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Story first, World first, Social first, or Gameplay first?

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  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,762Member Uncommon

    I think a list in order of what's most important to us is more useful:

    1 Story

    2 World

    3 Gameplay

    4 Social

    These words will not always mean the same thing for people though. To me World indicates open world, lore and immersion for example. I doubt that's what it means to everyone.

  • IncomparableIncomparable KuwaitPosts: 872Member

    All important for a themepark, a sand box can do with less story.

     i want quality so first thing that has to be quality is gameplay. If thats no good, then no matter how good everything else is, it will make everything bad/worse.

    Then the world has to be great. I play a lot of solo content normally, and am willing to play with groups...however, if there is solo content then it is a must that the world is a great and detailed place that plays like a single player.

    Then the social aspects. Its a trade off with story since if i am playing a sand box i know the basic story, and the on going events are the story created by players. And if its a themepark, then i would say still social aspects are important, since most mmos suffer with too much repetitive mediocre content and not enough content that adds retention.

    I believe a good mmo made by vets of the mmo genre will focus on adding as many different features as possible and the least amount of repetitive content that is easy. For that reason, i think themeparks should start with little time to reach end game and focus more in end game. Since end game adds to retention and makes alting easier and fun. Then devs can focus on a lot ofstory and   'events' with expansions after developing a lot of the content for the release that compliments the existing mechanics of gameplay. For example developing pvp in great depth for launch. Including pvp mini games.

    This way the focus on story is more on quality. For example swtor vo has a lot of boring quests except for world arcs, and story. So the questing with story should only be world arcs and class story. The alternative to all the side quests that are repetitive and boring is to instead have a new feature developed such as dynamic events.

    “Write bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble”

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone

    *shuffles the positions of "game", "chat", "world" to see if the argument sounds any different*

    "Gameplay is the game" certainly makes a lot more sense than "chat is the game" or "world is the game".  Neither of those makes much sense at all, really.  The game is the gameplay is the game.

    "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

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

    *shuffles the positions of "game", "chat", "world" to see if the argument sounds any different*

    "Gameplay is the game" certainly makes a lot more sense than "chat is the game" or "world is the game".  Neither of those makes much sense at all, really.  The game is the gameplay is the game.

    But it doesn't make more sense, that's my point.  Your argument is that a focus on a world makes a dull game.  I could just as easily say a focus on gameplay makes a dull game, because in this genre the game is not the gameplay, the game is the world.   Just look at a gameplay in any successful MMO, look at what it actually is to kill ten rats or to mine an asteriod ... it's not fantastic gameplay, it's filler.    It only has value to a player because of the context the world gives to those actions.

    ( edit: I'm not trying to argue that gameplay is irrelevent or that my point of view is an objective truth...  it's just that I personally don't log in to mash buttons, I log in step through the wardrobe into the forest on the other side )

  • xeniarxeniar Posts: 805Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Incomparable

    All important for a themepark, a sand box can do with less story.

     i want quality so first thing that has to be quality is gameplay. If thats no good, then no matter how good everything else is, it will make everything bad/worse.

    Then the world has to be great. I play a lot of solo content normally, and am willing to play with groups...however, if there is solo content then it is a must that the world is a great and detailed place that plays like a single player.

    Then the social aspects. Its a trade off with story since if i am playing a sand box i know the basic story, and the on going events are the story created by players. And if its a themepark, then i would say still social aspects are important, since most mmos suffer with too much repetitive mediocre content and not enough content that adds retention.

    I believe a good mmo made by vets of the mmo genre will focus on adding as many different features as possible and the least amount of repetitive content that is easy. For that reason, i think themeparks should start with little time to reach end game and focus more in end game. Since end game adds to retention and makes alting easier and fun. Then devs can focus on a lot ofstory and   'events' with expansions after developing a lot of the content for the release that compliments the existing mechanics of gameplay. For example developing pvp in great depth for launch. Including pvp mini games.

    This way the focus on story is more on quality. For example swtor vo has a lot of boring quests except for world arcs, and story. So the questing with story should only be world arcs and class story. The alternative to all the side quests that are repetitive and boring is to instead have a new feature developed such as dynamic events.

    Id rather have a few very good features wich are exelent in what they are. then have tons of features wich are all half-assed. and why is end game so important? You say you play single players games and those are all about the journey because if your at the end well. it ends.

    And your ignoring the fact that if end game is too easy to reach then you don't have alot of time to pump out new content. So you either have to make content really hard (and apearantly alot of people hate this) or you have to increase the time it takes to clear said content by making it hard enough but also by increasing the time of your journey. (The way you describe it you will be playing a very very shallow game)

  • AdalwulffAdalwulff Sacramento, CAPosts: 1,152Member
    Its all about the PvP, so if the gameplay is not right, then the game is borked.

    image
  • Gameplay. If the gameplay is fun, unique, and well rounded for all people it is going to be a great game.
  • DajagDajag Tucson, AZPosts: 55Member

    Just the title of this post represents everything that is wrong with MMOs today.

     

    This whole Idea that an MMO can't be a complete MMORPG... it has to focus on just one aspect of the genre and forget all other aspects of what used to make an MMORPG great.

    X game has great combat but no crafting, or x game has great character customization but the UI is bad, or no end game, no housing no whatever!!

     

    Why are people so fond of old school MMORPGs that they were willing to overlook hardships like, long treks to get from point A to B, or corpse runs, or slow progression/ difficult combat?  It was because they included everything, Good Crafting, Housing, Character Customization, RPG stuff like: story, player run stores, emotes, chat bubbles, team work, fun combat.

     

    All these new MMOs just lack 2 or more of what I would consider basic MMORPG staples. I don't see how devolpers think they are going to hold a large MMORPG player base when they exclude 75% of the MMORPG audience, one way or another.

    Crafting... This one type of player alone keeps MMORPGs alive a long time... but new MMOs have horrid, dumbed down crafting systems that produce worthless items.  Crafting used to be a huge RPG aspect of a MMO, get to know the harvesters, and other crafters who made stuff you needed, so you could craft what you were good at... Adventurers would know crafters and needed thier wears. Now Adventurers don't need anything except a few trinkets if even that.

  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,603Member Uncommon

    Gameplay is how you are going to interact with the world and when you interact with the world the story is progressed.


    So, World and Story are dependent upon Gameplay. Which means that Gameplay is the most important.


    If you just want to socialize then stick to Facebook.

  • WankyudoWankyudo Leesburg, VAPosts: 146Member Common

    Gameplay is priority number one.  If the game has a bad system, then it's going to be bad.  Epic story, beautiful world, and all of that won't salvage a game if you can't even enjoy progressing from A to B.

    Second is World.  The world we are put in has to be alive.   If it isn't, then even if the gameplay is great, we're not going to be able to enjoy it because we have to look around at a barren wasteland.

    Last is Story.  The story that the developers put in while nice, won't make or break the game.  In the end, the majority of the game's storyline is going to come from the RPing community anyways.

    image

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    Originally posted by TheHavok

    Originally posted by Distopia
    I say all are at about the same level of importance for me as all of it makes up the experience.

    I would say, for me playing MMOs, Gameplay is #1.  If the controls suck, if the movement is clunky, if the abilities aren't properly sync to the global cooldown, its a total buzz kill and I will pretty much stop playing the game on the spot.

    Second is definitely world.  Do I like the environment?  Can I roam that mountain in the distance or is there an invisible wall blocking me?  Are the zones exciting or just the same old copy and paste but with a splash of new paint?

    Third is social.  A good environment, with lots of people playing and opportunities, will keep me around much longer.

    Last is story.  I don't care much about story in my MMOs.  Its always nice if there is cool lore, but at the end of the day, I stick around for the other three things.

     

    Nailed it!!! Exactly my thoughts.
  • Agent_JosephAgent_Joseph SarajevoPosts: 1,070Member Uncommon

    1. World

    2.social

    3.gameplay

    ... for story I don't care

    only EVE is real MMO...but I am impressive with TSW

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarrePosts: 3,548Member Uncommon

    World and Gameplay.

    The world must be immersive, and the gameplay fun, fast and dynamic, I don't play games to be bored to tears.

    Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2, The Crew, SotA

    Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

    Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO, SW:TOR and GW2.

    ----------------

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.
    So if you notice that I'm no longer answering your nonsense, stop trying... because you just joined my block list.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone

    But it doesn't make more sense, that's my point.  Your argument is that a focus on a world makes a dull game.  I could just as easily say a focus on gameplay makes a dull game, because in this genre the game is not the gameplay, the game is the world.   Just look at a gameplay in any successful MMO, look at what it actually is to kill ten rats or to mine an asteriod ... it's not fantastic gameplay, it's filler.    It only has value to a player because of the context the world gives to those actions.

    ( edit: I'm not trying to argue that gameplay is irrelevent or that my point of view is an objective truth...  it's just that I personally don't log in to mash buttons, I log in step through the wardrobe into the forest on the other side )

    But chat isn't a game.  A world isn't a game.  Whereas gameplay is the game.

    If we look at the actual gameplay involved in the most successful MMOs, we'll notice that the one that blew the rest out of the water had the highest quality gameplay (even though the world and social elements weren't as well-developed as some of the others.)

    Is MMO gameplay going to be a little worse than a non-MMO of the same genre?  Sure.  And when the unique MMO advantages fail to make up for that gameplay disadvantage, they sell worse.  This happens pretty often, and has always been a natural limit to MMOs' success, since it's rare for players to value the supporting game elements more than gameplay (see poll results -- and those are MMORPG players, not general players who value gameplay even more.)

    "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

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common

    Such a no-brainer... Gameplay of course. Gameplay is it. Gameplay is king. Everything else comes after. No story, world or social interation is going to save a game if the gameplay sucks.

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

  • DrCokePepsiDrCokePepsi Boston, MAPosts: 158Member


    Originally posted by TheHavok
    So what is the main draw for you?  Story, World, Social, or Gameplay?

    We play MMOs, and video games in general, for different reasons.  Some of us love the story and the epicness of watching it unfold.  Some of us love being a part of a world besides our own and exploring it.  Some of us love being with a group of friends and accomplishing feats together.  And some of us just love controlling a character and demolishing everything in its path.

    However, it does seem like MMOs, and some studios in general, try to specialize in one category over another.  SWTOR, by many accounts, had a great story and decent social experience, but was lacking in gameplay and world development.

    Likewise, Eve Online has a fantastic World, a great social experience, but mediocre gameplay and not much story.

    What aspect do you care about the most?


    I say a good MMORPG is mostly world, gameplay, and social. In gameplay i mean content. Things to do with a group that leads to socialization and these things have to span a WORLD. But in total, I'd say MMORPG's would be a lot more succesful with a proper blend of them all.

    If i had to choose a prime aspect though, gameplay such as PvP/dungeons/raids/housing/good class or no clss sytem/crafting/skills etc. all that is content without any of that there is no entertaining world or people to socialize with, its simply no good, nothing to do. It doesnt necessarily mean filled with crap quests, or the way the ui is set up.

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

     A world isn't a game.

    But the world is the game.

  • MendelMendel Marietta, GAPosts: 925Member Uncommon
    Story, world, social or gameplay?   I don't think any of those are 'first' when I choose to play a game.   I'll look at aspects of each of these areas and try to determine if I would enjoy the mix of features.  And the answer is going to depend a lot on what I want at that particular time.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • AldersAlders Jack Burton'sPosts: 1,857Member Uncommon
    Story is by far the least important aspect of an MMO.
  • RusqueRusque Las Vegas, NVPosts: 2,228Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone
    Originally posted by Axehilt

     A world isn't a game.

    But the world is the game.

    I had to vote world too.

     

    Great games have great worlds, gameplay is much more variable.

     

    Look at the TES games. I think they have fairly poor gameplay. If I rated them on gameplay alone, they'd be a 4 or 5. The exploration, the NPC's have their own lives, choices, and so on make the game what it is.

    World doesn't refer just to environment.

     

    Mass Effect - mediocre gameplay, great world.

    Dragon Age - sad gameplay ( a slower easier version of WoW with pausing enabled), but a pretty cool world.

    Kingdoms of Amalur - great gameplay, pretty boring world (good lore and story ironically).

     

    Ideally everything is top notch, but I much prefer a well thought out world with interesting things to do. Then you can stomach most styles of gameplay. If you have amazing gameplay but a poopy world, it's very difficult to stay motivated to play.

  • AysonoAysono Toronto, ONPosts: 164Member
    Look at what games are selling big now? The MOBAs, the mobiles, CoD, Skylanders and such. So obviously, gameplay is what players are going for first. Social games are still up there, yes, but they also need to have distinctive gameplay to pull them ahead of the other competitors in the same genre.
  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone

    But the world is the game.

    Not in the slightest.

    If I give you the entire world (all of the source files) to the most elaborate game world out there, and let you float around it as a disembodied camera, but there's no gameplay, then there isn't a game.

    Only the game rules (the gameplay) which limit your interaction to the world in interesting ways causes a game to be a game.

    Without gameplay, there's no game.

    "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

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member

    Gameplay is tops for me. How it all "fits together" is what makes or breaks an MMO for me.

    World is a close second. I yearn for a well fleshed-out world where my character and I can lose ourselves for hours on end.

    Social is a distant third. Social, depends upon what is meant by "social." Character interdependency is important, but if I cannot play without the aid of others, my interest wanes fast. Being social should be like the old BASF commercials. "We don't make the <product>, we make it better." Being social should make the MMO more enjoyable, not be a staple of its mechanics.

    The last thing I ever look for in an MMO is story. Lore is a different subject, though. I play single player games where my actions can actually effect the game and its story. This can not be done with thousands of players playing the same story without a humongous set of blinders on.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by Axehilt

    Originally posted by maplestone
    But it doesn't make more sense, that's my point.  Your argument is that a focus on a world makes a dull game.  I could just as easily say a focus on gameplay makes a dull game, because in this genre the game is not the gameplay, the game is the world.   Just look at a gameplay in any successful MMO, look at what it actually is to kill ten rats or to mine an asteriod ... it's not fantastic gameplay, it's filler.    It only has value to a player because of the context the world gives to those actions.( edit: I'm not trying to argue that gameplay is irrelevent or that my point of view is an objective truth...  it's just that I personally don't log in to mash buttons, I log in step through the wardrobe into the forest on the other side )
    But chat isn't a game.  A world isn't a game.  Whereas gameplay is the game.If we look at the actual gameplay involved in the most successful MMOs, we'll notice that the one that blew the rest out of the water had the highest quality gameplay (even though the world and social elements weren't as well-developed as some of the others.)Is MMO gameplay going to be a little worse than a non-MMO of the same genre?  Sure.  And when the unique MMO advantages fail to make up for that gameplay disadvantage, they sell worse.  This happens pretty often, and has always been a natural limit to MMOs' success, since it's rare for players to value the supporting game elements more than gameplay (see poll results -- and those are MMORPG players, not general players who value gameplay even more.)
    There you go confusing your opinion with facts again.

    *You* may think that a "world" is NOT a game. Does not make it a fact. I happen to think a world IS a game.

    *You* may not think "chat" is a game, but I know of plenty of people who frequent chatrooms posing as a different person and play games with others in the room. I happen to agree with your opinion that "chat" is not a game, but I disagree that everyone and their fish thinks the same.

    Know why I have played over 2000 hours in Skyrim with more than 20 characters? The world. I still have not been everywhere there is to be. The gameplay is good, which helps a lot, but it is the world that keeps me playing.

    I just read a later response where you said,
    "If I give you the entire world (all of the source files) to the most elaborate game world out there, and let you float around it as a disembodied camera, but there's no gameplay, then there isn't a game."
    Bullcrap. Maybe *you* could not find a game in there, but *I* certainly could. Off the top of my head, "Bumper Cameras" comes to mind. "What's That Over There" is another game I could play. "How High Is The Sky?" is another game.

    Certainly gameplay adds to the game, and I agree it is very important, but your "absolute" is falling very short.

    You must have been a very boring child, with no imagination.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • crack_foxcrack_fox WellingtonPosts: 402Member

    The only really important measurement is the 'game' experience. World, story, gameplay etc all factor into this to varying degrees, but a weakness in one factor can be partially or wholly compensated for by strength in another. TOR makes up for its derivative game mechanics and static worlds by giving great story. And while I consider story to be of lesser importance in an MMO, Bioware demonstrated that you can still create an enjoyable and engaging game experience by providing superior story arcs for players. So it isn't necessarily a matter of which factor is most important, but how the various ingredients combine to make a satisfying experience for the player.  

     

    Of course, what each player finds most satisfying is entirely subjective, and we all have our preferences. Personally, I am more interested in exploring virtual worlds than I am in video gaming. By 'worlds' I don't just mean the landmass, but also the lore, the races and the cultures that create an interesting virtual environment. So I am far more forgiving of a MMO that offers me a large and fascinating world, even if the 'gameplay' side of it is lacking or even broken (e.g. Vanguard).

     

    In certain respects, the game itself is simply a hindrance to my goal of exploration. In many MMOs, the game presents itself in the form of a sequence of obstacles to be completed before the players is granted access to the next bit of world. The game becomes the 'work', the world becomes the reward. So gameplay is only important to me to the extent that it makes this task less of an ordeal. Ultimately, the need to provide large amounts of 'content' to keep voracious players occupied for long periods of time tends to result in game systems based on repetition and tedium. When I simply want to play a fun video game, I boot up MAME or an FPS. 

     

    Social factors are not especially important to me any more due to the varied types of players that MMOs now attract. A good community can make a virtual world a more attractive place to spend time, but as developers promote inclusion to improve their profit margins the quality of the community suffers. I have no problem with games supporting solo play-styles at the expense of player interdependency. So 'social' comes last for me.

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