Within Gaming, there are genre’s much like films, TV, Books etc..and over the years they have grown as games themselves have grown got better, these include FPS, RTS, RPG, MMO, Tactical shooter, Sim, Turn base Sim, among others. In this post, we look at the MMO which spawned from the RPG among others and for many still very unclear what it is.
What’s an MMO?
MMO is an odd one, I understand for many that they haven’t got a clue what it is, for me, I’ve grown up playing games and worked in the industry, MMO has been something I have been around now for many years. Even the kids have looked at them but I’ve been around them now cracking on 20 years and is often one that I play with friends, and that’s the big key point it’s a Massively Multiplayer Online game and to confuse it further it could be described as an open-world RPG or MMORPG.
Of course the big kicker for it was online, once online gaming became a thing on PC’s this opened up a variety of different ways to play, where Console gaming was still a little way from it, PC went all-in on Online and this made game makers think differently, think out of the box, and it needed something big to group together. Battlefield set the stage for Shooters (more of that another day) but with RPG’s some games had dabbled in online play like Neverwinters, but it was Everquest that set the stage.
The Titles that changed the game
I was never hugely into it but Everquest should always go down as the part one game change in this format. It took RPG elements and added online gameplay but it was to the masses, it was a niche type game, more geeky type while it had the stigma still, so not many people were really playing them.
But there were two games that came out relatively close to each other that spawned the MMO universe, EVE online took the space genre into MMO, it set the standard with its huge ships battles, diverse content added the fact the pure amount you could do.
However with how good EVE online was for space MMO, it was World of Warcraft that changed the game, it took the genre of MMO to the mass, it took the MMORPG to become a world-renowned brand to the masses, it created a pop culture of that type, it stood alongside LOTR and D&D in popularity and knowledge and you can argue more than any RPG, MMO at the time, 17 years later it still going strong even amongst the Blizzard issues.
But WOW brought that attention, it brought new people to genre, they also help raise the idea of subscription service, in which you buy the game and you pay monthly but they intern would provide the servers and additional game content as we went by, nowadays this became more common but in its day this was very unusual but people paid it, and other games got on this bandwagon.
Fast forward through the years many games have come and gone and some have stayed, MMO’s provide that next level of loyalty that seemingly misses out on other game Genre’s, People have played Runescape, WOW, Eve online for years.
Modern-day times WOW still sits up there but with so many choices now and still a paid service their numbers are less than what they are, RPG giants Final Fantasy entered the Market and alongside Guild Wars 2 and the newer game from Amazon New World, MMO is here to stay. I’m not here to say which is better because let’s face it, people would have an emotional response because MMO brings out that loyalty, people get defensive and fight for their game which is fine.
There is Story there
In Most MMO’s there’s always lots to do, and that a big part of the game, especially in RPG terms, there is a story and things to do, sometimes you could forget there’s a story as the in-game played time it’s only a small part of it, even with expansions, or GW2 Living world there’s an additional story, in Final Fantasy, Guild Wars 2, WoW have tried to put a lot of effort into there story.
However the MMO game isn’t all about that, let’s are honest a story would last 6-10 hours in most games, MMO’s gameplay takes days of gameplay time, it’s all about repetition, “grinding”, achievements, searching for items, Crafting, PVP, etc.. there’s so much to do and that’s what keeps the players playing. The ability for many to create and customise their own characters and have skills abilities that they want and use is much more detailed than other genre’s, this helps to add to the “it’s theirs” mantle with characters.
Overall whether you have played them, looked down at them, enjoyed them, loved them, hated them, MMO’s are still here to stay, and they provide more passionate fashions than most Genre’s, there a money maker for companies for players you can get a lot of gameplay out of there, especially compared to other top games out there.
For me they are still one of the best Genre’s out there and the one that still needs explaining the most, they can be done brilliantly but some can be dead in the water and wait months/years to be sorted, fixed or actual content. This is good and bad of MMO’s genre, they are always better in the future than they are right now, but sometimes its worth waiting for, or joining that journey but for most MMO players it is.