21. February 2012 09:01
Although many players are adamant that having multiple servers creates unique communities within the game, I am a firm believer that if the technology allowed it we should all be playing on one server. After all MMOs are supposed to be massive, and why play with thousands of players if I could play with tens or hundreds of thousands. Furthermore how many times have you found that a friend plays the same game as you just to discover they are on a different server and can never raid with you.
I believe that one day we will no longer be playing on a single server but rather a pool of servers that will allow us to make use play with all our friends while seamlessly transferring us between different resources in the server pool.
This is why I found the Server Overflow feature in Guild Wars 2 so interesting. This is how it works; you try to log into your server, it is full. In all other MMOs you wait for people to log out of the server before you can play, however in Guild Wars 2 you don’t have to do that. You are automatically taken to the overflow server, where you can enjoy the game with your selected character, however when your primary server is free you are get a choice to transfer back to your primary server so you can play with your friends and guildies. All the experience and progress you have made in the overflow server is saved.
To me this is a brilliant use of technology to solve login queues; however it is also a hint of what gaming companies can do, and should do in the future. Why should I have to select any server at all? Why not simply transfer me to a server that is least used, and allow my friends to join me. I believe this is the future of Massively Multiplayer Online games, and Guild Wars 2 just made and excellent step towards that direction.
8. November 2011 14:47
Recently I read a Neal Stephenson book call Reamde that partially takes place in a fantasy based MMORPG that was designed with real money trading in mind. This along with the recent announcement by Blizzard that Diablo III will feature real money auction house got me thinking that it’s about time that major MMOs embrace real money trading (RMT)
Here are my reasons why real money trading should and will be adopted my MMOs:
1. Real Money Trading happens anyways, attempting to stop it is impossible unless you prevent all player trading. Catching a small percentage of the population does not help the issue; it just pisses off the small percentage of players that get caught.
2. One of the largest issues with real money trading is the fact that often the buyer becomes a victim of a security breach or fraud. Formalizing RMT by providing a secure in game RM Auction House would severely improve account security and prevent the majority of fraud related to RMT.
3. It provides real value to your achievements. Let’s face it many of us are loot junkies, we feel some kind of achievement for finally finding that rare raid item. Giving rare loot a real world value could increase that sense of achievement for many players, even if they don’t elect to sell the item in the auction house.
4. RMT would provide an additional and stable revenue stream to MMOs. Rather than relying on vanity items F2P and P2P games could simply take a small percentage of every transaction in the auction house. I would argue that Blizzard could earn almost as much revenue from the RMT Auction House, as it currently does from monthly fees.
5. It would drive new players to MMOs. The majority of the human population does not live in first world countries. There are many economies where a person could make a living selling virtual items. The first MMO to successfully implement this would see a huge influx of players that would farm gold and items with the purpose of earning a living. Certainly many players that currently could not afford to play would elect to use the RMT auction house to offset their cost of gaming.
6. It is going to happen anyways. Sooner or later someone will adopt a RMT auction house and the floodgates will open. I believe that Blizzard is currently testing the water with Diablo III. I would not be surprised if World of Warcraft or Titan were the first MMOs to implement RMT.
I know this is a touchy subject for many players. If you agree or disagree with me, feel free to post a comment. I for one am looking forward to Diablo III and the start of the new era of real money trading in games.