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The One Big Mistake long-term MMO's make

ReallyNow10ReallyNow10 Member UncommonPosts: 2,225
That one big mistake that I see often in long-term MMO's, the mistake that really kills the game for me is when the dev's decide to create some central hub that everyone ports to and from. This streamlining of the game makes overland travel and much of the game world moot, and empty.

With EQ, it was the Plane of Knowledge that did this.  With WOW, it was Dalaran and is now the garrison.  Other games do this too.

An MMO's strongest feature is the world.  So, why create ways for players to bypass it?  The low level player having a tough time with a low level encounter should, on occasion, be bailed by the high level player who was passing through.  That kind of stuff is great.  However, riding around in circles in some central hub while awaiting dungeon finder to pop ... is not great.

The world is the foundation of a healthy MMO.  The community is the cement.

Comments

  • MMOvisionMMOvision Member UncommonPosts: 112
    I dunno about 'biggest mistake" but, I do agree that the shift to centralize players + queue popping is shitty development choice.    

    I still think we/the players are what is ruining the genre when it comes down to it.    If it wasn't for the millions of people now playing MMO's that never were interested in playing MMORPGs in the first place, the development may not have gone that route to begin with.

    All the large mistakes I consider being made by development usually translate to their way of trying to cash in on the fact that MMO's are "in" and millions of trendy gamers are paying out the nose to eat up new games with these "mistakes"/features.  
  • MellowTiggerMellowTigger Member UncommonPosts: 84
    edited November 2015
    An MMO's strongest feature is the world.  So, why create ways for players to bypass it?
    I would agree, but as games require more time grouping than soloing, then players realize that spending time gathering to the same location is not the same thing as time spent playing a game.
  • borghive49borghive49 Member RarePosts: 372
    Hopefully with all these kickstarter MMOs in development we might get an original one that is closer to the roots of mmo gaming.  I doubt we will see another AAA mmo again. Which might be a good thing at the end of the day. 
  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Ok, so suppose you have a new mmorpg with 30 zones and each server can handle 3000 people.  That is an average of 100 people per zone.  Over time, expansion are added and now we have 100 zones for 3000 people or 30 people per zone.  Yup, looks like it is going down.

    That doesn't factor into started zones, leveling zones and endgame zones that spread things differently over time.  So there are "issues" there.

    Ok, they don't add new zones to the game, force over crowding of server population, put endgame content in starting and leveling zones.  Don't have fast travel.

    Or just don't worry about some people not seeing other people.  I don't get that as an issue.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

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    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

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  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member RarePosts: 1,959
    More likely virtual world bad design for me .
    I remember a game called priston tale where i keep come back to lower area to solo because higher level spots are full . And it hard to solo in higher so for player who want to solo , lower area have it own value .

  • sanshi44sanshi44 Member UncommonPosts: 1,187
    Mixing in the higher level mobs into low level zones acualy help to, It brings a sense of danger to low levels and also bring back higher level players to bring life to low level zones. Some example are the ice,hill and sandgiants in Everquest they were like level 40 mobs and they roamed in level 20ish area's they yielded decent amount of coin so they were worth killing so you often had a diversity of higher and lower level plays in each area. This also helps the community a bit too cause quite often the higher level players came across the lower players gave them some buffs and maybe chatted a bit before they went for there next giant or what not.
    Dont realy see that much anymore in games anymore unfortuenty but i do miss seeing it, like nothing keep you on your toes like mobs that would destroy you wandering round that you had to be wary off.

    Other examples is like the Gnoll courior in blackburrow he was round level 30 or somthing and spawned in a lvl 10 zone and he would respawn like every hour and half at the start of the zone and ran all the way down to the commander room then despawn. This mob dropped things required for a quest for the gnoll basher club or what it was called that higher levels often came looking for him and while they waited they helped the lowbies in the zone usualy.
  • delete5230delete5230 Member EpicPosts: 5,725

    Late stage Vanilla World of Warcraft had the world play down perfect.

    -  The world was seamless.

    -  The zones were large.

    -  The large cities were great for resetting your character and licking your wounds.  And the zone hubs had the basic substance needed to continue short term.


    As far as big mistakes with ALL MMOS are :

    1)  Dungeon Finders, this alone destroys the mmo.

    2) Cash shops, who purchased what ?......No even playing field.

    3) Chain quest prevents playing with others around you.  I'm on part 2, your on part 4.

    4) Forced solo stories, this makes people feel obligated to play by themselves.

    5) Mega servers, with them you have no community. Must have servers that every one stays put.


    This should be a sticky because this is exactly what's wrong with long-term


  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    sanshi44 said:
    Mixing in the higher level mobs into low level zones acualy help to, It brings a sense of danger to low levels and also bring back higher level players to bring life to low level zones. Some example are the ice,hill and sandgiants in Everquest they were like level 40 mobs and they roamed in level 20ish area's they yielded decent amount of coin so they were worth killing so you often had a diversity of higher and lower level plays in each area. This also helps the community a bit too cause quite often the higher level players came across the lower players gave them some buffs and maybe chatted a bit before they went for there next giant or what not.
    Dont realy see that much anymore in games anymore unfortuenty but i do miss seeing it, like nothing keep you on your toes like mobs that would destroy you wandering round that you had to be wary off.

    Other examples is like the Gnoll courior in blackburrow he was round level 30 or somthing and spawned in a lvl 10 zone and he would respawn like every hour and half at the start of the zone and ran all the way down to the commander room then despawn. This mob dropped things required for a quest for the gnoll basher club or what it was called that higher levels often came looking for him and while they waited they helped the lowbies in the zone usualy.

    When city of heroes added the ambush missions it did add that sense of danger.  You might be in steel canyon and a group of level 35 mobs would start moving in the zone to sit in a spot until the high level group finished the instance where they would get jumped.  Fun stuff.  Plus you could play the "hero" saving low level players from these threats.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    waynejr2 said:
    Ok, so suppose you have a new mmorpg with 30 zones and each server can handle 3000 people.  That is an average of 100 people per zone.  Over time, expansion are added and now we have 100 zones for 3000 people or 30 people per zone.  Yup, looks like it is going down.

    That doesn't factor into started zones, leveling zones and endgame zones that spread things differently over time.  So there are "issues" there.

    Ok, they don't add new zones to the game, force over crowding of server population, put endgame content in starting and leveling zones.  Don't have fast travel.

    Or just don't worry about some people not seeing other people.  I don't get that as an issue.
    The modern solution is to use mega servers instead, always a lot of people around then.

    But making players spend a lot of time by themselves in a place like a garrison still is a bad idea, it  doesn't work very well even for Wow. If you want to play without running into other players you might as well play Witcher 3...

    Guildhalls is a different matter, there you socialize with a rather specific group of players. MMOs greatest strenght is actually other players (even if it also is the greatest weakness at other times). MMOs need to become more social, not less.

    It is hardly the biggest problem long running MMOs get though, the raising of the levelcap that makes old gear, dungeons and open world maps useless is a far worse problem. After a few expansions all MMOs I ever played have gone downwards (and udually fast). 3-5 expansions tend to work but after that the game ages fast.
  • AntiquatedAntiquated Member RarePosts: 1,415
    edited November 2015
    This "Mistake" is created by simple logistics.

    World gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger (via twelve or twenty expansions). The transit times grow longer and longer and longer.

    Eventually, something has to give. Which usually leads to some sort of hub or teleport scheme that no one really wanted, but necessity demands.

    Original game, jog jog jog. "Hey devs, we're spending the vast majority of our play time jogging."

    "Have some boats and such."

    Two expansions later, "Moar boats, and decreased boat transit time. Additional jog speed."

    Four expansions later, "Damn, you're an hour away (transit time) from any kind of central trading or training locations. We'd best chuck in a few more of those. Have some mounts."

    Four expansions later, "We're going to need some kind of transport spell."

    Four expansions later, "Teleport to and from the furthest reaches..."

    And that's how you arrive at the dreaded "quest hub mistake". Cumulative quality of life changes that lead (ultimately) to an end result no one particularly asked for. And a game world that's just too freakin huge for "back to basic jogging!"

    Players could, theoretically, be a bit less content-greedy. And devs a bit less money-hungry. But that's like voluntary abstinence as your primary form of birth control. Better have a backup plan.
  • PalaPala Member UncommonPosts: 290
    edited November 2015
    Centralized zones are ok and a teleport to them but just once is ok in my opinion. Anarchy online had a thing that you could teleport to your bank and to one saved place once in 60 mins. To me that was great because at the and of a long session I liked to port back to city, deal with my inventory, socialize for a bit and log off. Nice way to finish off a play session.

    When I logged on I could teleport to the place where I was doing dungeons and look for group.  The grid was also fun it shortened your travel times but you still had to get to the grid entry location which wasnt always easy.

    Anarchy online, amazing game with amazing concepts, if they could modernize it it would be perfect!

  • DarkVagabondDarkVagabond Member UncommonPosts: 326
    THE mistake is when they try to change the game to attract the new type of MMO players 7 years after launch. It only makes the old players quit.
  • RedAlert539RedAlert539 Member UncommonPosts: 115
    Not to mention that in central hubs where lots of ppl gather the immaturity of the masses starts to take over. The general/zone chat becomes toxic and strupid as hell. 
  • mark2123mark2123 Member UncommonPosts: 450
    That one big mistake that I see often in long-term MMO's, the mistake that really kills the game for me is when the dev's decide to create some central hub that everyone ports to and from. This streamlining of the game makes overland travel and much of the game world moot, and empty.

    With EQ, it was the Plane of Knowledge that did this.  With WOW, it was Dalaran and is now the garrison.  Other games do this too.

    An MMO's strongest feature is the world.  So, why create ways for players to bypass it?  The low level player having a tough time with a low level encounter should, on occasion, be bailed by the high level player who was passing through.  That kind of stuff is great.  However, riding around in circles in some central hub while awaiting dungeon finder to pop ... is not great.

    The world is the foundation of a healthy MMO.  The community is the cement.
    I agree with your sentiment, in that when everyone gravitates to one place it makes the entire world seem empty, which is the exact opposite of what they should be trying to achieve.

    It's actually dev laziness that does it because a great design would be to keep people out on the world and actually give them things to do in each zone, even it ifs end-level grind dailies.  It's good to see other players of all levels out and about.
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,149
    I disagree that centralised hubs destroy MMOs and are a mistake. I'd go so far as to say that centralised hubs are actually a good thing.


    What I think you may have meant is that is is a serious mistake when the endgame is designed in such a way that players never have to leave the centralised hub, which I would agree with. 


    An example:

    When LotRO was first released, it had 4 hubs: Bree, Erid Luin, Rivendell and Michel Delving. These were the only places where you could access the auction house and vault, they each had all the class trainers plus they were all close to the player housing. They were natural hubs and so players congregated there. 

    However, to enter a dungeon, you had to go to the entrance. So, whilst LotRO had centralised hubs, players still had to head out into the world to be able to do the endgame content, so you'd see people riding through the lower levels to get to the higher levels to get to the dungeon entrances. All groups were formed through chat, so chat in most zones was active. The hubs became great social places, but you weren't stuck there, the world still felt lived in and used by everyone. 

    As the game progressed, people ended up using just one hub mainly. Then with dungeon finder, nobody needed to leave the hub either, and then the game did feel shit and empty. 
  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 10,943
    The biggest "mistake" long-term MMOs make is that they simply stop being fun for the player.  It is simply very hard to churn out enough content that is different and interesting for years.

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  • mark2123mark2123 Member UncommonPosts: 450
    The biggest "mistake" long-term MMOs make is that they simply stop being fun for the player.  It is simply very hard to churn out enough content that is different and interesting for years.
    Perhaps a free MMO has an excuse, but when you pay a monthly sub and pay for every expac, like WoW, you should expect more than what often gets delivered. 
  • ShaighShaigh Member RarePosts: 2,002
    The strong point of WoW was the endgame and not the world. Its the endgame that kept all those people playing for so many years, the world simply occupied them for a few days up to a few week.

    The problem for new themeparks is that many players don't really care for the endgame anymore, they just wish to experience a simple story and move on. That's why f2p is so popular, people are willing to spend money while they are experiencing the story. The few that will stick around pays the optional subscription.
    The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
  • XiaokiXiaoki Member RarePosts: 3,231
    THE mistake is when they try to change the game to attract the new type of MMO players 7 years after launch. It only makes the old players quit.
    At that point the old players would be quiting anyway. They would be leaving for newer games or any of a thousand different reasons.

    So, you would have a situation of losing old players to attrition and unable to attract new players to replace the loss of the old players.

    Yeah, you know what that leads to.

    Which would be a far worse thing than something like a centralized hub city.
  • QuirhidQuirhid Member UncommonPosts: 6,230
    edited November 2015
    A feature which is enables players to find content in their level range and other players in the same level range to group with, is not a mistake. It is a good feature. This is a good thing. It is easier to find groups, and it is easier to find something to do.

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

  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Loke666 said:
    waynejr2 said:
    Ok, so suppose you have a new mmorpg with 30 zones and each server can handle 3000 people.  That is an average of 100 people per zone.  Over time, expansion are added and now we have 100 zones for 3000 people or 30 people per zone.  Yup, looks like it is going down.

    That doesn't factor into started zones, leveling zones and endgame zones that spread things differently over time.  So there are "issues" there.

    Ok, they don't add new zones to the game, force over crowding of server population, put endgame content in starting and leveling zones.  Don't have fast travel.

    Or just don't worry about some people not seeing other people.  I don't get that as an issue.
    The modern solution is to use mega servers instead, always a lot of people around then.

    But making players spend a lot of time by themselves in a place like a garrison still is a bad idea, it  doesn't work very well even for Wow. If you want to play without running into other players you might as well play Witcher 3...

    Guildhalls is a different matter, there you socialize with a rather specific group of players. MMOs greatest strenght is actually other players (even if it also is the greatest weakness at other times). MMOs need to become more social, not less.

    It is hardly the biggest problem long running MMOs get though, the raising of the levelcap that makes old gear, dungeons and open world maps useless is a far worse problem. After a few expansions all MMOs I ever played have gone downwards (and udually fast). 3-5 expansions tend to work but after that the game ages fast.

    Not much of a solution as you can have banding where people are at endgame zones, areas of convenience (near AH, portals and FP) or that Inn in Goldshire  :wink::.   I think it is just some peoples problems.  Some kind of need to see people in every zone they go to.

    Or that whole its a crying shame that certain content got out leveled.  As if we want to keep running those instances 4 years later.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

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    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • DrDread74DrDread74 Member UncommonPosts: 308

    The kind of MMO you're talking about appeals to a small percentage of people, namely the ones here in the forum =)

    It's not lucrative to spend a lot more time and effort developing a deep challenging dynamic blah blah world for a small set of hardcore RPGs fans when I can put together "The Kim Kardashian Game" on mobile and make 158 million dollars in a week

    Even the game I'm working on might be shooting itself in the foot by not going Hi marketing micro transactions and the kind of gameplay that a 12yr old would love. But hey like you all I wouldn't have fun making it or playing with it otherwise!

    We must suffer the reality that this world is not made for us, it's made for Kim Kardashian.


    http://baronsofthegalaxy.com/
     An MMO game I created, solo. It's live now and absolutely free to play!
  • jalexbrownjalexbrown Member UncommonPosts: 253
    Typically MMOs seem to funnel players into the biggest, most expensive areas to develop.  How much time you spend there is one of the metrics that will justify their investment, so they funnel players repeatedly into these expensive locations in order to justify the expense.  If they weren't funneling players into specific areas, you'd have a far less detailed world as the incentive to make areas look nice would be all or nothing, and all is just far too expensive.
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