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General: MMO Growing Pains

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Comments

  • haibanehaibane San Diego, CAPosts: 178Member

    Funny to see that all MORPGS are WOW with a coat of paint, when WoW was just EQ1/AC/DAOC with a coat of paint as well. Everyone seems to forget that the MMORPG business didn't start with WOW at all.

    The only thing that wow brought to the genre back then was retarded artstyle. In 7 years it evolved, of course, especially pvp wise, but the crap artstyle remained. Only MOP (not the rappers) seems to finally change this a little.

    You're a Hardcore Survivor!

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  • kzaskekzaske Boise, IDPosts: 518Member

    A good though provoking article with lots of thought provoking comments.  Overall, a good read.  Thanks.


     


    As for my thoughts about MMORPGs in general, I am not so sure.  I think the staleness of MMOs is being brought about by market and economic factors.  The development of this genre of games has exploded in cost.  The first generation of them could be make for less than ten million dollars, now it takes hundreds of millions and that is with every cost cutting measure you can throw at it.


     


    Games like Blizzard’s WoW are unique; I doubt there will ever be another game whose sales are anywhere near those experienced by that specific product.  Yes, no matter how much it pains me, games are a product.  They are designed to be enjoyed then updated or expanded by the player or discarded by the player at the player’s option.  In today’s market there are simply too many games out there to allow another smash like WoW.  The best I think any company can realistically hope for is what SW:ToR has done, two million plus in box sales during the first month is nothing to sneeze at.


     


    There have been a lot of MMOs that have tried to be different but being different is usually punished by poor retention rates.  Games like Vanguard had great ideas and goals but were rushed to market before the game was actually playable.  Who rushed it, I doubt we will ever really know but I think we can blame the CEO and the publisher for at least part of it.


     


    Back when MMORPGs required a lot of time, most gamers had the time.  These days most gamers don’t have the time, they want to jump on play a little and jump off.  Most modern players simply don’t want to take a more than a month or two to reach max level, they want to be effective now.  Simply put, they want as much as they can get as soon as they can get it.


     


    I think MMOs have become the “fast food” of the gaming industry.  So much as become about how much can I get as fast as I can, which has really hurt those gamers that don’t mind spending time crafting their characters (on line persona’s).


     


    As for the OP’s comments about First Person Shooters, she is dead on.  Pick up weapon, use weapon to damage things/opponents, move on to next thing/opponent.  At least most of the modern MMOs have a little more to offer than that, sometimes very little more.


     


    Just my two cents.

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  • ZefireZefire lol, CAPosts: 676Member

    Originally posted by 77lolmac77

    I have a feeling Blizzard is going to change MMOs again when Titan comes out. Then every game will be a "Titan clone"

    It will be funny seeing clones trying to steal titans glory.At least this time we will not be victims of their clones again and we will be laughing of their tries.

  • chaintmchaintm Chicago, ILPosts: 972Member

    All good post, but one never hit exactly....

     

    The reason for the clones? Taking a leap cost money that could be lost in that leap. APB prime example, the idea and concept was great, the execution was not and even after all said and done the devs openly admitted they fell flat and got relaxed once they had a working prototype , key word prototype. Once it started selling pre-orders they where done and never finished the half baked code. Money became tight and people got greedy.

    World Of Warcraft = Proven Model. Simple as that, in business this is this only thing that will sell. Indi companies can attempt to make something unique, but many players today expect quality. While a unique Indi game might have what players are looking for like sieging that DAOC brought with cumbling walls etc... they graphics and gameplay are expect to be that of a AAA title. Sure indi companies can get a small faithful following, but the only thing that will change this whole genre is when warcraft finally becomes nocraft and no one plays it or any new title that comes out that is like it.

    I think the author said it best, the only time this will happen is in fact, time... when games that are released with the WoW quality yet fail to get any population or for that matter profit, will the industry finally take a step back and say...

    "hmm. I think this genre is dead or need inovation, who want's to take the next big chance on a new gamble?"

    "The monster created isn't by the company that makes the game, it's by the fans that make it something it never was"

  • YellowbearddYellowbeardd Wetaskiwin, ABPosts: 82Member

    what you need to do is take a long break from an mmo, i took 2 years off of WoW and went onto swtor and i had to say that it was a good thing since i prbly would of stopped playing swtor pretty quick due to been burnt on WoW and it would of been a dragg which most people go through and go i hate this game and just go onto the next mmo and say the same thing. Taking a nice year off or so is good med's to get away from the mmo blues. Play some dumbed down FPS and kill some zombies lol.

  • JowenJowen Posts: 326Member

    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 )




     

    Meh, do not do missions to progress. My in game money (and free play time) come from production related activities and skill training is running 24/7 regardless if I am playing or not. Also have reached the point where I train skills that I never use so essentially there is no effective progress there to be had. Personally, my in game progress and investment is measured by how much I influence the official EVE storyline. For others it might be a killboard rating.

    Anyhow, the OPs point about MMO grind in general gets even more defused when looking at MMO strategy game like Stronghold Kingdoms.

  • YellowbearddYellowbeardd Wetaskiwin, ABPosts: 82Member

    Originally posted by Zefire

    Originally posted by 77lolmac77

    I have a feeling Blizzard is going to change MMOs again when Titan comes out. Then every game will be a "Titan clone"

    It will be funny seeing clones trying to steal titans glory.At least this time we will not be victims of their clones again and we will be laughing of their tries.


     

    People say clones which is true on some games but like WoW they were just a succesfull clone of other games put into one game so if any game is a clone the one they cloned off of is usally a clone of a bunch of other games if you think about it. Also with the name Titan it's most likely gonna be a futuristic game style i bet.  What i want is blizzard to go back to there roots and do a viking game lol.

  • hfztthfztt GlostrupPosts: 839Member Uncommon

    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 )




     

    You are doing it wrong.

    Seriously.

    Missions is a leftover from the original design that CCP simply does not have the heart to kill off. And some people get enjoyment from them, so let them have thier fun. EvE has quite a few gameplay dead ends like that.

  • DyraeleDyraele Tucson, AZPosts: 200Member

    Originally posted by Loke666

    ... Also it isn´t funded by EA or Activision who never dared to really gamble but by Microsoft who so far never put a dime in the genre before...

     I am not so sure about that since Microsoft was the orginal publisher for Asheron's Call befor ehtey turned it over. So, they got a taste of what was involved.


     

     

    AKA - Bruxail

  • itgrowlsitgrowls newport news, VAPosts: 2,951Member

    "In No Elves Allowed's inaugural article, more than a few of you spoke out against the prevalence of, and I quote (Hello, xDayx!), 'face-rolling, questhub-hopping, dungeon-findering theme parks'. It's a disturbing trend. While there are definitely exceptions to the rule, 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." 

    Oh WOW loving this article already!

    " And at the end of the day, the reason for the endless parade of carbon copy clones is us." 

    So true so true, the number of people staying with games because they are safe is large enough to make investors think this is what people want when we just want something polished but different to help us get into innovative games that are polished and complete which would change the standard.

    "Is it possible for us to grow even further or will World of Warcraft forever set the standard for our genre?" 

    I think it is possible to grow, the companies doing the growth must do two things, polish their games at launch, and make their games a complete mmo experience at launch or this trend won't catch on immediately. If they stick to their design promises they made early on this would help as well, too often we see big design goals in the beginning of the developement of a game that changes drastically at the end and this can only dissappoint the masses.

    I don't know enough about Titan to make a judgement on whether it will be the next market model for gaming. There are too many other good titles out there coming with fantastic designs for me to make this call right now, wushu, Archeage, TERA, GW2 all have fantastic features that will be game changing for many of us who are tired of the above mentioned dungeon-findering theme parks. We need a big change we need sandparks, somewhere in between with a great balance of both and we need themeparks to be openworld, low or no travel for quests or turnins, explorations included with meaningful rewards, a living world to be immersed in. I hope all these things are coming in the future.

  • Garvon3Garvon3 Worcester, MAPosts: 2,898Member

    The MMO genre died when WoW launched. Innovation stopped (WoW got away without innovating, why should anyone else have to). Everything stopped. The games became more and more solo oriented and easy until we're at rock bottom now with the almost entirely singleplayer SWTOR. It's not about communities anymore, its about having a chat box while you do your scripted instances.

  • ProbertProbert Williamsport, PAPosts: 18Member

    Originally posted by Loke666

    Originally posted by 77lolmac77

    I have a feeling Blizzard is going to change MMOs again when Titan comes out. Then every game will be a "Titan clone"

    I am not so sure.

    Past sucesses is not proof for future ones and Blizzard today is very different from the company that started on Wow in the late 90s.

    I think it is easier for another company to change the genre than Blizz. Blizz players expect certain things from a Blizz MMO. Companies like Zenimax/Bethesda and Undead labs have a lot easier time to change the genre since they don´t have any MMO luggage but both have talented teams.

    Since Blizzard merged with Activision thecompany have changed a lot, and frankly have innovative games never really been their speciallity. Wow was a polished up version of EQ. Strain who got the idea and started working on it played EQ, and Kaplan who took over got the job because he was in the same EQ raid guild as Morhaime.

    In late 2004 we needed a polished version of already excisting games that offered more for regular players as well. Making something like that is what Blizzard do best. Creating something new from scratch on the other hand takes very different skills.

    My bet is instead on Undead labs "Class 4". The game will more or less be it´s own genre when it launches and it have an very good team including the same lead designer that Wow had in the beginning. The mechanics it uses are very different from what other MMOs have. Also it isn´t funded by EA or Activision who never dared to really gamble but by Microsoft who so far never put a dime in the genre before.

    I think Blizzards next large MMO will be "Wow 2", not "Titan". Blizz always loved sequals and Wow 2 will surely be released before 2020, mixing Wow with whatever style MMOs will have by then.

     


     

    I dont post much at all, if any, but I have to call out BS when I see it. WoW is/was not a polished EQ, i dont know what your smoking, I dont even think I want it. WoW and EQ have nothing in common, side they are fanstasy thats it, period. EQ was and is still a superior product then WoW will ever be.

    Plus, you are disqualified from the conversation to the fact you dont even know that Microsoft actually had a pretty successful spot in the genre, ever heard of Asheron's Call? That sir was developed/produced/supported all by Microsoft. They actually made AC2, which for some reason, flopped hard the AC1 fans revolted against it. AC2 graphics would rival WoW graphics rightnow.

    You should actually play some games (EQ) before making statements you dont know what your talking about. Also, you should do some research look back of the history on MMO's before making statesment you dont know about,

  • KhayotixKhayotix Somewhere, FLPosts: 220Member Uncommon

    The only thing in the article I really disagree with is that the word perma-death is like a growing buzz word...No developer in their right mind would introduce that in a game they wanted to be ANY kind of success. If you want players to level up die forever and quit your game then yes, otherwise It is just a plain out bad idea. HOWEVER, If games were to make dying matter again, like Everquest, have the loss of experience, or like original EQ2, Die, Lose XP, Corpse run and get your shard that gives back most of the xp, if you die before recovery it becomes permanent. Corpse runs to get your gear back too are another added feature to making dying a colossal pain in your @$$ without destroying all you worked for FOREVER. There is no need to frustrate your customers to the point of downright quitting and stopping to pay you. Any MMO gamer who says perma death would be awesome, should be given a game where they put thousands of hours in, and then have it torn all away when there character dies and tell us then that they still think it was a good idea.



     

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  • SuprGamerXSuprGamerX Montreal, QCPosts: 531Member

    Heh , the fantasy genre did have hope for a brief moment with Atlantica Online , I was actually hyped in controlling my characters Final Fantasy turn base style. But then the heavy typical botting grind only found in Asian MMOs kicked in and killed it for me. But that was 4 years ago and nothing lifted me more off the edge of my seat then Atlantica Online when it comes to Fantasy genre.

     As far as Titan goes , Blizzard isn't the same then what they used to be back in the 90's , they did create Rock N Roll Racing on the SNES by the way.  Blizzard used to be awesome (No arrows joke here) , and people are , again , bringing high hopes up for Diablo 3 , being announced in 2007 and still not sure when it will be released , it better be pretty solid because TorchLight 2 will be not far behind.  Also do not forget that Ex Blizzard members who are working on TL2 are working on the TL MMO , in a sense this might be a war with Ex Blizz vs Blizz.  If Titan is going to be as big as people talk about , I doubt we'll be seeing it or playing it for that matter within the next 5 years. Since WoW is still racking in alot of cash and they are still releasing expansions for it.

     What the Fantasy Genre needs right now is diversity aka ; turned based aka ; Atlantica Online , FairyLand ... only 2 I've ever played with such a system in them. Atlantica's problem is the cash shop , probably the most intensive of all F2P MMOs I've ever played , and the fact that you got like over 30 characters , there comes a time where too many character possibilities just doesn't cut it.

     As for the rest of the Fantasy genre , they are mostly all WoW look-a-likes , bought LoTro CE back in the day , was dissapointed , then tried Age of Conan , was good but the gear that raised my Def by .3% just didn't sit well with me , I had level 5 gear that was same or almost better then level 30 gear. Then I tried a pack load of F2P MMOs , then bought STO lifetime sub which I maxed inside of 2 weeks when released. Haven't played since and not planning on going back. But the only game I kept going back was EVE-Online , since 2006. I'm guessing because I got PvP at my fingertips , the risk of losing pushes me to do my best , can PvE/PvP roam with some corp (guild) mates.

      Seems long to read , but for me that's just scratching the surface. :P

  • QuesaQuesa Sacramento, CAPosts: 1,246Member



    Originally posted by precious328

    The fantasy genre is still my favorite. Sci-fi, modern, futuristic, and post-apoc just doesn't do it for me.

    At this point, I don't care if we have redundant elves and dwarves...I just want a virtual world instead of all this co'op hogwash.

    Couldn't agree more.  The Fantasy genre is sitll my favorite.  SciFi still has a place in my heart, due to Eve Online.



     

  • ZekiahZekiah Aurora, COPosts: 2,499Member

    What do you think? Is it possible for us to grow even further or will World of Warcraft forever set the standard for our genre?

    Possible? Yes. Likely? No.

    Once people stop paying for crap titles then perhaps we'll see some positive changes to the industry. As it stands now, the MMO industry isn't suffering from growing pains but rather years of drug abuse tetering on the edge of overdose.

    "Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  • FrostWyrmFrostWyrm Tempe, AZPosts: 1,036Member

    Originally posted by Bruxail



    Originally posted by Loke666






    ... Also it isn´t funded by EA or Activision who never dared to really gamble but by Microsoft who so far never put a dime in the genre before...

     I am not so sure about that since Microsoft was the orginal publisher for Asheron's Call befor ehtey turned it over. So, they got a taste of what was involved.






     

     

    Microsoft was also the original publisher of Vanguard until Sigil bought out of their contract due to creative differences. It was largely considered one of the reasons the game did so poorly.

  • NobadeeftwNobadeeftw Houston, TXPosts: 128Member

    Of course it has grown stale.  MMO's use to be nothing more than a niche genra.  It was like a new way of playing D&D.  The current trend of MMO's moves drastically away from the role playing experience, turning games into more of a single player RPG with some multiplayer features to keep people playing like rats in on a wheel once they've beat all the soloable content.  The most recent example of this is The Old Republic.  You find yourself engaged in a story that drives you all the way to end game; once you get there it's like running face first into a wall.  The game comes to a chilling halt.  Why is this?  Because these games have no immersion or role playing value.  You don't get to create your character, your character is already defined by the game; so, once you've completed said content, your character is as empty as the worlds you level'd on.

    It certainly doesn't help that the genre has attracted some of the more shallow minded gamers, looking for instant FPS style pew pew action in an RPG...

    Personally I remember having more fun just standing around in a taveren role playing with other players in an active community, than I ever have running end game content repeatively for a never ending loot grind.  The less I see of that in these games, the more I see the genre becoming lack luster and old.

  • FrostWyrmFrostWyrm Tempe, AZPosts: 1,036Member

    I like the way Final Fantasy XI did story much better than SWTOR. It was well-paced, it was well-written, and it wasn't the focus of your gameplay. On top of that, each expansion released a new storyline to play through. Sure, you didn't get to make choices, that would've been interesting, but it was good enough that I really couldn't care about that.

  • Effin_RabbitEffin_Rabbit Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 772Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by 77lolmac77

    I have a feeling Blizzard is going to change MMOs again when Titan comes out. Then every game will be a "Titan clone"

     

    Its funny because its true.

  • FindarielFindariel SomewherePosts: 216Member

    It's simple: WoW isn't that good but the rest is even worse.

    WAR; pretty stylish game with open world quests, end game is an endless PvP grind for gear, gear and more gear.

    Rift: a bit of a sad WoW clone with uninspiring quest lines and the same levelling and end game gear grind.

    EVE: different but a top-heavy extremely slow game where you are a spaceship. For hardcore group players with too much time on their hands where space is divided into suburbs where gangs fight for sovereignty and expansions that other games would call updates or fixes. Very good regional economy though.

    GW: very nice casual game with some interesting new ideas by ex-Blizzard employees which lacked endgame content, good though.

    ... and so on. A good game should have nice looking characters with lots of customisation options, be immersive, have enough fun and diverse to do (so preferably not just endless dungeon raids), have some innovation, cater both casual and hardcore players, have and offer some sense of uniqueness, facilitate group play, also have enough content for solo players, preferably look nice and be believable and be without a lot of annoying bugs.

    Strangly enough only very few game companies that can even do all those simple things to start with.


     

  • VercinorixVercinorix Lansdowne, PAPosts: 53Member

    IMO the current situation can only change when a company can demonstrate breakout success on a WoW or better scale with a truly innovative game.

    The point where player preferences come into the picture is that such a game may not be possible if it has to include top end graphical effects.

    A lot of gamers do not understand that there is a huge difference between a 64 player FPS server and one that is attempting to manage thousands of concurrent connections. MMOs are the bleeding edge of consumer computer science, there are no business apps even remotely as nasty that use off the shelf computer technology.

    I tend to agree that the suits in management are the primary blame for the mass of WoW clones... they are not willing to risk large amounts of money on an 'unproven' system and do not understand gaming in general.

    One avenue that I think needs to be explored: game companies were smart enough originally to hire economists to help set up their in-game economies, but apparently never thought of retaining psychologists to trouble shoot the game concepts. Advice from professional psychologists could have prevented many many serious errors in every MMO ever made so far.

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