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Are ThemeParks designed not to last?

YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member

After playing a number of ThemeParks lately, Rift, TERA, SW:TOR, GW 2, and having fun for a month or two and then get bored, I am wondering if ThemeParks are simply designed not to last a long time?

I mean you are funelled into a more or less linear path from level 1 to X and then you either get into the end game, which is usually PvE grinding for gear or PvP grinding for ranking or some sort of points and this by design gets boring after a while, just like a single player does, no matter how good it is.

So I am wondering, are ThemeParks inherently flawed in the sense that it is not possible to not get bored after a couple of months?

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Comments

  • QuicklyScottQuicklyScott BristolPosts: 433Member

    Yep, I think you're 100% correct.  They aren't designed to last.

     

    Get to max level, regurgitate developer made content  until you're bored.

     

    People say the sandbox market is niche, well how can 500,000 subs on EVE be niche?  If the gameplay wasn't boring you could bet they would have double that number.  Runescape, which is kind of sandboxy had 10 million active accounts at its peak and over 100 million accounts made. People to this day are still whining about SWG, so I would hardly call the market niche.

     

    Developers are sitting on a gold mine, they just don't have the brains or the balls to make one.

    image

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,998Member Uncommon
    Modern theme-parks most definitely have a shelf life, being little more than glorified single player games. (so it really should come as no surprise that people play them for about the same time.

    It doesn't have to be that way as proven by DAOC almost 10 years ago, but Devs have been following the WOW path for quite some time.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    I don't think they're designed to have a limited lifespan from the developer's perspective. From my perspective as a player, that's exactly how they are designed. I know why it's like this; because developers do not have infinite resources and the end of the game must exist. I think from their perspective, they just haven't found the right "end game" to keep people hooked. Other than WoW of course.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • coretex666coretex666 PraguePosts: 1,934Member Uncommon

    On one hand, I incline to agree with you. On the other hand, I have been playing WoW for 8 years already and I am still having fun.

    Once there will be a game that will pull me away from WoW, I will be probably done with themeparks for good or at least until some truly revolutionary TP gets released.

    At the moment, there are no sandboxes that would be attractive for me. I tried most of them, but none of them really managed to grab me.

    Waiting for L2 EU Classic

  • sirphobossirphobos Ames, IAPosts: 614Member Common
    Creating games so that the leveling process is very quick and painless, and the max level content requires little effort for the average player to complete has consequences.  Sure, it may provide for an enjoyable experience, but the average player is unwilling to continue to pay $15 a month (in the case of a subscription game) to stick around and wait for a content update that may keep them interested for another few weeks.  This is why I find it amusing when people act surprised that games like RIFT and SW:TOR lost a large number of subscribers after 2-3 months.  Of course they did, because games aren't designed to keep most players interested longer than that.
  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member

    Unless the game is some type of 'VS' like Chess, Poker, sports (baseball, football etc); most games have a shelf life.

    You can 'design' it so the player can never beat it (C'Thun pre-nerf) but then it becomes meaningless for the players.

    Is it a 'flaw'? Probably; but then again, there is no video game yet that players play infinitely.

    Unless you stretch the definition and call C++ / Python / .NET / Assembly a 'game API therefore is a game'

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • Saur0nSaur0n Denver, COPosts: 113Member Uncommon
    They are a get rich scheme for jocks with trust funds.
  • thexratedthexrated OuluPosts: 1,368Member Common

    As the games are moving towards F2P and B2P models with other freemium options, I do not see why the content should even last more than 2-3 months at the launch. Without subscription, people are able to switch games once the new content has been consumed. I actully like this fact.

    We can already see that some guilds have reacted to this by supporting multiple games and even multiple platforms. Socially this is a great thing, as you are not forced to play a boring game just because some of your friends still enjoy it for some reason. 

    "The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in."

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    From my player perspective they are definately made to not last long.

     

    By making mmorpg's so accessible, fast and conveniant - they automatically make them very short-term entertaiment. It is unavoidable as long as publishers and devs will want to make all mmorpg's as very accessible entertaiment 'for everyone'.

     

    If they want to make online game that will capture millions of players playing for long-time - then they better change to non-mmorpg genre and start making simple online pvp games like Dota, League of Legends or World of Tanks and similar.

    Or some instanced / co-op hack&slash games like Path of Exile, Marvel Heroes or Vindictus - though it is to be seen if that kind of gamescan have long-term success and besides there is plenty of competition from b2p box games like Torchlingt 2, D3 and GrimDawn (anf others) so it won't be easy market as well.

    Of course competiton in this type of games is literraly skyrocketing with growing number of titles and insane amount of titles that are in the making will release in next 1-2 years - so many of them will fail as well.

     

    Most huge themepark mmorpg's 'for everyone' will simply fail hard - since there is no more space for them than 1-2 big titles (WoW+ maybe GW2) and maybe ~2-3 medium ones (Rift, FFXI and maybe one from FFXIV, Lotro or DCUO). 

    There is also young kids mmorpg market but that's separate one and is alrady preety saturated.

    Most current western mmorpg playerbase will go play MOBA games, H&S games, some random non-mmo online games or fps or mmofps games instead of another mmorpg LONG-TERM. (some of them but decreasing amount each time- might try new mmorpg but most will leave after few weeks or months).

     

    Publisher and devs are castering to playerbase that is already switching to other genres.  Besides market is oversaturated with simple linear themepark grinders. That's why they suffer.

     

    tl;dr

     

    Yeah definately almost all mmropg themeparks are currently and in last 7-8 years MADE for short-term entertaiment.

    Even if devs & publishers think that they are doing long-term game. Well they are WRONG.. They are still using models and theory for a ~2006-2008 market.  Besides those theories and concepts were far too enthiustastic and naive.

  • Stuka1000Stuka1000 Posts: 868Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by QuicklyScott

    Yep, I think you're 100% correct.  They aren't designed to last.

     

    Get to max level, regurgitate developer made content  until you're bored.

     

    People say the sandbox market is niche, well how can 500,000 subs on EVE be niche?  If the gameplay wasn't boring you could bet they would have double that number.  Runescape, which is kind of sandboxy had 10 million active accounts at its peak and over 100 million accounts made. People to this day are still whining about SWG, so I would hardly call the market niche.

     

    Developers are sitting on a gold mine, they just don't have the brains or the balls to make one.

    Check this one out http://www.therepopulation.com/

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by thexrated
    Socially this is a great thing, as you are not forced to play a boring game just because some of your friends still enjoy it for some reason. 

    It is your choice to still play and it is your fault for 'torturing' yourself with playing a game you don't enjoy anymore.

    Putting blame on your friends, games or business models instead of yourself is simply incorrect.

  • Eir_SEir_S Argyle, NYPosts: 4,623Member
    I think themeparks are meant to last, just not as long as WoW.  Honestly, even though I'm not purchasing the MoP expansion, I can't even begin to imagine playing half as long in a game like Rift as I did in WoW, and it's not they're low quality games, it's just that WoW had some invisible hook that kept people playing, and still does.  It's a mystery to me, since most MMOs are very similar until level cap (excluding GW2 in my opinion).  I know one little thing that kept me playing WoW, and this might sound dumb to some, was the music.  The BC log-in screen theme still goes through my head all the time.
  • thexratedthexrated OuluPosts: 1,368Member Common
    Originally posted by fenistil
    Originally posted by thexrated
    Socially this is a great thing, as you are not forced to play a boring game just because some of your friends still enjoy it for some reason. 

    It is your choice to still play and it is your fault for 'torturing' yourself with playing a game you don't enjoy anymore.

    Putting blame on your friends, games or business models instead of yourself is hilarious and silly.

    It depends on the reasons why you play multiplayer games. The reason I have enjoyed MMOs in the past is due to the social aspect of them that has been dissapearing in the past years. While the MMO crowd was a lot smaller prior to WoW, the games had more emphasis on social gameplay that in effect created stronger server communities. Even WoW had this in the classic, but after that we seem to have lost it, in part, because of a greater degree of solo and small-group gameplay. 

    So in a sense, yes, I do blame it on the direction that the games have taken, as there are very few titles left that still manage to keep the focus on the MMO elements rather than the MO elements. In the past, I might have sticked with a game even tho I might have been slightly bored with it, beacuse it still had a strong community and many long-time friends were still playing it. Naturally, I play other type of games as well, but there are certain reasons why I play multiplayer games - soloability is not one of them.  

    "The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in."

  • smh_alotsmh_alot Area 51Posts: 976Member
    Originally posted by Yamota

    After playing a number of ThemeParks lately, Rift, TERA, SW:TOR, GW 2, and having fun for a month or two and then get bored, I am wondering if ThemeParks are simply designed not to last a long time?I mean you are funelled into a more or less linear path from level 1 to X and then you either get into the end game, which is usually PvE grinding for gear or PvP grinding for ranking or some sort of points and this by design gets boring after a while, just like a single player does, no matter how good it is.So I am wondering, are ThemeParks inherently flawed in the sense that it is not possible to not get bored after a couple of months?

     

    I think the whole 'themeparks aren't designed to last' line of thinking that I see in the OP and other posts in this thread is fatally flawed for very simple reasons.

    Come on, people, use your brains. WoW, the main themepark MMO and as themepark as an MMO can get, managed to have players playing for years, to the point that millions of players played it for years. If a themepark MMO by design wasn't meant to last, then this would never have happened.

    The fact that WoW as a themepark MMO managed to thrive for like 8 years while other themepark MMO's - but also non-themepark MMO's - failed to do so, means that other reasons play a role than design type.

    It seems to me that simply the playerbase has changed. After years of overplaying the same kind of stuff, it just doesn't do it for them anymore like it used to. I'm willing to bet that if the first MMO's that weren't themepark MMO's would be revamped with new graphics and some common current features, that those wouldn't attract more than a small group of nostalgics for the long term either.

    People simply want to be entertained. Fun is playing a game with friends and in a great community, no matter what design that MMO is. And some features become less fun to many players when they've played that for years without much added variety to it. Even eating fries or a burger - or even the most delicate haute cuisine French main dish - can become stale and boring when that's all you've been eating mostly for years.
  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,987Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Yamota

    After playing a number of ThemeParks lately, Rift, TERA, SW:TOR, GW 2, and having fun for a month or two and then get bored, I am wondering if ThemeParks are simply designed not to last a long time?

    I mean you are funelled into a more or less linear path from level 1 to X and then you either get into the end game, which is usually PvE grinding for gear or PvP grinding for ranking or some sort of points and this by design gets boring after a while, just like a single player does, no matter how good it is.

    So I am wondering, are ThemeParks inherently flawed in the sense that it is not possible to not get bored after a couple of months?

    That is very induvidual but content do become more and more repetetive the longer you get.

    Making you repeat the same raids over and over while time locking them so you just cant get the gear you need fast tend to get old after a while.

    But you need a goal to enjoy the game.

    I like being challenged and do as hard content as I can. I can do the instance many times over until I beaten it, but once you figured out how to beat an instance it often gets boring and easy, even if it was hard the first time and then it becomes boring.

    But the answer to your question is still: it depends on you. I have friends still enjoying Wow after 8 years ( a lot fewer now than a year ago though). Some people enjoy a certain game long term. I played Guildwars 5 years with some breaks and enjoyed it a lot, but Rift became boring after the third beta weekend. Dont know why, cant really logically explain it just like it is hard to explain why some music sounds great to someone but like crap to someone else.

  • StanlyStankoStanlyStanko Stanksville, OHPosts: 269Member Common

    You ride the rides at a (virtual or RL) themepark until you've had enough of them all. The number of rides that it takes to have had enough varies per person and usually gets quicker the more themeparks you've visited.

     

    Designers that still choose this model don't worry much about the churn of customers or lack of depth because they make most of their money at the gates. And themeparks, due to their simplicity and accessibilty across larger age and skill levels, usually draw more people at the gates than a sandbox.

     

    So it's about money.

     

  • ZinzanZinzan NorthPosts: 1,351Member

    Everyone burnt out on WoW. Now the millions of mmorpg players introduced to the genre by the king of mmo's only find the same things they already did in WoW repeated in other "new" themeparks.

    WoW was not original, but most of it's players were new to mmorpg's and for the vast majority, WoW was their first mmo.

    First time running around, levelling, grinding dungeons for shiney loot to enable you to grind the next set of dungeons/loot it's a new experience, shame no-one has come up with a different successful "end-game" model to keep players playing themeparks.

    It used to be about the journey, now it's all about "end-game"...which is sad.

    Truth is there is no way any mmorpg company can keep producing new themepark content at a rate comparable to that the player base consumes it. In this vein it is up to the playerbase to finr things in the game to keep themselves amused. Problem is, the modern lazy-ass "solution" is pvp....which is epic fail as most mmorpg players don't like to pvp anything more than casually.

    Recently player-made content has been touted as a possible solution, STO tried it with varying degrees of success but no-one has figured out the golden code to enable this to work properly and sustainably.

    Expresso gave me a Hearthstone beta key.....I'm so happy :)

  • KuinnKuinn MestaPosts: 2,093Member
    Originally posted by Eir_S
    I know one little thing that kept me playing WoW, and this might sound dumb to some, was the music.  The BC log-in screen theme still goes through my head all the time.

     

    You're not alone, I think Blizzard has some weird enchanters on their sound department since they manage to create music and ambient tracks that blows anything into life. It's crazy that I remember separately the barrens theme, tauren, ashenvale, capitals, tirisfal glades, those tracks are simply magical and it annoys the heck out of me when a new mmorpg comes out but does not have the same kind of magical tracks.

     

    I know I'll never go back to WoW since it's the same old with all the same old features I grew dead bored of, but the area theme songs will never die in my mind. I'm having absolute blast in GW2, but I cant remember even one theme song except for the login wail. The area themes, if there even are separate ones, I cant say since I cant remember them, simply does not have that hook like the tirisfal bells or barrens drums.

     

    Small things means a lot and this is the one that I'd actually like to see copied from WoW to all the new mmorpgs, the area songs with those magical hooks hidden in them.

  • madazzmadazz A town, ONPosts: 1,564Member Uncommon

    The only themepark that seems to keep people is WoW. From talking to people I know who play it, what they basically do is just jump back in whenever there is a content update/expansion. Though I don't enjoy WoW I have to admit, there is a ton of content there. My friends would just let their sub run even though they weren't playing until the new stuff came out.

     

    And people seem to think a themepark and sandbox games have to have a ton of differences... they don't. Sandboxes also have some themepark elements too them as well if done right. You just aren't relying upon repeating end game content over and over and over in a sandbox game. That and some freedom. However, I know most of the people on this forum would rather strip away as much as they can from the sandbox type games that do and will exist, only to leave them with a hollow rotted core.

  • KuinnKuinn MestaPosts: 2,093Member
    Originally posted by madazz

    The only themepark that seems to keep people is WoW. From talking to people I know who play it, what they basically do is just jump back in whenever there is a content update/expansion. Though I don't enjoy WoW I have to admit, there is a ton of content there. My friends would just let their sub run even though they weren't playing until the new stuff came out.

     

    I wouldnt say so, I had around 10+ IRL people I knew playing WoW at some point after its release including me, currently none of them play the game and it has more subs than back then. I wouldnt say it keeps people that well, sure there's some who just sticks with it forever, but I feel a lot of people just drops it while new ones pour in. When I started WoW there were kids who didnt even know how to use computer, they are old enough now to jump into WoW, so even if people drop the game it keeps sub numbers up with new blood flowing in.

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by thexrated
    Originally posted by fenistil
    Originally posted by thexrated
    Socially this is a great thing, as you are not forced to play a boring game just because some of your friends still enjoy it for some reason. 

    It is your choice to still play and it is your fault for 'torturing' yourself with playing a game you don't enjoy anymore.

    Putting blame on your friends, games or business models instead of yourself is hilarious and silly.

    It depends on the reasons why you play multiplayer games. The reason I have enjoyed MMOs in the past is due to the social aspect of them that has been dissapearing in the past years. While the MMO crowd was a lot smaller prior to WoW, the games had more emphasis on social gameplay that in effect created stronger server communities. Even WoW had this in the classic, but after that we seem to have lost it, in part, because of a greater degree of solo and small-group gameplay. 

    So in a sense, yes, I do blame it on the direction that the games have taken, as there are very few titles left that still manage to keep the focus on the MMO elements rather than the MO elements. In the past, I might have sticked with a game even tho I might have been slightly bored with it, beacuse it still had a strong community and many long-time friends were still playing it. Naturally, I play other type of games as well, but there are certain reasons why I play multiplayer games - soloability is not one of them.  

    Yeah I've played 'before-WoW' mmorpg's as well. Mostly UO. So I know how they were and I actually miss those emphasis on community and cooperation / social gameplay.

    Still blamingthat you "had to" play games that you have not liked cause your friends played - is incorrect imho.

    It was YOUR choice to still play those games, your 'cravings' for playing together with your friends.

    It is not like it was somer serious RL situation where you was in example forced to borrow money on unfavourable terms because you had to pay medical bill or that you had to work a job you don't like because you could not afford to lose it atm.

    If you regret playing some mmorpg in the past when you got bored of it and still remember it- then you should be angry at yourself. (or just let it go-much healthier) for 'caving in'.

    You WANTED and choosed to do soto play with your friends, nothing forced you to it.

     

    I also very much like playing with others. I liked old mmorpg's because of their social, community and interdependability aspect. 

    Similarly to you - I often played those games just because I liked community and social interaction and sometimes it was even more important that actual gameplay. 

    Still I still wanted to play those games.  Does not mattter why.

    When gameplay changed too much to not my liking or I became bored with it too much, then no amount of best community could have kept me playing.

    Similarly in mmorpg's no amount of best gameplay could have kept me playing when I would be totally disgusted with other players.

     

    In other multiplayer games it does not matter that much, but well I don't play non-mmorpg multiplayer games for non pure gameplay interaction.

     

    I play mmorpg's for both gameplay and social aspect. There is SYNERGY between them and then mmorpg and gameplay is good. If gameplay is seriosuly bad or if game does not provide interaction / social aspect then synergy is ruined and I stop playing.

     

    For other multiplayer games (like FPS or RTS games) I play ONLY because of gameplay reasons.

     

    There are no games I play or played ONLY for social reasons for longer than few weeks. (usually it takes between few days and few weeks to drop a game when I realize that only community is keeping me in it and I hate gameplay or gameplay / game/ busines model changes)

  • MMOwandererMMOwanderer LisbonPosts: 415Member

    I think the problem is the structure. MMORPG themeparks seem to be fundamentaly teh same at their core.

    Devs focus on creating a world that they zone into different level ranges, creating a somewhat linear experience, and the majority of the content is always: quests, instanced dungeons (5 man or raid) and (nowadays) personal story.

    IMHO, the problem with this type of content is that it ends. Not only as this formula been used so many times that it gets annoying, but, eventually, we finish all the quests, dungeons and story. And even if we don't, like TOR, doesn't mwan we'll keep playing just to get 100% on it.

    I have no idea what could be done to replace this structure, but, i think you're right OP. The problem of "fun leveling experience" is that it ends, and then what?

    Don't get me wrong, i love lore, story and questing and dungeons aren't bad at all either. But i thinkit's the constant depending on them that couses problems.

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,449Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Yamota

    After playing a number of ThemeParks lately, Rift, TERA, SW:TOR, GW 2, and having fun for a month or two and then get bored, I am wondering if ThemeParks are simply designed not to last a long time?

    I mean you are funelled into a more or less linear path from level 1 to X and then you either get into the end game, which is usually PvE grinding for gear or PvP grinding for ranking or some sort of points and this by design gets boring after a while, just like a single player does, no matter how good it is.

    So I am wondering, are ThemeParks inherently flawed in the sense that it is not possible to not get bored after a couple of months?

    Well there is a lot that goes into the design that creates longevity.FFXI is still going but they really made some brutal changes that imo turned alot of people off.

    IMO it is more a case of LACK OF Themepark content.I see very little content in these games.I actually in most cases see NO content just the basic structure of a game.

    I like to see devs get away fro mspeed leveling and concentrate on making games tha tare VERY slow moving.In otherwords we are playing a ROLE PLAYING game,lets make them so they act like rpg's.What i see instead is basic npc's with markers over their heads,basic standard maps with mobs dotted around.Everything is designed to have you follow a linear path,VERY unrealistic for a RPG and definitely nothing relates to a MMO RPG.

    I feel this genre is just too costly to design a really good game,so we will see devs continue to make a shell of a game,fill it with quests and then add  some instances and end game pvp.

    I cannot think of any way a developer can make a really good game under budget.The ONLY thing comes to mind is advertising but even then ,that is a sort of an after thought.The game itself from the day it becomes an idea,has to be thorough and in depth.I guess if a developer could get some contracts with advertisers before the game is even designed,they could have a large budget to work with.Then perhaps offer the incentive that the advertisers could profit as well,example make them a small partner.


    Samoan Diamond

  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon
    Themeparks are designed to last until the next expansion. If they run out of money to make a proper expansion the game is going to die. Free 2 Play drags the process out a little bit but it doesn't change the end result. Sandboxes like Minecraft will likely never die.
  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    All games get old whether they have a definitive end or not. No sandbox has made me play any more than a themepark has. The one thing that makes me play for a prolonged time is PvP, and even that can't hold me forever. Sandbox PvE is just grind, grind, grind with no end which gets boring very quickly.

    So no, themeparks are not "inherently flawed". You can get bored in a matter of months in any game.

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

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