You see how I titled this article “Conclusion”, well, it’s already a lie (we’re following up with an article in MMOZine, and probably more Parts). When I started the series, the idea was to try and encourage a debate about the gameplay we are offered in current generation MMOs. I didn’t expect everyone to agree with what we said (good job, really) and I expected some input from gamers playing MMOs I haven’t experienced (even as a veteran gamer and journalist, there’s only so many hours in a day). We got all of those things, and we got lots more.

Some people agreed with everything we said. Some people agreed with nothing we said. Some people took it all a bit too seriously. Some people thought lightness was needed.

And that’s the big problem for MMO developers: how do you be all things to all people. Some gamers want an online single player RPG – ie one where they can play a solid RPG together with their friends, probably ones that they already know in the real world. Other people want raids, lots of raids, and only people who know the exact optimum stat layout for their dwarf warlock without looking it up should be allowed to play.

These gamers are worlds apart, and they both have valid viewpoints. After all, we’re talking about games here, so as long as it brings pleasure to the gamer, then no type of gameplay is invalid. Some of us might dismiss the first as “noobs” and others might dismiss the latter as “geeks”, but they both want to play in the MMO space, so the developer has to find a way to balance these. So far, this has been done by cutting back gameplay, and that’s what this series has argued against.

However, it doesn’t all end here. This series and the comments from readers are going to form the basis for a feature in a future issue of MMOZine. The reason for publishing the ideas here first was so that we can include feedback from real MMO gamers. But that’s not all, we’re also getting the developers themselves, from Blizzard, NCsoft et al, to take a look and give us their feedback on what they think of our ideas.

It’ll take a while, because it means bringing together several companies, but watch the skies watch the site for an update and do comment, so we can include your views in the magazine.

In the meantime, if you’ve missed any of the articles, here are all the parts (so far – I’ve already started sketching out another instalment):

How to create the perfect MMO – Part 1 – User generated content
How to create the perfect MMO – Part 2 – Persistence and story telling
How to create the perfect MMO – Part 3 – Crafting
How to create the perfect MMO – Part 4 – Character customisation
How to create the perfect MMO – Part 5 – Simulation
How to create the perfect MMO – Part 6 – Homogenisation

GamerZines publishes a regular, free magazine for MMO gamers, called MMOZineclick here to download the latest issue for free.

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