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Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game

Overview

Not a typical Game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Massively Multiplayer Online Game (also called MMOG or MMO) is a computer game which is capable of supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously. By necessity, they are played on the Internet, and feature at least one persistent world. Some argue that small player-count games, with 200 and fewer players, are also part of the genre; the persistent world is probably the only "hard" requirement.

MMOGs can enable players to cooperate and compete with each other on a grand scale, and sometimes to interact meaningfully with people around the world. They include a variety of gameplay types, representing many video game genres. Many MMOGs require players to invest large amounts of their time into the game. Most MMOGs require a monthly subscription fee, but some can be played for free.

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There are a number of factors shared by most MMOGs that make them different from other types of computer games. MMOGs create a persistent universe where the game continues playing regardless of whether or not anyone else is. Since these games strongly or exclusively emphasize multiplayer gameplay, few of them have any significant single-player aspects or client-side artificial intelligence. As a result, players cannot "finish" MMOGs in the typical sense of single-player games. Some MMOGs, such as Star Sonata, do have an end condition that includes awarding a "winner" based on a player's standing in the game at the finale.

Most MMOGs also share other characteristics that make them different from other multiplayer online games. MMOGs host a large number of players in a single game world, and all of those players can interact with each other at any given time. Popular MMOGs might have thousands of players online at any given time, usually on a company owned server. Non-MMOGs, such as Battlefield 1942 or Half-Life usually have less than 50 players online (per server) and are usually played on private servers. Also, MMOGs usually do not have any significant mods since the game must work on company servers. There is some debate if a high head-count is the requirement to be a MMOG. Some say that it is the size of the game world and its capability to support a large number of players that should matter. For example, despite technology and content constraints, most MMOGs can fit up to a few thousand players on a single game server at a time.

To support all those players, MMOGs need large-scale game worlds, and servers to connect players to those worlds. Sometimes a game features a universe which is copied onto different servers, separating players, and this is called a "sharded" universe. Other games will feature a single universe which is divided among servers, and requires players to switch. Still others will only use one part of the universe at any time. For example, Tribes (which is not an MMO) comes with a number of large maps, which are played in rotation (one at a time). In contrast, the similar title PlanetSide uses the second model, and allows all map-like areas of the game to be reached via flying, driving, or teleporting.

MMORPGs usually have sharded universes, as they provide the most flexible solution to the server load problem, but not always. For example, the space sim Eve Online uses only one large cluster server peaking at over 32,000 simultaneous players.

There are also a few more common differences between MMOGs and other online games. Most MMOGs charge the player a monthly or bimonthly fee to have access to the game's servers, and therefore to online play. Also, the game state in an MMOG rarely ever resets. This means that a level gained by a player today will still be there tomorrow when the player logs back on. MMOGs often feature ingame support for clans and guilds. The members of a clan or a guild may participate in activities with one another, or show some symbols of membership to the clan or guild.

However, the boundaries between multiplayer online games and MMOGs are not always as clear or obvious. (2002) and Diablo II are usually called online role-playing games, (RPGs) but are also sometimes called MMORPGs (a type of MMOG).

Information Courtesy of Wikipedia