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GW2 Designing for Motivation

grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,873Member Uncommon

I've been thinking about GW2 and player motivation a lot lately.

One article that I found one the web describing Motivation in game design :

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/1419/designing_for_motivation.php

On one of the pages, the following is stated:

"Even though this system looks ideal and scalable, it has its weaknesses. When the limit of progression is reached, the game looses its interest and the motivation disappears. If there is no limit, the system does not offer any objectives or references and thus the motivation is very weak."

This kind of ties in to the recoccuring complaints I read about lack of motivation for latter levels.

What do the rest of you think?

 

 

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Comments

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,668Member Uncommon

    I think the level system in its current incarnation is horrible and needs to be done away with, solely because most gamers don't realize the contradiction of their two desires - always having further to progress and the feeling of accomplishing something.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,928Member Uncommon

    I don't fault ANet for their design.  It sounded good on paper, but when I tried it there just wasn't enough reward for putting in the effort.  There is zero reward in WvW for me.  I don't even like the playstyle of the dungeons so to go through all of that just for cosmetics?  no thanks.

     

    If the game is underperforming at this point it is most likely due to the lack of real character progression at end game.

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,928Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    I think the level system in its current incarnation is horrible and needs to be done away with, solely because most gamers don't realize the contradiction of their two desires - always having further to progress and the feeling of accomplishing something.

     

    the leveling system is the thing I enjoy most.  Get rid of that and I'd rather play RTS or FPS games because they have better gameplay.

  • clumsytoes44clumsytoes44 portland, ORPosts: 463Member
    Actually i think they hit it dead on with GW1, and failed miserably with GW2. GW1 had alot more to offer even in the first month's of life imo.
  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member
    I've been sucked heavily into WvW lately (thanks to a great guild, leaderships, etc.) and believe me, there's no lack of motivation to play at level 80 with nearly full exotics. It's about competing, and winning (when you can). Mainly, I'm having as much, if not more, fun now than ever.

    Oderint, dum metuant.
    image

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDPosts: 5,359Member
    Originally posted by FrodoFragins
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    I think the level system in its current incarnation is horrible and needs to be done away with, solely because most gamers don't realize the contradiction of their two desires - always having further to progress and the feeling of accomplishing something.

     

    the leveling system is the thing I enjoy most.  Get rid of that and I'd rather play RTS or FPS games because they have better gameplay.

     That's debateable.  I actually enjoy GW2's gameplay more than RTS and FPS games...and I like those kinds of games.  And this is at 80 mind you, when I already have progressed basically as far as I can...just need a few exotics, and I don't think I'm going to lose interest after I get them.

     

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDPosts: 5,359Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    I think the level system in its current incarnation is horrible and needs to be done away with, solely because most gamers don't realize the contradiction of their two desires - always having further to progress and the feeling of accomplishing something.

     

     Hahaha very well said.  Illusion of accomplishment indeed :).

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • BladestromBladestrom edinburghPosts: 4,946Member Uncommon
    Ah I remember the days when sub goals were acceptable and rewarding.

    rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW > oblivion > LOTR > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(1000 elementalist), Wildstar

    Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO, LOTR, Elite D

  • FoomerangFoomerang Portland, ORPosts: 5,565Member Uncommon

    I think one of the unforseen problems with cosmetic progression is that in most other mmos, cosmetics are commonplace. In other mmos, costumes and dyes are cheap and easy to get. Its part of the customization process and is easily accessible. But gw2 makes cosmetics the goal of end game grind and difficult content. So what was once a cheap and convenient feature is now put on the treadmill and i think that discourages some players feeling like whats the point.

  • grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,873Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Foomerang

    I think one of the unforseen problems with cosmetic progression is that in most other mmos, cosmetics are commonplace. In other mmos, costumes and dyes are cheap and easy to get. Its part of the customization process and is easily accessible. But gw2 makes cosmetics the goal of end game grind and difficult content. So what was once a cheap and convenient feature is now put on the treadmill and i think that discourages some players feeling like whats the point.

    Ha! Interesting point.

  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member
    Originally posted by Foomerang

    I think one of the unforseen problems with cosmetic progression is that in most other mmos, cosmetics are commonplace. In other mmos, costumes and dyes are cheap and easy to get. Its part of the customization process and is easily accessible. But gw2 makes cosmetics the goal of end game grind and difficult content. So what was once a cheap and convenient feature is now put on the treadmill and i think that discourages some players feeling like whats the point.

    Hmm... I remember the opposite with WoW. You had raid gear, and it all looked alike. No cosmetic progression at all. If it looked like crap you had no choice... wear it or be left behind. Hell, the only real cosmetic "progression" there was the size of shoulder armor. My ol' pally tank had a family of four living in his shoulder armor.

    Oderint, dum metuant.
    image

  • FoomerangFoomerang Portland, ORPosts: 5,565Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Volkon
    Originally posted by Foomerang I think one of the unforseen problems with cosmetic progression is that in most other mmos, cosmetics are commonplace. In other mmos, costumes and dyes are cheap and easy to get. Its part of the customization process and is easily accessible. But gw2 makes cosmetics the goal of end game grind and difficult content. So what was once a cheap and convenient feature is now put on the treadmill and i think that discourages some players feeling like whats the point.
    Hmm... I remember the opposite with WoW. You had raid gear, and it all looked alike. No cosmetic progression at all. If it looked like crap you had no choice... wear it or be left behind. Hell, the only real cosmetic "progression" there was the size of shoulder armor. My ol' pally tank had a family of four living in his shoulder armor.

    Rift has a wardrobe feature thats lets everyone wear everything. The dye vendor sells dozens of colors for chump change.

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,614Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Foomerang

    I think one of the unforseen problems with cosmetic progression is that in most other mmos, cosmetics are commonplace. In other mmos, costumes and dyes are cheap and easy to get. Its part of the customization process and is easily accessible. But gw2 makes cosmetics the goal of end game grind and difficult content. So what was once a cheap and convenient feature is now put on the treadmill and i think that discourages some players feeling like whats the point.

    You have a good point. Themeparks with the WOW end-game model (i.e. most) seem to have a never-ending gear grind progression where you need to do the dungeons and raids in a specific order to qualify for entry in the next one. GW2 does not have that gear grind so people who still (in 2012 for crissakes!) enjoy that type of end game, will feel like something is missing here. GW2 is more like DAoC than WOW once you reach 80. The end game here really is WvW. But for people who don't enjoy that and want some sort of hard-to-obtain item grind, yes, all they have is the cosmetic Legendary armor/weapon skin grind.

     

    Dyes imho, are not really grindy: there are many drops all over at all levels to satisfy everyone. Even though many people don't even look at them... I get a kick seeing how black sells for about 5 gold but Midnight Sky, which is actually a nicer looking black with a slight blue sheen, goes for a couple of silvers :)

  • EvilGeekEvilGeek londonPosts: 1,226Member Uncommon

    I'm still having a blast, but then I was a pretty hard core GW player and kept my eyes closely on the game throughout development, I kinda knew what to expect.

    There are problems, grinding karma in Orr gets old pretty fast and not everyone enjoys the dungeons. Variety is definitely needed if you're all about the end game.

    Personally I'm loving leveling alts, seeing new parts of the world (only complete the map where my story takes me), playing out different stories and trying different classes, but not everyone likes having alts. I'm used to the idea of getting cosmetic rather than stat upgrades from years of playing GW.

    Watching the forums has been interesting, even though it was well known that GW2 wouldn't have the traditional end game, most of the complaints have been exactly about that. Part of that is a lack of knowledge and part of that is simply ignoring it. It's going to be interesting to watch how content is being addressed from now on, I doubt we'll see a u-turn.

    image
  • botrytisbotrytis In Flux, MIPosts: 2,567Member
    Originally posted by Foomerang

     


    Originally posted by Volkon

    Originally posted by Foomerang I think one of the unforseen problems with cosmetic progression is that in most other mmos, cosmetics are commonplace. In other mmos, costumes and dyes are cheap and easy to get. Its part of the customization process and is easily accessible. But gw2 makes cosmetics the goal of end game grind and difficult content. So what was once a cheap and convenient feature is now put on the treadmill and i think that discourages some players feeling like whats the point.
    Hmm... I remember the opposite with WoW. You had raid gear, and it all looked alike. No cosmetic progression at all. If it looked like crap you had no choice... wear it or be left behind. Hell, the only real cosmetic "progression" there was the size of shoulder armor. My ol' pally tank had a family of four living in his shoulder armor.

     

    Rift has a wardrobe feature thats lets everyone wear everything. The dye vendor sells dozens of colors for chump change.

    So did GW1....

    image

    "In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
    by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  • Pretender00Pretender00 Spokane, WAPosts: 84Member

    I really like WvW, but there are some problems I'd like to see addressed.

    Keeps are too easy to seige. The biggest problem for me is the constant turn-around of keeps. I'd like to see some kind of scalable progression with keeps that make them harder to conquer the longer they are held. This back and forth swapping of ownership causes alot of the constant zerging. It needs to take a zerg longer than 3-5 minutes to take a keep.

    There needs to be some kind of rewards system in place like titles, etc to make WvW mean something like RvR did in DAoC. I don't think we need the same RR system but something like it would be nice. Just not have a system where "lifers" can faceroll everyone and their mother because they're RR10.

    Would a mercenary system work in WvW? If a realm is down people because of time of day, they could hire mercs to help defend keeps, do patrols, etc? These could be part of the guild perks system.

     

     

  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member
    Originally posted by Pretender00

    I really like WvW, but there are some problems I'd like to see addressed.

    Keeps are too easy to seige. The biggest problem for me is the constant turn-around of keeps. I'd like to see some kind of scalable progression with keeps that make them harder to conquer the longer they are held. This back and forth swapping of ownership causes alot of the constant zerging. It needs to take a zerg longer than 3-5 minutes to take a keep.

    There needs to be some kind of rewards system in place like titles, etc to make WvW mean something like RvR did in DAoC. I don't think we need the same RR system but something like it would be nice. Just not have a system where "lifers" can faceroll everyone and their mother because they're RR10.

    Would a mercenary system work in WvW? If a realm is down people because of time of day, they could hire mercs to help defend keeps, do patrols, etc? These could be part of the guild perks system.

     

     

     

    Keeps do get harder to conquer the longer they're held. It's called upgrades, supply and guild buffs, in addition to building defensive seige weapons as well. Part of the uprgades available are patrols, stronger guards, etc.

    Oderint, dum metuant.
    image

  • Pretender00Pretender00 Spokane, WAPosts: 84Member
    Originally posted by Volkon
    Originally posted by Pretender00

    I really like WvW, but there are some problems I'd like to see addressed.

    Keeps are too easy to seige. The biggest problem for me is the constant turn-around of keeps. I'd like to see some kind of scalable progression with keeps that make them harder to conquer the longer they are held. This back and forth swapping of ownership causes alot of the constant zerging. It needs to take a zerg longer than 3-5 minutes to take a keep.

    There needs to be some kind of rewards system in place like titles, etc to make WvW mean something like RvR did in DAoC. I don't think we need the same RR system but something like it would be nice. Just not have a system where "lifers" can faceroll everyone and their mother because they're RR10.

    Would a mercenary system work in WvW? If a realm is down people because of time of day, they could hire mercs to help defend keeps, do patrols, etc? These could be part of the guild perks system.

     

     

     

    Keeps do get harder to conquer the longer they're held. It's called upgrades, supply and guild buffs, in addition to building defensive seige weapons as well. Part of the uprgades available are patrols, stronger guards, etc.

     I know about upgrades. It's far too often that keeps don't get upgraded because the zerg rotation is too fast. I've seen keeps flip so fast that the last person of a zerg that just took a keep is just getting out of sight as the next zerg is taking the same keep back.  It's like a constant rotation.  The repetitiveness of this is the only thing that gets a little old. Except for the fact if you're part of the zerg you can get massive karma just flipping keeps.

    Seriously though, what's the point of a guild claiming a keep and paying for upgrades if it's just gonna be flipped 10 minutes later? Maybe if some guilds would adopt a keep and have regular rotations of members defending it like in Daoc. But, we haven't seen that type of commitment yet.

  • EagleDelta2EagleDelta2 Lincoln, NEPosts: 14Member

    My issue with most current games (MMO or non-MMO) is that, when growing up, I played video games to have fun and was satisfied.  I didn't need achievements, unlocks, gear grind, "End Game" (MMOs)... I, and all my family and friends, played to have fun....

    Nowadays, no one wants to keep playing a game just for fun (maybe that's why the younger generation is starting to become less interested in video games), there HAS to be a reward to playing the game.  Why do we need that, isn't that what we go to work for - to get rewarded for doing things?  Why can't we just have fun, like everyone did until WoW / Xbox Live came out?

    Games are supposed to be fun, not another achievment in the belt, not another thing to work towards.  If so, I may stop playing.  I spend hours upon hours a week working towards learning more and becoming the best I can as a Systems Administrator (as well as learning some Development skills) just so I can make sure I still have a job in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years.  It takes up most of my time (outside of work), when I'm not doing that, I'd rather focus on having fun that "working towards" virtual rewards that give me absolutely nothing in the real world.

    This is why I like GW2 over any other MMO right now... it doesn't feel like work, it's just fun.

  • AerowynAerowyn BUZZARDS BAY, MAPosts: 7,928Member
    Originally posted by EagleDelta2

    My issue with most current games (MMO or non-MMO) is that, when growing up, I played video games to have fun and was satisfied.  I didn't need achievements, unlocks, gear grind, "End Game" (MMOs)... I, and all my family and friends, played to have fun....

    Nowadays, no one wants to keep playing a game just for fun (maybe that's why the younger generation is starting to become less interested in video games), there HAS to be a reward to playing the game.  Why do we need that, isn't that what we go to work for - to get rewarded for doing things?  Why can't we just have fun, like everyone did until WoW / Xbox Live came out?

    Games are supposed to be fun, not another achievment in the belt, not another thing to work towards.  If so, I may stop playing.  I spend hours upon hours a week working towards learning more and becoming the best I can as a Systems Administrator (as well as learning some Development skills) just so I can make sure I still have a job in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years.  It takes up most of my time (outside of work), when I'm not doing that, I'd rather focus on having fun that "working towards" virtual rewards that give me absolutely nothing in the real world.

    This is why I like GW2 over any other MMO right now... it doesn't feel like work, it's just fun.

    very much agreed.. now on the other hand I can see some people do need that achievement or something to constantly work towards to actually have fun but honestly can't see how they don't see that others don't need these things to just enjoy a game. 

    I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  • FoomerangFoomerang Portland, ORPosts: 5,565Member Uncommon

    Thats why this game works for some people and doesnt for others. Everyone has their own definition of fun. And all of those definitions are correct.

  • grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,873Member Uncommon

    I think the whole "I play for fun" is a bit of a misnomer.

    Sure, you play videogames for fun in the general sense, but to keep playing that same game there has to be a sort of motivation.

    As put in this article on the first page,

    "The world? Indeed, if the universe "speaks" to the player, if it is original enough and its coherency is sufficient, then it is a motivating element. If at the beginning it is necessary to discover the universe, then at the end the objective is to control it and master it. Even if it is not the principal motivation, one can consider the universe to be a background motivation if it is rich enough.

    The gameplay? Yes, the game design is the essence of the game and it is here that we find the real potential for motivation. This is also the point that I will develop further on.

    The motivation depends on the needs. After the first minutes, the needs of the player immersed in the universe are directly linked to the game. These needs are artificially created by the game design according to the tacit agreement with the player.

    This silent agreement takes the form of a promise stated by the game design at the time of the presentation of the game’s universe and the game itself. For example, a RPG promises character growth combined with a measure of empowerment. A FPS, on the other hand, promises large weapons and powerful enemies."

    People argue that the game doesnt have enough progression;  others argue the exploration is the game's motivation.....and then some fall back on the "fun" argument.

    (Have to run out now..continued later)...

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDPosts: 5,359Member
    Originally posted by grimal

    I've been thinking about GW2 and player motivation a lot lately.

    One article that I found one the web describing Motivation in game design :

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/1419/designing_for_motivation.php

    On one of the pages, the following is stated:

    "Even though this system looks ideal and scalable, it has its weaknesses. When the limit of progression is reached, the game looses its interest and the motivation disappears. If there is no limit, the system does not offer any objectives or references and thus the motivation is very weak."

    This kind of ties in to the recoccuring complaints I read about lack of motivation for latter levels.

    What do the rest of you think?

     

     

     I think that just about every RPG uses the "Motivation on Reward" system described in that article, and excerpted in your OP above to a fairly major extent.  And what you are getting at is basically that all games are essentially finite, and people will eventually run out of things to do.  I don't really think it's specific to GW2, but more of a universal truth.

    I also think however, that GW2 has a fairly high "motivation by challenge" factor with WvW, PvP, and to a lesser extent, dungeons.  I find myself highly motivated to be the "best" player I can be in PvP scenarios, similar to how I was motivated in multiplayer SC2.

    One thing that is pretty relevant to MMORPGs that I feel the article left out is motivation based on social structures.  In older games like UO and SWG, a lot of people would build social relationships in the game by using the games' systems to build houses and towns.  There would be "regulars" at taverns or cantinas, and sometimes players would play just to hang out with their friends. 

    This may not seem like it has anything to do with game design, since it is basically just speaking to a desire to socialize with other humans, but I think it does.  A game can be designed in a way to encourage socialization by including features like the player housing listed above (UO, SWG), or it can be designed in a way to limit socialization by having bland social hubs and heavy sharding/instancing (SWTOR).

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • EagleDelta2EagleDelta2 Lincoln, NEPosts: 14Member
    Originally posted by grimal

    I think the whole "I play for fun" is a bit of a misnomer.

    Sure, you play videogames for fun in the general sense, but to keep playing that same game there has to be a sort of motivation.

    As put in this article on the first page,

    "The world? Indeed, if the universe "speaks" to the player, if it is original enough and its coherency is sufficient, then it is a motivating element. If at the beginning it is necessary to discover the universe, then at the end the objective is to control it and master it. Even if it is not the principal motivation, one can consider the universe to be a background motivation if it is rich enough.

    The gameplay? Yes, the game design is the essence of the game and it is here that we find the real potential for motivation. This is also the point that I will develop further on.

    The motivation depends on the needs. After the first minutes, the needs of the player immersed in the universe are directly linked to the game. These needs are artificially created by the game design according to the tacit agreement with the player.

    This silent agreement takes the form of a promise stated by the game design at the time of the presentation of the game’s universe and the game itself. For example, a RPG promises character growth combined with a measure of empowerment. A FPS, on the other hand, promises large weapons and powerful enemies."

    People argue that the game doesnt have enough progression;  others argue the exploration is the game's motivation.....and then some fall back on the "fun" argument.

    (Have to run out now..continued later)...

    I'm not just falling back on the "fun" argument though... did you play video games during the NES, SNES/SEGA Genesis, and N64/Playstation 1 eras?

    If so, what was the motivation in playing those games?

    Graphics weren't great, online was non-existant, RPGs had limited Character progression and set/linnear gear, there were no rewards other than satisfaction upon beating a game (even if you played that game for the story).  Simply put there was no carrot.  Not the way you find in many Post-WoW MMORPGs.  Let me ask you ( or anyone, since I'm not sure if you even play WoW, and I'd rather not make assumptions) - what is "Fun" about raiding to get gear so you can raid more to get more gear?

    What is your motivation to play a game?

    Mine is to relax the body (sometimes my mind) and just have fun.  Because of that, I enjoy a wide variety of games - from Arcady games like Castle Crashers, to Strategy (Civ 5 and Empire at War), to RPG (Skyrim, old SNES classics), to action, FPS and MMOs.

  • AerowynAerowyn BUZZARDS BAY, MAPosts: 7,928Member
    Originally posted by EagleDelta2
     

    I'm not just falling back on the "fun" argument though... did you play video games during the NES, SNES/SEGA Genesis, and N64/Playstation 1 eras?

    If so, what was the motivation in playing those games?

    Graphics weren't great, online was non-existant, RPGs had limited Character progression and set/linnear gear, there were no rewards other than satisfaction upon beating a game (even if you played that game for the story).  Simply put there was no carrot.  Not the way you find in many Post-WoW MMORPGs.  Let me ask you ( or anyone, since I'm not sure if you even play WoW, and I'd rather not make assumptions) - what is "Fun" about raiding to get gear so you can raid more to get more gear?

    What is your motivation to play a game?

    Mine is to relax the body (sometimes my mind) and just have fun.  Because of that, I enjoy a wide variety of games - from Arcady games like Castle Crashers, to Strategy (Civ 5 and Empire at War), to RPG (Skyrim, old SNES classics), to action, FPS and MMOs.

    yea remember many of those NES and atari games had no saves at all other than a high score here and there.. many of them you basically had to beat in one sit through or you had to keep it on pause and hope no one banged up against or stomped on the ground near your NES dislodging the cartridge and losing all your progress. I remember losing almost an entire season of tecmo super bowl after stomping on the ground :P but then i just got my trusty bo jackson and did my zig zag pattern for the automatic TD. But you are correct times have definitly changed since those days... 

    I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

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