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SWTOR: How to makee a successful MMORPG by Gordon Walton ( Zenimax Matt Firor beware)

ste2000ste2000 londonPosts: 4,705Member Uncommon

I just remembered few years ago an interesting lesson by the ex General Manager of Bioware Austin and daddy of SWTOR, Gordon Walton.

He was giving a lesson on how to build the post WOW MMOs and indirectly describing how Bioware future MMO (SWTOR) should look like in order to be a successful game.

Incidentally, by reading it, I was thinking to myself, "This guy hasn't got a clue", but he was the professional, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Looking at how SWTOR turned out, I must say my first gut instinct was right after all.

I am mentioning this guy because, recently I came across another person that sounds a lot like Gordon Walton and gave me the same unconfortable feelings.

This guy is non other than Zenimax Online studio director Matt Firor.

The way he talks and what he says reminded me a lot about Gordon Walton and his pompous lessons on how to make a successful MMO.

Reading and watching Matt interviews describing what TESO is going to look like, I often went "WTF" or "What is he talking about", and came to the conclusion tha Mr. Firor lost touch with the MMO community and doesn't know how to make a MMO anymore (He was one of DAOC creator together with Mark Jacobs who then developed Warhammer Online)

I am really worried that Matt Firor could follow Gordon Walton and his theory,  and screws the TES IP, like Walton screwed KOTOR Online.

 

Anyway if you want to learn how to make a succcessfull MMORPG like SWTOR here is a link with the useful lesson (/sarcasm):

>>> Gordon Walton MMO lesson - Sept 2007

Enjoy yourselves............and please take notes image

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Comments

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by ste2000

    I just remembered few years ago an interesting lesson by the ex General Manager of Bioware Austin and daddy of SWTOR, Gordon Walton.

    He was giving a lesson on how to build the post WOW MMOs and indirectly describing how Bioware future MMO (SWTOR) should look like in order to be a successful game.

    Incidentally, by reading it, I was thinking to myself, "This guy hasn't got a clue", but he was the professional, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    Looking at how SWTOR turned out, I must say my first gut instinct was right after all.

    I am mentioning this guy because, recently I came across another person that sounds a lot like Gordon Walton and gave me the same unconfortable feelings.

    This guy is non other than Zenimax Online studio director Matt Firor.

    The way he talks and what he says reminded me a lot about Gordon Walton and his pompous lessons on how to make a successful MMO.

    Reading and watching Matt interviews describing what TESO is going to look like, I often went "WTF" or "What is he talking about", and came to the conclusion tha Mr. Firor lost touch with the MMO community and doesn't know how to make a MMO anymore (He was one of DAOC creator together with Mark Jacobs who then developed Warhammer Online)

    I am really worried that Matt Firor could follow Gordon Walton and his theory,  and screws the TES IP, like Walton screwed KOTOR Online.

     

    Anyway if you want to learn how to make a succcessfull MMORPG like SWTOR here is a link with the useful lesson (/sarcasm):

    >>> Gordon Walton MMO lesson - Sept 2007

    Enjoy yourselves............and please take notes image

    Your experiences are your own, can you give citation examples here?  Saying in 20/20 hindsight that someone wasn't any good is about as good as guessing the lottery numbers.  You see where this is, elaborate pls?

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • MMOarQQMMOarQQ BoogalululuPosts: 636Member

    Ahh yes, "embrace solo play".

    Now I see what happened.

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon

    Interesting view back in time, lol

     

    But according to Walton "a common developer mistake is to give people good choice, bad choice, medium choice. They need to all be good choices. People want to feel like things are complex, but they don't really want them complex. You have to give them the illusion of complexity but keep it super-simple."

     

    Yup, everybody wins, all the time. There should only be good consequences, regardless of what the player does, etc.

     

    The most depressing part of it all is that he was mostly correct on all points. It was a fine analysis of what made WoW appeal to the masses.

  • KorususKorusus Auburn, ALPosts: 831Member

    Without a doubt.  I agree wholeheartedly.  TES:O will fail sure enough.  It's not even worth debating.  I've had enough of these insulated, bunker-mentality devs that waste hundreds of millions of dollars developing games to compete with decade old design mechanics.  It's ironic that these AAA studios that have no experience with MMOs try to steal all of the talent in the industry with familiarity with developing MMOs...only problem is that these people are competing in an industry that no longer exists, this isn't 2004 or 2006, it's 2012.  A successful game a decade ago is not going to compete in the modern industry. 

    And considering the first thing TES:O did was alienate the core Elder Scrolls fans...that's not off to a good start.  At least SW:TOR has the hardcore Star Wars fans to keep it afloat.

    Totally agree, Matt Firor belongs in the same category as a Brad McQuaid or <insert any BioWare Austin dev here>

    ----------
    Life sucks, buy a helmet.

  • 3-4thElf3-4thElf Elftown, MEPosts: 489Member
    Originally posted by ste2000

    I just remembered few years ago an interesting lesson by the ex General Manager of Bioware Austin and daddy of SWTOR, Gordon Walton.

    ....

    I am really worried that Matt Firor could follow Gordon Walton and his theory,  and screws the TES IP, like Walton screwed KOTOR Online.

     

    Anyway if you want to learn how to make a succcessfull MMORPG like SWTOR here is a link with the useful lesson (/sarcasm):

    >>> Gordon Walton MMO lesson - Sept 2007

    Enjoy yourselves............and please take notes image

    If you say it loud enough and repeat it often enough it'll eventually be true.

    Or so these professionals seemt to think.

    I have to say I don't really care for any of the dev talk coming from TESO and it's like they're already making excuses for 90% of the game being like other MMORPGs. Plus what they're selling as it's unique points just don't ring of "oh wow can't wait to try this Elder Scrolls game".

    Professional now a days the globe over just means.. "The smoke coming out of my ass is covered in the EULA."

    a yo ho ho

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,917Member Uncommon

    SSDD - Same stuff different developer.

     

    Okay, that's not quite what the acronym stands for, but in a quirky way it fits.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • kanezfankanezfan margate, FLPosts: 482Member

    TESO is already dead and we all know it.

  • KorususKorusus Auburn, ALPosts: 831Member
    Originally posted by 3-4thElf

    I have to say I don't really care for any of the dev talk coming from TESO and it's like they're already making excuses for 90% of the game being like other MMORPGs.

    When the very first article about the game quotes the devs as saying they aren't implementing a feature (in this case, player housing) because it would be "too hard" you know the game is dead in the water.  Not because of no player housing...but the part where they can't even come up with a decent excuse or even justify it as "not in the vision".

      Just...nope, too hard so we're not gonna.

    Try something new and implement an MMO in keeping with the Elder Scrolls tradition?  Nope...easier to just make it like every other fantasy MMO ever made, maybe throw in some story which is the new in thing to do.

    ----------
    Life sucks, buy a helmet.

  • ste2000ste2000 londonPosts: 4,705Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Karteli
    Originally posted by ste2000
     

    Your experiences are your own, can you give citation examples here?  Saying in 20/20 hindsight that someone wasn't any good is about as good as guessing the lottery numbers.  You see where this is, elaborate pls?

    I don't need to elaborate every single point, since it is quite long,

    The general feeling I had is that he had the MMO players and the WoW players in particular, completely wrong.

    His view was that WoW players are casual players (many developers think so), my view is that WoW players are quite hardcore, that's why every developer is getting it so wrong and could no replicate WOW success.

    They are designing MMOs for the wrong crowd IMO.

    I played WoW for 4 years after playing EQ and EQ2 for 6 years, and players didn't looked any less hardcore than EQ players.

    Since Walton bases all his theory on WoW players as being casuals, he gets everything wrong from there, and goes on describing a MMO with zero challenges, and so watered down so to make everyone an instant winner.

    Matt Firor is making the same mistakes as Gordon Walton, by thinking MMO players want the "I WIN" button, therefore designing the game to achieve the kind of result.

    But this is not the case.

    In fact players do want to win (who doesn't), but they don't like to be spoon feeded all the way, they like the challenge of achieving a determinate goal, they don't want to beat the game in 2 weeks, and certainly they won't like a game where everyone and their dog achieve the same exact results as them.

    While the leveling can be fairly casual (particularly with the latests expansions), WoW end game is as hardcore as you can get.

    "If everyone wins, everyone lose" (That's a motto I just created but I believe for MMOs is quite appropriate), and that's the opposite view of Walton, Mark Jacobs (Warhammer) and Matt Firor who all thinks that by giving everyone the same price everyone will be happy and will keep playing their lovely MMOs

     

    This is actually basic psychology.

    Would you take part in a race where everyone gets the first prize?

    Of course not, you compete to beat others, to achieve more than others........... if everyone come first where is the fun?

    Would you bother to take part in the next race if you knew that no matter how much effort you put in it, everyone wins (Which basically means there is no real winner)?

    The same can be applied to gaming and MMO in particular.........and this is where they are getting it wrong.

     

  • 3-4thElf3-4thElf Elftown, MEPosts: 489Member
    Originally posted by Korusus
    Originally posted by 3-4thElf

    I have to say I don't really care for any of the dev talk coming from TESO and it's like they're already making excuses for 90% of the game being like other MMORPGs.

    When the very first article about the game quotes the devs as saying they aren't implementing a feature (in this case, player housing) because it would be "too hard" you know the game is dead in the water.  Not because of no player housing...but the part where they can't even come up with a decent excuse or even justify it as "not in the vision".

      Just...nope, too hard so we're not gonna.

    Try something new and implement an MMO in keeping with the Elder Scrolls tradition?  Nope...easier to just make it like every other fantasy MMO ever made, maybe throw in some story which is the new in thing to do.

    Yeah, after the Game Informer article I bought my first fifth of liquor in 7 years. Not saying it drove me to drinking per say, but it seemed like a more worthy investment of time and money than TESO after I read that article.

    a yo ho ho

  • zevni78zevni78 grimsbyPosts: 1,133Member Uncommon
    I think the parallels between the developer culture at Bioware with SWTOR 3 yrs ago and Zenimax now with TESO was incredibly obvious from that first leaked interview. They could not have given a worse first impression, a multi-player mod for Skyrim would make a better mmo that these guys could.
     
    I would like to talk about any other future mmo than this now.
  • jiveturkey12jiveturkey12 You havent heard of it, FLPosts: 1,262Member

    "He suggested that too many choices are paralyzing. If a player sees 10, he thinks, "I can make nine bad choices!" According to studies Walton has read about the human mind, "If you want people to do well, give them two, no more than four choices."

     

    This part had me in pure amazement, I cant believe this guy was in anyform of power for any company. The guy apparently "Studied the human mind" and all he got was that limiting choice is BETTER?!

     

    Let Corporate MMO's Burn and lets bring on the new wave of indie talent. Ill wait patiently rather than playing any of this trash.

     

    We need more Young Mcquaids, and less old Waltons.

  • ZezdaZezda Posts: 685Member Uncommon

    If you want to hear someone who knows what they are talking about on the subject then look no further than this speech by Jeff Strain

    http://www.guildwars.com/events/tradeshows/gc2007/gcspeech.php

    He worked on Diablo and Warcraft III as well as created the Starcraft campaign editor and was the Lead Programmer for WoW before he moved to found ArenaNet with Mike O'Brien and Patrick Wyatt. The three of them played a major part of the success Blizzard North had during the early Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series. For example Mike is responsible for the creation of the MPQ file format that Blizzard has used in all it's titles since Diablo and all three of them worked on creating Battle.net.

  • fundayzfundayz Chatown, ONPosts: 463Member
    Originally posted by Zezda

    If you want to hear someone who knows what they are talking about on the subject then look no further than this speech by Jeff Strain

    http://www.guildwars.com/events/tradeshows/gc2007/gcspeech.php

    He worked on Diablo and Warcraft III as well as created the Starcraft campaign editor and was the Lead Programmer for WoW before he moved to found ArenaNet with Mike O'Brien and Patrick Wyatt. The three of them played a major part of the success Blizzard North had during the early Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series. For example Mike is responsible for the creation of the MPQ file format that Blizzard has used in all it's titles since Diablo and all three of them worked on creating Battle.net.

    And thus why I cannot wait for Class3 and Class4, as well as GW2.

    Decent developers make a few good games and then rest on their laurels; great developers never stop making great games.

  • ste2000ste2000 londonPosts: 4,705Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Korusus

    When the very first article about the game quotes the devs as saying they aren't implementing a feature (in this case, player housing) because it would be "too hard" you know the game is dead in the water.  Not because of no player housing...but the part where they can't even come up with a decent excuse or even justify it as "not in the vision".

      Just...nope, too hard so we're not gonna.

    Try something new and implement an MMO in keeping with the Elder Scrolls tradition?  Nope...easier to just make it like every other fantasy MMO ever made, maybe throw in some story which is the new in thing to do.

    Exactly that's why I wrote the OP.

    The similarities between Bioware and Zenimax attitude are striking.

    They seems to think that all MMO players want to do is to grind quests and storylines in solo mode, while they can overlook everything else, and players won't notice it.

    Problem with TESO is that players can actually compare Skyrim with TESO, so if Zenimax think they can take out some of the Skyrim features because they are "too hard" to implement, they can alrady pack their stuff now, because when TESO will release it will be a massacre.

    Star Wars fans bought SWTOR for loyalty to the IP, but TES fans are already kinda upset and I doubt they will buy the game just because it bears the TES logo on the box...................just saying.

    TESO needs to be a TES game first, then a MMO...............if they do the other way round, they are screwed

  • ZezdaZezda Posts: 685Member Uncommon

    The attitude that the TESO devs have shown so far is pretty much a slap in the face to every creative profession that exists. 

    Just gonna leave this link here that were posted a while back.. 

    http://www.gamefront.com/eve-devs-disagree-with-teso-dev-about-innovation-in-mmos/

    Regardless of wether you like CCP and Eve Online or not credit is due for creating quite possibly the only MMO to have consistently increased it's subscriber base as it progressed while still being classes as a 'hardcore' or 'niche' game. It's their job to come up with stuff that that Matt Firor seems to think is either worthless or not possible and they seem to be doing it without any problems. The integration between DUST and Eve is a brilliant example of why we are nowhere near finished with what we can achieve.

    If I was working on TESO right now I would be absolutely ashamed to be affiliated with Matt Firor.

     

     

  • SouldrainerSouldrainer Elmer, NJPosts: 1,857Member
    TESO is following the old WoW-clone formula. Take ONE thing the industry has done right since 1998, make it the center piece of your game, and use filler content to cover the gaps.

    They should have just bought and polished the Skyrim Online mod.

    Error: 37. Signature not found. Please connect to my server for signature access.

  • GamerUntouchGamerUntouch smithville ON, ONPosts: 488Member
    One thing that WoW is frequently recognized for is its solo play. Walton's fourth lesson was: support this, because gamers want it.

    No!

    That's the opposite of what you're supposed to do!

     

    GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • ZezdaZezda Posts: 685Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Souldrainer
    TESO is following the old WoW-clone formula. Take ONE thing the industry has done right since 1998, make it the center piece of your game, and use filler content to cover the gaps. They should have just bought and polished the Skyrim Online mod.

    The combat would be terrible in any sort of skyrim mod unless it was quite extensive.

    They can't even get the combat right in a single player game. Jeez, they can't even stop power creep in a single player game. Making something with a multiplayer component for the guys that made Oblivion and Skyrim is like asking a toddler to calculate a satallite trajectory.

  • ste2000ste2000 londonPosts: 4,705Member Uncommon

    There is a gem from Gordon Walton:

    "When he first encountered WoW, he admits thinking that the game would be over in 50 days -- because it's so fast paced. But when its success became apparent, Walton realized something. "I was thinking about crazy people! Crazy people can finish the game in 50 days, but crazy people are not who we should be thinking about.... where's the real market, our real customers? If anything, I think people should make games that level faster than WoW -- that have the right content to hold up."

    Lol first of all...........finishing WoW in 50 days???

    In 50 days you might just level cap (now it takes less than a month)........but  I guess the guy never considered the end game important, that's why SWTOR has virtually none.

    Leveling in WOW is just the appetizer, the real meat is the end game,

     

    MMOs should level faster?

    Ok..........,so  I leveled my Juggernat in 3 weeks, then I realised that there was no end game and I quit SWTOR before the first month was up.

    That's the kind of result you were aiming for Mr. Walton?

    MMO industry must have plenty of geniuses like him.................sadly

     

  • RockhideRockhide Chicagoland, ILPosts: 155Member
    Originally posted by ste2000
    Originally posted by Karteli
    Originally posted by ste2000
     

    Your experiences are your own, can you give citation examples here?  Saying in 20/20 hindsight that someone wasn't any good is about as good as guessing the lottery numbers.  You see where this is, elaborate pls?

    I don't need to elaborate every single point, since it is quite long,

    The general feeling I had is that he had the MMO players and the WoW players in particular, completely wrong.

    His view was that WoW players are casual players (many developers think so), my view is that WoW players are quite hardcore, that's why every developer is getting it so wrong and could no replicate WOW success.

    They are designing MMOs for the wrong crowd IMO.

    I played WoW for 4 years after playing EQ and EQ2 for 6 years, and players didn't looked any less hardcore than EQ players.

    Since Walton bases all his theory on WoW players as being casuals, he gets everything wrong from there, and goes on describing a MMO with zero challenges, and so watered down so to make everyone an instant winner.

    Matt Firor is making the same mistakes as Gordon Walton, by thinking MMO players want the "I WIN" button, therefore designing the game to achieve the kind of result.

    But this is not the case.

    In fact players do want to win (who doesn't), but they don't like to be spoon feeded all the way, they like the challenge of achieving a determinate goal, they don't want to beat the game in 2 weeks, and certainly they won't like a game where everyone and their dog achieve the same exact results as them.

    While the leveling can be fairly casual (particularly with the latests expansions), WoW end game is as hardcore as you can get.

    "If everyone wins, everyone lose" (That's a motto I just created but I believe for MMOs is quite appropriate), and that's the opposite view of Walton, Mark Jacobs (Warhammer) and Matt Firor who all thinks that by giving everyone the same price everyone will be happy and will keep playing their lovely MMOs

     

    This is actually basic psychology.

    Would you take part in a race where everyone gets the first prize?

    Of course not, you compete to beat others, to achieve more than others........... if everyone come first where is the fun?

    Would you bother to take part in the next race if you knew that no matter how much effort you put in it, everyone wins (Which basically means there is no real winner)?

    The same can be applied to gaming and MMO in particular.........and this is where they are getting it wrong.

     

     

    You've described the type of player that I see myself as while summarizing my own feelings on the matter, but I will say that there is certainly a non-trivial element in the MMO audience who really would rather everybody win; presumably because they know that they wouldn't finish first or second or third or so on if reward were dictated by time and effort.  All you have to do is go to major WoW hangouts and see how many people saying current WoW is better than vanilla-TBC WoW ... there are A LOT more than one would think.

     

    Since gaming became a popular passtime there has also been a huge element of players in single-player games that use cheat codes and mods to help them level up and get weapons and abilities that enable them to faceroll through games.   I think the underlying principles are actually very similar.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,725Member Uncommon

    Eh, both the articles linked in this thread seem predominantly like good game design theory.

    But execution matters; TOR wasn't  "easy to learn but difficult to master".  It was just easy to learn.  That was the problem: every fight played out exactly the same becaues there wasn't enough to learn and master.

    Really the only thing I disagreed with in either article was "don't tune for the hardcore".  MMORPGs continually think they can get away with one-size-fits-all difficulty tuning, which results in skilled players being bored with the early game and casual players finding endgame impossible, when in fact both types of players should be able to find their sweet spot of difficulty through every phase of the game.  You know...like all the lessons we learned in the previous 30+ years of game design where now just about every game (except MMORPGs) lets players select a difficulty?

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • ComafComaf Chicago, ILPosts: 1,154Member Common
    Originally posted by ste2000

    I just remembered few years ago an interesting lesson by the ex General Manager of Bioware Austin and daddy of SWTOR, Gordon Walton.

    He was giving a lesson on how to build the post WOW MMOs and indirectly describing how Bioware future MMO (SWTOR) should look like in order to be a successful game.

    Incidentally, by reading it, I was thinking to myself, "This guy hasn't got a clue", but he was the professional, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    Looking at how SWTOR turned out, I must say my first gut instinct was right after all.

    I am mentioning this guy because, recently I came across another person that sounds a lot like Gordon Walton and gave me the same unconfortable feelings.

    This guy is non other than Zenimax Online studio director Matt Firor.

    The way he talks and what he says reminded me a lot about Gordon Walton and his pompous lessons on how to make a successful MMO.

    Reading and watching Matt interviews describing what TESO is going to look like, I often went "WTF" or "What is he talking about", and came to the conclusion tha Mr. Firor lost touch with the MMO community and doesn't know how to make a MMO anymore (He was one of DAOC creator together with Mark Jacobs who then developed Warhammer Online)

    I am really worried that Matt Firor could follow Gordon Walton and his theory,  and screws the TES IP, like Walton screwed KOTOR Online.

     

    Anyway if you want to learn how to make a succcessfull MMORPG like SWTOR here is a link with the useful lesson (/sarcasm):

    >>> Gordon Walton MMO lesson - Sept 2007

    Enjoy yourselves............and please take notes image

    Just by having the courage to (a) create a three realm mmorpg (b) not copy paste the classes between each realm (c) create unique races between each realm (other than various human types) and (d) Notforcing players to co pve in the game and instead letting us get a feel of our own faction and culture so we truly do feel "different" than our enemies and get a real US vs THEM vs THEM feeling - something NO mmorpg other than DAOC has ever offered and finally (e) upgrading Dark Age of Camelot's infamous RvR pvp style, means Mr. Firor is already doing something that literally no one is doing.

     

    I love Secret World - having a blast, but everyone looks pretty much the same and the animations and abillities are pretty much all same same.  Yes there are a number of possibilities, but the fault of classless class systems is that people still create a trinity of classes (tank, healer, dps).  The other issue I have with TSW is that the factions kill each other in pvp - yet they group in PVE.  Again, with the lazy lore.  But meh, I don't really call TSW a true mmorpg anyway.  It is good enough, however, to be enjoyable. 

     

    I would have played GW2 but they didn't even get up to the quality of Secret World and just blatantly copy pasted the handful of races across the pvp worlds at let folks have at it.  That's lazy developing to me - but then again, I always said GW2 was a video game and not an mmorpg (as in not an in depth online RPG, rather, more a fast food product).

     

    I loathed SW:ToR and knew what its fate would be. 

     

    So I will support any truly three faction project, such as TSW, but I cannot count the days until I get to participate with TESO, since not a single mmo company has done anything that has matched Dark Age of Camelot (in regards to depth, factions, races, and classes).

    image
  • AdamTMAdamTM Frankfurt Am MainPosts: 1,376Member
    Originally posted by jiveturkey12

    "He suggested that too many choices are paralyzing. If a player sees 10, he thinks, "I can make nine bad choices!" According to studies Walton has read about the human mind, "If you want people to do well, give them two, no more than four choices."

     

    This part had me in pure amazement, I cant believe this guy was in anyform of power for any company. The guy apparently "Studied the human mind" and all he got was that limiting choice is BETTER?!

     

    Let Corporate MMO's Burn and lets bring on the new wave of indie talent. Ill wait patiently rather than playing any of this trash.

     

    We need more Young Mcquaids, and less old Waltons.

    Thats actually true.

    Studies show that people perform best if presented with limited choices (like he mentioned 2-4).

     

    His problem lied in the interpretation, thinking that "performance" is an issue in a leisure activity.

    Not to mention you can build amazing complexity from binary choice, as demonstrated by many games.

    He mistook "limited choice" as "non-complex", which is extremely amateurish on his part.

    image
  • ericbelserericbelser buffalo, NYPosts: 783Member

    I've been thinking about this lately and one of my conclusions is that the biggest difference between the 'old' games and the current crop is mostly one of pacing.

    Combat has consistently gotten more and more action oriented and faster, travel is faster, levelling is faster...every element of the game is faster...but not development. None of them seem to see the link between pace of content consumption and customer retention...or with fast pace games having no time for socialization leading to no community which adds to poor player retention.

    Now don't get me wrong, I think there is a huge (and hugely profitable) market out there for vaguely persistant, action games with the instanced/queue mechanisms so common now...but MMOs used to be about worlds...and if some one wants to have that again they are going to have to either

    Slow down the pacing of everything in the game...I think the original EQ with updated graphics, UI and social features but otherwise the same level of difficulty/grind would be a significant niche success today

    -or-

    Manage the leap to actual meaningful 'sim' level world interactions and player generated content; the devs don't have to stay ahead of the players because they have coded a system of processes where the players own actions/interactions alter the world and generate more to do/react to.

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