This came from my blog at mmosite: http://my.mmosite.com/8d9213609c9b5eb643c9ceb6818130d0/blog/item/44a6baea56770663374f0703d3a23bf8.html
Disclaimer: I’m not an expert on ARPGs, nor am I expert on MMO games.
From an innocent gamer’s perspective I think that classic ARPGs are slowly venturing the MMO Scene. When I say classic, I’m not talking about WoW-like features, but rather the old roguelike features of ARPGs, specifically, the Diablo-esque games. As of the time of this writing, here are the games that I believe are/will be in the MMO scene:
- Hellgate Global
- Mythos Global
- Path of Exile
- Grim Dawn
- Lineage Eternal
- Diablo 3
- Torchlight 2
- Torchlight MMO
ARPGs are a little deviation from the traditional RPG games, and I think that the nature of their gameplay makes them suitable for online play. Random loots can increase socialization through trading and auction, Random Maps increase replayability of the game, and Different Difficulty settings increase both replayability (repeating a map with a harder setting for better loot) and socialization (through grouping).
On the other hand though, I am not sure whether they fall neatly under the MMO genre. They are a little in between the MOBAs (arena/lobby type instanced games) and the traditional MMORPGs (persistent-world games). ARPGs, from my experience, are mostly persistent in major towns, while instanced outside. This, though, I do no have to much ponder upon, since our generation generally considers these games as MMOs.
Going back to the topic, I believe that going to the MMO scene is a good step for the progression of ARPGs. This type of game has two ingredients that are basically noteworthy: randomness and replayability. These two go hand in hand so I won’t explain them separately. ARPGs feature randomness in almost every aspect of its gameplay: loot, mobs, and maps. Unlike traditional RPGs, item stats in ARPGs are almost always random. You won’t likely see two identical weapons or armors in ARPGs. Besides that, the mobs that spawn on a map aren’t always the same mob that spawn the next time you try the map. Usually a boss appears, sometimes higher-tier mobs appear. Then add to the fact that some ARPGs feature random maps.
This randomness helps a lot in the replayability of the game. It’s like playing in the casino; you just have to repeat pulling that lever and hope to get the tripple 7s this time around. The randomness of the game is so addicting and makes the game easily replayable. Unlike most themepark games where players are expected to follow a specific root, sometimes to the dismay of the players (the “not this again” reaction), players of ARPGs dont usually encounter that problem since they are more focused on dropping the right stats for a speicific weapon (then drop a gem/mod that has good stats to augment a weapon). More than the randomness, replayability also comes from the fact that since there are so many stats available, a player can build a character differently. Character creation is so varied even when playing the same class. It’s either, play a character, adjust your build to the drops you get, then refine your character build and equipment to maximize your damage/tank/support potential, or choose a build on the and head on to some monster bashing rampage in the hopes of dropping your desired item option.
In the end, it’s either about creating the best character paper-wise (stat wise, meaning strength of character depends on the stats) or creating the best character gameplay-wise (meaning strength of character depends on how players can utilize the stats of the character to their advantage). Either way, rather than the single-player scene, this nature of gameplay is most suited in the online scene, especially the massive multi-player online scene, since, I believe (AND THIS IS JUST MY OPINION), everything in ARPGs is for the competition. This is why the game is instanced, this is why the loots are instanced, this is why there is no persistent worlds nor quests for players to gather and play together, and this is why there is an option to solo the game. The drive to compete, and to be the best, will definitely fund an ARPG MMO.
Again, based on my opinion, this is the reason that ARPG MMOs is a good step for both players and game developers. Players will not be stuck in their own networks, and they will have a chance to compete on a world wide scale. Game developers will definitely make money out of these type of games (especially if they will also handle RMTs, like what Blizzard did, but this is another topic). And what makes ARPGs tick are two simple things: randomness and replayability.
MMO Princess ^_^ >D