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Why do MMOs always get dumbed down?

tixylixtixylix gfff, TNPosts: 1,208Member Uncommon

It is always the way, something is challenging, people complain on the forums, they make it easier and those people leave any ways. In my case I love the challenge, I love achieving something that puts me in an exclusive club. My heart pumps when I know there is risk/reward and knowing I could lose, that is where excitement comes in. There is nothing fun about going around tanking every mob in the game and just mindlessly killing everything in sight to level up, that is just called a grind. The fun is having to work with other players to complete something that is hard, knowing that you might not be able to even do it with the group you have. I remember even with the early days of WoW, dungeons used to be hard and quite often we would fail because the group would fall apart. Now though you just run through it in 10 mins with no challenge and it is just boring, people just grind them for the loot only now.

Playing Operation Breakout on CS:GO, I had a mission where I had to join a death match server and grind away 30 kills with a certain gun. That was just a boring grind and it wasn't fun, yet I bet it is the exact thing people want because they just want to rush to the reward. I have another mission that I have yet to complete which is winning in competitive mode on a certain map. That has been much more exciting, there is something really on the line there, there is no guarantee that I'll ever complete it as I can fail unlike the last mission. I've tried it 3 times now and I've failed each time, that is up to 90 mins a pop. It is fun, it came down to the wire the last time I tried, I was the last man alive and my heart was pounding and my hands were shaking so badly. I lost and felt devastated, but  if I succeeded I would have had such a high. 

Those extreme emotions are things I experienced in early MMOs, ones which were challenging. I don't get that any more, MMOs are made too easy or have been dumbed down over time. You end up going through the content and you just feel nothing but boredom, everything is now a means to an end, when you get to the end you quit the game. I never used to play old MMOs to get to the end, in fact I probably never got to what you could call the end on any of them. I used to play to have fun, to feel those wild swings in emotions. Now though everything is made so everyone can experience it, it is basically just a checklist of easy content that has been designed with one thing in mind and that is levelling up your character and doing it FAST and EASY.

This is something that has always pissed me off and the reason why I ended up quitting so many MMOs in the past. I remember SWG starting off as being a hard and harsh game, every patch seemed to be doing something to make it easier though. It got to the point where we had two major game changes in an effort to make it super easy and dumb. It made no sense to me as the skill box system is far more intuitive than the talent tree system, it offered far more variety as well. I just thought it was funny because Jedi used to have harsh death penalties to keep them in line as they were meant to be rare and over powered. People though always claimed server instability killed them and whined on until they lessened the Death Penalty to basically nothing... like funny that, always someone else's fault but yours. When I died all fully geared back when Dayz came out and was a challenging game, I didn't whine on about it being the servers fault and wanting them to take the death penalty away, I just fucking got over it and started again...

 

Developers have become like mini celebs now though, they've all gained big egos now that fans are all communicating with them through social media and forums etc. So developers want their content to be played by everyone, they're making content that satisfies their own ego rather than what is good for the game. I just cringe every time I hear a developer saying "we spend this amount of time making whatever and only 2% of people saw it" and using it as an excuse to why they've made something easier or taken it out of the game. Like ok so just make a boring corridor instead then, make sure everything we see is exactly what everyone else is seeing. I don't get that argument, what makes open world games fun is discovering things other people haven't seen, if we're all sent down the same path each time then it isn't a world any more, besides it makes replayability boring.

 

I'm just so tired of all these excuses around something being challenging to why people are leaving their game. Dumbing down a game  has never made it more popular or kept players on, it just satisfies the short term and harms the long term.

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Comments

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    MMOs do not get dumbed down, they get tweaked to fix issues and you grow more adept at them.

    image
  • TibernicuspaTibernicuspa Amherest, MAPosts: 1,198Member

    Because most games are run by publishers, and publishers run on fear and knee jerk reactions.

    It's also why most casual MMOs have failed over the years.

  • nomotagnomotag Posts: 131Member Uncommon
    My musing is that mmos don't do challenge well. When it comes to hard, you can have good hard or bad hard. Good hard is a game like darksouls. It's hard, but it's also loved for being so hard. I don't know if I can nail down why darksouls works well other hard games don't, but I have a thought. In darksouls you never get stuck.  The game is so open. If you get stuck, you can just go somewhere else or try something else. It has very few if any bottlenecks.
  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon
    Well, when you tell children they can succeed at anything when they put their mind to it...but make no mention that they should also put work towards it, what do you think will happen?

    image

  • TibernicuspaTibernicuspa Amherest, MAPosts: 1,198Member
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    MMOs do not get dumbed down, they get tweaked to fix issues and you grow more adept at them.

    Er... I'm guessing you never played pre WoW MMOs then if you think modern MMOs don't get dumbed down?

  • threefeetthreefeet FunafutiPosts: 156Member
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    MMOs do not get dumbed down, they get tweaked to fix issues and you grow more adept at them.

    i started wow in WotLK. i was completely new to mmo's that was my first. that talent tree, to me being new, was confusing as hell; i had my warrior learning every weapon skill even the ones i didnt know if he could use or not, very confusing.

     

    i loved the cata talent tree; was simple enough yet tweakable to help create your unique toon. and limited you to tweaking only the weapons your class could use, not wasting points.

     

    now, every class has only three choices in the wrecked talent tree. your toon will never be unique again, you will be one of only three different types of classes, that is it. you are a cookie cutter mirror image of 1/3 of every other person in your class on that entire game no matter your server.

     

    so how you explained that makes absolutely no sense.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,770Member Uncommon
    Because nothing else pushes a player to quit quite so quickly as being completely stuck on something and unable to move on.
  • AvanahAvanah Posts: 945Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Because nothing else pushes a player to quit quite so quickly as being completely stuck on something and unable to move on.

    Sorry, but if players weren't so content in being "Hand held" thru games, they would never get stuck.

    It's called Laziness, nothing more, nothing less.

    Like right now in WoD Beta....No addons allowed. People have to use the default UI, Logs, everything. There is a constant "Where can I find this?" or "How do I do this and that?" People do not read the Quest log to get the answer, they are too lazy. They would rather get the instant gratification in hopes that someone will tell them the answer.

    THAT is the problem in MMOs today..."Handholding", which in turn leads to "dumbing" the game down for the masses of Lazy.

    TGIF...Thank God I'm Female

    "My Fantasy is having two men at once...
    One Cooking and One Cleaning!"

  • ReeperReeper Reno, NVPosts: 121Member

    simpltons dont want to pay for a game if its too hard for them to understand, they cant enter cheat codes they used to get through all they're console games, therefor they whine till the game play gets lowered to their level of understanding, the company gets more players (payers).

    Us adventeruos players loose the challenge of game play, and get game players with challenges.

     

  • GhavriggGhavrigg Halifax, NSPosts: 772Member Uncommon
    Which came first, the dumbed down playerbase, or the MMO? ;)
  • prowessprowess st louis, MOPosts: 164Member

    image
    I chose the Xfinity speed test because it does not reveal my ISP.

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,413Member Uncommon

    This reads like the Hairshirt Brigade talking about going uphill in the snow both ways.

     

    I liked the mention of there being both fun and unfun difficulty in games.  Probably a gradient of appreciation in there as well, with people liking different amounts of difficulty, based on their own particular tolerance for it.    Inclusiveness is considered a virtue in game production, because you need to draw a user base that will support your cost of development and ongoing team.  You can make a successful frighteningly tough game, if you judge the expense vs the income properly.    But you are going to leave a lot of customers by the wayside. 

     

    For some, that tough game that took you a week to beat that one tough boss will be akin to beating their head against a wall.

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,770Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ivylena
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    Because nothing else pushes a player to quit quite so quickly as being completely stuck on something and unable to move on.

    Sorry, but if players weren't so content in being "Hand held" thru games, they would never get stuck.

    It's called Laziness, nothing more, nothing less.

    Like right now in WoD Beta....No addons allowed. People have to use the default UI, Logs, everything. There is a constant "Where can I find this?" or "How do I do this and that?" People do not read the Quest log to get the answer, they are too lazy. They would rather get the instant gratification in hopes that someone will tell them the answer.

    THAT is the problem in MMOs today..."Handholding", which in turn leads to "dumbing" the game down for the masses of Lazy.

    Don't shoot the messenger.  I'm merely describing what is, not saying that it should be that way.

  • DrunkWolfDrunkWolf Posts: 1,178Member Uncommon

    MMORPGs are dumbed down now because they arent made for MMORPG players. they are made for everybody, and most people are lazy/to stupid to figure things out on their own. so the people who actually want to play a real MMORPG that is challenging and fun and actually stick with it for along time are screwed.

    instead we get the same game with a new skin over and over that is easy enough to max level in a month and content chewed up in 2 months. and dont be duped, these games are made with full intention of going f2p all they are doing is milking that sub fee as long as possible knowing full well they wont keep a player base big enough to support devs and real content patchs.

  • dreamscaperdreamscaper Somewhere, NCPosts: 1,582Member Uncommon
    The current generation is growing up playing on iPads, while test scores and literacy are plummeting. They're just adapting to the market, sadly.

    <3

  • In my experience over the past 20 years is that they want the masses and that takes a middle of the road path I believe. When things are difficult (ie UO early days and EQ early days) it chases away folks or at least deters them and in the end the masses just want to socialize and show off. I don't like it but that's the way it is.

     

    ps I added this after I read some more posts. These changes to the mass approach started long ago (and not just the ipad age). I remember noticing it in UO before trammel (huge complaints about pvp interfering with those that just wanted to do their own thing)  which had to be late 90's and EQ where death was painful and difficult (but challenging and brought memorable fun) went away for a more reasonable approach (and boring). It's not just a sign of the times but more developers trying to appeal to the masses. I'll always have fond memories of those early days and almost none since. But it was the majority of players that demanded change and not just the vocal minority on forums.

  • Four0SixFour0Six Missoula, MTPosts: 1,181Member Uncommon

    Understand that there are different groups of players.

    Hardcore. (These players will play the initial "hard" content)

    Mediums. (These players will play, and now complete "first tweak" patch)

    Casuals/late adopters (These players will play, with ease "easy mode" patch. By this time there is new content that the dev/pub would like player to get to so ne reason to kepp it tough)

     

    My 2 pennies. 

  • HorusraHorusra maryland, MDPosts: 2,578Member Uncommon

    The real question is what is hard.  One person's challenge is another's boredom.  WoW has some of the most challenging top end raiding, but many do not find it fun.  Others think Eve's cutthroat challenge is fun, but others would rather poke out their eyes.  Some say if you do not have FFA PvP you are on easy mode.  Others want mental puzzles and others want finger dexterity puzzles. 

     

    Some just want to log in a game and waste a few other bumming around.

     

    The real question is not "why do they always", but "why do I not like the current games."

     

     

  • warriorpoet7warriorpoet7 Riverside, CAPosts: 40Member
    Originally posted by Reeper

    simpltons dont want to pay for a game if its too hard for them to understand, they cant enter cheat codes they used to get through all they're console games, therefor they whine till the game play gets lowered to their level of understanding, the company gets more players (payers).

    Us adventeruos players loose the challenge of game play, and get game players with challenges.

     

    This is a post done by an egotistical power-tripper who calls others simpltons yet cannot properly type a sentence.

    MMOs get adjusted often to the median-level of skill in order to retain the most players. "Veteran" players may scoff at the changes as "rose-colored glasses" comes into play.

    In general, developers do not have a desire to kill their own game and thus, their jobs.

    The MMO market is nothing like what it was in the UO/EQ era as the market as expanded to a much larger base of palyers ranging from ultra-casuals, raiders, PvPs, console users, roleplayers, etc. No one style is better or more superior to the others as each person paying their subscription has the right to play as they wish. 

    MMOs got easier because the time-grind and frustration of the "good ole days" was not appealing to the majority of people now in the MMO scene since the launch of MMO mainstreaming with the birth of WoW. Blizzard's fault? No ... not remotely. It is just the general desire of the majority that cut their teeth on more accessible MMOs.

  • LudwikLudwik Rochester, NYPosts: 401Member Uncommon
    If you want a more challenging experience, why don't you make it for yourself?

    You don't have to use cookie cutter builds.
    You don't have to wear the best gear.
    You don't have to use overpowered skills.
    You don't have to min/max.

    Here's my issue:

    You don't actually want more difficult content, if you did you would follow my examples.

    What you want is content that is tuned specifically for you. Content that is just easy enough that you can beat but difficult enough that others can't beat. You want to brag and rub your e-peen in their face. You want everyone to know how truly awesome you are.

    That attitude, the 'my e-peen is bigger than yours' attitude, ruins video games. More people quit playing games because of obnoxious players than for any other reason.

    This is why they set the bar so low because the don't want obnoxious players hanging around. They want the elites to come in, pick up the game, do their thing, then get the fudge out before they ruin it for everyone else.
  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon

    Adding complexity usually requires an exponential amount of time. However, I think its doable if you keep your aspirations small. Something like a 3 class system allows for much more complexity to those particular classes than something absurd like a 64 class system.

    I also think how most reviews are written contribute to this. Basically the reviewer goes down a checklist of what they feel should make a good mmo, and dock games for adding complexity by leaving something on their list out. I have seen a lot of games get harsh reviews for what are really cosmetics. Lets take Granado Espada for example. Its combat system is very engaging and complex. It was hit bad in reviews because the base 5 characters did not offer much customization. The customization was never really the point of the game. Another two good examples are Mabinogi and Vindictus.

  • ChrisboxChrisbox Monroe, NJPosts: 1,707Member Uncommon

    Stopped taking you seriously when you referenced old WoW.

    Larger time sink =/= Hard and skill worthy.

    The mechanics of today's top end fights require far more skill than that of the older expansions, this is a core part of any game with a large lifespan as we are substantially better players now then we were back then.

    Played-Everything
    Playing-FFXIV:ARR

  • DattelisDattelis San Bernardino, CAPosts: 23Member
    Companies usually dumb down content to get consumers. There are honestly less "hardcore" players compared to a few years ago. Many people do play games on a more casual basis. But there is also the fact of competition. There's alot more mmos to choose from than there were say 7-8 years ago. One game I used to play hardcore was FFXI, but new games happened plus they banned people like crazy in their early years, which is good and bad. Some people dont feel its worth restarting in some games if there are better looking games that pop up. As a result in that game, they overhauled alot to be more "new player friendly." By this, I mean taking out many one-a-day spawning monsters and adding spawned versions. Alot of other changes as well.
  • InterestingInteresting Porto AlegrePosts: 950Member

    obvious reasons

    cheaper, easier, faster to design

    the majority of target audience was dumbed down

     

    not so obvious

    secret subreptitious inconscient reason, overall negative effect:

    there is an intention to endocrinate, program players to certain behaviours suited for certain ideologies, just like anything else in entertainment/culture 

     

    ultima online school player vs wow+recent mmos players are directly antagonic human beings on dozens of traits

  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    MMOs do not get dumbed down, they get tweaked to fix issues and you grow more adept at them.

    Not only that but during all my years of gaming especially in this genre we already could see years ago what the new majority wants which is what we have gotten the last few years.

    Then there is internet acces for almost anyone, when someone feels something is to hard they acces internet in search how to "cheat" their way thru it, we have masses who use add-ons cause they seem unequipe to play a game the way it's made and bring themself to boredom cause they find out they do not like handholding yet they mold a game so that the game does excectly that with those add-ons.

    Yet people keep blaming developers and not seeing what it's playing commununity or more often it's leaving community does to this genre. The all want challenge and when a game gives challenge they start to whine that it's to hard, they want innovation yet when innovations stares them in the face the completely ignore and want more of what they know.

    But then again I thank my long gaming experiance and even in these "dumped down" games I am able to find my own niche/challenge.

    But do long for something more akin to a virtual world then these games worlds we are presented the last several years. Even if I do enjoy some of them my heart goes out for allot more then what is given. But am not expecting it anymore due to the toxic nature of today's complainers in this genre. (commonly speaking of course)

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