Global Chat: December 18-24, 2011

Leaderboard's Hybrid entry
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Merry Christmas, Massively readers! We're enjoying some time with our loved ones today here at Massively, and we hope you're doing the same. We've prepared a few things for you to read in your downtime today, though. One of them is this week's Global Chat, so follow along after the break for the best of what our readers had to say last week!

Beau took a close look at MechWarrior Online last week, and among the discussion in the comments was a query from Ehra, who pondered the concept of trying to rigidly define this and other MMOs:
Why do people fight so much to limit what the term "MMO" means? Really, so what if this game is classified as a MMO? It just means it's a subcategory of a larger genre. Heaven knows the term "RPG" has a ridiculous number of possible connotations associated with it; "MMO" is allowed to contain both instanced and persistent games.
MJ delved into the details of Aion's upcoming free-to-play transition in Europe, something her readers were eager to discuss as well. Sam Not Spam considered some of the balancing act that the developers face:
The biggest question is, "What is the fun that will attract more paying players?" Themepark content is expensive and players burn through it very quickly. Remove all PvP restrictions so its a free-for-all PvP? That'll drive more people away than it attracts.

Over-simplifying the game could drive away existing players while making it easier to burn through existing content, so that's a potential double-whammy. Now, if they made it so lowbies could contribute more in PvP or high-level players had reason to work/play with low-level players? That'd be good. Star Trek Online and City of Heroes benefit from this tremendously, as does EVE Online, methinks.
Finally, Justin tackled the issue of hybrid classes vs. specialized ones in last week's Leaderboard. There was plenty of discussion in the comments, but Ryan took some time to give due credit to both types:
I wish there were a choice for picking each equally. I really go more for the vibe of how a class plays than the specific role the class functions in. Playstyle and the general feel of the character are the most important thing for me.

I loved playing a druid in EverQuest because of the ability to switch forms, while I loved playing an Imperial Operative during SWTOR's beta because it had a very distinct, interesting gameplay that I'd never seen before and made me feel like an evil 007. The first was as hybrid as it gets, while the second was decidedly DPS (and really, mostly long-range DPS). I sort of miss the idea of games having distinct classes that played very differently. Back in my EQ days, no two classes were really alike, even if some fulfilled the same or similar roles, and that's something that's sorely lacking in today's world of games.
Now it's your turn. Throw in your two cents in the comments below, and to all a good night!

Global Chat is the weekly feature that's all about you, our readers. Every Sunday we collect the best, funniest, and most thought-provoking comments from the Massively readers and round them up into Global Chat for discussion. Read over them for yourself, hit the comment button, and add your own thoughts!
This article was originally published on Massively.