The rise, and fall of the mmorpg.
Reading the topic. Someone might say “Wait, that’s not right. There are plenty of mmorpgs! In fact it seems like a dozen new MMORPG’s pop up every day.” Which I would have to say is true. However, they are not of the same grade as the generations before them. It’s sad to say, but the world of mmorpg’s is in decline.
To get a good idea of the point I’m trying to get across, you need to know some of the history of the genre. The MMORPG was born as a graphical version of a type of online text game called a “M.U.D” or “Multi User Dungeon”. MMORPG’s like EverQuest adopted the class, leveling, and race systems of MUD’s almost exactly. At the time though the MMORPG’s game play, and content paled in comparison next to their text counter parts. Many MUD’s had hundreds of zones, dozens of player usable classes, and races. Slowly as MMORPG’s progressed, both by expansion releases and new games with more features, they managed to catch up in these areas. Unfortunately, they never did introduce the advanced multiclass systems that exist in text MUD’s. MMORPG’s even started to introduce new concepts, such as wars, raiding, etc… where hundreds of people could work together at once to achieve a goal.
So… what happened? Well I personally think it was the “flood effect”. People saw success and they wanted in on the money. The market got flooded with graphically pretty MMORPG’s that had very little substance. To compete, they started to make novelty MMORPG’s, and “free to play” versions, most of which had maybe a dozen zones, one race, and a small handful classes. This in effect “lowered the bar”. Then there is the addition of “features” that are designed to limit the players progress, rather then expand the game play have become common. You can see this in items wearing out, de-leveling, and required quests before players can expand beyond particular levels.
It’s sad to see an entire genre stagnate, with each successive generation. The games get smaller and more limited while focusing too much on the graphics and novelty. Rather then depth of game play and social interaction. There are still a few good MMORPG’s out there. Most of them have a been around awhile, however, unless someone breaths new life into a declining genre then I’m afraid we have seen the end of the golden age of MMORPG’s.
There are still some good online games to play though like Party Bingo.
Leave a comment and let us know what online games you like to play!