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  • So you are happy with the direction It's going?

    Eldurian said:

    Absolutely. The themepark model is probably the most cloned model in history.

    I've already cited 3 examples of MMOs that do not qualify as WoW clones by my definition. EVE, Runescape, Wurm. There are other titles that could fit in there. Darkfall, Mortal Online, etc. I'm not going to give game devs a pass and say "These are not clones" just because 99% of MMO developers choose to make clones though.

    But the ammount of features shared in common by themeparks is narrow enough to consider them all clones IMO. Age of Empires and Total War exist in the same genre (Real time strategy.) Empire Earth is an Age of Empires clone because it follows the same general model. Total War is not, it just shares a few key elements.

    Themeparks aren't a real genre. It's just a label thrown over the same general game model cloned so many times people started calling it a genre.
    GW2 or ESO are about as much WoW clones than WoW is an AC1 clone... I mean, AC1 had quests, WoW has quests, they can only be clones right? ;)
    The thing is there are more elements these games share in common than there are that set them apart.

    I'm describing a game.

    1. In this game you start by picking your race and class. (Just eliminated EVE, Runescape, Wurm, Darkfall etc. as they are all classless systems where your role is defined by what you do, not something chosen on character creation.)
    2. You then are thrust into a storyline that takes you through a series of zones where you can find quests to level. The storyline may or may not be something you can abandon if desires but the primary content of the game will still be leveling through quests. (Again EVE, Runescape, Wurm Darkfall etc. don't fit this mold.)
    3. Once you are done leveling to max you take part in "endgame content". Primarily group dungeons, raids, and structured PvP content. The primary purpose of which is to get your "endgame gear." (Again, not describing EVE, Wurm or Darkfall with this as they are very unstructured sandboxes with no definite endgame objectives. Runescape maybe a bit.)

    But I could be describing WoW here. I could be describing ESO. I could be desrcibing SWTOR or Archeage. I'm not as familiar with GW2 but I know for at least the first part of the game it fits this model.

    With such massive and important similarities things like the fact ESO uses a different aiming system or allows more customization within a class really pale in comparison that for all essential purposes, it's really the same damn game as World of Warcraft.

    EVE essentially has quests in the form of missions. Darkfall has quests that are straight up called quests. Runescape has quests. "Quests or no quests" isn't the meaningful distinction here. It's that when I play those titles I don't feel like I've played the exact same title hundreds of times before (With the exception of Mortal Online being a straight up Darkfall clone.)

    Going back to my RTS example. "I'm describing a game. You start with a small number of units that gather resources and build structures, and structure that produces these units..."

    I could be describing Age of Empires, Empire Earth, Starcraft, Halo Wars etc. But you already know I'm not describing a Total War game.

    That's the difference between clones like ESO and GW2, and actual, original titles.

  • So you are happy with the direction It's going?

    I was really expecting MMOs to be the pinnacle of gaming. They have far more potential than any other genre. But we've got stuck in this endless loop of making the same general game over and over. In the early 2000s the games that were the best examples of the raw potential of MMOs and what that could someday be were EVE and Wurm.

    In 2017, soon to be 2018, the best examples of the raw potential of MMOs and what they could someday be are EVE and Wurm.

    We've taken 10 years to find out that consumers don't want repackaged WoW over and over. And really the main game development companies still haven't figured that out. The only reason there is potential for decent MMOs at some point in our future is kickstarters.
  • Do MMOs need character progression systems?

    laxie said:
    Eldurian said:

    Realistic progression isn't a problem. The linear (In that you never go backwards) / vertical (In that progression makes you inherently stronger than others who haven't progressed to your level) / exponential (in that your power level is many times of the strength of those a few levels behind you) progression common to MMOs is.
    Do you think the forward-only progression is good?

    I can see how de-progression would make things more interesting, but I also assume many people are strongly opposed to the idea of losing progress.
    No I don't think it's good. People often defend grinding and progression as the "Hero's Journey." Think about your favorite Hero's Journeys. If you think about them they all have setbacks. Luke had 1 less hand and lightsaber at the end of Empire Starts back than he did at the start. Most good stories have the hero losing sometimes. Whether it be the loss of a valuable item, a limb, or most frequently a trusted ally, most heros do lose something.

    For a bit grittier hero's journey's Game of Thrones is a good example. Jamie Lannister, Arya Stark, or even the very recent blow suffered by Daenarys. Those have not been forward only progression arcs. Some of them ended up ahead of where they started. Jamie Lannister of season 1 was the most powerful version of that character though.

    Why don't storywriters just write stories where only good things happen to the characters? Because without the risk of setbacks accomplishments mean very little. The Hero's journey is about overcoming adversity and true challenges, not farming boars until you can one-shot your opponents.

    Games with the risk of lost capture this. Games with no such risk make success about as meaningful as a participation trophy.


    How people will accept these concepts depends entirely on how it's marketed to them.

    Like I said. Minecraft has everything I'm talking about:

    1. No linear level progression that makes your character stronger over time.
    2. Items degrade through useage.
    3. Items dropped upon death.
    4. Nothing you do to become stronger cannot be undone with the exception of the development of actual player skill (As opposed to character skill.)

    Darkfall, widely known as one of the harshest / most hardcore games ever made only has 2 of those four points (2 and 3). Darkfall is hated and reviled.

    Minecraft, being actually more hardcore, is largely seen as a PVE and even children's game by some. All of the features that make Darkfall hardcore exist, but the emphasis of the game is not on how it's an "Open World PvP Full Loot Drop Hardcore Title for REAL MEN ONLY!!!" It's on building, creativity, and survival. It just happens to have the capacity for PvP more hardcore than the most hardcore MMO in existence at the same time.

    So yes I think you could build an MMO on these concepts. I would focus on selling it based on aspects like immersion, creativity, freedom, community etc. and make the PvP an element of this greater world instead of the focus. 
  • So, Where Are YOU on Net Neutrality?

    Netflix and Youtube for one. Under net neutrality ISPs can't charge more for high bandwith services than low bandwith services.

    That's like if shipping companies were told they couldn't charge a different rate to deliver a pocket watch and a grand piano.

    If people's grandparents want to get a cheaper internet package because all they do is play solitaire and check their e-mail that should be an option. 

    I'm perfectly fine with paying for the services I use. I don't need the government to force people to subsidize the fact I game and watch Netflix.

    This protects monopolies because this is a stifling business environment to new ISPs. They can't compete in this market because the costs of remaining NN compliant are so high.
  • So, Where Are YOU on Net Neutrality?

    Horusra said:
    For me has less to to with political bias and more to do with economic belief.  I believe free market capitalism is the driver of innovation.  When someone can make some cash people will compete for it.  Net Neutrality removes that drive.  While without there is, I hope, a desire for companies to provide new and better service than someone else to get your money.
    Yeah if the sky was going to fall without net neutrality it would have fallen before it became a thing in 2015:

    Funnily enough "net neutrality" is loved by the big corporations, big government, and the many people who's opinions they have swayed using money and deception. It's hated by those who love the free market.

    That's because you're being lied to. 0% of this is about protecting your rights. 100% of this is about government giving unfair market advantages to certain businesses and protecting ISP monopolies.

    This video really sums up the issue nicely: