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Free-Roaming vs. Linear Level Design

HelleriHelleri Member UncommonPosts: 930

I would like to know:

 

  • If you have a heavy preference to one style or the other for MMORPG's you play; And why? Also is this a general preference (if you do have one) or conditional on what you feel like doing at the time?
 
  • If either of these is a turn-off for playing a prospective MMORPG for you; And why?
 
  • If you can think of any exemplary games that employ either style (either well done or poorly implemented); And, describe how they went about it, towards the end's of where it set them apart in this respect.

 

To start this off right, I am going to give some very clear definitions of what I am referring to in the title:

 

Free-Roaming.

You can go most any where you see. While there may be some limitations they are largely reasonable within the context of what you are capable of (such as the physics of a game not letting you climb more then so high up on a mountain, because it simply becomes too steep. Or not being able to get on a building rooftop, only because you can find a group of items that are correctly sized and heighted to allow you to jump up). When moving between areas, the transition is virtually seamless. Often even having an intergradation area between biomes for the flora and terrain present in either adjacent area. Though mostly very open there are still often some areas (such as buildings in a town, or dungeons) that may present a loading screen.

 

 

Linear.

Movement is generally free within set boundaries. You can see plenty of places in the distance. But, it is likely a backdrop that you cannot reach or a visual representation of an area you will be able to load eventually. There is a high degree of polish to objects which makes them difficult to interact with in any other way then was strictly intended (characters auto-running or glitching through a fence when you try to ranged attack something in a way that attempts to use the fence as a shield for instance). There are often many invisible barriers preventing you from going to undeveloped places or simply beyond the reveal. Movement between areas often involves loading screens, and adjacent areas tend to look very different from each other.

...So, thoughts on this?

image

«13

Comments

  • flguy147flguy147 Member UncommonPosts: 497
    I dont care either way.   I just want to log on and have fun.  If the game is designed the way i enjoy then both ways are fine by me.  
  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Member UncommonPosts: 2,077
    Since Deus Ex is my favorite game ever -- free roaming (the things you can do with trash cans; grenades and explosives is amazing if you're free to use them at will)!
  • BetaguyBetaguy Member UncommonPosts: 2,622
    Originally posted by flguy147
    I dont care either way.   I just want to log on and have fun.  If the game is designed the way i enjoy then both ways are fine by me.  

     I agree either way can be fine if the gameplay is fun and intuitive .

    image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,774
    Originally posted by Betaguy
    Originally posted by flguy147
    I dont care either way.   I just want to log on and have fun.  If the game is designed the way i enjoy then both ways are fine by me.  

     I agree either way can be fine if the gameplay is fun and intuitive .

    Yeh .. it is really about whether the content is fun, polished and interesting.

    Having said that, the best content i have seen are all sort of linear. That does not mean a lack of freedom necessarily though. For example, i would consider Dishonored a linear game. The story is linear. The levels all funnels you to the end destination. However, there are a lot of freedom in term of gameplay. You have some freedom inside a level (where there are for example, multiple routes to the same objective) but there is no free roaming world.

     

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,147

    ArenaNET gave the players a 100% free roaming game with GW2, but during the beta, many players were confused, lost, unable to think on their own and take initiative, so they had to patch in "hearts" to please those who have never known anything other than WoW clones with linear questing.

    Some people just completely lack imagination and initiative. They want to be on rails, grinding like lobotomized hamsters.

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
    CPU: Intel Core I7 9700k (4.90ghz) - GPU: ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER EVO 8GB DDR6 - RAM: 32GB Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 3000 - Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra - PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W - Storage: Kingston KC1000 NVMe 960gb SSD and 2x1TB WD Velociraptor HDDs (Raid 0) - Main display: Samsung U32J590 32" 4K monitor - Second display: Philips 273v 27" monitor - VR: Pimax 8K headset - Sound: Sony STR-DH550 AV Receiver HDMI linked with the GPU and the TV, with Jamo S 426 HS 3 5.0 speakers and Pioneer S-21W subwoofer - OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits.


  • QuirhidQuirhid Member UncommonPosts: 6,230
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    ArenaNET gave the players a 100% free roaming game with GW2, but during the beta, many players were confused, lost, unable to think on their own and take initiative, so they had to patch in "hearts" to please those who have never known anything other than WoW clones with linear questing.

    Some people just completely lack imagination and initiative. They want to be on rails, grinding like lobotomized hamsters.

    Rather harsh, isn't it?

     

    Anyway, I find most people are happy to play a linear game if the game doesn't appear to be linear. Invisible walls versus invincible mobs, for example: If people encounter monsters they can't defeat the accept that they aren't supposed to go there, but if they encounter an invisible wall, they say why can't they go there.

    It is all a matter of presentation.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • HelleriHelleri Member UncommonPosts: 930

    You know I think I'll go ahead and add my view on this.

     

    That being that I have in recent years been leaning more towards a linear game world.

     

    I find that a linear game world brings a higher focus (in general) to graphical fidelity. And not having to worry about how truly large a world is lets developers focus more on other areas as well. It's also nice to go to a new area for the first time and be taken back by the difference from the last area I was in. It really allows artistry to show through in a way that is far more difficult with a larger game world.

     

    I sort of miss Aika Online for this aspect. It was highly restrictive in where you could go, and there were more loading screens then you could shake a stick at. But even when you found the edge of the game world (which was not hard) they had some really good back story for why everything eventually drops off into endless sky. And, it was a very visually stunning world, with great music that always inspired a sense of adventure.

     

    While I still do like the fun of open exploration occasionally . I have found that constraining the player free's the artists.

    image

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,147
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    ArenaNET gave the players a 100% free roaming game with GW2, but during the beta, many players were confused, lost, unable to think on their own and take initiative, so they had to patch in "hearts" to please those who have never known anything other than WoW clones with linear questing.

    Some people just completely lack imagination and initiative. They want to be on rails, grinding like lobotomized hamsters.

    Rather harsh, isn't it?

    Maybe not harsh enough, since it's a true story. Today's players totally lack initiative and the ability to make their own decisions compared to players back when UO, EQ and AC1 were the 3 top contenders. Hell, even WoW during Vanilla times had a decent amount of free roaming, where players had to decide where to go next and were not force feed by the game.

    Exploration, figuring out what to do next, using the brain and the imagination... nah. Everything has to be obvious for even the most stupid of players, god forbid if they had to think for a minute before moving to the next content of their choice.

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
    CPU: Intel Core I7 9700k (4.90ghz) - GPU: ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER EVO 8GB DDR6 - RAM: 32GB Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 3000 - Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra - PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W - Storage: Kingston KC1000 NVMe 960gb SSD and 2x1TB WD Velociraptor HDDs (Raid 0) - Main display: Samsung U32J590 32" 4K monitor - Second display: Philips 273v 27" monitor - VR: Pimax 8K headset - Sound: Sony STR-DH550 AV Receiver HDMI linked with the GPU and the TV, with Jamo S 426 HS 3 5.0 speakers and Pioneer S-21W subwoofer - OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits.


  • HelleriHelleri Member UncommonPosts: 930
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    ArenaNET gave the players a 100% free roaming game with GW2, but during the beta, many players were confused, lost, unable to think on their own and take initiative, so they had to patch in "hearts" to please those who have never known anything other than WoW clones with linear questing.

    Some people just completely lack imagination and initiative. They want to be on rails, grinding like lobotomized hamsters.

    Rather harsh, isn't it?

    Maybe not harsh enough, since it's a true story. Today's players totally lack initiative and the ability to make their own decisions compared to players back when UO, EQ and AC1 were the 3 top contenders. Hell, even WoW during Vanilla times had a decent amount of free roaming, where players had to decide where to go next and were not force feed by the game.

    Exploration, figuring out what to do next, using the brain and the imagination... nah. Everything has to be obvious for even the most stupid of players, god forbid if they had to think for a minute before moving to the next content of their choice.

    I have been chuckling between rooms, as I refill coffee, have a smoke and such about that lobotomized hamster comment.

     

    Also, I edited the OP to remove the line about trying to stay away from discussing content...it's far more entertaining of a thread if we do. Even if we can technically seperate free-roaming and open world; Or Linear and Gated discussion...why should we, lol. Yes, they are different subjects, but I guess they are so closely related that it is actually difficult to discuss one side of it without the other.

    image

  • KenFisherKenFisher Member UncommonPosts: 5,035

    I see the question's terminology as paralleling seamless vs zoned.  I greatly prefer seamless.  I find zoned (especially with invisiwalls) feels artificially restrictive.

     

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,147
    Originally posted by ZombieKen

    I see the question's terminology as paralleling seamless vs zoned.  I greatly prefer seamless.  I find zoned (especially with invisiwalls) feels artificially restrictive.

    Yet "zoned" doesn't automatically mean "linear", and "seamless" doesn't automatically mean "free roaming". Comparing apples and oranges here.

    Using today's WoW and GW2 as examples, WoW is more "seamless" yet is way more "linear".

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
    CPU: Intel Core I7 9700k (4.90ghz) - GPU: ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER EVO 8GB DDR6 - RAM: 32GB Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 3000 - Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra - PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W - Storage: Kingston KC1000 NVMe 960gb SSD and 2x1TB WD Velociraptor HDDs (Raid 0) - Main display: Samsung U32J590 32" 4K monitor - Second display: Philips 273v 27" monitor - VR: Pimax 8K headset - Sound: Sony STR-DH550 AV Receiver HDMI linked with the GPU and the TV, with Jamo S 426 HS 3 5.0 speakers and Pioneer S-21W subwoofer - OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits.


  • HelleriHelleri Member UncommonPosts: 930
    Originally posted by ZombieKen

    I see the question's terminology as paralleling seamless vs zoned.  I greatly prefer seamless.  I find zoned (especially with invisiwalls) feels artificially restrictive.

     

     

    You can fairly draw that parallel (Seamless/Free-Roaming vs. Zoned/Linear). I would only diverge at the point of calling Open-world vs. Gated content synonymous with the aforementioned (though as stated, apparently to closely related to discuss apart from each other, which is why I edited the OP). While Seamless/Free-Roaming vs. Zoned/Linear could be considered two sides of the same coin. Once we talk about content and weather it is gated or open, then we are looking at the resulting change from our purchase into the initial discussion.

     

    Notice that my starting questions have for the most part only been somewhat addressed, almost as a way to turn it into a type of content debate, lol....I should have known better, tbh.

    image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,774
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
     

    Maybe not harsh enough, since it's a true story. Today's players totally lack initiative and the ability to make their own decisions compared to players back when UO, EQ and AC1 were the 3 top contenders. Hell, even WoW during Vanilla times had a decent amount of free roaming, where players had to decide where to go next and were not force feed by the game.

     

     

    May be it is boring to wandering and find content. People play games to be entertained, and entertained quickly.

    I certainly *can* wander for 30 minute looking for stuff to do ... but why should i in an entertainment product?

    You are confused between "unable to", and "don't want to". Just like map making. I use to make paper maps in the time of the first Might and Magic. It is trivially easy, and not fun (for me). So while i *can* do it, why should i not use the auto-map when it is more fun to me?

  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Member UncommonPosts: 2,077
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    ArenaNET gave the players a 100% free roaming game with GW2, but during the beta, many players were confused, lost, unable to think on their own and take initiative, so they had to patch in "hearts" to please those who have never known anything other than WoW clones with linear questing.

    Some people just completely lack imagination and initiative. They want to be on rails, grinding like lobotomized hamsters.

    Rather harsh, isn't it?

    Maybe not harsh enough, since it's a true story. Today's players totally lack initiative and the ability to make their own decisions compared to players back when UO, EQ and AC1 were the 3 top contenders. Hell, even WoW during Vanilla times had a decent amount of free roaming, where players had to decide where to go next and were not force feed by the game.

    Exploration, figuring out what to do next, using the brain and the imagination... nah. Everything has to be obvious for even the most stupid of players, god forbid if they had to think for a minute before moving to the next content of their choice.

    Nothing has really changed. The raiders back in 1998 are no different than they are in 2014.

     

    They're just as foul mouthed, prissy, loot whoring and drama builders as always (and still don't like player housing).

     

    Only thing that really changed is now they can be /ignored and the game doesn't die itself. :)

  • HyanmenHyanmen Member UncommonPosts: 5,357
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

    ArenaNET gave the players a 100% free roaming game with GW2, but during the beta, many players were confused, lost, unable to think on their own and take initiative, so they had to patch in "hearts" to please those who have never known anything other than WoW clones with linear questing.

    Some people just completely lack imagination and initiative. They want to be on rails, grinding like lobotomized hamsters.

    Rather harsh, isn't it?

    Maybe not harsh enough, since it's a true story. Today's players totally lack initiative and the ability to make their own decisions compared to players back when UO, EQ and AC1 were the 3 top contenders. Hell, even WoW during Vanilla times had a decent amount of free roaming, where players had to decide where to go next and were not force feed by the game.

    Exploration, figuring out what to do next, using the brain and the imagination... nah. Everything has to be obvious for even the most stupid of players, god forbid if they had to think for a minute before moving to the next content of their choice.

    Yeah, the troo adventrers of best em em oh's evar had to figure out the great challenges such as which database to check for quest info and wheres the list of best camps for exping, also where to find a strategy guide for the next boss using google... They don't make heroes like that today no more.

    Oh the joys of wasting endless hours figuring out what to do because the game doesn't tell you jack shit, just to find out you were doing it wrong and having to backtrack anyway.

    Maybe your anger and cynicism has nothing to do with the quality of today's MMO players but more to do with glorifying the past and antagonizing the present, obviously escaping from the reality that the rest of the world lives in in the process. Sounds like you're having a blast.

    Using LOL is like saying "my argument sucks but I still want to disagree".
  • laokokolaokoko Member UncommonPosts: 2,004

    I like free roaming. 

    That being said, I mostly play linear level game. 

    Because I rather play good linear game than bad free roaming gmae.

     

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,147
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
     

    Maybe not harsh enough, since it's a true story. Today's players totally lack initiative and the ability to make their own decisions compared to players back when UO, EQ and AC1 were the 3 top contenders. Hell, even WoW during Vanilla times had a decent amount of free roaming, where players had to decide where to go next and were not force feed by the game.

     

     

    May be it is boring to wandering and find content. People play games to be entertained, and entertained quickly.

    I certainly *can* wander for 30 minute looking for stuff to do ... but why should i in an entertainment product?

    You are confused between "unable to", and "don't want to". Just like map making. I use to make paper maps in the time of the first Might and Magic. It is trivially easy, and not fun (for me). So while i *can* do it, why should i not use the auto-map when it is more fun to me?

    What's the difference between:

    1) The quest text says "go find the lair of the great white Lion, north west from here between the two hills".

    and

    2) The quest text says "Kill the while Lion", and you have a big arrow on your map showing the area NW between the two hills.

     

    Simple. Option 1 required a bit of observation, adventuring, logic and general brain usage. Not much, anyone with a normal IQ and average reading comprehension will find it very quickly. Option 2 is made so that no thinking at all is involved, no adventuring, no exploration, nothing. Dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, the most stupid player.

    It's just like TV, 90% of the programs are made for brainless people.

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
    CPU: Intel Core I7 9700k (4.90ghz) - GPU: ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER EVO 8GB DDR6 - RAM: 32GB Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 3000 - Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra - PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W - Storage: Kingston KC1000 NVMe 960gb SSD and 2x1TB WD Velociraptor HDDs (Raid 0) - Main display: Samsung U32J590 32" 4K monitor - Second display: Philips 273v 27" monitor - VR: Pimax 8K headset - Sound: Sony STR-DH550 AV Receiver HDMI linked with the GPU and the TV, with Jamo S 426 HS 3 5.0 speakers and Pioneer S-21W subwoofer - OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits.


  • laokokolaokoko Member UncommonPosts: 2,004
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
     

    Maybe not harsh enough, since it's a true story. Today's players totally lack initiative and the ability to make their own decisions compared to players back when UO, EQ and AC1 were the 3 top contenders. Hell, even WoW during Vanilla times had a decent amount of free roaming, where players had to decide where to go next and were not force feed by the game.

     

     

    May be it is boring to wandering and find content. People play games to be entertained, and entertained quickly.

    I certainly *can* wander for 30 minute looking for stuff to do ... but why should i in an entertainment product?

    You are confused between "unable to", and "don't want to". Just like map making. I use to make paper maps in the time of the first Might and Magic. It is trivially easy, and not fun (for me). So while i *can* do it, why should i not use the auto-map when it is more fun to me?

    What's the difference between:

    1) The quest text says "go find the lair of the great white Lion, north west from here between the two hills".

    and

    2) The quest text says "Kill the while Lion", and you have a big arrow on your map showing the area NW between the two hills.

     

    Simple. Option 1 required a bit of observation, adventuring, logic and general brain usage. Not much, anyone with a normal IQ and average reading comprehension will find it very quickly. Option 2 is made so that no thinking at all is involved, no adventuring, no exploration, nothing. Dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, the most stupid player.

    It's just like TV, 90% of the programs are made for brainless people.

    The problem is there are literally hundred of quests in todays themepark games.  I Just don't felt like getting stuck doing this mindless quest.

    If you take out those mindless quest and put in more meaniful content.  That might be better.

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard Member LegendaryPosts: 8,147
    Originally posted by laokoko
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
     

    Maybe not harsh enough, since it's a true story. Today's players totally lack initiative and the ability to make their own decisions compared to players back when UO, EQ and AC1 were the 3 top contenders. Hell, even WoW during Vanilla times had a decent amount of free roaming, where players had to decide where to go next and were not force feed by the game.

     

     

    May be it is boring to wandering and find content. People play games to be entertained, and entertained quickly.

    I certainly *can* wander for 30 minute looking for stuff to do ... but why should i in an entertainment product?

    You are confused between "unable to", and "don't want to". Just like map making. I use to make paper maps in the time of the first Might and Magic. It is trivially easy, and not fun (for me). So while i *can* do it, why should i not use the auto-map when it is more fun to me?

    What's the difference between:

    1) The quest text says "go find the lair of the great white Lion, north west from here between the two hills".

    and

    2) The quest text says "Kill the while Lion", and you have a big arrow on your map showing the area NW between the two hills.

     

    Simple. Option 1 required a bit of observation, adventuring, logic and general brain usage. Not much, anyone with a normal IQ and average reading comprehension will find it very quickly. Option 2 is made so that no thinking at all is involved, no adventuring, no exploration, nothing. Dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, the most stupid player.

    It's just like TV, 90% of the programs are made for brainless people.

    The problem is there are literally hundred of quests in todays themepark games.  I Just don't felt like getting stuck doing this mindless quest.

    If you take out those mindless quest and put in more meaniful content.  That might be better.

    That's precisely the problem. The "average" player doesn't want that. He likes his dumbed down, "designed for stupid" quests, which wouldn't even have been named "quests" in past games but just mere "tasks". And the more linear the better, so he never has to even start to think about where to go next.

    "The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn in Star Wars.
    After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that nor does the ability to write.
    CPU: Intel Core I7 9700k (4.90ghz) - GPU: ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER EVO 8GB DDR6 - RAM: 32GB Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 3000 - Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra - PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W - Storage: Kingston KC1000 NVMe 960gb SSD and 2x1TB WD Velociraptor HDDs (Raid 0) - Main display: Samsung U32J590 32" 4K monitor - Second display: Philips 273v 27" monitor - VR: Pimax 8K headset - Sound: Sony STR-DH550 AV Receiver HDMI linked with the GPU and the TV, with Jamo S 426 HS 3 5.0 speakers and Pioneer S-21W subwoofer - OS: Windows 10 Pro 64 bits.


  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Member UncommonPosts: 2,077
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by laokoko
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
     

    Maybe not harsh enough, since it's a true story. Today's players totally lack initiative and the ability to make their own decisions compared to players back when UO, EQ and AC1 were the 3 top contenders. Hell, even WoW during Vanilla times had a decent amount of free roaming, where players had to decide where to go next and were not force feed by the game.

     

     

    May be it is boring to wandering and find content. People play games to be entertained, and entertained quickly.

    I certainly *can* wander for 30 minute looking for stuff to do ... but why should i in an entertainment product?

    You are confused between "unable to", and "don't want to". Just like map making. I use to make paper maps in the time of the first Might and Magic. It is trivially easy, and not fun (for me). So while i *can* do it, why should i not use the auto-map when it is more fun to me?

    What's the difference between:

    1) The quest text says "go find the lair of the great white Lion, north west from here between the two hills".

    and

    2) The quest text says "Kill the while Lion", and you have a big arrow on your map showing the area NW between the two hills.

     

    Simple. Option 1 required a bit of observation, adventuring, logic and general brain usage. Not much, anyone with a normal IQ and average reading comprehension will find it very quickly. Option 2 is made so that no thinking at all is involved, no adventuring, no exploration, nothing. Dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, the most stupid player.

    It's just like TV, 90% of the programs are made for brainless people.

    The problem is there are literally hundred of quests in todays themepark games.  I Just don't felt like getting stuck doing this mindless quest.

    If you take out those mindless quest and put in more meaniful content.  That might be better.

    That's precisely the problem. The "average" player doesn't want that. He likes his dumbed down, "designed for stupid" quests, which wouldn't even have been named "quests" in past games but just mere "tasks". And the more linear the better, so he never has to even start to think about where to go next.

    And why does the "average" player even does it, Jean?

  • HelleriHelleri Member UncommonPosts: 930
    Originally posted by laokoko
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
     

    Maybe not harsh enough, since it's a true story. Today's players totally lack initiative and the ability to make their own decisions compared to players back when UO, EQ and AC1 were the 3 top contenders. Hell, even WoW during Vanilla times had a decent amount of free roaming, where players had to decide where to go next and were not force feed by the game.

     

     

    May be it is boring to wandering and find content. People play games to be entertained, and entertained quickly.

    I certainly *can* wander for 30 minute looking for stuff to do ... but why should i in an entertainment product?

    You are confused between "unable to", and "don't want to". Just like map making. I use to make paper maps in the time of the first Might and Magic. It is trivially easy, and not fun (for me). So while i *can* do it, why should i not use the auto-map when it is more fun to me?

    What's the difference between:

    1) The quest text says "go find the lair of the great white Lion, north west from here between the two hills".

    and

    2) The quest text says "Kill the while Lion", and you have a big arrow on your map showing the area NW between the two hills.

     

    Simple. Option 1 required a bit of observation, adventuring, logic and general brain usage. Not much, anyone with a normal IQ and average reading comprehension will find it very quickly. Option 2 is made so that no thinking at all is involved, no adventuring, no exploration, nothing. Dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, the most stupid player.

    It's just like TV, 90% of the programs are made for brainless people.

    The problem is there are literally hundred of quests in todays themepark games.  I Just don't felt like getting stuck doing this mindless quest.

    If you take out those mindless quest and put in more meaniful content.  That might be better.

    I don't consider most MMORPG these days as actually having any quests. I am one of those which has been spoiled by Runescape on the subject of what a quest looks like.

     

    A typical quest in Runescape starts out with you running what should be a simple errand. But, quickly snowballs into you stealing outfits to disguise yourself so you can get into secret hideouts and pickpocket keys in order to free someone with important information. Interrogating npc's. Figuring out how seemingly unrelated physical clues left behind point to a specific secret location. Building miniature mecha-penguin suits and being magically shrunk to fit inside of it so that you can stop the flight envying foul from taking over the world through acts of espionage and sabotage. Solving intricate puzzles to unlock doors so that you can infiltrate a demon summoning ceremony, and make sure it goes wrong so he gets sent back to an hellish dimension. Tricking ogres into eating hard food, so that you extract their tooth with special secateurs, in order to have all of the ingredients for a shield diffusing spell that will help reawaken the fairy queen...It gets very involved, very quickly...and 4 hours later you get to return to that first NPC and be like:

     

    Player:"HEre! here is the damn polished bronze knife that you couldn't walk 3 minutes away to get yourself!"

    NPC: "Did you have any trouble getting it? It took you a while."

    Player: "*sigh*...unfortunately nothing out of the ordinary."

     

    ...What most MMORPG call quests...In Runescape we call simple tasks.

     

    Btw (and in-so-much bring it back around to the discussion at hand) Runescape is my example for a free-roaming world done right. It's open and you can explore it. But there are still many micro linear paths to take within it that expand your access to the overall world. when and where you choose to do these things is up to you though.

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  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247

    Linear design I play up until about mid-level and then move on to the next game as that's usually around when I've seen all the skills, mobs and features the game has to offer. 

    I far prefer what you call free-roaming, as it is often combined with mechanics I prefer such as skill-based advancement and sandbox-focused features. 

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • KenFisherKenFisher Member UncommonPosts: 5,035
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by ZombieKen

    I see the question's terminology as paralleling seamless vs zoned.  I greatly prefer seamless.  I find zoned (especially with invisiwalls) feels artificially restrictive.

    Yet "zoned" doesn't automatically mean "linear", and "seamless" doesn't automatically mean "free roaming". Comparing apples and oranges here.

    Using today's WoW and GW2 as examples, WoW is more "seamless" yet is way more "linear".

     

    WoW is very linear in gameplay, I agree.  But I think the OP is expressing zone design options, or maybe more correctly zone building options.

     

    One way I used to describe what I think the OP is referring to as linear zone design, is "Cattle Chutes".  Like the old linear SP RPGs where leaving one area took the player character on a zero choices path (aka linear path) to the destination.

     

    One example of what I think the OP is talking about is the original Guild Wars.  Some of the zones in there are very close to what I'd call "Cattle Chutes".  There's one way in, one way out, and pretty much only one way to get from in to out.

     

    Pardon if I'm messing up the language on this.  I don't know what the common term is for what I call "Cattle Chutes" as applied to MMORPG zone design where the zone is highly restrictive on where one can go.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247
    Originally posted by ZombieKen
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Originally posted by ZombieKen

    I see the question's terminology as paralleling seamless vs zoned.  I greatly prefer seamless.  I find zoned (especially with invisiwalls) feels artificially restrictive.

    Yet "zoned" doesn't automatically mean "linear", and "seamless" doesn't automatically mean "free roaming". Comparing apples and oranges here.

    Using today's WoW and GW2 as examples, WoW is more "seamless" yet is way more "linear".

     

    WoW is very linear in gameplay, I agree.  But I think the OP is expressing zone design options, or maybe more correctly zone building options.

    One way I used to describe what I think the OP is referring to as linear zone design, is "Cattle Chutes".  Like the old linear SP RPGs where leaving one area took the player character on a zero choices path (aka linear path) to the destination.

    One example of what I think the OP is talking about is the original Guild Wars.  Some of the zones in there are very close to what I'd call "Cattle Chutes".  There's one way in, one way out, and pretty much only one way to get from in to out.

    Pardon if I'm messing up the language on this.  I don't know what the common term is for what I call "Cattle Chutes" as applied to MMORPG zone design where the zone is highly restrictive on where one can go.

     

    I think the word you are looking for is Tiered not Zoned, as tiered content is what created the "cattle chutes". Whether the game world is seamless, instanced, zoned or otherwise is relatively immaterial. You can still have a seamless world and have the content tiered within it. The WOW/GW2 example above is a great example of that. 

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • KenFisherKenFisher Member UncommonPosts: 5,035
    Originally posted by Helleri
    I would only diverge at the point of calling Open-world vs. Gated content synonymous with the aforementioned.

     

    I agree.  Free roaming world design does not imply non-gated content (aka free-roaming gameplay).

     

    I've been rethinking the original question, and I'm sort of coming up with that I like both (either?).  If I'm walking the road from Apple-town to Bananna-town and have to fight my way through angry mobs to get there, I'm okay with the road being in a region with linear design.  It still serves the purpose, and it does fit with classic RPG design.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
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