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Why do we accept lower quality products from MMO developers?

TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

This thread was spawned by the following post in another thread:
Vorthanion's Post: http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/post/5737387#5737387

The upshot is that if you compare MMO development to single player game or multiplayer game development, it seems like the MMO developers produce lower quality products, with fewer features, longer development cycles and a lot more bug fixes.

Now, ignoring the exponentially larger amount of work that goes into an MMO, because the general gaming public neither knows nor cares about that additional work; why does the general gaming public seem more forgiving towards the flaws of MMOs?

I think it's because MMOs offer an experience that just isn't available in other games. Running around in a virtual world with other people doing stuff around you. This is something that is missing from every other type of game, and it's something that people miss when they don't have it. Players are willing to put up with more to get that feeling.

What do you think?

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

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Comments

  • BladestromBladestrom edinburghPosts: 4,943Member Uncommon
    Mmos are more difficult to make, and as you day offer an experience you get in single player game. Re bugs, a single player game has 1 release- if they had to release new content frequently after release then the bug count would rise. Also, look up 'agile versus waterfall' development'. Explains a lot about why consumers benefit from frequent but less than perfect releases.

    rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW > oblivion > LOTR > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(1000 elementalist), Wildstar

    Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO, LOTR, Elite D

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    OP, I think you should take measures to prevent this from turning into another bashing thread. And wouldn't "polish" be a better word than "quality"?

    On the topic, tho, I'm not sure we do: Remember, MMOs started enjoying mass market success only after their level of polish improved significantly.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by lizardbones


    Now, ignoring the exponentially larger amount of work that goes into an MMO, because the general gaming public neither knows nor cares about that additional work; why does the general gaming public seem more forgiving towards the flaws of MMOs?

    I'm not sure I can ignore an exponentially larger amount of work.

    But then again, I'm not really qualified to compare the amount of work that goes into various different modern games.

    If (big if) I were to accept the premise that flaws in MMOs are more easily forgiven, I would argue it's because the persistent database that MMOs provide is so much more compelling than simply a game.

    ( or I might argue that we people on forums have a tendency to complain about the loosest thread we can pull on but in the end we are also buying or not buying the tapestry as a whole )

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,916Member Uncommon

    In some cases it might be the difference between 30 hours of content and 300.

    In others it might be trying to render hi-res high-poly environments in a heavily networked environment.

    Even other cases might be trying to meet player expectations for feature set.

     

    But most of all, I think the reason players accept mediocrity is because that's what they've learned to expect from over-budget incomplete games.

     

    In reality, who knows?

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,610Member Uncommon

    Lower quality as compared to what? That mythical imaginary MMO with features that we can't even agree on?

    I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's because they are designed in the imperfect real world by imperfect real people...final answer.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon

    When you have more systems designed by more people having to interact with each other in more--and often unforeseen--ways, you have vastly more things that can possibly go wrong.  That tends to mean that more things will go wrong, which leads to the impression that the game is less polished.

    So we're left with a choice between a simpler game where you can't do nearly as much versus a game that seems less polished.  Does preferring the latter mean accepting lower quality work from MMO developers?  If so, then there's your answer.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,659Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones


    Now, ignoring the exponentially larger amount of work that goes into an MMO, because the general gaming public neither knows nor cares about that additional work; why does the general gaming public seem more forgiving towards the flaws of MMOs?

    I would change 'general gaming public' to 'MMO gamers' because the general gaming public doesn't put up with what MMOs deliver.

     

    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

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Quirhid
    OP, I think you should take measures to prevent this from turning into another bashing thread. And wouldn't "polish" be a better word than "quality"?On the topic, tho, I'm not sure we do: Remember, MMOs started enjoying mass market success only after their level of polish improved significantly.

    I could try to take such measures, but I don't honestly believe it would work. All I could say is that I tried to take the high ground, lording it over the bashers, when really I was just trying to cover my own rear. If a game has less content, more bugs or has less game play, it's a lower quality product. Hrm. I may amend my post title if I can reflect that it's the product, not the work that I'm referring to.

    I think a lot of people on this site understand the differences in developing an MMO versus a single player game and the different infrastructure required for an MMO launch. We've certainly discussed it enough.

    I don't think all fifty million people playing MMOs in the world know the development difference, and I don't think they really care. They still forgive things in MMOs that would never be forgiven in a single player games.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Iselin
    Lower quality as compared to what? That mythical imaginary MMO with features that we can't even agree on?I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's because they are designed in the imperfect real world by imperfect real people...final answer.

    Some of these threads are hit and miss, either what gets posted resonates with people or it doesn't. I'm going to have to go with my experiences here, because I can't really speak for everyone.

    If I compare the single player "questing" in games like Deux Ex, Silent Hill, Alan Wake or even Half Life 2 to games like WoW, Rift, or even TSW, I find that the single player games do a better job. My PvP experience is far less extensive, but Team Fortress 2 offers PvP that is compelling, in environments that are repeated much the same way that WoW's battlegrounds are, yet it's more compelling. That's a multiplayer example, but it's a non-MMO game and the premise for comparing multiplayer PvP games to MMOs holds as well (I think). The only analog where there is not a ready comparison are dungeons.

    I'm not suggesting that MMOs should have as much focus as single player or multiplayer games where there is only one style play. I'm wondering at the people who play MMOs, and who also play games like Deux Ex and the like. If Deux Ex had SWToR's questing, would anyone bother to play it? Yet they played SWToR to the tune of half a million people paying a sub, even after F2P became an option. What else did SWToR offer that kept those people? That's what I'm curious about.

    MMOs have something, some experience or some draw that other styles of games do not have. Is it just other people running around in the world? What is it?

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • GardavsshadeGardavsshade Cedar Springs, MIPosts: 761Member Uncommon

    Hey OP...

    Have you ever played EA's Sims Medieval? During the Intro Patrick Stewart does the narration, and he says it best....

    "People are Dumb."

    There's your answer.

  • PulsarManPulsarMan Tampa, FLPosts: 289Member
    MMOs have more tech limitations placed upon them than a single player game. Those limitations are finally beginning to be alleviated. 
  • BladestromBladestrom edinburghPosts: 4,943Member Uncommon

    People forgive things in mmorpgs that they would never forgive in a single player, but equally there are things in a single player game that they would forgive that they would not forgive in a mmorpg.

    e.g

    MMORPG: I can tolerate some lag in a large battle because I know there are real people playing at the same time and this is very expensive to process and synchronize.  I would not tolerate heavily scripted and restrictive battles as it restricts the interactions and options for real players.

    SINGLE Player: I can tolerate heavily scripted battles where sometimes scripting goes badly wrong because I understand it is difficult to model an entire battle in a convincing manner.  I would not tolerate lag.

    rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW > oblivion > LOTR > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(1000 elementalist), Wildstar

    Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO, LOTR, Elite D

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,724Member Uncommon

    Personally I look at it holistically.  I would be more than happy to ditch MMORPGs if a game like Diablo 3 had strong grouping mechanics and long-form progression, because that sort of game would have just about all that I want from a PVE RPG: grouping, progression, and fun combat.

    I definitely don't stick with MMORPGs when they feel like all their features holistically aren't pulling enough weight to hold my interest.  So in that regard I don't accept lower quality work.

    I mean obviously MMORPGs will have worse graphics than a same-generation singleplayer game.  That's just their nature.  But if you're providing a more interesting and fun game as a result of those sacrifices, then it's fine.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • ScalplessScalpless SnowballvillePosts: 1,396Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones


    The upshot is that if you compare MMO development to single player game or multiplayer game development, it seems like the MMO developers produce lower quality products, with fewer features, longer development cycles and a lot more bug fixes.

    Uh, no they don't. MMOs have a huge amount of features and content.

    Let's compare two recent high-profile games. Skyrim is probably the largest mainstream modern SP RPG on the market. It's ~41 square km. People have calculated that vanilla Guild Wars 2 was roughly 100 square km. Unlike Skyrim, GW2 has multiplayer, social features, a semblance of class balance, hundreds of different skills and lots of different enemy types. It has bosses, too, most of which are better than the one boss copy-pasted all over Skyrim.

    Actually, the only feature Skyrim, a SP "sandbox" has that most MMOs don't have nowadays is player housing, but it's much easier to make in a SP game. Skyrim is also full of bugs, but people don't mind them as much in SP games.

    That's Skyrim, currently the largest mainstream SP RPG, compared to a relatively simple MMO like GW2. If we took another SP like like CoD... how many features CoD has? "Run forward", "shoot" and "watch explosions"? Yeah, not much of a contest.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Gardavsshade
    Hey OP...Have you ever played EA's Sims Medieval? During the Intro Patrick Stewart does the narration, and he says it best...."People are Dumb."There's your answer.

    Heh.

    More often than not I agree with the statement, but I don't think it applies here. :-)

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,610Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones

     


    Originally posted by Iselin
    Lower quality as compared to what? That mythical imaginary MMO with features that we can't even agree on?

     

    I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's because they are designed in the imperfect real world by imperfect real people...final answer.



    Some of these threads are hit and miss, either what gets posted resonates with people or it doesn't. I'm going to have to go with my experiences here, because I can't really speak for everyone.

    If I compare the single player "questing" in games like Deux Ex, Silent Hill, Alan Wake or even Half Life 2 to games like WoW, Rift, or even TSW, I find that the single player games do a better job. My PvP experience is far less extensive, but Team Fortress 2 offers PvP that is compelling, in environments that are repeated much the same way that WoW's battlegrounds are, yet it's more compelling. That's a multiplayer example, but it's a non-MMO game and the premise for comparing multiplayer PvP games to MMOs holds as well (I think). The only analog where there is not a ready comparison are dungeons.

    I'm not suggesting that MMOs should have as much focus as single player or multiplayer games where there is only one style play. I'm wondering at the people who play MMOs, and who also play games like Deux Ex and the like. If Deux Ex had SWToR's questing, would anyone bother to play it? Yet they played SWToR to the tune of half a million people paying a sub, even after F2P became an option. What else did SWToR offer that kept those people? That's what I'm curious about.

    MMOs have something, some experience or some draw that other styles of games do not have. Is it just other people running around in the world? What is it?

     

    But you can't do that. You might as well try to compare MMOs to a Michael Connoly thriller or a Cohen brother's movie or a Broadway Production of Les Miserables  since they're all entertainment.

    MMOs can only really be compared to other MMOs. As Quiz said, they have complexities that are unimaginable in single player games. Even the FPS games with on-line components you mention only have that tiny scenario PvP similarity to MMOs. MMOs do that and then 2000 other things that single player games don't have to do.

    Many things that are extremely challenging to do in MMOs, are trivial in single player games. You don't have to look any farther than a world that changes depending on your actions to see that... or an NPC who evolves. You're trying to compare apples to oranges.

    Apples to apples? I'll stick to my original reply.

  • faxnadufaxnadu HelsinkiPosts: 940Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Iselin

    Lower quality as compared to what? That mythical imaginary MMO with features that we can't even agree on?

    I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's because they are designed in the imperfect real world by imperfect real people...final answer.

    amen

  • worldalphaworldalpha Milton, ONPosts: 403Member
    MMOs require a lot more time than a typical single player game.  So, some features are not as robust in MMOs as single player.  

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

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

     

    But you can't do that. You might as well try to compare MMOs to a Michael Connoly thriller or a Cohen brother's movie or a Broadway Production of Les Miserables  since they're all entertainment.

    MMOs can only really be compared to other MMOs. As Quiz said, they have complexities that are unimaginable in single player games. Even the FPS games with on-line components you mention only have that tiny scenario PvP similarity to MMOs. MMOs do that and then 2000 other things that single player games don't have to do.

    Many things that are extremely challenging to do in MMOs, are trivial in single player games. You don't have to look any farther than a world that changes depending on your actions to see that... or an NPC who evolves. You're trying to compare apples to oranges.

    Apples to apples? I'll stick to my original reply.

    Of course you can. I compare novels, to movies, to games, to MMOs everyday. One min i am reading the latest Jack Campbell movie, is one minute i am not playing a MMO.

    So obviously i have to judge, at every moment when i want some entertainment, what is the most fun for me. And that involves comparing all the entertainment.

  • BladestromBladestrom edinburghPosts: 4,943Member Uncommon
    yes but thats evaluating a product against your particular transient mood/desire at the time.

    rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW > oblivion > LOTR > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(1000 elementalist), Wildstar

    Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO, LOTR, Elite D

  • fantasyfreak112fantasyfreak112 Orange County, CAPosts: 499Member
    The majority of MMO's either have very low numbers compared to cost or are outright failing. We don't accept lower quality products from MMO's except on the hype meter.
  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon

    The general public doesn't. And that's a big reason I believe WoW is still the most successful. The average person won't deal with the lack of polish most MMO games have. We vets accept MMOs for being rough around the edge but new comers do now.

    That said I do think GW2 feels the most polished since WoW.

    image
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,610Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Iselin

     

    But you can't do that. You might as well try to compare MMOs to a Michael Connoly thriller or a Cohen brother's movie or a Broadway Production of Les Miserables  since they're all entertainment.

    MMOs can only really be compared to other MMOs. As Quiz said, they have complexities that are unimaginable in single player games. Even the FPS games with on-line components you mention only have that tiny scenario PvP similarity to MMOs. MMOs do that and then 2000 other things that single player games don't have to do.

    Many things that are extremely challenging to do in MMOs, are trivial in single player games. You don't have to look any farther than a world that changes depending on your actions to see that... or an NPC who evolves. You're trying to compare apples to oranges.

    Apples to apples? I'll stick to my original reply.

    Of course you can. I compare novels, to movies, to games, to MMOs everyday. One min i am reading the latest Jack Campbell movie, is one minute i am not playing a MMO.

    So obviously i have to judge, at every moment when i want some entertainment, what is the most fun for me. And that involves comparing all the entertainment.

     And when you read Jack Campbell instead of Dan Brown it's because JC is better than WOW? image

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Iselin
    Originally posted by lizardbones   Originally posted by Iselin Lower quality as compared to what? That mythical imaginary MMO with features that we can't even agree on?   I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's because they are designed in the imperfect real world by imperfect real people...final answer.
    Some of these threads are hit and miss, either what gets posted resonates with people or it doesn't. I'm going to have to go with my experiences here, because I can't really speak for everyone. If I compare the single player "questing" in games like Deux Ex, Silent Hill, Alan Wake or even Half Life 2 to games like WoW, Rift, or even TSW, I find that the single player games do a better job. My PvP experience is far less extensive, but Team Fortress 2 offers PvP that is compelling, in environments that are repeated much the same way that WoW's battlegrounds are, yet it's more compelling. That's a multiplayer example, but it's a non-MMO game and the premise for comparing multiplayer PvP games to MMOs holds as well (I think). The only analog where there is not a ready comparison are dungeons. I'm not suggesting that MMOs should have as much focus as single player or multiplayer games where there is only one style play. I'm wondering at the people who play MMOs, and who also play games like Deux Ex and the like. If Deux Ex had SWToR's questing, would anyone bother to play it? Yet they played SWToR to the tune of half a million people paying a sub, even after F2P became an option. What else did SWToR offer that kept those people? That's what I'm curious about. MMOs have something, some experience or some draw that other styles of games do not have. Is it just other people running around in the world? What is it?  
    But you can't do that. You might as well try to compare MMOs to a Michael Connoly thriller or a Cohen brother's movie or a Broadway Production of Les Miserables  since they're all entertainment.

    MMOs can only really be compared to other MMOs. As Quiz said, they have complexities that are unimaginable in single player games. Even the FPS games with on-line components you mention only have that tiny scenario PvP similarity to MMOs. MMOs do that and then 2000 other things that single player games don't have to do.

    Many things that are extremely challenging to do in MMOs, are trivial in single player games. You don't have to look any farther than a world that changes depending on your actions to see that... or an NPC who evolves. You're trying to compare apples to oranges.

    Apples to apples? I'll stick to my original reply.




    Why not? There's no reason you can't have a discussion about MMOs compared to single player RPGs or group PvP games. Each type of game has a set of features that can be compared. In single player RPGs you have quests or missions, and in MMOs you have quests or missions. It's perfectly doable to compare the merits of quests or missions in each type of game, or in specific games. People did it ad nauseum with SWToR and the single player Star Wars games.

    Just because something is hard doesn't mean it can't be done.

    If it makes you feel better, answer the question, "What is it about MMOs that keeps bringing people back?" The answer is not unimaginable complexity in the MMO development process.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Scalpless
    Originally posted by lizardbones


    The upshot is that if you compare MMO development to single player game or multiplayer game development, it seems like the MMO developers produce lower quality products, with fewer features, longer development cycles and a lot more bug fixes.

    Uh, no they don't. MMOs have a huge amount of features and content.

    Let's compare two recent high-profile games. Skyrim is probably the largest mainstream modern SP RPG on the market. It's ~41 square km. People have calculated that vanilla Guild Wars 2 was roughly 100 square km. Unlike Skyrim, GW2 has multiplayer, social features, a semblance of class balance, hundreds of different skills and lots of different enemy types. It has bosses, too, most of which are better than the one boss copy-pasted all over Skyrim.

    Actually, the only feature Skyrim, a SP "sandbox" has that most MMOs don't have nowadays is player housing, but it's much easier to make in a SP game. Skyrim is also full of bugs, but people don't mind them as much in SP games.

    That's Skyrim, currently the largest mainstream SP RPG, compared to a relatively simple MMO like GW2. If we took another SP like like CoD... how many features CoD has? "Run forward", "shoot" and "watch explosions"? Yeah, not much of a contest.

    I'm surprised you haven't figured this out yet, but quality also matters, not quantity. And are we supposed to take your final comments on FPS gameplay seriously?

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

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