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What does depth in an mmo mean to you?

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  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    To me, "deep" means there exists gameplay beyond what the developers themselves anticipated.

     

  • FromHellFromHell NY, NYPosts: 1,311Member

    fluff and housing like SWG had

     

    a massive non linear world like Age of Conan has

     

    Complicated mechanics like EvE has

     

    voilà, MMO ultimate depth

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  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by nottuned
    I remeber worlds being huge, now with insta ports and super mounts the worlds seems much smaller. Im always running into walls. I know travel should not be tedious, but something is lost for me and worlds seem to be shrinking. Mabye im just getting fat idk

    Huge != depth.

    You can have a huge world with nothing to do .. that is not depth to me.

    In fact, many games who have depth does not even have a world.

  • blackcat35blackcat35 Lake Orion, MIPosts: 479Member

    To have depth you need to have some complexity.  Unlike alot of people, I don't think Eve was that complex.  The game was pretty simple.  Most mmorpgs don't have that much complexity.  Most 10 year olds could play a mmorpg easily enough.  Just because you get lost in a game and have alot of fun in it doesn't mean it is that complex/have that much depth.

    limiting users to in game functions based on there level - doesn't translate into added complexity.  I don't think you could say that it adds any depth to Neverwinter if you cannot make dungeons until your 15th level unless you pay an extra fee.

    If it takes you awhile to describe a game and all its various mechanisms, that still doesn't imply depth.  I would say that chess is deep.  Because you have diferent skill levels and although the rules of the game aren't that hard, the best move is not always obvious.  Conversely, Tic-tac-toe and even Checkers is comparably less deep.

    I would say that AD&D 4th edition is shallow, while 3.5 is deeper.  I would say that DDO has some depth, although its probably harder to master than chess, ie chess is deeper.

    Poker I don't think is that deep of a game on the surface, but if you look at the game deeper and being able to read people and know what they have without looking at there cards or cheating, its deeper than just the rules of the game.

    Craps on the otherhand is not very deep.

    Most mmorpgs don't have hidden complexity.  

     

     

     

     

     

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  • fivorothfivoroth LondonPosts: 3,665Member Uncommon
    Depth = time sink.

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  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,479Member Uncommon
    The board game GO is a deep game.  The rules are simple but the effects of stone placement are elegantly interesting and varied.
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    The board game GO is a deep game.  The rules are simple but the effects of stone placement are elegantly interesting and varied.

    It's important to note though that games like GO are not created intentionally - they emerge over time as simply being the toy games experimented with that, over the ages, have turned out to be deep.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,316Member Uncommon
    Depth is the amount of meaningfull decisions a player is required to make.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • HomituHomitu Hometown, HIPosts: 2,030Member
    Originally posted by Merilirem
    Originally posted by Homitu

    Depth is just an attribute that can be applied to any feature of a game.  Story can have depth or not.  Combat can have depth or not.  The character class and progression system can have depth or not.  Leveling can have depth or not.  

    It's usually a broad statement and requires further explanation on part of the poster, just like it's counterpart, "shallow."  

    This is exactly why I asked the question. Though your answer leaves alot of gray. If its an attribute then how do you add it to a game?

    The point I was trying to make was that I don't think depth is "something" that you add to a game at all.  It's a word people use to describe the games they like; and it's usually an insufficient descriptor at that, often requiring further explanation as to what the person means.  Everybody means something a little different when they describe a part of a game as having depth.  Such is the nature of language. 

    If you're trying to play the role of Socrates in this conversation, who continuously attempts to pry an adequate, universal definition of piety out of Euthyphro, just like Socrates, I'm not sure you're going to succeed.  Now if you just wish to gather a number of subjective accounts of how various individuals define "depth," in an effort to hone your own perception of the word, I think you'll succeed quite well on forums such as these.  But I don't think you'll find any one objective essence that can be added to a game to magically give it the mysterious quality depth. 

    If I had to offer my own definition of depth in games, I would say it is that experience players have with a particular feature of a game where they feel like the game just continues to provide more and more layers of "stuff" to discover and master, beyond what is generally expected.   It's a highly interactive and immersive experience.  Depth's counterpart might be "generic" or "basic." 

  • birdycephonbirdycephon Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 1,314Member
    To me, depth is choices. Choices that shape your gameplay. Choices that open some doors while closing others. Forget quest lines, give me quest trees.
  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Having a world ourptside the lobby.
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    To me it means the presence of a variety of systems and attributes that when learned and mastered reveal additional connectsions/relationships that are not readily apparent but increase the gameplay possibilities.

    I suppose one example could be the Necropoli and Catacombs in Lineage 2. Not only were they popular leveling spots but players could gather seals that could be turned in to either the Dusk or Dawn Priests (or whatever they were). They could also be sold if I remember correctly.

    However, the control of dusk or dawn meant that the winner of the dusk/dawn competition would control those prime leveling spots. It also tied into the Siege/Castle system and I believe could affect the outcome of those events which of course meant that the caslte holder not only gained taxes from the surrounding towns but could also sell "seeds" to players who could then reap crops of mats from monsters when they turned them in.

    This in turn fueled the crafting systems and also made money for the players and especially the castle holder. Additionally the castle holders could also reap money from fortress holders if the fortress holders aligned with them. If the Fortress holders did align with the castle holders then they would have access to their own special dungeons. additionaly the Castle holders had a special leveling dungeon as well.

    Castle holders could also sell the right for non-castle holders to compete on their side in the dusk/dawn competitions thus increasing their chances of winning.

    Great example. image

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  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,236Member Uncommon

    Depth, for me, is detail.

    I usually interpret it in terms of the ability to be creative, and it usually starts with the character.   Do I have the ability to make a "virtual other" with a unique look, a variety of clothing, a variety of emotes and mannerisms for every context?

    To me, CoH was the deepest MMO I played, because it had so many ways for players to make interesting characters, interesting hideouts and interesting story arcs.  But I realize that others might not think so, because that type of creativity isn't what they thing is "deep."

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  • BenediktBenedikt PraguePosts: 1,406Member Uncommon
    its quite hard to define and it will proly means something else to everyone. when i think about it, to me it means that the game not only has a lot of options, but those options are meaningful, support each other and probably have a lot of "suboptions/subsystems".
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Benedikt
    its quite hard to define and it will proly means something else to everyone.

    It's more a marketing term than an actual description of anything for exactly that reason.


    One could write a feature list that would probably get 9 out of 10 MMO gamers to drool, however each of those 9 people has a completely different game in mind when reading it.

     

    Deep crafting system!

         Meaningful PVP!

              Richly detailed game world!

                   Epic team-based combat!

     

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Benedikt
    its quite hard to define and it will proly means something else to everyone.

    It's more a marketing term than an actual description of anything for exactly that reason.


    One could write a feature list that would probably get 9 out of 10 MMO gamers to drool, however each of those 9 people has a completely different game in mind when reading it.

     

    Deep crafting system!

         Meaningful PVP!

              Richly detailed game world!

                   Epic team-based combat!

     

     

    Amazing!

    Damn, youre good. I lol'd at this. Especially since the terms are so abused, and with such frequent mendacity that they are meaningless as coming from companies and shills.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • BitterClingerBitterClinger Newark, DEPosts: 225Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Benedikt
    its quite hard to define and it will proly means something else to everyone.

    It's more a marketing term than an actual description of anything for exactly that reason.


    One could write a feature list that would probably get 9 out of 10 MMO gamers to drool, however each of those 9 people has a completely different game in mind when reading it.

     

    Deep crafting system!

         Meaningful PVP!

              Richly detailed game world!

                   Epic team-based combat!

     

     

    LOL! You just described EVERY MMO game that has EVER been released!!!

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  • PhaserlightPhaserlight Boca Raton, FLPosts: 867Member Uncommon
    Deep games tend to last, but a long-lived game isn't necessarily deep.

    A deep game tends to allow strategy to flourish.

    Complexity is not the same thing as depth.

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  • allendale5allendale5 kansas city, MOPosts: 124Member
    I feel depth in a game whenever I feel like there is something to lose or when I feel unique in some way.  When there is nothing to lose or no death or performance penalty whatsoever, then it feels holllow.  When I see my toon doing the same exact thing as 50 other players in the same area, it feels like it doesn't really matter if I am there or not.  And, it doesn't.
  • CodenakCodenak HullPosts: 418Member Common

    Depth to me is a fully fashioned world, one that lives, changes over time due to actions within its systems, that develops wether you are personally there or not. One where complexity or simplicty is possible and can occur simultaneously.

    Where not everything is devoted to a linear experience in order to shove you to the end of their designated line as swiftly as possible.  A world where your story can be told and where you can listen to the stories of the those around you. Depth is nooks and crannies and gaps that players can inhabit in the pattern of a world. One where we can be surprised, delighted and on occasion awed, where we the players sometimes just have to say "OOOOOOOH"

  • AeolynAeolyn Langley, BCPosts: 216Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    I think a game with "depth" means you get drawn into playing despite yourself.  You didn't think you would take the game seriously or it wasn't going to last or you were just checking it out for kicks.  Next thing you know you have friends, family, guild mates, associates, and you are looking up on line how to accomplish your next goal.  You don't even know how it happened.  That is depth in gamers' terms to me.

    When I played UO years ago I had written and distributed books of my own poetry to a few ingame friends, they were then able to lock them down in their homes for their visitors to read and comment on.  That's a brief example of depth for me. 

     

    Re being drawn into a game, lol, I still get tingles when I hear the original soundtrack from UO as the treasure chest opened.

  • WarmakerWarmaker San Diego, CAPosts: 2,231Member
    Originally posted by Merilirem

    I read many people arguing against or for kinds of games and types of play they themselves enjoy. I read the responses, the many different and the same. An interesting factor in games is depth, in an mmo it seems to have been forgotten, not that it stopped existing, just what it means. The meaning may have changed or merged, it may have always been the same. So I ask the question.

    What does depth in an mmo mean to you?

    A good question, actually.

    For me, "depth" in a game is sophistication;  You have the two extremes:  An overly simplified game that you don't need to worry much regarding the details.  They also tend to let you do less;  Fewer options, not too long to master.  The ones you hear guys joke of as having gameplay where you could roll your face on a keyboard and still do fine image  On the other extreme is a very sophisticated game where there's tons of different stats, immense build possibilities, lots of viable options.  Due to the options, you have to sweat the details, because it's those little things that make your character strong or have some glaring weakness.

    Also, a Crafting system with depth offers many options for customizations and building, even with the same item.  SWG for instance, allowed weaponsmiths to build the same E-11 blaster to have a focus on power, low usage cost cost, and mediocre accuracy.  Or he could opt for making it with high power, high usage cost, decent accuracy.  If he knew what he was doing.

    Basically, a game with depth allows you to go far "down in the weeds" can with an aspect of the game due to increased variables and most especially options.  Combat, Crafting, etc.  A really deep MMORPG to me provides many different forms of playing and enjoyment, and a sophisticated form of play in that title's gaming aspects.

    It's a fine line to tread though.  I despise the overly simplistic stuff.  On the other hand, even though I like sophisticated play, I dislike my RPGs/MMORPGs to be too complicated and tedious to play.

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  • phumbabaphumbaba kuopioPosts: 138Member

    Very good answers in the thread already. What it means to me is

    - I can do many not-pointless things in many different ways (replayability).

    - I am not able to see with my ### what is my desired course of action, but I need to stop for a while and really think about it (too often it sees it and it feels like my ### has near 20/20 sight. Much better than my eyes actually). Notice that there doesn't need to be too much balance in the possible actions, just that they all need to be meaningful.

    Notice that depth is very different from complexity and I'd also mention that to me at least a game loses depth immediately once min/maxers have taken over at the level I'm playing. (Rant Alert!!)

    The goal of min/maxing is to force every1 to perform in "the most efficient" way. Like machines. For me, that immediately kills a lot of the depth in whatever the activity. Now I'm starting to blahblahblah but that get's me heated about my personal vendetta for gearscores and inspecting and game set itemscore requirements for content and player set itemscore requirements for content and dps meters and how crafting is today in so many games and... ffs

    I need to cool down for a while. Guess I'm still in the process of denial of gear being the sole form of progression in endgame which is encouraged/expected to be reached within weeks... a "reality" I think I'll refuse to accept as long as I consider myself a gamer. When MMORPG's have the same balance FPS's have, I'll relish it in some games, but a balance like that with good rpg elements is imo neigh impossible.

    While min/maxing, so much less playing hours is spent on other activities and all else is condemned by others. And the behaviour spreads. And developers use what works and the meter for that is often what players do in-game. Ergo, most games have been made for min/maxers for some time now.

    I know full well that grind and inexperienced players give birth to the search for path of least resistance, in other words, min/maxing. Just that min/maxing leads to inexperienced players and grind and it's a game and well.. instead of just putting more grind in game, developers should consider other forms of progression. A bit like educating kids instead of giving them their instant satisfaction. To make them see there are other things they could enjoy with a bit of patience.

    Sry for the rest of the post being pretty much a rant with bad grammar and kinda stating the obvious^^ Nice thread again.

  • jimdandy26jimdandy26 salem, ORPosts: 527Member

    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.

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

    I think it means WoW to me.

    Well, WoW an basically any other title that survives eight years intact.

    Has it survived because it is deep, or is it deep because it has survived? These aren't independent variables.

    EQ's got a boatload of content too... and FFXI... and UO... and Runescape... and you get the idea.

    But yup, I'll give 'variety of experience' a nod as a partial working definition for 'depth'. See that word 'partial' in there?

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