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General: MMO Growing Pains

24

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  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon

    You have to be kidding me if you have hope for games like  WildStar, TERA, Dust 514 and Salem.  None of which are that markedly different, although Salem is, but it is being developed by a bunch of yahoos who have little grasp of what works in a MMO.

    I have yet to see a Class/level system that keeps people interested long in a game beyond Wow which just attracts players that want easy mode.

    Give me a skill system of some sort, nothing else interests me much.  I would even take a skill/level system like Asheron's call.  Far superior to what we have at the moment.  Even GW2 is not that different

    A class system is just outright dumb.  It puts you in the developers straight jacket from the start.  Hence you can never really differentiate your avatar from others.  There are always thousands just like you.

    Beyond a skill based MMO, it must have meaningful crafting.  If a sword of devastation drops off any creature it is one too many.

    And posters here wondered why Eve won best game again this year.  Because people just keep playing it, there is always something else to do.

  • TalinguardTalinguard Winchester, VAPosts: 676Member

    Not sure If I'm reinventing the genre, but this concept looks to seriously change the incentives...

     

    http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10

    Presentation for new MMORPG economics concept http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10

  • Mors.MagneMors.Magne LondonPosts: 1,420Member

    Eve Online is not stale.

     

    However, one's experience of Eve Online is determined buy the company one decides to keep in the game.

     

    And Eve Online always needs new content, so each 6-monthly expansion needs to be good.

     

     

  • KiljaedenasKiljaedenas New Westminster, BCPosts: 468Member

    Originally posted by maplestone



    Originally posted by Jowen

    Hi. I'm an EVE'r. Dunno what you're talking about.










     

    Mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, "epic story arc!"

    ( it's structured a little differently, but it's there )




     

    Yes, it's there, but dude...that's maybe 10% of the game content at best. If that's all you think Eve is, you didn't put any kind of effort into discovering the deeper aspects of it.

    Where's the any key?

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 949Member Uncommon

    When players bemoan, 'face-rolling, questhub-hopping, dungeon-findering theme parks'.  They are saying that they want a FPS MMO.  But when you give them one in the form of APB, we find what they really want is a bunch of RPG players to pwn on. 

    In you description of APB Reloaded, you mentions the difficulty of trying to “Quest” while being shot at.  That’s because the purpose of those quest is to make you a sitting duck for ganking FPS players.  Why did APB fail, because the easy targets left the game.  Once APB became filled with equally skilled FPS players the “FUN” was lost.

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
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    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • RohnRohn Saint Peters, MOPosts: 3,740Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Konfess

    When players bemoan, 'face-rolling, questhub-hopping, dungeon-findering theme parks'.  They are saying that they want a FPS MMO.  But when you give them one in the form of APB, we find what they really want is a bunch of RPG players to pwn on. 

    In you description of APB Reloaded, you mentions the difficulty of trying to “Quest” while being shot at.  That’s because the purpose of those quest is to make you a sitting duck for ganking FPS players.  Why did APB fail, because the easy targets left the game.  Once APB became filled with equally skilled FPS players the “FUN” was lost.

     

    I think the problem is a lot deeper than that, and goes toward basic game design.

    In most current games, most of which are themepark, the only meaningful activity the game's designers provide is character progression through repetitive instancing.  That's it.  It may be a PvE or PvP instance, but the only worthwhile activities are run through instances - instances that take characters out of the game world, and instances that do not take advantage of having a massive playerbase or persistent world.  A lobby game largely provides the same functionality.

    As a result, at endgame, the "big persistent worlds" in most games become nothing more than huge, useless lobbies.

    Game companies spend tens of millions of dollars, or more, to design and develop large persistent game worlds to attract massive populations to these worlds.  It's hard to discern why they bother, because they generally fail to take advantage of that population in any significant way.

    Seriously, they create a game world, filling it with hundreds or thousands of concurrent players, and the only thing they can think to offer such a potential virtual society is repetitive instance-based gear grinding?  That's it?  What a waste.

    Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member

    Yeah, I think it mostly comes down to the investors and the executives at the larger publishers. A non-buggy, feature rich, content rich game that uses upto date engines and graphics takes quite a bit of cash to produce. It takes even more to market it so you grab the attention of enough gamers to try the game...instead of checking out the latest AAA rehash that has large flashy adds everwhere you look.

    Investors and executives tend to be risk averse.... they also tend to not be very familiar with gaming and gamers in general. The decision makers at the top levels of many of these companies tend to be more familiar with terms like ROI and NASDAQ then they are with terms like THAC0. What that tends to mean is that they don't have much ability/confidence themselves to understand what sort of game development "risks" are decent bets to take from the ones that are crappy bets.

    What they try and do (and this happens in most sectors, not just games) is copy a known successfull model/formula thinking it will be just as successfull for them...and essentialy give them a license to print cash. That works great if your product happens to be toilet paper or diesel fuel.... not so much for artistic works like games/novels/movies, etc.

    I'll probably get flamed for this but WoW actualy IS a good game (or at least it was back when I played it maybe 5-7 years ago). It does what it does well. WoW clone #356 is NOT. Even if it's well put together in itself...there is so many times you can play the same thing and enjoy it.

    It's like ham on rye with mustard. If you put it together well it may be a great sandwich. However after 90 days straight of eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, most people are going to get sick of even the best made ham on rye with mustard. Problem is, the people who actualy have the money to try to make something else are afraid to try... and because they aren't really sandwich makers or sandwich eaters themselves... they don't have much insight into what other combos might work and which ones won't.... to them peanut butter and pickles sounds as good as peanut butter and jelly.

    So the only guys that are actually willing to try a different combination and maybe have some insight into what combinations MIGHT work well...are the ones that can only afford to buy thier ingrediants from the bargain bin....and even though peanut butter and jelly is a good combo....you can't make a good sandwich with rancid peanut butter and slimy jelly.

  • k-damagek-damage ParisPosts: 738Member

    That was a great, mature article. Hearted.

    To answer the question : there is always a way to innovate, whatever you create. There's no excuse for games to be so much a rehash of the last flavor of the year.

    The real problem I thinnk is that a lot of game designers, and decision makers are simply not gamers themselves. Or at most are very casual gamers. As long as a game developer leeches his ideas inside his own love of gaming, he will find tons of great concepts.

    Look at Guild Wars 2 : This game design is obviously the maturation of ArenaNet's will to play their own vision of a better MMO. Games should be made by gamers, not investors.

     

    edit : GrumpyMel2 beat me to it :)

    ***** Before hitting that reply button, please READ the WHOLE thread you're about to post in *****

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Minecraft with more multiplayer and objectives etc could sprout some mmo-ish interest, if the community tends that way.

    Trying to think differently, most mmos are begin with a game developed first with market potential/targetted niche AND THEN with the aim to establish a community there that then regularly pays and plays.... perhaps if some process of making a community first (a more robust community in some way) THEN producing an mmo to fit it with perhaps more player/community in-put into the process (some form of buy-in / personal investment from ground up) or at least the community has something a little more solid to it than chasing the next best mmo... who knows something magical could happen? : P



     

  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member

    Originally posted by Kiljaedenas



    Originally posted by maplestone










    Originally posted by Jowen







    Hi. I'm an EVE'r. Dunno what you're talking about.






















     





    Mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, "epic story arc!"





    ( it's structured a little differently, but it's there )










     

    Yes, it's there, but dude...that's maybe 10% of the game content at best. If that's all you think Eve is, you didn't put any kind of effort into discovering the deeper aspects of it.




     

    But that's not different than those that say WoW and all current themeparks are nothing more than lobby-based instance-grinders because that is how people use them?

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILPosts: 3,159Member

    If shooters haven't changed much, how come I hate BF3 and CoD, pining for the days of UT2004 and Q3A?  and that's just multiplayer.  As for SP shooters, I dunno, kinda thought games from Halflife, to Bioshock, to Borderlands have all taken the genre in some interesting directions.. but if what you're saying is true, none of those games are any different from one another?

    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • Mors.MagneMors.Magne LondonPosts: 1,420Member

    Originally posted by WhiteLantern



    Originally posted by Kiljaedenas










    Originally posted by maplestone
























    Originally posted by Jowen

















    Hi. I'm an EVE'r. Dunno what you're talking about.














































     













    Mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, "epic story arc!"













    ( it's structured a little differently, but it's there )






















     





    Yes, it's there, but dude...that's maybe 10% of the game content at best. If that's all you think Eve is, you didn't put any kind of effort into discovering the deeper aspects of it.










     

    But that's not different than those that say WoW and all current themeparks are nothing more than lobby-based instance-grinders because that is how people use them?

    I'm not entirely sure what you mean because you've used a double negative + an 'apples and pears' comparison!

     

    First of all, generally speaking, people don't say that themepark games are lobby-based-instance-grinders, until they get to the end game. This is because eventually the planned themepark rides run out.

     

    With regard to Eve, the PvE missions are really only 'training and income' until you feel ready to join a player fleet. Then the game is all about PvP-ing with other fleets. Some players on your side will enevitably love to mine and manufacture and they will replace your ship losses (as long as you do what your Fleet Commander says).

     

    The 'grind' in Eve therefore, is PvP fleet action. However, you are playing with and against highly unpredicatble and often emotional people. Fleet teamspeak with 200+ people can get intense.

     

    This probably won't answer all your questions, but it might give you a clearer picture.

  • sanman7890sanman7890 Medina, OHPosts: 96Member

    Good damn article, bravo.

    image

  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member

    Originally posted by Mors.Magne

    Originally posted by WhiteLantern





     

    But that's not different than those that say WoW and all current themeparks are nothing more than lobby-based instance-grinders because that is how people use them?

    I'm not entirely sure what you mean because you've used a double negative + an 'apples and pears' comparison!

     

    First of all, generally speaking, people don't say that themepark games are lobby-based-instance-grinders, until they get to the end game. This is because eventually the planned themepark rides run out.

     

    With regard to Eve, the PvE missions are really only 'training and income' until you feel ready to join a player fleet. Then the game is all about PvP-ing with other fleets. Some players on your side will enevitably love to mine and manufacture and they will replace your ship losses (as long as you do what your Fleet Commander says).

     

    The 'grind' in Eve therefore, is PvP fleet action. However, you are playing with and against highly unpredicatble and often emotional people. Fleet teamspeak with 200+ people can get intense.

     

    This probably won't answer all your questions, but it might give you a clearer picture.


     

    Ummm, actually, it's not a double negative. Each negative takes place in independant parts of the sentence so they don't cancel each other out. I could have typed: ........that say: "WoW and.......use them" for clarity, but I asumed that if the grammar nazis would get me, it would be for the proper infraction.

    Also, I was comparing one sweeping generalization to another so......my apples apear to be comparing fine.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • Valgar1Valgar1 Someplace, NYPosts: 324Member

    Nice article,

    Until we have a developer care more about the game there making then the money they can make ,they will all play it safe. Simple as that.

     

    WoW showed them billions of $$$, now thats what they want.

    image
  • KiljaedenasKiljaedenas New Westminster, BCPosts: 468Member

    Originally posted by WhiteLantern



    Originally posted by Kiljaedenas








    Originally posted by maplestone






















    Originally posted by Jowen















    Hi. I'm an EVE'r. Dunno what you're talking about.














































     













    Mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, "epic story arc!"













    ( it's structured a little differently, but it's there )






















     





    Yes, it's there, but dude...that's maybe 10% of the game content at best. If that's all you think Eve is, you didn't put any kind of effort into discovering the deeper aspects of it.










     

    But that's not different than those that say WoW and all current themeparks are nothing more than lobby-based instance-grinders because that is how people use them?




     

    Actually there is a major difference. With the predictable, boring PvE grind, in Eve it's 10% of the game content. In the several dozen traditional MMOs that I have tried, WoW included, it's closer to 70%. The vast majority of the major core game content and story of those MMOs is based on that extremely repetitive, predictable and ultimately boring PvE grind, whether through missions or dungeon raids, endgame or otherwise. The remaining 30% (and that's being rather generous to the percentage, honestly) usually consists of short PvP rounds between limited quantities of players (the only time I've ever seen anything above 32 per side is in Requiem in one of the large battlefields, and that was still maybe a hundred per side at most), an extremely low percentage of the players going into an exclusively PvP server since most players don't want to risk their loot that they grinded for days to get, a basic resource extraction and crafting system (and compared to Eve, I mean BASIC, like maybe a fifth as complex at best) and perhaps some guild base management (if you're lucky).

    That's it. MMO after MMO after MMO comes out, and it's the exact same percentage ratio if not worse. These days I don't even have to play one of them to pick out that ratio: all I have to do is look over the game's main webpage and perhaps a player wiki or two, and I can work out the ratio rather easily. If it's at least 50% PvE grind, I usually don't bother trying it anymore; I'd rather get a single player RPG which usually gives a more in-depth PvE experience (hello Dead Island :) ).

    Where's the any key?

  • monothmonoth Palm Springs, CAPosts: 551Member

    Why can't we have a themepark MMO inside of a sandbox MMO?

     

    For me the player created cities, crafting system, housing and the freedom of big worlds in Star Wars Galaxies combined with the story telling and quests of SWTOR would be a perfect fit.

     

    I still think hybrid Sandbox/Themepark MMO's are the future... 

  • AdamTMAdamTM Frankfurt Am MainPosts: 1,376Member

    "First-person shooters are prime examples of this. Call of Duty. Battlefield. Counterstrike. DOOM. Stripped of their audio-visual finery and emptied of all their little details, they're all the same. Cut them open and you'll see Wolfenstein 3D written across the entrails."

    Nice strawman bro.

    I'm sure if you strip away all the "little details and visual finery" from DeusEx it would be just like Wolfenstein

     

    dear god, get some competent writers mmorpg.com

    image
  • risenbonesrisenbones Galesburg, ILPosts: 194Member

    Can you guys get off the whole the investors are ruining the game development companies as thats pretty much BS.  I have looked at game company stock and not one of them pay out a dividend so the only way an investor makes money off of a publisher is when the share price goes up and they sell it.  The investors don't sit around and demand the company makes this game this way all investors really do is vote on who is on the board of directors and all the board of directors do is hire/fire the CEO and maybe a couple of his direct underlings.  They have nothing to do with the day to day running or dicision making process on what getts developed or anything like that.  All the investors actually want is for the share price to bounce around a bit so they can repeatadly buy low and sell high and make money trading the shares.  The share price is determined by how many of these traders are buying and how many of them are selling at any given moment.

     

    Funnily enough the announcement that a company is making an MMO doesn't really affect the share price all that much the share price for an MMO producing company doesn't really move that much until beta is announced and then it jumps a bit until the MMO is launched and then the investors sell and the price drops again.  These investors don't care if the game makes WOW like money or not because quite simply it makes no difference to them because evan if it does well they don't get a dividend so any profit goes to the publisher not the investor.  The only thing investors worry about is the share price long as it's moving in any direction they can make money off it and thats all that matters.

    The lesser of two evils is still evil.

    There is nothing more dangerous than a true believer.

  • avalon1000avalon1000 Kihei, HIPosts: 754Member

    I suspect that eventually a great game will show up with some new and refreshing creativity (that works) and it may even catch us off guard (as in we did not see it coming).



     

  • LordjayLordjay Bristol, CTPosts: 11Member

    The Secret World....Bottom line,Best MMO going to release in 2012,some people think GW2,but,NOPE,you watch how may people are tired of fantasy.

  • PaybackXeroPaybackXero South Burlington, VTPosts: 33Member







    Originally posted by Kiljaedenas




















    Originally posted by maplestone
















































    Originally posted by Jowen

































    Hi. I'm an EVE'r. Dunno what you're talking about.






























































































     





























    Mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, "epic story arc!"





























    ( it's structured a little differently, but it's there )














































     













    Yes, it's there, but dude...that's maybe 10% of the game content at best. If that's all you think Eve is, you didn't put any kind of effort into discovering the deeper aspects of it.






















     




    EVE would actually be better if it was mission, mission, mission, mission, epic story arc. Instead, it's "Wait 10 years to get useful skills, have fun not being able to speed up the process", "Yay, mining for 5 hours!", and "Oh fun, just lost my ship"




    I'm all for open-world MMO's with the freedom that EVE has, but when you have people grouping together to MINE FOR 5 HOURS, then your game has taken a terrible, disturbing turn. (And consequences for losing. Those suck too. RL is bad enough, I'm not looking to get punished for failing in-game as well.)




    I guess what I'd want is EVE with no corp alliances, no corps larger than 50 or so members, no penalties for dying, auto-mining and a massive reduction in cost for items. I'm looking for an economy more WoW like - farm minerals for 1 day, earn enough gold for the rest of the year. But that's my two cents on EVE.




    Edit: 


    Forgot my biggest complaint there at the end. No way will I ever play a game with the leveling system like EVE's. I'm not interested in anything but end game and exploration. I've GOT to be able to max my character out within a month max for me to even consider a game. Only wish I had known EVE's system before subbing that one month. 


     


    So yeah, full ability for all ships and the cash to buy em within a month, or the game is pointless to me.

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    The problem is risk... because nobody fronting the financial end is willing to take one.

    Ironcially, though, these days there is nothing more risky than developing a 'spiritual successor' to the dreaded WoW - you simply cannot win that battle, but everyone seems determined to hop on the wagon like this was the music industry or something. Fads don't work here, at least not for long... and since it takes years to make the damned things, the release will *always* be late for catching another product's hype.


     

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • Teh_AxiTeh_Axi HalifaxPosts: 380Member

    I'd say its because most MMOs are half finished and badly designed. Many of them should have just been single player games but companies know they can market them as an MMO and squeeze a little more cash out of players.

    Rift pretty much proves there is room for games that follow in the themepark style. EVE proves there's room for other styles of MMOs, there just needs to be more that are of good quality actually made.

    Honestly I think players need to stop making excuses for developers.



     

  • Mordred1Mordred1 BrasPosts: 77Member

    "it's hard to deny the fact that a majority of fantasy MMOs out there are little more than World of Warcraft with a different coat of paint."

     

    Funny how you guys don't say this when reviewing every WoW clone. Instead the reviewer says "mmo x doesn't reinvent the wheel but does a good job at what it proposes" and slap a "very good" score. 

    If a game is unoriginal, it should be criticized for that. It doesn't matter if in the mmo genre things change slowly. Hell, SWTOR got an 8 score on innovation! 

    Speaking of SWTOR when reading the review I got the feeling the journalist was  conformed by the fact that it will take a long time to see any innovation on the genre so since nothing better is on the horizon that game should have a good score overall.

    If the ones entitled to criticize a product give it a free pass, how the genre will ever change? Something that was very good 8 years ago is not that good today.

     

    Too late now to write an article like this. Next time try saying games are unoriginal in their reviews.

     

     

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