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In your opinion what are some common Bad Game Design decisions that tend to get overlooked in MMOs?

MMOExposedMMOExposed Member RarePosts: 6,999
Excluding things like Bugs and Poor performance neither of which are never intentional anyway,

What are some intentional Game Design decisions in MMOs that you believe are bad design decisions? 

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AmatheAlBQuirkySteelhelm
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Comments

  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 6,174
    edited October 21
    Bug zappers. These are end game bosses whose sole purpose is not to die until just before the developers release the first (or next) expansion. So that when someone says "there's nothing to do!," the devs can say "but no one has killed the Slime King." Raiders throw themselves at these bosses over and over like ... moths against a big zapper. 

    Having a boss that is hard to defeat is fine. Just not so intentionally impossible that it's only real purpose is as a placeholder.
    AlBQuirkyelveone

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 4,963
    Magic find/rare item find stats are bad design, period, and especially so when they take up an actual stat slot on gear.
    HluillAlBQuirky
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 27,475
    "new player areas" that aren't relevant once you leave them.

    I find the whole magic ring, necklace "earring" method of applying more stats ridiculous.

    So, every person in the land wears earrings and necklaces and rings?


    NycteliosHluillAlBQuirky



  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 6,174
    Sovrath said:


    I find the whole magic ring, necklace "earring" method of applying more stats ridiculous.

    So, every person in the land wears earrings and necklaces and rings?


    Yoda says, learn to accessorize you must, Padawan. 
    SovrathKyleranAlBQuirkyanemotweedledumb99

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,575
    Flat stats on items. And trivial quests on high end maps.

    It is the most ancient and lazy way of gear progession and requires little to no effort to create.

    Now, with level scale, you can see side by side how absurd is the concept of progression tied to flat values. Why would matter if you do 100 damage instead of 10 if the boss no longer has 100 health but 1000?

    Borderlands showcase that with the level scale feature. Get rid of flat velues progress altogether then.

    Gear progression should be tied to increase resources/utilities and not only the just showing bigger floating numbers.

    It also breaks immersion the fact any commoner wearing "white" trinkets could one shot that first raid demon boss which was trying to destroy a whole kingdom and you had to group with other adventures to take it down. 

    And the trivial quests outside "peaceful" places makes no sense. The level of risk of quests and tasks should increase with your abilities/tools and the lore of the world. Then it would be a real progression as an adventurer.

    I killed x to get y z's when I was starting my adventure on those peaceful green hills... Now on this barren marsh I need to take down a big badie, not collect flowers to deliver so some curse can be lifted... send the commoner full white trinkets do that, he can solo the low lvl dungeon boss ffs!!!
    HluillAlBQuirky
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,240
    Vertical Progression

    Thats the biggest design mistake I can think of that gets repeatedly made. It's a single player and coop mechanic that should never have made its way into multiplayer games, let alone massively multiplayer games. Some of the problems it causes:

    • It segregates the community. For the MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER space, anything that segregates your playerbase so that they cannot play with one another should generally be avoided, but vertical progression specifically breaks up the playerbase into really small segements. There maybe 10,000 players on your server, but if only 150 of them are in the right power range as you, and only 50 are online, and only 10 want to play together......
    • It makes 99% of the content redundant as soon as you've completed it. What a waste of resources! All those millions of dollars spent building this amazing content, but the majority of it I'll only ever see once. Just plain dumb!
    • It makes balancing content impossible. When the power level of your playerbase can be so varied, it becomes impossible to balance content. This is why we generally only have challenging content at endgame - thats when the power curve levels off
    • It ensures the game is all about acquiring power (leveling up, getting gear, learning skills) and hardly any of the game is about learning to use that power (because if something is challenging, you can just come back once you've got more power, rather than having to learn to play better). That's not a good thing to be teaching us, but once you've seen this pattern it stops becoming fun.
    • Following on from above, for a lot of people, hitting the top of the power curve becomes a goal, which means once they achieve it they quit.
    • Naturally, it completely screws up PvP because not only are player skills widely different, now their character power is also widely different. This makes the experience unenjoyable for most people, but also cuts off the supply of new blood because they don't want to get pounded for weeks/months whilst they try to reach the top of the power curve themselves.

    There is only one benefit to vertical progression in an MMO: it gives clear goals to the playerbase. But that's it! Can devs really not think of an alternative progression path that will still give us goals?! Are they that set in their ways that they can't envision something other than acquiring power in an RPG? Lots of other genres have figured it out, yet for some reason MMORPGs havent.

    Other common problems that I won't go into as much:
    • Poor game engine choice - we see this time and again, but for some reason devs keep choosing game engines that won't support massively multiplayer gameplay
    • Action combat - easily accessible (which is good), but it's shallow so players get bored quicker (resulting in lower retention).
    • Holy Trinity - tends to dramatically restrict player choice by forcing certain group compositions and tactics. Give the players more options and it'll keep the game fresh, allowing for emergent behaviour
    • Focus on themepark - It is simply impossible for devs to release content rapidly enough to satisfy the playerbase. Even WoW with it's millions of subs couldn't achieve this. Yet, some MMOs neglect to add much sandbox stuff to it and as a result, lose a lot of players very quickly.
    • Focus on story - just a massive /facepalm at this one. Games are bad at telling stories, partly due to poor writing (the stories are so generic!) and partly due to the medium. Multiplayer environments are the worst, as not only do my own actions contradict the story, but so do everyone elses. Also, stories end...
    • Escalating stories - this is common across all media and is a problem everywhere. games are actually not too bad, but MMOs suffer from it due to lengthy operation time. Stop making each new enemy even bigger and badder than the one before. It's not needed. The more you escalate, the less I can empathise.
    • Loot-based economies - again, another single-player mechanic that shouldn't have made it into MMOs. It forces players down specific routes in order to get gear, but that can piss off a lot of people. Give your playerbase multiple routes to their goals and you'll retain them longer (e.g. boss-loot, plus crafting for yourself, plus buying from others).
    AeanderHluillMendelcheebaAmarantharNeanderthalAlBQuirkyVermillion_RaventhalDMKanotweedledumb99and 1 other.
  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 6,174
    This should probably have been broken down into PvE and PvP, because @cameltosis's list looks to me like what he dislikes is PvE.
    Hluilltweedledumb99Steelhelm

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • alkarionlogalkarionlog Member EpicPosts: 2,936
    Excluding things like Bugs and Poor performance neither of which are never intentional anyway,

    What are some intentional Game Design decisions in MMOs that you believe are bad design decisions? 
    raids


    btw poor performance not being intentional is kinda of a lie, since appears most MMO devs don't know sh!t about coding and let the whole thing to the engine they use
    AlBQuirky
    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.
  • vegetableoilvegetableoil Member UncommonPosts: 450
    You know what they always overlook in mmo design? network, how one player interact with other player and the data coming back and forth. This happen on World of Warcraft 100 player meet 100 player trying to have epic battle, but instead it's a lag fest of skills. Star Citizen, show case of great graphic in the beginning, then realize cryengine is bad for multiplayer and they waste money. Designers always aim for pretty graphic, but forgetting that massive multiplayer games need to have good data network transfer how to create massive battle but no lags. Almost all mmo's particularly have this problem.
    AlBQuirkyMendel
  • HluillHluill Member UncommonPosts: 147
    Numbers.  Get rid of the numbers!  Use some color-coding or titles. 

    I am tired of playing with percentages to raise my DPS or surviveability.  Dungeons and Dragons made this mistake back in its Pen and Paper days.  Instead of just living and adventuring in a game world, we started min-maxing.  Now that's the game and the graphics and the story become nigh irrelevant. 

    I watch videos of gamers and their screens are filled with menus.  They're are not watching and interacting with the game world; monitoring spreadsheets of numbers.  The popular MMOs today actually have worse animations than ones decades older.  Sure, these new games are pretty with awesome graphics but the actual animation of an action is a quick flash of three ridiculous poses.   Many don't even seem to notice because they're too busy trying to manipulate numbers on a spreadsheet.
    alkarionlog

    TSW, LotRO, EQ2, SWTOR, GW2, V:SoH, Neverwinter, ArchAge, EQ, UO, DAoC, WAR, DDO, AoC, MO, BDO, SotA, B&S, ESO, 

  • alkarionlogalkarionlog Member EpicPosts: 2,936
    Hluill said:
    Numbers.  Get rid of the numbers!  Use some color-coding or titles. 

    I am tired of playing with percentages to raise my DPS or surviveability.  Dungeons and Dragons made this mistake back in its Pen and Paper days.  Instead of just living and adventuring in a game world, we started min-maxing.  Now that's the game and the graphics and the story become nigh irrelevant. 

    I watch videos of gamers and their screens are filled with menus.  They're are not watching and interacting with the game world; monitoring spreadsheets of numbers.  The popular MMOs today actually have worse animations than ones decades older.  Sure, these new games are pretty with awesome graphics but the actual animation of an action is a quick flash of three ridiculous poses.   Many don't even seem to notice because they're too busy trying to manipulate numbers on a spreadsheet.
    soooo how it would work without numbers? visual novels?

    I don't think the number and % are the problem in games, unless its something like 0,01% of drop of something everyone want for they build

    AlBQuirky
    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.
  • ChildoftheShadowsChildoftheShadows Member RarePosts: 1,172
    Amathe said:I
    This should probably have been broken down into PvE and PvP, because @cameltosis's list looks to me like what he dislikes is PvE.
    Seems to me like he doesn’t like games. 
    Kyleran
  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 3,424
    Excellent post, @cameltosis.  Vertical progression is one of the major culprits in bad game design.

    For a massively multiplayer game, I'd suggest that the focus on stories is also very high on that list.  Few, if any, games contain writing that encourages grouping or raiding.  Almost all quests are specifically for individuals.  Most of the examples I can think of that utilize the multi-player aspect are the "introduction to grouping" type quests.  The individual interacts with an NPC to get a quest (written with "you (singular)" as the primary pronoun), and every individual can get the same task, with set rewards for everyone.  The result is the following sequence:  Get task, Get group, Accomplish Goal, Get Individual Reward.  Where are the quests that require the following sequence: Group, Task, Goal, Common Reward?  (Let the players determine how the Group/Raid rewards are split).

    Equally high on my own list of bad game design mechanics is an NPC asking unlimited characters to do quest.  Exactly how many times does Farmer Brown's cow/daughter run away, and how can a dirt farmer afford to reward 100 GP to each of 30,000 characters who complete his quest?  That would make that one NPC potentially have 3,000,000 GP.  Even the worst faction hit might be worth just killing Farmer Brown and robbing him blind.  Have NPCs have limits on how many characters they can give the quest to.  (To me, this is a necessary first step towards individualized dynamic content.)



    AmarantharAlBQuirky

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

  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,240
    Amathe said:
    This should probably have been broken down into PvE and PvP, because @cameltosis's list looks to me like what he dislikes is PvE.
    I don't really know how to respond to this. I've tried typing out a few responses but all seem inadequate.

    I like PvE in general
    I like PvP in general

    It's all about the implementation. For example, vanilla LotRO had the best PvE I've ever experienced in any game, ever. The vertical progression wasn't particularly high (i.e. it had small power gaps), it switched to horizontal progression at endgame, it had support classes and a deep combat system which allowed for tons of options on tactics and group composition. For example, I've completed many dungeon runs with 6 captains (my main), or 6 loremasters, or 6 champions. This depth kept it engaging and challenging for nearly 8 months and The Rift remains the best PvE content I've ever played.

    By comparison, SWTOR had the worst PvE I've ever experienced in an MMO. SWTOR had rampant vertical progression, so success or failure was more on gear, not player skill. It only had the holy trinity, so every single fight played out the exact same way, no variation. This was made worse by enrage timers, which forced very specific playstyles and tactics on you. It was then made worse again by each class being shallow, so even individual actions became repetitive instantly. Instead of taking 8 months to master like LotRO, it only took us 4 weeks to beat all content in the game.



    So, most of my complaints are indeed focused on poor design decisions for PvE, but that is because where it is so clear how to improve it and I've seen, first hand, how to get it right.

    PvP, on the other hand, is a different matter. I only PvP in MMORPGs, I don't really enjoy it elsewhere. that is because I like having a meaning behind my PvP, so I like persistent zones/maps/worlds to fight in and I like coming up against the same enemies on my server.

    But, MMO PvP is broken virtually everywhere. I've personally never seen it done right, because I've never played an MMO entirely built around horizontal progression. You simply cannot have good PvP if the game includes big power gaps between players. This makes judging the other aspects harder. For example, is PvP better with or without player collision? How much CC is right? Should it be balanced more around 1v1 or group v group? Should time-to-kill be short or long?

    The imbalance of power makes it too difficult to judge whether the other mechanics are successful or not. For example, in my gut I think that having lots of crowd control abilities is a good thing for MMO PvP, especially CC like knockbacks. But, with power gaps, CC is terrible because it means someone can stun/slow you and then annihilate you with their superior power. Thats no fun. But if you had equal power, then being stunned would mean your attacker would only get one or two free hits in before you could fight back, and if TTK was long enough then that advantage would be minimal and the higher-skilled player should still win.

    AmarantharAlBQuirky
  • jonp200jonp200 Member UncommonPosts: 453
    Anything locked behind a pay wall
    Endless "fetch quests" - OK if they are funny or have a good story but I don't have a fantasy about being a UPS driver or Postal employee.
    PVP mechanics that don't make sense i.e. I get an advantage if I hop around or get THE special ability or weapon that decimates all others.  Too much CC is frustrating too. My favorite MMOs have instanced PvP zones or designated areas for PvP vs. server-wide.
    Zero or trite stories.  I need meaning behind something.
    AlBQuirky

    Seaspite
    Playing ESO on my X-Box


  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member RarePosts: 3,568
    Doing everything for the players.
    The classic example:
    Auction Houses:
    In UO, and maybe some other earlier games, players organized and ran them themselves. This created a social atmosphere, where talented leader/organizers rose, and others could know them, and join with them in their efforts. 

    This sort of social activity, to me, is very important in a world where there should be a massive amount of interactions going on. 
    AlBQuirky

    Once upon a time....

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 5,583
    Everyone MUST be equal/the same.
    XodicAmarantharAeanderPo_ggAAAMEOW

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


    (And now Burger King has MEATLESS burgers!)

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 5,583
    You know what they always overlook in mmo design? network, how one player interact with other player and the data coming back and forth. This happen on World of Warcraft 100 player meet 100 player trying to have epic battle, but instead it's a lag fest of skills. Star Citizen, show case of great graphic in the beginning, then realize cryengine is bad for multiplayer and they waste money. Designers always aim for pretty graphic, but forgetting that massive multiplayer games need to have good data network transfer how to create massive battle but no lags. Almost all mmo's particularly have this problem.
    To tag onto this one: Sometimes, the assumption that everyone else has the gigabit network speed and top end computers that the developers have to "test" their designs.
    Mendel

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


    (And now Burger King has MEATLESS burgers!)

  • alkarionlogalkarionlog Member EpicPosts: 2,936
    AlBQuirky said:
    Everyone MUST be equal/the same.

    AlBQuirky said:
    You know what they always overlook in mmo design? network, how one player interact with other player and the data coming back and forth. This happen on World of Warcraft 100 player meet 100 player trying to have epic battle, but instead it's a lag fest of skills. Star Citizen, show case of great graphic in the beginning, then realize cryengine is bad for multiplayer and they waste money. Designers always aim for pretty graphic, but forgetting that massive multiplayer games need to have good data network transfer how to create massive battle but no lags. Almost all mmo's particularly have this problem.
    To tag onto this one: Sometimes, the assumption that everyone else has the gigabit network speed and top end computers that the developers have to "test" their designs.
    kinda hard when the ping is diferent, people are diferent, classes diferent,

    and i'm pretty sure if they made a game with only one class one wepon and one single skill people would complain anyway so, put thing as acomplex as possible, at the very least we can weed the lazy ones
    AlBQuirky
    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.
  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 2,773
    - Lack of interconnecting resources. 

    Best gear is from raids is a classic example. 

    What they need to do is the following. 

    - Raids give unique and rare gear type A
    - Crafting gives unique and rare gear type B
    - Gathering gives unique and rare gear type C
    - Random non-gear drops give gear type D
    - Exploring gives unique gear type E
    - Achievement based progression optimizes gear A and B
    - Enchanting optimizes gear type C and D
    - Farming or Fishing optimizes gear E. 

    Fully geared character consists of a mash of gear A, B, C, D, and E. 

    Hence, they all rely on each other. If you don't want to raid, you can make a career from gathering rare high demand stuff. You just want to explore and find rare stuff, like scanning in EVE, you get cool things that are in high demand. 

    What too many games do is making only one type of game play rewarding because there is no interconnection between them. 

    The best game that interconnects things well is EVE. 
    AlBQuirky
    Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
    You can see my sci-fi/WW2 book recommendations. 
  • XodicXodic Member EpicPosts: 1,022
    edited October 21
    Ignore this post. 
    Carry on.

    Spending the time to create a beautiful world just to implement gameplay that encourages everyone to mindlessly run through it as fast as possible.

    Mindless quests as content filler.

    I'll stop here. I'm just getting irritated thinking about the shit-show that is MMORPGs.
    AlBQuirkyAmarantharMMOExposedalkarionlogSteelhelm
  • NorseGodNorseGod Member EpicPosts: 2,455
    Building mechanics and game features without a finished engine.

    Crappy engine to save money.
    AlBQuirkySteelhelm
    To talk about games without the censorship, check out https://www.reddit.com/r/MMORPG/
  • TheDarkrayneTheDarkrayne Member EpicPosts: 5,297
    edited October 21
    I have a sneaky suspicion that MMOExposed is one of the accounts from that person that was using an autoposter...
    Amarantharalkarionlog
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
  • Prime_DirectivePrime_Directive Member RarePosts: 1,746
    worst game design decision is canceling the good mmos, and keeping the crap ones alive .
    NorseGodAdamantine
    There is a multiverse inside our minds which millions live.
  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Member EpicPosts: 3,952
    Combat being the only focus and only grouping/social bridge.  It is the worst and most annoying way to be forced to interact.  It is also one of the most shallow things you can focus on . 

    Interdependency on trade and sandbox issues are usually natural and mutually beneficial interactions.
    AmarantharAlBQuirkyPo_ggSteelhelmCryomatrix
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