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Interesting article on the faults of WoW emulated games

AnnekynnAnnekynn Toronto, ONPosts: 1,437Member

Reading new article on Massively about how modern mmorpgs with an endgame are a bad design, link: http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/03/14/working-as-intended-endgame-is-the-worst-thing-that-ever-happen/

While he mentions Wildstar specifically the article applies to all games that emulate WoWs model. Bit that really stands out for me:


But where he is wrong is in focusing two-thirds of the staff and the game, a "huge chunk," exclusively at the end. If your game doesn't start until the end, why did you even bother designing anything else? The people who realize your early game is a weakly designed timesink will leave. The people who prefer that first third will be disappointed that the game at the end is not what you trained them to like and leave. People who like alts and midgaming will be annoyed that most of the "coolest stuff" is too distant for them and leave. And worse? The rushers will see right through your "replayable content" and still leave.

As much as I love Wildstar and am betting all on kickass raiding I have to agree with all the points made in the article. When the destination matters more than the journey, there is a problem with the design. The question then I guess is, how to solve the problem when both Themepark or Sandbox designs are so flawed?

Comments

  • DaessarDaessar Chino, CAPosts: 204Member

    So here's the thing with his article, he's right on the leveling portion, but he's wrong on the raiding part. Massively is fairly known for not liking raiders having better gear than non-raiders, and if you notice he harps far more on this point than Pvp gear being equally exclusive, or any other exclusive content gear, so there's some bias there...which is fine he has a right to his opinion on it but it does show in their articles.

     

    The way to help solve it is putting in both, I've made this comment before but if you are a themepark then you put in 70% themepark quests/content and 30% sandbox type quests/content in a zone. Now you aren't going to please everyone and you shouldn't try to, so putting in that 30% is going to make the rushers mad.....tough, really ....I mean if you really want to try and change the "flaws" then you can't bend on these things. Make the 30% content hidden, change locations in the zone each week, make discovery a way to slow things down. This solves 2/3 of his problem, making the leveling game interesting and showing how they can continue introducing that content in level cap.

    The other 3rd speaks to his raid/pvp exclusive gear, I can understand his view if we are talking about current Wow raiding, but having things tough and challenging in this game produces exactly what Gaffney said it will. So I totally support mixing up the leveling game and creating a better experience there and having it flow into the cap content and updates, but the exclusive parts of endgame are right on point.

     

    Reading the comments on the article kind of show more of the mindset, you see people really describing more of a single player game or co-op rpg type game they really want. They are also only presenting the side that is against the exclusive parts of end game and loves to do the single player exploring and crafting. Even if you dont have those endgame progression parts like in GW2, people will rush through the game anyway, so its not just the raid/pvp gear that is the cause, people still do it because they want get there first and get whatever is there before everyone else, so those types are players aren't only in gated progression themeparks.

  • nennafirnennafir Greater New Orleans Metro Area, LAPosts: 283Member Uncommon

    Thanks.

     

    I think the Massively post is very insightful.

     

    I will play Wildstar since I am bored and I like the graphics better than Elder Scrolls.  I have a character concept that fits into WIldstar so I will play it.

     

    I will play it until max level and then doubtless become frustrated by the 40 man raid emphasis and quit.  This is what the devs seemingly want though as they are having 40 man raids have the best loot and have no "duty finder" team-finding system for them.

     

    I am married, have 3 young kids, work full time, and honestly can't be bothered to do 40 man raids.   I played fighting games in the past, and was quite good at them, and am capable of doing the most demanding tasks dexterity-wise.  But I don't want to do the large raids. 

     

    So I will level to max, play a little bit with everything, and then quit.

     

    I am sad that Wildstar doesn't have more instanced pvp battelgrounds at highest lvl that reward the best loot, since I would be good at those.  Instead, it is this large raid emphasis.  So they are rewarding team players with a large team.

     

    Anyway, I will quit soon after reaching max level, since that is what their design seems to be forcing me to do.  But  will have fun before that.

     

    I think the devs are misguided.  I see quotes where they talk about the average gamer following top raid guilds.  The average gamer doesn't care a flying chickwich what the top raiding guild is doing.  The average gamer wants fun for him/her-self.  They should be designing their endgame to help this "average gamer" or said gamer will quit soon after reaching endgame. 

  • DaessarDaessar Chino, CAPosts: 204Member
    Originally posted by nennafir

     

    I am sad that Wildstar doesn't have more instanced pvp battelgrounds at highest lvl that reward the best loot, since I would be good at those.  Instead, it is this large raid emphasis.  So they are rewarding team players with a large team.

     I think the devs are misguided.  I see quotes where they talk about the average gamer following top raid guilds.  The average gamer doesn't care a flying chickwich what the top raiding guild is doing.  The average gamer wants fun for him/her-self.  They should be designing their endgame to help this "average gamer" or said gamer will quit soon after reaching endgame. 

     

    What do you mean, "doesn't have more Pvp BG's at the highest level"...they have Arena's, Battlegrounds and Warplots which all reward high level loot, Warplots giving the best of the Pvp gear, so who told you this isn't in the game?

    As far as "the average gamer" following the top raid guilds, the research stats say they do, so if you have valid research stats that prove you are correct, then you should forward those to the Developers at Carbine to show them they are wrong. Please don't be mistaken, I'm in no way trying to convince you to play any more than you want to, so feel free to quit whenever you like.

  • AvulAvul BerlinPosts: 196Member
    That's my main issue with WildStar. As good as their Elder Game could be.. the journey from 1 to 50 is so dull in my opinion. That killed my interest in it completely. Raiding looks like fun but I didn't try them myself although I'm lvl 50. Maybe I'm kind of a freak but if I have the two options "neat leveling experience and poor endgame like in GW2" and "poor leveling experience and neat endgame experience like in WS".. I would always go with GW2. I've got better things to do than to grind through stupid level content just to get to the "glorious" endgame.

    Elite: Dangerous - Space Exploration & Trading.

  • DroosteelDroosteel adadadPosts: 138Member

    WS was most mind-numbing leveling (open world) experience i had in 10 years.

    Its like they abandoned that part at most early/basic drafts they had and just left it at that. In fact i wonder why they continued to invest in it, they should have scrapped it early on and concentrate on proper lobby(instance) game since it seems its the only part of the game they care about.

  • AnnekynnAnnekynn Toronto, ONPosts: 1,437Member


    Maybe I'm kind of a freak but if I have the two options "neat leveling experience and poor endgame like in GW2" and "poor leveling experience and neat endgame experience like in WS".. I would always go with GW2.

    Yeah im the opposite, I rather endure a boring leveling process and have a massively fun experience afterwards (raiding and warplots) than have a great leveling experience and then hit a "nothing more to do" wall. That was my experience with SWTOR. I LOVED leveling my sorcerer to 50 as the story line was great. But once you hit 50 all you had was extremely buggy 8 player raiding, laggy pvp scenarios and the worst open world pvp ever designed.

  • DroosteelDroosteel adadadPosts: 138Member
    Originally posted by Annekynn

     


    Maybe I'm kind of a freak but if I have the two options "neat leveling experience and poor endgame like in GW2" and "poor leveling experience and neat endgame experience like in WS".. I would always go with GW2.

     

    Yeah im the opposite, I rather endure a boring leveling process and have a massively fun experience afterwards (raiding and warplots) than have a great leveling experience and then hit a "nothing more to do" wall. That was my experience with SWTOR. I LOVED leveling my sorcerer to 50 as the story line was great. But once you hit 50 all you had was extremely buggy 8 player raiding, laggy pvp scenarios and the worst open world pvp ever designed.

    Thats the problem. Too many people in the wrong genre just wanting an instanced lobby game instead. WS will suit you. But WS fails at being a MMO. Not even to mention RPG.

  • AnnekynnAnnekynn Toronto, ONPosts: 1,437Member


    Originally posted by Droosteel
    Originally posted by Annekynn   Maybe I'm kind of a freak but if I have the two options "neat leveling experience and poor endgame like in GW2" and "poor leveling experience and neat endgame experience like in WS".. I would always go with GW2.
      Yeah im the opposite, I rather endure a boring leveling process and have a massively fun experience afterwards (raiding and warplots) than have a great leveling experience and then hit a "nothing more to do" wall. That was my experience with SWTOR. I LOVED leveling my sorcerer to 50 as the story line was great. But once you hit 50 all you had was extremely buggy 8 player raiding, laggy pvp scenarios and the worst open world pvp ever designed.
    Thats the problem. Too many people in the wrong genre just wanting an instanced lobby game instead. WS will suit you. But WS fails at being a MMO. Not even to mention RPG.

    If there is nothing meaningful after the leveling process finishes, besides what you got out of the journey to max level, what remains? What lasts? If it takes me 30 days to exhaust the leveling process and story, whats there to do on day 31? So as much as I enjoyed the leveling process in SWTOR, it was still a bad game, because there was nothing to do once I was finished. The endgame was just that, the end. So if Wildstars leveling process is inferior to SWTORs for example, but it has a superior elder game, so on day 31 and 100 and so on I still have things to do, is that not a better game?

  • GaendricGaendric Posts: 447Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by zelaex
    That's my main issue with WildStar. As good as their Elder Game could be.. the journey from 1 to 50 is so dull in my opinion. That killed my interest in it completely. Raiding looks like fun but I didn't try them myself although I'm lvl 50. Maybe I'm kind of a freak but if I have the two options "neat leveling experience and poor endgame like in GW2" and "poor leveling experience and neat endgame experience like in WS".. I would always go with GW2. I've got better things to do than to grind through stupid level content just to get to the "glorious" endgame.

    I agree.

    I do really like the game, but leveling (especially the lower levels) is not well paced/designed. The first 15 to 20 levels are tedious at best and make the game feel much more bland than it actually is later on. (I know most MMOs have this problem, but in this case it's extreme)

    Sadly those lower levels are the part of the game that most testers/trial players will see and base their decision to sub or not on. We will have to see if they revamp the new player experience until launch. If not, I suspect it will cost them many potential customers.

     

  • DroosteelDroosteel adadadPosts: 138Member
    Originally posted by Annekynn

     


    Originally posted by Droosteel

    Originally posted by Annekynn  

    Maybe I'm kind of a freak but if I have the two options "neat leveling experience and poor endgame like in GW2" and "poor leveling experience and neat endgame experience like in WS".. I would always go with GW2.
      Yeah im the opposite, I rather endure a boring leveling process and have a massively fun experience afterwards (raiding and warplots) than have a great leveling experience and then hit a "nothing more to do" wall. That was my experience with SWTOR. I LOVED leveling my sorcerer to 50 as the story line was great. But once you hit 50 all you had was extremely buggy 8 player raiding, laggy pvp scenarios and the worst open world pvp ever designed.
    Thats the problem. Too many people in the wrong genre just wanting an instanced lobby game instead. WS will suit you. But WS fails at being a MMO. Not even to mention RPG.

     

    If there is nothing meaningful after the leveling process finishes, besides what you got out of the journey to max level, what remains? What lasts? If it takes me 30 days to exhaust the leveling process and story, whats there to do on day 31? So as much as I enjoyed the leveling process in SWTOR, it was still a bad game, because there was nothing to do once I was finished. The endgame was just that, the end. So if Wildstars leveling process is inferior to SWTORs for example, but it has a superior elder game, so on day 31 and 100 and so on I still have things to do, is that not a better game?

    SWTOR had INSTANCED dungeons, INSTANCED raids and INSTANCED pvp, even OW PvP (however bad it was), dailes and gear grind. The only thing WS will have over SWTOR is housing really. Scuse me if i dont see much difference, WS has standard WoW like endgame like every themepark.

  • GormogonGormogon Waukegan, ILPosts: 188Member Uncommon

    I think many of today's games are designed for you to level characters, reach max level, roll an alt, and repeat.  SWTOR was absolutely one of them despite hanging Star Wars on a WoW skeleton.  GW2, is another example, having multiple starting areas and enough unique leveling content for several alts.  And I think that's fine.  If that is how the developers envision their customers playing, and that's the focus of the game, as along as it's done well, they've accomplished their goal.  The "all things to all people" game doesn't exist.  There simply isn't enough time and resources to build a game that accommodates all types of play.

     

    Carbine devoted a lot of its resources toward the endgame, and perhaps the unsatisfying leveling experience, particularly early on, highlights some of the problems with doing so.  Perhaps the author of that article is right when he says that if the endgame is all that matters (in your game), you might as well get rid of the rest.  I know it was said as a throw-away line to emphasize the importance of fun leveling content, but perhaps it's really not that off the mark.  There are a lot of raiding-oriented players who do wish they could just start at max level and not have to play the leveling content no matter how well designed ... it's not fun for them and not why they're playing the game.

  • DroosteelDroosteel adadadPosts: 138Member
    Originally posted by Gormogon

    I think many of today's games are designed for you to level characters, reach max level, roll an alt, and repeat.  SWTOR was absolutely one of them despite hanging Star Wars on a WoW skeleton.  GW2, is another example, having multiple starting areas and enough unique leveling content for several alts.  And I think that's fine.  If that is how the developers envision their customers playing, and that's the focus of the game, as along as it's done well, they've accomplished their goal.  The "all things to all people" game doesn't exist.  There simply isn't enough time and resources to build a game that accommodates all types of play.

     

    Carbine devoted a lot of its resources toward the endgame, and perhaps the unsatisfying leveling experience, particularly early on, highlights some of the problems with doing so.  Perhaps the author of that article is right when he says that if the endgame is all that matters (in your game), you might as well get rid of the rest.  I know it was said as a throw-away line to emphasize the importance of fun leveling content, but perhaps it's really not that off the mark.  There are a lot of raiding-oriented players who do wish they could just start at max level and not have to play the leveling content no matter how well designed ... it's not fun for them and not why they're playing the game.

    Thats the point, if you are going to make such awful open world expereicne neither those who want to grind the dungeons/raids will like it, neither those who want open world will like it, why make players go through such awful thing. And you spent (and are still spending) boatload of resources to make it.

    Its a lose-lose-lose situation.

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