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Originally posted by Malcanis The dishonest idea that "everybody can be the King" is one of the most pernicious effects of the massively instanced themepark games. I constantly run into people in the EVE forum who are futilely raging against the very idea that to be called Ultimate Badass Warrior, they'll actually have to put the time and effort, endure the inevitable losses while learning and actually have the talent to be the Ultimate Badass Warrior. They're so used to having NPCs suck up to them for killing 10 rats -> boars -> wolves -> bears -> trolls -> demons -> dragons -> lich-kings -> superdoubledragons -> hyperdemons -> fuck knows what, that the idea that they can't achieve Ultimate Badass Warriorhood by smooshing enough sprites leaves them confused, enraged and discouraged. They think it's a problem with EVE that there's no way that they can get an offical "Ultimate Badass Warrior" title, rather than their expectation that they should be told that they're special for killing exactly the same 10 hyperdemons as everyone else.
They're fantasy worlds where people go, first and foremost, for entertainment. In that sense they're not all that different from books, movies and single player games. I personally have played enough of them where we all more or less killed the same things that didn't stay dead, got the same rank and the same loot, that I want to take my chances in one where I didn't get to kill the dragon that almost destroyed this village. I've heard the stories, seen the destruction, I even know someone who was there... but that dragon is dead and that event won't happen again. Mind you, I sure as hell want to be the one who does participate in some other equally fun event somewhere else. I'm OK with uniqueness... but only if I have a good chance to get mine too.
It's actually more dishonest to believe that everyone does not want to be the main character who has interesting shit happen to him, kills the dragon and gets the girl. This is what developers cater to. You may be a part-time warehouse worker at Wallmart in RL, but here you're the main man. It's just human nature to fantasize a heroic alternate life for yourself. I'm not a psychologist but I'm sure that matters more to some than others--it may even be related to their RL status. But I'm also sure it matters to everyone at least a bit.
MMOs can be more or less an acurate simulation of RL status with its symbols and social ranking. But the more realistic you make it, the larger the portion of your player base that will be dissatisfied with their status... Some will be motivated by this and work harder at it to take your stuff, but a lot will just say "fuck it" and go try to be the main man somewhere else... some place where all the NPCs will suck up to them and make them feel special... and that's how you get instanced personal stories.
It's all well and good to want an MMO where you gain your unique status as Ultimate Badass Warrior through real talent at figuring out the game system, the quick reflexes to go with it, the unlimited amount of play time and the foresight to get "early access" to the game. You'll be a happy camper sitting at the top of the heap...and you'll wonder why others aren't having as much fun as you and are leaving the game. You'll probably even call them names like "noobs", "carebears", "content locust"... but they won't hear you because they're in a thempark somewhere else killing the dragon and getting the girl.
I mean, why the fuck would anyone stick around a fantasy where they're "the loser" with all the other fantasies they could be at?
I've seen oither posters here make the same point in a few sentences..
And actually, at the end, I find myself wondering what I just read.
Okay, MMORPG's are hard to make, and some are harder than others. Having a bigger budget doesn't always ensure success, and success is relative to the 'bang for your buck'.
Until we get a big budget company making a sandbox game, you can't really comment on whether having a bigger budget matters. No matter how much thought you put into it. It's just theorycraft.
It's still new technology and very successful engines are built without having this tech in mind ( Possibly hope for the new Unreal?) Develeopment is obviously focused on Xbox 360, Wii, PS3 generation of consoles still. Maybe with the next gen Xbox and Playstation we will see some console dx11 support and a shift in the way developement is done. If it is really as big of a revolution as you say it is it will take time before it really gets adopted. It still begs the question though do we really NEED this right now in gaming.
If im a publisher all I see is $$$ wasted on increased production time for a feature most gamers wouldn't notice... who cares if that can on the ground stays smooth while your running past it? ( Not me taking here but the publishers). Just many other factors that will make progress for this go a lot slower than you anticipate but programmers not being smart enough to do it is most likely not the real choking point.
Why sandboxes tend to be small budget indie games?
Because big companies don't have the foresight to want to make something that's niche and lasts.
Big gaming companies, like big oil or big investment firm, has to justify their year to year balance, which in turn tends to not allow a lot of room for long term and unproven projects. Themepark with the backing of a major franchise is a safe bet to making early money.