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Trev-MUN: An Unknown Troper attempted to sweep the Phantasy Star related MMOs under the rug:
I've since restored these examples.
None of the Phantasy Star games qualify as Roguelikes (which That Troper attempted to pigeonhole them as), and there is nothing about the games that disqualifies them as MMOs; the gameplay model of their online components have a number of things in common with games like Guild Wars, which are unquestioningly MMORPGs—and yet That Troper didn't try to remove Guild Wars from the list and place it in the Roguelike index.
As I mentioned in the Phantasy Star Online article, PSO's "massively multiplayer online" aspect of the game was strongly hyped by Sega in its advertisements. PSO is also credited as one of the inspirations used for the Dot Hack series.
Thousands of people still play PSO and PSU in Japan, and they saw similar numbers when servers were active elsewhere in the world. I'm making note of my objections in case That Troper comes around to sweep them under the rug again.
So you're saying the Diablo games belong on this list, too?
Ah, you're the same troper who's responsible for all this, aren't you? I caught you trying to assert your personal belief that the games don't fit under the MMO genre on the Phantasy Star articles (again).
I think the better question ask is, "so you're saying the Guild Wars series doesn't belong on this list, too?"
It's not really a personal belief, but I'd like to stay away from attacks like that if possible.
But lets start with a more easily black-and-white topic: Does Phantasy Star Zero belong on this list?
To review: The game features no means for players to interact with each other outside of 4-player max games that are hosted by a player. This is a fashion that is no different from games like Team Fortress, Half-Life, Quake, etc., but somehow, it's massively-multiplayer and these other games, which support generally at least four times as many players per server, are not? There's kind of an obvious distinction to be made here.
Are you considering it to be an MMORPG, simply due to the fact that it's an RPG that happens to have some form of online gameplay? By that logic, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time is also an MMORPG, because it's handled in the exact same fashion.
It really brings up the question as to what measure is multiplayer considered "massive," because if we're classifying every random game as "massively-multiplayer" simply because it has multiple players, then the point of keeping a distinction becomes moot. I think having at least one or two hundred players able to interact directly with each other at any given time would be a good place to start, because that's generally well above the upper-limit for simultaneous player counts in games that are distinctly non-massive.
As for Guild Wars, no, I'm not really familiar with it. I hear a lot of comparisons with Phantasy Star Universe in how it's handled (towns serving as essentially 3D chat lobbies, but only a small number of people able to venture outside of it together, into a wholly-instanced area), though I can't speak from personal experience. I think it's worth noting, at the very least, that Sega does not consider Phantasy Star Universe to be a massively-multiplayer game (specifically labeling it, correctly, as an Action RPG), and made no such claims, to my knowledge, of Phantasy Star Online being as such (being that it's handled in exactly the same fashion as the Diablo games, this isn't surprising).
I'm curious to see where these claims of PSO being massively-multiplayer are though. Could you show them to me?
Your definition of what "should be" a massively multiplayer game only considers how many people are actively playing the game, not the kind of population the game's online mechanics are designed to handle. That means your criteria would award and strip games of the "massively multiplayer" title only by their current popularity, not by their game design. That's ... rather inadequate.
Especially when it's clear that these games◊ can and do attract a large crowd.◊
You've already seen some of them. For example, Sega's own advertisement for PSO. The advertisement practically covers every critical aspect that makes a Massively Multiplayer Online Game what it is—and this was back in 2001, when the genre was young and only in its "second generation."
Phantasy Star Online and Universe get billed as MMOs by a number of sources other than Sega—Wikipedia, which cites this article.
There's also this interview with Hiroshi Matsuyama, developer of the Dot Hack series. Take note of what he said about the influences on the setting:
My problem with what you're doing is twofold. One—you're trying to discredit games with obvious MMO elements and instead label them as Roguelikes.
Neither PSO, PSU, or PSZ are turn-based (with the exception of PSO Ep. III, which is clearly a MMOCCG instead). Dungeons and mission areas in all three games use random presets that contain already-set monster spawn information, not the wholly randomized dungeons and monsters that Roguelikes commonly feature. Most Roguelikes contain very little plot, while even PSO had a pretty involved story (and PSU and PSZ even more so). Death is not permanent in any of the three games, unlike Roguelikes where it often is. Apparently this has been done before, because there was discussion in the Phantasy Star article where other tropers disagreed with the Roguelike label, so I know I'm not the only one who opposes this categorization.
Two—you overlook the condition of the entire article while trying to declare the Phantasy Star games something they're not.
If you're going to go by a strict "an MMORPG is a cookie cutter clone of World Of Warcraft or Everquest" definition, then you'll be ripping out a lot of games tropers have listed on this article. Did you even take a look? Aside from Guild Wars (whose developers define as a CORPG), this page also lists Kingdom Of Loathing, Urban Rivals, Gaia Online, Pang Ya (and quite a few others). You'll notice that this article's alternate title is "Massively Multiplayer", and the introduction makes clear that, to be listed on this index, the game need not be an RPG.
Yes, PSO, PSU, and PSZ are Action RPGs. So what? They contain enough elements of Massively Multiplayer to qualify as part of this index. A game's genre has no impact on whether or not it can't be included in this index, because whether or not it is Massively Multiplayer depends entirely on its online networking mechanics rather than its game mechanics.
If you honestly want to hear my personal criteria for whether or not a game is an MMO (separate from what's been established in this TV Tropes index), then understand that this is my personal criteria. What I have said just prior is going entirely on what has already been established by Sega, by others, or by TV Tropes.
Whether or not a game, to me, is Massively Multiplayer depends on whether or not it has some form of persistence.
All those FPS games you tried to equate to Phantasy Star Zero lack something important: a persistent character (not player, but character—that's important) who progresses, is customizable on some level, and can be taken through multiple online play sessions with many different people. In other words, everyone who has the game and an internet connection is a potential person with which to play the game, and you can use the same character(s) you've been customizing and developing to play with others, however many times you like.
Persistence was something defined by the online mechanics of the game world, but too many Massively Multiplayer games now rely on instanced content for that to be a reliable definition—so it falls to the other, more constant aspect of MMOs to define them—the player's character(s). In theory, an MMO's character doesn't "retire" when the game's story reaches its conclusion (if it does). In single-player and many "mere" multi-player games, once the game reaches the ending, all the progress made on that character is moot. Once Mario rescues the princess, the game is over and all the coins and points he's gotten are irrelevant. Once Crono's nakama defeats Lavos and the credits roll, all their progress becomes irrelevant.
In many MMOs, reaching the end of the story doesn't mean the character is no longer playable. They can still hang out in the game world, interacting with other players, partaking in other forms of content if the game has them, or simply held in reserve until an update comes out to provide more stuff to do (if the game receives content updates). They're only gone for good when the character is deleted by the player, or when the MMO closes down.
Thus, Phantasy Star Zero would indeed be considered an MMO, while shooters like Half-Life, Quake, Duke Nukem, et al. would not. Most games like that just have a session-finding system where people play matches with preset characters whose appearance might be customizable, but they never actually progress or develop. Those games might record a player's progress, but it's all about the player, not any characters. Zero, however, follows the PSO model of persistence for characters.
In that regard, yes, my MMO definition could (and does) apply to other games not commonly thought of as MMOs. Team Fortress 2, for example, was clearly just another FPS when it launched—it runs on the same match making system as other FPSes, it lacked any RPG elements, and all recorded personal data focused on the player, with no benefit to the characters—but Valve has been adding MMO aspects to the game over time—character progression, upgrading, item crafting, customization. It's a Genre Shift with each update that TF 2 goes through.
Regardless, that's just my definition, independent of what TV Tropes considers an MMO. But even under TV Tropes' definition, what you're trying to do is not cool.
"Your definition of what "should be" a massively multiplayer game only considers how many people are actively playing the game, not the kind of population the game's online mechanics are designed to handle. That means your criteria would award and strip games of the "massively multiplayer" title only by their current popularity, not by their game design. That's ... rather inadequate."
This is a rather hollow accusation, because you're saying that it's not what exactly I said, and is specifically something I didn't.
What I said: "I think having at least one or two hundred players able to interact directly with each other at any given time would be a good place to start, because that's generally well above the upper-limit for simultaneous player counts in games that are distinctly non-massive."
What you apparently thought it meant: "A game isn't massively-multiplayer if it isn't popular enough."
I'm really perplexed as to where, exactly, you managed to pull that one from, because it's not related to what I said in the least. Especially since I'm directly referencing the game's ability to let people play together on such a scale, rather than how many people are actually doing it. Being that the only examples of more than four people (six in Phantasy Star Universe) playing together happen to be in 3D chat lobbies with no real gameplay, I'd say that's kind of a flimsy pseudo-technicality to try and rely on for your argument, being that these are social constructs to allow players the ability to organize actual gameplay. It's worth noting that these areas don't actually exist in Phantasy Star Zero.
"You've already seen some of them. For example, Sega's own advertisement for PSO. The advertisement practically covers every critical aspect that makes a Massively Multiplayer Online Game what it is—and this was back in 2001, when the genre was young and only in its "second generation."
Phantasy Star Online and Universe get billed as MM Os by a number of sources other than Sega—Wikipedia, which cites this article."
Wikipedia doesn't actually classify any of the Phantasy Star games as MM Os though - you may wish to read their individual articles and their discussions for some insight. Other related pages attest to this, such as the List of MMORPGs, and the article on MMORPGs even states, correctly, that the first MMORPG to appear on a console was in fact Final Fantasy XI. The history page you linked was just a fragment prior to the correction that the games are not actually MMORP Gs, that had yet to be cleaned up.
For the original Sega advertisement for Phantasy Star Online, it's worth noting that it doesn't actually make any mention of the genre-defining features of MMORP Gs - it touts its accessibility to the world, online gameplay, and automatically-translated communication features, but it makes no mention of the gameplay actually being "massive" by any means. It is, of course, still limited to four people at once. Being that the "massively-multiplayer" monicker specifically pertains to the number of players capable of playing at once, that alone prevents the games from being considered as such.
Then what did you mean, if you didn't mean server population? Did you mean that a game can only be considered an MMO if a few hundred players or so can amass in the same place, no matter where? If you meant that, then that would rule out any MMO that uses instanced content, because it would be impossible to amass that many players anywhere anytime.
If you meant that a game can only be called an MMO if several hundred people can even gather in a place, then you could have to include both PSO and PSU. Those example screenshots I postee clearly demonstrate that PSU can handle such large gatherings, and from my time playing PSO, I saw similar gatherings in public lobbies.
Interesting that you act all proper and polite, feigning shock at perceived hostility, claiming that you'd "like to stay away from personal attacks" while potholing Take Thats in your next reply.
So what if you can only party up with four people at once on PSO, and six in PSU? How does this make it different from any other game listed on this article where you can only play with a limited amount of people in certain sections of the game? Even in the "classic" examples of MMOs, the amount of characters that can play together as a party are limited.
Again, you're going on and on about "pseudo-technicalities" that you deem dismissable, acting as if the Phantasy Star games are some kind of black sheep to this index, when they are not.
It seems it was a mistake to even mention Wikipedia, because I noticed you immediately went to that article and removed any reference to Phantasy Star Online. This behavior, combined with your repeatedly labeling your personal views as "correct" tells me that you're not only a Wikipedia Updater but an Orwellian Editor to boot; I would point out that some of the articles you linked to do mention that PSO is an MMORPG, but you're probably going to remove any reference on those as well.
On the other hand, The Phantasy Star games are not the only games not listed as MMOs by Wikipedians on their specific articles, but are listed as MMOs by TV Tropes. There are certain other games that have online mechanics similar to the Phantasy Star games (or are dual single/multiplayer games as well), and yet are billed as MMOs by the categorization at the end of their articles. I'm not prepared to go try and visit every single article to see where and how Wikipedians and tropers disagree or agree on what games qualify as Massively Multiplayer, but I think I've made my point clear enough.
Though seeing what you've done already, I'm half-expecting you to go "clean up" those articles as well, just to "prove" yourself "correct."
Only by your personal definition. As I mentioned, a persistent world is one of the features commonly viewed as a criterion in order for a game to be considered an MMORPG. While we're linking Wikipedia articles to each other, I might as well link this.
Let's see. Character progression? Yep, that happens in PSO, PSU, and Zero. Social interaction? Definitely there in all three, though PSU exhibits it the most—and this involves one of the things you dismissed as a "pseudo-technicality." Culture? The Phantasy Star games line up fairly well with that. System architecture? That's pretty much how all the Phantasy Star games work. In fact, it's precisely what the PSO advertisement was hyping so much, aside from its persistence.
I'm going to say it again—your attempting to remove a few games from this index and label them as something they are not, when they clearly belong on this article as much as many of the other titles which don't fit your personal definition, is not cool.
So, let's review what I'm trying to say to you.
Also, the games fit the most literal definition of a Massively Multiplayer Online Game, too.
In regards to "at least one or two hundred players able to interact directly with each other at any given... generally well above the upper-limit for simultaneous player counts in games that are distinctly non-massive.", well that's also above the general upper limit for party size in MMORPGs, too. That's what the game's forum is for, if you ask me; the game itself is best when it only involves communication with a manageable number of people; the larger the party is, the harder it is to make sure everything goes according to plan, and the more likely it is that some Leeroy Jenkins will ruin everything. Smaller parties allow you to deal with each member on an individual basis in the heat of the moment (such as if you need to make a change of plans), which you won't have time for with large groups, and they make it less likely that you'll get in each others' way. Personally, I'd rather have smaller parties.
Direct interaction at any given time between that many people would not only require that that many people be playing at the same time, it would also likely require more processing power than some systems that host MMORPGs are able to provide. As long as the game is available to a great many players, and has some form of multiplayer (whether the ability to form parties/guilds/whatever or PvP, or anything else I can't think of), it's an MMOG, at least in my opinion. (And yes, I tend to use MMORPG and MMOG interchangeably, since most of the MMOGs I'm familiar with are MMORPGs.)
Edited to add the last sentence in the above paragraph.
Trev-MUN: He seems to have given up on forcing his personal definition on TV Tropes, but he seems to be rather adamant about doing it on Wikipedia, as seen by his contributions (more like "repeated Orwellian deletions").
Granted, that's an issue outside this wiki, but the fact that he's been editing the relevant articles to support his personal opinions in an argument off of Wikipedia (then labeling reversions as vandalism) is really lame.
... And I see now that he's done it again since the last time I was there, and he's also claiming that he's not the same person who was anonymously pushing the exact same personal views on TV Tropes. Go freaking figure.
I just might have to see if Wikipedia's admins can compare the IPs from those edits with the ones here.
Omega Metroid: If anyone's reading this, I've started sorting the games on this list by provider; so far, I've already sorted the Nexon and Kru Interactive ones. I'm not sure how to sort the stand-alone games like City Of Heroes or the Final Fantasy ones, though.
Edited to fix a link.
Okay, if a single company makes multiple store-bought or online games, we can sort them like that, too. The only problem I can think of is how to list games that happen to be the only MMORPG released by their company.
If anyone disagrees with me organising them like this, feel free to change it back to how it used to be organised. I'm just trying to help make it easier to find specific games on the list.
Edited to add the second sentence.
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