[MUD-Dev] Current State of MMOG's?

Scott Jennings scottj at mythicentertainment.com
Wed Dec 17 15:02:48 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

From: "Chris" <cwstewart at csupomona.edu>

> Here's an article questioning "Where's the real MMORPGs?" It
> reviews the industry and the gamers dedicated MMOG's. Without
> remorse the article takes a stab at nearly every mainstream MMO
> available. For those interested you can read it here:

>   http://www.gamemethod.com/archive/214.php

This article is written from one particular viewpoint: the early
Ultima Online (circa 1999) player who misses the target-rich
environment of other players who can be easily victimized.

Ultima Online in those days was unique; it was the first truly
mass-market MMO, and it housed PVE and PVP players in the same
environment. Not surprisingly, many preyed on the PVErs (it was far
more efficient to harvest people who harvested monsters than to
harvest the monsters). When UO changed to alleviate the
predator/prey environment, the predators felt, in many cases,
personally betrayed. Thus the bile aimed at anyone who doesn't agree
with this author's personal viewpoint - they're not just wrong,
they're destroying every game ever created! How can people not
understand that you need targets... Er... A complete world. And you
should force them to consent to your own playstyle (although of
course, your consenting to someone else's playstyle is RIGHT out of
the question) because that makes it a "real world" and gives you
"something to fight over" (this despite the fact that, in early UO,
there was very little actual fighting back occuring - the game
mechanics precluded anything beyond the hit-and-run attacks with no
retaliation possible.) Basically, what this writer describes is a
nostalgia for the days when the strong could rule the weak.

Frankly, speaking as someone whose livelihood depends on a
successful multiplayer game, this is not a playstyle that I want to
encourage, ever. If they can make a living at it (and I'd suggest
the first step would be to develop a game server that doesn't
require EA's intellectual property/client), more power to them. I
suspect, however, the wolves will eventually miss the sheep.
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