Howdy, Stranger!

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

The McDonaldization of Gaming

ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912

The McDonaldization of Gaming


 


 


Somehow there must be a mysterious relation that the more money a company has for it’s game, the less creative and innovative it will be and the more mediocre and streamlined the result will get. Or at leas that was my thought after the recent revelation of Bioware, that despite their 150 million dollar record budget, they did not find a way to integrate aliens as playable races. Or as the entire rest of SWTOR is a manifesto of mediocre game design.


 


Those of us who remember gaming back from the 80ies and 90ies know that back then the game landscape was very different from today. There was a plethora of small and medium sized studios, each with it’s own brands and unique sort of creativity. Origin with it’s Ultima and Wing Commander, Westwood with Command & Conquer and Lands of Lore, Bullfrog with Populous and Dungeon Keeper. There was a long list of smaller studios with high creativity in those days. Back then, all those games were vastly different and unique. And somehow it was as if the limited budget and graphics was calling for a compensation via creativity and thoughtful design. Anyone who has played those games when they were new knows what I am talking about. The visual details of games like Ultima V or VI was relatively small, but in stark contrast was the great imagination, the extraordinary level of freedom those games had. Or RPGs like the Wizardry series with it’s 20 races and 30 classes. The freedom, the sheer amount of choices and possibilities were almost endless. And every studio and franchise had its own, distinct choice. It were games like big menus from a noble restaurant. They weren’t wolfed down fast, they were celebrated. You played those games for months. You really sunk your teeth into their meat and savoured each nook and edge.


 


The culprit


 


I won’t point at any particular crook to be the sole responsible culprit. But then things changed. When the games got more and more visually detailed and ever greater budget, I like many gamers had high hopes and great dreams for the gaming future. We imagined the diversity and creativity from the games we knew with the visual possibilities of what would come, and the future looked great to us. If there is one highly responsible company, it is without doubt Electronic Arts. Like no one else, EA swallowed one small studio after another, and the story was always the same.


 


The events around Origin, one of the leading RPG designers and inventors of the legendary Ultima series stands for many. Before EA, Origin created worlds. So was their motto, and they lived up to it. They made games to remember. But the moment they went into EA flock, things went downhill fast. First the action oriented, simplified Ultima 8 disaster, the NGE of that time, and then the final death with Ultima 9 and the LaraCroftization of Ultima. Then Origin was killed as studio. The story was the same for every single studio EA had swallowed. It’s like from that quote “The death of one wife may be an accident, but the loss of three is bordering neglectance!” There is method in the accidents.


 


 


The system and the recipe for the success of McDonalds is one simple idea. You get the same burger in every of their restaurant. No matter where you are, you always know exactly what you get. It’s a medium, edible portion, nothing fancy just bread, meat salad. You get it fast, the number of things to order is very limited so to assure the mind is not overburdened with difficult choices, and the restaurant is always colourful and made like some event, some parade or carnival. There are “special days” for this and that and you can get a fancy paper crown. Ok that’s the competition, but you get the idea.


 


This is what happened to gaming, and especially MMORPG gaming. Ask any EQ1 veteran about the many races and classes, the many different areas. Ask any SWG veteran about the many things you could do in that game. Ask anyone who played UO back in the days about the possibility of really open gameplay! Go back and look how many things to chose from in terms of classes, races and whatnot games of the past had. Today we have THE UI, which is the UI of WOW. Virtually every MMO has just a skin of the WOW UI. Radar at top right, quickbar at the bottom, quest list at the right, group list on the left. You know the buttons for inventory or journal, even if you are entirely new to the next MMO. And so it goes with the rest.


 


Streamlining


 


There is the streamlining of classes. The number of MMOs which really made unique and odd classes you can count with one hand. The Vanguard Disciple is one thing that comes to my mind, a martial arts and healer crossover. But beyond that I have to think hard. What we get is the usual lot. Warrior as tank, Mage, Ranger, when we are lucky and it’s really fancy and daring a pet class like Summoner or Hunter, and that’s it. Where SWG has such exotic classes like Teras Kasi and Creature Handler, Dancer and Image Designer, now the 150 million dollar heavy SWTOR has Jedi, Sith, BH, Trooper. Nothing fancy, nothing unexpected, nothing out of the line, and one might wonder where the days have gone where people could order their special menu, when fancy and unusual classes were the spice to be added to a game. When what you made with your character was only limited by your own imagination.


 


The same goes with combat. How great were our dreams about the visual diversity and exciting possibilities of combat back in the 80ies, when we dreamed how gaming would be in the future. And now that the future is here, we find that almost no gaming company is really able to make something of it. Instead, we see the same “click ability to launch attack movie” in the high budget SWTOR as in the age old EQ1. One new skill every four level, and some very mediocre, barely functional attack animation. Nothing exotic.


 


Or races. Back in EQ or SWG or DaoC, there was a legion of different races. And every new game seemed to bring new, bizarre and fascinating races, down to walking crocodiles aka Sarnath in EQ2, walking cows aka Tauren in WOW, and the endless possibilities with games like City of Heroes and Champion Online, which both were an explosion of player creativity. When I played CoX and CO, I never stopped to marvel at the other players creativity. All the time new creatures, demons, furries, robots, aliens, monsters of every sort and kind, and most of them even with a cool backstory and some interesting roleplay. But now in the present, it all seems to be cut to what they call “iconic”. Some word we learned to fear with the ascend of the NGE. If there is one lesson game developers just never got, it is, you can not make a game successful against the warning voices of the fans. It has been repeated so often, and yet they never learn.


 


What does that mean? Well, if you followed the beta development of the MMOs of the past 5 years or so, you see a clear pattern. Game developers have a certain “vision”. Then everything is streamlined to support this “vision”. Usually such things don’t work, because bending other game systems towards one “vision” always ends up as a crooked game. The warning voices of the community are usually there, and mostly loud enough. But there is always this handful of diehard supporters, who follow every way whatever a company decides. And the companies decide to listen to those who praise them; which is partially understandable, but essentially leads to the doom. The result was always the same. Those who warned it would proof a failure were in the end always right. In every single game that failed to deliver. The reason is, simply said, Devs do not listen. Yes, I know, you say, that sounds simplistic. But the truth is, it IS that simple. They are so certain of themselves, so sure to know better, so fixated to their vision, that they get blind to what is going on in the perception of their potential player base. It’s like with the movie “Avatar the Last Airbender. The cartoon series had a huge fanbase, but Night M. Shyamalan thought his vision was better. In the making there were plenty of warning voices, but the director, backed by his many successes, thought he knew better. The result was a disastrous movie, which aggravated almost all the fans and was a huge wasted effort. The same happens to most of the MMOs released in the last couple of years. The reason is, by and large, the vision was directed towards a perceived standard gamer.


 


When you or me or anyone complains about MMO X and criticise some part of it in the making, what a Developer group does, is, they try to think of the standard gamer. And then they make a standard gamers game, thinking they are the paying masses and the rest is fed with vague promises what will be added later, eventually. See AoC, see WAR, see Champions, see STO, see Vanguard. It was every time the same. We got a McDonaldized standard player game, something mediocre, with little or no speciality, toned down to what big shareholders think is the mass taste, and the demanding gamers are lulled with the promise to wait for all the nice goodies they will add later. Eventually. Which in reality never happens.


 


 


McStarWars


 


Now with SWTOR from Bioware there is a sad new chapter in this saga. When we heard an estimated 150 million dollar budget, our dreams went high. But now reality has caught up, and little by little we come to see that SWTOR is just that: another McDonalds game. We got very mediocre standard visuals, which more seem to come from last decade. Everyone who played Far Cry with it’s stunning visuals will indeed cry looking at the rectangular characters and the dull environments. It is functional. Easy to swallow and for cheap computers to play on. Fast Food graphics. Then we have space on rails. Then we have those classes without anything odd or freakish. And now the announcement that we can essentially only play humans. Yes they will rename them, like Miraluka or Rattaki or whatever. But the reality is they are all humans. Now while Age of Conan can justify it with the lore, having an IP in a Galaxy of millions of species such a decision strikes the fan with surprise. And I personally wonder where the budget of 150 million is going to? Voiceover and story can’t be THAT expensive! But then for what is it used? And why is every single part of the game a write-up of what we can NOT do?


 


SWTOR is in the essence what McDonalds is to eating. Standardized, mediocre, cheap, easy to swallow portions. A bit colourful and fancy, making it look like some fun event when you go there, but in the end a narrow and streamlined product. Something you are going to play one time through like Champions Online or STO, and then move on. And as such it is, alas, the trend of our days, and I wonder if it is a coincidence than all started to go downhill when Bioware was sold to EA. There are some folks out there who will get insidiously rich from all this. Just like McDonalds is also a roaring success. But there is also something that dies: the creativity and diversity, the chance to make odd byways and freakish things. The other Star Wars game had the motto “This is the greatest story ever told: yours.” Apparently this was yesterday’s ideal.

People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

«134

Comments

  • SnarlingWolfSnarlingWolf Member Posts: 2,697

    I read a little bit into the long post and decided I would sum it all up.

     

    The bigger the company the less risk it is willing to take with it's money. That is why big budget games, movies, TV shows all follow a cookie cutter formula for success rather then doing anything innovative.

     

    Big companies don't have to take risk, they are already making lots of money. Their goal is to continue to make lots of money so they create products that can almost guarantee a profit rather then investing 50-100 million in something that might be big but might also fall flat on its face.

     

    It is that simple.

     

    Small companies take risks, big companies do not.

  • CombspeCombspe Member UncommonPosts: 124

    By the way Mcdonald's gives me morning gas. Just thought I'd let you all know.

    -Thanks.

     

    Btw Blizzard should trademark the term "WoW Clone", hell they'd make millions just off that.

  • TUX426TUX426 Member Posts: 1,907

    This is why http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Video_game_industry

    Video games sales have gone from roughly 3 billion annually in 1995 to over 20 billion dollars in 2009.

    It's no longer a mom &  pop industry...it's HUGE business! The film industry had HALF that (10 billion) in 2009.

  • KanethKaneth Member RarePosts: 2,282

    It's called change. Gaming is a multibillion dollar industry, and well you're going to have your summer blockbusters, art house films, independent cult classics, and everything in between. The McDonalds comparison is both cliche and tired.

    You could have the same argument for film, TV, sports, music, clothing....pretty much anything that has become popular and accepted by the masses.

    Bottom line is: Change happens and there is basically nothing you can do about it. Support the products you enjoy and try to not get bent out of shape over the products you don't enjoy.

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Member UncommonPosts: 2,408

    I think the MMO publishers would like to "McDonaldize" gaming, but there's just two small differences.

    McDonalds is cheap.  And McDonalds is fast.

    That's the true reason for its success.  That's the true reason for any fast-food success.  But MMOs aren't like fast food.  In fact, they are on the opposite side of the spectrum: they are the five star resturants of the gaming world.  Expensive for the consumer.  Time intensive for the consumer.  Huge capital outlays for talent and ambiance.

    They may want to McDonaldize MMOs, but they will fail.  They will, because there are other formats in computer entertainment that can satisfy gamers much more quickly--and much more cheaply--than MMOs can ever hope to.

    What I see right now is an industry that is desperate for reaching new audiences: audiences that have always rejected them because of the high entry costs and risks associated with playing an MMO.  The "easy customers" have all been taken.  They need to turn casual gamers into hardcore junkies at a faster rate than churn, and the longer time goes by, the fewer new customers there are.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • ElidienElidien Member RarePosts: 1,384

    The issue is that gaming has now gone mainstream. MMO games are not in daily conversation, ads on TV, discussed around water coolers at work, etc.... Gone are the days of the parent's basement, not seeing sunlight, Hot Pocket eating gamer. Thus changed occured.

    So today, like most things, we have mainstream and niche markets. Movies are the same way. Some of the best movies I have ever seen did horrible at the theater and some of the worst movies I have ever seen did great.

    Great games are still prodused and released. Some are huge successes others are not. AT this point, if I was the OP, I would look beyond the major AAA title like TOR and look to smaller games and that niche market. Ryzom is an incredible game if you can get past the lack of population and dated graphics.

    No matter what is released or what people want you to think, great games are still out there. Ultimately, be HAPPY with what you play. I love WOW because I can play in small increments and get something accomplished. Sure, at times, I miss the hours upon hours of time I put into DAOC and wish I could have that again. However, its not to be.

    Find a game that makes you happy and play the hell out of it. As games that is what we do. All of this discussion about theory, philosophy and frustration with modern MMO's is honestly a bit tiresome at this point. SHouldn't we be gaming and simply enjoy iy?

  • sidebustersidebuster Member UncommonPosts: 1,712

    This should be carved in stone. Although there are a couple of things I don't agree with. 


    • Listening to the warning fans - Well, yeah but if there's a sandbox game with all the more "difficult" features, you get people "warning" and complaining that it's too hard, too much time sink etc. Should the devs listen to the warnings then?

    • Being EA's Fault - Although I agree with that for the most part, I believe everyone shares the blame. The consumers want to have fun instead of having their brain worked (in my opinion). It seems to me that people don't want chess on steroids, but they want to play slots instead. ya' know what I mean?

    And the last thing I have to say is this:


     


    It's all true and there's nothing we can do about it. Well there is, but we'd have to treat ourselves like investors to indie devs. For example, I feel like I'm doing this with StarVaults Mortal Online. I'm pretty sure at this point it is a group of no experience Unreal Modders, and the game is made through UDK. Normally that experience level shared with a full budget price would make people turn and run. The thing is though is that they share my vision of what an MMORPG should be almost exactly (almost being I don't like PVP, but I'll deal with it). 


     


    Unfortunately, games with these circumstances means little to no chance of success. Unless we "invest" in them. Which is basically support them by buying the game and subscribing even though they may barely function. I think I'll invest in MO as long as they continue to show that they want the game to work (which they do with weekly patches etc). 


     


    I believe that's the only way we can get the games we want.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,771

    Why TOR is so expensive?

    Voice over. Think about it. You have to produces hours upon hours of lines with professional voice actors and they are not cheap.

    Have you read "The Paradox of Choice"? Too many choices are not always a good thing.

  • maplestonemaplestone Member UncommonPosts: 3,099

    Here's my advice: don't get your heart set on games that don't yet exist or features that are only being worked on.  Choose between games as they do exist at this moment or set to work writing your own.

    *goes back to figuring out why my hexagons are coming out looking like an earthquake hit a game of Qbert*

  • busdriverbusdriver Member Posts: 859

    Excellent post Elikal. I feel the same way, these AAA titles (now there's a truckload of irony behind that rating) are not for me, they all suck.

    Small companies are the only ones that bring anything new to the table, focus on those.

    MUDs are always there, if everything else fails ;)

  • ChrisMatternChrisMattern Member Posts: 1,478


    Originally posted by Elikal
    Somehow there must be a mysterious relation that the more money a company has for it’s game, the less creative and innovative it will be and the more mediocre and streamlined the result will get.

    Not mysterious at all. The more money that is sunk into a game, the more averse to risk the backers become. The pressure to do something that was successful before mounts.

  • Cor4xCor4x Member Posts: 241

    Look at it from one of the other sides:

    You're a big company CEO. You've put out other media products before and someone on the board was sitting on the toilet reading and came up with an em-em-oh-rr-pee-gee. You've got no idea what the hell one even is, but the board wants it.

    You do what an competent CEO does; you grab a bunch of articles and data and mow through it with a couple of assistants. Next you get some market research and start looking at the project from the thing you KNOW you can and need to control: money.

    As a CEO, you want to appeal to the widest scope of people to get the most return on your money; so you look at the winners. You got WoW, EQ, and a couple of others.

    You look at what made them winners; and as a CEO with proper knowledge of branding, you know that you need to "spice it up" to make it a different choice.

    Then you go back to the development company and ask them what they intend to do that makes this "different and better" than WoW and the others.

    The developers swallow their gum; and come up with a list of crap. All sorts of crap. Not feasable crap, but crap that smells and looks cool. Flashy. CEO's like to think BIG for small dollars.

    So the marketing guys get ahold of the swallowed-gum-summit papers and run with it. Soon, a modest MMORPG becomes the WOW KILLER WITH SHARKS WITH FREAKIN LASERS ON THEIR HEADS AND HOT CHICKS.

    No one could possibly live up to that crazy crap the marketers come up with, but it IS their job to put lipstick on pigs. They are very, very good at that job. Remember, Ke$ha makes a LOT more than you. :(

    Anyway, the marketers make all this stuff sound like calorie free ice cream that also happens to be costless. Sadly, this is a mixture of butt-saving hype by the developers and whole cloth by the marketers.

    The developer begins work, and if they do their job perfectly, they will get a solid, if bland, game. CEO doesn't want that though, and his 12 year old son or grandson tells him that it "sucks".

    The developer begins shoehorning more crap in, or hasn't done its job well enough and the board starts asking when they're gonna see the wheelbarrows of money from the MMORPG magic goose.

    The developer can either patch it up and deliver a solid, if bland, game or a buggy, semi-flashy, not really well done release.

    They might also have hoops to jump through contractually. In that case, they'll patch buggy stuff together and intend to patch it further later.

    The magically happy crap they intended to release is going to gather dust someplace.

    This begins to have more problems with "focus groups" and IP riders. Star Wars goombahs are going to want to nit pick to some degree. Plus soccer-mom focus group lady or joe-gamer wouldn't know a good game if it slapped them upside the head.

    After a concept goes through the digestive system of big business, you get CO, Age of Conan, or STO.

    The reason, in my opinion, why older games seemed better is a combination of the factors given above, nostalgia glasses, and the love the original gamers to a quality product than to MONEY.

    So, in a way, the McDonalds theory works well enough in this context if we mean something bland built as cheaply as possible and designed to appeal to as many people as possible.

    I mean, mmo companies hire psychologists for god's sake. :(

    image

  • firefly2003firefly2003 Member UncommonPosts: 2,526

    All that talk of Origin makes me wish they would make another Wing Commander game :( or a new Ultima MMO or standalone game. But you are correct about the buying up of smaller studios that did well alone making innovative and creative and some of the most memorable games of all time, when the bigger fish snatch up all the little fish resulting in their demise or mediocore offerings as seen with EA and Activision you begin to wonder if those now defunct companies if they could do it all over again would they?

    Even in the regular gaming realm great games being produced are becoming short in supply this year is one of the suprise years where actually quite a few worthy game about to be released or has been already is giving something different and creative for once but in years past not so much, the MMO scene is pretty much a lost cause now it will take pretty much more big failures to actually make them step back and look at what their doing wrong hopefully and start producing something worth buying and suscribing to for long term but the most they have pulled off is 3-6 months in the past few years, so we will wait and see I guess.


  • firefly2003firefly2003 Member UncommonPosts: 2,526

    Originally posted by Cor4x

    Look at it from one of the other sides:

    You're a big company CEO. You've put out other media products before and someone on the board was sitting on the toilet reading and came up with an em-em-oh-rr-pee-gee. You've got no idea what the hell one even is, but the board wants it.

    You do what an competent CEO does; you grab a bunch of articles and data and mow through it with a couple of assistants. Next you get some market research and start looking at the project from the thing you KNOW you can and need to control: money.

    As a CEO, you want to appeal to the widest scope of people to get the most return on your money; so you look at the winners. You got WoW, EQ, and a couple of others.

    You look at what made them winners; and as a CEO with proper knowledge of branding, you know that you need to "spice it up" to make it a different choice.

    Then you go back to the development company and ask them what they intend to do that makes this "different and better" than WoW and the others.

    The developers swallow their gum; and come up with a list of crap. All sorts of crap. Not feasable crap, but crap that smells and looks cool. Flashy. CEO's like to think BIG for small dollars.

    So the marketing guys get ahold of the swallowed-gum-summit papers and run with it. Soon, a modest MMORPG becomes the WOW KILLER WITH SHARKS WITH FREAKIN LASERS ON THEIR HEADS AND HOT CHICKS.

    No one could possibly live up to that crazy crap the marketers come up with, but it IS their job to put lipstick on pigs. They are very, very good at that job. Remember, Ke$ha makes a LOT more than you. :(

    Anyway, the marketers make all this stuff sound like calorie free ice cream that also happens to be costless. Sadly, this is a mixture of butt-saving hype by the developers and whole cloth by the marketers.

    The developer begins work, and if they do their job perfectly, they will get a solid, if bland, game. CEO doesn't want that though, and his 12 year old son or grandson tells him that it "sucks".

    The developer begins shoehorning more crap in, or hasn't done its job well enough and the board starts asking when they're gonna see the wheelbarrows of money from the MMORPG magic goose.

    The developer can either patch it up and deliver a solid, if bland, game or a buggy, semi-flashy, not really well done release.

    They might also have hoops to jump through contractually. In that case, they'll patch buggy stuff together and intend to patch it further later.

    The magically happy crap they intended to release is going to gather dust someplace.

    This begins to have more problems with "focus groups" and IP riders. Star Wars goombahs are going to want to nit pick to some degree. Plus soccer-mom focus group lady or joe-gamer wouldn't know a good game if it slapped them upside the head.

    After a concept goes through the digestive system of big business, you get CO, Age of Conan, or STO.

    The reason, in my opinion, why older games seemed better is a combination of the factors given above, nostalgia glasses, and the love the original gamers to a quality product than to MONEY.

    So, in a way, the McDonalds theory works well enough in this context if we mean something bland built as cheaply as possible and designed to appeal to as many people as possible.

    I mean, mmo companies hire psychologists for god's sake. :(

    If any of the psychologists were gamers they would be offering services for the suits wondering what they was smoking to produce such garbage and release it to the public.


  • anielianieli Member Posts: 114

    Originally posted by Elikal


    Streamlining


     


    There is the streamlining of classes. The number of MMOs which really made unique and odd classes you can count with one hand. The Vanguard Disciple is one thing that comes to my mind, a martial arts and healer crossover. But beyond that I have to think hard. What we get is the usual lot. Warrior as tank, Mage, Ranger, when we are lucky and it’s really fancy and daring a pet class like Summoner or Hunter, and that’s it. Where SWG has such exotic classes like Teras Kasi and Creature Handler, Dancer and Image Designer, now the 150 million dollar heavy SWTOR has Jedi, Sith, BH, Trooper. Nothing fancy, nothing unexpected, nothing out of the line, and one might wonder where the days have gone where people could order their special menu, when fancy and unusual classes were the spice to be added to a game. When what you made with your character was only limited by your own imagination.

    You need to think hard to come up with a unique character? I would say WoW's druid is quite unique. I can't seem to find a MMORPG with this class ^_^

  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912

    Originally posted by anieli

    Originally posted by Elikal




    Streamlining


     


    There is the streamlining of classes. The number of MMOs which really made unique and odd classes you can count with one hand. The Vanguard Disciple is one thing that comes to my mind, a martial arts and healer crossover. But beyond that I have to think hard. What we get is the usual lot. Warrior as tank, Mage, Ranger, when we are lucky and it’s really fancy and daring a pet class like Summoner or Hunter, and that’s it. Where SWG has such exotic classes like Teras Kasi and Creature Handler, Dancer and Image Designer, now the 150 million dollar heavy SWTOR has Jedi, Sith, BH, Trooper. Nothing fancy, nothing unexpected, nothing out of the line, and one might wonder where the days have gone where people could order their special menu, when fancy and unusual classes were the spice to be added to a game. When what you made with your character was only limited by your own imagination.

    You need to think hard to come up with a unique character? I would say WoW's druid is quite unique. I can't seem to find a MMORPG with this class ^_^

    Indeed, I agree. ^^

    Loved all the shapeshifting. Btw, DC Universe is going to have shapeshifting as power. ;D

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • xjum52xjum52 Member Posts: 22

    Idk why you're blaming BioWare for what Vivendi Games started. BioWare is a great company and they are playing their cards the only way the table lets them.

  • BravnikBravnik Member UncommonPosts: 155

    The reason is quite simple. PVP is the cause of the downgrade in classes and races. In the old days the rule was balance based off of PVE. This meant that even if there was PVP and Dueling, certain classes were limited at those and the devs didn't care.

    Now everyone screams they want PVP. So now player balance is more important as you can't have a PVP game unbalanced as the players will just play the OP'd class. Also the more races (with racialals) and classes or god forbid special classes, it makes it harder and harder to properly balance for PVP.

    As with your great McDonaldization theory, the trend to cater to the casual gamers have also hurt MMO's. Gone are the days the Devs developed a game for the real players. They now worry more about subscriptions than actual logins. They really don't care if you play every day or not, all they care about is that you keep your sub going.

    Also once the game is released it goes on the back burners. This first started (for me anyway) with EQ. When it first came out there was a GM per server (or 2 or 3). Customer service was important. After SOE got their grubby paws on it that was the FIRST thing to go. You could litierally go days without a petition answered.

    I'm a firm believer that you can't balance PVE with PVP. Ether you want PVP or you don't. I beg for the day when they release a game with wonderful Race choices all with special racials like with EQ or WOW. I can't wait for multiple classes with unique abilities without any focus on PVP. I look forward too a game that goes back to the Risk VS Reward mentality where you literally EARN what you get you get instead of it handed too you for little effort.

    In other words, I'm ready for a game that provides a challenge.

  • anielianieli Member Posts: 114

    Originally posted by Elikal

     

    Indeed, I agree. ^^

    Loved all the shapeshifting. Btw, DC Universe is going to have shapeshifting as power. ;D

    This is like! :P

  • laokokolaokoko Member UncommonPosts: 2,004

    There are plenty of low budget games that are quite creative.  And you got some loyal niche gamers in those games.

    You got to find something you like.  Not just critacize other big budget games doing something you don't like. 

    The thing I see about having many class is it's hard to balance in pvp. 

  • OzivoisOzivois Member Posts: 598

    First off, McDonald's serves the best french fries on the planet...

    Secondly, McDonald's outsells all of the fast food outlets because they know what what we want and make it available and convenient.

    I would agree with the OP that a good MMO is like McDonald's in one way: too much of it over time will make you ill...

    Games of yore weren't really as good or innovative as we remember them.  Actually, if you try them today they are particularly cheesy. e.g., Command & Conquer

    There are plenty of awesome MMOs out there.  The problem is that there are too many (players spread thinly) and the good ones are aging.  So each one lacks the population and guess what: population is more important than anything in an MMO.

    Alot of people don't realize that as the technology improves it becomes more and more expensive for developers to create a product.  e.g., easier to create a 2D world than a 3D world.

    And as the MMO consumers' expectations increase there is an ongoing issue of balancing product offerings vs. product budget. Only the two big ones, Blizzard and SOE, are in a position to go above and beyond the normal budget that is generally reasonable for most developers.

  • sonicbrewsonicbrew Member UncommonPosts: 514

    Anyone that eats Mcdonald's or any fast food for that matter, has very little concern for their own well being. Now use the same analogy in picking games and you get the message. Just like its hard to find nutrient-rich foods on the fly that are actually healthy for you, the same holds true for gaming today...

    “Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.” ~ Italian proverb   

      

  • FreddyNoNoseFreddyNoNose Member Posts: 1,558

    Originally posted by anieli

    Originally posted by Elikal


    Streamlining


     


    There is the streamlining of classes. The number of MMOs which really made unique and odd classes you can count with one hand. The Vanguard Disciple is one thing that comes to my mind, a martial arts and healer crossover. But beyond that I have to think hard. What we get is the usual lot. Warrior as tank, Mage, Ranger, when we are lucky and it’s really fancy and daring a pet class like Summoner or Hunter, and that’s it. Where SWG has such exotic classes like Teras Kasi and Creature Handler, Dancer and Image Designer, now the 150 million dollar heavy SWTOR has Jedi, Sith, BH, Trooper. Nothing fancy, nothing unexpected, nothing out of the line, and one might wonder where the days have gone where people could order their special menu, when fancy and unusual classes were the spice to be added to a game. When what you made with your character was only limited by your own imagination.

    You need to think hard to come up with a unique character? I would say WoW's druid is quite unique. I can't seem to find a MMORPG with this class ^_^

     Yes, you would have to go all the way back to dnd in the 1970's to find a Druid class.

  • FreddyNoNoseFreddyNoNose Member Posts: 1,558

    Originally posted by Ozivois

    First off, McDonald's serves the best french fries on the planet...

    Secondly, McDonald's outsells all of the fast food outlets because they know what what we want and make it available and convenient.

    I would agree with the OP that a good MMO is like McDonald's in one way: too much of it over time will make you ill...

    Games of yore weren't really as good or innovative as we remember them.  Actually, if you try them today they are particularly cheesy. e.g., Command & Conquer

    There are plenty of awesome MMOs out there.  The problem is that there are too many (players spread thinly) and the good ones are aging.  So each one lacks the population and guess what: population is more important than anything in an MMO.

    Alot of people don't realize that as the technology improves it becomes more and more expensive for developers to create a product.  e.g., easier to create a 2D world than a 3D world.

    And as the MMO consumers' expectations increase there is an ongoing issue of balancing product offerings vs. product budget. Only the two big ones, Blizzard and SOE, are in a position to go above and beyond the normal budget that is generally reasonable for most developers.

     First off, McDonald's changed the oil they used to burn them in.  They now taste like any other greasy chain food fries.

  • WolfenprideWolfenpride Member Posts: 3,988

    GOOD THING I DON'T EAT MCDONALDS HAHA

Sign In or Register to comment.