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Forgotten features of a golden era: long travels

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  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    You have to ask yourself: If the game needs/has shortcut for autorun, is travelling really that interesting?

    Same thing with people using bots: If an activity, be that grinding mobs or gathering materials, is so easy that a bot can do it, why should you do it?

    All these menial and trivial tasks should be automatic, skippable or voluntary. They are not proper gameplay!

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,747Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by MindTrigger

    It sounds nothing like standard questing.  I'm talking about a more interesting world capable of generating dynamic content. Quests are static events that you are sent to, and even given a marker on your map so you go straight to it, and then on to the next one.

    Rift's rift system was sort of a start, but Guild Wars 2 will have something a bit more interesting where you will run across dynamic quests and events in the game while you are randomly adventuring. In other words, you are rewarded with unique content just for being out in the game world.  Even just the act of making the game world more interesting with explorable points of interest, interesting and diverse mobs, surprises, puzzles and other things would be more interesting than what we have now in themeparks.  The land in these games is just made to be a nice backdrop for your questing area, when it could be a lot more.  No one wants to long travel because there is absolutely no reason to.

    If you have events A->Z, and system 1 randomly gives you an event while traveling (D,S,U) but system 2 gives you the events in order (A,B,C), both systems are functionally giving you a constant stream of new experiences -- which is what players care about most of all.

    So if we're talking about dynamic events during travel, it's really not that much different to players from typical quest gameplay until they start repeating content (re-rolling an alt.)

    Meanwhile the dynamic system is more expensive.  So realistically to implement dynamic events you're going to have to budget extra dev time implementing the system.  So instead of events A-Z you will probably only afford to make 50-75% as many events, depending on how robust you make your event system.  So in actual practice, the dynamic system provides less variety in terms of distinct events.

    I mean I'd concede that players can definitely tell the difference between a dynamic new experience and a static new experience, but the benefits gained (from the experience feeling more genuine) don't seem to outweigh the cost.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • MetentsoMetentso BarcelonaPosts: 1,436Member Common

    In EQ we had boats, and it took a lot of time to travel to distant places, where you might need to take 4 differnt boats. At some point, boats just stopped working. Their paths where all screwed, crossing the land and causing you to disconnectet.  The developers added gnomes at the docks that would teleport you to the boat destination. I thought it was a temporary measure until they fixed the boats, but no, it's was the end of an era.

  • BladestromBladestrom edinburghPosts: 4,946Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Quirhid

    You have to ask yourself: If the game needs/has shortcut for autorun, is travelling really that interesting?

    Same thing with people using bots: If an activity, be that grinding mobs or gathering materials, is so easy that a bot can do it, why should you do it?

    All these menial and trivial tasks should be automatic, skippable or voluntary. They are not proper gameplay!

    if its not interesting, why not remove the virtual world all together? Or maybe the virtual world is not interesting, which is actually the root issue - make the virtual world interesting or not have it at all?

    rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW > oblivion > LOTR > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(1000 elementalist), Wildstar

    Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO, LOTR, Elite D

  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member

    Making an mmorpg work like skyrim is impossible. Skyrim only has to account for one autonomous individual. For one thing scaling content isn't realistic. You want immersion but encounters have to spring out of thin air? Creating a natural environment is impossible when it can't respond to the uneven influx of players. And since you can't control the creatures behavior based on the number of players trying to scale the numebr of creatures just raises the difficulty level for individuals.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,460Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Quirhid

    You have to ask yourself: If the game needs/has shortcut for autorun, is travelling really that interesting?

    Same thing with people using bots: If an activity, be that grinding mobs or gathering materials, is so easy that a bot can do it, why should you do it?

    All these menial and trivial tasks should be automatic, skippable or voluntary. They are not proper gameplay!

    Second part is pretty true, first part, not at all.

    It's not good for the hands to constantly be putting a stagnant type of pressure on them over long periods of time. Auto-run allows you to drive but it takes away some of that uncomfortable feeling you get constantly putting pressure on the forward button.

    I love long travel times. Love them. But I still use auto-run as my  hands get uncomfortable after a while.

    Again, this thread shows that not every game is for every person. I'm pretty sure that someone could make a game with long travel times and slow leveling among other things and there would be a market for it. A niche market but there is a market.

  • Shoko_LiedShoko_Lied -, WAPosts: 2,080Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by warmaster670

    Lol, long travel times, a feature?

     

    Really? no wonder these people hate anything new, there probably still using rotary telephones and typewriters , thyey had some really nice "features"

    Some people play mmorpg's to adventure, and others play them to quick travel all the time. Deal with it. The time it took to travel in older mmorpg's made discovery more rewarding to many, just as OP said.

    This is the difference between experiencing a virtual world, and playing a game.

  • BrenelaelBrenelael Warren, MEPosts: 3,996Member

    Originally posted by warmaster670

    Lol, long travel times, a feature?

     

    Really? no wonder these people hate anything new, there probably still using rotary telephones and typewriters , thyey had some really nice "features"

    I know right... and what a dumb story the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy was when Gandolf could have just teleported them to Mt. Doom right from the Shire! I mean really! image

     

    Bren

    while(horse==dead)
    {
    beat();
    }

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Brenelael

    Originally posted by warmaster670

    Lol, long travel times, a feature?

     

    Really? no wonder these people hate anything new, there probably still using rotary telephones and typewriters , thyey had some really nice "features"

    I know right... and what a dumb story the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy was when Gandolf could have just teleported them to Mt. Doom right from the Shire! I mean really! image

     

    Bren

    Actually, Lord of the Rings is a great example, as the fast travel mechanic most often used in MMOs is that one can only fast travel to a place if they have visited it at least once, much like in Lord of the Rings where they trekked all the way there and then rode birds back to the starter town.

    Lord of the Rings is also another great example as it is a reminder that you need content throughout the trip that is engaging or interesting.

    If Lord of the Rings was written the way the old school MMO flagellates want MMOs designed there would be seven hundred pages of  "and then they were walking... and walking... and walking... and walking... and walking..."

     

     

    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

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    You want long travel times you should play TOR.

    Sheesh.

    It's murder before 14 when you get sprint, then at 25 when you get mounts the worlds you go to are fucking massive.

    One town in the tiny corner of Tatooine is bigger then whole WoW zones.

     

    Love the game, but honestly it's almost too big.

    Still, got the wide open wasteland feel of Tatooine just right...

  • XzenXzen Los Alamos, NMPosts: 2,607Member Common

    I used to like the Lord of the Rings trilogy... Then I watched Clerks 2 and Randal ruined it for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxAEo3CWeq8

  • VryheidVryheid Baltimore, MDPosts: 469Member


    Originally posted by Cuathon
    Making an mmorpg work like skyrim is impossible. Skyrim only has to account for one autonomous individual. For one thing scaling content isn't realistic. You want immersion but encounters have to spring out of thin air? Creating a natural environment is impossible when it can't respond to the uneven influx of players. And since you can't control the creatures behavior based on the number of players trying to scale the numebr of creatures just raises the difficulty level for individuals.

    Nobody said that an MMO should work like Skyrim. What we're saying is that MMO environments should have the same design philosophy as a game like Skyrim, which in my opinion is entirely possible regardless of the number of players. If you can have as much fun adventuring from point A to point B as the actual quests you do when you arrive, you've found a game that has enough interesting environmental content to render fast travel unnecessary.

    There has yet to be any MMO even close to fitting this category.

  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member

    Originally posted by Vryheid

     




    Originally posted by Cuathon

    Making an mmorpg work like skyrim is impossible. Skyrim only has to account for one autonomous individual. For one thing scaling content isn't realistic. You want immersion but encounters have to spring out of thin air? Creating a natural environment is impossible when it can't respond to the uneven influx of players. And since you can't control the creatures behavior based on the number of players trying to scale the numebr of creatures just raises the difficulty level for individuals.




    Nobody said that an MMO should work like Skyrim. What we're saying is that MMO environments should have the same design philosophy as a game like Skyrim, which in my opinion is entirely possible regardless of the number of players. If you can have as much fun adventuring from point A to point B as the actual quests you do when you arrive, you've found a game that has enough interesting environmental content to render fast travel unnecessary.

    There has yet to be any MMO even close to fitting this category.

    You missed the point. You can't set up events in an mmo like you can in Skyrim. It only works with one player. Unless you conjure creatures up as triggered events for an individual player id, in which case you lose the whole immersion thing.

    Actually I do have a way to do it in line with flavor, but most games don't have that particular flavor system.

  • NajwalaylahNajwalaylah I fell asleep in the Desert, CAPosts: 85Member Uncommon

    Not that I said the roads would be overflowing with action every ten feet, but why would any player "need" a road to be a mundane travel lane?  This is why no one wants to do it in the first place. I'm not talking about smothering roads with dangers, I'm talking about making the areas long the roads much more interesting so you want to get off the road and go do things.

    I take it you don't do much hiking or adventuring in real life either.  Roads and trails are not just on-rails lanes that you use to get from point A to point B.  

    On-rails lanes that one uses only to get from Point A to Point B sound like elevated freeways through either slums or gated suburban wastelands. Possibly the average game designer and average game player alike are necessarily more familiar with that model from Real Life.

    I personally enjoyed the brief-seeming period of EverQuest wherein others were often willing to hire my wizardess to take them somewhere and maybe back again, avoiding the built-in dangers and perhaps tedium of travel by other means by seeking out another player and her avatar's abilities. But even then, some howled about being "forced" to interact with others in an MMORPG.

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  • VahraneVahrane Alpharetta, GAPosts: 375Member

    Originally posted by Dibdabs

    Originally posted by Metentso



    So if you were an Elf, an travelled to the human cities, you draw the attention of everybody, since it was strange for an Elf to travel from such a long distance. You were special and you had a tale to tell and people interested in it.

    Nothing "special" about it when hundreds of other Elf, Dwarf and Halfling characters had also made the trip that week.  In EQ, an Elf, Dwarf or Halfling in somewhere like Freeport didn't merit a second glance.  Ditto with the "Evil" races travelling to each others home cities.  I think you're getting a bit carried away with the nostalgia!  I considered lengthy travel a personal achievement, especially if I was low level and it was a tough trip, but in reality nobody else thought it that much of a big deal.  Why would they?  I certainly didn't consider I had a tale to tell.  :D

               I ran a fairly low level troll through to Greater Faydark, all the way to Crushbone, and I can tell most assuredly that I was the only one many people had seen around. Guards roamed the woods all over and it was risky just taking the time to talk to people. It certainly felt like I had more of a tale to tell regarding my trip there than basically any other mmorpg has given me so far. This was original era EQ, of course, when leveling was very very slow coupled with being many peoples first mmo. 

  • VryheidVryheid Baltimore, MDPosts: 469Member


    Originally posted by Cuathon

    Originally posted by Vryheid
     


    Originally posted by Cuathon
    Making an mmorpg work like skyrim is impossible. Skyrim only has to account for one autonomous individual. For one thing scaling content isn't realistic. You want immersion but encounters have to spring out of thin air? Creating a natural environment is impossible when it can't respond to the uneven influx of players. And since you can't control the creatures behavior based on the number of players trying to scale the numebr of creatures just raises the difficulty level for individuals.

    Nobody said that an MMO should work like Skyrim. What we're saying is that MMO environments should have the same design philosophy as a game like Skyrim, which in my opinion is entirely possible regardless of the number of players. If you can have as much fun adventuring from point A to point B as the actual quests you do when you arrive, you've found a game that has enough interesting environmental content to render fast travel unnecessary.
    There has yet to be any MMO even close to fitting this category.


    You missed the point. You can't set up events in an mmo like you can in Skyrim. It only works with one player. Unless you conjure creatures up as triggered events for an individual player id, in which case you lose the whole immersion thing.
    Actually I do have a way to do it in line with flavor, but most games don't have that particular flavor system.

    Nobody with a brain think's that it's possible to exactly imitate a single player RPG in MMO format. This isn't some profound observation you're giving here. Nobody even suggested that developers try to copy the event format of Skyrim, so I don't know why you bring this up.

    What annoys me is that you're using this as a strawman to attack an unrelated but widely supported argument for the future of MMOs simply because they both admire Skyrim's design philosophy. The fact is that most MMO travel environments are shallow as hell, and simply saying that players should have fun talking to strangers while traveling across barren environments is not a reason to get rid of fast travel.

  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member

    Originally posted by Vryheid

     




    Originally posted by Cuathon





    Originally posted by Vryheid

     








    Originally posted by Cuathon

    Making an mmorpg work like skyrim is impossible. Skyrim only has to account for one autonomous individual. For one thing scaling content isn't realistic. You want immersion but encounters have to spring out of thin air? Creating a natural environment is impossible when it can't respond to the uneven influx of players. And since you can't control the creatures behavior based on the number of players trying to scale the numebr of creatures just raises the difficulty level for individuals.








    Nobody said that an MMO should work like Skyrim. What we're saying is that MMO environments should have the same design philosophy as a game like Skyrim, which in my opinion is entirely possible regardless of the number of players. If you can have as much fun adventuring from point A to point B as the actual quests you do when you arrive, you've found a game that has enough interesting environmental content to render fast travel unnecessary.

    There has yet to be any MMO even close to fitting this category.






    You missed the point. You can't set up events in an mmo like you can in Skyrim. It only works with one player. Unless you conjure creatures up as triggered events for an individual player id, in which case you lose the whole immersion thing.

    Actually I do have a way to do it in line with flavor, but most games don't have that particular flavor system.




    Nobody with a brain think's that it's possible to exactly imitate a single player RPG in MMO format. This isn't some profound observation you're giving here. Nobody even suggested that developers try to copy the event format of Skyrim, so I don't know why you bring this up.

    What annoys me is that you're using this as a strawman to attack an unrelated but widely supported argument for the future of MMOs simply because they both admire Skyrim's design philosophy. The fact is that most MMO travel environments are shallow as hell, and simply saying that players should have fun talking to strangers while traveling across barren environments is not a reason to get rid of fast travel.

    I am not using a strawman. Get bent. The system used in Skyrim is not feasible in an MMO. So someone needs to develop a system that is. But although the result of Skyrim's system is great, its implementation is not useful for an MMO.

    I have traveled in games plenty and I like long travel times. In fact I am fine with fast travel as long as people are willing to pay a price. I would prefer if people were motivated to travel slow but in some cases it would be reasonable to travel quickly. I prefer systems not constrained by class, but I don't care if every player can fast travel. Exploring the world should be incentivized enough that people choose to do it even with the option of fast travel available. There are a lot of ways to make this work. The question is whether there is a financial incentive to do so for developers. If players are willing to sacrifice money and time spent on graphics you may be able to do it, but players generally want perfect graphics and hard to produce gameplay.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,747Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Cuathon

    Making an mmorpg work like skyrim is impossible. Skyrim only has to account for one autonomous individual. For one thing scaling content isn't realistic. You want immersion but encounters have to spring out of thin air? Creating a natural environment is impossible when it can't respond to the uneven influx of players. And since you can't control the creatures behavior based on the number of players trying to scale the numebr of creatures just raises the difficulty level for individuals.

    At least in terms of travel you can make it work like Skyrim.  SWTOR's fast travel options are extremely similar.  You can't always fast travel on demand (30 min cd) and you can't do it instantly (6 sec activation) but it's still really close.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member

    but in terms of the content of slow travel it can't really be the same.

  • viletotoviletoto nowheresville, ORPosts: 22Member

    lol, i have been walking....yes WALKING quite a lot while playing SWTOR.  its kind of funny seeing everyone else run run run everywhere.  they look at me like I must be an NPC :)  don't think I have seen another soul walking in that game..guess what, there is a walk/run toggle :)  I feel like there is enough scenery to look at as i travel to warrent walking in this game and it adds to that "long travel time"  feel.

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Lexin

    People are lazy and they want everything within a month. Do I really need to say anything else?

    More like people have jobs and familiies and actual ~lives~ these days and don't want to waste it doing mind-numbingly boring things like walking half an hour just to get to a spot where you grind mobs for hours for a percentage of your level bar. I understand there are lot of kids playing games that have nothing better to do with their lives (well, they do, but they won't) but the larger majority of the MMO audience realize that in the end, it's just a game. And if you spend more of it preparing to play, rather than getting to actually play it, it stops being a fun passtime and just becomes a waste of time.

    A lot of people are failing to take into account the repetitiveness of an MMO. No world, no matter how lush and vibrant and well-made, is going to be interesting enough to explore hundreds of times unless it actually changes along the way. The MMO world doesn't have a way to do that now. So yes, while it's fun getting lost the first few times, evetually you've explored all the world that's been created, you can't get lost anymore, and you've explored all there is.

    Now, travel is just a boring void of time spent with Numlock (or whatever the auto-run button in your game is) on while you alt-tab to set up your music playlist or talk to people on Vent. Yes, most of us want to be able to skip that part, and that's why those options are now available. No one is forcing you to use them, so if you want to take the long road by all means, go for it. But the only reason you have to ask for that feature to be forced on people is because you don't want to do it by yourself, but you know no one else wants to. So essentially, you're asking that devs force everyone else to do something they despise just because you enjoy it. Put that into perspective, for you?

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  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member

    Originally posted by gaeanprayer

    Originally posted by Lexin

    People are lazy and they want everything within a month. Do I really need to say anything else?

    More like people have jobs and familiies and actual ~lives~ these days and don't want to waste it doing mind-numbingly boring things like walking half an hour just to get to a spot where you grind mobs for hours for a percentage of your level bar. I understand there are lot of kids playing games that have nothing better to do with their lives (well, they do, but they won't) but the larger majority of the MMO audience realize that in the end, it's just a game. And if you spend more of it preparing to play, rather than getting to actually play it, it stops being a fun passtime and just becomes a waste of time.

    A lot of people are failing to take into account the repetitiveness of an MMO. No world, no matter how lush and vibrant and well-made, is going to be interesting enough to explore hundreds of times unless it actually changes along the way. The MMO world doesn't have a way to do that now. So yes, while it's fun getting lost the first few times, evetually you've explored all the world that's been created, you can't get lost anymore, and you've explored all there is.

    Now, travel is just a boring void of time spent with Numlock (or whatever the auto-run button in your game is) on while you alt-tab to set up your music playlist or talk to people on Vent. Yes, most of us want to be able to skip that part, and that's why those options are now available. No one is forcing you to use them, so if you want to take the long road by all means, go for it. But the only reason you have to ask for that feature to be forced on people is because you don't want to do it by yourself, but you know no one else wants to. So essentially, you're asking that devs force everyone else to do something they despise just because you enjoy it. Put that into perspective, for you?

    I have developed a dynamic conent system that makes long travel part of the gameplay. Of course the thing is implemented in a text based mmo because of time, money, and possibly technical limitations, but we will see if it moves to 2d/iso or something. Making the world change is pretty hard though.

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member

    Originally posted by Axehilt

    Originally posted by Cuathon

    Making an mmorpg work like skyrim is impossible. Skyrim only has to account for one autonomous individual. For one thing scaling content isn't realistic. You want immersion but encounters have to spring out of thin air? Creating a natural environment is impossible when it can't respond to the uneven influx of players. And since you can't control the creatures behavior based on the number of players trying to scale the numebr of creatures just raises the difficulty level for individuals.

    At least in terms of travel you can make it work like Skyrim.  SWTOR's fast travel options are extremely similar.  You can't always fast travel on demand (30 min cd) and you can't do it instantly (6 sec activation) but it's still really close.

    Skyrim was used as a loose example of a more live world anyway.  The point is that even in an MMO, a lot can be done in the world design that would make adventuring and exploring while traveling much more exciting.  I listed a bunch of things several posts back that are not specific to single player RPG games like Skyrim.  It wasn;t about converting Skrim as is to an MMO.  It's about learning some lessons from it and applying them to MMOs.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by MindTrigger

    Skyrim was used as a loose example of a more live world anyway.  The point is that even in an MMO, a lot can be done in the world design that would make adventuring and exploring while traveling much more exciting. 

    For that to work, one would have to get rid of level disparity, especially if players need to be grouped to complete tasks or fight certain mobs. Without a significant shift to another progression system that is more tolerant of solo endeavors and unlike levels in groups, all that adventuring and exploring content would just be a nuisance for the majority of players as their goal is to reach their destination without impediment. The diesng you suggest works in games like Skyrim because it doesn't make a difference to the player if they level or not. In the majority of level-based MMOs, the guy that plays MMOs the way he plays Skyrim will consistently end up behind the curve of his group. Most adventurer/explorer types in MMOs are already familiar with that procedure even in the current state of these games.

     

    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

  • Methos12Methos12 Maladis 46Posts: 1,234Member Uncommon

    Eh, I remember when making a long trek over multiple zones on your own was seen as a rite of passage in Saga of Ryzom and a good way to weed out weak guild candidates. But I guess those were different times.

    Nature without Technology is little more than animals running about.
    Nature without Magic is without wonder or miracle.
    .........
    Magic without Technology is fantasy.
    Magic without Nature is formless and useless.
    .........
    Technology without Nature is application without understanding.
    Technology without Magic is repetitious and uninventive.
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