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[Column] General: Single Player MMO



  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    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.

    You must really hate reading novels!  Watching TV shows.....movies....etc

    By your logic, if reading was good enough for books, it must be good enough for movie-goers to read the captions and there was never a need to add sound.

    Yes, you can make a good story-based game, just as you can make a good silent movie.  But the medium is the message and a static story is wasting all that computational power I have sitting under my desk.


  • free2playfree2play Toronto, ONPosts: 1,880Member Uncommon

    Autonomous content in an MMO is vital.

    We don't go to a movie theater to have conversations yet we do go for the social aspect of being in the theater with other people. Video games are first and formost a media format. Just because they are interactive and set in social opportunities, this does not mean they are cooperative or mutual goals social situations. The reason games are dungeon grinds is because of the inability of development to create mutual goals content.

    It doesn't need to be black and white either. MMO games can have both group and autonomous content. You can't force solo, you can try and force group though and it seldom works.

  • KickaxeKickaxe CanadaPosts: 102Member Uncommon
    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! 

    Apostrophes indicate possession or contractions. "MMOs" is neither a possessive noun nor a contraction like "MMO is/was". MMOs is a plural, for which one does not use an apostrophe.


    EQ is an MMO.
    Rift, EVE Online, and UO are MMOs. Plural, not possessive or contractions.

    Everything you said is correct, AlBQuirky.  I wanted to add that there is a further convention with apostrophes and abbreviations that's worth noting here: if there is internal punctuation in the abbreviation--Ph.D., for example--than an apostrophe would be required; thus, Ph.D.'s not Ph.D.s.  So possession and contraction are not the only justifications for apostrophes.


    /cheer grammar

  • PokketPokket Candy Mountain, TXPosts: 80Member
    Originally posted by Thorbrand
    No such thing as a single player MMO. Definition of a MMO makes it impossible to be a single player game. This is what companies need to be held to what defines a MMO before they can claim their games are a MMO. No such thiing as a single player massivley multiplayer game. I think that pretty much explains it.

    Instead of just reading the title and commenting... try reading the whole article. I was using it as a hyperbole. Basically exaggerating a lot of game's use of questing and story. Focusing more on single player elements rather than multiplayer.


    Then again, if you'd read, you'd know.

    Youtube: PokketProductions | Twitter: @Pokketsays | Facebook: Pokketsays
  • PokketPokket Candy Mountain, TXPosts: 80Member
    Originally posted by LordDmaster

    MMO=Massivley Multiplayer Online

    MSPO=Massivley Single Player Online

    So are we talking about MMO's or MSPO's?

    Or you trying to make a Single Player Online game with alot of people "Not" working to gether?


    Are you trying to make a Single Player Online game with alot of people "Working" together?

    As "Thorbrand" said; "No such thing" in my world. But this is your world and I'm just a squirrel trying to get a n...  Game.


    And as I said to Thorbrand: Try reading the article and not just the title.

    Youtube: PokketProductions | Twitter: @Pokketsays | Facebook: Pokketsays
  • PokketPokket Candy Mountain, TXPosts: 80Member
    Originally posted by JerYnkFan

    IMO, single player MMO is an oxymoron.


    That's the point. Too much emphasis on single player elements in a "massively mutiplayer" game. This was a "hit or miss" concept with a lot of people : Guess I'll be more apparent next time.

    Youtube: PokketProductions | Twitter: @Pokketsays | Facebook: Pokketsays
  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,178Member Uncommon

    Actually when op says:

    I suppose I will just go ahead and mention SWTOR since it is the most obvious offender of the past year. Now by no means am I a fan-girl, nor do I dislike the game. I am just going to give an unbiased opinion on BioWare's approach with "story" and portraying it to the masses. That opinion is: they putway too much emphasis on it.


    In my opinion, not only did they waste a lot of resources on the voice acting for the main quests, let alone the side quests, but let's not forget that everything has a cinematic, you have companion quests as well, you have the different avenues each decision can take you, and you have the Legacy system which basically encourages leveling up and going through more story.

    Could not agree LESS. Actually I think ANY game should have much much more voice acting, scenery, story, .... Usually when reaching top level (btw, as you know I'm altholic :-)) I usually stop that momment, even if I have enjoyed a lot up to that moment. Swtor is only game so far where I have continued with all alts up to the end of fabulous, incredible, story telling of swtor.

    About single player ... MMO does NOT mean one MUST play with others. MMO simply mean  A LOT OF PLAYERS AT SAME TIME ON SAME SERVER. Only this. Have no problem with end game, that for sure is intended for cooperative work. Actually I would not even have nothing against if i.e. wow would return at least few elite quests where one required grouping. Problem is, for group play there must be ENOUGH PLAYERS AROUND AT ANY TIME. And they are usually NOT. Especially not for one like me that do not have fixed schedule. I play really a lot but I never know when i will have time. So would never bother with game where I will spend 10 hours for looking for company to just find it is time to go to bed.

    Not sure why you all so much bother about grouping in MMO's. You have END GAME where you will group at all times. Leave to rest possibility to enjoy leveling without spending 95% of time lfg-ing. About get a guild ... that is pure BS. That works only if one have real life friends in guild, not otherwise.

    Why I play mmo's at all? Because of QUALITY of this kind of games. Sorry, Skyrim, ES series .. are not that. Best games ever are for me of course wow, swtor, rift, gw2, aoc, ... If I could get same quality of gaming experience in single player kind of this games, I would play. Only problem is for pvp fans and those that want to enjoy end game.

  • SleepyfishSleepyfish Ashville, NCPosts: 363Member

    Too much story, thats like saying a game has too much content. All of the games and expansions you listed didn't do well becuase they had too much story, they didn't do well because they catered too much to gear grinding locusts who jump from game to game, WOTLK really set a fire to that trend as it was not so great but its gear grinding clones of TOR and WAR, LOTR, AOC were not any better, souless gear grinds, the story in TOR is  terrible honestly, and going the gear grind route is also what is going to end GW2.

    In it's defense RIFT does well becase it does not pretend to be some other kind of game, you know you are getting a gear grind with some added features, all the other titles pretended to cater to a pvp player base and in the end were just WOW clones.

    You can measure success today by the ammount of things a game does differently from WOW, I doubt any of the wow clones including GW2 will ever have the retention rates of EVE online or RIFT, one because EVE is so different and answers to the non wow player base, it also has plenty of story, RIFT because they are honest and just say they are WoW 2.0.

    Also Phasing and the DK starting areas, were probably one of one or two things I may have acutally liked about WOTLk, the other was the zombie event, the rest of the expansion was a tiresome treadmill of dailies, 5 mans, 10 mans just to get gear to do Arena which is what I really wanted to do. BC was a great expansion because I was left the Fk alone. Not forced to raid with raid leaders and their obnoxious girlfriends.

  • VymmVymm Manhattan, NYPosts: 112Member

    Have to agree with Pokket's last two articles:

    1.  Graphics are important but WAY over emphasized

    2.  Story is just WAY over emphasized

    3.  Additionally, leveling & starter content is WAY over emphasized

    Let's get back the days of end game MMORPG. 




  • amusedmonkeyamusedmonkey zarqaPosts: 42Member


    I totally disagree. The reason I stopped playing SWTOR is not the cutscenes or the story elements. It's the sidequests, high respawn rates in some places without a reason for it, and the story itself being rigid. It lacked the immersion an RPG should have to be successful. 


    Single player MMO? Nothing's wrong with that. If you want a heavily group based grinder with no story, try an Asian MMO. The problem is not being able to complete content solo, the problem is that group content isn't as satisfying or emmersive as solo content. 


    Citadel of Sorcery - a game currently in development - is attempting to tackle this exact problem. Content is not rigid, it changes based on your past and your current choices. Both single player and group content offer enough satisfaction and immersion: When you go adventuring solo, you want to free a prisoner, zerg rushing is just not an option you would have to make a choice to sneak in or disguise yourself and talk to the prisoner. If you want to do the same adventure as a group, you'll have more choices to poke at: You could zerg rush into the city if you want (but that would make you an enemy of that town in the future, so your choices matter) or you could have one person distract the guard while another sneaks in, starts spreading a rumor that would create a diversion, while a 3rd captures someone to interrogate him about the best way to get into that prison, have a couple trick the prison guard into a trap while you free that prisoner.


    This way, you could still have your solo experience but a group experience would feel much more satisfying immersive and strategic. Encouraged rather than forced grouping or soloing, where group play is actually GROUP PLAY where you need to strategize, not a bunch of players poking buttons at the same time in the same place. Dynamic rather than rigid content. A living world with time moving forward, making it feel like a real world rather than the illusion of a virtual life. No level cap and no classes. Quests that feel different each time you do them, rather than grinding the same exact side quests. Enemies that have a purpose for existing, not just something that keeps popping back into existance for no reason. That's what MMORPGs need; bring RPG back into MMORPG.




  • oubersoubers bazelPosts: 876Member Common

    i am pretty sure it called a singleplayer coop game and not a MSPO (massive single player online) people actually just crap out there own kinda genres these days??

    anyways......MSPO made me laugh so its ok :) hahaha


  • catlanacatlana Houston, TXPosts: 1,677Member
    Originally posted by JerYnkFan

    I think if TOR would have just stuck to VO for the main story line and not every side quest, it would have been a much better idea.  Like Pokket stated, it was cool the first time around., the 2nd or 3rd not so much.  I thought LOTRO did a really good job with having just enough cut scenes that left you wanting more and those parts of the story felt important.

    IMO, single player MMO is an oxymoron.

    I agree that the class story is the strong point of SWToR. That is what keeps me playing along with my guildies. However, I lay the blame for a lot of SWToR issues at the engine. The Hero engine is SWToR has been nothing but trouble. Every time you get large scale combat going you end up in a lagfest.

  • Crazy_StickCrazy_Stick Privacy Preferred, NCPosts: 1,059Member

    It's nothing personal, but as soon as I read someone claiming to give an unbiased opinion I automagically think of FOX news and prepare myself for anything but... ;) However, I would agree that applying story based content to actual game play environments rather than breaking the action for a cutscene to spacebar through has more potential for the MMORPG from a sheer playability standpoint. They might should be saved for big finishes or really unique events rather than every NPC or excuse to keep them special and worthy of watching rather than skipping.


    SWTOR "really" messed with some people and they are still screaming near on a year later. The game gets so much grief I don't want to touch on it directly. lol.

  • AtorihanzoAtorihanzo gigny sur saonePosts: 1Member

    The reason why i'm playing that is called today, "MMORPG", is that i would like to project my mind in another world and do, what I am not able to do here. Like in all video games you will say ? No, Online RPG should give us a persistant universe where we are not THE hero, but just A hero. And so, THE story should be our story.


    But is this point leads us to debate of sand box and them park view. IMO, it's just like colors...between white and black, there are a lot of nuances.


    That is sure is that I hate to have the same imposed background than another player avatar, I hate to always do the same repeatable instances in order to win THE gear.

    But I love good scenarios and resolve plots because i like to evolve in exciting stories . That is what I call a RPG, with other people or not, with is better, for sure.



    So I thing i am like several thousand of players actually...I don't like what the video game industry give us today. I guess I just prefere gastronomic to Mc Do' (perhaps because i'm french...but i'm sure it's not a nationality matter, right ?)



    No, Kiddo, this moment, this is me at my most … masochistic.

  • RemianenRemianen Brooklyn, NYPosts: 38Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Coldren
    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.


    They had that 15 years ago.. It's called Ultima Online.

    The only problem is.. It's 15 years old.. No one has tried to do what they did (And still do) since.

    Level-less, deep, complex, free and open sandbox... Apparently to hard to do these days, or at least get finance for.

    Um Eve Online has done it, to the point where the mainstream press has taken notice. About the only thing that made the news from UO back in the day was when Lord British was killed and when people were selling castles on eBay. But with an open world like EVE, where politics and diplomacy and espionage all factor in heavily in the day to day operations of many players, the freedom allowed by CCP surpasses even UO. As much as people like to whine about it, the fact that YOU are responsible for safeguarding your own stuff (go ahead and petition when someone runs a con on you and jacks your money/items) speaks volumes for the amount of freedom allowed in that game world.

  • SuilebhainSuilebhain Lutz, FLPosts: 53Member Uncommon

    I liked SWTOR until EA collapsed under the pressure of people howling about population imbalance and folded 6 RP servers, some of which had healthy if not abundant populations, into one overcrowded one.

    I do agree that too much emphasis was placed on the Single Player Experience, but let's face it - the culture that once existed ten years ago in games like DAOC, Ultima, and SWG does not exist anymore. Most of those players grew up on paper & dice games and loved the chance to expand from their living room outward into the world, playing characters, not rolling "toons".

    All that changed as the newer players migrated from the video arcades looking for a chance to apply anonymous beatdowns with little interest toward immersive experiences. Older players gave up on trying to roleplay (the RPG part of MMORPG, after all) and fell into step as a way of "keeping on". Many would keep to themselves or the microcosm offered by their guilds.  No more spontaneous public roleplay or events where anyone could just happen by - there was no interest in it anymore. In order to preserve a vestige of roleplay, the designers, many of whom were of this "older" class of online gamers, incorporated the RP elements into the "story-driven" aspect of their games, thus the initial "starter islands" and novice quests, leading to class-based storylines and so on. 

    The point here is that story-driven single player experiences are practically the only immersion to be had in the modern MMO fo people who value that aspect. otherwise, it's pretty much just and all-out mishigas of combat and little else, with things like player housing, player-based economies, and dynamic content mentioned in vague promises of future updates that never happen.


  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,161Member Uncommon

    My only take on the solo vs group play is this: in the real world we do both "solo" and "group" interactions every day.  We walk out the door, and we have the choice to walk around the city on our own, or to meet up with friends to go do something.  We can stay at home and read a book, or we can go to work and be part of our team.  In this sense, MMOs are really only replicating real life -- we have a choice to do solo content, and we have the choice to group up.  My sense is that have both options is a good thing -- it's really about the freedom to play (and live) the way we prefer (even if that changes based on our mood that day).  If we think of an MMO as a living, breathing world, and not just a group game, then I think it's okay to have both. 

    This is not to say that it's good to overemphasize either solo or group play, and I do think some MMOs promote one over the other -- best to be even-handed in the types of content created for the world.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,178Member Uncommon

    When OP says "I suppose I will just go ahead and mention SWTOR since it is the most obvious offender of the past year. Now by no means am I a fan-girl, nor do I dislike the game. I am just going to give an unbiased opinion on BioWare's approach with "story" and portraying it to the masses. That opinion is: they put way too much emphasis on it.": no, they DO NOT. Other games should instead put much more, not swtor less. Never enjoey so much in and mmo story. Actually ... others do not have real story. Many times I try to read at least with 1st alt all text from quest ... but swtor is only game where I have actually ENJOYED listening to incredible voice acting.

    About solo ... not sure what people complain with swtor. No one is forced to quest at all, only class quests are mondatory. I have opted for solo friendly questing for all my alts.

  • Cod_EyeCod_Eye jarrowPosts: 1,016Member

    For me, I prefer the story to be driven by the player not by the developer.  The problem with SWtoR for me was the lack of a journey, I felt I was driving along a straight road with no turnings to distract me to make that road interesting.  It felt like many other MMO's we see being churned out today 1 to cap bang, now what?

    I think MMO's should not contain more than 20% of single player activity, each level should be painfully long,  because of the quick levelling system that are in MMO's the items obtained become redundant and neglible.

    Single player, Solo and MMO should never even be used in the same sentence

    Until Developers stop looking at ways of making a fast buck, then the days of real meaty MMO's are nothing more of a distant memory.

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