Multiplayer Online Role-
RMMORPG Plan Page 1
A combine Project with mobileTv
RMMORPG Plan Page 2
STAGE 1 – DEVELOPMENT OF RMMORPG
PLAYER VS PLAYER
CLOSE BETA TESTING
TEXT BASE BETA
MARKET SURVEY / FEEDBACK
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Revolutionize massively multiplayer online role-playing game
RMMORPG is currently the 1st prototype in this world that’s combines
MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game)
MMORTS (Massively multiplayer online real-time strategy)
MMOFPS (Massively multiplayer online first-person shooter)
MMOSG (Massively multiplayer online social game)
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Revolutionize massively multiplayer online role-playing game (RMMORPG) is a genre of
mobile + computer role-playing games in which a large number of players
interact with one another within a virtual game world.
As in all RPGs, players assume the role of a fictional character (often in a fantasy world) and take control
over many of that character's actions. RMMORPGs are distinguished from single-player or small multi-
player CRPGs by the number of players, and by the game's persistent world, hosted by the game's
publisher, which continues to exist and evolve while the player is away from the game.
Current MMORPGs are very popular throughout the world. Worldwide revenues for MMORPGs exceeded
half a billion dollars in 2005, and Western revenues exceeded US$1 billion in 2006. In 2007 and 2008 the
virtual goods buying and trading has taken an amazing increase. Next to the more traditional subscription
model, virtual goods are a second source of revenues for publishers. In 2008, Western consumer spending
on subscription MMOGs grew to $1.4 billion. The most popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft, has over 11
million paying subscribers as of 2009.
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Although modern MMORPGs sometimes differ dramatically from their antecedents, many of them share
some basic characteristics. Thus, RMMORPG will include several common themes: some form of
progression, social interaction within the game, in-game culture, system architecture, and character
customization. Characters can often be customized quite extensively, both in the technical and visual
aspects, with new choices often added over time by the developers. Many games also offer some form of
modding in order to allow for even greater flexibility of choice.
Character abilities are often very specific due to this. Depending on the particular game, the specialties
might be as basic as simply having a greater affinity in one statistic, gaining certain bonuses of in-game
resources related in-game race, job, etc.
RMMORPGs are based on traditional fantasy themes, often occurring in an in-game universe
comparable to that of Dungeons & Dragons. Some employ hybrid themes that either merge or substitute
fantasy elements with those of science fiction, sword and sorcery, or crime fiction. More obscure themes,
including Marvel comic books, the occult, and other recognizable literary genres will be used. Often these
elements are developed using similar tasks and scenarios involving quests, monsters, and loot.
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In nearly all RMMORPGs, the development of the player's character is a primary goal. Many RMMORPGs
feature a character progression system in which players earn experience points for their actions and use
those points to reach character "levels", which makes them better at whatever they do. Traditionally,
combat with monsters and completing quests for NPCs, either alone or in groups, are the primary ways to
earn experience points. The accumulation of wealth (including combat-useful items) is also a way to
progress in many titles, and again, this is traditionally best accomplished via combat. The cycle produced
by these conditions, combat leading to new items allowing for more combat with no change in game play, is
sometimes pejoratively referred to as the level treadmill, or 'grinding'. The role-playing game Progress
Quest was created as a parody of this trend.
Also, traditional in the genre is the eventual demand on players to team up with others in order to progress
at the optimal rate. This sometimes forces players to change their real-world schedules in order to "keep
up" within the game-world.
Gameplay elements strongly associated with RMMORPGs, such as statistical character development, have been
widely adapted to other video game genres. For example, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, an action game, uses
resource statistics (abbreviated as "stats") to define a wide range of attributes including stamina, weapon proficiency,
driving, lung capacity, and muscle tone, and uses numerous cut scenes and quests to advance the story. Warcraft III,
a real-time strategy game, features heroes that can complete quests, obtain new equipment, and learn new abilities
as they advance in level.
RMMORPGs are originally derived from traditional role-playing games, especially Dungeons & Dragons, and use
both the settings and game mechanics found in such games. The stories featured usually involve a group of
characters (a party) who have joined forces in order to accomplish a mission or "quest". Along the way, the
adventurers must face a great number of challenges and enemies (usually monsters inspired by fantasy, and, to a
lesser extent, science fiction and classic mythology).
Characters have a variety of attributes such as hit points. These attributes are traditionally displayed to the player on
a status screen as a numeric value, instead of a simpler abstract graphical representation, such as the bars and
meters favored by video games in general.
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Players are allowed to choose how they want to improve their character's (or party's) performance in terms of
attributes, skills, special abilities, and equipment. These improvements are given as rewards for overcoming
challenges and achieving goals. The conditions that need to be met in order to earn these rewards may vary; some
games are focused on defeating enemies, while others emphasize completion of the quests. The amount of freedom
players are given when choosing what to improve also varies by game; some allow highly detailed and specialized
customizations (known as "builds"), while others automate the process almost entirely. In many games, players are
allowed to name and create the concept of their characters, as opposed to playing the role of a pre-defined
protagonist. When creating a character from scratch, players might be able to choose their race. Players choose a
character class or profession that defines the focus of their training in different aptitudes such as weapons mastery,
social skills, spell-casting, and stealth. Some games allow characters to advance in more than one of these
professions, but this usually carries some form of disadvantage in order to maintain game balance. Some games also
allow the player to choose a "background" or "vignette" that defines the history of the character, prior to gameplay.
Three different systems of rewarding the player characters for solving the tasks in the game can be set apart: the
experience system (also known as the "level-based" system) the training system (also known as the "skill-based"
system) and the skill-point system (also known as "level-free" system)
The experience system system, by far the most common, was inherited from traditional role-playing games and
emphasizes receiving "experience points" (often abbreviated "XP") by winning battles, performing class-specific
activities, and completing quests. Once a certain amount of experience is gained, the character advances a level, at
which point he may increase his skills and abilities.
The training system is similar to the way the Basic Role-Playing system works. Finally, in the skill-point system (as
used in Vampire: Bloodlines for example) the character is rewarded with "skill points" for completing quests, which
then can be directly used to "buy" skills and/or attributes, without having to wait until the next "level up".
All character development systems have their advantages and disadvantages. The experience system allows more
flexibility and fairness in rewarding the completed tasks, but is generally unrealistic, since it is, for example,
theoretically possible to develop a character's warrior skills without ever actually using them in game. The same
applies to the skill-point system with the difference that the player is only rewarded for completing the quest, so a
non-violent diplomatic solution may be as rewarding as one involving combat or using skills like sneaking or
lockpicking. The training system does not imply any reward for the completed quests, except a material one,
assuming that the character trained his or her skills while working towards the set goals.
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There is a marked tendency for RMMORPGs to be set in a fictional high fantasy world, likely the result of cautious
investment in new genres by the computer gaming industry, although there are numerous exceptions. Whereas
traditional role-playing games have diversified, modern CRPGs seldom feature elements from space opera, post-
apocalyptic, alien or other science fiction themes. Few take place in historical or modern settings. Several notable
exceptions to this trend are Arcanum (steampunk), Bloodlines ("gothic punk"), Darklands (a blend of medieval
German history and legend), Mount & Blade (medieval Europe with no fantasy or magic), and Fallout (post-
An important characteristic of a RMMORPG is freedom of movement. Most RMMORPG s allow the player to travel
where he wants, putting few or no implemented restrictions of where the player can go, locked doors not
withstanding. This makes exploration an important element to all RMMORPGs.
Characters in RMMORPGs often travel long distances or navigate through complex and maze-like locations in order
to accomplish their goals; thus, many use a system of maps to help the player navigate through the game's
overworld and various areas accessible therein.
Since Akalabeth, these games feature characters moving on one or more maps. When the player-character in that
game entered a dungeon or city, the view was often changed from a map view to a player view. This representation
was also used by many console RPGs including the first nine Final Fantasy titles. But since Bard's Tale II, many
CRPGS now feature a player view also in travels showing fully developed and complex landscapes, and only show
the map to help the player. Ultima 6 and Ultima 7, on the other hand, used a "map" view (with a narrow field of vision)
even in the dungeons. This system was also used in many console RPGs, such as the first seven Dragon Quest
Some games feature maps that must be viewed on their own separate screen, while others feature an automap that
is always visible during normal gameplay. These maps commonly keep track of a character's current location and
important destinations. Although these maps generally make navigation easier for the player, some games limit the
visibility of the map intentionally to provide additional challenge or more realism.
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RMMORPG more so than any other genre, are famous for having long and involved quests. In particular, many of the
most famous such as Fallout contain multiple quest solutions and nonlinear gameplay through branching plots and
often multiple endings. Different character builds may approach quests differently, using diplomacy, violence,
subterfuge, bribery, or a variety of other methods, often driven by character as opposed to player skill. Many quests
in RMMORPG are optional, allowing for freedom of choice in defining a character's goals and intentions. Such quests
often affect the player's standing with a particular faction which may help or hinder the player. Thus the player's
choices can have profound consequences later in the game.
Almost every RMMORPG features combat as one of the main challenges to the player. A good portion of these
games is spent avoiding, preparing for, or carrying out fights. Combat is usually carried out in either turn-based or
In a classical turn-based system, only one character may act at a time; all other characters remain still, with a few
exceptions that may involve the use of special abilities. The order in which the characters act is usually dependent on
their attributes, such as speed or agility. This system rewards strategic planning more than quickness. It also points
to the fact that realism in games is a means to the end of immersion in the game world, not an end in itself. A turn-
based system makes it possible, for example, to run within range of an opponent and kill him before he gets a
chance to act, or duck out from behind hard cover, fire, and retreat back without an opponent being able to fire, which
are of course both impossibilities. However, tactical possibilities have been created by this unreality that did not exist
before; the player determines whether the loss of immersion in the reality of the game is worth the satisfaction gained
from the development of the tactic and its successful execution. Fallout has been praised as being "the shining
example of a good turn-based Combat System.
In real-time mode, there are no turn restrictions and characters may act at any time. Action tends to be more frenetic
though sometimes difficult to control.
A variant of this mode called "real-time with pause" allows the player to pause the game and issue orders to all
characters under his/her control; when the game is unpaused, all characters follow the orders they were given. This
system, abbreviated as RTwP, has been particularly popular in games designed by Bioware. The most famous RTwP
engine is the Infinity Engine. A similar system can be found in the Final Fantasy series; time can be set to flow
normally, or flow up until the start of the Player Characters' next available actions, or paused. When set to normal, it
is identical to live action, with emphasis on quick decisions. Set to wait, it effectively has an autopause, and
strategies can be contemplated. Other names for "real-time with pause" include "active pause", "semi real-time" and
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There is a further subdivision by the structure of the battle system; in many early games, such as Wizardry, monsters
and the party are arrayed into ranks, and can only attack enemies in the front rank with melee weapons. Other
games, such as most of the Ultima series, employed duplicates of the miniatures combat system traditionally used in
pen-and-paper games. Here, icons representing the players and monsters would move around an arena modeled
after the surrounding terrain, attacking any enemies that are sufficiently near.
RMMORPGs almost always allow players to communicate with one another. Depending on the other
interactions allowed by the game, other social expectations will be present.
RMMORPG exploit players' social skills and offer support for in-game guilds or clans (though these will
usually form whether the game supports them or not). As a result, many players will find themselves as
either a member or a leader of such a group after playing an RMMORPG for some time. These
organizations will likely have further expectations for their members (such as intra-guild assistance).
Even if players never join a formal group, they are still usually expected to be a part of a small team during
game play, and will probably be expected to carry out a specialized role (such as healing). In combat-based
RMMORPGs, usual roles include the "tank", a character who absorbs enemy blows and protects other
members of the team, the "healer", a character responsible for keeping up the health of the party, the "DPS
(Damage Per Second)," a character specializing in inflicting damage, and sometimes the "CC (Crowd
Control)," a character who temporarily controls the opponent, such as the "NPC" (Non-Player Character),
and making the opponent lose its control of actions and abilities. Other common roles include being a
dedicated "buffer" or "debuffer", using abilities that affect the team or the opponents in other ways. Any
given RMMORPG might allow players to take on all of these roles, additional hybrid roles, or none of them.
Despite the variability, some players might enjoy one role over others and continue to play it through many
different RMMORPG titles.
RMMORPG expect players to roleplay their characters – that is, to speak and act in the way their character
would act, even if it means shying away from other goals such as wealth or experience. However, as this
behavior is far from being the norm, RMMORPG players never actually play the roles of their characters.
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Still, RMMORPGs may offer "RP-only" servers for those who wish to immerse themselves in the game in
RMMORPG's have Game Moderators or Game Masters (frequently abbreviated to GM), which may be
paid employees or unpaid volunteers who attempt to supervise the world. Some GMs may have
additional access to features and information related to the game that is not available to other players and
Since RMMORPGs have so many elements in common, and those elements are experienced by so many
people, a common culture of RMMORPGs has developed which exists in addition to the culture present
within any given game. For example, since RMMORPGs often feature many different character "classes",
the games must be balanced in order to be fair to all players, and this has led players of many games to
expect "buffing" or "nerving", which is a term describing the strengthening or weakening of a subset of
As another example, in many older MMORPGs the fastest way to progress was simply by killing the same
monsters over and over again, and as this is still common in the genre all MMORPG players know the
process as "grinding", or "camping" (sitting at a monster's spawn point in order to attack it as soon as it
respawns). The importance of grinding in MMORPGs, and how much "fun" it contributes to the experience,
is constantly debated. RMMORPGs have taken steps to eliminate or reduce grinding, but few such
attempts have met with success, and it is generally accepted by players and developers alike that some
amount of 'grind' is required to maintain a stable playing experience.
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RMMORPGs are deployed using a client-server system architecture. The software that generates and
persists the "world" runs continuously on a server, and players connect to it via client software. The
client software may provide access to the entire playing world, or further 'expansions' may be required to be
purchased to allow access to certain areas of the game. EverQuest and World of Warcraft are two
examples of games that use such a format. Players generally must purchase the client software for a one-
time fee, although an increasing trend is for MMORPGs to work using pre-existing "thin" clients, such as a
By nature, "massively multiplayer" games are always online, and most require some sort of continuous
revenue (such as monthly subscriptions and advertisements) for maintenance and development. Some
games, such as Guild Wars, have disposed of the 'monthly fee' model entirely, and recover costs directly
through sales of the software and associated expansion packs.
Depending on the number of players and the system architecture, RMMORPG might actually be run on
multiple separate servers, each representing an independent world, where players from one server cannot
interact with those from another; World of Warcraft is a prominent example, with each separate server
housing several thousand players. In many MMORPGs the number of players in one world is often limited
to around a few thousand, but a notable example of the opposite is EVE Online which accommodated
around 20,000 players in the same world as of August 2007 and 51,675 users online in February
2009.Some games allow characters to appear on any world, but not simultaneously (such as Seal Online:
Evolution), others limit each character to the world in which it was created.
Since the interactions between RMMORPG players are real, even if the environments are virtual,
psychologists and sociologists are able to use RMMORPGs as tools for academic research. Sherry Turkle,
a clinical psychologist, has conducted interviews with computer users including game-players. Turkle found
that many people have expanded their emotional range by exploring the many different roles (including
gender identities) that MMORPGs allow a person to explore.
Richard Bartle classified multiplayer RPG-players into four primary psychological groups. His classifications
were then expanded upon by Erwin Andreasen, who developed the concept into the thirty-question Bartle
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Test that helps players determine which category they are associated with. With over 200,000 test
responses as of 2006, this is perhaps the largest ongoing survey of multiplayer game players.
In World of Warcraft, a temporary design glitch attracted the attention of psychologists and epidemiologists
across North America, when the "Corrupted Blood" disease of a monster began to spread unintentionally—
and uncontrollably—into the wider game world. The Center for Disease Control used the incident as a
research model to chart both the progression of a disease, and the potential human response to large-scale
Many RMMORPGs feature living economies. Virtual items and currency have to be gained through play
and have definite value for players. Such a virtual economy can be analyzed (using data logged by the
game) and has value in economic research; more significantly, these "virtual" economies can have an
impact on the economies of the real world.
One of the early researchers of MMORPGs was Edward Castronova, who demonstrated that a supply-and-
demand market exists for virtual items and that it crosses over with the real world. This crossover has some
requirements of the game:
• The ability for players to sell an item to each other for in-game (virtual) currency.
• Bartering for items between players for items of similar value.
• The purchase of in-game items for real-world currency.
• Exchanges of real-world currencies for virtual currencies.
• The creation of meta-currencies such as DKP, or Dragon kill points, to distribute in-game rewards.
The idea of attaching real-world value to "virtual" items has had a profound effect on players and the game
industry, and even the courts. Castronova's first study in 2002 found that a highly liquid (if illegal) currency
market existed, with the value of Everquest's in-game currency exceeding that of the Japanese yen. Some
people even make a living by working these virtual economies; these people are often referred to as gold
farmers, and may be employed in game sweatshops.
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Some of the issues confronting online economies include:
• The use of "bots" or automated programs that assist some players in accumulating in-game wealth
to the disadvantage of other players.
• The use of unsanctioned auction sites, which has led publishers to seek legal remedies to prevent
their use based on intellectual-property claims.
• The emergence of virtual crime, which can take the form of both fraud against the player or
publisher of an online game, and even real-life acts of violence stemming from in-game transactions.
Linking real-world and virtual economies is rare in MMORPGs, as it is generally believed to be
detrimental to gameplay. If real-world wealth can be used to obtain greater, more immediate rewards than
skillful gameplay, the incentive for strategic roleplay and real game involvement is diminished. It could also
easily lead to a skewed hierarchy where richer players gain better items, allowing them to take on stronger
opponents and level up more quickly than less wealthy but more committed players.
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The cost of developing a competitive commercial RMMORPG title often exceeds RM20 M. These projects
require multiple disciplines within game design and development such as 2D modeling, 2D art,
animation, user interfaces, client/server engineering, database architecture, and network
The front-end (or client) component of a commercial, modern RMMORPG features 2D graphics. As with
other modern 2D games, the front-end requires expertise with implementing 2D engines, real-time shader
techniques and physics simulation. The actual visual content (areas, creatures, characters, weapons,
spaceships and so forth) is developed by artists who typically begin with two-dimensional concept art, and
later convert these concepts into animated 2D scenes, models and texture maps.
Developing an RMMORPG server requires expertise with client/server architecture, network
protocols, security, and relational database design. RMMORPGs include reliable systems for a number
of vital tasks. The server must be able to handle and verify a large number of connections, prevent
cheating, and apply changes (bug fixes or added content) to the game. A system for recording the game's
data at regular intervals, without stopping the game, is also important.
Maintenance requires sufficient servers and bandwidth, and a dedicated support staff. Insufficient
resources for maintenance lead to lag and frustration for the players, and can severely damage the
reputation of a game, especially at launch. Care must also be taken to ensure that player population
remains at an acceptable level by adding or removing servers ("shards"). Peer-to-peer RMMORPGs could
theoretically work cheaply and efficiently in regulating server load, but practical issues such as
asymmetrical network bandwidth and CPU-hungry rendering engines make them a difficult proposition.
Additionally, they would probably become vulnerable to other problems including new possibilities for
cheating. The hosted infrastructure for a commercial-grade RMMORPG requires the deployment of
hundreds (or even thousands) of servers. Developing an affordable infrastructure for an online game
requires developers to scale to large numbers of players with less hardware and network investment.
In addition, the development team will need to have expertise with the fundamentals of game design: world-
building, lore and game mechanics, as well as what makes games fun.
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Secondary Development- Non-corporate development of MMORPG
Though the vast majority of MMORPGs are produced by companies, many small teams of programmers
and artists have attempted to contribute to the genre. As shown above, the average MMORPG
development project requires enormous investments of time and money, and running the game can be a
long-term commitment. As a result, non-corporate (or independent, or "indie") development of MMORPGs
is less common compared with other genres. Still, many independent MMORPGs do exist, representing a
wide spectrum of genres, gameplay types, and revenue systems.
Some independent MMORPG projects are completely open source, while others like PlaneShift feature
proprietary content made with an open-source game engine. The developers of Endless Online have also
released development information with details about their coding.
The WorldForge project has been active since 1998 and formed a community of independent developers
who are working on creating framework for a number of open-source MMORPGs. The Multiverse Network
is also creating a network and platform specifically for independent MMOG developers.
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Trends as of 2009 (RMMORPGs vs. MMORPGs)
As there are a number of wildly different titles within the genre, and since the genre develops so rapidly, it
is difficult to definitively state that the genre is heading in one direction or another. Still, there are a few
obvious developments. One of these developments is the raid group quest, or "raid", which is an adventure
designed for large groups of players (often twenty or more).
Another is the use of instance dungeons. These are game areas that are "copied" for individual groups,
which keeps that group separated from the rest of the game world. This reduces competition, and also has
the effect of reducing the amount of data that needs to be sent to and from the server, which reduces lag.
Final Fantasy XI pioneered instanced dungeons with the BCNM and KSNM system (Burning Circle or
Kindred Seal, Notorious Monster) for smaller groups (4-6 people), Limbus & Dynamis for larger alliances
(6-18 people), as well as Instanced PvP in Brenner and Ballista. World of Warcraft's "raids", mentioned
above, are often instance dungeons, as are all of the combat areas in Guild Wars. Also the creators of
Ragnarok Online introduced an instanced dungeon called "Endless Tower". This is, however, the only
instanced dungeon in the game. Dungeon Runners is, like Guild Wars, instanced, excluding Player vs
Although these games are multiplayer, and intended to be played in groups for the best experience, most
now provide solo content, or adventures a player character can do on their own. It can be difficult to find a
group to adventure with, and this allows people to play the game without waiting around in safe areas like
cities for a long period of time. This change turned out to be popular, and some of the older MMORPGs
such as Dungeons & Dragons Online were retrofitted to make solo play easier. Adding to the popularity is a
side effect: some people prefer to solo. To encourage players to continue grouping, many games reward
grouping by giving grouped players bonuses such as more experience points than they would otherwise get
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Increased amounts of "Player-created content" may be another trend. From the beginning, the Ultima
Online world included blank 30-page books that players could write in, collect into personal libraries and
trade; in later years players have been able to design and build houses from the ground up. Some non-
combat-based MMORPGs rely heavily on player-created content, including everything from simple
animations to complete buildings using player-created textures and architecture like A Tale in the Desert.
However, these games are very different from the far more popular "standard" MMORPGs revolving around
combat and limited character trade skills. Player-created content in these games would be in the form of
areas to explore, monsters to kill, quests to carry out and specific in-game items to obtain. The Saga of
Ryzom was the first of these "standard" MMORPGs to offer players the ability to create this type of content.
Use of licenses
The use of licenses, common in other video game genres, has also appeared in MMORPGs. 2007 saw the
release of The Lord of the Rings Online, based on J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. Other licensed
MMORPGs include The Matrix Online, based on the Matrix trilogy of films, Warhammer Online, based on
Games Workshop's table top game, Star Trek Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Champions Online and Age of
Conan. Additionally, several licenses from television have been optioned for MMORPGs, for example
Stargate Worlds, which is currently in development. The process is also apparently being applied in
reverse, with James Cameron designing an MMORPG that will precede the film (Project 880) to which it is
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An RMMOPRG is a game played over some forms of network- mobile + computer. At the
present, this almost always means the Internet or equivalent technology; but games have always used
whatever technology was current: modems before the internet, and hard wired terminals before modems.
The expansion of online gaming has reflected the overall expansion of computer networks from small local
networks to the Internet and the growth of Internet access itself. Online games can range from simple text
based games to games incorporating complex graphics and virtual worlds populated by many players
simultaneously. Many online games have associated online communities, making online games a form of
social activity beyond single player games.
The rising popularity of Flash and Java led to an Internet revolution where websites could utilize streaming
video, audio, and a whole new set of user interactivity. When Microsoft began packaging Flash as a pre-
installed component of IE, the Internet began to shift from a data/information spectrum to also offer on-
demand entertainment. This revolution paved the way for sites to offer games to web surfers. Most online
games like World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XI and Lineage II charge a monthly fee to subscribe to their
services, while games such as Guild Wars offer an alternative no monthly fee scheme. Many other sites
relied on advertising revenues from on-site sponsors, while others, like RuneScape, the games made by
Artix Entertainment and Mabinogi, let people play for free while leaving the players the option of paying,
unlocking new content for the members.
After the dot-com bubble burst in 2001, many sites solely relying on advertising revenue dollars faced
extreme adversity. Despite the decreasing profitability of online gaming websites, some sites have survived
the fluctuating ad market by offsetting the advertising revenue loss by using the content as a cross-
promotion tool for driving web visitors to other websites that the company owns.
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"Online gaming is a technology rather than a genre; a mechanism for connecting players together rather
than a particular pattern of gameplay." Online games are played over some form of computer network, now
typically on the Internet. One advantage of RMMORPG is the ability to connect to multiplayer games,
although single-player online games are quite common as well.
First-person shooter games
During the 1990s, online games started to move from a wide variety of LAN protocols (such as IPX) and
onto the Internet using the TCP/IP protocol. Doom popularized the concept of deathmatch, where multiple
players battle each other head-to-head, as a new form of online game. Since Doom, many first-person
shooter games contain online components to allow deathmatch or arena style play.
Real-time strategy games
Early real-time strategy games often allowed multiplayer play over a modem or local network. As the
Internet started to grow during the 1990s, software was developed that would allow players to tunnel the
LAN protocols used by the games over the Internet. By the late 1990s, most RTS games had native
Internet support, allowing players from all over the globe to play with each other. Services were created to
allow players to be automatically matched against another player wishing to play or lobbies were formed
where people could meet in so called game rooms. An example was the MSN Gaming Zone where online
game communities were formed by active players for games, such as Age of Empires and Microsoft Ants.
Cross-platform online play
As consoles are becoming more like computers, online gameplay is expanding. The first online game
console was the Super Famicom, which offered an online service with the Satellaview. This service was
however offered only in Japan. Once online games started crowding the market, open source networks,
such as the PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube took advantage of online
functionality with its PC game counterpart. Games such as Phantasy Star Online have private servers that
function on multiple consoles. Dreamcast, PC, Macintosh and GameCube players are able to share one
server. Earlier games, like 4x4 Evolution, Quake III and Need for Speed: Underground also have a similar
function with consoles able to interact with PC users using the same server. Usually, a company like
Electronic Arts or Sega runs the servers until it becomes inactive, in which private servers with their own
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DNS number can function. This form of open source networking has a small advantage over the new
generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles which customize their servers to the consumer.
As the World Wide Web developed and browsers became more sophisticated, people started creating
browser games that used a web browser as a client. Simple single player games were made that could be
PHP and MySQL). More complicated games such as Legend of Empires would contact a web server to
allow a multiplayer gaming environment.
The development of web-based graphics technologies such as Flash and Java allowed browser games to
become more complex. These games, also known by their related technology as "Flash games" or "Java
games", became increasingly popular. Many games originally released in the 1980s, such as Pac-Man and
Frogger, were recreated as games played using the Flash plugin on a webpage. Most browser games have
limited multiplayer play, often being single player games with a high score list shared amongst all players.
Browser-based pet games are also very popular amongst the younger generation of online gamers. These
games range from gigantic games with millions of users, such as Neopets, to smaller and more community-
based pet games.
More recent browser-based games use web technologies like Ajax to make more complicated multiplayer
Massively multiplayer online games (MMOG)
Massively multiplayer online games were made possible with the growth of broadband Internet access in
many developed countries, using the Internet to allow hundreds of thousands of players to play the same
game together. Many different styles of massively multiplayer games are available, such as:
• MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game)
• MMORTS (Massively multiplayer online real-time strategy)
• MMOFPS (Massively multiplayer online first-person shooter)
• MMOSG (Massively multiplayer online social game)
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Online game governance
With growing numbers of players, it becomes more difficult to maintain social order in online games due to
the large amounts of information and freedom that are given to the players. Even though there are many
online rules that are already established, wherever there are people, there are conflicts.
More specifically, the advancement of technology allows online games to imitate the complex ecological,
sociological, economical, and political dynamics of real life societies. Unpredictable societal dynamics such
as hygiene, safety, and pollution require the society to form some type of organized regulation. Andrew
Barry wrote, "Regulation is often intended to protect and enhance the health and security of firms, cities
and individuals." Like societies in real life, online games can warrant societal complexities and need some
type of organized governance.
Popular online games are commonly bound by an End User License Agreement (EULA), which establishes
a limited yet definitive social order deemed necessary by the creators of the game. The consequences of
breaking the agreement vary according to the contract; however range significantly from warnings to
termination, such as in the 3D immersive world Second Life where a breach of contract will append the
player warnings, suspension and termination depending on the offense. Enforcing the EULA is difficult, due
to high economic costs of human intervention and low returns back to the firm. Only in large scale games is
it profitable for the firm to enforce its EULA.
Edward Castronova writes that "there are issues of ownership and governance that wrinkle the affairs of
state significantly". He has divided the online governance into "good governance" and "strange
governance". Whereas people actually want to have governance but strangely, democracy still cannot be
found in synthetic world. Castronova also mentions that synthetic worlds are good ways to test for
government and management.
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Multiplayer online game
A Multiplayer Online Game is a multiplayer video game which can be played via a game server over the
internet, with other players around the world. Some prominent examples of this are Battlefield 2, Counter-
Strike, Quake 3 , Warcraft 3, Starcraft, and Call of Duty 2.
These games differ from MMORPGs in that they do not create a persistent world, but create a playing
arena for the purpose of a single game or round. In other words, they rely on a game server used only for
that round, and there can be numerous servers all around the world. MMORPGs on the other hand, rely on
dedicated servers, as these games must be running continuously.
Server structure and gameplay
The existence of a wide variety and number of servers has made possible several variations on gameplay.
For example, in Battlefield 2, various servers have their own names, websites and gaming groups known
as "clans." Often a list of rules will display when a player first logs on.
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Massively multiplayer online game
A massively multiplayer online game (also called MMOG or simply MMO) is a video game which is capable
of supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously. By necessity, they are played on the
Internet, and feature at least one persistent world. They are, however, not necessarily games played on
personal computers. Most of the newer game consoles, including the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3,
Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and Wii can access the Internet and may therefore run MMO games.
MMOGs can enable players to cooperate and compete with each other on a large scale, and sometimes to
interact meaningfully with people around the world. They include a variety of gameplay types, representing
many video game genres.
MMOGs have only recently begun to break into the mobile phone market. The first, Samurai
Romanesque set in feudal Japan, was released in 2001 on NTT DoCoMo's iMode network in Japan.
More recent developments are CipSoft's TibiaME and Biting Bit's MicroMonster which features
online and Bluetooth multiplayer gaming. SmartCell Technology is in development of Shadow of
Legend, which will allow gamers to continue their game on their mobile device when away from
Science fiction also referred to sci-fi, has also been a popular theme, featuring games such as Anarchy
Online, Eve Online, Star Wars Galaxies and The Matrix Online.
MMOGs emerged from the hard-core gamer community to the mainstream strongly in December 2003 with
an analysis in the Financial Times measuring the value of the virtual property in the then-largest MMOG,
Everquest, to result in a per-capita GDP of 2,266 dollars which would have placed the virtual world of
Everquest as the 77th wealthiest nation, on par with Croatia, Ecuador, Tunisia or Vietnam.
World of Warcraft is currently the dominant MMOG in the world with more than 60% of the subscribing
player base, and with 11-12 million monthly subscribers worldwide, is the most popular Western title among
MMOGs. In 2008, Western consumer spending on World of Warcraft represented a 58% share of the
Western subscription MMOG market. The title has generated over $2.2 billion in cumulative Western
consumer spending on subscriptions since 2005.
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Within a majority of the MMOs created, there is virtual currency where the player can earn and accumulate
money. The uses for such virtual currency are numerous and vary from game to game. The virtual
economies created within MMOs often blur the lines between real and virtual worlds. The result is often
seen as an unwanted interaction between the real and virtual economies by the players and the provider of
the virtual world. This practice (economy interaction) is mostly seen in this genre of games. The two seem
to come hand in hand with even the earliest MMOGs such as Ultima Online having this kind of trade, real
money for virtual things.
The importance of having a working virtual economy within an MMOG is increasing as they develop. A sign
of this is CCP Games hiring the first real-life economist for its MMOG Eve Online to assist and analyze the
virtual economy and production within this game.
The results of this interaction between the virtual economy, and our real economy, which is really the
interaction between the company that created the game and the third-party companies that want to share in
the profits and success of the game. This battle between companies is defended on both sides. The
company originating the game and the intellectual property argue that this is in violation of the terms and
agreements of the game as well as copyright violation since they own the rights to how the online currency
is distributed and through what channels. The case that the third-party companies and
their customers defend, is that they are selling and exchanging the time and effort put into the acquisition of
the currency, not the digital information itself. They also express that the nature of many MMOs is that they
require time commitments not available to everyone. As a result, without external acquisition of virtual
currency, some players are severely limited to being able to experience certain aspects of the game.
The practice of acquiring large volumes of virtual currency for the purpose of selling to other individuals for
tangible and real currency is called gold farming. Many players who have poured in all of their personal
effort resent that there is this exchange between real and virtual economies since it devalues their own
efforts. As a result, the term 'gold farmer' now has a very negative connotation within the games and their
communities. This slander has unfortunately also extended itself to racial profiling and to in-game and
The reaction from many of the game companies varies. In games that are substantially less popular and
have a small player base, the enforcement of the elimination of 'gold farming' appears less often.
Companies in this situation most likely are concerned with their personal sales and subscription revenue
over the development of their virtual economy, as they most likely have a higher priority to the games
viability via adequate funding. Games with an enormous player base, and consequently much higher sales
and subscription income, can take more drastic actions more often and in much larger volumes. Blizzard
Entertainment and their wildly successful World of Warcraft are not afraid to publicly announce that tens of
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thousands of accounts have been banned due to violations regarding currency selling. This account
banning could also serve as an economic gain for these large games, since it is highly likely that, due to
demand, these 'gold farming' accounts will be recreated with freshly bought copies of the game. In
December 2007, Jagex Ltd., in an successful effort to reduce real world trading levels enough so they could
continue using credit cards for descriptions, introduced highly controversial changes to its MMO
RuneScape to counter the negative effects gold sellers were having on the game on all levels.
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Comparing RMMORPGs to other games
There are a number of factors shared by most RMMORPGs that make them different from other types of
games. RMMORPGs create a persistent universe where the game continues playing regardless of whether
or not anyone else is. Since these games strongly or exclusively emphasize multiplayer gameplay, few of
them have any significant single-player aspects and the artificial intelligence on the server is primarily
designed to support group play. As a result, players cannot "finish" MMOGs in the typical sense of single-
RMMORPGs also share other characteristics that make them different from other multiplayer online games.
RMMORPGs host a large number of players in a single game world, and all of those players can interact
with each other at any given time. Popular RMMORPGs might have thousands of players online at any
given time, usually on a company owned server. Non-MMOGs, such as Battlefield 1942 or Half-Life usually
have fewer than 50 players online (per server) and are usually played on private servers. Also,
RMMORPGs usually do not have any significant mods since the game must work on company servers.
There is some debate if a high head-count is the requirement to be an MMOG. Some say that it is the size
of the game world and its capability to support a large number of players that should matter. For example,
despite technology and content constraints, most MMOGs can fit up to a few thousand players on a single
game server at a time.
To support all those players, RMMORPGs need large-scale game worlds, and servers to connect players
to those worlds. Sometimes a game features a universe which is copied onto different servers, separating
players, and this is called a "sharded" universe. Other games will feature a single universe which is divided
among servers, and requires players to switch. Still others will only use one part of the universe at any time.
For example, Tribes (which is not an MMO) comes with a number of large maps, which are played in
rotation (one at a time). In contrast, the similar title PlanetSide uses the second model, and allows all map-
like areas of the game to be reached via flying, driving, or teleporting.
RMMORPGs usually have sharded universes, as they provide the most flexible solution to the server load
problem, but not always. For example, the space sim Eve Online uses only one large cluster server
peaking at over 51,500 simultaneous players.
There are also a few more common differences between RMMORPGs and other online games. Most
MMOGs charge the player a monthly or bimonthly fee to have access to the game's servers, and therefore
to online play. Also, the game state in an MMOG rarely ever resets. This means that a level gained by a
player today will still be there tomorrow when the player logs back on. RMMORPGs also feature ingame
support for clans and guilds. The members of a clan or a guild may participate in activities with one
another, or show some symbols of membership to the clan or guild.
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It is challenging to develop the engines that are needed to run a successful MMO with millions of players.
Engines include Graphical, Physical and Network engines. Most developers have done their own, but
attempts have been made to create middleware, software that would help game developers concentrate on
their games more than technical aspects. An example of such an engine is the one from BigWorld, which
recently signed a contract with Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment to deliver the engine for their production
of Stargate Worlds.
An early, successful entry into the field was VR-1 Entertainment whose Conductor platform was adopted
and endorsed by a variety of service providers around the world including Sony Communications Network
in Japan; the Bertelsmann Game Channel in Germany; British Telecom's WirePlay in England; and
DACOM and Samsung SDS in South Korea. Games that were powered by the Conductor platform included
Fighter Wing, Air Attack, Fighter Ace, EverNight, Hasbro Em@ail Games (Clue, NASCAR and Soccer),
Towers of Fallow, The SARAC Project, VR1 Crossroads and Rumble in the Void.
One of the bigger problems with the engines has been to handle the vast amount of players playing the
games. Since a typical server can handle around 10-12000 players, 4-5000 active simultaneously, dividing
the game into shards (servers) has up till now been the solution. This approach has also helped with the
latency issues (delays, hacking etc.) that many players experience due to limitations of the internet.
Another difficulty, especially relevant to realtime simulation games, is time synchronization across hundreds
or thousands of players. Games like Fighter Ace, Aces High and Warbirds must rely on time
synchronization to drive their physics simulation as well as their scoring and damage detection.
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There are several types of massively multiplayer online games.
MMO role-playing game
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games, known as MMORPGs, are the most famous type of
MMOG. See list of MMORPGs for a list of notable MMORPGs. Some MMORPGs are designed as a
multiplayer browser game in order to reduce infrastructure costs and utilise a thin client that most users will
already have installed. The acronym BBMMORPGs has sometimes been used to describe these as
MMO first-person shooter
MMOFPS is an online gaming genre which features a persistent world and a large number of simultaneous
players in a first-person shooter fashion. These games provide large-scale, sometimes team-based
combat. The addition of persistence in the game world means that these games add elements typically
found in RPGs, such as experience points. However, MMOFPS games emphasize player
skill more than player statistics, as no number of in-game bonuses will compensate for a player's inability to
aim and strategize.
The first MMOFPS, 10SIX (now known as Project Visitor) was released in 2000. World War II Online,
released in 2001, is often quoted with the same honour, because it more closely fits the traditional FPS
mold with more features, and was more widely published. Neocron is sometimes
considered the first MMOFPS, most consider it a hybrid of MMORPG and first-person shooter, with the
later PlanetSide sometimes considered the first MMOFPS. The next MMOFPS to appear will be Global
Agenda and Huxley (video game).
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MMO real-time strategy
Massively multiplayer online real-time strategy games, also known as "MMORTS", are games that combine
real-time strategy (RTS) with a persistent world. Players often assume the role of a general, king or other
type of figurehead, leading an army into battle, while maintaining the resources needed for such warfare.
The titles are often based in a sci-fi or fantasy universe and distinguished from single or small-scale
multiplayer RTSes by the number of players and common use of a persistent world, generally hosted by the
game's publisher, which continues to evolve even when the player is not currently playing.
Unlike MMORPGs, the MMORTS genre is still in its infancy with only a few active games, with only one
having been published by a big-name company (Tom Clancy's EndWar). Vibes, a French developer,
created the first MMORTS, Mankind, in 1998. Mankind defined what the MMORTS persistent nature
means. Even when players are not online, their mines extract ores, factories create equipment, ships
continue commerce, and combat units continue to do battle.
A recent addition to the emerging MMORTS genre, Beyond Protocol, went live in late November 2008. Like
similar games of the genre Beyond Protocol was developed and published by a small independent
company, Dark Sky Entertainment. Similar to Mankind, Beyond Protocol also exists within a persistent sci-fi
MMO sports Game
A massively multiplayer online sports game is a title where players can compete in some of the more
traditional major league sports, such as Football (called soccer in some parts of the world), basketball,
baseball, hockey, golf or American football. Titles that qualify as MMOSG have been around since the early
part of the millennium but only recently have they started to receive the endorsements of some of the
official major league associations and players.
MMOR means massively multiplayer online racing. Currently there are only a small number racing based
MMOs, including Kart Rider, Ageraces, Upshift StrikeRacer, Test Drive Unlimited, Project Torque, Drift City
and the upcoming Need for Speed: World Online. The Trackmania series is the world’s largest MMOG
racing game and holds the world record for "Most Players in a Single Online Race". Although Darkwind:
War on Wheels is more combat based than racing, it is also considered an MMOR.
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MMO rhythm game
Massively multiplayer online rhythm games (MMORGs), sometimes called massively multiplayer online
dance games (MMODGs), are MMOGs that are also music video games. This idea was influenced by
Dance Dance Revolution. Audition Online is another casual massively multiplayer online game and it is
produced by T3 Entertainment.
MMO management game
MMOMGs, or massively multiplayer online management games, are considered easy to play and don't take
much time. The player logs in few times per week, sets orders for the in-game team and find how to defeat
human opponents and their strategies. One of the most popular MMOMGs is Hattrick. Other management
games require taking control of people such as The Sims Online, or the widely acclaimed music managing
game, Project Rockstar.
MMO text-based game
Massively multiplayer online text based are low-graphic games, known for their ease of play and 'pick up
and play' feel. The most popular game of this type is Cyber Nations, a free persistent browser-based nation
simulation game. Creating a nation, decide how you will rule your people by choosing a government type, a
national religion, tax rate, currency type, and more. Build your nation by purchasing infrastructure to
support your citizens, land to expand your borders, technology to increase your nation's effectiveness,
military to defend your interests, and develop national improvements and wonders. Cyber Nations has
30,000 of the most dedicated community orientated gamers on the net. Another popular online text-based
game would be www.jottonia. This game is similar to Cyber Nations except it is older.
MMO social game
Massively multiplayer online social games focus on socialization instead of objective-based gameplay.
There is a great deal of overlap in terminology with "online communities" and "virtual worlds". One example
that has garnered widespread media attention is Linden Labs' Second Life, emphasizing socializing, world-
building and an in-world virtual economy that depends on the sale and purchase of user-created content. It
is technically an MMOSG by definition, though its stated goal was to realize the concept of the Metaverse
from Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash. Instead of being based around combat, one could say that it
was based around the creation of virtual objects, including models and scripts. In practice, it has more in
common with Club Caribe than Everquest. It was the first game of its kind to achieve widespread success
(including attention from mainstream media); however, it was not the first (as Club Caribe was released in
1988). Competitors in this relatively new sub-genre (non-combat-based MMORPG) include There, Dotsoul,
and Furcadia. The PlayStation Home, when released, would also be a MMOSG of sorts."IMVU
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World War II Online simulation game showing the high level of realism and numbers of players during a
special event in June 2008. Some 400 people had spawned in for this gathering in this location in the
Some MMOGs have been designed to accurately simulate certain aspects of the real world. They tend to
be very specific to industries or activities of very large risk and huge potential loss, such as rocket science,
airplanes, battle tanks, submarines etc. Gradually as simulation technology is getting more mainstream, so
too various simulators arrive into more mundane industries.
The initial goal of World War II Online was to create a map (in north western Europe) that had real world
physics (gravity, air/water resistance, etc), and ability for players to have some strategic abilities to its basic
FPS/RPG role. While the current version is not quite a true simulated world (lacking details such as
weather), it is very complex and contains the largest persistent world of any online game.
The MMOG genre of air traffic simulation is one example, with networks such as VATSIM and IVAO striving
to provide rigorously authentic flight-simulation environments to players in both pilot and air traffic controller
roles. In this category of MMOGs, the objective is to create duplicates of the real world for people who
cannot or do not wish to undertake those experiences in real life. For example, flight simulation via an
MMOG requires far less expenditure of time and money, is completely risk-free, and is far less restrictive
(fewer regulations to adhere to, no medical exams to pass, and so on).
Another specialist area is mobile telecoms operator (carrier) business where billion-dollar investments in
networks are needed but marketshares are won and lost on issues from segmentation to handset
subsidies. A specialist simulation was developed by Nokia called Equilibrium/Arbitrage to have over a two
day period five teams of top management of one operator/carrier play a "wargame" against each other,
under extremely realistic conditions, with one operator an incumbent fixed and mobile network operator,
another a new entrant mobile operator, a third a fixed-line/internet operator etc. Each team is measured by
outperforming their rivals by market expectations of that type of player. Thus each player has drastically
different goals, but within the simulation, any one team can win. Also to ensure maximum intensity, only
one team can win. Telecoms senior executives who have taken the Equilibrium/Arbitrage simulation say it
is the most intense, and most useful training they have ever experienced. It is typical of business use of
simulators, in very senior management training/retraining.
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In April 2004, the United States Army announced that it is developing a massively multiplayer training
simulation called AWE (asymmetric warfare environment) that was expected to begin operation among
soldiers by June. The purpose of AWE is to train soldiers for urban warfare and there are no plans for a
public commercial release. Forterra Systems Inc. is developing it for the Army based on the There engine.
Alternate reality games (ARGs) can be massively multiplayer, allowing thousands of players worldwide to
co-operate in puzzle trails and mystery solving. ARGs take place in a unique mixture of online and real-
world play that usually does not involve a persistent world, and are not necessarily multiplayer, making
them different from MMOGs.
Considered by some to be an MMORPG, Castle Infinity was the first MMOG developed for children. Its
gameplay, however, is somewhere between puzzle and adventure, making it more like a massively
multiplayer platformer than an MMORPG.
"Quick fix" MMOGs, such as Racing Frogs are MMOGs that can be played with only a small amount of time
MMOPGs, or Massively Multiplayer Puzzle Games, are games based entirely on puzzle elements. It is
usually set in a world where the players can access the puzzles around the world. Most games that are
MMOPGs are hybrids with other genres.
There are also Massively Multiplayer Collectible Card Games: Magic: The Gathering Online, Astral Masters
and Astral Tournament. Other MMOCCGs might exist (Neopets has some CCG elements) but are not as
Some recent attempts to build peer-to-peer (P2P) MMOGs have been made. Outback Online may be the
first commercial one, however, so far most of the efforts have been academic studies. A P2P MMOG
may potentially be more scalable and cheaper to build, but notable issues with P2P MMOGs include
security and consistency control, which can be difficult to address given that clients are easily hacked.
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Server emulator is a term that is used to refer to an internet server that mimics the behavior of another
server that is usually more well known. This is implemented through cloning or reverse engineering of the
original server. Other synonyms include server reimplementation, server engine recreation, or server-side
The term is widely used to describe reimplementation of MMORPG game servers, typically unauthorized
clones of proprietary commercial software by a third party. Technically, a server emulator does not emulate
by the traditional definition, which would permit software from one hardware platform to run on a different
one; it is more similar to a terminal emulator.
With the rising popularity of commercial MMORPG games, came the desire from ardent players of these
games to run their own servers beside the ones run by the game's creator(s). Since the original server
software is not usually available, the behavior of the server has to be re-engineered. This can be done by
analyzing the data stream with the original server, or by disassembling and analyzing the game client which
Ultima Online was one of the first large MMORPGs. Due to its openness in implementation, server
emulators arose very quickly, even during the beta stage of development. The destination to which the
client connects was changeable by simply editing a text file. In beta stage the client-server data stream was
not encrypted yet. The term server emulator became known through Ultima Online server reimplementation
such as UOX, which was the pioneer. Many forks and reimplementations followed UOX, because its source
code was released under the GNU General Public License relatively early. RunUO is today the most widely
used UO-server emulator.
Game companies usually try to hinder emulator development by encrypting the data stream. However,
since the client needs to understand the data, the "attacker" is always equipped with a deciphering
machine. Therefore, the original game designer can only add layers of strenuousness to decipher and
understand the data stream, he cannot hinder it with cryptographic tools.
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The legality or illegality of server emulators is a recurrent argument. There are several branches that are of
• Reverse engineering
• End User License Agreement (EULA)
• Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
Piracy: The most common situation for illegality of server emulation. Some commercial MMORPGs charge
the player on a subscription basis, preferably monthly. The majority of emulated servers allow clients to
connect and avoid paying subscription fees. In some other cases, there is usually a one-off payment for a
licence to use the software. Its game client can be downloaded when not normally available for free, thus
also causing loss of revenue for the companies who own their games in a similar motive to traditional
software piracy. Servers emulating commercial MMOPRGs almost always constitute an infringement of
software piracy laws, in accordance to intellectual property rights. Even though this may not apply to some
games, other issues may take effect.
Copyright and Reverse engineering: Another issue is a possible infringement of the game creators
copyright. As the case of Lotus v. Borland demonstrates, recreating "methods of operation" is not a
copyright infringement. Thus, emulating copyrighted material is not a breach. However, this demands that
the complete emulator is a work of its own. Sometimes the original server software leaks out of the
company that created the game, for example AEGIS (Ragnarok Online). Use or distribution of this is
definitely a copyright infringement. Modified versions of such original server software are not considered to
be server emulators. There are cases where a game creator effectively shut down popular private game
servers by threatening lawsuits due to obvious copyright violations such as offering the client for download,
or offering downloads of modified files from the original game package.
End User License Agreement and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Another legal issue is the EULA.
Today most commercial MMORPGs require the user to sign a clause not to create or use server emulators
when installing the client they bought.
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Commonly mistaken as server emulators
• Original server software that is stolen, like AEGIS is not a server emulator.
• Reimplementations of standardized protocols or server behavior is not considered to be emulation.
• The program VMware Server is sometimes mistakenly called a "server emulator".
List of popular MMORPG's with a server emulator
• Anarchy Online
• Asheron's Call
• Conquer Online
• Dark Age of Camelot
• Diablo II
• Lineage II
• Ragnarok Online
• Ultima Online
• World of Warcraft
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Top Rated MMORPG
1) World of Warcraft - Game Lair
The best MMORPG yet because WoW mixes the right amount of depth and simplicity better
than any other game in the history of the genre.
2) Lord of the Rings Online
One of the most popular MMORPGs that appeals to casual gamers. Plenty of solo content
adds to the game's already tremendous mainstream appeal.
3) Eve Online
The best sci-fi MMORPG with player-run corporations and a thriving economy.
4) Final Fantasy XI - Game Lair
The second best fantasy MMORPG after WoW with a quality story, great game play, and
large subscriber numbers.
5) Warhammer Online
Combines what World of Warcraft got right with PvP that actually feels part of the game
world. Warhammer Online could end up being the best MMO for PvP on this list for years to
6) City of Heroes/City of Villains - Game Lair
Combined, City of Heroes and City of Villains are easily the second best MMORPG for casual
gamers. With the addition of the well-balanced villain types and the use of bases, City of
Villains completes the potential that fans have been craving for ever since City of Heroes
launched. To top it off, hardcore gamers now also have a reason to like CoH/CoV with its
7) Age of Conan
Mature-themed MMO with brutal combat and large-scale warfare. Also has a single-player
mode in the first phase of game where each player can wreak havoc at night alone. Has lost
a lot of the steam that it once had due to primarily to changes in PVP and lack of solid PvE
after level 20.
8) Dark Age of Camelot
Has usually been one the best major MMORPG for PvP combat due to its 3 realm system.
Also, DAOC has remained one of the steadiest MMORPGs over the years in terms of quality.
However, the game is starting to show its age and other MMOs have incorporated similar or
better PvP systems.
9) The Chronicles of Spellborn
Very innovative game. TCoS features FPS-like combat, story-line driven quests including
Ancestral Quests, clothes just for show, and minimal grinding.
10) Pirates of the Burning Sea
Deep game where the actions of players really matter in many areas of the game such as
the economy, storylines, and PvP.
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Comparison of massively multiplayer online role-playing games
Client Monthly fee
Client sale Real money for Release Last
Name Creator Genre purchase Lowest possible -
method game advantages? date(s) update
price largest possible
Retail sale Free w/limited access Yes, Paid points
Funcom or Free / US$14.95/month full allow social items 2001-06-07 Unknown
Download access and special vechiles
Asheron's Call Turbine Fantasy Download US$19.95 US$12.95 per month. No official scheme 1999-10-31 Unknown
City of Heroes Superhero Retail sale US$19.99
and City of Cryptic Studios comic book or (for No official scheme 2004-04-28 Unknown
months) - $14.99
Villains genre Download download)
Yes, codes can be
traded for a
Conquer premium currency to
TQ Digital Fantasy or Free Free 2005-11-14 Unknown
Online buy premium goods.
Can also be sold for
Free w/limited access
DarkSpace PaleStar Download Free / US$9.99/month full ? 2001 Unknown
Dark Age of Mythic
Fantasy or Free US$14.95 per month. No official scheme 2001-10-10 Unknown
Free w/limited access
Dofus Ankama Studio Fantasy Download Free / US$7/month full No official scheme 2004-08-23 Unknown
Retail sale US$29.95
Turbine Fantasy or (for US$14.95 per month. No official scheme 2006 Unknown
RMMORPG Plan Page 39
Entropia Science Yes, full RMT, buy
MindArk Download Free Free 2003-01-30 Unknown
Universe fiction and sell
Yes, buy bonus Released, but
Eternal Lands Eternal Lands Download Free Free items and playable officially still in Unknown
12 months base)
Subscription time 2003-05-06
EVE Online CCP Games Free - $14.95/€14.95 can be sold for in- Unknown
Subscription time can game currency 2003-05-23
also be bought for in-
game currency from
Legends of Norrath
US$14.99 per month
Sony Online cards can be bought
EverQuest Fantasy Retail sale ? Part of Station Access 1999-03-16 Unknown
Entertainment for the chance at
minor loot cards
Yes, on exclusive
Small discounts for
All servers: Legends
Sony Online 3/6/12 month
EverQuest II Fantasy Retail sale US$19.99 of Norrath cards can 2004-11-08 Unknown
be bought for the
Part of Station Access
chance at minor loot
Final Fantasy US$12.95 + $1.00 per
Square Enix Fantasy Retail sale US$19.99 No official scheme 2002-05-16 Unknown
XI extra character
Retail sale US$9.99,
Yes, buy faster skill
Guild Wars ArenaNet Fantasy or $49.99 (for Free 2005-04-28 Unknown
Download retail sale)
Hattrick Ltd./Extralives Free Free No official scheme 1997-08-30 Unknown
Corporation Yes, some power-
Knight Online Fantasy Download Free Free 2004 Unknown
and Noah ups
Lineage II NCsoft Fantasy or Free US$14.99 (2 months) No official scheme 2003-11-01 Unknown
The Lord of US$10 pre-release
the Rings deal (1 month), $200
Online: Turbine Fantasy Retail sale US$49.95 pre-release deal No official scheme 2007-04-24 Unknown
Shadows of (lifetime), $15 release
Angmar (1 month)
Yes, buy bonus 2003-11
MapleStory Wizet Fantasy Download Free Free Unknown
RMMORPG Plan Page 40
Minions of Free -
Prairie Games Fantasy Download Free No official scheme 2005-12 Unknown
Beijing Perfect 2006-12
Perfect World Fantasy or Free Free Yes, Item mall Unknown
PlaneShift Atomic Blue Fantasy Download Free Free No official scheme 2002 Unknown
US$12.00 in the U.S.,
Ragnarok GRAVITY Co., Fantasy,
Download Free varies in other Yes, item shop 2002-08-31 Unknown
Online Ltd. Steampunk
Rappelz nFlavor Fantasy Download Free Free Yes, item shop 2006-11-03 Unknown
(points) possible 15
Yes, paid points
Regnum Medieval Argentine pesos;
NGD Studios Download Free allow premium 2007-04-24 Unknown
Online fantasy highest ximerin
possible 60 Argentine
Vieneo Download Free US$5.95 No official scheme 2006-04-01 Unknown
Free / US$5/month for
Browser- existing subscribers, Yes, Membership
RuneScape Jagex Ltd Fantasy Free 2001-01-03 Unknown
based US$5.95 for new for added content.
Ryzom Ryzom Download Free Free No official scheme 2004 Unknown
No theme Yes, full RMT, buy
Second Life Linden Lab Download Free Free - Unlimited 2003 Unknown
enforced and sell
(coming soon) SWG
Science Trading Card Game
Star Wars Sony Online month) - $12 (Year)
fiction, Star Retail sale US$14.99 cards can be bought 2003-06-26 Unknown
Galaxies Entertainment Part of Station Access
Wars for the chance at
minor loot cards
Tabula Rasa NCsoft or US$49.99 US$14.99/month No official scheme 2007-11-02
A Tale in the (First telling).
eGenesis Historical Download Free US$13.95/month No official scheme Unknown
Tibia CipSoft Fantasy Download Free Free 1997 Unknown
for added content
The Walt Retail sale
Disney or Free £4.16 - £6.99 No official scheme 2003 Unknown
Ultima Online Origin Systems Fantasy sale or (free US$9.99 - US$12.99 No official scheme 1997 Unknown
RMMORPG Plan Page 41
Warhammer Retail sale
Online: Age of Fantasy or US$44.99 US$14.99/month ? 2008-09-18 Unknown
Trading Cards can
be purchased for a 2004-11-12 to
chance at an 2006-08-01 in
Retail sale US$19.99
World of Blizzard US$79.99 (6 months), ingame code which different
Fantasy or (free Unknown
Warcraft Entertainment $14.99 (single month) can be used for countries, see
otherwise article for more
$8.33 (5 year builder), "Builder's Program", 2008-11-
World War II Cornered Rat
Historical Download Free $10.83 (1 year), persons name for 2001-06-06 25, V.
$12.50 (6 month), certain structures 1.29
$14.99 (1 month)
Anime required - May purchase
zOMG! Gaia Online Free Free 2008 Unknown
Virtual world Browser costume items
Client Monthly fee
Client sale Real money for Last
Name Creator Genre purchase Lowest possible - Release date(s)
method game advantages? update
price largest possible
RMMORPG Plan Page 42