Motor City Online
|Motor City Online|
Motor City Online was a racing massively multiplayer online video game released by Electronic Arts on October 29, 2001. The point of the game was to buy classic cars (mostly American muscle cars) ranging from 1930s to 1970s models, tune them up, and race them against other players. The game went offline on August 29, 2003 so EA Games could focus on their current online game at the time, The Sims Online. EA, however, developed a new online racing game, called Need for Speed: World. Many fans of Motor City Online consider Need for Speed: World a Spiritual successor of Motor City Online, although EA has denied any direct link between the two games.
Originally conceived as part of the Need for Speed series under the title Need for Speed: Motor City, all single player elements that may have been developed for the game were discarded in favor of an online-only model. The game featured some role-playing video game elements, such as leveling up after completing tasks (e.g. winning races), and a functional, supply and demand economy for players to get involved in.
Aside from EA focusing on The Sims Online, another contributing factor to MCO's demise was the game's technical setup. Lag, as with most online games, was a problem, with cars acting unpredictably during times of high latency. Falling subscription rates (from an alleged peak of 36,000) and a lack of new interest in the game eventually led to its downfall. Previous Motor City Online users were offered access to The Sims Online, Ultima Online, or Earth & Beyond. Now, while Motor City Online was dead for many years, debug files found from the development team of Motor City Online appeared within a single community. These files were originally meant to be kept private and unshared, and remained so for more than two years. MCO currently classed as "abandonware", is now available freely to everyone and in combination with these freshly public available tools and debug files, gamers who were never given the chance to enjoy Motor City Online, can now experience what only a handful of users in a single private community wanted to keep to themselves.
The original MCO community who are proud to share the original debug files, continue to privately develop more programs, launchers and updates which include the Cars that were officially added by EA until the shut down. These files however, may be more difficult to find as members of the community are unwilling to make these readily available for public use yet.
Some of the files which have been newly developed contain:
- Beta Tracks - Cars - Parts - Track Segment - New Parts/New Cars - Paint Jobs - Other Fixes/Additions
The Original Debug mode features a Single Player Mode with selection of:
- Cars - Paint Jobs - Tracks - AI - Day/Night - Weather - Direction - Race Type
The vehicles featured in Motor City Online were all American models, ranging from coupes, coupe utilities, sedans and station wagons of the 1930s to 1950s, to muscle cars from the 1960s and 1970s. Later in the games life, 3 classic truck's were available. Most of the vehicles could be cosmetically modified by chopping the roof, removing bumpers, which gave the vehicle an additional suffix on its name (i.e. "Ford Ranchero Chopped", "Ford Coupe Bumperless & Fenderless") painting the car different colors or with Scalloped/Flamed paint jobs. You could also add little trinkets like fuzzy dice, and even change the sound of the horn. Convertible versions of certain cars were available, as well as specialty and ultra rare paint jobs on cars. These paint jobs couldn't be purchased from the modification shop, the car had to be purchased with the paint job already. Some of these cars came as shells only if they were particularly rare.
Customization played a huge role in Motor City Online, just like in real life you had to find the right parts and put the right parts together - with over 2,000 authentic and licensed styling and performance parts each player was able to build his mean machine from ground up and specificate it for any Car Class.
|Engine Block||Front Tires||Chin Spoiler||Top Style|
|Camshaft||Rear Tires||Rear Spoiler||Roll Bar|
|Connecting Rods||Rear Rims||-||Paint Jobs|
|Cooling System||Front Brakes||-||Window Tinting|
|Crankshaft||Rear Brakes||-||Wheelie Bar|
|Cylinder Head||Front Shocks||-||Fuzzy Dice|
|Electrical System||Rear Shocks||-||Fog Lights|
|Exhaust Manifold||Front Springs||-||-|
|Intake Manifold||Rear Springs||-||-|
|Lubrication System||Front Sway Bar||-||-|
|Pistons||Rear Sway Bar||-||-|
|Valve Train||Front Traction Bar||-||-|
|Blower||Rear Traction Bar||-||-|
The body type categories are based upon the year in which the car was manufactured. The ranges are as follows:
|Body Type||Car Year|
|Vintage||'32 - '49|
|Classic||'50 - '59|
|Muscle||'60 - '73|
The power class of a car is determined by its horsepower to weight ratio.The ranges of the power classes are as follows:
|Power Class||HP:Weight Ratio|
|SA||0.26 and above|
|SB||>=0.24 and <0.26|
|SC||>=0.22 and <0.24|
|SD||>=0.20 and <0.22|
|A||>= 0.18 and <0.20|
|B||>=0.14 and <0.18|
|C||>=0.11 and <0.14|
|D||>=0.07 and <0.11|
At the end of the run of Motor city online, two foreign cars were available. One was the '99 Mitsubishi Eclipse. The other was the '97 Toyota Supra. Both cars were equipped with V-8 engines, and were made to be rear wheel drive in the game. This caused a lot of controversy amongst the MCO purists who believed that any car going into the game should be true to its real life mechanics. So outfitting an AWD Import with a V8 engine and RWD was ruining the experience. By the time these two cars were released EA had already announced that they were shutting down the game. They were experimenting with import cars as an attempt to attract a wider variety of players.