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Hartsman leaving the (sinking?) ship

VolgoreVolgore Posts: 2,207Member Uncommon

http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/01/22/scott-hartsman-leaving-trion-worlds/

There you go...

 

*Edit: And before someone yells that massively is wrong again:

"I wanted to let you know that I'm stepping down from my position here at Trion.

[...]
Scott Hartsman
"

 

Source:http://http://forums.riftgame.com/rift-general-discussions/general-discussion/349042-rift-year-two-state-game-part-one-two.html#post4127332

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Comments

  • PivotelitePivotelite Hamilton, ONPosts: 2,167Member
    It's becoming more and more apparent Storm Legion didn't live up to expectations.

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  • VolgoreVolgore Posts: 2,207Member Uncommon

    Yes, first the layoffs, now Hartsman "leaving" (while we know what that means in industry-language).

    Looks like Bertelsmann Digital Media wasn't too happy about the value of their investment of $85mio.

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  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,772Member Uncommon

    Good luck to Hartsman. Although Rift lacks the things i like most in mmos, they have always being very agressive with updates. Trion is a good company and i hope Hartsman finds an even better one.

     

    Meanwhile.............. *waits for Rift F2P*

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  • NobleNerdNobleNerd Wolcott, NYPosts: 671Member Uncommon

    I have been playing Rift again for about a month now. I have had fun and enjoy the content the game offers. Rift is a beautiful game with alot of AAA material in it, but Trion (imo) made quite a few mistakes when it came to changing the game. I use to play the game before because it offered tough content.... they went the way of WoW and gradually nerfed much of it in lower levels, with it safe to say pve content use to be a lot harder across the board. They also made "cross-everything"! There is no need for factions anymore because the Guardians and Defiant share everything. PvP loses some of that banter and bragging rights when Guardians and Defiant fight alongside each other now. Even guilds are not a sacred place to kick it with your faction because they share those now too.

    This gamer can say with the greatest of confidence that this is an attempt to overshadow the fact that the population has massively dwindled over the year. They have 8 shards now. that includes oceanic. If you do the math of how many people a server can hold you can figure out the population is very low. 

    Now with that said, I do enjoy much about the game. The Soul System alone is enough to keep me happy for a while. The world is beautiful and engaging. The combat works and skills have been worked and tuned to be a decent balance (especially in PvP). I have noticed some classes become tough to take down at higher levels, but all in all no class makes a "game changer" in PvP.

    I wish Hartman well with whatever his next adventure brings him. I look forward to (more than likely) a F2P model in Rift soon. All in all it is sad that Rift didn't capture the hearts of more gamers. It is much better at what it does than  many other MMOs out there. If you haven't tried it yet give it a go.

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  • simmihisimmihi -Posts: 615Member Uncommon
    I don't think that Rift will sink, it will still have its fanbase. I must admit, i've found the expansion dull, grindy and uninspiring and decided not to buy it and resub - did not like the new zones, and it felt that the expansion did not bring anything genuinely new, just more "content", which equals more grind. Anyway, the game is not in a bad spot, i'd take it over WoW any day, because of the soul system and the liberty and variations it offers, even if i've found MoP to be vastly superior for me: the monk was extremely cool, i've also enjoyed the Tillers (farming minigame), the pet battles were a blast... i guess in the end it boils down to that for me, SL did not bring enough "fresh" things, just more of the same old.
  • NobleNerdNobleNerd Wolcott, NYPosts: 671Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by simmihi
    I don't think that Rift will sink, it will still have its fanbase. I must admit, i've found the expansion dull, grindy and uninspiring and decided not to buy it and resub - did not like the new zones, and it felt that the expansion did not bring anything genuinely new, just more "content", which equals more grind. Anyway, the game is not in a bad spot, i'd take it over WoW any day, because of the soul system and the liberty and variations it offers, even if i've found MoP to be vastly superior for me: the monk was extremely cool, i've also enjoyed the Tillers (farming minigame), the pet battles were a blast... i guess in the end it boils down to that for me, SL did not bring enough "fresh" things, just more of the same old.

    Obviously you wouldn't take it over WoW because further down in your post you praise all of the new stuff WoW put into MoP. I for one lost interest in WoW after the death of talent trees and panda invasion.

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  • simmihisimmihi -Posts: 615Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Xepo
    Originally posted by simmihi
    I don't think that Rift will sink, it will still have its fanbase. I must admit, i've found the expansion dull, grindy and uninspiring and decided not to buy it and resub - did not like the new zones, and it felt that the expansion did not bring anything genuinely new, just more "content", which equals more grind. Anyway, the game is not in a bad spot, i'd take it over WoW any day, because of the soul system and the liberty and variations it offers, even if i've found MoP to be vastly superior for me: the monk was extremely cool, i've also enjoyed the Tillers (farming minigame), the pet battles were a blast... i guess in the end it boils down to that for me, SL did not bring enough "fresh" things, just more of the same old.

    Obviously you wouldn't take it over WoW because further down in your post you praise all of the new stuff WoW put into MoP. I for one lost interest in WoW after the death of talent trees and panda invasion.

    I would take it over WoW because all in all, Rift is a better game for me, i feel that i have more options regarding my character, and I mostly play these games for character development (and sometimes for crafting, but neither WoW or Rift excel at that). At the same time, I find MoP to be a better expansion compared to SL, because MoP actually did bring lots of fresh stuff (and some bad stuff which i do not enjoy), while SL felt just the same for me, no new major things except the new levels. Instant Adventure? We already have Dungeon Finder and some people (not me) find that awful, a "quest finder" for single player play (and sometimes groups, depends on the time of the day) was not needed, really. Instant Adventure is something I ever forgot that existed, like scenarios in MoP, i do not like those either.

  • Crazy_StickCrazy_Stick Privacy Preferred, NCPosts: 1,059Member

    I don't know what to make of that. Hartsman was a true fan of his product back when RIFT made release. I still remember him telling a game reporter to go uhm "screw" themself. I didn't agree with everything they did in RIFT but think it was a fine game and I always respected the work the team put in. I hate to read of them struggling even if it wasn't really the game for me. Maybe one day they will go buy to play as free to play would kill what makes their product appealing  in the long run (in my opinion.)

     

    I hope Hartsman finds a good spot in the industry somewhere. Nice to see a game made by people that love their games.

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    Well I looked on hartsman facebook page nothing has changed there in days.  Now on linked in it shows him no longer working for trion but working for himself as an problem solving expert.   Looks like he will be looking for a new game.   Nothing on twitter in fact I guess he does not have a twitter account .

    I don't think he stepped down on his on, that letter almost read as " I am leaving the team knows what to do without me".  

     

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,204Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by erictlewis

    Well I looked on hartsman facebook page nothing has changed there in days.  Now on linked in it shows him no longer working for trion but working for himself as an problem solving expert.   Looks like he will be looking for a new game.   Nothing on twitter in fact I guess he does not have a twitter account .

    I don't think he stepped down on his on, that letter almost read as " I am leaving the team knows what to do without me".  

     

    He hasn't updated his blog in a long time either.  It's an interesting read.  I don't really agree with some of his design philosophies but I liked a lot of what he did in Rift and EQ2.  Kunark is probably my favorite EQ2 xpac.

    We'll see.  I wish him and the rest good luck.

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common

    His resignation letter, as well as the new head guy at Rift's state of the game level, were both pretty half assed that didnt do anything to address any player concerns.  Post SL has been an absolute disaster so far and there isnt just chinks in trion's armor, its cracked and desperately trying to stay on.

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

    Well I looked on hartsman facebook page nothing has changed there in days.  Now on linked in it shows him no longer working for trion but working for himself as an problem solving expert.   Looks like he will be looking for a new game.   Nothing on twitter in fact I guess he does not have a twitter account .

    I don't think he stepped down on his on, that letter almost read as " I am leaving the team knows what to do without me".  

     

    He hasn't updated his blog in a long time either.  It's an interesting read.  I don't really agree with some of his design philosophies but I liked a lot of what he did in Rift and EQ2.  Kunark is probably my favorite EQ2 xpac.

    We'll see.  I wish him and the rest good luck.

    Yeah, Hartsman did a good job on the Kunark xpac for EQ2. I have been enjoying dimensions quite a bit as well. Here is to hoping that everything moves forward for Rift after his departure. 

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member

    It's pretty simple, really.  This type of themepark is not going to cut it anymore.  Rift had a nice run, and Trion is a neat company, but Rift is part of a dying paradigm, or at least a paradigm that is shrinking.  There will always be room for a couple themeparks, but there probably won't be a WoW-killer that is a pure themepark.  By adding Dimensions, you can see that Trion is getting their heads wrapped around player driven content now, but  just tacking on housing instances is not enough.

    I saw the same thing The Secret World, a game that should never have been a pure themepark.  They threw in the RP Theater features so players could have some fun, but it's too little, too late.  They could have added many more important hybrid features before worrying about that theater.

    Game developers have got to understand by now, that if you are developing a pure themepark game at this stage, your business plan should be designed to get all the money you want back out of it within 90 days.  If your game remains profitable longer, great, but don't count on it.  

    On another note, I think it was brilliant for Trion to take ArchAge on, and I'm betting they will learn a lot from it.  I can't think of many game companies I would be happy handling ArchAge for NA, and Trion is in the top 3 based on pure professionalism and how much effort they put into making Rift a great game.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • ice-vortexice-vortex Xenia, OHPosts: 951Member
    The MMO market is shifting away from p2p and as that part of the market shrinks, games, even if good, are being pushed into f2p to survive.
  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,066Member Uncommon
    While I do like how Trion kept updating the game on a routine basis I did not like the style it went with.  The game when I quit was as close to a WoW clone as you could get and this further proves no matter how hard you stretch it, Subscription gaming is soon to be dead.

    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

  • sea.shellsea.shell SelfossPosts: 63Member

    Endgame item threadmills are not my thing (I do raid), i also played between 1 to 3 month every AAA "themepark" out there. Rift had many glaring design philosophies and bugs *I* do not agree upon. However even if it didn't had those after 2 months i did all i wanted. Today, there is enough content after one year to justify one more month of sub.


    But who's gonna pay the year in between?


    The Raiders who like this game got today a satureated market (GW2 / SWTOR / WOW / LOTRO etc) and people who like a more sandbox approach to do stuff don't get enough content outside of the gear threatmill.


    I would say the people who are whilling to spend money on subs on very limited themepark content shrink each day. 4 Years ago people had to sit it out till something new released. Today there are so many AAA mmos and even more coming. No one sits it out and pays a sub to a game they barely play.


    They rather jump ship *smirks*, than waiting for new content. These Themeparks are bound to go F2P buy design. I Disagree that AAA MMOs (Especially sandpark - box) can only survive as F2P.

    P2P is viable as it ever was.



    Playing: EVE Online
    Wants to play: ArcheAge, Lineage Eternal: Twilight Resistance / Star Citizen / FFXIV AAR / Neverwinter

    Used to play for 5+ years: Lineage 2, Lord of the Rings Online and Ragnarok Online

    Utter disappointing MMO experience for 1 - 3 Months:
    WAR / AoC / SWTOR / RIFT / AION / STO / TSW / GW2 / GW / Vanguard / Planetside2

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,275Member Uncommon

    Wow. Hartsman did a hell of a job. I can't wait to see his next product. 

     

    RIFT just came at the end of the WoWesk themepark era. 

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,523Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bcbully

    Wow. Hartsman did a hell of a job. I can't wait to see his next product. 

     

    RIFT just came at the end of the WoWesk themepark era. 

    Its interesting to see the praises for Hartsman, but after talking to ex trion employees that worked under him I got an entirely different viewpoint. 

    Trion did the right thing letting him go, IMO. Hartsman is good at getting a good team together, but after that he needs to be removed from the mgmt process.

    Hopefully he learns from his mistakes.

  • botrytisbotrytis In Flux, MIPosts: 2,567Member
    Originally posted by MindTrigger

    It's pretty simple, really.  This type of themepark is not going to cut it anymore.  Rift had a nice run, and Trion is a neat company, but Rift is part of a dying paradigm, or at least a paradigm that is shrinking.  There will always be room for a couple themeparks, but there probably won't be a WoW-killer that is a pure themepark.  By adding Dimensions, you can see that Trion is getting their heads wrapped around player driven content now, but  just tacking on housing instances is not enough.

    I saw the same thing The Secret World, a game that should never have been a pure themepark.  They threw in the RP Theater features so players could have some fun, but it's too little, too late.  They could have added many more important hybrid features before worrying about that theater.

    Game developers have got to understand by now, that if you are developing a pure themepark game at this stage, your business plan should be designed to get all the money you want back out of it within 90 days.  If your game remains profitable longer, great, but don't count on it.  

    On another note, I think it was brilliant for Trion to take ArchAge on, and I'm betting they will learn a lot from it.  I can't think of many game companies I would be happy handling ArchAge for NA, and Trion is in the top 3 based on pure professionalism and how much effort they put into making Rift a great game.

    I don't think it has anything to do with thempark vs sandbox. In fact, I think Sandbox games will sink faster as they have such a high learning curve and are pretty boring, in my opinion. I think it has more do with whether or not the game has new material for all level of players or not. Stormlegion was only for the players who have already maxed out characters so they lost the repeatability factor. That to me is the biggest problem. If Trion would have added another new intro area to the game, then I could see playing again. Right now, no. Also is the fact they used to have 2 separate factions but now can be mixed into three different ones? They lost their footing in ther own storyline/lore and that is one of the other issues going against the game.

     

    I don't think player housing, added into any game, will save a game. It is another time sink/money sink is all. A grind is a grind and that is the issue. If you want new players and your current base to continue to play and start new characters, it can't be the same old areas over and over.

     

    If Rift is going down, it means the company doesn't have the staying power or the people and it does not bode well for any game that they develop/publish. It means they will punish Paul to pay Peter, not a good way to run a game. They did some great things but they also did some really dumb things, which ultimately killed the game for me after 1 year of subbing to Rift. That means, to me, it doesn't bode well for Archage as they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater - if they do it to a game they put time into, why wouldn't they do it to one they are just publishing?

    image

    "In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
    by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Originally posted by bcbully

    Wow. Hartsman did a hell of a job. I can't wait to see his next product. 

     

    RIFT just came at the end of the WoWesk themepark era. 

    Its interesting to see the praises for Hartsman, but after talking to ex trion employees that worked under him I got an entirely different viewpoint. 

    Trion did the right thing letting him go, IMO. Hartsman is good at getting a good team together, but after that he needs to be removed from the mgmt process.

    Hopefully he learns from his mistakes.

    Can you please elaborate??

  • RydesonRydeson Canton, OHPosts: 3,858Member Uncommon

         I for one am glad he's leaving.. I don't think so much of he's lieaving as Trion pretty much kicked him to the curb, and rightfully so.. But then I hold Trion equally responsible for the glaring issues Rift has.. Scott suggested and designed a game that was a mini me version of WoW if I ever saw one.. There was basically only 1 path to level your characters.. Majority of end game content was nothing more then a raiders themepark treadmill..  I think most people that cancelled Rift like I did in the first year never gave SL a chance.. A first impression is a lasting impression.. I do hold both Scott and Trion at fault for the direction they chose to take Rift in the first place.. Personally I'll avoid anything that has Hartsman's name on it if I can help it.. 

         The really sad thing.. I was actually looking forward to ArcheAge, but now I find out that Trion was awarded publisher.. OH SHIT.. I truely hope that only responsibilty they will have is marketing, customer service, and maintenance stuff..  I assume XL games has final say on everything.. I do find it funny that Scott views himself as a problem solver consultant.. Really? Considering he didn't solve anything in Rift or EQ2.. LOL

  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Warren, MIPosts: 192Member

    In the end this guy has it right, and why games have little real vision anymore, instead shallow window dressing to appease "casuals" (kiddies).  After watching this I feel he's got it more, as opposed to less, right:

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JweTAhyR4o0

    Wherever you go, there you are.

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member
    Originally posted by Silverbranch

    In the end this guy has it right, and why games have little real vision anymore, instead shallow window dressing to appease "casuals" (kiddies).  After watching this I feel he's got it more, as opposed to less, right:

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JweTAhyR4o0

    I thought I might just breeze over this video, but ended up listening to the whole thing.  Not surprising, I suppose, since I am one of the people around here who have been complaining about the dumbing down of MMOs for the last several years.  Good post, thanks.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member
    Originally posted by botrytis
    Originally posted by MindTrigger

    It's pretty simple, really.  This type of themepark is not going to cut it anymore.  Rift had a nice run, and Trion is a neat company, but Rift is part of a dying paradigm, or at least a paradigm that is shrinking.  There will always be room for a couple themeparks, but there probably won't be a WoW-killer that is a pure themepark.  By adding Dimensions, you can see that Trion is getting their heads wrapped around player driven content now, but  just tacking on housing instances is not enough.

    I saw the same thing The Secret World, a game that should never have been a pure themepark.  They threw in the RP Theater features so players could have some fun, but it's too little, too late.  They could have added many more important hybrid features before worrying about that theater.

    Game developers have got to understand by now, that if you are developing a pure themepark game at this stage, your business plan should be designed to get all the money you want back out of it within 90 days.  If your game remains profitable longer, great, but don't count on it.  

    On another note, I think it was brilliant for Trion to take ArchAge on, and I'm betting they will learn a lot from it.  I can't think of many game companies I would be happy handling ArchAge for NA, and Trion is in the top 3 based on pure professionalism and how much effort they put into making Rift a great game.

    I don't think it has anything to do with thempark vs sandbox. In fact, I think Sandbox games will sink faster as they have such a high learning curve and are pretty boring, in my opinion. I think it has more do with whether or not the game has new material for all level of players or not. Stormlegion was only for the players who have already maxed out characters so they lost the repeatability factor. That to me is the biggest problem. If Trion would have added another new intro area to the game, then I could see playing again. Right now, no. Also is the fact they used to have 2 separate factions but now can be mixed into three different ones? They lost their footing in ther own storyline/lore and that is one of the other issues going against the game.

     

    I don't think player housing, added into any game, will save a game. It is another time sink/money sink is all. A grind is a grind and that is the issue. If you want new players and your current base to continue to play and start new characters, it can't be the same old areas over and over.

     

    If Rift is going down, it means the company doesn't have the staying power or the people and it does not bode well for any game that they develop/publish. It means they will punish Paul to pay Peter, not a good way to run a game. They did some great things but they also did some really dumb things, which ultimately killed the game for me after 1 year of subbing to Rift. That means, to me, it doesn't bode well for Archage as they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater - if they do it to a game they put time into, why wouldn't they do it to one they are just publishing?

    I disagree.  However, there will always be a market for casual/themepark games, even though the nature of those games will have to evolve beyond even what the best of them have to offer today.

    The problem with themeparks is inherent to their design.  They aren't even sustainable from a developer's point of view. As Smedley pointed out, it is nearly impossible to create enough themepark content to keep a larger player base around.  It's too expensive for studios to make, and the players burn through the content a thousand times faster than it takes to make it.  Add to this that everyone is insisting on "free to play" now, and you have an unsustainable business model on multiple levels.  This is why SOE has seen the light and is taking EQ:Next in the direction of emergent, player driven gameplay.

    From the player's perspective, there the 'been there and done that'  factor.  Themeparks feel pretty much the same, which is why so many people get bored with them and leave very shortly after release.  As time passes, this problem will only grow as more and more players become tired of the same old systems and gameplay in every game. New entries and people who are super-casual players will probably prefer the old themepark model, but those are likely to become somewhat niche too as the gaming public evolves beyond them and expects a more rich experience.

    The next popular games will be more of a hybrid model at first, and those hybrid models will introduce gamers who have only played themeparks to emergent gameplay and player-driven content.  Once you let this cat out of the bag, many people want more.  It's hard to go back to living someone else's linear story line in a themepark, once you have played a game that allows you to create your own path through the game world.  In these games, you and your friends make your own quests by going out into the world and experiencing emergent gameplay. 

    I don't know what your idea of a sandbox is, but I wouldn't try to compare it to much you've seen in the past.  The closest thing to a well rounded hybrid we've ever seen was Star Wars Galaxies, in my opinion.  While SOE did not have enough themepark content and what they had was clunky, the lesson was learned that players do want to experience story content once in a while, not just sandbox play.  Strike a good balance between these things, and let the player decide how to approach them and you are off to a great start for a modern hybrid game.  Players who enjoyed SWG loved the sandboxy freedom of it, but they also wanted some directed content, including an overarching story to the world.  In this case, the main factions and the Galactic Civil War.

    There is a market for pure sandboxes too, and we'll likely see a few of these do quite well with smaller audiences just like EVE has.  The majority of players will likely stick to well themed and balanced hybrid games which allows them much greater freedom of expression and gameplay, while also giving them simpler sandbox systems and a nudge in the right direction in the form of some scripted quest and dungeon content.

     

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • JaedorJaedor Denver, COPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon

    He said he was stepping down from his position, not that he was leaving Trion. It was just the next day that ArcheAge was announced so it was possible he switched over to that project.

    That said, I didn't read the Massively article yet so don't know if it was clarified that he left Trion or just Rift.

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