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Feargus: MMOs suxx


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Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart reckons MMORPGs could negatively impact the popularity of the RPG genre if the design of games like Neverwinter Nights doesn't take MMORPGs into account.

 

"For instance," Urquhart explained in an interview to be published on CVG shortly, "it used to be fine to make an RPG that was just wandering around and hacking things up with the player having very little effect on the world around them. Why play that game now if you could just play a MMO?"

 

He believes it's key that developers of non-MMO RPGs look closely at what the genre offers over MMORPGs to ensure the RPG genre doesn't lose out to the increasingly popular massively multiplayer online world.

 

"I think those of us that make non-MMO RPGs need to look at what a single-player/small multiplayer RPG can do that MMOs can't and spend our time and effort on those things", Urquhart said.

 

"For example, in Mask of the Betrayer, we can make the world react more to your personal decisions than any MMO could hope to. We can let you impact your companions and the game's NPCs - and the entire story outcome - in ways that MMOs cannot."

 

Looking at the future of the RPG genre, he added that he'd "like to see RPG focus more on the world that they take place in with particular focus on making the player a real part of that world."

 

"Many RPGs, including some that I've made, allow the player to just stomp around and not really have to worry about the world that they are playing in. I think that really limits the feeling of you being in that world, which is what I certainly want when I'm playing a great RPG."

 

"I want that escape from reality and the more we can do to give that to players the better", Urquhart explained.

 

Keep eyes peeled for our full interview with Feargus Urquhart hitting soon.

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I agree with Feargus to a reasonable extent. If single-player RPGs want to compete, they need to concentrate on the story and how the character can impact the world. Mask of the Betrayer did this brilliantly. For some reason, however, Obsidian decided that the Storm of Zehir will have a different emphasis - not that that's necessarily bad, but it is precisely the type of emphasis that puts the game into direct competition with MMORPGs. Hopefully, we will see more MotB-like games from Obsidian!

 

Morgoth - forget KOTOR 3 - the franchise is dead. They decided to kill it with the MMO.

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How would you like it if someone said you were dead? Wouldn't feel so good, would it?

 

I'd imagine I'd feel kinda dead.

 

I do agree that single player RPGs can't just give a hack and slash anymore though. Seems we still get plenty that do just that though.

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Morgoth - forget KOTOR 3 - the franchise is dead. They decided to kill it with the MMO.

 

Well said. If the MMO sells good (and it probably will) there will be no reason to make a 3rd game. Really well put Feargus.

 

It'll probably sell but the main challenge for MMOs is keeping the subscriber base.

 

I love how the fanboys think that TOR will be able to properly forward the storyline. Even if it somehow succeeds, the IMMERSHUN will just get ruined by the typical immature teenager - "LOL! I jus kild a rankor for fat l00tz! I pwn noobs!1!1! lololololololo" :getlost::down:

Edited by Syraxis
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How would you like it if someone said you were dead? Wouldn't feel so good, would it?

 

Well, actually, it doesn't feel good for me even to say that the KOTOR franchise (in terms of single-player) is dead, because I like the franchise enormously, but I am not going to deny it. LucasArts and BioWare decided to kill it - that is hardly my fault. Because we almost certainly cannot change it, it is probably best to try to move on and not grieve the demise of one of the best CRPG franchises, although it might be difficult (I am still somewhat sad about it myself).

 

Besides, if you were dead, you probably wouldn't care too much. After all, you say you would be reincarnated as a turnip. ;)

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How would you like it if someone said you were dead? Wouldn't feel so good, would it?

 

Well, actually, it doesn't feel good for me even to say that the KOTOR franchise (in terms of single-player) is dead, because I like the franchise enormously, but I am not going to deny it. LucasArts and BioWare decided to kill it - that is hardly my fault. Because we almost certainly cannot change it, it is probably best to try to move on and not grieve the demise of one of the best CRPG franchises, although it might be difficult (I am still somewhat sad about it myself).

 

Besides, if you were dead, you probably wouldn't care too much. After all, you say you would be reincarnated as a turnip. :*

 

Remember when Blizzard took that RTS game and killed it by making it an MMO? That game used to be huge, and now it is totally dead! Crazy developers, they've got no idea how to run a company!

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I expect 2 scenarios:

 

1) TOR sells initially very well (1-2 million units in the first month), but active subscibers drop off sharply after several months, and players crawl back to Wow. This is just the same that happened to WAR and AoC. Bioware Austin will consequently have to fire staff or even shut down.

 

2) TOR may or may not initially sell well, but slowly builds more and more active subscribers, therefor securing a lucrative future. People wanna have more TOR expansions, thus LA will put more attention and effort into this --> means the possibility for a Kotor 3 gets even more neglected.

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How would you like it if someone said you were dead? Wouldn't feel so good, would it?

 

Well, actually, it doesn't feel good for me even to say that the KOTOR franchise (in terms of single-player) is dead, because I like the franchise enormously, but I am not going to deny it. LucasArts and BioWare decided to kill it - that is hardly my fault. Because we almost certainly cannot change it, it is probably best to try to move on and not grieve the demise of one of the best CRPG franchises, although it might be difficult (I am still somewhat sad about it myself).

 

Besides, if you were dead, you probably wouldn't care too much. After all, you say you would be reincarnated as a turnip. :x

 

Remember when Blizzard took that RTS game and killed it by making it an MMO? That game used to be huge, and now it is totally dead! Crazy developers, they've got no idea how to run a company!

 

I have no doubt whatsoever that TOR will be a very successful game commercially and in critical acclaim and as such will be very good for the company. In fact, I think that this is the most likely game on the horizon to displace WoW (which may be in decline by the time it comes out) as the market leader. I did specify that it would kill the franchise in terms of single player and indeed WoW did just that to the Warcraft franchise.

 

Of course, since I have no interest at all in playing MMOs, killing the single-player part of the franchise is pretty much the same as killing the franchise altogether from my perspective as a player.

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They made a lot of noise about being able to play TOR as you would a single player game. Yes, I'm skeptical, hopefully there's a demo.

Playing like a single player game, and paying for that on a monthly base? Sorry, no go. And even Bio stresses that TOR will offer "story" in some way, you can't replace that with a masterfully crafted singleplayer Kotor 3 that uses full VO. Will TOR use full VO btw? I doubt it.

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But they said you'd get a lot more content than any single player game. So long as they provide $15's worth of content a month, why not pay a subscription? Alternatively just play for 4 months, it'll be like buying a single game. Plus I guess you can always unsubscribe and wait for the content to catch up. And yes, I do hope all the NPC's are voiced.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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But they said you'd get a lot more content than any single player game. So long as they provide $15's worth of content a month, why not pay a subscription? Alternatively just play for 4 months, it'll be like buying a single game. Plus I guess you can always unsubscribe and wait for the content to catch up. And yes, I do hope all the NPC's are voiced.

 

Well, you are still paying the $50 on top of the subscription, although the first month is typically free.

 

But you really should expect this to be a fairly different genre. While I have high hopes for their storytelling, it is still going to be an MMO, and there are certain confines you have to stay in when providing a world for thousands rather than a single player. Progress is being made to make it a more dynamic storytelling experience, for example I've heard great things about the recent WoW expansion having a unique story progression and I'm a big fan of the epic books in LotR Online.

 

But seriously, if you are fundamentally opposed to MMO's, then this game will not be for you.

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May be they'll make it a free download or reduced price, to get more people to try it. In any case, WoW provides a free trial, so TOR would have to also. I'm not fundamentally opposed to MMO's, just to grinding. If you take their promises of a story driven game at face value, that may work out fine.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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May be they'll make it a free download or reduced price, to get more people to try it. In any case, WoW provides a free trial, so TOR would have to also. I'm not fundamentally opposed to MMO's, just to grinding. If you take their promises of a story driven game at face value, that may work out fine.

 

WoW didn't have a free trial for at least a year after release, but with their success they didn't need to right away. They'll probably have buddy passes, which I'm sure will be easy enough to get. Heck, I know I'll buy the CE edition on day one, so I have no problem supplying a buddy pass to anyone on these boards.

 

But your best bet is probably trying the open beta, that will likely give you the best idea of what type of game it will be and if you will like it. Every MMO in the last few years has had an open beta to test the servers, so I'd say the odds are great.

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As long as Obsidian makes great CRPGs that are not MMOs I wil;l be buying them, even though I may disagree with certain design decisions.

 

All MMOs suck.

"Your Job is not to die for your country, but set a man on fire, and take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

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