Massively Singleplayer

Recently Diablo III has launched.  I’m assuming I need to tell you this because about the only reason I can think of for you to be reading a blog about a different game is that you are unaware, but hang on just a minute (or read while you download and patch it)

I’ve seen a lot of people referring to Diablo III as an MMO, at first I laughed.  Then I thought about it.  Most “MMO” games, and especially the theme parks are broken into 2 games.  There’s the leveling game, and the endgame.  I’m going to look at SWTOR right now, it’s the newest theme park, and it nicely fits this pattern.  From 1-49 there is no need for a reasonably competent MMO player to even talk to someone let alone interact more meaningfully than sending them credits through the auction house for a shiny new lightsaber.  Suddenly at level 50 this ends abruptly.  Suddenly nearly all of the content requires interaction with other people.  PvE at 50?  You can run dailies forever but it’s all about raids.  PvP by definition requires interaction with other people.  Or you can level an alt and go back to ignoring the masses.

Diablo III requires you to be online and connected to the internet.  Mostly to ensure the integrity of the game because there is NO need to interact with people.  It’s the same game as both games before it.  Lots of clicking, frantic action, fun gameplay and a world that couldn’t be more pessimistic.  Seriously the end of the world happened 20 years ago.

What does this have to do with EvE?  Well EvE is all over the place in interaction.  There’s people who play for years without any serious interaction.  There’s people who join a 5,000 man + corporation on their first day.  EvE also doesn’t let you be the sole decision maker.  Ask all the miners in noob corps who’ve won eggs this month about whether they get a choice about the “Multiplayer” aspect of EvE.  Part of this is a game design issue.  CCP has decided that they aren’t going to create true “endgame” content merely a scale of content for people to go through.  In theory a player could play for a few weeks and find himself running wormhole sites, joining an incursion fleet, pvping in null or any combination of the above all with less than a million skillpoints.  I’m not saying he’d be any good but he might contribute, and would certainly contribute far more than someone with less than 5% of the experience points of someone running a raid in WoW or SWTOR ever could.  The end result of this no demarcation in content between the low skilled and highly skilled players is a more free channel of communication, interaction, and a wider variety of gameplay activities.

I commented to a friend yesterday “If I told you 10 years ago there’d be a Star Wars MMO, a Star Trek MMO, and a Lord of the Rings MMO and that you played NONE of them, nor ever had, instead playing a cutthroat game based on an original IP would you have believed me?” and he responded with:

“Not for a second, and you are leaving out Battlestar Galactica.”

EvE is a unique game.  For years they’ve been cutting their own course of unscripted, open gameplay with players in the drivers seat.  Nearly every other MMO heads towards more scripted, less interactive content, to the point where people call Diablo III an MMO and I can’t honestly say they are wrong without qualifying my answer.  That’s why EvE gets people playing it.  Because EvE only tells me what I can’t do, and even those limits aren’t much.  Everyone else is telling me what I can do, and again, that’s not very much.

But don’t take my word for it.  Your download just finished.  See you back in EvE in a couple weeks.

I’m using it every time I can



About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on May 18, 2012, in Meta. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Much like tanks is an MMO
    Yes it has a big map but the spread of games being defined as MMO is getting silly. We need better labels.

  2. I’m with Corelin: the problem with the definition isn’t the “massive” part — it’s the “multiplayer” part. Hell even EVE is “massively multi_client_” a la that dude running a 20-ship mining op by himself … :-/

  3. Very good blog

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