Why a MMO?

Hi everyone. I’ve noticed a lot of MMO startups in the community. I do appreciate the concept behind them (1000s of players simultaneously in a virtual world), although, I never actually played one (does Playerstation Home count?). MMOs are obviously popular and I’m very interested in hearing why Game Devs want to develop them.

I fully understand that MMO development is complicated, requires massive amounts of content, and just overall expensive to maintain. This post is not about that tough stuff, as such challenges will not hinder the inspired and truly Brave.

So, please share your MMO stories/ideas and tell us what will make your MMO the greatest of all time!

If I had to wager a guess, the majority of people who want to develop an MMO fall into 3 categories.

  1. They believe they have a special idea that will make bank/fame. Competition is far tougher than what they might understand.
  2. They have a god complex and want a way to totally control people. Really, the players control you.
  3. Nostalgia for a previous MMO experience.

MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online, so I doubt that Playerstation Home counts, oh and Destiny does not count IMO. I believe that the reason that a lot of people are trying to create MMOs is that it would feel like a greater accomplishment due to its large scale, and they expect to have their large world sessions with 500 players. I think that a large portion of indie developers wanting to make an MMO are in over their heads. I personally am not developing an MMO, but am just working on a game which hopefully will be optimized for 10-20 players.

I would be one of those that would aspire to one day make an MMO. Probably for the 1st reason that The Britain listed. At the moment I’m just laying the ground work, which is slow going, but I believe in what I’m doing. I understand that there is fierce competition in game development in general let alone the MMO market. Mostly my vision comes from the short fall of the games that I currently play. They could be SO much more, but aren’t due to the way the AAA industry works. Call it crazy, but it’s apparently what I am.

Personally, I would fall into The Britain’s supposed minority. (Lol)

My desire is to make a game that is playable as a community. I don’t want total control, I don’t have a unique idea that will change cooperative gaming as we know it. I don’t have nostalgia.

I desire to create a game that also happens to be online and accessible to many players at once. A place with its own story, characters, and atmosphere.

If I have to make some sacrifices of content along the way, such as graphical complexity or the size of my world, so be it. I want to build something quality, even if small.

MMOs are the game I want to build because they are the games I like to play. I want to give back something to the community that I experienced in the form of a new world. A new book, so to speak, or at least a few decent chapters. :slight_smile:

It’s more fun and interesting if the enemy/foe is a real person.

Why make an MMO is pretty easy… a mixture of money and emergent gameplay. In short, to some degree, an MMO doesn’t have to rely on crafting every encounter. The players create their own emergent story and combat (if you did a good job) and quests create their own emergent action. That plus the fact that if you “win” at making an MMO you get to build a Scrooge McDuck moneybin.

Really, though we focus so heavily on the homerun MMOs, even a moderate MMO that doesn’t overspend can make a great long term investment. Anarchy Online and Dark Age of Camelot are still around after 10 years! 8bit ( MMO is doing just fine with its MMO staff of 1 person. Same for Ascent - The Space Game (

In short there are two camps of people for MMOs. Those aiming to be the next WoW or die trying (Tabula Rasa, I am looking at you) or those aiming to be a cost effective long term return. Most games seem to fall somewhere between these points and have mixed results (Secret World, Champions, etc.) - Even these mid cases, most of them make some money if they’re at all good games. The total **** ones don’t, but even the most expensive MMO of all time (Star Wars Galaxies) has turned a profit on revenue (no clue if it turned a net profit after rev splits and licensing).

I suck at developing anything but im so sick of these stupid mmorpgs nowdays.So much technology and they make mmo’s worse than 5 years ago.
Why mmo’s you ask? because online interaction is the best, and here comes the first thing that annoys me at todays mmo’s they dont make players play togheter, they are antisocial, everyone runs their own quest doing their thing and have huge griefing pk maps where lvl 100 comes to kill lv 20’s just plain stupid.
My idea of an mmo is something like runescape gameplay(my first mmo love) you can get gear/potions/food/munition, almost anything by crafting and material gathering by cutting trees, mining and fishing, im sick of killing dragons to drop iron ores or some stupid stuff.
Also i hate these crappy mmo’s where you have to spam 1,2,3,4 for skills its just such a boring concept. I love vindictus free style combat where it relies more on skill to dodge or blocks and such rather than knowledge of the items you wear and what to equip since you are going to constantly going to get damaged.

There are many more other issues i see in all mmo’s too much to write, no one tries to make something original they just keep copying stuff look at cabal 2 its so sad, cabal 1 was amazing and very unique.
If i could make an mmo it would be like nothing there is out there, i dislike most concepts that already exist and are being copied over and over again.

Dont think ill ever make any mmo’s, those are large team projects, the networking/databases and antihack protections consumes a lot manpower alone, and the programming is quite different than singleplayer and much harder, also i think you need C++, dont know if i can interact with networking/servers and databases using blueprints.
But for me gaming must be an online experience co-op or mmo i dont really enjoy singleplayers anymore they are lifeless without players to interact with.

  1. The subscription model promised reoccurring sales = big profits!, but, it appears most MMO have transitioned to the Free-To-Play Item Mall model. If I was to ever build a MMO I would offer multiple pay-to-play models, after all there are42 ways to monetize your game.
  2. God Complex? I could rationalize this occurring, especially if Game Devs/Admins can participate as a Game Masters in real-time creating events and quest on-demand in the Virtual World they developed.
  3. Unfortunately I never played the MMO Oldies. But, I assume today’s games are the evolutionary result of these games.

I personally would like to see more innovation in the networking for MMOs. With all of the MMOs out there, I think it would pretty cool to merge game world simulations in real-time to include content, game mechanics, players, etc.

I’d also like the new hybrid games coming out, why not hybrid MMOs with multiple Clients Types (ie: Top-down RTS, FPS, Third-Person RPG, ) that interface to a single game world simulation.

With all of the assets developed for a MMO I think it makes perfect sense to reuse them in other non-MMO products. Some MMOs have auctions, why not action off old content to game devs for use in other game products? MMO Content Clearing house?

This could equally apply to all legacy games, especially those sitting warehoused with little redeemable value. So why don’t more studios try to shake value out of legacy IP? I suspect its legal. For example the lawyers at Epic still can’t decide if we can use UDK assets in UE4 or not…

There are MMO’s that offer changing perspectives (top down / first person / side views) like WOW etc. In general its an interesting idea if the game supports it and hasn’t got holes when viewed from different POV’s obviously. Personally, I don’t get games that are top down or side view only, it only takes me out of the game same as a cut scene. Some hardcore MMO’ers frown on that. But I believe you should be able to play the game how you want it to be, not what the developers dictated. Listen to savants like Sean@Hello-Games, what makes a game interesting for the player is the feeling that they are experiencing their own journey in the world, not following some linear path to a checkpoint or being bullied into collaborating solely to avoid MMO annihilation.

What do you mean exactly, isn’t this what Eve Online, Elite-Dangerous and the yet to be released Star-Citizen aim to do?

I don’t get this either, Hell your not even allowed to use accents from earlier game by same Dev’s, Take Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim, can you imagine the mods
that would be turned out if you had access to ALL those assets. seems very wastefull to me.

Thing I don’t like about MMO’s in the forced multi player mind set, sure it’s an MMO but does soloing and joining forces for the tuff jobs and maybe
sitting chatting with folk in teamspeak mean your being antisocial I don’t think so the other thing is where games trhow out the rpg side of things
and make PVP the main object to the game, a recent MMO has toa large degree done just that, sthe soryline is a roleplay the history is roleplay
to beable to roleplay with friends and do the PVE content in an MMO-RPG setting was I neat idea but they soled out (IMHO) to the force of
popular MMO players and have gone more and more to PVP and of course the might in game store to sell ****, there been more objects in the last year
turned up for sale than been new content. Feels to me like game quality and content is taking second place to “what **** can we sell”

As The Britain stated, I think I have an idea that would make bank; or be a huge waste of time and money. However, I think that I have an “idea” of a cool concept that people might enjoy. If I make a profit, sweet. If I make enough profit to make it a full time job and hire people, then that would be even more kick !@#. However, make no mistake; I do realize how tough the competition is. Many ideas don’t even see the light of day, let alone have enough players to make keeping the servers up sustainable.

No matter what, it’s a learning experience. You can’t be a successful game dev without failing allot.

Setting realistic goals is a big part of that learning experience

These days MMO equals survivalnequalsmRust, if it isn’t a WoW-clone or an asian grindfest.

Beyond that we are not yet at a point where anything serious is viable. Possibly soon, but not yet.

I’m one of those who have dreams to make an MMO aswell. Mainly because I have the best game expierences in MMO games.
I’m aware there already excist many MMO’s and more are underway. But that wont stop me from atleast trying.

Rome wasn’t build in one day with just 1 asset.

Perhaps, O.K., we know there are issues, what solutions do you propose?

  1. Just doing it for fun.

Actually, I have been thinking about it and its really likely that an MMO style game that isnt meant to be an MMO may end up being a new indie game trend. Think about a game that plays like World of Warcraft but is only meant to be single player or coop. Its an entire nitch market that doesn’t even exist yet. The advantages of something like this would be that you can make mods for it and are generally free to enjoy it in privacy or with your friends.

There has to be demand for something like this. And we may be witnessing the trend before it even happens.

I think there are many niche’s to fill. AAA studios just keep remaking the exact same MMO experience. Instanced zones, the same ol quests, etc.

People have an idea for a niche and want to explore it. There are many like this. Like for example Mortal Online. You’ve probably never heard of it. They have maybe 400-500 players but it’s enough to keep a team of about 4 employed and working on it. It’s an amazing MMO, but wont appeal to everyone.

Gaming as evolved away from single player experiences. Though many of us still enjoy them, many many others would rather play together with friends they’ve made online. I think a lot of people have an idea for a game, but they want to mold it such that people can play together.

To me it’s a good thing. I agree it’s incredibly hard and many wont succeed, but for the sake of future games that don’t suck and aren’t just rehashes of other games we need indie devs to come up in this realm. I always get irked when people flat out tell newbies that they are dumb for trying to make an MMO. They’ll find out how hard it is on their own. Hopefully they overcome it and we get more games like mortal online that can attract a community and over years build up into a pretty awesome game.