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September 03 2008

20th Century Fox announce Buffy the virtual world. The MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) will go into beta testing this year. And it'll be launched by the same people Update: Multiverse explains the Firefly delay and the Buffy MMO.

This is thirty-one flavors of awesome. Getting to explore Sunnydale, have run-ins with vampires, practice a little magic...yeah. Only problem is, I spend enough time away from my work as is. This will not help.
If it happens, I'll be there. But the big question is, will it be canon :p?
Is it just me, or does this news come out of nowhere? I mean, it's awesome, but you would've thought we would've heard rumblings like with the Firefly MMOG.

I will definitely play it, though.
I think I'm correct in saying the Firefly MMO has ended up in a legal dispute between various parties.
I for one can't wait to get together with fellow WHEDONesquers and MMORPG a discussion about Ben and Glory.
I've always thought the end of the series lent itself perfectly to an MMO. I really hope you'll be able to play as more than just a slayer though. I mean, whether or not you'll be able to play as a vampire could go either way, but I really hope you can choose to be a witch or something.

As cool as this is, I definitely think Firefly would make a better MMO. If made right, such a thing could be incredible.
The thing is - and I don't mean to be, well, mean - but I've been following Multiverse for a long time as a developer and the technology is crap. It only works on Windows, it uses DirectX, it's really slow, it's functionally poor... They're going to really have to pull this out the bag, or this is going to be embarrassingly awful. That's the danger of licensing, really. I have faith they can have the ideas, but if the platform for delivery looks like a 4 year old made it and excludes people (like, say, Joss - who is a Mac user) it's probably not great.
IMHO, that is not really great. The MMO market is really hard, and all games (Age of Conan, Star Wars Galaxies, even LoR online is not a success) in that segment are going down because they have to face WoW. It would need a lot, and I mean a whole lot, of money and time to be a good game.
A solo RPG game, maybe in the style of Penny Arcade On the rain slick precipice of darkness, would be cheaper to realize and could be canon.
Because a mmo cannot be canon, to my mind. There will be 5000 slayers, 12000 witches and 55000 vampires with a soul, and I don't see how it could be canon. And, as all non-canon things, I don't really have an interest in it.
I don't think anyone was seriously considering it could be canon.
gossi :
excludes people (like, say, Joss - who is a Mac user)

well, even if it's not as nice as the 3D version, the article talks about a flash based 2D version that'll probably be playable cross-platform, wouldn't it . As for the rest of their technology, I don't know it, but like you, I fear this a little.
I wonder if it will follow the South Korean model and have the basic package free with players paying for extras.
Ah, I hadn't caught the 2D Flash version, vnz.
I hear Morgan Freeman is in talks to star as at least 2 player classes.

Yeah I have to say, when we first saw the Multiverse stuff back when the Firefly MMORPG was announced it looked pretty primitive, even by the standards of a few years ago. But although actual finished games still seem thin on the ground, now that more people are designing textures/landscapes etc. it's starting to show some real potential. Quite open too, which is nice.

I'm not a player of MMORPGs BTW, dunno much about them beyond what you just sort of absorb by osmosis, but are there enough players to maintain the Korean model indefinitely ? I mean, it seems to need dedicated players that want to buy extras and that seems to suggest a limited market. Or maybe they're counting on their addictive properties (the very thing that scares me off 'em) to hook people, kinda like a crack dealer giving away the first hit for free ;).
I mean, it seems to need dedicated players that want to buy extras

Well it's not as if our fandom is known for buying any old official Buffy tat :p. If I had to hazard a guess, I think 20th Century Fox saw what was happening with the Stargate MMOG and wanted to get in on the act.

At the end of the day, it's all about making money and maintaining the profile of a major franchise. Which could have been better served by greenlighting the Spike DVD movie.
True, maybe you'll be able to buy a virtual Ouija board ;).

(but I meant in general really i.e. how many different games can you sustain with that model before even the "dedicated" fans are saturated ? Still, I guess there're a lot of different niche fandoms out there. I'm fairly amazed there still isn't a finished Star Trek MMOG for instance, seems like a ripe market)
I can't let my expectations for this get too high, because I've seen a lot of potentially great MMORPGs turn out disappointing, but I'll definitely play it at least once, as long as the price doesn't appear too heinous.

In addition to the Slayer, Vampire and Witch classes that have been mentioned a lot, I'd like to see a Handyman class - in the vein of Xander - which could give emergency first aid (resuscitating drowned slayers), improve research speed (assisting a Watcher), acquire quest materials, money and henchmen (perhaps construction workers), and repair damaged architecture after the fighter classes have finished destroying the exquisitely crafted scenery. It might be interesting to have that last service be helpful in reducing the visibility index of a Slayer, since they would presumably need to keep their calling secret.
Conversely, I'd also like there to be a Zeppo class that has no useful abilities except to confuse monster tracking and recover easily from painful injury.

And, more seriously, some assorted monster-y powers to make your own werewolf or demon.

(Oh, and the Star Trek one has reached the point of advertising. It'll be based after the revival series, rather than matching up with the new Abrams movie.)
I wonder if it will pick up after the end of the TV series (thousands of slayers) or the comic series...

I have to say, I think a Firefly MMO would be better than a Buffy one, but it would be nice to see how this works out. In some sense, it would be nice to see an MMOG that didn't actually depend on being MASSIVE but rather got by on the basis of a core group of participants.
Yeah agreed, Firefly fits better I think - Buffy mentioned other places, especially in the comics, but we only ever really saw Sunnydale and LA (fair enough, by themselves they're plenty big enough for a MMOG but it doesn't have the same free-form and yet fairly closely defined vastness that the Sereniverse has). And because of the ship Firefly has a more obvious travel/exploration paradigm.

Though I guess with Buffy you could have what's basically our world (in various timelines e.g. Fray's time, The First Slayer's time, 1970s New York etc.) just with Buffy monsters/characters etc. And despite what people say, our world's fairly big ;).
I will probably check it out, being a MMOG fan. Could be a laugh, even if the gameplay isn't that awesome. Thing is though, since it is online, the social and competitive aspects will keep people coming back. Look at PSO. That sucked pretty bad offline. And Diablo wasn't bad, but was infinitely more fun online.

The developers would have to work pretty hard to create more crude game than PSO in my opinion.

I'm stunned...
All I have to do is erect a level 21, Joss repelling forcefield around Tara (and Willow, just for good measure). Then I'll be able to play with peace of mind.
I'm going to wait for the Mac version to come out.

(cue crickets)
I will only play this if there is a brain-sucking hell goddess class.
Me, too. If I can't get through my RL day without brain-sucking at least ten people - and I can't - I don't see why I should be expected to play my Buffy-MMOG without being able to eat brain. "As below, so above" or words to that effect.
I never really got into MMOG's Buffy. So...just like the comics, I'll give it a whirl. Plus, slaying vampires..heck yes!
Most of me thinks that this will be a half-hearted attempt to make some quick bucks by getting Buffy fans to pay for a cheaply made game. The rest of me really wants to play said game. So I think this plan might work.
All I have to do is erect a level 21, Joss repelling forcefield around Tara (and Willow, just for good measure). Then I'll be able to play with peace of mind.

Ahhh, sounds like a hilarious easter egg in the making there. Joss randomly appears if certain requirements are met and kills off any cute and/or adorable girls that you may have in your party at that time. :D
I want to know if there's a retcon spell.
There should be a level where Dawn suddenly joins your party, but you realize she's always been in your party.
A little OT, but isn't the Buffy comic supposed to be out today? I don't see any thread about it.
Comic books come out tomorrow in the States because of Labor Day. The relevant threads will go up then :).
Given the time difference that means we could actually spoil the Yanks. Muhuhahahahahahah. Given i'll be at work however, not. Un-Muhuhahahahaha.

(not that i'd ever be a party to such underhanded nefariousity ;)
Looks like being religious pays off every now and then! Boo-yah!
A Buffy MMOG will be easy to do . . . badly and very hard to do well. How do you integrate the main characters, the dialogue and the storylines, which are key to the show? Without those things at the heart of any game, it's really only superficially Buffy. I'd much rather see a single player game which falls somewhere between Dreamfall and Knights of the Old Republic.
I can't imagine this will be very successful, but I'll definitely play it. I was bummed the Firefly MMOG never took off. For me, personally, I don't care if the game won't be able to to integrate the story very well (if it can't) -- I'm just excited to play in that world.
Hopefully, if it's a virtual Buffy world, it'll include LA.
Now we just gotta hope it'll be free to play
Simon--I'm with you about the retcon feature.

For example, if you can smash a vengence demon's amulet, you could wind up in a world without shrimp!
The Buffyverse is a brilliant environment for an MMO -- with so many Slayers, you have a perfect elite player class to unlock, you have signature characters to interact with, all kinds of viable archetypes to build around.

BUT... I don't know about just throwing it into an engine that there's obviously a lot of criticism and uncertainty around. I'd be much happier to see 20th Century Fox cut a deal with Blizzard or NC NorCal to actually develop a free-standing MMO platform for the Buffyverse.
It probably won't be that awesome. I will only play it 6 hours a day.
I wonder how one combines a 3D world ánd a 2D world and lets them interact. Surely, there can't be any "extra" features in the 3D version, because that would unbalance the game. And given that, I wonder how advanced the game engine can actually be.

I'm approaching this with caution. Somehow it doesn't sound very promising. Although the online Whedon fandom might be strong enough to keep a modest MMORPG floating (not all of "us" will want to/be able to play, after all, and while we're pretty big online, we're probably nowhere near as big as the amount of - say - WoW players). It might work. But even if it's actually any good, there's no saying it'll succeed. So: not keeping my hopes up with this.
I think I'd rather play as a vampire than a Slayer, but then again creating Fray would be pretty cool.
This would be awesome if they could pull it off. I'm suprised we didn;t see a Buffy/Angel series of RPG's, I think they would have did really well if the right developers were involved.

I agree with Leo above as well. WoW is the king of all MMO's right now and it doesn't appear to be giving that title up anytime soon. (Wrath of the Lich King Expansionis right around the corner)With the right developer/publisher on board a Buffy MMO would do really well, I have reservations about Multiverse though. I've been gaming for a really long time and have never heard of them at all.

I found this statement rather funny...

"Multiverse has the vision and expertise to create the type of rich environment needed for the best possible game based on the 'Buffy' series. The resources are in place to develop a great MMOG"

Hope it all works out, still have reservations though. I'd much rather see an already established game maker develop it.
I doubt this is how it works, but wouldn't it be cool if the 2D, free, Flash version was you playing in some sort of top-down view as random vampires, essentially hunting for people to eat? And the 3D, pay, version would be as slayers/good guys who would kill said vampires?

In other words, in addition to basic monsters and quests and whatnot, there would be a quasi PvP aspect, because the vampires were controlled by real people. (You wouldn't have a vampire character, per se, that you kept, just controlled.)
I think it'd be much more fun if players could be vampires.
I would advise anyone thinking about holding their breath for this to go live to reconsider :). Carry on.
Which could have been better served by greenlighting the Spike DVD movie.

*highfives that.
I would prefer if another company was responsible for it like Blizzard or NCSoft.
Have any of you played Runescape? I did a couple of years ago, and while the graphics suck, it was entertaining enough for me to keep playing while I traveled the world (CA to Hong Kong).

You get a character, do some training, have shops, small quests, large quests, interaction with key players, ... actually, it's a "free" version of WoW- no pay, cheaper quality, but playable on-line with people you know, and fun. And it had lots of players who were too cheap for the real deal. If Buffy/Firefly MMOG ended up like this, I would so play.

*haven't played it in a while, due to getting a real job & finding this site... **shakes fist** *

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