Global Chat: What makes an ‘MMO’ an MMO?


Pulling back to look at the very big picture of it all, Tipa at Chasing Dings asks a pretty relevant question in this ever-shifting genre: What makes an MMO an MMO these days?

“Why does it matter how broadly we define an MMO? If we start excluding games, we run the risk of mummifying the whole genre. On the other hand, if every online game is an MMO, there’s no meaning to it.”

Yeebo Fernbottom (lovely name, that!) had a response, saying, “To me what distinguishes a MMO from a MMORPG is not really any particular mechanics but a design sensibility. If the one of the central design goals is to create the illusion of a shared fantasy world, with at least some of the expected entertainment coming from social interactions with other avatars being run by players it’s a MMORPG.”

This Week in Aurebesh looked at the fantastic work that the SWTOR fashion community has done: “People joke about SWTOR’s true endgame being ‘Space Barbie,’ but I think it is true for any game in which players can customize their avatar’s appearance. Casual or hardcore, raider, PVPer or solo story player, I’ve never met anyone in SWTOR or WOW or any other game who did not care what their character looks like.”

Going Commando explained how SWTOR’s conquest works: “If your character is level ten or above, earning 100k Conquest points in any given week (starting on Tuesday with the weekly reset) will give you a reward. Even if you’ve never cared about Conquest, even if you didn’t know what Conquest even was, you’ve likely taken part in it by just playing.”

Altar of Gaming has 14 tips to help you survive hardcore WoW Classic: “Try to be two levels higher than the area’s recommended level. It’s better safe than sorry in Wow Hardcore if you want to survive! Green mobs are a few levels lower and you can kill them pretty easily and safely.”

MMO Bits has a full guide to New World’s transmog system: “New World’s transmog systems allows you to turn any item earned in game into a skin using transmog tokens and dye it. Skins that are bought from the shop are also dyeable. Use transmog tokens at the Stylemancer NPC to turn collected gear pieces into skins.”

Mailvatar gushed about Warframe for a bit: “The thing is, Digital Extremes’ masterpiece has spoiled me in some fundamental ways, and whenever I play an even remotely similar game I can’t help but compare the two. As you’ve probably guessed by now, Warframe always seems to come out on top in some – to me – very important respects.”

Nerdy Bookahs shared a few roads never taken in Guild Wars 2: “I have never finished the personal story with a Norn — but with all other races. Maybe this isn’t too uncommon. I am not sure how many other players love alts as much as I do!”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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