming, and for some players it seems to hit that sweet spot of providing progression and socialization without getting bogged down in the details.

Looking at the design of these MMO-lites and others, which would you say utilizes the best parts of MMOs? If they had to trim the fat and cut some of the luxuries, which game made the best decision to provide a solid end product?

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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sophiskiai

If they had to trim the fat and cut some of the luxuries, which game made the best decision to provide a solid end product?

For at least the first four games on that list, I don’t see their design as taking an MMO and cutting parts away but rather as the current point of evolution for a genre which started with Doom and Quake and has become steadily more MMOish over time.

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Suikoden

I guess games like Warframe and MHW would fall into the category that I would call MMO-lite. You can still see a lot of people in the hubs, like in GW1, and form a clan and do a lot of group activities with an active community and and ever growing and expanding world. Maybe I’d toss POE and DFO in there as well.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

MMO-lites? I always called them coop FPS games, but hey, whatever you like to call them…

Oh, and the best part about MMOs is that they’re “massive”. None of the listed games have ever made me feel that way. Especially Fallout 76 – a garbage game by garbage people which has less players per server than BF games.

SirUrza
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SirUrza

Shlooters as silly as it sounds I can get behind, but not MMO-lite. For one you never see more then a dozen players in the shared hub areas and for most of these games you never see anyone in the open world.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

None of them do. The way I see it, the true-defining feature of a MMO is a persistent open world hub where you interact with other players.

Sure, MMOs also have your instanced dungeons, your pvp arenas, your battlegrounds, your single player narratives, etc.

But every other non-MMO has that, and you wouldn’t call those MMOs would you?

All those MMO-lites you see out there aren’t MMOs at all because they lack the persistent open world hub aspect.

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Utakata

It means I have to play those to give an opinion on this. :(

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Schmidt.Capela

The first Guild Wars. It keeps most of the things I enjoy about MMOs while deviating from the traditional MMO formula either in elements I don’t care about or in things I dislike.

Worth noting, though, that this typically only works for me if the game is designed as a MMO and then tweaked to be closer to an offline game, not the other way around. Some of the main features I like in offline games can’t survive the transition to the game being always-online, which means whenever I feel like it’s an offline game trying to become a MMO I will likely dislike the game.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

I would have to agree with others that I don’t really consider games like Destiny 2 or Anthem to be MMOs or MMO-lites any more than I would consider games like LoL, DotA, and HotS to be classified as such.

To me, the epitome of “MMO-lite” would be the original Guild Wars. That took the best parts of the traditional MMO and put it’s own spin on the genre.

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Fervor Bliss

Second Life has all the social to a little of the gaming (The shooting gaming, space and cowboys is not great to be honest. Another great idea before technology was good enough to implement it well). Want to learn 3D modeling and photoshop. Import your creations into the game and test them. Or join a group and listen to NPR Science Friday live.

Landmark you had such potential.

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rafael12104

Hmm. I can’t. I mean, it doesn’t work that way for me. I don’t look for pieces of MMORPGS in MMOs. Truly, they are different and what I look at with MMO-Lite games is the overall experience.

Having said that, I can tell you which MMOLite games I like. Warframe, Anthem, The Division 1 and 2 and those are just a few. These are new elixirs and I look forward to more like them. BUT, not as a replacement for MMORPGs but rather as an additional component to online gaming.

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