Posted by Age
Some of the next gen games for consoles look like they will need a persistent internet connection to obtain the full experience from the game. Some of these games have even outright claimed to be MMOs while others have not. The term MMO, which means Massively Multiplayer Online, doesn’t really have a concrete definition. Everyone has there own definition of the Massive and Multiplayer parts which are, more or less, similar to each other. So, what makes a game an MMO? I’d like to share my definition and look at some of the console games that are coming out and see if they fit.
So the world of an MMO game has to be big. How big? Big enough that there is a map with sections of the world you can explore. These sections can be instanced or be all interconnected with each other. Usually the former holds true but I wouldn’t be surprised if more and more MMOs become the latter in the future. Also the world needs to have a history of some sort. Be it a game based on fiction or reality, the world needs some background or lore to keep the state of the world in perspective.
The number of people is one of the main point of differentiating multiplayer games like Battlefield from an MMO. I also think this is the point where it’s hard to classify when a game is an MMO. An MMO should have a lot of people. I don’t mean 30 or 40. It should have players in the thousands mark. Why? This large amount of people creates the community for the MMO where players can form parties or guilds in order to do content in the world. Usually parties are temporary and are formed to meet an objective. Guilds are more permanent and are usually formed to do large (or small) activities with like-minded individuals. The essence of an MMO is it’s community. The very reason you would play an MMO is to socialize and to play the game with other people.
Kinda obvious but an MMO must be played online. This intertwines with the former two above. It’s hard to be able to play in a large world with other people that you know or don’t know without actually being able to connect to the world. The online part ensures an ever changing environment of not only the world, but people as well.
So let’s look at some console games and see if they have the right to be called an MMO. Note that these are my opinions and you may or may not agree with them.
- The Crew: A world where players can drive across the USA and back and you can join friends when you want for “the Fast and the Furious” heists and go back to doing your thing afterwards. Sounds like an MMO. There is a large world, the entirety of the US where the developer at E3 said you cand rive from on coast to the other. There’s the possibility of lots of people given the vastness of the world. You definitely need an online connection to play. I’d classify it as an MMO.
- Tom Clancy’s The Division: This ones a little hard. The world setting is New York. From the E3 demo videos I saw, New York could be huge to explore but it could also have that feel but not be as big as I initially think. The world is PvP RPG-like where you have a quest line but other people could go and attack you if you’re seen. Players can come and go but again, I’m not sure the limitation of the number of people per server. To keep the skirmishes feeling like skirmishes, I’d imagine that the number of players can’t be too high otherwise you wouldn’t be able to get anything done. Until I know more about the world I can’t really confirm MMO or not. Right now to me it’s like a hybrid of an MMO meets FPS.
- Destiny: It’s been called an MMO from the beginning and it definitely is one. The Borderlands/Halo type of world looks insanely vast. You can join people to take on bases and other fun objectives. Destiny hands down gets the verdict of legit MMO from me.
So what do you think the definition of an MMO is? Let me know in the comments!