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Originally posted by Gdemami Originally posted by ompgaming Why don't the MMO developers get this?
They do get it, it is Bill who is missing by a mile tho...
How do you figure? Bill plainly states the concept and its rarely if ever seen in games. So how do you figure that the devs do get it and Bill doesn't?
Above all else... never ever piss off the penguin.
Originally posted by ompgamingHow do you figure? Bill plainly states the concept and its rarely if ever seen in games. So how do you figure that the devs do get it and Bill doesn't?
As pointed out before, Bill is talking business with gamer perception. Leaving all business aspect of MMO development aside.
It is a typical "games needs to change to suit my desires otherwise whole industry is doomed". Just written slightly better than average "sanbox fans" do on the site.
Why it is rarely seen in games? Because business people get it that it does not work that way
Excellent and well thought article Bill.....
When I think back at the most intresting and fun games, were the ones that were hybrid in nature,, Thempark AND sandbox, MMORPG and combines FPS, (MMOFPS) as opposed to tab clicking only games
Look at Battlezone and battlezone 2, great games, hybrids. Some Bioware games had mini games that were hybrid in nature.
Look at SWTOR, why not make a few "emtpy" worlds like SWG so to speak, and let people build on them, and still combine the story with the core worlds of the game
Its as if things are to compartmentalized. its a sure box formula........predictable, dont mix it up
Totally agree with the atrticle. In fact, I've been yelling this for years now...
With the huge improvements in memory and graphics, a lot of devs have forgotten that even video games are still games, first and foremost... And games mean game design, what you would call "systems design" nowadays.
For the past 10 years I've been seeing developers sinking vast amounts of money into "content" without ever a passing glance at what makes this content tick... and then act all surprised that players are not impressed. A shining example of this was the initial fiasco with Warhammers RvR... any armchair PnP wargame designer worth his salt could have pointed out to Mythic exactly why their game won't work as they imagined using only a few bits of paper and a couple of dice. SWTOR is another - a fail in concept if I ever saw one. What is the goal of this game, what is it supposed to evoke in the players? If your answer is "tightly directed story like in the movies" then you can see how incompatible it is with the idea of massively multiplayer and subscription paying to boot...
On the other hand of the spectrum you have small indie games which have "inexplicably" grown to massive success... and what is behind each of those games? Extremely well thought out game design (pardon me "systems design"). It's not about piling up ever more money into shinies anymore, the market is too saturated for that. After the massive failure of SWTOR even the old school developers "video games = movies with something to do with your fingers" are beginning to change their stance, thankfully.
Originally posted by muffins89 Originally posted by Ozivois They need to slow down level progression - that will add more time to subs. Lower experience gain to a minimum so that players have to spend inordinate amounts of time in every area of the world. Offer raids for every ten levels. Limit daily experience gain. Make it so that rare level 20 armor is worth looking for because you will be able to use it for another month as you work your way to level 30...
didn't they speed it up to avoid being called 'a korean ginder'?
Big difference between a korean grinder as you call it and slowing down the leveling progression. Even when Wow came out it took you a good 3 months to level a character to 60. When the average user can level to end game in less than a month it is way too fast, it is a good way to kiss most of your playerbase goodbye in a few months. I would go as far as saying they need to limit daily progression. Any developer that has fast leveling is shooting themselves in the foot because people will just tear through content and ignore much of it and you had better hope you have lots of end game entertainment in such a case, which we all know just does not happen.
The big issue here is fluff which includes voice overs, cut scenes, etc. that does nothing to enhance gaming systems. It usually does not get much of a return for the investment as Bioware has found out. I will bet that is one of the reasons that Curt Schillings enterprise died on the vine, too many people just doing fluff, why else would they need 400 people.
I agree with Bill 100% on this article. Another thing that noone talks about, is the players. Players and community are what sets MMOs apart from other genres. In today's games the community is nowhere as good as it used to be. Noone talks to each other, noone has to trade with each other, noone has to party with each other (at least with anyone they'll ever see again.). The old MMOs caused everyone to respect and honor everyone. If you didn't you were an outcast, and shunned bye almost everyone.
Ashen Empires comes to mind. In most part, everyone was friendly and nice to each other. Guilds formed unofficial alliances. People played as mercenaries, helping if a guild paid them. And even a very few people liked playing the outcast role. They would grief, full loot, corpse camp, and run for thier lives when a policing guild got word of thier wrong doing.
In Today's MMOs, this would never ever work. The community is too caught up about "me" to care about some poor guy that just got all his gear looted because a small gang of ruffians killed him. There would be no policing guilds, no friendly people who would go help kill them and get his gear back. In Today's MMOs, you're lucky if you get to talk to someone that isn't in your friends list or guild.
Another thing that new MMOs have done has become really quickly over. This comes to Bill's System section. MMOs today, take maybe a week without trying to hit cap. Old MMOs took months or even years to complete. Usually by then, there was an expansion with new content coming out, for most players. DAoC comes to mind here. It used to be that levels 40-50 took you at least a week, if you played non-stop, but generally took a month or more. When you finally hit 50, everyone cheered you, because it was a real achievement. In today's MMOs, you hit 90, 50, 20, or whatever the case may be, there really isn't any celebration. All you get is a "grats" in guild chat maybe...they can't even give you the time for a "congratulations". I remember when I first hit 50 in DAoC, my guild threw a party for me, and a few others that hit 50 that week. In today's MMOs, there is no sense of accomplishment. This is one of the reasons why some players play a MMO for 2 months, then they're done. After 2 months, there is nothing else to do. You have the best gear, you've completed all the quests and dungeons. You've been on ever raid and defeated every challenge.
There's no reason for you to stick around, since you've done everything, and there's no community to talk to. In old MMOs, I used to sit around and chat with people while standing in a bank, or guild house. In today's MMOs, there is no talking. I almost feel sometimes like I accidently turned off chat and almost have to check to make sure I didn't.
Originally posted by strangiato2112 Originally posted by Entris38 Thank you........I hadn't even realized how much has been cut out that I enjoyed....... Quick,someone forward this to SOE for EQNext!
EQ2 is the game that closest resembles what Bill was getting at. No other current MMORPG is even in the same ballpark as EQ2 for this stuff. The most robust housing in MMO history? check (yes, its not open world like UO or SWG. but you can do more with it than even UO). Player made dungeons? check (albeit they still need some work, the framework is there).
SoE is embracing player made content and systems. They even tried player created quests in SWG. However, this is all being done on an existing framework, as opposed to building the game with it. EQNext is going to be built along side this sort of thing.
I agree the only issue with Eq2 i have atm is that the game is very very old and is way past its prime, combat system could be more dynamic as well in this day and age. After Tera ppl got spoiled :P
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Do not argue with an idiot they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. Mark Twain
Originally posted by MilitantWhy not stop being greedy and killing your own games and charge $5 a month and use a cash shop for cosmetics?
People will not play your game because it is cheaper, you only lose money that way.
That is not how it works.
Originally posted by orbitxo Originally posted by ShakyMo The problem is company execs keep seeing the "10 million" playing wow and think if we make a game like wow and only pull 1 in 10 of those people we will make more money. We just have to make a game like wow with a couple of things that are missing from it. Hence you get all these wow with a twist games. E.g. Lotro - wow with rp features Rift - wow with rifts and free spec switching Swtor - wow with personal story War - wow with rvr and pqs Aoc - wow with action combat and boobies Tsw - wow with puzzles, story, semi action combat and skill based progression Tera - wow with action combat and bams TESO - wow with rvr and open dungeons? Nw - wow with player made dungeons?
twist games. E.g. ...with Better wow graphics.
Not even sure how to respond to this post.. TSW is nothing like Wow not even close no clue where you came up with half these games being like Wow....
I also see you forget to mention "THE PRECIOUS" because if anything that game should also be on your list if TSW is lol.....
Originally posted by Gdemami Originally posted by Bill Murphy The problem is MMOs by their very nature are dependent upon players sticking around in game for months or years at a time.
And this premise is based on...?
The fact that MMOs have been, since their creation, experiences based on long-term, on-going adventure, not short term, "beat it and move on", console-style gameplay... which is what they've largely become.
This is why you have people who are still playing games like Anarchy Online, EQ1, AC1, DAoC, FFXI and so forth all these years later - and still enjoying them. Because they offered that kind of depth and longevity in their experiences. It's why, even with all these other new games on the market now, they still remain playing them.
The problem is MMOs in the last several years have moved away from that; surely the result of big companies getting involved that had no clue about the genre they were getting into. They were just trying to get a piece of Blizzard's pie.
No, it's not "because they've put so much time into playing them and don't want to give up". I know that's a popular canned argument intended to undermine the long-term success and "keeping power" of those older MMOs. It's just a very poor and lazy one. When people are no longer finding enough enjoyment to continue paying for a game, they stop playing. No one spends years sticking with a voluntary activity they get no joy out of.
They stick with those games because they provide, among other things, the kind of elements that Bill touches on in his article. Systems. On-going, self-sustaining activities where the players are part of the content and of the experience. These are the kinds of experiences that true MMO communities build around - you know, the kind that us "old MMO fogeys" love to go on about? They develop because such systems require player interaction. When people interact, they get to know each other, they build online friendships, people become known across servers and, lo and behold, communities grow.
I see people trying to argue that it's perfectly reasonable for MMO-hopping to happen and that games should be created to support that (mostly through the F2P/Cash Shop model). I could not disagree with this more wholeheartedly. The fact that MMO hopping exists is a sign modern MMOs have failed to create or capture the kind of experience playing the 1st and 2nd generation MMOs was. It's a symptom of a bigger problem.
I gotta say, between Smedley's seemingly revelatory statements about the direction they're taking with EQNext (however much you can believe anything Smedley says), articles like Bill's showing up, and the amount of agreement I see in many of the follow-up comments... it seems maybe.. just maybe... developers are starting to slowly get it again. And maybe.. just maybe... we can get back to having MMORPGs that are true long-term experiences again, and not just short-term, throw away "games".
One can dream.
"Winning" at EVE Online since May, 2007!
In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
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Originally posted by achesoma I have to disagree about WoW being a fluke. It was the first of its kind to be friendly to new MMOers. It had a very low learning curve and most of its content was easily accessible. I remember when I first started SWG in 2003 and it took me a good 2 months to learn the ins and outs of that game. Now I can jump into any current MMO and learn all I need to know in less than a hour. WoW did to MMOs what Starbucks did to coffee. Starbucks got the masses to drink coffee that normally didn't like coffee. And it's not really the coffee most people like about Starbucks, it's all the sweet, flavored crap they pour into it. WoW did the same to MMOs. It's not the MMO part of WoW people like, it's the Skinner box method of getting players hooked on their epic shineys and they can't let go. Most don't give a flip about any true social aspects of MMOs. People that truly enjoy the MMORPG aspect are unfortunately in the minority. A fluke? I think not. It was a brilliant business strategy.
Your analysis is worthy of noble slow clap.
So the question becomes; how do we close Pandoras box?
Virtual shiney rehab centers?
Kumbaya Online...a new horizon.
"Train by day, Joe Rogan podcast by night, all day!"
Originally posted by Ozivois They need to slow down level progression - that will add more time to subs. Lower experience gain to a minimum so that players have to spend inordinate amounts of time in every area of the world. Offer raids for every ten levels. Limit daily experience gain. Make it so that rare level 20 armor is worth looking for because you will be able to use it for another month as you work your way to level 30...
In that case I think it might be better to get rid of levels altogether.
Let gear have stat and skill requirements instead of level and give out a stat point or skill instead of levels.
Being level 15 of 80 kinda stresses people out today. And it really hurts character customization as well.
I think a lot of people are forgetting that one of the major reasons the old school MMOs had much more longevity was because of the incredible GRINDING that most (all?) of those MMOs had incorporated into leveling, gaining rare equipment, etc. So let's not be too quick to praise these games for their longevity.
Wasn't it we, the MMO community, who complained about the whole grinding issue and beat it into the ground in the first place? That's probably one of the main reasons why MMO developers are making games the way they are now - anything that feels like a "grind" has become taboo, and thus developers feel compelled to give us instant rewards for minimal effort. The result is players, especially the more hardcore MMO players, burn through content quickly and move on. This is, in my opinion, the core reason why this problem even exists. We complained about grinding, and developers came up with an inadequate solution.
Developers need to think of new ways to keep us occupied. Sandbox features and player developed content are a great way to do this, for sure. But there are other solutions as well. A truly dynamic themepark MMO in which the content and make-up of the world is entirely dependent on the interaction between numerous world events, for example, could potentially keep a large number of players in a themepark enviornment engaged for a very long time.
Another issue is that developers are too enamored with the concept of creating a "personal story" for players. In an MMO, the focus needs to be on the community, not the individual. Personal stories make it so that players feel like they are "done" once their personal story is complete, and have no need or desire to help or interact with others (unless it is a friend or guild mate). What we need is a "group story". Maybe on a server-by-server basis... something that tells of the actions and achievements of the community as a whole, in a very specific way - mentioning guilds and characters that were influential, etc. Hopefully then, people will feel as if they're a part of something greater that is continually evolving and isn't necessarily "done" when they reach max level or whatever.
Sadly, in the end, developers are in it for the money, and what they're doing right now is making money. So real solutions won't come until the players demand it with their wallets. Or until some indie game company creates some kick-ass game out of their love for the genre.
Originally posted by strangiato2112 Originally posted by Entris38 Thank you........I hadn't even realized how much has been cut out that I enjoyed....... Quick,someone forward this to SOE for EQNext!
Originally posted by PhrameAnother issue is that developers are too enamored with the concept of creating a "personal story" for players.
Well, as you said yourself before and yet seem to be forgetting - personal story is what helps out with the feeling of grind.
Originally posted by PhrameIn an MMO, the focus needs to be on the community, not the individual.
Need, really? No, it does not need to. At this point you are just projecting your own desires into other gamers.
Originally posted by nationalcity Originally posted by orbitxo Originally posted by ShakyMo The problem is company execs keep seeing the "10 million" playing wow and think if we make a game like wow and only pull 1 in 10 of those people we will make more money. We just have to make a game like wow with a couple of things that are missing from it. Hence you get all these wow with a twist games. E.g. Lotro - wow with rp features Rift - wow with rifts and free spec switching Swtor - wow with personal story War - wow with rvr and pqs Aoc - wow with action combat and boobies Tsw - wow with puzzles, story, semi action combat and skill based progression Tera - wow with action combat and bams TESO - wow with rvr and open dungeons? Nw - wow with player made dungeons?
I think Bill is having a laugh; we talk about this all the time. I call them two monthers or the like. Maybe nobody mentions this at press conferences and game shows.
The best revenue model is a sub with a fluff only cash shop. Unfortunately cash shops always end up containing pay to win elements later, even if they start with just fluff. Remember as well, if you only put the pay to win items in shop after a year, those two month casuals will not be there to buy them. I think this is what drove GW2 to include some minor PtW elements at launch.
User generated content is the best way forward, gaming systems will only go so far. But getting good quality user content and fitting it into the existing game is not easy. It did not save NWN before, so I don't think I am going out on a limb when I say it won't save them this time round.
Casual players want their Big Mac and fries, they make up the baulk of the player base, no new MMO is going to be a huge success long term while that remains true.
You received 25 Agrees. You're posting some good content. Great!
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Now Doesn't That Make You Feel All Warm And Fuzzy? :P
Originally posted by BillMurphy Originally posted by MMOwanderer Originally posted by Larsa Well, Bill, you're quite late to the party, welcome anyway.
Yeah, i was thinking "You guys only figured this out now?" all the way while reading the article .
Regardless, i completly agree Bill. I don't hate story, questing, dungeons, cutscenes, voice-overs, etc at all (expect "personal" stories and voiced pc's). I think they bring good things to the game and give it greater quality. It's developers abusing them and turning them into the main focus of the entire game by 90% that angers. Once you're finished with it, it's over and there's nothing left to achive and play.
More "systems" and "non ending" activities are necessary and fortunatly, it seems quite a few devs are figuring this out. Let's hope mmorpgs like these are coming in the future.
I suppose I actually should have said, "The Problem Few Devs Are Acknowledging" but this seemed catchier.
In regards to GW2, I still think the game's fantastic... in fact, I love themeparks as much as I long for a good quality take on the Sandbox (Malu and EQNext I'm particularly looking forward to, as well as Darkfall:UW's PVP-oriented take). But a Theme-park can have quality longevity, just the same. For millions, WoW does the trick. I don't know how, but it does.
However, WoW (as the article states) is a fluke. It can afford to take time and sustain itself because of its insane amount of subscribers. As we've seen lately, that model just doesn't work with any other title.
Though I haven't plaid WoW in years, WoW, though a themepark, works because it gives you some choice to your progression. And I think choice - as well as systems AND content - is what will keep a player coming back.
In a themepark, you want to be able to choose and pick your rides, even if you come back to some of the same ones here and there. If you just get to ride the Big Wheel, you'll get bored quick. Throw in a few choices, and the propensity for early boredom is reduced, equalling higher customer retention.
Take SWTOR for example. It has failed in a sense that it probably wasn't expected to go F2P quite so early into it's lifespan. That's because, at the heart of the game, it brought nothing new to the systems department, and also had little choice. Once you got bored of the cutscenes, you realised that progression for each character was identical, and there was nothing you could do to alter that path.
Also, WoW is not a fluke. I'm quite surprised to see an industry veteran write that, though I doubt you meant it quite in the way I'm taking it. I don't have interior knowledge, but I am quite certain that Blizzard looked at all the other available MMO and single player games on the market, then carefully picked the elements that they saw people enjoyed. All these were then all piled in together with their existing IP. That's not a fluke, that's good business strategy.
So yeah: Content - System - Choice.
Originally posted by korvassThat's because, at the heart of the game, it brought nothing new to the systems department, and also had little choice. Once you got bored of the cutscenes, you realised that progression for each character was identical, and there was nothing you could do to alter that path.
If only one could say why people are not into your product... Truth is, you do not know just like anyone else.
You can only guess.