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MMOs: What Can the Future Hold?

Posted by Altered Confusion on August 5, 2008

MMOs may be the future of gaming because it builds a virtual world around people to interact with one another in a way that was only possible if everyone came over to one house, but it also allows people to interact with people that they will never meet yet through the world gain as a friend. There are so many different games out there nowadays ranging from RPGs to simply virtual communities. Some examples that are recognizable would be World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, EVE Online, Second Life, Final Fantasy XI, MapleStory and Entropia.

There are several different approaches to how to successfully run a MMO which range from a monthly subscription, life-time membership, and free to play with micro transactions for items. Each of the plans draws a certain type of crowd and seems to do just fine, but what will the future hold for these methods.

It is my opinion that we, the online gaming community, are headed towards a free to play form where micro-transactions for rarer items will occur. I think that this form would open the world up for more players to at least try it out and see what they think, but it would also give the hardcore gamers who aren’t afraid to spend a little bit of money the ability to deck out their character and show the world the champion they are.

Entropia has an interesting model that slightly differs from the rest, not only can you put money into the game to help your character but you can also withdraw money from the game that you have either earned or if you have money in there that you put in but now want to take out. This opens up the floor for the ability to see actual, physical, reward for playing a game.

The problem with Entropia and with most Free to play games is that they either lack content, are not very noob (New Player) friendly, or they look god awful hideous. If there was a way to gain the graphic power of a Final Fantasy XI or WoW (World of Warcraft) as well as the immense content level a game like this would explode in the online world, but because of the lack of those most games sizzle out. Its difficult for any company to create a game completely with their own money and only get small portions of it because its free to play. Yes, there are cheap ways around that and they are make the really cool items worth money to get, but some players aren’t going to want to do that and that in turn will turn them away from the game.

Which brings up an interesting point, there is always going to be something in a game that turns people off, that’s just how we are. I really wish that there could be a virtual utopia where people could go off adventuring killing goblins and cyborgs, but at the same time have a place for those who want to open up a clothing shop, but such a world really exist where the masses will all find their niche?

I think that if it is at all possible this utopia is still many many years off, and I think that there might even be a fear of people becoming too immersed in it like those of Everquest and WoW, and because of the broader boundaries not being able to find their way out… if you pardon the expression, a “Matrix Effect”.

To whatever may come I hope that it is something in which all can enjoy and a place where many will flock to give people a taste of a different life.

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