Returning to a topic I started a while ago, am I on the cutting edge, or am I recommending that MMO companies commit suicide? There are several games that have tried some form of robust housing and city building/defense system, and almost all of them have been disappointing.
Asheron’s Call was the weakest performer of its crop of games, and its sequel did worse. A Tale in the Desert and Wurm Online are niche games. Shadowbane and Horizons have a recurring feature at GU Comics called “the Bug Zapper,” and Horizons still beats Vanguard as a model of how not to make a game. Star Wars Galaxies … yeah. Wish never went live. EVE Online is the lone winner of the pack, although didn’t it hit 100,000 subscribers before it added player-owned outposts and starbases? Age of Conan is the next test case, although its high violence and gore quotient may affect its results.
Is this just an apocalyptically bad idea? Perhaps the technology was not there in the past, but it is now becoming viable, like voice chat? It is not the sort of thing you can easily add to an existing game. You cannot just paste some cities on the side and call it good; that is meaningless. Where would you put it in Azeroth or Middle Earth? Shadowbane built around the idea, and it fit EVE’s existing structure perfectly. I know I am not the core MMO audience, since I do not play WoW, but am I completely in left field here?