is auto assault death a good thing for MMOs?

Jd1680aJd1680a Portland, ORMember Posts: 398

We all should congradulate Ncsoft for making a bold move to something innovative and different to the MMO world.  Instead of being a hack and slash, killing trolls, fantasy type mmo, ncsoft put their money into cars.  Was this a good thing for NCsoft, oblivious not this game looks like it wont make it past christmas.

I do see auto assault failure a good thing for the industry.  Not just ncsoft is watching to this game, everyone else who wants to get a piece of the action in mmo is watching as well.  Maybe everyone will keep their hands off with cars in mmos for five years before someone else gives it a try and make it better.  Maybe it will tell everyone who already in the MMO industry all the elements with auto assault didnt work.  To simplify, the MMO industry is becoming more streamline to what customers like and want because of failures.

Have played: CoH, DDO EQ2, FFXI, L2, HZ, SoR, and WW2 online

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  • ram3oram3o bob, NCMember Posts: 134

    AA didnt fail because your in a car, it failed because of lack of creative skills.  If a Agents can go around laying timebombs or some other type of attack other then DD, and same goes with other class, game would of been alot funner.  Not be able to see new skill every 10 levels makes the progress in this game terrible. They should of focus more on pvp then pve, pve content is bad in this game.  However this game didnt failed because of cars, it failed because of lack of creativity.  If they would of remove cars and add elves and wizards, and keep the same content like hold right mouse button to auto attack, and see 1 or 2 skills ever 10 levels, this game will still be in the same boat.

  • GameloadingGameloading NAMember UncommonPosts: 14,182

    I honnestly have no explenation for why Auto Assault failed. it isn't the holy grails, but it definitly isn't a low quality product either. maybe it just didn't receive enough hype?

    anyway, this is actually BAD for the industry. Auto Assault actually tried something new and people ignored it, yet everybody keeps whining for something new, yet are also drooling over Everquest clones #507 Vanguard.



  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILMember Posts: 3,159
    I get a sort of trollish vibe from the original post here, as if it's not sincere, so much as looking for an opposing response?

    In any case, I'd say it's a bad thing, but consider the problem to lie squarely with NetDevil.  It's a bad thing, because it was a unique idea, and the genre surely needs more of that, only now it must appear to some to have failed because it wasn't generic enough.

    However, I'd say it failed because it was a very badly implemented unique idea.  They even had plenty of funding, just poor game design.  Simply put, it's just not fun - when it could have been one of the most viscerally fun MMOs out there.  It had plenty of hype, and lots of people gave it shot.  It just wasn't a good game, it failed to grab the vast majority of players to take an interest in it.

    It's failure would be a good thing, if more people saw it that way, but to people on the outside, it probably does just look like it failed for it's unusual style.  IMHO, probably unfortunate for the industry overall.


    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • NullapaxNullapax HalifaxMember Posts: 401


    Originally posted by Jd1680a

    To simplify, the MMO industry is becoming more streamline to what customers like and want because of failures.

    So in a few years there will only be WoW and it's clones, and you think that is good ?

    I was in AA beta and even though it wasn't the best it was a long way from being the worst MMOG. It's rapid demise is quite amazing.



  • BladinBladin Seattle, WAMember UncommonPosts: 1,089
    The problem with AA is its simply a combination of a bunch of mixed up ideas and it's done very poorly.

    The driving in the game is very action/arcade style driving, turning fast shooting fast.  Its done decently.

    The combat in the game is SLOW(fast compared to other mmos, but compared to how a game like this should be...), it just didn't mesh well with the driving, and thats putting aside how lackluster/boring/un noticeable most of the skills(that ive seen) were.

    Destructable environments is a wonderful thing, but the way it was done was not.  I have to be next to a building and just shoot at it awhile while it breaks apart, you can't go through a ramp crash into a building, go inside of the wall and break out the other side.  It felt boring, and lackluster

    I honestly feel if this game was in the same setting with the same engine, but modified for player characters, and movements slowed down, it could have been more succesful(still not a massive success, but probably enough to keep going).

    The problem is it tries to copy arcade style controls with a boring mmorpg system.  It just doesn't work.


    image

  • SnaKeySnaKey Arkadelphia, ARMember Posts: 3,386

    To me the reason AA failed was because it just seemed like a generic game with a creative package.

    The game itself is pretty basic and looks like too much attention was spent on doing the whole "Car MMO" thing rather than doing the whole "Good MMO" thing. AA had alot of potential, but they spent too much time trying to be new and innovative rather than creatinga product that was actually fun to play. I'm all for innovation, but you can only innovate so much because some of those things that are in almost every MMO are there because that's what makes MMOs fun and it's hard to figure out something different.

    Plus the fact that it's a car game where you can't change your car, didn't sit too well for me. ::::12::

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  • TheAestheteTheAesthete Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 264


    Originally posted by SnaKey

    To me the reason AA failed was because it just seemed like a generic game with a creative package.

    I couldn't agree more. I would only add generic + lots of frustrating bugs.

    People keep saying Auto Assault did something "new," but I don't think it really did. The game did something different (cars), but not at all "new." There had never been a car MMO before, but every other aspect of the game was just generic online-game stuff. I kept thinking about City of Heroes (a much better game, although to me it also failed to live up to the promise of doing something new). Here's a game with superheroes, in a contemporary setting, but once again we have the old standard classes -- tank, slasher, blaster, caster, healer -- that were passed down through fantasy games, all the way back to pen-and-paper DnD. CoH is such a good example becuase it's hard to point to a lot of comic book heroes who are healers and summoners; it's so obvious it comes from wanting to appease the standard MMO player, who's used to these fantasy archetypes. And then there were the same old mission types, deliver this, destroy that.

    A game like Auto Assault should have completely busted through all that, invented a whole new model. But it didn't really; it was just the same old stuff, only faster, and with wheels.

    PS I don't mean to talk about it in the past tense, like the game is already dead. It's just that I stopped playing it, so I think of it that way.

  • BlurrBlurr Thornhill, ONMember UncommonPosts: 2,155

    Yeah I get the 'troll' feeling from the OP too.

    I wouldn't necessarily call AA a 'failure' but more of an 'underachiever'. They took the risks to try something completely different, which is good for the genre. Unfortunately the majority of MMO players are still fixated on the whole Fantasy RPG deal. One thing I've noticed about most AA players is that they've been around MMOs alot longer than the average gamer. Most AA players I know have been around since EQ1 and UO and the like, and frankly we're a little tired of the same old elves and orcs crap. We laugh when people are surprised at SOE's incredible bullcrap they pulled with SWG, cause we saw them doing it years ago on EQ. One of the reasons we like AA is because it's new, different, and the devs aren't retards.

    As far as re-using standard MMO ideas (like the class roles of tank/healer/stealther, etc), sadly I think that's also a product of the overwhelming stagnation of fantasy MMOs. You have to use what people know, and people know those roles and how to expect to play them, so when you adhere to those it's a little easier for people to get into the game. As well, coming up with entirely new dynamics means balancing a whole new set of equations. Frankly publishers don't want to see that because it won't sell as well as a game where you have the prediefined roles that everyone can just jump into. City of Heroes was originally going to be entirely open-ended with no set class attributes beyond how many powers you knew and how powerful they were. Then they finally got a publisher (NCSoft) and the whole game dynamic changed to the archetypes we all know and love today. They've done a pretty good job with City of Villains and having the counterpart archetypes that don't exactly play just like opposites, but have their own unique play styles.

    I will say however, that I am somewhat disappointed in AA, and I think the fault lies with NetDevil. I partially base this off of what I saw with their other mmo type attempt, Jumpgate, as well. I think NetDevil had a game with a lot of great potential, and they just didn't live up to it. AA is fun to play, but it's not that memorable. It doesn't stick in your mind as being out of the ordinary, and it's becoming just another game in a genre clogged with every developer and his brother trying to make a steady paycheck out of the new gaming model. They didn't put the polish into the game that another company, say.. Blizzard, would have.

    AA is a good game, but I think the devs fell short of what they needed to do with the game to compete. It's much harder for a non-fantasy game to break the mold. I mean, 80% of the top 10 MMOs (by subscribers) are Fantasy.

    In the end, I'd have to say that my final verdict on AA is that it's a good game, but the devs didn't live up to the potential, and the MMO market still isn't quite ready for non-fantasy games.

    Edit: Just wanted to add, check this 'Market Share by Genre' of MMOs http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart8.html
    from
    www.mmogchart.com

    "Because it's easier to nitpick something than to be constructive." -roach5000

  • TheAestheteTheAesthete Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 264

    Great post Blurr. . . I never knew that about the City of Heroes deveopment process.

    What frustrates me is that I see all these companies with good ideas and a lot of talent (NetDevil being a perfect example) retreating from taking risks. What you've described is a classic business model that gets replicated over and over again. A big company with lots of resources identifies a market, examines said market, prodcues a streamlined product that is the result of equal ammounts of market research, investment, and advertising. Think of Blizzard, think of Microsoft. They don't make anything new, they just pull it all together into one slick package and make it easier to use.

    What drives me up the wall is that the small companies see this success and think they have to do the same thing. But in the end they don't have the resources to compete. What it takes for a small company to compete is a new paradigm, something that will come in and change the rules so thoroughly that the original monolith has to redesign too. Think of google. Think of. . . oh, wait, there's no MMO example yet.

    Maybe, in some small ways, EVE. But that's partly my own wishful thinking, because EVE isn't really a success on that level. I played EVE for a long time, and still regard the game fondly, but I'm not there anymore. But while I played Auto Assault, I kept thinking of EVE. If only AA's crafting and economy had been as sophisticated as EVE's, if only EVE's combat had been as dynamic and fun as Auto Assault's. The two combined would make a perfect game. (Perfect for me, anyway -- and I don't care if it's cars or space, it's the other stuff that counts.)

    But it always comes back to the publishers and their fear of risks. If only I could take them seriously. I actually know a lot more about book publishing than game publishing, but I think there are some similarities. For a while (and it's still going on to an extent) there was this rage about putting women's legs and shoes on the cover of books. This was during the explosion of the "chick lit" thing. Someone did a study, and showed that books with legs and shoes on the cover sold on the order of something like %30 more than books without legs and shoes on the cover. So suddenly there were all these books with legs and shoes on the cover, regardess whether it had anything to do with the content of the book, or worse, the demographic the book might have appealed to. The problem was: nobody stopped to ask themselves whether this study was actually, like, totally bogus.

  • grapegrape Coral Springs, FLMember Posts: 191
    It failed because they tried to associate themselves with fast pace FPS and then try to charge $14.95 a month for it.


    Totaly craptastic marketing, and the devs should of at least picked up a book on AutoDuel or watch at least a mad max movie.

    Car Physics suck, It's like an ATV running around hills and rough terrain. They needed large roads and high speed. First person behind the wheel feel, not this arcade shoot em up.

    IT failed because the game offered nothing to associate the player to the avatar.


  • NullapaxNullapax HalifaxMember Posts: 401


    Originally posted by grape
    IT failed because the game offered nothing to associate the player to the avatar.



    That right there is 30% of why EVE failed for me.
    Yet AA at least allows a degree ( not much admited ) of customisation whereas EVE offers none at all.

    Whatever, you make valid points and I fear AA is failing on all fronts.

    When the inevitable, desperate, "Free Trial" appears I shall take a look to see how it differs from it's Beta days
  • elitwebbelitwebb Phoenix, AZMember Posts: 342


    Originally posted by ram3o

    alot funner

    "a lot more fun."  That is what your post should read.  There are also several other things you put in there that make my soul itch when I read it.

  • elitwebbelitwebb Phoenix, AZMember Posts: 342


    Originally posted by Blurr

    One of the reasons we like AA is because it's new, different, and the devs aren't retards.

    Retard is a funny word.  Thanks for making my day just a touch better and brighter.
  • BladinBladin Seattle, WAMember UncommonPosts: 1,089
    about coh development, it wasnt edited just to be more typical.  The problem was people weren't using it for customization, they changed it because people took the most effective powers to create overpowered builds in comparison to what they were planning.  And that was what the VAST majority did.  They ended up doing ATs just so players could still customize but with control over what was actual created.  Imagine a tanker with blaster attacks.  And thats why it was changed.

    image

  • GameloadingGameloading NAMember UncommonPosts: 14,182


    Originally posted by grape
    It failed because they tried to associate themselves with fast pace FPS and then try to charge $14.95 a month for it.


    Totaly craptastic marketing, and the devs should of at least picked up a book on AutoDuel or watch at least a mad max movie.

    Car Physics suck, It's like an ATV running around hills and rough terrain. They needed large roads and high speed. First person behind the wheel feel, not this arcade shoot em up.

    IT failed because the game offered nothing to associate the player to the avatar.



    Last time I checked, the game was called "Auto Assault" not "Autoduel online". imo, the game is just fine as it is. the game is pretty fun to play and definitly something diffrent. it just never received the attention it deserved.
  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662

    Here's what NCsoft has said and done about AA's dismal release:


    NCsoft IR (Investor Report) Newsletter - June 2006

    1. Public Disclosure

    It’s been just over two months since NCsoft launched Auto Assault in North America and Europe. Despite critical acclaim by some in the media, Auto Assault overall has not been able to perform up to the company’s expectations.NCsoft’s Austin unit has taken on the task of reorganizing its operations by reducing its 300 person workforce by approximately 70 people to accommodate this change. In addition, as Auto Assault has not performed as anticipated, NCsoft has decided to write off approximately US$ 13 million in 2Q. Most of this one time charge represents advanced royalties (US$ 10 million) to NetDevil.We believe this reorganization as well as this one time charge against NCsoft’s North American business will better position the company to operate profitably going forward.This decision has no impact on the schedules of any projects currently in development and service to NCsoft’s current games will continue without interruption.

    As of June, 2006, NCsoft is writing the game off. I wouldn't look for any further funding to go in its direction, at least not from NCsoft. Without further funds for future development, the game is already dead.

  • GameloadingGameloading NAMember UncommonPosts: 14,182


    Originally posted by Serling

    Here's what NCsoft has said and done about AA's dismal release:

    NCsoft IR (Investor Report) Newsletter - June 2006

    1. Public Disclosure
    It’s been just over two months since NCsoft launched Auto Assault in North America and Europe. Despite critical acclaim by some in the media, Auto Assault overall has not been able to perform up to the company’s expectations.
    NCsoft’s Austin unit has taken on the task of reorganizing its operations by reducing its 300 person workforce by approximately 70 people to accommodate this change. In addition, as Auto Assault has not performed as anticipated, NCsoft has decided to write off approximately US$ 13 million in 2Q. Most of this one time charge represents advanced royalties (US$ 10 million) to NetDevil.
    We believe this reorganization as well as this one time charge against NCsoft’s North American business will better position the company to operate profitably going forward.
    This decision has no impact on the schedules of any projects currently in development and service to NCsoft’s current games will continue without interruption.

    As of June, 2006, NCsoft is writing the game off. I wouldn't look for any further funding to go in its direction, at least not from NCsoft. Without further funds for future development, the game is already dead.


    Thats not what the article says.
  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662

    That's how I interpret it. Interpret it as you see fit.

  • JelloB2000JelloB2000 NAMember CommonPosts: 1,848


    Originally posted by Serling
    That's how I interpret it. Interpret it as you see fit.
    What? This isnt martian we are reading its english.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Write-off

    Has nothing to do with funding, they actually are spending money on it hence why they are writing it off.

  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662

    Wrong. They spent money on it (advanced $10 million on it) and lost money on it because it didn't do as well as expected. Which means they probably won't spend any more money on it in the future, given its dismal performance so far. They're not going to throw good money after bad (that's what I mean by "writing the game off"). There may already be some money in the budget for existing development, but unless it shows signs of life during Q3 (this quarter), I wouldn't expect to see it around much longer unless someone else picks up the funding for it.

    Your mileage may vary.

  • GameloadingGameloading NAMember UncommonPosts: 14,182


    Originally posted by Serling

    Wrong. They spent money on it (advanced $10 million on it) and lost money on it because it didn't do as well as expected. Which means they probably won't spend any more money on it in the future, given its dismal performance so far. They're not going to throw good money after bad (that's what I mean by "writing the game off"). There may already be some money in the budget for existing development, but unless it shows signs of life during Q3 (this quarter), I wouldn't expect to see it around much longer unless someone else picks up the funding for it.
    Your mileage may vary.

    Did the article say NCsoft won't spend anymore money on it? No it didn't. NCsoft will probably try to turn the game to at least something to make profit on.
  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662


    NCsoft will probably try to turn the game to at least something to make profit on.

    That would be up to Net Devil, not NCsoft. Net Devil is the development studio. NCsoft is the publisher, and the party with the deep pockets.

    Again, given the game's performance so far, its not something in which I would invest another penny.

    In response to the O.P.: The question is leading and presumes that AA is dead. While that may or may not be true at this point, I contend that if true is both good and bad. Good in the sense that the MMO market is already pretty saturated, and even more are coming on-line soon. There's only so many MMO players to go around at this point. Losing a few wouldn't hurt.

    OTOH, competition is always a good thing, and the existence of a lot of good MMOs means that people will have choice and prices may be kept reasonable low. The worst scenario would be to see one publisher - like an NCsoft - cornering the market on MMOs. At that point the consumer loses choices, not gains them, and that's bad.

  • GameloadingGameloading NAMember UncommonPosts: 14,182


    Originally posted by Serling

    NCsoft will probably try to turn the game to at least something to make profit on.
    That would be up to Net Devil, not NCsoft. Net Devil is the development studio. NCsoft is the publisher, and the party with the deep pockets.
    Again, given the game's performance so far, its not something in which I would invest another penny.

    thats not entirely true. its NCsoft who has to take care of advertisement, customer support staff, promotions, and things like that.
  • HarafnirHarafnir VikingvilleMember UncommonPosts: 1,332

    The only thing that will make or bust an MMO is the quality of the product. Not the scenario, not if its bearded dwarves or laserspewpew, not the name on the box or the boobs on the gamebox babe.

    If you just gonna buy a game of the shelf, you can take a risk with the quality. It can be fun for a few hours anyway. But when yer about to give someone your credit card and tell them to start pulling money in beat with the rythm... you will do some research as to what product you are actually buying.

    When you rent or lease other products, do you look at what it is you are actually paying for? Probably.. There we go.

    Now, developers seem to think they are selling beers to alcoholics, and anything works as long as the buzz is there. But hey, if I was to order a monthly keg of beer, and give my credit card to the beer manufacturer.. I would make sure, even then, I was not buying horse peepee.

    Its easy, its logic. Only kids, fools and game developers have not understood it yet.

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

  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662


    its NCsoft who has to take care of advertisement, customer support staff, promotions, and things like that.

    And all those things but two (advertising and outside promotion - and these are virtually identical) are things that are handled inside the game. NCsoft has already shown it's committment to staff by reducing its N.A. workforce by almost 25%. Not much point in spending much - if anything - running in-game promotions and customer support for a game with very few customers.

    That leaves web, print, TV, and radio advertising. Of the three, only two can be targeted specifically to people who play MMOs: web and print. (See the pool of potential customers getting smaller here?). Web advertising is the cheapest and most focused, but is also probably the least effective in reaching a mass audience, becuase it's the most avoidable (you'd have to visit certain pages to see it). Print is more expensive than the web, but putting it in gamer rags hasn't produced the results NCsoft wanted). TV would probably be the best way to reach a mass audience, but is also the most expensive. (Radio isn't even worth considering because the game is a visual experience).

    So again, how much more good money is NCsoft willing to throw after bad??? Not much, I'd be willing to bet.

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