How to make a content-lite MMORPG

QuirhidQuirhid TampereMember UncommonPosts: 6,230

It is easy! Just follow the steps below:

  1. Don't spend any time on tutorials and documentation: Figuring out the game serves as "content".
  2. Sparse everything apart so that traveling serves as "content".
  3. Don't include quests; you don't want to pay for writers. Fill the world with mobs, but make the drop rates and rewards low so that people will continue to grind them for as long as possible.
  4. Include many trivial but mandatory (or strongly encouraged) attrition mechanics such as eating, drinking and long term buffs. Ensuring their supply will keep players busy when they are not grinding... or traveling.
  5. Make everything as difficult and as high maintenance as possible: Nothing should be easy, and nothing should be automatic so the players have to be glued on the keyboard in order to make something happen. If you want to go somewhere, you have to stay there for the whole 20 minutes pressing "W"-key and following the road. It is "content" after all.
  6. Keep the respawn rates for bosses low, so that waiting for them will serve as "content". Same applies for fishing.
I think it goes without saying that the preferred payment model would be subscription.

Can you come up with more?

 

(And if you haven't figured it out. The above is criticism.)

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

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Comments

  • BlizzardShillBlizzardShill BlizzardshillvilleMember UncommonPosts: 37
    I'd tread lightly.  You may write that list as sarcasm, but most people on this forum consider those steps the makings of a groundbreaking MMO, so mocking them is probably a bannable offense.
  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILMember Posts: 906

    So make it like the RPG's we played when we were kids?

    You guys are mocking newer mmorpgs not old ones.

     

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • YualaeYualae Huntington, NYMember Posts: 11

    I've got nothing. 

     

    Let's bring back Shadowbane! 

     

     

    The silent voice within one's heart whispers the most profound wisdom.

  • JemAs666JemAs666 Wylie, TXMember UncommonPosts: 217
    So you want EverQuest from 1999!
  • DauntisDauntis Kansas City, MOMember UncommonPosts: 600
    I think you misspelled Sandbox MMO.

    Help support an artist and gamer who has lost his tools to create and play: http://www.gofundme.com/u63nzcgk

  • KenFisherKenFisher Northwest, INMember UncommonPosts: 5,035

    Honestly the description sounds like something I'd enjoy.  Less game, more simulation.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • StuperstingStupersting Courtenay, BCMember Posts: 31

    Honestly a lot of that sounds pretty good. Have a small tutorial so people know their way around the UI, but after that, let them figure it out.   Yeah make things far apart and have people actually need to TRAVEL. Just make sure the trip isn't boring as all hell. Quests, mmk, I like those. Those "trivial" tasks actually seem like it would be a good idea. Adds a sense of survival. Make nothing easy, yes! We want things to be hard, we want the feeling of "Wow, did I actually make it through that?". The respawn rate thing... hey, as long as it isn't TOO long, having a bit of competition to see who can kill it/find it first is fun. Not sure what you are getting at with fishing.

  • iridescenceiridescence Member UncommonPosts: 1,552
    Originally posted by FinalFikus
    So make it like the RPG's we played when we were kids? You guys are mocking newer mmorpgs not old ones.  

    Yeah...this. Funny thing is OP is trying to be sarcastic but with the exception of the last point (low spawn times are kind of stupid) all those things actually make a game more fun for me and I mod games like Skyrim to be more like OP describes when I play them.

     

     

  • QuirhidQuirhid TampereMember UncommonPosts: 6,230
    Originally posted by Stupersting
    Not sure what you are getting at with fishing.

    Waiting for the fish to bite is "content". Naturally.

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

  • FinalFikusFinalFikus Chicago, ILMember Posts: 906
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Stupersting
    Not sure what you are getting at with fishing.

    Waiting for the fish to bite is "content". Naturally.

    Queue?

     

     

    "If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILMember UncommonPosts: 1,734
    Originally posted by BlizzardShill
    I'd tread lightly.  You may write that list as sarcasm, but most people on this forum consider those steps the makings of a groundbreaking MMO, so mocking them is probably a bannable offense.

    Lolz.  

     

    Why does any believe game devs (have time to) hang out on gaming forums?  Really think anyone reads threads besides players?  Oh, and kickstarter peeps looking (legitimately or crookedly) for money.

  • KenFisherKenFisher Northwest, INMember UncommonPosts: 5,035

    I consider "content" is any in-game device that provides the player with something for the character to do.

     

    I do consider grinding boars, skinning, and crafting items from the resulting materials as a form of content.

     

    It is part of my character's livelihood.  Hence, it is part of my character's story.  How is that not content?

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • xeniarxeniar Member UncommonPosts: 805

    good try to mocking old mmo's but alas you failed.

    i can sum up new mmo's tho.

    keyboard --> MASH

    Win

    have fun with current mmo's

  • ste2000ste2000 londonMember EpicPosts: 6,194
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    It is easy! Just follow the steps below: Don't spend any time on tutorials and documentation: Figuring out the game serves as "content". Sparse everything apart so that traveling serves as "content". Don't include quests; you don't want to pay for writers. Fill the world with mobs, but make the drop rates and rewards low so that people will continue to grind them for as long as possible. Include many trivial but mandatory (or strongly encouraged) attrition mechanics such as eating, drinking and long term buffs. Ensuring their supply will keep players busy when they are not grinding... or traveling. Make everything as difficult and as high maintenance as possible: Nothing should be easy, and nothing should be automatic so the players have to be glued on the keyboard in order to make something happen. If you want to go somewhere, you have to stay there for the whole 20 minutes pressing "W"-key and following the road. It is "content" after all. Keep the respawn rates for bosses low, so that waiting for them will serve as "content". Same applies for fishing. I think it goes without saying that the preferred payment model would be subscription. Can you come up with more?

    7. Slow leveling, so you don't outlevel your gear after 2 hours. You will spend time trying to get a certain item to drop so you can use it for the next 2 weeks, that counts as content.

    Content will last months rather than weeks!! Which means less people on the payroll!!!!

    8. Add corpse run as death penalty. That will force people to socialise by asking other players to rezz their corpse, alternatevily they will have to run back naked with all risk involved. That counts as content.

     

    Anyway, most of today MMO players (I think you are one of them, I can detect your sarcasm) don't like this stuff, they want their damn shiny purple sword right here right now!

    The only crazy developer that might have the guts to try this stuff is Brad McQuaid............. waiting for its Kickstarter campaign to start.

    I hope he is not going to disappoint me.

     

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAMember RarePosts: 14,247
    Originally posted by ste2000 Anyway, most of today MMO players (I think you are one of them, I can detect your sarcasm) don't like this stuff, they want their damn shiny purple sword right here right now!

    The opportunities for discussion would open so much wider if people weren't so consistently binary in their views on everything. 

    Is the alternative to that list really only "hand me epics" to you?

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • rutaqrutaq somerville, MAMember UncommonPosts: 427
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    It is easy! Just follow the steps below: Don't spend any time on tutorials and documentation: Figuring out the game serves as "content". Sparse everything apart so that traveling serves as "content". Don't include quests; you don't want to pay for writers. Fill the world with mobs, but make the drop rates and rewards low so that people will continue to grind them for as long as possible. Include many trivial but mandatory (or strongly encouraged) attrition mechanics such as eating, drinking and long term buffs. Ensuring their supply will keep players busy when they are not grinding... or traveling. Make everything as difficult and as high maintenance as possible: Nothing should be easy, and nothing should be automatic so the players have to be glued on the keyboard in order to make something happen. If you want to go somewhere, you have to stay there for the whole 20 minutes pressing "W"-key and following the road. It is "content" after all. Keep the respawn rates for bosses low, so that waiting for them will serve as "content". Same applies for fishing. I think it goes without saying that the preferred payment model would be subscription. Can you come up with more?   (And if you haven't figured it out. The above is criticism.)

     

     

    Lol,  sounds like a game I'd actually like.

     

    All joking aside,  you have some solid ideas for a good MMO.   

     

    1)  A small tutorial is needed but after teaching the basic controls the hand holding should end.

    2)   Real distance and travelling that takes time adds depth.  It also allows the "Journey" to become something and not just some AFK time on the back of a flying taxi.

    3)   Quests are ok but in moderation but should be tied to the game story and they shouldn't be the most efficient focus for character leveling and accumulating tons of throw away items.

    4)   Food, Rest, working on Long term buffs  are great ideas for flushing out the world and letting players do something other than bashing monsters and chasing  ! in a desperate race to hit max level and it's amazing limited amount of "end Game" content.

    5)  Making things difficult and challenging makes the game play rewarding.  If what you are doing is trivial, requires little attention, little patience and even less effort  then you lost the Adventure.  

    6)  Spawn rates should reflect the creature.   If it is a common monster than it has a common spawn rate, if it is a rare creature then the spawn rate should reflect it.

     

     

    Now to play along with the criticism... err.  I think you meant to say  Sarcasm....

     

    Mainstream MMO player's dream....  ( I use the word  Player loosely ,   Half interested casual observer seems more fitting. 

     

    Game design notes....

    1)  The game has to practically play it self and require no research, investigation or learning.   It needs to have Flashing Arrows,  Glowing maps, voice overs, reminders, etc..  to show me what to do at all times because I forgot easy and paying attention, reading and learning something is too old fashioned. 

     

    2)  Travelling is lame,  If I have to push keys for more than 30 seconds to move somewhere then you should just teleport me .  I don't want to look at stuff or do stuff, just get me to where I need to click to finish my quest.

     

    3)  Quests are cool but they need to give tons more xp and loot and lots less of that writing stuff.   I mean who needs writing.... the quest should be easy enough that I can complete it in a few seconds with some random clicks.   I don't want to hear any story I just want to get to MAX LEVEL.

     

    4)  Nothing should distract me from my minimum movement, simple click complete quests as I quickly reach MAX Level and "Win" the game.   I mean gahh,  why do they make all this low level crap anyways.  We should just start  at max level so we can quickly get board and quit after running the same 3 Dungeons and Daily quests over and over and over again.

     

    5)  Nothing should be hard,  everyone should win the game just by showing up, how I play shouldn't matter.  It's not fair that I lose some of the fights, we all deserve to Win.    Having to actually try to be successful is so 1990's,  like when you had to study and learn stuffs to graduate from High School.

       Thing should be hard and nothing bad should happen.  Like if somehow I die when "half interested casual observing"... you know like when I walk away from my Dungeon group mid fight to get a Hot Pocket....  nothing bad should happen, I mean geeezzz ... I logged in , isn't that enough ?   What the heck !!!?!!   this is supposed to be a game, who cares if I am inept and don't pay attention.      I'm here to Win and I downloaded your lame Free to Play game so you better reward me or I will not pay anything and go not pay for another game.

     

    6)  Rare stuff is lame, waiting for stuff is lame, looking for stuff is lame  everything I want should be delivered to me immediately.    

     

  • donpopukidonpopuki Dearborn, MIMember Posts: 591
    I think the OP's main criticism is against time sinks. There's a grey area what is considered a time sink versus immersion. For example travel can be tedious or give a sense of grand scope. Sometimes it's both at the same time.
  • ste2000ste2000 londonMember EpicPosts: 6,194
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by ste2000 Anyway, most of today MMO players (I think you are one of them, I can detect your sarcasm) don't like this stuff, they want their damn shiny purple sword right here right now!

    The opportunities for discussion would open so much wider if people weren't so consistently binary in their views on everything. 

    Is the alternative to that list really only "hand me epics" to you?

    Of course it is not, but neither is the content of that list................. see my point?

    I just turned the coin the other side.

    The truth is in the middle of course, but developers didn't seems to grasp the fact that radical design, either being too hardcore or being too shallow is not the solution of the MMO identity crysis.

    Although you have to admit that the "Right now" crowd is influencincing quite a lot MMO design in recent years............ and not for the good.

     

    One example of a good compromise.

    I loved GW2 leveling content and how it works, but hated the end game.

    A good MMO for me would be GW2 plus the Trinity and Raiding, without touching any of the casual features of the game.

    So it is possible to mix the 2 genres together, it is just that Devs are too focused on the ultra casual crowd to understand that a middle ground is possible.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAMember RarePosts: 14,247
    Originally posted by ste2000  ...but developers didn't seems to grasp the fact...

    People here seem to like that phrase. 

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • ste2000ste2000 londonMember EpicPosts: 6,194
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by ste2000  ...but developers didn't seems to grasp the fact...

    People here seem to like that phrase. 

    Maybe because it is true, and Developers ego is too big to admit it.

    If I am not wrong you worked for SoE or Trion, so I understand why you are so skeptical............... really you should listen more the players, not just going with what you think is best.

    I am not saying that the players are always right, just that you should listen more and trying to understand if what they ask is reasonable or just plain stupid.

    Do not assume that all the players do not know what they are talking about............ some developers forget they've been players, while players will still be players and they know exactly what they want to play.

    Missing those clues is a big mistake on developers behalf IMO.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Member RarePosts: 6,298

    I don't think it's true.  Your definition of fact and my definition of fact are a few definitions apart.

    He works for Eve.

    And the list was not a list of how to make a bad or good MMO, it was a list of how to make a content-lite MMO.  Which IMO it does.

    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is bad.
  • ste2000ste2000 londonMember EpicPosts: 6,194
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    I don't think it's true.  Your definition of fact and my definition of fact are a few definitions apart. He works for Eve. And the list was not a list of how to make a bad or good MMO, it was a list of how to make a content-lite MMO.  Which IMO it does.

    I haven't mention any fact.................. it was just an opinion.

    I got your point but as I said in my first post, I don't think developers will make a game with all those features in the list, because they focus too much on the casual crowd, and those features are far too demanding for a casual player.

    I would love to have a game with all those features in the list............... so I wasn't complaining.

    All I am saying is that it ain't gonna happen even though it would save lots of time and effort to the developers.

  • rutaqrutaq somerville, MAMember UncommonPosts: 427
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Stupersting
    Not sure what you are getting at with fishing.

    Waiting for the fish to bite is "content". Naturally.

     

     

    Have you ever gone fishing?     One the the main components of fishing is waiting.

     

    So if game has a fishing it can't involve waiting ?  even for the measly five seconds like most MMOs ?

     

     

    To help us better understand your sarcasm why don't you post a feature list of your ideal MMO.

     

     

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Member RarePosts: 6,298

    Originally posted by ste2000

    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    I don't think it's true.  Your definition of fact and my definition of fact are a few definitions apart. He works for Eve. And the list was not a list of how to make a bad or good MMO, it was a list of how to make a content-lite MMO.  Which IMO it does.

    I haven't mention any fact.................. it was just an opinion.

    I got your point but as I said in my first post, I don't think developers will make a game with all those features in the list, because they focus too much on the casual crowd, and those features are far too demanding for a casual player.

    I would love to have a game with all those features in the list............... so I wasn't complaining.

    All I am saying is that it ain't gonna happen even though it would save lots of time and effort to the developers.

    Originally posted by ste2000

    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by ste2000 Anyway, most of today MMO players (I think you are one of them, I can detect your sarcasm) don't like this stuff, they want their damn shiny purple sword right here right now!

    The opportunities for discussion would open so much wider if people weren't so consistently binary in their views on everything. 

    Is the alternative to that list really only "hand me epics" to you?

     

    The truth is in the middle of course, but developers didn't seems to grasp the fact that radical design, either being too hardcore or being too shallow is not the solution of the MMO identity crysis.

     

    I see.

     

    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is bad.
  • QuirhidQuirhid TampereMember UncommonPosts: 6,230
    Originally posted by donpopuki
    I think the OP's main criticism is against time sinks. There's a grey area what is considered a time sink versus immersion. For example travel can be tedious or give a sense of grand scope. Sometimes it's both at the same time.

    There is an element to that, but more than anything, my intention was to comment on what some people view as content, but is actually the opposite: lack of content.

    For example, looking for an important NPC is likely not very hard, so an icon above it saves time to find it. Still some people take odd pride in playing games without said UI elements looking down upon people that do saying games that have those elements are dumbed down if not saying the players themselves are dumb (or playing kids games etc.).

    With the methods I outlined in my original post, the little content the game might have gets buried beneath layers upon layers of menial, mundane tasks which have no other function that to keep the player occupied (or to hold up immersion). You might set out to kill a dragon, but first you must gather/buy the necessary provisions, spend time looking for the right group, get organized, set on your way, travel to the spot... and soon you might notice the actual content, killing a dragon, takes a backseat for all the other stuff.

    I get that some of these activities can be immersive, and the whole game might be about them. Some such games are very fun. But there should be nothing wrong about making the game more about the content itself!

    Trying to achieve good make-believe is fine, but the idea that the game is somehow more demanding or challenging, deeper, or has more content because of such activities and mechanics is bogus. It doesn't take skill to play such games, only time. You space out the real content, fill the game with activities and mechanics I mentioned, and it will last longer. It is a no-brainer. At heart, they are the same sort of hamster-wheels as any other game.

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

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