Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Duoing and System Requirements

Spinks has a good post on Duoing in MMOs, where she examines content in MMOs and pairs of players. I'd just like to add another thought to this discussion.

One important point about duoing that’s not often considered is that it has a large impact on system requirements.

A couple or family rarely has two top-of-the-line computers. They might have one edge computer, but the other computer will be a few years older. Then the oldest computer gets an upgrade, and the other person lags behind. Or the second computer won't be a desktop machine, but a laptop geared more towards work and websurfing.

So it’s important that your game be playable on the *second* household computer. I think that is where WoW has a marked advantage. A lot of newer MMOs are definitely playable on the first system, but won’t run on the second system in the household, and so the couple cannot play together.

Where a single-player game can target the spec of the first computer and still count on a purchase, an MMO or co-op multiplayer game really needs to target the second system in order to be considered a viable option for many players.


  1. That's a really good point, hadn't considered that.

    It's also why I wonder a bit about the notion of MMOs on consoles. How many households that currently have more than one computer would go out and buy more than one console (of the same type) to duo?

  2. An interesting and well put thought. Many couples I know tried various MMOs in the past - trying to leave wow - but ended up returning for that reason. Granted, they play casually but at least the missus is able to play on that old junk :p

  3. I think that was listed as a major issue with Age of Conan, is that it was barely playable below "suggested" specs, which were top of the line at the time. Wow has done a great job making sure their game is accessible with a "normal" computer (I run it on a 6 year old computer that has only had a small RAM upgrade and new video card added since I bought it)

  4. Great point. My wife and I have been "douing" WoW since BC. I played on our "Lag Top" while she was floating around Shat on the desktop. When Wrath hit, I upgraded to a desktop and floated around Dal this time, leaving her lagging on the older PC. Fortunatley for her, my Mum-in-Law needs a compture badly, so she is giving our old PC to her, and will get a new PC, once again leaving me behind.

  5. Seeing as both my wife and I are the serious gamers we both have our Quad Core PCs tuned to perfection.

    It simply wont do if one of us wouldnt run something.