Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

General: Interview with Matt Firor

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Matt Firor was the producer of Dark Age of Camelot and Executive Producer for all of Mythic until he stepped down a few weeks ago. Hot on the heels of the EA deal to buy Mythic, the timing was conspicuous to say the least. We get the truth from Matt about why he left.




image MMORPG.com: Now that you’ve left, can you tell us what you think of the EA/Mythic deal?

Matt Firor: Everyone wants me to dish some dirt on this one! Really, I think it's a good thing. We all know EA has had some problems in the past with absorbing acquired companies, but the new management there is committed to making the EA / Mythic relationship work, and I have no reason to doubt their sincerity. They need Mythic just as much as Mythic needs them – EA knows that online games are the future of this industry, and they are setting Mythic up to lead their online MMO efforts. The last thing they want to do is jeopardize their investment in the studio.

You can read more here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

Comments

  • MinimumMinimum Riverside, CAPosts: 236Member

    Not a bad write up.

    I'm still bitter about ToA though.

    And now I'm jealous about the whole "I got enough money to take time off" thing.

  • daeandordaeandor Houston, TXPosts: 2,996Member
    As much as the "hardcore" bitched about Mythic, they did a great job and Firor was a major part of that.  ToA may have been the turning point of DAOC, but it was not the downfall.  I sure loved that game up to ToA and for a short while after Frontiers.
  • theanimedudetheanimedude waterloo, ONPosts: 1,610Member

    daeandor... 666 posts ::::04::

    But anyways... great article. I like that he pointed out what MMOs are really about, and I think a lot of people lose touch of.

    The plain and simple fact is that we want to have fun. Too many people make games that have really neat and complex end games, and the beginning of the game is nothing but grind with little to no community involvement (teaming, helping, etc). If people would take a step back and look at the more successful titles, they always stress a fun early game experience, with community involvement.

    In WoW you get to experience your first instance (the most team based gameplay in all of WoW) within the first 20 levels.

    Anyways, great write up, glad to see he is happy.

    image

  • JDexterJDexter La Vergne, TNPosts: 112Member Uncommon

    --------------------------------------

    Too many MMOs fall into the trap of being designed for a small group of loud hardcore enthusiasts.

    ---------------------------------------

    You, sir, are my hero!

  • DeathpooperDeathpooper Indianapolis, INPosts: 265Member
    Great interview! I liked the opinion on what mmorpgs should be.

  • usuckmmorpgcomusuckmmorpgcom c, KYPosts: 1,348Member

    "Honestly? Making bad, overcomplicated games. MMOs are about losing yourself into a new community; being able to meet friends, slay monsters, and feel like you're part of something bigger than your everyday life. It doesn't have to be over-designed, over-produced, have the most insane graphic requirements, etc."

    Gee, Matt, you mean like DAoC? My main criticism of the game is the clunky UI -- tiny icons at a high resolution makes a game complicated to use.

    DAoC's graphics requirements are a bit high also. I can play WoW, Guild Wars, even UO without problems on my notebook, but not DAoC! Choppy frame rates and transparency problems make it very difficult to "lose myself" in the community. The underlying game is good, but you have to pentrate bad usability to get there.

    I hope you gave Mythic the same message in your exit interview

  • nexus42nexus42 Anytown, ALPosts: 288Member

    Honestly? Making bad, overcomplicated games. MMOs are about losing yourself into a new community; being able to meet friends, slay monsters, and feel like you're part of something bigger than your everyday life. It doesn't have to be over-designed, over-produced, have the most insane graphic requirements, etc. It just has to be fun and make people want to log in and experience it. Too many MMOs fall into the trap of being designed for a small group of loud hardcore enthusiasts.

    Sounds like he's talking about Vanguard to me.

    Great interview. Good luck with those kids Matt!

    ...Pika

  • Jd1680aJd1680a Portland, ORPosts: 398Member

    Give this guy about five years and this guy will start thinking about making a new mmo.  With three of four of his friends, they could start a new company and make a new mmo that will probably mirror DAoC.

    Have played: CoH, DDO EQ2, FFXI, L2, HZ, SoR, and WW2 online

  • Berserk3rBerserk3r Sugar Grove, ILPosts: 11Member

    Cheers to Firor.


  • VallenarVallenar Madison, WIPosts: 124Member

    It seems to me that he is leaving for very wise reasons.

    Adobpting two kids at the same time sounds like a big decision that is going to eat a lot of his time.

    DAoC was groundbreaking to say the least so I'll be interested to see what his next project will be.

  • SvayvtiSvayvti Portland, ORPosts: 160Member
    The cancellation of Imperator was an awful dissappointment. AO should not stand alone as the only 1st person sci-fi MMO.

    Other than that it was an interesting read.


  • SoraellionSoraellion zuidPosts: 557Member

    I played DAoC since US release and later on switched to Euro, I liked it a lot. Whatever people always whined about it was (and still is) a VERY good PVP game, also the PVE was nicely done too, much more fun than (for instance) WOW PVE because it had more variables and required more teamwork.

    On Matt's statement of niche MMO's; I play EVE now which is very much a niche MMO, but because of that it thrives and just keeps on going and growing.

  • JohnM81JohnM81 Nowhereville, ALPosts: 24Member

    "The grand majority of players of these games – and I'm talking like 99% - don't care about most of the problems that get ranted about daily on MMO-related message boards – both player AND developer oriented ones. Simplicity – especially in the first 20 hours of gameplay, is critical to the success of any new MMO."

    I laughed hard when I read this. As a person who used to play DAoC, and quite active on the forums I find this remark a back handed slap and an example of this guys ignorance. Lets get something straight. Well before WoW came out, people on the forums were complaining about buff bots, ToA, and balancing class as if they were always buff botted. These complaints when unheard all the way till WoW came out and surprise surprise WoW crushed DAoC despite the fact that WoW has a bad pvp/rvr system. The simple fact that servers pops fell so much and the creation of the classical servers prove this. Matt, you were wrong, and you still are.

  • variusvarius New York, NYPosts: 32Member
    "Too many MMOs fall into the trap of being designed for a small group of loud hardcore enthusiasts."

    Someone tell me where the hardcore enthusiasts are that are clamoring for endless grinds are so I can beat them silly.


  • EndemondiaEndemondia SalfordPosts: 231Member

    I wish the best to Matt and concur that EA, despite past events, should be good for the game.

    I have to disagree with his view that games should be simple at first to immerse one into the "new world"...I believe the best games are in fact the ones with immense graphical detail, which have been balanced to pefection and most important, can be easy for the new to  mmorg  player to pick up but should have the complexity and depth to entertain the hard core player too from the start...from experience Guildwars and to some extent City of Villains achieved this...Dark Age of Camelot looked like a wrongun from the day i loaded the trial...

  • DrowNobleDrowNoble Trenton, MIPosts: 1,296Member

    Some of Matt's comments were right on and some seemed to show he's a bit out of touch with the gaming community.  I personally believe that Matt left because of the EA deal despite what he says.  He probably didn't want to become an EA Slave Bot and was given a nice fat check to put on a good face and leave.  I can't say I'd blame him if that was true.

    EA will not be good for Mythic.  If anyone thinks otherwise then ask yourself this:  how is EA-Westwood and EA-Origin doing lately hmmm?  Oh wait, there IS no Westwood or Origin anymore....

    All in all an intersting read.

  • GorukhaGorukha WarsawPosts: 1,441Member
    Did someone say DaoC was groundbreaking ? LOL
    Was the word used to describe Matt "LEGENDARY" ??
    I think you have to design more than one EQ expansion (DaoC) to be called legendary .

    I think he is wrong, although I had a similar view in the past, about too many games being made for too small of a market.  The big games are still being made for a mainstream playerbase, but in their ambition of making an original title they end up making niche games by mistake.  I think DaoC and WoW prove that it is much more proiftable to take the last big seller , make an improvement, slap on a new name, and the results are stellar.

    The games that are made to target small player bases intentionally however can survive I think, since they are made on a smaller budget also.  Tale in the Desert would be an example, as far as I know that game isn't failing.


    It's better be hated for who you are, than loved for who you aren't.
    image

  • GaylenGaylen Cape Coral, FLPosts: 113Member
    Softball with Matt Firor.  What, was the question, "How super!fun! was it to work at Mythic?" too hard-hitting?

    I agree with JohnM81.  What a lame excuse for why Mythic decided to ignore player concerns and let WOW siphon off their player base.

    I lol'd at the part about keeping MMO's simple.  He must have meant DoAC is a great example of how to NOT make a game user-friendly and instead how to bore you out of your mind by lvl 10.


    Previous played: SWG (pre-NGE), DAoC, CoH, Anarchy Online, DDO, Champions Online Beta, LOTRO, GW2, SWTOR
    image

  • galefan2004galefan2004 New Philadelphia, OHPosts: 127Member


    Originally posted by cfurlin

    "Honestly? Making bad, overcomplicated games. MMOs are about losing yourself into a new community; being able to meet friends, slay monsters, and feel like you're part of something bigger than your everyday life. It doesn't have to be over-designed, over-produced, have the most insane graphic requirements, etc."
    Gee, Matt, you mean like DAoC? My main criticism of the game is the clunky UI -- tiny icons at a high resolution makes a game complicated to use.
    DAoC's graphics requirements are a bit high also. I can play WoW, Guild Wars, even UO without problems on my notebook, but not DAoC! Choppy frame rates and transparency problems make it very difficult to "lose myself" in the community. The underlying game is good, but you have to pentrate bad usability to get there.
    I hope you gave Mythic the same message in your exit interview


    Huh? I can't count the time I lagged on DAoC (running two accounts on a subpar computer) on one hand. The reason I can't count those times on one hand is because they did NOT exist.

    On a similar note...I can't count the number of times I lagged in WoW in one day on one hand. I would need more like 10 hands to count the ammount of times I lagged in WoW (enough to get killed by mobs) every day I played.

    DAoC was much more stable. It wasn't that graphic intensive. Granted I couldn't play on the highest settings, but the game looked fine without playing on the highest setting. My computer was nothing special.


  • galefan2004galefan2004 New Philadelphia, OHPosts: 127Member


    Originally posted by nexus42

    Honestly? Making bad, overcomplicated games. MMOs are about losing yourself into a new community; being able to meet friends, slay monsters, and feel like you're part of something bigger than your everyday life. It doesn't have to be over-designed, over-produced, have the most insane graphic requirements, etc. It just has to be fun and make people want to log in and experience it. Too many MMOs fall into the trap of being designed for a small group of loud hardcore enthusiasts.

    Sounds like he's talking about Vanguard to me.
    Great interview. Good luck with those kids Matt!


    Sounds more like World of Borecraft to me. You grind all the way to 60 only to realize you just started grinding, and now you get to wait in line to grind (limited number raids for the win).
  • galefan2004galefan2004 New Philadelphia, OHPosts: 127Member


    I laughed hard when I read this. As a person who used to play DAoC, and quite active on the forums I find this remark a back handed slap and an example of this guys ignorance. Lets get something straight. Well before WoW came out, people on the forums were complaining about buff bots, ToA, and balancing class as if they were always buff botted. These complaints when unheard all the way till WoW came out and surprise surprise WoW crushed DAoC despite the fact that WoW has a bad pvp/rvr system. The simple fact that servers pops fell so much and the creation of the classical servers prove this. Matt, you were wrong, and you still are.


    Seeing you brought WoW into the equation...

    Buff bots were turned into classes that didn't need buff bots. However, in WoW if you play a class that doesn't really need a buff bot you aren't exactly set up for grouping either.

    I will take ToA over tier 0-3 gearing anyday. If you want to complain about something that doesn't allow you to get geared for the end game look at the gearing system in WoW's end game. Granted, when they first put TOA in it was flawed. They fixed those flaws overtime, and they even offered servers that didn't even have TOA at all. I've yet to see any other company do that based on massive player feedback.

    If you want to see class balance issues then WOW is the game for you. There is a difference between a company that tries to maintain balance like Mythic does and a company like Blizzard that says screw it we'll never have balance. As a result they buff the much needed group classes (Warrior, Priest, Mage) and the classes that aren't in that list stand by the side begging for group spots. Then becasue they can't balance to bother the unique classes they decide Alliance should have Shamans and Horde should have Paladins.

    Its funny, but most of the people that went to WoW from DAoC didn't stay with WoW when they found out exactly what WoW end game was like. DAoC has a much better end game than WoW even to this day. However, DAoC has also been out for 5 years. When WoW has been out for 5 years please rave about it. The fact is that the hardcores will always get burnt out on games because they burn through the material these games have to offer so quickly. That means that games add more and more content trying to keep up with the hardcore players, and then the casuals feel overwhelmed because there is to much content. The result is no matter what you do you will eventually lose either a good chunk of your hardcores or a good chunk of your casuals. You simply can not expect the same person to play the same game for 10 years (which is how long UO has been out now). Its not going to happen for the vast majority of the player base.

    If hes wrong and you are right then how come hes making games and you are only playing them. Please explain that to me. I would think if your ideas are as revoluationary as you think they are that all the gaming companies would be going out of their way to hire you.

  • galefan2004galefan2004 New Philadelphia, OHPosts: 127Member
    I lol'd at the part about keeping MMO's simple.  He must have meant DoAC is a great example of how to NOT make a game user-friendly and instead how to bore you out of your mind by lvl 10.



    Compared to WoW DAoC is simple. If any game has the ability to bore you out of your mind it is WoW. However, its not the grind to 60 that kills you in WoW. Its the game past 60. Once you know the funs of unbalanced class PvP, geared toons versus non-geared toons, the fun of getting teir 0-3, the fun of locked raid size, and the fun of reputation grinding you quickly realise there is no way you would ever want to make another toon to get to 60 with (much less 70).

    Problems with WoW...

    reputation grinding, current honor system, gear aquiring, maturity of players, locked raid size, current class balance

    Problems with DAoC...

    buff bots (and what they can accomplish), lack of players

    I can handle buff bots. However, I can't handle the crap that all starts at end game in WoW, so if I had to chose between the two games it definately would not be WoW. Most of the people that I know that left for WoW left WoW as soon as they saw what being level 60 was all about. Most of those people came back to DAoC. DAoC population is currently on an UPTURN not a DOWNTURN as more and more people realise what WoW has done HORRIBLY HORRIBLY long and have went searching for something else.

  • CoirCoir PerthPosts: 97Member
    I'm gladly waiting for the people who say DAoC was nothing new to step up and show me another game where the PvP is lauded as a lot of fun (even with all the bitching and moaning going on re buffbots, balance, certain 'zones' being too 'easy'). When you come up with one that has as many supporters as DAoC then I'm willing to let you get away with DAoC did nothing groundbreaking. They changed what people understood PvP to be simply by playing 3 teams in instances where battles actually felt they had a point. Everytime I hear people bitch about DAoC it's mostly about ToA. Not the PvP and only a handful ever complained about the UI. (Hint: There are mods for DAoC UI available.)

Sign In or Register to comment.