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[Column] General: The 5 Best User Generated Content Systems in MMOs

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,649MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Over the years MMOs have become well-known for lots of different things. Endless hours of grinding, epic battles on a massive scale, and deeply immersive worlds immediately come to mind. One thing that you probably don’t think of however, is User Generated Content. By nature of the inherent design and network challenges associated with persistent online worlds, it’s difficult to create User-Generated content systems that actually work well.

Read more of David Jagneaux's The List: 5 Best User Generated Content Systems in MMOs.

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Comments

  • AlverantAlverant Wheaton, ILPosts: 533Member Uncommon
    Most of these games are FtP. I wonder if there's a connection between that and user generated content.
  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYPosts: 1,714Member Uncommon

    depending on your definition of UGC, games like eve and DF might deserve a spot on the list- while you can't create dungeons you can sure as hell create political storylines, complete with backstabbings and double crosses and huge shifts in power.

     

    to me that's UGC but i understand that that's not the type of UGC the author was talking about.

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

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    Henry Rollins

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,462Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by itchmon

    depending on your definition of UGC, games like eve and DF might deserve a spot on the list- while you can't create dungeons you can sure as hell create political storylines, complete with backstabbings and double crosses and huge shifts in power.

     

    to me that's UGC but i understand that that's not the type of UGC the author was talking about.

    I don't really see that is "creating" anything but just the inevitable outcomes from putting players together.

    I've seen my fair share of such things in Lineage 2 and very few of these were really "stories" and mostly just people getting pissed and bringing more people and so on and so on until it was a yelling match in public chat.

     

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,572Member Uncommon
    No Landmark?

    No Trove?

  • KiwidreamKiwidream Fort Smith, ARPosts: 13Member
    Is there any data to share these are the best or are they your own personal best? This is the only thing I do not like about MMORPG.com articles and don't read many of them, there should be some hard evidence or reference to them being a personal choice .
  • Rastan1Rastan1 Kinston, NCPosts: 41Member
    Originally posted by DMKano
    No Landmark?

    No Trove?

     

    I think they will be there but neither is out yet.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,727Member Uncommon

    One of my favourite part of games, since MUDs and NWN :)

    However I disagree with the order of the Cyptic ones. Architect was clunky, and a bit limited compared to the later iterations, so 3rd place at me, tops.

    Neverwinter's Foundry is technically the best indeed, but the game itself put some boundaries around it (action-packed gamestyle, lots of casual and younger players, etc.) so I'd place that on the second place.

    STO's Foundry has the best content hands down. While it's a bit weaker tool than Neverwinter's, the IP and the Trek fans lifting it to the first place, at least for me.

     

    While Second Life is an mmo (sort of), I wouldn't put it on the list, nor Landmark or Trove, those are more like (world)builder games, than MMOs with UGC.

     

    "What other User-Generated Content systems in MMOs are you a fan of?"  I'm very curious about AC private servers, those will be the ultimate UGC MMOs, just like the mind-90s thriving MUD/MUSH scene was. I hope there will be a lot of great settings among them.

    (edit: slow typer here, there were no posts when I started to write, so Landmark and Trove are not mentioned to answer the post above me :) just put here for the record)

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,572Member Uncommon
    You can play Trove without building a thing period. Just kill mobs, clear dungeons and lairs, level get loot.

    To say that Trove is a build only type of game is not true

  • LacedOpiumLacedOpium Posts: 1,013Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Po_gg

    One of my favourite part of games, since MUDs and NWN :)

    However I disagree with the order of the Cyptic ones. Architect was clunky, and a bit limited compared to the later iterations, so 3rd place at me, tops.

    Neverwinter's Foundry is technically the best indeed, but the game itself put some boundaries around it (action-packed gamestyle, lots of casual and younger players, etc.) so I'd place that on the second place.

    STO's Foundry has the best content hands down. While it's a bit weaker tool than Neverwinter's, the IP and the Trek fans lifting it to the first place, at least for me.

     

    While Second Life is an mmo (sort of), I wouldn't put it on the list, nor Landmark or Trove, those are more like (world)builder games, than MMOs with UGC.

     

    "What other User-Generated Content systems in MMOs are you a fan of?"  I'm very curious about AC private servers, those will be the ultimate UGC MMOs, just like the mind-90s thriving MUD/MUSH scene was. I hope there will be a lot of great settings among them.

    (edit: slow typer here, there were no posts when I started to write, so Landmark and Trove are not mentioned to answer the post above me :) just put here for the record)

     

    MMO = Massive Multiplayer Online game.

    By definition, they are all indeed MMO's.  Most Second Life residents do not engage in any world building whatsoever.  Truth be told, many Second Life residents feel insulted when people refer to Second Life as a game, period.  To many of its residents, it is their first life.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,727Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by LacedOpium

    MMO = Massive Multiplayer Online game.

    By definition, they are all indeed MMO's. 

    True, my bad, I sometimes forgot to stick to the letters - though I put there a couple of time that it's Imo. And to me MMOs are rpg games, just online with a bunch of players, and rpg is not the diablo-esque crap, but the lore and the story :)

    And as a result, again to me, UGC is not building a house, or a landscape (but those are part of UGC too, for the setting), instead of the ability to build stories, narratives, and interactions, like a NWN campaign or a STO season.

     

    But yep, my bad, by the letters those are MMOs indeed. (and if you check back a bit, I love Landmark, and Trove is fun too. Simply, for me, those are for the building.)

  • LacedOpiumLacedOpium Posts: 1,013Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Po_gg
    Originally posted by LacedOpium

    MMO = Massive Multiplayer Online game.

    By definition, they are all indeed MMO's. 

    True, my bad, I sometimes forgot to stick to the letters - though I put there a couple of time that it's Imo. And to me MMOs are rpg games, just online with a bunch of players, and rpg is not the diablo-esque crap, but the lore and the story :)

    And as a result, again to me, UGC is not building a house, or a landscape (but those are part of UGC too, for the setting), instead of the ability to build stories, narratives, and interactions, like a NWN campaign or a STO season.

     

    But yep, my bad, by the letters those are MMOs indeed. (and if you check back a bit, I love Landmark, and Trove is fun too. Simply, for me, those are for the building.)

     

    Here's the thing though, be it through virtual role-playing, or playing an actual RPG game within the game ... er ... platform (lest I be hung by a stake), Second Life does incorporate RPG elements  within its platform.  In essence, it is the textbook definition of a true sandbox.  While true in that its engine and design structure may not make for the best in individual game design, I.E., PvP, it can nevertheless be done.  It is a jack of all trades, master of none.  Though there is little dispute, if any, in that it is indeed the master when it comes to character customization. 

  • sumo0sumo0 odensePosts: 115Member
    Originally posted by LacedOpium
    Originally posted by Po_gg

    One of my favourite part of games, since MUDs and NWN :)

    However I disagree with the order of the Cyptic ones. Architect was clunky, and a bit limited compared to the later iterations, so 3rd place at me, tops.

    Neverwinter's Foundry is technically the best indeed, but the game itself put some boundaries around it (action-packed gamestyle, lots of casual and younger players, etc.) so I'd place that on the second place.

    STO's Foundry has the best content hands down. While it's a bit weaker tool than Neverwinter's, the IP and the Trek fans lifting it to the first place, at least for me.

     

    While Second Life is an mmo (sort of), I wouldn't put it on the list, nor Landmark or Trove, those are more like (world)builder games, than MMOs with UGC.

     

    "What other User-Generated Content systems in MMOs are you a fan of?"  I'm very curious about AC private servers, those will be the ultimate UGC MMOs, just like the mind-90s thriving MUD/MUSH scene was. I hope there will be a lot of great settings among them.

    (edit: slow typer here, there were no posts when I started to write, so Landmark and Trove are not mentioned to answer the post above me :) just put here for the record)

     

    MMO = Massive Multiplayer Online game.

    By definition, they are all indeed MMO's.  Most Second Life residents do not engage in any world building whatsoever.  Truth be told, many Second Life residents feel insulted when people refer to Second Life as a game, period.  To many of its residents, it is their first life.

    LOL.. Second life IS a game nomatter how much people think it's real.

    One could argue that garry's mod is no game, but it really is..

    It's not like my home address is minecraft street 101.

     
     
  • WolfClawsWolfClaws Arlington, VAPosts: 555Member Uncommon

    I cannot agree with that list 100%.  It isn't bad... but not good enough

     

    1. Second Life yes.  Even if you never spent time in this degenerate world, it was amazing what simple coding could do. The only thing the developers gave you was a tool kit and some land.  The rest was up to the deranged community.

    2. SWG.  Hands down.  To say any different is to never have experienced the game.  You could decorate your home anyway you wanted.  Storyteller (well after Sony and Lucas effed the game up) was phenomenal.  I am talking revolutionary.  Open world quest builder with a wide array of props so players could create their own player generated content and "GM" activities.

    3. Star Trek.  Foundry is one of those things that let's you do whatever you want and share it with the community complete with stories, challenges and freedom.  NWO drew all of their stuff from this game.

    4. APB could be considered an MMO with servers that are up 24/7 and a (used to be) large community.  This game amazing with what you could do for user created things.  Create your own pictures and music.  Styles and how they are placed on vehicles and clothing items was just incredible.  I with the cheaters had not ruined this game.

    5. So not a MMO, but a strong community to this date. NWN and NWN2 bar none shows off the best of what the community can do.  These two games are still kicking, even being unsupported for years by their publishers.  If MMOs could pull off this kind of thing for people to engage in, it would be an amazing game indeed... or scary, who knows.

     

    That is my list... my list of game changers that if they were combined and the community given a chance, it would be amazing.  Simply amazing.

  • Righteous_RockRighteous_Rock Youngstown, OHPosts: 498Member Uncommon
    I love Neverwinters UGC, the mini stories and bundling of everything involved is refreshing. There are some extremely talented people out there and they have generously showcased that talent in many of Neverwinters UGC pieces.
  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,915Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by itchmon

    depending on your definition of UGC, games like eve and DF might deserve a spot on the list- while you can't create dungeons you can sure as hell create political storylines, complete with backstabbings and double crosses and huge shifts in power.

     

    to me that's UGC but i understand that that's not the type of UGC the author was talking about.

    I don't really see that is "creating" anything but just the inevitable outcomes from putting players together.

    I've seen my fair share of such things in Lineage 2 and very few of these were really "stories" and mostly just people getting pissed and bringing more people and so on and so on until it was a yelling match in public chat.

     

    We did create our content in SWG, full with Community created RP storylines, community created scenarios (Reb captain captured must get through imperial lines, and rescue from Dathomir's imperial prison) full on PVP scenarios with meaningful objectives. Was fun as hell, That's just one example of probably hundreds over the years.I guess that's the difference between communities based on FFA PVP and those more based on RP.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon
    When you have to put 3 cryptic games on the list for best user content, you are basically saying the industry has not moved in that direction.  I just do not like their games at all and their content generators really don't add to any of their games very much at all.
  • HarafnirHarafnir VikingvillePosts: 1,325Member Uncommon
    It is the perfect system for a FtP mmo. You can sit back, and see your costumer pay you money to create the game for you.

    "This is not a game to be tossed aside lightly.
    It should be thrown with great force"

  • dijoudijou toulousePosts: 12Member Uncommon
    You forgot the dynamically generated missions in the good old Anarchy Online :)
  • DeanGreyDeanGrey Fresno, CAPosts: 154Member

    Second Life  has everything in it made by players. There is even a scripting language to make nearly anything. I don't play it and haven't for years but it would be my #1.

    APB: Reloaded definitely deserves an honorable mention. That game has hands down the most detailed character and vehicle editor around.

  • ban-chanban-chan atlanta, GAPosts: 24Member
    How can you have a list like this and not include Shadowbane

    image
    The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made - Groucho Marx

  • BadOrbBadOrb ManchesterPosts: 791Member Uncommon

    I really don't know why more games  ( not just MMO's ) have player made content. Even a handheld MMO called Phantasy Star Portable 2 infinity had such player made content , it was quite hard for me to work it all out though as it was not in my native tongue. Bring us more games with it in please.

    Cheers,

     

    BadOrb.

    PSO 4 years , EQOA 4 months , PSU 7 years , SWTOR launch ongoing , PSO2 SEA launch ongoing , Destiny 360 launch ongoing.
    "SWG was not fun. Let it go buddy." quote from iiNoSkillzii 10/18/13
    The original propoganda pixie dust villain :[]

  • WolfClawsWolfClaws Arlington, VAPosts: 555Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ban-chan
    How can you have a list like this and not include Shadowbane

    While I liked Shadowbane, what did it have in the way of user generated content?

  • RattusRattus Calgary, ABPosts: 31Member
    Bag Ball in UO.  ;)
  • kadepsysonkadepsyson sun prairie, WIPosts: 1,937Member
    Originally posted by itchmon

    depending on your definition of UGC, games like eve and DF might deserve a spot on the list- while you can't create dungeons you can sure as hell create political storylines, complete with backstabbings and double crosses and huge shifts in power.

     

    to me that's UGC but i understand that that's not the type of UGC the author was talking about.

    Users do generate content in EVE and other games.  I would have liked a nod to EVE, but the key thing to realize is this column is about UGC SYSTEMS.  Not just content that came about because of users.

    El Psy Congroo

  • jinxxed0jinxxed0 columbia, SCPosts: 838Member
    Originally posted by LacedOpium
    Originally posted by Po_gg

    One of my favourite part of games, since MUDs and NWN :)

    However I disagree with the order of the Cyptic ones. Architect was clunky, and a bit limited compared to the later iterations, so 3rd place at me, tops.

    Neverwinter's Foundry is technically the best indeed, but the game itself put some boundaries around it (action-packed gamestyle, lots of casual and younger players, etc.) so I'd place that on the second place.

    STO's Foundry has the best content hands down. While it's a bit weaker tool than Neverwinter's, the IP and the Trek fans lifting it to the first place, at least for me.

     

    While Second Life is an mmo (sort of), I wouldn't put it on the list, nor Landmark or Trove, those are more like (world)builder games, than MMOs with UGC.

     

    "What other User-Generated Content systems in MMOs are you a fan of?"  I'm very curious about AC private servers, those will be the ultimate UGC MMOs, just like the mind-90s thriving MUD/MUSH scene was. I hope there will be a lot of great settings among them.

    (edit: slow typer here, there were no posts when I started to write, so Landmark and Trove are not mentioned to answer the post above me :) just put here for the record)

     

    MMO = Massive Multiplayer Online game.

    By definition, they are all indeed MMO's.  Most Second Life residents do not engage in any world building whatsoever.  Truth be told, many Second Life residents feel insulted when people refer to Second Life as a game, period.  To many of its residents, it is their first life.

    As a Sl user (content creator and seller), this is sort of accurate. SL can't be defined as just a game though. it can be played as one so it does belong on this list. People do use it as an actual *Second* Life. For me, I consider it a tool or a medium (like an artist would consider paint or a pencil or an adobe photoshop). I can design literally anything and everything I want by building and scripting it. I can slo sell those things to other people which I do. so it's also my "job" so to speak. I only make about 50 to 100 (real life USA) dollars a week in sales give or take so it's not a real full time job (yet hopefully).

     

    The only thing I would dispute on this list is that it isn't number 1. True, the screenshot provide is pretty crappy. The place actually looks good, but the avatars are very mismatched and most of them are clearly wearing low quality stuff. but that's SL in a nutshell. people can create amazing looking and functioning things but they can also create ugly things or low quality things which makes it just like real life because peopel can do that in RL. You can look at things like IMVU and other thigns that have user made content andsocial open world aspects, but none of them really compare to something like SL. I'm still baffled as to why no one has attempted to properly make a better SL. Blue Mars tried it but failed hard because it's 0.0000001% of what SL has to offer. The only one creating something better currently is Philip Rosedale, the creator and founder of Second Life and Linden Labs.  there's also a straight SL clone called HiPiHi or something like that only available in China.

     

    SL's biggest problem though is that the people who try it sit there wand wonder "what do i do. what is my goal" . the answer is that you do what you want. If you're the type of person that has even a little bit of imagination you can do whatever you want. When presented with the question "if you can do anythign at all in a virtual world what would do?" if you say "i dont know" SL isn't for you. If you give any answer, SL is for you. You can literally do anythign and everything that you can do in real life and beyond. Want to have intercourse with someone? it's what many SL residents are doing as you read this. Want to fight people or shoot zombies? It's being done right now and you can join in. Want to take a relaxing train ride accross miles and miles of land and see different buildings people have made? You can do that too. Want control a giant robot while shooting donuts and farting icecream while a death metal song plays and a bike gang of shark people follow you? It can be done. SL depends on the person playing it. If you're a pervert, you'll have a wonderful time going to adult only places and finding people just as gross as you are. If you like fighting you're also covered.

     

    i could literally write a book about all the things you can do in SL. When i say everything is possble, i really truly mean everything. Fly a small jet? yes. fly giant space ship? yes yes yes. Be an evil warlord in Rome? Yes. Be a petty drug dealer that hangs out at brothels? I see one of those every other day. Seriously. anything and everything you can think of, it's been done.

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