Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G
sinetimore

Red Pill? Blue Pill? How About A Black Capsule Instead?

The Matrix Online is out to jack out.

The game, which was plagued by tons of problems, changes in distribution, controversy over in-game advertising, and more, is closing up in a few days.

The game itself has lasted pretty long by MMORPG standards.  Hellgate, for example, only lasted 13 months before it went down.  Auto Assault bombed after about two years.  It used to be that competition was the biggest obstacle for MMORPG's, with new ones seemingly appearing every few weeks.  Now, it's problem is Warcraft.  I'm not a WoW fan, but I can't deny the game is polished.  Developers say that the studio is like the Promised Land, with basketball courts and yoga classes, all happening on the clock.  But you can't say they don't earn the priviledges.  Unlike most of the MMORPG's I've tried and never got into, there are no animation glitches, multiple characters don't create visual problems, bugs are minimal (if they exist at all)...this thing is a perfect creation, meaning complete in and of itself if not perfect as in the best ever.  There are other MMORPG's as well, each with their strengths and equally well developed (City Of Heroes and EverQuest).  But what was originally a virtual world is no longer a selling point.  Looking for basically an in-character social chat program?  Second Life and Furcadia will fit that bill.  Straight action?  WoW.  Even stalwarts like Phatasy Star Universe are getting ignored.

There are certain flaws inherent to MMORPG's, most blatantly the creation process.  The games are very similar to each other (in Matrix, hackers == wizards while operatives == warriors).  Just the frosting on the cake was different.  And people are noticing how thin it is and are less likely to forgive buggy programming and shallow design (not to mention experience point systems that will take you until the Second Coming just to become strong enough to operate on your own, and a lot of morons ruining the social experience).

I gave MxO a quick whirl, and was not only unimpressed, but the game crashed frequently.  Never thought I'd see a Matrix title that made Enter The Matrix look better, but there you go.  There's a reason WoW is the king...because the developers actually put work into it.  They don't just come up with a property and try to build a business model around it.  Distributors thought they had the answer to a never-ending stream of money.  How do you get people to pay for a game they already own?  Make them pay monthly.  But you have to make it something people want to play.  When the virtual world of MxO was reduced by 2/3 of its size because there weren't enough players running around, that was the warning bell.
Tags: computers, did not do the research, stupidity, technology is a beautiful thing, video games
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