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Which is Stronger - Hatred of Words versus Hatred of Delay in mmorpgs

AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 7,396
Nowadays when I try to read website content, there is little to read. Just video ads followed by video content. No one seems to want to read anymore. [That's part of why I am here - because of the written content]. 

Mmorpgs cannot be immune to this trend. I expect any parts that you need to read will get shorter and shorter, eventually to become near non-existent.

At the same time, games like EQ2 and SWTOR have lots of cut scene video content, and people complain about that too.

So in the war between less words and less videos, who will win? Or will a new contestant enter the ring?


EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

AlBQuirky

Comments

  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,619
    Good question.

    I'm going to answer with a double-whammy: motivation + quality.


    Lets start with motivation. Most of us just couldn't give two shits about what we're being told or what we read. We're mostly (if we're being honest) just procrastinating, we're not actually motivated very strongly. On websites, this might mean we only read the first one or two paragraphs of a news story. On videos, we might skip ahead to the interesting parts, or check our phones whilst we wait. In games, we might vaguely care about the story, but to be honest many of us just want to grab the quest as quickly as possible and then head back out to kill things, or explore, or craft things etc. To add on top of this, devs have now taken away most gameplay reasons to be motivated about story - we now have journels / quest trackers / map pointers etc.


    Eventually, devs will figure out how to motivate us again to care about what we're reading. Then, it'll come down to personal preference - if it's text, we can read at our own speed, reread if needed, and let our imagination fill in the blanks for a more personal experience. Or, we can have voice-overs and cut-scenes to increase immersion at the expense of imagination and control.


    On the quality front, right now it's lacking. I usually make a point of trying to read/watch everything in a game for as long as possible, but I always give up eventually and skip everything. This is because the quality of what is being presented is really low. Most stories in games are written by amateurs, which is why they come across as simplistic and boring. So few games are written by professional authors with lots of experience and it really shows.


    Luckily, this process has already started: professional authors are now being brought into games, and brought in earlier. We're still near the beginning of that process so stories in games still mostly suck, but it's improving.


    Once the quality gets higher, we'll start caring again, rather than wishing for ever shorter text/videos.
    AlBQuirky
  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 7,396
    I enjoy a good story. And there can be good stories. Such as the quest lines in Darkshire in WoW. I used to look forward to whatever came next that would advance that narrative.

    But most quests are crap. I click through them as fast as possible without reading because I've become bored by all that went before. 

    It feels like someone said "Bob, we have to be finished with this zone by 5. Fill in all the quests before then." And someone just slopped something together. 

    Cut scenes are a bit better but they can be dull too. That is because someone has to act them out, and that someone may be a person they met on the sidewalk 10 minutes before (seemingly). 

    Bad writing is less painful than bad acting, in my opinion anyway. But both are painful. 
    AlBQuirky

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • lotrlorelotrlore Managing EditorMMORPG.COM Staff UncommonPosts: 211
    Amathe said:
    Nowadays when I try to read website content, there is little to read. Just video ads followed by video content. No one seems to want to read anymore. [That's part of why I am here - because of the written content]. 

    Mmorpgs cannot be immune to this trend. I expect any parts that you need to read will get shorter and shorter, eventually to become near non-existent.

    At the same time, games like EQ2 and SWTOR have lots of cut scene video content, and people complain about that too.

    So in the war between less words and less videos, who will win? Or will a new contestant enter the ring?


    Honestly, this is one reason why I still love LOTRO. Aside from my obvious love of all things Lord of the Rings (my Twitter handle is LOTRLORE for goodness sake), I love that in order to truly understand what's going on, you need to read the quests. While I will say it would be nice to have some cutscenes, I love that it makes you feel like you're reading the book while you're playing the game.
    AmatheJensynAlBQuirky
  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 7,396
    edited October 2019
    I played LOTR only briefly (so briefly I don't even list it as a played game in my sig). Not long enough to judge the quests. But I believe you. If any game would get that right, it would be LOTR.
    AlBQuirky

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,619
    Amathe said:
    I played LOTR only briefly (so briefly I don't even list it as a played game in my sig). Not long enough to judge the quests. But I believe you. If any game would get that right, it would be LOTR.
    LotRO is what I was thinking of when talking about motivation.

    In the original game, there was no map-tracking. When you picked up a quest, you HAD to read it fully in order to work out where to go. So, even if you didnt care about the story, you were motivated to read the text. Eventually, simply being forced to read the text meant you became attached to the story. I still fondly remember the Amarthiel storyline from those days, as well as some of the cool stuff in Angmar.

    Once they added in map-tracking of quests, that all went out of the window. I still tried to read the quests, but as soon as I found them boring or predictable I'd just skip them with no consequence. As soon as you start skipping, its hard to get back in the flow again.


    Ofc, I'd rather the motivation to pay attention wasn't forced, but rather something more intrinsic. For example, if devs can figure out how to give us meaningful dialogue choices or outcomes, then paying attention to the content would become more important. Or, lets try it another way - chat bots are making progress on the internet, perhaps in the future there won't be dictated text for quests, but each NPC will be a chat bot that we actually have to "talk" to properly in order to get out the information / quests that we want.
    AlBQuirkyKyleran
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,261
    Good question.

    I'm going to answer with a double-whammy: motivation + quality.


    Lets start with motivation. Most of us just couldn't give two shits about what we're being told or what we read. We're mostly (if we're being honest) just procrastinating, we're not actually motivated very strongly. On websites, this might mean we only read the first one or two paragraphs of a news story. On videos, we might skip ahead to the interesting parts, or check our phones whilst we wait. In games, we might vaguely care about the story, but to be honest many of us just want to grab the quest as quickly as possible and then head back out to kill things, or explore, or craft things etc. To add on top of this, devs have now taken away most gameplay reasons to be motivated about story - we now have journels / quest trackers / map pointers etc.


    Eventually, devs will figure out how to motivate us again to care about what we're reading. Then, it'll come down to personal preference - if it's text, we can read at our own speed, reread if needed, and let our imagination fill in the blanks for a more personal experience. Or, we can have voice-overs and cut-scenes to increase immersion at the expense of imagination and control.


    On the quality front, right now it's lacking. I usually make a point of trying to read/watch everything in a game for as long as possible, but I always give up eventually and skip everything. This is because the quality of what is being presented is really low. Most stories in games are written by amateurs, which is why they come across as simplistic and boring. So few games are written by professional authors with lots of experience and it really shows.


    Luckily, this process has already started: professional authors are now being brought into games, and brought in earlier. We're still near the beginning of that process so stories in games still mostly suck, but it's improving.


    Once the quality gets higher, we'll start caring again, rather than wishing for ever shorter text/videos.
    I stopped reading after "Good question." (Too many words!) Could you make it in video form? :lol:

    No, really, you made a lot of great points here that I agree with.

    Less words vs less videos... Is less actually more?

    It seems to me that in an MMO, players today want nonstop action. Words AND videos both grind that action to a halt. Most only have so much time to play, so reading/watching is deemed "a waste of my time."

    Most MMOs now have lore as an afterthought, if at all. This can be witnessed by trying to read/watch in a group. Yells of "CLICK THROUGH, ALREADY!!!11!" abound. Reading/watching derails the action.

    For me, cut-scenes frustrate me. Something is happening that I have no control over and cannot interact with. A main character in the universe may be dying and I can't do a damn thing. If I'm playing a hero, I'd be jumping into that scene to try to stop whatever is happening. No, I'm frozen in place unable to even move, let alone attack or defend. If I am supposed to feel anything other than frustration throughout that scene, it's lost on me.

    In agreement on reading, though. It must be interesting, or I just skim.

    In games you have the trouble of repeating content, so the 2nd, 3rd, 10th run many players already know that story/quest. However, I see quite a few 1st time runs that will skip it all, lately.

    I really don't know. I've rambled on enough ;)

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,261
    Amathe said:
    I played LOTR only briefly (so briefly I don't even list it as a played game in my sig). Not long enough to judge the quests. But I believe you. If any game would get that right, it would be LOTR.
    Same here. I think I have a Bard/Minstrel still in the starting area. :lol:
    Amathe

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


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