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General: Grinds My Gears: An Unfinished State of Being

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  • TechleoTechleo Member Posts: 1,984

      Lets be realistic here. Games cost as much to make as major movies and continue to cost money over the long haul due to advertising and upkeep. Given the state of technology, the corporate structure and the way people behave its unlikely any of the things listed above will change. Players may be dissatisfied but companies are making money. That is the bottom line. Not whether something is being done right, is it being done right enough? THAT is the key. 

    Eventually a radical change in the way games will happen, but only when its needed and only when some major disaster occurs. Thats human nature. :)

    Other then all that, yeah, I am sure it could all be done better.  The worst usually happens first.

  • ShaydeShayde Member Posts: 4,529

    Wow.. My calendar says it's the 15th... not the first.

     

    Too many devs use the "mmos are always unfinished" excuse to not complete the work in the first place.

    Shayde - SWG (dead)
    Proud member of the Cabal.
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    It sounds great, so great in fact, I pitty those who canceled :( - Some deluded SWG fanboi who pities me.
    I don't like it when you say things. - A Vanguard fan who does too.
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  • wfSegwfSeg Member Posts: 96

    Good article. Agreed on all of them. Now start naming names :P

    "I am the harbinger of hope. I am the sword of the righteous. And to all who hear my words, I say this: What you give to this Empire, I shall give back unto you."
    -Empress Jamyl Sarum I

  • TUX426TUX426 Member Posts: 1,907

    Originally posted by Techleo



      Lets be realistic here. Games cost as much to make as major movies and continue to cost money over the long haul due to advertising and upkeep. Given the state of technology, the corporate structure and the way people behave its unlikely any of the things listed above will change. Players may be dissatisfied but companies are making money. That is the bottom line. Not whether something is being done right, is it being done right enough? THAT is the key.

    How many movies do you go see that are unfinished? (besides Lord of the Rings)

    How many movies do you see with key features missing? Or a promised (advertised) actor  not in it? If a month before release you were told Tom Cruise was a key part of the film, and he wasn't in the final release, would you be ok with that? If a movie skipped parts or the special effects weren't completed, would that be acceptable?

    If anything, developers need to take a look at the film industry and learn from them. When American Idol starts a new season, they don't get a chance to "fall behind" because it's difficult to produce - they meet their weekly deadlines no matter what. Hell, look at any daily show and think of how difficult that must be to maintaine. When you promise monthly updates, DO IT! No excuses.

    You're right though...as long as they keep making money, developers (the executives, not the programmers) will continue to release unfinished games (AoC, Warhammer, STO, DCUO) hoping to make money off "good enough".

    I think we may be at a cross-roads in this genre though, in that the consumers aren't quite as anxious to drop $50 on a new release because of "potential" any longer. Far too many games have released with TONS of potential, only to never meet it.

    Hopefully, the upcoming crop of games for 2011-12 will learn from the major failures of 2009-present and realize that their 'captive audience' (monopoly) is gone and quality DOES matter.

  • VarshevaVarsheva Member UncommonPosts: 30

    Good article. Now take it to completion and start naming names!

  • ZakaneZakane Member UncommonPosts: 71
    I agree with all these points. I'd much rather them get the game done then release it in a bad state.

    But lets be fair, no matter how polished a MMO is when it is released people now a days will find a reason to complain.

    Rift is a good example, very polished, runs fairly well and has a decent amount of content, yet the forums are filled with oh End content is boring, pvp is boring, this class is broken, not enough content ect ect.

    Some where players have lost patience, but it still no excuse for a number of games that have been released recently with the amount of bug, unfinished work ect.
  • VorrugaVorruga Member UncommonPosts: 30

    Great article!

    It provided a nice distraction from the paper I'm writing, and I agree with pretty mcuh everything you said.  Keep columns like this a-comin'!

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid Member EpicPosts: 10,106

    Originally posted by Varsheva

    Good article. Now take it to completion and start naming names!

     theres no need to name those names lol.... all devs right now are doing the same crap (except the upcoming games obviously cos arent out yet lol)





  • danJ188danJ188 Member Posts: 56

    Jon, you hit the nail on the head here. 2009-2010 was just awful for mmorpgs. Games in general I would say. So many game development teams do not care about the product quality, only quantity sold. It isnt a business for dreamers anymore, or storys to be told, but that next Madden game that'll rake in millions. Some blame has to be on the publishers though, as well. Ah, such is life, I guess. The markets evolved, and not in a good way. I really hope us gamers can send a strong message to game companies, but then again..

     

    Dragonage 2 sold well. And that should tell you scores of what developers and publishers can expect for their half-baked, half-made products.

  • aleosaleos Member UncommonPosts: 1,933

    Originally posted by Varsheva

    Good article. Now take it to completion and start naming names!

    The second you start naming names is the moment no one cares about what you wrote.

  • JaretlaiJaretlai Member Posts: 9

    You've got to wonder the reasons behind the early releases. Developers aren't lacking intellect, and have to know that it reflects badly on them to release an unfinished, buggy product. If they're being forced to release "early" (which in all honestly is probably later than their original timeline that was introduced to their publishers), why are they not negotiating for a longer release time with these pros and cons. They only have to point back to previous games which have released early and failed to achieve a true "mmo" (ie: longterm) success. I would hate to be in the position of being a member of the team that is forced to release early, or perhaps on time, when you know your product is not finished and you know that given just another half year of development you can truly give it the polish it requires.

    In any case, the marketing teams being hired/used for all of these games (past/present/future) are obviously doing their job, because we're still buying based off the promises.

    Someday we'll get brutal honesty from developers, but I don't think it'll be anytime soon, as any lone company spilling full truths on where they are lacking in development and where their holes are... risks losing customers to competition who is not doing so. Both releases may measure up the same, but the company who released information probably garners less attention and customers initially than the company who just keeps marketing. Both games would more than likely level off to the same amount of customers, but hiding those holes at first gets them a larger profit initially.

  • Dorko2kDorko2k Member Posts: 107

    nice read, thanks for getting this out there.

  • lethyslethys Member UncommonPosts: 585

    Totally agree with all points, this is my biggest problem with MMO's right now.  The lack of polish on 95% of these games is absolutely disgusting and its even more shameful that people put up with it.  If you don't stop buying garbage games, nothing will get fixed.

     

    I think the worst thing of all is when a developer lists features for the game they would like to make, but when the game they actually do make comes out it has like 2 of the 15 things listed.  Terrible.  I'm looking at you, all sandbox games made in the past two years.

  • GolelornGolelorn Member RarePosts: 1,391

    Agree 100%.

  • MeltdownMeltdown Member UncommonPosts: 1,182

    Originally posted by rebelsith

    I agree totally!! I am getting sick of games coming out half done and promised more later. MO, Xsyon, and Earthrise being 3 games that come to my mind.



    And I do not buy into the excuse "Well they are indie companies". Look at MO it has been out a year and it has not changed much since release.

     

    These games should be more honest with their customers. I do not mind paying for Beta with more content promised later. But do not say the game is "released" and have 10% of the content listed on your website, it's just dishonest.

    "They essentially want to say 'Correlation proves Causation' when it's just not true." - Sovrath

  • SouldrainerSouldrainer Member Posts: 1,857

    Add the tagline at the end of this "We're looking at you, WOW."

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  • gessekai332gessekai332 Member UncommonPosts: 861

    amen, brother.

    Most memorable games: AoC(Tryanny PvP), RIFT, GW, GW2, Ragnarok Online, Aion, FFXI, FFXIV, Secret World, League of Legends (Silver II rank)

  • Bob_BlawblawBob_Blawblaw Member Posts: 1,278

    Originally posted by Souldrainer

    Add the tagline at the end of this "We're looking at you, WOW."

    If you think WoW is unpolished, I'd love to see your face as you load into a SOE game.

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Member UncommonPosts: 7,945

    Nice writeup Jon.  You point out a few problems that have been going on for far to long in the mmo industry. 

     

    It is funny how many developers think all mmos can command $50-60 a box and $15 a month for subscription, regardless of the actual condition they release in. 

  • TalthanysTalthanys Member Posts: 458

    I enjoyed the exclusive use of bald characters to illustrate the idea that some games are shipped incomplete.

    Ship your games with the hair you promised, developers!

    image

  • BurntvetBurntvet Member RarePosts: 3,465

    As to the article...

    And thus, it is that people that read the reviews here are (rightly) pissed off when MMORPG.com does multiple glowing articles prior to a game's release, only to find serious shortcomings that were omitted, minimized, or glossed over during a "feature" that is not a "review".

    Case in point, DCUO.

    How many articles full a praise and acclaim were done in the run up to the release of DCUO here, only to have the serious weaknesses of the game ignored? With customers even called out by the staff here?

    And yes, SOE wanted the same $15 + full box price that the author of this piece decries.

     

    Sites that do a disservice to their "customers" by hypeing up these same unfinished games the developers put out are just as bad as the developers themselves: the companies put out the junk, and "sunshiny" reviews from these sites helps to sell it.

  • PapamacPapamac Member UncommonPosts: 162

    Great article.  Too bad it took so long to get written. 

    Now print it off, wrap it up in a thin sheet of lead, and beat each and every one of the publishers advertising on your web site with it.

  • erictlewiserictlewis Member UncommonPosts: 3,021

    Great article, and it really does hit how things are going.

    Anybody can remember SWG and vanguard with the terrible launches both those games had.  March in DCUO and they not learned anything.  I though folks would have learned better about how slow SOE is at getting updates out.

    Now fast forward several years.  LOTRO released in a semi completed state.  Promised 3updates a year and one paid xpac.  The first year went of as hitched, little did folks know those zones were supposed to be in a release.  Then we got Moria. Supposed to be 3 playable zones.  We got 2 zones, the third came 6 months later as an update.  Watch lotro complete slow down on the update path, and change directions of the game.  Now your playable content.

    Now lets look at STO, talk about unfinished, lack of Klingon content to this day. War-hammer, AOC, anybody remember the promises with these games and what happened.

    Then you take a good look at all these companies and how they have failed updates and all, it is no wonder we are in a state of being mad at gaming companies,  and how totally sad the mmo market is nowadays. We been in this rut for the past 3 years, and its been a long dry haul.  Not even the release of rift, with its small world max level in 3 weeks has been able to fix this.

    I am still waiting for a finished game, or one that lives up to the hype. 

     

     

  • imaslacksterimaslackster Member Posts: 30

    This article is spot on.  A few friends of mine and myself were talking about this just yesterday, how devs seems to want to add vanity pets instead of balancing the classes, or how we will spend another $100+ over the year on a game we just bought for $50, only to see one major content update/patch by years end...

  • gekkothegreygekkothegrey Member Posts: 236

    What makes me even more mad then this is now all these AAA mmos are charging $15.00 a month then having a item store on top of it selling vanity items. I mean a monthly and micro payments, how about dinner first?

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