MMORPG-FPS: The MMO-hybrid

In continuing with my recent article on the evolution and revolution of MMOs and their lack of truly bringing anything 2.0-like to the industry, the advent of an MMO hybrid often comes to mind. The genre today has many MMORPGs and a few MMOFPSs, but we really have no MMORPG-FPS games out there, a hybrid of the two types of MMOs. Seeing as how enormously successful single player FPS games are (Halo, Call of Duty 4, etc.) and how the MMORPG market is pretty much dominated by the World of Warcraft, it only seems to make sense that a developer would want to capitalize on the most popular genre and turn it into a massively multiplayer RPG event. Allow me to explain a bit.

Today, at this very moment, if you had a strong desire to play an MMOFPS you’d have a couple options. While they are a bit old and sometimes a little slow, they are definitely there and waiting for you to get involved. I am, of course, talking about Planetside and World War II Online. The problem with these games, however, is that they offer little objectives other than killing your enemy. For example, in Planetside the game has devolved into nothing more than a giant push and pull match against the other two faction between the different worlds. While that can be a lot of fun, after a while the whole experience starts to feel a bit shallow as without any real goals you really start to question the whole point of it all. In a game like World of Warcraft, on the other hand, you had an active world with quests, monsters, damsels in distress, and other such things that truly make the world come alive. Unfortunately, the whole combat system is also a bit of a drag in a game like World of Warcraft where everything boils down to pushing a series of numbered buttons. Both offer something unique, but an overall lack in complete gameplay.

So where does that leave us? Well, unfortunately, not to far from where we started. There has been a couple of games that havfe attempted something similar to this but they have both ended in failure and closure. Face of Mankind attempted to do exactly what I was talking about, but lacked the initial polish and big budget to really make a headway in this arena. No matter how unique your game is, if you don’t start off wih a good base you simply can’t survive in this industry. Likewise, Auto Assault, attempted to breed fast action and RPG elements but again failed to garner a large enough audience to sustain it’s own costs. After all is said and done, we have very little to look forward to in terms of combining these two genres as it seems that even the MMOFPS genre may die a slow death. Maybe the rumoured Call of Duty MMO will make headway? I guess we’ll have to take a wait and see approach. Until then I’ll see you guys in Planetside.


  1. I’ve never played Planetside, but the basic concept seems to be repeated in Tom Clancy’s Endwar: 3 factions fighting for dominance in a persistent war. The maps for each battle might even be thought similar to the separate zones of EQ… a single persistent world. On top of that, players can team up to each control a different unit (tanks, choppers, infantry, etc), much like classes in an MMO.

    Nothing but bandwidth limits (if that) prevents MMOs from including fully real-time combat, and I’d love to see it happen eventually. I’ve suggested before that MMOs should be more like Halo in that the journey is fun, apart from the goals. The central problem in MMOs is grinding, and that could be eliminated through truly engaging combat and enemies.

  2. Planetside is a great concept. The PS community are aching for PS 2 and really wondering why no one out there is developing one. Instead we get AOC which is a rehash of xxx which is a rehash of xxx and so on.

    Is the mmorpg genre really the only viable one that will ever be?

  3. MMORPG-FPS with awesome graphics, large community with chat, guilds, trade, email, no need to say more…. Hellgate: London

    R.I.P. 10/31/07 – 01/31/09

    Stolen from NA/EU players by bad management

  4. I’d love to see this successful done. Maybe Blizzards new MMORPG will attempt this?

    I’m itching for some new massive multiplayer games to play and my Planetside days are long behind me.

  5. there is a “sort” of hybrid ..
    for mmorpg + fps ..
    but i guess its not enuff cos i am lookign for one too :)

    Counterstrike is fps and some servers has modded one that records and remember expereiences and kills etc etc.. warcraft3 mods .. not much and always starts from fresh your weapons but the abilities remains as you last left it…

    i would consider it as some form of rpg-fps i guess.

  6. Hellgate:London is a really great game – graphics storyline, the range of different gameplay options through different character classes and so on. Judging by the manner in which the games environment and levels became more and more repetitive as the game progressed, it seems as though the development team was under duress to complete the game as fast possible…

    Great concept, great graphics, some great weapons (particularly in the earlier parts of the game, after which newer weapons were often merely upgraded versions of older ones rather than new weapons altogether) and mods (ditto) and yet strangely, the game is now dead except in Korea as there are no NA/EU servers…

    In any case, when I started playing the game, I had some great expectations, realising that the engine provided a great basis for a game that mixed elements of MMORPG and FPS (at least as Engineer). But somewhere along the line, the funds that drove the game dried up; this is reflected in the repetition later in the game.

    The thing that was most impressive about Hellgate:London was the opportunity to provide a truly immersive gaming experience by creating new areas of action, like that proposed by Bandai in Korea… But the game seems all but dead elsewhere now and so we must wait for the next daring effort by developers to create a game that promises the immersive world-experience of a MMORPG and the intensity and engagement of FPS gaming genres.

    Missing Hellgate :(

  7. Tabula Rasa as a really great sci-fi MMORPG-FPS. Great lore, great classes great classes. However, like many other’s of its kind, the low numbers and initial costs sent it to it’s grave on March 1st of this year. That was the one game I saw huge potential for and connected with. I love MMORGS, and I love FPS, but I cannot stand slow paced button mash MMORPGS that are so rampant in todays industry. Looking to the future, Earthrise looks promising, and hopefully TOR will pull off a decent fast-paced, engaging combat system.

  8. darkfall baby and face of mankind coming back 2 tabula rasa never heard of it but wish i had but if they did allot of work to it it may come back video looked good at there site theres another one with clans and such i cn being made cant remember its name it looked good.hmmm i so much enjoyed f.o.m in open beta and so much in retail it wasn’t the same but with its rebirth maybe itll regain its old appeal but mix f.o.m and planet side and youll have a game that would take us all to the next level…….

  9. I have been working on a MMO RPG-RTS-FPS hybrid.

    I call the genre MMO FPRPSS (First Person Role Playing Strategical Shooter).

    Currently, plans include both Space-based and Planet-Based combat, merged PvE/PvP combat & questing, a multi-layered player organization system, 21 Player Races and 28 Primary Factions, a Dynamic Tech Tree, Dynamically-Active GROWING Universe, with only one Game World (as opposed to dozens of copies like EQ or WoW).

    Expect release 5-10 years after I win the lottery.

  10. Global Agenda is the closest thing to that. I’ve been looking forward to a MMOFPS also. Even though GA isint first person, it comes closest to what I’m looking for. The 3rd person view might actually better to better know your surroundings. However, it’s only in beta at the moment.

  11. Sony Infantry:

    EOL. CTF and KOTH. about 15 different classes: infantry, hvy weapons, engineer, medic, stealth, etc. As you play you can increase ur persons HP, speed, agility (accelleration), stealth, strength, energy, etc. certain attributes are required to unlock certain classes.

  12. There is an MMORPG-FPS out there now. It’s Air Rivals/Ace Online and it’s F2P and, dare I say, actually good? Great in fact.

  13. TF2 sourcecraft mod is exactly what you are talking about, its not an mmo but paly it and you understand what it would look like.

    Very addictive very fun a whole new kind of game.

  14. Fallen Earth Post Apocalyptic MMORPG-FPS. Think Fallout 3 MMO. The design is pretty nice, the way you switch in and out of FPS mode sorta thing. and I’m a fan of the post apoc genre

  15. the best i have played like this is RYL 2 was great game . only downfall was is game had so many bugs in it and was laggy . there are many private servers out there today still. Also there is some that have recoded the whole game this ones not that bad many new maps.

    this is the last version i played

  16. The author has this all wrong. First of all there was one good mmorpg fps hybrid out there called neocron, but it is way outdated and it’s developers ran it into the ground by forcing overspecialization when their player base was already dwindling because of it’s age.

    If the game is good, they will come. Face of mankind was utter crap if you actually played it. Planetside has no rpg elements really, at least no more than most other shooters.

    The main issue makers of this game face is (with the lack of high production quality being a side effect of this) is that it is difficult to do in a way that easily attracts new players. FPS’s already carry a lot of frustration for new gamers, who are defeated by more experienced twitch gamers.

    Placing on top of that players who are higher level and therefore harder to kill makes things even worse. Such a game would have to follow an entirely different untested formula from either mmorpgs or current FPS’es.

    IMO the key is to make it like FPS’s in style. Combat must play out fairly quickly and rely on skilled movements and shooting rather than number trading. There should be a lot riding on a death – and it should always be POSSIBLE to win even against stronger opponents with critical hit locations or just lucky critical strikes or both. If your a level 5 and your weapon is a disrepaired nailgun, you don’t have a lot to lose but if you get lucky and shoot through a kink in that lvl 50 griefer’s power armor your going to have some serious loot on your hands.

    But no worry for the level 50 because the economy would reflect this style as well, and more of the items could be created without a million hours of play time.

  17. Hi, I know this is an older thread but I thought I would comment because there is still not many MMO Hybrids around that actually get online and become popular. I’ve tried many and I would like to tell you all that in the last couple of years there has been alot of advancements made with MMORPG, FPS Games. :-)
    For instance, I am currently playing a new Hybrid MMO. It’s called AlterVerse Rise of the BloodClans. Although it is still fairly new , I can see it has what most new hybrids lack. It has an almost perfect balance of player versus environment, and player versus player, and realm versus realm. It even has persistent and non persistent gameplay. It’s played in rounds so some stats get reset at the end of a round and some stats build up forever. In other words,play everyday and win, or you can come and play a few times within a round and still WIN!

    It’s also a first person shooter along with magical weapons and even melee hand to hand combat and throwing weapons. Come check it out at


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