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Why the lack of space to roam?

chryseschryses LondonPosts: 1,453Member Uncommon

Why don' t more MMO's have space to just go roaming?

Something that really bothers me in a lot of MMO's especially new ones is the lack of open spaces that aren't crammed up with:
- Missions
- Events
- Mobs
- Pvp

etc etc.

It seems developers can't bare the thought of just having lands to roam for resources or just atmosphere. They need to cram every square inch in with some sort of joy ride. For me it takes away from the immersion and realism of an MMO. 

Basically I want to feel that I can go off in a direction and get lost and 'maybe' come across a roaming mob(s) or patch of resources that most don't know about.

Games I have played which have done this well:
Fallen Earth - I could really get lost and sometimes I was rewarded when I found a big resource
Jumpgate/EVE - both games allowed a player to go deep into space for exploration etc.
Neocron - Several times I went on safari and came across resource or interesting mobs.
Vanguard to a certain point - Allows that exploration and I had a great time doing it.

I have played games for 30 years.  I don't need to have a carrot dangling in front of me 100% of the time.  I feel MMO's could be massively improved by adding in space with the absence of something obvious to do.
Don't know about others but for me I end up feeling like a rat caught in a maze.

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Comments

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,257Member Uncommon

    Game Engine and Server issues.

    image

  • rounnerrounner CanberraPosts: 603Member Uncommon

    Look at Vanguard: When the population is small people are too spread out, unless you add instatravel...

  • ReallyNow10ReallyNow10 Pile It High Town, LAPosts: 2,010Member Common

    I hear the O.P.  I think the answer is that devs don't have a very high opinion of gamers and think we need to be led by the nose on a continual basis.

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    I think it's because of a philosophy on "wasted space".

    When was the last time you seen a themepark game that had a corner of the map *not* dedicated to some quest goal?

    There are people that would see that unused space and scream "fail game is empty".

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  • eugheuforceeugheuforce coulomiiersPosts: 37Member Uncommon

    It's not really a mmo, but that's also what I love in Minecraft. It feels like you can wander in some random direction, kills a few mobs for the sake of fun, you don't need story, quests, missions or anything, this is just fun exploring.

     

    I want that feel in mmos. 

     

    Lineage 2 in the early days had that feel, the game wasn't telling you where to go, you'd just explore and kill stuff. Quests were almost non-existant but that wasn't a problem.

  • chryseschryses LondonPosts: 1,453Member Uncommon

    It can easily be done and some MMO's are very clever at it. 

    EVE is probably the best example.  There are busy hubs and traffic lanes that are always peaked with other players.  However if you want to go deep space you can.  There are greater dangers/rewards and with the introduction of exploration to find hidden bases, it really gave the feeling of a huge Universe where you could find something other players couldn't. 

    Fallen Earth on a tiny budget compared to some AAA titles, has huge vast open spaces to go driving/riding off into.  I am not expecting to see another player and if I do its like a big 'wow' moment.  (or WTF! if I am gathering resource in a PvP zone)

    The crucial thing is, there is a feeling of reality in the MMO with options to explore and possibly find something other players have not.

    Like one post has implied.  I feel I am being treated like an idiot who needs missions stacked on top of each other in case I end up by myself for 5 minutes!

  • RamanadjinnRamanadjinn Huntsville, ALPosts: 1,365Member Uncommon

    in most linear progression games there is no reason to have huge expansive areas.  you can fit all of the quests/events and monsters in not much space at all and nobody gets lost or feels they are wasting their time walking through empty unfinished world.

    a less linear, more option-rich game though could benefit from such large open world design as there would be more room for building housing, player cities, and such. but thats just one reason for such world design in such a game. there are many more.

    in summation i really just feel it is a design issue and we see mostly one type of game and that one type of world that lends itself to it!

  • DrevarDrevar College Station, TXPosts: 157Member Uncommon

    Asheron's Call had that huge world go off and explore the far corners of the world experience, until they started adding portals by the gross.

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  • donjndonjn Valencia, CAPosts: 770Member Uncommon

    How can you not include Lord of the Rings Online? This is one of the most open space games ever made.

    There are massive sections of unused area that goes on forever. Nen Harn, Far Cheetwood, everyhting North of Buckland, Northern Weather Hills, etc...

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GTwander

    I think it's because of a philosophy on "wasted space".

    When was the last time you seen a themepark game that had a corner of the map *not* dedicated to some quest goal?

    There are people that would see that unused space and scream "fail game is empty".

    it would nice to see villages without Quests. All the npcs living their lives (not standing muted in one place forever) but they wont give you quests. Maybe even things happen that would encourage players to go there and investigate grim situations or just explore without being an actual quest, instead just following the Lore through events. Kind of even more in depth that GW2 dynamic events themselves.

    image
  • I'd really love for more MMOs to have big open spaces with seamless transition between zones. For me at least that's a really important part of the whole MMORPG experience. I find it sad that most MMOs don't have open zones and rely on load screens to connect them.

  • DisdenaDisdena Troy, NYPosts: 1,093Member
    Originally posted by chryses

    It seems developers can't bare the thought of just having lands to roam for resources or just atmosphere. They need to cram every square inch in with some sort of joy ride. For me it takes away from the immersion and realism of an MMO. 

    Basically I want to feel that I can go off in a direction and get lost and 'maybe' come across a roaming mob(s) or patch of resources that most don't know about.

    There's a bit of a paradox there, though. You want to go somewhere most people don't go, and find something that most people would value.

    In EQ, there was a small unmarked entrance in the south mountain wall of west Commonlands. If you happened to find it and duck inside, there was a huge multi-level dungeon full of undead. For people playing the first week after release, this was an awesome and terrifying find. But for the years and years that followed, it was common knowledge that Befallen is the low level dungeon off of Commonlands. Even though it was easy to miss, it was impossible to not know that it was there because of its importance. If you had zone chat on, you'd know what it was and where it was and all of its secrets by the time you were high enough level to go there. The same goes for most of EQ's dungeons, actually. Unmarked remote entrances but hardly secrets.

    Information sharing makes what you're asking for very very difficult. If there's something worth finding, and if anyone's found it, you'll know about it shortly. In order for developers to make a world based around exploration and discovery, they would have to cater to a playerbase with a strong anti-spoiler culture. That's nonexistent in MMOs right now.

    image
  • DarkmothDarkmoth Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 174Member

    Silithus used to be like that pre-Burning Crusade. IIRC there wasn't a single quest in the entire zone. Unsurprisingly, it was normally quite empty.

    I think there's a difference between an area that's pointless to go to, and an area that no one's discovered yet.

  • adderVXIadderVXI st cloud, MNPosts: 639Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Disdena
    Originally posted by chryses

    It seems developers can't bare the thought of just having lands to roam for resources or just atmosphere. They need to cram every square inch in with some sort of joy ride. For me it takes away from the immersion and realism of an MMO. 

    Basically I want to feel that I can go off in a direction and get lost and 'maybe' come across a roaming mob(s) or patch of resources that most don't know about.

    There's a bit of a paradox there, though. You want to go somewhere most people don't go, and find something that most people would value.

    In EQ, there was a small unmarked entrance in the south mountain wall of west Commonlands. If you happened to find it and duck inside, there was a huge multi-level dungeon full of undead. For people playing the first week after release, this was an awesome and terrifying find. But for the years and years that followed, it was common knowledge that Befallen is the low level dungeon off of Commonlands. Even though it was easy to miss, it was impossible to not know that it was there because of its importance. If you had zone chat on, you'd know what it was and where it was and all of its secrets by the time you were high enough level to go there. The same goes for most of EQ's dungeons, actually. Unmarked remote entrances but hardly secrets.

    Information sharing makes what you're asking for very very difficult. If there's something worth finding, and if anyone's found it, you'll know about it shortly. In order for developers to make a world based around exploration and discovery, they would have to cater to a playerbase with a strong anti-spoiler culture. That's nonexistent in MMOs right now.

    I remember finding that place myself!!  The terror as we worked our way into the rooms was awesome!  Later when i though i was a badass, i went in alone and fell through a fake floor.  I died and with none of my friends on, a different guild helped me get my corpse back.

    Those sort of experiences are done however...

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  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,927Member Uncommon

    In some games I think they push the density a bit too far (too crowded for my tastes).  Then again, I consider travel time integral with exploring, which I enjoy.  Many don't like it.

     

    From what I've heard, one of the most wide open games is / was SWG.


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  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by XAPGames

    In some games I think they push the density a bit too far (too crowded for my tastes).  Then again, I consider travel time integral with exploring, which I enjoy.  Many don't like it.

    No one likes it. If anyone did, Roger Corman could have successfully produced the Tolkien Trilogy.

    People say they want travel time because they envision it laden with adventure, mystery and rewarding encounters. If travel had that, it would

    • a) be frustrating for the people just trying to get from point A to point B
    • b) not be travel, but simply denser adventure, which worsk directly against the 'open space' thing
     
    It seems like what they really want is areas of unscripted adventure. If so, it's a classic example of players not knowing what they really want, and the developers having to decipher what it is and try to deliver it, because if they deliver what the players actually asked for, those same players will scream 'fail' and reject the game. 
     

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    You could try Uncharted Waters Online.  It has 166 cities, of which only 24 offer any quests at all.  Most (all?) cities are involved in at least one quest, but the time between when you first discover a city and when you finally get a quest that involves that city could easily be dozens or hundreds of hours of gameplay.  Some quests are very open-ended, too, so if you need to get some chickens, for example, there are a lot of different ways to do it, and a quest that could involve some particular city doesn't necessarily have to do so.

    If you're in Seville or London, then there are going to be a lot of people around.  But there are a lot of places that are far more remote.  If you're in Jofra, K'gari, Pondicherry, Natal, or Copiapo, there's a good chance that it will be just you and the NPCs.  And that's for actual cities; there are also about 140 landing points in the game, with NPCs that may or may not attack you.  And Koei visibly put a lot of work into some very remote areas that most players will never see, such as Angkor Wat, Borobudur, the Konark Sun Temple, Easter Island, or Machu Picchu.

    And that's just on land.  There are also oceans, and they're vast.  The oceans aren't seamless, as there are clear boundaries from one ocean zone to the next, but if you blink, you might miss the transition.

  • majimaji ColognePosts: 2,003Member Uncommon

    People want things to happen quickly. They want to level quickly, finish quests quickly, and get to whereever they want to quickly. The developers know that. And the more they cramp stuff together, the more quickly players can do their stuff.

    Also, it saves time and money that would be required to design any larger space.

     

    I agree with you, I like games with a bit of space, such as Fallen Earth. That helps with the immersion. When I played Rift, I was sometimes done with a quest hub, and walking to the next quest hub took maybe 20 seconds. It's silly, and kills the immersion too.

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  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,927Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    You could try Uncharted Waters Online.

    Sounds excellent.  Thanks for the tip.


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  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by XAPGames
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    You could try Uncharted Waters Online.

    Sounds excellent.  Thanks for the tip.

    It's one of the few games where exploration content is actually included.  

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • ReallyNow10ReallyNow10 Pile It High Town, LAPosts: 2,010Member Common
    Originally posted by Disdena
    Originally posted by chryses

    It seems developers can't bare the thought of just having lands to roam for resources or just atmosphere. They need to cram every square inch in with some sort of joy ride. For me it takes away from the immersion and realism of an MMO. 

    Basically I want to feel that I can go off in a direction and get lost and 'maybe' come across a roaming mob(s) or patch of resources that most don't know about.

    There's a bit of a paradox there, though. You want to go somewhere most people don't go, and find something that most people would value.

    In EQ, there was a small unmarked entrance in the south mountain wall of west Commonlands. If you happened to find it and duck inside, there was a huge multi-level dungeon full of undead. For people playing the first week after release, this was an awesome and terrifying find. But for the years and years that followed, it was common knowledge that Befallen is the low level dungeon off of Commonlands. Even though it was easy to miss, it was impossible to not know that it was there because of its importance. If you had zone chat on, you'd know what it was and where it was and all of its secrets by the time you were high enough level to go there. The same goes for most of EQ's dungeons, actually. Unmarked remote entrances but hardly secrets.

    Information sharing makes what you're asking for very very difficult. If there's something worth finding, and if anyone's found it, you'll know about it shortly. In order for developers to make a world based around exploration and discovery, they would have to cater to a playerbase with a strong anti-spoiler culture. That's nonexistent in MMOs right now.

    That's all fine, though, and it still worked, even years into the game.

  • gatherisgatheris Charlotte, MIPosts: 995Member Uncommon

    well, the way NOT to do it was Fallen Earth

    huge areas of space with nothing in it - absolutely nothing - rock and dirt i suppose

    great opportunity for unique creatures or plants to use in crafting to make your stuff "different"

    not that FE would allow you to make something different - everybody made the same stuff based on level - ho-hum

     

    image

  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,301Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by eugheuforce

    Lineage 2 in the early days had that feel, the game wasn't telling you where to go, you'd just explore and kill stuff. Quests were almost non-existant but that wasn't a problem.

    I loved Lineage II up to November last year. Like you say, quests were almost non-exsistant and each level you had only 1 or 2 quests you could pickup and a load of continues gathering quests (for rather sh!tty reward BTW). Grinding was the way mostly and have those gather quests always with you for extra income ;)

    But indeed as OP said... Most MMO's these days (ahum, for the last 7 years already) have every spot packed with monsters linked to one quest or the other :(

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  • ReallyNow10ReallyNow10 Pile It High Town, LAPosts: 2,010Member Common
    Originally posted by gatheris

    well, the way NOT to do it was Fallen Earth

    huge areas of space with nothing in it - absolutely nothing - rock and dirt i suppose

    great opportunity for unique creatures or plants to use in crafting to make your stuff "different"

    not that FE would allow you to make something different - everybody made the same stuff based on level - ho-hum

     

    True.

    <---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

    Big empty                    Sweet Spot!                                                            Too Linear

    World

     

  • FredomSekerZFredomSekerZ Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,156Member

    We need an mmo with good terraforming mechanics.

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