MMORPG or Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. I think we "true" MMO fans know what I am talking about
You know, the "MMORPGS" that aren't really MMORPG's but rather games marked "MMOs" to get a piece of the World of Warcraft action. Countless games have been released post-WoW and always under the genre of "MMOs".
Which "MMOs" am I referring to you ask?
Well let's look at a list of games I can think of off my head first.
All Points Bulletin - APB
World of Warcraft - WOW
Star Wars: The Old Republic - SWTOR
Hellgate: London - HGL
Guild Wars - GW
Lineage 2 - L2
Ultima Online - UO
Champions Online - CO
City of Heroes -COX
Global Agenda - GA
Games like APB, Hellgate London, SWTOR, Global Agenda and Guild Wars (1 not 2) just to name ones I have played personally.
Games like these aren't "real" MMOs in my opinion mainly because there is very little that is "massive" about these games and usually no real role-playing elements in them (For the ones that include RPG at the end that is).
You will find that some of these games aren't labelled as MMO "RPGS" but rather MMO "FPS". I like to throw role-playing into the social department though which also makes up what an MMO"RPG" is.
Back on point!
The major things you would notice about some of these games is that the world isn't "restricted" or "guided" as other "MMOs" are. Basically, there is something "massive" about some of these game other than the amount of players subscribed to it for it.
Take World of Warcraft and Lineage 2 vs Star Wars: The Old Republic and Global Agenda for example .
When you play WoW it feels like a world. I can explore, even do things like running my low level from one side of the world to the other. Same goes with Lineage 2. If I don't like my questing area, I could leave and go to another area. It may take some time, but I have a "choice".
Now let's look at SWTOR.
I am restricted to one starting zone until I become level 10. Once I get to level 10, I go to the Republic Fleet , which is obviously encouraged as it has ALL the things you need ironically in an unending circle,(Which is a "hub".For those not sure what a "Hub" is, it's a place created specifically to get players to gather. It's similar to what World of Warcraft did with their Cataclysm expansion)and I can only go to ONE planet until I finish my class mission and get my ship (unless I join someone else on their ship).
Also, SWTOR is heavily instanced akin to APB, which doesn't promote a "massive" experience but rather persistent social hubs. Likewise with Global Agenda, after your first mission and few levels, you are sent to the "central" area where all of the things you need are there.
Games like SWTOR and Global Agenda...AREN'T MMOS. Period. They are "MO's", Multiplayer Online. I say this because once you start "instancing" everything outside of strategic content (usually done to prevent outside interference from completing a specific goal) the game usually is no longer an MMO.
Especially when it's done in the fashion that you can only have 100 or less players in each instance.
What makes it worse is that you don't even have a "choice" to make it a massive experience in games like Global Agenda, SWTOR and APB. They are dictated to you through FORCED instance placement once an area because "full".
So please, stop calling social hub instanced games "MMOs".
I know these developers call there games "MMOs" but the reality is they are not making anything "massive" other than hype.