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When will the genre truly evolve?

DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,231
In my mind, the genre has been more or less stagnant for many years.

Some games have tried to change some aspects of the genre, and I guess some would argue they succeeded. Guild Wars 2 tried to do away with the traditional carrot and brought "dynamic questing" to the playing field. ESO, SWtOR and Secret World went all the way with fully voice acted "cinematic" quests and - as a result - feel largely like singleplayer games.

Many, many smaller MMOs have tried to promote sandbox gameplay, but none of them seem to have truly succeeded in changing the genre standard in a significant way.

I could go on, but I'm just thinking out loud.

What would it take to truly take the genre forward? Are you happy with the way games are just repeating what came before?
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Comments

  • tawesstawess Member EpicPosts: 4,162
    games are constantly evolving, i think what you are asking for is a game to revolutionize the genre more then evolve it. 

    The answer.... As soon as there is big enough of a market demand for it. 

    Tawess gaming

    Tawess soapbox

    This have been a good conversation

  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,231
    Revolution is a big deal, though.

    Some people would claim that WoW is nothing but a polished up EverQuest with streamlined gameplay. Others would claim it's the biggest revolution that's happened in the genre.

    But what I'm talking about is really a game that changes some of the core standards for the better. Maybe that's a revolution - I'll leave that for others to decide.
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,807
    As you noted yourself, there is an evolution - "dynamic questing", more emphasis on story telling, etc. the list can go on and on.

    The genre does move forward. Nowhere is said the direction must be the way you desire though, and I think that is what you are asking here.
  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,231
    No, I'm asking for the opinions of others.

    There's no reason to assume the worst.

    I personally don't think GW2 changed a standard with their quest system, but that's probably more about the implementation than the concept.

    But I guess I can assume that you think it represents a genre evolution - and that's certainly an interesting opinion :)
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,807
    DKLond said:
    No, I'm asking for the opinions of others.

    There's no reason to assume the worst.

    I personally don't think GW2 changed a standard with their quest system, but that's probably more about the implementation than the concept.

    But I guess I can assume that you think it represents a genre evolution - and that's certainly an interesting opinion :)
    That is what I was talking about...

    GW2 was not the first with "dynamic questing", ie. Warhammer Online used similar concept long before and ESO, released after GW2 is using it too.

    It is the process of changes over time, certain features being implemented, some gets forgotten, some catch up and are being polished.

    I do not think it represents an evolution, it is an evolution. That's a fact.

  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,182
    I think it basically boils down to rather than a company having the funds to make a game, they'd instead need to have the funds and time to experiment with engine designs as well as extensive feature R&D.. Which is a much larger undertaking than messing with a system or two's presentation.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,229
    The themepark MMO hasn't stagnated, it has steadily evolved over the years and continues to do so. The "big" evolutions I can think of off the top of my head for themeparks:

    • Accessibility (WoW) - First MMO designed in a way to be accessible to the masses. Steamlined questing, tutorials, easy combat with some humour thrown in. 
    • Class Specs - Back in the day, your class was fixed. Specs opened up classes so they could be played in more than one way
    • Voice-acting (SW:TOR) - Big step up in terms of quest presentation. It was all surface fluff, but it was a big committment and showed the community a different way to engage with it's audience (i still prefer quest text myself). 
    • Action Combat (ESO / Wildstar) - This has been one of the most significant evolutions over the last 2 years. Action combat changes the fundamental way players consume content, shifting the emphasis from brain power to repetition / twitch. 
    • Instancing - More and more themeparks use instancing to tightly control the environment, allowing for more scripted encounters and personalised content. 

    Sure, themepark MMOs all follow roughly the same formula - questing, classes, levels, endgame raiding and pvp - but within each of those areas they have continued to evolve. 


    What the genre is missing is a AAA sandbox MMORPG or a AAA hybrid MMORPG. In the entire history of the genre, we've never had either. In the same way that WoW took the EQ formula and streamlined it for the masses, we need a AAA developer to take the UO / SWG formula and streamline that for the masses. It would be a big risk which is primarily why it probably hasn't happened, but it is doable. 
  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    tawess said:
    games are constantly evolving, i think what you are asking for is a game to revolutionize the genre more then evolve it. 

    The answer.... As soon as there is big enough of a market demand for it. 
    Games are constantly getting polished up but that isn't really the same as evolving. Well, they are kinda evolving as well but very very slowly, changing a small few things doesn't really change the experience of playing the game.

    It doesn't really work that way, there isn't a market demand for things that doesn't exist yet. Those products create the demand, not the other way around. Of course once people see the product they need to want it but that is a different thing.

    And market research doesn't really work that well in cases like this. They thought the Newton would be a huge success while the IPAD was considered very risky.

    None of us really know what would evolve or revolutionize the genre, we wont know until it happen. For that to happen a dev probably should stop looking how other games have done with their gameplay and instead look on why MMOs have stuff like questing (for example) and then try to create something new that solves the same problem.

    Another possibility would be to go back to pen and paper RPGs and start all over to convert one of them into a computer game (preferably Shadowrun)  by converting all the mechanics from the start instead of looking how others did the same thing for Meridian 59 and the Ultima games. That would create something entirely new which still would be a MMORPG but so different that the experience playing it would be completely new.

    Of course, creating a entirely new product from start is hard (again, look on the Newton (apples first "pad") but it certainly isn't impossible. It is probably easier then taking a modern or old MMO and turning it into a next gen game, that have been tried many times (Warhammer online is one example that didn't work but there are loads of failed "next gen MMOs".
  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,231
    Gdemami said:
    DKLond said:
    No, I'm asking for the opinions of others.

    There's no reason to assume the worst.

    I personally don't think GW2 changed a standard with their quest system, but that's probably more about the implementation than the concept.

    But I guess I can assume that you think it represents a genre evolution - and that's certainly an interesting opinion :)
    That is what I was talking about...

    GW2 was not the first with "dynamic questing", ie. Warhammer Online used similar concept long before and ESO, released after GW2 is using it too.

    It is the process of changes over time, certain features being implemented, some gets forgotten, some catch up and are being polished.

    I do not think it represents an evolution, it is an evolution. That's a fact.

    Not quite correct.

    It's true that WAR implemented public quests - but they were few and far between. Rift also has public quests - but most are traditional NPC driven quests.

    ESO also uses a traditional NPC quest system - albeit it's slightly more dynamic than WoW. There are "public" battles and dungeons, though.

    GW2, AFAIK, is the first game to implement dynamic questing as the primary PvE content.

    If you look at the games released since GW2 - I can't find a single game with a similar system.

    As such, it's not an evolution - no matter what your personal opinion is.

    However, if we're talking "public quest" content as a norm - I agree that games like WAR introduced and brought some level of evolution along with that feature.
  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    Gdemami said:
    As you noted yourself, there is an evolution - "dynamic questing", more emphasis on story telling, etc. the list can go on and on.

    The genre does move forward. Nowhere is said the direction must be the way you desire though, and I think that is what you are asking here.
    Dynamic questing is in a way a huge step forward, but just in the way you present the content for the players. The quests in themselves are still basically the same though and that is the problem, they do hide the grind pretty well but it isn't enough to make GW2 (who at the moment uses the feature best) a new generation, at best it is a .5 step forward.

    It is a good idea to present working content in a new way though but it isn't enough so far. DEs are at the moment still pretty early compared to quests, I would say it is about where quests were when EQ released and they will probably evolve way further so there surely is the possibility that a dynamic MMO eventually make a new generation of MMOs but we aren't there yet.
  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,231
    Loke666 said:

    Gdemami said:
    As you noted yourself, there is an evolution - "dynamic questing", more emphasis on story telling, etc. the list can go on and on.

    The genre does move forward. Nowhere is said the direction must be the way you desire though, and I think that is what you are asking here.
    Dynamic questing is in a way a huge step forward, but just in the way you present the content for the players. The quests in themselves are still basically the same though and that is the problem, they do hide the grind pretty well but it isn't enough to make GW2 (who at the moment uses the feature best) a new generation, at best it is a .5 step forward.

    It is a good idea to present working content in a new way though but it isn't enough so far. DEs are at the moment still pretty early compared to quests, I would say it is about where quests were when EQ released and they will probably evolve way further so there surely is the possibility that a dynamic MMO eventually make a new generation of MMOs but we aren't there yet.
    Agreed.

    The GW2 concept has potential - but I think it'll take quite a bit more work to actually represent an evolution over story-heavy NPC driven quests.

    Certainly, I'd rather have to travel back and forth between NPCs and get a great captivating story - than I'd enjoy the open world dynamic nature of poorly written and poorly presented events.

    Obviously, that's just my opinion about GW2 events. They never quite worked for me, sadly.
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,807
    DKLond said:
    Not quite correct.

    It's true that WAR implemented public quests - but they were few and far between. Rift also has public quests - but most are traditional NPC driven quests.

    ESO also uses a traditional NPC quest system - albeit it's slightly more dynamic than WoW. There are "public" battles and dungeons, though.

    GW2, AFAIK, is the first game to implement dynamic questing as the primary PvE content.

    If you look at the games released since GW2 - I can't find a single game with a similar system.

    As such, it's not an evolution - no matter what your personal opinion is.

    However, if we're talking "public quest" content as a norm - I agree that games like WAR introduced and brought some level of evolution along with that feature.
    I am very much correct.

    You are just pushing arbitrary qualifier that the implemention of the feature must be the same, which is entirely false. In fact it does confirm process of evolution - the features are constantly evolving, coming in all variety of implementation.

    Afterall, that is what evolution is about.

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    The themepark MMO hasn't stagnated, it has steadily evolved over the years and continues to do so. The "big" evolutions I can think of off the top of my head for themeparks:

    • Accessibility (WoW) - First MMO designed in a way to be accessible to the masses. Steamlined questing, tutorials, easy combat with some humour thrown in. 
    • Class Specs - Back in the day, your class was fixed. Specs opened up classes so they could be played in more than one way
    • Voice-acting (SW:TOR) - Big step up in terms of quest presentation. It was all surface fluff, but it was a big committment and showed the community a different way to engage with it's audience (i still prefer quest text myself). 
    • Action Combat (ESO / Wildstar) - This has been one of the most significant evolutions over the last 2 years. Action combat changes the fundamental way players consume content, shifting the emphasis from brain power to repetition / twitch. 
    • Instancing - More and more themeparks use instancing to tightly control the environment, allowing for more scripted encounters and personalised content. 

    Sure, themepark MMOs all follow roughly the same formula - questing, classes, levels, endgame raiding and pvp - but within each of those areas they have continued to evolve. 


    What the genre is missing is a AAA sandbox MMORPG or a AAA hybrid MMORPG. In the entire history of the genre, we've never had either. In the same way that WoW took the EQ formula and streamlined it for the masses, we need a AAA developer to take the UO / SWG formula and streamline that for the masses. It would be a big risk which is primarily why it probably hasn't happened, but it is doable. 
    Accessibility existed before Wow, the difference were that those games were low budget and that Blizzard tapped into their fanbase to get things moving. They did take things further then the games before them though.

    Class speccs is hardly new, EQ had it.

    Voice acting goes way further then Wow and started in single player games. TOR have most of it but it was AoC that brought it into the genre in masse. Older games had some as well, Guildwars had quite a lot in 2005.

    Action combat isn't as new as you think it is either, DDO and SWG for example had it 2003.

    Instancing really is a Wow thing, some earlier games had a little instancing but Wow took it to the next level in 2004.

    There is also phasing (LOTRO 2005) and a bunch of other stuff but none of it is particularly new. You do have dynamic events that more or less got introduced in WAR (2008) but some older games had some as well even if they usually was run by a DM. Asherons call is one example for that.

    My point anyways is that most of the so called "new" features really isn't very new at all. The reason M59 didn't have VOs was just because it would have taken too much resources (both for the computers running it and the teams resources for content).

    The way MMOs are today were already decided when Wow and EQ2 released in 2004, and most of that was building on older ideas. 
  • deniterdeniter Member RarePosts: 1,347
    MMORPGs have gone more and more towards single player arcade games. Developers spend lots of time to figure out how to give a player a personal gaming experience in a game with thousands of other players instead of making systems and features that promote playing together or depending on each others.

    I can't see this as an evolution, at least not in the right direction.

    While it's true singe player games are more popular, and particularly ones that can be played in brief sessions, developers should ask themselves "Who are we making this game for?". If your job is to create a multiplayer game for several thousand players playing simultaneously, the most unreasonable thing to do is to make a game where you can ignore those other players.

    They are now experimenting with MMORPGs to find out where they should be going, but the way they are now going leads to a product that has already been invented.
  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,231
    edited February 2016
    Gdemami said:
    DKLond said:
    Not quite correct.

    It's true that WAR implemented public quests - but they were few and far between. Rift also has public quests - but most are traditional NPC driven quests.

    ESO also uses a traditional NPC quest system - albeit it's slightly more dynamic than WoW. There are "public" battles and dungeons, though.

    GW2, AFAIK, is the first game to implement dynamic questing as the primary PvE content.

    If you look at the games released since GW2 - I can't find a single game with a similar system.

    As such, it's not an evolution - no matter what your personal opinion is.

    However, if we're talking "public quest" content as a norm - I agree that games like WAR introduced and brought some level of evolution along with that feature.
    I am very much correct.

    You are just pushing arbitrary qualifier that the implemention of the feature must be the same, which is entirely false. In fact it does confirm process of evolution - the features are constantly evolving, coming in all variety of implementation.

    Afterall, that is what evolution is about.
    I'm afraid saying something is false doesn't make it so.

    If WAR public quests = GW2 dynamic events in your mind - that's cool. That doesn't make it a fact, though.

    Ultima Online had public and dynamic content too, then. As you could encounter wild animals in the wilderness and you could work together dynamically to kill them.

    Within the context of this exchange - evolution represents a change of genre standard. From my point of view, GW2 has NOT changed the standard of quest presentation or quest delivery at all. As in, no MMO since GW2 has had entirely - or even mostly - dynamic PvE content. In fact, recent releases have more in common with the traditional DIKU/EQ/WoW quest system than GW2.

    But we are two people arguing semantics.

    Personally, I'm trying to have a conversation about what people think regarding the topic at hand.

    Your intention, from the beginning, seems to be to engage in some kind of competition about who's right and who's wrong. That's boring and doesn't really contribute much.

    It's an open question and I accept that GW2 dynamic events represents evolution as a fact in your mind. That's not a problem with me - and thank you for participating :)

  • RusqueRusque Member RarePosts: 2,783
    They are evolving, some people just don't like what they're evolving into. If you claim to want progress and then bring up anything pertaining to SWG, EQ, UO, DAOC or OWPvP Sandbox you're not looking for evolution, you're looking for regression. That's going backwards, not forwards.

    So do you actually want the genre to evolve or do you want it to return to its roots and then evolve from there in a different direction than it did?
  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    DKLond said:
    Not quite correct.

    It's true that WAR implemented public quests - but they were few and far between. Rift also has public quests - but most are traditional NPC driven quests.

    ESO also uses a traditional NPC quest system - albeit it's slightly more dynamic than WoW. There are "public" battles and dungeons, though.

    GW2, AFAIK, is the first game to implement dynamic questing as the primary PvE content.

    If you look at the games released since GW2 - I can't find a single game with a similar system.

    As such, it's not an evolution - no matter what your personal opinion is.

    However, if we're talking "public quest" content as a norm - I agree that games like WAR introduced and brought some level of evolution along with that feature.
    GW2 was built with DEs from the start, even if someone started to copy it when it launched it would still take 2 more years before we actually could play it.

    Add the fact that DEs is more work to make then quests so scratch it from any low budget game. The problem is that most western MMOs in development today is low budget besides EQN (if it ever launches) and EQN is uses dynamic events.

    And to be fair, how many high budget western MMOs have actually launched since GW2? ESO is the only one I can think of. Possibly WS as well.

    I am not sure how the Koreans and Chinese like DEs, GW2 have launched with at least a little success in China and it is very possible that someone there will copy it but we wont see that for a few more years.

    DEs could evolve in the future or GW2 could be the only game really using it as main PvE content, impossible to say right now. It is still a evolution even if it would become a dead branch, but it wouldn't be a revolution.
  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,231
    Rusque said:
    They are evolving, some people just don't like what they're evolving into. If you claim to want progress and then bring up anything pertaining to SWG, EQ, UO, DAOC or OWPvP Sandbox you're not looking for evolution, you're looking for regression. That's going backwards, not forwards.

    So do you actually want the genre to evolve or do you want it to return to its roots and then evolve from there in a different direction than it did?
    Who are you talking to?

    I don't remember bringing up any of those games as evolutionary.

    Personally, I think most of the major MMOs have had good concepts and ideas. I don't think "going back" to a good idea is necessarily regression unless you don't go forward in other ways.

    But this is all entirely subjective - and it's a massive waste of time and energy to make your own personal opinion about "the right direction" into the only correct opinion.

    That's counterproductive.

    I feel sure we're all capable of coming up with something that would help the genre, regardless of what our favorite games have been.
  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,231
    edited February 2016
    Loke666 said:

    DKLond said:
    Not quite correct.

    It's true that WAR implemented public quests - but they were few and far between. Rift also has public quests - but most are traditional NPC driven quests.

    ESO also uses a traditional NPC quest system - albeit it's slightly more dynamic than WoW. There are "public" battles and dungeons, though.

    GW2, AFAIK, is the first game to implement dynamic questing as the primary PvE content.

    If you look at the games released since GW2 - I can't find a single game with a similar system.

    As such, it's not an evolution - no matter what your personal opinion is.

    However, if we're talking "public quest" content as a norm - I agree that games like WAR introduced and brought some level of evolution along with that feature.
    GW2 was built with DEs from the start, even if someone started to copy it when it launched it would still take 2 more years before we actually could play it.

    Add the fact that DEs is more work to make then quests so scratch it from any low budget game. The problem is that most western MMOs in development today is low budget besides EQN (if it ever launches) and EQN is uses dynamic events.

    And to be fair, how many high budget western MMOs have actually launched since GW2? ESO is the only one I can think of. Possibly WS as well.

    I am not sure how the Koreans and Chinese like DEs, GW2 have launched with at least a little success in China and it is very possible that someone there will copy it but we wont see that for a few more years.

    DEs could evolve in the future or GW2 could be the only game really using it as main PvE content, impossible to say right now. It is still a evolution even if it would become a dead branch, but it wouldn't be a revolution.
    Very true, but that doesn't change that there's no MMO released OR on the horizon that plans to have the same - or even a similar - system. Well, I'm not aware of any game that's planning to have it, anyway.

    EQN - at this point - is extremely sketchy. I certainly wouldn't count on any of their "dreams" to come true.

    Now, I'm not saying it can't happen - but I think it's pretty safe to say that UNTIL it happens - it hasn't actually happened and there's no way to claim it's an evolution AS A FACT.

    That YOU think it represents evolution is cool. That's the kind of opinion I'm looking for.

    Personally, I think you need to engage the player in the personal lives of NPCs. I don't think you can present a siginficantly engaging story without a lot NPC interaction. Just like in real life - where you're not likely to care about much if you don't engage with people on a personal level, even if it's just looking into their eyes.

    That's a huge negative with the GW2 event system - that they didn't require you to interact much at all - and you were supposed to be engaged just by seeing mobs attacking or whatever.
  • PepeqPepeq Member UncommonPosts: 1,977
    Answer this simple question and you will have your answer:

    When will chess truly evolve?  

    Because in essence, 'chess' is like the genre that you speak of.  If 'chess' can't change all the much without becoming something other than 'chess,' then how can you expect the genre itself to change all that much?

    It's not the genre that needs evolving... it's time there was a new genre of gaming... it's time to stop trying to reinvent chess and play something other than chess.  That's how other games have come along to entertain us... we stopped playing chess and played Donkey Kong.  Chess doesn't need to become Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong doesn't need to become chess.

    You want an entirely new game that has nothing to do with the genre.
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,807
    edited February 2016
    DKLond said:
    I'm afraid saying something is false doesn't make it so.
    It's not because that I am saying so, it is the arguments my claim is supported with: the nature of evolution dictates that features will come in different implementations.


     Now, just look what your argument is:
    DKLond said:
    It's true that WAR implemented public quests - but they were few and far between. 
    Enough said.


    All you are doing is using personal, arbitrary qualifiers to disqualify valid arguments - too few, too different, etc. and your latest:
    DKLond said:
    Within the context of this exchange - evolution represents a change of genre standard. 

    This bring us back to my original past - person not happy with direction the genre is taking.
  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,231
    Pepeq said:
    Answer this simple question and you will have your answer:

    When will chess truly evolve?  

    Because in essence, 'chess' is like the genre that you speak of.  If 'chess' can't change all the much without becoming something other than 'chess,' then how can you expect the genre itself to change all that much?

    It's not the genre that needs evolving... it's time there was a new genre of gaming... it's time to stop trying to reinvent chess and play something other than chess.  That's how other games have come along to entertain us... we stopped playing chess and played Donkey Kong.  Chess doesn't need to become Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong doesn't need to become chess.

    You want an entirely new game that has nothing to do with the genre.
    So, you think of MMORPGs as a completely unchanging static genre? Nothing changed from UO to WoW?

    Sorry, but I can't agree.

    The genre has massive potential in terms of change and evolution. The only inherent part of it is that it's massively multiplayer and has RPG elements.

    More or less everything else can be changed and it'd still be an MMORPG.
  • immodiumimmodium Member RarePosts: 2,580
    I prefer ESOs dynamic events over GW2. I could stumble across two mages fighting each other, 2 people complaining about starting a camp fire, a mage trying to open a portal to oblivion etc. And they didn't always appear in the same location.

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  • DKLondDKLond Member RarePosts: 2,231
    Gdemami said:
    DKLond said:
    I'm afraid saying something is false doesn't make it so.
    It's not because that I am saying so, it is the arguments my claim is supported with: the nature of evolution dictates that features will come in different implementations.


     Now, just look what your argument is:
    DKLond said:
    It's true that WAR implemented public quests - but they were few and far between. 
    Enough said.
    I'm afraid I don't see the significant difference between saying something is so and that something is so because you're right.

    Rational arguments is what will help your case - and for that you have to go beyond repeating that you're right and I'm wrong.

    Again, it's simple.

    I don't think WAR public quests can be equated to GW2 dynamic events. WAR was largely about PvP and the PvE content was more of an afterthought.

    GW2 very deliberately tried to change the way quests are presented and the way stories are told. It tried to do this for ALL PvE content. To me, that's a very different thing.

    Now, as I said, the concept of public quests DOES represent a real evolution - because almost all MMOs have them these days. But GW2 went way beyond that - and it has NOT changed the "quest delivery standard" YET.

    Maybe it will, though.


  • mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn Member EpicPosts: 3,303
    I think there is too much concern about evolution.  Firstly, MMOs are constantly evolving, just not in great leaps.  Most importantly, it ruins the ability to appreciate what's currently available.  It's not an uncommon problem with technology.  I don't want to buy a new tv because I'm waiting for that new one next year.  I don't want that chip because I hear a new revolutionary chipset is coming next year...

    Concentrate on enjoying yourself, and not on why I shouldn't enjoy myself.

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