Ever since the days of Ragnarok Online and World of Warcraft, MMORPGs have solidified their grip on the gaming community by introducing an entirely new level of gaming experience no player would have expected: a multiplayer experience that involves the rest of the world. By opening up players to this exciting new vista of social interactions, online games have effectively become the pinnacle of gaming as we know it.
The amount of effort it takes to keep an online game running and moving is monumental and has to be kept that way in order to keep its players entertained. Lack of content usually spawns stagnation, and stagnation can lead to players leaving the game and looking for better worlds out there.
Keeping the game alive
Between weekly maintenance updates, the occasional big content patch, and supplying the online game with massive world expansions, MMORPGs have tried to continuously reignite player interest and hype through content updates that introduce new features to the game. These small aspects keep players always expecting something out of the game that they have grown to love. Here are a few good reasons why this has kept many an online game from falling apart:
- Thrill of the unknown – players enjoy exploring the great unknown in every game, and online games are always in the perfect position to introduce something new and exciting to players of all experience levels. Whether by introducing a twist that happens in the early levels of a character or opening the doors to a brand new dungeon for raid groups to tackle, players are inspired to create new characters or bring their old ones into these changes, keeping groups of players locked in intense strategizing at their VoIP chat channels while in a new raid encounter.
- Keeping the plot moving – what drives an online game is its story, no matter how minuscule or all-encompassing this may be. Whether in the form of new missions assigned at your space division or a new meteorite that has crashed on a known location in the game world and prompting you to explore its secrets, players are just as equally driven by the story of new content as the features that it introduces. Often this is just what players ask for from developers: tiny things that can keep them entertained while going through the cyclical grind of developing characters in the game.
- Reason to stay – in the end, every new content update for MMORPGs is always a new reason for players to keep playing through the online game and keep them from moving to other games. A perfectly reasonable business maneuver, a stagnant online game without any content updates to it is no different to a closed-world video game that we’d find on the market today. What sets an online game apart from these fixed games is its ever-evolving and expanding nature, so why not take advantage of it?
Your players are important
An online game will never grow without its players to support it. Lack of content eventually drives these players away, which leads to the online game closing down its doors, another spark snuffed out in the multiverses of gaming. Only through constantly churning out new content packs for players to take on and experience can you sustain the hype and keep their interests up, expectant of newer and better surprises in store for their characters in the game!