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I recently wrote an article about pretty much this... well.. about what has happened to games, or me... cause it could very well be me getting older, that is the real issue at hand. But mmorpgs in general just gets worse and worse imo...
It is pretty long, so i will only list a few of my thoughts here:
A few things i think should be “undone“…
Originally posted by Icewhite Don't people tell us every day that "catering to the majority" is a mistake? While simultaneously discussing a dozen or so threads about some really deeply different games? A market that's too broad and varied to be covered this way (as corporations keep rediscovering). Sorry Cali; gotta go with 'trying to be a jack of all trades means only that you master none of them."
The issue I believe is one of scope. Worlds are too small and the cut and paste design elements too overused and over-specialised.
The limitations game designers, limited budgets and infra-paradigm thinking have brought to the 'grand MMO experiment' to date have meant that precisely what you describe has and does continue to happen....
Company after company do same thing over and over expecting different results - having been raised on 'it's done this way' even the most forward looking of them can only take baby steps from what does work to what might, and they can't of course throw away the stuff that really does work.... but the problem is....
.... you can't fly to the Moon in a plane no matter HOW good the design....
.... you need to invent the rocket!
MMO's both good, bad, and indifferent have been around for long enough that for anyone taking an intelligent and hollistic approach to their design to put in all the elements which we know currently work in catering for this crowd or that. Do that, and then add enough original material to tie it all together into a synergistic whole and the sum will be greater than the sum of the parts.
I am a natural cynic - and so always appreciate your take on things Ice, but....
....sorry - gotta reject your well reasoned argument with the one thing which could work - a game with a wider scop; a vision beyond the box all current MMOs are crammed into and a company with balls enough to do it.
Originally posted by BadSpock There is no ultimate MMO. What we need is more variety. Different games for different types of players. In general, you have two mandates that all developers should adhear to: 1. Don't fix something that isn't broken - improve it. 2. Find new solutions to old problems - not new dressings. Which may sound contradictory, but they really are not. If something works, use it - but try and do it better than the other guys. Faster sleeker sexier bigger etc. etc. If it doesn't work, do something better - which means finding a new solution NOT just re-dressing the same old song and dance. We're all tired of the same lame stuff wrapped in a new package - we see throught that. People like something to be familiar and expected, yet suprise them with how much better and more interesting it is than their old thing. If you're going to do something completely different, you better have a good reason, it better be good, and we better have not ever seen it before. This is what has made Apple incredibly successful and profitable. They didn't fix stuff that wasn't broken, they improved it. They also found new solutions to old problems - instead of just redressing something old. Now, however, they are stuck - nothing they are doing now is new, it's just re-dressed and re-sized, and they are trying to fix thigns that aren't broken - and they are suffering for it. MMO genre is in the same place. Everything is a rehash of something else, people are trying to fix things that aren't broken and making them worse, and no one is giving us new solutions to old problems.
I disagree with your first point Spock old chap - I firmly beleive you can take everything which works in themepark and sandbox and put them in the same game.
It hasn't been seriously tried yet - ironic as that is.
It has been mishandled and mis-sold. It has been badly designed and implemented.
All this is true.
BUT - none of that means it is right to conclude that the best elements of both game 'styles' are mutually exclusive. That confuses the limitations of designers to date with the limitations of the definitions of each playstyle.
NOT the same thing I assure you.
I''ve got some stuff that needs doing soon, so I'll just respond to the title:
"Ultimate MMO doesn't exist, too many different expectations of the same thing, different MMO space to deal with compared to the first generation, Companies should stop trying to cover massive groups of people straight from the beginning, Companies should focus on one relatively decent sized group and let people come to them, etc, etc.
Originally posted by Lobotomist You forget that UO was pioneer in MMO space. And they trully didnt know what to expect or how to deal with things. 11 years later we do have a good idea.
Late response to this sorry...
I don't think the industry has a good idea. Because, big surprises like that. Where in an MMO company is whole heartedly confident something will go one way for them and it ends up going the complete opposite direction or in some way they had not even anticipated...well, this keeps happening. I have seen that it is only in the last year or two that developers have given up trying to predict how players will react to new things. And have instead (to greater success, I think) began to direct and guide their opinions on the matter.
Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure.
I was actually thinking about this a lot today. I have been looking for the perfect mmo for years. Well, not in every sense of the word but pretty close. I feel the companies that make mmos have not really been paying attention (or are but do not care) to what most people want in an mmo. I know of several features in one game that would be very efficient in drawing in more players, but then there are several more feaatures not in the first game but in another. The second game's features are efficient as well, but I have always wondered why the features in both were not put together in one mmo.
What I am basically getting at is that companies need to create a game with a lot of what the usual mmo gamer, or even just gamer, would love to have in one game. I am aware the risk is high, like the OP was saying. Both finantially and sucessfully risky. There is also the possibility that maybe one of the features may not be good for the average game, whether the gamers want it or not. It just may not work out. I have a few suggestions on what could be included in such a game but I am aware that it is possible that they can be hurtful to the game as well. There are many sides to all of these features.
1. Open World - It is usually a good call but you may have people that prefer dungeon-based games.
2. Good Graphics - People with good computers thrive but others wont see a difference since it's on low settings. It is possible that it changes regardless though. (3-D is covered here as well)
3. Dungeon Finder - Many people say it takes away from the community feel of games with this feature since you are not actively going out and recruiting people. It can make things easier for people though. (Raids can be added as well)
4. Auction House - A good feature, there is probably some points that can refrute this but I don't have the brainpower right now to think of them. I'll leave that to someone else. :P
5. PvP-Based Features (Battlegrounds, Arenas, World PvP, etc..) - So battlegrounds and arenas, two of the ones listed, can be good for a game with servers primarily for PvE players so there is a way to...work out the frustration of not having any way to PvP (this is for people who like PvP but hate World PvP). World PvP is something else. It is probably best to have a seperate server for this type of feature, which a lot of games already have. It's worth mentioning though.
6. Choice of Controls - Some people like controls like WoW, some like it like Vindictus/C9. If you are able to choose between the two then more power to you and quite possibly your rate of success in that mmo. It all depends on your preference. Most people coming from console games may appreciate the latter way of controls. Not saying everyone will though.
tl;dr - Just read the bolded print. kthx
"It's hard to let someone in, harder to keep them, but it's the hardest to let them go."
Originally posted by Lobotomist 1. Simulated world - doesnt mater how complex - but with systems realistic to given simulation. 2. Content that comes from interaction with worlds factions. 3. Posiblity to change the world trough interaction. 4. Inter player and inter community dependency. 5. Suply and demand based economy and posession. 6. Player character development that lets you be unique , specialised and needed in other player and world interaction. All rest is up to imagination of developer.
Damn you Lobo.. did you hack into my computer and steal my game ideas? Ha Ha Ha..
We both share the same ideas and desires.. I want a living breathing world where I and others can have an effect on the simulated world we live on.. To the point that no 2 servers are the same.. I want a game that promotes community organization and social interaction, then these single player premade storyline games..
Imagine a game where you go on vacation and come back a week later only to find out the world changed while you were gone.. Such as: You go to a nearby village and discover that you are KOS to the NPC, instead of being friendly.. You ask the zone what happen, and in response you find out a guild tried to raid a regional location and failed.. Because of that the raid faction took over the local village to make an example.. So now, people need to find a way to get that village back to being friendly again.. No guarantees tho that the NPC you were dealing with in the village will still be there.. Stuff happens!!.. lol
Anyways.. I imagine a game that is more a spider web of options, then a linear themepark..
wakfu is pretty much a player driven world. u make eerything from money to the mobs you fight, and have a government system.
its turn based so its not for everyone. and very polished anime.
Originally posted by Torgrim Originally posted by CreepProphet You may want to reword the post and highlight the bit about the 6 things people would want in their perfect MMO. That might get the ball rolling. No Classes - let me play based on whatever skills I want to lump together, if I nerf myself, that's my bad
This has to be done right from the start or someone will come up with the perfect build so most of the gamers are forced to use the same build to be able to compete which turns the game into a single "class" game.
Very true, and sadly I don't see that being feasible at this time.. Instead I would be happy to see more of the orginal EQ1.. Over a dozen unique classes that have a variety of skills.. I would love to see more hybrids in gaming.. In my dream game I can see atleast 18+ different classes to play.. Time to get rid of the holy trinity as we come to know it.. IMO
I agree. No one is a fan of compromise.
I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky
Originally posted by Caliburn101 Originally posted by BadSpock
I'm sorry, but you are wrong. There are too many design decision which are in direct conflict with each other and cannot be included in the same game.
Say you can feed and care for your mount in a tamagochi style - make it a minigame. Now if the minigame is not the main point of the game, that minigame can be an inconvenience to people who would like to use a mount but not take care of it. This is also why more features does not make the game necessarily better. Some players want everything simulated just because it would make it "more realistic" or "more alive", when others would be comfortable with a high level abstraction and concessions from realism to usability i.e. that same mount does not require feeding, sleep and could be summoned on demand.
Originally posted by nethervoid Originally posted by Edeus Originally posted by nariusseldon Originally posted by nethervoid 1. No classes / 1 Char per game - Skill based system - Skill cap so people cant be masters of everything - Can reset skills if you want to try something new 2. All items crafted by players - Monsters can amass loot by pillaging cities and ambushing merchants 3. A pretty harsh death penalty - Makes it more exciting 4. Player built / destroyed world - Allow players to build castles, cities, houses, dungeons to protect their loot - Allow players to pillage people's stashes, houses, castles, cities, dungeons - Bank in newb city only holds a very limited amount of stuff 5. Player driven NPCs - Players can hire guards, hire monsters, create monsters, etc that will do their bidding like guarding their castle / dungeon or raiding someone else's castle or city 6. Mostly slow travel world - Only dedicated mages should be able to fast travel - This helps create economy and territory control
1) hard to balance. Impossible to not have cookie cutter builds after min-maxing post them online
2) How about those players who don't like crafting? Few want to play a carpenter, you know.
4) too much freedom to grief others. People are more likely to build stuff to block others, than to do it in a fantasy context.
5) That is not a bad idea .. and lots of games already have companions, pets, ....
6) No. Slow travel create boredom.
1. As Nariuss said.
2. You can have sellable monster only loot and crafted stuff right alongside each other for sale on the market tab.
3. Will lead to a lot of players not getting into the game/leaving, making it a niche game.
4. No one wants to spend hours/day/weeks on building something just so some asshole with an army can destroy it overnight.
6. as Nariuss said.
My game would be more of a world sim. Many, many people are not really into world sims, and would rather play in a themepark style game. No biggie. Personally I'm sick of themeparks.
No disagreement here. I am not into world sims. In fact, i find people weird to sacrifice so much gameplay just to have a world.
Oh, if you are sick of themeparks, try straight online ARPGs, MOBA, MMOFPS ...themepark MMORPGs are not the only sub-MMO genre out there.
If you want a world sim, however, you are out of luck.
Originally posted by Quirhid Originally posted by Caliburn101 Originally posted by BadSpock
Or you will be wasting resource building stuff few players use. Let's take LFD on WOW as an example. It let you by-pass the world and do dungeons. But you still have the CHOICE to walk 20 min going to a dungeon.
If 99% of the players choose to use LFD and by-pass the world, is there a reason for the world to exist?
I entirely dissagree with your conclusion - and must say that I feel your example doesn't really deal with the relevant issue. I am talking about sandbox and themepark synergies - not something with such a minority RP focus.
Please give it some thought and illustrate with a directly related example and I'll do my best to make it clear how it could be integrated in a hybrid game.
Originally posted by Quirhid Originally posted by Icewhite Don't people tell us every day that "catering to the majority" is a mistake? While simultaneously discussing a dozen or so threads about some really deeply different games? A market that's too broad and varied to be covered this way (as corporations keep rediscovering). Sorry Cali; gotta go with 'trying to be a jack of all trades means only that you master none of them."
Why make the assumption that 'compromise' is an unnavoidable element of a hybrid game?
It is merely what has been done in the past - it doesn't set the future in stone.
The kinds of compromises I have seen are those made for reasons of expediency and/or budget - and are by no means the only way elements of sandbox and themepark can be brought together.
Some of them are plain lazy, most, just very unimaginative and badly executed.
Not a single company has tried to hybridise across the board to date - so it remains to be seen if it can be done.
It will never be attempted however if we make assumptions in the negative and convince ourselves not to try.
In other words, you people are hard to please :P
Everyone has different tastes and be grateful, there are different genres of mmo's for you to choose from. There's no such a thing as the Ultimate MMO and there will never be one.
I'm biased but, WoW is good enough for me. It has everything I expect in a MMO. Although I do wish there's more variety to crafting and have it endless instead of having it capped.
Player housing should be added so furniture could be made. I'll settle with the Sunsong Ranch.
1. “Simulated world” - WTF does this even mean. You probably defined this term in your previous post. But until it becomes part of our vocabulary you must redefine it every time you use it. First thing that came to mind when I read this was weather. Then I realized you probably meant a totally destructible world. Buildings, terrain, NPCs, resources all destructible or consumable.Here is the other side of the coin. A game level takes time and money to design and build. If that level is constantly changing, then the initial time and money spent designing that level will be thought of as a waste or even a loss. When a level is static and never changing the cost of development is depreciated over time. It is seen as a wise investment. If the level is dynamic, then it must be updated on each and every client. This could be handled as a pre-game patch download, or a dynamic download as you enter a zone. Either way this will take time.SWG had dynamic game worlds, and it did dynamic downloads as you entered a zone. This cause delays between when you entered a zone and a new list of all the dynamic elements could be built. The static world was there, but you would have to wait 10 seconds for the player built structures to pop up in the world. Then the dynamic mobs might even get stuck inside one of these slow spawning factories or harvesters2. “Content that comes from interaction with worlds factions.” This just sounds like standard themepark quest system to me, so I will just skip it.3. “Possibility to change the world through interaction.” Imagine a quest location a cemetery populated with undead and living ghouls. All in a below ground catacombs. The quest hub give a quest to clear out 20 undead and 20 ghouls. But player number 2 decides to dig a canal from a nearby river to the catacombs and flood it out. All the ghouls below ground are drowned, but the undead still live. But you can't get to them without a scuba tank or a water breathing spell.Players will try to take possession of game resources and deny others access to said resources. This could be quest hubs, traffic paths to other zones, or crafting resources.4. “Inter player and inter community dependency.” Lesson learned from games that have tried this, gamers don’t want to rely on others for their gaming needs. ALL games that have tried this have had to remove the inter-dependency from their databases, due to mass player frustration with it.Player one says in chat, “I am trying to make item A, but it says I need two item B’s that I don’t know how to make. My profession trainer doesn’t even teach the recipe for item B. Where do I get one?” Player two responds, “From profession X. I can make you two , for $1 Billions dollars.” (said like Dr Evil) Most modern MMOs allow the player to have around 10 character per server, so most players handle inter-dependency themselves across their characters. Even in games that had one character per server, players bought additional accounts or formed guilds to get around inter-dependency.5. Supply and demand based economy and possession. You want a toothbrush, that will be $1 Billion dollars. BTW most guilds have crafters and just give stuff away to active members. The only people buying at those jacked up prices are maxed out players who have a guild bank on each of their alts. The up and coming player who doesn’t have 1/10th what a chest piece his level costs thinks that the auction house is screwed up. He can’t buy the gear he needs to join dungeon runs. He is excluded from PvP. Maybe he gets to max level without ever experiencing that side of the game. People ask him if he bought his account on ebay because he doesn't know how to use his class in groups. More likely he leaves the game and writes about how janked the game is on website forums.6. Player character development that lets you be unique , specialised and needed in other player and world interaction. Aka “Flavor of the Month” (FOTM), and the “I hate the trinity thread.” I always play a healer so I love the trinity. The point of a classless skill based system is to build a FOTM that everyone will copy. People think that all their problems will go away if they could only play a classless skills based game. Those who max their skills out first accomplish their goal of player superiority. Those who come in last do not. They are the cannon fodder for those who got there first. They leave and write about how janked the game is.A class based game often incorporates balance. The only thing that alters this balance is first and foremost player skill with the game controls. Secondly are buffs and gear stat modifiers. Because success and notoriety in a class based theme park depends mostly on individual player skill, they are derided by the fans of classless skills based games. Where the only requirement is you get to max level first or the fastest.
OK let's get back on thread shall we - the top 6 things....
Whilst a tit for tat spat about whether a hybrid could work is an innevitability on such forums - what I am really intersted in is collating the things people value most and then taking a long hard look at what comes out on top - how it has been integrated in this game and that and where new ideas would be necessary.
If you want to shoot the idea down in flames then first find a previous example of an MMO that tried to meld themepark with sandbox on every level (not simply shoe-horning in some of this and that), and if you can (I certainly can't think of one), then lets have a discussion abut what worked or what didn't.
Saying such a game is impossible, or my contention that it can be done is just plain wrong means precisely nothing unless you discuss in detail why....
Anyway - top 6 things please....
Getting rid of this ridiculous questing system that is present in every game since the first wow expansion would be a huge step.
You know what I am talking about. You get a bunch of quests that each take about 5 minutes to get done with, because everything is conveniently placed around the corner. After that you get send to the next place with a bunch of more quick quests until you at some point done all the quests and reached the max level. Then you proceed to repeat the same quests and dungeons every day until you ask yourself: Where was the part I got to have fun?
This questing style turns everything into a chore and a race to the end of chain-questing. Nothing seems special or memorable. You don't even get to explore anything because you have to take this guided tour. Of course there is nothing to find or to gain by just wandering of.
Quests should be more of an additional way to get a huge chunk of experience (or whatever you get for char progression) and a appropriately (huge) reward. Of course this also means it takes a lot of time to complete one quest and that there is only a small amount of quests available, which are remarkable. Of course interrupting and continuing of quests should be at the players discretion, meaning you can log out in between quests and log in again later to continue at the same point. Also this kind of quests should be no chain of small quests and of course should be of significance for the lore or the world.
No longer will you have to save kittens,gather 10 of x, speak with a dozen people and repeat the same stuff again in the next location and every day.
Of course this requires certain things like a huge and at least seemingly seamless world. Game mechanics that support this kind of quests and allow for more diverse quests and more.
On more thing that is missing from many games is the lack of item diversity. There is always 1 item that is currently better than all the others. Overall there are only 3 similar items that are even on the same level. Yes there are only 3 places where you can get them. Yes you go there as often as possible waiting exactly for those 3 items, while you know that 2 of those items aren't even that good...
An ultimate mmo should be flooded with similar but slightly different items. There should always be so many alternatives at so many (maybe even random) places that you don't even bother looking up where a certain item drops. Also of course make the look slightly different. Amateur modders for games like Skyrim pump out hundreds of differents skins for items - why can't a professional company with enough funds in the background pump out more than a dozen different designs for each items type in the whole game.
Originally posted by Caliburn101 What no-one seems to have seriously considered is making an MMO which caters for each 'side' by integrating both elements fully into an MMO. I think this has been a mistake.
They are out there, the MMO that comes to mind is Fallen Earth, which incorporates elements of both theme park and sand box MMo's.
Originally posted by Cepheiden Quests should be more of an additional way to get a huge chunk of experience (or whatever you get for char progression) and a appropriately (huge) reward. Of course this also means it takes a lot of time to complete one quest and that there is only a small amount of quests available, which are remarkable. Of course interrupting and continuing of quests should be at the players discretion, meaning you can log out in between quests and log in again later to continue at the same point. Also this kind of quests should be no chain of small quests and of course should be of significance for the lore or the world. No longer will you have to save kittens,gather 10 of x, speak with a dozen people and repeat the same stuff again in the next location and every day. Of course this requires certain things like a huge and at least seemingly seamless world. Game mechanics that support this kind of quests and allow for more diverse quests and more. On more thing that is missing from many games is the lack of item diversity. There is always 1 item that is currently better than all the others. Overall there are only 3 similar items that are even on the same level. Yes there are only 3 places where you can get them. Yes you go there as often as possible waiting exactly for those 3 items, while you know that 2 of those items aren't even that good... An ultimate mmo should be flooded with similar but slightly different items. There should always be so many alternatives at so many (maybe even random) places that you don't even bother looking up where a certain item drops. Also of course make the look slightly different. Amateur modders for games like Skyrim pump out hundreds of differents skins for items - why can't a professional company with enough funds in the background pump out more than a dozen different designs for each items type in the whole game.
To address your points in turn:
I agree about questing - GW2 does this well - insofar as it avoids the questing paradigm.... the trouble is the Dynamic Events used do not have enough variety. So despite using a new mechanism they fell halfway into the same trap.
Significant quests which are varied enough to hold interest are clearly diffcult to program. That said, can you imagine Conan, Gandalf or Elric being asked to collect 20 fungal spores and deliver them to Bob the Alchemist in return for enough coin to repair their armour once... you can imagine the well-crafted responses...
On items - I agree.
Lets take the example of a sword. Make cultural hilts, pommels and blades (a selection of each) and then mix and match randomly when looting members of that race. If you only make 6 different types of each - that's 216 different swords right there....
... and I just came up with that off the top of my head whilst reading your post. Add magical effects - glows, flame, runes etc and the amount skyrockets.
The trouble I have with game designers is that they seem to be either restricted by technology or by lack of tangential thinking - and as a customer I never know which it is - I merely suspect it's the latter more often than not.
Originally posted by Johnie-Marz Originally posted by Caliburn101 What no-one seems to have seriously considered is making an MMO which caters for each 'side' by integrating both elements fully into an MMO. I think this has been a mistake.
That's quite a coincidence - I was chatting about this MMO (amongst others) at the weekend. I have never played it myself but got the impression that it mixed some elements well - but didn't go nearly far enough to be the kind of full hybrid I am talking about here.
I imgine it's ways of dealing with things would be a solid enough starting point though.
Originally posted by Caliburn101 Originally posted by Johnie-Marz Originally posted by Caliburn101 What no-one seems to have seriously considered is making an MMO which caters for each 'side' by integrating both elements fully into an MMO. I think this has been a mistake.
Only, FE is bad with both. It is all in all, a sad game really. Only thing it had going for it was the milieu, and in the end it, didn't quite deliver either.
Like Caliburn said earlier, no "real attempts" have been made.
1. Pick a specific niche and make it the best example of that niche ever.
2. Pick a specific niche and make it the best example of that niche ever.
3. Pick a specific niche and make it the best example of that niche ever.
4. Pick a specific niche and make it the best example of that niche ever.
5. Pick a specific niche and make it the best example of that niche ever.
6. Pick a specific niche and make it the best example of that niche ever.
I'm of the belief that making something for everyone makes for a mediocre game with a vast array of mediocre things to do. Assuming this isn't just a fantasy wish list that doesn't take limited resources and time into account, I can't see a game having everything for everyone. In fact, I think that's what's lead us to where we are today. You can see it especially in single player RPGs that try to attract the e-sport shooter type folks who, generally, aren't the type of people to get into the spirit of roleplaying immersion. Instead of turning them on to the RPG way of doing things, they bring their "I pwn j00!" sensibilities into the RPG domain.
Instead, give them their own playground. A game like Planetside 2, for example, seems perfect for that. For those of us who are more into story and character-driven gameplay, make the best story-based character driven game possible. It's all nice and kumba-ya to try to bring all these groups together, but we've seen time and again that sometimes they just don't play well together.
"You'll never win an argument with an idiot because he is too stupid to recognize his own defeat." ~Anonymous