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Involve the mmo community in laying the foundation for your mmorpg.

adam_noxadam_nox hays, KSPosts: 2,065Member Uncommon

There's a big problem when a game is in development for 4+ years, then comes out with lots of info, all of it bad.  Now that they (in this case Zenimax) have spent 4 years on developing under a specific design doc and using a certain engine, with the staff they hired with these goals in mind, their path is now 90% set.  If Matt or any of the staff read, they've got to realize how screwed they are, and yet all of this could have been avoided.


But it's not the first time.  DnD:O had some designers get involved on the vnboards at ign, and they more or less just ignored suggestions, while fanboys cheered them on.  Think what you want about that game, but it didn't start out F2P.  SWTOR also was in development for some time before it's official announcement. 


Why do this to yourselves?  Why do this to the mmo genre?  I can't blame them for the development moving forward, but why not just start up some forums and a site as soon as you start work, as early as just tossing concepts around.  Tweet, facebook, blog, forum post what you guys at the table are discussing, what art style, what graphics constraints, what engine, what you want the gameplay to be like, how instanced, player housing. 


Bad decisions can be retracted if caught early, and the devs would know by the reaction of the playerbase looking forward to their product.  I'm not asking for a democratic process entirely, but these things tend to involve committee style decision making as it is, so it's not like it's a sacred work of art.


So any mmo devs with a project starting recently or soon, PLEASE, involve us or ignore us, but for gawds sake don't hide the awful truth from us for FOUR YEARS.


  • dubyahitedubyahite Lincoln, NEPosts: 2,483Member Common
    If you are a Planetside fan, you know how awesome this type of participation can be. I'm not on the TESO doom bandwagon just yet (a lot ofthe features actually sound really cool) but I can agree that dev/community interaction can be awesome.

    I think the Planetside 2 devs have done more of this than any other mmo developers ever. They take ideas from the community, they explain their decisions, they respond to posts on fansites, they do q&a's on Reddit and forums, they really understand what their community wants, for the most part.

    Higby said in an interview recently that the first thing he does when he wakes up is check the PSU forums and the planetside Reddit. That guy is in touch with his games community like Noone else, and it isn't filtered through their PR department and community managers.

    There have been times where they have posted a bunch of prototype screenshots of something like a base, and said which one do you guys like better? They frequently show us stuff while they are working on it. I've seen so many images straight from an employees desk where they just took a phone pic of a monitor and posted it.

    The twitter accounts of several devs on that team are just constant streams of info and images. Its great that we are watching the game shape up as it's being developed. We are gving them feedback and getting explanations for why systems are the way they are.

    I could go on forever about this, but I'll shut up now haha.

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,376Member Epic

    To the contrary, a company has to have a basic vision of what they want their game to be like.  If you start by saying, "We're going to make an MMORPG, but haven't decided on anything yet.  What should it be like?", then it will end up as a mediocre WoW-clone.  To break away from something generically awful, you have to have a vision and stick with it, even if 2/3 of MMORPG players hate it.  Yes, you ask your fans for advice on filling in details.  But some things have to be non-compromisable.

  • Sid_ViciousSid_Vicious Portland, ORPosts: 1,883Member Uncommon

    I hate to say this but involving the MMO community in laying the foundation for an MMORPG is how WoW was created. People will complain. And complain. And complain. And complain. Until it has become easymode. "I dont want to have to travel all the way there waahhhhh" "Groups dont want to play with me because they end up dead a lot so why cant I level up alone?" "I dont want to risk anything!" "I want to be able to dodge but I dont want to have to aim!"

    NEWS FLASH! A bank was robbed the other day and a man opened fire on the customers being held hostage. One customer zig-zag sprinted until he found cover. When questioned later he explained that he was a hardcore Darkfall Online player and knew just what to do.

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