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  • Dirktator

    Is city-building the next big craze in MMOs?

    Monte Cristo attempted to make Cities XL into an MMO, didn't work out too well - the idea was good, the implementation was not. This is an article by PC Gamer that is a mildly interesting read: "Darkfall and a few other MMOs have proven that persistent city-building can work, with guilds proudly constructing, protecting and showing off their self-built cities."

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    I disagree with assessment!

    Problem not in the implementation, but in the"idea" itself. All taht good idea badly executed is age old "good king bad barons" blah-blah...

    Of course the whole "idea" is to milk people for cash continuously, rather than once. So may be good/bad aren't exactly categories one should use. Cause ignoring this fact although appropriate for press-releases is fateful for any serious attempts at the thing. But here is the whole problem - how to "built" the community around the idea that it should be cash cow, and that isn't only purpose. Monte Cristo failed exactly because their schizophrenia - this natural for company greed on one hand and the whole nonsense of let's built together great place it overplayed for public/community. To the extend people, well some, at least, started to really believe in it. Naturally nothing but huge disappointment and anger could follow the discovery of the fact. People were led to believe by vendor that it is their interests what is at vendors heart, while it was nothing of the sort.

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    Well, of course everything any company does is to make money, so I won't bother belaboring an obvious point.

    However, I thought the idea of a global player-driven economy was a great notion. I think it had great potential -- if properly executed -- to add a whole new layer of depth to the city-building formula.

    But it *was* poorly executed, poorly implemented. The "global economy" amounted to very little impact, lacked depth, was mostly frustrating.

    Definitely hated the unclosable constant chatbox. Definitely hated that they held key features hostage for "online only" as poor incentives to buy subscriptions -- it was just an ill-conceived strategy, and had they listened to the initial public outrage, and rethought that plan, they might have fared better -- who knows.

    Also, the concept of staking out a piece of land on a persistent world is a cool idea, being able to walk through other people's cities would have been a great time-waster, but the way it was done, it just wasn't worth it; the cities didn't look different enough from each other that there was no real point.

    Yeh, it was hit and miss, but I don't discount good ideas when I see them. Maybe someday, someone will take these ideas and make them work, because I think they can.

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    Personally as a person who has played MMOs both pay-to-play and free-to-play I think that city building in a regular styled MMO works. However this is not to be said for a city building game. In a regular styled MMO your running around to different towns buying/selling things and fighting or questing.In city builders you are terraforming,landscaping,zoning,&managing your newly created city. All of which is single player with no need for a co-op based system.

    With that in mind in a city builder you are not dependent on other users for the game to function.In a regular MMO the game cannot function without gameplay from other users.Being the case users collectively owning buildings and creating a city of sorts in that environment works because of the dependence of other users.

    For a city builder the man point is in building a city,running that city, and working on keeping the city looking and feeling the way you want it. They are designed to be played solo for the end users soul enjoyment unlike regular MMOs which are made for multi-player only are are dependent on other users to even function. This would not work obviously in a city builder since they are not designed to be co-op based let alone online co-op based.

    I agree with dirk however that it would be nice to someday have a means to play co-op with other users.However I would not be willing to pay for it since it would function only as a multiplayer portion to my single player experience.

    Also FYI FXIV is going to have the ability of guilds to own business's and even setup outpost towns in the future (should that game survive its current bad development)

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    @SimNation: Well, I'm with you, I'm not keen at all on sharing the city-building experience with other users. City-building is distinctly (to me) a solo venture, driven by a singular vision, there's no room for more than one head. That being said, I do like the idea of some kind of global economy that's driven by real players' cities - I'm not sure how that would look, but it feels like a good idea waiting to be done right.

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