Is MMO Innovation Dead? (ASK Ep. 10)

On this week's show, Magicman tackles the tough question of innovation in MMOs, talks about his feelings a bit and Anime games, and braves a very strong wind to record another outdoor episode!

Ask MMOBomb is an weekly exclusive where we answer questions from our viewers. While questions should be Free to Play games related, they don't always HAVE to be if you question is something we think viewers REALLY want to know. So feel free to ask anything you want! Questions are chosen from YouTube, Facebook and our website comments on the previous episodes, and emails sent to Get those questions ready and let's have some fun!

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Discussion (39)

Merkadis 9 years ago
*Yeah no kidding, todays morons think that beta means free stuff and early access.. thats it, lol wtf.
I agree on this with you magicman, completely. I play all sorts of genres, mostly mmos for 16 years now and im not impressed with the way mmo world been developing lately... its a disaster in my eyes, something needs to be done and soon or we won't be able to dig ourselves out of this mess again.

* How about asking the publisher of the game you want to re-review to provide u with high lvl character so that u can review new features? i don't think that will be a problem for them after all its them who will benefit from it in the end if ur review will be positive, shouldn't be problem to provide u with a high lvl char for a day or two and then delete it when u done right?

* Ha, take a look at how long blade and soul been in development now.. and ppl still drool over it anyway, because it looks simply bad-ass that is why ppl will wait as long as it takes for it, no mater what. So yeah, what im trying to say is if the game looks like it deserve it, we will wait for it as long as necessary.

* Agree with virtual reality thing, i think thats what most veterans dream about, we simply tired of all the old stuff and want something completely new, and that would only be virtual reality. Which.. most of us won't see, ever.

* I don't think innovation is problematic to produce (take an rpg and compare it to mmorpg, the difference will in 90% of the time be miles with huge plus to rpg side) the problem lies deeper, the problem is.. with what majority of gamers want, and i don't think its innovation, basically i think the next generation of gamers is.. quite plainly.. way dumber than the previous generation, games are being simplified to no end to meet those dumbies demands, turned into boring grinders with no kick to them at all, i think that is our problem. After all i don't think any company will make someth that won't sell.. right? and what will sell? obviously that which has the most demand.

sethsamson 10 years ago
Path of Exile ... 1000$ founder pack let u design something for game .... hmmm it should be other way around ... i think ...

Guild Wars 2 .... the game is just like ice-cream with sausage mix together

MMO innovate .... hmm i hate doing the same things every single mmo ... like Tera , Aoin for exp ... killing half inch squishy ferret-rats ... and if it is something bigger i need a team ... that's way i hope Elder scroll online will be kept in the same limits as skyrim

ruov 10 years ago
On the topic of innovation and paying for beta access. What do you guys think of Blade and Soul?

and btw do you have any news regarding it? It's been almost 2 months since I last heard news from ncsoft, which is short when compared to how long I've been wanting and waiting to play this game.

Will there still be people interested in playing this? (well of course there will)

You've discussed how titles that fail to meet their "deadlines" (release dates)
could suffer from people just being disinterested or dissatisfied with the game because of the long
wait and the numerous other titles coming out in the span of time before its release.

Some people say it's just an anime version of aion. Some people give it high acclaim for its stunning graphics, gameplay, and innovations. What do you guys think?

And could there still be a possibility that it may adapt a B2P or sub model?

MelonCider 10 years ago
Chinese wok! Uh, e-yes. Magicman! You wan fired ricu? I give you frozen fired ricu to test. You pay 20 dollah! Others must wait 2 months to try my finished fried ricu fo free, but you taste early. You a-taste now. you pay 20 dollah.

7upmustang 10 years ago
Founders packs are stupid, I'm not gonna pay to play a broken unfinished game, side note Whats the song at the beginning of the video?

Tombs 10 years ago
I do agree on your guild wars 2 opinion Magicman especially on the cosmetic grind endgame point which already ruined GW1 for me. I think it's said because the game is really well done and I'm just missing a few points that would make it a perfect game for me. Yet I can't say which those are but I can say that I have two characters level one level 30, one level 20 and haven't logged in for at least a month, because I do not really enjoy the game anymore. I even reactivated my wow account because I was so frustrated about the money I spent on GW2...meaning I spent another 15 bucks! But I gotta say that WoW always has that something I miss on other games, whatever that may be,

sniperman248 10 years ago
Yes innovation is dead alot of games think poping out something that could change the game completly and lose their playerbase is good. The idea is that innovation was revolved around company being able to build off of what they had their related to current content they have. The idea of innovation is to be able to build off of what you have without making a change which turns it into something different. Innovation in mmo's is lost because 1. Most games follow some World of Warcraft mechanics rather than making their own. Jagex is a good example, of lack of innovation, they felt they could not do anything with their old combat system. Yet however the players had millions of innovative ideas of how to build off that old combat system and keep the unique quality of the game going. These are the reasons games die they either change the combat or content to an extreme rather than using innovation on the current build they have.

woooser 10 years ago
Thx magicman! I got it now, so hopefully we could to see better anime mmos coming out this year, well heres to hoping.
I'm looking forward to when somebody releases Tiara Concerto and Langrisser Schwarz someday, and also the english version of Phantasy Star Online 2 later. Keep an eye on these games.

RaiZu 10 years ago
I don't think innovation is dead, just that people don't actually notice it.

I for one am still amazed by DC Universe Online. So far it's like no other mmo I've played.
So I'm just going to point out a few things.

First they created a role to be added to the usual tank heal dps which is the controller. His job is to replenish mana and crowd control. It's fun, I play it a lot :D

Second. The weapons. They are just great. They all have their combos with different effects that makes PvP really interesting because you need skill to kill someone more than you need gear.

I'd also like to point out the overall mechanics of the game. It's the first game in which I roll a healer. No role is just stand and do something. You need to keep using your weapons, getting your hits so you can keep up, and it becomes quite a challenge when fighting bosses with different mechanics and you need to know how to position yourself to heal efficiently, do some damage and keep up with mana while also avoiding boss skills.

The customization system is also inovative and I wish more games had it like this.
Basically every piece of equipment you ever wear remains stored in your styles tab. And you can then pick your style for each and every piece at any time.

This is the big one I have.
But more innovation I'd like to point out
Aion. One of the first chain skill mmos. And with the skill tree where you can branch out in different combos or get lucky to proc some other skill, that's pretty rare if not unique.

And the fact that you don't need all of them bound to the hotbar. The fact that the button appears in the center of your screen when abilities become available like abilities that can only be used when you dodge or when your enemy dodges. That's really useful.

So I don't think innovation is dead as I just keep finding small things in each in every game that are innovative when you think about it and eventually say "Man I love this feature I wish the other game had it too"

View 1 reply
jellopy 10 years ago
I have some advice on the second look subject. I think you should expand on your member zone and allow users to submit videos for in depth reviews since the staff has limited time and all of us have games we play more and can give insight into end game content and show footage of it to potential players. Granted the opinions may be skewed the footage alone is enough to give gamers a broader view of games they are interested in. Maybe advertising to the member zones a bit more will get that rolling.

ZhaoYun 10 years ago
i agree as far as the pay for beta acess thing u said there is a reason i agree with damina about age of wushu(and relative games)as for what u said about cabal i would like to add that me personally waited for age of WUSHU by gpotato and as u said on the video above gpotato was probably 1 of the companies who marketed age of wushu WAYYYY too early its been like 2+ years now that people are waiting about that game and personally most people in my opinion(including myself)after waiting for dat long and being subscribed for dat long now we like "meh" and i would like to add that gpotato even gave KEYS to players who wanted to join and that was like 2-3 months ago or so thats all i had to say

also i would like to ask u if u guys have any shows that u are "preparing" to launch on soon and by shows ofc i mean shows like ask mmobomb f2p cast mmobomb live and so on

Reavermyst 10 years ago
If Iw ere to make a game and start closed beta, I'd make a mock Founder's pack purchase page just to make fun of the premise. "Buy this awesome founder's pack for $0.00! Get lots of pointless gear and a shiny closed beta label! OooooOOoOoOooOoo~"

Sheytun 10 years ago
I agree, the fact that they offer "starter pack" or founder's pack for beta access should be changed. Beta phase is beta phase, beta means they need players that will hunt down bugs, not to play for free and waste developers time. What concerns me is that they take this trend to next level and see lots of developer claim/promise games, offer Founder's Package then poof, no game, no nothing and money gone as well before we even get to see the game itself.

True, I bought Founder's Package for MechWarrior Online, but at least they keep their promise. I have known their team for quite a while. So I already know what I will get even if I didn't get beta access and I knew they will come out well. With games that people don't know.... it tends to be on real thin ice.

If game company wants funds for their game before beta is even available, then they should stick to "Kickstart" program and leave founder's package AFTER beta was available.

As for game development time. That is a debate that can go on and on. Look at Infinity: Search for Earth. The initial development was done by 1 or 2 people, and its been going on for 3 years or more. Which is understandable based on his goal. So for a game of that scale and based on what he had in mind. I can understand why he would do it solo for several years before he even took up more people into his development. That game I am looking forward to.

Btw, Magicman, you might want to turn off auto focus on your camera, it tries to focus to background and when you do hand movement to express yourself then it gets out of focus to the point that YOU become a blur image ;P

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Grimmnath 10 years ago
Great show, again, at it answered to many of my question so far even if i haven't put them in a obvious way.
My question is related to sandbox mmos, What's your opionion on them? How they should be made to atract more ppl. Is it something all the companys do that doesn't appeal? Is it the game style, or maybe the "end game" [there's no such things in sandbox mmo but you get my point] that doesn't seem appealing? Wich one you think has all the good perks to be the best sandbox mmo?
And another question, what mmos you play and what servers? Would love to round up and have some fun.

Vespetine 10 years ago
Hey MagicMan,

I totally agree with you on WildStar. Carbine has told us that the Closed Beta will begin early 2013, that's about it, so that gives us a little hope. Let's just hope they don't drag the Closed Beta as well.

Point and click movement is a nightmare. WASD is definitely the most convenient.

Thanks for show!

Tynnlie 10 years ago
Seriously, I've played every possible f2p/b2p mmo and they all get boring. Only thing I can really play is League >.<

jonathon82 10 years ago
you wanna hear something crazy Magicman? I think the reason why MMOBOMB has grown so much? Well one because of the hard work and dedication from you guys but I think its because your genuinely a good guy and people just like to listen to you. Its refreshing for this negative world we live in thank you :) and the gaming too of course :)

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Amanoh 10 years ago
I think companies shouldn´t let pass to beta by money only by invitation , fans , wining a contest or so. I m up with once is finish the beta pay certain amount of money getting certain privileage or even free normal user cause i understand they need mantain a bills payd, what i dont like is, went the companies get a lot money selling boring games or an unfinished game or games that never had proper server maintenance even proper upgrades and so...

Adrian87 10 years ago
I do have a question Magicman: What is your opinion on the DDoS attacks on Path of Exile? Do you think someone wants PoE down that bad to actually act on it?

Some of PoE tweets:
Path of Exile ‏@pathofexile
Our site is down. We will have it up on another server very soon. Our host suggests we're being DDOSed but I don't believe it yet.

Path of Exile ‏@pathofexile
The Path of Exile site will be up soon. Our host's DDOS protection keeps kicking in as people attack it, which takes the site offline.

Path of Exile ‏@pathofexile
@Sammosapian We were sent packet logs from our host - it's definitely a DDOS.

ruov 10 years ago
thanks for answering my question.

Now I wanna ask somewhat a similar question. What's your opinion of kickstarter (and other similar) games?

About innovation and somewhat related to the previous question, are you willing to pay for a game (that innovates) that you'd get the moment or shortly after paying (like the game's from kickstarter), or will you wait for it to be free or offered elsewhere by another game as free from the get go?

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neokiva 10 years ago
alongside your comments on the founders packs the elder scrolls online are doing it right old school beta test sign up (jump through loads of hoops). for innovation i'm alright with it yes i wish it was faster, but with your example the secret world innovative was poorly executed and cost money. so the perfect innovation mmo soup is innovation well executed almost or zero barrier to entry. i'm serious here often times money is going to factor in to it for the end user "oh this game looks innovated oh it's funcom damn oh its free ill give it a go at least! alt: oh it's sub and box cost of 60 bucks and 15.99 a month, forget it" that is more or less my train of thought on that.

question: Do you feel the role play part of mmorpgs is neglected. i personally feel they should try and revitalize it something more akin to the pen and paper d20 games of yore. that caused all those fear propaganda after school specials (which were funny in their utter in accuracy).

Helius 10 years ago
Alfa 2 is the new name of beta, Beta is a a pay to play, as long as you have a lot of people that want to play, open beta is a promotion.

GW2 is good game to play from 1 to 80, and 2 weeks after.. end game *****.. really *****...

The game industry is shooting in it's own leg making half games and trying to sale the full experience, selling good, look at lol..

There are too many games getting out, not all are mmos, but all have a very short (non-grinding) game-play. there is nothing to look forward to, you make 2-3 quests and the rest is the same, where are the jokes and secret places, the challenges that took you hours to do, not because they where impossible but because you actually had to think or to have some skill to pass them, where you had to think about the progression of your character and combine the right skills at the right moment with the right gear, where the more complicated the character is, the better chance you'll have to make him stronger, unlike the hack and slash warriors of modern mmos..

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Adrian87 10 years ago
wow. Weather looks so nice there. Here is freaking cold and snow :(

About the second question. Same like, probably most of us, i do not agree with the pay for beta access deal. I do not have anything to add there.
But i do wanna add that i consider that very okay for the games founded by the community, from kickstarted or other sites like that. In those cases since the game was founded by the community early access is a big plus. I know you were not referring to those situations, but just trowing it out there. I tend to like this community founded games more and more, simply because the input that players give is not wasted. The devs listen to the community and try to implement what ideas seem good, or at least what is possible. That does happen sometimes in the other games, but not often enough imo. It just gives you a good feel to know your opinion matters.

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Mystika 10 years ago
Totally agree about Magicman's GW2 explanation. One thing I was disheartened with (especially when I decided to create a new character) was how empty starting zones were. Sure there were dungeons in some of those areas to bring people back, but once Fractals came out, they were pretty much a ghost area. That loneliness when playing a new character in a dead empty area...hopefully ANet fixes this (which they said they're planning for this year, to revitalise those areas). There's a number of other issues which I hope are improved or even rectified completely, but that one is a major one for me, as there's no incentive to start new characters when no one's around (after all, it's an MMO).

Development hell reminds me of a number of games, a big one being Final Fantasy Versus XIII on the PS3, and to a lesser extent Kingdom Hearts III, which a lot of people have pretty much given up hope on.

Also agree with the innovation stuff. No one ever appreciates innovation, even when small amounts are done. The masses are generally a bunch of naysayers unfortunately, who pick on every small thing that isn't done right, or at least, up to their standards.

View 1 reply
xcr00k3dx 10 years ago
Rusty Hearts had fixed a most of the cash shop problems last time I played in December.

Allacore666 10 years ago
Represent Neverwinter! Thanx Magicman!!!

Kuettbullen 10 years ago
I agree with you with your thoughts on GW2. I pre-ordered the game with the 3 day headstart, so I got to level 80 pretty early. Since my friends and I played on a low ranking WvW server because it was barely any people participating, we had to farm dungeons and farm materials for the legendary weapons. So after about two weeks after the official release date I quit because I had nothing more to do, having explored the world to 100% gotten all the equipment I wanted on a server that almost noone played WvW...

nekodeus 10 years ago
Mounted I think... I don't know. I:

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