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[Column] General: 5 Reasons MMORPGs Aren't More Enjoyable

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  • blbetablbeta elkhart, INPosts: 79Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by saker
    Originally posted by centkin
    Asheron's call had so very many things right.  It even managed to be the only NON-Trendsetter listed here.  I wonder why we have not had an even spiritual successor to it? 

    Agree!

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  • FoobarxFoobarx Poway, CAPosts: 451Member

    "Aren't more enjoyable" would imply they are enjoyable, just not to the degree that they could be but could easily be fixed by adjusting the dial, so to speak.

     

    So if WoW is enjoyable as easy mode... simply turning the dial will make it even more enjoyable?  Easier or harder?  Normal mode, Hard mode, Mythic mode, Super-duper-omgfg mode.  They've dialed it up and dialed it down.  Subs are still dwindling.

     

    5 Reasons MMORPGs Aren't Enjoyable is less ambiguous.  Then it's not a matter of dialing up or down, but rather eliminating or adding.  Holy Trinity out.  Holy Trinity in.  Holy Trinity sort of out but also in just doesn't cut it.

  • LawlmonsterLawlmonster Dallas, TXPosts: 953Member Uncommon

    Really? You want even more story in MMO's than already exists? Can't we just keep the stories to the section of the medium that they work with, instead of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole?

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  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member

    1. Instancing and phasing

    2. Too much focus on meaningless single player quests and storylines which have no bearing on the people around you.

    3. Cash shops and F2P

    4. Too much linear gameplay and not enough exploring

    5. WoW

  • Tenaka30Tenaka30 StevenagePosts: 49Member Uncommon

    I prefer the trinity and felt it gave me something to plan for, it made me research what was needed and aim to fill that gap.

    Whilst I found games that do away with this "restriction" such as Secret World enjoyable I never spent as much time playing them as others.

  • MagiknightMagiknight McKinleyville, CAPosts: 782Member
    I don't really get what you're saying about the Trinity but I agree with everything else. Stories are usually done terribly, too much solo content, and too easy.
  • ChrisboxChrisbox Monroe, NJPosts: 1,707Member Uncommon

    There's a lot wrong with some of the points here. The holy trinity or some form of group composition is necessary to have challenging content yet you resent it and go onto say that you don't have to learn anything because you're confined to a role that sets everything up for you. That couldn't be any farther from the truth, mastering your role to be good at whatever you're trying to do is the whole point and skill caps aren't possible without something to master, which becomes even more difficult when you have to play your class/role right on-top of dealing with mob mechanics.  Doesn't have to be an MMO either, Dota 2 isn't any easier because the characters you play at have specific roles/lanes etc. 

    GW2 is a prime example of what happens when you don't include class/spec composition, pretty sure EQN is going to end up in the same boat for thinking it's a good idea. Even games in like EVE which is the most odd example I can think of, you don't see good fleets flying around in just whatever, they have very specific ship setups and types of ships included in their fleet makeup for a reason. 

     
     

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  • OriousOrious O''Fallon, ILPosts: 548Member

    I think the issue is MMOs have lost their original theme/style/ and point. The modern style of MMO is not in the long-term goals, but in the short-term:

    1) Leveling is faster: this isn't a bad thing, but it still makes leveling a short-term goal. Effortless almost.

    2)Quests/bosses/raids/dungeons are quick, short, and plentiful: Quests that take days to complete in order to reach some reward are gone. Quests are so common and contrived, the rewards are ALL very meh. The rewards HAVE to be MEH...because everyone is doing these.

    3) Leveling is faster because the path to "End Game" does not matter anymore.

    ----

    So what needs to happen is:

    1) Make leveling matter... Or... make "end game" non-existent.... or make "leveling" (in the conventional sense) nonexistent.

    2) Make quests IMPORTANT and not forced or contrived...make them mean something...satisfy a legitimate goal. This means they CANNOT be the fastest way or the most direct way or the ONLY way to level efficiently.

    3) Remove the term "End Game" from the picture. An MMO should live and breath, there should be no end. Have this mindset, and you'll create a more complete and circular world....rather than a ladder with a base and a top.

     

     

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  • syriinxsyriinx New York, NYPosts: 1,059Member Uncommon

    here are my 5

     

    1.  Not enough character building

    In almost every single modern MMO the character building portion of the game is done in less than a month.  After that its just gearing.  Rift has the PA system, but its so minor its barely even mentionable.  Not only is leveling ridiculously short, once you are at max level that's it.  You are the same you will ever be.

    The leveling is WAY too fast, and max level is gear and only gear.  Both EQ and the forgotten, underrated, underplayed EQOA had fantastic AA systems.

    2.  Lousy group mechanics

    This in some ways is opposite one of the OPs points.  The trinity is a *very* good thing, but its not enough.  It needs to be the real trinity, which was tank/heals/crowd control.  Groups need to go back to 6 man minimum and specialization needs to come back.  No game has come anywhere close to EQs group mechanics, and its because of all the ways you could structure groups, or make a less than ideal group work, by playing to class strengths. 

    3.  Busy combat

    Not just action combat, but games with heavy GCD spam where you are jamming buttons and keys repeatedly.  While it can be a nice rush in short bursts, in the long run its tedious and removes depth from a genre that used to have tons of depth.  Combat should be strategic first and foremost.  There is plenty of room to require quick reaction time as well, without overdoing it.

    4. Modern dungeon design

    Specifically, linear dungeons that are the same every. single. time.  I do think instancing has its place (when used as an option) but the WoW dungeon model sucks if its all you have.

    The two games to look to are Everquest and Everquest 2.  EQ at launch had great open dungeons.  LDoN supplanted that with the best use of instancing ever seen in mmorpgs.  LDONs were NOT linear and while they were not completely randomized, there were enough maps and random mob placement to give a fresh experience each time.  They were instances that retained the dungeon crawl experience.  And Everquest 2 has shown you can do both: Instances and open world dungeons can exist side by side.  EQ2 even has some acceptable linear affairs, places like Nek, DFC, and especially Unrest are wonderful.  But they aren't quite linear, as they involve backtracking and problem solving.

     

    5.  Too many small quests, not enough big quests

    Killing 10 rats may always be around, but it should be part of a larger picture.  Quests should require effort to complete, with suitable rewards.  Most of my examples are telling companies to look to the past, but this is one where there is room for innovation.  The current quest hub system sucks.  Its time to get rid of it and think of something more ambitious.

  • ChrisboxChrisbox Monroe, NJPosts: 1,707Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Orious

    I think the issue is MMOs have lost their original theme/style/ and point. The modern style of MMO is not in the long-term goals, but in the short-term:

    1) Leveling is faster: this isn't a bad thing, but it still makes leveling a short-term goal. Effortless almost.

    2)Quests/bosses/raids/dungeons are quick, short, and plentiful: Quests that take days to complete in order to reach some reward are gone. Quests are so common and contrived, the rewards are ALL very meh. The rewards HAVE to be MEH...because everyone is doing these.

    3) Leveling is faster because the path to "End Game" does not matter anymore.

    ----

    So what needs to happen is:

    1) Make leveling matter... Or... make "end game" non-existent.... or make "leveling" (in the conventional sense) nonexistent.

    2) Make quests IMPORTANT and not forced or contrived...make them mean something...satisfy a legitimate goal. This means they CANNOT be the fastest way or the most direct way or the ONLY way to level efficiently.

    3) Remove the term "End Game" from the picture. An MMO should live and breath, there should be no end. Have this mindset, and you'll create a more complete and circular world....rather than a ladder with a base and a top.

     

     

    I agree with a lot of this, I also think a big issue here as I stated on another thread is that too many games are thinking of blizzards game design and the rest of the market instead of thinking about how they can establish themselves within it. 

    But there is nothing wrong with having shorter easier dungeons/raids for casuals as long as there is just as much challenging long term content if not more for hardcores, items are better when others envy them and drives long term goals for lower tier players.

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  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Eglin AFB, FLPosts: 651Member Uncommon
    The argument that older MMOs had solo content and, as such, encouraging group play is a bad idea is, quite frankly, invalid.

    Any MMO that allows progress without a group has "solo content." If you can gather wood and furnish arrows, that is solo content. No one ever said old MMOs did not have solo content and, as such, were better than newer MMOs. It is simply a fallacious argument used to justify the swing we see towards soloing being the most effective method of advancement due to an increase of casual players in the genre.

    The argument that all players are awful and, therefore group content should not be encouraged or the most efficient means of progress, is also invalid. It is an anecdotal argument that cannot be proven in any way, shape, or form.

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  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    #4 is my biggest problem with the genre by FAR!

    I love MMORPGs but this trend towards focusing on an endless and ultimately pointless gear grind is really depressing. Especially since there is absolutely zero mystery in it. Everyone knows exactly what gear they are trying to get and how to get it.

    I often wonder why an MMO hasn't tried a Diablo style randomized loot.

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  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXPosts: 453Member Uncommon

    It is an opinion piece so I will go with I agree to a degree on all. Most people want the simple though.

     

    Problem I have is saying EQ started the trinity. The last thing I thought of in EQ was that needed a tank, healer, and dps. Enchanter keeping adds under control while rest of party beats down a target is still one of the things that was hardest to do. If someone hit one of the mobs the enchanter was using CROWD CONTROL on then it could wipe everyone. EQ taught me to want a tank, healer, dps, and a CROWD CONTROLLER. It did not teach me any trinity.

  • DeddmeatDeddmeat StanwellPosts: 358Member Uncommon

    I never believe in the 'Holy Trinity' .. my toon, i'll play as i god damn like.  May not be as good at dps etc as another class but as long as i'm enjoying it then fine.

    It used to be working around people's builds so the team ran ok, not turning players into builds to make a team.

    AO's skill based system was good and the game was good for grouping as well, probably not so much now, WAY to many games have been solo mmo's .. i guess a good deal todo with players who no longer have the time they used to spend grouping etc .. so the games devs got lots and lots of 'we don't have time, we need more solo, less grind, faster xp .. etc etc etc'

    I prefered how it was when i first played, when there was no EQ just UO and trying to avoid the red players who you had been told were just around the corner killing every player they saw ;-)

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  • LissylLissyl Peru, INPosts: 271Member Common

    Part of the sense of things not being challenging enough is simply you getting better.  A good example is that 'back in the day' I could play a mean game of Sonic the Hedgehog.  Clear most the game on a single life, get tons and tons and tons of rings, do all kinds of fancy tricks and things.

     

    I got the SEGA pack on PS3 the other day as a gift and guess what I suck at terribly - Sonic.  You see, I was only so good because it was something I constantly did.  Just like taking  a year off of WoW and then coming back is almost like having a brand new game (doubly so if you start over at level 1).  You'll regain proficiency quicker, but what you WON'T be doing is running back into WoW and jumping into a fight with Kanrethad (a boss who completely smashes the 'no difficulty in WoW' canard) and expect to win.

     

    As for the Trinity, the alternative is all-dps all the time.  It's true that support doesn't get much love (then again, if you're looking for SUPPORT in a Trinity of TANK - HEALER - DPS, you might want to brush up on the definition of Trinity!) and I really wish it did, but thats a result of the players themselves.  They're the ones who demand more efficiency instead of more support. 

     

    The article has a lot of good points, but overall it evokes a sense of another lamentation that the games left UO in the dust and how well Norman Rockwell would have drawn a pvp scene from DAOC.

  • loulakiloulaki PatrasPosts: 918Member
    Originally posted by BailoPan15

    OP should play Gw2 while he still can and try to defeat Liadri on his own without peeking at the gazillion builds at youtube. Speak of sense of achievement then.

    Maybe next halloween you could try to climb the mad king's clocktower xD or perhaps do a guild tequatl or guild great jungle wurm. Yeah, those are fun times. Speak for yourself mate...

     

    i play and love GW2 but it failed to offer:

    -hard content, except 2 bosses and some guildmissions, the rest of the content is available to a player with 0 social interactiion, just following farming zergs or random parties through LFG .

    -immersive world, except the dynamic events which is the best i have seen, everything else is heavy instanced and in order to be so casual, the events became repeatable, so the player's actions dont change the world at all, there is no same time zone between maps and its not even noticable with such a bright night ...

    -bad story execution, it was wise for an MMORPG he player's character not being the hero who saved the world, just getting involved, but here the "hero" NPC are totally useless and the player in the end he becomes boring and annoyed.

    i loved GW2 for its art cause its deep and its lore, which is also deep, the dynamic events and the combat, at least the removal of holy trinity it was executed well although some stacked minds disagree cause they dont want to accept that they cant follow the world which is changing .

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  • kresa3333kresa3333 petah tikvaPosts: 64Member

    Nothing works better then holy trinity atm ( hopefully there is a better option out there that no1 figure out yet )  , the no healer games just end up with pretty boring endgame that evolves around speed runs with max dmg gear .

    I agree about no challange , must games focus on simple gear grind  altough maybe wildstar changed that? will have to see 

    to much solo content?  yes big time!  if u play mmo game i think u kinda excpect to have tons of group content  but it usuely ends up with boring leveling solo process , altough u do get to play mustly in group in must mmos endgame ^^

    about the gear grind its a problem since well what is more addictive then getting some new awsome item to equip

    and at last about the story , a good stroy is surely nice but i think its not practical in mmo games because it will demend alot of expenses / u can always hire writers but honestly i think must of the ppl will just skip it if they dont hear it and see some visuals  so u need voice acting and much more 

  • BunnykingBunnyking NowherePosts: 113Member Uncommon

    I can somewhat relate to all the points, but I only agree with 5. I like story in my games, even my mmo's. 

    I totally disagree with point 2. I don't play mmo's for the challenge. At all.

    To me it's about having fun and cooperating with other people and about immersing yourself into this other world and discovering wonderful things to see and do.  

  • jdizzle2k13jdizzle2k13 Exmore, VAPosts: 251Member Uncommon

    1.  I somewhat agree, but I also somewhat disagree.  I like when content can be beaten by various group compositions, but usually I see people go the high dps route and choose to burn through it.  I first noticed that happening in Guild Wars 2's dungeons and now I notice it in WoW.  Healers and tanks just aren't wanted in these games if people can just burn through things before it manages to do a significant amount of damage to them, and as a player who loves healing, I find myself out of a job in most groups unless I'm doing large scale pve or pvp.

    2.  You may be right, but I think challenge is in most games if you look for them.  It's not like the majority of people have beaten heroic raids in WoW when it's current content.  I came close once to getting into the heroic raids, but I stopped hardcore raiding awhile back.  I now only raid for fun, and if I screw up and/or a group doesn't want me for whatever reason, so be it.

    3.  Probably also right with this too.

    4.  I'm 50/50 on gear grinds.  On one hand, it's annoying to not be able to complete content when your gear isn't top notch.  On the other hand, gear grinds give that carrot on a stick to keep you playing and trying to get your gear.  Sometimes it annoys me, but when I play a  game and get that piece of gear I've been grinding dungeons and/or currency to get, I feel good about it, and I imagine many other people do, otherwise games like WoW wouldn't be so popular.

    5.  I like story sometimes, but I don't always pay attention to it.  I was trained by my friends that got me into WoW to click through stuff.  I did enjoy my first story playthrough in Guild Wars 2, and sometimes noticing the differences with different story choices for your different characters.  What matters more to me is that the game is fun to play and that the mechanics of the game support my playstyle.

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  • SavageHorizonSavageHorizon ParisPosts: 2,062Member Uncommon
    I get more enjoyment playing Dark Souls.

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  • ZeGermanZeGerman Andover, MAPosts: 196Member

    There alot of defensible points here about challenge level in MMORPG's not being on pair with other game genres that are coming out.  I also get the story arguement.  Its not like we can expect amazingly written story from every game that comes out, however as technology advances and the industry is more able to quickly create cinematics and voice over based story the lag in MMORPGs story advancements.  

    That being said I find some of the other points in this article to be horribly subjective such as the holy trinity arguement.  While i feel this is stale and I want something new I think it is horrible subjective what that change is.  I personally like role systems, i just think that basic dps heals tank creates an environment that is too easy since there are so few combinations.

     I would like to see more support based classes and a complete revamping of agro system in MMORPGs especialy with the new breed of MMORPG shooters that seems to be on the horizon.  

    This article probably should have been named 5 reasons why GW2 is the only MMO i enjoy anymore.

  • Colt47Colt47 Naperville, ILPosts: 310Member Uncommon
    Well, if we follow along with common trends the best MMORPG to make at the moment would be a sandbox rogue-like with perma-death and loot retention (meaning that if a character dies they are gone, but the player still keeps whatever gear they managed to find or make).  Given how gear dependent the majority of MMOs have gotten, I doubt it would even be that much of a loss to have a permanent death since the gear is where most of the stats are anyway.  A somewhat good example of this would be Path of Exile Hardcore / Invasion mode, though in that game if a character dies they get ported to standard along with their gear, resulting in massive inflation in the market there.
  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    I can't agree with any of these points, I'm sorry.  The MMORPG genre to me is the BEST out of all video games and I sometimes wonder how I ever played anything else.  Not that I don't play other genres, I just always keep getting pulled back to my MMOs.  They offer more bang for the buck, better SOLO play than single player games because well, they keep giving me more content and I have the option to GROUP up if I want.  They have more gameplay choices, options, and I feel the storylines are more epic as you are dealing with World wide plots not just a single character's storyline.

    Anyway, glad you stated that this opinion piece is subjective because boy oh boy do I disagree with you on everything.  Other games more challenging?  Really?  I find it harder to get things done with 5 to 40+ people in raiding or PVP as opposed to single player games where there is always a strategy to beat something if you look hard enough.  With other players being a factor in how challenging something is, yeah it takes the cake.

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  • JotteJotte UddevallaPosts: 5Member Uncommon

    One vital thing many people complaining about MMO's of today seem to ignore is that they have been playing the genre for 10+ years. News flash, you will not get the same satisfaction you got as a teen now when you try something, you have aged and carry around to much experiance for the likleyhood of that feeling comming about in the same way.

    Unless you can put that behind you and factor it into what you expect you'll most likley always end up feeling disapointed and start drooling for the next big thing again instead.....

     
  • KanethKaneth Posts: 1,922Member Uncommon

    There WAS too much design focus around trinity, but a number of games are starting to move away from it, at least in the traditional sense. Having the traditional archetypes isn't a bad thing, but if games want to have defined roles they need to also go back to opening up buffers, debuffers, controllers, etc. There's more defined roles than Tank, Damage, Heals, but the other roles have been homogenized into the staple three. Bring back the others, give players a niche to fulfill and you'll see game play open up.

    Which also moves right along into point 2. True challenge was killed in many regards with the homogenization of defined roles. WoW is a huge offender of this. When everyone can be super utilitarian, there isn't much that can outright challenge you, nor is there a reason to group. If a fighter could withstand a good amount of damage, but had terrible gap closing capabilities, a ranged mob (who moved and attempted to kit), could prove to be challenging, especially if the fighter couldn't heal while in combat. However, if the fighter was able to close that gap and get up on the ranged creature, then the tables would turn in favor of our fighter. There isn't enough Rock, Paper, Scissors in the open PvE world. Challenge is now gated behind instanced areas and/or saved for Endgame.

    If true challenge existed in the world, along with true rock, paper, scissors, then there would be more reason to group. As grouping would become the path of least resistance. Don't take away the ability to solo, or even artificially punish it, but if a fighter and mage to group together and overcome each other's weaknesses and not have their little duo punished, then we'd see more grouping. Get rid of mob tagging too. This is something I feel GW2 did really right. My wife and I don't get a ton of gaming time together, and GW2 was a perfect outlet for times when we wanted to play together. We couldn't outlevel each other with scaling. Our XP rates were the same grouped or solo (we could earn faster together by getting through events more efficiently), and when we saw other players we weren't having to compete for mobs or nodes or events, as the entire PvE portion of the game revolves around co-op.

    As for the other points, well that's a matter of personal taste. Gear grinding is an unfortunate necessity in games where the focus is all on endgame. Asheron's Call excelled at "the journey" as there really wasn't an endgame. Not to mention that there is a ARPG style loot system within the game where you can find unbelievably awesome loot on just about anything, or you can take a good piece and make it great via tinkering. Dynamic loot and a near endless leveling system, where levels are more of a guide than an absolute statement on power (gg Asheron's Call) goes a long way to making the open world an interesting place.

    Finally, story...well story is story. Some people like it, other's could care less. Asheron's Call had all sorts of lore hidden in books, scrolls, npc chat, etc, all over the place within the world. The people who cared went out and found it, argued and theorized about it via forums, and had a great time with it. For others, they could get enough to know what was generally going on via town criers.

    Carbine, I feel, is doing a great job delivering their story. Datacrons and Books hidden all over the place, which are kept in your journal for later browsing. Great for those who care, and can be ignored by those who don't. win/win.

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