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cause they want your monies?...
I can't help but feel this thread is a timely counterpoint to the "OMG let's have more timesinks" thread.
The majority of players agree with jimmy_scythe: they want their time to be well-spent. Excessive timesinks certainly don't accomplish that.
"And here, according to Trout, was the reason human beings could not reject ideas because they were bad...[continue]" -Kurt Vonnegut
Unlike most, I reject bad ideas because they're bad and accept good ideas because they're good, and it doesn't matter who's saying it; only the truth matters.
Originally posted by Loktofeit Originally posted by Meowhead I'll just state a quick example real quick, that most people should be familiar with. Flight paths in WoW. You get on ye olde random flying animal, it flies you to where you're going. Except even in a time waster of 'fast' travel, they waste your time. They meander, wander here and there, spend a lot of time being scenic.
Personally, I'd look forward to going to get some coffee and coming back to see what disasterous mess my pet just flew me into.
That could be an interesting feature, if going AFK meant they were more likely to stray and drop you off at some totally random location where when you come back you'll wonder how you're going to get out of the depths of some creepy skeleton infested ruin... except that's not really what happens. Generally speaking, you go from safe location A to safe location B. You're safe before, you click a key, make your coffee, come back and you're still safe. They could have done a 5 minute fade to black, generally.
Originally posted by Reklaw This would have been a great topic would you actually come up with idea's to lose those massive time sinks you speak of. Myself don't see these massive time sinks you speak of due to how I play MMORPG's and know quite well there is more time to be put into a MMORPG or RPG then your common FPS or Singleplayer game. Shame many people seem to want the action fast and want it now (commonly speaking of course) I feel it's kinda lost and everything needs to be handed fast and quikly cause many people seem to think they are in this time race to cap lvl and then it bothers them that it might take them a little longer. Myself don't really care if I might make cap lvl in 6 months or a year aslong I feel the game is fun to play. I actually find it strange all those speed levelers comming into a genre of RPG may it be MMORPG or just the regular RPG they always seem to have the same complaint which is "it takes to long" I also feel that if a game has a negative towards how I want to play I simply choose not to play it. I also think if people would have done the same this genre would evolve more into virtual world where people understand they do not need to cap lvl asap, but the problem lies not with these games but with the mass demand to make this genre into something else. And for the record and proof is all around us is developers and gamestudio actually listen to the majority, else this genre would have evolved allot different then it did/does.
We just try to beat the level cap as it seems in most of the games the level makes your character better.
I personally would love to have a game where there are no levels but in crafting or resource gathering.
The character development is more into skill purchase with an infinite number of skills and you can only use a combination of lets say 10 or 12 (Something like the fury model).
The class distiction is not required but the way you play it defines your class.
Their are never any healers or tanks but just simple characters who form a team and try an instance.
The other way to reduce time sink will be to make the game not a gringo ride to gather armour sets and stuff and rather you get something and you have infinite levels and ways to make it better.
Recently i was into Forsaken World CB3 where they have tried to reduce the time sink by making quick instances and your joining instances is locked on a per day basis. Something like not more than 5 or 3 times a day.
The above system however makes the above game very controlled. Your character will hardly be making any development but at a pace which is offered to you by the game. The F2p models are a serious menace to this mmo world. Nowadays games are more into who can play and devote their maximum time to it. There are again daily quests as if you have to play the game daily or your chances for development is reduced. Also i saw a new system where you keep your players logged in to gain some XP.
The time sink will stay in an mmo is what I feel.
No longer a casual players genre it is.
" Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't play this or that. That's nonsense. Make up your mind,and you'll never whine or repent about gaming hours anymore, then have a go at every Game. Open up the Internet, join in all the Mmorpgs you can. Go make the Guild. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible. "
Once An Addict Always An Addict .
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe I just don't see endless grinding and tedious OCD gameplay as a win-win situation for developers, publishers or gamers.
The 12 million people running around in the World of Warcraft Skinner Box suggests otherwise.
But Blizzard's formula clearly doesn't work for anyone else though, but other developers haven't quite worked that out yet.
Originally posted by Shoju Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe I just don't see endless grinding and tedious OCD gameplay as a win-win situation for developers, publishers or gamers.
Just because something is effective doesn't mean that it's necessarily beneficial to everyone involved. As someone who works in advertising, I can tell you that there are ways to get a high number of people to buy anything. In fact, the best case scenario is when we get millions of people to buy almost nothing at all (see also Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill).
The problem with Timesinks in MMOs is that they don't benefit anyone in the business chain. Developers are shackled to a design that allows for minimal creative freedom, publishers have their profits cut into by heavy bandwidth usage, and gamers get watered down, boring games. At this point, anyone that offers an alternative will be making a lot of money. The only reason these techniques are used is because it's the way that MMOs have always been done.
Keep in mind that MUDs were originally available on academic servers for free. DIKU itself was prolific specifically because of all the free DIKIMUDs available. When that model was switched to a commercial purpose, things went the wrong way fast.
What some call time-sinks, others call content. An MMO is alot like 1980's arcade games...you can play forever and will never actually beat the game. You simply keep playing until you die. They may change the color of the spaceship you're shooting at, but it's still basically the same thing.
Originally posted by Qazz What some call time-sinks, others call content. An MMO is alot like 1980's arcade games...you can play forever and will never actually beat the game. You simply keep playing until you die. They may change the color of the spaceship you're shooting at, but it's still basically the same thing.
You do beat the game in level cap.
What you say as content is what i say as "mindless repeatative formula".
The game either gets harder the next wave or it ends, no? How many arcade games didn't do one of the two and just played over and over at the same difficulty level?
There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein"Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre
I think we're over-thinking things here. Timesinks exist to help keep players paying for a sub. As someone said, you have to find the sweet spot that retains the largest number of subscribers or the least amount of cost. Real content is expensive, I suspect timesinks aren't.
Gryphon ride is great example, takes you 10 minutes to ride one, I recall 20+ minute rides in DAOC on horse back in the day. These prevented me from reaching the actual content, which I would have consumed upon reaching my goal.
The more they can deflect me from the mainline content, in the form of crafting, traveling, or just screwing around moving stuff in my inventory, the longer I'm going to play. (unless of course they piss me off enough to quit)
Lineage 2 was a classic game. In order to master the game, you not only had to struggle through a very slow leveling curve, but travel was slow and instant travel mechanisms (which did exist) were very expensive to use. So we ran pretty much everywhere.
Wait, L2 had pets to speed up combat. Wait, pets had to be leveled up, and you split the experience per kill with your pet, effectively making you level 2 characters at the same time, keeping you in the game longer.
Well, to be competitive, you had to have the correct gear. The economy was designed (or borked) so that you coudn't come anywhere close to earning enough adena from drops, you had to gather or craft to make enough to fund your gear. Ah, but wait, gathering and crafting was restricted only to a couple of classes, so you had to actually level up a crafting character to keep your main character properly outfitted. (or just go buy adena from gold sellers)
I played L2 for about 6 months fairly regularly, and I had a level 52 (out 70) Silver ranger and a lower level (35 or so) Knight.
At that time I'd go out and level up with friends and at our best we'd get....10% exp a night (assuming we didn't die and lose some). I did some math and estimated it would take me about 1.5 years to reach level 70 (and they bumped that up to 74) to reach the end game Castle combat which is what I was really interested in.
That's right, they pissed me off and I went and played WOW for the next 18 months.
But some folks stuck with it.... and loved the game (or they botted through the grind)
So in the end I'd say economics more than anything else is the determining factor.
But as MMORPG players, we do sort of expect some level of grind, in fact, that's been true with even single player RPG's since they first started. There was another form of single player game that didn't have the grinding nature of RPG's, they were called Adventure games and died out pretty quickly.
Face it, many players like the grind, come to expect it and most importantly of all, are willing to pay for it.
Until we all walk away in disgust don't expect that to change.
BTW, I'm currently playing Starcraft II and one complaint I have on the campaigns is they're too short, they don't let me "grind' enough to build up my army for a big battle.
"Winning" at EVE Online since May, 2007!
In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™ "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon
Originally posted by SwampRob I'm in agreement with the OP in that such time sinks truly suck. I'm not saying everything need be instantaneous, but there's a limit. An example: I once made a post about Wow complaining that some griffon rides took about ten full minutes. That's ten minutes of staring at the screen, unable to do anything with your character other that look at him. And some posters actually defended this saying the game was doing me a favor by giving me a short break in which to make a sandwich or something. WTH? Like I need a game to tell me when I should snack, or go to the bathroom? The game is doing me a favor by not letting me play my character? I've little tolerance for time sinks like this. I understand why they exist, and that is to solely benefit the developer. Such time sinks, in no way, are there to help the player. All I can do is vote with my wallet. Any game that does this to excess doesn't keep me as a customer very long.
Now, consider how many calcified old MMOers out there actually believe the griffon ride is a luxury and players should be forced to hoof it across the landscape, just like they did way back when.
Like Mother Theresa, some gamers see a kind of divinity in misery. The more painful a game is to play, the more they can pat themselves on the back for enduring it when others (the weak of will and the sufferers of ADHD) turf that grindy PoS in favor of something more fun and interesting.
Originally posted by jpnole To keep you subbed longer. Like many have said before, mmos are a human "Skinner Box". Our brains can't resist once hooked.
Maybe yours can't :P
I think time sinks are the very reason games make LESS money than expected. Purposeful timesinks, I might add. Timesinks put in solely to waste time, or to extend game life. The time sinks which results as a BYPRODUCT of a core feature make money, because they produce fun.
Exploration and interesting travel *just happens* to bring in time sinks. Take out the time sink, and you lose the exploration and travel as well. But adding in more time sinks to exploration and travel just bogs it down.
This is where the difference is. A fun, interesting, challenging feature is beneficial for the game both in quality and currency. If it brings in time sinks, those time sinks aren't likely to be boring because the feature is fun. No problem there, and those time sinks will bring in players. Time sinks added in AFTER the feature, not BECAUSE of the feature are boring, dull, draining, and will result in boredom and loss of players. Some developers purposefully put in a time sink for the sole purpose of extending gameplay to extend money. Some developers coincidentally put in a time sink because it happens because of the feature. Adjusting the created time sink to give players more time to play and less time to waste needs to be planned carefully, as in SOME cases taking away the time sink does nothing negative, while in OTHER cases taking it away destroys the feature entirely.
Honestly, the biggest reason I am making a MMORPG is not for the money, which IMO is epic fail for the gaming genre itself. (When money influences a venue, it will lower in quality and become tainted and corrupted at its core. Quality of the game will be tossed aside to make way for Quantity of players. A bad move for gaming). The reason I started Emergence is to make a fun game, which provides challenge without time sinks. Time sinks are there because developers are...IMO...brainless and talentless unoriginal copy-machines. Everquest had time sinks, and everyone just copies off of that model. Why? Because they think that makes for a better game, or more money. Because they are too dull minded or fearful to step outside of that Everquest box.
The makers of Everquest were not intending to make time sinks. Not at all! Time sinks were an accident, a byproduct of the epic video game they made. These talented developers, whose combined minds? (I assume it wasn't just one person) created the Everquest development team were geniuses in their time. They were entirely original, and stepped out into dangerous territory despite all opposition at the time. "You want to make a massively multiplayer WHAT? LOL, you're crazy! That will never make money, and won't be fun! People won't be able to log in from AOL!" The makers of Ultima Online were geniuses as well. PK's and the trammel issue were merely accidental byproducts of an open world. I guarantee the developers didn't think "Let's add in frustrating gameplay, time sinks, item decay, and make sure being a PK is easy and frustrating to new players!" Absolutely not! I'm sure they thought "Let's make an open world where you can do ANYTHING!"
The games have since become outdated, but NOT the core of the games in relation to their time, which were the mindsets of the talented developers. To remake Everquest 1 for 2011, you'd need to get add more than take away. Adding in teleportation or taking out corpse runs wouldn't make the game better. Adding in more abilities to the dull classes (such as Warrior) or new concepts to handle time sinks without harming the original features would be much better. It wasn't the time sinks, but the originality. It wasn't the grinding, but the thrill and excitement. These were huge worlds, amazing worlds, full of life and societies. Time sinks were unintended. Yet the future MMO's would purposefully include time sinks, not learning from the "mistakes" which resulted from the very first MMORPG's. Dark Age of Camelot learned a lot, as did a few games afterwards-- until WoW hit the shelves disguising itself as a game without time sinks, although it had plenty. Ever since then, people believe time sinks are what brings in revenue. I'd entirely disagree. Yet ever since the WoW era, there has been "improvement" in the opposite direction. Rather than DAoC's approach of taking the same core and adding in better features (Such as Combat Styles for Warriors) and inventing original features (3 Realm PvP) modern MMO's decide to diminish time sinks, along with gameplay. Eventually people will be playing XBOX versions of MMORPG's, dumbed down where even a child can become extremely competant. And I don't mean a teenager. I mean a child.
Developers need to stop with the time sinks- focusing on them via addition or subtraction. Instead, they need to just create features and gameplay-- and that's that.
If being a developer means being quiet, mature, well-spoken, and disconnected from the community, then by all means do me a favor and believe I'm not one.
Originally posted by Kyleran I think we're over-thinking things here. Timesinks exist to help keep players paying for a sub. As someone said, you have to find the sweet spot that retains the largest number of subscribers or the least amount of cost. Real content is expensive, I suspect timesinks aren't.
You have to?
No, you don't.
I think the problem with a lot of MMO's is that they try to get the largest number of subscribers. They create a game and say, "I hope everyone likes it." and when most people do, it's all well and good! Then when subscriptions begin to fall, they wonder "Why didn't we retain them?"
The reason isn't because of buggy releases or unfinished content. The reason is because players don't want to play a game that is so watered down. Think of it like kool-aid. Some people want...
So the developers take all 3 and mix it together. People think the others are gross, "Eww, I hate Grape! I don't mind the Berry." So they add more and more water to dillute it so you taste less and less grape, to satisfy those who won't drink it if it has grape. Yet you "Have" to have grape? I don't think so.
Now the Grape lovers say "I don't even taste grape." the Cherry lovers say "Where is the cherry?" and the fanboys and teens have all left out of 1 month boredom. Retention failed, and the game is dying. There is barely any Kool-Aid left in the pitcher, so the people in one zone find it empty as the world is too big for the now low population, and there are too many servers. Now the developers are left saying,
"Well that's okay, because we built a really big pitcher."
Failing to realize no one wants to play a game that feels lifeless because the world is too big. (Vanguard)
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe Originally posted by Shoju Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe I just don't see endless grinding and tedious OCD gameplay as a win-win situation for developers, publishers or gamers.
Just because something is effective doesn't mean that it's necessarily beneficial to everyone involved.
But it is. Activision-Blizzard reap the beneifts of billions of dollars of income. And WOW players reap the benefit of getting their 'fix' and are happy to continue throwing their money at Blizzard to keep it going. The only people that don't benefit from it are Blizzard's competitors.
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe At this point, anyone that offers an alternative will be making a lot of money.
And what makes you think that the majority of gamers really want an 'alternative'? Sure we might see on these forums complaints about lack of innovation/change, but any time a developer tries to do anyhting outside-the-box they are shot down by people throwing around claims of grind/unintuitive/WOW-clone/not-like-WOW/[insert-buzz-word-of-the-week-here]. People that want an alternative are clearly in the minority, and I doubt that we will see that change any time soon.
I may not like the current state of the MMO industry, but I also accept that it isn't going to change any time soon. Developers still have too many WOW-inspired $$ signs floating around in their heads.
Originally posted by SuperXero89 Originally posted by Maar Originally posted by SuperXero89 You can have and we actually do have MMORPGs that have a relatively minor grind involved, but there has to be some sort of a grind in order to keep people paying those monthly fees.
say's the herd ..........
Take away the leveling give us content , give gm's tools to create exiting events instead of dedicating 1,000's of hours development and Gm monitoring to leveling .
Its the future .
Dynamic content that changes constantly , instead of exp goals and time sink levels .
Once you actually figure out how to implement something like that in such a way that investors are confident in your ideas, you can dream up ideas all day long, but you haven't put forth one single actionable solution to the issue.
I'm just a player ....... you want me to invent a mmo ? , Ridiculous comeback tbh ......
But why do you think there needs to be a grind ? , your stuck in the shoe box like almost every mmo developer out there unable to see or think outside of the tiny space people like blizzard have stuffed you in .
Whichever MMO you play the GM's and DEV team are devoting a large % of there time balancing tweaking and revising the leveling process constantly . The brains behind EVERY mmo is being more or less wasted on this ......
Anyone old or geeky enough to have played pen and paper RPGS may still be able to remember what a Games Master was realy for . Most of the WOW generation MMO gamers would likley give you a totaly different Interpretation .
In most MMO'S Games Masters have become slaves/police to the leveling process , controling macros/ exploits players will exploit to gain levels faster , or controling/fixing bugs and dupes indirecly linked to the leveling process .
We need a step back to get some godamn roleplay in our roleplaying games , A Games Master should be just this someone who encourages and adapts the game to the players to have fun .
Originally posted by Maar Originally posted by SuperXero89 Originally posted by Maar Originally posted by SuperXero89 You can have and we actually do have MMORPGs that have a relatively minor grind involved, but there has to be some sort of a grind in order to keep people paying those monthly fees.
But why do you think there needs to be a grind ? , your stuck in the shoe box like almost every mmo developer out there unable to see or think outside of the tiny space people like blizzard have stuffed you in . Whichever MMO you play the GM's and DEV team are devoting a large % of there time balancing tweaking and revising the leveling process constantly . The brains behind EVERY mmo is being more or less wasted on this ......Anyone old or geeky enough to have played pen and paper RPGS may still be able to remember what a Games Master was realy for . Most of the WOW generation MMO gamers would likley give you a totaly different Interpretation .In most MMO'S Games Masters have become slaves/police to the leveling process , controling macros/ exploits players will exploit to gain levels faster , or controling/fixing bugs and dupes indirecly linked to the leveling process . We need a step back to get some godamn roleplay in our roleplaying games , A Games Master should be just this someone who encourages and adapts the game to the players to have fun .
I'm just saying it's easy to spout off ideas, but unless you include ways of implementing those ideas into actual game design, you can't say they'll work.
Even so, can you "totally" eliminate the grind? How many games "don't" have a grind?
Originally posted by Shoju And what makes you think that the majority of gamers really want an 'alternative'?
The fact that the majority of gamers are playing genres other than MMORPGs. Grand Theft Auto 3 alone sole more copies than the total number of World of Warcraft accounts. If you were to combine The top two games of just about any other genre and compare them to the subscription numbers of the top two MMORPGs, you would find out just how small the MMORPG market really is.
And why is the market small? Because it clings to designs that turn the majority of gamers off. And it isn't just action and console gamers either. By the end of the year, Starcraft 2 is expected to sell over 7 million units. The first sims game sold 16 million copies with the sequels doing equally well. The Pokemon series, argueably a RPG series, has sold 155 million units over the years.
And look at the upcoming games that are getting the most buzz. Planetside Next, Firefall, that zombie game from Undead Labs, End of Nations.... The MMORPG market is saturated and dominated by WoW and the market for that kind of gameplay is limited. Developers are striking out in new directions where there is some actual money to be made.
Originally posted by SuperXero89 Originally posted by Maar Originally posted by SuperXero89 Originally posted by Maar Originally posted by SuperXero89 You can have and we actually do have MMORPGs that have a relatively minor grind involved, but there has to be some sort of a grind in order to keep people paying those monthly fees.
It's not his job as a player to get the idea to work. It's his job to do exactly as he is doing. You can't expect anything else, as that would be ridiculous.
Find an actual MMO developer, such as myself, and attack them instead, or ask how they might tackle the situation instead.
You cannot demand a player to become a developer or to discuss ideas that a player doesn't want to or need to think about.
time sinks are there because they get lazy in having no idea about how to make a continually intriguing game. at least this way they can somewhat fix their earnings if they can't encourage you to play for the game itself--they'll try to trap you in it instead.
Originally posted by justamemory time sinks are there because they get lazy in having no idea about how to make a continually intriguing game. at least this way they can somewhat fix their earnings if they can't encourage you to play for the game itself--they'll try to trap you in it instead.
great way to sum up what I wanted to say in only two sentences.
I admire you, lol, it took me forever just to say THAT!
Originally posted by Emergence Originally posted by justamemory time sinks are there because they get lazy in having no idea about how to make a continually intriguing game. at least this way they can somewhat fix their earnings if they can't encourage you to play for the game itself--they'll try to trap you in it instead.
I'm not sure it's lazy to fail to create a "continually intriguing game".
Scientists are lazy for failing to create an excess supply of environmentally friendly energy, right? It's super easy but they're being lazy...right?
And most entertainers could choose to highly entertain us forever, but they choose to be lazy instead. They choose to put out lackluster second albums (or second TV seasons, or sequels.) They're just being lazy, right?
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe It doesn't really make any sense. I realize that F2P games use the grind as 'stick' in order to get players to buy stuff from the cash shop, but aren't there more immediate ways that you can "encourage" your player base to buy that crap. If the goal is to get people to pay for junk, time seems like a horrible way to do it since there will always be people that are willing to waste their lives rather than pay for anything. The same question applies to subscription games. When your players spend huge amounts of time playing your game, the bandwidth costs eat up your revenue. The less time people play per session, the more money you make because you aren't spending as much on bandwidth. Rather than demanding players sit on their asses for 20+ hours a week, why not just use that sub money for monthly content expansions. You could still do one major box expansion every year just to get a spike in returning players. I just don't see endless grinding and tedious OCD gameplay as a win-win situation for developers, publishers or gamers. There are more effective ways to keep people paying those subs and buying those items.
To keep you playing as long as possible.
My addiction History:>> EQ1 2000-2004 - Shaman/Bard/Wizard/Monk - nolife raid-whore>> WoW 2004-2009 + Cataclysm for 2 months - hardcore casual>> Current status : done with MMO, too old for that crap.
Some are not that massive of time sinks as others.
It's good to have big time sinks for those that would use them, so long as there are lighter sinks for everyone else.
i like the timesinks. It gives a true feeling of progression and in a way avoids games from being too top heavy. If everyone can power to max level in a week, those who want to sit back and actually read the quest lines and enjoy the game are there to do it alone.