When will Valve get into the MMO ratrace?

Seems to me that Valve should probably consider the MMO genre.

Who wouldn’t want to hang out in city seventeen and do instance runs into that big tower thingy.

Of course, everybody would probably just play as an antlion tamer but oh well.

Wouldn’t it take them appromixately 112 years to make a MMORPG?

They’ve probably been secretly working on it ever since Half-Life 1 was released and have been funneling all their profits back into it’s development.

I don’t see the Half-Life universe as one particularly well suited to an MMO. At least not a traditional one.

Also, wouldn’t Valve have to completely re-task all its resources to such an end? Look at Blizzard - they’re practically World of Warcraft Incorporated these days. Do you think we’re going to be hearing about any new non-WoW products out of there any time soon? I’d love to see Starcraft 2 or some such, but everything I hear about how practically every person they’ve got is on full-time WoW duty and they’re STILL overstretched makes it seem unlikely.

So yeah, I guess Valve could do an MMO, but only if they (a) went on a massive hiring spree or (b) gave up on the idea of Half-Life 3 for the next ten years. Considering we’re still waiting for Team Fortress 2, I wouldn’t hold out much hope.

Hopefully never. I’m already sick of MMO’s… they’re the reality TV of video games.

Valve is going to be distributing/supporting/publishing Pirates of the Burning Sea over Steam. I have to think they’re going to look very closely at how that functions when considering their own MMO content in the future.


How about a Valve MMOG where you get to play the role of bacteria in Gabe’s digestive tract? I got dibs on the KrispyKreme spawn.

I do not think you can say blizzard is now WoW, Inc. How long do they typically take between products? 2 Years. This chistmass will make one year. So by chirstmass 2006 you have heard nothing about a new title, then yea, you can say they might be focusing everything on one product now.

So far, they are following thier standard pattern. Release game, 1 year later, release exapnsion, 1 year later, release game, etc…

Well then where the fuck is Starcraft2??!@!@

It’s not about the pattern, it’s about the fact that every single person in the company is working on WoW.

Hey… I like this metaphor.

MMOs, and the catassing gameplay they demand, have destroyed or diminished much of what I liked about PC gaming, so hopefully never.

Yes, there’s a fundamental difference between MMOGs, or to be more precise persistent state worlds (PSW’s, because MMOG would also cover planetside) and other games.

In PSWs you sit around “working”, for lack of a better word, on your character, whether it be xp, phat lewt, or faction, until you hit a threshold and get a reward (ding!) for a classic pavlovian response. The actual act of playing the game isn’t fun, you play for the periodic rewards.

Other games reward through the gameplay itself. Discovering new content, new plotlines, new moves and powerups, all in a continuous stream made possible by a finite playtime.

Besides, valve is going in the exact opposite way. Half-life2 isn’t about immersing the player in the world. It’s about immersing the player in the narrative. That’s why they put so much work into facial gestures and movement, to aid the suspension of disbelief. It’s the kind of technology suited to handcrafted lovingly designed content meant to experienced at a discrete moment for maximum penetration, which certainly doesn’t describe a PSW.

The actual act of playing the game isn’t fun, you play for the periodic rewards.

I wouldn’t have spent 1500 hours playing World of Warcraft if the underlying game mechanics weren’t enjoyable, although the intensity of the enjoyment varies – from very involving group-interaction/instance runs, to more low-key solo grinding that “keeps the hands busy” not unlike knitting.

A large number of CRPGS – not just MMOs – fold some degree of loot/level grind into their designs, and have done for over a quarter of a century. The anticipation of character advancement is an essential hook to these genres (and is also seen in space sims and some strategy games), but in no way is it mutually exclusive with inherently enjoyable, and/or challenging, and/or varied, gameplay mechanics.

The loot/level hooks could dress up a sow, and perhaps in some cases they do – but a) this is not always the case, and b) IMO they are not distinct from gameplay but are a part of gameplay (just as wondering what is around the next corner might constitute a psychological part of the “gameplay” of a shooter, for instance). CRPG gameplay involves (in varying solution from game to game) the interaction of a number of gameplay elements and psychological hooks including loot, leveling, exploration, story, tactical-or-action-based combat, to which the MMO genre adds the social elements of party interaction and the potential challenge of pvp.

To make a blanket statement that the “actual act” of playing MMOs isn’t fun is IMO preposterous, and also seems to suggest that the millions of MMO players worldwide, whether casual, hardcore, or in-between, are engaged in some kind of bizarre self-delusion, i.e. “they only think they’re having fun.”

Hey… I like this metaphor.[/quote]


WoW has only been out since november 23rd 2004. If you put in 1500 hours, that means that 19% of your life for the past 11 months has been playing WoW. Five hours a day every day for the past year, 35 hours a week, almost a full time job. Do you realize how twisted that is?

Putting aside just how scary 1500 hours is, there’s more than one explanation for why you played so much. These games are addictive and you form deep personal relationships with other players. Hell, at 35 hours a week you probably spend more active time interacting with your guildmembers than your real life friends, family, or work colleagues. That’s very difficult to walk away from.

To put it succinctly-- the first time in molten core is fun, the 20th isn’t.

I read that the average American watches four hours of TV a day. Do you know how twisted that is? That’s almost 1500 hours of TV watching a year. What an addiction!

I think Team Fortress would make a better MMO game.

Is this really so implausible? I mean, come on, these MMOs are designed around reinforcement schedules constructed so well that they put Psychology labs chock full of Skinner boxes to shame. How else are they going to keep good, long term sub numbers high? I’m not suggesting that all MMO players aren’t having fun, and what they do with their free time is their prerogative, but I don’t think it’s out of the question that a large portion of them are at some level addicted to the game when they invest so much of their time in it, regardless of whether they’re having fun or not. click click click Level! click click Unique Armor! click click click click Rare Axe! It’s the unpredictability that’ll keep them coming back. Hell, it works for gambling. Plenty of addicts for that. Same reinforcement schedules (variable schedule, usually variable ratio), too. Being able to socialize with people can also up the amount of time a person spends playing, but if that’s the only drawn, then why not just download an IRC client instead?

Edited for clarification.

Yes, many americans watch too much TV too. If you do anything for 5 hours each day every day, whatever that thing is, it is your life.