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The problem of the "One Trick Pony" mmo

robert4818robert4818 Aurora, COPosts: 661Member

Inspired by the talk of the "Story Driven" MMO.  

We all know the One Trick Pony.  Its a thing that does one thing very well, and then either is very mediocre at everything else, or is completely unable to do them.

Many of the games i've played and been most dissapointed in have been "One Trick Pony's."  Though not necessarily limited  to strictly one trick, their game is built around a very narrow set of features, leaving everything else lacking or mediocre.  While this narrow focus is cool at first, the novelty of it wears thin quickly, and you are suddenly left wondering why the game feels so shallow.

Guild Wars 2 did this for me.  The Event system and the hearts were great concepts, and things I'd love to see get incorporated more fully in future MMOs, unfortunately when it came to GW2, it didn't feel like much else was there.  The rest of the game felt hollow in comparison, and the two types of events felt very dull and repetetive after a while.

Star Wars TOR focused too much on the story.  While the story was good,  their lack of innovation elsewhere left players feeling it to be the "Same thing" they've played in numerous other games, only with a star wars paint job.

It all goes back to one thing.  Don't be afraid to innovate, but ask whether that innovation alone can hold players long after the new wears off.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Comments

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Although I'm not a huge gw2 fan its not really a 1 trick pony.

    It does the events thing
    It does WvW
    It does the Esports thing
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    I sometimes like to make a comparison between consoles and MMOs.  In a way, an MMO is not one game, it's a mini OS on which run a collection of minigames.
  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,257Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone
    I sometimes like to make a comparison between consoles and MMOs.  In a way, an MMO is not one game, it's a mini OS on which run a collection of minigames.

    But these mini games are low quality.

    image

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    I'd much rather play a game that does one thing well than play a game that does many things poorly.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    I'd much rather play a game that does one thing well than play a game that does many things poorly.

    I think the point was about mmos that do many things well, vs those who don't.

    image

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    I'd much rather play a game that does one thing well than play a game that does many things poorly.

    I think the point was about mmos that do many things well, vs those who don't.

    MMOs that do many things well are quite rare.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,558Member Uncommon
    Yeah, name a game that isn't a One Trick Pony, mmo or otherwise.  I cannot image why this is.  I'm picturing a team of devs that can't get their minds out of computer code long enough to image and dream.  Maybe they need a hobbit on the team.

  • ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,494Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by maplestone
    I sometimes like to make a comparison between consoles and MMOs.  In a way, an MMO is not one game, it's a mini OS on which run a collection of minigames.

    This stimulated my brain. Thanks. Yes an MMO is an environment you enter, from which you can interact with various other things. Just like an OS. You have just opened the door to a whole new way of looking at MMOs. Bravo.

    Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
    In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Yeah, name a game that isn't a One Trick Pony, mmo or otherwise.  I cannot image why this is.  I'm picturing a team of devs that can't get their minds out of computer code long enough to image and dream.  Maybe they need a hobbit on the team.

    It's highly subjective.  To me EVE felt like a One Trick Pony game but many players will defend it as having a multitude of different things that keep them playing.

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Yeah, name a game that isn't a One Trick Pony, mmo or otherwise.  I cannot image why this is.  I'm picturing a team of devs that can't get their minds out of computer code long enough to image and dream.  Maybe they need a hobbit on the team.

    It's highly subjective.  To me EVE felt like a One Trick Pony game but many players will defend it as having a multitude of different things that keep them playing.

    what was the trick ?

    image

  • lolunaticlolunatic Mesa, AZPosts: 108Member
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    Although I'm not a huge gw2 fan its not really a 1 trick pony.

    "It does the Esports thing"

    lolwut

  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Yeah, name a game that isn't a One Trick Pony, mmo or otherwise.  I cannot image why this is.  I'm picturing a team of devs that can't get their minds out of computer code long enough to image and dream.  Maybe they need a hobbit on the team.

    It's highly subjective.  To me EVE felt like a One Trick Pony game but many players will defend it as having a multitude of different things that keep them playing.

    what was the trick ?

    PvP.  Everything in the game fed right into the PvP grinder and any changes to the game are filtered by how they afect PvP. 

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Yeah, name a game that isn't a One Trick Pony, mmo or otherwise.  I cannot image why this is.  I'm picturing a team of devs that can't get their minds out of computer code long enough to image and dream.  Maybe they need a hobbit on the team.

    It's highly subjective.  To me EVE felt like a One Trick Pony game but many players will defend it as having a multitude of different things that keep them playing.

    what was the trick ?

    PvP.  Everything in the game fed right into the PvP grinder and any changes to the game are filtered by how they afect PvP. 

    that's not a trick though. that's a theme.every game must have a theme to have a direction.

     

    here's how I see it...if an MMO like the usual wow-clone has crap-crap-crap amazing crafting crap-crap crap then it's a one-trick game. but for a game like Minecraft...that's the theme. EVE crafting is really strong, as an industrial pilot I know. do i craft pvp toys? sure. i does tie into pvp but it has a lot more than just pvp.

     

    features tying together is what I'd expect mmo's to have.

    image

  • ArakaziArakazi OxfordPosts: 889Member
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Yeah, name a game that isn't a One Trick Pony, mmo or otherwise.  I cannot image why this is.  I'm picturing a team of devs that can't get their minds out of computer code long enough to image and dream.  Maybe they need a hobbit on the team.

    It's highly subjective.  To me EVE felt like a One Trick Pony game but many players will defend it as having a multitude of different things that keep them playing.

    what was the trick ?

    PvP.  Everything in the game fed right into the PvP grinder and any changes to the game are filtered by how they afect PvP. 

    that's not a trick though. that's a theme.every game must have a theme to have a direction.

     

    here's how I see it...if an MMO like the usual wow-clone has crap-crap-crap amazing crafting crap-crap crap then it's a one-trick game. but for a game like Minecraft...that's the theme. EVE crafting is really strong, as an industrial pilot I know. do i craft pvp toys? sure. i does tie into pvp but it has a lot more than just pvp.

     

    features tying together is what I'd expect mmo's to have.

    Disagree with you strongly in regards to EVE. I've played it for 5 years, and without PVP the game simply isn't worth playing. I don't see the crafting as remotely interesting in and of itself gameplay wise. In the wider context of the game I can see why crafting may seem more attractive, but by itself, it's tedious particularly when dealing with POS's. And PVE is simply a joke. EVE does large scale PvP well and that's what it should stick to. Small gang and solo PvP pretty much depends on luck.

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon

    is minecraft worth playing without crafting ?

     

    naturally it's what holds eve together yet... http://swiftandbitter.com/eve/wtd/

     

     

    image

  • ArakaziArakazi OxfordPosts: 889Member
    Originally posted by Robokapp

    is minecraft worth playing without crafting ?

     

    naturally it's what holds eve together yet... http://swiftandbitter.com/eve/wtd/

     

     

    Yeah you can do all those things in eve, but some are more worthwhile than others. But lets be frank, the PVE side of the game is really appaling. I have yet to come accross a game with so much invested in it with such mind numbing tedium when it comes to PVE. Large scale fleeet fights on the other hand is a joy. Crafting is a matter of taste, can't stand it myself, mining for example... I just don't see how anyone could enjoy doing that.

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Yeah, name a game that isn't a One Trick Pony, mmo or otherwise.  I cannot image why this is.  I'm picturing a team of devs that can't get their minds out of computer code long enough to image and dream.  Maybe they need a hobbit on the team.

    It's highly subjective.  To me EVE felt like a One Trick Pony game but many players will defend it as having a multitude of different things that keep them playing.

     I don't like the phrase "one trick pony" especially when you pair it with an MMO. Like someone said earlier MMO's are typically games that are put together with mini-games built in; PvP, PvE, Crafting, or anything else that might come to mind. 

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Originally posted by maplestone
    I sometimes like to make a comparison between consoles and MMOs.  In a way, an MMO is not one game, it's a mini OS on which run a collection of minigames.

    But these mini games are low quality.

    Yet here we are, playing them and talking about them.  MMOs take small games that we wouldn't play if they were a standalone game and give them a context that elevates them into something that feels meaningful. 

    When you try to focus an MMO on one system, you will end up with one good little minigame that feels small and shallow.  Ity's only once an MMO has sufficient complexity and diversity that, the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts.   For example, I can't see myself ever playing a standalone fishing game, but inside the context of an MMO it's almost always the first minigame I check out.  Despite being "low quality", the context stimulates my imagination into seeing some deep zen to it.

  • IncomparableIncomparable KuwaitPosts: 872Member
    Originally posted by robert4818

    Inspired by the talk of the "Story Driven" MMO.  

    We all know the One Trick Pony.  Its a thing that does one thing very well, and then either is very mediocre at everything else, or is completely unable to do them.

    Many of the games i've played and been most dissapointed in have been "One Trick Pony's."  Though not necessarily limited  to strictly one trick, their game is built around a very narrow set of features, leaving everything else lacking or mediocre.  While this narrow focus is cool at first, the novelty of it wears thin quickly, and you are suddenly left wondering why the game feels so shallow.

    Guild Wars 2 did this for me.  The Event system and the hearts were great concepts, and things I'd love to see get incorporated more fully in future MMOs, unfortunately when it came to GW2, it didn't feel like much else was there.  The rest of the game felt hollow in comparison, and the two types of events felt very dull and repetetive after a while.

    Star Wars TOR focused too much on the story.  While the story was good,  their lack of innovation elsewhere left players feeling it to be the "Same thing" they've played in numerous other games, only with a star wars paint job.

    It all goes back to one thing.  Don't be afraid to innovate, but ask whether that innovation alone can hold players long after the new wears off.

    Well, a lot has to do with copy rights as well as a problem. Sure copy rights are respected for the actual product, but why not allow companies to use other existing coding to make thier games. Why do games spend millions of dollars on old ideas, and old features instead of more money improving them?

    Leave the R&D for new systems to people who want to make new engines for MMOs or future games. This will happen anyways. 

    Is it not better to use existing engines that have been coded for perfomance and also nvidia and other video card manufacturers being familair also coding and trying to improve perfromance for that engine as well. It makes things more relative.

    Also rip the basic mechanics, but make them feel differently slightly, and then focus money more on innovation. I am saying this, becuase MMOs are large projects. Either they focus on innovation ignoring the story similar to Camelot Unchained leaving out certain fatures and focusing on RvR, or taking from others having all the existing features from other MMOs copied and differentiated, and then focus on new feautures.

    It would basically streamline development, and make tools accessible accross the board. And since MMOs are online platforms, their copy right exists by being exclusive licesors to thier client. This can work with MMOs specfically.

     

    And if this idea is too far fetched, and developers dont have enough money to develop their games properly, then EA should alteast consider what I am saying. Imagine all thier MMOs not only benefitted each other with sharing features, but also time spent in one MMO would have benefits in another. As if it were one large MMO, but with different 'times'. They could share assets, and mechanics between could be interchanged. For example decoration from one MMO could be used in another for isntacnes like player housing.

     

    Other than that, developers seem to have issues with cost and development. That is why one trick ponies are a problem. Also sometimes developers dont know how to develop the right features for release for thier game.

    I mean swtor had a huge budget, but look at what they released. Clearly something went wrong, when they even mentioned that VO did not cost them a lot. I think they even mentioned how the cinematics as well did not cost a lot either. So a lot of money went into coding? Somewhere, that as you put, and I also feel, made the game feel very average and stagnate very quickly.

    “Write bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble”

  • free2playfree2play Toronto, ONPosts: 1,869Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    Yeah, name a game that isn't a One Trick Pony, mmo or otherwise.  I cannot image why this is.  I'm picturing a team of devs that can't get their minds out of computer code long enough to image and dream.  Maybe they need a hobbit on the team.

    It's highly subjective.  To me EVE felt like a One Trick Pony game but many players will defend it as having a multitude of different things that keep them playing.

    what was the trick ?

    PvP.  Everything in the game fed right into the PvP grinder and any changes to the game are filtered by how they afect PvP. 

    EVE is very much a one trick pony. Go on one of the Test servers where there are no PvP barriers. It's a 2 year skill queue, ISK grind to Sov all of Null and build outposts, done while you aren't playing for the most part. EVE did it better than any other game with the low requirements for system to system demand on the servers allowing them to have a game universe that had the optic to be huge. Many games now try and play the PvP card but it's a lazy way of passing the buck on to the player base for lack of content. With the way characters are forced to template, the only difference between PvP and PvE for me is, the PvE doesn't run away when you start to win.

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