Mad World MMORPG Testing Today

Posted by Daeity On Monday, October 30, 2017

Mad World is one of the first HTML5-based MMORPGs that can be quickly played in any (capable) browser. Developed by a small team of developers in Korea, I have been following Jandisoft for some time with eager anticipation.

Today, they have just opened up an "alpha test" of basic gameplay and PVP. Here's a direct link where you can start playing right away in your web browser:

No sign-in or install required.

The game is, of course, still very buggy. Certain classes are overpowered in PVP, movement is jerky, players can get stuck on walls, server latency vastly extends mob hit range, and you're really only seeing a small fraction of the ultimate game. All of the standard stuff you would expect.

It is, after all, just an "alpha test". =]

Really though, overused terms like "alpha" or "beta tests" are completely meaningless. Remember how long GMAIL was in beta for? Labels and version numbers are selected on a whim, and understanding how the practice is abused internally, I would never defend them myself. They are completely subjective and even the definitions of alpha vs beta change between developers (just like the term "millennial"). These days, they're used solely for marketing and PR purposes to save face when users experience bugs. You never really know what build they're really giving you, or how far ahead their internal builds are.

They all come in different flavors: alpha, early alpha, beta testing, soft launch, early demo, test candidate, canary release, etc.

I've learned, however, that complete ignorance will defend apps by invoking these labels. Unless they are paid employees, then they are shilled intentionally. Have you ever heard someone say, "it's just a beta", "still in alpha", "only a demo", or "CHILL OUT! IT'S IN SOFT LAUNCH". These people are goldmines for big companies, easily trained, manipulated, and they will quickly jump on marketing phrases like a bitch in heat. Level 10 susceptible's.

Inside the industry, we can slap completely subjective labels on anything and players will believe you. Meanwhile, others drink enough of your kool-aid until they become unpaid employees that will defend your app, attack criticism, promote ignorance, and advertise for you. These users are great for business, and very easy to identify since they all say the same things.

For Mad World, I ignored all of the labels. As a game, I can't tell yet how popular it will become. I have my doubts at the moment, but they are based on the environments and features within the game. Users need a wide variety of content to consume, and I have a suspicion that based on the art style, many of the environments will look the same. This means that players will grow bored more quickly.

As a HTML5 tech demonstration, however, the performance of the game within a web browser gives me great confidence and high hopes for the future of MMORPG's through web browsers. This is a great example of how hugely popular MMORPG's are possible within browsers that can run on any device. As HTML5 popularity grows, I think we're going to see a lot more high quality games being produced than the current flash-like clones that are currently being produced.

When the final product finally releases, I do foresee some future problems due to the claustrophobic sizes of the environments. The zones are very "tight", so players won't really receive a sense of exploration. Also, due to the number of players that play per zone, combat becomes extremely frustrating. The chaotic nature of the game might be attractive to some players, but they only represent a small fraction of gamers who prefer wider-open spaces and areas to explore. I think using the term "claustrophobia" though is a really good way to describe the game, and I don't see that aspect changing. It's meant to be a simple game, too, but they have introduced too many character defense traits for example (ie, they show too many numbers under the character details). But, those changes can easily be made.

So, far - I'm a very impressed. A great example of the power of HTML5.