Space and Time in MMOs

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  • DeivosDeivos Member EpicPosts: 3,692
    Axehilt said:
    Deivos said:
    You apparently don't care for any real-time complexity or depth to your world and economy.
    Well, he's right as far as that goes. He just prefers the wrong answer.
    The right answer is to make travel into interesting game play.

    But I still wouldn't remove a form of instant travel that feels like it's not just a cop out. I loved UO's "marked runes" for instant travel to a place someone has been to and "marked". But I also love to travel the world, and I want a better world system so that travel is fun, interesting, and offers discovery around every corner even if you've been there before. That means roaming MOBs that build forts, uncovered ruins, random events, etc.
    Right, and fast travel doesn't prevent the game from having a world to explore.  You can always explore anywhere you want, but you only have to slow-travel the first time you travel some place.

    Also Deivos' idea that you can't have a deep economy without forced slow-travel is laughable. As though the player themselves must be forced to do nothing for long periods of shallow gameplay in order to achieve deep gameplay, haha!  That guy.  Such a habitually-wrong contrarian.
    I don't know what comment from Deivos you are referring to, but a solid and deep economy includes resource gathering. And you do need world travel for that to make it work to it's best.
    I've only made the one comment so far. Axe just hates being wrong and will act endlessly indignant when faced with reality.

    Resource gathering, trade routes, claimable/usable territory, the concept of resource abundance and scarcity by region, etc. There is many reasons and features that create depth in a game world that Axe is flippantly hand-waving. He makes his argument further false by prematurely calling me wrong, by accusing me of making a claim I never made. More or less, he's creating a false argument like always and he's going troll with long winded non-sense like usual, and then scoff and dismiss anything that proves to the contrary or disagrees with his opinion. But that's just Axe for you, a verbose troll.

    Reality of my argument is that there is value to creating a living world when it comes to generating a deep economy the player can interact with and really game on multiple levels. Archeage and BDO might not have the best implementations, but they are at least modern examples of how player-run trade routes can provide a meaningful risk vs reward scenario that can be engaged from multiple angles (running trade packs, making a caravan, raiding trade routes, etc).

    Older games similarly had some such features in the likes of UO, and A Tale in the Desert is an example of a reasonably deep economy driven game that capitalizes on many of these mechanics, even if it is a niche title.

    You even provided a good point on the matter that Axe constantly dismisses in order to make  his facetious claims. Roaming mobs, enemies creating forts/camps, ruins, random events, things that can be seeded into the world around players. It's not unreasonable to take the traditional mechanic of travel, add strong economy and game features around it, and support it further by a mechanic that can seed activities in to fill the supposed gap of "doing nothing for long periods".

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners." - Thomas B. Macaulay

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingMember RarePosts: 4,032
    Dammam said:
    @Po_gg That looks interesting, I'll check it out. Thanks!

    This is clearly a multifaceted issue. As developers have sought to tell their story, there's been a rise in instanced and phased content, essentially breaking these massive worlds up into smaller, "personal" experiences. This can, in some cases, break the "flow" of the game, as @kjempff put it, and I personally have been put off many times by the jarring effects of phasing in some games. So one question very well might be how to better implement these elements without breaking the flow of a player's session?

    But that isn't the only side of this. I am also not a fan of story-telling in an MMO, in the sense that the developer's impose my story on me. Yet I need a reason to be in the game world, even if the reason is something I made up. Having my own adventure is perfectly fine, but in a persistent online world, this "flow" can easily be broken by the way gameplay elements are implemented. Crafting can be a great example, as it often becomes a boring time sink instead of adding depth to the player's interaction with the game world. This is also a space and time issue, because the journey from novice to master blacksmith, for example, should also have an epic scope, but how this is handled can instead make it seem tedious. So another question is how can these types of "non-story" elements be implemented without breaking the "flow" of your character's journey?

    In both cases, the goal is to convey that promise of a massive world and epic adventure that MMOs bring with them, in a persistent environment full of other players.
    Yep, I'd love to take that course once more, it was fun...

    Both questions are good, I think the consensus was that MMOs are not well-suited for a flawless storytelling, and the issue is the first M, your "a persistent environment full of other players". Online or offline, doesn't matter, neither does multiplayer (NWN is awesome for adventuring), but when you have massive player numbers, with different set of objectives, timeframes, interests, etc. it becomes very hard to maintain a certain time and spacing of the story. You need players being a bit flexible about it, since there's no perfect implementation...

    An obvious and easy solution is instancing / phasing, as you wrote too. It breaks the flow, and makes the game more like playing an adventure game among other people. (which is fine for me, TSW is doing this and I love it :wink:  For the topic of space / time to everyone at once, maybe it's not a good route, but for narrative, it's amazing. Especially since Ragnar is a great writer (sorry Scriv :wink: ) and the techniques he used in TSW are ftting for that adventure-ish setting)
    Plenty of games are doing that, originated from the MUD days, it's quasi-standard now, actually it was interesting to hear the comments of fellow course participants, who weren't MMO players before, and experienced it for the first time - interesting to us I mean, since we're accustomed to it already.
    They felt sometimes jarred, out-of-place, sometimes it seemed illogical to them. And it was in LotRO, which has a fairly optimal balance of it (compared to other games), I wonder how'd they feel in Neverwinter for example :wink:

    But of course that "fairly optimal" is just an imo. I do think they've created a balanced solution between story flow, group contribution and personal adventuring. At least in the beginning, then they sadly "updated" many parts of the game in the sake of the so-called "gameplay"... I mean, who cares about gameplay, it's about lore / story and roleplay, right? :lol:

    For example, crafting worked just like you posted above, one could only do some side missions or other activities for some xp, never touching the main or zone storylines (some missions was a must, because back then crafting didn't give xp), and focusing only onto the crafting. Then, from time to time s/he had to go out for unique quests, to advance his/her crafting, towards the end even gathering a few friends (or hired muscle) around was necessary. And folks were happy to help, because those were crafting-specific storylines, so otherwise they couldn't participate in them (except if start to craft themselves, but that was slow). So, your example of getting from apprentice to master, was a well-built journey indeed.
    And then, alongside with one of the crafting revamps, they removed the crafting quests... because for the "gameplay", it's easier if someone just piles the crafting tiers on top of each other without any hiccups... (and more later, they added the tiers in the cash shop :angry:  so now your apprentice can put down a hefty sum, and ta-da, he's a supreme master right away. Yay, gameplay)
  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504
    edited March 2016
    I don't know what comment from Deivos you are referring to, but a solid and deep economy includes resource gathering. And you do need world travel for that to make it work to it's best.
    In UO players would just teleport using those marked items to rich resource centers. And they teleported back to drop off, then out again to another. That's not good game play, in my mind. There should be some world travel and danger in much of that to make it more exciting and competitive. And there should be better "search" design for it too. Unless the game has player owned resource centers that they PvP over for control, maybe, depending on the game.
    But I would agree with his sentiment at face value. You do need world travel to make the overall picture of the economy more fulfilling and rewarding.

    And world travel should never be shallow.
    It was literally the one line in your quote.
    1. A deep economy doesn't require gathering.  Gathering can be one of the elements, but it's not required.
    2. "No slow travel" obviously refers to games like GW2 where you can teleport to any major zone, but you can't literally fast-travel to any point.  So yes, obviously it's not literally no slow-travel, but a game where slow-travel exists only in short distances between the fast-travel nodes.
    3. Economy doesn't work 'best" with no fast travel.  Slow travel is shallow tedium.  Enforcing a lot of shallow tedium is not the way to create something deep, and to claim so is laughable.
    4. In an RTS like Age of Empires 2, a fairly deep economy existed. The player was able to fast travel instantly anywhere (recenter the map), but his/her ability to collect resources was limited by a limited agency (you need workers to collect resources, and only a finite number of them are available and they can't fast travel.)
    5. Capitalism 2 was another vaguely RTS-like game but with no combat where the entire focus was developing a city's economy.  You could focus broadly on owning production from start (mining resource) to finish (factory-produced end product) or you could have a narrower focus than that. This game provided extremely deep economy gameplay without any travel whatsoever. (If travel was a concept at all, it was like AOE2: you didn't experience any of it personally, it only affected your supply route efficiency.)
    So it's pure nonsense to imply the player must be afflicted by eternal slow-travel in order to have a good economy.  Travel doesn't even have to be a formalized game concept and you can have deep economy gameplay.

    Also the reality is that travel is shallow in nearly every game out there.  While it's a nice idea to create deep travel gameplay, usually it's not the point of these games.  This means we must logically avoid putting the cart before the horse: until travel is deep, unless travel is deep, travel should not require substantial amounts of time (or the resulting game will be shallower.)
    Post edited by Axehilt on

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,280


    There are all kinds of "one off" outcomes that can be done.
    And it would make the game world feel more "real".
    There is not enough resources to make enough world effects that focus on one or few players. Sure, you can have a world boss ... how many can experience taking him down? 100? 200? That is an insignificant number compared to most player population.

    The only large event is war .... but that would be very boring if war is the only one-off event that players can experience.

    Anything else for one off event .. .like those in open world single player games, cannot be done in a scale that works. 

    I played a ACS mission that allows you to kill a boss, and then his train becomes your base of operations. Tell me, how can you do that for millions of players in a persistent world game?
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,280

     
    Right, and fast travel doesn't prevent the game from having a world to explore.  You can always explore anywhere you want, but you only have to slow-travel the first time you travel some place.


    and that is exactly how it works in single player open world games .. and it works well. 

    With a game like ACS ... even when a huge city (London) is meticulously built ... i wouldn't want to travel from the same point A to B more than once or twice. The first time is fun .. the second time is meh ... the third is a chore.

    Hence, fast travel. 

    And it is silly to say you can pad it with interesting encounters. Encounters are simply marked, and you can go to them, if that is the fun part. The actual travelling .. is a bore after the first time. 
  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,920
    edited March 2016
    Axehilt said:
    I don't know what comment from Deivos you are referring to, but a solid and deep economy includes resource gathering. And you do need world travel for that to make it work to it's best.
    In UO players would just teleport using those marked items to rich resource centers. And they teleported back to drop off, then out again to another. That's not good game play, in my mind. There should be some world travel and danger in much of that to make it more exciting and competitive. And there should be better "search" design for it too. Unless the game has player owned resource centers that they PvP over for control, maybe, depending on the game.
    But I would agree with his sentiment at face value. You do need world travel to make the overall picture of the economy more fulfilling and rewarding.

    And world travel should never be shallow.
    It was literally the one line in your quote.
    1. A deep economy doesn't require gathering.  Gathering can be one of the elements, but it's not required.
    2. "No slow travel" obviously refers to games like GW2 where you can teleport to any major zone, but you can't literally fast-travel to any point.  So yes, obviously it's not literally no slow-travel, but a game where slow-travel exists only in short distances between the fast-travel nodes.
    3. Economy doesn't work 'best" with no fast travel.  Slow travel is shallow tedium.  Enforcing a lot of shallow tedium is not the way to create something deep, and to claim so is laughable.
    4. In an RTS like Age of Empires 2, a fairly deep economy existed. The player was able to fast travel instantly anywhere (recenter the map), but his/her ability to collect resources was limited by a limited agency (you need workers to collect resources, and only a finite number of them are available and they can't fast travel.)
    5. Capitalism 2 was another vaguely RTS-like game but with no combat where the entire focus was developing a city's economy.  You could focus broadly on owning production from start (mining resource) to finish (factory-produced end product) or you could have a narrower focus than that. This game provided extremely deep economy gameplay without any travel whatsoever. (If travel was a concept at all, it was like AOE2: you didn't experience any of it personally, it only affected your supply route efficiency.)
    So it's pure nonsense to imply the player must be afflicted by eternal slow-travel in order to have a good economy.  Travel doesn't even have to be a formalized game concept and you can have deep economy gameplay.

    Also the reality is that travel is shallow in nearly every game out there.  While it's a nice idea to create deep travel gameplay, usually it's not the point of these games.  This means we must logically avoid putting the cart before the horse: until travel is deep, unless travel is deep, travel should not require substantial amounts of time (or the resulting game will be shallower.)
     
    So? Make travel with deeper game play. Make gamers happy. Problem solved. Better MMO gaming is the reward. At least for a "worldly" game. I'll grant you that it is a different thing in the status quo of MMO's these days, where players can skip the world on demand.

    On a side note, why do you always bring in non-MMO games to support your arguments? When player interaction is part of the discussion, then the numbers of players interacting is crucial. So, really, those non-MMO's don't function the same way.
    Post edited by Amaranthar on

    Once upon a time....

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,920

     
    Right, and fast travel doesn't prevent the game from having a world to explore.  You can always explore anywhere you want, but you only have to slow-travel the first time you travel some place.


    and that is exactly how it works in single player open world games .. and it works well. 

    With a game like ACS ... even when a huge city (London) is meticulously built ... i wouldn't want to travel from the same point A to B more than once or twice. The first time is fun .. the second time is meh ... the third is a chore.

    Hence, fast travel. 

    And it is silly to say you can pad it with interesting encounters. Encounters are simply marked, and you can go to them, if that is the fun part. The actual travelling .. is a bore after the first time. 

    Travel gets boring in modern MMOs because they are designed that way.
    Where's the unexpected?
    Where's the adventure?
    Simply put, it's left out. By design.

    Once upon a time....

  • DeivosDeivos Member EpicPosts: 3,692
    edited March 2016
    Axehilt said:
    It was literally the one line in your quote.
    1. A deep economy doesn't require gathering.  Gathering can be one of the elements, but it's not required.
    2. "No slow travel" obviously refers to games like GW2 where you can teleport to any major zone, but you can't literally fast-travel to any point.  So yes, obviously it's not literally no slow-travel, but a game where slow-travel exists only in short distances between the fast-travel nodes.
    3. Economy doesn't work 'best" with no fast travel.  Slow travel is shallow tedium.  Enforcing a lot of shallow tedium is not the way to create something deep, and to claim so is laughable.
    4. In an RTS like Age of Empires 2, a fairly deep economy existed. The player was able to fast travel instantly anywhere (recenter the map), but his/her ability to collect resources was limited by a limited agency (you need workers to collect resources, and only a finite number of them are available and they can't fast travel.)
    5. Capitalism 2 was another vaguely RTS-like game but with no combat where the entire focus was developing a city's economy.  You could focus broadly on owning production from start (mining resource) to finish (factory-produced end product) or you could have a narrower focus than that. This game provided extremely deep economy gameplay without any travel whatsoever. (If travel was a concept at all, it was like AOE2: you didn't experience any of it personally, it only affected your supply route efficiency.)
    So it's pure nonsense to imply the player must be afflicted by eternal slow-travel in order to have a good economy.  Travel doesn't even have to be a formalized game concept and you can have deep economy gameplay.

    Also the reality is that travel is shallow in nearly every game out there.  While it's a nice idea to create deep travel gameplay, usually it's not the point of these games.  This means we must logically avoid putting the cart before the horse: until travel is deep, unless travel is deep, travel should not require substantial amounts of time (or the resulting game will be shallower.)
    1. Not required, but it can help. Even in mobile gaming the concept of travel time is utilized by the RTS and strategy games with mustering troops and moving them around to generate the ability for players to form ranks, respond to threats, intercept marches, etc. Without travel, all those options are lost and so is the depth that comes with it.

    2. As said prior, Archeage and BDO may not be the greatest, but they have a point to their travel with trade commerce, raids, and subsequent risk/vs reward gameplay that's generated.

    3. Repeat of the last two points made.

    4. In an RTS like AoE 2 panning the map around let you control many avatars/agents. You can pan the map around the world as much as you want in an MMO, but you only have one avatar/agent to be issuing commands to. If those workers and soldiers just teleported around the map the RTS would quickly break down and the whole challenge/risk in it's gathering mechanics, the purpose of building defensive lines and buildings, even the use of scouts and patrols/guards, all this would be lost from the game as people would be popping around the map with their unit(s) grabbing what they need and then depositing all their forces in the middle of enemy bases.

    If we're to follow your beliefs, you would have just ruined the gameplay for AoE 2.

    5. Capitalism 2 is a city building game, not a world building game or an empire game. t also represents the environment vastly differently and you aren't dealing with avatars. What they do is deal with the high-concept of the economy, not the logistics of actually making it run. You're making buildings on tiles that automate the activities instead of orchestrating each activity and process. What you just claimed is patently false.

    So aside form you just using terrible examples. There are several reasons just cited that are not "pure nonsense" which lean directly into using travel and a game world as a component to generate deeper gameplay in the game economy. Trade routes, raids, escorts, caravans, territory control, resources and resource control, etc. All of these are elements that are directly impacted by the choice of how you let them be accessed and the means players have to reach and achieve them.

    Teleporting from one town to another has no risk. The entire point of travel there is that it allows an opportunity of loss and challenge. You have to protect your resources as you take them across the land and then you get a sizable reward for doing so.

    Also the reality is that you obviously haven't even played the aforementioned games, games in your own mobile gaming market, or many in general if that's what you think of the use of travel in them. There are many ways in which it has been utilized as an interesting or integral part of content in games already.

    EDIT: You've also repeated the same facetous argument a few times. Being "afflicted by eternal slow-travel" was never the premise of any argument save your own. If you want to lie, can you please do it elsewhere.
    Post edited by Deivos on

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners." - Thomas B. Macaulay

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504
    So? Make travel with deeper game play. Make gamers happy. Problem solved. Better MMO gaming is the reward. At least for a "worldly" game. I'll grant you that it is a different thing in the status quo of MMO's these days, where players can skip the world on demand.

    On a side note, why do you always bring in non-MMO games to support your arguments? When player interaction is part of the discussion, then the numbers of players interacting is crucial. So, really, those non-MMO's don't function the same way.
    Gamers are not "sad" because of a lack of travel-focused games. There isn't a broad movement of MMORPG gamers interested in a travel-centric MMORPG.  So your concern over gamers' happiness is unfounded.

    Games have finite development bandwidth for producing deep systems. It takes time, effort, and iteration to produce deep gameplay.  This means unless travel is a core system it's unlikely to deserve that much work. (Which would be unlikely due to aforementioned lack of demand for travel-focused games.)

    I bring in non-MMO examples because game design is game design is game design. The gain in player interaction that occurs when players are forced to endure shallow, tedious travel is trivial compared with the substantial loss in game depth (because the majority of your time is spent in shallow activities, ostensibly in the name of game depth, but actually to the detriment of overall depth.)  It's far better to achieve a deep economy where you don't have to waste a ton of time doing shallow things, because the experience of playing the game will be far deeper as a result.

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,920
    Axehilt said:
    So? Make travel with deeper game play. Make gamers happy. Problem solved. Better MMO gaming is the reward. At least for a "worldly" game. I'll grant you that it is a different thing in the status quo of MMO's these days, where players can skip the world on demand.

    On a side note, why do you always bring in non-MMO games to support your arguments? When player interaction is part of the discussion, then the numbers of players interacting is crucial. So, really, those non-MMO's don't function the same way.
    Gamers are not "sad" because of a lack of travel-focused games. There isn't a broad movement of MMORPG gamers interested in a travel-centric MMORPG.  So your concern over gamers' happiness is unfounded.

    Games have finite development bandwidth for producing deep systems. It takes time, effort, and iteration to produce deep gameplay.  This means unless travel is a core system it's unlikely to deserve that much work. (Which would be unlikely due to aforementioned lack of demand for travel-focused games.)

    I bring in non-MMO examples because game design is game design is game design. The gain in player interaction that occurs when players are forced to endure shallow, tedious travel is trivial compared with the substantial loss in game depth (because the majority of your time is spent in shallow activities, ostensibly in the name of game depth, but actually to the detriment of overall depth.)  It's far better to achieve a deep economy where you don't have to waste a ton of time doing shallow things, because the experience of playing the game will be far deeper as a result.
    If you think gamers don't want a world to play in (in MMO's, and even in many other games where a world is expected), you are badly mistaken. Look at the complaints right now about Garriott's new game. Look at complaints about past games even in the SP arena, such as Balder's Gate, where there were loads of complaints about the "rails". Look at the biggest plus attributed to Skyrim as an open world.

    As for the rest of your comment, you seem to say that travel is tedious and therefore....but you don't account for the benefits of having rewarding travel game play as you argue against it.

    I do understand the costs issue. I've always suspected that your own background in the industry is in a lower budget company, and thus your protection of said games.
    I'm sorry, but I'd prefer better games than to support low budget via restricting the development of better gaming. As seems to be your purpose on these forums.

    Once upon a time....

  • DeivosDeivos Member EpicPosts: 3,692
    Axehilt said:
    It's far better to achieve a deep economy where you don't have to waste a ton of time doing shallow things, because the experience of playing the game will be far deeper as a result.
    You are arguing against something no one else is arguing for, and completely ignoring the actual argument being made.

    Point in case, anyone that looks at the last few posts responding to you will see that they are dialogues saying what depth and mechanics can/are built around travel as a mechanic, while you decided to argue against travel as an isolated thing.

    Your arguments are effectively just a bunch of red-herring nonsense to troll anyone smart enough to get past the bullshit. That is getting very annoying.

    Even in the case of your non-mmo examples travel and timing were integral components. Things aren't achieved instantly when you clock a button in Capitalism 2 and units don't teleport across the map in Age of Empires. Things take time and actions need to be orchestrated together and protected to see the desired results.

    If we removed the "tedium" for travel and time from these RTS and strategy/economy games, their depth would suffer greatly, and it's peculiar that you don't see something so fundamental to their design.

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners." - Thomas B. Macaulay

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504
    If you think gamers don't want a world to play in (in MMO's, and even in many other games where a world is expected), you are badly mistaken. Look at the complaints right now about Garriott's new game. Look at complaints about past games even in the SP arena, such as Balder's Gate, where there were loads of complaints about the "rails". Look at the biggest plus attributed to Skyrim as an open world.

    As for the rest of your comment, you seem to say that travel is tedious and therefore....but you don't account for the benefits of having rewarding travel game play as you argue against it.

    I do understand the costs issue. I've always suspected that your own background in the industry is in a lower budget company, and thus your protection of said games.
    I'm sorry, but I'd prefer better games than to support low budget via restricting the development of better gaming. As seems to be your purpose on these forums.
    If you mistake the vocal minority for the majority, then you're going to end up with some very strange beliefs. While I'm not a big fan of BG personally, I hear almost universal praise for the game and I'm not sure I've ever once heard the complaint about BG being "on rails".

    What "rewarding travel gameplay"?  I've pointed out that games can have deep economies without shallow tedium (and logically that would result in an even deeper game.)  I've pointed out that there isn't some huge segment of gamers interested in travel gameplay (which you replied to with examples of combat-focused games, and 'open world' rhetoric; none of which is proof that players want travel-centric gameplay)  And that lack of interest is why it wouldn't make sense to design a MMORPG completely around travel, which is the only time that it would make sense for a game to put a lot of effort into giving travel deep gameplay.

    In the real world cost efficiency doesn't magically stop being important when you're creating a big-budget game. When you're asleep dreaming, you're free to visit a fantasyland where games have infinite budgets to produce thousands of hours of the highest AAA-quality content.  When you wake up, you're forced to live in the real world.

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,280

     
    Right, and fast travel doesn't prevent the game from having a world to explore.  You can always explore anywhere you want, but you only have to slow-travel the first time you travel some place.


    and that is exactly how it works in single player open world games .. and it works well. 

    With a game like ACS ... even when a huge city (London) is meticulously built ... i wouldn't want to travel from the same point A to B more than once or twice. The first time is fun .. the second time is meh ... the third is a chore.

    Hence, fast travel. 

    And it is silly to say you can pad it with interesting encounters. Encounters are simply marked, and you can go to them, if that is the fun part. The actual travelling .. is a bore after the first time. 

    Travel gets boring in modern MMOs because they are designed that way.
    Where's the unexpected?
    Where's the adventure?
    Simply put, it's left out. By design.
    You don't need slow travel to get the unexpected and the adventure.

    Simply add random encounters in fast travel (i.e. with some chance, drop you into the world with an encounter) and it is done. If the encounter and adventure are the fun part, just do those. There is no need to walk 15 min before having the fun part. 
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,280


    If you think gamers don't want a world to play in (in MMO's, and even in many other games where a world is expected), you are badly mistaken. 
    and yet the most money making MMO is a MOBA (LoL) which no world.

    and yet D3, with no world, sell 30M copies.

    and yet PoE, with no world, is often touted here as a great game.

    CLEARLY, worlds are not required for fun, and there are many types of MMO related gameplay (dungeons, arena pvp ...) that can be done without worlds.

    In fact, *most* successful world games (i guess aside from WoW) are single player open world games, not MMORPGs. 
  • DeivosDeivos Member EpicPosts: 3,692
    edited March 2016
    Axehilt said:
    What "rewarding travel gameplay"?  I've pointed out that games can have deep economies without shallow tedium ...
    And this is exactly why your argument is meaningless, as you aren't even addressing what is being said by the person you're arguing against.

    The argument is for the variety and depth of the events that can be done as a cause of travel and the subsequent ability to build a deeper and more complex system because of that.

    What you pointed out for your examples were, in fact, games that use travel and time extensively to generate much of the depth you are experiencing in their gameplay. Pacing is an integral component in many economy games and RTS games, and you are hard-pressed to find an instance where that is not true as timing ends up playing a center role in the tension behind beating another opponent and out-playing a looming threat.

    "What "rewarding travel gameplay"?"

    What's already been mentioned.

    In the likes of Age of Empires, the reward is the ability to plan out and play battle formations and attack strategies. The ability to strike an opponent, strafe, lure their armies out, and crush them with weaker forces via a stronger strategy that relies on the ability to time and pace events in your favor. The ability to seek out and secure resources, while hunting down similar gatherers from enemy factions and cutting their ability to obtain the materials they desire by intercepting their workers. The ability to discover looming threats with your scouts and have a meaningful response ready when someone intends to siege your towns.

    In the likes of Capitalism 2, the reward is the ability to plan out the production of a myriad of resources and balancing the stats of many fields/goals. The ability to set in production a set of factories and time them to benefit the annual results or roll them over to the next round for increasing the curve for your growth. Setting in motion many events that you can track the time they take and effectively schedule for the optimal performance of the economy.

    In the likes of newer MMOs, the ability to farm, mine, and employ workers to create steady flows of resources that are subject to the other forces of the world such as faction and territory conflicts. Caravans and resource trading that employs a risk and reward mechanic for high-value gameplay. Raids on aforementioned caravans. Increased resource values based on a more tangible sense of scarcity to actually play into the economy.

    In the likes of LoL, the time it takes to traverse lanes or jump between them and the jungle to target enemies is a major component of the gameplay. The respawn timers on player deaths plays a big role in forcing major shifts in the way a round progresses. Even the time it takes for the portaling mechanics is integral to opening up moments for retribution when recalling, quick fallbacks if enemies are being reinforced, or jumping in on enemies you know are isolated. It might be a fast paced game overall, but without time and travel LoL would devolve into little more than players constantly slapping one another and would lose it's entertainment value nigh-instantly.

    Even in your world of mobile gaming, time and "travel" are utilized quite broadly to pace and form a deeper component to the user's gameplay. Even a game with superficially no travel such as Clash of Clans uses cool-downs and timers everywhere to force a pacing into the gameplay that offers a wide range of how players can utilize that time to further their gameplay and a feature which makes other players actually consider each other a risk for the moments that it can expose another player to harm.

    In the real world cost efficiency doesn't magically stop being important when you're creating a big-budget game. So why you think there is any title that can magically deliver a non-stop cocaine and caffeine fueled jazz-fest level of neurotically skipping from one action to the next is beyond me, as no sane developer would think there's a budget capable of delivering that.

    If you want to try reality on for size, feel free to suggest a game where time/travel isn't a key component to the pacing of the game and I'll be happy to prove you wrong again. The depth of quality and gameplay mechanics that are intrinsically tied to travel and timing in games is considerably more pervasive than you make it out to be.
    Post edited by Deivos on

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners." - Thomas B. Macaulay

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,920

     
    Right, and fast travel doesn't prevent the game from having a world to explore.  You can always explore anywhere you want, but you only have to slow-travel the first time you travel some place.


    and that is exactly how it works in single player open world games .. and it works well. 

    With a game like ACS ... even when a huge city (London) is meticulously built ... i wouldn't want to travel from the same point A to B more than once or twice. The first time is fun .. the second time is meh ... the third is a chore.

    Hence, fast travel. 

    And it is silly to say you can pad it with interesting encounters. Encounters are simply marked, and you can go to them, if that is the fun part. The actual travelling .. is a bore after the first time. 

    Travel gets boring in modern MMOs because they are designed that way.
    Where's the unexpected?
    Where's the adventure?
    Simply put, it's left out. By design.
    You don't need slow travel to get the unexpected and the adventure.

    Simply add random encounters in fast travel (i.e. with some chance, drop you into the world with an encounter) and it is done. If the encounter and adventure are the fun part, just do those. There is no need to walk 15 min before having the fun part. 
    How about walking 15 minutes and not knowing what's around the corner?
    You like to take the surprise out? The anticipation of the unexpected?
    No wonder games are so boring these days.

    Once upon a time....

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,280
    edited March 2016

    How about walking 15 minutes and not knowing what's around the corner?
    You like to take the surprise out? The anticipation of the unexpected?
    No wonder games are so boring these days.
    You wasted 15 min then.

    Simply add a random chance to drop you at a corner when you hit the fast travel button. That is as surprising and as unexpected as spending 15 min walking first .. the only difference is that the boring 15 min walking is gone.

    No wonder games are so much fun & convenient these days. Devs figure out how to surprise players without bore them to death first. 
    Post edited by nariusseldon on
  • DammamDammam Las Cruces, NMMember UncommonPosts: 38
    The issue, to me, seems to be in the core design philosophy, if you will. On one side, there is the idea that travel is what happens between the "action", "encounter", or essentially "game" part of the game itself, and so is ultimately a tedious time sink separating the actual point of the game. On the other side, there's an argument that the game is not broken  into pieces of action separated by travel, but rather is a cohesive whole where travel is as much the "action" or "game" part of the game as the fighting, building, or whatever other elements there are. I suppose how the game plays out, both in its structure and mechanics, and in the subjective experience of each player depends on which view they each bring to the game.

    To use an analogy mentioned earlier in this thread, the film adaptation of LOTR definitely skips parts of the books to create an engaging movie. That doesn't mean, however, that the films only incorporated the fast paced, action scenes of the books. That would have been a disaster. Instead, the films use pacing to set the tone, build tension, and ultimately get the audience invested in the outcome of the story. Is fast travel anathema to pacing? I don't think so. But slow travel is not inherently a waste, either. The fact that pawns can't charge the king in one turn makes chess playable. It all comes down to design, in my opinion.
  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,920

    How about walking 15 minutes and not knowing what's around the corner?
    You like to take the surprise out? The anticipation of the unexpected?
    No wonder games are so boring these days.
    You wasted 15 min then.

    Simply add a random chance to drop you at a corner when you hit the fast travel button. That is as surprising and as unexpected as spending 15 min walking first .. the only difference is that the boring 15 min walking is gone.

    No wonder games are so much fun & convenient these days. Devs figure out how to surprise players without bore them to death first. 
    By removing the world. Just a bunch of "rooms".
    Is that the future of MMO's?
    EA used to say "We Build Worlds."
    Now it would be "We Build Rooms."
    :p

    Once upon a time....

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaMember EpicPosts: 12,987
    I think i am finally understanding where this topic is leading and what it was about.

    I think what we are confusing ehre is VERY bad game design that has been going on far too long.Systems are suppose to support a MMO atmosphere not a single player game atmosphere.

    Just the topic of travel alone proves that MANY or most gamer's just "don't get it" they do not understand the idea of a ROLE playing game.I guess Blizzard truly has brain washed gamer's into thinking their brutally bad game deisgns are what should be normal.Now i am not saying Wow is full of fast travel nor do i care what GW2 is doing but players need to realize that to create the immersion of a RPG you need what would be considered plausible systems.

    Yes i know we are talking Fantasy and magic,you still need to keep it plausible and no i am not going to toss out analogies to prove it,people should be able to figure it out on their own.SO to recreate time and space as we would consider it in real life "of course" what other aspect would we compare time and space to?This is why we need systems like travel to feel realistic,not just fast to make lazy or impatient non RPG gamer's happy.


    Then we get developers like Arena net that for ONLY one reason,trying to sell their product ,start telling us how they are changing the genre for the better.I am all for better if it is not undermining what a mmorpg should be,that means no systems that come off as lobbies or unrealistic fake systems like handing out xp for completing a zone or stepping on some new pixel, of land and calling it a "Discovery".




    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,280

    How about walking 15 minutes and not knowing what's around the corner?
    You like to take the surprise out? The anticipation of the unexpected?
    No wonder games are so boring these days.
    You wasted 15 min then.

    Simply add a random chance to drop you at a corner when you hit the fast travel button. That is as surprising and as unexpected as spending 15 min walking first .. the only difference is that the boring 15 min walking is gone.

    No wonder games are so much fun & convenient these days. Devs figure out how to surprise players without bore them to death first. 
    By removing the world. Just a bunch of "rooms".
    Is that the future of MMO's?
    EA used to say "We Build Worlds."
    Now it would be "We Build Rooms."
    :p
    I hope so. Fun rooms (or we can call them levels) beat boring world. Granted .. some open world single player games (with fast travel, of course) are fun. But i guess you will call that a huge big room, instead of a world, because there is no persistency. 
  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,920

    How about walking 15 minutes and not knowing what's around the corner?
    You like to take the surprise out? The anticipation of the unexpected?
    No wonder games are so boring these days.
    You wasted 15 min then.

    Simply add a random chance to drop you at a corner when you hit the fast travel button. That is as surprising and as unexpected as spending 15 min walking first .. the only difference is that the boring 15 min walking is gone.

    No wonder games are so much fun & convenient these days. Devs figure out how to surprise players without bore them to death first. 
    By removing the world. Just a bunch of "rooms".
    Is that the future of MMO's?
    EA used to say "We Build Worlds."
    Now it would be "We Build Rooms."
    :p
    I hope so. Fun rooms (or we can call them levels) beat boring world. Granted .. some open world single player games (with fast travel, of course) are fun. But i guess you will call that a huge big room, instead of a world, because there is no persistency. 
    Ya know, we're trying to promote exciting worlds. Not boring ones. Your industry only designs boring worlds (or stagnant and boring after the first, second, or third pass), and then you want to take the entire idea of "world" away from us because you made them boring.

    What a racket.

    Once upon a time....

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504
    Dammam said:
    The issue, to me, seems to be in the core design philosophy, if you will. On one side, there is the idea that travel is what happens between the "action", "encounter", or essentially "game" part of the game itself, and so is ultimately a tedious time sink separating the actual point of the game. On the other side, there's an argument that the game is not broken  into pieces of action separated by travel, but rather is a cohesive whole where travel is as much the "action" or "game" part of the game as the fighting, building, or whatever other elements there are. I suppose how the game plays out, both in its structure and mechanics, and in the subjective experience of each player depends on which view they each bring to the game.

    To use an analogy mentioned earlier in this thread, the film adaptation of LOTR definitely skips parts of the books to create an engaging movie. That doesn't mean, however, that the films only incorporated the fast paced, action scenes of the books. That would have been a disaster. Instead, the films use pacing to set the tone, build tension, and ultimately get the audience invested in the outcome of the story. Is fast travel anathema to pacing? I don't think so. But slow travel is not inherently a waste, either. The fact that pawns can't charge the king in one turn makes chess playable. It all comes down to design, in my opinion.
    Not sure those are two 'sides', as players experience of games is always a combination of the overall experience, and also individual moments.

    In good entertainment, every moment has purpose.  This doesn't mean every single moment has action. For example horror movies often have a deliberate lull where they sprinkle audio and visual cues at the viewer to establish the anticipation of something bad happening, which preps for the best scare moments. Those slower periods serve a distinct purpose: they establish the audience's mental state. 

    In MMORPGs, the primary purpose for slow travel has been to make developers money. It's no coincidence that MMORPGs represented one of the largest shifts towards charging players for time (subscriptions) and most implemented slow travel as a timesink.  So the purpose to slow travel in MMORPGs is mostly for a developer's benefit and really not to the player's benefit at all.

    This doesn't mean slow travel could never serve a purpose for players.  Horror MMORPGs like TSW need to use similar pacing to a horror movie after all.  But notably that pacing is achieved within a location, not between locations.  So fast travel is still the better system, because it skips the purposeless time-wasting and gets to the purposeful scene.

    So like the design of anything, it's about every element having a clear purpose.  Ideally a distinct purpose which can't be accomplished any better way (because as covered before, you can have a location-based economy like EVE with a tremendous amount of drudgery, or you could accomplish an even deeper location-based economy without the drudgery by having the tedious part be automated by NPC workers carrying the goods to locations.)

    Chess doesn't let you immediately threaten a king with a pawn, but it also provides a reasonably quick series of challenge decisions (and that's what makes a game good.)  Travel typically doesn't, which makes it a bit like playing an excruciatingly slow chess AI which makes predictable moves.

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • DammamDammam Las Cruces, NMMember UncommonPosts: 38
    Axehilt said:
    Dammam said:
    ...
    Not sure those are two 'sides', as players experience of games is always a combination of the overall experience, and also individual moments.

    In good entertainment, every moment has purpose.  This doesn't mean every single moment has action. For example horror movies often have a deliberate lull where they sprinkle audio and visual cues at the viewer to establish the anticipation of something bad happening, which preps for the best scare moments. Those slower periods serve a distinct purpose: they establish the audience's mental state. 

    In MMORPGs, the primary purpose for slow travel has been to make developers money. It's no coincidence that MMORPGs represented one of the largest shifts towards charging players for time (subscriptions) and most implemented slow travel as a timesink.  So the purpose to slow travel in MMORPGs is mostly for a developer's benefit and really not to the player's benefit at all.

    This doesn't mean slow travel could never serve a purpose for players.  Horror MMORPGs like TSW need to use similar pacing to a horror movie after all.  But notably that pacing is achieved within a location, not between locations.  So fast travel is still the better system, because it skips the purposeless time-wasting and gets to the purposeful scene.

    So like the design of anything, it's about every element having a clear purpose.  Ideally a distinct purpose which can't be accomplished any better way (because as covered before, you can have a location-based economy like EVE with a tremendous amount of drudgery, or you could accomplish an even deeper location-based economy without the drudgery by having the tedious part be automated by NPC workers carrying the goods to locations.)

    Chess doesn't let you immediately threaten a king with a pawn, but it also provides a reasonably quick series of challenge decisions (and that's what makes a game good.)  Travel typically doesn't, which makes it a bit like playing an excruciatingly slow chess AI which makes predictable moves.
    I appreciate this discussion. Thank you.

    That said, I'd like to make a distinction between purpose and function, for the sake of clarity. The purpose of a certain game feature may be anything from player enjoyment to increasing profits. That feature, however, may have many functions, good and bad, regardless of the purpose. Purpose, to me, carries with it some plan or intention, and ultimately the purpose of all these games, from a developers standpoint, is to make a profit.

    Now elements in games that serve as time sinks, such as traveling, may be implemented for financial purposes, but that is not necessarily their only function. In real time games, time sinks are a gating mechanism, giving different players time to react or adjust to changing situations. In turn based games, this is naturally handled by turns, and how much progress can be achieved each turn. This restrictive feature forces decisions to be made, which in a well designed game can lead to new and exciting outcomes.

    If I could simply teleport across the map at will, then I don't have to choose between rushing to defend this village here from raiders or taking out the giant rampaging the country side on the other end of the map. I don't have to worry about the consequences of abandoning one task in favor of the other, since I could simply get to both. Such consequences, however, would add depth to a game that would otherwise be a mindless hop from one encounter to another.

    Now I'm not saying there aren't ways to have fast travel and meaningful choices, but that one way or another some type of restriction or limitation would have to be placed on the player. The issue, then, is not fast travel vs. slow travel, but whether the restrictions and limitations needed to spur decision making are implemented in a balanced and enjoyable way or not.
  • DeivosDeivos Member EpicPosts: 3,692
    Axehilt said:
    Not sure those are two 'sides', as players experience of games is always a combination of the overall experience, and also individual moments.
    In spite of your adamant opinion, "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" shouldn't have been the extent of your education.

    The post you quoted even held the observation countering what you just said. 

    "...the game is not broken  into pieces of action separated by travel, but rather is a cohesive whole where travel is as much the "action" or "game" part of the game as the fighting, building, or whatever other elements there are..."

    This integral little detail is something you just completely ran away from with your analogies and mental gymnastics. Movement in games has purpose, it's pacing does considerably more for even old MMOs than simply serve as a means to protract play time. The game world has space because it is fleshed out as an environment for events and varying activities that tend to be seeded throughout them. There is a heavy balance afforded in many of them by the constant modulation of movement speed versus land size and you have more than a few details you have to hand-wave to even pretend to have a point.

    Point of example, Everquest's landmass in comparision to modern MMOs isn't all that big. Neither is Asheron's Call's. Yet both of these games also afforded players a higher average run speed than many modern MMOs, that slow down character foot speed while offering secondary means of travel such as teleport access, mounts, and taxi services.

    "Timing" and pacing was a big thing in many ways because there were not simply matching it to effects of progress in the game, they were matching it to classical RPG systems alongside other game mechanics such as dominant locales for resource gathering or objectives meant to be scarce in their nature.

    Like your EVE example. The reason that "drudgery" exists at all is because it carries with it extra depth and implications in it's use. There isn't some invisible NPC that exists as little more than a timer for "press button get reward", it's an action of the player which carries risk with it that they can actively respond to. Which is more interesting, getting in a dogfight with raiders as you try to make your escape, or seeing a bar suddenly turn red because a status bar and randomizer decided that NPC failed to deliver?

    "In good entertainment, every moment has purpose." is exactly the point of why travel and timing is so important. In chess does every person you know play it in some kind of speed mode, or do a lot of people pause to consider what's going on and take the game rather casually? The reality is that there is a lot of "empty" time in such a game in most cases as people play in a balance that benefits their comfort and wits best, not trying to sprint for a constant challenge. It's even more inherent to the game than that as each piece has a set definition for it's move and attack patterns, forcing deep gameplay by making players think about the results of these different limitations and rules imposed and how to maneuver as a result.

    Without travel and without time, you end up with a game that is nothing more than a buzzer.

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners." - Thomas B. Macaulay

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin

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