Raph Koster’s new MMORPG will be more than ‘just hack and slashing your way through levels’


Yesterday, we reported on something pretty thrilling for long-time MMORPG fans: Raph Koster, one of the brains behind classic MMORPG sandboxes Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, not only announced a new MMO and studio but revealed that he’d secured a hefty chunk of seed funding to bolster the unknown amount he’d already raised.

Down in the comments under our article, there was a hearty debate over the type of MMORPG it would be, especially after interviews and the game’s description was a bit vague, focusing on multiple playstyles, diverse experiences, and potentially short sessions of play.

A new interview with Koster up today on GIbiz sheds even more light on Koster’s planned direction with the new title – and where he thinks the MMO industry went wrong.

“There’s this craving for alternate worlds that are richer than just hack and slashing your way through levels. So that’s what we’re out to build.” -Raph Koster
“When I look at what has happened with MMOs, it feels like it’s really fallen into a template, and it’s a pretty old template,” Koster told GIbiz. “Let’s party up, let’s kill some monsters, we’ll level up, and then rinse-repeat. And we know from seeing how sandbox-y play has evolved over the decades that online game players want to do way, way more than just that. And those other ways to play really not only broaden the audience, but they make the alternate world really come alive.”

In other words, don’t be setting your hopes on just another themepark MMORPG – that’s just never been what Koster does. You might, however, take note of Koster’s opinion on abusive monetization and how it wrecks trust between communities and developers.

“It feels to me like everything we do in a game-as-a-service needs to be driven around the idea that you’re building a community, building for the long haul, and building a relationship of trust between the operator and the player. […] The fact that we’ve landed some place where there are lawsuits or legislation around loot boxes tells me we took a wrong turn somewhere along the way.”

Source: GIbiz. In the absence of pics of the new game, the header image is from SWG.
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