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February 15, 2010

Comments

mbp

It took me almost a month to complete the single player game "Dragon Age". It was a well crafted game with an engaging story line and I consider it good value for the $50 or so it cost me.

Unfortunately the situation with most mmorpgs is not as clear cut. They are generally not as well made as single player games and in one month you will do no more than scratch the surface of whatever story there is.

MMORPGs offer value in their longevity but very few mmorpgs could compete head to head with good single player games as a high quality short duration gaming experience so I would say that $50 for one month of an mmorpg is generally not worth it. The exception would be something like Guild Wars which is episodic in nature and which could potentially be played as a one month stand alone game.

Tesh

I don't spend $50 on *any* game. I haven't for over two decades. If I'm going to spend that much again, it's going to be on a game that I don't need the internet or a subscription to play. No DRM, no "activation" nonsense. If I'm shelling out that much for a game, it had darn well better be one I can play whenever I want to, for as long as I want to, forever.

Retro

You are spot on, Saylah, every MMORPG that's been released from WoW to present isn't worth the money...or more importantly...the time.

That's why I've chosen work my way back in time from November 2004. Currently, I'm in the 21-day trial of Ryzom and loving every minute. Finally, a game that doesn't treat me like a mindless hamster. Sure, I can see where the game could get grindy, but only because that would be a path that I chose...not that I was forced into.

Of course, I realize the graphics of these older games will probably be a little distracting. Still, I'll take creative, challenging, and immersive gameplay over high-end graphics any day of the week.

In fact, I'm 90/10 in favor of subscribing to Ryzom, especially considering the low sub rate. But, I'm also looking forward to original EQ, DaOC, and AC! One thing I can say so far...the community in the older games just can't be beat.

Alysianah aka Saylah

I'm a graphics nut. It's an important part of the overall experience for me. As you can see just by the sidebar, I like to document my adventures with lots of pictures. I'm getting sick of the Ferris Wheel. I'm not one for jumping from game to game. That doesn't provide the vested character growth and progression I crave in MMOs. I would at least like to have a journey to max level geez. I hope Allods will be that for me. I'm "this" close to re-installing The Sims 3. Goodness grief.

I agree that it's not worth the price when you can get an RPG for that price with a very detailed and personal experience. As Tesh said, in under 30-days you've only scratched the surface in most MMOs. I think the players are partially to blame, myself included. Some of us have been SO DESPERATE for that next game high that we're buying whatever comes out. This is the mixed signals I mentioned.

I think it confused developers into thinking more about how to fix the part they perceive as a retention issue, where as the base game is probably flawed from jump-street. But because they sold so many boxes up front, they blame the decline on WOW-tourists, retention, end-game, blah when it's probably more fundamental than that.

Pan

Completely understandable and I agree wholeheartedly. There's been too many derivative works in the last few years and not enough innovation beyond better graphics. The advances in MMO gameplay have stalled or become gimmicky. I too hoped Aion would be a game I could stick with, but couldn't. I was disappointed with WAR and so many others.

I've gone the Indy route in search of something better. For the last two months I've been playing Darkfall and I'm not bored yet. It can be brutal, but it's so nice to play in a game that's challenging, beautiful, and rewarding. If you don't like PvP, don't go near it. If you do, it's worth investigating. My three line summary for a friend that is considering the game was:

1) Expect to eat dirt for a month or two in solo PvP
2) The UI is terrible, but you get used to it
3) Overall it's a lot of fun....

Anyway, good luck trying to find a game that keeps your interest and is worth the price.

CreepTheProphet

Ryzom is a pretty addictive one. I couldn't really get into it but it's a fun one to play for sure.

I'm with Saylah on subscribing to newer games. It really doesn't seem to be worth the $50.00 investment. To me, if the game doesn't have a trial, it's going to be really hard for me to drop the cash on something that may or may not grab my attention. I mean especially that much cash, that's 10 mochas!

Sente

The subscription-based games worked out better when there were not so many alternatives to choose from and players were perhaps less time conscious in general than today - partly because it felt still relatively new for many.

The whole game release approach for subscription-based games are still very much using a similar approach to typical offline games and try to sell as much as possible as fast as possible. This is probably due to that statistics have shown that mist MMOs decline in population after reaching a peak shortly after release.

I think though that there is a chicken and egg problem here - that pattern is likely much tied to the business model used. The approach is still quite similar to marketing offline games and I think it not a good approach for something that supposedly should be long term products.

With many other software packages people do not buy the 1.0 release, but wait a few releases/updates - that approach should be valid for MMOs also.

Saylah

I totally agree Sente. Players stayed with a game longer when there was less diversity in selection and our tolerance for imperfection was higher. It all feels so stagnant now. I just hope something really compelling comes along for me before I out-grow this hobby. :-(

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The Smithes

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