is auto assault death a good thing for MMOs?

2

Comments

  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662


    boobs on the gamebox babe

    Er...ah...where's my Guild Wars box again??? ::::02::

  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662


    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.

    From everything I've heard and read, AA is a quality game. Unfortunately, I'm just not interested in playing a game about "car wars" any more than I was interested in playing "Battle Mechs". That genre - while good for some people - just doesn't interest me.

    When you get down to market dynamics, the most successful games are those which appeal to the widest possible audience. Car wars and super hero games are niche products. That doesn't mean they're bad, just not as popular as fantasy MMOs right now.

  • jaytravisjaytravis Folsom, CAMember Posts: 10
    While I think the fact that it was a niche game definitely hampered it from ever being a gigantic success, I think poor word-of-mouth and poor reviews hurt it even worse.

    As one who was in the entire AA Beta and even gave it a shot with their Free Trials, I didn't actually find AA to have much 'quality.' In a nutshell, it was buggy, underdeveloped and very 'soulless.' Its susbsequent journey to the great big used car lot in the sky really comes as no surprise here.

    While I think AA's death is really a merciful one, I do think in the long-run it could hurt innovative development in the MMO genre. Given NCSoft's recent woes, I think developers will be far less willing to invest in non-traditional MMO settings (even now), in a time when the MMO universe could use some variety. While elves and wizards will always be popular, I think part of their success stems from the fact that a serious, mass-appealing non-fantasy contender has yet to rear its head. (...Starcraft Online anyone?)




  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662

    IMHO, Marvel and DC both have the potential to deliver outstanding MMOs, providing they get a company other than SOE to back them.

    I'd rather see Microsoft publish Marvel's than let SOE do it, given SOE's track record with Star Wars Galaxies.

  • HarafnirHarafnir VikingvilleMember UncommonPosts: 1,332


    Originally posted by Serling


    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.

    From everything I've heard and read, AA is a quality game. Unfortunately, I'm just not interested in playing a game about "car wars" any more than I was interested in playing "Battle Mechs". That genre - while good for some people - just doesn't interest me.



    Well, unlike you, 60% of normal MMO players do not trust what they "read and heard". They trust what they have experienced firsthand. Betas... free trials... The majority descision of AA beta was "Fun for for a few hours but way too little to do, witht too few choices how to do it. Pretty much a subpar MMO, aimed at people that really just want to shoot at something for an hour or two."

    MMO players want a world to immerse themselves in. They want a character they can identify with and see and feel the changes to him as the story progress. They want choices as to how to advance their character, and what his goals and priorities are.

    To build a handful of cars, put a gun on them and release against some jumping polygons is not an MMO, its Carmaggedon III. And even the Carmageddon series was considered "Budget" in its days.

    AA would have worked as a free game, to play around with for an hour or two. No one disagrees with that. But if you want someone to start emptying your bank account just for kicks, you tend to ask for more than "Tic Tac Toe, the Car Game". General opinion that has been out since beta 2.

    I still stand by my earlier point. Quality of the product is a lot more critical than the scenario. As I said, MMO players normally do their research before giving away their money. That you trust "read and heard" does not really put you on the same playfield.

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

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILMember Posts: 3,159


    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.

    the question is whether they're continuing to lose money on it, or if just maybe some small profit is trickling in.  as long as they're making more than the cost of running servers, they may let it linger untill that changes, even if it'll take forever to make thier investment back. as long as it's not worse than cancelling it, calling it a loss..  otoh, if server costs alone are above what the subscriptions are bringing in, it'll be put down just about as soon as possible.

    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.

  • elitwebbelitwebb Phoenix, AZMember Posts: 342


    Originally posted by Harafnir

    The boobs

  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662


    That you trust "read and heard" does not really put you on the same playfield.

    Didn't say I trusted anything. Only cited what "I've read and heard." Even went out of my way to state that the whole "car wars/battle mech" genre isn't my cup of tea.

    "Quality" is the character or personality of the game. "Scenario" is it looks. Just as some will be attracted to a hot-looking member of the opposite sex, some will be attracted to a cool looking game. But it's the initial attraction - based on looks ("scenario" or the box cover) - that gets you interested in asking about the game's character. Car games (unless they're console racing games) simply don't appeal to me, so AA was a wasted effort on someone like me before one line of code was ever written for it.

    On the other hand, City of Heroes was my first MMO. Had never even heard of MMOs before. The superhero genre has always been my favorite, so I was attracted to it, and it was great until the nerf hammer fell on everyone every time a new patch or release came out.

    Once I got over the initial attraction, I found out how ugly the game was, but not before letting NCsoft hit my CC a few times. Sure there are people - like you - who do their homework. But there are others - like me - who are attracted or repeled by the genre.

    Tell you what: I won't discount your experience if you don't discount mine.

  • triketrike Amherst, NHMember Posts: 83


    Originally posted by Vhaln

    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.



    I think game development professionals will take away the real lessons.  Whether publishers will also do so is up in the air, as the record there is spotty at best.

    I agree with your assessment that AA simply wasn't fun.  The idea was fine, but the implementation was faulty.  Of the dozens of people I know who tried the game, only one bought it, and he never renewed after the first month was up.  Looks like that response was typical.
  • go4brokego4broke Newark, NJMember Posts: 180
    Everyone here is pretty much in agreement.  It wasn't the cars or the setting that ruined this game in the end it was the monotonous gameplay.  The translation of tank/healer/dps/mage to cars (horrible thing to do) and a crafting system that on one hand was phenomenal, also took too much time to get anywhere with, the lower levels become fairly hard to grind thru without the support of many people, the lack of a working auction/trade house really killed that.


    In the end though, there just aren't enough people playing it, its amusing for a few hours, after that.. ehh..   no one has much patience anymore to generically grind.


    i'd even go so far that the game really felt like CoH did early on with a different setting.


    It wasn't the setting, the failure of this game is its generic "feel" of playing it.


  • HarafnirHarafnir VikingvilleMember UncommonPosts: 1,332

    Well, did not want to start an argument with you. Just that when you start up threads trying to show of your great and awesome knowledge in game design and game development... You might need to expect there might be people that challenge your knowledge. If you dislike that people do not see your ideas as the "truth behind game design", then maybe you should keep those thoughts to yourself.

    Now, I will leave you to it. I am sure you are correct that no company in the world and in the future 200 years will be able to make an MMO if it "has cars in it", and that "a dwarf with an axe" is the only way to go if you put "MMO" on the box. Sounds plausible, and I will leave you to believe that. Not here to fight with you. Bye bye, now.

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

  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662


    I am sure you are correct that no company in the world and in the future 200 years will be able to make an MMO if it "has cars in it", and that "a dwarf with an axe" is the only way to go if you put "MMO" on the box.

    Hmmm...wasn't looking for an argunment with you, either. But when you deliberately ascribe words to me I've never written or ideas I've never expressed, then I have a bit of a problem with that.

    Further, when you deign to speak for every MMO gamer and developer out there, as though your experience fits all, then you are doing exactly that which you accuse me.

    In any case, enjoy whatever game suits you for whatever reason you like it and I'll do the same.

    P.S. I didn't start this thread. (Might help if you read the O.P.)

  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662


    It wasn't the cars or the setting that ruined this game in the end it was the monotonous gameplay.

    Let me state my position again a little more clearly:

    You tried or purchased the game based on the fact that it had some kind of genre-specific appeal to you. Only AFTER playing it, did you realize that the product wasn't "all that."

    My point is that part of the reason why the game failed is that there MAY BE many gamers like myself (now get this) who never even tried the game for the same genre-specific reason you did, vis-a-vis, the whole "car wars" concept!

    It's clear from the very low unit sales compared to other MMO releases out there that AA simply did not have the market appeal other games did at their release. Bad press may account for some of that, bad word of mouth for some, and then there are people - like me - who never even bothered trying the game because the concept simply didn't appeal to them.

    Hope that clarifies my point.

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILMember Posts: 3,159
    What is your point exactly?  No theme is going to appeal to everyone.  How is AA any different than any other game in that respect?

    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.

  • UlfarUlfar New York, LAMember Posts: 75
    Back to the original question is the death of auto assault a good thing for MMO's ? Yes it is in my opinion.

    The main reason being that it shows gamers won't put up with rubbish anymore.

    This game despite claims to the contrary isn't daring or inovative. The only difference it has is your sprite moves quicker.

    For this to be the game I wanted it should have been about driving skill while blowing things up. My car should never ever have been stationary while playing. Instead most of the time I found myself acting like a gun turret for my ground troops while auto attacking.

    The other problems are the game lacked some fundamental features such as

    An auction house, This may have made the stupidly complex crafting system slightly easier.

    A decent crafting system, not more to be said about that.

    Front mount weapons, These were just horrible and a big turnoff.

    More vehicles.

    Better grouping, I like to solo but to not cater to group's well then you are asking for trouble.

    Loot, this was crap pretty much everything was very similar.

    Rant over now, time to lie down.




  • AmarsirAmarsir Jersey City, NJMember UncommonPosts: 703

    I really liked the front-page comments from Blurr and TheAesthete - shame I didn't find this thread a week ago to comment on a more timely basis. Nevertheless, nothing stopping me from weighing in now. How good or bad AA's death is depends on what lessons developers, and to a lesser extent players, take away from it.

    The next time someone pitches a car-based MMO to try to get development money, they're inevitably going to face the question "didn't someone do that? Didn't it fail colossally?" While you and I know that there were deeper issues, that's not so apparent to everyone. It would be all too easy to look at the MMO environment and say "Fantasy sells big, sci-fi does ok, heroes are niche, cars are a flop. Make another Elves & Swords game!" That's bad, because not only does it rule out a genre with potential, but it underestimates what's needed to make a successful game.

    By contrast, I think the flop of DDO (is that premature?) is a good thing. On the surface, fantasy genre and known brand, it should have been huge. This inevitably prompts a deeper look.

    What does the deeper look show? Well lets try to compare AA with everyone's favorite 800 lb gorilla, WoW. (And if my impressions of the two games are incorrect, feel free to correct me.)

    Pacing: WoW is a rather slow-paced game. You spend 10 minutes going to a location, pull one guy, spend a minute or so fighting him, pull the next guy. Afterwards 10 minutes to run back, then half an hour getting trained and setting up an auction, etc. In AA by comparison, I can get from one city to another in a minute, destroying 10 buildings and killing 50 enemies along the way. And that's if I didn't want to rush and take INC. Takeaway = Slow play is good

    Leveling speed: The number I've seen for average time to reach lvl 60 in WoW is 500 hours. Not enough data for a good statistical sample on AA, but I'd say it's a tad shy of that. Takeaway = Nothing learned here

    Endgame Content: WoW = somewhat lacking. AA = Extremely lacking. Of course this is a problem for nearly everyone. Takeaway = You need an endgame, and soon.

    PvP: WoW has flagging by server, then to a lesser extent by zone, then to a lesser extent by action or opt-in. This creates an immersive PvP environment where PvP seems to grow organically, yet doesn't seem forced on players. AA has PvP by selecting an instance of a zone. It's not forced on people but never really positioned to tempt them either. Takeaway = Make PvP opportunities obvious and bait people with them.

    Skill vs Items vs Builds: Though debated, what makes a WoW player powerful seems to be first the items they have, then the build they've chosen, then the subtlety of technique with it. In AA, weapons seem to dominate in PvE but in PvP accuracy is downgraded to require aiming skill. In neither case do build choices seem as crucial. Takeaway = Powerful items make average players feel mighty.

    Build variations: While it's pretty much a given that certain set builds will be considered optimal no matter what (and perhaps not deservingly), it's worth considering the "how can it be done" choices. In WoW, 2 factions, 4 races in each faction, 8 classes among the faction, 3 divergent trees for each class, enough talent points to limit progress up different trees. That's a lot of choices. In AA, 3 races, 4 classes in each race, 3 trees but not mutually exclusive. Builds tend to converge unintentinally, before even looking to guides. Takeaway = Varied builds tempt players

    Crafting: Both WoW and AA have crafting. AA's is more complex, and rarely leads to crafted items being better than found ones. Lack of an auction house means crafting for others isn't easy either. Takeaway = Crafting is good, but it must be simple with obvious benefits

    Teamwork vs solo play: In AA you can get all the way to level 80 solo. In WoW, you can get to level 60 solo, but you miss out on a lot. In both cases, for average play teaming is optional and short-lived (And occaisionally counter-productive.) However, WoW creates situations that make teaming more tempting especially full teams or larger raids. AA requires players make their own opportunities, at best allowing things sooner via teams. Takeaway = Teamwork, especially with large numbers, is a selling point.

    Roles on teams: WoW has variety in characters, and this variety creates roles on teams so players feel needed. AA has some variety in characters, but in terms of play experience teams are made from whoever is available. There's very little "we need a ..." and any player is replaceable with pretty much anyone else. Takeaway = Build players toward team roles

    Instances: Both make use of instances in small amounts but for the most part have a larger shared world. Takeaway = Nothing learned here

    I'm sure I've left out factors, and perhaps mis-evaulated some. And of course the lessons would be different if comparing two other games. But as I see it, a producer looks at the failure of AA and the success of WoW, and tells the next developers:

    "Make a fantasy game with a slow pace. Have fixed roles but options within them, and make teaming necessary for the most powerful gear but optional overall. Gear is very important, so make sure loot has a powerful effect on the game. Crafting needs to be simple but with obvious rewards and an available marketplace. PvP should be avoidable, but make sure it's in players' faces so they're tempted by it. And get them to the top level quick, but come up with something to do after that."

    If that describes the perfect game for you, then the failure of AA (and success of WoW) is a good thing.

    Currently playing:
    DC Universe
    Planetside 2
    Magic Online
    Simunomics, the Massive Multiplayer Economic Simulation Game. Play for free.

  • triketrike Amherst, NHMember Posts: 83
    While you make good points, Amarsir, I think the real comparison anyone should do using WoW is with whatever has similar name recognition.  Star Wars, The Matrix, Dungeons and Dragons, all of them high-profile brand name flops.

    AA failed for its own reasons.  The only other all-vehicle MMO game I can think of offhand is EvE Online, which also has limited appeal but appears to be doing okay with its relatively small subscriber base.

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILMember Posts: 3,159


    Originally posted by Amarsir


    Pacing: WoW is a rather slow-paced game. You spend 10 minutes going to a location, pull one guy, spend a minute or so fighting him, pull the next guy. Afterwards 10 minutes to run back, then half an hour getting trained and setting up an auction, etc. In AA by comparison, I can get from one city to another in a minute, destroying 10 buildings and killing 50 enemies along the way. And that's if I didn't want to rush and take INC. Takeaway = Slow play is good

    I agree with many of your points, and the initial premise that the answer to the question depends on what conclusions are drawn, but I don't think WOW makes a good basis for such direct comparison.  Number one, because the very first step NetDevil did wrong was that they didn't first develop two massively successful series like Warcraft, and Diablo.  That aside...

    It's also a bit of a different genre, as best emphasised by your first point.  AA is supposed to be faster paced.  It's supposed to be different.  Where as WoW is supposed to be a refinement of the existing genre, at almost every point.

    Considering that, I think NetDevil should have better considered who that faster paced vehicular theme would appeal to.  Which target audience they were going for, by doing it that way.  Who would enjoy the violence and mayhem of speeding through a post-apocalyptic world in wheeled death machines.  Those who thought the premise of the game sounded like fun, and would try it.  I highly doubt that would be your average WoW player, so making the game even more like WoW probably wouldn't have saved it.

    Problem, in my estimation, is that they totally failed to target thier audience squarely.  They basically advertised to one group, while making a game for another.  That might not have been such a collossal blunder, if they'd at least better targetted the latter audience instead, but rather, they made a hybrid.  Hybrids tend to be weak all around, and AA is no exception, so even the overlap between those two groups wasn't interested.

    Like I've been saying since my first few weeks in AA's early beta, they were first dropping the ball for not making it more of an adrenaline-addict's action game, but then knocking that ball right out of play, by not making it more like familiar paced RPGs in the genre, either.

    And it's pissed me off more than any other massively multiplayer disappointment to date, because after following this genre since UO first hit the shelves, I thought AA had THE BEST premise for an MMO to ever reach daylight

    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.

  • AmarsirAmarsir Jersey City, NJMember UncommonPosts: 703


    I think the real comparison anyone should do using WoW is with whatever has similar name recognition. Star Wars, The Matrix, Dungeons and Dragons, all of them high-profile brand name flops.
    You're absolutely right. With each of those, there would have been a similar method, different list. And it would be better comparisons too. I only included AA as such a high profile because, well, that's the topic. :)


    Considering that, I think NetDevil should have better considered who that faster paced vehicular theme would appeal to. Which target audience they were going for, by doing it that way. Who would enjoy the violence and mayhem of speeding through a post-apocalyptic world in wheeled death machines. Those who thought the premise of the game sounded like fun, and would try it. I highly doubt that would be your average WoW player, so making the game even more like WoW probably wouldn't have saved it.
    I was thinking last night that the market hasn't properly segmented yet - although it certainly seems most online role-playing games aren't too friendly to role players. (That's another topic.) It's happening slowly, but still it would be really hard to go into a game store and have the clerk say "this MMO is for people who ABC, and this MMO is if you XYZ."

    What I didn't mention in that earlier post is I personally don't like a slow-paced game either. I found SWG, even in the "pre-spoiled" days, to be way too boring. WoW couldn't hold my attention, and I'm sure I wouldn't have liked Everquest. Only CoH has managed to keep me for several renewals worth, and I wanted to like Auto Assault. For me, it failed despite - not because - it's a fast game.

    But I worry that this won't come across. That the next thing to come even close would be a result of evolution on a racing-style game. And I also worry that this may suggest people like me, and yourself, are in the minority and not worth marketing to.

    Currently playing:
    DC Universe
    Planetside 2
    Magic Online
    Simunomics, the Massive Multiplayer Economic Simulation Game. Play for free.

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Sarasota, FLMember RarePosts: 3,186

    Serling, if you want desperately to believe something, that's fine. Just don't expect the rest of us to fall for it. :)



    To return to the original question: I think that if AA fails, it will reinforce with investors to only back the fast food MMOGs ... class-based level-grind MMOGs. It's easy, quick, low-risk, and millions of people will buy into it.

    The GOOD thing though is that with things like Explorations RPG, RealmCrafter, and other products out there, MMOG creation (not necessarily completion ;) ) in within the reach of every Joe Gamer.


  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662


    Serling, if you want desperately to believe something, that's fine. Just don't expect the rest of us to fall for it. :)

    And this would be regarding...?

  • SerlingSerling SE Michigan, MIMember Posts: 662


    No theme is going to appeal to everyone. How is AA any different than any other game in that respect?

    The point is that given the popularity of WoW and other fantasy-based games, the "car wars" theme (apparently) had far less initial appeal than anything else out there.

    If you can't even get people - like me - to try the game, how are you going to sell it?

  • fizzle322fizzle322 Yermomma, NYMember Posts: 723
    Community.

    You drive around holding the button down, killing stuff, levelling up, but when do people come together?

    I played the game for 2 days, didn't group with anybody, just drove around killing stuff. It was boring and pointless, and I stopped logging in.


  • fizzle322fizzle322 Yermomma, NYMember Posts: 723
    And one more thing.

    This game isnt "risky."

    Netdevil did the same thing all the games do. Exp/level grind. Just they did it with cars.

    Whats next, speed boats? snowmobiles?

    They just took the avatar and replaced it with a car.


  • LynxJSALynxJSA Sarasota, FLMember RarePosts: 3,186


    Originally posted by Amarsir

    The next time someone pitches a car-based MMO to try to get development money, they're inevitably going to face the question "didn't someone do that? Didn't it fail colossally?" While you and I know that there were deeper issues, that's not so apparent to everyone. It would be all too easy to look at the MMO environment and say "Fantasy sells big, sci-fi does ok, heroes are niche, cars are a flop. Make another Elves & Swords game!" That's bad, because not only does it rule out a genre with potential, but it underestimates what's needed to make a successful game.

    Very well said, btw
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