The Battle of the
Gamers: Part Two
Is it hot in here, or is it just me?
Cody: And we’re
back. A while ago, Dan and I began what appeared to be a friendly discussion
about the pros and cons of MMOs and Console Games, but before long we found
ourselves locked in a gruelling battle of wits and words. Names were called;
blows were deflected; we loved every second of it and we’re back for more — we
know it been a while, but life a busy beast, and we’re not all powerfully.
Yet. During our last little chat, we
took a brief look at an element of the MMO that often falls under scrutiny: the
story. Today, we’ve got something a little tastier.
Those of you with eyes will probably have noticed that Starcraft 2 was released last month, and
it given me something to throw at Dan that he not going to see coming:
competition. Sure, games like Modern
Warfare 2 and Halo 3 have a
strong footing in the realm of competition; I mean, they have, like, 16 player
games and everything! Pfft. Welcome to the new-age people; WoW was throwing 40
versus 40 at us over 4 years ago and it only going up, not to mention the 12
million subscribers. Now that epic
However, Starcraft 2 has
thrown us into something of a tight spot. As I write this, there are millions of people battling it out in hundreds of thousands of games. That
epic, too. Definition tells us it not an MMO. Yet, it not a console gamer,
either. What is it? And more
importantly: whose side is it on?
Dan: I’ve always
wondered where exactly these kinds of games fit in genre-wise, and, to be
completely honest, I don’t think I have an answer. What I can agree on;
however, is that yes, they’re completely epic, and they’re fun as all hell. Starcraft 2 has got its big Xel’naga
hands around my tiny little throat lately, because, in short: it amazing!
That said, I don’t think Starcraft
2 falls under the MMO genre at all. Sure, it has leader boards,
achievements, unlockable rewards through experience and progression, but it
by no means an MMO as we traditionally know them. Perhaps it needs its own
genre? (Either way, Cody loses this argument, so we’re all fairly happy with
I see Starcraft 2
as having some of the best elements from both the MMO world and the console
gaming world. On the one hand, we have amazingly big competition (PvP, if you
like) and on the other hand we have the elements from the console gaming side
of things: beautifully rendered cutscenes, a campaign mode, a story (!),
challenge missions, replays , AI
opponents, and of course straight-up, real-time action-packed matches.
Now, take the ‘MMO elements’ out of the game, or the console
gaming elements, and you’re left with a pretty average game, I would imagine.
Thoughts, Zerg scum?
Cody: Zerg”¦ scum?
I ought to have your Protoss behind drawn and quartered for such a remark!
Since when did lesser life forms start
calling the clearly superior species’ names? This universe is going down hill
fast. Anywho, where were we? Right — Starcraft is not an MMO. Alright, I can
agree on that. At least, in the traditional sense of the word. It not WoW, or
Aion, or Atlantica Online, but as you mentioned; it does share a good deal of
the features. Then again, it has achievements and a single-player mode, so it
a lot like a console game, too.
I know: let call it a Hybrid. That seems to fit (and those
of you that have finished the Starcraft Campaign might enjoy the reference),
and it allows us to move on comfortably. Of course, it a bit of a cheese
build, as it a fence-sitting name if I ever saw one, and it doesn’t leave
much room for argument. I guess we’ll just have to leave Starcraft 2 where it
is for now; it doesn’t matter if you like Console Games or MMOs, Starcraft 2
has something you’ll enjoy. How that for a free plug?!
I guess it makes sense to make a game that has it all
though, doesn’t it? I mean, sure; there no persistent world, and you can’t
improve your character, so it not going to appeal to Dan: I think it
all comes down to providing us (the players) with a quality experience and, of
course, willingness to provide support down the line if need be. This is
usually a make-or-break thing for MMOs, in the sense that; if the company fails
to provide good support (and there are a lot that are guilty of this) the in
game experience and fun factor is seriously reduced.
As well as good support, a nice level of ‘polish’ adds so much to a game (‘It the little
Whether you’re playing an MMO or not, that little polish or, to put it another
way: that attention to detail, makes the game feel as though it was made to be
enjoyed and not for the sole purpose of filling the developers’ wallets. This
logic is probably why I so willingly parted with the money I did for Starcraft
2, probably providing the employees of Blizzard a nice, new gold-plated toilet.
It all comes down to enjoyment. Play what you enjoy (dur,
right?). Over-categorisation can and will lead to arguments and flames wars,
not to mention some straight-up confusion.
‘Til next time, En Taro Tassadar, gamers!