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I consider myself an MMORPG purist. If there is such a thing.
I've written blogs in the past yadda yadda, basically I started playing MMO's in the mid 90s before I was old enough to have a license. I crushed through english, writing, vocabulary etc, because I was interacting online daily with adults who had no idea who I was other than who I portrayed myself to be. I played in unique, different games, with creative ideas, immersive communities, and fun content.
I understand years go into development of a AAA title, I just don't understand how entire companies can't figure the hell out, what is pretty easily seen.
tldr; AAA titles are being made for a quick buck, and by people trying to be cute, instead of trying to listen to what people want, fill avoid, and make difficult decisions to make a successful long standing game, where people spend their money because they're happy, not because they feel forced to.
First, quit being cute.
Similar to GM's for sports teams, quit trying to pull something out of right field (drafted some nobody with your first pick) and then try to look smart. It's pretty plain to see what the majority of players like and wish for in a game, then make it happen. The most successful companies make it happen, they dont make excuses. What are some of the biggest things players want? They want things like PLAYER HOUSING, yet, only a few games ever have it. They want things like immersive wide open worlds, yet we get this streamlined follow A to B to C to D, kill a few rats, go to C then to B, A. What is this crap? Do you really think anyone is going to feel immersed in a cage and invisible walls?
There is so many innovative ideas out there from games you could use or re-invent. Have any of these idiots played MMORPG's?
Comprehensive allegiance system. Guild housing, mentor/following system involving your mentor getting a % of bonus XP for your allegiance to him and the "guild". This gave benenfits to not only recruit and grow your guild, but to keep people sworn TO YOU, so you get rewards by being good and mentoring THEM.
The Realm Online:
The Realm was one of the first MMORPG's it got 'rare' items right. By creating ultra cool glowing effect, and super rare cosmetic find only items, most games today 15 years later can't even grasp the concept that people want to look and feel badass. Why can't I find a glowing sword, or flaming shield at level 4? We have games coming out in 2013, where you wear the same armor models for 20 levels that look like peasant rags from the 1500's.
These are just two examples, we all have them, there dozens of cool things we would have liked to see picked up.
EQ, Asherons Call, Darkfall Online. Why are we not making MMO's more MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER, why are we making them RPG with online elements? Why are we not fighting to control dungeons or resources, why are we not interacting with other people other than click on a PC to teleport to a place to teleport to another place? I'm all for speedy traveling, but you're not making worlds anymore, you're making fantasy call of duty maps.
Secondly, quit rushing games to sell boxes, and then hanging your hat
Every game wants to be the 'WoW' killer, every game wants to be known as a success yadda yadda. The fact is most of these games know they're going to make a majority of their profit within the first 3 months of release. They pump out some disappointing game way too soon, sell a bajillion boxes and then say hey look we're so awesome we sold this many boxes. When really they just pissed off thousands of people with some crap piss poor product. WE KNOW GOOD GAMES WITH STAYING POWER MAKE MONEY. League of Legends is free to play, you know how much of my money I've given them? You know why they're the most played PC game in the world? BECAUSE THEY GET IT. They make a game to be FUN. Then they know the cash will come.
Quit making F2P games Pay2Win, if I LOVED a game, it was balanced, fun, immersive, why wouldn't I spend money on cosmetic items, upgrades, etc. If you could just see past making a quick buck for the love of god.
One of the biggest examples of this comes to mind is Diablo III (not quite an MMO). The game was not ready, it got rushed out, a ton of promises broken, to this day has very little end game, had ANYONE on that mother *#!( staff actually played Inferno at max level, they would have realized you couldnt PAY ME to play it. Furthest thing from fun, immersive, or worth while. But what do I get, all these articles about how many boxes they've sold etc. They should be ashamed, theirproject leader should be fired... Oh wait...
Lastly, and more importantly. Please start making games FOR gamers.
There is way too much 'ACTIVISION' and 'TIME WARNER' in todays MMO world. Way too many people making big development decisions that know nothing about the staying power of a game. I read an article last year when I was sitting in my apocalyptic MMO state, 'games aren't being made for gamers anymore, they're being made for the casual fan'. It is true, games are streamlined, instanced, dumbed down, easier. Look, I'm all for including everyone, but who is going to spread the word? Who is going to wait in line, wear t-shirts, get their friends to buy the game, keep forums, internet reviews positive, and push your game... GAMERS. The dude who buys the game for 40$ and gets to level 5, yeah you made money off him, but making a game stupid enough that someone like that is the only one who enjoys it.. Is just wrong.
Make good games. For gamers. Games you would want to play. WIth ideas you know we want. In ways, we couldn't see coming. Casuals will come, money will come, success will come.
Or buy the rights to more asian games and move them to P2W.