A while back, MOP’s Eliot, Chris, and I were discussing Last Oasis and why it didn’t take off. Collectively, I think we determined it was a bunch of factors, including the fact that it was a bit of an emptybox asking players to, as Chris put it, “establish a freakin’ kingdom from nothing” – but “without that mechanic all you have is Conan Exiles but crappier and with wood spiders.” Harsh, maybe, but true. MMO players have seen these kinds of mechanics a thousand times.
I think there’s another layer to it too: I think it’s also an issue of faith. An MMO holds together as long as there’s a critical mass of people who have faith that it will hold together, and when that fails, it’s over.
And Eliot pointed out that a lot of early access and Kickstarter MMOs also attract the types of players who will fight hard over what the game is and whom it should be for; they don’t want to see the game shift to suit the “masses,” but the masses are the fans most likely to stay long-term and bolster the game’s success. In other words, the early-adopter superfans solve one problem but create new ones.
I thought it was worth some further discussion, not really for Last Oasis specifically but for any MMO. How much do you think MMOs succeed on faith vs. mechanics and fanbases?