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Published on September 12th, 2011 | by Coyle Permetter, Editor

5 Things Next-gen MMORPG’s need to do to Survive

With MMORPG’s being the single most profitable asset to video game publishers, there is a huge rush into the market by developers of all sizes.  Titles such as Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic are generating a lot of buzz.  Through this wave of potential most have fallen short of our expectations and as a result, one game has truly dominated the market (World of Warcraft).   This has hurt us consumers, as we have only one really big competitor in the market.  This list is the things that I believe future developers will have to address if they ever wish to beat the 10 year old WoW, and more importantly how to redefine and evolve a genre that hasn’t changed much in over a decade.

5.)  Grind on me

Ok Final Fantasy XI was a lot of fun, Everquest and Ultima Online had moments I will remember forever.  Unfortunately for every two hours of fun I had it usually required 20+ hours of gameplay per week.  This simply doesn’t do anymore.  Even World of Warcraft has cut it’s required experience to the level cap in half since the original release.  For future titles to succeed there must be an alternative to patrolling the wilderness and killing hundreds of monsters just to level up.

4.) Have a story

Make an internal environment and quests that create a story that the external (player base) users control.  Too many times MMORPG “stories” consist of simply taking a handful of NPC’s and throwing them everywhere on the map.  It then is apparently easter because all I’m doing is running all over the #$#ing map from place to place  looking for eggs errr questgivers.  Is it too much to ask that the main leveling questline has some sort of I don’t know….plot? Don’t know how to do this developers? See Diablo.

3.) Are you smarter then a fifth grader?

I think I am, so I don’t know why the most challenging quest I get is “Obtain up five feathers”, followed by the ever so popular  “kill five birds”.  And who could forget the immensely challenging “talk to rainstomper jack and kill five black birds to obtain five black feathers”.  It’s okay to make quests fun.  God forbid you implement some type of platforming or puzzle solving to one of your games.  Quests should offer variety and challenge, it should make the leveling up process fun and rewarding.

2.) Have an Economy that Works

The currency that I get from my quests and gameplay should be able to be used to purchase game assets at a reasonable price.  That simple, ’nuff said.

1.) Be Original!

Nothing is more frustrating from developers then when they promise the moon and the stars, and I load up the game to find its simply a cheap knock-off of a game I’ve already played 20 times!!! The reason I’m trying a new game is because I want something different!  Use the millions upon millions of dollars your going to be generating to produce something that hasn’t been done before.  Be innovative, be creative, but most importantly be original!

World of Warcraft

 

Rift

 

Runes of Magic


 


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