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Excellent article, and sadly, illustrates the current trend in MMOs of "Gimme my shiny loot and endgame NOW NOW NOW!!! I don't wanna grind!!!"
If too fast leveling were the only problem of Swtor... The lack of soul of the game world, the poor character customization, the 13 years old history archs, the boring and repetitive quests, the total lack of socialization... This game is a 300m mess with lightsabers. When you play a game and only can think in how the hell they closed SWG for this ...you know they are screwed.
Agreed on the slow down--enjoy it make it feel like you worked for something as oppossed to feeling like you deserve it--people always feel like they are entitled. Well not always but they put in 3 days work and say hey were is my stuff I did all this---you are missing the point if that is how you feel. Also agree on the social aspect with common shared goals--always good as they are what make stories to tell fellow gamers in a nastalgic way "remember when Pwnutter pulled that entire room while we were on that quest for......" things like that give games substance.
Originally posted by Saxx0n Originally posted by SBFord I like to blame the content locusts for this, at least to a large extent – that small percentage of players whose goal isn’t to experience content but to consume it as fast as possible as they race inexorably through a game. The people who, driven to hit max level as rapidly as they can, then sit there and whine loudly about how they have nothing to do and how they’re still hungry. There’s no satisfying that kind of player. Read more of Isabelle Parsley's Player Perspectives: Content Locusts killed my MMO.
I like to blame lazy, cookie cutter developers who think gamers are a herd of cattle.
Most of us are cattle. Take Modern Warfare 3 for instance, my friend clearly prefers BF3 and did nothing but complain how shitty MW2 was, yet he still owns a copy of MW3. Why? His friends bought it. If that's not the definition of being a sheep, I don't know what is.
I would love to see a MMORPG that is all about the journy towards the end. Where the end game isn't the most important thing. Where i don't see people with the highest lvl and best gear in the first week. But i fear those days are over. The gamer has changed. And they changed for the worst. And seeing how devs only want to please the next generation gamer who wants everything easy and it may not take to long cause o god we might have to work for something brrr, i doubt there will be any MMORPG that focuses on the social aspect, the journy towards the end.
Also why would they take the risks of investing millions of dollars/euro's in their product when the easy money is in making a very safe and standart MMORPG that will sell enough anyway. I wish they would dare to take risks again, i would love to see the entire game industry about being creative and orriginal again. But the facts are that the game industry is run by people like Boby Koytic (Activision-BLizzard) who where CEO's of other companies and smelled the big money the game industry produces and see it as their greedy deed to milk it dry. And with those guys at the top you won't ever see any game anymore that aims the older gamers who would like a bit of a challenge or simply are no raiders and rather want to have a enjoyful ride to the end instead. We an only hope a dev. will be brave enough to break the "we must please the mass only (aka as lame fake gamers, you can't be a real gamer if you want your game to be short, easy and expensive, cause games become more and more expensive funny enough you get less and less content for it...CoD im looking at you with your 4 hours singleplayer and expensive map packs for the MP)". Anyway Blizzard said their new MMO will be focusing more on the social aspect, so maybe, just maybe we get to see something from the old days back. But i really doubt it.
i just max my sith sorc and enjoyed the story-line. act 3 was very interesting us(or me) coz we need to get rid of the "evil" inside our head. then, we can kill the darth lord.
when i completed my class story and max level. i was like " what now" ? what am i suppose to do now?
answer: farm gears....
Which FF Character Are You?
I couldn't have said it better, speaking of the OP's viewpoint.
SWTOR is another MMO that I place in a very large cardboard box in my garage in hopes that one day my great, great grandkids will discover my collection and simply throw it out as garbage.
Disillusion is the one word that players created through the mechanics of developers. They don't want people people spending months or perhaps years leveling a character. When people don't play with their 'addon' toys, they create a funnel that drives everyone to the core. This is evident in the almighty 'End Game~'.
I played AC too, Isabelle. When my Guild Leader decided to 'go Red' on a white server, I was beside myself. I mean, there were plenty of FPS games to play with PVP. Heck, AC even had it's own exclusive PVP world (which has not even come close to being matched by any game up to this very moment.) But, in only a week, the people who spent 4,5,6 months building a leader, taking care that 'our leader' would fair with the other leaders on the server... they quit playing the game.
Maybe the whole monarch thing was destined to fail, but vanilla WoW was a superpower being born, and there was no stopping it. Right out of the box, awesome graphics (for it's beginning). Familiar mechanics, keyboard movement, and the best thing I liked... EVERYTHING WORKED!!! No...I don't mean 'everything' but heck... Mail was good, NPCs were good, quests were good... I could go on. The basic parts of the game worked!
SWOTR... fix your basic mechanics issues.
I don't want the spotlight, I'm just not happy with the rush to 'endwhere' -that place between 'Is that it' and 'omg! not another pvp, daily grind'. Developers should slow the damn monkey down. I expected SWTOR to begin a new era of play. Instead, it's just a small version of a WoW Space Fantasy. Gee Whiz!
BTW, I have all the respect in the world for Blizzard's WoW. What and awesome playfield for both the casusal and Elitist. I just want something different at this point in my life.
-I built the world in a day, and you can surely tell.
Honestly, someone has got to play the part of the sentinel. We sped into this whole mmo thing to make money. It is what drives the development of games...
I disagree that the OP missed anything. The truth hurts and people will defend thier beliefs even when it's not what the majority feels. Their is a watchdog in all this madness but they failed to censure, because they simply didn't have the power to censure.
When you take an RP community and toss in the Mario Bros community, mixed with a very large STEAM community, you end up with what you see today. People who want to RP but can't because the pressure inside gaming is dog-eat-dog. Gaming was supposed to give a place to ego outside the real world. But, that wasn't the path to making money...First Person Killing is the lawmaker.
PvP, the way it's been dished out by the top developers is nothing more than organized killing. That's really something we want to embed in the mind of that upcoming generation. At some point, dexterity (that old useful attribute) was replaced by macro's and gear. Gear is the goal and content to make gear hard to get is where the money lies. Macroing is the easy way to get there.
So what you really have in most of these 'End Game' End Games is a rat race. People will sell their souls for the loot that comes with both PvP (which used to be predominately FPS) and Uber End Game Content (which used to be random by means of questing, traversing, character growth, and real gameplay.
Developers made this mess not gamers. Nobody listens to them anyhow. As I said, gamers were funneled into the madness of killing for fun (pvp) within an RPG setting. They have almost striped away the RPG and replaced it with the almighty gear (not to be confused with loot).
Im done. Have a nice whateveritisyoudothatmakesyoufeelmoresuperiorthanwhatyoureallyareintherealworld.
-Survivor of the pending apoc.
If a level cap - let alone best gear - is hard to attain it also seperates players by level and gear. Personally I don't care about level cap, I'd rather had that games have an exciting and challenging end-game.
All the good looking gear you can throw away, all the immersive places that you'll never revisit - a long levelling curve has its severe downsides. Look at WoW or any other high level cap game - and all the areas that are redundant now. And look at the few places that are still viable to be. Being a free kill in any world PvP area. I was happier with GW where 80% of the content is for max level characters. It also makes most content at least a bit challenging; for instance helping new players through level 20 areas still isn't always that easy.
The sense of progression is good - but it doesn't/shouldn't necessarily have to be by means of level caps and consequent stats.
Cast your vote: The importance of character customisation
Those bonus quest are not additional quest lines. They are reveals of the true quest. Every thing that came before it was smoke and mirrors. You would call them Voice Over and Story, that hide the fact that what comes next, in a text flash on screen, is the real meat and potatoes of the quest system. I agree, leveling to Max in an MMO should take at least 1 year, and that should be the design goal.
This is a great article and mirrors my sentiments exactly! When I played EQ1 there was NEVER a time that I felt like "omg I better level faster to get to the end". The "end game" was a plateau that didn't carry the allure of todays games and thus we were able to focus on what was around us at that time. I can remember almost every major zone I leveled in during my time in EQ. DAoC? A good majority. WoW? A few, only becuase I have 6 80-85's and had the zones burned into my memory by force (read as not fun). WAR? Nope. SWTOR? I am only 49 as of the writing of this post and I can barely remember what Taris looks like. How sad.
I do like SWTOR. It's a fun game with a promising future. There is till still hope. Like Luke Skywalker coming out of hiding to face the Empire the BW devs can decide to make an expansion that will raise the cap, slow the level curve for that new gap and return us to a classic MMO style. They have the team and writers to do this, we dont need story every second we are online (in fact you could argue it hinders socialization as is).
Do right by the genre BW, give us a leveling journey that makes us proud to hit top level.
Originally posted by Arkinia I leveled much more quickly in WoW than in SWTOR. What game are you playing?
When wow first was released you could level 1 - 60 in about 4 days of total playtime if you were a powerleveler.
In swotor you can level 1 - 50 in less than 1 day total playtime, in the pre-release.
So you are wrong on this.
Other than that nice article and I have for long believed that the death of mmos are the impatient players who the devs scissor the games for. Its not all about endgame, its about the journey. If they had ac2 still up and running I would probably have played that now.
People forget to just enyoj the game, enyoj the journey. Nowadays is all about hiting max level as humanly possible and what gear you have ( Uuuuu,,, look at me, Iam so shiny, like me,adore me....). Industry smelled new cash flow in mmos and we let them to make it in what is nowadays. We gamers are much to be blamed for todays situation as are developers.
Gaming in general has become too competitive. That also reflects in MMOs, people don't want to play the MMOs(games) any more, they only want to beat them. When they can't beat them as fast as possible, first obstacle being getting to levelcap, then the forums fill with tears, that "OMG the grind" etc etc.
Personally I have given up on western P2P MMOs because of that.
Originally posted by protoroc Originally posted by Saxx0n I like to blame lazy, cookie cutter developers who think gamers are a herd of cattle.
This exactly- until the majority stops purchasing games just because they are the new big title nothing will change. The average player is just guillable and easily swayed by hype and bought reviews/reviewers.
Refreshing to read someone else who put it this way.
I've been a member at mmorpg for 'quite a while', but the only time I visit here is when I keep hoping that there might be some indie-game that are developing oldschool style mmo's. The ones where you either did not have a max level (lose xp on death, and your xp from kills would drop significant at higher levels, making it a real achivement to be high level on the server). The games where you'd have a max level that took a long time to reach. Or the games where you'd have a max level that was an achivement in itself, and you'd be rewarded with unlocking a hero class (usually a combined/multi-class that would perform multiple roles, and thus be generally 'stronger' than other classes).
Either case, I keep telling my friends how I miss those old games, because of the sense of achivement, the feeling of reward.
After having leveled up X characters to max level in the new types of mmo's, I just don't know what to do anymore. Endgame content is nothing for me, the leveling is where it's at. I find myself playing EVE Online and doing my grind in World of Tanks, League of Legends or similar games again.
I'd kill for a true oldschool grind mmo..
Thing is, I'm tired of the 'it's a new game' excuse. I played LOTRO, it was made by Turbine who, because of the failure of DDO, was in a certain amount of financial trouble when they finished LOTRO.
They had more content. They had bigger areas. Their world was not nearly so static. They used MODERN graphics (DX10) when they released. And upgraded to DX11 a while ago. SWTOR is DX9. Are you kidding me? DX9? That was 2002!!!!
And the quests, while not fully voice acted, are better written than SWTORs. I enjoyed them. I felt immeresed in Middle-Earth. And most of them were not 'go kill 10 rats' quests like SWTOR. Sure, there were some there... But not the vast majority of them (at least 75% to 80% depending on your deifintion of 'go kill fedex quest) of them like SWTOR... (Yes, I counted. I'm an accountant. I tend to count and analzye when I'm bored and I got so bored that I counted my 'go kill' FEDEx quests for amusement. It was the vast majority of them.)
Look at SWTOR and what it could have been for the money. Right now it's tons of voice-acted side-quests. First time, I listened. Fully voiced didn't make "kill 15 rhakghouls, imperials, sand people, or whatever" quests any more enjoyable. Second, third, fourth... I just hit the space bar. Now think of how much money they put into all those full-voiced and routinely skipped side-quests? It was a lot. Probably hafl their budget, if not more because of the VA and animation costs.
That could have been used on better worlds, developing a GOOD engine instead of using a BAD engine. They could have added a good two-dozen scaleable-to-level raids. They could have given us some righteous character customization, like Star Treck Online. They could have given us customizable interiors and exteriors for our spaceships (like STO again).
Here's some other things they could have done: Quests that resolve besides the same "kill a bunch of static mobs, a few mini-bosses followed by listening to the boss rant at you before the boss fight..." I mean, really, I can count on one hand the number of quests where there was any intelligent thought put into the quest so that a character could solve it in any way but killing everyone involved...
I don't expect Deus Ex, but this game was so stuck in the trash, fed-ex, arcade way to solve things I got to the point where I couldn't take it.
And crafting. You know, there are a lot of games with good, meaningful, enjoyable crafting out there... They could have learned those lessons. Instead they made a system that is so faulty and scattered that it's useless except BioChem, some Cybertech and slicing.
And guilds. Nothing more than glorified friends lists.
The UI. Worst UI in any MMO I've ever played. There's not even a close second to that piece of garbage.
So, when you say "you're being impatient...." Why should I be patient? They threw away tens of millions, if not a hundred million or more, in developer budget for a gimmick when they could have used the money to make the best MMO ever. And what I got was an MMO that wasn't as good as Vanilla WoW or Vanilla LOTRO or even some other early-release MMOs that I've played.
And that's pathetic. With $250 I could make the greatest MMO ever. Sandbox + quest. Huge universe. Open WORLDS. Large areas.
So let's stop pretending. BioWare spent more money developing this game than Turbine has on developing LOTRO and possilby more money than any developer of any MMO including WoW. And current LOTRO, with less money spent on it, is ten-times the game of this. I got TWO YEARS of fun out of LOTRO. I got three weeks of fun out of this dog...
Originally posted by Nimar People forget to just enyoj the game, enyoj the journey. Nowadays is all about hiting max level as humanly possible and what gear you have ( Uuuuu,,, look at me, Iam so shiny, like me,adore me....). Industry smelled new cash flow in mmos and we let them to make it in what is nowadays. We gamers are much to be blamed for todays situation as are developers.
No it's not. People look for novelty. SWTOR didn't have novelty once you got past the gimmick of the fully voiced side-quests. What it had was stale, tired MMO gaming done to death.
It didn't even have good writing for the stories. There were some good moments. But most of them were bad moments. Just stupid stories... Rammed down my throat, with no solution but the ONE solution BioWare would allow.
I don't expect Deus Ex. But this is 2012 and with $250 million, you could afford to hire some a-list writers AND deal with branching plot lines. You might need to draw them up a bit toward the end, but it can be done... These are modern times and surely BioWare could do as well as a 1980's Dungeons and Dragons "choose your adventure" flip book...
Well, obviously they coudn't...
I must agree with this.
The only thing that balances it out a bit for me is that me and my RL friend duo everything ( flashpoints, heroics, etc, using our companion ), this way, we still get some challenge.
SWTOR and WoW too for that matter, are just too easy.
You outlevel an area before you have completed all the quests. And if you do more than one flashpoint ( or instance in WoW ) each level it gets even worse, don't even start talking about PvP.
Furthermore, various systems make it even easier :
Quicktravel, good idea for single player geme, but not for an MMORPG., you get everywhere too fast, instead of fighting your way back, you insta pop where you want, and the world gets more empty because everyone zaps from here to there instead of running or even using a speeder.
Death penalty, what death penalty? Even less than in WoW.
So far, I am still having a good time, but for me, comming from mmorpg's that were 10 times harder to get to max level or endgame, SWTOR leveling speed can be halved at least. Same goes for WoW. And if you finish all the quests, and don't feel strong enough, you can still do some instances or PvP to advance a bit more, or go camping like the good old days ( I made more online friends that way ).
For me it would be more enjoyable, and it would make more sense businesswise too I recon.
If you are interested in subscription or PCU numbers for MMORPG's, check out my site :http://mmodata.blogspot.be/Favorite MMORPG's : DAoC pre ToA-NF, SWG Pre CU-NGE, EVE Online
Originally posted by cpoustie Originally posted by Ausare Yeah WoW really killed themselves only hold 9+ million subs for what atleast 6 years. There is more to this than just speed of leveling/content issues. Alt viability and fun, mini games, pvp fun, social aspects, difficult of end game content, amount of end game content...
The arguement that wow has 9 million subscribers so it must be good really really annoys me. By this logic, can we assume that Communism is good because more than 1 Billion people exist under that form of government? The only fact we can take away from wow is that for the majority of the MMO community it was the first MMO accessible enough for the masses to see it as something to do in their spare time as opposed to being the realm of geeks and losers.
In my opinion we would have been served better by EQ or UO or a game along similar veins to have been wow instead of wow. Perhaps now we would have immersive virtual worlds that people would feel attached to and have some motivation to remain and invest themselves in beyond shinies and epeen.
Not only does the argument suffer from the strawman fallacy, the terminology is inaccurate. Communism is an economic ideology, not a political ideology (and therefore not a "type" of government). Like G.I. Joe said, knowing is half the battle.
What an outstanding article. I was just talking to a few buddies with whom I used to play EQ. Much of our conversation touched on every aspect of what Isabelle wrote about. Like so many others have already mentioned, I remember tons of details about my time playing EQ (and it's been 10 years since I've played it). The zones, the quests, the quest items that really mattered (and that you kept equipped for as many as 20 levels). I fondly remember having to be accompanied by my friends from Qeynos to Freeport because that's where they played. There was no other way to get there other than SoW, about 45 minutes, and a little luck. Falling asleep waiting for the boat, falling asleep on the boat, falling off the boat, falling into "The Hole" accidently (and the 3-hour corpse run that followed, but only after begging for help for an hour)...the list goes on and on.
Two aspects of those early MMORPG's like EQ that I didn't see discussed (though in fairness I only read the first 40 posts or so) is having distinct classes and the idea that soloing was something you did only if you couldn't get into a group. Soloing was damn hard (save for pet classes) and not very efficient. The ("/sit" was a terrible way to med. and heal, but without a group it was really the only option. However, it meant that you had to interact with other people who played other classes. My main was an enchanter and there was no way I could solo past level 10 or so (of course I could, but it was terribly boring and inefficient). I needed a group and they needed me. There was a thrill to holding off 3 or 4 adds and keeping everyone buffed at the same time (and ultimately alive). Everyone had a job that no other class could do as well (mostly). Some classes could sort of cover for others in a pinch, but that was not an ideal situation. There was a skill to working in a group and it had to be learned. You needed to learn your job and you needed to do it well or your group was going to wipe and spend a fair amount of time doing corpse runs and resetting. AND IT WAS FUN!
Newer MMO's seem suited to the solo player. Certainly there is the option to play as a group, but by no means is it necessary to enjoy most of the content. Reducing the interclass dependency helped people who didn't like group play, but it moves away from the very essence of what made MMORPG's so great to begin with. Your identity had value -- unique value -- as part of a group.
hehe poor burned out gamers.....my main is lvl 38 now (got 4 other +20 chars too) and i am still enjoying SWTOR.......it will prolly take me 1 to 2 months to lvl to 50.
I realy wonder how long it will take these guys to grind their way trough GW2.....lets see if the UBER game is going to stop these "locusts" from hitting cap in a fiew days.....mind my words, it won't take then a week.
I got more worth for my money...hehe.
Keep searching for you perfect game....lolz.
Why I do belive you hit the nail right on the head. May I also state a prime example of developer's catering to content locusts would have to be Champion's online. I don't even have to explain this one, just go make a free account and see for yourself, I find it to be total madness. By the time I quit I had more max level characters than the number of MMOs I've ever played (granted i haven't played very many), But it's still a heck of a lot.