The Dawn of the Micro-Mmo's

They are everywhere, and there be buckets of them, from really awesome ones like Project Torque to ‘who the fuck plays this’ Evony/Freesky etc etc.

So I thought, whats the deal with this, I started my Evony thinger, and played for a week or so with it, its basic, everything takes time, and you can fight other players.

However, you can buy an edge, a little bit like buying wall hack for counterstrike, or you can buy ‘time’ and shorten down the seriously long times it imposes on you to build shit.

So, do people play this, and does it earn money.

Yes, and YES!!!

This is expensive shit, you sit there, and think, boy, with just 30 dollars, I can buy that edge and nuke my neighbor…ok, just this one time.

Next thing you know, I talked to this guy who had spent 1000 bucks on it.
In addition, really really many people are online, playing this, all my neighbors were active and swearing at me, when I attacked them, it’s a bit crazy.

I think only WoW has an edge on this player wise, but most other sub mmo’s could only dream about the playerbase some of these browser low-tech games have.

And comparativly, you can find yourself using 6 months of wow sub in 15 mins on Evony, no problemo, and with Sims 3 picking up the trend along with Battlefield Heroes, I see a whole new trend of stuff opening up to bleed us dry…

What I want to know is, who are the people who play these things, and what did they do before these things came along? I mean, I’m surprised all their money hasn’t already gone to Nigeria.

There was a recent thread on them that got into the economics a bit.

I seriously don’t understand these people.
I also don’t understand people buying gold in MMOs though or using a level service.
I would NEVER pay anything for shit in-game ever.

I might lack the urge to compete with RL people for virtual “victories” though that’s why I suck in PVP and hardly do it.

I’m not unhappy that I seem to miss that “gene”. :)

This isn’t really the dawn… more like the brunch. But 2008 was really when these started taking off.

All you’re doing is showing that your time is more valuable then the price of the service being purchased.

My friend works a credit trading desk in NYC. For him the 15 dollars extra for gold or an extra account were nothing when he only gets 8 hours max a week to game.

If you have lots of free time and very little money it doesn’t make sense to buy gold, if you have very little free time and lots of money then buying gold can bridge the gap.


Yeah, it’s a basic flaw in these games that time is so valuable. There is no way for players to keep up in most of them if they can’t invest the time.

It does devalue the achievements of other players when some players just buy things with real cash. Of course, those achievements are really just an exercise in time in most cases.

Bored office workers who are looking for a more casual experience than the usual commitment most major games require these days. Gaming is fast becoming more mainstream, but there are those who never managed to devote more than 4 hours a week to being able to play games. Some of these people, who do enjoy a deeper experience find it in the micro-mmos where basic casual games like Bejewelled et al don’t offer.

Also, because most of them work a lot, they have more money to spend than your average gaming slacker. :)

I don’t understand those games either. They all (well all i’ve seen) say that they’re free, but you can “optionally” pay to get “extra benefits.” Of course in nearly every one i’ve seen it is as close to being impossible to actually do anything in the games as you can get if you don’t pay. So you end up having to put massive amounts of money in to the game which easily gets up past the cost of a monthly mmorpg. Not to mention it is a slippery slope as the more items you buy for your character, the more you get attached to it and then buying even more items becomes easier and so on…

Pretty much all of these games are asian made and targetted though. There was one American targetted one a while back, entropy online (i think) where all ingame currency came from real money and you could convert ingame currency back and forth at will, but it failed i think because in order to buy enough money to survive you would have had to pay around $50/month.

I believe a few are starting to come along in which you can have a full experience without playing a nickel. These few are structures in such away that there are limitations on bank space, bag slots, mounts, pets, clothing, but nothing that getss in the way of or hampers quest completion or crafting or what have you.

I can attest to this fact as I played Runes of Magic for a good month or two. You can advance dual classes, but you have to alternate as each one levels. I had one that was level 20/20, but I cannot really remember what the classes were. It has been over 6 months.

The bag space and bank space were not too limited at the time. Not having a mount was irritating, but since the travel time hoofing it was all you knew, it was not a big deal. Instead of your $14.95 per month…one month you buy a permanent mount, two months later you buy an extra bag space. I never invested anything, but if I had liked it a bit more or it had been a little more original, I could see where I would of…say if they had had a really cool crafting system instead of something similar to WoW.

Runes of Magic llifts plenty of game mechanics from WoW, so it was not like it was a completely different experience, but it did add a few of its own twists.

Plus, the AH allowed sales of the “diamonds”, which are what you purchase for real cash. So, at the time, in theory, you could accumulate enough gold (or whatever it was called) to buy the diamonds to get the mount without spending a dime.

How much things have changed in the interim, notsure, but I do not believe drastically. I enjoyed it for the brief time I played it.

That said, I would say the other 95% severely limit gameplay without spending cash. In addition, the gaming experience is not a rich even if you do start buying a level 20 mining pick or purchase something to remove other restrictions. I think developers that want to put in the time, can create a world like Runes of Magic, but I would think it is more difficult and harder to balance and therefore more time consuming. If you just go straight item Mall, then you skip a lot of that trouble.

As I said in the other thread, for a while at, they had a weekly column and Top Ten that looked at this very issue. They would describe whether the game was playable without having to go the entire item mall route and even describe in varying degrees how reliant you would be on cash. The ones thaat he deemed relativelly playable and still have the flavor of a monthly charge MMORPG he would rank at the top. Then he would rank the others that would most likely require cash, but were still enjoyable and not crippled by the item mall. Runes of Magic and Atlantica Online seemed to consistently be his favorites.

I still dislike the idea, but I am afraid it is too profitable having that format and helps compensate more effectively for continuing development costs early on. I have gradually and grudgingly accepted that many newer MMORPGs are going to use this model. Reading reviews in various places, will hopefully, identify the ones that could be worth my time. Plus, they are always free to play, in full, without paying a dime. I have not done this outside of RoM, but do plan on giving Atlantica Online a try as all of the combat is, supposedly, turn based.

Man, I finally give some USEFUL analysis on a topic (rare for me) and I simultaneously kill the thread. People reeeeeally hate the idea of F2P MMOGs.

too many sentences…

need more bullet point…

Check. I am writing that in my thread posting manual even as we speak.

More evidence that I am not used to writing long, informative posts. :)

people hate fake free stuff that is basically a trap.

My point was that many are that way, but a few are not. SOme developers care enough about the gaming experience that they are not solely relying on getting people hooked on cash only fancy party hats and cute tiger cub pets. That said, millions and millions are squeezing some sort of fun out of those that do offer the shallow gameplay. Some percentage of those may , just may have even spent less than 3 years worth of WoW subscriptions at $14.95 per month.

I understand the complete dismissing of the games in the Free-to-Play corner of MMOGs as they apply to an individual’s gaming preferences, but to outright say that every single one of them is a worthless piece of shit without, I am guessing, having given one a chance is just a weak, uninformed point of view.

I’m playing dragonica, it’s one of those “free mmos”.

It’s really fun, I’m lvl 30 and I don’t feel compel to purchase anything yet.

What?!?! That cannot be!! :)

Case in point: Kingdom of Loathing, one of the granddaddies of the micro-MMO genre.

I’m not saying that every single one is a scam like that, but the vast vast vast majority are. I’m sure some of those Nigerian lotto’s are for real too, but that doesn’t mean i’m not going to be very doubtful of any such emails i get simply because of the bad reputation such things have, a bad reputation that they have earned.

of course none of this means people won’t enjoy any of these games, but in general the current concept of “freemium” (i hate that word so much, but it stuck with me after looking at some “free” mmog) pricing leads to players paying a hell of a lot more than $15/month.