Let’s continue the topic of creating a sustainable MMORPG. We have talked about the two keys, new element and gains, to ensure the width and depth of the game (1); having these ingredients on hand, how do the developers bake them and deliver the feast to the players? I will break this down into several game features.
Fairness between Paid User and Free User is a key for free-to-play MMORPG
Ultimately, it is the player who decides to pay for a game or not. A fair gameplay system between paid and non-paid users is very important. Instead of simply collecting money from the players, a sustainable MMORPG should create a balanced game world in which players with all kinds of consumer behaviors are able to level up and get results fairly. The key is don’t let players feel like anyone in the game can be paid to win. I am pretty sure any MMORPG developers or publishers will agree with me that “paid to win” is the number 1 NONO to the market.
A frequent, high-quality update is always the right thing to do. Players often get tired of a game within three months or so. Therefore, in my opinion, games that are good at updates should release three or four major updates per year, so that both lock in the existing players and attract new comers.
Mentorship system benefits both mentor and the apprentice could be very useful for new comers to get up and run
When it comes to new comers, a friendly and handy beginner system is essential to give an excellent first impression to the player. For MMORPG, to some extent it is the large player population who creates the game experience for the beginners. A smart MMORPG should use the reward and quest system properly to encourage the experienced players to help the beginners get on track, and should have a sustainable team and community system to extend the good first impression and maintain a mutual-benefit or team spirit concept throughout the game. When both older players and newbies get benefit from the game and find a home there, it is highly possible that the game becomes an indispensable part of their lives.
Right art style helps building a more balanced community in MMORPG
A healthy balanced gender ratio can create more social activities in an MMORPG
However, before the newbies start their journey in a game, how to ensure that they will come to one? Or, why some games are not chosen by the players? Or, one step further, what is the one factor that attracts the players in the first place? My answer is the art style. The visual impression is the most direct factor that decides the player likes a game or not, and that’s why the right art style for the right target players is essential. The importance of art style mainly reflects in the gender ratio of the players. Let’s look one more time at our superstar, WoW. Thirty-five percent of the 7.1 million WoW players are female, according to Newzoo, 2015 (2). The absence of female players is a noticeable issue for the entire game industry, and the masculine art style of WoW makes a lot of female players turned away. Pleasant art style can attract both genders and expand the player population; when the game is friendly to more female players, the community will be healthier balanced with more diversified chat content, and players are motivated to help each other even more. Also this could make our life as game developer or game publisher much easier.
I will talk more about the benefit of a well-designed gender ratio in game and a few more points for a sustainable MMORPG later, stay tuned.
- How to Create a Sustainable MMORPG - Part 1
Seasun is a leading Chinese online games publisher focused on creating high quality games/game engines that push the boundaries of player experience in action entertainment. The company is also involved in small-medium sized investments for game studios worldwide. We have recently started up our U.S. studio in Redwood City, CA to create top quality content for the western market.
Seasun has shipped many successful titles, including the popular MMORPG series JX (http://jx3.xoyo.com/), the MMOARPG titles First Myth (http://fs.xoyo.com/index1) and CQ (http://cq.xoyo.com/), along with our FPS MAT (http://xd.xoyo.com/). The “JX” series has grossed more than $250 million and has achieved a daily active user count of 3.3 million. Our first game for the western market is Relics of Gods (http://rog.seasungames.com/). We are currently building a special team of highly talented people to create the technology for our next-generation MMOARPG at this studio.
Kingsoft, Seasun’s parent company, is publicly traded in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK: 3888) with market value of 3.8 billion USD. Kingsoft has created 3 other subsidiaries alongside Seasun: Cheetah Mobile (NYSE: CMCM), WPS Office, and Kingsoft Cloud Service. Kingsoft has over 4,000 employees worldwide.