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General: The Problem with Old Games

SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,126

The old adage says that you can never go back. This is doubly true with some of our favorite MMOs of yore. In today's column, MMORPG.com Lead Writer Bill Murphy takes on those who tell us to "go back and play the original" and why that's not a very good option. Check it out and then weigh in with your thoughts on the matter.

That’s the problem with our old games. At least those we’ve spent a significant amount of time with. Once you’ve spent several hundred hours in a title, you end up seeing everything there is to offer, no matter how many expansions come out the game’s been well tread and you can’t go back to that sense of exploration and wonder you once had when the game was fresh and new. Everything’s been explored. You’ve seen every trick the game has up its sleeve.

Read more of Bill Murphy's The Problem with Old Games.


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


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Comments

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 10,965

    I really don't understand the industry.  Like you say in the article, there are tons of potential customers literally begging for DAoC2 to be made.   Given all the money being thrown around these days and all the new games that seem to be churned out as though from an assembly line.... why is it that no one can simply provide the game that so many people are asking for?

     

    Why is there no DAoC2?  I know there was at one time a Dawn of Camelot planned.. and I know that EA has gobbled up Mythic and most of the team are gone, but why haven't those folks found work elsewhere creating DAoC2 or whatever it would be called if it was made by a different company?  Why won't someone bankroll it?

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

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  • ShiinekoShiineko Member Posts: 161

    MMO gamers are definitely one of the saddest bunch of gamers ever, not meant as an insult.  It seems like we are rarely enjoying a game at the time and more complaining about how there's nothing new/worth playing at the moment.  I'm quite guilty of this myself.  Perhaps that's not how the entirety of MMO gamers are, but how the VOCAL ones are.



    Fickleness is human nature.  We might leave a specific game because the graphics aren't the best.  Because you got ganked on a pvp server and can't play with the big boys.  The list of reasons that are fickle can go on and on.  There are plenty of legitimate reasons for leaving, too.  I work in customer service and I know how stupid customers can be.  In the end, MMO gamers are simply stupid customers just like anything else.



    I am part of this majority that yearns for a game of their past, however.  Neocron.  Hell, if they had Neocron1 servers up I'd go back there immediately.  IMMEDIATELY.  I would pay $100 for the copy and $30 per month to be able to play NC1.  I'm hoping that Black Prophecy goes well so that Reakktor can continue working on a Neocron 3.  Please keep your crackheads (pun intended for anyone who actually played NC1 on Pluto) in mind.

  • centkincentkin Member RarePosts: 1,455

    There are many issues with going back and playing an old game.

    1) Other players did NOT leave the game and go to other games.  If you were the least bit competative in an old game -- when you go back at best you are going to be a casual.  You arent likely to ever catch up to the people who played everquest for those 6 years you were playing other games or worse those 2 years you were playing other games than warhammer.  Gated stuff like the asheron's call 1-2 monthly extra skills are worse.

    2) Populations are usually not what is needed to readily find groups as a player with out-dated equipment and when you go to solo in an old game(which wasnt nearly as solo-friendly as recent games) you will find things tuned for items you do not have.  That game that had 70 people in a zone fighting for spawns now has you as the only player in the zone.

    3) The games did not stay static.  The game that you remember has gone through patch after patch after patch and has morphed into something you may not be as comfortable with.  It might even have become what you are trying to leave(take asheron's call with its level 8 spells and +20 items that come only from chests never from that random drop you get from killing an olthoi somewhere).  It just isnt the game you left anymore.

    4) Veteran rewards give people who stuck around skills you can't duplicate even if you do duplicate their level etc.  (Veteran rewards were one of the worst inventions with regard to having players come back for another bite at the apple)

    5) People are used to being mollycoddled.  Some of the amenities that are in recent games just do not exist in many of the older games -- or even worse exist as a veteran reward you don't have.    The graphics might not be what you are used to and when you die (fast) you may end up with a death penalty you are not used to.

  • GolelornGolelorn Member RarePosts: 1,389

    The problem with the old games, at least with EQ and DAoC, is that the core gameplay was changed. DAoC used to not have raiding, and there was no gear grind. Also, casters were not the devastating force they are today. EQ used to have more group content with a small focus on end game gear griding.

    I won't deny, though, that the ancient UI, controls, and other features are also an obstacle. However, to me the big thing is both of those games did a complete 180 in trying to appease the hardcore pve fans.

  • thepatriotthepatriot Member UncommonPosts: 290

    There is no DAOC 2 because MMO sequels have a rocky history.  AC 2 failed, both Ultima sequels were canceled while still in production.  EQ2 is the only success story and it had a rocky start.  No one else has really tried a sequel likely for these reasons.

     

    Edit:  I forgot Linneage 2, the only big success story in sequels.  It was a huge leap in graphics and gameplay which likely accounts for it's success.

     

    So that would make the score for sequels 1 win, 3 losses and 1 draw (EQ2).

  • PalebanePalebane Member RarePosts: 3,623

    I have to agree that many of those older games are just shells of thier former selves. Players and development teams have changed so many times since I enjoyed them, they really are not the same game anymore at all. They can still be enjoyable, but shortly become disappointing, from my point of view. Most of them are now trying to keep up with the likes of WoW. And given that game's success, it makes sense I suppose. I still enjoy WoW sometimes, but I think games like EQ used to have some better mechanics. Mechanics which have been changed to fit a different playstyle more like WoW. If I wanted to play WoW, I would just play WoW.

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  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 10,965

    Originally posted by Golelorn

    The problem with the old games, at least with EQ and DAoC, is that the core gameplay was changed. DAoC used to not have raiding, and there was no gear grind. 

     Sorry to disagree but I have fond memories of raiding Legion (in Darkness falls)  in DAoC... As well as all the smaller bosses that were scattered throughout the dungeon.   I also certainly remember grinding for gear in DAoC via the Demon Seals in Darkness Falls as well.

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

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    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

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  • widjitswidjits Member Posts: 10

    I for one do not see any similarity between WOW and EQ. This is my 10th year playing EQ and during that time, I spent 2 of those years also playing WOW during BC.  EQ has changed yes, but it is no WOW by any stretch.


     


    Someone referred to the clunky UI of EQ. It is old school and rather spartan.. though I have not seen it in years myself. I’ve been using rather full featured third party interfaces for years. There is an entire community around the interface.


     


    When I mention that I still play EQ, people instantly roll their eyes and snicker.. “the graphics.. euuu”


    Are the graphics dated? Certainly they are in the old world zones, but there have been 17 expansions with new zones and later graphics in each one. EQ is old.. but each expansion is less old than the last... but it is a very playable game with depth that I have not seen in anything else all these years.


     


    Last year, an old friend came back to EQ and asked if he had any chance of “catching up” to the rest of us who had stayed through the years. It took him around 8 months with the help of his old friends to reach a par with the rest of us. He still is low on AA but he is gaining well and decided to stay because EQ has something that many games don’t have.. Friendships that span a decade.


     


    But it’s made by SOE.. well.. no game is perfect and yes.. I would be at the front of the line to shove some devs head first down a very deep hole. The thing most people don’t get about EQ is that devs come and go.. but huge numbers of players stay thru it all.


     


    My friends and I always said we would move on to the next game that shows promise.. We’re still waiting.. and working on progression to be ready for expansion 18.. or a new better game.. whichever comes first.

  • TheCrow2kTheCrow2k Member Posts: 953

    Its always the way, we remember the good from the past instead of the bad. Happens with Jobs, Ex girlfriends etc.

    That said considering the decline in the number of sandbox MMO games in recent years if you are a fan of them you dont have a lot to choose from so going back to the old games that offered those types of experiences is a good option.

  • ShinamiShinami Member UncommonPosts: 825

    The major problem with the industry is the very same problem found in the motion picture industry. 

     

    People love Eye Candy and Technology to replace good, old fashioned story telling and acting. The result is something that looks cool and nice at first glance, but its a whole lot of nothing in the long run. 

     

    The beauty about this is that what counts is to SELL the game and wtih some hype, it becomes a blockbuster or makes millions to billions. Once a game is a sold in many places you can't return it, only replace it with a working version.

     

    In short, once sold they have your money and your vote since you spent money to buy the game and that is how companies think...So of course they sell on Eye Candy, Advertisement and everything else..Cool no? 

     

    The other problem is saturation. 300+ MMORPGs in the game list here at MMORPG.COM, an incomplete list too but regardless the case, the majority of them suck. 

  • yorkforceyorkforce Member UncommonPosts: 160

    Ultima Online was my first mmo and i havent played anything thats even come close to it since, Its the kind of game where you would log in each day and the first thing you ask yourself is what you are going to do that day. There was just so much variety in what you could do, not like todays games where everything has been planned, you know exactly what your going to do, your going to level up and choose a new skill and even worse, your going to be pressing the same keys, swinging the same kind of weapon as you did the previous week.

    UO2 today would be a big hit if it used the same gameplay mechanics that it had back in 1999 with updated 3D graphics, it doesnt need anything else.

  • GolelornGolelorn Member RarePosts: 1,389

    Originally posted by Slapshot1188



    Originally posted by Golelorn



    The problem with the old games, at least with EQ and DAoC, is that the core gameplay was changed. DAoC used to not have raiding, and there was no gear grind. 

     Sorry to disagree but I have fond memories of raiding Legion (in Darkness falls)  in DAoC... As well as all the smaller bosses that were scattered throughout the dungeon.   I also certainly remember grinding for gear in DAoC via the Demon Seals in Darkness Falls as well.

    You had to do that to compete in RvR? No. You did it, because you found it fun. It wasn't a precursor to end-game like it is now(the raiding/gear grind not demon seal farming).

  • WorstluckWorstluck Member Posts: 1,269

    I agree with everything you said Mr. Murphy.  I often go back to my games of yesteryear and try them out, only to be disappointed with what I see.  I even recently tried out a UO trial, and while I certainly get all those warm and fuzzy nostalgic feelings playing it, it really, REALLY looks dated, especially the 2D version.  I also recently (the same day in fact, it was a boring Sunday) got a trial account for DAoC.  I do believe though this game is holding up better than UO, the graphics were NOT that dated to me at least.  I think some minor upgrades to the engine, some tweaks to the UI, and more content could maybe bring some people back.  '

    Alas, that will not happen though, Mythic is toast.  That ship is sinking, slowly reaching towards the bottom for the past 2 1/2 years.  They will not be doing anything worthwhile for WAR or DAoC and I can absolutely guarantee there will never be a DAoC 2, at least not made by Mythic.  They lost their opportunity to make that game years ago.

    I will also say that at least for me, a lot of this has to do with me just not wanting to put a ton of time into maybe a 10 year old game, with Eve being the exception (i'd play eve forever if they keep improving it), There is a chance that the game could be ended at any moment.  While this is true with any online game, at least with many newer games, you know that when you start playing, you have got a decent amount of time left in the games cycle to have some fun. 

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  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912

    I agree with the article fully.

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  • tikitiki Member Posts: 395

    I don't need a DAOC 2, as much as I would love one.  I just can't force my self to play these linear playground games that have 0 exploration except for following the beaten path that 1000 people follow every day.

     

    I just want a new MMO that follows the old winning formula instead of the new one.  Massive open worlds that feel like an extension of earth, this leads to true exploration and a more meaningful gaming experience.

    East Carolina University, Computer Science BS, 2011
    --------------------
    Current game: DAOC

    Games played and quit: L2, PlanetSide, RF Online, GuildWars, SWG, COH/COV, Vanguard, LOTRO, WoW, WW2 Online, FFXI, Auto-Assault, EVE Online, ShadowBane, RYL, Rappelz, Last Chaos, Myst Online, POTBS, EQ2, Warhammer Online, AoC, Aion, Champions Online, Star Trek Online, Allods, Darkfall.

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  • TealaTeala Member RarePosts: 7,627

    A agree with this.  I, too, cannot go back and play games like DAoC nor could I go back and play it if it got a fresh coat of paint.   However, with that said, if Mythic were to redo DAoC and add some new game play elements, like mounted combat, (expand upon RvR in new ways(like making the frontier bigger and adding better siege system)) and maybe add two new realms like an Asian themed one and a Middle-East themed one.  I might consider playing a re-imagined DAoC.  ^_^

  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,626

    Developers needs to specialize their games more. Find out what gamer segment their want to aim for, instead of doing everything poorly. Does anyone still beleive it when a game comming out claims to have good pvp, pve, tradeskilling, graphics, action, raiding, solo friendly but social, interesting story and so on .. its just not going to happen, and definately not the day it releases.

    So we need developers who can define their customer base and make a game for those. Have a vision and stick to it... also after it releases, stop dumbing down and selling out.

    It seem like developers think gamers are all young punks with attitude who wants action and to p0wn and gank n00bs to feel superior.. sure there is a huge market for those, but there is also a market for games with more dept - All I am saying, don't try to make a game that fits both, it will not succeed.

  • YamotaYamota Member UncommonPosts: 6,593

    For me it is quite obvious that a sequel should be an improved version of the prequel. Just look at Star Craft 2, it is basically the same game as Star Craft 1 but with enhanced visuals, UI, more units etc.

    Why cant the same thing happen to MMORPGs? Well the answer, as it is in most cases, is WoW.

    Yes, investors look at WoWs numbers and think hmm.. why make a copy of DAoC and get the measly 2-300k (or whatever it had in its prime) when we can get millions if we make a WoW copy?

    Well thankfully most WoW copies have failed, except maybe Aion and now Rift but I am still hoping for the last one to fail. Not because I hate it but because I want the f'ing industry to stop making f'ing WoW clones and try to do something innovative or at the very least, go back to the sandbox roots of the genre. 

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo Member UncommonPosts: 3,219

    Good comments. As for DAOC, Mythic was working on DAOC 2 as a project alongside WAR but with EA's buy-out the projects were too close to each other and oc WAR was taken up. I'm pretty sure that is the history of that one.However the future holds the sweet promise of GW2 WvW... : ) so sometimes just waiting long enough works out!!

    Personally I enjoy a lot of games on dosbox instead of the pc games; something to do with enjoying the creativity in these things working with the limited tech instead of ppl pushing the technology more than the actual games themselves? I think this applies to MMO and agree with the Hollywood metaphor and ex-girlfriend metaphors each given above! Eg look at Minecraft and the slew of clones it has produced already on iOS, console and so on... . But as for MMOs, community is the driving force and I envy the hell out of EvE players still going strong.

  • Garvon3Garvon3 Member CommonPosts: 2,898

    Er, one rather HUGE factor is missing. The reason I'm not playing DAoC RIGHT NOW isn't because I gobbled up all the fun I can, it's becaue updates and expansions destroyed the game I loved and made it something else. THAT'S why I can't go back. That's why people can't go back to SWG. That's why people can't go back to MOST of their favorite MMOs. And AC2 failed not for being a bad sequel, but because it was horribly mismanaged and broken.

  • KalmarthKalmarth Member Posts: 443

    SWG R.I.P ):

  • inBOILinBOIL Member Posts: 669

    buy new games,buy them all,those are the best.

    nice column.

    Generation P

  • CeridithCeridith Member UncommonPosts: 2,980

    It's not so much that some gamers want their old games to come back.

    Rather, they want new games that had the same heart and soul as the old games.

    MMOs used to be about being part of a community and participating together in a virtual world. Today they're nothing more than quest and gear treadmills that can mostly, and sometimes entirely, be done without speaking or interacting with other players.

    The sad thing is that the 'new' gamers don't have a clue about just how fun a real MMO can be.

  • GreenHellGreenHell Member UncommonPosts: 1,323

    Old MMO's are like ex-girl friends. Great to jump back in to bed together every now and then but after spending some time together you remember why they are your ex.

  • EQ2ThanosEQ2Thanos Member UncommonPosts: 57

    I understand what you mean and feel the same.Only today i noticed my EQ2 account is activated for 7 days free with a flying mount but I don't want to go back.Don't get me wrong EQ2 has been my favorite MMO but its all done for me now.

    I wonder if I will ever get that feeling again in a new MMO?,my guess is no.You can never get that noob feel back from when you play your 1st MMO :)

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