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[Dev Journal] General: Have MMOs Become Too Easy?



  • MassManMassMan newyorkPosts: 10Member Uncommon

    Not only has the games become easier, the knowledge sharing in the community has increased extremely since the early mmo days. Sites like wowhead and guilds releasing guides to down bosses, we have bossmods and we have trivialised "difficult" content since we just follow a recipy to success.


    That, and nostalgia. When I think back on my WoW days the biggest enjoyment I had was when levelling up and I tried +20 times to kill some fire elemental at the top of the mountain in the middle of Un'guru Crater. It took me hours but when I finally downed it, it felt great. I didn't feel that sense of accomplishment ever again in WoW. Not even when getting server first hardmodes/ heroics.


    Nostalgia makes MMOs better than they were.

  • YoofaloofYoofaloof Somewhere oop North...Posts: 166Member Uncommon
    Yes, and it's partly due to developers pandering to players' whining and moaning demands.
  • wowcloneswowclones Los Angeles, CAPosts: 127Member
    Most MMOs are knock offs of WOW. Is WOW easy? At lower level yeah, higher levels, not really.  MMOs these days don't lack difficulty, they lack innovation. If you have killed 20 of mob X to get a reward in game, after doing it in 10 other mmo's it becomes "easy". Problem is you play too many WOW clones :) 
  • GreymoorGreymoor ManchesterPosts: 802Member Uncommon

    Then come play Darkfall Unholy Wars...

    Simple as really, that and EvE are not easy games.

  • mmoguy43mmoguy43 In cyberspaaaaaacePosts: 2,764Member Uncommon

    Become too easy? Too simplistic of a question.


    MMOs have not presented unique challenges.

  • EX_EK_NASEX_EK_NAS Columbus, OHPosts: 10Member Uncommon
    real gamers feel this way,but most ppl who play games now days r casual gamers so game companies Try to make the games fun for real gamers while catering to the Masses which r casual gamers who hate,or r just unable to play a game that's hard like older MMO's
  • gylnnegylnne South Hutchinson, KSPosts: 322Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tierless
    Game difficulty is a reflection of what the developer thinks of us the players. I am sad to think of what the MMO devs think of fans of this once proud genre. We have fallen so far.


  • HrimnirHrimnir Posts: 2,277Member Rare

    So many people are totally missing the point of this article.

    He is talking about how WOW and the casualization of MMOs RUINED THE GENRE.

    Yes, ruined the genre.  Think about that for a second before you post.


    Many people try to argue that it just "opened up the genre to a broader audience"  That is patently false.  Thats like saying that by adding arcade style dog fighting features to Microsoft Flight Simulator is "broadening the genre".  NO, its pissing all over what the genre was in order to make an extra buck.

    Just like flight sims, MMO's had a very specific purpose to them.

    They were first and foremost about a world.  A place you logged in to, that kept going after you logged off.  A place where you had to interact with other players, they weren't just NPCs, they were actual people (unlike todays mmo's where other people for all intents and purposes are npc's).  Secondarily, they were RPG's.  A core tenet of the RPG genre is character building.  Be it through increasing levels, skills, gear, etc.  You got more levels so you could kill harder mobs who would drop better gear that let you kill even harder mobs, or helped you get more levels.  Eventually the goal was to kill the biggest baddest mobs around, such as dragons.

    What the OP is talking about is the equivalent of taking a racing simulator, and turning it into an arcadey racing game where you can buy and upgrade cars, and the physics aren't realistic, etc etc.  Yeah, it will sell to more people, but its now an arcade racing game, not a racing simulator.

    Much in the same way that todays "MMORPG's" are not MMORPG's.  We continue to call them that, but they are really glorified single player RPG's with a chat box.

    "The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

    - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member Common
    Originally posted by wowclones
    Most MMOs are knock offs of WOW. Is WOW easy? At lower level yeah, higher levels, not really.

    Compared to other MMORPGs? Absolutely it's an easy MMO.

  • AyulinAyulin Mt marion, NYPosts: 334Member

    I agree with everything in this article.. 1000%... right up to the final paragraph, where it all kind of falls down for me, and turns into a plug for his own game.




    After all this talk of a Journey, and enjoying the world around you, and having content that isn't comprised of droll, repetitive tasks... it proceeds to "address" it by talking about how crafting and combat will be more involved.


    There's more to a "World" and far more to an enduring Journey than scaling combat encounters and complex crafting and harvesting.


    I don't see how you can promote a sense of grand adventure when, by the description, the content will scale to the player's level. So, basically, you could just stay in one zone and go from level 1 up to level cap... and never have to see the beautiful world the OP seems to so want people to feel a part of.


    There's nothing wrong with a sense of progression and "travel" in a MMO. It's in how that's all presented. More interesting quests with deeper stories and more varied tasks that really take players out of their comfort zone and send them off to info unfamiliar and dangerous places where they have to be ever-wary and on their guard, ready to fight or flee on a moment's notice...


    What a disappointing end to an otherwise stellar article.

  • AzphelAzphel Grand Junction, COPosts: 27Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kezzadrix
    damn, I fell for it.  I believed this was an article regarding one of the biggest problems plaguing current MMOs but it was really a clever way of misleading me into an advertisement for Firefall.  It's too bad that in most cases it's not up to developers on what is done.  Easy games that are accessible to all types/ages of gamers bring in the most players and their money so that's what we end up with.  I am glad however that some developers are starting to take notice of this problem, even if it has taken a really long time.

    Same. This article made me smile and think that finally more and more people are getting it. then I got near the end and it turned into a Fire Fall advertisement.  Last couple paragraphs ruined this article for me.

  • AzphelAzphel Grand Junction, COPosts: 27Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DavisFlight
    Originally posted by wowclones
    Most MMOs are knock offs of WOW. Is WOW easy? At lower level yeah, higher levels, not really.


    Compared to other MMORPGs? Absolutely it's an easy MMO.


    WoW is the king of knock off if you want to try that one. And WOW is incredibly easy even at end game. It supports MODs that literally tell you how to play, where to move, when a boss is going to do this and that and when a  phase change happens and so much more. A group of competent people raiding together can easily push threw content in no time.


  • BrialynBrialyn Winder, GAPosts: 184Member
    I loved Vanilla WoW but after BC things just went south imho.  My first and forever love will be FFXI.  The newbie area should help you understand the basics...but that's it! After that let the player do some experimenting and all.  I miss those days :(

    Currently Playing: FFXIV:ARR
    Looking Forward to: Wildstar
  • Yavin_PrimeYavin_Prime Oak Park, CAPosts: 233Member

    I agree and disagree with you at the same time. When EQ and UO were new I was in my early 20s. I had all the time in the world to play games back then so the steep curve and such wasn't an issue. These days I'm about to enter my 30s and I have a family, home, and full time job. With that said my gaming time has declined since those days. Games like WoW give me a chance to feel "awesome" and not "noobish" in the limited time I have to play.


    I think what game designers have to do is stop lamenting about the past of MMOs and start inventing the next generation of MMOs. Games that are both challenging and easy to get into. I know that in many cases rushing though levels is done because friends are usually higher and waiting on you. A trend I'm enjoying is the concept of lowering your level, or even level balancing where enemies scale to be fight able by all levels at any given time. I think it'd be great if we could allow players to tackle challenges as they see fit. Linear gameplay is a thing of the past and if players get into the game and want to go into the "Castle of Terror" right out the gate with their friends they should be able to (however I would expect it to be like playing the game on hard mode unless you had the equipment and skills at it's 'level').


    I think it's important for MMOs to have tons of content, a mix of casual elements and hardcore elements. I would say that both should be cool and awesome to complete (that way casual players don't feel 'lesser') then their hardcore counterparts as this would likely drive them away. I agree accomplishment needs to be re-infused into the industry but not at the expense of regressing into the past completely.

  • SilynseSilynse Los Angeles, CAPosts: 18Member Uncommon

    Before going into this, I just want everyone to know that I work around this industry alot on a creative scale as an adivisor. And as a paid advisor, we and the creative personnel are RARELY allowed the creative control we seek from our experiences and failures and successes.

    I agree completely with what he is saying. These MMO's are RPG's at heart and should maintain themselves a such. RPG's on console and even PC as a standard, have stories that grip and move the player and make him yern to complete the game. Back in the days of the Final Fantasy series on SNES and Nintendo, there weren't flashy graphics and effects. I can remember having to place myself in the shoes of each square looking character and play him out. Sometimes even disregarding the shabbily translated dialogue into my own words to make the moments seem more catching to me personally.

    Only thing I disagree with him on here is his pitch on Firefall. I have been playing for nearly a year, and got a founders pack, and just because your game scales dynamically to each event as per player levels, it doesnt make it more involving in story or plot. That game has many issues and story being one of them. It simply lacks grip and emotion that delves into the players necessity for existing.

    Every single event is a cookie cutter of one you had at most an hour before. The same bad guys, same patrols, same landscapes, and no true plot to make your character feel he has made a difference in the world around him at all. It would be more accurate to describe Firefall as a large mass of players duking it out against insects and bipedular enemies for minerals. And even getting those minerals is the SAME EVEN OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Sorry mark, its the truth. I can walk out of a cave and find five more guys waiting to complete the same quest and get the same minerals as a reward, or walk into a base and walk in on the event already taking place and still get credit for it. Along with hyperinflated xp and mineral costs to upgrade armor, and EVERY SINGLE PERSON in a class looking EXACTLY the same (outside of maybe color...  maybe)...  There are ways to remedy this.... but Mark being on the project knows that there is not an easy way to do it, and neither they, nor their investors, are willing to throw that kind of money at a free to play mmo apparently. Not that they dont care for their project, but its difficult to be creative and non repetitive when you only have a budget that allows, lets say, 500 animations and maybe 150 bits of recorded dialogue to be implimented into  a game.

    If the industry wants to stop dummying down these games five things have to take place, as I have recently had dinner with some company heads,  and this topic was  talked about, ill divulge what seemed to be the overall, yet slightly confusing outcome, to this conversation.

    1. No classes, and every single armor type, and every weapon must have a unique animation not only of its own, but in regard to interacting with other weapons upon opponents, and the environment.

    2. Get rid of audible dialogue as this takes budget, and also forces the player to have to accept the voice of his character or the npc. (A good example of a game that had AMAZING immersion and no voice acting, FF7) That being said,  use that budget to impliment mechanisms for immersion. Regular cinematic cutscenes of high quality, similar to Blizzards Diablo and Diablo II. Things like well orchestrated, VARIED,  and consistent music. Each zone should have a literal playlist of music several songs deep to keep the player engaged and the mind processing the game. Also things like a better physics engine and animations that dont "Float run" over surfaces, but actually demonstrate the weight of your characters armor and environment. Alos, an interactive enviornment. Not that barels should Eplode when hit then magically reappear, but maybe that if I am a person with a reputation for being bad, people will scatter from me in a crowd, or children will run.

    3. Stop seeking easy money. This is business, and will likely never change unless the proper people and investors come together. The reason companies went free to play is because upkeep is far less, and they can throw out a half made model of a game, and say its "beta" i.e Firefall, Or age of Wu Shu, and then say they are working on it while going to tradeshows and advertising with payoffs here and there in order to get a "founders" money to help produce the game.

    The problem is that this cycle doesnt create a definitive budget. Seeking money outside of founders becomes something similar to oil futures on the stockmarket. after a couple of years, the graphics engines become out dated, the idea becomes old and seen and no longer fresh, and the game never truly gets finished as the dream was laid out to begin with. The industry must decide that a billion dollars is as good as 500 million.... so to speak, and engage the game as a beloved product, IP and idea.

    When world of warcraft started it was Blizzards baby. They had marketed that game as an RTS for years, and used THAT popularity to launch WOW, it was done correctly. The process of becoming an MMO, is one of arduous tasks, and building a name. Its done over YEARS of commitment to the idea and proven creative and developing worth of a developer.

    Too many companies rely on the population of gamers on the planet to self distribute their company name, and titles through word of mouth and beta giveaways. This is probably the biggest problem of the three. The need to create and then MAINTAIN a property to grow it into something known and impressive enough to warrant an MMO title. Not just throw keys in everyones email and every site and then say, look, we got fans! We promise to make this game in YOUR image. Which of course is a false promise and not something they could EVER truly do and hope to maintain their original concept, nor their investors.

    4. Player hardware: fact is, most people have crappy computers which limits what developers can do to an extent. Age of Conan was a good example of what happens when you try to market to everyone, and then your game requires to much on the playerside to push it. Now days, that game can run, but it was a problem when it came out. Players have to start taking responsibility for their equipment when chosing to play, and give the industry the ability to properly engage the marketing statistics for sales expectations. In otherwords, the industry has become a hyperinflated genre of entertainment where the player base tends to talk big, and then NEVER put up. You want high end, it has to be high end on the PLAYER end. the developer will develope what you demand and can truly run. hes making a buck either way. You get what you buy.


    5. Understand the synergy between the developers and the creative teams better. When I walk into a game company and start my covert ops into making relationships between the staff members,  i always see a huge rift between the original IP owner, the developer and the creative teams. You can practically cut the tension in some instances with a butterknife. Ever wonder why you can tell where every title was created and by whom, by the type of clothing or lack of, that is in the game? This comes about by developer heads meeting up at these dinners and watching eachothers projects, (yes corporate espionage is prevalent), and then deciding that all rogues should look like pretty pirates who do flips and go invis and run circles around everything. And every mage wears cloth and casts gigantic explosions that do minimal damage for the first 40 levels....  truth is, when these guys are sitting there talking about it, you can see in their eyes...  "God Im talking about the stereotypical thing. This guy across from me already knew what i was gonna say."  Whats worse, if you talk to the creative teams anonymously, they disagree with not only most of what they are told to create, but also what they are told to change. And with good reason, its boring and stereotypical. The quests they are designing are approved by a chain of command, and if they submit something that looks like a subplot instead of a quest, then its canned instantly, instead of being nurtured into a plausible way to create a larger storyverse and therby more missions or quests.

    But they will get the same line every time... Youre paid to create, and change til we decide we are happy up top, or your contract is concluded. (In house creative teams are a rarity for any company, most every gaming company works like Disney animators. You are hired independently to replicate, animate, and create until a certain point, then released.) Developers on the creative side of projects need to learn to bring more reality to their games, and less flash and sterotypes.

    Dynamic events are nice, but should not repeat. After all dynamic means "without bounds" in the gaming industry. The reality is an MMO shouldnt be a cheap project to create by gaming standards, it should be EXPENSIVE to do right. In Hollywood, a VERY SIMILAR industry,  if you cut a budget, you know youre getting less quality. The gaming industry grew up to fast with to much money, and needs to learn that there is no easy way to make a buck and keep your name looking good or your IP beautiful and enjoyable.  Red 5 included. (though in my opinion they are one of the better developers)

    Thats all I got for now. Hit me up mark if you ever want me to take a look at what your guys really think. And to all you gamers, see you in one of these worlds out here.

  • DrakxiiDrakxii Waxahachie, TXPosts: 594Member
    On average Yepp. 

    I will not play a game with a cash shop ever again. A dev job should be to make the game better not make me pay so it sucks less.

  • magusimagusi LesbosPosts: 1Member

    I played world of warcraft from day 1. I loved it and consumed my day and night life.. lol

    The dream ended, since blizzard implemented bg's into the game.  The areas were empty after that, hard to find players and do stuff, that we did before bg's. Then the vendors came in and more bg's... Everybody turn into zombies. You dont play, you just stay still till the invitation comes.

    I quitted wow after 6-7 years, the last 3-4 years "I was trying to play"  I totally quitted it 2-3years ago and not going back. Since, I feel disgusted from mmos.. world of warcraft made me see mmos as a disgusting style of game.

    This year @E3 most of the games are mmos, thats how they promote next gen consoles?  lol...

    A humorous comment.. If the theories about organic portals (soulless humans) are true... Only them can these things,  because these games are soulless / no spirit.  (I am dyslexic)

  • MorgantheronMorgantheron Syracuse, NYPosts: 8Member Common

    What I would give for an MMO that had had a rich PVE world (Don't care for PVP) and a random dungeon generator, climb down into the deep caves or tall tower each level gettting a bit harder.... I know it wont happen, but I can dream.

    MMOs now have Wiki Builds, Maps and pattern laid out with guides almost down to the point where you kind of just watching rather then playing, because some one on your team has read the guides and knows the layout.

  • daveainsdaveains San Diego, CAPosts: 37Member

    The game as a journey....

    I don't know if it's necessary or even good to have a monolithic "journey" that everyone goes on. Lots of people had plenty of fun doing variations of the same journey in Planetside 1 (meaning objective paths to continent captures). While I'll be the first to admit we all wanted more, the fact is it laid a foundation for a lot of people to jump in for as long or short a time as they wanted, and have a blast in that time.

    The situation you popped into was invariably somewhat different (until the pop got so low there weren't enough players to stage multiple attack vectors), so you could end up taking a lot of different paths to the objective. Add to that the very flat "leveling" you could do (you gained Battle Experience points which gave you Certification points, which you used to get different types of gear / vehicles with a 3-level limit) and every player had something they could specialize in, plus something else they could do to adapt to a situation.

    I really believe PS1 nailed the optimum type of journey + amount of leveling system any game needs. All one needs to do for open world games is build on that model and add the kind of tech that lets people share the in-game experiences they have, and you're guaranteed to provide a good open-world experience.

  • GroovyFlowerGroovyFlower RdamPosts: 1,245Member

    This going on for years now sinds november 2004.

    Its all your own fault we now have simple mass casual ezmode mmo's(games) only few 0.01% real hardcore left, who refuse to bow you alll spoon fed generations.

  • GroovyFlowerGroovyFlower RdamPosts: 1,245Member
    Originally posted by sindur
    Play Darkfall Unholy Wars, its a game where you dont get hand held, you have to figure things out on your own or ask other people who is playing how to improve you skills.

    So no safezones then so no easy mats to farm they have removed all starwars towers??

    Do you even know what real hardcore is?

    No guide when start?

    Only Darkfall1 at launch was real deal later it was dumb down for spoon fed generation like you guys who play DFUW now.

  • darksaber8570darksaber8570 holland, MIPosts: 30Member Uncommon
    I totally agree .... bring a back game where its the journey to the destination is just as much fun and adventurous as the goal. Where we are not rushed to end game and find it lacking in content and substance.
  • Xblade724Xblade724 Honolulu, HIPosts: 54Member Common

    YES. RIP EverQuest or anything in that era .. I mean, get EQ but take out the grindiness, bump up the gfx and whoa it's a good mmo! (EQ: Next??)

    Games now are overly simple and spoonfeed you everything. I mean, quest trackers? Big giant question marks above their head? What is this?

    How about EQ where you have to HAIL! Listen to their stories or at least try to discover the keyword. The amazing SECRETS embedded into this with hidden keywords and phrases! Yea you can do the quest and just say the [keyword] and get it done, BUT you get REWARDED for thinking outside the normal quest. Hell, for example, just picking up on subtle keywords, before you turned in rogue epic by killing the evil guy and turning in his head to guild master, you could actually KILL THE GUILDMASTER, and turn in HIS head to the EVIL guy and get something completely different. This was secret for so long.. and hell most of you EQ veterans still probably never knew this.

    Or what about quest turn ins? You have to pay attention to what you are collecting to turn it in. When was the last time you actually checked your backpack in a game to see WHAT THE HELL you are even collecting for your quest LOL? 

    Or what happened to items dropping that you go "Whoa.... what is this? I've never seen this drop before, but its NO DROP! Must be important...." instead of items ONLY dropping IF you have the quest ..... 

    I mean , these are not mmo's anymore. They are  no different than staring at a TV guide channel for hours.

    Former EQ1 Rallos Zek (PvP)
    Ascendant Chronei Immortal of Rallos Zek
    (Now @ Prexus)

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,505Member Uncommon
    yes.. easy and dumbed down..
  • RzepRzep warsawPosts: 767Member Uncommon

    I don't think it matters. If a game is fun than it does not matter if it is too easy or too simple. Complexity is not inherantly better than simplicity. The problem is, it's hard to nail down what makes a game fun. Just because things are made complex for the sake of it, does not mean they will keep players invested longer.

    Just because Metal Gears story telling is more convoluted than a spanish soap, does not make it better than the linear story of Uncharted.

    Just because a game has you cover half your screen with hotbars does not make it automatically better than a game that limits you to a few skills at a time.

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