Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Are mmos changing to meet player demands ?

kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,633
Most people here can agree to the statement that mmos are not the same as they used to be. Some call it evolving, some call it devolving, it depends on what part of a mmo you focus on - That is not really what I want to talk about, lets just say we can agree that mmos are changing ?

There is one thing in these kind of discussions that is being said again and again, that I would like to challenge. It is that mmos are changing to meet player demands, or that mmos are being designed to a new kind of player.

As that in some areas sound plausible enough there are also in my opinion just as many things I would guess that no "new player" are asking for. You just get the whole package, some of it you like and some of it is rotten - The developers however have a difficult time guessing which was good and which was bad.
The thing I would like to challenge is that developers have such an insight in what players want that they are just reacting to it. I am sure the big ones got focus groups, trend experts and other number crunchers, but does that really reflect what players want in any kind of detail needed to understand them ?

There are x million WoW players so lets do the same.. does not really tell you what parts of WoW they like or which mechanics are good and which are unwanted. This yaddayadda style game is not selling well, so yaddayadda must be unpopular ? not necessarily, it could be all kinds of other faults that makes players choose something else. 
Just because some mmo sell well does not necessarily tell that the players want/like everything contained, but more like a pros and cons decision as I am sure most of you use personally.
As an example, you love the combat system in yaddayadda mmo, but you don't like that the game is based on p2w whales... do you play it anyway ? I am sure you the player did not ask for p2w monetization so that is not something the industry is making to meet your demands, but they did make that awesome other thing many players are asking for.. now is that mmo changing to meet player demands or not ?

I am not saying it is a completely wrong statement to say that mmos just reflect what the market demands, but I would like to challenge that this is the entire truth and especially that developers know what "we" want and just delivers it all to us. 

Discuss ?



Gdemami
«1

Comments

  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 21,540
    edited August 2017
    Developers use BI which provides analysis on a massive amount of data of all of players actions.

    How players level, fovorite zones, quests, gear, skills, how many people they interact with, how influencial they are to other players, how they shop etc....

    Also how when they start playing less and when they quit.

    The data is all there which is why BI teams are a critical component to running a successful online video game business.

    Most large game companies use home grown software but there are off the shelf- 3rd party solutions like ninjametrics

    So yes the better BI reporting the easier it is for companies to keep thr pulse on the playerbase actions. And yes actions mean everything, words not so much, which is why forums are NOT the source of developers decisions.

    So yes MMOs are changing to meet the *majority of paying player demands* - and not all players because as any business, you want to identify paying customers and keep them happy.

    So unfortunately this will leave minority player demands unmet - but thats how it is, cant make everyone happy.
    ConstantineMerusPhryIselin
  • bcbullybcbully Member EpicPosts: 9,807
    Yes they are. That's why they are not making PvE anymore.
    Azaron_NightbladeAnthur
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Member EpicPosts: 6,560
    bcbully said:
    Yes they are. That's why they are not making PvE anymore.
    Yep and why they make PvP is beyond me since enough people cheat, exploit and smack talk their way to the destruction of the game. Aside from stuff like SWG or DAoC, PvP games are with all due respect, a complete waste of resources from a game development standpoint. I'm sure we'll find out again if and when Crowfall / Camelot Unchained release.

  • NildenNilden Member EpicPosts: 2,909
    I feel like all they care about is making more money, so if player demands line up with cash shops or rng lock boxes or casino tactics in MMOs then yes.

    The players demanding not to have cash shops have a very short list of MMOs to choose from but are mainly left in the dust.

    So going to say no they don't give a shit about player demands, just making money.

    (also when I say MMO I mean 100+ players not just multiplayer)

    "You CAN'T buy ships for RL money." - MaxBacon

    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon

    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer



  • thinktank001thinktank001 Member UncommonPosts: 2,144
    kjempff said:


    I am not saying it is a completely wrong statement to say that mmos just reflect what the market demands, but I would like to challenge that this is the entire truth and especially that developers know what "we" want and just delivers it all to us. 

    Discuss ?




    I don't think a genre with 5 year development cycles would ever evolve around player demand.   There is too much money at risk and publisher's will always demand development follows their decisions.  Microtransactions in a way can bridge this gap after release, but those products are broken by design.  How can a game that caters to less than 10% of their population ever be considered meeting the demands of their players?              
                 
    In a way, MMORPGs have zero resemblance to the rest of the video game industry and many of the design principles and consumer behaviors do not apply.   
  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member RarePosts: 1,995
    edited August 2017
    evolving,devolving ? nope , i call it "dig your own grave"

    They don't know what we want , but they know what they want , our money .
    Gdemami
  • rawfoxrawfox Member UncommonPosts: 780
    Can it be, that the players choice is deeper nowadays ?

    I mean, i dont play any crap anymore and i decide critical, where i spend my time into.
    In earlier days the internet itself was the new mmorpg game, i bet barely anyone here can remember newsnet polling via zmodem, eh ?!

    Ive been there bevore all that already.
    Born in a time without every family having a TV, in time when you had to unplug it from power when there was a thunderstorm, there was just no internet.

    Enjoyment out of your very personal phantasy is a real ability in my book, and the tool to get there must not be a computergame at all, but it can be a game and if its done right, its a great experience for the players.

    The industry should focus on exacly that - make us happy.
    That said, its the end for cash-shop game2, the end of p2w, the end of %-modifiers.

    It will be mutch more entertaining when we just ignore games that are based on industrial greed mechanics. We should only focus games that serve our demand for playing.


  • ShinamiShinami Member UncommonPosts: 825
    Players want everything they feel like having right here and now; Developers care about making money and keeping players hooked. When the two depend on each other, they are ultimately disappointed. 

    Sorry, but its true. 

    One thing I learned when writing stories and creating music was that everyone (regardless of education, experience, profession, or merit) has an opinion and if I changed my characters or my music to fit the mold to every generated opinion out there, then the final product would be the farthest away from my own mind by the time I am finished. 

    If a person loves my work, good for them.
    If a person hates my work, good for them. 

    I will not sell out those who like my work in order to convert those who do not like my work. 
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 34,317
    Shinami said:
    Players want everything they feel like having right here and now; Developers care about making money and keeping players hooked. When the two depend on each other, they are ultimately disappointed. 

    Sorry, but its true. 

    One thing I learned when writing stories and creating music was that everyone (regardless of education, experience, profession, or merit) has an opinion and if I changed my characters or my music to fit the mold to every generated opinion out there, then the final product would be the farthest away from my own mind by the time I am finished. 

    If a person loves my work, good for them.
    If a person hates my work, good for them. 

    I will not sell out those who like my work in order to convert those who do not like my work. 
    You don't actually sell any of your work do you?

    Otherwise you would be dealing with publishers, editors, producers and other professionals who most definitely would be asking you to change your works to make them as polished and marketable as possible.

    Nature of business, applies in gaming as well.

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,207
    Some changes are made due to player demand
    Some changes are made due to business demands
    Some changes are made due to designer intuition


    As others said, online games companies collect a crazy amount of data on their players and go to great lengths to analyse this data. I remember during SW:TOR closed betas, the devs showed us heat maps of where players had been going in the starter zones. It highlighted whole sections of the map where 99% of the players never went, so the devs acted on this to improve the quests to take us there. 

    However, data and feedback from the playerbase can only take you so far. If your data shows you that 95% of your playerbase only ever solos, and 5% group on a regular basis, what is this actually telling you? Does this mean that players want to solo, or does it tell you that your implementation of grouping sucks?

    That is where the designer intuition comes in. 

    Then you have inevitable business needs. Development costs money and the game has to make money, so there will be plenty of business decisions that affect the game. Monetisation is the obvious one - we switched to F2P to makeup the shortfall in subscription revenue as well as to prevent having to maintain two codebases (east and west). But then, consider developing a new raid. Is it worth having a team spend months building a new raid that only 5-10% of the population will ever attempt, let alone complete? Or should that team instead build new quest chains, new mounts, new cosmetics for the store etc which maybe 50-60% of the population will see?
    KyleranTuor7Mendel
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 34,317
    Business Intelligence can only go so far. While it can clearly document what players are doing in game, being limited to only the functionality available it can't measure what players might do instead if other gameplay mechanics were available.

    You can't measure player preference for a 100 person raid unless your game actually has one to begin with.

    No open world PVP, can't be sure players don't want to, especially if implemented correctly, which few MMORPGs have gotten even close to right.




    GdemamiMendel

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing POE at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • ConstantineMerusConstantineMerus Member EpicPosts: 2,691
    Kyleran said:
    Business Intelligence can only go so far. While it can clearly document what players are doing in game, being limited to only the functionality available it can't measure what players might do instead if other gameplay mechanics were available.

    You can't measure player preference for a 100 person raid unless your game actually has one to begin with.

    No open world PVP, can't be sure players don't want to, especially if implemented correctly, which few MMORPGs have gotten even close to right.




    There's also Want vs Need. Goodluck figuring that out in MMORPGs. 
    KyleranMadFrenchie
    Constantine, The Console Poster

    • "One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games and it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive selves." - Carl Jung
    • Song of the Week: Blackfield by Blackfield from Blackfield (2005)
    • Currently Playing: Devil May Cry 1
    • Favorite Drink: Bruichladdich Black Art 5th 1992
    • Gaming Timeline: Arcade, Commodore 64, Amiga 500, SEGA, IBM, PS, PC, PS2, More PCs, PS3, Giant PC, PS4, No More PCs, PS4 Pro.
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 7,067
    bcbully said:
    Yes they are. That's why they are not making PvE anymore.
    And why should they? They dont have to have any content with PVP, just go kill each other.
  • Panther2103Panther2103 Member EpicPosts: 5,312
    In certain aspects they are changing to meet players demands, and in others they are not.

    In AAA developed MMO's or games that hope to get huge, they will bend wherever they need to, to try to get as many players as they can. So they cater to the wants of the majority, or the group that would provide the most possible players. Or they attempt to mix and get every group and you get something like modern WoW. 

    In smaller MMO's, they change to meet the specific niche's demands. They will try to grab all the aspects that the majority want in that niche, to try to get as many players to jump to that game that they can. 

    The overall problem to me seems to be that while they all change, they all make the same dumbass mistakes, which I'm sure there's some business analytic that will show that it isn't a mistake, but in my eyes, most of these games randomly pop out a cash shop with pay to win items. Completely randomly. The company will promise over and over they will never add pay to win or anything, but then they allow the items to be sell-able without some way to not have it directly effect the economy of the game, so prices just jump the hell up and cause normal players to quit. The only game I've ever seen stick to their word with the cash shop is Path of Exile. That game has absolutely 0 pay to win in there, no reason to buy things unless you really want them, and they still make bank off of it. 
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,911
    MMORPG's have most certainly been changing in response to player demands.

    However, that doesn't mean they've been changing to meet EVERY player's demand. Or every group of players' demands even.

    Ironically, the views expressed on forums probably have little to no effect on the game's direction, unless those views happen to reflect what the majority (90% of the players never visit forums) wants.

    Data metrics and BI will tell what the players are actually doing. It's up to the devs to interpret what those data points mean in terms of game play. However, interpreting data is closer to an art than a science.
    Kyleran
  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,633
    edited August 2017
    I am aware that there is a lot of data analysis and that does tell something about player preferences on specific things. However it is a also a feedback loop, meaning it will enforce only what is being tried and build on that in a loop until it is essentially not really the players opinion it represents anymore. Such behavior analysis will not represent things that are not being tried (as @Kyleran also said), and also what a company decide to analyse will give a result that is in line with the expected (policies and executive decisions).

    Also data analysis does not say much about more complex issues, such as features that players may want but they dislike certain ways to execute it (devil is in the details).

    It is no surprise what @DMKano think about this as he always represents the case of mmos are just the way the players want them to be :smirk: , and this is kind of a challenge of that view as a trumph to win an argument.
    Also I am not talking about the minority here (which I am certainly one of) that wants a very different kind of mmo than what is currently being produced; this is meant to be a more general discussion that questions whether players are actually getting the mmos they really want or just play the ones they are given.
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,762
    DMKano said:
    Developers use BI which provides analysis on a massive amount of data of all of players actions.

    How players level, fovorite zones, quests, gear, skills, how many people they interact with, how influencial they are to other players, how they shop etc....

    Also how when they start playing less and when they quit.

    The data is all there which is why BI teams are a critical component to running a successful online video game business.

    Most large game companies use home grown software but there are off the shelf- 3rd party solutions like ninjametrics

    So yes the better BI reporting the easier it is for companies to keep thr pulse on the playerbase actions. And yes actions mean everything, words not so much, which is why forums are NOT the source of developers decisions.

    So yes MMOs are changing to meet the *majority of paying player demands* - and not all players because as any business, you want to identify paying customers and keep them happy.

    So unfortunately this will leave minority player demands unmet - but thats how it is, cant make everyone happy.
    Pentaho ( https://www.pentaho.com/ ) is another big data analytics solution. You can build your own solution or buy services. There are "free" community editions where you can build your own solution. http://community.pentaho.com/

    We use their ETL solution called Pentaho Data Integration. It's powerful. Scripting is in Javascript and there is full access to the Java API as well as the option for Java plugins.

    I just thought I'd offer that as a suggestion for any small teams of indie developers that have the skill to write their own solution but would like to save on licensing costs.
    Kyleran
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    MMORPG's have most certainly been changing in response to player demands.

    However, that doesn't mean they've been changing to meet EVERY player's demand. Or every group of players' demands even.

    Ironically, the views expressed on forums probably have little to no effect on the game's direction, unless those views happen to reflect what the majority (90% of the players never visit forums) wants.

    Data metrics and BI will tell what the players are actually doing. It's up to the devs to interpret what those data points mean in terms of game play. However, interpreting data is closer to an art than a science.
    It is a difference between "demand" and want, I don't think the majority of players know what they really want until they actually get it (heck, that probably go for all players to some degree, sometimes something that sounds odd is awesome when you try and sometimes it is a terrible idea even if it sounds good).

     And it is tricky, sometimes people enjoy a feature a lot so you add more of it only to find that too much of something good can be a bad thing.

    A lot of the current MMO market overuses good ideas that makes them less fun. Take quests for instance, rightly done it is awesome but overuse it and people will just run boring pest control and FEDEX quests all the time until they tire.

    So you can't even be sure that working more on the feature your data tells you people enjoy is a good idea (it still usually is unless you go overboard but sometimes adding more will be bad).

    The best thing would probably be to have the devs make the game them themselves want to play and ignore any data until you have a working game and then use feedback to see what to improve. That keeps the game from being a compromize at least.
    kjempff
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,725
    kjempff said:
    It is that mmos are changing to meet player demands, or that mmos are being designed to a new kind of player.
    Same thing...
    Allerleirauh
  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,633
    @Loke666 Thank you, that is a good point and expressing some of what I am trying to say.

    Also that if players never get something different to choose from but just variants of the same, then of course the analysis will give the expected results.

    @Gdemami I know, it was meant to say the same thing in different ways, because on these forums you got to be very clear to not get misunderstood.. haha guess I failed on that :D


  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 11,725
    kjempff said:
    I know, it was meant to say the same thing in different ways, because on these forums you got to be very clear to not get misunderstood.. haha guess I failed on that :D


    In that case you did not fail, you are just wrong with your premise OP is based on.
  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 3,368
    Kyleran said:
    Business Intelligence can only go so far. While it can clearly document what players are doing in game, being limited to only the functionality available it can't measure what players might do instead if other gameplay mechanics were available.

    You can't measure player preference for a 100 person raid unless your game actually has one to begin with.

    No open world PVP, can't be sure players don't want to, especially if implemented correctly, which few MMORPGs have gotten even close to right.


    Agree.  You can't measure what isn't there.

    Then there's the whole issue of measuring the player base.  Generally speaking, we're a fractious bunch.  We can't decide on what we want and express it well enough to be measured.  The best way to start an argument is to try to define what an MMORPG is and isn't.  There's probably been a thousand threads like that on these forums, and there isn't a generally recognized consensus.  It's incredibly difficult to analyze a situation where every individual has a different definition.

    A business can measure the success or failure of individual bits of content that they have implemented, but that doesn't necessarily coincide with the wants and desires of the individual.  The crafting system might be popular based on the time I spend with it, but that doesn't measure my desire for systems to expand beyond combat and crafting.  The metrics that businesses can collect may be misleading if used incorrectly.  Does anyone trust that any development team always uses the data available to them appropriately?  I'm totally unsure about that.
    Gdemamikjempff

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • HarikenHariken Member RarePosts: 2,381
    Rhoklaw said:
    bcbully said:
    Yes they are. That's why they are not making PvE anymore.
    Yep and why they make PvP is beyond me since enough people cheat, exploit and smack talk their way to the destruction of the game. Aside from stuff like SWG or DAoC, PvP games are with all due respect, a complete waste of resources from a game development standpoint. I'm sure we'll find out again if and when Crowfall / Camelot Unchained release.
    Crowfall and Camalot Unchained won't have much longevity either. Niche games at best. But i think devs are just giving players of mmo's today what they want. 
  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Hariken said:
    Rhoklaw said:
    bcbully said:
    Yes they are. That's why they are not making PvE anymore.
    Yep and why they make PvP is beyond me since enough people cheat, exploit and smack talk their way to the destruction of the game. Aside from stuff like SWG or DAoC, PvP games are with all due respect, a complete waste of resources from a game development standpoint. I'm sure we'll find out again if and when Crowfall / Camelot Unchained release.
    Crowfall and Camalot Unchained won't have much longevity either. Niche games at best. But i think devs are just giving players of mmo's today what they want. 

    In your opinion, haw CU been marketed as something other than a niche game? 
    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?"




  • RhoklawRhoklaw Member EpicPosts: 6,560
    waynejr2 said:
    Hariken said:
    Rhoklaw said:
    bcbully said:
    Yes they are. That's why they are not making PvE anymore.
    Yep and why they make PvP is beyond me since enough people cheat, exploit and smack talk their way to the destruction of the game. Aside from stuff like SWG or DAoC, PvP games are with all due respect, a complete waste of resources from a game development standpoint. I'm sure we'll find out again if and when Crowfall / Camelot Unchained release.
    Crowfall and Camalot Unchained won't have much longevity either. Niche games at best. But i think devs are just giving players of mmo's today what they want. 

    In your opinion, haw CU been marketed as something other than a niche game? 
    I believe niche marketing is probably best right now. As long as that niche is a stable market. MMOs that focus on PvE have a much better chance at surviving the initial 6-12 month period. If history shows us anything, it's that PvP focused MMOs never do very well, compared to their PvE focused counterparts. I'm not sure what CU has to offer people who enjoy some PvE, but at least Crowfall has the Eternal Kingdoms.
    Gdemami

Sign In or Register to comment.