A Definitive Guide to Browser Based MMORPG

1 - What is a MMORPG? Link

MMORPGs are massively popular right now; whether you enjoy being sworn at by thirteen year olds on Call of Duty, or you prefer the more subtle pleasures of being sworn at by slightly older teenagers on Battlefield, you'll never be short of players and games to make that happen. Other gamers prefer the more sedate experience of playing offline roleplaying titles such as Skyrim, Dragon Age, and the recently released Fallout, where you battle through enemies, quests, and vast open worlds until you've completed every mission or your thumbs start to bleed, whichever comes sooner.

Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games are what happens when the developers of these two games fall in love and make a baby. And just like a baby, MMORPGs require a hell of a lot of attention. These games blend the open-world fantasy roleplaying experience with the thrill of knowing you're playing with and against real people. In an offline roleplaying game the elf, the barkeep, and the busty bar wench are all artificially intelligent coded characters. In an MMORPG they are your friends, they are complete strangers, they are real human people; which makes interacting with them (and in some MMORPGs screwing them over) even more satisfying.

You could be a space pirate from the planet Xylon 12, or you might be a lowly Chinese farmer girl whose brain is riddled with parasites which enable her to telepathically communicate with wasps.

In MMORPGs you are invited to assume a character or personality just like you would in an offline game, in a book, or a movie. The only difference is that this time you control the action; you decide who to talk to and whose face to smash in with a sledgehammer. You could be a space pirate from the planet Xylon 12, or you might be a lowly Chinese farmer girl whose brain is riddled with parasites which enable her to telepathically communicate with wasps. There is no limit to the world in which you can set an MMORPG, however most of them tend to base themselves within outer space, medieval landscapes, and fantasy realms.

The most popular MMORPG in the world is of course World of Warcraft, a game set on the fictional world of Azeroth and the poison of choice for over 5 million subscribers. This is a game which has destroyed friendships, wrecked marriages, and obliterated careers... so you know it has something special. But Warcraft isn't the only MMORPG in town, and in recent years its subscription levels have actually been dropping. This doesn't necessarily mean that interest in MMORPGs is waning, far from it in fact, but it might mean it's time for something new to take the stage.

You could be a space pirate from the planet Xylon 12, or you might be a lowly Chinese farmer
            girl whose brain is riddled with parasites which enable her to telepathically communicate with wasps
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2 - The History of MMORPG Link

You might think the Browser based MMORPG genre begins and ends with World of Warcraft, but these games have been built, played and enjoyed ever since computers first became popular over three decades ago . There was a huge overlap between the kind of people who enjoyed coding and playing with new technology, and those who dedicated hours in the basement to table top role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer.

The very first graphical virtual world to be created on a computer is believed to be a game called Maze War released in 1974. Although some dispute its status as the earliest, there is no doubting Maze War's profound impact on role playing games, first person shooters, and indeed every genre we enjoy today. The game itself was nothing spectacular; players simply wandered around a maze shooting each other, although if we're honest you could reduce most games down to this description if we tried (we're looking at you Call of Duty).

Despite Maze War's relative popularity, it wasn't until the 1980s that we saw RPGs begin to have any sort of commercial success, and it was at this point the video game developer Richard Garriott added the word "massive" into the mix, thus coining the term Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. Most of the early MMORPGs were entirely text based, and their audience limited to computer lab students and dedicated enthusiasts. But when NSFNET restrictions were lifted in the mid-90s, MMORPGs suddenly had access to an audience of millions.

MMORPGs as we know them today began with 1995's Meridian 59. This typical sword and sorcery classic ran with a flat-rate monthly subscription and was the very first 3D graphical MMORPG. Meridian was released in an early form in late 95, but wasn't fully published until September 96, so many gamers consider Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds to be the actual first instalment in MMORPGs history. This game is still popular today, with over 1000 subscribers at the time of writing, and regardless as to who came first, both games played a major part in kicking off the MMORPG genre.

  • Ultima Online Launches - MMORPGs first launched in to the mainstream

    Sep 1997

    Ultima Online

    Ultima Online (UO) is a graphical massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), released on 24 September 1997,[4] by Origin Systems. It was the first game of the genre to reach widespread popularity and has had immense influence on all later games of this type.

    Source: Wiki

  • Lineage launches

    Sep 1998

    Lineage

    Lineage is a medieval fantasy, massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in the United States in 1998 by the South Korean computer game developer NCsoft. It is the first game in the Lineage series. It is most popular in Korea and is available in Chinese, Japanese, and English language versions. The game was designed by Jake Song, who had previously designed Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds, another MMORPG.

    Source: Wiki

  • Everquest Launches

    Mar 1999

    Everquest

    EverQuest is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released on March 16, 1999.[1]

    EverQuest was the second major MMORPG to be released, after Ultima Online, making it an early entry to online gaming in the internet era. It was a commercially successful MMO, breaking subscription expectations and growing for many years after its release, and securing an important position in the history of massively multiplayer online games. It was also the first to employ a three-dimensional game engine. As such it has had a wide influence on subsequent releases within the market. It has earned numerous awards, including 1999 GameSpot Game of the Year and a 2007 Technology & Engineering Emmy Award.[2]

    Source: Wiki

  • Anarchy Online Launches

    Jun 2001

    Anarchy Online

    Anarchy Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) published and developed by Norwegian video game development company Funcom. Released in the summer of 2001, the game was the first in the genre to include a science-fiction setting, dynamic quests, instancing, free trials, and in-game advertising. The game's ongoing storyline revolves around the fictional desert planet "Rubi-Ka", the source of a valuable mineral known as "Notum". Players assume the role of a new colonist to Rubi-Ka. With no specific objective to win Anarchy Online, the player advances the game through the improvement of a character's skills over time. After more than 14 years, Anarchy Online has become one of the oldest surviving games in the genre.[1]

    Source: Wiki

  • Runescape Launches

    Jan 2001

    Runescape

    RuneScape is a fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in January 2001 by Andrew and Paul Gower, and developed and published by Jagex Games Studio. It is a graphical browser game implemented on the client-side in Java or HTML5, and incorporates 3D rendering. The game has had over 200 million accounts created and is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world's largest free MMORPG and the most-updated game.[1]

    Source: Wiki

  • Final Fantasy XI launches - the first cross platform MMORPG

    May 2002

    Final Fantasy XI

    Final Fantasy XI, also known as Final Fantasy XI Online, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), developed and published by Square (later Square Enix) as part of the Final Fantasy series. Designed and produced by Hiromichi Tanaka, it was released in Japan on May 16, 2002, for PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Windows-based personal computers in November of that year. The game was the first cross-platform MMORPG and the Xbox 360's first MMORPG.[1] All versions of the game require a monthly subscription to play.[2]

    Source: Wiki

  • EVE Online Launches

    May 2003

    EVE Online

    Eve Online (stylised EVE Online) is a player-driven, persistent-world massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set in a science fiction space setting, developed and published by CCP Games. Characters pilot customizable ships through a galaxy of 7,800 star systems.[2][3] Most star systems are connected to one or more other star systems by means of stargates. The star systems can contain moons, planets, stations, wormholes, asteroid belts and complexes.

    Source: Wiki

  • Lineage II launches

    Oct 2003

    Lineage II

    Lineage II is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows, the second game in the Lineage series. It is a prequel to Lineage, and is set 150 years before the earlier game.[1] It has become very popular since its October 1, 2003 launch in South Korea, reporting 1,000,918 unique users during the month of March 2007. To date, the game has been played by more than 14 million users, mostly based in Asia.[2]

    On November 30, 2011 Lineage II adopted a free-to-play model in Lineage II: Goddess of Destruction, with all game content being free save for "purchasable in-game store items and packs".[3]

    Source: Wiki

  • Star Wars Galaxies Launches

    Jun 2003

    Star Wars Galaxies

    Star Wars Galaxies was a Star Wars themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows, developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts.[1] Released June 26, 2003 to much critical acclaim, it spawned three expansions through 2005. The game was completely overhauled in the last expansion, which frustrated many longtime subscribers.[2] Star Wars Galaxies continued operation for six more years. On July 24, 2011 Sony Online Entertainment announced that the game would be closed on December 15, 2011.[3] The servers shut down on December 15, 2011,[4] upsetting many subscribers and Star Wars fans.[5] Notwithstanding the game's closure, there are several private emulator projects in various stages of development that intend to allow users to experience Star Wars Galaxies in different incarnations of the game's existence.

    Source: Wiki

  • EverQuest 2 launches

    Nov 2004

    EverQuest 2

    EverQuest II is a 3D fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), the sequel to EverQuest, and shipped on 4 November 2004. It features updated graphics and different gameplay from its predecessor.

    Source: Wiki

  • World Of Warcraft Launches

    Nov 2004

    World Of Warcraft

    World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) created in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994.[3] World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous Warcraft release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.[4] Blizzard Entertainment announced World of Warcraft on September 2, 2001.[5] The game was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise.

    Source: Wiki

  • Anarchy Online Goes Free-2-Play

    Dec 2004

    Anarchy Online

    Anarchy Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) published and developed by Norwegian video game development company Funcom. Released in the summer of 2001, the game was the first in the genre to include a science-fiction setting, dynamic quests, instancing, free trials, and in-game advertising. The game's ongoing storyline revolves around the fictional desert planet "Rubi-Ka", the source of a valuable mineral known as "Notum". Players assume the role of a new colonist to Rubi-Ka. With no specific objective to win Anarchy Online, the player advances the game through the improvement of a character's skills over time. After more than 14 years, Anarchy Online has become one of the oldest surviving games in the genre.[1]

    Source: Wiki

  • Plague Outbreak - World of Warcraft

    Sep 2005

    The Corrupted Blood incident was a video game glitch and virtual plague in the MMORPG World of Warcraft, which began on September 13, 2005, and lasted for one week.[1] The epidemic began with the introduction of the new raid Zul'Gurub and its end boss Hakkar the Soulflayer. When confronted and attacked, Hakkar would cast a hit point-draining and highly-contagious debuff spell called Corrupted Blood on players.

    Source: Wiki

  • Guild Wars launches

    Apr 2005

    Guild Wars

    Guild Wars is a CORPG, or Competitive/Cooperative Online Role Playing Game developed for Windows by ArenaNet and published by NCsoft. The first campaign of Guild Wars, Guild Wars Prophecies was released on April 28, 2005. The different genre was chosen (as opposed to the "Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) RPG") due to the perceived differences between the game and other MMOs: the focus on Player versus Player (PvP) rather than Player versus Environment (PvE) play made it almost a unique case at the time, players received their own instanced copy of explorable zones and parties were limited to 8 players each, a tiny number compared to the massive caps of other games, which often allowed for up to 64 players in a single party (and unlimited players in non-instanced zones, which were the norm).

    Source: Wiki Guildwars

  • The First Blizzcon

    Oct 2005

    BlizzCon is a video game convention held by Blizzard Entertainment to promote their major franchises. The first BlizzCon was held in October 2005 at the Anaheim Convention Center in the United States where it has been held ever since. The convention features game-related announcements, previews of upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games and content, Q&A sessions and panels, and playable versions of various Blizzard games. The closing night has featured concerts by The Offspring, Tenacious D, Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne, Blink-182, Metallica, and Linkin Park.

    Source: Wiki

  • Star Wars Galaxies Massive Protests & Exodus

    Nov 2005

    Star Wars Galaxies

    Reviews for the initial launch of the game in 2003 were mostly positive. The game was praised for its lush graphics (realistic character models, detailed architecture and lush environments),[35][36][37] liberal use of the movie soundtracks, massive world size, character customization, creative creature ecology, complex skill system, player economy interdependencies and its sandbox approach. Reviewers criticized the overwhelming complexity of the game, combat imbalances of the professions, bugginess and lack of quest content.[38]

    The reviews for the first expansion, Jump to Lightspeed, praised the new space combat but criticized the ground game for its lack of sufficient improvement.[39] The reviews for the second expansion, Rage of the Wookiees, lauded the new quest content for current subscribers but lamented the combat gameplay updates and the continued bugginess of the game.[40]

    Source: Wiki

  • Epic Heist (Real-life value $16,500) - EVE Online

    Apr 2005

    At 5am on April 18, 2005, the CEO of the Ubiqua Seraph Corporation (EVE's equivalent of a guild) emerged through a stargate in the Haras system, accompanied by her most trusted lieutenant. She wouldn't leave alive. CEO Mirial didn't know it, but the contract on her life had been signed more than a year ago. Over the past 12 months, agents of the Guiding Hand Social Club (specialty: assassination to order) had infiltrated every level of Mirial's powerful organisation.

    Source: Reddit

  • Leeroy Jenkins!! - World of Warcraft

    May 2005

    Leeroy Jenkins is an Internet meme named for a player character created by Ben Schulz in Blizzard Entertainment's MMORPG World of Warcraft. The character became popular due to a video of the game that circulated on the Internet. The phenomenon has since spread beyond the boundaries of the gaming community into other online and mainstream media.

    Source: Wiki

  • Dungeons & Dragons Online launches

    Feb 2006

    Dungeons & Dragons Online

    Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Turbine for Microsoft Windows and OS X. The game was originally marketed as Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach, then renamed Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited upon switching to a hybrid free to play model, and was finally rebranded Dungeons & Dragons Online, with the introduction of Forgotten Realms-related content. Turbine developed DDO as an online adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), based loosely on the D&D 3.5 rule set. The game is set on the unexplored continent of Xen'drik within the Eberron campaign setting, and in the Kingdom of Cormyr within the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.

    Source: Wiki

  • Funeral Ambush - World of Warcraft

    Apr 2006

    IN complete conjunction with my last episode. Here is an example of the prevailing conflicts of the MMOR+G.

    My first reaction to this video was ... well i'm human.. of course it kinda pissed me off. I'm a realist. People are mocking the idea of this funeral as a bunch of "loser nerds who don't know how to go to a RL funeral." However, the dynamic of this game is that there is quite a bit of validation in the relationships you form here regardless of wether or not any RL contact exists.

    Source: Wowcastpodcast

  • Lord of the Rings Online launches

    Apr 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online

    The Lord of the Rings Online (commonly abbreviated to LOTRO), initially branded as The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows and OS X set in a fantasy universe based upon J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth writings. It takes place during the time period of The Lord of the Rings.

    Source: Wiki

  • EVE Online's T20 Incident

    Feb 2007

    EVE Online's

    Since the release of Eve Online there has been proven developer as well as player-corporation misconduct, leading to debates and controversy within the Eve community. On February 9, 2007, a player known as Kugutsumen revealed that an Eve Online developer nicknamed 't20' had provided his in-game alliance, Band of Brothers, with ten valuable blueprints, giving them an advantage over competing corporations.[76] Despite calls for t20's dismissal he is still an Eve Online developer while Kugutsumen was permanently banned from the Eve universe for violating the game's Terms of Service and End-user License Agreement.

    Source: Eve Search

  • World of Warcraft Exceeds 10 Million Subscribers

    Jan 2008

    World of Warcraft

    Well it didn't happen within 2007 as quite a few people predicted, but World of Warcraft has done it-- Blizzard has announced that their massively multiplayer game has hit ten million subscribers worldwide. Asia is the biggest market at the moment, with more than 5.5 million players, as compared to North America's 2.5 million and 2 million subscribers in Europe. Blizzard also says the past holiday season was a big one for them-- they picked up "thousands of new and returning players" in the past few months.

    Source: Engadget

  • Aion launches

    Sep 2009

    Aion

    Aion is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released by NCSOFT. The game combines PvP and PvE (a concept the developers call PvPvE) in a fantasy game environment. As of May 20, 2009, Aion had 3.5 million subscribers in Asia.[7] AION's first major expansion pack was released to North America and Europe on September 7, 2010 under the name AION: Assault on Balaurea. On February 29, 2012 AION became free-to-play in Europe[8] with a limited set of options regarding gathering, trade and chat,[9] while North American Truly Free launched on April 11, 2012 with no such restrictions.[10]

    Source: Wiki

  • Final Fantasy XIV launches

    Sep 2010

    Final Fantasy XIV

    Final Fantasy XIV, also known as Final Fantasy XIV Online, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game for Microsoft Windows personal computers, developed and published by Square Enix in 2010. It is the fourteenth entry in the main Final Fantasy series and the second MMORPG in the series after Final Fantasy XI. Set in the fantasy realm of Eorzea, players take control of a customized avatar as they explore the land and are caught up in both an invasion by the hostile Garlean Empire and the threat of the Primals, the deities of the land's Beastmen tribes. Eventually, they are embroiled in a plot by a Garlean Legatus to destroy the Primals by bringing one of the planet's moons down on Eorzea.

    Source: Wiki

  • LOTRO goes free-to-play

    Nov 2010

    LOTRO

    On June 4, 2010, it was announced the game was to add a free-to-play option in the autumn, with an in-game store. Free-to-play was successfully launched in North America on September 10, 2010. After a delay in Europe, free-to-play went live on November 2, 2010.[68] During the following six months the company reported tripled revenues from the title.[69]

    Source: Wiki

  • EverQuest 2 goes free-to-play

    Dec 2011

    EverQuest 2

    In July 2010 SOE announced a separate version of EverQuest II called EverQuest II Extended. EverQuest II Extended is a free to play version of EverQuest II funded by micro-transactions or optional subscription play. The free to play version was run on a separate server from the subscription servers.[3]

    In November 2011 SOE announced EverQuest II was going free to play following a similar path as EverQuest II Extended. As of December 6, 2011, with the release of GU62 and Age of Discovery, EverQuest II updated from being a subscription based game to a free to play title with subscription optional.

    Source: Wiki

  • RIFT launches

    Mar 2011

    RIFT

    Rift (previously known as Rift: Planes of Telara and as Heroes of Telara before that while still in alpha testing) is a fantasy free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Trion Worlds. Rift takes place within the fantasy world of Telara. The game was released in March 2011.[1]

    Source: Wiki

  • Star Wars Galaxies closes (Result from protests about dumbing down and mass exodus)

    Dec 2011

    Star Wars Galaxies

    Star Wars Galaxies was a Star Wars themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows, developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts.[1] Released June 26, 2003 to much critical acclaim, it spawned three expansions through 2005. The game was completely overhauled in the last expansion, which frustrated many longtime subscribers.[2] Star Wars Galaxies continued operation for six more years. On July 24, 2011 Sony Online Entertainment announced that the game would be closed on December 15, 2011.[3] The servers shut down on December 15, 2011,[4] upsetting many subscribers and Star Wars fans.[5] Notwithstanding the game's closure, there are several private emulator projects in various stages of development that intend to allow users to experience Star Wars Galaxies in different incarnations of the game's existence.

    Source: Wiki

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic launches - Fastest Growing MMORPG in first 3 months

    Dec 2011

    Star Wars: The Old Republic

    Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based in the Star Wars universe.[2][3] Developed by BioWare Austin and a supplemental team at BioWare Edmonton, the game was first announced on October 21, 2008, at an invitation-only press event.[4] The video game was released for the Microsoft Windows platform on December 20, 2011 in North America and part of Europe.[5][6][7][8] Early access to the game began one week before release, on December 13, 2011, for those who had pre-ordered the game online; access opened in "waves" based on pre-order date.[8]

    Source: Wiki

  • TERA launches

    Jan 2011

    TERA

    TERA is a 3D fantasy themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Bluehole Studio. The game was released in South Korea on January 25, 2011, in Japan on August 18, 2011, in North America on May 1, 2012, in Europe on May 3, 2012, and in Russia on February 26, 2015, with closed and open beta testings taking place before the launch dates. NHN Corporation, NHN Japan Corporation, En Masse Entertainment and Frogster Interactive Pictures publishes the game in these regions, respectively.[3][4][5] In February 2013 the game was renamed to TERA: Rising concurrently with the game's launch to the free-to-play model.

    Source: Wiki

  • Aion goes free-to-play

    Feb 2012

    Aion

    Aion is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released by NCSOFT. The game combines PvP and PvE (a concept the developers call PvPvE) in a fantasy game environment. As of May 20, 2009, Aion had 3.5 million subscribers in Asia.[7] AION's first major expansion pack was released to North America and Europe on September 7, 2010 under the name AION: Assault on Balaurea. On February 29, 2012 AION became free-to-play in Europe[8] with a limited set of options regarding gathering, trade and chat,[9] while North American Truly Free launched on April 11, 2012 with no such restrictions.[10]

    Source: Wiki

  • The Secret World launches

    Jun 2012

    The Secret World

    On January 29, 2014, Norwegian economic crime unit ěkokrim launched an investigation into suspected infringement of the provisions of the Securities Trading Act concerning the 2012 launch of The Secret World.[23]

    Source: Wiki

  • Guild Wars 2 launches

    Aug 2012

    Guild Wars 2

    Guild Wars 2 began development in the middle of 2006; it was first announced to the public in 2007. It began closed beta testing on 16 December 2011.[2] On 23 January 2012, ArenaNet announced that Guild Wars 2 would launch by the end of that year, following beta tests throughout March and April.[3] On 28 June, ArenaNet announced that the game would launch on 28 August 2012.

    Source: Wiki Guildwars2

  • TERA goes free-to-play

    Feb 2013

    TERA

    TERA is a 3D fantasy themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Bluehole Studio. The game was released in South Korea on January 25, 2011, in Japan on August 18, 2011, in North America on May 1, 2012, in Europe on May 3, 2012, and in Russia on February 26, 2015, with closed and open beta testings taking place before the launch dates. NHN Corporation, NHN Japan Corporation, En Masse Entertainment and Frogster Interactive Pictures publishes the game in these regions, respectively.[3][4][5] In February 2013 the game was renamed to TERA: Rising concurrently with the game's launch to the free-to-play model.

    Source: Wiki

  • RIFT goes free-to-play

    Jun 2013

    RIFT

    On June 12, 2013, Rift discontinued the subscription fee. Prior to that date, Rift required a monthly subscription fee for continued play, or purchase of prepaid game cards. Rift is now free to play up to the max level. There are however bonuses if you do choose to pay for "Patron" status.[16][17]

    Source: Wiki

  • Final Fantasy XIV relaunched as "A Realm Reborn"

    Aug 2013

    Final Fantasy XIV

    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. It was developed by Square Enix with Naoki Yoshida as producer and director, and was released worldwide on August 27, 2013. The game is currently available in Japanese, English, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Korean. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn takes place in the fictional land of Eorzea, five years after the events of the original release. At the conclusion of Final Fantasy XIV, the primal dragon Bahamut escapes from its lunar prison to initiate the Seventh Umbral Calamity, an apocalyptic event which destroys much of Eorzea. Through the gods' blessing, the player character escapes the devastation by time traveling five years into the future. As Eorzea recovers and rebuilds, the player must deal with the impending threat of invasion by the Garlean Empire from the north.

    Source: Wiki

  • The Elder Scrolls Online launches

    Apr 2014

    The Elder Scrolls Online

    The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing video game developed by ZeniMax Online Studios. It was originally released on April 4, 2014 for Microsoft Windows and OS X. It is a part of The Elder Scrolls action fantasy video game franchise, of which it is the first open-ended multiplayer installment.

    Source: Wiki

  • WildStar launches

    Jun 2014

    WildStar

    WildStar is a fantasy/science fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game that takes place on the fictional planet Nexus, where a mysterious and powerful race known as the Eldan have disappeared, leaving behind a wealth of technology and secrets for players to explore.[2][3]

    Source: Wiki

  • ArcheAge launches NA/EU

    Sep 2014

    ArcheAge

    ArcheAge is an MMORPG developed by Korean developer Jake Song (former developer of Lineage) and his development company, XL Games. The game was released in Korea on January 15, 2013, Europe and North America on September 16, 2014, and has also had a closed beta in China. ArcheAge is described as a "sandpark" MMORPG, which the developers say is a hybrid of the open content style of a "sandbox" game and the more structured play experience of a "themepark" game.

    Source: Wiki

  • WoW annouces over 100 million accounts created over games lifetime

    Jan 2014

    WoW

    World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) created in 2004 by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994.[3] World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous Warcraft release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.[4] Blizzard Entertainment announced World of Warcraft on September 2, 2001.[5] The game was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise.

    Source: Wiki

  • Guild Wars 2 core game goes free-to-play

    Aug 2015

    Guild Wars 2

    Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by ArenaNet and published by NCSOFT. Set in the fantasy world of Tyria, the game follows the re-emergence of Destiny's Edge, a disbanded guild dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons, a Lovecraftian species that has seized control of Tyria in the time since the original Guild Wars. The game takes place in a persistent world with a story that progresses in instanced environments.[2]

    Source: Wiki

  • WildStar goes free-to-play

    Sep 2015

    WildStar

    WildStar is a fantasy/science fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game that takes place on the fictional planet Nexus, where a mysterious and powerful race known as the Eldan have disappeared, leaving behind a wealth of technology and secrets for players to explore.[2][3]

    Source: Wiki

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3 - What Makes a Good MMORPG? Link

This is as divisive a question as what is the best flavor ice cream, which is the greatest baseball team, or which Kardashian would you throw off the boat first. Everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to MMORPGs, however most will agree on the basic things a game should get right. If the experience isn't engaging or challenging then it doesn't matter how many people you play it with, it simply won't hold your attention.

It also helps if you have a game that looks pretty. This doesn't always mean your graphics have to be cutting-edge, but you should ensure they won't look dated before it's even released. When budget restricts what you can do in terms of realism, taking the time to apply an interesting aesthetic can earn you a lot of grace when it comes to graphical limitations.

Of course the main draw of MMORPGs is the massively multiplayer element. It isn't enough for a game to throw a bunch of players together and expect stuff to happen, that's a tactic which only works in orgies, and even then you rarely end up with a satisfying result. A game needs to be engineered in such a way that co-operation and violence between players comes naturally. Interacting with others to achieve a common goal, whether on a quest or a sword fight, is what makes a true MMORPG. If you can do everything a game asks of you by yourself, this is not a true MMORPG, and nor is it the experience gamers expect.

For an MMORPG to provide the wide range of mission styles, characters, multiplayer options that gamers desire, huge open worlds have now become the norm rather than a selling point. Players look to immerse themselves in a realistic and expansive environment which reacts to their presence, and one of the ways MMORPGs do this is to generate a realistic economy. Players are often able to trade items with other players and non-playable characters within the game, in such a way that directly affects the prices of other items. The next generation of games will take this interactivity one step further, by providing players with physical and metaphysical virtual game environments which they can alter on a fundamental level.

  • ENGAGING AND CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE
  • VISUAL AESTHETIC
  • INTERACTING WITH OTHERS TO ACHIEVE A COMMON GOAL
  • WIDE RANGE OF MISSIONS, CHARACTERS AND WORLDS

4 - Most popular MMORPG Link

  • Title
  • Release
  • Genre
  • Platform
  • Payment
  • Worlds
  • Players per World
  • Daily Players
  • Peak MAU's
  • Metascore
  • User Score
  • World Of Warcraft
    2004
    Premium
    246
    5,190
    1,276,845
    13,440,474
    93
    7.2
  • Guild Wars 2
    2012
    Retail
    13
    51,267
    666,477
    7,015,547
    90
    7.9
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
    2013
    Premium
    64
    6,711
    429,499
    4,521,046
    86
    7.7
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
    2014
    Retail
    2
    174,405
    348,810
    3,671,688
    71
    5.7
  • Eve Online
    2003
    Premium
    1
    282,630
    282,630
    2,975,052
    69
    7.6
  • RuneScape
    2001
    Freemium
    141
    1,945
    274,289
    2,887,257
    -
    6.1
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic
    2011
    Freemium
    214
    1,204
    257,675
    2,712,368
    85
    5.9
  • WildStar
    2014
    Freemium
    2
    91,657
    183,313
    1,929,613
    82
    7.4
  • TERA
    2011
    Freemium
    7
    13,731
    96,117
    1,011,759
    77
    6.9
  • ArchAge
    2013
    Freemium
    17
    5,605
    95,280
    1,002,947
    80
    3.6
  • Marvel Heroes 2015
    2013
    Freemium
    1
    66,627
    66,627
    701,338
    81
    7.9
  • Maple Story
    2003
    Freemium
    89
    702
    62,508
    657,981
    -
    -
  • Neverwinter
    2013
    Freemium
    3
    18,313
    54,938
    578,294
    74
    5.3
  • Rift
    2011
    Freemium
    22
    2,264
    49,802
    524,233
    84
    7.3
  • EverQuest Next
    2016
    Freemium
    1
    45,832
    45,832
    482,443
    -
    -
  • Star Trek Online
    2010
    Freemium
    2
    20,459
    40,917
    430,707
    66
    6.2
  • Tree of Saviour
    2015
    Freemium
    2
    20,112
    40,224
    423,408
    -
    -
  • Lord of The Rings Online
    2007
    Freemium
    38
    863
    32,792
    345,182
    86
    8.1
  • Guild Wars Factions
    2006
    Retail
    1
    32,664
    32,664
    343,830
    84
    8.4
  • The Secret World
    2012
    Retail
    1
    29,320
    29,320
    308,636
    76
    6.6
  • Blade & Soul
    2012
    Freemium
    13
    1,726
    22,438
    236,194
    -
    -
  • Ever Quest
    1999
    Freemium
    25
    760
    18,997
    199,973
    85
    8.3
  • DC Universe Online
    2011
    Freemium
    4
    4,038
    16,152
    170,023
    72
    6.9
  • Vindictus
    2010
    Freemium
    16
    879
    14,057
    147,966
    76
    7.1
  • Mabinogi
    2004
    Freemium
    4
    2,979
    11,915
    125,422
    -
    7.4
  • 4Story
    2008
    Freemium
    48
    219
    10,500
    114,000
    -
    -
  • Dragon Nest
    2010
    Freemium
    5
    1,942
    9,712
    102,230
    -
    6.9
  • Ragnarok Online
    2002
    Freemium
    7
    1,298
    9,085
    95,634
    79
    8.3
  • Skyforge
    2015
    Freemium
    2
    4,500
    9,000
    99,500
    -
    -
  • Ultima Online
    1997
    Freemium
    28
    300
    8,392
    88,336
    59
    8.7
  • EverQuest II
    2004
    Freemium
    27
    310
    8,371
    88,120
    83
    7.3
  • Aion: The Tower of Eternity
    2008
    Freemium
    8
    928
    7,426
    78,172
    76
    6.6
  • Tibia
    1997
    Freemium
    77
    96
    7,416
    78,064
    -
    -
  • Spiral Knights
    2011
    Freemium
    3
    2,393
    7,180
    75,577
    64
    7.2
  • The Repopulation
    2014
    Retail
    1
    6,553
    6,553
    68,982
    -
    -
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online
    2006
    Freemium
    8
    762
    6,096
    64,170
    74
    7.0
  • Darkfall Unholy Wars
    2013
    Freemium
    2
    2,681
    5,362
    56,440
    -
    7.2
  • Dofus
    2004
    Freemium
    44
    102
    4,509
    47,465
    72
    7.3
  • Dark Age of Camelot
    2001
    Premium
    6
    674
    4,042
    42,546
    88
    8.9
  • Anarchy Online
    2001
    Freemium
    1
    3,770
    3,770
    39,681
    72
    7.7
  • Alganon
    2009
    Freemium
    6
    1,560
    3,600
    0
    -
    0.4
  • Asherons Call
    1999
    Premium
    10
    356
    3,564
    37,518
    81
    8.7
  • Uncharted Waters Online
    2004
    Freemium
    2
    1,730
    3,460
    35,000
    -
    7.3
  • Lineage II
    2003
    Freemium
    10
    277
    2,768
    29,139
    62
    6.5
  • 9Dragons
    2007
    Freemium
    1
    2,500
    2,500
    22,000
    -
    -
  • Mortal Online
    2010
    Freemium
    1
    2,460
    2,460
    25,895
    -
    4.4
  • Angels Online
    2006
    Freemium
    1
    2,450
    2,450
    21,000
    -
    -
  • Age of Wulin / AKA Age of Wushu
    2013
    Freemium
    3
    512
    1,536
    16,164
    74
    5.5
  • A Tale in the Desert
    2006
    Premium
    2
    650
    1,300
    14,000
    79
    8.3
  • Aika
    2009
    Freemium
    6
    217
    1,300
    15,000
    -
    7.9
  • Fallen Earth
    2009
    Freemium
    1
    950
    950
    10,001
    71
    7.0
  • Forsaken World
    2012
    Freemium
    7
    98
    688
    7,244
    69
    5.2
  • Age of Conan
    2008
    Freemium
    19
    34
    652
    6,865
    80
    7.3
  • Perfect World International
    2008
    Freemium
    8
    39
    313
    3,297
    -
    7.4
Show More...

This data is not 100% accurate, but is the best available to our knowledge. If you notice any big inaccuracies please email us.

5 - The differences Between MMORPG and Other Online Games Link

One of the main differences between MMORPGs and other online games is the mind-set required. In an online shooter you'll face perhaps thirty or so other opponents in single rounds, and more often than not your job is to waste every last one of them. In games where friendly fire is allowed you'll probably even shoot your allies just to steal a perk or two. With an MMORPG this malevolence takes a back seat, for the most part, to the sense of cooperation necessary to achieve the game's objectives. There can be hundreds of thousands of people simultaneously playing in any one world, and if you're going to survive you'll have to be nice to at least some of them.

Another important aspect of MMORPGs is that the world your character exists in continues to function regardless of whether you are playing or not. This is similar to the ethos of sporting management simulation games like Football Manager, where there are a multitude of fixtures, transfers, and interactions going on without your input. In most offline games your character is forced to wander down a path or a small selection of paths towards a definite ending. In an MMORPG there is no end, the game cannot be won, and the objective is the same as it is in life; which is to carve out a successful existence within the world you inhabit.

Of course some might say that playing an MMORPG too much can destroy your chances of achieving this outside of a virtual world, but it is this lack of clear victory conditions which draws so many people towards these games. There is always something more for your character to do, something else you can achieve, and that goes for both a newbie starting off slaying chickens in the forest, and a level 200 veteran who knows the game better than they know their own parents.

Other Online Games

6 - Indie Vs Corporate MMORPG Link

The debate between indie and corporate developers extends far beyond gaming, as fanboys and fangirls have for years argued over what truly constitutes an authentic entertainment experience. For every person who goes to watch the latest unsigned indie band, there are literally thousands more sobbing teenagers buying One Direction tickets. Hold up, are we really comparing corporate developers to a horrible British boyband? Maybe, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Let's face it, if someone sells a million albums, downloads, or tins of horse medicine, they've made something a lot of people want. A corporate MMORPG with hefty financial backing needs to have this broad appeal, and developing ideas into a form which attracts customers is a very useful talent, one which many indie developers often overlook. The problem is, trying to create a game which pleases everyone can lead to stock characters, sanitized dialog, and a feeling you've played this game a zillion times before. When an indie developer creates an MMORPG such constraints aren't as evident, enabling them to take risks on new ideas, innovative gameplay, and quirky features which would never get past an army of suits with share prices to think about.

Obviously not all aspects of an indie production fit this romantic rose-tinted vision of things. Lengthy development times mean tech specs can be outdated by the time you reach your fifth scheduled release date, and a small team can't catch as many glitches as an army of programmers can, but really it all depends on what you want from a game.

There are plenty of sleek, glossy MMORPGs out there with more bells and whistles than a bell and whistle shop, and they obviously offer things that many people want, even if it's something they've seen several times before presented in a shiny new wrapper.

But that isn't enough for some people. Many MMORPG fans play to immerse themselves in something they've never felt before; a game which feels like it was created not by a company, but by a person, albeit someone who probably hasn't seen their family or daylight for several months. These experiences aren't exclusive to indie developers, but when someone builds a game from the ground up with their own hands, they're making something they themselves want to play, and chances are you will too.

Corporate games are like Tom Cruise; occasionally you'll get a Top Gun or a Mission Impossible I, but mostly you'll be drenched in the acceptable mediocrity of War of the Worlds or Mission Impossible III. Indie developers, they're like Steve Buscemi. The ride can be uncomfortable and half the time you wonder what the hell is going on, but what they lack in cosmetic appearance they make up for with more character and personality than a thousand cut copy games ever will. So by all means splurge your cash on the latest WoW expansion, because let's face it, it'll probably be just as addictive and fun as the rest of them. But if you're looking for something new, challenging, and inspiring from Expansion Pack Seven - The Fog of Ordinarium, then you may be looking in the wrong place.

Distribution of the Production Costs

Typical Indie Game

Typical Corporate Game

Sector:
  • Development
  • Design
  • Licensing
  • Marketing
  • Distribution
  • Publishing
  • Dividends
Indie:
  • 70%
  • 28.5%
  • 0.5%
  • 1%
  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 0%
Corporate:
  • 12%
  • 7%
  • 8%
  • 24%
  • 11%
  • 12%
  • 26%

7 - Graphical Vs Text-based Link

The very first MMORPGs were entirely text based; in fact you could say they were a natural technological progression from the 'choose your own adventure' books popular in the 80s and 90s. The main reason games started out in this simple fashion is because it is cheap. With writers able to smuggle far more story options into lines of code than a physical wad of paper, these games began to expand and become increasingly complex, with some driving towards the look and feel of traditional games, albeit with far more depth.

Not every company chose this route however, and some entirely text based MMORPGs continue to thrive today. Many of them prefer to include some graphical elements for things like characters and images, but the actual gameplay still takes place entirely through the exchanging of words. Obviously text based games are not for everyone, but those who love them do seem to develop a deep affinity with the medium. It seems text based games acquire a slightly more creative audience than graphical based platforms, which is unsurprising considering the imagination required to invest yourself in a world entirely seen through words.

That isn't to say that graphical MMORPGs are for people with no creativity, far from it in fact, it simply means they attract an audience who are looking for something different. With a world built ready-made for you to explore, sometimes it can prove a far more satisfying experience to roam around in an unknown environment of someone else's making. The comparison between text and graphical MMORPGs is just as pointless as one between books and movies. If you read a novel expecting the same feeling from watching Die Hard 9 you're going to be let down, and nobody is looking for creative exposition to exercise your creative muscles in a two hour car chase lead by a shirtless Bruce Willis. The two styles have much to offer many different people, but which you choose depends entirely on what you look to achieve from your entertainment. It is much easier to feel part of a virtual world if you can see it clearly in front of you, but then some people prefer the challenge of creating their own.

The comparison between text and graphical MMORPGs is just as pointless as one between books and movies. If you read a novel expecting the same feeling from watching Die Hard 9 you're going to be let down, and nobody is looking for creative exposition to exercise your creative muscles in a two hour car chase lead by a shirtless Bruce Willis.

8 - Let's Talk about MMORPG Longevity Link

When it comes to commitment, no other genre requires more of your time and energy than a MMORPG. You can't casually dip in and out of online play as you would most other multiplayer games, instead you must actively dedicate whole chunks of your day, week, and perhaps even years of your life to fully experience everything the game has to offer. You'll be thinking about your game in the morning before you go to work, you'll check notifications on your breaks or at lunch, and the minute you get home you'll throw something vaguely edible down your throat and squat yourself down for several hours of dedicated gameplay.

But the advantage MMORPGs have over other games is that this dedication isn't wasted every twelve months when the latest incarnation of the game is released. Whereas players of major titles in other genres can expect a new instalment every twelve months or so, MMORPGs instead tend to offer optional expansions and continuous content updates. All online games have a lifespan of course, but comparing an MMORPG to something like Madden or Halo is like comparing a Galapagos Turtle with a fruit fly. Some MMORPGs are still turning a profit a decade or two after they were first launched, and have even retained many of their original players. While the aforementioned two major franchises can also claim such longevity, it is unlikely they would have retained this fanbase without their annual release strategies.

There is no reason to believe that this trend of longevity will discontinue any time soon, in fact the opposite seems to be true. More and more people are looking for interesting virtual lives to augment their humdrum physical ones, and the sense of permanence an MMORPG offers tends to be a major selling point. Previously people would seek temporary respite from their working lives in the arms of a movie or a half-hour blast on the Playstation. Now these same people are looking for something constant, a world parallel to their own where they can be anything they choose; an online persona they can live vicariously through and develop ever more over time. Despite all the noise about waning attention spans and the desire for ever shorter content, it seems there is an expanding audience out there for long-form, long-term content in which you can truly invest yourself.

9 - How free MMORPG's are funded Link

With micropayments becoming even more popular it is natural for the gaming public to become a little suspicious of anything offered for free, and that goes for everything, from MMORPGs and mobile apps to the man behind Wendy's offering you "free hugs and naps". From the moment a player signs up they'll be wondering how far they can proceed without paying. Do I need an expensive upgrade to get anywhere? Will I be charged for talking to this robot unicorn? Is this new purple cat bazooka going to cost me real cash? The more unscrupulous developers hide these micropayments within the game as a way to make money, but there are better and more respectful ways to treat your audience.

Cash shops within games are a popular way for game developers to earn without players actually having to pay a monthly subscription fee. With this option there is no obligation to purchase anything, however you are likely to find it becomes easier to develop your character and make progress if you make the occasional purchase. This probably adds an element of realism for some gamers, as let's face it, you can't really go through real life without paying for a haircut or a new pair of jeans. Obviously you can try, but you're probably not going to achieve much by doing so.

Another popular financial model is community funding. Instead of charging gamers for tools to make their gameplay easier, you are actually appealing to their love of the game and desire to see it continue. This Kickstarter style model is a far more organic way of developing games and studios than interrupting your play to demand cash at random moments, and even though it can be less reliable, it somehow feels more worthwhile. Instead of slinging your hard earned money at a fictional character behind a fictional counter in a fictional world, you are instead directly funding a developer with the cash they need to keep evolving and developing the game that you love.

Whether a game is free to pay, premium, freemium, or micro-payment funded, the key thing to realise is that your customers must always be informed and ethically treated. Realistically everyone likes to pay as little as possible for everything, and whilst there are no definitively good or bad payment models, some methods of obtaining finance work far better in certain situations than others. As long as you are honest and open, you will find that most MMORPG players are willing to fork over plenty of their cash for the right experience.

  • MICROPAYMENTS

    A micropayment is a financial transaction involving a very small sum of money and usually one that occurs online. A number of micropayment systems were proposed and developed in the mid-to-late 1990s, which were ultimately unsuccessful. A second generation of micropayment systems emerged in the 2010s.
  • CASH SHOPS

    The Cash Shop is an in-game shop where players use real-life currency to purchase unique virtual goods such as avatars, digital pets and other in-game items. Most Cash Shop items expire after a period of time. The Cash Shop also offers a shop permit, allowing players to set up a store in the in-game market location called the Free Market.
  • CROWDFUNDING

    Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, today often performed via internet-mediated registries, but the concept can also be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit events, and other methods. Crowdfunding is a form of alternative finance, which has emerged outside of the traditional financial system.
  • FREE

    Freeware games are games that are released as freeware and can be downloaded and played, free of charge, for an unlimited amount of time. This list does not include: Open source games; Games that were previously sold commercially; games that require purchase for play time, game items, new content or features; Browser games alias browser-based games; Mods: software that cannot be played as stand-alone game.
  • FREMIUM

    Freemium is a pricing strategy by which a product or service (typically a digital offering or application such as software, media, games or web services) is provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for proprietary features, functionality, or virtual goods. The word "freemium" is a portmanteau neologism that was coined by Jarid Lukin in 2006.
  • PREMIUM

    Premium refers to a segment of a company's brands or products that carries tangible or imaginary surplus value in the upper mid- to high price range. In most ways, the premium segment can be thought of as the contrary to value brands. In that sense, the term "premium" replaces the traditional attribute "luxury".

10 - Virtual Worlds Link

Most if not all MMORPGs support a virtual world, within which every player's character resides. These virtual worlds could be represented as a constructed 3D environment, or a website with images and links, perhaps even as little as a black screen with white text. In any case, a MMORPG's virtual world must satisfy three important criteria to become a fully immersible experience; Interactivity, Physicality, and Persistence.

Interactivity
Fritz Bielmeier

Interactivity is what enables players to interact with the virtual world through their characters. The player is not the character, but the character's actions are explicitly dictated by the player's commands. By simply clicking a mouse or tapping a keyboard, a player feels invested in the action which is taking place on screen, whether that action is chopping down a tree or strangling a wood elf with your virtual bare hands.

Physicality
Roman Drits

Physicality embodies the physical limitations by which player-characters are constrained. In the case of 3D worlds, a character may need to "walk" across a street or "jump" over a flaming corpse to travel to their destination. The player may need to navigate a website through predefined hyperlinks or type the correct words into an input field to "move" their character. Even if your game is set within a realm which does not obey the laws of physics, biology, or even common sense, the players, acting through their characters, must be aware of the physical limitations imposed by your virtual world.

Persistence
Soren Niedziella
  • Fritz Bielmeier
  • Roman Drits
  • Soren Niedziella
© Image Copyright

Persistence is the perpetual existence of the virtual world regardless of whether any players are actively interacting with it. Any subset of players can interact with a virtual world, while the remainder does not. Further, the virtual world will remember a character's attributes, assets, and typically location. By making a player feel that they are simply one tiny component of a much larger universe, you more accurately mirror the experience of human existence, thus adding to the brutally realistic feel of your game world.

11 - Synthetic Economics Link

The basis of any economy is the trading of goods and services with others. People trade because they want things that they cannot or do not want to produce for themselves; and people want things which are valuable to them. When many people within a defined area engage in trade with each other, we call it an Economy.

That basis does not change just because people want and trade within the virtual world of an MMORPG. The public is slowly coming to terms with the loss of physical interaction with purchased items. The music and movies you pay to download may not be something you can tangibly hold anymore, but it is nevertheless a real and desirable product. It is something you can hear, you can see, you gain emotion from. Likewise, players who trade artificial goods within the artificial world of an MMOG are participating in a real, if artificial, economy. It is a Synthetic Economy.

Interactivity
Designed by Freepik.com

12 - The Distinction of Synthetic Economies Link

While Synthetic Economies largely reflect economic behavior in the real world, there is one critical difference: the virtual world is capable of buying and selling an infinite number of goods at any price.

This is applied in many MMORPGs through non-playable character vendors. NPCs are often able to buy as much as you can sell, and sell as much as you can buy. Do you want to sell one million chicken feathers? Sure, the merchant has a printing press in the back room. Do you want to buy one million pieces of leather? No problem, just give him a moment to reach into his portal of infinite leather pieces.

Imagine the chaos if this reality came to pass in our own world economy. What happens when every single commodity on the planet suddenly becomes infinitely abundant and therefore worthless? This is a situation with consequences far beyond what gamers want to explore, and a synthetic economy without limits is unlikely to support an interesting experience. No in-game world should ever end up like a virtual Zimbabwe, suffering from hyper-inflation and currency runs, therefore designers often impose artificial limitations on these infinite possibilities by taking lessons from the real world.

13 - Virtual Currencies Link

A virtual currency is simply the currency used within a MMORPG. You can call this currency whatever the hell you want; Gold, Credits, Flarbgrons, Shatnerdollars, it doesn't matter. But just as virtual goods and services have real value, so do virtual currencies. This value is derived from the players' mutual willingness to exchange virtual currency for virtual goods; however there are some other mitigating factors you also need to consider.

MMORPGs often do not allow the direct trade of items or VC for USD, but black markets are common, and often VC can be directly traded for USD. Whilst these transactions are not permitted by developers or the moderators within each virtual world, it is nevertheless interesting to observe the exchange rate which has developed between VC and USD.

This exchange rate is only possible because the players are able to trade with each other within the virtual world. Games without player to player trade are cut off from the real world, and do not have exchange rates. So whilst the trading of VC for USD is not actively encouraged by game developers, it does seem to provoke even more investment in the game. If you've spent hours earning virtual gold and you've made a few bucks on eBay from it, you're going to feel pretty satisfied with yourself. Conversely, if you've purchased a significant in-game item for several hundred dollars, and then lost said item in a forest because you logged on when you were drunk, your sense of frustration will be anything but virtual.

The trading of virtual currency for real cash isn't necessarily something MMORPG developers have to consent to, but when designing their game world, it is certainly something they should acknowledge.

If you've spent hours earning virtual gold and you've made a few bucks on eBay from it, you're going to feel pretty satisfied with yourself. Conversely, if you've purchased a significant in-game item for several hundred dollars, and then lost said item in a forest because you logged on when you were drunk, your sense of frustration will be anything but virtual.

Advice

14 - Advice for Game Designers Link

As a designer, you have full control over the virtual world you create. Thus it is critical that you understand how your design decisions will impact the synthetic economy and the virtual currency you use to run it. Researching the following topics will build a good base of economic knowledge:

  1. Supply and Demand of markets
  2. The impact of price controls and quotas on supply and demand
  3. The purpose and behavior of currency as a medium of exchange
  4. Common economic breakdowns
  1. Hyperinflation of currency
  2. Shortages and surpluses due to price ceilings and price floors
  3. Black markets and why they develop
  4. Unemployment

Use your insights from researching these topics to foster a healthy economic system, and avoid the common pitfalls. The International Monetary Fund rarely returns the call of game developers asking for advice on how many Shatnerdollars a barrel of Witches Tears should cost, so contact Chris.GameEconomist@torn.com if you run into trouble.

15 - Advice for Players Link

As residents of the virtual world, players who understand economics will undoubtedly excel as participants in the synthetic economy. Someone who spends all day trading on the stock market is using the exact same techniques to make money as someone in the virtual world. Learn the same base of knowledge outlined above for developers, and then explore how it applies to the economies of MMORPGs you play. Analyze updates, events, and trends to determine their impact on the economies, virtual currency, and then capitalize on that insight to better achieve your in-game goals. What we're basically saying is, learn to think like a banker if you want to virtually earn like one.

Interactivity
TorinoGT

16 - MMORPG Bloggers Link

For genuine enthusiasts of MMORPGs that enthusiasm extends far beyond the limits of their virtual game of choice. There are online forums, blogs, and other networks where these fans can meet and gather to discuss the merits and techniques of their chosen game, whilst also sharing news and gossip about planned or rumoured gaming developments. Because of this enthusiasm, MMORPG bloggers are amongst some of the most high profile and most frequently visited bloggers within the blogosphere. If you are new to the world of MMORPGs and don't know where to start then here are some of the most authoritative bloggers within the MMO world:

  • Bio Break

    by Justin Olivetti (AKA Sypster)
    established February 2008
    Tobold's Blog

    Bio Break is a multi-MMO blog created by Justin "Syp" Olivetti in 2008. Syp has been a lifelong gamer, graduating to MMOs back with 2001's Anarchy Online and never looking back.

    biobreak.wordpress.com
  • The Ancient Gaming Noob

    by John Mac (AKA Wilhelm Arcturus)
    established September 2006
    The Ancient Gaming Noob

    Having played video games since he first saw a Pong machine at the Old Spaghetti Factory in 1974, he fell in love with the dynamics of online multiplayer games with persistent (or semi-persistent) worlds like Stellar Emperor back in 1986.

    tagn.wordpress.com
  • Murf Versus

    by C. T. Murphy (AKA Murf)
    established March 2013
    Murf Versus

    C. T. 'Murf' Murphy began blogging in 2012, but he's been playing MMORPGs since 2000. His most recent blogging venture, Murf Versus, began in 2013. There, he primarily rants and raves about MMOs, as well as other games.

    murfvs.net
  • Healing the masses

    by J3w3l (AKA Eri)
    established July 2012
    Healing the masses

    Just another random Gamer that got lost in the mmo woods along the way. Now dabbling in many games, especially those that promote conflict and competition with others. Started July 2012 - Although Switched to a new shiny blog early 2015.

    www.healingthemasses.net
  • Game by Night

    by Chris
    established July 2009
    Game by Night

    Covering MMOs has been Chris' passion for the better part of a decade. Game By Night was started to cover games from the working man's perspective. Chris is now a professional freelance games writer.

    www.gamebynight.com
  • Tobold's Blog

    by John Doe (AKA Tobold Stoutfoot)
    established
    Tobold's Blog

    Tobold's blog is one of the earliest MMORPG blogs around, older than World of Warcraft. There is a huge archive with over 5,000 posts about many different MMORPGs. The blog is less active now, and covers more other games, including pen & paper roleplaying.

    tobolds.blogspot.co.uk
NB
We are not responsible for the effects massively multiplayer online role playing games may have on your relationship, career, or personal hygiene.