Facebook As New Media For MMOs
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
One thing you just got to love about Facebook is that it’s not just a social networking site. Yes, compared to its predecessors, the site has indeed taken SOCIAL NETWORKING to a whole new level. Now people can upload videos, converse with a wide variety of people online, upload and tag photos, and… play MMOs? Come again?! Yep! That’s right! It would seem that social networking and massively multiplayer online gaming make a pretty good combination; in fact, getting people to play through Facebook messages seems to be more effective than through word of mouth. So what makes MMOs function so well in Facebook anyway? Let’s dive in and see, shall we?
And You Though It Was Just Quizzes and Comments
Heck even I was surprised after my friend invited me to Bite Fite, a Vampire vs Lycan web brower game now featured on Facebook. In my opinion, promoting or having MMOs in social networking sites is a good idea, especially since people who are unaware of the game’s existence can try it out by simply logging on to their Facebook site. The best part about this is feature is that players are now free to try out different browser games in the comforts of their own personal page. There are tons of games in Facebook, and you can bet your arse there’s one for everybody. No installation required! Just log in, play, and enjoy. I myself have become addicted to their online poker game. Like I said, the site has more than just MMORPGS.
Not just quizzes
Publish, Invite & Join
Need help? Is the Ice Queen too hard for you? Unlike other MMOs, you can actually request the aid of other people by sending them invitations which linkto your current situation. I’m not saying that people don’t regularly their email but after conducting a series of surveys, I managed to conclude that people tend check their social network pages more religiously than their email accounts. Come on! Would you ignore a friend in need? Baad friend… BaaAAAAd friend. Anyway aside from random invites, players can also publish their overall progress on their ‘wall’. It’s actually quite annoying at times, especially when your home page is flooded by updates like:
Publish and invite
“Mandy has unlocked the A Valued Customer trophy. The Elders have bestowed Mandy with the gift of XP to share with their friends for a limited time.”
Free XP? I’m in! Apparently, each game has its own reward for new players, and since your friends are the ones earning it for you, it would be a shame to let these things go to waste. 😛
Graphics So Far
Alright, since it is STILL considered as a browser application, the graphics and visuals might not compete with existing client based MMOs, but seeing as how they are able to put Pet Forest in, I’d say there’s a bright future ahead of social networks (in terms of gaming, at least).
Graphics so far
Quality of games featured in Facebook
Facebook caters to different types of target markets. You have the girly teens who are mostly inclined to be expressive of their newfound styles so some snazzy model agency network game might pique their interest like Glamour Age (rival modeling agency espionage and virtual catfight, anyone?). There are also the “old school” choose-your-faction games like Pirates vs Ninjas for those who are still hung up on that idea. For the enterprising types, games that need micromanagement skills have sprouted like Restaurant City, Cafe Life and-God forbid I forget, Farmville. Speaking of ‘quality’ I was actually amazed at how beautiful Facebook’s games were. After reviewing tons of browser-based games online, I can say that I am truly impressed by the MMOs in Facebook. Not only does it exercise recruitment a lot better than browser games that allow players to send invites through email, it’s also aesthetically beautiful in every way. Unlike other browser games that tend to make you read a load of combat descriptions, these games actually have awesome pictures to show, as well as a beautiful interface that matches the theme at hand. Come on! POX NORA in the comforts of your Facebook wall? Doesn’t that scream QUALEETEE already?
Quality of games so far
No Fear In Trying
Perhaps one of the reasons why people don’t wanna try games is that they get in the way of their everyday tasks. Some are not even aware of its existence, which in this case hinders them from trying out different games that they may potentially enjoy. Since the games are now featured in Facebook, you could say that players can now enjoy modern browser gaming while moving on with their mundane lives. Another thing would be the stereotypical outlook of games. The influence factor of seeing your friends play a specific game without you is actually a good way of making people play. Farmville would probably be the best example as I’ve seen countless people play it after seeing their friend’s virtual crops.
It is quite astounding how games managed to grow this far, now stretching their overgrown tendrils towards the world of social networks. To be honest, I wasn’t really fond of Facebook games, that is, until my friends started to spam my wall with invites to Castle Age, Farmville, and Bite Fite. I suppose I was wrong to have judged these games so quickly, as they are definitely browser games of the highest quality. Oh! By the way, I’m not sure if most of you will agree, but the whole idea of auto registration is definitely a big plus for me. Once you allow the application to access your wall, you’ll be taken directly to the game with your real name and wall picture as your ingame name and character portrait. I’m a bit lazy when it comes to in game registrations so this system really worked for me. Anyway, to sum it all up, Facebook is a great place for MMOs. It has an effective recruitment system, an easy registration process, and most of all, a bunch of players to play with. It ain’t called Massively Multiplayer for nothing right? And how exactly could it be more MASSIVE than through a social networking site? 😉