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General: The Lost Sense of Journey

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,583MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In his latest column, MMORPG.com Managing Editor Bill Murphy takes a look at the opposing ideas that we have both gained and lost parts of the journey within the MMOs we love to play. See what Bill's got to say and then let us know what you think in the comments.

Have we lost the sense of journey and discovery in our games? Are the days where players could get lost in an MMO’s world forever gone due to the trend of quest markers, smaller worlds, and hand-holding quests that guide you from point A to point B? Even one of the genre’s most recent successes, Star Wars: The Old Republic has given players every opportunity they can to not get lost in the game world. Quest markers (while optional) dot every task and it’s really quite easy to get around with landspeeders and teleportation being a part of the game from level one. At level 15 you get a sprint ability which makes it even easier to traverse the landscape, and a whole “planet” is easily navigated in minutes. But is this new ease of transportation an important feature or a limitation of what used to be a genre steeped in exploration?

Read more of Bill Murphy's The Lost Sense of Journey.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • Gel214thGel214th Miami, FLPosts: 180Member Common

    Oh I could not disagree more.

    I never saw long travel times as a feature of a game. I saw it as a timesink meant to increase subscription revenue. 

    There was nothing to do on the ship in WOW , or while in the Speeder getting from place to place in SWTOR (which seems to have baked in all the systems that WOW and the rest of the MMORPG world are now moving away from).

    If I need to sail on a ship then fly on a giant bird for 10 minutes to get back to a location, then give me something meaningful to do. Combat while in flight...something.  OR let me press the spacebar, click YES and get to my destination immediately. 

    Forcing players to "experience' this Journey was never a good idea, and was never done to benefit players in my view. Some liked it, and others didn't. And fewer still saw it for the tool of developer profit that it was. I have also always dismissed the notion that it was supposed to force (there is that word from primary school and kindergarten again) players to interact while sitting onboard the ship. Well after the first few years when Developers realised this was NOT happening...why didn't they change the system to what people seemed to want? 

    After I have seen the "massive world" once..or twice...I don't need to see it again and again. If you need to drive for 2 hours to get to your destination, even the most impressive and beautiful landscape becomes arduous when you are late for that meeting.

    What I have never understood is why Developers never worked Fast Travel into Player Crafting. Where devices/magic could be crafted by players to be used for Instant Travel around a world. Drop a device at X point, and use a consumable to return to X, Y or Z whenever I want to. The components to create the Travel Device are made by a few different professions and must be combined. You create a constant economy where crafting always has some meaning as you can build different features and tweaks into different quality devices. Why not do this? Why?

    Because Travel is supposed to be long because it's a timesink. And Timesink = Profit.

    Game breaking? World shrinking...not at all. It works perfectly for Morrowind,Skyrim, Fallout and others. I have NEVER seen reviewers or players complain about losing a sense of "scale" of the world at all. You darn well know that Skyrim has a MASSIVE open world, and you have no difficulty in appreciating it.

    It amazes me therefore, why gamers continue to accept that these fundamental aspects of gameplay suddenly change radically once a Developer's profit depends on you remaining subscribed and playing their game for as long as possible, dragging out the existing content as much as they can.

    I have a question for Mr. Murphy:

    When you played Skyrim, or Fallout...did you *choose* (because it is choice) to run everywhere instead of using the Fast Travel *options* available to you?

     

     

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    If you read the article again, I lament the loss of expansive worlds while saying it's a good thing in other ways because there's more of a focus on true exploration and delving into a world.  In other words: long travel times is not exploration.  Getting side-tracked because you find yourself exhilerated by being off the beaten-path is.  ;)

  • skeaserskeaser Wichita Falls, TXPosts: 3,847Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    If you read the article again, I lament the loss of expansive worlds while saying it's a good thing in other ways because there's more of a focus on true exploration and delving into a world.  In other words: long travel times is not exploration.  Getting side-tracked because you find yourself exhilerated by being off the beaten-path is.  ;)

    This is what keeps pulling me back to Vanguard. You can fast travel (teleport, taxi, flying mount) or you can go see what's in that cave or that dungeon or that crypt or on that mountain or in that valley. I love just roaming.

  • sumo0sumo0 odensePosts: 115Member

    i like the way that mortal online does it where exploration is a part of the game imo ofc. the map is actually fairly small as it is now, but i had alot of fun the first month with exploring. you dont get a map or pointers anywhere, and i have heard of people who were lost for 3 days in the jungle:P i dont play it anymore though because of bugs and the likes.

    i miss the oldschool games where you would have to run/ride and prepare for that to lower the chances of getting killed by something or someone on the way to whereever.

    so i would love to see a AAA ultima online 2. but gamers want someone to hold their hand through their entire gaming experience these days:(

  • Gel214thGel214th Miami, FLPosts: 180Member Common

    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    If you read the article again, I lament the loss of expansive worlds while saying it's a good thing in other ways because there's more of a focus on true exploration and delving into a world.  In other words: long travel times is not exploration.  Getting side-tracked because you find yourself exhilerated by being off the beaten-path is.  ;)


     

    Yes..I see that difference in my understanding of the article.

    I suppose fundamentally I don't think these "expansive" worlds have ever been properly utilised. So I don't see us losing anything that was worthwhile.

  • mlambert890mlambert890 NY, NYPosts: 135Member
    @gel214th... I know you've built an impregnable tower around the idea that PROFT=motive=bad....

    But it makes absolutely no sense... As Bill points out, the games have been moving farther and farther from the "time sink" model you refer to (ironic you choose WoW, the progenitor of "easy mode", but ok) and yet have become more and more profitable.

    An MMO wants you to stay subbed. Shocker! I think there is a contingent of MMO players who really have no business playing them because they really want single player games and so are on a rat race to "win!!!". These folks view *everything* as a "time sink designed to milk $$$$$$$"

    If *SWTOR* is still too much of a "time sink" then it's time to stop playing MMOs

    I see where Bill is coming from, but totally disagree. It isn't the game mechanics, it's personal perspective. Folks whose first games were EQ, UO, et al will forever lament whatever few features those games had as being key to their sense of wonder while missing that the only thing really driving that sense of wonder was that it as new.

    I've watched folks sit in awe of WoW. Full sense of wonder. In the future, they will say XYZ game "ruined the genre" just as EQ veterans say WoW "ruined" the genre.

    I started on Meridian59 and have played too many MMOs too count, but never to obsession, and fell the genre has steadily gotten better and more diverse.

    If wandering landscape is what does it for someone, they can easily play DF, MO or

    WoW proved, however, that the addressable audience can be made FAR bigger by doing things a certain way. SWTOR is now attempting yet again to expand the demographic. Maybe it will work, maybe not... But I truly do not believe that having an EQ style "where the hell am I????" mechanism would have either helped them get more subs or make them more profit.
  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,048Member Uncommon

    Lost sense of Journey was found...in Skyrim

    While it still have quest pointers on the map. And quick travel - but while travelling towards your goal, its enough to look left and right and ask yourself : "Oh look at that mountain peek, wonder whats there" or "Look , a dirt road leading to the forest...wonder whats there"

    And you are guaranteed to find another quest that will take few more hours.

    Actually, sometime I have to hold myself not to stray of the path..least i forget about my main quest.

    And since there is no QuestXP per se. You dont care about doing or finishing quests...

    You just do your thing, whatever you want :)

     

    Who knows, maybe one day we see this in MMOs ?

    Perhaps in Pathfinder MMO ?

     

     

     

     

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  • TardcoreTardcore MinskPosts: 2,325Member

    Meh. The days of vast crafted worlds are over. Now days all we are left with is a chain of self contained shopping malls. Orc world right next to the Elven Grotto, Beds Bath Bards and Beyond, Dwarfs backwards R US, a few goblin delicatessens, the Jedi Bouncy Castle, and around the corner, Ragnars Raving Dungeon of Death, please form an orderly queue, thank you for not smoking.

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    "Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "

  • Gel214thGel214th Miami, FLPosts: 180Member Common



    Originally posted by mlambert890
    @gel214th... I know you've built an impregnable tower around the idea that PROFT=motive=bad....

    If *SWTOR* is still too much of a "time sink" then it's time to stop playing MMOs
     

    Well yes, I think that SWTOR is built around a foundation of anachronistic timesinks.

    It utilises the mechanics of a slow run speed, carrot on a stick Sprint power at 15, widely scattered Taxi points and Bind points, and a Fast Travel system that is on a 30 minute cooldown. All this and the quests force you to criss cross areas that are several times more massive than they need to be (especially since SWTOR's zones are Instanced in a way that people argued in the past made a MMORPG NOT a MMORPG). Forcing players to level up another character to experience a different Advance Class works hand in hand with this.

    Most of these have nothing to do with enhancing my enjoyment of the game, they are simply Timesinks meant to drag content out.

    I don't think MMOs are not for me.

    I have great fun playing CHampions Online where I get very fast travel almost from the start of the game.

    RIFT is the same thing, I can get a Mount at the start that boosts my speed by 60% immediately.

    World of Warcraft Cataclysm was awesome...but then I invested in the fastest mount I could buy ;-) (See a pattern here? lol).

    DCUO I'm a fricking Hero that can Fly as I start my adventures.

    In Rift I am not even locked into any particular Role, depending on my Class I can fulfil all roles as I wish. No Timesink of being forced to level Alts to experience more and varied gameplay (unless of course I WANT to level an Alt).

    Champions Online...I can be anything I can imagine, and then SWITCH to something else entirely if I want to.

    Guild Wars 2? I am soooo looking forward to that title. If you have even read a few of the developer articles you will see how differently they approaching this Genre.

    So I should stop playing MMOs, or MMOs are not for me? Hardly.

    Old school MMOs with punishing timesinks and masochistic gameplay mechanics designed more to have me pay more than enjoy myself; these are what I have no patience for.

    And yes, the mechanics of SWTOR trip over that line more than a few times especially with regard to travel systems, world size and "exploration".

  • sumo0sumo0 odensePosts: 115Member

    EDIT: double posted by mistake:P

  • zinger71zinger71 Fort St John, BCPosts: 57Member
    I don't always mind the forced travel experience. It gives me a chance to take a poop and grab a fresh beer.
  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,757Member Uncommon

    I think we have lost much of what was good about journeys in a MMO, you can't replace that with more shiny stuff. A journey, the simple sensation or travel is a big component in what makes a MMO feel like an online world. If you are always using teleports you might as well be in a lobby and picking what scenario you will play today.

    Part of the art is to give journeys the feel of location even if you cannot do that. The taxis in SWtOR often seem to do that; one in Kass city springs to mind, you fly over and can look into areas you cannot get to. The Sprint power was a mistake though, I was hardly taking ages to move from A to B as it was before I could do that.

    Lotro went from all needing to turn up to a raid location, to one needing to turn up, to you just needed to have been there before. I never minded Hunters porting us in, but now we may as well just sat in the proverbial lobby.

    DAOC horse rides might have been too long; 15mins to cross the country with two changes of horse was a time sink. But we have gone from that to one click and you are there. Also it depends on what you get once you get there; 15mins never seemed that long when I was meeting up with the guildies.

    But everything has to be designed with solo play as the priority these days. So short travel and shinnies are here to stay.

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    Completely agree with this.  Old Forest back at LOTRO's launch is the epitome of how this type of content should be done.  So sad they changed it, even if it does make progressing my levels and storylines faster.

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  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,452Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by elocke

    Completely agree with this.  Old Forest back at LOTRO's launch is the epitome of how this type of content should be done.  So sad they changed it, even if it does make progressing my levels and storylines faster.

    Actually, Old Forest in closed beta. There were several iterations. Steiffel told me that the guy who created the old forest was an old school gamer. He was then told that most people don't enjoy getting lost, the danger, etc. so he made different versions until  the current one came to be. Honestly I don't even see how the current version can be considered a forest.

     

    I wonder if people know that there used to be trolls on the road on the way to Rivendell. The game used to be more dangerous. I really miss it.

  • UproarUproar Canton, MIPosts: 520Member Uncommon

    Nothing to do while on the boat?  Nothing to do while walking across the country?  Well if those words come out of a person's mouth, then I am afraid they simply do not understand what was lost.

    Those "unnecesary timesinks" as those who share that affliction can only think to call them are opportunities.  Sinks have more then drains, they were also once a place of gathering, a place where a team / family came together to get something necessary done.  No one enjoyed the task so to speak, but they enjoyed gathering there and socializing while they got that task completed.

    Boats?  I met more future guildies, group members, even friends at boats in Everquest then anywhere else.  It a community approved socializing point.  Even the most timid would let loose and open up for conversation after standing there for 10-20 minutes.  Walking across the country for 15 minutes to get to new hunting place allowed people to talk or even just to simply take turns auto-following each other while grabbing snacks, bathroom breaks, changing laundry, etc.

    There is a big reason solid communication is gone in today's games, and simple rude offensive, non-imerssive even diversions remain.  No one feels like they are in a community.  There's no where to do the dishes anymore.

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  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Originally posted by elocke

    Completely agree with this.  Old Forest back at LOTRO's launch is the epitome of how this type of content should be done.  So sad they changed it, even if it does make progressing my levels and storylines faster.

    Actually, Old Forest in closed beta. There were several iterations. Steiffel told me that the guy who created the old forest was an old school gamer. He was then told that most people don't enjoy getting lost, the danger, etc. so he made different versions until  the current one came to be. Honestly I don't even see how the current version can be considered a forest.

     

    I wonder if people know that there used to be trolls on the road on the way to Rivendell. The game used to be more dangerous. I really miss it.

    Yep.  And it wasn't overtop the dangerous like some people call for these days when talking about making things hard, it was realistic and doable and didn't completely make the game impossible just had to find alternative ways to do things if one wanted to still solo.

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  • cagancagan new jersey, NJPosts: 281Member

    I love the free world in skyrim. I never ever used a horse, I always walked around exploring new things. But it gets tedious to walk back and forth between two cities so then I use the fast travel/teleport option. Same with LOTRO, I walked everywhere discovering the whole map, but to do my dailies I just use the fast travel, it gets old after 4-5 times



    Edit:  what I dont like about SWTOR is the scenery pictures, I can never ever discover that huge tower in the background, knowing its just a picture :( kills the atmosphere for me...

  • sakersaker harrisburg, PAPosts: 993Member Uncommon

    1 of the reasons I'm not immpressed by most recent games, the feeling of smallness that comes with instancing and a lack of big "outdoor" areas.  1 of the things I actually liked about Rifts is that they have little treats hidden away in spots all over. You know the old saying about it's all in the journey. These games are by their basic nature not supposed to have an end. 1 of the things I think has corrupted them so is this whole bs idea of "end-game", there's not supposed to be a end, or a final goal! I'm reminded of the title of 1 of the founding games of the genre "EverQuest" (it's even got it in the freakin name! -EVER-). I believe you need a good balance as 1 of the posters above mentioned Vanguard, as far as e-z transport(s) goes. Big expansive worlds are definitely what I want, I don't get any sense of immersion in these instanced little worlds. I love to be able to just travel around and even possibly get lost in the wilderness. There's been this horrible encroaching WoW-ifiying of these games making everything E-Z, and handed to people. It's supposed to be a adventure, not much adventure without some danger... Needs to be some possibility of loss... I believe ArchAge is supposedly going to have possibilities of pirate attacks, and sea monsters when you're out in the boats! I love it! Bring it on! I'm alittle (no guess not really) surprised a smart company doesn't try having a system where different servers might have different levels of "danger" in the world (at least as a experiment), I suspect they might just be surprised there might be a lot more of a audience for harder worlds then they might have thought. But then creativity, and experiments, not exactly at their high point these days.

  • AntariousAntarious Greenville, SCPosts: 2,802Member

    I am aware of course that most games are "smaller"... along with all of the points made in the article.

     

    Yet *I* can get lost in most mmo's that I play.   Altho to be honest this is why I don't group that much.   This is not even something that started recently.   I remember Ultima Online and my pvp partner being like "can we go kill someone now?".   While I wanted to know what was ... over there.

     

    Oddly I would almost say the games have changed to meet the average mentality.   In almost all games I've played I like to explore and go places I'm not supposed to.   It has been very rare for me to ever find people with the same interest.   I have and then we end up grouping for a long time but its not common.

     

    So in a game like TOR I see masses following the "golden path" and only going out of the way if there is some kind of update... lore.. holocron etc   Me?   I'm still way out in the middle of nowhere... no quests.. no updates of any kind.

     

    I just want to know what is there... so for me the sense of journey is not lost at all.

    Moderator's on this site allow certain posters to create endless troll threads. Yet "warn" people for giving recommendations... account *pending* deletion because.. why bother.

  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,717Administrator Uncommon

    I miss exploring worlds. One of my best friends is a guy I met in Star Wars Galaxies. We pretty much explored every space on a number of planets, beginning with Naboo (pre-mounts/speeders). I remember venturing out to the snowy areas of Lok, which was otherwise a barren acid filled planet. Good times!

    As for travel times, I guess it depends on the type of game for me. If it is a themepark game, I don't know that I really care for long travel times. It worked well for a sandbox game like Galaxies because the whole game was essentially about 'the journey' rather than the end. When I'm trying to consume content in a themepark game I don't really want tons of travel between areas as it can get tiring.

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioPosts: 2,425Member Uncommon

    Playing Skyrim, I've taken to just riding my horse around in search of adventure and riches. The horse feels right, it's looks and sounds, I can almost smell it. The leather and tac, the horsehair and manuer. It feels alive. And the game world always has some danger or some discovery just around the corner. I really wouldn't need the dungeons/ruins so plentiful, as long as there's something to check out (water falls, encampments, villages, natural terrain, etc.). I also want to get into the Dwermer ruins in search of lore riddles and hints, but I haven't done much of that yet. And the books for the same thing. Hell, when I do read books that I've collected, I dress my character up in "rich clothing" and sit next to the fire in my house in Whiterun. Just for the feel of it.

    If an MMO ever gave me this feeling, in a huge world, a world where large zones don't become low level content to me because of level gaps, nor made use of scalable content (which ruins the worldly achievement for me) I'd play it "forever".

    I don't expect MMOs to change though. "Top people" who are innovative are rare, and MMO's have pushed them out of their market because they think they have the "formula".

    Innovation vs. Formula, they don't jive, and Formula has won in the MMO industry.

    Once upon a time....

  • MadnessRealmMadnessRealm Montreal, QCPosts: 2,716Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    Lost sense of Journey was found...in Skyrim

    While it still have quest pointers on the map. And quick travel - but while travelling towards your goal, its enough to look left and right and ask yourself : "Oh look at that mountain peek, wonder whats there" or "Look , a dirt road leading to the forest...wonder whats there"

    And you are guaranteed to find another quest that will take few more hours.

    Actually, sometime I have to hold myself not to stray of the path..least i forget about my main quest.

    And since there is no QuestXP per se. You dont care about doing or finishing quests...

    You just do your thing, whatever you want :)

    Who knows, maybe one day we see this in MMOs ?

    Perhaps in Pathfinder MMO ?

    This!  That's mainly what drew me towards Skyrim so much.  Just roaming in the world, moving towards a quest only to be side-tracked by a group of bandits chasing a deer, which then leads me to a nearby cave that I end up exploring, completly forgetting about my initial goal. Playing Skyrim has given me bac that feeling of "Alright, off to chase that Drago-----Oooooh! What's this over there?" which has been completly forgotten in MMOs these days.

     

    Developers are not building Worlds anymore, they're just digging a tunnel and sometimes they end up digging 2 similar  tunnels only to meet each other again a bit further up. Exploration is dead, Risk and Consequences are dead, actions have little to no meaning and impact. It's all about going from Point A to Point B while killing or collecting 10 "x" constantly, and ends up with grinding gears for months at the same exact location. 

    ------
    Your daily dose of common sense since 2009!

  • WSIMikeWSIMike Catskill, NYPosts: 5,564Member

    It seems to boil down to whether people are looking for a virtual world to immerse themself in, or are looking for a game to play and "win" at.

    Things are only "too slow" if you're in a hurry or have a pre-conceived idea of "how long it should take" or how long you want it to take. There is no all-ruling standard of "how long something should take to do" in a MMO, nor is there anyone to dictate such a rule.

    So, when those who are "anti time sink" insist that those who enjoyed those older, slower-paced MMOs "must have just enjoyed wasting their time"... they're basically losing the plot from the outset. That assertion serves only to illustrate how completely off they are in their perception of how others play and enjoy a MMO. Their entire point-of-view is based on the assumption that everyone shares the same approach to and expectations of MMOs as they do. And that's where they go completely wrong.

    It's not that those of us who prefer the slower pace of older MMOs "liked wasting our time on time sinks". It's that we didn't see them as time sinks to begin with. They were activities we could partake in, in a virtual world that we enjoyed being in to begin with.  Playing those old-school MMOs was about participating in a vast virtual world.. it wasn't about "getting to end-game as fast as possible". End-game was an abstract long-term thing that you'd get to.. eventually. It wasn't "the main reason to play an MMO to begin with". The "real game" started at level 1, not at level cap.

    To give specific personal examples...

    Leveing up a given job in FFXI was never "about grinding xp for hours" to me. It was about "hanging out and having fun with a group of players for hours"... killing mobs and getting xp is what we happened to be doing at the time. I might have been questing, I might have been doing a mission, I might have been sitting around in Lower Jeuno chatting. I might have been doing any number of things.

    I didn't see such things as a "waste of my time to slow me down" because I wasn't in a hurry to begin with.

    Leveling wasn't a "goal" to me. It was a given; something that happens automatically while you're playing the game. One of my sayings about that is "leveling is what happens while you're having fun doing other things." If I'm having fun and enjoying whatever it is I'm doing at the moment - even if it's sitting down somewhere talking to friends or guild-mates getting zero xp/hr - then I dont' care how long it takes me to level. There's no hurry. There's no finish line I'm racing toward. There's no reward for "getting there as fast as possible". End-game isn't some "holy grail" to me. It's part of the game that will be there, and I'll reach... when I get there. I'm far more interested in having fun with what I'm doing "right now". 

    For another, I find the whole mentality of "oh, those things are just time-sinks intended to drag the gameplay out so they can make more money" to be incredibly misplaced and unjustifiably cynical. I realize those making that statement think it's witty and  insightful.

    However, It isn't. 

    Among other reasons, those who make that argument (and many do), are missing - or outright ignoring - one very key detail that renders such an assertion moot:

    The only way a MMO developer is going to keep you playing longer is by keeping you entertained enough to keep playing in the first place.

    If you're not enjoying the game enough to keep playing it, then nothing beyond that matters, because you aren't going to be playing at all. What a developer may or may not do to "stretch out your game time" means fuck all if you're not playing their game at all.

    So, no... "implementing deliberate time sinks" is not how they keep people playing longer. Providing an entertaining experience that people want to continue playing is how they keep people playing longer. Everything after that is just content that players may choose to participate in or not.

    Complaining that MMOs are designed with long-term content is like complaining that motorcycles are designed with "only two wheels".  It's complaining about something being exactly what it's supposed to be. The motorcycle maker isn't at fault for making them with 2 wheels. The individual is at fault for expecting them to be something different.

    It's the same with MMOs.

    The developer isn't at fault because some random gamer only cares about getting to end-game more quickly. The random player is at fault for choosing to play a game that doesn't suit their preferences.


     

    "If you just step away for a sec you will clearly see all the pot holes in the road,
    and the cash shop selling asphalt..."
    - Mimzel on F2P/Cash Shops

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  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member

    I'm going to refer to Skyrim here, but I don't want to have an argument about what you can do in a single player RPG vs an MMORPG.  Obviously there are things you can do in a single player RPG that you can't do in an MMO and vice versa.

    Having said that, I would like to point out that one of the most loved aspects of Skrim is the fact that while you may have a plan to travel to some part of the world, the odds are those plans will be completely derailed by something you encounter on the road, or something you can see in the distance from the road.  It may even be that you just see a mountain you want to climb, so you head off the trail, and you end up on some adventure for hours.  Later you realize you didn't even come close to traveling to your originally planned destination, but you aren't the least bit sad about it because you had so much fun being distracted.

    Now, as I said above, Skyrim can employ things that an MMORPG cannot, since the entire world is focused around a single player. However, there are plenty of things that can be added to MMORPGs to make the open world every bit as exciting and rewarding to explore.  Ultra-rare mob spawns, beaitiful points of interest (such as waterfalls, volcanos, fissures, lore areas, ruins, etc) dynamic quest events, minigames, puzzles, etc.  You could build paths that have hard areas for group hunting as well as soloable content.  Those are just a few examples.   Things like this would give you great reason to be "distracted" from simply traveling to some quest destination.  

    These are "open world exploration" features, and you could build a themepark game with all the standard themepark fair and include these open exploreable areas as yet another gameplay option.  You wouldn't have to sacrifice a thing, and it would only add to the fun.  You could even make it a choice if you really want.  If people want to fast-travel, then fine, they skip the open world content.  If they prefer to long-travel and explore, they have an option. 

    Most themeparks now just have a little bit of land to serve as a backdrop to your questing areas.  If you walk too deep, you quickly just run into a wall and realize there was nothing to see anyway.  I feel like themparks could benefit from more open larger areas complete with quest-free exploration type gaming.  It has nothing to do with sandbox vs themepark.  I don't believe that just because a game is a themepark, that it can't have some unscripted quest-free content.

    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.

  • kaliniskalinis Dexter, MEPosts: 1,428Member

    No offesne but no one wants to get lost so they cant even find there objective if afer 10 minutes u are so lost u cant complete a quest most people will just rage quit.

    Even in games without a qust tracker on there in game map , players made thins like carbonnite and quest helper in wow so players could know where to go without actually wandering into them by accident.

    So even if u give people a game with no convienant marks to show u where to go, Players will end up creating an addon or mod to do it for them.

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