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Are We Getting Too Smart for MMOs?

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  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by Torgrim
    Checkout older games from late 80s to 2000 and compare them to games after 2000 to 2012 and you can clearly see the games have gone from difficult and challenging to fast food industry gameplay with little brain activity needed to be able to play.

    im assuming you are talking about PC gaming

     

    on one level

    it seems devs are trying to make their game enjoyable to as many people as possible

    diminishing challenge because that may turnoff some players

     

    on another level,

    user interface design in software has come a long since the days of DOS games and Windows 3.1

    (im ignoring apple even tho macs defeat my argument on ui improvements in the last 20 years)

    PC gaming ui has improved dramatically -- the poor UI of old games also made them more challenging

     

    i havent been to an arcade in years (since the 1980s) but hopefully the arcade games of 2012 are as challenging as the 1980s

    or maybe Arcades are a dieing breed like Drivein Theatres

  • WabbaWayWabbaWay Posts: 101Member

    Too smart for MMOs? Lol, hardly, If people are tiring from newer MMOs its because they're made so much more accessible and easy compared to older titles (like classic WoW which required a serious amount of grinding to raid regardless of being a softcore or hardcore player).

    The grind in a game is a tricky thing, because almost everyone has cursed the grind in X game for being boring or monotonous - but if the grind hadn't been there we probably wouldn't have played it for as long as we did - thats what i feel is missing in newer MMOs such as GW2 (which i tried to like so hard, but just couldn't): The grind you hate and secretly love.

    image
  • karmathkarmath Posts: 829Member Uncommon

    Add to the fact most cancerclones have been watered down so little billy and his mom can play.

     

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by karmath

    Add to the fact most cancerclones have been watered down so little billy and his mom can play.

    Yep.  Little Billy and his Mom have just as much money to spend as we do.

    Money talks. "True Gamers" cry in their beers.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Grr

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • SoulSurferSoulSurfer Denver, COPosts: 1,248Member
    Originally posted by oubers

    image

     

    I raise you a cat!

  • sanshi44sanshi44 BrisbanePosts: 1,088Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Trudge34
    Doesn't help that there have been maps with a compass that show which way you're facing, trails and markers everywhere showing you where to go for every quest so you don't have to read the text at all and some companies even posting guides to the dungeons on their own website. I don't disagree that player made websites and walkthroughs have helped, but IMO a larger portion of the dumbing down has been built right into the game. 

    WTB my sense heading skill and no maps again, Such great times getting lost in Everquest was so much fun XD

  • sanshi44sanshi44 BrisbanePosts: 1,088Member Uncommon
    If anything its the opposite were realy getting to dumb for the older MMOs, New mmos have removed 95% of all thought involved in the game they require almost no thinking (a few games are the acception but most are like this) all you do is simply follow thie shiny question marks and pointers to where u need to go your lead on a leash all the way to max lvl. The leash doesnt it then drags you through dunguen in a percific order and with each boss fight they tell you what you need to do to get past it. For example warning in middle of screen = run to outside edge of the room, different message = stack on the boss different message jump over the lazer thats about to come towards you all u do is play simon says and u will win the fight amazing how many people fails at simple game of simon says though lol. To be honost there almost 0 thought process in games since WoW xcept a couple.
  • emikochanemikochan StaffordPosts: 284Member Uncommon

    Nadia has a point, the UI improvements are huge, you can even contribute some of wow's success to quality addons fixing the ui.

     

    Combine that with the fact that we've all played mmos and have more experience, it might be magnifying any percieved dumbing down.

     

    Not saying it's not there but mmos are quite susceptible to rose glasses.

     

    Also I concede that I didn't take into account massive patches changing things, in my experience they've only ever made things better.

    image

  • Ambros123Ambros123 Neverneverland, TNPosts: 877Member

    Too smart?  Hardly, if anything I would say we have gotten dumber but that is likely due to the inclusion of non-gamers.  Non-gamers being those who really never touched an RPG game till an MMO.

    I feel MMOs are catering towards the more casual and easy experiance route.  I love long character progression, on of the reasons I loved single RPG games like the BG series due to the long character progression in not only in chat level but in story and romances.

    Another factor is that MMOs typically have been rehashing old concepts and don't try for something different, aka WoW clone.

  • tollboothtollbooth grants pass, ORPosts: 298Member
    Most of the people who have been gaming for 10-20 years I'd say have become experts at playing video games.  I've spent more hours playing video games than I did in school from k-12 grade, and all my college... think about that for a moment.  That is why a massive amount of video games feel dumb.  A huge portion of the older gaming population have a sort of quasi equivalent of a college degree in the science of playing video games.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    In general, video games mechanics are way more complicated, and interesting beyond the days of something like EQ.

    Back in EQ, if you play a wiz, you basically just use your main nuke, and watch your mana.

    In today's world, mechanics is much more complex, and if you want to be efficient, often you need to run spreadsheet tools, or other software.

    For example, if you play D3, your "sheet" DPS is a combination of attack speed, critical chance, critical damage, elemental damage and weapon damage. So it is not clear just to figure out if a piece of equipment is an upgrade. More important, differnet skills interact differently with this damage. For example, some wiz spells use raw damage, and don't take attack speed into account. So what is best .. is a complex math question depending your build, and equip.

    And i have not even gone to abilities like CM, and CC ... for example, there are players who figure out the amount of critical chance and attack speed you need, to use a particular skill, to permanently lock up monsters with cc.

    None of this kind of theorycrafting is needed, or possible in the old games. Only modern games have this kind of deep combat mechanics interactions.

     

     

  • orsonstfuorsonstfu Belaton, LAPosts: 203Member

    It's not about intelligence. It's actually about Habituation.  We have gotten so used to all the mechanics that if they don't give us something new then we will just leave.

     

    Habituation is the exact reason why clones are dying off in droves and developers can't ride that cash tidal wave created by World of Warcraft any longer.

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by Theocritus
        More experienced yes. smarter? No......Theres little doubt that most MMOs that have come out since WoW are made for the masses (ie dumbed down).....

    Of course they're made for the masses, the masses are the ones that pay their bills.  You say that like it's a bad thing.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
    Now Playing: None
    Hope: None

  • HrimnirHrimnir Qeynos, COPosts: 1,597Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    Like Theocritus said, more experienced, not smarter. And no, old MMOs weren't timeconsuming "in a good way" - far from it. Infact, they were timeconsuming the worst possible way: through extensive grind and timesinks which made people spend more time and hence pay more money in subscription fees.

    Todays market is smarter than to fall for that trap. Well, most people are anyway.

    Old MMOs didn't have instructions and walkthroughs on sites because no one really gave a fuck back then. MMOs were a niché market as a whole.

    Thus proving my long standing point that modern MMO players aren't actually MMO players.  And no, we didnt "fall for any trap"  We were fully aware of the length of the stick vs the carrot, we just actually enjoyed that aspect of the genre.

    "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

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by firefly2003

    I remember a time as well where people didn't incessantly talk about sub numbers, economics, demographics, and market share and investment bs, once upon a time we talked about the games we loved and what we wanted to see in the future, what happened? Everyone became a armchair economist and show me the numbers and profit.... quite ridilicous tbh.

    The problem is, a lot of people started getting totally unrealistic about what they wanted in the future and stopped acting like it would be nice to see, they started demanding it.  They deserved it.  They were somehow entitled to it.  That's why a lot of economics talk comes up because these people are totally ignorant of it, they don't understand how and why games are made the way they are, they think that just because they want something, someone has the obligation to make it for them.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
    Now Playing: None
    Hope: None

  • HrimnirHrimnir Qeynos, COPosts: 1,597Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by firefly2003

    I remember a time as well where people didn't incessantly talk about sub numbers, economics, demographics, and market share and investment bs, once upon a time we talked about the games we loved and what we wanted to see in the future, what happened? Everyone became a armchair economist and show me the numbers and profit.... quite ridilicous tbh.

    The problem is, a lot of people started getting totally unrealistic about what they wanted in the future and stopped acting like it would be nice to see, they started demanding it.  They deserved it.  They were somehow entitled to it.  That's why a lot of economics talk comes up because these people are totally ignorant of it, they don't understand how and why games are made the way they are, they think that just because they want something, someone has the obligation to make it for them.

    Yep, thats entitlement society for you.  But, all that being said, i also remember back then, not nearly as many people drank so much haterade.  Us EQ'ers didnt hate AO or UO guys, and as far as i know they didnt hate us.  We would mock each other from time to time, but we respected that each game catered to a more specific style of gamer, and we went about our business.

    "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

  • MeriliremMerilirem Port AugustaPosts: 77Member
    People don't get smarter. The reason they dont keep us so immersed is simply because  they haven't changed very much in a decade. We played, had fun, and they stayed the same. The tech got better but the basic limitations are the same. Having experienced enough of the available games anyone would find themselves wanting more. Not to mention the fact that most companies don't even seem to try and raise the bar. They instead opt to make minor additions to a tried and true formula. The problem of course is that the formula, while it may make them some cash, is fairly dull for the players.

    If a butterfly learnt to speak, to live in human society, paid its bills, had a job, lived in a fancy house and married a human, is it human?

    Now what if that same butterfly knew how to write code better than any human and had years of experience in the game industry, would that make it a game designer?

    If u wouldn't let a construction worker design your house, then why let a programmer design your world?

  • ScaryMonkScaryMonk LondonPosts: 97Member
    Originally posted by fat_taddler

    I watched an interesting video the other day regarding this topic (see link below).   I think it may explain to some extent why MMO's seem to feel "dumbed down"  to many players these days or why so many games only keep us engaged for a month or two at best.

    A lot of what made the older MMO's so much more immersive and time consuming (in a good way) was the fact that most of us had no idea what we were doing.  This in and of itself was a huge part of the fun and contributed greatly to the social aspects of games.

    These days, players can simply go to a website and within minutes they can see the most optimized way to play any class.

    Couple this with Youtube videos on boss strats, money making techniques, etc and you've basically taken a large portion of the challenge out of any MMO.   

     

    I think anything becomes tedious through repetition, and mmo's in particular have done very little to keep us engaged.  

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Hrimnir
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    Like Theocritus said, more experienced, not smarter. And no, old MMOs weren't timeconsuming "in a good way" - far from it. Infact, they were timeconsuming the worst possible way: through extensive grind and timesinks which made people spend more time and hence pay more money in subscription fees.

    Todays market is smarter than to fall for that trap. Well, most people are anyway.

    Old MMOs didn't have instructions and walkthroughs on sites because no one really gave a fuck back then. MMOs were a niché market as a whole.

    Thus proving my long standing point that modern MMO players aren't actually MMO players.  And no, we didnt "fall for any trap"  We were fully aware of the length of the stick vs the carrot, we just actually enjoyed that aspect of the genre.

    What kind of hair splitting double talk is that?

    If a player plays a MMO, he is a MMO player. He may like different aspects of it than you. And taste certainly changes over time. But you don't have the claim of what "mmo players" are.

    Just like movie goers. Are people who like super hero movies not "movie goers" just because they like something that is not available in the 50s?

     

  • BanaghranBanaghran HuisoPosts: 869Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    In general, video games mechanics are way more complicated, and interesting beyond the days of something like EQ.

    Back in EQ, if you play a wiz, you basically just use your main nuke, and watch your mana.

    In today's world, mechanics is much more complex, and if you want to be efficient, often you need to run spreadsheet tools, or other software.

    For example, if you play D3, your "sheet" DPS is a combination of attack speed, critical chance, critical damage, elemental damage and weapon damage. So it is not clear just to figure out if a piece of equipment is an upgrade. More important, differnet skills interact differently with this damage. For example, some wiz spells use raw damage, and don't take attack speed into account. So what is best .. is a complex math question depending your build, and equip.

    And i have not even gone to abilities like CM, and CC ... for example, there are players who figure out the amount of critical chance and attack speed you need, to use a particular skill, to permanently lock up monsters with cc.

    None of this kind of theorycrafting is needed, or possible in the old games. Only modern games have this kind of deep combat mechanics interactions.

     

     

    Well, are they more interesting and/or complex and/or deep?

    For wizz in d3, dunno, things like arcane orb you can cast faster and channeled spells like ray of frost are normalized (same tick time, higher damage, higher ap cost), that some speels (hydra?) dont take attack speed into consideration looks more like an oversight than something interesting.

    As for the stats, the max numbers are really low, so you actually dont have the choice having 30%crit chance or 300res all on a single item at the expense of other possibilities, you will regardless of your choices gravitate towards the same equip as everyone else, as many beneficial affixes with as many high values as possible, and this not something d3 specific, this unfortunate state of affairs in itemization has plagued the genre(s) for years.

    As for the "crit builds", again dunno, i dont see it as a miracle to find the optimal numbers (and it is not like they had to search for long, you know, how many passives has the wizz class that are based on a mechanic like crit chance? 2, 3?), the miracle is if the other builds remain interesting enough, for any reason, as opposed to the current state when they become only the choice for very specific groups of players (i guess if you really love kiting, or farming stuff you would twoshot regardless... ) because of their overall effectiveness (spam 1,2,3 rinse repeat).

    I for myself see those mechanics just more complicated for the sake of being complicated, with pitifully small impact on the gameplay or player decisions, and maybe this is the reason i and maybe some other people see certain games the way  we see them.

    Where you see just pushing nuke and watch mana i see ways of improving mana efficiency, active and passive, and/or focusing on mobs with special resists, and/or grouping advantages, something that has the chance NOT to devolve onto jamming as many "beneficial stuff" into "player owned or used stuff" and hit as many buttons as possible...

    Flame on!

    :)

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Banaghran
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    In general, video games mechanics are way more complicated, and interesting beyond the days of something like EQ.

    Back in EQ, if you play a wiz, you basically just use your main nuke, and watch your mana.

    In today's world, mechanics is much more complex, and if you want to be efficient, often you need to run spreadsheet tools, or other software.

    For example, if you play D3, your "sheet" DPS is a combination of attack speed, critical chance, critical damage, elemental damage and weapon damage. So it is not clear just to figure out if a piece of equipment is an upgrade. More important, differnet skills interact differently with this damage. For example, some wiz spells use raw damage, and don't take attack speed into account. So what is best .. is a complex math question depending your build, and equip.

    And i have not even gone to abilities like CM, and CC ... for example, there are players who figure out the amount of critical chance and attack speed you need, to use a particular skill, to permanently lock up monsters with cc.

    None of this kind of theorycrafting is needed, or possible in the old games. Only modern games have this kind of deep combat mechanics interactions.

     

     

    Well, are they more interesting and/or complex and/or deep?

    Yes. Very. In fact, people are still playing with variations of build today .. after so many months. I would refer to to the many build discussion thread on the official forum.

    For wizz in d3, dunno, things like arcane orb you can cast faster and channeled spells like ray of frost are normalized (same tick time, higher damage, higher ap cost), that some speels (hydra?) dont take attack speed into consideration looks more like an oversight than something interesting.

    It is interesting when you have to maximize DPS for your build, and you can pick a different attack weapon .. or in some build, maximize CC .. instead of DPS.

    As for the stats, the max numbers are really low, so you actually dont have the choice having 30%crit chance or 300res all on a single item at the expense of other possibilities, you will regardless of your choices gravitate towards the same equip as everyone else, as many beneficial affixes with as many high values as possible, and this not something d3 specific, this unfortunate state of affairs in itemization has plagued the genre(s) for years.

    You obviously have NOT played the game well, if you say your choices gravitate towards the same equip as everyone else. CM build has a very different BIS list (for example, using the chantodo want + off hand combo (because of APOC requirement, which is useless to say arcane build) instead of a fast yellow mainahnd (or echo fury) + triu offhand) than say the archon build.

    In fact, a stat like APOC and attack speed is essentially to some build (like CM) but useless for others. This is same for Wiz, and other classes. In fact, in the zero dog build for witch doctor, you stack CD reduction of zombie dog to reach zero (i.e. you need 34 seconds), and that override anything else.

    That is the reason why a good CM wiz has much lower sheet DPS than a archon wiz, but does not mean he is less effective.

    As for the "crit builds", again dunno, i dont see it as a miracle to find the optimal numbers (and it is not like they had to search for long, you know, how many passives has the wizz class that are based on a mechanic like crit chance? 2, 3?), the miracle is if the other builds remain interesting enough, for any reason, as opposed to the current state when they become only the choice for very specific groups of players (i guess if you really love kiting, or farming stuff you would twoshot regardless... ) because of their overall effectiveness (spam 1,2,3 rinse repeat).

    it is not a miracle, but you still don't know the number unless you did an analysis. In fact, look at some of the thread that has those analysis. No noob is going to figure it out withotu some math skill.

    And what "only choice"? There are at least 2-3 top effective build (CM, archon & hybrid archon) .. and many other people have proposed and successfully played (disintegration beam that is ok for low MP and low attack speed, i recent saw an interesting cold attack based build).

    I for myself see those mechanics just more complicated for the sake of being complicated, with pitifully small impact on the gameplay or player decisions, and maybe this is the reason i and maybe some other people see certain games the way  we see them.

    YOu are obviously not paying attention if there are so many different build, and each can need very different stats. The impact on gameplay is huge. I have used different builds, and even variant will play very differently. For example, what do you do when you fight a reflect damage mob ... do you face tank or kite? Or some will use the life-on-kill stat (because it is cheaper to stack), and kite to group of weak mobs to fuel life gain.

     

    Where you see just pushing nuke and watch mana i see ways of improving mana efficiency, active and passive, and/or focusing on mobs with special resists, and/or grouping advantages, something that has the chance NOT to devolve onto jamming as many "beneficial stuff" into "player owned or used stuff" and hit as many buttons as possible...

    Again, if you only see "pushing nuke and watch manna", you have not played D3, or not well anyway.
    And i challenge you to find a game with as many variety of affixes (abilities) of mobs as in D3. Each class has different ways of dealing with some of these affixes. Even different builds have different ways.

     

  • vandal5627vandal5627 Jersey City, NJPosts: 586Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bamdorf
    Originally posted by fat_taddler

    /snip/

    A lot of what made the older MMO's so much more immersive and time consuming (in a good way) was the fact that most of us had no idea what we were doing.  This in and of itself was a huge part of the fun and contributed greatly to the social aspects of games.

    /snip/

     

    We didn't know what we were doing for maybe a couple three days.   After that, your point rather loses any value as far as I can see.  And you know, that first few days of total ignorance were not the fun part at all... there was a great possiblity of people giving up in frustration.

     

     Becase they're too dumb to figure it out so they get frustrated and leave so developers dumb down the games so those people won't leave.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by vandal5627
    Originally posted by bamdorf
    Originally posted by fat_taddler

    /snip/

    A lot of what made the older MMO's so much more immersive and time consuming (in a good way) was the fact that most of us had no idea what we were doing.  This in and of itself was a huge part of the fun and contributed greatly to the social aspects of games.

    /snip/

     

    We didn't know what we were doing for maybe a couple three days.   After that, your point rather loses any value as far as I can see.  And you know, that first few days of total ignorance were not the fun part at all... there was a great possiblity of people giving up in frustration.

     

     Becase they're too dumb to figure it out so they get frustrated and leave so developers dumb down the games so those people won't leave.

    Do you have to use optimization math, and spreadsheet to figure out upgrade, DPS, and builds in the past? I don't think it is dumbing down, but change the nature of challenge.

    In the past, the challenge is to complete the content (i.e. kill the boss). Now, devs make it possible for everyone to play, but the challegne is to do it fast and efficiently. Now that takes a lot of know-how and work.

    In fact, this is obvious when you look at the new challenge dungeon in WOW. The goal is not to beat the boss (which is easy), but to beat a timer (not unlike achievements). Tell me that is not a legit challenge. Same idea as in D3. It is easy to beat MP0 if you just want to play the game.

    Trying to even play on high MP needs a lot of gear and know-how.

  • vandal5627vandal5627 Jersey City, NJPosts: 586Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by vandal5627
    Originally posted by bamdorf
    Originally posted by fat_taddler

    /snip/

    A lot of what made the older MMO's so much more immersive and time consuming (in a good way) was the fact that most of us had no idea what we were doing.  This in and of itself was a huge part of the fun and contributed greatly to the social aspects of games.

    /snip/

     

    We didn't know what we were doing for maybe a couple three days.   After that, your point rather loses any value as far as I can see.  And you know, that first few days of total ignorance were not the fun part at all... there was a great possiblity of people giving up in frustration.

     

     Becase they're too dumb to figure it out so they get frustrated and leave so developers dumb down the games so those people won't leave.

    Do you have to use optimization math, and spreadsheet to figure out upgrade, DPS, and builds in the past? I don't think it is dumbing down, but change the nature of challenge.

    In the past, the challenge is to complete the content (i.e. kill the boss). Now, devs make it possible for everyone to play, but the challegne is to do it fast and efficiently. Now that takes a lot of know-how and work.

    In fact, this is obvious when you look at the new challenge dungeon in WOW. The goal is not to beat the boss (which is easy), but to beat a timer (not unlike achievements). Tell me that is not a legit challenge. Same idea as in D3. It is easy to beat MP0 if you just want to play the game.

    Trying to even play on high MP needs a lot of gear and know-how.

     Still dumbed down.

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