Tedium and whether it can be totally separate from what is considered difficult

cheyanecheyane EarthMember EpicPosts: 4,918
edited October 10 in The Pub at MMORPG.COM
I posted this in one of the other threads but I was wondering if people can actually clearly demarcate what makes a game difficult from tedious. I feel that some of the systems that were in Everquest actually made the game both tedious and hard simultaneously because they existed together making it hard because of the way the game worked. Take for instance the simple fact that you had no map and had to rely on landmarks if you were not quick on /loc button you would not be able to find your corpse unless someone with locate corpse helped you out. So when you are in some area lets say you are a melee class with no ability to simply memorize a spell and then 'gate' yourself out and you fell in some hole at the bottom of a dungeon your only recourse was to not to fall in there in the first place or log on another character and convince someone to summon your corpse out. This made the game very hard for people who lost their body and this is a genuinely hard situation not one that is tedious. 

The tedium of waiting for a boat however is definitely one that can be considered as tedious but if you did not introduce time as a way of calculating distance then taking yourself from one area to another will not convince your mind of how big the world is. The tedium in this case and it was definitely tedious was to make one believe you are in a big world. If you did away with travel that took time the world will shrink considerably. This comes under tedium but necessary tedium.

Working on your faction so that you can interact with the people of a city is a grind and tedious but it brings home the choices you make about your race and the deity you worship or class you have chosen to play. This cannot be emphasized without requiring you to spend time and effort to raise that faction. The fact that people still play the most hated class/race combination is a testament to what lengths people are willing to go to play what they want. Choice is so powerful in its variety and simple existence. Even if people find ways to work around the disadvantages it nevertheless is a powerful tool to enhance the differences between the races,classes and factions. It is a spice that will definitely make any game much more interesting in its totality.

Below is what I posted on another thread but I think it might not have been relevant and may be largely ignored not that I expect much traffic on this one I admit however here goes...




I have been playing on Project 1999 which is Everquest with Kunark and Velious which is quite ancient as far as MMORPGs go. We are talking about a game that is over 18 years old. My experience in them while not as old as @Loke666 started with Everquest in 1999.

I have been examining the oft repeated claim that Everquest is tedious and not actually hard. In some ways it is but in others it is not  and I think it is quite involved in that the tediousness is very much a part of it being hard too.

Let me give you some examples I encountered while playing and you decide is this tedious or hard. The first is about my Shaman in Halas. It's a Barbarian place that is cold and full of ice and you start at an area that is sometimes patrolled by a high level skelly that walks around the newbie area from time to time and he looks exactly like the other newbie mobs called the 'decayed skeletons'. He has a rather amusing name that starts with 'vengeful' and followed by either soloist, lyricist or composer but the soloist part always made me think he died repeatedly while soloing and is mad enough to kill newbies every chance he can. I know it's about music but it still amused me to think he died soloing in Everfrost.

The problem in Everfrost is that the mobs are scarce at some point you run out of blue con mobs and you cannot kill the even con and the yellow con will eat you for breakfast. At this point you can move and go to Qeynos which means you have to brave Blackburrow a dungeon which you can and probably should. The place also does not have that many players at times I was the only low level player there.

I am telling you this story not because I like reading my words in print (which I do too) but because I decided to try some of the even cons and as long as some high levels threw some buffs on me like spirit of the wolf for running speed I was able to kite some polar bears and snow leopards. When that wore off I died and I lost most of what I had earned while buffed. Now that is painful the death I mean and then going back and kicking myself for trying to play alone. No one to group with though because of the hours I play but I suppose if I had made a track to Commonlands it would be better. I think it should be hard when you solo and because there is no in game map you pay very careful attention to where you are in case you die and have to get your corpse back. I noticed that while I was dying the misses were really hurting me. This is why you do not take on an even and higher level mob. Your skills are really bad and raising them is the tedium to me as they go up exceedingly slow. My sense heading is maxxed to help me because there are no maps but I can minimize the client and check online of course but where's the fun in that.

Contrast this with the Human Necromancer I made in Freeport and I spent two days just raising my faction to make it so no one randomly kills me in the city I was born in. Then I walk out to Commonlands and a Cleric wench from Qeynos (another faction) decided I cannot even pass by her hut and killed me three times and I lost the level I had earned. Things like this make you very aware of where you are and check every single person you see before blindly going up to them or pass by their shack because apparently they can see through walls.

My guild is under the city of Freeport and if I used the wrong entrance I will be greeted by drowned citizens whose damage over time is insane and even if you get away you die after zoning to the dot. See everything about Everquest is harder than what is it in today's games. It is a combination of learning your surroundings and being very much aware of it and dying and losing experience teaches you to treasure the time you spend on learning about your surroundings and avoiding the loss. See the loss makes you wary and careful and that is why people describe it as tedious but it is not actually, because if you did not risk the loss there is no possibility of teaching people the concept of being aware.

This also goes for the boat rides and other long forms of travel that can result in your death and having to go back all that way to get your corpse because the place you respawned was very far from where you died.

The system has many tedious, very trying and grindy stuff but it is enmeshed in the game making the whole a very rewarding experience because every level is not easily earned and all the money and equipment you end up owning means a heck of a lot more.

There are however some aspects of Everquest I absolutely feel should be changed. They should not allow people to camp areas exclusively for hours. This is an aspect of the game that simply has to go. No one should be allowed to tie down an area and its loot to their exclusive use and enjoyment. It is absolutely unfair and encourages bullying and high levels camping areas they are farming while denying groups that are level appropriate their chance at it.

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Post edited by cheyane on
Rhoklaw
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Comments

  • delete5230delete5230 Member RarePosts: 4,229
    For me this is what I called unspoken talent by the game designer. 

    It's not measured by a ruler or you can touch it.  It's like flavors of ice cream, some love vanilla some don't. 

    - Some love a pure life within an mmo with all its tedious.  
    - Some say lets just get on with the game so I can win !  

    If it were not for so much gray area in likes and dislikes, we wouldn't have so many topics and things to say.

    In a nut shell...... Their is no answer and never will, unless a designer creates the largest and most perfect game beyond our comprehension.  Everything for Everyone.
  • anemoanemo Member UncommonPosts: 1,242
    One person's tedium, is another's content.
    deniterConstantineMerus

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

  • ScorchienScorchien Hatboro, PAMember EpicPosts: 4,086
    edited October 8
     BDO to me felt like its entire game was Tedious and its cash shop made to relieve said Tedium ... When you deliberatley build tedious mechainics into your game . then a way to relieve it in your cash shop .. so weak

      Bad model imo .....

      And there was Nothing difficult about BDO either .. just a bad game ..

      EQ on the other hand , never felt Tedious ... great game
    Post edited by Scorchien on
    Rhoklaw
  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaMember EpicPosts: 13,194
    I don't care about difficult,i want it to be thinking,strategic,adventurous etc etc.
    Wow is the game that turned mmorpgs into superficial hangouts,forget lore forget exploration,just go for end game loot raids over and over and over then come on forums and tell us what a great GAME it is.

    Obviously difficult means  different to each individual but i think we can agree somewhere in the middle and what at least causes you to think a bit.Running an errand quest is not thinking,especially bad they put the destination as a map marker and the npc tells you exactly where to go.I don't want mindless but at the same time i don't want fake crap just to make something difficult ,like red carpet designs on the ground to avoid.
    I definitely will not and never will accept some form of scaling to make something relevant/difficult.

    After all these years there is still a lot of fixing to  do in mmorpg's,i can't believe some devs are so bold to make claims of improving the genre when they can't even get the core basics right.
    deniter

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

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaMember EpicPosts: 13,194
    I feel lots of tedious long journeys is the way to do difficult and not just create some Boss that requires 24 players in some instance.Example,don't just give a player a new ability because they were running 50 errand quests and turned level 10,to me that is super lazy and very superficial gaming.have them talk to npc's to discover the lore and reason those npc's exist,Eventually uncover a secret that leads you on a long pilgrimage to uncover more secrets that somewhere down the line gives you a new ability/spell.

    Then we need to see very long levels,not run a few quests and "congratulations" your level 15 !

    What would be the sense or enjoyment if you just spent 3 days attaining a new level 12 ability but are already level 20,laugh but this is exactly how bad a lot of these games are.I played a game this site was so proudly endorsing and i was given level 2 in my first 20 seconds,just by walking from one npc to another npc,i was like "ok this game needs to be a 0/10 for wasting my time with total garbage.That would be crossing the line from difficult to plain dumb.

    I made this point because levels should be perhaps the one thing that should be difficult.Levels re suppose to be an extension of your character's skill,not a representation that you have now completed 250 errand quests.
    deniter

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

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 17,142
    To me tedium = aspects of game that take far too long 

    Tolerance for this varies from person to person, but in general playerbase today has much less tolerance for this than the playerbase did back in 1999

    This is why MMO developers have embraced designs that favor short session gamaplay where anyone can jump in for 10-20min and have fun without wasting a bunch of time.


    Octagon7711RhoklawYashaXConstantineMerus
  • Viper482Viper482 Somewhere, FLMember RarePosts: 1,731
    I don't think most players even know the difference. How many times have you heard an MMO player angry that an item he/she "worked so hard for" ends up on a cash shop? The "hard (aka difficult) work" typically means they grinded killing millions of the same easy trash mob a gazillion times for a month to get some rare drop. I don't know about you, but this is the definition of tedious....not difficult. Ask these players though and they will tell you the difficulty to get this item is a 15 on a scale of 1-10.

    Difficulty would be okay if MMOs could have stellar AI instead of mobs that pace back and forth waiting for you to easily kill them. Or how about some quests that actually make you think instead of "X marks the spot" crap? I believe Secret World did that, though I could not get into it.

    YashaX
  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member EpicPosts: 3,707
    I think it ultimately depends on how things intertwine with the actual game and the overarching goal of whatever it is that is being done. FFXI had a lot of tedious things with most having a noticeable pay off in one form or another. For example, the skill up system. It was slow and boring at the very beginning of the game (and they didn't increase rates normally and view items/gear/etc until towards the end of the game's "lifespan") but it was ultimately needing for say landing spells or doing maximized damaged against a target equal to or slightly greater than your level. So just reaching x class (job) level wasn't enough. You had to make sure that you had whatever skill levels up as well or whatever you were playing was pretty much useless (except for maybe healing people, but that depended as well since darkness themed areas/weather/etc could greatly reduce your healing at times).

    For me with the current age of mmorpgs, the wrong things are made tedious. Such as having pointless dailies that just serve as busy work rather than having some real purpose because they are made useless in a few months. I think wow's original crafting system (or at least the one in cata, when I first played) was actually overall a good form of tedious progression, mainly because it helped make a lot of things valuable and made crafting more valuable since less people had access to high end recipes as opposed to now where everyone can get all except 1 recipe with only having 1 skill in the craft. Not to mention most of these fights just being mostly dance dance revolution fights where you're just bouncing around so you dont get one shotted. Hardly any game now requires that you keep a boss enfeebled or even interrupt stuff (yeah I'm looking at you FFXIV).
  • cheyanecheyane EarthMember EpicPosts: 4,918
    Dailies are pretty tedious for sure. So is grinding the RNG .

    I do think though that some gameplay to avoid damage that require quick movements are another aspect I find difficult personally. 

    While it is true that individual points of view differ,  somethings may overlap between tedium and difficulty it is nevertheless a necessary part of keeping one's interest by encouraging investment. 
    image
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Chicago, ILMember EpicPosts: 6,250
    Grinding mobs is very tedious which is why I'm glad some games have dynamic events.  It's still a grind but it's more elaborate because it feels less like a grind to me.  I really liked shadows of mordor nemesis system.  NPCs that actually have ambition, can be flipped and as they get promoted become more difficult to kill.  Would love to see something like that in an MMO.
    YashaX

    "Change is the only constant."


  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 1,871
    anemo said:
    One person's tedium, is another's content.
    Though an rapidly diminishing number of players still view level grinding as content.
    YashaXSteelhelm
  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INMember RarePosts: 5,441
    Alot of people thought EQ1 was jsut tedium and no difficulty...Sure the boat rides were tedious, but we also made alot of friends during those downtimes.....As for content, I know I didnt find it easy....We died alot and it wasnt really until a few years after release when the gear started to become a bit powerful that the game became easier.
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXMember EpicPosts: 5,273
    I think the reason you see more "time consumption" tedious rather than "puzzle / riddle" difficulty is because one is far easier for the masses to achieve / complete than the other. I know there are an abundance of guides out there that do nothing but solve puzzles and provide walkthroughs, which wasn't readily available back in the EQ days. So even if game developers wanted to bring back the mystery that once was, it's actually up to the players now to avoid using such websites. Kind of an integrity check if you will.

    Problem with this has always been PvP games that have any form of progression, whether it be levels or gear. People don't like being ganked or griefed and the only way to avoid that is quick leveling and gear up. So, PvP creates that competitive rush to the top to avoid this, which forces players to not take time to smell the roses, enjoy that adventure and explore.

    However, if you are smart and separate the PvP from the PvE, but at the same time give important reasons to engage in both, you create balance and incentive. This is exactly why I loved DAoC. They literally created the perfect mesh for PvP and PvE. I know now to avoid open PvP MMOs completely because the only thing they promote is frustration.
    YashaX

  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 1,871
    "People can just wiki everything these days!!!" is a valid concern in some regards but overall I feel it's just an excuse.

    It's a valid reason not to implement scripted predictable challenges. It's an excuse that ceases to hold water when you consider all the ways it is possible to randomize elements of dungeons so that the players don't know what to expect even if they read the wiki guide.
    YashaX
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXMember EpicPosts: 5,273
    Eldurian said:
    "People can just wiki everything these days!!!" is a valid concern in some regards but overall I feel it's just an excuse.

    It's a valid reason not to implement scripted predictable challenges. It's an excuse that ceases to hold water when you consider all the ways it is possible to randomize elements of dungeons so that the players don't know what to expect even if they read the wiki guide.
    Randomizing the world is no easy task. At least for the randomize portions to actually make sense. Games like Witcher 3, Skyrim and Fallout 4 are all based on randomness with static portions mixed in.

  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 1,871
    Randomizing the world is no easy task, nor one I would consider worthwhile. Randomizing dungeons is considerably easier. They are already instanced.
  • cheyanecheyane EarthMember EpicPosts: 4,918
    If you randomize a dungeon it reduces it to a holo . I mean dungeons have features you recognize like a painting on the wall or an oddly shaped rock or a weird corridor. You could randomize the encounters within but the pathways in the dungeon and the physical dungeon itself mustn't change.
    image
  • ScotScot UKMember RarePosts: 6,661
    edited October 10
    Every game uses sleight of hand, MMOs more than any other. You have to make the tedium seem enjoyable, not an easy task.

    Lets use your example of waiting for a boat. What if your game had a mechanic that penalised you from doing too much levelling. You need to spend some time in an inn or traveling on a boat to relax. Suddenly the waiting is not so tedious. Include good ways for players to socialise, what about a text chat or Discord channel for anyone waiting on the pier which pops up as you go onto the pier for you to join? The text chat could be a group chat like the one you get in MMOs which put you in the same group for certain events.

    MMOs need to have waiting times, its all about how you handle them. But bottom line, with the way MMOs are being made today the game "producer" is going to say "no matter what you do waiting times will be tedious to some people". And that's all it takes, some people won't like it, so the waiting time is taken away.
    Post edited by Scot on

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  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 17,142
    Alot of people thought EQ1 was jsut tedium and no difficulty...Sure the boat rides were tedious, but we also made alot of friends during those downtimes.....As for content, I know I didnt find it easy....We died alot and it wasnt really until a few years after release when the gear started to become a bit powerful that the game became easier.


    The difference in playerbase today:

    1. Many have no desire to make friends online, so downtime like EQ1 boatrides wouldnt encourage them at all

    2. EQ1 was always easy IMO, players that understood the group mechanics were outleveling the rest by 10x or more.
    immodium
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarreMember EpicPosts: 6,657
    Any time wasting repetitive activity to obtain some kind of progress ends being tedious after a few repetitions.

    Example:
    - Killing a raid boss for the first time is usually an achievement, a feat, something hard.
    - Killing a raid boss which is on "farm status" 20 times to get some gear is tedious.

    In MMORPGs, tedium is closely associated to repetition. The only difficulty in leveling in those 'oldschool' games like EQ1 or DAOC was to not fall asleep during the tedious mob farming sessions that lasted hours just for a tiny amount of progress.
    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
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  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaMember EpicPosts: 13,194
    I should make a point because i feel gamer's have been sidetracked into that dungeon end game looting for so long they forget what a rpg should stand for.
    my point is that i feel people are combining the thought process into one lump sum of levels and xp.

    Xp should go towards your skills and levels should be more of a way of relating to your age.So the argument which is trying to disprove camps/party systems is ONLY looking at it from a leveling standpoint.
    SKILLS: I feel i am accurate in stating that skills should be repetitive and learned over time through use.just  like anywhere in life,we become smarter and more accustomed and more efficient over time.So why would anyone argue this should not be the case,it is like people are trying to say they want fast levels and skills to follow alongside with no real effort.

    I used the word EFFORT for a reason,it is imo a better term to use than repetition or difficulty.If you took a person in real life that you considered dumb,not good at something and gave them enough practice time and repetition,they could very well become better than yourself at something.

    The act of learning is pretty much connected to overcoming obstacles and learning from various encounters/situations.So in gaming,the more mobs you face the more you learn about their AI tendencies,their special moves and this matters even more in a properly designed game that creates "families" of mobs that you would encounter throughout the game,instead of just once in a linear fashion.
    Steelhelm

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

  • deniterdeniter KouvolaMember UncommonPosts: 1,129
    Isn't it obvious that wrong kind of people play these games today? People who used to play the old ad&d games like Curse of the Azure Bonds and Pool of Radiance, then the Ultima series and later Eye of Beholders, Baldur's Gates, and Icewind Dales were the original target for first MMO games up until EQ.

    The success of World of Warcraft made gaming companies to widen up their customer base and design elements that pleased the new, more action orientated customers to their games. These gamers used to play arcade shooters, hack'n slash RPGs, Mortal Kombats, and later first person shooters and MOBAs, like Counter Strike and League of Legends. What they managed to create was a hybrid of slower tactical, story-driven, character building game, and a faster action game.

    As a result we now have a genre of MMOs that is neither fish nor fowl. There are lots of people saying leveling takes too long, the game is too hard, they would prefer action combat over tab-targeting, they're forced to do PvE and they only care PvP, etc. Then there's a crowd of people saying there should be no end game, leveling should take longer, the game shouldn't hold my hand, it's too linear and easy, etc. You got the picture.

    Now, some of them post on forums and complain how tedious MMO games are. They are 'forced' to do this and that, they have to wait boats and walk long distances. They don't have time to run dungeons if it takes longer than 30 mins, and they most certainly won't spend their valuable time for looking the group for them. Make a guess which group of players from the first two paragraphs is talking here.

    There has been lots of discussion of how these games should find their niche and design them to smaller, more specific group of gamers instead of including elements and features for each group in mind, while ending up pleasing none. The genre of MMORPGs is not dying, nor disappeared from existence. The sad truth is the games are simply bad - they don't appeal to neither group, really.

    Also, i don't buy the theory of younger generation being any different than the older one. There has always been different kind of people in terms of taste for games, but never before have anyone tried to design a single game for all of them.

    I'm looking forward to new games that finally can break out from this mold and create something that suits perfectly for the type of players the game targets. Games are not suppose to be tedious and boring but entertaining and fun.
  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 1,871
    cheyane said:
    If you randomize a dungeon it reduces it to a holo . I mean dungeons have features you recognize like a painting on the wall or an oddly shaped rock or a weird corridor. You could randomize the encounters within but the pathways in the dungeon and the physical dungeon itself mustn't change.
    See the thing is we come from two different schools of thought.

    I should never grow familiar with a dungeon. When I beat a dungeon, I want to be done with it. Boom, on to the next challenge. I don't want to ever run the same dungeon so many times I recognize it's features.

    I find that ridiculous and immersion breaking. When I go to Grognog's lair, kill Grognog and take all the loot Grognog is dead and his loot is gone. Why would I go back to his lair unless some new menace takes up residency there?

    That's why I want my dungeons more randomized. The developers don't have the time to make so many dungeons that nobody will ever run the same dungeon twice. But a good dungeon randomization tool can create that effect.
    Steelhelm
  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INMember RarePosts: 5,441
    DMKano said:
    Alot of people thought EQ1 was jsut tedium and no difficulty...Sure the boat rides were tedious, but we also made alot of friends during those downtimes.....As for content, I know I didnt find it easy....We died alot and it wasnt really until a few years after release when the gear started to become a bit powerful that the game became easier.


    The difference in playerbase today:

    1. Many have no desire to make friends online, so downtime like EQ1 boatrides wouldnt encourage them at all

    2. EQ1 was always easy IMO, players that understood the group mechanics were outleveling the rest by 10x or more.
    See I thought WoW was extremely easy..I could solo mobs several levels above my character...That was extremely difficult in EQ...Also you could handle dungeons easily in WoW with a pickup group...it was much harder in EQ...We had to hand pick tanks and healers often if we wanted to beat them.
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarreMember EpicPosts: 6,657
    deniter said:
    Isn't it obvious that wrong kind of people play these games today? People who used to play the old ad&d games like Curse of the Azure Bonds and Pool of Radiance, then the Ultima series and later Eye of Beholders, Baldur's Gates, and Icewind Dales were the original target for first MMO games up until EQ.
    And interestingly, table top AD&D has never been about grinding... neither was any of the Ultima games or other games you listed, while those early MMOs, specially EQ, were all about repetitive grinding.
    Eldurian
    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
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