Action mmo by definition

Action MMO ~ A Massively Mutliplayer Online (role playing game) with fast action combat the relies more on position than the standard hack and slash style MMO such as World of Warcraft or Star Wars: The old Republic.

This is how I define an action MMO, and I would imagine most would agree. This being said I would like to go over the list of Action MMO’s I currently play.

  • Defiance – This is more of a shooter but since it is an MMO with specialization capabilities and levels I will lump it into the action MMO category.
  • Guild Wars 2 – This is a mix of old school MMO with action MMO, as position and movement are required yet there is still a primary target (auto target).
  • Tera – Tera is the new age of action MMO’s. It not only combines the aspects of an MMO with fast action it also uses the reticule targeting system that would be seen in many shooter type games such as Bordelands and Modern Warfare.


What makes the genre work?

The idea of standing still and only moving for fire and AoE in the old days of MMO’s has become lack luster at best and seems to have lost a bit of its challenge. This can easily be recognized when we were screaming that raid encounters were too easy in Cataclysm (dumbed down). Ghostcrawler quickly addressed this situation with a quote I wish I could find but in essence he said that we as players have evolved. He went on to explain how encounters in TBC (because this is the only expansion that anyone remembers as being hard) were not “too hard” but instead they were the perfect skill level at the time, yet the majority of the World of Warcraft population was not conditioned to the “don’t stand in fire” mantra that we all recite now.

What this means is that we have evolved past the arbitrary and archaic ways of combat in the older MMO’s and we are currently unable to get that from a game of WoW’s caliber. In a nutshell action MMO’s are the future for those looking for a challenge beyond that of the stand and deliver model.

Guild Wars 2

The question is the reason…

Most would say that stagnation is not a good thing and that no one can stay in one place forever, as the entire world around you evolves. This being said, when a game stays the same forever and your skill set has perfected its challenges you are in essence standing still (making no progress). Those who do not like to stay stagnant in a skill set (in game) have made playing action MMO’s a viable way of getting that challenge that has been missing for the better part of 5 years in the majority of stand and deliver style game play.

I fell into this category of stand and deliver game play guys getting overly bored with the model and looking for the next challenge. This brought me to the beginning of my Guild Wars 2 days, and allowed me to open my eyes to many more games that I had never really given a chance such as RaiderZ, Defiance, Tera, Vindictus, and the likes, and now that I have been exposed to these types of games I can’t really see going back to the old style of play.


Where this genre is headed

I believe it to be the future of MMO’s and hope to see it evolve as Guild wars 2 has into AAA action MMO’s being developed to compete with whatever the king emerges to be.

I also like the fact that most of these action MMO’s are subscription-less and rely more on players using real money for in game (non imbalance) items. This allows more access to those who would not usually step out of the comfort zone that is stand and deliver for a subscription.

-Jeff Norman