17 March 2011

Should MMOs be more like single-player games? - by Joao Beraldo

      Posted 03/15/11 01:33:00 am  

Most of today’s single-player action games like Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed have around 15-25 hours of gameplay. These games share some similarities as the player progresses: the character gains more abilities that affect gameplay (weapons, moves, new mission types, etc), he advanced in a linear story, meets new characters, kills new enemies and often has the chance to explore something extra. Also they all share about the same payment method: you pay around $40 and you have access to all the game for as long as you like.

They are also, of course, single-player experiences.

In most MMOs today, like in World of Warcraft, you take 20 minutes to reach a third or less of the your game progression. And, most of the time, that means little gameplay, hardly any story, a multitude of disposable npcs and tons of variants of the same enemies, all of that often focused on a limited repetition of completing the same kinds of quests with the obvious lack of effect to the game world.

I am not oblivious to what is new or is to come. Cataclysm has added many minigames to their quests and Guild Wars 2 promises much with their dynamic events, but the question remains: Did we need to make MMOs so much differently then our single-player games?

The first thing that came to my mind when I wrote the above question was that it was a matter of using a different media. Just like a scriptwriter has to adapt when he turns a novel into a movie, a game designer must adapt as he turns a single-player into a massive multiplayer. But how much of this adaptation has actually occurred in MMOs?

If you go back to Ultima Online and other similar ‘original’ MMOs (and you might add MU

No comments:

Post a Comment