Took a while…

I meant to do this post right after I finished the Lost and Finding one but it just slipped off my mind.

As I’ve been thinking about it the past couple of days, I’ve moved away from the “lineage” idea and more towards “sliders”. Taking the ideas from the previous post, “For the sake of latter discussion, EQ was the Grand Story-centric game, UO the PvP/PK-centric game and AC the sort of the Social-centric game…” and giving similar titles to the 1.5 games: DAoC was the Dominant game, AO was the Sci-Fi game, and WW2:O was the Twitch game.

Now, there are two large flaws with the above titles, AC really wasn’t that great at Social aspects, it was just the best of the lot at it, and what the hell made DAoC (and later on WoW) so Dominant?

Looking at it, the big thing that seperated DAoC and AO (ignoring launches) was the setting, both games had pretty solid mechanics. As two mid-line games (like EQ to some extent before it), DAoC was so successful beacuse it was a middle-of-the-road Fantasy game. WoW is rather similar, it boasts very traditional gameplay and with it being a Warcraft succeeds. Thus, Dominance isn’t so much an attribute, as it is being middle-of-the-road.

Looking back, we can define an MMO by: Setting, its PvP/PK System, its importance on Story, its importance on Socialness, and how Twitchy its gameplay is. There needs to be some clarification on Twitchyness though… it isn’t so much how “fast-paced” the gameplay it is, it’s more about how cerebral it is. Cerebralness includes more then just gameplay, but how complex is its character development and how much import it places on instant gratification.

To take pre-NGE SWG as an example:

  • Setting: Space/Sci-Fi Fantasy, original trilogy Star Wars.
  • PvP/PK: Low penalty for death, low/no reward for winning.
  • Story: Very little story integration.
  • Socialness: Required interaction among players, full classes based solely around socialization or commerce.
  • Cerebralness: Complex character development, little instant gratification with fast character progression, traditional MMORPG combat system.

Lineage II:

  • Setting: High Fantasy, generic
  • PvP/PK: Possible high penalty for death, possible high reward for winning. Very group-oriented.
  • Story: Little story integration.
  • Socialness: Near-required interaction among players for high-end leveling or raids, one class based partly around commerce.
  • Cerebralness: Traditional level development with some branching, little instant gratification with a slow character progression, traditional MMORPG combat system.

World of Warcraft:

  • Setting: High Fantasy, Warcraft
  • PvP/PK: Very low penalty for death, very slight reward for winning.
  • Story: Little story integration.
  • Socialness: Required interaction among players for instanced raids.
  • Cerebralness: Traditional level development with some character differentiation, some instant gratification with a slightly fast character progression, traditional MMORPG combat system.

Just some examples, not too well done mind you. Hopefully I’ll be able to bang this out into something more concrete at a later date.