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Hey Matt! Here's a question for a future column.
What impact do you see Google Fiber having on MMOs? Obviously early, but if it becomes more widespread, how would that affect multiplayer games online? Should I move to Kansas City now, or wait a few years?
Very nice! Welcome to MMORPG.com, Positron! (You'll always be Positron to me!)
My question is this: How come very few hybrid-model games use an MTX system where 1 Point = $0.01?
Welcome to MMORPG.com Positron! My first MMO was City of Heores untill they killed it. It was easy to get online and run with my friends . Role playing or doing task forces or even just missions.I played for 7 years and I am sad to say I didn't get a chance to do the content from the Night ward. I too am looking for a new home ,but the other MMOs don't even come close to City of Heroes. I think you guys spoiled MMOs for me .
My question is : I understand that this is about making money,but why would a company drop their MMO even if it was making money?I would think a steady cash flow would keep them happy,but that was not the case for City of Heroes.
Can't we all just get along? I can't find a game that doesn't involve warfare - is that a cultural phenomena peculiar to mankind? Frankly, the reason I look for games is to escape the violence but haven't been very successful in that endeavor.....
In your dialogue about previous experiences..
Muds, Meridian 59, EQ... I noticed you didn't mention UO, so maybe you can't answer this, but....
Why won't someone with a budget make a good modern version of Ultima Online?
I understand the reasons for constant EQ clones, but surely SOMEBODY could get big financial backing to recreate a UO Sandbox?
after reading your article I went on to your blog to check it out, and on one of the posts I read one comment that got me thinking about several things related to common mmorpg worlds.
staright to the question: could you comment, on a future article here, about game mechanics that you had to scrap in fear of player exploitation? Ideas that seemed great, idealistically, but would obviously open many fronts for abuse.
To contextualize it a bit, on your blog one user was commenting on the hyper-inflation topic and went on a tangent about elitism - elite players refusing to join undergeared ones -; and it just got me thinking that one simple solution would be to provide some sort of bonus (xp, most likely) to make the idea of more heterogeneous groups more palatable for the stronger players. But, this idea naturally and very obviously would lead to people forming parties, even on slug mobs, to take advantage of the system. Maybe with undergeared ppl on purpose or even with the use of slave accounts just to maximize the benefits. and thus, turning the whole thing into one very bad idea. [no need to further discuss implementation and mechanics, I'm only trying to get the point accross]
As a developer (an insider), I'm quite sure that you will probably have many other examples to share, not only on this particular subject that I used for context but even on stuff that could affect the entire virtual world of one game (economy, gameplay, mechanics).
Hey Matt, I'm a frequent commenter here, and a former indy game company CEO, post mortem lurker, virtual worlds developer, MUD elder, and so on. I keep talking to folks about how in my generation (35 years programming, 30 years of it on the Internet proper) the systems programmer was the king/queen of all, this generation it's the game engine that rules all, not the operating system -- that the game engine is more complicated than the operating system itself.
I'd love it if you could do a little edu-ma-cation for folks as to what it takes to make these games work on every PC (and possibly Mac/Unix/browser/...) out there, the raw miracle of it, and what it sounds like to a dev when they complain that something doesn't work right and won't give a dxdiag and config, or reinstall drivers, and so on.
The customer/gamer may always be right, but they can also sound so wrong to a dev and it would be a public service to air some of those points too.
Other points are, oh, the amorphous nature of lag (and what that means to PvP, for example).
What localization and language preferences in public channels means in an increasingly global world of truly massive gaming, where Russian, Polish, Korean, and Chinese players far outnumber English speakers far less native English speakers, and how game companies will be strategizing around that in the future.
How devs and beancounters will be dealing with the Golden Horde of gamers who like to play what's new this month, diss it because it's cool to diss what's new as harshly as possible in social media, and then move on -- and how this warps marketing games (sub and f2p).
At the MIT Game Lab (Formerly GAMBIT) we talk about this stuff a *lot*, but fans rarely get to hear it. If I talk about it here I usually get a "wtf do you know lady?" stfu thrown at me. But I'd love to see you address them with better cred.
good to see you got a job here matt, I loved cox it was mu first mmo, though I tired others, there was something that kept bringing me back to dawn the cape an cowl.
Good to see articles by people who are working in the industry that are not about their latest game. This guy seems a sound choice and has a background to match.
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
Just made myself a member so that I can post here to let you know that I greatly enjoyed CoX while it lasted. The game made me an alt-holic and gave me hours of joy.
Keep us updated on your future and we may be playing in another MMO that you are involved in soon.
Welcome aboard Matt, a long time CoH player here missing you and the gang. Looking forward to your insight.
The idea of player content has already been asked. Do you see a different format where player and designer can work more hand and hand, so that powers, items and content could be generated togther to drive th MMOs stories foward.
Within City of Heroes, was there ever any thought at looking at what was being done by the players in AE and tagging the better story arcs for possible full publication with in the game? Sure, some would say some sort of prize would need to be offered up at that point, but to me just the honor of having a story arc become part of the actual cannon of the game would have been a huge badge of honor.
Hi Matt! I miss CoX and look forward to reading your future articles.
in calmest breeze,in tornadoes blast,no evil shall escape my gaslet those who are an evil finkfear the wind of Fartman's stink.
CoX almost got it perfect, the only thing wrong with it was by level 35 all the mission maps seemed the same to me, wasn't quite enough game play, but I loved ya'lls take on the class system and pvp on my airborne stalker before ya'll nerfed us to death was freaking amazing.
I would love a fantasy game to do classes the way you guys did but with a bit more depth in the environment. I'd play the hell out of that game.
Good to see you here Posi!
Since you're obviously very familiar with it, could you at some point touch upon SWTOR and their business/system model? It seemed at first that they suffered a lot from first time MMO producer, or single player to MMO switch problems. Considering the fact that a year later they are still managing to irritate their player base at every turn, I'm now beginning to wonder what's really going on. Any insights?
Welcome, Matt! Good to see you here!
In modern MMO design, why do developers try to limit the impact players have on each other?
I'm not just talking about something like "free for all, full loot PvP". I'm talking about all such possible interrelationships. Most current games limit or eliminate players' reliance on each other, or meaningful interaction between players. Even things as simple as crafters needing each other to make a finished product are anathema in today's MMOs. Meaningful social, political, and economic meta-systems are all but extinct in the genre today.
So, why do developers sink so much time and money into creating these beautiful, persistent worlds, populated by potential persistent societies of players, without really taking advantage of either?
Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.
I'm very glad you'll be writing and posting articles here, Mr. Miler! I love City of Heroes and hardly a day passes that I don't wish I could play it and/or I have some pleasant recollection. I'd love any insight you might have as to why NCSoft would kill an MMO as popular and profitable as COH. Initially, I'd assumed money was the only factor, but ideas are floating that NCSoft simply killed CoH out of spite! The idea the development team/Paragon Studios were "unsuitable" custodians for the MMO is patently ridiculous, as is the idea that fans and players would prefer no MMO to NCSoft selling the rights and IP to another company.
Looking forward to your MMORPG.COM articles and wishing the best to all of the former CoH Dev team! You and CoH ROCKED!!! Rock on, Positron!
PS. I really appreciate you devs showing up and joining us on the final night. It was hard to get thru but only because you'd collectively made a masterpiece and because the CoH community was a joy to game with! Best wishes, John /em holdtorch (like forever or until CoH is back)
*Salutes* Hello Posi, Captain-Electric here. So here's what I really want to see you answer; actually (since you asked), I'm requesting that you write a big article about it, now that you've got access to a pretty big microphone here at MMORPG. I'd like you to let your fans, as well as the industry, know--with some detail--how you'd respond if some VC or publisher rolled up with a huge truckload of money and said, "So, Mr. Miller, what's your next super hero MMO going to be like? Give us a plan."
If you think that'd be a little self-serving, think again. You'd be serving thousands of fans, and anybody with a lot of resources who reads your column. Write it in the form of a pitch, treatise, rant, brainstorm, advertisement, all of the above, whatever. You have fans, Matt. Those fans don't want you to stop with City of Heroes. Yes, the funding is out of your hands. But... "What If?"
I'm wondering, Matt, with COH, was there any thought or ideas of making a world to put cities in? I would think that money and development costs were the reason for only the city locked away from the rest of a world. But what about a scortched earth with spaced valleys of lush terrain, any talk of doing that?
Was there technical reasons to not do so, aside from costs?
Once upon a time....
Glad to see you here, Matt!
My question concerns replayability. Before I ask away, I will preface with a "I know I have a narrower view of the MMO landscape" and "my view is very subjective to certain types of gameplay."
Why don't companies release more selective content for each class/AT/role/etc?
Let me explain. Starting with an example with CoH, why couldn't some missions cater specifically to a Katana scrapper and some missions cater directly to a Force Field player? My reason for asking this is replayability. I knew alt-itis was strong in CoH and then I coupled that knowledge with reading articles about games such as in GW2 or the Old Republic(to mention just a couple among many), where choosing an Order or choosing your class resulted in minimal, if any difference in gameplay than any other selection. I've read comments such as "choose what you like, the story/progression will be the same." I read these comments as complaints against the design and lack of variety, not as a positive outcome.
I would guess this is because you feel you have to capture that person as quickly as possible so why take a chance on them choosing something that hasn't been fleshed out as much yet? Is it because of 'running the numbers' and you may only get 3-6 months with that subscriber to impress them? My feeling is that it hurts players such as myself that play longer term and wish they could have a much more significant difference in gameplay when I chose a Tank over a Controller. It might be a horrible example, but why couldn't a Controller complete a mission 'taking over' a certain key minion or leader, whereas a Tank might sit at a chokepoint to absorb incoming damage while civilians escape a building. This is in contrast to damage, damage, damage, as the only way to win each and every mission. No variation. I am fully aware this would be extra work. and I realize you cannot do this throughout the entire game but a small percentage would be appreciated in the name of true replayability.
Lastly, I also think it leads to a more generic game, which after that 6 months, someone may think there is nothing left to do once they realize they are playing the same content but just with different powers. So, if the powers/class/etc fail to impress, you have nothing left to fall back on.
I would be likely more to stay knowing once I finished one class, I got to experience something unique in my next one.
Since all MMOs will eventually end is it really worth the emotional investment? You know how loyal the CoH fanbase is. Now some of us (including myself) have this "once bitten twice shy" attitude. I haven't picked up a new MMORPG (I tried going back to STO but it wasn't holding my intrest) because I don't want to find a group of friends only to have the rug pulled out from under me again.
Here's another question, even though most business decisions are made with money in mind (businesses aren't perfect, there are decisions made for personal reasons too) is there a difference between "we need to do this to save the company" kind of decisions and "we need to do this so I can get a bonus" decisions? Along those lines, do you think game companies actually enjoy playing games or is nothing more than a means to make money?
Yeah, I'm still bitter about NCSoft's decision.