PBBG Listing Standards
I only list Persistent Browser Based Games or PBBG’s and cross-platform device independent games. Essentially, the games I list on this site are highly portable which means that they can be played within a large number of venues such as browsers or within a wide-range of devices such as cell phones and tablets. But for the most part, I'm focused on browser based MMO's.
Our PBBG’s are categorized into 2 types: Persistent Browser Role Playing Games (RPG's) sometimes referred to as Browser Based MMORPG’s, and Persistent Browser Strategy Games sometimes referred to as “Strats”.
I try to post only the best PBBG's but in all cases, every game ever submitted for review can be found in the Mammoth PBBG List.
It is impossible to rate games impartially and no attempt has been made to do so. However, common standards have been defined.
RPG PBBG Standards
The following defines the base standards for how I judge whether or not an RPG PBBG ranks well enough for our list.
- The game must be portable meaning that it can be played through a browser, browser plugin such as Flash or Java, or available to play through a variety of cross-platforms compatible devices.
- The game must not require any manual downloads. Automatic cache downloads of temporary files such as those found with games that use plugins are okay. Optional downloads such as image pack downloads are okay too. This standard helps to define the games portability so that it can be enjoyed from public PC's and PC's at work or school. I also provide exceptions for PBBG's that require small browser plugins that must first be installed and for games that are cross-platform friendly.
- The game realm must be persistent.
- The realm should feature a "walkable" world map. A walkable world permits your character to travel using an Interactive Graphical Map (IGP). A game that is traveled by clicking a selection from a list of locations to instantly transport to that location is not walkable.
- The game must offer you one character to manage, not an army or fleet. This does not include parties, pets, or alts. Some exceptions may apply depending on the circumstances. Generally speaking, an army of characters would define the game as a Strat, not an RPG. However, I have been known to rank exceptional strats on occasion.
- The game must provide a playable free version. The free version must not impose significant penalties on players such as level limits or limitations that would otherwise render the game unenjoyable unless premium services were paid for. Optional premium services are okay as long as they don't make the game a drag for non-paying gamers. I'll list free to play PBBG's, I will not list Pay To Win PBBG's.
- The game must be a massive multi-player PBBG.
- The game must not be a MUD. There are numerous quality MUD lists already. This is not to say MUDS are bad, there was a time when I lived for MUDS and I still play them every so often.
Though rare, some of these standards may be overlooked. For example, Kingdom of Loathing does not contain a walkable world map but it's extreme depth and popularity were factors that helped to keep it ranked on this site for as long as it did.
The following standards are applied with more leniency. They may not necessarily be required of the game, but they are certainly things that I look for in a good RPG PBBG.
- The game should feature an economy system.
- There should be a character development system to improve the abilities, skills, or attributes of your character.
- Players love crafting, and so do I. I love sandbox MMO's even more.
- PvP, FvF, and GvG are features that will also improve game rankings.
- There should be no occurrences of gross staff misconduct. While this does not represent a game feature, in some cases it may reflect in game-play in ways that affect the enjoyment more so than the game features. *Many* games have been removed or omitted from my recommended list due to poor staff behavior.
Hands on experience
Due to time constraints, I am rarely able to progress a character to veteran level. Instead, I'll play the game to get some hands on experience and then talk to the players that have progressed to veteran level to benefit from their insight and experience. In the event I do progress a character to veteran level, it is due to the fact that I love the game and that will be reflected within my reviews.
Other factors that I look for that are largely biased include a clear and intuitive GUI, original content or common content done well. Colors that are easy on the eyes, and games that are not geared towards racism or hate. Content is very important but if a game offers something truly unique when compared to others, it may still get ranked even if it lacks content.
STRAT PBBG Standards
The following additional standards to those found above determine whether or not to include the game in our lists. This site maintains a focus on RPG styled PBBG's but on occasion I find a Strat that I like so much, I'm inclined to include it on this site.
- The game must not contain frequent resets or it's not a persistent realm. Some Strats have long term resets that occur every 6 months to a year and will retain some persistence for the player, this is okay.
- The rule regarding the management of armies will not disqualify a Strat from being listed, managing armies is a standard feature for strategy games.
- The world does not have to be walkable but it has a much higher chance of being included in my list if it does.