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[Column] General: Do Players Embrace Change?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,633MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Welcome to Player Versus Player, the column for MMO players who just can’t seem to get along. This week, we’re taking a suggestion from the comments: we’ve lived it, we’ve embraced it, and we’ve rejected it. This week we’re talking about change. Read on and then leave us your thoughts in the comments.

Chris: Thanks for taking this on with me, Bill. Change is what this industry is about. When I look back at how things began and compare that to where we are now, millions more players in tow, I’m floored at how much things have changed. Most of us probably wouldn’t have believed it back then. We’ve seen change in action and are reaping the benefits even now (I have a game waiting for me after I’m done!). It honestly makes me excited for what’s still to come.

Read more of Chris Coke's & Bill Murphy's Player vs Player: Do Players Embrace Change?.

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

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Comments

  • AlomarAlomar Middle Earth, NJPosts: 450Member Uncommon
    "Let’s be honest. Out of the 600-plus listed on our site, only a select few are worth a gamer’s time." I'm so glad you were honest about that, this alone made it worth the read!

    Dozens of MMO's, RTS's, FPS's, etc.

  • YilelienYilelien Vacaville, CAPosts: 322Member

    Change is a part of life, we need it. Espically in our MMO's. Thats part of what keeps us interested.

     

     But i also feel that many people that visit this site. Like myself were people that played alot of the older games. While they dont live up to todays standards. They also meant alot more. You didnt get anything without working for it.

     

     Todays market is a different beast. IMO many of us here miss that part of the MMO's. ACtually having to work for something.

     I dont think that will change. As mentioned. We have gone from EQ in its glory days of 250k players. To Millions of players in a single game. With a majority of them never played something like a EQ and honestly never would. We the vocal minority, who do visit such sites as this can onlly long for the days past.

  • ThumbtackJThumbtackJ columbus, OHPosts: 539Member Uncommon
  • Stuka1000Stuka1000 Posts: 873Member Uncommon
    I think what the older vets miss isn't the old mechanics so much, ( afterall they were not all that great if you think of the mindless grinds, time and money sinks etc.) but the great communities that used to exist when the genre was niche.  DAoC was a good game but it was the community that made it great.  The same is true of EQ, Ao and other older titles.  It was a time when MMO's were a true hobby that you enjoyed with like minded people.  The themepark era and WoW in particular changed all that and today we just have forgettable experiences that we can solo all the way to endgame without even speaking to another person, it's sad really. 
  • BearKnightBearKnight Augusta, GAPosts: 461Member

    "Do Players Embrace Change?"

     

    What "Change" exactly???

     

    We've only gotten the same clone over and over and then PR people screaming at the top of their lungs that it is "different" from "X" when all they're doing is lieing through their fake teeth so they don't get fired.

     

    We WANT Change, but we're not getting it. Forcing "story" into MMORPG's is NOT "Change", it is nothing more than trying to force singleplayer gameplay onto something that doesn't want it.

     

    Story is essentially playing someone else's scripted series of events without giving you any ability to actually choose. This is why Themepark gameplay that started with WoW died out about 2years ago (ie: essentially a 10year run). People have wanted Sandbox gameplay ever since EQ, but companies want the easy route that costs them the less while providing nothing really unique.

     

    The players aren't the problem.

  • AsboAsbo ManchesterPosts: 796Member Uncommon
    It's a shame this site supports them at all, just goes to show that the hype shite that's goes on here has a major reason why many see the light of day. I would like to see MMORG get serious with the crap that comes out and regain some credibility, after all you guys are gamers too so come sort it out hey!

    Asbo

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    Players can embrace change. It all really depends how it's presented to them. Most people like familiar and shy away from new things. If new systems are presented in a way that is easy to learn people will embrace it...if it's a good change.

    If it's just dump the play in the middle of no where holding some weird object and told " this is new and fun! " most people will just log out or ask it be made more like wow.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    There are changes I like, there are changes I don't like.  I'm just one voice in a chorus of a million voices, all expressing different interests and sensitivities.  Can that cacophony of opinion really be personified as a singular hive-mind?

    (that said, if I didn't need some change in my gameplay, I'd still be fighting rats in the starter zone)

  • crack_foxcrack_fox WellingtonPosts: 402Member

    "I just think our definition of what an MMORPG can be needs to change."

     

    Absolutely, and the sooner the better. We haven't seen real change, only the continual refinement of an old formula. Unfortunately, when real change does finally arrive it will probably be followed by another ten years of cloning and refining.

     

     
     
  • JudgeUKJudgeUK Posts: 847Member Uncommon

    Depends what the change is of course. Did players embrace the change from WotLK to Cataclysm - not at all well.

    (Yep, I'm using this topic unashamedly to bring up my complete disappointment with Ghostcrawler's utter disaster of an expansion).

  • NildenNilden null, NBPosts: 1,284Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by JudgeUK

    Depends what the change is of course. Did players embrace the change from WotLK to Cataclysm - not at all well.

    (Yep, I'm using this topic unashamedly to bring up my complete disappointment with Ghostcrawler's utter disaster of an expansion).

    This.

    If you change something and take something away from players or if the change gives players something new it's completely different. Also it's pretty obvious to spot change for the sake of change where you may change the name of something but none of the functionality.

    Change has to be positive and meaningful.

     

    How to post links.

    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

  • BMBenderBMBender Nowhere, NCPosts: 568Member Uncommon
    The real question is change for whom?  the mmo audience has never been a monolithic entity.  Even the 1st games in the sphere focused on certain play styles different from thier competition.  FFwd to today with mmo's trying to be big tent events; it's inevitable that any change will be met with equal amounts of rage, love, and meh

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  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,281Member Uncommon
    Not a lot of the ones on this site. They are perfectly content with reskins. In general I think gamers do.
  • IridescentOrkIridescentOrk Ellicott City, MDPosts: 157Member
    can't embrace crappy games, specially when some devs have the nerve to say their game is not an MMO yet it's marketed as such; the upcomming MMOs will fail hard because well, they are not MMORPGs, just glorified single player games

    gameplay > graphics

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member

    That was the nicest PvP I've ever seen!  "I agree" started so many points :)

     

    Chris summed up my feelings well (echoed by Bill) with:

    "Chris: I think we need to look at what’s actually changing. When I think back to World of Warcraft and how it challenged questing and leveling conventions, how it blew the doors off this genre and opened it up to the world, I see change incarnate. Has anything altered so radically in a major MMO since then? That was a fundamental shift in MMO design. The closest we’ve come since then is action-combat which, while fun, kind of works against the whole players communicating thing."

     

    Change for changes sake is rarely good.  Graphics and animations are very different from basic gameplay mechanics.

     

    Good points on both sides.  Interesting read :)

     

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • GregorridavionGregorridavion lawrenceville, GAPosts: 3Member

    I love it. Most of you sound like the current POTUS.  LOL.  CHANGE! CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN!

    Well.  How would you change the MMO landscape.  What would you do differently?  How would you engage the player base?  How would you make everyone happy?  What is really pathetic is the rampant sense of entitlement and complete ADD I see from most "Gamers"

    COMMUNITY!  WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COMMUNITY!?!?

    What happened was the ugly head of the current generation of what I term 'Entitlement Gamers'.

    I want it now, I want it easy and damnit it you better entertain me!!! Also as an aside to those demands,  I WILL NOT PAY YOU FOR IT!

    This mentality is what has destroyed community. This is why all of you bounce from game to game.  Like being in a stagnant relationship, your here but your eyes are always on the horizon.

    There is a reason a game like EVE online has been steadily grwoing in numbers for 10 years.  There is a reason why EQ has been going for damn near 15 years and 20 expansions. 

    It sure as hell isnt due to "change"

    Flame on if you must.  But deep down you know what I say rings true to one degree or another.

  • BMBenderBMBender Nowhere, NCPosts: 568Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gregorridavion

    I love it. Most of you sound like the current POTUS.  LOL.  CHANGE! CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN!

    Well.  How would you change the MMO landscape.  What would you do differently?  How would you engage the player base?  How would you make everyone happy?  What is really pathetic is the rampant sense of entitlement and complete ADD I see from most "Gamers"

    COMMUNITY!  WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COMMUNITY!?!?

    What happened was the ugly head of the current generation of what I term 'Entitlement Gamers'.

    I want it now, I want it easy and damnit it you better entertain me!!! Also as an aside to those demands,  I WILL NOT PAY YOU FOR IT!

    This mentality is what has destroyed community. This is why all of you bounce from game to game.  Like being in a stagnant relationship, your here but your eyes are always on the horizon.

    There is a reason a game like EVE online has been steadily grwoing in numbers for 10 years.  There is a reason why EQ has been going for damn near 15 years and 20 expansions. 

    It sure as hell isnt due to "change"

    Flame on if you must.  But deep down you know what I say rings true to one degree or another.

    Welcome to big tent marketing at it's finest :D  pull em all in; piss em all offl; hope you have some at the end

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  • OlgarkOlgark BostonPosts: 319Member Uncommon

    No players do not embrace change. This can be seen just by reading the forums here and on the TESO web page about guild stores and the pvp in Cyrodiil and faction locked adventure areas.

    The game is not even out yet and there are loads of post moaning about guild stores will fail. I really can not see how they can, this just reminds me of the player vendors in UO and SWG. A system I prefer over the usual AH.

    TSW tried to move away from the holy trinity of classes and raids, but they caved in and put in raids and a LFG tool detailing what part of the trinity you can play as. This is because of the WoW crowd bitching about it and not being able or willing to learn a new game. Closed Beta was fine and everyone was happy with how things worked. Open beta and we got the moaners.

    WoW changed the mmo industry, but not for the better. Its a great game and it has one major flaw. It made the MMO games to casual, and in that gave players what they wanted on a silver plate. Now if a new game is not exactly like WoW it gets bashed by the players till the devs give in and make it like WoW, but by then 99% of the population has left and the ones that stay get fed up with the game because they liked the original view of the game.

    Happened in SWG with the NGE update. I saw it on a personal level on the Farstar server.

    Sad fact is that the casual gamer does not like change and would rather play a wow clone than a new game entirely.

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  • DajagDajag Tucson, AZPosts: 55Member

    Change for changes sake is not good, though change can be good.

     

    If somthing works great and people like it, why change it?

    The problem is Developers just randomly change game mechanics, sometimes for the better, most of the time its not.

    Key issues:

    1. Developer  focuses so much on one aspect of the game they want to change they leave out 5 other key MMO-RPG aspects. ie focus on active combat and forget relevent crafting. in other words they make a half arse game.

    2. Developers try to recreate the wheel. if something works good and players like it, keep it, focus on adding new yet unseen features while keeping all the beloved features. ( how many game have i tried lately that claim to have the best combat, but once I start playing I get annoyed because they left out the most basic of UI features) I stop playing those games because one great feature does not out wiegh 10 other missing features!

    There has been some games that have created very cool new features, that I have been excited about.

    TSW - Skill system while still making the trinity and team work essenitial. A fun movement oriented combat system.

    Warhammer Online - Public Quests

    Games like EQ2 and WoW had tons of great and enjoyable features, heck EQ2 had one of the greatest UIs ever, yet with all this so called change there has not been a game since that has offered half the UI customization as these two older games.

     

    I like using Neverwinter Nights as an example - One of the greatest player driven mini-MMOs ever created. This game had one of the most loyal and active fan bases of any game. Instead of giving players a sequal that was the original with better graphics and new features, develpoers tried to recreate the game, thus distroying something that was near perfect. Changes for changes sake ruined this great game.

     

    I don't mind a developer going out a limb and creating something new, they live and die by their sword. I would like a few developers to take a look bacwards and grab all the great features of olders games and glue them all togather into a new packages, give me an MMO-RPG with everything for a change.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,721Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Olgark

    TSW tried to move away from the holy trinity of classes and raids

    TSW was trinity-based right from the beginning, when you could first do Polaris (3rd beta maybe?), and went in brainless gw2-style, you definitely haven't saw Ur-Draug in the end :)

     

    It's a tough topic to discuss without some generalisation. I, for example am all about new ideas and mechanics (or at least new payment mechanics if the game is just an average, same-old copy), love to map them, fiddling with them, etc. For me it's only natural to think that other players are thinking the same way. Unfortunately it seems we are the minority.

    Olgark is right in the sense that TSW is a good example, it brought many changes, the playerbase love it, and still it remained only a niche game... and not because of, as Chris wrote, "the change wasn’t good enough", those who left are kept trying to avoid the changes while they were in the game.

    TSW has a new questing system, but people kept playing it like an average quest-hub game - and complained about it.

    TSW brought adventure game elements, investigation and brainwork into the missions (a very welcomed move since the industry successfully gutted the whole adventure genre :I ), - people turned to google to run through those mission.

    TSW brought the ability wheel and deck building, - people turned to google again and copied the "best" ones without any thinking. FC had to add starter decks, otherwise they felt themselves lost among the options...

    (Btw, the very same happened with STO, many folks turned away when saw there are no straightforward classes or talent trees... khm, ok, I admit that the game was a bugfested crap at launch so maybe that had some part in the exodus as well :) )

     

    I think the mmo playerbase as a whole is a huge mass now, with it's own inertia. Even the best changes, like TSW could only reach that part of the players who initially like the changes. And that's not the majority sadly. Call me a pessimist, but the change Chris is waiting for ("what we need is a paradigm shift. We need an EQ to WoW jump. Real change."), well, the chance for that is diminishing as more and more players are joining to the mmo playerbase. Way too many people like the methods and mechanichs they're used to, and they're seeking those in every game.

    But I hope I'm wrong.

  • RenoakuRenoaku Posts: 1,005Member Uncommon

    Change is okay but it is a matter of how you do it.

    Take World OF Warcraft for example the reason I quit was because my level 80 mage during burning crusade they nerfed mages hard ruined the arcane pom/pyro so they can't be used in combo something that was in the game for months, but they fail to nerf warlocks that can spam DOT on everyone, and as a result the game was ruined for me because of not offering me free Change to my character class.

    In fact in PVP Games I am getting sick and tired of all these classes that people can play like Healer, Rogue, Warrior, Mage, Warlock, it is getting old instead of having locked classes there should be a system that allows a person to level up one character, and customize their abililty similar to Guild Wars 1, which is a reason I got tired of GW2 yes it has great graphics but so many things that need to be polished no customization, and PVP gets boring as heck.

    DarkFall Unholy Wars isn't so bad it allows to customization classes, but games like TERA, Aion, LineAge 2, and all these other F2P games do not offer such so I don't feel like playing them even though they are ruined for other reasons now because of Cash-Shop, and ignorant developers who know nothing its a matter of opinion but that is a different subject.

    Final Fantasy XIV, another example of a game I recently played and declined to buy a subscription to the game is okay, but so many things that need to be fixed including dungeon finder, how long it takes to do a party, having to do (X) quest to get access to market, no customization, no good housing, and PVP is boring or will be boring.

    Overall changes are good, but making the wrong decisions, major nerf that effects a class should never come like with World OF Warcraft, and if such ever takes place then players should be allowed a one time change to any class they like in the game.

  • DajagDajag Tucson, AZPosts: 55Member
    Originally posted by Po_gg
    Originally posted by Olgark

    TSW tried to move away from the holy trinity of classes and raids

    TSW was trinity-based right from the beginning, when you could first do Polaris (3rd beta maybe?), and went in brainless gw2-style, you definitely haven't saw Ur-Draug in the end :)

     

    It's a tough topic to discuss without some generalisation. I, for example am all about new ideas and mechanics (or at least new payment mechanics if the game is just an average, same-old copy), love to map them, fiddling with them, etc. For me it's only natural to think that other players are thinking the same way. Unfortunately it seems we are the minority.

    Olgark is right in the sense that TSW is a good example, it brought many changes, the playerbase love it, and still it remained only a niche game... and not because of, as Chris wrote, "the change wasn’t good enough", those who left are kept trying to avoid the changes while they were in the game.

    TSW has a new questing system, but people kept playing it like an average quest-hub game - and complained about it.

    TSW brought adventure game elements, investigation and brainwork into the missions (a very welcomed move since the industry successfully gutted the whole adventure genre :I ), - people turned to google to run through those mission.

    TSW brought the ability wheel and deck building, - people turned to google again and copied the "best" ones without any thinking. FC had to add starter decks, otherwise they felt themselves lost among the options...

    (Btw, the very same happened with STO, many folks turned away when saw there are no straightforward classes or talent trees... khm, ok, I admit that the game was a bugfested crap at launch so maybe that had some part in the exodus as well :) )

     

    I think the mmo playerbase as a whole is a huge mass now, with it's own inertia. Even the best changes, like TSW could only reach that part of the players who initially like the changes. And that's not the majority sadly. Call me a pessimist, but the change Chris is waiting for ("what we need is a paradigm shift. We need an EQ to WoW jump. Real change."), well, the chance for that is diminishing as more and more players are joining to the mmo playerbase. Way too many people like the methods and mechanichs they're used to, and they're seeking those in every game.

    But I hope I'm wrong.

    I would like to say one thing about TSW, and I agree that it is a great game, I love it!  BUT... they made it way to easy to level and players end up out of content to fast.

    I have a lot of friends who have yet to play this game because they want to be able to download it and play it for free. They are so spoiled by the free to play change in MMO gaming.. that they dont even bother to buy games anymore, they just hold out and wait for them to go free.

    This free to play change has made it hard for AAA developers grab large populations and put out quality expansions while making a profit. TSW I think suffers from funding due to all the free to play games, casual gamers play till they reach endgame and  then jump ship till the next new free expansion, they dont spend any real money. So it is left up to the die hards to keep the game afloat... Problem is a huge percentage of the Die hard endgamers like to show off their gear... and if there is no casual players to show off too, they leave the game also.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,028Member Uncommon

    I think both the players and devs lack of imagination is part of the problem.

    Many people from both sides for example can't imagine that it is possible to make a better combat system then the trinity which we saw in Meridian 59 for the first time (in a MMO that is). But just because you had fun in games using that mechanics doesn't mean you can't make a better one.

    That also means that many people just plain refuse to try out games with new mechanics that they actually would have liked.

    The problem with change however is that far from all changes are good. Most of all new mechanics actually suck just like most games do, but devs need to try to make those awesome new features and we players needs to keep a lookout for them.

    Another thing is that many devs spend more time looking for ways to cut the cost of the game then working on new fun ideas, while others add really expensive stuff that sounds impressive but doesn't actually make the game more fun, like full VOs and loads of cutscenes. 

    I will try out new ideas and give them a chance, but I wont force myself to like anything that sounds good but actually feel boring when I play. That's my 5 cents anyways.

  • xeniarxeniar Posts: 805Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666

    I think both the players and devs lack of imagination is part of the problem.

    Many people from both sides for example can't imagine that it is possible to make a better combat system then the trinity which we saw in Meridian 59 for the first time (in a MMO that is). But just because you had fun in games using that mechanics doesn't mean you can't make a better one.

    That also means that many people just plain refuse to try out games with new mechanics that they actually would have liked.

    The problem with change however is that far from all changes are good. Most of all new mechanics actually suck just like most games do, but devs need to try to make those awesome new features and we players needs to keep a lookout for them.

    Another thing is that many devs spend more time looking for ways to cut the cost of the game then working on new fun ideas, while others add really expensive stuff that sounds impressive but doesn't actually make the game more fun, like full VOs and loads of cutscenes. 

    I will try out new ideas and give them a chance, but I wont force myself to like anything that sounds good but actually feel boring when I play. That's my 5 cents anyways.

    The thing with the trinity system is that its everywhere. Every game that supports group play either has a system similair to the trinity sytem (just look at for example battlefield youve got snipers (asault medics) engineers and support. if those 4 or atleast 3 of em are working together in a squad you litteraly plow trough the other team.

    Or they have no system at all being a free for all zerg fest. (cod team deathmatch (and il point to GW2)) So when u want to promote structured groupplay you have the trinity. in what form it might be everyone has its own defined role or job to do within that group and u support one another trough it.

    Its hard to step away from the trinity when we infact use it in real life. when you work for a big company evryone has his or her own job to do. Your own thing wich u are responsible for and you work together in a team to get masive projects done. hello trinity.

  • BMBenderBMBender Nowhere, NCPosts: 568Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by xeniar
     

    Its hard to step away from the trinity when we infact use it in real life. when you work for a big company evryone has his or her own job to do. Your own thing wich u are responsible for and you work together in a team to get masive projects done. hello trinity.

    Can I have a tank to grab wife agro?                    please

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