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MMORPG’s Worlds T hat Never Sleep. Andrew Melanson Comp 1631, Winter 2011 Mount Allison University. MMORPG ?. MMORPG- Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game Genre of computer role-playing games Huge volume of players interacting in a virtual world

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mmorpg s worlds t hat never sleep

MMORPG’sWorlds That Never Sleep

Andrew Melanson

Comp 1631, Winter 2011

Mount Allison University

  • MMORPG- Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
    • Genre of computer role-playing games
    • Huge volume of players interacting in a virtual world
    • Players take on roles of a character with complete control over its actions
    • Distinguished from other gaming types by the number of player and the inclusion of a persistent world, which exists despite players being away, or offline.
major early influences you haven t lived until you ve died in mud
Major Early Influences“You haven’t lived until you’ve died in MUD”
  • Fantasy based social games
    • Dungeons and Dragons (1974)
      • Many characteristics of D&D still present today in MMORPG fantasy
  • MUDs- Multi-user dungeons
    • Primarily text based fantasy games
    • Not large enough to be considered true MMORPG’s
    • Played on precursors of the internet
      • Eg- ARPAnet – Advanced Research Projects Agency Network
    • Mazewar (1974)
      • Acknowledged as the first graphical virtual world
      • First networked game
      • First-person perspective of a maze
common themes of mmorpg s
Common Themes of mmorpg’S
  • Based on “fantasy” themes
  • Character progression
  • Social interaction via guilds or teamwork
  • Roleplaying based on character
  • In-game culture
  • System architecture using client-server
  • Character customization both technical and visual
  • All but 1 game is designed exclusively for computer consoles
generations of mmorpg s
Generations of MMORPG’s
  • FirstGeneration:
    • Neverwinter Night’s (1991) - First true graphical MMORPG
      • Internet was still in its infancy; proprietary networks such as AOL and Compuserve were distributors
      • Bandwidth costs were high
        • $6/hour to play
      • Comprised 115,000 players by its final year
    • Legends of Future Past (1992) – First text based MMORPG
        • Complex for the time: Skill based progression, game events, and crafting
generations of mmorpg s con t
Generations of MMORPG’scon’T
  • First Generation:
    • In 1995 when the Internet became more accessible, online gaming was developed creating the first truly "massively“ games
    • Meridian 59 (1996)
      • First 3D type graphics
    • Ultima Online (1997)
      • Creator Richard Garriott coined the term MMORPG
      • Now credited with popularizing the genre
    • With top down views, the graphics were still rudimentary
generations of mmorpg s con t1
Generations of MMORPG’scON’T
  • Second/Current Generation:
    • Post Commercial Success
    • Full 3D Graphics fully implemented, user interface updated, client/server technology updated
    • Higher-quality gameplay in 2 main categories:
      • Pay-to-play
        • World of Warcraft (2004)
        • EverQuestII (2004)
        • Final Fantasy XI (only game that is available for a computer console as well as a video game console)
      • Free-to-play
        • RuneScape (2001)
        • Flyff (2003)
current generation
Current generation
  • Most Popular:
    • World of Warcraft (WOW) created and developed by Blizzard Entertainment
      • Over 12 million active subscribers as of October, 2010
      • $100 to buy up to the latest version with a monthly fee of $14.99
      • Over 222 servers, 3D graphic engine, and fully customizable user interface
      • As with most computer software developers, Blizzard Entertainment does not make their source codes available
  • MMORPGs require multiple disciplines to develop a game:
    • Game design
    • 3D modeling
    • 2D art
    • Animation
    • User interfaces
    • Client-server system
    • Database architecture
    • Network infrastructure
game design
Game Design
  • Very complex and requires a lot of creativity:
    • Objectives of the game
    • Rewards and challenges
    • Lore to make the game (background and characters) compelling
    • Tactics and gameplay
    • Economy (side note- Many social scientists are now studying the built in economies of various MMORPG’s because the behaviour of players mirror those of people in real life
    • C++ is one of the most popular language used by game developers
3d modeling and 2d concept art
3D modeling and 2D Concept art
  • The content of an MMORPG virtual world such as landscapes, buildings and dungeons; the monsters and players; even music, sound effects and the special effects need to be put into 3D models using 3D modeling programs from 2D concept art blueprint
  • Turning 3D models into complex scenes
  • Animation is done using motion capture libraries where a person wears a suit with sensors
  • These sensors record movements and are used to produce realistic 3D models
user interfaces
User Interfaces
  • These are all of the dialog boxes you interact with for common activities such as observing your character profile, moving items around your inventory, assigning keys to action bars, etc.
client server system
Client-Server System
  • Server software allows for a virtual world to continuously persist
  • Client software displays the content of the virtual world
  • Players purchase client software which communicates with the server to give information on location of objects or user interfaces
  • Some system architecture require multiple separate servers
    • For independent worlds/dungeons /chatting
    • Games are dynamic and changing needing software updates regularlythru patching servers
    • Players cannot interact between servers
    • Number of players/server is limited to decrease lag
database architecture and network infrastructure
Database Architecture and Network Infrastructure
  • Databases record all of the information about your character so you can come back to the game at any time in the future
  • Network infrastructure links MMORPGs to the World Wide Web to gather information on different aspects of the game
    • Character information can still be accessed while offline
    • Economics
    • Statistical analysis
psychology of mmorpg s
Psychology of mmorpg’s
  • An incident in WOW, in which a disease from a monster began to spread unintentionally throughout the virtual world, grabbed the attention of psychologists and the Center for Disease Control. The incident became a model for progression of a disease and potential human reaction to an infection outbreak.
  • Reports of increased emotion during gameplay are common among gamers
    • Enjoyment of the game has been directly linked to the social organization therein
    • Approximately 1 in 5 players indicated a preference for socializing online than offline
  • Addiction:
    • No formal diagnosis of video game addiction in medical or psychological literature
    • Surveys indicate that 12% to 40% of players show addictive tendencies
    • Keith Bakker- founder of the first European treatment facility for compulsive gamers stated 90% of clients were not addicted; excessive play was the result of social situations
deaths from gaming
Deaths from gaming
  • 2005 - Seungseob Leeplayed Starcraft for 50 hours straight and died of cardiac arrest
  • 2005 –Gregg Kleinmark left his two sons to drown in the bathtub while he went in another room to play video games
  • 2006 - Tyrone Spellman killed his 17 month old daughter in a rage after his Xbox broke
  • 2007 - Police arrested a 13 yr old boyfor killing and robbing an 81 yr old woman. The boy admitted he decided to kill and rob so he could play online games. He had stolen $6.20
  • 2007 - Daniel Petric (age 16) shot his parents, killing his mother, because they took away his video game console. His attorney argued Daniel did not understand death was permanent because he had been playingshooting games for so long
  • 2010 - Alexandra Tobias shook her baby to death becausethe baby’s crying was distracting her from gaming
future of mmorpg s
Future of MMOrPG’s
  • We are reaching the limit of what silicon processors can do for the gaming industry
    • Down the road:
      • IBM has developed a graphene-based processor
        • Performs at 100 billion cycles per second (4x that of existing experimental graphene processors)
        • Takes advantage of graphene’s high carrier motilities
          • Includes one atom thick sheet of carbon atoms built on Silicon substrate
      • Diamond processors are also a viable next step but there are manufacturing limitations
future of mmorpg s con t
Future of mmorpg’s con’t…
  • Arousal of all 5 senses
    • Vision: 3D imaging displayed in real-time without the use of glasses such as holographic display devices
  • Audio: enhancing sound to fell the shock waves such as audio devices that transmits sound through the skin which is used to assist the deaf in hearing
  • Touch: devices and hardware to cause vibration effects resembling seismic effects
  • Smell: devices that emits specific odors into the user’s personal space taking games to the next level of realism
  • Taste: devices that would mimic foods flavor fouling the taste buds
  • Holodeck!!
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  • Polglase, Kris. Game Review: DC Universe Online. Retrieved January 29, 2011, from
  • Privantu, Ratu. A Beginner’s Guide to Creating a MMORPG. Retrieved February 1, 2011, from
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