Fury leading the pack for most misleading MMO
Sep 10, 2007 16:51:39

This week my good friend Michael Zenke from MMOGNation released 1UP's Massive Update with the subtitle "Fury leading the pack for most unique MMO."

I traveled the halls of last week's Austin Game Conference with Michael and somehow this topic never came up. If it had, I'd have been kind enough to inform him that Fury (from Australian development studio, Auran) isn't a Massive title anymore than Starcraft, Supreme Commander or Diablo. In a Ten Ton Hammer interview Lead Designer Adam Carpenter said, "What we really tried to do with Fury was create a new genre by blending the best of the FPS with the best of the RPG elements together and make something new and fresh."

What he probably meant to say was, "We stripped the adventuring instances, storyline, NPCS, and quests out of Guild Wars, and created Fury." I know that sounds snarky, but it is precisely what Fury is. The game is a PvP arena with a number of cities (of different factions) where teams are built and character maintenance is done. RPG's are games where the character plays a role within a story or participates in a fictional setting. Based on what we have seen to this point, Fury has all the RPG qualities of Unreal Tournament, meaning, none at all.

MMORPGs tend to use that RPG tag somewhat loosely, but at the very least they have some level of persistence within a virtual world, avatar advancement, missions or quests and lore. At best, Fury has some avatar advancement and some irrelevant lore attached to the world. Arena Net has frequently commented on the fact that Guild Wars isn't really a MMORPG according to traditional standards because the adventuring zones are temporary private instances and not persistent lands. Players of Guild Wars frequently feel the same, but the story-driven aspects of Guild Wars causes most people to discard the concern regarding the categorization. If the classification of Guild Wars is in question, Fury tips the scale completely.

By all accounts, Fury will be a fun game. The action and graphics look fantastic. The depth of the character skill systems and the team battle strategies will keep players busy perfecting their craft for a long time, but gamers who like MMORPG games will feel misled by the Auran's marketing. Auran is calling Fury the fastest paced MMORPG ever (something that Cabal Online and 2 Moons might want to protest). Sites like Warcry, MMORPG.com, and Ten Ton Hammer have all guzzled the Kool Aid and framed this game up as a massive game. While the definition of "MMORPG" can be called into question, the expectations of the market can not. The players know what an MMORPG is and Fury isn't it.

Players who enjoy the PvP (and only the PvP) aspects of Guild Wars will probably love this game. Action adventure fans will probably find this game absolutely thrilling. MMORPG players expecting a vast world to explore will be severely disappointed.

Submitted by Brent on Sep 10, 2007 16:51:39 CST (comments: 9)


'Fantastic Graphics?' by Eli
Submitted on 2007-09-10 17:23:54 CST
I share you opinion almost wholly about this game, having spent about two hours playing maybe thirty matches and talking to the guys at Auran's PAX booth, but I have to ask: did you see a build different from the one they used at PAX? I thought the game was fun, but it looked absolutely horrible beyond words. They were running on the standard issue high end Dell-donated PAX computers. I could give it a little credit and say it was Shadowbane version 3, but I left ultimately lamenting that the game could only be successful if a player had never seen Guild Wars.

'really.' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-09-10 17:31:33 CST
Well, you've seen more than me, Eli, but what I have seen looked pretty alright, however you know how they like to trick people like me. So, you're saying it looks bad compared to Guild Wars then? Interesting. If that's the case, this game is finished, probably.

'Hoping' by Eli
Submitted on 2007-09-10 17:39:23 CST
I ended up liking those guys, and I thought the game was really fun, so I'm hoping that the build was just old and they had something better ready by the AGC. I'm not giving up, notwithstanding your well-founded point about the labels being applied. You know how development is, too, they easily could be cranking up the graphics as we speak.

'MMORPG.COM - Game On' by Dathmar
Submitted on 2007-09-11 09:07:01 CST
If I remember correctly one of the former hosts of the Game On Podcast is now a developer working on Fury - perhaps this helped get this listed as a MMORPG.

In fact - if you look at the games list on MMORPG.COM it needs some serious work - there is lots of wrong or very out of date information in this list.

'Graphics' by Dathmar
Submitted on 2007-09-11 09:13:43 CST
BTW - I read somewhere that there are 2 modes of graphics for Fury
Low Rez and High Rez
If your PC / Graphics card isn't up to it - you use Low Rez Textures - which looks pretty awful - or so I hear.
I also heard to run at high rez you need a pretty good machine - think Dual Core / 8800 GTX / SLI

- but this is only hearsay....so I am not 100% its correct.

'Grumble Grumble' by Cameron
Submitted on 2007-09-11 12:01:55 CST
See? This is exactly why I think the industry needs to ditch the "MMO" moniker. It's rapidly becoming outdated. People call any games where you play with other people, online, in a semi-persistent space "MMO"-whatever. But more games than not ship with some sort of multi-player component, and more and more games are adding a persistent component (even if only in the form of score tracking or achievements).

We should just call the damn games what they are. Saying something is MMO is no different than saying something is 2-player-- they're both classifications, not genres. So calling Fury an RPG is fairly misleading, given everything we know about RPGs. :P

'Also...' by Cameron
Submitted on 2007-09-11 12:04:32 CST
... I liked the PvP gameplay better than Guild Wars, personally, from the bit I played. They're two different styles. I don't think one necessarily is inherently better than the other, and while they can be compared as fantasy PvP games, the combat systems are pretty different.

'Massive mis-update' by Scott
Submitted on 2007-09-17 19:27:26 CST
I had the same reaction when I read that massive update by Michael. I couldn't belive he fell for the hype on Fury. The graphics at least in the beta I played on my system with the graphics cranked up on a SLI'd 7950 GeForce were awful, and overall the gameplay was very disapointing.

Marketing folks are using the MMO tagline for everything its worth to sell boxes, and the magazines and websites all all too happy to parrot it for additional ad sales or impressions by adding another "MMO" to their official community list.

If every game that has several hundred online players per server plus a matching making lobby in-game or out of game is going to use the MMO moniker it just invalidates the term completely.

Personally its extremely annoying as a fan of the genre, when all the others are so well defined.

'"Not a single mob"' by Etelmik
Submitted on 2007-09-25 15:07:12 CST
While I didn't like Fury much myself, at least they claimed there wasn't a single mob, so when I got my beta key I already knew, before installing, that it would be like this. I don't feel they were that misleading--the $1,000,000 makes it sound like what it is.

Of course, if this is simply over the semantics of what constitutes an MMO or an RPG, that is something that hasn't fully been staked out yet (not saying it shouldn't or isn't going to be). As bad a game as it is, I didn't feel mislead.

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