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teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member

All this debate about theme park vs. sandbox, action combat vs tab targetting, dynamic vs. scripted and the 'stagnation' of MMORPGs...

The biggest problem that has plagues the industry since WoW isnt that they are copying WoW, its that they aren't copying the GOOD parts of WoW.  'You're not in Azeorth anymore.'  No, I am in someplace much more generic and bland.

Games have lost sight of immersion and the RP part of MMORPG.  And I'm not talking about creating backstories for your characters or heading to the Goldshire Inn on Moonguard for some good ole kinky ERP, Im talking about the abilities for games to suck you into the world and create an attachment to your character.

This goes back to that greatest slogan ever created for an MMORPG.  Norrath was an actual world.  It was massive, and full of wonder.  There was tons of in game lore waiting to be discovered, and different races with different personalities and motivations.  So much care went into creating that world and it shows.  Vanilla Azeroth had this as well, and its a very big reason for its success.  As its gone farther and farther away from that approach, interest seems to have gone down.

Now we have games like Rift and SWtoR, where the game world is just a place to cram quests in.  Every bit of the map has its purpose to fulfill a quest of some kind, and the whole thing just feels fake and artificial.  The last time I rode around an MMORPG just taking in the world around me was in LOTRO, which is coincidentally (or is it?) the last game to not suffer a loss of subs in its first couple years.  It just seems games are now content first, world second.

There is some hope on the horizon though.  WHile it suffers from cramming in too much content like other games, at least GW2 gets the lore driven world.  Its glorious cities are the best cities an MMO has seen in a VERY long time.  Full of local flavor, they are wonders to explore.  Even the often too hectic zones in GW2 at least seem a bit less artificial.  Its a step in the right direction at least, and GW2 has that exploration factor because there could be something interesting lurking in that unmarked corner of your map.

Another completely different positive sign, one that DOES focus on the textbook definition of RP but will create a greater bond with your character for many is the SoEmote.  It is finally a company that is interesting on improving the social aspects of an MMORPG beyond just bigger and badder guild features.

I think the future is a return to the quality of game worlds, with more sandbox elements thrown in but not necessarily pure sandbox.  I still have never understood why companies don't look to SWG for inspiration, as that game was a disaster PvE combat wise (bad balance, lackluster and sparse content) but had a loyal fanbase around 300k people.  How did a game that did so poorly at what companies think people want have such a large following?  People felt connected.  They logged on not to a game, but a galaxy far, far away.

MMORPG developers:  bring back those immersive worlds.  We want to be in your world once more.

 

 

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Comments

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,476Member Uncommon

    what will you do when your customers complain that something isn't the way they demand it should be?

    Yes, the must have it now crowd.

  • azmundaiazmundai St Louis, MOPosts: 1,417Member


    Originally posted by teakbois
    where the game world is just a place to cram quests in.  Every bit of the map has its purpose to fulfill a quest of some kind, and the whole thing just feels fake and artificial.  
      

    Well put. Really most of what needs to be said. The same basic thing can be said about raiding, dungeons and pvp.

    It used to be ok to say "brb" in Scholo. Now you just get booted from the group. Very telling.

    LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
    I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  • pierthpierth San Antonio, TXPosts: 1,503Member

    As long as gamers keep paying for shallow, linear, and completely derivative MMOs that is all we'll get because they take less time and money to produce and keep up than virtual worlds.

  • DibdabsDibdabs FelvershamPosts: 2,604Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by pierth

    As long as gamers keep paying for shallow, linear, and completely derivative MMOs that is all we'll get because they take less time and money to produce and keep up than virtual worlds.

    This is the absolute truth. 

    Give some players a simple, linear game where they can gather 10,000 Wolf Tails (or whatever other body part the 'inventive' game designers come up with) over a timespan of months and they're as happy as pigs in s*it.

    There are also players that LOVE "Shiny Gear and Trinkets" gaming, epitomised by the End Game Nerds who can't get enough of raiding to get better gear to do more raiding to get better gear to... well, you see how it goes.  It's like they're stuck in Groundhog Day but, pathetically, loving it!

    Any company catering to the two crowds described above will make mucho cash for a minimum of game design work.  They don't need to bother wasting money catering for anyone else.  You only have to look around to see it's true.

  • ArawulfArawulf Guest Writer Freeland, MIPosts: 522Member Uncommon

    Developer X: I've created a vast expansive world to explore!  Enjoy the open spaces!

    Player: Open spaces?  Bah, this game has a lack of content.  I ran 20 feet and didn't even see an NPC. FAIL!

    image

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by Dibdabs

    Give some players a simple, linear game where they can gather 10,000 Wolf Tails (or whatever other body part the 'inventive' game designers come up with) over a timespan of months and they're as happy as pigs in s*it.

    Completely off topic, but I wonder how things would function in a game that doesn't ask you to kill anything, ever, and the death rattle of a simple pig is enough to emotionally scar a person for life. Like, actually having to have the real-life balls of a hunter to stomach it, and have poor little Babe stare up at you from the ground screaming "Whhhhy" from his dead eyes.

    Would that truly be "hardcore" PvE?

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,998Member Uncommon

    Unfortunately, the larger player base is not looking for an in-depth virtual world, they're here just to play a game for a short while and their dollars speak larger than any other demographic it seems.

    I had totally expected MMORPG's to go another direction when I first started, if you told me that they would have evolved more and more towards single player, lobby based, almost console based experiences I would have scoffed at you.

    Which would have revealed my lack of business sense and naivety when it comes to knowing what would sell and how MMO Dev would naturally go. (chasing the most dollars of course)

    We might see a few indy titles attempt to create better virtual worlds, but major AAA houses aren't likely to chase that market any time soon.

     

     

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    We might see a few indy titles attempt to create better virtual worlds, but major AAA houses aren't likely to chase that market any time soon.

    A good virtual world is one where you would literally "stop to smell the roses".

    I don't see the common MMO player doing that... well, ever.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • cutthecrapcutthecrap nobusinessofyoursPosts: 600Member
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    Unfortunately, the larger player base is not looking for an in-depth virtual world, they're here just to play a game for a short while and their dollars speak larger than any other demographic it seems.

    I think it's very simple. Most people play games incl MMO's to have fun and an entertaining time. For some that's simply playing a game, for others that's wandering around in a virtual world, for again others both are good as long as it's fun.

    Also, I think the demographics of the MMO playerbase has changed. Where before in the early years had a large percentage who'd feel comfortable with playing PnP RPG's or complex mechanics, that percentage has shrunk significantly when MMO's opened up to a mainstream audience, many of whom couldn't care less about the old RPG's or complex indepth mechanics.

  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Pittsville, VAPosts: 5,212Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    We might see a few indy titles attempt to create better virtual worlds, but major AAA houses aren't likely to chase that market any time soon.

    A good virtual world is one where you would literally "stop to smell the roses".

    I don't see the common MMO player doing that... well, ever.

     Hell they almost never did. Not after the first time anyway. What replayability is there in a virtual world? Once you've seen it you've seen it and won't pay to see it again. The real attraction of the old days was the communities not the game. People were looking to make connections and share experiences. Now they just want to finish and move on. People visit Disneyland they don't really want to live there.

    "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  • darker70darker70 stokePosts: 813Member

    OP Only AAA Mo recently announced that i think will do well because it is different is Defiance with the TV tie in possibly a real game changer,as for games being inspired and wanting to create the worlds of old SWG look no further than my banner image

    image

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by zymurgeist
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    We might see a few indy titles attempt to create better virtual worlds, but major AAA houses aren't likely to chase that market any time soon.

    A good virtual world is one where you would literally "stop to smell the roses".

    I don't see the common MMO player doing that... well, ever.

     Hell they almost never did. Not after the first time anyway. What replayability is there in a virtual world? Once you've seen it you've seen it and won't pay to see it again. The real attraction of the old days was the communities not the game. People were looking to make connections and share experiences. Now they just want to finish and move on. People visit Disneyland they don't really want to live there.

    People still want to sit in chairs, so perhaps there is still hope for the lot of em.

    It's really about what a person does during downtime, but now the very idea of downtime scares the masses. Travel times included. Part of me wants to say they are just spoiled, but I can understand us older folks having more important RL-matters to attend to these days, and thusly limited time... but then what is the excuse for the impatient kiddos out there?

    /backhands for all of them and their stupid smart phones and fast food drive-thru culture.

    ~Oh yeah, my point is you can't have a virtual world without the niggling hindrances that make you take stock in where you are at, and what you are doing at a given moment. Back in the day you had to wait for transit, move large distances, etc, etc, and it's pretty much what made a world... the niggling shit.

    Even in real life you have a car drive between work and home that allows you to think and truly put things into perspective. Virtual worlds sometimes need that. If it was just instantaneous work then play, you'd be a bunch of boring and entitled motherf**kers.

    Essentially the journey between rides at Disneyland is as important as the rides themselves... and some people would love to live there, you crazy.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • DivonaDivona WellingtonPosts: 175Member
    Originally posted by zymurgeist
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    We might see a few indy titles attempt to create better virtual worlds, but major AAA houses aren't likely to chase that market any time soon.

    A good virtual world is one where you would literally "stop to smell the roses".

    I don't see the common MMO player doing that... well, ever.

     Hell they almost never did. Not after the first time anyway. What replayability is there in a virtual world? Once you've seen it you've seen it and won't pay to see it again. The real attraction of the old days was the communities not the game. People were looking to make connections and share experiences. Now they just want to finish and move on. People visit Disneyland they don't really want to live there.

    The problem with replayability in MMO is that because the contents are static. What has been put there will always be there, where in the real world, things are changing because of the people and the nature themselves. A real virtual world is the one that even when there is no player around, things still change. Day and night, seasons through out the years, weather condition, organisms migrate from one part to another, sea level rise and low depend on luna cycle, building are destroy and has been rebuilded. Current MMO are just linear scripted world with high predicability. Community definately part of what make the world interesting, but the world itself should moving on through time as well, not just stuck in time.

  • General-ZodGeneral-Zod Zod, CAPosts: 743Member Uncommon

    Nowdays when you log in there is only a few things to do.. simply put, level progress or craft stuff. Ill use SWG as an example, when I logged in to SWG I could progress in combat skills on my choice of planets or work on my piloting in space.. Work on my profession (dancing.. etc) or craft weapons or browse the market for nice stuff to put in my house... hang out in the catina to heal up and chat with guild or start a fight (asking somebody to step outside) or just PvP...

    I played it for years even after the Combat upgrade... most games I play I find myself jumping from game to game along with the rest of the masses

    *some spelling

    image
  • herculeshercules lancashire,blackpoolPosts: 4,791Member Uncommon
    To be fair i think rift did copy the good part of wow just added nothing original .
    Ps they copied it well might I add.
  • rothbardrothbard Oak Ridge, TNPosts: 248Member

    IMO, it is the focus on "game" that kills the immersion.  When the entire reason for the virtual world is to support a single game, it loses something.  Let there be games IN the world, not make have the world itself be a game.

  • OberanMiMOberanMiM Chicago, ILPosts: 236Member
    Originally posted by hercules
    To be fair i think rift did copy the good part of wow just added nothing original .
    Ps they copied it well might I add.

     

    I think it copied the worst parts and made it worse (maybe just a differnce in taste). The exact reasons why I dislike WoW for becoming too casual are what drove me away from Rift. The dungeon finder, the endgame rat race, the poor community (which was made worse by the server transfers).

    In my mind they lied about the "Your not in Azeroth anymore". It headed in the direction to become more like Azeroth than Azeroth was. My account ran out  around last september as I had no urge to log in anymore. Most of the people I  played with felt the same way about the game.

  • itgrowlsitgrowls newport news, VAPosts: 2,951Member

    I'd actually have to disagree with you on Rift. Their design doesn't just use real estate for throwing in some questlines. The world isn't bland because of the design, it's bland because of the writing. I had a hard time following the lore on any part of Rift because the writers they had created a backstory that wasn't easily followable. The world itself actually felt more alive then most due to the Rifts opening and due to the events happening in various zones in the world and there are pleanty of puzzles there. (once had to jump up the steps of a sheared off mountain cliff to get to a puzzle piece.) So really if Trion had better writers they would have made it easier to follow the lore, however, lore isn't the only thing that makes a world immersive. They had immersion but the lore pretty much broke it by being bad writing. The rest of the immersion process in Rift was actually sound, some kind of events happening nearby, very few safe places, mobs that actually patrolled. 

    I agree that GW2 appeals to me because they have more immersion, they have ambient talking nearby, they are sharing lore with the public before the game releases so we understand what's happening and the lore is easier to follow. GW2 is a beautiful game as well as Rift, but because of the design of GW2 there is more immersion then the other games and your right it does show in the gameplay. Critters etc all doing their thing in GW2.

     

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    GW2 is the first AAA Themepark in a long, long time that I feel really gets the immersion right and persuades you quite actively to stop and smell the roses, explore, and have FUN on the journey not just at the destination because you never know what you'll run into if you just pick a direction and go.

    Game doesn't have to be a sandbox to be a virtual world, just needs to be designed in a way to encourage immersion.

    Many themepark games have tried to immerse you in the story and/or immerse you in YOUR character, but most have completely forgotten about immersing you in the world itself.

    GW2 has been a huge gusting hurricane of fresh air for me, this old haggard burned-out MMO veteran.

     

  • IrusIrus Wichita, KSPosts: 774Member

    I suggest you check out GW2, OP. I agree with your post, though. I liked WoW for its universe most of all and other games had trouble developing that.

    And agreed with itgrowls on Rift. Rift had potential in that sense, but the writing/lore was truly terrible and I had trouble caring about anything going on in that world.

  • BigAndShinyBigAndShiny LondonPosts: 176Member

    It's not the size of the world that matters, can people please stop thinking about that.   WoW if you add all the continents together is far smaller than the total area of all the planets in SW:TOR, but it has soul.  It has variety, and details and makes you want to explore.  

    Do you know what it says on the back of the World of Warcraft 2004 retail box?  The three most important words (presumably after World of Warcraft itself) in the history of online gaming:

    "A World Awaits"

     (proof)   http://www.wolfmanzbytes.com/gamereviews/wow/wowboxbacklg.jpg

    That feeling of a true online world has never been beaten, not by TOR, not by GW2 and not by RIFT/AOC/WAR.    I would say the game that has come closest is Vanguard, but we all know what happened to that one. 

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Arawulf

    Developer X: I've created a vast expansive world to explore!  Enjoy the open spaces!

    Player: Open spaces?  Bah, this game has a lack of content.  I ran 20 feet and didn't even see an NPC. FAIL!

    You know, there actually isn't a contradiction here. 

    A world is more than a map - it needs content, events, verbs. 

    If there are no roses, you can't blame people for not stopping to smell them.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by waynejr2
    what will you do when your customers complain that something isn't the way they demand it should be?Yes, the must have it now crowd.
    Stick to your guns and let the whiners move onto more "acceptable" games for them.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member
    Originally posted by Irus

    I suggest you check out GW2, OP. I agree with your post, though. I liked WoW for its universe most of all and other games had trouble developing that.

    And agreed with itgrowls on Rift. Rift had potential in that sense, but the writing/lore was truly terrible and I had trouble caring about anything going on in that world.

    GW2 is partially what inspired me to write this, because its the closest anyone has come to what EQ and WoW had.

     

    One of the big issues with Rift is its totally unnatural mob every 2 steps issue, and ths even after they reduced the amount of them.  Very little in Rift feels right, and a lot of it is because of the clutter.  And yes, its mediocre lore and extremely underwhelming races are a big factor as well.  Ive always said one of the major problems of Rift is it lacks soul, and playing GW2 and Rift side by side illustrates this.  SWToR was actually a step above Rft in this department, but not by much.

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member
    Originally posted by maplestone
    Originally posted by Arawulf

    Developer X: I've created a vast expansive world to explore!  Enjoy the open spaces!

    Player: Open spaces?  Bah, this game has a lack of content.  I ran 20 feet and didn't even see an NPC. FAIL!

    You know, there actually isn't a contradiction here. 

    A world is more than a map - it needs content, events, verbs. 

    If there are no roses, you can't blame people for not stopping to smell them.

    If there is a rose every 2 steps there is no sense stopping to smell them, the odor will overwhelm you and you will grow sick of it.

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