Aren't we getting a little sick of the fantasy MMO?

Why aren't there any historicly accurate MMO games? Isn't this something that more developers should consider? I can think of a few periods that could be interesting to visit in a MMO, like the Roman Republic or the Cruzades, the Napoleonic Wars or even WWI and WWII. Instead companies start to craft their own world even if the lore they come up with isn't all that great. It's always the place that orcs and demons and dragons inhabit, and I Iove that, don't get me wrong, I played through the Warcraft games and got into WOW for awhile, but enough is enough.
 
It seems to me that the fantasy worlds created by companies don't have an obvious advantage over the real thing. But it's probably easier to stick with the tried and tested formulas: 
WWII ---> FPS/Strategy
Roman Republic ---> Strategy
MMO ---> fantasy universe
 
More than that, these fantasy MMO's have a gameplay that relies solely on combat. Sure they put fishing and cooking and weaponsmith professions in there, but is there really any gameplay bonus that comes from these additions? I believe it's just a matter of time before the MMO market starts shrinking, because the impact that WOW had is already wearing down. WOW membership is decreasing at this point, and its not because there are better MMO's out there, it's because people get tired of killing 6 Kobold Wizards over and over again. 
 
Besides, all the effort you put into your quests has virtually zero impact on the WOW universe.  In this last aspect I hope that KOTOR:OR does a lit bit more for the player than WOW did. 
 
It seems to me like these are the main flaws that plague the MMO genre: 
-Been-there-done-that Universes
-Next-to-null impact of the player on the Universe
-Repetitive combat-focused Gameplay 
 
Do you agree? Love some feedback.
Cheers

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Posted by _Nuno_

Why aren't there any historicly accurate MMO games? Isn't this something that more developers should consider? I can think of a few periods that could be interesting to visit in a MMO, like the Roman Republic or the Cruzades, the Napoleonic Wars or even WWI and WWII. Instead companies start to craft their own world even if the lore they come up with isn't all that great. It's always the place that orcs and demons and dragons inhabit, and I Iove that, don't get me wrong, I played through the Warcraft games and got into WOW for awhile, but enough is enough.
 
It seems to me that the fantasy worlds created by companies don't have an obvious advantage over the real thing. But it's probably easier to stick with the tried and tested formulas: 
WWII ---> FPS/Strategy
Roman Republic ---> Strategy
MMO ---> fantasy universe
 
More than that, these fantasy MMO's have a gameplay that relies solely on combat. Sure they put fishing and cooking and weaponsmith professions in there, but is there really any gameplay bonus that comes from these additions? I believe it's just a matter of time before the MMO market starts shrinking, because the impact that WOW had is already wearing down. WOW membership is decreasing at this point, and its not because there are better MMO's out there, it's because people get tired of killing 6 Kobold Wizards over and over again. 
 
Besides, all the effort you put into your quests has virtually zero impact on the WOW universe.  In this last aspect I hope that KOTOR:OR does a lit bit more for the player than WOW did. 
 
It seems to me like these are the main flaws that plague the MMO genre: 
-Been-there-done-that Universes
-Next-to-null impact of the player on the Universe
-Repetitive combat-focused Gameplay 
 
Do you agree? Love some feedback.
Cheers

Posted by TooWalrus

I think that MMO's with real life limitations would be pretty lame, actually.

Posted by TheMustacheHero
@TooWalrus said:
" I think that MMO's with real life limitations would be pretty lame, actually. "
Exactly. People play video games to escape from reality right? People play MMOs to live in this virtual world, to become a part of it, to be accepted by a guild, a group of people. To have a purpose and a role within that organization. If we have limitations to abilities like in real life it wouldn't be nearly as fun.
Posted by natetodamax

Stabbing people with enchanted swords while casting fireballs and dancing in the middle of a battle doesn't get old.

Posted by _Nuno_
@TooWalrus said:
" I think that MMO's with real life limitations would be pretty lame, actually. "
What do you mean by limitations exactly?
Posted by Aurelito

It's a rule from D&D days.

Posted by CaptainTightPants

Even if they made an MMO placed in a historically accurate universe they would still  have to put some fantasy or really generic mechanic in there. What exactly do you mean by "Historically Accurate" and what would the limitations be?  If its to close to real life then you get an MMO thats ran by economics and politics, with combat where you die with one well placed hit, all you would be able to do is swing your sword or fire your gun with no special skills and thus even more repetitive combat.  

Posted by Bigandtasty
@_Nuno_ said:
"It seems to me like these are the main flaws that plague the MMO genre:  -Been-there-done-that Universes-Next-to-null impact of the player on the Universe -Repetitive combat-focused Gameplay   Do you agree? "
I think these criticisms are right but only one has a shot at being changed: the impact of the player on the universe. Most MMOs are sci-fi or fantasy, most other settings just wouldn't give you the right freedoms and enable you to become a character with unrealistic abilities and powers. And repetition is an unavoidable part of MMOs.
Posted by MrSnow

I am afraid monsters are so much more fun to fight than humans. 
 
I never played an MMO but i have played The RTS warcrafts and Dawn of war as wel as fable two.

Posted by Illmatic

What's weird is that in a regular game, the setting doesn't bother me at all. In the realm of MMO's though, I find it terribly boring and uninspired.

Edited by PenguinDust

Limitations?  I play games to be the hero not the guy who serves you coffee at Starbucks.  The problem with reality is that it is too mundane.  There are group of people who enjoy the minutia of every detail of a Roman legionnaire's battle dress, but most of us would rather kill cyclops and sex up sirens.  History is great.  I love it and get deep into the tactics of an actual battle when I play a turn-based wargame, but I don't want that level of precision in an MMO.  I want things to be fast, lethal and I want to look cool while doing it.   I whole heartedly agree that fantasy in MMOs has outplayed its welcome in my book, however.  I see no reason why we don't see more MMOs based in any other genre from horror to space opera to steampunk adventure.  
 
I believe Fantasy as a genre imposes limitation on the player that game makers enjoy.  There is a reason why a low level serf can't compete with a fully armored knight.  Also, lowbies can't travel because there are no wide spread mass transit systems set up which there would be in any modern or forward looking setting.   And while your aim can be adjusted with higher skill ranks, a bullet is a bullet and will kill the same target whether you are level 5 or 50.  Not so in the world of MMOs where skills and magic are based on level.  A rank 1 fireball is not going to be as powerful as a rank 10 pyroblast.  So this gives the player a reason to level up.  Also, within the limited confines of a fantasy-based MMO, there is another reason to keep leveling.  Better armor and gear.  In a world full of magic where armor and weapons can augment your abilities, there is a reason to keep playing.  In a more reality based MMO, once you have your sword or gun and whatever armor offers you the best protection, you are done.  No assault rifle in the world is going to make me smarter or more appealing to the ladies (well, not the type of lady you bring home to mother.)   EDIT: Oh, and I forgot one other thing that fantasy affords a game maker that can't be added into modern games or games based in reality.  It's illegal to kill indiscriminately in reality based games.  No going out and slaughtering scores of pigs to level up.  Killing is how you level in lots of games and it is a crutch, too that game makers rely on.
 
So, what it comes down to is MMO creators finding ways to keep players playing that doesn't necessarily involve leveling or gearing up.  That type of advancement takes a lot more work on their part than adding a bunch of fetch/kill quests.  We'll see how the new generation of MMOs showing up this year and next fare with that hurdle.

Posted by TheMustacheHero
@_Nuno_: Kobolds don't have wizards they have shamans, but that's besides the point.
 
If you are looking for a "Real life" MMO go play Second life or something! I think it would be good to get out of fantasy genre for MMOs, but companies want to become the next WoW they want that fortune and if they make the right moves they might get there. 
New Genre of MMOs are coming, SWTOR is on the rise for a sci-fi MMO and Fallen Earth, a post-apacolyptic MMO, launches in 2 days.
Posted by zkillz

if you base an mmo in reality you are bound by that eras ending, something an mmo developer would be retarded to commit to. and if you don't then you're not true to the source and it'll probably end up failing anyway. 

Posted by Nock

Cause that's what the tech of today can handle, every time someone tries something new no one takes to it. It's all AHHH no elves I'm out.

Posted by _Nuno_
@TheMustacheHero: I'm not saying I want a simulation type game, just an historicly accurate setting.
Posted by TheMustacheHero
@_Nuno_ said:
" @TheMustacheHero: I'm not saying I want a simulation type game, just an historicly accurate setting. "
Well you have to look at it from an MMO standpoint. At what period of time were there so many armor sets and weapons? Usually it would be an army who was well equipped and armies had all the same armor and weapons...
Posted by _Nuno_
@zkillz: The Roman Republic extends its history over more than 300 years. I don't think a company would be too tied up because of an era's ending.
Posted by bonbolapti

Realism is harder to program :P 
 
Especially if you want it historically accurate.  If you can find, enough true stories, to be sub mission in that era. Then we're in business.
Edited by calidan777

I agree , that's why I can't wait for APB to come out. That shit's all types of historically accurate!!

Posted by _Nuno_
@bonbolapti: The missions themselves didn't have to be all historicly accurate. They would just have to be believable. For example, you could help a mother find her son which had been sold off as a slave, but these caracters don't have be real. Of course some missions could be historicly inspired, but the low level stuff would be much more difficult to find in the history books. 
 
Again, it's the setting that's historicly accurate, not the whole of the gameplay.
Posted by ajamafalous

Doesn't WoW still have around 11 million subscribers?
 
Why change the formula?

Posted by Laticsfan

You should really check out Roma Victor, it's an historically accurate MMO, that also tries to have fighting mainly skill orientated. Although with a small development team, and with most of the features promised still not being implemented like 2 years after release, it's struggling to find it's feat.

Posted by mrcool11

i think a pirate mmo could be potentially good, and wouldnt have to rely on the same shitty wow mechanics that are all to commonplace

Posted by JJOR64

I will say this now.  Fantasy MMOs will never die.

Posted by eclipsesis

" The Sims Online, The Massive Multilayer Experience of living your own life........but with friends "

Posted by addictedtopinescent

Ive said this many times before 
But, a warhammer 40,000 MMO would be badass

Posted by MarcusOfLycia

I'd try out a game set in the Roman Empire. I also see no reason why the game can't have the feeling of real life without all of the realism. You tend not to die in one shot in most FPS's, but that doesn't stop them from simulating combat, being fun, or enjoyable. I think it will just require some game makers to be creative with it, but it would be sweet to leave the cycle of having to learn pretty much the same lore over and over with slightly different twists. History is a lot more interesting than people give it credit for. And the beauty of it being an MMO would mean that you wouldn't have to simulate every minor and boring detail, only the more interesting one's.

Posted by CowMuffins
@mrcool11 said:
" i think a pirate mmo could be potentially good, and wouldnt have to rely on the same shitty wow mechanics that are all to commonplace "
Pirates of the Burning Sea, Pirates of the Caribbean Online. Not very popular. The thing is, MMO's are expensive, and people who make new MMO's aren't marketing their game very well. If people are going to spend X amount of dollars on an MMO, they're going to go with the choice the they heard from their friends. The other problem is, population: No population, no fun, and the MMO will surely die.
Posted by _Nuno_
@MarcusOfLycia: Could not agree more.
Posted by senrat

World war II online is an realistic historical FPS set in world war II
Posted by Wally

Of course people use MMO's to escape to other worlds but that doesn't mean every world must include elements of fantasy. 
 
I'd like to see some sort of futuristic MMO a-la Fallout but with a persistent world. 

Edited by breaking3po

 You can't be too realistic in an MMO. You'd have one type of PC fighting one type of PC or NPC. Think it through:  
 
How many enemies historically does the average country face in one generation?
 
Do you fight historical soldier X at level 1? 
So you fight tougher historical soldier X at lvl 60 as well? 
 
How many classes  or skill sets does the American civil war armies have at one time? Roman Empire? Japan? WWI? Basically, how do you differentiate one player from the next? You just don't have enough for a successful MMO. 
   
More: 

It's boring fighting the exact same thing for months or years.   No diveristy means people have no way to show off. "Hey WWII guy, where'd you get that beard?"  
 
What you can have is a successful time period piece with RPG elements, but since you're facing the same enemy over and over, it has to default to another game type (COD4 = FPS, Total War series = Strategy,), and it certainly has to end unless you intend to change things over time.  
 
WoW is successful because it has changed over time. Historical pieces have to stick somewhere or else it's not historical at all. Everything a historical MMO couldn't be, WoW is.  That's why there are fantasy MMOs. Alot of it works.
 
Good enough?
Edited by _Nuno_
@breaking3po: There are more than enought enemies to fight. Barbarians, thugs, enemy soldiers, spies, diplomats to assassinate, faction leaders, merchants, gladiators, slaves, farmers, lions in the arena,  and a myriad of other ppl... That's just narrowminded of you to think there is a lack of diversity when it comes to killing people. If you need the thing you kill to get bigger by the level... I don't know what to say to that.
 
More and more games are ditching the class based system, take Modern Warfare for example. But if you want classes, you could be a soldier, a bandit, a diplomat/politician, a spy, a merchant, a gladiator, a slave dealer... and I'm not even that creative. And if you look at Champions Online, a game with no classes, you can see how you can customize your caracter's look without resorting to any of that stuff (probably the game with most customizing options).
 
And again, the setting can evolve. Leaders can age and die, factions could be persecuted or benefit from it, cities can be destroyed much like reality. Besides, you say WOW has evolved... has it? They added a bit more history, which you had nothing to do with and little influence over. I would much prefer to have a saying in the evolution of things like in KOTOR.
Posted by _Nuno_
@TheMustacheHero: Believe me there is more than enough customizable loot to draw from historicly speaking. Besides that stuff should be secondary in a game, your ability to play it well should count for more than the armor your wearing.
Posted by Hats
@addictedtopinescent said:
" Ive said this many times before But, a warhammer 40,000 MMO would be badass "
they are making one well they were but i doubt it will do the IP justice
Posted by breaking3po

Huh? Who is fighting every single one of those guys? This is historical right? 
 
You've baffled me with that answer kid. You wanted to know why? Or did you just need an outlet to describe your awesome MMO where u can be a lvl 60 politician and your bro can be a slave dealer....  
 
*?????* 
 
Try playing more than just fantasy MMOs before wondering why there isn't more.
Edited by _Nuno_
@breaking3po: First of all, I never said you would be fighting each and everyone of these things, I just gave you examples of possible enemies. 
Secondly, no one in real life is anyone thing for its entire duration. So you could work your way up from one thing to another. It's just a dumbass idea to think you are born a politician, like you assume kid.
And lastly, all of this is way off point. All this thread was about was the setting (I just added that the typical gameplay is getting old fast), and since you have offered no decent arguments as to why an MMO can't have an historical setting, I'll just assume you have none.
 
Again I remind you kid, I am talking about the setting, not the gameplay, which does not have to be ALL historicly accurate.
 
And by the way, the main reason why there aren't more Historicly based MMO's I believe, is because the first big MMO was Everquest, which wasn't historicly accurate and after that it was WOW. This led Big companies to try and copy these games to get a piece of the pie, and the only ones who actually take a shot at producing historicly based MMO's are small budget developers. Besides, the fact that there isn't a good one out there doesn't mean it can't be done.
Posted by torus

I completely agree with the OP's point. The typical 'fantasy' setting is getting _really_ old. It's one giant cliche that's been stretched far beyond what it should have been. We need some originality in game settings/writing. Enough with the orcs, wizards, trolls, and elves already.

Posted by Gregomasta

For Rich Gallup's sake, I'll say no, we're not getting sick of fantasy mmo's

Posted by _Nuno_

LOL poor Rich. He will have a job at giantbomb after that game 38 Studios's making comes tumbling down.

Edited by SoothsayerGB

I think you make several good points.  But if we are what we eat, I may be you tomorrow.

Posted by Jayzilla

I am just sick of the same, tired class structure. I don't think it's the setting unless it's really poorly done. it's like FPS's, when they put something innovative in it, it's still fun and those are always in the same type of setting as well.

Posted by FalconCritical

The thing is, many companies have tried to expand the MMO genre - games like City of Heroes were popular and well populated till WoW hit and swept up everyone.  Other attempts like the pirate MMOs and Tabula Rasa have tried to bring something different, but have fallen by the wayside.  The most successful MMOs have always had a fantasy setting.  Is this because they have a fantasy setting? Perhaps, some things like the typical tank and healer roles are hard to pull off in a non-fantasy style without seeming contrived.  Bioware may have a chance at pulling some MMO buffs away from WoW but I think its different enough that those players will probably keep their WoW accounts active and try SW:TOR, but ultimately either their WoW friends or some gameplay facet they dun like will draw them away again.
 
I could be wrong, but that's happened to many other MMOs.  Fantasy fits the genre and it sells.

Edited by jim_dandy


                                                                             RICH GALLUP SAYS FANTASY MMO'S ARE THE SHIT.

 
 
 
 
...but yeah, I kinda want a post-apocalyptic MMO. Or one with Warhammer 40k.
Posted by Grimlesh
@_Nuno_ said:
Again I remind you kid, I am talking about the setting, not the gameplay, which does not have to be ALL historicly accurate.   
 
And by the way, the main reason why there aren't more Historicly based MMO's I believe, is because the first big MMO was Everquest, which wasn't historicly accurate and after that it was WOW. This led Big companies to try and copy these games to get a piece of the pie, and the only ones who actually take a shot at producing historicly based MMO's are small budget developers. Besides, the fact that there isn't a good one out there doesn't mean it can't be done. "


So you want a game thats in reality but doesn't follow reality?  Hm. 
  
Though they were not historic games, Nuno, there have been plenty of MMOs that are not fantasy, orc and elves games.  Like Auto Assault, Anarachy Online, and, regrettably, Planetside.  All of these games, for most players, last a month or two because the settings dont lend themselves to deep gameplay, although most of these games have a very small and fervent group of core fans.
Posted by Log

Honestly Id be extremely impressed if someone could pull off making a good MMO that didnt exist in a Fantasy/SciFi world. The problem with not fitting into one of those categories is that you run out of viable and/or logical options for quests and battles. If youre just making things up you can make stuff up forever, but if youre restricted to real life scenarios you eventually have to either move into fantasy or end the game.

Posted by happyfatman

I like fantasy worlds, but I do think the MMO market has too many games that take place in the typical world of "fantasy."  WOW, LOTR Online, Guild Wars, Age of Conan, and so on.  When I found out about City of Heroes, it was like going from black & white to color, almost literally.  Everything is so brown in those "fantasy" MMOs but in the superhero MMOs everything is so bright and colorful and it's just so much less depressing.  I don't know about "historically accurate" MMOs though.  I guess it could work.  Maybe alternate history. 

Edited by Wally

Also, everyone seems to tie MMO's to RPG's. 
 
I'd like to see an MMORTS ( Shattered Galaxy ) or an MMOFPS.

Posted by mad4it89
@natetodamax said:
" Stabbing people with enchanted swords while casting fireballs and dancing in the middle of a battle doesn't get old. "
This is so true
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