One persistent world holding thousands of players simultaneously, a world that continues even when you log off. That was the dream, wasn't it? Having an insane number of players all occupying the same game space? Having you and 100 of your closest friends (or perhaps enemies) battling it out over loot, bosses, pvp, and anything else the game had to offer? Persistence has long been one of the central aspects of the MMO genre, where "one continuous world" rules over all. So is persistence what defines an MMO or is it not that clear cut? Perhaps persistence is nothing more than a pesky piece of unpleasant pie and maybe we shouldn't define our genre by it as we do now.
In this issue of Redefining MMOs, I'm going to tackle the thorny issue of persistence, from its definition down to what we perceive the word to mean. I'm also going to include a discussion on two very different games -- 1 vs. 100 and Chromehounds -- and put both to the MMO persistence test. Then, as the article all comes together, I'm going to tackle the biggest question of them all: "Does persistence matter?" If you have an opinion on this week's subject, feel free to leave a comment on page 3 or even write your own "Redefining MMOs" blog post and leave a comment with the URL.