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Connecting Mobile Games and MMOs. By Dan Roy. This presentation will cover…. What motivates players to attempt to master an MMO? How can mobile motivate players further to attempt to master a cross-platform MMO?. Tech Assumptions. Long term potential improvements Faster CPUs More memory

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This presentation will cover…

  • What motivates players to attempt to master an MMO?

  • How can mobile motivate players further to attempt to master a cross-platform MMO?

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Tech Assumptions

  • Long term potential improvements

    • Faster CPUs

    • More memory

    • Faster networks

  • Unchanged

    • Small screens

    • Sub PC input methods

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Stories of Mastery

  • School – felt irrelevant

  • Computers – liked feeling like expert, helping others, getting praised

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Mastery Motivators

  • What motivates players to attempt to master an MMO?

    • Personal visibility of mastery

    • Social visibility of mastery

    • Social relevancy of mastery

    • Personal relevancy of mastery

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Case Studies

  • Magic: The Gathering

  • Ragnarok Mobile Mage

  • Armada: Kingdoms

  • Travian

  • The Violet Sector

  • World of Warcraft

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Magic: The Gathering – Low Tech Mobile

  • Increasing mastery is personally and socially visible

    • Better cards

    • Better strategies (card combos, probabilites)

    • More wins

  • Playing, trading, and discussing increase relevancy and visibility

  • Portability brings game into new social contexts, just as mobile can do for MMOs

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Ragnarok Mobile Mage

  • Mobile companion to PC MMO

  • Single player

  • Transfer Zeny back to PC MMO

  • XP, Zeny add up

  • Portability kept both games on my mind

  • RL friends saw me play and started discussions

  • Low online social visibility and relevancy led to low personal relevancy

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Armada: Kingdoms

  • Mobile MMO

  • Goal: get victory points through attacking, building, secrets

  • Avatar is a city, guilds are kingdoms

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Armada: Kingdoms

  • Slow RTS - attack pace allows for notifications which enable defensive actions

    • notifications can be in-game, email or SMS

  • Notify inactive players of their in-game status

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Armada: Kingdoms

Beta sign-up:

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  • A browser-based MMO

  • Another “slow RTS”

  • City maintenance drives check-in behavior

  • Don’t need 30fps, 100ms ping to enjoy

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The Violet Sector

  • A cross-platform, text MMO

    • Playable via web and mobile (WAP)

  • 4 teams of ~50 players, each fighting for dominance of space

  • 3 hour turns – appointment gaming

    • Different roles require different appointment windows (5 min smallest to 3 hour largest)

  • Few actions, easy multiple choice entry

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The Violet Sector – Mobile

  • Mobile access increases:

    • Personal visibility: see more updates, pay more attention, make more progress

    • Social visibility: seen online, seen in person; appointments -> online at same time

    • Personal relevancy: play more -> care more, urgency/importance confusion

    • Social relevancy: appointments -> interruptions of RL -> viral marketing -> RL social relevancy

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World of Warcraft – Auctions

  • View

  • Sell, relist

  • Bid, rebid

  • Buy now

  • Manage inventory

  • SMS notifications

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World of Warcraft - Crafting

  • Buy mats

  • Assemble usable items

  • See crafting succeed or fail each time

  • Watch crafting stats increase

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World of Warcraft – Maintenance

  • Something that accumulates over time and needs tending

    • Travian resources

    • WoW resting bonus

    • Pet hunger

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World of Warcraft -Social Networking

  • Browsable profiles (Armory)

    • Screenshot album

  • RSS-like news feeds

    • Who leveled up

    • Who joined/quit guild

    • Who got an [epic [flying]] mount, etc.

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World of Warcraft – Rating Content

  • Rating can:

    • Take as little or as much time as the player desires

    • Be started and stopped at any time with no penalty for interruption

    • Constantly promise a fresh experience (more content)

  • Rate quests based on difficulty, interestingness, or reward

  • Avatar appearance

  • Youtube-style videos of wow activities

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World of Warcraft - Chat

  • Text and Voice Chat

    • Keep in touch with guild

    • Just listen/read or participate

    • Phones do voice well

    • SMS people from WoW chat in PC

      • “Log on, we need u 4 raid!”

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World of Warcraft – Combat

  • PvE

    • A special kind of combat designed for web/mobile

    • Could be turn based with timers (like FF7)

    • Or be like WoW, but slower

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World of Warcraft – Combat

  • PvE or PvP vs. mobiles

    • Could be like

      • Choose equipment and spells, then combat auto-resolves

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World of Warcraft – Combat

  • Team PvP with PC players

    • Encourage mobile players to think more strategically and rely less on reflexes

  • Mobile players could:

    • Give buffs/debuffs to PC players (lasting longer)

    • Set traps

    • Cast AoE

    • Follow PC player, like Mario Kart

    • See strategic minimap of battlefield and give advice to teammates

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  • Asynchronous

  • Appointments

  • Maintenance

  • Status updates

  • Keep game on player’s mind

  • Sharable

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Connecting Mobile Games and MMOs

Dan Roy



“Mastery and the Mobile Future of Massively Multiplayer Games”