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30 Genres of Christmas
Massively Multiplayer Online
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 12, 2009   |   Episode 17 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!



World of Warcraft is like this picture ... except with thousands of people around you!
How Do You Know You Are Playing a Massively Multiplayer Online Game? Of all the genres we've tackled in the last two weeks, the Massively Multiplayer Online genre is the easiest to recognize. Are you paying a monthly fee? When you log in, are you playing with thousands of other like-minded gamers? Have you ever considered selling your virtual items for real world money? It sounds to me like you're playing a Massively Multiplayer Online game. This is a series that throws you into a persistent world where people are constantly questing, fishing, raiding and just chatting with other gamers.

Patron Saint: Live action role-playing (LARPing) ... gone way out of hand!

Typical Story: A long, long time ago there was this demonic creature that came down and enslaved the world. But there's hope, because the people of this world have decided to band together and fight for their freedom. The problem is, in order to even get to this creature's castle they'll need to complete thousands of quests, then gain enough experience to

I love LARPing, it gives me a chance to use weapons against dorks!
hit level 80, buy a mount, get a bunch of friends together and then buy the expansion pack, which adds another evil creature to the mix. Oh, and in order to do this you'll need to pay $12.99 a month.

What Your Roommate Says: "What do you mean you lost your job? Why the hell didn't you go to work? Was it because of that stupid game? You just sat home in your underwear, getting stoned playing World of Warcraft while I went to work to pay for this place. That's absolute B.S., talk about a crummy excuse. I thought it was bad when you lost your girlfriend, but your job, too? You can afford to pay for fake money but you can't pay the heating bill?"

Not a Massively Multiplayer Game: For the last time, Phantasy Star Online is not an MMO. This is a common mistake, one that a lot of well-informed people mistake. On the surface it looks like a

Remember a time when people really cared about The Matrix?
Massively Multiplayer Online role-playing game, but it's not. Just because it has a monthly charge, that is not enough to push it over that line. The problem with Phantasy Star Online is that you only play with a limited amount of people. That is no persistent world; instead you are just paying through a bunch of fun multiplayer levels.

Then vs. Now? Let's face it, the first generation of Massively Multiplayer Online games were a little limited. Games like Meridian 59 and Ultima Online tried their hardest, but they only scratched the surface of the potential of this genre. Thankfully games like Everquest and Final Fantasy XI came to the rescue to show gamers how it was supposed to be done. But, of course, all of these pale in comparison to World of Warcraft. Blizzard's MMO not only has a huge subscriber base, but so many things to do that you'll likely never run out of quests to conquer. Besides World of Warcraft, the MMOs of today offer a lot of different types of gameplay, styles, eras and more. Clearly the MMOs of today are doing what the MMOs of then only wished they could accomplish.
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