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Will the MMORPG genre ever get out of this rut?

13

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  • Flyte27Flyte27 Greenwich, CTPosts: 2,837Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by koboldfodder

    Read up on the history of video games.  In the early 80s, you had a massive influx of console games.  They were all trying to capitalize on the popularity of Pac Man, which was a big time culture cross over and money maker.  There was nothing there but $$$ to be reaped.

     

    So they made every single game they could.  None of them were any good, didn't matter.  They pumped them out by the tens of thousands.  300 different versions of Pac Man.  And none of them were any good.  It quickly reached the point of market saturation.  There were not enough people buying the product, and that was the end of that.

     

    What happened next was the rise of Nintendo.  An old, Japanese card game business steered the genre into better quality games.  Almost immediately, the older consoles like Atari, Intellivision and all of the other smaller consoles went out of business.  They could not make quality games, Nintendo could and they knew how to market them.

     

    The number of people playing the games stayed about the same, but the actual number of available product was cut in half, all in about a year or so.

     

    The point is, it took an outsider (which Nintendo was back then) to right the ship.  That is what will have to happen with the MMO genre.  You have well over 300 MMOs available right now to play, but there is not enough people even to support a third of that number of MMOs.

     

    But because of the dreaded "Free to Play" business model, they can stretch out their games a lot longer than the console wars could.  A crappy Free to Play game can be in existence a lot longer than a crappy Pac Man rip off, because it's free to play...when we all know it's not.

     

    Just making a subscription game is not the answer.  Star Wars tried that, and it was a epic failure.  Elder Scrolls is trying the same thing, and it will turn out the same.

     

    They need to focus on the actual game not the business plan.  They do not understand that it is the Free to Play business model that halts creativity and forces you to design these chopped up, crap MMOs.

     

    SO an outside developer, with probably his own money, will have to do what Nintendo did in the 80s.  Create a game that is a great product, collect a big percentage of the playing base, and force those crap MMOs out of business.  But it's not Chris Roberts, or Richard Garriot, or any of the known outside developers.  It has to be someone who thinks in a different way, is not afraid to fail, and is willing to take total control over every aspect of his product.

     

    So far, that person has not appeared on the map.

    It's a bit different in some ways.  The Nintendo was a lot more powerful then an Atari and that meant a lot in those days.  The Super Nintendo was also a fair amount better then the Nintendo adding a large amount more colors and being 16 bit.  It's difficult to produce something new on the merits of hardware alone in this age.  I have a Windows 8 x86 (32 bit) tablet running a full version of Windows that is 8 inches and I can carry around.  Most people don't even want to upgrade their hardware these days unless it's their phone or tablet.  I doubt it would make a huge difference anyway.  Games are already more complex (to make) then they need to be.  You could argue that some older games were actually more complex to play then todays games even though they were quite a bit simpler to make.  I really dislike RMT and MMOs today, but I don't see how it's going to go away as people seem to want to play them.

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

    Well aren't you just a breath of sunshine. Bottom line seems to be that games being made to be disposable are the best way for companies to make money, because, like you said, the masses (newer gamers) don't want deep, time-consuming gameplay. They just want mmo's to play like single player games and be done in a few months so they can move on to the next. Us players that want deep, imersive worlds to game in for years aren't in high enough numbers for devs to bother with. Sucks for us, but mmos will never be that way again. We are too few.

    Except deep and time consuming is not related. Deus Ex has deep gameplay. Dishonored has deep gameplay. All those games can be done in 2 weeks.

    And yes, it would be good (for me) that MMOs play like deep SP games, and can be done in a few months, or even a few weeks.

     

  • Master.RyuMaster.Ryu Death Valley, NCPosts: 52Member
    Not if people continue to pay for the same garbage in 2004. That low of a standard, not many developers will look far if they feel that most fans standards are that low.
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,506Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Yamota
    Originally posted by DMKano

     

    The bottom line is - coming up with a AAA game that will be a hit 5 years from now - good luck with that, it is an incredibly difficult task.

     

    That is not how software is being built, or rather not the only way. Look up Agile software development. That can and should be applied to game development and I suspect it already is.

    Agile is absolutely used in game Dev - I know agile PMs that work for major online game companies.

    However the funding - and the vision, the concept that gets the funding are not done using agile - they can't be as you have to pitch the "end state" of the game as a finished product 5 years from now to GET the funding.

    But yes the week to week development during those years is agile based.

    Still doesn't change the fact that building a quest centric themepark game over 5 years makes zero difference that you use agile during those 5 years, its still gonna end up a quest centric themepark game when its completed.

     

  • pkpkpkpkpkpk amherst, MAPosts: 85Member
    MMORPGs are indeed in a rut. But the main thing I do not see is challenge, gripping action from level one, dungeon-crawling, etc.  Even going back to EQ so much of the action in these games has seemed to focus on standing in one place in an outdoor area, killing a safe, static group of monsters. I imagine an MMO with a much more dangerous frontier--mostly only wildlife in the overworld areas, but in caves, fortresses, etc., hostile entities, which have reasons for killing them. When people talk about the "glory days" of EQ I often think of standing in the Oasis killing crocodiles.  Heroism, power, and fame should be earned, and there is no better way to do this than to enter into dangerous areas, at risk of experience, items, and life, and come out victorious. Anything less is a treadmill, and at no point do I support "tutorials"--that is what the manual is for. Sadly, if games like this were not made in '99, they will not be made now. That is why I voted yes.
  • RossbossRossboss Runes of Magic, TXPosts: 240Member

    These games are just products of their environment. Unless we can get out of the "rut" of giving in when a bad game is released, they will keep releasing bad games. The only way we can do this is by upholding standards, which is essentially impossible with the massive amount of players, or there will be a game released that establishes the standard of a real AAA title. I'm a strong believer in supporting what you enjoy, whether it be art, music, institutions, etc. but it irks me seeing players blindly supporting these games that are released half-baked just because they saw promise in the hype.

    We used to be a timid bunch, waiting for games to be released, reviewed, and fully complete in their development before deciding on the purchase. Now, we pre-order, preview, and prematurely buy games we don't even know if they are up to our standards. It's enticing to be the first in a game, to have your name reserved, or even see a game before it is released, but this has really gone too far. They literally have our money before they release the product. We, as the target audience and player base, are just a bunch of animals ready to strike the next moving thing before we know if it is a tasty snack or a load of excrement rolling down the hill.

    As a web developer, there is nothing more disappointing than showing the preview of a product to a client if the entire rest of the product cannot hold up to the same standard you have set for yourself. You are destined to fail in the client's eyes from that point forward unless that standard is maintained. No matter what you do to keep that standard, if you fall below it, the client will be disappointed because the preview you showed them is the standard they maintain for the ENTIRE application. This is why we, by far, have been the most disappointed in most MMORPGs that have come out within the past years.

    I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.
    I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.
    I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,734Member Uncommon
    Im actually surprised so many are defending teh genre thinking it is healthier than ever?....When EA closed down Mythic they stated taht they could make more money with a single free mobile app now than they can with a multi million dollar budget MMO...Sure I think there are enough of us to keep MMOs fairly healthy for a few years but I really donmt see the incentive for companies to keep making them....PC sales have declined severely the last couple of years, and unless MMOs are headed for phones, tablets, and consoles I jsut dont see companies continuing to spend resources in this area.
  • Flyte27Flyte27 Greenwich, CTPosts: 2,837Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Theocritus
    Im actually surprised so many are defending teh genre thinking it is healthier than ever?....When EA closed down Mythic they stated taht they could make more money with a single free mobile app now than they can with a multi million dollar budget MMO...Sure I think there are enough of us to keep MMOs fairly healthy for a few years but I really donmt see the incentive for companies to keep making them....PC sales have declined severely the last couple of years, and unless MMOs are headed for phones, tablets, and consoles I jsut dont see companies continuing to spend resources in this area.

    I believe this is the problem.  People are spending too much money on crappy RMT (free to play games).  The MMO Market is making money sadly.  It's making more then I would like to see.  If the major developers concentrated on phone apps that would be good for myself as I don't play phone apps or free to play.  That would leave the market to people who actually care about the genre instead of mass market.  Maybe things would go back to a subscription based model and the people playing MMOs now would go play crappy phone apps more.  Unfortunately I don't think you can say the MMO market is unhealthy at all in terms of making money overall.  They are making a lot more then they did off the old MMOs (which provided a profit).  I doubt phone apps cost much to make, they have a bit larger audience, and they do the same thing as MMOs in terms of crappy (RMT) rip offs.  It would be more accurate to say that phone apps are more profitable.  That doesn't mean the MMO market isn't worth the effort.  There are only so many phone apps they can make.  Right now they are milking money from both sides even if the phone app is the more profitable one.  Sadly that's all these companies think about.

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

    These games are just products of their environment. Unless we can get out of the "rut" of giving in when a bad game is released, they will keep releasing bad games. The only way we can do this is by upholding standards, which is essentially impossible with the massive amount of players, or there will be a game released that establishes the standard of a real AAA title. I'm a strong believer in supporting what you enjoy, whether it be art, music, institutions, etc. but it irks me seeing players blindly supporting these games that are released half-baked just because they saw promise in the hype.

    "blindly"?

    If people supporting stuff you don't like, they are "blind"? May be they just have different preferences.

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kyleran
    Not unless people tire of buying the current offerings, which show no sign of slowing.

    This ^

    Like any market. Things will change when people stop buying the same old crap. However, there is no indication of this happening anytime soon.

    It's not just games either. People are supporting the same formulaic crap in all forms of entertainment. Similar games, similar music, similar books, similar movies, similar TV shows. There are too few exceptions to this across the board. And while we do (every now and then) get lucky enough to find something that tries to break out of these trends, they're often too expensive and yield too little money compared to the other generic crap.

    These are commonly referred to as 'passion projects' and you only really see them when people have the ability to try and create something (regardless of whether or not it will actually make them money) without having to worry about eating, paying bills, or covering expenses.

    Unfortunately, games are also generally the most expensive form of entertainment to create. Budgets are getting larger, deadlines are getting steeper, and this means fewer games capable of taking the risks we demand for. And yet, even though we have smaller-budget games that are taking risks, when was the last time you (speaking to everyone here) actually supported these? I've had numerous friends complain about the same thing as the OP, and I find myself repeatedly pointing out games that are really well done but overlooked because they aren't AAA budgets, with a mass marketing team.

  • Jimmy562Jimmy562 FlimwellPosts: 1,099Member Uncommon
    Dead Space was done by EA, not Sony. 
  • RossbossRossboss Runes of Magic, TXPosts: 240Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Rossboss

    These games are just products of their environment. Unless we can get out of the "rut" of giving in when a bad game is released, they will keep releasing bad games. The only way we can do this is by upholding standards, which is essentially impossible with the massive amount of players, or there will be a game released that establishes the standard of a real AAA title. I'm a strong believer in supporting what you enjoy, whether it be art, music, institutions, etc. but it irks me seeing players blindly supporting these games that are released half-baked just because they saw promise in the hype.

    "blindly"?

    If people supporting stuff you don't like, they are "blind"? May be they just have different preferences.

    It's not because they support stuff I don't like, it's that they support stuff that they don't even know they like. Trying new things is good and trying new games is just fine as well, but supporting games that provide no merit or accolade is toxic to the industry. It basically just promotes the idea that stagnancy and under-produced is the norm, and that the industry exceeding the norm provides no extra money earned.

    Imagine your friend talks you into going on a blind date. He tells you about the person you are going to meet with, at which point he/she sounds like a perfect match for you. If you were the consumers of the MMORPG market, you'd have already decided you would marry him/her before you met them and be willing to go through with the ceremony right after the first date. The current consumers of MMORPGs buy into the idea of a person based purely on speculation, a teaser trailer, and a bit of imagination.

    I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.
    I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.
    I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.

  • CthulhuPuffsCthulhuPuffs Henderson, NVPosts: 363Member Common

    Not until a mass majority of gamers gets fed up with the slew of garbage that has come out the last decade and finally decide to stop paying for crap.

     

    Game development will change when we make it change. Or when game devs finally wake up.

    Whichever comes first

    Bringer of Eternal Darkness and Despair, but also a Nutritious way to start your Morning.

    Games Played: Too Many

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

    It's not because they support stuff I don't like, it's that they support stuff that they don't even know they like.

    As if you know what they like.

    If they don't like it, why would they even play? There are better entertainment options. Don't think everyone is like you.

     

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

    Not until a mass majority of gamers gets fed up with the slew of garbage that has come out the last decade and finally decide to stop paying for crap.

     

    Game development will change when we make it change. Or when game devs finally wake up.

    Whichever comes first

    What are you talking about? Game dev is already changing. MOBAs, instanced gaming, e-sports ... all changes from the traditional MMO model.

    They may not change to what you like, but they do respond to what the masses like.

     

  • RossbossRossboss Runes of Magic, TXPosts: 240Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Rossboss
     

    It's not because they support stuff I don't like, it's that they support stuff that they don't even know they like.

    As if you know what they like.

    If they don't like it, why would they even play? There are better entertainment options. Don't think everyone is like you.

     

    I don't know what they like, but they are supporting the toxic nature of preordering games before they are even tested as games. People are literally paying to be testers when the industry pays people to test games. If this is the way the gaming culture is going then I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

    I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.
    I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.
    I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.

  • AzmodeusAzmodeus MassachusettsPosts: 139Member Uncommon

    As long as game hoppers and content locusts are around, we will remain in this rut.

    We are throwing money around everywhere, the devs are making a quick buck. so why would they change anything?

      OMG I am Ancient!
  • CthulhuPuffsCthulhuPuffs Henderson, NVPosts: 363Member Common
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by CthulhuPuffs

    Not until a mass majority of gamers gets fed up with the slew of garbage that has come out the last decade and finally decide to stop paying for crap.

     

    Game development will change when we make it change. Or when game devs finally wake up.

    Whichever comes first

    What are you talking about? Game dev is already changing. MOBAs, instanced gaming, e-sports ... all changes from the traditional MMO model.

    They may not change to what you like, but they do respond to what the masses like.

     

    You are right. They are changing. Just not in the direction I thought they would.

    I was hoping for more Dynamic Virtual Worlds, but as you said we have MOBAs, Instancing and Phasing, and E-sports

    Bringer of Eternal Darkness and Despair, but also a Nutritious way to start your Morning.

    Games Played: Too Many

  • vandal5627vandal5627 Jersey City, NJPosts: 586Member Uncommon
    The poll says it all, the vocal minority needs to just move on while the majority enjoys all the options available to them today.
  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,949Member Uncommon

    The larger publishers are stuck in their way of thinking and are scared of trying out stuff that differs too much, that is true. There are still some smaller developers that do their own stuff, Like Undead labs (that surprisingly is backed by Microsoft even though what they work on is very different from current games), there are a few small indie companies (with CCP in the lead) and a bunch of kickstarter project.

    The minute one of them actually makes a huge success the market might turn, but chances are that EA and the rest just will copy the new model instead of realizing that trying new stuff is what brings the genre into the future instead of rehashing the same crap over and over. Heck, if Microsoft understand it it can't be that hard.

  • VonatarVonatar PraguePosts: 672Member Uncommon

    Looking at my own gaming preferences now, compared to 10-15 years ago, then no. I do not believe the MMO genre will get out of this rut and return to what people as old as me call the "Golden Age".

     

    We, as consumers, are telling publishers and developers what we want with out wallets. And the simple truth is that there is a large mass of folks out there who buy everything, anything, and play the heck out of it and move on. I am somewhat guilty of this myself as I am always searching for a new game that will excite me, yet the excitement is so temporary that I end up regretting the purchase a week or so later.

     

    This time I have broken the cycle by passing on Wildstar. I could have so easily just bought it, plodded through to 50 and then drifted away again. But ESO made me wake up and realise that I just don't like the solo quest grind any more, where I barely meet others and don't make friends (like I did in EQ1, SWG and WoW).

     

    So that's it for me an MMOs. I am getting my online multiplayer experiences in other games these days (things like DayZ, The Forest, The Stomping Land show promise) and otherwise keeping a watchful eye on The Repopulation.

     

    I am not so sure there are so many others like me that publishers and developers will be forced to change direction because their revenues are showing that they made the wrong kind of game.

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

    Not until a mass majority of gamers gets fed up with the slew of garbage that has come out the last decade and finally decide to stop paying for crap.

     

    Game development will change when we make it change. Or when game devs finally wake up.

    Whichever comes first

    What are you talking about? Game dev is already changing. MOBAs, instanced gaming, e-sports ... all changes from the traditional MMO model.

    They may not change to what you like, but they do respond to what the masses like.

     

    You are right. They are changing. Just not in the direction I thought they would.

    I was hoping for more Dynamic Virtual Worlds, but as you said we have MOBAs, Instancing and Phasing, and E-sports

    I don't think dynamic virtual worlds are where the market is heading. Personally i would much rather play a good ARPG. In fact, if you look at new innovation like Destiny, the market is moving further away from true persistent virtual world games.

    However, I do wish that you can find what you like, abate how unlikely it is in today's market. Of course, you can always find something else to do .. there are tons of fun entertainment out there beyond MMORPGs.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by CthulhuPuffs

    Not until a mass majority of gamers gets fed up with the slew of garbage that has come out the last decade and finally decide to stop paying for crap.

     

    Game development will change when we make it change. Or when game devs finally wake up.

    Whichever comes first

    What are you talking about? Game dev is already changing. MOBAs, instanced gaming, e-sports ... all changes from the traditional MMO model.

    They may not change to what you like, but they do respond to what the masses like.

     

    We're talking about MMO's in this thread I thought...What do MOBA's have to do with MMORPG's? I don't think the genre is in a rut, but I don't see what relevance this post has to the topic.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member
    Originally posted by Theocritus
    Im actually surprised so many are defending teh genre thinking it is healthier than ever?....When EA closed down Mythic they stated taht they could make more money with a single free mobile app now than they can with a multi million dollar budget MMO...Sure I think there are enough of us to keep MMOs fairly healthy for a few years but I really donmt see the incentive for companies to keep making them....PC sales have declined severely the last couple of years, and unless MMOs are headed for phones, tablets, and consoles I jsut dont see companies continuing to spend resources in this area.

     

    When there are more MMORPGs being produced now, on more platforms than ever before, then yes, it seems the genre is pretty healthy.

     

    PC sales have been in decline for a very long time.  Gaming PCs, peripherals, games and upgrade parts have been growing for a very long time.

     

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

  • GuyClinchGuyClinch Sunnyvale, CAPosts: 485Member
    MMO industry is very mature and competitive.. I don't see this changing for a good another 20 years - at least. What would shake up the industry is truly intelligent procedural generation but even that avenue is not aggressively being pursued. The new MMOs have overlooked things like GW2 dynamic events. Its true it didn't work as well as people had hoped - but the idea of the content responding to they player dynamically is the future.
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