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To the OP: Come back and ask that question if GW2 actually does change everything.
A bit premature to be asking that now.
And anyway, the answer of "what more can be done to expand on MMOs" can be found by looking to the older generation MMOs - specifically their focus on creating worlds for players to exist in, not "games" for them to play through.
All of the so-called "limitations" that people are now grinding their brains trying to figure out ways to eliminate have already been answered. Problem is, people wanted "more guidance", "more reward", "faster progress", etc. etc, and so developers moved away from that.
Problem is, the moment you bring up old school MMOs, people have this knee-jerk reaction of immediately thinking of the worst possible things they can associate with them, and then quickly dismissing without another thought. They never stop to think about what those MMOs did right. One thing many of those older MMOs did right was exactly the kind of thing the OP is pondering in this column.
Originally posted by TangentPoint To the OP: Come back and ask that question if GW2 actually does change everything. A bit premature to be asking that now.
Really all these proclamations about how GW2 changes this and that has been going on for the last several years and its really been OTT for months now. Game hasn't even been out a month and already it is being suggested it has changed everything? Can we please all come back to reality? Isn't the obvious backlash enough or do we want to push this game even higher so it really hits the ground hard?
Originally posted by YamotaSo sad to see lead developers in the genre only talking about what the devs can do but nothing about what the players can do. Player created content, that is the future... dev created content is the past.
Make a Borderlands-like MMO.
FPS mechanics with loads of randomly generated items.
UO did it right the first time and a ton of people still agree, why haven't the companies made anything like it since? (well there's DF and coming DF:uw, which is close, but still not quite)
All i ask is WHY?
Another great article. ^_^
Though I would like to mention that the idea was already implemented by OSI and Richard Garriott, when they still had control of Ultima Online. It's not "zone-base", events change and may not happen in the same place twice or never at all again anywhere. And if I remember correctly, they had event GMs which makes it even more dynamic than relying on codes (which will eventually repeat it sooner or later).
This is the kind of MMOs we had before and we've never seen for a long time. A true successor of UO, a real sandbox MMO-Role-Playing Game. Currently, the MMORPGs with such a promise to become the true successor of UO are:  Neverwinter (Online); and  ArcheAge.
Does having a real GM instead of AI a good choice? I would say 'yes'. Having come from D&D pen-and-paper (a DM myself), then to MUDs (an IMM and builder too), and then MMORPGs (a GM and CM), we directed the games to have impromptu events and planned events - from simple to complicated; from the shortest to the longest (I remember in Philippine Ragnarok Online for example, I did a week long event with that branches out; players liked it and we expanded it to include the GM-characters of the other GMs - it was a blast and a huge success).
For me, what's happening in the industry is simply that we are going back to our roots. Back to where it all began and how it was - true sandbox, true RPG. Guild Wars 2 was a sort-of a tutorial to the "Holy Trinity Generation" and "Themepark Generation" to cross the bridge and learn the ropes and how fun playing a sandbox and non-holy_trinity MMOG is.
And by the time Neverwinter and ArcheAge comes out, or other similar games that follows on the footsteps of UO (and GW2 for that matter), we will have more players who are open to it. Not like a decade ago where we had a huge influx of Holy-Trinity and Themepark Generations of gamers that the industry have to "follow where the money is".
I'm glad as well that the MMOFPS and MMOTPS is following along (as for MMORTS, I have yet to see one).
GW2 has changed a lot for me but its hard to differentiate what they old concepts they have improved or what they have actually brought to the MMO genre.
I love DE's and even though I know most are static and in the same spot, I like the challenge of defeating a hard DE.
However, I think the next steps in the MMO genre for me would be:
- DE's that are not zone restricted. If players in a 35-45 zone don't hold back a centaur invasion, then DE's begin to roll out across zones and even to the starter area. (e.g. centaur parties scouting the area). Ignore it long enough, the centaurs lock down an entire zone which is taken over by a centaur king and there is a huge effort to reclaim it. Knowing the world is affected just makes it so much more realistic.
- AI, be interesting to see an AI setup that actually wants to live in the world just as much as the players do. e.g. NPC's harvest nodes to make structures, siege weapons etc. Left alone their structures improve and their weapon and armour stats improve with their new blacksmith. They don't attack for no reason, its strategic and its for resources etc. If there are too many players the few NPC's left, run away instead of going suicidal.
- Sandbox elements are a must. If you want me to really invest my time/money and soul into this game. Let me pitch up a spot and make a house that isn't in an instanced zone. Vanguard did this and it was unreal to run down the road on the main map and see your house sitting there for everyone to see. Take it further though. Let me buy seeds from a food crafter and plant crops so I can harvest nodes in my own garden. Let me build a house near a mine where I can mine nodes.
- World affecting events as suggested. Once in a while have a natural event that really shakes up the world. Tornado, storm or whatever makes all NPC's disappear and unleash an army of undead using it as cover to attack. Something that makes every player work together.
Not much but there you go.
I have 97% of the map explored so far in gw2 and have had a great time doing it.I don't know where games will go from here,I have been waiting for the next sandsomething for awhile now.I like the zone wide events in rift and would like to see some bigger events in gw2.My first mmo was asherons call and there are alot of ideas from that game i would like to see in newer games.The most fun i have ever had in a mmo through all the years have been live events.
I would like to play a game that has dynamic events and includes a quest system like tsw has with to tell the story and a loot and crafting system like asherons call.In asherons call everytime you looted it was fun.I also want playes to own land and build all structures.
Guys when you decide to leave your mediocre or worse games and decide to play GW2 remember the GW2 community won't judge you. We understand that you were swayed by marketing and nostalgia. When you decide to be awesome; we'll be here for you.
We're lovers not haters bros.
I like your ideas for interative dynamic events Mr. Kern but I just dont see how it could be possible with todays technology in a multi-player environment such as an MMO. Single Player games sure, but MMO's nope. Sounds interesting and I anticipate new blog posts to tell us how you think it could be achieved.
Everything you need to know about Elder Scrolls Online
Playing: GW2Waiting on: TESONext Flop: Planetside 2Best MMO of all time: Asheron's Call - The first company to recreate AC will be the next greatest MMO.
Originally posted by Fortenbas I have 97% of the map explored so far in gw2 and have had a great time doing it.I don't know where games will go from here,I have been waiting for the next sandsomething for awhile now.I like the zone wide events in rift and would like to see some bigger events in gw2.My first mmo was asherons call and there are alot of ideas from that game i would like to see in newer games.The most fun i have ever had in a mmo through all the years have been live events. I would like to play a game that has dynamic events and includes a quest system like tsw has with to tell the story and a loot and crafting system like asherons call.In asherons call everytime you looted it was fun.I also want playes to own land and build all structures.
I agree. The first game that can capture the spirit of Asherons Call will be a huge success. It too was my first MMO and I loved the classless based skill system, the dynamic loot pinatas. I jsut loved how any kill could drop the most uberest, rarest item in the game.
Seriously Mark, don't listen to some of the fools comment.
You and your designer should go play GW2.
Decide how you can make your game better.
You cannot rely on this forum feedback as they are so bias on any games lol.
One thing I know that game designer should never ever fall in love with their own game or it will sucks very badly.
Pardon my English as it is not my 1st language
Originally posted by Yolen Or just... I dunno... make Minecraft with better graphics, phat loot and coplex combat? Minecraft changed A LOT more that GW2. I mean... who doesn't want random coputer generated worlds to infinately explore?
While that is a good idea the idea of certain events happening to a player whenever he/she fullfills some circomstances have potential, and frankly could your idea work togethetr with this as well, mixing player generated content with some premade is not a bad idea and tend to spice things up.
I would take things further than OP and have some stuff spawn based on which players are close, what they have done so far, if it is day or night and so on. Whenever one or many players are upfilling a DEs all requirement (which should include a few minutes since the last one was resolved) it will spawn.
A system like this could be used as optional content to any type of MMO, I dont however think it would be great as the only content. Mixing it with quests, regular DEs or player created content (or why not all of them?) probably would work better at least for me.
I have to agree with the article.
I would love to see an MMO that did quests like, Quest for glory 2. The game took place within a city, on different days, different events happened.
In MMO's you finish quests in one area; move to the next.
Why not have the quest giver give different quests on different days. I believe a main storyline quest coupled with randomly generated side quests, like the quest system in Skyrim would be great for an MMO. That way the world wouldn't feel so static.
There have been games that had small scale forms of interactive storytelling; hell, one of them was EverQuest. The EverQuest Quest Troupe would put on dynamic events with real people interacting with and/or fighting the players. Some of them were canned, some of them were impromptu, but they always had humans guiding the event and interacting with players (disguised as NPCs). The EverQuest system was built upon volunteers from the EverQuest Guide program (itself a volunteer venture) that allowed players to volunteer time to run dynamic events on other servers.
In my experience you'd typically see a few of these run per week, usually during primetime, on a given server. There were rewards given out as loot, or as prizes at the end of the encounter. And typically the Quest Troupers would come hang out after and pass out free cookies and what not. There was a big database full of "pre-made" modules that your troupe could run, and you could submit your own (complete with characters, plot, loot, etc., just like how I'd make a plan for D&D today). The Quest Troupe even had the concept of "persistent NPCs", where you could design and submit a persistent NPC that you wanted to play as, and then roleplay that NPC in Norrath whenever you wanted. And this was back in 1999.
The problems with this system were that the Quest Troupe guys needed a GM in order to do anything because the game lacked the built-in tools necessary for them to do anything themselves (I assume we were largely untrusted). For example, my dragon avatar had to be specially copied and loot tabled on my account; getting a GM might be impossible, or it might take 30-45 minutes. I'm not sure how you'd adapt this model to a modern game... I think creating tooling and having a volunteer, cross-server community would make it possible to do a lot more events. Hiring full timers to do these would also help, but I do think that modern MMOs could learn something about the desire of people who play their games to help other people have fun.
Originally posted by SnarlingWolf Originally posted by RefMinor It didn't change everything, so the premise of your question is incorrect.
1) GW2 got rid of quest hubs: Yes, it also pretty much got rid of quests too. So.... I'll take quest hubs over that. The game is at least 98% kill/gather/destroy tasks. You know, those exact things people complain about in other games but for some reason when ANet does it, it is revolutionary.
Quest hubs you go through once, never to return there is better than the GW2 scaling? Then I guess you're all for linear gameplay. I guess MoP will be more up your alley then if you prefer quest hubs over GW2. You should try it.
2) GW2 is B2P: Yes, they successfully tricked players into paying $60 for a F2P game. Yet again, because it was ANet, it is revolutionary and will be the future of gaming. So the future is we'll all pay $60 for a F2P when currently you get F2P games for free to start with... good improvement.
You wouldn't know a real F2P cash shop if it bit you in the butt, would you? Either that or you've never taken a look at at the GW2 cash shop. If you want a F2P P2W cash shop, there are plenty of examples out there. Play some F2P MMO's to endgame. You'll know the meaning of P2W soon enough. B2P is a blessing if the game is the kind of quality G2 is offering.
3) GW2 auto grouped everyone: Yup, and they killed all socialization by doing so. Good to know the future of gaming is an MMO where no one ever talks to each other. Sounds fun.
Well, that's mostly true, you don't need to party up much except for dungeons. On the up side you don't have to stand around LF Tank, LF Healer, LF2M DPS either. So it's not all doom and gloom. You can now jump into the fun straight away with the almost obligatory standing around bored.
4) GW2 did combos!!: Oh wait, other games already did those.
Cross class combo's in other games? Possible, not that I know any, but I'll take your word for it, not that it's been very good so far.
5) GW2 did Dynamic Events!!: Oh wait, other games already did those.
You're referring to RIFT no doubt. If you're comparing GW2 DE's to that crap you've either never played RIFT or never played GW2. Comparing it to what RIFT launched with is really quite the injustice.
6) GW2 did WvW PvP!!: Not any different from RvR that has been done before only this time there is absolutely no point to it at all so it is boring as hell. Not a good improvement.
It's only boring if you don't like it. Since you're such a fan of team play I'm sure you'd have a blast. Or are you soloing WvW and complaining you're getting zerged?
If we base the future of gaming off of GW2... we're f&%ked.
If Themeparks take lessons from GW2 then we're not f&%ked, quite the contrary.
Cross class combos are awesome. They add another layer of strategy on. When I smack a hammer into a chaos field, everybody gets chaos armor and suddenly things are going our way. Also, I really like autogrouping. It's not even autogrouping, its just the feeling of people you see running around being people you want to help, or at least don't hate for stealing your stuff.
I agree with your other points though; GW2 has taken a lot of really good ideas and executed them very well. I think the "changing everything" is that they took the *right* good ideas and expanded upon them in the right way to make an MMO feel fresh again.
Your suggestions sound very similar to EverQuest 2's World Events, which are generated at the players location if the player is on the right step of the quest, and can be triggered anywhere. So you might have some mobs appear and attack the player (or the players group) or you might have a portal to a dungeon spawn at the players location, or even a camp of nasties spawning next to the player.
These are all based on the timeline of the player (or one of the players in the group) and can appear on any land mass, or any area, even (in the case of the mobs attacking) in a capital city.
I'm sure WoW also uses this from time to time.
So, the process is in place, just hide the quest steps from the player so it feels more like a story, make the generated events bigger and more interesting, and add a storyline, and your done!
"When people don't know much about something, they tend to fill in the blanks the way they want them to be filled in. They are almost always disappointed." - Will Wright
I keep reading about how good are sandbox games and how they should be the future of MMOs, but I see little evidence that people really like them. Except on forums and sites like this one.
Well, it seems that most people who play do not post on such sites and foums, as I don't see any sandbox game doing well in the market. What am I missing here?
Some interesting ideas, but In order to have a truly 'revolutionary' MMO, we will have to completely change our concept of progression, reward, and content.
The problem with MMOs atm (both Themeparks & Sandboxes alike), is that they are handcuffed by us (the players) in that we have come to expect inherently flawed systems in our MMOs. What's worse is that we have also gotten in the habit of bitches about these flawed systems as soon as we start to see the problems they create begin to manifest (hence the cycle of MMO gripes since the release of WoW).
Many players are looking for things from MMOs that are not physically possible with current technology. Furthermore, by the time that technology exists (if it ever does), there's nothing to say that we won't have changed our perspective to now view that new technology in the same way we view the current one. (jaded, unimpressed, and completely discounting any advantages the new tech even offers).
What I think MMOs need to do to take that next step (and some have started to, but haven't done enough), is to get rid of vertical progression entirely, or limit it to a tutorial zone. Many of the problems stem from such a system, and it's beyond tiring. Instead, tie character customization, skills, and rewards towards achievements in the world. This could even be taken further to tie territorial control to resource management, similar to what we've seen in games like Eve, Planetside, etc.
It is possible to have dynamic MMOs, but not if you're only understanding of what constitutes 'dynamic' involves technology that doesn't exist. It's impossible to have quests like we know them (from RPGs) manifest in MMOs in a way that is 100% unique, 100% of the time. Games are always going to be repetative in nature, and they always have been. Even when you look at single player RPGs, you will find that they have a lot of the same characteristics that MMOs do. The big difference is that single player RPGs have a long, involved, overarcing storylines that distract from the repetative tasks. This is something MMOs have tried to mimic (ie. SWTOR, TSW) and it just doesn't work that well.
We need to stop viewing MMOs as the latest gear treadmills, and start approaching them in a new way. Even though games like GW2 tried to do this, most of us are still incapable of approaching games without looking for that treadmill. Until we start seeing this, there isn't much MMO developers can do for us.
GW2 is megafun and I love it, but changed everything? lmao
GW2 is only one more good game nothing news on market
brw. STO had similar combat & gameplay concept
only EVE is real MMO...but I am impressive with TSW