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Originally posted by GarvanWolfe ... Imagine your your favorite Fantasy series, the ideas of which have seeded the fantasy genre, now tear down the walls segmenting the creative jaunt. Imagine playing in the MMO of lord of rings as the series was writ and your play your quest had a quantitavive effect on the next book in the seires and ultimatly the ultimate conclusion of the series? ...
This is why I am paying attention to that Defiance game from Trion.. I am wondering if the game will have any effect on the episodes of the show or will it end up being like the Walking Dead and just a reflection of the events happening in the show..
Personally I would prefer to see them include certain huge events that happen in the game world on the show, so it really feels like the players are having an actual effect of the lore of the world.. That would be great!
Originally posted by Vyeth Originally posted by GarvanWolfe ... Imagine your your favorite Fantasy series, the ideas of which have seeded the fantasy genre, now tear down the walls segmenting the creative jaunt. Imagine playing in the MMO of lord of rings as the series was writ and your play your quest had a quantitavive effect on the next book in the seires and ultimatly the ultimate conclusion of the series? ...
I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.
I absolutely agree with lizardbones on this. Everyone I know bought the game for the story. And yet, I can't think of another MMO that puts so many quests in your leveling path that require you to group with other players. It was a terrible design decision, and I don't know what they were thinking. Leave the group content to just Flashpoints and Warzones for leveling, take out most of the terrible non-class quests, and put all of the other questing group content at level 50. Might have saved them enough time to address bugs and glitches.
Although, I honestly believe that SWTOR gets unfairly criticized for the bugs. Look at WoW. You still have issues with the shardhorn rhinos in sholazar basin not being where they're supposed to be, and the expansion came out over 4 years ago.
Boy, Pokket, I was all ready to lambaste you for commenting that story is overdone in many MMOs, but then I read the remainder of the article, and you bring up some absolutely excellent points, many of which I've been thinking about since I killed my WoW account in 2007.
"While, arguably, most games need this... it still begs the question: could these resources be better spent elsewhere? Perhaps adding more intricate crafting, more rewards for exploration, adding more PvE/PvP elements, or perhaps just making the game fun enough with attrition low enough that filler quests aren't really needed."
I think there needs to be a proper balance of what's put into the game, between graphics, system, story, PvE, PvP, RvR, and general content -music, tasks (don't call them quests, they're not quests), and monsters (don't call them mobs, a mob is a large group of people or bad guys)-, and other elements I can't think of off the top of my head.
Now, for my part, story is extraordinarily important in a game -read EXTRAORDINARILY- because I've been a tabletop gamer for 29 years, and GamesMaster for over 19. Story is what I do, and story is what I want to experience, and since I'm usually the go-to guy to be the GM for any group I play in, I want to play, too, so MMOs are about the only way I can do that. Now, having just played the free demo, to level 10, for Diablo 3 I can tell you that they did story right. I seldom, because of my age, stay up past 11:45 any more on any night, and yet I was up until 1:30 this morning finishing to level 10, because the game is very addictive. Likewise with Oblivion and Fallout 3, which I typically hold up as the standards for role-playing the right way.
For my part, it sounds like SWTOR did NOT get it right due to the cut-scenes and the overabundance of dialogue, and I already knew WoW 'questing' sucked because of well over two years of playing it, myself. Yet one more reason I won't be playing a game I thought was going to be out of the box and off the hook.
Now, unfortunately, here's the problem... as far as I can tell: Theme Park.
Developers try to put together these level-limited areas that have multiple tasks and, perhaps, even a storyline to complete, in order to make life as easy on themselves as possible. Unfortunately, to get from area 1-10 to area 11-15, you have to complete all of the 10th level tasks and, perhaps, some of the preperatory level 15 tasks, and then you can think of surviving in that next area. Developers need to have a hybrid sandbox/theme park approach, meaning that the world needs to be open, monsters and bad guys scale according to your character or group within a certain range of them (a few dozen 'yards', for example) with modifications for sneaks, brutes, champions, and chiefs -so higher level monsters, challenging ones, can exist in an area, but not level 55 when you're a level 11-, while at the same time you can run into adventures through exploration, you can have NPCs seek your character/group out to enlist their aid, etc. Once enlisted, your characters do the 'ride', or the tasks leading to completion of the adventure or campaign, and that's the theme park portion, and then they return to exploring the world, traveling to their heart's content.
Now, do we need so many cut-scenes, so much dialog, or a crap-ton of reading? For the smaller tasks, reading, for moderately sized tasks, a vocal introduction activated while the characters are approaching the climax of the adventure, and for huge-goal adventures or campaigns, a beginning cut-scene, maybe some 'semi-spoiler' scenes interlaced where necessary, and a completion video. Anything more excessive than those is asking for trouble.
All of that being said, this is why I can't wait for ESO. Zenimax/Bethesda KNOW how to tell a great story, though even they could learn a couple of things from your article and the attached comments.
Originally posted by lizardbones The idea is that events in the show will be referenced in the game, and will trigger events in the game. The results of the events in the game will make it back into the show.
Warning I work for a company that is doing exactly what you are saying....heck I own it! lol
EXACTLY right izardbones! That immersive experiance of living the adventure has been my desire.and its exciting..so I launched a company to do it! That is exactly what we have done with Dynasty of the Magi... a truly interactive MMO linked to a novel series where the results of the MMO are crafted in the book then seed the Next MMO. Then came the marketing models and accompnaingy suits....We tried for several years to get publishers to launch the idea...but the models are segmented not for player experiance, but ancillary revenue flow...The current thought is that a company would rather have two seperate revenue streams, the book, the show, the movie, the game, each a stepping stone for revenue stream We lose money in linking them to the player but gain in MMO experiance! We would love for hard core MMO's to check us out.... We launch in two weeks and aim to grow the lore with the gamers!! Be the story...write the lore!
Check us out....
Side note: any toad that responds "1st" to anything should be violently removed from the internet.
Good mini article and there could be a lot more said as this is something that I've been talking about with friends lately.
SWTOR definitely went overboard and could've done with about 1/3 or 1/2 as much VO/cutscenes. It's well done but you just don't need 5-10 minutes of that for what is essentially a kill 10 rats quest. A lot of that game was weak at release and is still weak and considering the money spent on it, a better balance of resource allocation would've been a really good idea. For one, they should've made their own engine because the piece of shit they used can't be optimized, runs like crap, and looks 10 years old already.
The main thing to me, having played MMORPGs since EQLive released, is this.
What makes MMORPGs special is the social, and especially the grouping elements. There are endless piles of single player games or single player games with multiplayer components of various types, but only MMORPGs give you that rich and deep grouping experience.
So to me, the emphasis on solo is a bad thing that hurts the genre and hurts games. It makes too much of MMORPGs feel like a single player experience and causes players to play like it's a single player game, where they level up (too quickly these days but that's another story) and are done. A small number do endgame if there's any they like and many either move on or start doing "replay" via alts. Grouping while leveling is entierly optional and the group content you are offered while leveling is tiny compared to the overload of single player content.
I think solo should be available, there most of MMORPGs should be about grouping since that is what is unique and special about MMORPGs. People who just want to solo should...wait for it...it's shocking...JUST PLAY SINGLE PLAYER GAMES. Basic logic. Use that thing called a brain.
So why has MMORGP gameplay shifted so much towards solo. Simple. Money. It costs a lot of money to make MMORPGs and devs want lots of players, so they've hybridized the genre to appeal to a wider audience.
In doing so, they've diluted the genre and what ultimately happens is that the "real" game, the core of the MMORPG, ends up being underdeveloped because they spend so much time catering to the soloists. Soloists play thru the single player portion of the game (leveling) then go away, while the real players who want to play for years end up having not so much to do because not enough group content is made.
You see this time and time again with new MMORPGs. Maybe companies should wonder why they have a huge initial rush when they release their MMO and then the numbers fall dramatically after a few months. It's because most of your soloists get done leveling and then either suck at grouping, don't want to group, don't want to guild, don't want to group, and bail. So you're left with your real fans, who end up having a handful of dungeons, 1-2 raids, and a little smidge of world content to keep them busy for years? Except that doesn't keep them busy for years and some of them stick it out, and some of them move on due to frustration.
Wouldn't it be better to design MMORPGs around what makes them unique and amazing - the grouping, and enable some solo to fill the gaps instead? You might have fewer useless soloists buying the game initially, but your core players, the ones who stick for years, would have a reason to stick for years. Develop the game around group content and grouping and fill it with way more group content so those players don't get bored a month after maxing the level cap.
In most MMORPGs the bulk of the content is leveling content. I love to level and to level alts but many do not. Tons of time and money is spent on content that for many is one and done or that they get thru then blast on future alts. Endgame is what most players (who will play for years) are concerned with but most MMORPGs ship with a miniscule amount of endgame content.
So devs are faced with the immediate problem of needing to crank out more and more endgame content to keep players around. Wouldn't it maybe make more sense to invest more in scaling group content that could be appealing whlie leveling and at endgame and to put more into endgame content up front to keep players busy for longer after they hit the level cap in the first few weeks of the game (since speed leveling seems to be the thing now and any serious player can hit cap in less than a month in any game).
I think ANet had some of this sort of in mind for GW2 but they kind of missed the mark in many ways - good intent though. They got the scaling right but there's no real incentive to do most content and IMO the game has other problems related to ideas that sounded good in theory.
Maybe I'm wierd. I see MMORPGs as the ultimate multiplayer games and I prefer to group over soling in them. I duo a lot, group a lot, and the people I run with love to group and do instances. Most of us get sleepy from soloing. I own a ton of games, most of which are single player - I have tons of outlets for single player gaming. But quality MMORPGs are so rare that I'd really love to see them focus on what makes them unique and special - the grouping - and screw people who want to solo exclusively in MMORPGs.
Premium MMORPGs do not feature built-in cheating via cash for gold pay 2 win. PLAY to win or don't play.
I beg you all pardon, as in my case the only MMOs i knew in the past were those asian, which I always hated as I never could see a reason to keep up playing them. I like playing RPG on a table and I never agreed 100% that any videogame title considered RPG is a true RPG. But then I accepted the fact that a videogame RPG is a genre with loads of story in which you can take some decisions that will count in the end.
When I read MMORPG, I need at least a good story, I really appreciate loads of cutscenes and the story being told as I advance. You can call it as a solo experience. But if you take away the story and all the cutscenes the articles is complaining about, is this still a RPG genre? Perhaps you may be talking about MMO, but not a RPG. I don't see how a game without story can be a RPG?
There's one thing though I may agree, which is the fact that I'd like to see our overall effort counting in order to change the whole world for once. And, this is a question too as is this the point you're complaining the companies don't develop nowadays? What should be like a game that encourage people to gather and play in groups without those annoying LF lobby spammings?
I'm sorry for sounding possibly like the noobest of all, but perhaps I haven't had so far a true MMO experience.
MMORPGs shouldnt go with story. it just doesnt make sense that 1000 heros running around killing same rats for the same person and all doing the same story quest....
MMORPGs should be sandbox open world with full pvp, great economy and crafting system, political systems.... story should be player driven and raids and boss mobs should be played by GMs. there should also be a system to play mobs by players. you start with playing a lv 1 rat and some day you playing that super demon group boss.... would be something new, or?
The better MMOs of the future, imo, are going to be the ones that allow you to move your character forward in a wide variety of ways -- via general questing, group quests/dynamic events, storyline quests (instanced or not), crafting, PvPing, exploring, minigaming, and so on. Players should be free to patch together the elements they like best and thereby move forward in the game.
I don't object to story in MMOs -- even instanced SP storylines -- as long as my character is not hamstrung by it or forced to go through it.
Where SWTOR failed story-wise, imo, was in literally forcing all players down preselected story paths that you HAD to complete. Keeping the element of a personalized story is fine by me, welcome even. But story should be OPTIONAL not coerced, and it should vary based on a variety of factors and player decisions.
Here again, I feel SWTOR would have fared better to create 4 optional story tracks per faction that allowed any class to choose any story track, as was done in GW2. Once you got to Coruscant, for example, you should have had the option to choose among one of four story tracks. Making the various stories class-specfic was unfortunate, imo. If you liked a class, but hated the story/companions to go with it, for example, you were pretty much hosed.
SWTOR is incomplete game. I get feeling every time I play they had time to do right first planets, when you experience story without any real time between cutscenes. Then tedious movearound starts on later ones and if - you are casual player - you forget what you were doing in main storyline.
I think if they had more time (yeah, yeah) to make game what it should be - KotOR 3-10 they would succedeed tremendeously, at first, but still lost in general - no one can add more content fast enough. I can babble about making most story quests accessible for all classes, re-organizing how story will go completely, etc. But it is easy to criticize and be a gamer - much harder to make and develop.
Game failed. It is stuck halfway between usual MMORPG (so much WoW elements) and very good single player game, albeit none of the above. It is miracle SWTOR as it is still alive. I love game despite what it is for great stories and environment. Veeery good for Star Wars roleplayers, although I became one because I had nothing else to do. But I find myself playing less and less because classes are boring and endgame content - well, that's me, no WoWrider.
In such critical condition game goes to surgery - look at Final Fantasy IV.
swtor isnt more incomplete than other mmos. swtor isnt a real mmo.
its a single player game with occassional multiplayer instances
not a completely bad game, but a bad mmo...
Originally posted by maplestone My main problem with "story" is that the writers are only ones getting to really getting to play, I'm just following in their footsteps.
You must really hate reading novels! Watching TV shows.....movies....etc
If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.
Originally posted by vayman Game companies need to let us make our own stories in MMOs. Give us the world, give us the freedom, give us the tools. We'll do the rest. That said, it would be fine to have some evolving storylines along with the sandbox. Something to rally behind as a community and get involved in before returning to our normal routines within the virtual world. No matter how hard they try, MMOs aren't going to be able to come close to the stories found in single player games. MMOs should focus on what they're meant to do: provide an online roleplaying experience for a massive amount of players at once.
I think this is a better argument than:
"Long story, short ... story/questing has its place, but I think it's time to make it more of a thing to do on the side, rather than a primary and main element to an MMO."
Story plays an important part in immersing players - it IS half of the title MMO/RPG - but allowing players to craft their own stories and roleplay their own way is what will keep them playing past the point of grind, levelup, dungeon, repeat.
Besides, let's be honest here, an MMORPG story is going to be too generic, cliche, and mass-marketed to be able to ever compete with an isolated, single player experience... even if it is Bioware. But I respect them for trying!
Originally posted by Arglebargle Originally posted by maplestone My main problem with "story" is that the writers are only ones getting to really getting to play, I'm just following in their footsteps.
I like reading, but reading stuff like the "DragonLance Chronicles" which were based on actual Dungeons and Dragons play sessions are a little more interesting to me.. If I could get my hands on a novel that was based on actual events that happened inside of an MMO world basicaly crafted by its players, it would interest me more..
Originally posted by Saerain I don't understand why TOR's story is being referred to here as ‘the singleplayer experience’. That may have been traditionally true, but TOR was a move to change that. It showed that it could be a multiplayer experience, and that's what it is. If people didn't play through it with their friends, that's their loss, I guess.
I agree here. Leveling with friends is so much more enjoyable in SWTOR. Quests are designed in the way that they recognize the party , classes, gender etc. Different dialogs comparing single player versus group. It's pretty amazing actually. The best fun is to level oposite LS versus DS. Sometimes I just ROFL.
Edit. And lets not forget about Spectacor mode for class quests:)
Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7AoImperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.beImperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E
Originally posted by Netspook Originally posted by Hrimnir Originally posted by birdycephon But lets face it, some people like to go to a party, and just be around people without actually interacting with them.
Thats fine. The difference is they aren't impeding the people who DO like to interact with other people.
The problem is all MMO's are being made to cater to the "be around without socializing" people.
Its like if you had a club, and instead of having things that groups of people can do, like tables for them to drink at, in groups, and billiards tables for several people to play billiards, or ping pong tables, whatever, that the club had a bunch of isolated booths where everyone showed up to the club, but all you did at the club was drink by yourself in your isolated booth while you surfed the web on your laptop and didnt actually talk to anybody else in the club, or do any kind of group activity.
The problem then arises if you want to go somewhere to drink socially and play some billiards with your buddies, you can't go to that club. Now, in normal life, you just go to a regular club. Problem is in the MMO industry the antisocial single player MMO types are the majority of the pie. SO the people who control the money who pay the people to make the games force them to make games that cater to that demographic, leaving actual MULTIPLAYER lovers, out in the woods.
You seem to be assuming that there are only two kinds of people/players. The truth is that a lot (most?) of us, likes to have the opportunity to be both, and to be able to "switch" any time we like. And I admit, I'm less social when soloing, I guess most of us are. If that's problematic for you, then it's... well, your problem.
No, i'm not assuming anything. I know there are more than 2 types of players. I, like you, am one that does both. The group i was referring to are the ones who feel that if they have to do anything in a group or raid, they are being "forced" to group. These are the people who pull the "we should be able to get the same gear as raiders by soloing" card, and the "i pay $15/mo so i should be able to see EVERYTHING" card. They're the ones who have ruined the genre.
People like you and i who don't begrudge other people's play style are just fine. As long as a game has a reasonable amount of solo content, we're generally happy. We don't go and piss and moan on forums because 30% of the development resources are allocated towards raiders and raiding, or group content, etc.
"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Originally posted by Tithenon... and monsters (don't call them mobs, a mob is a large group of people or bad guys)-, ...
On Topic:As far as story goes, I think most players like at least a little story in their games. It usually gives purpose to their characters existence. Finding that sweet spot will differ with each player.
Stories become intrusive when they single out the player to the exclusion of other players. Then they are single player stories. How many times in SW:TOR did players see the message as they went through their storylines, "Only 1 <player class> allowed in this instance." That is becoming exclusive. Players start to think, "Better not group with another player of the same class as me."
Cut scenes take the player out of the game. Usually, the character just stands there while NPCs play out the scenario. I have sat through way to many cut scenes where some NPC dies and I could do nothing to prevent it. I just stood there, frozen in a scene, acting like my character would never act outside this scripted scene.
Stories in MMOs is a tough mix for me. Nothing I do will have an effect on the game world, so in essence it does not happen. This is easily done in single player games, as no other player will be experiencing your own world. So the world changes and all for the better as the game progresses. Therefor, stories in MMOs have to be told about minor things, not world changing events.
In MMOs, however, there are 1000s (or more) of other players that may or may not want to experience the changes you just made to their own world experience. Maybe they wish to experience what you just did for themselves and choose a different outcome. The big thing is that it is no longer "My World", like it is in a single player game. It becomes "Our World."
For me "SPORPG" means a storyline where *I* am the hero, the savior of the universe. Just like all the other 1000s of players. Nothing I do affects the game world, even though their are massive events taking place during the storyline. They take me out of the world and place me in a different "phase", so to speak, where nothing I do matters outside of that specific instance. It has nothing to do about solo vs. grouping for me.
Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.- FARGIN_WAR
Yak Cast | MMO Podcast: http://www.yak.mmoSmackTalk.comFollow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/yakmmosmacktalkFollow me on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/YakCast
Originally posted by YakCastI agree with you on what you are syaing in this article but I have noticed you keep misspelling MMO's with MMOs and it's driving me nuts. You are refering to MMO's in general not in the plural sense! I was going to let it slide on this article but looked ata few of your articles and you keep doing it. This needs to stop!
EQ is an MMO.Rift, EVE Online, and UO are MMOs. Plural, not possessive or contractions.
Originally posted by AlBQuirky Originally posted by YakCast I agree with you on what you are syaing in this article but I have noticed you keep misspelling MMO's with MMOs and it's driving me nuts. You are refering to MMO's in general not in the plural sense! I was going to let it slide on this article but looked ata few of your articles and you keep doing it. This needs to stop!
EQ is an MMO. Rift, EVE Online, and UO are MMOs. Plural, not possessive or contractions.
Someone needed to say it, and so I thank you. Too much of this crap on these forums these days. For god's sake people, it's theme park not themepark. Two frickin' words. That's another one that drives me nuts.
lol, sometimes the little things can gnaw away at you like Chinese water torture.
"Mr. Rothstein, your people never will understand... the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner. You ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the governor." - Pat Webb