paragonMemberFebruary 26, 2010 at 2:14 amPost count: 67
The term MMORPG is short for “massively multiplayer online role-playing game”. It has now become a universally known and immensely popular game genre. As statistics show, worldwide revenue from MMORPGs exceeded half a billion dollars in 2005, and Western revenue exceeded US$1 billion in 2006. In 2008, Western consumer spending on subscription MMORPGs grew to $1.4 billion. World of Warcraft, a popular MMORPG, had over 11.5 million subscribers as of December, 2008.
Even so popular in the world, after several years some MMOs still went away due to all kinds of reasons. Nowadays, players become more and more focused on a game’s design, strategy, storyline, balance, visual effects, etc. There is a struggle for older MMORPGs to survive over time, as their game should try its best to meet its new customers’ changing tastes and hobbies. But once managed, this MMO can be titled as a classic game because the strong ability to adapt to the current requirements exhibits its superiority and creativity, and will of course win fans worldwide. The following are 8 classic MMORPGs that have managed to survive, and will surely last for a long time yet.
Since published on March 16, 1999, EverQuest has just issued its SIXTEENTH expansion, Underfoot, recently.
Everyone has their own lists of what game could be the most vital in the grand scheme of the game industry, but it’s pretty impossible to argue that EverQuest doesn’t deserve a spot in this list. Till now, it still holds a place near and dear to many people’s hearts. More to the point, the impact it had on MMOs as a whole is undeniable.
EverQuest has inspired thousands of people in the genre, including the original sources of the industry’s current big success story. Most players play MMOs for a few reasons, be it for the gameplay, graphics, or a vibrant community. Sadly many developers seem to forget about the community, in favor of the almighty dollar. Too many MMOs today decide to let players solo their way without ever grouping. The easiest way to create community in these games is to force them to be a group to survive. But EQ has done a good job. That’s the key why EQ is still coming out with expansions 10 years down the road.
2. Ultima Online
Released on September 25th, 1997 Ultima Online was almost the first graphical MMO to hit the general public, it soon became the most popular MMO at that time. Statistics show that UO had made a very big deal to gain 100,000 active players. It is thousands of players online, in a persistent game world that never sleeps.
The strong sense of community and ownership is one of the main reasons why UO has stood the trial of time. In the world of UO, players literally own a piece of land. Those are their houses, their towns, their legacies. As a character, they make their own choices, which in turn will impact those around them. How significant these impacts depend on their wish.
Upon those years, Ultima Online is still being played by tens of thousands of players today.
3. World of Warcraft
Come on! This is the company who made Starcraft, Diablo, Warcraft and many other wonderful games! So, it should be no surprise that World of Warcraft deserves its place on this list. Someone even said that it is WoW that cemented Blizzard as one of the best developers around today. I don’t agree, however WoW could be Blizzard’s masterpiece and have a further impact on the MMO world.
It is so big, that you will meet every kind of player, and they all find something to do in the game whether they are alone or not. There’s an entire industry around trying to one-up WoW, but so far none have succeed. WoW has about 11 million players and makes at least $15/player/month.
4. EVE Online
Although the most popular MMOs nowadays are in the fantasy genre, there has always existed some small room for sci-fi games. For quite a long time, EVE Online has taken over this space with a steadily growing marketing strategy that now has over 300,000 paying subscribers. It is a brutal gameworld, filled with a kill or being killed mentality, and maneuvered by massive player-run corporations. Jump on the bandwagon and you’ll have a blast, but if you try it on your own, you’ll soon find it’s not a game for the individual. Perhaps the way to enjoy in EVE is unique enough that no real alternatives exist, or perhaps the target markets of sci-fi and fantasy MMOs have very little common language. Whatever the reason, EVE has been blessed with a relative lack of competition since its release in 2003 and is a really good MMO because all the character building is TIME based, not GRIND based. You are still leveling up while you are afk or even offline.
5. Second Life
Published in 2003, Second Life takes communication to a whole new level. It is a highly imaginative, creative environment based on visual world communication. Playing this game is like stepping into a Dali or Magritte painting in 3D.
Different from traditional computer games, Second Life does not have any rules or systems of traditional games, nor a designated objective. As it does not have any destined quests to complete, it is irrelevant to talk about winning or losing in relation to Second Life. In the mean time, Second Life contains an extensively big world that can be explored and interacted with, and it can be played completely as a creative tool set if the users like to do with it as they wish. These fairly new features make this game classic and long-lasting.
In 2008, Second Life was honored at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for advancing the development of online sites with user-generated content. In January 2010, 18 million accounts were registered, although there are no reliable figures for actual long term consistent usage.
Runescape is a simple game that uses an online applet viewer. Coded in Java programming, you don’t even need to download its client. As the best browser MMO these days, RuneScape has both a free and a paid version (and pay 2 play is well worth it, let me tell you) which have attracted millions of devoted fans over these years. Although not as polished as WoW in graphics, Runescape rises to the top of the browser based game arena and rolled over the MMO market completely, even with the flaws that can be found. When Runescape HD was officially coming to a monitor near players on E308, this game had over 1 million subscribers and had been played by over 6 million players worldwide.
7. Conquer Online
MMORPGs are not easy to play for many fresh bloods. Anyone expecting something they’re used to is in for a bit of a surprise, even if they’ve played games of a similar nature in the past. But the free-to-play and Chinese culture based Conquer Online was born to be enjoyed by a full range of players. Conquer Online now has issued a “classic” edition to make its PK system balanced in a dramatically dynamic way. There won’t be any guy who is stronger than you, just because he paid more money! The complex system, rising from the simple origins of tic-tac-toe, ensures that every chosen skill you cast would have a completely different effect on the PvP battlefield. So, look before you leap!
Conquer Online has become a very successful game with its new features and updates. In this year, a completely new class, Monk, will hit Conquer Online in its 7th year with his mighty Zen spells of assistance. Let’s keep an eye on who will push Chinese Kungfu to a new level!
8. City of Heroes
Someone said that City of Heroes blows a super powered gust of fresh air into an increasingly stale sword-and-sorcery MMO world since 2004. As an MMO based on the superhero comic book genre, this game enables players to create super-powered player characters to complete missions and fight bad guys belonging to various factions and organizations in the fictional city. The graphical upgrades promised to come with Going Rogue are also encouraging. As of September 2008, City of Heroes had around 124,939 subscribers in the US & Europe, according to financial reports released by NCsoft in November 2008.
It’s funny to look back because many of the things that made these games so great are mechanics that many of today’s MMO designers seem to think are flaws. So, here are the good examples for what it takes to make games classic.progamer2010MemberFebruary 26, 2010 at 3:41 pmPost count: 60
only w0w is the familiar game to me…
btw i love playing w0wuhjpaeMemberMarch 1, 2010 at 11:04 amPost count: 203
I believe Ragnarok also belongs there since there are still a lot of players who are loyal to the game.gamepimpMemberApril 1, 2010 at 9:51 pmPost count: 9
Allods Online should be a long lasting MMORPG game.michaelMemberApril 2, 2010 at 8:10 pmPost count: 387
Same goes with MapleStory, Lineage 1 & 2, Guild Wars, and a few others I can’t remember.pototoy07MemberJuly 15, 2010 at 5:14 amPost count: 29
i haven’t heard of city of heroes..hmmmm…interesting..
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