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  1. #1

    Question Are Free Action MMORPGs losing popularity?

    Vindictus, Continent of the Ninth, Tera.

    Three games that share one simple gameplay feature: Hack and slash combat. (I know there's more games out there with the same concept, but these three stuck out the most because they are playable for US residents)

    When vindictus was released, it had a pretty sizable community. Even I was playing on the day of open beta release and had a blast until the repetitiveness sunk in, but I didn't really mind that. Now today, the servers (at least for NA East) are barely active anymore. Cash shop players are still playing/paying, but not a sight of any players in between.

    Tera had a pretty good release date last year, summer time is the best time for gamers, especially those looking for something new to play during the summer. I only played it during the beta, but the game certainly had potential. About a year later, it just recently adopted the free to play model. Not really sure on if it should have went free from the start, or was having trouble keeping subscribers satisfied. But the playerbase is once again growing strong after the switch to the new model.

    Continent of the Ninth. I never personally played this game myself, just watched videos and read up on daily news of its progress. Thankfully its still free and still available to play, but there's barely any news of it floating around. Almost as if once the game was released, it was just left on its own to be played like how Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning turned out.

    So I don't really get it. I like the whole hack and slash concept, and very much would like to see other mmorpgs in the near future adopt this gameplay idea, but there's hardly any exciting news of our currently playable free action mmos. Are free action MMORPGs losing popularity?

  2. #2
    Vindictus: It's been holding steady for quite some time after losing the initial rush of players. While we don't have any access to player data, I don't think we'd see some giant dropoff or reduction in playerbase that would be inconsistent with any other MMO. Vindictus have a niche following and I don't think it was ever going to grow beyond that.

    Tera: The game launched as a subscription based game (mistake on their part) and made the transition to F2P. This is consistent with most subscription based games launched in the last 5 years and has nothing to do with the combat style of the game. As you mention, the playerbase has grown considerably since going F2P (and according to En Masse, subscribers have gone up as well), which actually contradicts the premise of this thread.

    C9: The game is bad. Like, really not good at all. It's basically a Vindictus knockoff that is of lower quality. It still does get updates (I think they released a few new advanced classes and they've released more content) so it hasn't been abandoned, it just never really had a big splash for launch like a game like Vindictus did due to the fact that Webzen didn't put the kind of marketing/PR muscle behind it that Nexon did with Vindictus. They definitely still get articles about the game when news comes out and they did get good launch coverage from MMO sites, but it's not the kind of game or kind of company that really warrant or justify bigger gaming news sites covering it.

    You missed some other F2P action MMO's though.

    DCUO: Technically action combat, it's been doing alright since going F2P (hybrud) and still comes out with content updates at the same pace as always.

    Neverwinter: Just launched and seems to be pretty popular. We'll see a contraction in the number of players as time goes on, but from what I can see people are generally enjoying the combat and the game.

    RaiderZ: Basically a low quality Moster Hunter MMO. It's never been huge, but it found its niche and has been doing alright. It launched an "expansion" (basically a content patch that raised the level cap) a few months ago, so it's still seeing updates post-launch.

    Dragons Prophet: New sandboxy MMO that is in closed beta, developed by the guys that made Runes of Magic and published by SoE. Has some interesting systems, but I'm not sure how broad the appeal will be.

    Firefall: I guess we could call it action combat (third person shooter), but it's been in beta forever and will be launching in June.

    All these games get coverage when they have news about them, which doesn't mean there is news all the time. They aren't going to get articles on Gamespot, IGN, Game Informer etc. all the time, because

    1. MMO's are still a niche genre (comparatively) as they are PC only, so cross platform or console games get more hits over there.

    2. The companies behind these games are generally smaller companies or less popular companies, so there is less interest in news about their products compared to say, Ubisoft or EA.

    They do get articles about them with relative frequency on the MMO news sites like mmorpg.com, Massively, Ten Ton Hammer, and PC Gamer. Those are the sites that are going to be covering PC MMO's more often as that's what they focus on.

    So from what info we have, action MMO's aren't losing popularity at all. In fact, they seem to be rising in popularity as the amount of coverage for MMO's using that kind of combat system continues to increase as the number and quality of games increases. It's still relatively new (compared to the traditional EQ combat system), so it's still growing.

  3. #3
    I knew I missed naming some games, I don't really get out much so a handful of those escaped my mind.

  4. #4
    Legendary! Korgoth's Avatar
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    I think they were just bad. Tera, I played the beta for about a day. Thought it looked silly, played poorly, and quickly lost interest.

    I have been playing the Neverwinter Beta, and its Free Action (?), I mean you hit the button and your character slashes. It has held my attention much better.

    I cant say using a Hot Key system makes MMO's better, as most hotkey MMOs play like shit, really I think WoW is the only hotkey MMO that I felt played well, dynamic, fast paced, conveying a feeling of action. I like Neverwinter combat a lot better then that weapon based 5 ability (1 always autoattack!) Hotkey GW2 setup. Or Age of Conan, or Warhammer... Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails.
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  5. #5
    Neither TERA or Neverwinter are free action MMOs. Guild Wars 2 is. TERA roots you in place every single attack, same for Neverwinter. I didn't play much of the other two. These games fail because core mechanics fail.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by frag971 View Post
    Neither TERA or Neverwinter are free action MMOs. Guild Wars 2 is. TERA roots you in place every single attack, same for Neverwinter. I didn't play much of the other two. These games fail because core mechanics fail.
    Erm, GW2 is B2P, not F2P, so it can't be a F2P action MMO.

    And rooting in place during attack animations doesn't make the game a non-action MMO. By design Neverwinter and Tera are action MMO's. There's no way they can not be action MMO's as they feature dynamic hit detection, something that GW2 only partially incorporates into its combat system.

    Neither game "fails" at all. Both games seem to be doing well (Tera got a huge bump after F2P and Neverwinter is off to a strong start), and the combat systems in both games is fully functional.

    If you don't enjoy them, that's fine. That doesn't make them any less of an action combat system though.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by frag971 View Post
    Neither TERA or Neverwinter are free action MMOs. Guild Wars 2 is. TERA roots you in place every single attack, same for Neverwinter. I didn't play much of the other two. These games fail because core mechanics fail.
    /facepalm

    So by that definition, almost EVERY arpg ever made fails. This idea that attacks should not cost you movement is a MMO genre (specifically WoW) only thing. Outside of this tiny niche market that is the second generation MMOs, no one else thinks this!!!
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  8. #8
    The Lightbringer Simulacrum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardarian View Post
    /facepalm

    So by that definition, almost EVERY arpg ever made fails. This idea that attacks should not cost you movement is a MMO genre (specifically WoW) only thing. Outside of this tiny niche market that is the second generation MMOs, no one else thinks this!!!
    Some of them sure do. Unless they have very involved combat systems, locking you in place to do attacks, robbing you of character control, makes for a shitty combat system in my book.

  9. #9
    I was worried that this gaming genre might have been losing popularity because of the direction a handful of the first released free action combat mmorpgs were handled. Tera is all good, I haven't played Neverwinter yet, I was just curious on the other games as well.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cattlehunter View Post
    Some of them sure do. Unless they have very involved combat systems, locking you in place to do attacks, robbing you of character control, makes for a shitty combat system in my book.
    I can't think of an action combat based MMO that's closed down off the top of my head, so technically none of them have failed.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Cattlehunter View Post
    Some of them sure do. Unless they have very involved combat systems, locking you in place to do attacks, robbing you of character control, makes for a shitty combat system in my book.
    Diablo 1,2, and 3 and Torchlight 1 and 2 and path of exile had shitty combat?
    Legend of Zelda (all of them) had shitty combat?
    Anything like god of war (dantes inferno) had shitty combat?
    Street fighter, mortal combat, soul caliber, super smash bros had shitty combat?

    Every RPG game except for turn based and shooters almost ALWAYS had action locking.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 09:46 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by onesBronson View Post
    I was worried that this gaming genre might have been losing popularity because of the direction a handful of the first released free action combat mmorpgs were handled. Tera is all good, I haven't played Neverwinter yet, I was just curious on the other games as well.
    Second generation MMOs, like WoW, aren't "losing popularity" exactly. The Second generation MMO niche is just saturated, by WoW, and the industry is tired of fighting over the same 5 million US/Euro market.
    So most of the new MMOs that are coming out are increasingly action combat based (IE: Tera, GW2, Firefall, Defiance, Neverwinter, TESO, Wildstar, Warframe, Blade and Soul, Age of wushu, and a several others.) Vindictus was just way ahead of it's time.
    Last edited by Bardarian; 2013-05-09 at 09:56 PM.
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  12. #12
    Legendary! Korgoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frag971 View Post
    Neither TERA or Neverwinter are free action MMOs. Guild Wars 2 is. TERA roots you in place every single attack, same for Neverwinter. I didn't play much of the other two. These games fail because core mechanics fail.
    That is both wrong and funny, because one of the things I hated most about GW2 was that on my Warrior with the 2h Sword one of the few dps abilities, 100 blades, rooted you in place while it channeled, an actual channeled cast ability on a melee class.
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  13. #13
    Now that we're talking about it and someone mentioned several console games above...I can't think of a game (action/rpg/otherwise) where you CAN move and swing at once.

    I mean yeah, I know in Metal Gear Snake runs and fires and in MGR Raiden/Sam can swing their swords while running and don't get locked, but it's not the same attack they'd do standing in place...

    So what IS a game where your arm movement is completely independent of your leg movement? Don't most action games change your attack if you're holding a directional input at the time of the button press for an attack?

    I'm confused about what the guy near the beginning thinks Tera or whatever should've attacked like? Also...wouldn't that be really bizarre to animate? I can kind of imagine how much whackier my character in Tera would've looked if he could've attacked while moving...I mean it works in WoW but the game isn't as long in the animations as Tera or Neverwinter.
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  14. #14
    Brewmaster insmek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frag971 View Post
    Neither TERA or Neverwinter are free action MMOs. Guild Wars 2 is. TERA roots you in place every single attack, same for Neverwinter. I didn't play much of the other two. These games fail because core mechanics fail.
    Man, if you're calling GW2 an "action" MMORPG just because you can move while casting, then friggin' everything is an action MMORPG.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardarian View Post
    Every RPG game except for turn based and shooters almost ALWAYS had action locking.
    sorry for the ignorancce, but what is action locking?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Korgoth View Post
    That is both wrong and funny, because one of the things I hated most about GW2 was that on my Warrior with the 2h Sword one of the few dps abilities, 100 blades, rooted you in place while it channeled, an actual channeled cast ability on a melee class.
    It doesn't root you. But if you move it cancels the move. There is a bit of a difference, it might not seem like much but there are games in which moves root you once you start the animation with no way to cancel it.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 05:28 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by lazymangaka View Post
    Man, if you're calling GW2 an "action" MMORPG just because you can move while casting, then friggin' everything is an action MMORPG.
    Every mmorpg allows you to move and cast (channeled and induction skills, not instant casts)?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Olrox View Post
    So what IS a game where your arm movement is completely independent of your leg movement? Don't most action games change your attack if you're holding a directional input at the time of the button press for an attack?
    The *original* dungeons & dragons for the intellivision required two paddles with numberkey pads. one for character movement, and one to shoot your bow. both could be done simultaneously and turned a 'singleplayer' game into a fun twoplayer game, as one could drive and the other ride turret.

    thats the first one i can think of.

  18. #18
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    It's not the model that kills games, it's the content in them. I played TERA for about a month, and after hitting max level, getting gear, I got bored, and quick. The end game just sucks badly. 1 dungeon, with 3 bosses in that takes around 45 minutes to clear, does not class as end game content. I'm yet to see a f2p game, of any genre that can manage to keep a solid player-base around. Even WoW struggles to some extent.
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Bardarian View Post
    Diablo 1,2, and 3 and Torchlight 1 and 2 and path of exile had shitty combat?
    Legend of Zelda (all of them) had shitty combat?
    Anything like god of war (dantes inferno) had shitty combat?
    Street fighter, mortal combat, soul caliber, super smash bros had shitty combat?

    Every RPG game except for turn based and shooters almost ALWAYS had action locking.[COLOR="red"]
    I'm fairly certain you could run around and use any of your abilities on legend of zelda. I guess not when you went first person with bow or slingshot, but you didn't have to.

    I think what he means though is that guild wars 2 has absolutely no action locking (at least not on any professions I have played as).

    So my question is, what exactly is an action game? For example the major differences between wow and guild wars 2 combat is that abilities that you cast can be done so while running and there is a dodge function.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by worprz View Post
    I'm fairly certain you could run around and use any of your abilities on legend of zelda. I guess not when you went first person with bow or slingshot, but you didn't have to.
    NOPE!

    When you swung your sword you were rooted for half a second. (the duration of the swing)

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 11:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezarus View Post
    sorry for the ignorancce, but what is action locking?
    When during an animation, you are immobile.

    IE: Swinging a sword causes you to stand still for half a second.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-10 at 12:06 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Olrox View Post
    Now that we're talking about it and someone mentioned several console games above...I can't think of a game (action/rpg/otherwise) where you CAN move and swing at once.

    I mean yeah, I know in Metal Gear Snake runs and fires and in MGR Raiden/Sam can swing their swords while running and don't get locked, but it's not the same attack they'd do standing in place...

    So what IS a game where your arm movement is completely independent of your leg movement? Don't most action games change your attack if you're holding a directional input at the time of the button press for an attack?

    I'm confused about what the guy near the beginning thinks Tera or whatever should've attacked like? Also...wouldn't that be really bizarre to animate? I can kind of imagine how much whackier my character in Tera would've looked if he could've attacked while moving...I mean it works in WoW but the game isn't as long in the animations as Tera or Neverwinter.
    Shooters tend to not have action locking. the idea being that you can shoot while running and the power behind the attack comes from the gun itself, whereas swinging a sword or war hammer is difficult to do unless it's a sort of charging attack. There's less power if you are just flailing your weapon around while sprinting.

    And yeah, the animations are usually off when the legs and arms don't match up. Sometimes it looks like your character think's hes on fire as he flails wildly.
    Last edited by Bardarian; 2013-05-10 at 12:01 AM.
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