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Looking to understand why certain people are highly turned off by instancing

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  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Tibernicuspa
    Originally posted by daltanious

    As you obviously never read explanations why instancing is actually GOOD. At least more good then bad. 

    It's not good for MMOs. It directly undermines what MMOs are good at, and that's lots of people playing together. Instances are the antithesis of that ideal. The best thing a instance can do, best case scenario, is make an MMO play more like a singleplayer game. It'll never be as good as a singleplayer game, which kind of automatically makes it a waste of time to try, but instances can get it close.

    Do you feel the same way about having multiple servers for an MMO?

    and do you feel that turning off general chat/world chat should not be allowed ?

  • AldersAlders Jack Burton'sPosts: 1,858Member Uncommon

    I wonder how many people would change their tune if an AAA open world MMO was released and they come to find out that they can no longer compete with players 10-15 years younger than them playing 24/7 and monopolizing every aspect of the game.

    For the record, i prefer as little instancing as possible and love public dungeons much like many posts in this thread.  The problem is always going to be how to handle such a game without having to deal with spawn camping world bosses and rare mobs all day.  I'm not interested in that nonsense anymore, nor do i have the time or patience i had over a decade ago.

    If someone finds some magic formula that allows for no instancing while eliminating the cock-block it would cause mob and gear wise with todays players and population, then i'd be all over it.

  • xAPOCxxAPOCx Vineland, NJPosts: 869Member
    Originally posted by SavageHorizon
    Originally posted by TalulaRose
    Originally posted by swarmofseals

    I've played a ton of MMOs in my day, with EQ1 being my first experience with the genre back in 1999 when the game was originally released. When WoW was released, one of the key features that got me interested was the idea of instanced dungeons. For me, one of the absolute worst things about EQ was the need to camp rare spawns for loot (often for hours if not days) in order to get many items. Clearing to a boss in a dungeon only to find another group sitting there was the worst. I never actually made it to end game raiding in that game, but from what I have read it seems fairly typical for uberguilds to essentially lock down the content on a given server such that a player's only chance to raid would be to join that specific guild.

    I do get that instances break immersion, but for me having to metagame by joining an uberguild or camping a specific spot for hours on end waiting for a rare spawn also breaks immersion.

    I know that a lot of you feel very differently about this. I'd love to hear some detailed explanations from those that hate instancing as to why you prefer an uninstanced world and how you deal with (or dealt with) the problem of other players hogging content.

    When I played EQ it was common upon entering a dungeon to say Camp check in local chat to see what was camped and what wasn't.

    I loved doing these camps, met a lot of really cool people. It was great for socializing while playing.

    Yes and this is what missing, features that build community's. 

    VG had a camp check area. Some for havesting and others for mobs. 1 i remember was the pyramids on Qalia. Its been so long i cant quite remember what was going on there. Think it had to do with getting coins for tune-ins back in that port town. Anyways i made alot of in game friends just chatting with people waiting our turn on them. I think those days are long gone. 

    image

  • toddzetoddze no where, OKPosts: 2,155Member

    Instances started out with good intentions, but like everything that starts with good intentions has come to be abused. It is a short cut fix for lack of content. It makes developers lazy. they do not want to develop content because its much easier just to instance it.  Thats my biggest beef with instances.

    My second beef with them stems off my feeling that an MMO should be a virtual world. The more instance you have the further away you get from being a virtual world to just a game. A world does not have instances a world is big enough to keep everyone busy doing something.

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  • XthosXthos Columbus, OHPosts: 2,628Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Tibernicuspa
    Originally posted by daltanious

    As you obviously never read explanations why instancing is actually GOOD. At least more good then bad. 

    It's not good for MMOs. It directly undermines what MMOs are good at, and that's lots of people playing together. Instances are the antithesis of that ideal. The best thing a instance can do, best case scenario, is make an MMO play more like a singleplayer game. It'll never be as good as a singleplayer game, which kind of automatically makes it a waste of time to try, but instances can get it close.

    Do you feel the same way about having multiple servers for an MMO?

     IF the servers held 6 people , I am sure they would.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    You never heard people hating (with the fiery burning hatey-hate) on instancing until a certain company used them.

    I suspect there's a lot more anti-fan built into this topic than most.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • Ender4Ender4 milwaukee, WIPosts: 2,253Member


    Originally posted by Icewhite
    You never heard people hating (with the fiery burning hatey-hate) on instancing until a certain company used them.I suspect there's a lot more anti-fan built into this topic than most.


    Sierra Online?

    People have been hating on instances since The Realm came out and couldn't compete with UO and EQ.

    WoW and then GW really drove the point home though as they were the first major games to really center around instances instead of just sprinkling them in a little bit or using them as overflow like AO etc did.

  • MukeMuke BredaPosts: 2,172Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by swarmofseals

    I've played a ton of MMOs in my day, with EQ1 being my first experience with the genre back in 1999 when the game was originally released. When WoW was released, one of the key features that got me interested was the idea of instanced dungeons.

    Non-instancing can be a very bad feature, like you said, there are many bad iterations like players/bots camping a certain spawn 24/7, excluding other players from content.

    But devs can also get overenthousiastic about too many instances so making the game cheaper and easier for them to code+maintain it, which destroys the experience for many players that want to experience a virtual "online world". In this case it turns the game into a online lobby room for many gamers. Good example of too many instances is Guildwars 1 and WOW with 99% of the players waiting in a city for a instance popup to come up.

    The problem here is to find a mix without ruining the playing experienc efor both type of gamer.

    "going into arguments with idiots is a lost cause, it requires you to stoop down to their level and you can't win"

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,675Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Xthos
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Tibernicuspa
    Originally posted by daltanious

    As you obviously never read explanations why instancing is actually GOOD. At least more good then bad. 

    It's not good for MMOs. It directly undermines what MMOs are good at, and that's lots of people playing together. Instances are the antithesis of that ideal. The best thing a instance can do, best case scenario, is make an MMO play more like a singleplayer game. It'll never be as good as a singleplayer game, which kind of automatically makes it a waste of time to try, but instances can get it close.

    Do you feel the same way about having multiple servers for an MMO?

     IF the servers held 6 people , I am sure they would.

    I'm wondering how many people in this thread actually know what an instance is (hint: you're not one of them) and how many are just raging about group dungeons.

    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
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  • Ender4Ender4 milwaukee, WIPosts: 2,253Member


    Originally posted by Loktofeit


    I'm wondering how many people in this thread actually know what an instance is (hint: you're not one of them) and how many are just raging about group dungeons.

    I'm sure most of them do. Instanced PvP zones, dungeons and raids are the most common type. Not very many people are bothered by overflow instancing like EQ2 had, though it still stinks for PvP. Not too many are bothered by personal quest style solo instancing like say GW2 uses for its personal story or AO used for its misison. It is the instanced group capped content that generally bothers them.

  • xeniarxeniar Posts: 805Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Muke
    Originally posted by swarmofseals

    I've played a ton of MMOs in my day, with EQ1 being my first experience with the genre back in 1999 when the game was originally released. When WoW was released, one of the key features that got me interested was the idea of instanced dungeons.

    Non-instancing can be a very bad feature, like you said, there are many bad iterations like players/bots camping a certain spawn 24/7, excluding other players from content.

    But devs can also get overenthousiastic about too many instances so making the game cheaper and easier for them to code+maintain it, which destroys the experience for many players that want to experience a virtual "online world". In this case it turns the game into a online lobby room for many gamers. Good example of too many instances is Guildwars 1 and WOW with 99% of the players waiting in a city for a instance popup to come up.

    The problem here is to find a mix without ruining the playing experienc efor both type of gamer.

    why is non instancing a bad feature? its up to a developer to make enough interesting spots in said world for a certain level. in that way spawncamping doesnt really happen. and if it does (in group grinding u camp a spot) you just go to the next spot. Outdoor bosses however, well yeah those can be camped but what is stopping you from doing the same? Best way to deal with that is some kind of summoningritual. need to find a certain key or whatever (wich randomly drops in the world at a certain level) to summon the boss.

    then it depends on what your loot system looks like. bext dps group gets item? or shared or random between everyone who has hurt the boss, theres alot of posibility's to consider in terms of raidboss lootdrops.

    id like WoW's current system where the boss increases in strenght by the amount of players. and evryone randomly gets an item or not combined with a lvl system tho. cant have lvl 1's abusing that system by just touching the boss.

  • Ender4Ender4 milwaukee, WIPosts: 2,253Member


    Originally posted by xeniar
    why is non instancing a bad feature? its up to a developer to make enough interesting spots in said world for a certain level. in that way spawncamping doesnt really happen. and if it does (in group grinding u camp a spot) you just go to the next spot. Outdoor bosses however, well yeah those can be camped but what is stopping you from doing the same? Best way to deal with that is some kind of summoningritual. need to find a certain key or whatever (wich randomly drops in the world at a certain level) to summon the boss.


    He didn't say it WAS a bad feature. He said it can be a bad feature. You have to build your game in an intelligent way so that it is not a negative. People point to EQ as an example of it going poorly and that is because they had static spawns, they had only certain mobs drop certain items, it had a pretty small amount of content etc. These are all things that can be fixed and make it no longer a bad feature but you have to actually build around the concept properly. Almost every negative someone has brought up in this post is something that could be fixed if devs just built around the concept of an open world and open dungeons. Instances were the bandaid fix.

  • RajCajRajCaj Lafayette, LAPosts: 694Member Uncommon

    I think instancing dungeons has a place, in certian types of MMO games, but I dislike them (now) because I prefer a MMO game that focuses more on the community & competitive forces therein.

     

    I did not play EQ1, but i did play Lineage 2, and it was a instance-less, open PvP game, that had dungeons that served the purpose of providing higher difficulty resource gathering spots.

     

    Dungeon rooms were not much more than spawn points, and there was LOTS of competition over the sought after drops from these spawn points.  Some see them as mindless grinding spots.  I see them as opportunities for personal / guild alliances & rivalries to be born....which extend outside of the dungeon.

     

    Instanced dungeons (the ones in WOW) were a VERY refreshing change, after playing in the former for several years, and has it's own set of strengths & weaknesses.  On the positive, the dungeon becomes a thoughtful dungeon crawling experience, where it becomes more of an "event" for your group, with a start & finish, instead of a higher difficulty spawn camping spot.  The dungeon crawling experience in an instanced dungeon, I think, is a more entertaining experience AT FIRST.  However, after you've run the same dungeon (and others similar) 50 or so times, it becomes just as mondaine as the spawn camping experience....with out all the benefits.

    TLDR:

    Depends on what kind of dungeon crawl, and to a larger extent....what kind of MMO you're looking for.  Instances start off being more fun, but get VERY boring quickly.  Instanceless dungeons are less about the crawling experience, and more about the social dynamic it sets up outside the dungeon. (given the right game mechanics....resource driven, open PvP game)

  • xeniarxeniar Posts: 805Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ender4

     


    Originally posted by xeniar
    why is non instancing a bad feature? its up to a developer to make enough interesting spots in said world for a certain level. in that way spawncamping doesnt really happen. and if it does (in group grinding u camp a spot) you just go to the next spot. Outdoor bosses however, well yeah those can be camped but what is stopping you from doing the same? Best way to deal with that is some kind of summoningritual. need to find a certain key or whatever (wich randomly drops in the world at a certain level) to summon the boss.

     

     


     

    He didn't say it WAS a bad feature. He said it can be a bad feature. You have to build your game in an intelligent way so that it is not a negative. People point to EQ as an example of it going poorly and that is because they had static spawns, they had only certain mobs drop certain items, it had a pretty small amount of content etc. These are all things that can be fixed and make it no longer a bad feature but you have to actually build around the concept properly. Almost every negative someone has brought up in this post is something that could be fixed if devs just built around the concept of an open world and open dungeons. Instances were the bandaid fix.

    have to agree completely. 

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 956Member Uncommon

    If your game is fun, is open world, it will have a large community and will have camping.  If your game is not fun, is open world, it will have a small community and camping can be ignored or dealt with.  A fun game is often identified by its massive player population.  Not fun games are identified by their relatively small loose communities, with a few tight community guilds.  The veteran players stay in what can be termed veteran space and never interact with the new player.  These new player are at the mercy of lone scammers and greifers, or corrupt evil guilds.  This forms the over all reputation of the game and new player rarely stay.

     

    MMOs and instanced content often requires group interaction.   People who don't work well with others are often excluded from these interaction over time, once they develop a reputation amongst the community.  Their only chance for grouping is in pick-up groups (PUG) with other anti-social player like themselves.  The can't get invited to the tight social guilds because they keep track of players they don't like.  The anti-social player doesn't like playing with people just like themselves.  So the begin to feel the problem is with instancing, and not them.

     

    Now this is not always the case, but it is the majority of the case. 

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  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,915Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tibernicuspa

    You've obviously never played a noninstanced MMO. Those "uninvolved" people aren't uninvolved just because they aren't in your group. They may become a part of your group. You may talk to them, trade with them, rez them, clash with them. It's all a part of the social experience.

     

    Theres a shit load of data and articles from decades of online games written by very VERY smart developers discussing exactly what leads towards community forming in games and what hurts it. Virtually everyone agrees instancing hurts, for reasons that have been clearly explained here by people with many years of MMO experience. You saying "nuh uh" isn't going to make that go away.

    There's a right way and a wrong way to use any design tool. There's also just as much community killing in open world games as there is in heavily instanced ones. Open world designs let the less socially inclined run rampant on the player base, which is just as detrimental to community building as splitting that community up. In some cases more so. Griefing, kill stealing, as well as spot camping ran many players off in those early days.

    You can directly thank that behavior for the games you get today, as well as game designs we get today (lack of sandboxes). It's their abuse of that freedom that resulted in that freedom being taken away.

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  • XthosXthos Columbus, OHPosts: 2,628Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Xthos
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Tibernicuspa
    Originally posted by daltanious

    As you obviously never read explanations why instancing is actually GOOD. At least more good then bad. 

    It's not good for MMOs. It directly undermines what MMOs are good at, and that's lots of people playing together. Instances are the antithesis of that ideal. The best thing a instance can do, best case scenario, is make an MMO play more like a singleplayer game. It'll never be as good as a singleplayer game, which kind of automatically makes it a waste of time to try, but instances can get it close.

    Do you feel the same way about having multiple servers for an MMO?

     IF the servers held 6 people , I am sure they would.

    I'm wondering how many people in this thread actually know what an instance is (hint: you're not one of them) and how many are just raging about group dungeons.

     I am not big on instancing, but if a mmo came out with 50% open/instance, that would be a good step for my tastes.

    Housing, if it is instanced, I would just prefer a bigger bank, but I know some like it, so I am not about taking peoples stuff, so maybe you can do either or...

    Story stuff, not big on personal story in mmo, but could see the need for phasing/instancing for this, if you feel you need this.

    Even though it is off topic, quests/timers/grouping needs work, too many mmos make it hard to sync up with other people and get on the same page quest wise...  I would like to see hubs gone and a more natural/exploratory system put into place, that worked well with groups.  Rails have gotten up there with instancing, especially If the game world is very limited/small.

     

    People will sit and play Farmville, Angry Birds, Zombie vs plants, and Candy Crush, I just don't want to see mmos turned into that in the end.  The genre has been moving, and not in a good way imo.  Everyone is wondering if they can get on for 5-10 minutes and 'accomplish' something meaningful.  I have logged in a mmo for that short a time, even back in EQ/UO and felt what I did was accomplishing something (harvesting, crafting, kill a few mobs, check a spawn, move to a dungeon for that night, etc..).

     

    So yeah, not a fan of the 'progress' of mmos, some are.

     

  • ace80kace80k Lorton, VAPosts: 151Member Uncommon
    No need to type out a large essay here, it's pretty simple. Instancing takes the massively out of "M"MORPG. With that said, I think it's safe to say instancing won't be going away anytime soon. It's become embedded in MMO design at a fundamental level.
  • RealbigdealRealbigdeal Vimont, QCPosts: 1,625Member

    Instances sux because they make mmorpg's look more like an other lobby game where you must wait for 5 or so players to be connected to start a game. Like the guy above me said, it takes out the Massive out of the mmorpg. I can't even see wow as a real mmorpg because of this.

    Sandbox games are the true mmorpg's. they don't have instances and you can do anything everywhere. You can't be more massive and less restrictive than that. I really miss the days when Ultima online was the top dog. Nowadays, even call of duty is  considered as an mmo.

    When you go pvp, the reason should be to accomplish more than collecting battle points like when you're playing league of legends. Instead, it's better to introduce bounty system for greater rewards and penalties.  Reasons to fight in the open world; not just killing someone and seeing him coming back 1 minute later like nothing happened. 

    Open world pvp games where you must secure your dungeon to be able to do what you wanted to do all along in it are the greatest games. There's nothing more fun and nothing will make your hearth rush while doing these activities with a risk to encounter unwanted players along the way.

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  • TibernicuspaTibernicuspa Amherest, MAPosts: 1,198Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Xthos
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Tibernicuspa
    Originally posted by daltanious

    As you obviously never read explanations why instancing is actually GOOD. At least more good then bad. 

    It's not good for MMOs. It directly undermines what MMOs are good at, and that's lots of people playing together. Instances are the antithesis of that ideal. The best thing a instance can do, best case scenario, is make an MMO play more like a singleplayer game. It'll never be as good as a singleplayer game, which kind of automatically makes it a waste of time to try, but instances can get it close.

    Do you feel the same way about having multiple servers for an MMO?

     IF the servers held 6 people , I am sure they would.

    I'm wondering how many people in this thread actually know what an instance is (hint: you're not one of them) and how many are just raging about group dungeons.

    All of us do. I know you have a history of derailing threads with your computer science definition of instances, and arguing that individual servers are all instances, but we're not taking that BS here.

     

    We're discussing instances as they are known to MMO gamers, meaning, copies of zones that lock out other players within the same server.

  • olepiolepi Austin, TXPosts: 1,150Member Uncommon

    Yes, there are two kinds of instancing:

    - the entire zone or world is copied, normally because of a limitation of the number of players in any one instance.

    - some smaller piece of the zone or world is separated, and copies may be made to limit the number of players

    It's really the same thing, except the second case actually has a real use in an MMO, whereas the first case is normally invisible to the players, and has no effect on the game. Unless that limit is small.

    A good case for #2 is a personal house. It makes sense that a player would have to "open" the door to get into their house, and this can cause a new instance to be loaded. You are no longer in the outside world, but are in your own little inside world. Each player has one, but each one is a separate instance. This does not break immersion, and is no problem.

    The other, bad, case of instancing is where a large piece is separated out, but *does* break immersion. Players are separated in the game world, and eventually makes it not an MMO, but a co-op game. The extreme case would be a lobby game, where players can only go into instances that handle a single group. This is not an MMO. The opposite extreme is a game like Vanguard, where even going into a building is not an instance; there are no instances, at all.

    ------------
    RIP City of Heroes. One of my favorite MMO's.

  • barasawabarasawa Eugene, ORPosts: 274Member Uncommon
    Asheron's Call has no zones, but if there were too many people in an area, portal storms started warping people out. Sometimes it could be a major pain to turn in a quest, or worse yet, use the bank or a merchant with portal storms trying to toss you out while you were doing something. 

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  • olepiolepi Austin, TXPosts: 1,150Member Uncommon

    It is an interesting question; it depends on what you call an MMO. To me, the M's in MMO mean thousands. To qualify as a really MASSIVE multiplayer game, you need to be able to have thousands of players, capable of playing with each other, and affecting each other. If you have a limit of 256 players in any one zone, for example, then to me it is not clear that game is an MMO.

    It's really just a question of that number. Limiting each zone to 6 players is obviously not an MMO, and supporting thousands in the same place obviously *is* an MMO.

     

    ------------
    RIP City of Heroes. One of my favorite MMO's.

  • TibernicuspaTibernicuspa Amherest, MAPosts: 1,198Member
    Originally posted by olepi

    A good case for #2 is a personal house. It makes sense that a player would have to "open" the door to get into their house, and this can cause a new instance to be loaded. You are no longer in the outside world, but are in your own little inside world. Each player has one, but each one is a separate instance. This does not break immersion, and is no problem.

    You just described zoning, not instancing. In this case, can other people come into the house if you left the door open? Public zone. If no one can come in, instance.

     

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,675Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tibernicuspa
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    I'm wondering how many people in this thread actually know what an instance is and how many are just raging about group dungeons.

    All of us do. I know you have a history of derailing threads with your computer science definition of instances, and arguing that individual servers are all instances, but we're not taking that BS here.

    We're discussing instances as they are known to MMO gamers, meaning, copies of zones that lock out other players within the same server.

    You say all of us do and Ender says all of us do, but Ender's post points out that isn't the case at all, as many of the people posting here have an unqualified disdain for instances, indicating they either do not feel the way you and Ender do or they do not really understand what an instance is.

    However, I do thank you for confirming my suspicion that yours was a particular alt account.  Cheers! image

    EDIT: As an aside, I don't believe I ever argued that when discussing instances we should consider servers as instanced content. If you misconstrued that from any of my posts, that's on your end. ;)

     

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