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Have dev's learned the quest hub lesson yet?

ReallyNow10ReallyNow10 Pile It High Town, LAPosts: 2,010Member Common

Or are we going to see some more $40 million dollar MMO's splash and crash?

I mean, they've had like 10 years worth of examples.  One would think they'd learn.

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Comments

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,547Member Uncommon

    When was the last time we've even had a $40mil MMO - every AAA MMORPG recently has been more than double that.

     

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member

    When was the last time an mmo these forum posters call fail actually failed ?

    If you can't learn a simple thing like other people like things I don't how can you expect the devs to learn complex things like mmo game design ?

  • TriadninjaTriadninja Detroit, MIPosts: 111Member

    It all comes down to what makes money. The quest hub design is what makes money, and unfortunately, companies are going to follow the money. That's what a company is for, to make money.

     

    I hate quest hubs as well, trust me. I got an invite into the ArcheAge beta and was excited to try out something new, especially after hearing all the cool sandbox elements that were going to fill ArcheAge. I was greeted instantly by "Go meet person X in town Y" which showed it was still a quest hub game. Not only that, the minimap on the side looked like it was straight out of TERA, and made the game feel very "closed", even though the game is supposed to be huge.

     

    Look at a game like Runescape. Sure, childish and silly up front, but it does something that not many MMOs do, and that is their version of quests: They are actual quests, and not just tasks. You are given a list of every quest in the game, and you can choose to do whichever quest you want, although some of the quests will have requirements of certain skills. Some quests are harder than others, however the main thing about all theses quests: You can start off on one end of the world, and by the end of it, be on the complete other side of the world. Not all quests are like that, but even the smaller quests are interesting and engaging. Sort of like each quest is a mini story, with the world's lore enveloping all of it.

     

    I think one of the major problems as well is that most developers seem to create the quests, and then create the zones to fit each series of quests. Nobody makes "worlds" anymore, with different places, sights, and openness. Look at a game like Anarchy Online(I know that game gets hate, but I love it): Every zone was made as part of an overall world, though each zone has its own "Uniqueness" about it, and it isn't just some "thing" to act as a means for questing. The lore for it is spread out around the world through various NPCs/Mobs/Items, and the quests are simliar to Runescape's in that you start off in one area, and travel around to different zones.

  • ErgloadErgload GV, OHPosts: 374Member
    Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.

    image

    Currently playing: Achaea
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,216Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ReallyNow10

    Or are we going to see some more $40 million dollar MMO's splash and crash?

    I mean, they've had like 10 years worth of examples.  One would think they'd learn.

    It kind of sounds like you're implying that non-quest hub design would be more successful.

    Also, I would argue that more games have been successful than have "crashed" as you put it. I also don't think those that did crash did so because they had quest hubs.

    Successful Quest Hub Games (non-exhaustive list):

    WoW (obvious game is first), EQ2, LotRO, GW2, Neverwinter, STO, Marvel Heroes, GW1, DCUO, Champions Online, Aion, Rift, Tera, Forsaken World, SWTOR, and several smaller or foreign (to NA) titles that have been around for years. There are likely a lot more that could be added to the list.

    Crashed Quest Hub Games:

    Warhammer Online, Tabula Rasa, CoH - it's closed but not what I would call crashed and certainly not due to being a quest hubber.

    Verdict is still out on:

    Wildstar, TESO

  • SamuraiXIVSamuraiXIV Philadelphia, PAPosts: 354Member
    Originally posted by Ergload
    Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.

    ^ this

    end of thread!

    "mmorpg.com forum admins are all TROLLS and losers in real life"
    My opinion

  • NitthNitth AustraliaPosts: 3,684Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Ergload
    Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.

    I'm sorry, I think your mistaken.

    image
    TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  • ErgloadErgload GV, OHPosts: 374Member
    Originally posted by Nitth

     


    Originally posted by Ergload
    Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.

     

    I'm sorry, I think your mistaken.

    About what, specifically?

    image

    Currently playing: Achaea
  • OmaliOmali MMO Business Correspondent Orchard Park, NYPosts: 1,114Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DamonVile

    When was the last time an mmo these forum posters call fail actually failed ?

    If you can't learn a simple thing like other people like things I don't how can you expect the devs to learn complex things like mmo game design ?

    The Old Republic. It failed so hard that over one million people log in every month, which is less than 1.1 million and therefore a failure.

    Check out my monthly column on MMORPG.com.

    image

  • NitthNitth AustraliaPosts: 3,684Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Ergload
    Originally posted by Nitth   Originally posted by Ergload Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.
      I'm sorry, I think your mistaken.
    About what, specifically?

    A zone is a mechanism to balance server load, It doesn't inherently have to be related in anyway to quest hubs. That's up to the developer implementation.

    image
    TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,206Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Omali
    Originally posted by DamonVile

    When was the last time an mmo these forum posters call fail actually failed ?

    If you can't learn a simple thing like other people like things I don't how can you expect the devs to learn complex things like mmo game design ?

    The Old Republic. It failed so hard that over one million people log in every month, which is less than 1.1 million and therefore a failure.

    Addictinggames.com gets more traffic than that.

    image

  • ErgloadErgload GV, OHPosts: 374Member
    Originally posted by Nitth

     


    Originally posted by Ergload

    Originally posted by Nitth  

    Originally posted by Ergload Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.
      I'm sorry, I think your mistaken.
    About what, specifically?

     

    A zone is a mechanism to balance server load, It doesn't inherently have to be related in anyway to quest hubs. That's up to the developer implementation.

     

    Thats true on paper, though most WoW-style games have turned zones into quest hubs because its far easier to implement zones as areas to progressively level, rather than having players running all over the world looking for stuff to grind on.

    But yes, if you boil down "zone" to the simplest definition, and not what its used for 95% of the time, it is indeed a server load mechanism.

    image

    Currently playing: Achaea
  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 1,054Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ergload
    Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.

    I also want to disagree with part of this.  I've played multiple sandbox games and multiple themepark games, and sandboxes do not inherently have deeper mechanics than themeparks.  Personally I like quest-giving NPCs and guiding players from one area to the next as a mechanic for delivering story and explaining the world to players a bit at a time, in a way that helps player get immersed and enjoy imagining themselves playing a role in a unique world.  It's not about simplification, as much as storification.  I also personally prefer sandparks to either themeparks or sandparks.  I believe that in theory a sandpark could offer the deepest mechanics, simply because it can have (almost) all of the mechanics of both other types put together.  But there are complex themeparks and shallow sandboxes just as there are complex sandboxes and shallow sandparks.  Depth of mechanics and gameplay experience does not correlate with one type or the other.  It's individual to a game, and even to particular sub-systems within a game which were designed by different developers on that's game's team.

    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,671Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ReallyNow10

    Or are we going to see some more $40 million dollar MMO's splash and crash?

    I mean, they've had like 10 years worth of examples.  One would think they'd learn.

     

    I'm not seeing the correlation between quest hubs and the success or failure of an MMO. Can you present some data to support this rather odd assertion? 

     

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  • DrunkWolfDrunkWolf Posts: 1,180Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ReallyNow10

    Or are we going to see some more $40 million dollar MMO's splash and crash?

    I mean, they've had like 10 years worth of examples.  One would think they'd learn.

     

    Its not going to go away because people keep buying them.

    even if they quit after only a couple months these companies dont care they are in it for the quick money and themepark quest hub games keep selling so they keep making them. if players want change then players need to stop buying the same crap over and over.

  • fivorothfivoroth LondonPosts: 3,665Member Uncommon
    No quests means no story. Could you quest hating folk gives an example of an alternative? Stop saying you don't want quest hubs. What do you want? Please don't tell me you want us to go back to the 90s where mob grinding was the norm. Cause that's even more simplistic and certainly more boring.

    Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

  • RydesonRydeson Canton, OHPosts: 3,858Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DMKano

    When was the last time we've even had a $40mil MMO - every AAA MMORPG recently has been more than double that.

     

         So true.. but the thing is.. Why does it cost $40 million plus to begin with..  Give me a staff of 100 full time employees, that will suck up $6 million/yr and another $100k/yr for Admin/Overhead cost, and $1 million for building location..  There is NO REASON to spend more then $35 million (5 year span) to produce a AAA game..  But then if you set up shop in a HIGH cost of living area like San Diego, no wonder it cost so much..  How about these gaming companies set up shop in West Virginia, and save half their budget..

  • LyrianLyrian Posts: 294Member Uncommon

    I 'sort of' indirectly like quest hubs in the sense of "Yes, here's a city or settlement. They need me to go do stuff for them." but where I think it's lacking is that the quests themselves are static, and that you're essentially following a pre-written script (in the sense it'll never change).

    There needs to be some sort of evolution for quest hubs, which I directly feel is tied into the world itself. Right now MMOs are story driven events that herd the players through hoops or checkpoints with no consequences for inaction. I can see the evolution of questing to be something like what EQN is promising in the sense of their storybricks questing model. NPCs should have their own goals and they should try to execute them at the expense of anything else.

    The problem and benefit I can see here is that the content would force the player to become reactive. The player would not have a choice to engage the content, because the content would engage him/her. Which could lead to player fatigue and exhaustion. But could also lead to the player finding things that they may not have normally decided to look at.

    The further problem with such content too, could stem towards overwhelming a small player base. If players have progressed beyond a content's level range or area, how far is it allowed to progress? Or what is it that will entice older and more powerful players to return to it?

    Thinking loosely about the game design I can see some sort of economic incentive that would entice players to return to areas such as required materials (pelts, ore, blood, etc) for higher end crafting (say for a player castle you need 5000 units of X type leather pelts, and a market that will support buy orders for said pelts, giving players a reason to go farm such items.)

    Or possibly even expanding on that and creating actual 'events' for an area on an even greater scale than Rift events. Where entire raids of players will be needed to stem an orc invasion, across multiple zones, with enough incentives to make players 'want' and 'need' to participate in them.

  • VicDynamoVicDynamo Michigan, MIPosts: 234Member
    There is nothing wrong with quest hubs if the stuff they give you to do is fun.
  • RusqueRusque Las Vegas, NVPosts: 2,229Member Uncommon

    The Witcher 1/2 is a linear quest hub game.

    Skyrim is an open quest hub game, they just let you access any hub whenever you want.

     

    Quest hubs are just a tool. They can be anywhere on the spectrum of linear to open, and developers can implement them how they see fit.

  • baphametbaphamet omaha, NEPosts: 2,838Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by DamonVile
    When was the last time an mmo these forum posters call fail actually failed ?If you can't learn a simple thing like other people like things I don't how can you expect the devs to learn complex things like mmo game design ?

    agreed lol

    i also think the OP meant quest grind in general because i don't really see recent games doing the quest hub thing like wow used to do.

    i say used to do because even wow doesn't really have quest hubs anymore. do the quests being at a "hub" really change the dynamic of the game at all?

    it doesn't matter how you get the quests, a quest driven game is a quest driven game.

  • baphametbaphamet omaha, NEPosts: 2,838Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Robokapp
    Originally posted by Omali Originally posted by DamonVile When was the last time an mmo these forum posters call fail actually failed ? If you can't learn a simple thing like other people like things I don't how can you expect the devs to learn complex things like mmo game design ?
    The Old Republic. It failed so hard that over one million people log in every month, which is less than 1.1 million and therefore a failure.
    Addictinggames.com gets more traffic than that.

    okay? there are more people playing FB games as well, what point are you trying to make here? why don't you compare it to other mmo's? look at all the most successful mmo's in the last 10 years......every single one of them have a quest "hub" mechanic.

    unless you count mmo's in the Asian market.


  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,778Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ergload
    Originally posted by Nitth

     


    Originally posted by Ergload
    Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.

     

    I'm sorry, I think your mistaken.

    About what, specifically?

    about everything. The purpose of quests is to get the player to progress through the story along with the character. All we have is a bunch of chores and tasks with uninspired text and more tasks with the sole purpose of giving out experience while wasting valuable time in game (filler content). It is as bad as a mindless mob grindfest for exp.

    image
  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONPosts: 2,499Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by VicDynamo
    There is nothing wrong with quest hubs if the stuff they give you to do is fun.

    +1

     

    I'd actually prefer a quest hub. You know what really sucks? Developers screwing with your head. Developers sending you off on wild goose chase quests, making you explore massive maps, searching for hours and hours, all for a lacklustre reward. I don't mind them doing away with quest hubs, go for it, but if they do that, then make the progression rewarding and meaningful. That goes for quest hubs and otherwise. 

     

    I think that the bigger issue is developers creating meaningless content. 

    Crazkanuk

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  • zzaxzzax YESPosts: 291Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rusque

    The Witcher 1/2 is a linear quest hub game.

    Skyrim is an open quest hub game, they just let you access any hub whenever you want.

     

    Quest hubs are just a tool. They can be anywhere on the spectrum of linear to open, and developers can implement them how they see fit.

    Thinking your way, we could say that EVE Online (best sandbox on the market) is quest hub game because you can do missions.

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