PBBG Listing Standards
PBBG Listing Standards

I only list what I consider to be the very best Persistent Browser Based Games or PBBG’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”. My focus is entirely on browser MMORPG's and the only time I'll include a strat is when the game is exceptional. The reason for this is because most other PBBG sites don't distinguish between the two and most gamers have a specific type of game in mind when searching.

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 my top ranked list.

  • The game must be portable meaning that it can be played through a browser, a browser plugin such as Flash or Java, or available to play through a variety of cross-platforms compatible devices. This will include Unity. In some cases no plugin is required, these are usually HTML5 websites.
  • The game should not require any manual downloads. This is not a strict rule though. 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, this means no scheduled resets which is common in strats, but rare for RPG's.
  • 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.
  • The game should 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. On rare occasion, I will include a premium-only PBBG on my top ranked list, provided that the game is amazing when compared to other premium games, and the price is reasonable.
  • The game must be a massive multi-player PBBG, IOW, it must be an MMORPG played in a browser.
  • The game must not be a MUD. There are numerous sites that list quality MUD's already and very few sites like mine.

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 are factors that could get it ranked on this site.

RPG PBBG Extra's

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 consistent 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 site due to poor staff behavior. An occasional slip or error is understandable, we all misjudge, but a pattern of bad behavior will weigh strong on whether or not to top rank a game.
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 loved the game and that will be reflected within my reviews in a few ways, most notably, the length.

Other factors

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 or consider players that are color-blind or color-confused, 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

In the early days of my original Crane & Dragon PBBG List, this site was divided into RPG's and Strat's and I had standards for Strategy PBBG's too. These days, my site is divided between RPG PBBG's and my all time favorite PC games so I've dropped standards for Strategy PBBG's. It's rare for me to include a Strategy PBBG on this site unless it has significantly impressed me and at the time of this writing, there are only two that I've ranked, with one being a 4X game.