In a new column debuting today at MMORPG.com, Adam Tingle takes on some of the genre’s most over-discussed or completely avoided topics and dissects them in front of a live audience. See what he’s got to say in his inaugural column and then head to the comments to continue the discussion.
So why are we here? Well, in lieu of starting this piece by urinating on a World of Warcraft Battle Chest, this is a place where I will air my online gripes, groans, and grumbles; it is a veritable soapbox where I, King of the Snark, will say and do the bad thing: if said bad thing is about level caps, PvP, and swords of +112 strength.
What I’m saying is: I’m the making the words that really count.
The latest developer blog has shown up on the Camelot Unchained site. In it, the team reveals that they do not believe ‘hand holding’ of their players is required. It’s an interesting look at what the team has in mind as compared to the vast majority of today’s MMOs.
As an independent developer of a lower-budget, lower subscription target MMORPG (using todayâ€™s inflated scale), we retain more than our fair measure of creative freedom that I wouldnâ€™t trade for a larger budget and longer development timeline (been there, done that).Â I want the freedom to take some risks with this game without enduring sleepless nights as I worry about whether a feature (or lack thereof) will alienate too many players, anger the boss, piss off the investors, etc.Â I like waking up thinking â€œThis is a really freaking cool idea letâ€™s try it!â€ or â€œWasnâ€™t it cool when you were wandering around in the dark not knowing what might jump out at you?â€ rather than having to endure conversations like â€œMark, if we do this we can sell-in another 100K boxes.â€Â We need to look at the evolution of these games and see what features (or again, lack thereof) made older MMORPGs seem more immersive and/or challenging and dare I say it (dare, dare!), realistic, even if a minority of players complained about them in the past and might still complain about them now.
Free-to-play games have swiftly become the norm in the MMO space in the last year. In a new column, we take a look at the phenomenon and what it means to we, the consumer. Read on before heading to the comments to tell us what you think.
I think there’s no longer any argument about the direction in which the MMO market is heading, with the proliferation of free-to-play titles and decline of subscription-based games over the past five years.Â In fact, while there are still more than a few MMORPGs out there that employ a subscription-only payment model — you can find most of them on our game list — only a handful can continue to boast “blockbuster” success.Â This trend doesn’t necessarily suggest that subscriptions are completely going the way of the dodo, or that there is no room in the genre for pay-to-play monetization, but it does indicate that developers have been increasingly required to think differently about how to implement subscriptions within free-to-play and freemium models.
It’s been nearly two months since the free to play launch of EverQuest II. We recently had the opportunity to chat with Executive Producer Dave Georgeson about the success of the new version of EQII and the future of EQ as a whole… including EQNext. See what he’s got to say in our exclusive interview.
MMORPG: How have the longtime Veterans of EQ2 responded to the changes? Have you had any exodus, or do you instead see more former players coming back now that the price barrier is gone?
Dave Georgeson: Absolutely zero exodus. There was a lot of concern from vets before the changes occurred that they wouldnâ€™t like the end-results. However, after watching EQ2X do so well for over a year, and after realizing that the only tangible change to players when we go F2P is to a) make subscriptions optional, and b) remove any up-front costs, wellâ€¦thereâ€™s not much to be afraid of after that, is there?