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Who is the audience for casual dumbed down MMOs? Most of the AAA MMO developers seem to think that this is the biggest part of the consumers. And what happens when a game like that comes out? It is hyped up, lots of people buy it at launch, and then it is struggling within 6 months. One thing is playing a game casually, something completely different is building a game from the ground up for people that you consider casuals. I don't think even casual players like some of the design choices that are made.
What I consider casual/streamlined design:
- auction house
- drop-in-drop-out pvp with no risk, no long term implications/goals. Respawning during a match.
- no chance to lose progress in a pve environment (aka lose gear). Why do you win items when you complete something, but don't lose anything if you fail? The balance is off here.
- dividing the gameworld into zones, and other related gizmos, like completion percentage. Telling a player how much % of the game they have completed, is like telling a person in real life the year and date that they are going to die on.
- all content is available for everyone.
- too many tutorials. Most people have a brain, and using it can be fun sometimes.
- minimap/zone map, and related gizmos such as quest markers. Do devs think people are crippled and can't progress if you don't give them a map?
- nothing occurs in the game world that is out of the player's control. All the way through, the games make you feel like a superhero. Who has played Stalker, I mean something along the line of emissions.
The 3 big hopes for me this year are TESO, Repopulation, and DayZ. To be brutally honest, I absolutely expect TESO to take the casual approach. And this time around, I'll wait for people to post videos on youtube, before blindly buying into the hype (made that mistake with TSW and GW2). Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play oldschool runescape.