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Is the problem really that MMORPGs aren't hard anymore?

ozmonoozmono Not tellingPosts: 1,211Member

I wonder if people look at MMOs at a time when they enjoyed them better and start attributing the inevitable decline of interest with them on things like difficulty. Or in other words are people just wearing nostalgia glasses or is game difficulty really so much worse nowdays and as detrimental to current MMOs as some would have you believe?

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Comments

  • Mike-McQueenMike-McQueen Enfield, CTPosts: 243Member
    They did make them easier to empower the solo'er more and it bit the communities in the ass by making grouping optional which up until wow never was before. Hell in D&D the first commandment was "never split up the party". That aside they took away death penalties as well which made people play like idiots zerging whatever. So yeah the easier it got, the worse it got.

    I'm a unique and beautiful snowflake.

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    Don't know if it is specifically about only mmorpg's. I do like more challanging games overall.  

    In mmorpg I like when game world is something that needs thinking and effort.  If I have alot of things handed on a plate - like it is in most mmorpg's with things like quest gps, arrows, pointers, etc it became boring quickly.  After all if I know where to go and what to do beforehand it is not adventure anymore. It is just completing pre-determined motions.  

    Of course most games are indeed completing pre-determined options but it is way diffrent if I have those motions presented before I do them or not.  Of course those motions have to be made diffrently is developers know that people do know them or they don't.

  • furidiamfuridiam lincoln, ILPosts: 137Member Common

    There are no more real mmo's now. All this new stuff is catering to the short attention span customers. Look at the success of games that are out on the smart phone/face book. These new games are chasing WOW and these social games looking at the profits.

    Games used to be made by gamers for gamers. Now it is corporations going after gamers wallets. This is what made games now a days what they are.

  • YakkinYakkin irvine, CAPosts: 919Member
    Originally posted by furidiam

    There are no more real mmo's now. All this new stuff is catering to the short attention span customers. Look at the success of games that are out on the smart phone/face book. These new games are chasing WOW and these short games looking at the profits.

    Games used to be made by gamers for gamers. Now it is corporations going after gamers wallets. This is what made games now a days what they are.

    That's dumb. Games have always been made for money.

  • parrotpholkparrotpholk Leland, NCPosts: 3,275Member
    They are easier now for sure.  There are many things I hated about the old school.  Naked corpse runs being one of them.  But the difficulty and the possibility of failure is what made it exciting.  It made me more determined and logged in everyday.  Now you pretty much breeze through the journey and do some random tank and spank
  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by ozmono
    I wonder if people look at MMOs at a time when they enjoyed them better and start attributing the inevitable decline of interest with them on things like difficulty. Or in other words are people just wearing nostalgia glasses or is game difficulty really so much worse nowdays and as detrimental to current MMOs as some would have you believe?

    Kind of depends on what you're talking about. The first MMORPG had some real usability issues. Developers have improved the user interfaces to be more intuitive so players weren't fumbling around just trying to figure out how to walk and fight low level mobs.

    The developers also removed some of the trial and error involved in playing the games as well. Instead of walking into an area and getting crushed by mobs that don't look anymore powerful than mobs in other areas, players can see a mob's power level relative to their own. They can also get an idea of how powerful they need to be for a particular zone. You don't have max level monsters running around in low level areas either. You can look at this as removing difficulty, or removing impossibility.

    From what I can tell, the skill level hasn't changed so much as the time needed to complete the basic game has been lowered. Playing an MMORPG is no longer an endurance game.

    Then you get into something like WoW's end game raids. As much as people like to talk about how 'easy mode' they are, they are not. If you took Ultima Online's user interface, and then tried to do a raid in WoW, you would fail. The idea is just silly. Blizzard has cranked the time needed and the difficulty level up to the point that without mods that give you warnings and timings, the encounters are nearly impossible even with the UI improvements of newer games. The time sink has shifted from just playing the game to playing the "End Game". That's where all the difficulty is too.

    So, are the newer games easier to get into and play? You betcha. Is it just as easy to "finish" the game? Not by a long shot.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • YakkinYakkin irvine, CAPosts: 919Member

    I wouldn't say that it's because MMOs are too easy; rather they just don't seem to know how to pace the difficulty.

    Seriously, everything before the end is a flat plane, and then the end pops up and it eithers ends up being a giant wall of hurt, or a valley or incredible boredom.

  • defector1968defector1968 Nar ShaddaaPosts: 393Member Common
    only the graphics / animations has changed from the old MMOs IMO
  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,607Member Uncommon

    MMOs were never hard.


    Yes, people are looking at the "good old days" with nostalgia.


    Needless time sinks and badly programmed combat systems do not equate to difficulty.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by furidiam

    There are no more real mmo's now. All this new stuff is catering to the short attention span customers. Look at the success of games that are out on the smart phone/face book. These new games are chasing WOW and these social games looking at the profits.

    Games used to be made by gamers for gamers. Now it is corporations going after gamers wallets. This is what made games now a days what they are.

    Who cares who make the games as long as they are fun?

    And who gets to decide what is a "real" mmo? I say let the market decide. If wow is fun for me, why would i care if i changes the MMO formula a bit?

  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,058Member Uncommon

    I dont think there is a decline, I think its a matter of opinion you believe it is.

     

    My (and notice I say my) only opinion of MMO's is they have become to one dimensional and not enough innovation.  I blame most of this on Blizzard's subscriber base and the suits who count all the money .  If WoW had a population of 500k then we would of never gotten 7 years of failed WoW clones.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

    image

  • kjempffkjempff AarhusPosts: 883Member Uncommon

    Yes ezmode is a problem, but not THE problem.

     

    The overall problem is like.. if you played pen and paper roleplaying and its focus was rolling dice.

    Need more adventure, less technic. Over and out.

  • xDayxxDayx St Charles, MOPosts: 712Member

    Mmo's of old had more "depth" in my opinion, thus what seemed like being 'harder' wasn't harder. It just required more knowledge in the depth of the game than what today's mmo's do.

    let me give you an example...

    Lets say I'm a level 50 Bard in EQ1 and I wanted to go into the openworld dungeon Howling Stones. Aside from knowing your class and the fact that you needed certain instruments already (that weren't given to you from doing a quest that got put in front of you), and you know that your brass instrument skill is maxed(because you stayed logged all day in Firiona Vie playing your clarinet just to get your skill up). You are at the entrance and you know from trial and error that you have to wait for the named to circle around so you can twist levitate and invisibility and run just at the right time through one of the 3 holes in the ground and float down to a non-lethal spot  so you can start picking off the mobs one at a time just to get to the outer chambers. 

    Today's mmo developers would never create something that detailed again because they assume people don't want to focus on all that and want to teleport people right into instances now. Heck bards don't even use instruments or percussion skill ratings any longer. Developers also think people dont like death penalties or corpse runs any longer.

    Of course the people who started with WoW or after will disagree and the people who started with UO, EQ1, or AC will know what I'm talking about. So no they werent harder because of some difiiculty setting. The were harder because they assumed you needed a lot of depth of knowledge of many aspects,, your class, the area, the mob types, immunities, safe areas, zone lines, ex. Nowadays you are teleported in and if you have your spells on your hot bar or roll fast enuf your good to go. And even if you die today it's no big deal, a couple silver and your back to where you died.

    Death stung back then. So you didn't die much. You communicated together. You had a plan before the pull, if it started to go south you had a plan B.  A group would stay or 'camp' a room if they felt comfortable there rather than pushing it further because further they almost lost it. You studied maps of dungeons and mobs and drops, and trap door locations(yes death pits) before you even went into a little 4-5 person dungeon because you had to. 

    Harder= no 

    More knowledge required= yes

  • LissylLissyl Peru, INPosts: 271Member Common
    Originally posted by xDayx
    Developers also think people dont like death penalties or corpse runs any longer.

    Beliefs aren't formed in a vacuum.  They didn't just start believing that out of nowhere - they started believing it because they heard it over and over and over from their players.

  • xDayxxDayx St Charles, MOPosts: 712Member
    Originally posted by Lissyl
    Originally posted by xDayx
    Developers also think people dont like death penalties or corpse runs any longer.

    Beliefs aren't formed in a vacuum.  They didn't just start believing that out of nowhere - they started believing it because they heard it over and over and over from their players.

    Doesn't matter the origin. I'm just hi lighting the difference in gameplay from then vs now. And you just made me think of another example.. You needed to know "Corpse Retrieval Protocal" back then. What classes could track your corpse, who had invis, who can get in and out with your corpse., what connections are online now that can get me out of this jam. Where I should safely wait, how I can communicate to whoever is helping me th loc of the my corpse, etc on and on. 

  • Crazy_StickCrazy_Stick Privacy Preferred, NCPosts: 1,059Member

    I am not sure difficulty is the actual issue as much as the expectations of a hardcore group of enthusiasts that are not being catered too because they are increasingly less relevant to a game’s profitability. Challenging games used to be the norm as video or PC games were very much the niche hobby but now everyone and even their wives play them at some point. Now companies are aiming to cash in on the casual and social play market where there are big bucks to be made from a much larger audience that doesn’t appreciate the same game features we grew accustomed too in the old days.

     

     

    While I have difficulty believing it  ;)  most people don’t want to pay just to risk actually losing. They want to blow up a few “bad guys” and have a beer to relax. They are where the dollars are so games get easy. Forums may be war zones but companies continue making the games they do in spite of all the bile because they make money and most people are playing along unaware.

     

     

    The old harcore players like you and me bro, well we are like dinosaurs on the day the rock dropped...

     

    I need a hug. :)

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,028Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ozmono

    I wonder if people look at MMOs at a time when they enjoyed them better and start attributing the inevitable decline of interest with them on things like difficulty. Or in other words are people just wearing nostalgia glasses or is game difficulty really so much worse nowdays and as detrimental to current MMOs as some would have you believe?

    Nostalgy is surely part of the problem, but at least I like a challenge and if nothing in the game challenges me (or just a few raids) then I grow tired pretty fast. And forcing me to do dailies for 3 months is not the least bit challenging.

    Old MMOs took long time to play, too long time so simple stuff like getting from one place to another could take 8 hours back then. That was not really good but MMOs today have replaced that with daily and faction grinds and that frankly is not the least better.

    It is not how much you must play the game each day either, it is more about having fun and doing easy stuff over and over just aint that fun.

    MMOs need to become more challenging, exactly how much more can be discussed but leveling up needs to stop being a boring tutorial, that actually used to be really fun (even though it was a bit slow at times) and now it is just something you skips through fast.

    All gear before endgame is unimportant today since you really dont need it, the games are so easy you can get to max in vendortrash and dungeons before max level feels pretty pointless today instead of the fun challenges they used to be.

    Yeah, I do have a bit nostalgia about MMOs but I also know that there were issues back then and now the issues are the opposite. A too hard game turns off the gamers but a too easy game becomes pointless as well. What good is the uber gear anyone with a little time can get without really being forced to work for it besides braindead grinding?

  • LanfeaLanfea EssenPosts: 219Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666

    Nostalgy is surely part of the problem, but at least I like a challenge and if nothing in the game challenges me (or just a few raids) then I grow tired pretty fast. And forcing me to do dailies for 3 months is not the least bit challenging.

    Old MMOs took long time to play, too long time so simple stuff like getting from one place to another could take 8 hours back then. That was not really good but MMOs today have replaced that with daily and faction grinds and that frankly is not the least better.

     i totally agree and want to add that success and the satisfaction to get something done was really hard to get in the pre-wow-time (before 2005). no arrows which lead your way to the location in where you can attend a quest, no circle nor a cross on the minimap that points to the mission objective .... a player had to read the quest-log to get a hint and then went out to search for it. quests with more than 100 (look at eq I or II) different steps that kept players busy for weeks. since world of warcraft and their easy-to-play formula every high budget mmorpg tasted like fast food. it might satisfy your hunger for a short period of time, but you eat something without flavor and flavor you need if you want to enjoy it.

  • dimnikardimnikar ZanistanvillePosts: 271Member

    I agree that MMOs should be harder, but disagree on the whole "WoW broke it" deal you've got going on here.

    WoW was plenty hard in Vanilla/TBC. Sure, older games were harder, but still, compared to games today? Crap like GW2/MoP (in terms of difficulty)? WoW classic/TBC is like from a parallel universe compared to the state of MMOs now (in terms of how hard they are to play).

    But as many have pointed out already, our vocal minority is not where the money is. We don't really matter (and this is not self-pity, it's just a realization of the truth).

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,028Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lanfea

     i totally agree and want to add that success and the satisfaction to get something done was really hard to get in the pre-wow-time (before 2005). no arrows which lead your way to the location in where you can attend a quest, no circle nor a cross on the minimap that points to the mission objective .... a player had to read the quest-log to get a hint and then went out to search for it. quests with more than 100 (look at eq I or II) different steps that kept players busy for weeks. since world of warcraft and their easy-to-play formula every high budget mmorpg tasted like fast food. it might satisfy your hunger for a short period of time, but you eat something without flavor and flavor you need if you want to enjoy it.

    I do remember that as well, When I played Meridian 59 I had a rather undetailed paper map I got in the box just, in Lineage I had a really small one I found on the net.

    But that doesnt really work anymore since people will find that info on the net today. In fact I tried not to in EQ2 but far too often were there not enough clues in the quests and in some cases were what I were looking for in another zone even, in the old days you could spend days on a single quest at times.

    I think GW2 is on the right way instead. Get rid of static quests all together (including GW2s hearts) and let stuff happen as we walk in the world instead, based on location, time, weather and similar things instead. GW2 is not using that too full effect but seeing bandits torch a village and run in to help is really an awesome thing and any quest with the same point feels a lot lamer. If you go full out and have the right difficulty I think we can get a whole new level of MMO experience.

    Because mobs standing still and waiting for you to kill them have always sucked and is the one thing that made MMO gameworlds feel really boring already from the start.

  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,478Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ozmono

    I wonder if people look at MMOs at a time when they enjoyed them better and start attributing the inevitable decline of interest with them on things like difficulty. Or in other words are people just wearing nostalgia glasses or is game difficulty really so much worse nowdays and as detrimental to current MMOs as some would have you believe?

    No I don't feel it has anything to do with older MMO's being harder to play. Obviously in a sense yes they where actually harder to play but mainly due to the complex nature of this genre when it was just starting, people became overwelmed with the possibilities this genre offered the combat and the none combat player. There were so many options yet you needed to find most of it mainly by becoming very active ingame with it's community as the players were your guide.

    Today...the game guides you, the genre became far more limited and much more focus towards a full combat oriented game. Everything you need to know about the game can be found everywhere on the internet. So in a way yes this genre has become very easy.

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member

    It's a large part of the problem. And I wouldn't say its just because modern MMOs lack challenge or chance for failure. I'd say its more that modern MMOs treat you like you have a brain disability.

    That, and MMOs aren't social anymore.

    Or massively multiplayer.

  • nightowl79anightowl79a Tulsa, OKPosts: 26Member
    So true, my first mmo ever ff11 was all about people helping people. Barley anything was solo-able. Although that was kinda hard it also was soo fun. I keep searching for another experiance like it, but probly wont find anything now adays.
  • RimmersmanRimmersman MonacoPosts: 885Member
    Originally posted by furidiam

    There are no more real mmo's now. All this new stuff is catering to the short attention span customers. Look at the success of games that are out on the smart phone/face book. These new games are chasing WOW and these social games looking at the profits.Games used to be made by gamers for gamers. Now it is corporations going after gamers wallets. This is what made games now a days what they are.

     

    There are a couple of mmo since WOW that are not hand holding and the old one are still here, if you choose to play these new types of MMO then you only have yourself to blame.

    image
  • Cod_EyeCod_Eye jarrowPosts: 1,016Member
    Originally posted by xDayx

    Mmo's of old had more "depth" in my opinion, thus what seemed like being 'harder' wasn't harder. It just required more knowledge in the depth of the game than what today's mmo's do.

    let me give you an example...

    Lets say I'm a level 50 Bard in EQ1 and I wanted to go into the openworld dungeon Howling Stones. Aside from knowing your class and the fact that you needed certain instruments already (that weren't given to you from doing a quest that got put in front of you), and you know that your brass instrument skill is maxed(because you stayed logged all day in Firiona Vie playing your clarinet just to get your skill up). You are at the entrance and you know from trial and error that you have to wait for the named to circle around so you can twist levitate and invisibility and run just at the right time through one of the 3 holes in the ground and float down to a non-lethal spot  so you can start picking off the mobs one at a time just to get to the outer chambers. 

    Today's mmo developers would never create something that detailed again because they assume people don't want to focus on all that and want to teleport people right into instances now. Heck bards don't even use instruments or percussion skill ratings any longer. Developers also think people dont like death penalties or corpse runs any longer.

    Of course the people who started with WoW or after will disagree and the people who started with UO, EQ1, or AC will know what I'm talking about. So no they werent harder because of some difiiculty setting. The were harder because they assumed you needed a lot of depth of knowledge of many aspects,, your class, the area, the mob types, immunities, safe areas, zone lines, ex. Nowadays you are teleported in and if you have your spells on your hot bar or roll fast enuf your good to go. And even if you die today it's no big deal, a couple silver and your back to where you died.

    Death stung back then. So you didn't die much. You communicated together. You had a plan before the pull, if it started to go south you had a plan B.  A group would stay or 'camp' a room if they felt comfortable there rather than pushing it further because further they almost lost it. You studied maps of dungeons and mobs and drops, and trap door locations(yes death pits) before you even went into a little 4-5 person dungeon because you had to. 

    Harder= no 

    More knowledge required= yes

    Yep and we all done it without the need of a voice communication tool, because we all knew what we was doing.

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