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[Column] General: Greetings and Salutations

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,583MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

It isn't often that we, the fans, get the opportunity to interact with an MMO developer on a nearly one-on-one basis. MMORPG.com is proud to provide our readers with exactly that with today's debut of the Matt Miller column. Yes, -that- Matt Miller. See what he's got to say with his unique perspective on the industry and then say hello in the comments!

Hello readers of MMORPG.com! Some of you may know who I am, and a lot of you may not. My name is Matt Miller, and for the past 9 years, I have gone by the pseudonym of Positron while working on the game “City of Heroes” for both Cryptic Studios and Paragon Studios. I was Lead Designer for the game for almost 5 years, and before that I worked both on Systems for the game as well as creating missions and story arcs for players to participate in.

Read more Matt Miller: Greetings and Salutations.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • ScarfeScarfe londonPosts: 281Member

    Hi, enjoyed CoH a lot back in the day.  I've got a question since you asked, a general one, your thoughts on the direction MMO's are taking, and what you feel the next evolution needs to be?  

    The answer to your first question seems simple, if you know what you are getting you will only buy it once. 

    currently playing: DDO, AOC, WoT, P101

  • hardiconhardicon jackson, MSPosts: 358Member

    hi Matt.  are you planning on getting back into mmo development?  Are you able to give us exact reasons why NCsoft shut down COH.  Do you and the rest of the team have a plan for a coh 2 and looking for investors or is it just move on time. 

    My mmo question is why do devs keep copying a 8 year old game when they try to make a mmo despite how many wow clones have failed over the years?  Do you think we will see a company that is willing to break the mold and try something different and give us a triple a game that isnt wow, something back along the lines of uo, eq, ac, swg, daoc, a true mmo instead of a single player game?

     

  • steelheartxsteelheartx Biloxi, MSPosts: 432Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by hardicon

    My mmo question is why do devs keep copying a 8 year old game when they try to make a mmo despite how many wow clones have failed over the years?  Do you think we will see a company that is willing to break the mold and try something different and give us a triple a game that isnt wow, something back along the lines of uo, eq, ac, swg, daoc, a true mmo instead of a single player game?

     

    Well met Matt!

     

    Hardicon beat me to my original question, so i'll have to fall back on question #2 :)

     

    Neverwinetr Online is launching with user created content right out of the shoot.  The idea (at least to me) seems brillant from a developement point of view.  It allows the developers to put out a decent game (least i hope it's decent) and then have the players continually create new content for that game a little or no charge to the company.  This should also allow the developement team to work on fixing bugs and concentrate on the next actual game expansion.

     

    My question(s) is do you see this as a future trend in gaming developement for more games in the future, and are there any other trends in the mmo developement community that have you excited as well?

     

    Looking for a family that you can game with for life? Check out Grievance at https://www.grievancegaming.org !

  • meddyckmeddyck Athens, GAPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon
    My question is about raids and gear progression. Is this really something most or at least a large number of players want or is it something that mainly developers want because it increases the amount of time it takes a player to max out an individual character and thus increases the chance the player will want to sub for another month or perhaps purchase something on the cash shop to speed up or circumvent the process?

    Camelot Unchained Backer
    DAOC [retired]: R11 Cleric R11 Druid R11 Minstrel R9 Eldritch R6 Sorc R6 Scout R5 Healer

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

    Matt I truly miss cox, from farming randomly with a friend to doing the raids to hunting badges and doing trials, who can ever forget costume's and their contests!

     

    Regarding unlockable containers and stores:  Curiosity killed the cat, we are an intelligent species we like to treasure hunt and find out whats inside the magic box.  Gambling can also be attributed to these items, ie we gamble with our money in order to gain a reward and adrenaline rush to receieve an item greater than the cost.

     

    This new way to sell to us is not something I will ever enjoy, while sure I enjoy recieving a nice purple IO recipie drop I can sell on the market or make for myself, I would not invest money into unlocking an item or purchase something that I did not know what was in the bag. On the same subject I would not purchase a "key" to unlock something which I knew what was inside.

     

    To quote "its a trap" , it is a bonefide money sink trap.

     
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    Is there any hope for an MMO museum some day?  A sort of "netflicks of MMOs" for old games?  Or are the business, licensing, technical and security issues simply too complex to hope for  retired games to ever be packagable in a way that would leave them accessable to future generations of gamers seeking to explore the history of the genre hands-on.

  • JerYnkFanJerYnkFan Kenilworth, NJPosts: 339Member Uncommon
    Welcome aboard and I look forward to your insights.
  • ShaikeShaike NesherPosts: 301Member Uncommon
    welcome

    Just my 2 cents...

    image

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member
    I can answer the why clone wow question...... Money Yw :-)
  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    Welcome to MMORPG.com Matt. It's always cool when someone from the "inside" posts articles here.

    So, off to the question. Super hero MMOs don't seem to fare especially well. They also seem to be very bright and colorful, kind of like an 80s comic book. Do you think these two things are related? Do you think a super hero MMO would fare better if it went through a "gritty reboot"?

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

  • TheQuinchTheQuinch Oz, SCPosts: 22Member

    Alrighty, here's one from me;

     

    Why do so many MMOs' activities pivot around random drop collections, and how did City of Heroes manage to avoid that?

  • TheQuinchTheQuinch Oz, SCPosts: 22Member
    Originally posted by lizardbones

    Welcome to MMORPG.com Matt. It's always cool when someone from the "inside" posts articles here.

    So, off to the question. Super hero MMOs don't seem to fare especially well. They also seem to be very bright and colorful, kind of like an 80s comic book. Do you think these two things are related? Do you think a super hero MMO would fare better if it went through a "gritty reboot"?

    I'm tempted to try and offer my opinion on that, but I'm worried that I might end up threadjacking. Would anyone object the attempt?

  • steelheartxsteelheartx Biloxi, MSPosts: 432Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by TheQuinch
    Originally posted by lizardbones

    Welcome to MMORPG.com Matt. It's always cool when someone from the "inside" posts articles here.

    So, off to the question. Super hero MMOs don't seem to fare especially well. They also seem to be very bright and colorful, kind of like an 80s comic book. Do you think these two things are related? Do you think a super hero MMO would fare better if it went through a "gritty reboot"?

    I'm tempted to try and offer my opinion on that, but I'm worried that I might end up threadjacking. Would anyone object the attempt?

    It would probably thread jack

    Looking for a family that you can game with for life? Check out Grievance at https://www.grievancegaming.org !

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    Finally somebody who can actually speak about games, having actually beein in the dev process.   I look forward to what all you can say.

    So here is my question for you.  

    Why do developers try to cut and paste so much.  Say for instance we had swtor who took 5 years in development, who gave us a game that was already based on another games model. EQ, and EQ2.   Why do developers try to always try to base there games on this concept. 

    After all you see the threads, it is wow with a swtor wrapper so forth and so on. 

    I have many other questions but honestly I don't have time to write a 30 page document filled with questions. 

     

  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon

         Hi Positron and welcome to the site.  So my question:

     

      My 2007 Hyndai Accent GLS has this awful shudder  when ever I get it above 3k rpm.  Checking the tranny fluid..no metal shards and no shards in the filter.  What should be my next area to check?  :)

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by steelheartx
    Originally posted by TheQuinch Originally posted by lizardbones Welcome to MMORPG.com Matt. It's always cool when someone from the "inside" posts articles here. So, off to the question. Super hero MMOs don't seem to fare especially well. They also seem to be very bright and colorful, kind of like an 80s comic book. Do you think these two things are related? Do you think a super hero MMO would fare better if it went through a "gritty reboot"?
    I'm tempted to try and offer my opinion on that, but I'm worried that I might end up threadjacking. Would anyone object the attempt?
    It would probably thread jack


    If the question warrants getting an answer from Matt, we can chime in there or start a thread ourselves. We should keep this thread to "Questions For Matt".

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

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon

    I got a laugh at this quote: " that the end result of almost all business ventures (including games) is to make money".

    It seems that is the first thing people forget whether they be developers or fans.  Even happens in the business world quite regularly.

    I would think a big problem for any development staff is convincing investors their ideas and designs will make money.  That is an area where a lot of indie game designers fail at.  Of course all the investors can see is the 800 pound gorilla in the genre and they want a game to copy that success.  Being innovative is not at the top of their list.

  • jimdandy26jimdandy26 salem, ORPosts: 527Member

    Hi Matt. How is hardware effecting what and how designers are allowed to do in game. With Moores law in full effect the bottom of the barrel machines of today are many many times better than even the top end when CoH launched, combined with general increases in engine and software capabilities how is it effecting your design process? PhysX has been around for a couple years, and by extension things like Apex, yet we are just now seeing them making the barest of peeks into the mmo genre. Why are these not utilized more? Is it truly that expensive or even time consuming to try to future proof games just a tad when generally you are looking at a 5 year development cycle, and atleast 5 years of being "live"? Many games like Eq and WoW have went out of their way to try to utilize some techniques to keep the games looking atleast somewhat fresh along the way but many do not.

     

    I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

    To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  • nyapismnyapism Cat TownPosts: 2Member
    Matt Miller.. reminds me of saints row 3 :D
  • newchemicalsnewchemicals San Gabriel, CAPosts: 43Member

    I certainly miss CoH.

    One thing I really see when I have tried out other games, none of them do as many of the things CoH does well. Sure, a game might do one or two things better but then just fail on something else.

    On the topic at hand. It smells much like how Magic the Gathering was such a big deal in the mid 90s. As someone who opened a couple of pallets of Magic cards, that chapter of my life is long since over. There are many gamers from that era who probably remember that quite well and really hate the pay to win formula. Its probably why a deckbuilding game with no collection aspect was such a big hit (well that and it is a good game).

    People certainly have a "gambling" bug in them and there are folks who just can't stand having a goodie box mocking them and sitting there in their inventory unopened.

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioPosts: 2,424Member Uncommon

    Did you ever play UO? If not, why not? If so, what is your opinion as a player of the experience?

     

    Once upon a time....

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by apocoluster
         Hi Positron and welcome to the site.  So my question:   My 2007 Hyndai Accent GLS has this awful shudder  when ever I get it above 3k rpm.  Checking the tranny fluid..no metal shards and no shards in the filter.  What should be my next area to check?  :)

    If it is the engine, then it is the crank shaft position sensor 275 dollar repair, if the trans is doing it, that is going to be the torq-converter, depending on your type of trans 575-2500 repair. My advise is if you don't have the 100k warranty on the vehicle it is time to trade it in, asap.

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,225Member Uncommon

    Posi--I mean--Matt Miller.  Welcome to Thunderdome!  By the way, that hat is rude man...it's awesome!

    I guess the question I would ask you is how an MMO can be made as a means of self-expression.  CoH did this very well.

    An example would be systems that would allow you to create a character with the backstory you want.  Relating this to the hat, CoH allowed me to create a character named "Two Tone Rudy," a skanking rude boy with dual pistols.  His "superpower," if we were to call it that, was turning from a white man into a black man and back again.  This was a blessing or a curse that was put on him by a Rastafarian priest as a punishment for running around with racist skinheads in Manchester.  Two Tone Rudy now goes to Paragon City to stamp out racial injustice wherever it stands.

    Now I don't know if any other game could allow me to play a character like that.  But CoH--if it did anything right--allowed players to create all kinds of superheroes by using the tools that were there: the AE, the costume creator, and the bases.  What are some of the things developers can do to create this kind of self-expression in the games?

     

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • TallynTallyn Monkton, MDPosts: 216Member

    Hail and well met good sir! Judging by your past game selections (Very similar to my own) and your experience in actually developing MMOs I look very forward to reading your upcoming columns!

     

    I believe that someone already asked this but  I'm curious as well, are you planning on jumping back in to the development of any more games or MMOs, or perhaps you already have?

     

    Cheers!

  • FusionFusion VaasaPosts: 1,391Member Uncommon

    Hail, and welcome!

    Q:

    Why has it taken a better part of decade (if not nearly 2) for you developers to grasp the fact that "themepark" is not the only right course of action?!

    Was this because of World of Warcraft's success? (don't lie, be honest)

     

    Currently playing: -

    Waiting for: Class4.

    Dead and Buried: ESO, NWO, GW2, SWTOR, Darkfall, AO, AC2, Vanguard, CoH/V, EnB, EVE, Neocron, FE, EQ, EQ2, DAoC, FFXI, FFXIV, SWG, WoW, and billions of eastern junks!

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