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How can a new themepark mmo avoid the themepark trap?

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  • jimdandy26jimdandy26 salem, ORPosts: 527Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by aesperus
    Originally posted by maccarthur2004

    How can a new themepark mmo avoid  the players rushing through your developer's provided AI content in a very little time and, when reaching the "endgame" and there is nothing else to do, they going back to WoW?

    One alternative that i tought would be make the ultimate goals (itens, gear, etc) be artificialy very hard and toilsome to get, but i think that wouldn't work since the players still have WoW as a better alternative and are used to easy earnings.

    The answer is to not create games using a skinner-box model.

    The sad truth, is that most gamers are so used to skinner-box models, that they refuse to accept anything else as fun anymore. Any game with clear, progression-based content, is going to get devoured at increasingly efficient rates. Furthermore, thanks to the internet, the number of people who can go through content at these lightning fast speeds goes up with each game.

    Hey aesperus, what makes your fun better than someone elses, hmm? Maybe you should apply that entry-level psychology on yourself too. Skinner box is maybe the crudest way to describe motivation in a game. Or anything really.

    That is the problem with the skinner box, it replaces fun with conditioned response.

    I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

    To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  • AIMonsterAIMonster Apopka, FLPosts: 2,059Member
    I'd really think we should just drop the term themepark MMO, especially nearly every next gen triple AAA MMO (except maybe TESO oddly enough) could probably be labeled a sandbox or hybrid of the two.  That said a short answer to your question would be to have procedurally generated content; however making procedurally generated content as interesting as scripted/developer created content is what's setting developers back from achieving this currently.

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    Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:
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  • maccarthur2004maccarthur2004 SPosts: 510Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by maccarthur2004
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Are you serious? Tell me you're not serious!

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/373227/page/1

    -_- That whole thing was a joke. Take the only, the only succesful surviving sandbox MMO and establish a trend from that? Really?

    I mean, If I pick Darkfall, Xsyon, Mortal Online, Fallen Earth and a few others to just establish a trend there along the lines of "sandboxes jsut don't work" and then show the "ideal themepark", say WoW as contrast, would you be happy with that? Would it make you think "gee, sandboxes sure suck" unless you were already leaning towards that direction?

    A joke. You can't be serious.

    In the last 10 years, none AAA sandbox mmo have been done, since the big budget projects went all to wow-clones*. The first AAA sandboxes are coming in 2013 and beyond.

    *That failed the expectatives in the majority.

     

    "What we are aiming in ArcheAge is to let the players feel the true fun of MMORPG by forming a community like real life by interacting with other players, whether it be conflict or cooperation." (Jake Song)

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  • darkhalf357xdarkhalf357x Brooklyn, NYPosts: 1,164Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by darkhalf357x
    Originally posted by bunnyhopper

    Do themepark mmos need retention?If they can generate profits over a limited shelf life and then roll out the next product, then surely that is what they should do.

     

    Personally I see themeparks becoming more like the single player games in terms of equity generation, short life span with sequels and add on packs.

     

    Instant action, quality, polish and churn. Retention is the remit of a "world/sandbox" game, why should themepark games worry about it?

    Interesting suggestion.  Do you see this infringing on console games?

    btw, I left consoles to play MMOs because I got bored... and agree with your point that MMOs are becoming like single player games.

    "Infringing"? There is no "copyright" here.

    And not just conosle games. iOS games. PC single player games .. all have little retention issues. And why do you think MMOs are better than console games?

    It is just a matter of taste. There are plenty of good console games like Dishonor that probably are more fun (at least to me) than most MMOs.

     

    Thanks,

    didnt mean to infer literal infringement, for lack of a better word... but more did you believe that the "new" model of MMOs was creating the same experience as a console game.

    I've played console games since 1978. Back in the beginning games were hard and there was a challenge.  You had 8 levels and 1 life to do it all in.  It was fun (to me).  Over time this challenge has been lost, but mostly in the RPG field.  They went from games that told a half-way decent story with complex mechanics (think dragon quest/etrian oddyssey/dark spire) to more action oriented with light RPG mechanics. A perfect example is Skyrim.  Action oriented combat in a sandbox like RPG world.  While that was a great / quality game it lacks the depth and options of Morrowind. The games started to get easier.  Then they started going over the top.  Then they started repeating the same old tropes.  Nothing on consoles actually interest me anymore, especially in terms of RPGs.  Even my favorite IP such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest are losing their edge in my book.  Never truly pushing the IP or the genre into more complex, mature content.  Save Final Fantasy, but even FF XIV ARR is going down the quest-path 'easy' route (but will hold final judgement until I play it).

    Its when I realized that consoles would never deliver the type of experience I'm looking for.  Enter the PC.  For me, it delivers a plethora of options for RPG goodness.  An essential never ending RPG experience that I can play with others?  MMORPGs were right up my alley.  Now what I notice (similiar to your view) is that MMORPGs are starting to follow the console model (i.e. - easy gameplay, watered down challenge, get in/get out type gameplay) as opposed to (what Im looking for) more depth, complexity, and longevity.

    Definitely a matter of taste/opinion and in mine, I've lost interest in today's console AAA titles.  Where back in the 80s and 90s I had to have every console game that was published (or close to it).  Im older, more mature and have family life now so I guess my time limitations force me to search for quality more attuned to what I like to play.

    I do see some niche games coming out, most popular to me is ArcheAge which finally tries to merge the sandpark concept. Cant wait to try it.  But there are others like Black Desert, and Wild Star.   I like the quest-hub model as it allows to tell a story, I just dont want it so limited.  Give me random quests (I have to find) and while Im looking for them give me a TON of other things to do in the world.  I dont have to save the universe every time I log in.  Sometimes I want to do simple things like decorate my house with trophies of my kills/achievements or fish or craft something complex.  But I seem to be the minority.

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  • SidraketSidraket merced, CAPosts: 79Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by maccarthur2004
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Are you serious? Tell me you're not serious!

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/373227/page/1

    -_- That whole thing was a joke. Take the only, the only succesful surviving sandbox MMO and establish a trend from that? Really?

    I mean, If I pick Darkfall, Xsyon, Mortal Online, Fallen Earth and a few others to just establish a trend there along the lines of "sandboxes jsut don't work" and then show the "ideal themepark", say WoW as contrast, would you be happy with that? Would it make you think "gee, sandboxes sure suck" unless you were already leaning towards that direction?

    A joke. You can't be serious.

    Those games all did more than they should have by trying to introduce a bunch of gimmicks and making things more complicated than what they needed to be, some were also not very well made to start with.

    What we need is a cautious sandbox. One that uses mechanics we know work, taken directly from other games, but with an open world design with out a themepark endgame. Apparently AA is supposed to be like this, so maybe thats good news, ive not looked too deeply in to it because im tired of allowing myself to become excited.

     

    As far as the OP question. Simple, make it take a lot of time and effort to even hit endgame, thats why EQ worked.

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,548Member Uncommon
    Skill Point System - example:  play Mabinogi and find out.


  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,066Member Uncommon
    The only thing I'd like to see is a more robust character progression system that concentrated on leveling over the course of months instead of weeks.  I don't pretend to speak to anyone else but I loved how Asheron's Call allowed me to progress my character on an almost hourly basis but it took me years to reach level cap.  Thats what I'd like to see but I have a feeling most gamers do not want to be stuck leveling forever.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

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  • SidraketSidraket merced, CAPosts: 79Member
    Originally posted by azzamasin
    but I have a feeling most gamers do not want to be stuck leveling forever.

    The people we would be better off without. Most people who have actually played games with infinite progression think its a reasonably good system, at least better than the standard endgame we get in current games. Unfortunately the majority of the mmo community never even played back when such games were in their heyday, and are so brainwashed with the 'grinding = bad' mentality (even though gear grinding IS grinding anyway) that MMO companies push to try and attract attention when they explain theres 'no grinding' in their game, that they will never allow the genre to heal itself.

  • bunnyhopperbunnyhopper LondonPosts: 2,751Member
    Originally posted by darkhalf357x
    Originally posted by bunnyhopper
     

    Interesting suggestion.  Do you see this infringing on console games?

    btw, I left consoles to play MMOs because I got bored... and agree with your point that MMOs are becoming like single player games.

    No I wouldn't think that the ever increasing move to make themepark mmos more like single player games will infringe upon console games really. Unless the hardware starts to change and we see a blurring of the actual technology as well as the games themselves.

     

    Consoles are just more accessible for more people (as a game portal) and they allow you to get shiny things as presents as and when the next new thing comes out. Simply having more single player style games on the PC platform us unlikely to really compete with that.

     

    Especially when you consider the fact that as they make themepark mmos more and more like single player games, then they are going to be more and more suited to the console market space.It will be interesting to see if we start seeing a migration across to other platforms as the "massively" aspect decreases along with the increase in instant action go go go content and the games become more appealing to the average console player.

     

    "Come and have a look at what you could have won."

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by jimdandy26
     

    That is the problem with the skinner box, it replaces fun with conditioned response.

    The two are not mutually exclusive.

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

    More and more I'm starting to agree with this thought, MMORPG's are following more of the model of the single player title, including their revenue generation model.  It seems that they can make money even without a large, long term sub base, so sub retention really isn't an expectation by the Devs anymore.

     

    It is not surprising for the devs to search for models that work. With increasingly competition, it is unrealistic to expect MMO retention will be high ... the prudent thing is the plan for the opposite.

    Business-wise, many MMOs are probably treated as SP games with a MP component, and refreshing content (like expansions). The only difference is probably that a MMO will have more expansions than a SP game.

  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,066Member Uncommon

    Well first off I don't consider a themepark to be a trap as I enjoy a themepark game way more then a sandbox, as long as it contains non linear elements.

     

     

    With that being said I believe the best way to keep from stagnating endgame of Themeparks is through UGC or User-Generated-Content.  Which is why I am most interested in Neverwinter Online and the Foundry UGC.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

    image

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Reliably banal topic.

    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.

  • maccarthur2004maccarthur2004 SPosts: 510Member
    Originally posted by azzamasin

    Well first off I don't consider a themepark to be a trap as I enjoy a themepark game way more then a sandbox, as long as it contains non linear elements.

    The trap is to the developers, not the players. There is absolutely no harm to a player if him consumes all the AI content in little time and goes back to WoW or any single player game.

     

     

     

     

    With that being said I believe the best way to keep from stagnating endgame of Themeparks is through UGC or User-Generated-Content.  Which is why I am most interested in Neverwinter Online and the Foundry UGC.

    User generated content is a sandbox thing. So, your solution to avoid the themepark trap is the mmo ceasing to be themepark?

     

     

     

     

    "What we are aiming in ArcheAge is to let the players feel the true fun of MMORPG by forming a community like real life by interacting with other players, whether it be conflict or cooperation." (Jake Song)

    image
  • AthcearAthcear Washington, DCPosts: 420Member
    Originally posted by XAPGames

    Eliminate level progression entirely.

     

    Instant level-cap characters directly into endgame with gear progression via PVE and PVP.

     

    The only way to avoid a game becoming top-heavy is to design the game to be top-heavy from the start.

     

    Actually, this could be a fine idea.  Instead of building a big open world, just have a hub and lots and lots of dungeons.  Tell the story of the world through these specific missions, go nuts on group content, and have a huge, wide veriety of them.  No need to shoehorn in an artifical exploration aspect, where you move to the next zone... just because.  Such a game could have really solid linear setpieces, but let the players decide to experience them in whatever non-linear order they like, or maybe do some of them in chains.  Mix in some randomization elements to make them more repeatable, and you could have a seriously interesting dungeon crawler with interesting progression and story.

    Important facts:
    1. Free to Play games are poorly made.
    2. Casuals are not all idiots, but idiots call themselves casuals.
    3. Great solo and group content are not mutually exclusive, but they suffer when one is shoved into the mold of the other. The same is true of PvP and PvE.
    4. Community is more important than you think.

  • bunnyhopperbunnyhopper LondonPosts: 2,751Member
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Reliably banal topic.

    Thank heavens above your post came along and elevated it to a level of eurdite thought and wit.

    "Come and have a look at what you could have won."

  • maccarthur2004maccarthur2004 SPosts: 510Member
    Originally posted by Athcear
    Originally posted by XAPGames

    Eliminate level progression entirely.

     

    Instant level-cap characters directly into endgame with gear progression via PVE and PVP.

     

    The only way to avoid a game becoming top-heavy is to design the game to be top-heavy from the start.

     

    Actually, this could be a fine idea.  Instead of building a big open world, just have a hub and lots and lots of dungeons.  Tell the story of the world through these specific missions, go nuts on group content, and have a huge, wide veriety of them.  No need to shoehorn in an artifical exploration aspect, where you move to the next zone... just because.  Such a game could have really solid linear setpieces, but let the players decide to experience them in whatever non-linear order they like, or maybe do some of them in chains.  Mix in some randomization elements to make them more repeatable, and you could have a seriously interesting dungeon crawler with interesting progression and story.

    Is a good idea and, in fact, is the logical direction to where the modern themepark mmos lean. They could do a huge amount of content if wouldn't waste resources in a open world and low-middle level instances/questlines that is sub-used by the majority of players and that a big part of them openly say to loathe.

    "What we are aiming in ArcheAge is to let the players feel the true fun of MMORPG by forming a community like real life by interacting with other players, whether it be conflict or cooperation." (Jake Song)

    image
  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    — This is an em dash. It is similar in usage to a semicolon.

    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.

  • bunnyhopperbunnyhopper LondonPosts: 2,751Member
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by bunnyhopper
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Reliably banal topic.

    Thank heavens above your post came along and elevated it to a level of eurdite thought and wit.

    If only "cloud" view listed authors, so it was possible to avoid the one-topic wonders.

    C'est la vie.

    "Come and have a look at what you could have won."

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,142Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maccarthur2004

    How can a new themepark mmo avoid  the players rushing through your developer's provided AI content in a very little time and, when reaching the "endgame" and there is nothing else to do, they going back to WoW?

    One alternative that i tought would be make the ultimate goals (itens, gear, etc) be artificialy very hard and toilsome to get, but i think that wouldn't work since the players still have WoW as a better alternative and are used to easy earnings.

      

    Unfortunatelly also wow fell into same trap. One can finish new expansions with 1/3 of time invested like from first two expansions at least. In this regard best idea ever is to scale down player level to area like in GW2, making all even low level quests fun. I was kinda very disappointed starting with Cata I was able to level alts to max level while leaving behind maybe half quests that become obsolete for my level. Ok, to some degree this problem was lessened by the fact only 5 levels of difference in last 2 expansions.

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