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General: Casual Play: What GTA Can Teach

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  • RevMrBlackRevMrBlack Member Posts: 51
    I also think that it was a well written article, and I agree with the writer's opinion that GTA has a good sense of sandbox and linear content.  I've even mentioned to my friends before how an MMO like GTA would be interesting, and could provide a good blend of sandbox and linear progression elements.  Morrowind is another game someone mentioned that I think was a good example of the same style of design.



    Personally, I think more developers need to "roll the dice" and break the mold of current MMO design.  Copying WoW's linear design will only go so far in the future.  How many players will get burned out on the same repetitive gameplay and grind in the future, if MMOs all end up like WoW?  I know I'm already burned out on that style of play, and I only spent 6 months in WoW.



    And to Shoal, and his comment that all MMOs have sandbox content, I say "get serious".



    In WoW, aside from combat, there is only Crafting.  And it's not very complicated.  Plus it's almost a complete money sink until near the max skill when you can finally make items that are half way decent compared to looted items.  Other than Crafting and PvP (which is simply a different grind for gear), WoW has nothing.  The only thing I found sandboxy was when I practiced wall-walking to see areas of the gameworld no one was meant to see.  And of course, that got fixed.   There's no player cities, housing (guild or otherwise), trophies (like you spoke of), etc.



    CoX, even though I like the game for a number of reasons, is utterly one sided.  The only thing that made me play it for the amount I did was the people I knew, and RPing.



    SWG had TONS of sandbox content, but no linear progression (quests).  Ryzom and EVE are other examples of similar styles.



    I think you've simply got a different idea than the writer as to what sandbox content means.  To me, his idea is content, designed in part by the developers, that players can choose to do (or not) at their leisure.  It's not things like the player deciding to go grind mobs somewhere instead of following the quest lines.  More like a series of quests that the player can do as an aside to the main storyline of quests.  Or simply places they can go explore, like a dungeon off in the mountains.  Basically, giving the player the freedom to explore the world, and progress their character, in more than one fundamental way.  Grinding mobs in area A vs area B is not intrinsically different, it's only different in ways like XP rates, and loot drops.  But both are the same thing:  PvE combat.



    An example of a blend of sandbox and linear design could have a tons of quests, of varying types, scattered over the gamespace.  Players could pick and choose which ones they wanted to do, and might only be limited by faction ratings, prerequisite quests (ie. quest lines) and possibly level ranges (so lvl 1s don't start doing the impossible end quests right off the bat).  This is simply an example, but you can see how different this is from current MMO game design.



    Personally, I haven't seen any MMO to date that has had a decent blend of Linear design and Sandbox content.  It's either completely one sided, or one type with a couple minor features of the other thrown in.  If someone could create an MMO with a good blend (50/50, or maybe 60/40) of the two types, I think they could really have a winner.  You could get people from both types of gameplay in one game, and your potential market would increase.  That is, assuming, that you make sure each type is equally well done.  Having polished sandbox content, and bug ridden, boring linear gameplay just wouldn't cut it, for example.



    But I think because of the success of WoW, and the urge for MMO investors to get a piece of the pie, most of the future MMOs will revolve around the exceedingly linear gameplay design.  Also, the idea of sandbox content, created by developers, will probably not be implemented anytime soon.  MMOs are all about  the money, no matter what people say.  And developers aren't necessarily willing to devote time and resources (ie. money) to content that players may or may not use.  They might put in player content, but it'll be shallow and most likely ignored while other linear content gets regularly updated.



    It's sad but true.

    Your turn.  *points to the poster below him*

    __________________________________

    Playing - Waiting on GW2
    Formerly played - Aion, CO, CoX, EVE, GW1, LotRO, RIFT, Ryzom, SWG, SWTOR, WAR, WoW
    Trialed - AA, DDO, EQ2, L2, MxO, RYL, TERA, VSoH
    Beta'd - HGL, GW2, PotBS, SWTOR, TCoS, TR
    Anticipating - GW2, PS2

  • danmax67danmax67 Member UncommonPosts: 37
    Funny, but my brother and I have been saying that MMO's should be like GTA for a long time now.  I think GTA3 is one of the greatest games of all time, I haven't played it in probably 2 years and I can still remember places in the city as if I'd actually been there.  I think most MMO's today could greatly benefit by a long had look at what makes GTA great.



    Personally, I'd love to have that freedom and get rid of a lot of the grind.  I also think that getting rid of "alts" would help the immersion much more and make for better games.  When you are a resident of the game, just you, it really personalizes and increases the experience.  It raises it above being just another game.  Even though there are game benefits to being able to say "ok, wait a minute, I'll log in my zombie ninja pirate elf to get past this part", it brings you down from interacting with a piece of art to just playing a game.



    One other improvement which I think would also be great is players effecting the game world.  Does it make sense when I just killed some super bad guy that he came back again and I even killed him again.  Whey did I bother doing the quest?  Am I not supposed to be making a difference?  I have to believe there is some way to make this better.  Maybe more player created content, maybe something I can't think of but the highly talented people who are paid to think of these things can think of.
  • ntcrawlerntcrawler Member Posts: 329

    I could imagine a GTA MMO.

    • It would be like Guild Wars with plenty of instanced meeting grounds(cities) that only hold a few players, maybe 30(that even sounds a little high , for a gta game imo, depending on how big the city would be)
    • If you took Vice City you could split it in to the two parts much like the game did with the loading screens between the islands.
    • There would have to be a experience system of some sort kinda like in the new game crackdown and you would earn new abilities through missions.
    • There would be multiple story arcs with familar faces from the game giving similar objectives to the single player game. These missions would be in an instanced zone.
    • There would be solo missions and "gang" missions that you could tackle. I'm thinking "gangs" would be limited to about 3-5 people that would enter the instance with you.
    • The only  benefit of missions would be fun/leaderboards/abilities/weapons
    • Also the game must have all the side quests giving out some sort of currency that would be only used to customize your character's look and buy weapons.
    • PvP would be possible in the meeting grounds but there would also be objective based instances with maybe some type of reward like turf(that will give your criminal organization some bonuses or skills) for your criminal organization.
    • Too add to all of this you could also add in the choice between the cops/gang play.

     

    This is just some thoughts I came up with while reading this article so don't flame me too bad. Add some more ideas if you want, i personally just salivate thinking about this.

  • Jerek_Jerek_ Member Posts: 409
    Originally posted by Alienovrlord

    Nice article which brings up the question that MMORPG developers should have asked years ago.



    Why did all other genres of video games have successes that sold millions of  copies while MMORPGs never came close (outside of those wacky Korean gaming markets)



    The OP 's article hits it exactly - terrible game design.  First generation  MMORPGs were designed to be timesinks.   Fun was secondary to keeping people playing as long as possible.   Unfortunately there were enough people willing to pay for this kind of tedious gameplay to make MMORPGs just profitable enough for it to become a formula that plagued the genre for a decade.



    Now we've finally seen that MMORPGs can meet with the same success as FPS, RTS and all the other video game genres out there.   All they need to do is make a FUN game. 



    Amazing that this idea, which has been central in every other type of video game, is only just now catching on with MMORPG developers.



    It's also amazing how many people bemoan about the 'good old days' and whine that new generation MMORPGs aren't a 'challenge'.    This is one time when I am truly glad a market is driven by profits, not by blind opinions about what is correct.



    Did you even play MMO's when the first generation was released?  The fact that you put it all down to 'terrible game design' being only reason the genere didn't have the same market as the single player games tells me you didn't, our you have seriously forgotten what it was like then.  When I started my first in '97 I was still in high school-  getting my parents to accept paying a monthly fee for internet acces was hard enough (I spent my early days thanking AOL for the CD's in the mail to keep me going)  and getting acces to a credit card to pay monthly for a game was mission impossible- the concept of paying for a game in a store, then having to pay again- every month- was crazy.

    Comparing that to now, when almost everyone has broadband internet access and people pay monthly fees for everything from satellite radio stations to internet for their cellphone, and your saying 'terrible game design'?  I don't think so.  For the fact that they managed to even make an MMO work on my pentium 1 computer with 14.4 dialup, I'd say awesome game design.

    and as for your view on first generation MMO's being timesinks-  I never once felt that UO was a timesink- EQ yes, but at least the concept was brand new at the time, and not the same timesink part 3 like we get now.

     

  • AutemOxAutemOx Member Posts: 1,704
    Originally posted by RevMrBlack

    I also think that it was a well written article, and I agree with the writer's opinion that GTA has a good sense of sandbox and linear content.  I've even mentioned to my friends before how an MMO like GTA would be interesting, and could provide a good blend of sandbox and linear progression elements.  Morrowind is another game someone mentioned that I think was a good example of the same style of design.



    Personally, I think more developers need to "roll the dice" and break the mold of current MMO design.  Copying WoW's linear design will only go so far in the future.  How many players will get burned out on the same repetitive gameplay and grind in the future, if MMOs all end up like WoW?  I know I'm already burned out on that style of play, and I only spent 6 months in WoW.



    And to Shoal, and his comment that all MMOs have sandbox content, I say "get serious".



    In WoW, aside from combat, there is only Crafting.  And it's not very complicated.  Plus it's almost a complete money sink until near the max skill when you can finally make items that are half way decent compared to looted items.  Other than Crafting and PvP (which is simply a different grind for gear), WoW has nothing.  The only thing I found sandboxy was when I practiced wall-walking to see areas of the gameworld no one was meant to see.  And of course, that got fixed.   There's no player cities, housing (guild or otherwise), trophies (like you spoke of), etc.



    CoX, even though I like the game for a number of reasons, is utterly one sided.  The only thing that made me play it for the amount I did was the people I knew, and RPing.



    SWG had TONS of sandbox content, but no linear progression (quests).  Ryzom and EVE are other examples of similar styles.



    I think you've simply got a different idea than the writer as to what sandbox content means.  To me, his idea is content, designed in part by the developers, that players can choose to do (or not) at their leisure.  It's not things like the player deciding to go grind mobs somewhere instead of following the quest lines.  More like a series of quests that the player can do as an aside to the main storyline of quests.  Or simply places they can go explore, like a dungeon off in the mountains.  Basically, giving the player the freedom to explore the world, and progress their character, in more than one fundamental way.  Grinding mobs in area A vs area B is not intrinsically different, it's only different in ways like XP rates, and loot drops.  But both are the same thing:  PvE combat.



    An example of a blend of sandbox and linear design could have a tons of quests, of varying types, scattered over the gamespace.  Players could pick and choose which ones they wanted to do, and might only be limited by faction ratings, prerequisite quests (ie. quest lines) and possibly level ranges (so lvl 1s don't start doing the impossible end quests right off the bat).  This is simply an example, but you can see how different this is from current MMO game design.



    Personally, I haven't seen any MMO to date that has had a decent blend of Linear design and Sandbox content.  It's either completely one sided, or one type with a couple minor features of the other thrown in.  If someone could create an MMO with a good blend (50/50, or maybe 60/40) of the two types, I think they could really have a winner.  You could get people from both types of gameplay in one game, and your potential market would increase.  That is, assuming, that you make sure each type is equally well done.  Having polished sandbox content, and bug ridden, boring linear gameplay just wouldn't cut it, for example.



    But I think because of the success of WoW, and the urge for MMO investors to get a piece of the pie, most of the future MMOs will revolve around the exceedingly linear gameplay design.  Also, the idea of sandbox content, created by developers, will probably not be implemented anytime soon.  MMOs are all about  the money, no matter what people say.  And developers aren't necessarily willing to devote time and resources (ie. money) to content that players may or may not use.  They might put in player content, but it'll be shallow and most likely ignored while other linear content gets regularly updated.



    It's sad but true.

    Your turn.  *points to the poster below him*
    /agree very much!  Good read! 

    Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  • ThonyThony Member Posts: 215

    There is only ONE thing GTA can teach......

    and its coming our way  http://www.rockstargames.com/IV/trailer_splash.html 

     

  • NeverForeverNeverForever Member Posts: 13
    mmorpgs don't sell millions simply because of the american/western culture. computers are still for geeks, and MMORPGS are still targeted toward computer games not console games. MMORPGs are complicated and believe it or not... rarely PURE hack and slash. This is why the market will never become 'WTF HUGE!'. The market IS growing however and the future is unknown.



    The article touches base on major key points. Many of which are true. However, one must realize.... MMORPGs mostly are directed to 1 type of world and 1 alone.... Fantasy. In the Fantasy world there is chaos and disorder and survival is through 1 thing.... power. This is what makes MMORPGs exciting. The struggle for power. If any of you have played an MMORPG where power is easily gained, the game blatently sucks. Why? cuz it's too easy.



    However to compare MMORPGs to GTA, is totally... stupid? GTA  is mostly single player which makes ALL, lemme repeat, ALL the difference. Lets compare MMORPGs to racing sims why don't you?



    The plain fact is, MMORPGs need to adapt toward the casual audiance WITHOUT losing the hardcore players. WoW has attempted to shift toward the casual players, time required to play WoW is signficantly lower to say that of Lineage 2 or final fantasy XI. I believe it's possible hot hit 70 in WoW in literally 3 days of straight playing. That is a joke.



    There are many ideas out there, but the fact is, it's not that easy to take ideas from the drawing board into the real thing. There is more to it then that.
  • ReklawReklaw Member UncommonPosts: 6,495
    Originally posted by NeverForever

    mmorpgs don't sell millions simply because of the american/western culture. computers are still for geeks,(1/3 of every houshold all over the world will disagree with that statement) and MMORPGS are still targeted toward computer games not console games. MMORPGs are complicated and believe it or not... rarely PURE hack and slash. This is why the market will never become 'WTF HUGE!'. The market IS growing however and the future is unknown. Some of its future is already known like AoC which as far we can tell right now will be ported towards a console, something i'm not really looking forward too, AoC i am looking forward to but not to the console porting



    The article touches base on major key points. Many of which are true. However, one must realize.... MMORPGs mostly are directed to 1 type of world and 1 alone.... Fantasy. In the Fantasy world there is chaos and disorder and survival is through 1 thing.... power. This is what makes MMORPGs exciting. The struggle for power. If any of you have played an MMORPG where power is easily gained, the game blatently sucks. Why? cuz it's too easy. wel we all know which game is meant here and fully agree with you on this



    However to compare MMORPGs to GTA, is totally... stupid? GTA  is mostly single player which makes ALL, lemme repeat, ALL the difference. Lets compare MMORPGs to racing sims why don't you? Again fully agree with you



    The plain fact is, MMORPGs need to adapt toward the casual audiance WITHOUT losing the hardcore players. WoW has attempted to shift toward the casual players, time required to play WoW is signficantly lower to say that of Lineage 2 or final fantasy XI. I believe it's possible hot hit 70 in WoW in literally 3 days of straight playing. That is a joke.



    There are many ideas out there, but the fact is, it's not that easy to take ideas from the drawing board into the real thing. There is more to it then that.
  • Jimmy_ScytheJimmy_Scythe Member CommonPosts: 3,586
    I kind of half agree and half disagree with this article. Yes, MMORPGs need to deliver something for the player to do other than kill mobs and craft. However, the only way that this can work is if core gameplay of this content is genuinely compelling. We can add things like dueling, racing, fishing, etc, but none of that matters if all of these activities are dealt with with the same random number generation of a typical MMORPG action. GTA worked because it's gameplay completely engaged the player throughout each activity. MMORPGs don't seem to deliver this. Even turn-based single player RPGs engage the player (tactically or strategically) more than a typical MMORPG. Likewise, the minigames and optional content has to engage the player in an interesting manner.



    Having said all that, I have to say that I dislike GTA for one very important reason. GTA marked the beginning of a period, that is still continuing, where developers concentrated on creating mountains of content rather than making the core gameplay interesting. Don't get me wrong, GTA was a good game. However, the gameplay was spread over more content than I think the action could support. Maybe I'm too olde skool, but I'd rather have an intense experience for 5 levels (Contra 3) as opposed to 40 hours of rather pedestrian gameplay (GTA).



    It isn't enough that you have alternate activities in a game. The games, and all the content therein, have to be compelling.

  • CiredricCiredric Member Posts: 723

    Why in the heck is he lauding a kiddie game.  Hardly something an adult would play.  My kids played it for a bit, not something that kept their attention for long. 

    Any MMO that attempts to take lessons from them is going to be in a rude surprise.

  • ReklawReklaw Member UncommonPosts: 6,495
    Originally posted by Ciredric


    Why in the heck is he lauding a kiddie game.  Hardly something an adult would play.  My kids played it for a bit, not something that kept their attention for long. 
    Any MMO that attempts to take lessons from them is going to be in a rude surprise.

    Understand that at your age that maybe people between 18/35 might be kids, but this does not count as a little kids game my friend. For me little kids are age 12 and under and no one should let their kids of that age play GTA, atleast not the responseble parents. But like i said i think your kids are some what older then 18 thus you still might see them as kids as they are your kids regardless how old they get

    And to get back on Topic, a game like GTA as a MMO will not work right now i say so because to many people are unable to play a sandbox mmo we have seen this in the past, so i don't understand all these people wanting something like GTA, sure it awesome game but it should remain just that the single player version. tech can not handle that much complexity into a MMO yet, this might happen but tech isn't really for that atleast another 2/3 years.

  • FlummoxedFlummoxed Member Posts: 591
    Originally posted by LordFarid


    I would love a GTA MMO, imagine a GTA FFA PVP server where you can create gangs, or even join the police.

    I too would love a GTA pvp mmo... just to demonstrate what a miserable failure such a thing would be.

    For an example of what it would be like, see ShadowBane.

  • CiredricCiredric Member Posts: 723
    The is a not a MMO nor even close, has no business being dicussed on this site.  Even some of the crappier MMO's make this game look like the POS it is.
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