Sometimes even Dwarves want to conquer the world...
In a recent interview, Sid Meier (who really should needs no introduction) mentioned that there has been talk of a Civilization MMO. Whether or not this is true, it does beg the question: Can a 4x (i.e. Civ, MOO) be turned into a MMO?
I have long been a fan of 4x games and turn-based strategy (TBS) in general. I don't think any have been successfully made into a MMO yet. I can't say I am surprised, as I have a difficult time trying to figure out how they could pull it off.
There are numerous strategy web games available, but they have never been able to grab me like a game of Civilization. There are several reasons for this:
- Map and the amount of players. How do you make a map for a strategy game when it could have an unknown number of players? In a MMO, everyone needs to have a fair chance of winning, so the map must be equally balanced. One things that makes Civ fun is the map can be quite random.
- Time frame. Does the game go on for a long time? How do new players join and have the possibility to compete?
- Loss. What happens when a player is knocked out of the game? Do they have to wait until a new one starts up? Seems like a bad idea for a subscription model.
- Time spent in game. MMO's are giant time sinks. A game of Civ is too, but it is spread out over turns. Turns would have to be scheduled as to be fair, so what does a player do after they make their moves? Questing would not really work in Civ.
I just cannot see how to effectively make a 4x MMO. All that being said, I will try whatever Meier and Firaxis release.