MMORPG is a Dying Online Game Genre

I recently had a discussion with a friend about online games and I told him that MMORPG is a dying online game genre.

He is an avid Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) player and we weren’t on the same side of the coin.

To be clear, I’m also an MMORPG player and I’ve played DDO for quite some time. In fact here’s a list of other MMORPGs that I’ve played in my lifetime.

  • Cabal Online
  • Flyff
  • MU Online
  • Perfect World
  • Priston Tale
  • Ragnarok Online
  • Ran Online
  • Rising Force (RF) Online
  • Rush on Seven Episodes (ROSE) online

So you might say I have quite an experience in the world of MMORPG.

But other than that, I’m also an avid MOBA player. I’ve played Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) upon its inception by Icefrog.

Here’s a list of MOBA’s that I’ve played and still play.

  • Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) 2 by Valve Corporation
  • League of Legends (LoL) by Riot Games
  • Mobile Legends (ML) mobile only by Moonton
  • Arena of Valor (AOV) mobile only by TiMi Studios
  • and only recently Wild Rift mobile only by Riot Games

I wouldn’t go any further by listing Fighting Games, First-Person Shooting, Real-Time Strategy, Simulation, etc., as this is a comparison between MMORPG and MOBA.

Let me elaborate why I feel that MMORPG is a dying online game genre.

MMORPG vs MOBA

MMORPG which stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game is, as its name implies, a role-playing game where a huge number of players are connected to a server. It is usually a big digital fantasy world where players can choose what role they want to have in that world.

Dungeons and Dragons Online fantasy world.

The concept is great but, in my opinion, falls apart in the long run.

The problem I see with MMORPG is that it’s a very, very, very (to the nth power) long-winding game. It is a game with no conclusion or definitive end in sight. Watch this episode Make Love, Not Warcraft from South Park and you’ll know what I mean.

MOBA is actually a subgenre of MMORPG. It stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Somehow like a role-playing game, the player selects a character with special attributes and teams up with 4 other players on a 5 vs 5 fight that is akin to playing Basketball. It is a fast-paced game that lasts more or less an hour. Or, in recent years, even shorter than 30 minutes.

League of Legends character Vi.

What most people see wrong with MOBA is that it is littered with trash talking violent players. I agree to that. It is a very competitive environment as compared to the so-called Guild Wars of MMORPG. But trash talking could happen in any game. 

Trash talk is a resolvable issue and is something that the MOBA community has been giving notice to. Much like the same way Basketball organizers solve the issue of misbehavior in their game.

In my opinion, what makes MOBA stand out is that it is a conclusive game. It is a game where you have an ending in one sitting. That kind of setup is what actually makes a game, a good game.

It’s not something where you play all day and at the end of it all you’d ask yourself, “what have I been doing all this time?”

There’s a winning or losing end to MOBA. Just as any good game should be. In fact it’s so good The Simpsons even parodied it on their episode E My Sports.

MOBA may be a subgenre, but it is far better than the MMORPG genre.

Then again, what really is the reason why MMORPG is a dying online game genre?

Statistics – MMORPG is Dying

I did a bit of research on the statistics of players for MMORPG. In particular DDO. Here’s what I’ve found.

As most players of DDO know, DDO can be downloaded on the Steam platform and nicely enough, their website Steam Charts shows statistics on the number of players.

Player statistics for Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) as of December 9, 2020.

As a MOBA player I would have to, of course, compare DDO to a popular MOBA – for this it’s DOTA 2.

Player statistics for Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) 2 as of December 9, 2020.

On both charts, the difference in the number of players is by the hundred thousands, with DOTA 2 winning by a very huge margin.

But it won’t be fair to compare a not so popular MMORPG to a very popular MOBA right?

Okay let’s compare DOTA 2 to the current most popular MMORPG as of this writing which is The Elder Scrolls Online.

Player statistics for The Elder Scrolls Online as of December 9, 2020.

Even with the most popular MMORPG, DOTA 2 wins by a long shot.

This only shows how far behind the MMORPG genre is against its MOBA subgenre.

But there are more reasons why I believe MMORPG is dying.

A World Riddled with Bugs

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s BUGS!!! And MMORPGs are full of it. I hate bugs so much I even hate Bugs Bunny. Oops! That’s entirely unrelated. 😄

One of the reasons I began hating DDO is because I’ve encountered this update bug.

On one occasion, I tried downloading an update. I’ve spent half my day waiting for the download to finish. My internet is very very decent. I use it for work and it’s more than good enough.

After the update downloaded, the login panel wasn’t working properly and I had to search the internet for whatever solution I could find to solve the issue. I almost spent a whole day just trying to login to the game.

How about MOBA? They have bugs too right?

Yes, definltely. But the difference is, MOBA bugs are quickly found out and are immediately resolved as compared to MMORPG bugs.

Why? Because MMORPG have such a huge world that some hidden bugs are hard to find. Couple that with only a few players finding out about the bug.

MOBA is a smaller sphere but with a large number of players so bugs are easily spotted.

Consumes a lot of time

Let’s face it. We can’t spend most of our day playing games, even if we want to. Besides, it’s unhealthy.

That’s one issue with MMORPG games. In order for you to become strong in the game you’d need to spend a lot of time “grinding”.

Of course you’d spend a lot of time playing MOBA too, but one game will only last a few minutes or an hour at most and it’s up to you if you want to continue.

In other words, you will notice what time it is when playing MOBA.

There’s no concept of an end game in MMORPG. You just save your current status on the nearest “spawning area” and then log off. There’s no conclusion as to whether you’ve won something or not. In my opinion, no excitement at all unless you’ve played a Guild War.

I hate it when I’ve finished a quest and then find out that I need to do another one that will take me almost 3 hours to complete. And it’s disappointing when you’ve got unfinished quests. Try doing that to your tasks on your paid job.

We all have better things to do with our time of the day. No wonder MMORPGs are littered with autobots!!! MMORPG players would get what I mean. 😜

Too Many Roles, so Little Time

Another MMORPG concept that I TOTALLY HATE is the amount of available character roles and how to play them.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a lot of roles in MMORPG. But to test all of them by starting at level 1 again? Then hearing the same old stories you’ve heard among Non-player characters (NPC)? Not to mention the quests you’re going to take AGAIN! COME ON!!!

Some MMORPGs might have features that let you change roles. But they’re probably paid items like in Ragnarok Online if I recall correctly.

It’s good to test so many roles in a game. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of your time. Money yes maybe but not time. Real life roles are more important than trying to be a Paladin Knight or an Ice Wizard in some non-existent world.

Younger Demographic

When I was younger I used to play MMORPG a lot. Explains why I had a long list of MMORPG games.

But, as you get older, you’ll realize that you don’t have much time for exploring artificial worlds. 

We, as I’ve mentioned, have more important matters to attend to and it only becomes evident the more we grow old.

The story-telling gimmick of MMORPGs, as much as possible, should not be that relevant to people who are already in the working class.

I think it’s a game that’s meant for a younger audience. Besides, a mature person has better stories to tell than talk about an otherworldly dye recipe.

Basically, these are the reasons why I think MMORPG is a dying online game genre.

Let it die a peaceful death

We could liken MMORPG to a children’s book. It opens your mind to a whole new make-believe world.

But unlike children’s books where there are only pictures and words to describe and show the scenery, MMORPGs are worlds crafted by developers where the players become part of the story.

Yet sometimes, I think MMORPGs are crafted worlds that leave nothing for the imagination.

I mean, the world is already there. You just explore it. 

With books, you need to imagine the world in your mind. You conceptualize the world on your own.

With MMORPG, the world is fed to you.

Also, children’s books are stories that have an ending. It’s a reading material that won’t consume a lifetime.

I reiterate, most MMORPGs don’t have an ending. And the sad part, the only end of it is when you stop playing, or when the developers decide to halt the game altogether.

MMORPG have always left a bad impression on me. It was fun when I was young, yes. But it slowly died in my heart and in my mind as I grew older.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this and I speak based on experience. If I’ve offended you in any way about my opinion, I’m sorry.

All things come to an end. Even the good ones.

If you’ve realized that you don’t have time for MMORPG anymore because there are more important matters, then let your playing of MMORPG die a peaceful death.

Now how about a game of Legends of Runeterra? Or maybe chess?

P.S. I’m still playing Dungeons and Dragons Online. But only when I feel like checking the world out after so many weeks of abstinence. MOBA still rules.

How about you? Do you think MMORPG is a dying online game genre? Shout it out in the comments. 😃

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