Don’t get your knickers in a twist, I needed a controversial title. When I say fail, I actually mean “won’t be a huge MMO hit and have whole countries raving about it (ala WoW), like everyone is expecting it to be”. I’m fairly certain it will gather a fanbase and that it won’t suck or fail completely.
Now that’s clarified, let’s look at a list. I know lists are stupid but this is a last-ditch effort to piss some people off, so let’s go with it. In no particular order, here are my reasons:
- MMO players nowadays seem to be expecting new games to come out polished, with innovative or unique design, lore and gameplay. They are expecting an MMO that has built on and improved things that have worked for other MMOs, but hasn’t actually copied them. An MMO that puts casual players on even footing with the hardcore players, while at the same time offers hardcore only content and doesn’t diminish the efforts of a such a player. An MMO that has an ever-changing environment but a lore set in stone with old content being always relevant. An MMO that caters to the PvE, the PvP and the roleplaying crowd. An MMO that is perfectly balanced, yet offers diverse classes and playstyles. In short, they want a perfect MMO. And because such a game can’t exist (mostly because the expectations are unreasonable or mutually exclusive) they won’t commit to any. They’ll get bored of a MMO within weeks and jump ship every two months. And because the average player has gotten so spoiled, I dare predict that no future MMO will be able to sustain a large base of subscribers.
- The Jedi SWG syndrome. Players are expecting Spacemarines to be extremely powerful. This leads to a problem of either space marines being incredibly overpowered, to the point where they are boring to play, or of them being underpowered, which would make them just like any other soldier. Moreover, players don’t want to work hard to be able to play one, they want to be able to play anything they want, including the fabled Spacemarine. But if everyone can play one, that means playing the iconic space soldier loses some of its exclusiveness, and the Spacemarine becomes just another MMO class. Either way, playing a Spacemarine will be an underwhelming experience in the long run.
- Dark Millennium Online is promising battles on a monumental scale with the whole server duking it out. This makes me highly sceptical, as the last game that promised such gameplay couldn’t quite deliver it. I think that huge battles are still hard to pull off due to the technological constraints. Especially if the developer is planning on incorporating twitch-based combat with free targeting. I just can’t see huge battles and free targeting mixing very well. But if they decide to go with selected targeting, where you just select a target and all shots are directed towards it, they’ll lose a large part of a potential playerbase and be accused of making a “WAR/WoW clone but in space”.
- Vigil are a relatively new studio and have never made a MMO before. Neither has THQ, the company owning Vigil. And although a history in MMO development doesn’t guarantee a good MMO and no previous involvement in the MMO business doesn’t guarantee a bad MMO, it’s always a fair point, as the chances are not on Vigil’s side (and neither am I after the Darksiders ragequit).
Oh look, I’ve coincidentally finished the list at the magical number of four. Without even making stuff up, a success!
As a final note, do not take the above as a holy text of holiness. It doesn’t mean that the game will utterly suck. It just means that the MMO won’t be a roaring success and the end of social life as we know it. Or I might be completely wrong and it will be. Either way, hold off on the hype and curb your enthusiasm a little. We don’t want more MMO related suicides.