I'm Still Waiting for My MMO

FEichinger

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I suggest - for the concept, not the execution - Face of Mankind.

That said, this is pretty much my dream as well ... An MMO that goes this one step further ... And doesn't fail when it comes to treating their customers well, when the game faces death for the gazillionth time ...
 

PaxCorpus

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So how about EVE Online? And before you say it's boring, it is only boring to those who either don't have the time to understand its mechanics or are simply uninterested in advancing past the initial hour to two hour long tutorial sequence.
 

Yureina

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I've been playing Eve for the past few months. I think it's good fun, though I might just be crazy. It certainly isn't for everyone, but, as far as I am concerned, it is very much what an MMO should be: a gigantic playable universe that is shaped by the players. All they really need to do is make the first hours of the game more appealing and it would probably get more people to stick with it. :eek:
 

WoahDan

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The reason you feel that way vis a vis MMO's having more potential than FPS's is because you are confusing a genre with a perspective. FPS games have certain limits as its always going to be a guy with a gun,that limits just how different these games can be as we've seen with the glut of COD-clones. First-person games in general? Much more potential as there are far fewer limits. MMO's have massive potential as the only limits are that they have to involve loads of people. MMORPG's? Less potential as now you have to involve all the chicanery involve with RPG's mixed in with loads of people, that limits just how different they can be, as we've seen with so many MMORPG's feeling like WoW lately. You are comparing FPS's with MMO's when you should really be comparing FPS's with MMORPG's.

The very fact that the terms MMO and MMORPG feel synonymous (and FPS with First-person) is the very problem with MMOs (and First-person games) today.
 

Yal

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Dec 22, 2010
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I've given up on there ever being another Everquest. All the mechanics that encouraged a vibrant community, the things that drove you in desperation into the arms of strangers, are considered design flaws these days. They probably are design flaws, it was terrible when you couldn't find one of those helpful strangers. But without the community what has an MMO got left?

I also personally hate voice chat. It completely wrecks immersion, but now the gameplay is too hectic to really chat via text. We used to make fun of bards for having to press a button every second and how difficult it was for them to talk like that. We're all bards now...

Oh well, I'm also enjoying The Secret World. I'll probably play through the single player content, maybe do a handful of dungeons, and then drift away. Same as with Rift, same as with whatever MMO I played before that. Everquest had me for five years, I still love it dearly, but it's never going to happen again. I'll enjoy the new games for what they are.

(I'm kinda looking forward to Salem. That one looks different.)
 

the7ofswords

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That pretty much sums up my feelings about MMORPGs. I love the concept, but they can never hold me for long. WoW held me for a year or so, and half that was out of sheer inertia ("my friends are there ... it's just what I do") rather than any real enjoyment. I'd rather get lost in an Elder Scrolls/Fallout/L.A. Noir/Red Dead Redemption-type world. I get a LOT more enjoyment out of those.

I'd really like an MMO with the feel of one of those games, and without the repetitive grind that seems all but inevitable in typical MMORPGs. And, no, I don't have much faith that Elder Scrolls Online will be the solution, either, unfortunately. (Prove me Wrong, Bethesda! PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG!!)

I loved the ideas behind The Secret World-and they really have done a pretty great job with it-but after a few weeks of playing the public beta, it just started to feel bland and repetitive and WoWish. (Just like SWToR before that.)

::sigh::

When's Dishonored[/I] coming out, again?
 

TheCakeisALie87

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I just want to say that Ready Player One was awesome, and it made me want to play MMOs. Then I remembered that 90% of the story has nothing to do with MMOs mechanics presently, but even so brought me back to the old .hack sign days.
 

ad5x5

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First Person Shooter fan?
Fan of MMOs?
Want to have persistence and consequence?


Can't believe you didn't mention the upcoming Dust514.
If you haven;t heard of it, check it out.
Is in the same universe as EVE, FPS, MMO.
Ticks all the boxes - I'm definitely looking forward to it.
 

Yosato

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I actually just picked up my Final Fantasy XI account this summer after five years away from it. Yeah go ahead and laugh, but in my experience there haven't been many games I've played with such an awesome community, even in MMOs. Most of them these days seem too obsessed with PVP rather than cooperation - If I wanted a competitive game I wouldn't play an MMO.

FFXI is on its tenth year running now and it's still pretty huge (helped by the fact that XIV sucked). They've even announced a fifth expansion pack for next year.
 

Ayjona

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Dennis Scimeca said:
I'm Still Waiting for My MMO
Go heavy, and go hard. MMOs, to my mind more so than most genres, have grown and are growing stale very quickly.

Have you peeked a sneak at some of the more alternative offerings? As someone who has been on a search similar to yours (but with far less patience for traditional MMOs), I've amassed a small list of games that at least partially answer to my particular desires:

Vendetta Online has done away with the click target and press number-keys setup in favour of an active, fully twitch-based combat experience. Combined with a *very* dynamic world model (AI that expand and seize territory, shifting borders, transports that increase the numbers of guarding ships along heavily player-pirated routes, station blockades, a dynamic faction system that allows players to, with much work, switch sides, or become pariahs and outcasts from all social order, possibilities to influence item availability, etc), many unconventional and hardcore mechanics, a player corps that create new mission content, and an exceedingly nice community, it represents most things that most modern MMOs do not.

Darkwind Online is an post-apocalyptic open world MMO based on Car Wars, is highly tactical and skill-based, and has a *great* deal of unconventional and hardcore implementations. You don't control a single character, but a gang of up to 40-50 developing characters, and all your little dudes can age, grow old, become drug addicts, lose limbs in battle, fall ill, starve if not given access to food, and also die permanently. In combination with a very dynamic world (players can build camps in the wilderness, affect prices and access to materials, equipment, food and gasoline by attacking trader NPCs, or by trading themselves, drive away or attract higher numbers of pirate gangs, become branded as outlaws themselves, etc, etc), the best gaming community I've ever been a part of, very entertaining, physics-based and tactical combat, and possibilities for players to contribute to mission content, discuss and change some game rules, and affect the implementations of upcoming content, Darkwind is an entirely un-MMO-like virtual world.

Face of Mankind, mentioned above, is rather bare-bones in many respects, but also unlike most massive online games. Full twitch combat, an almost entirely player-run world, dynamic factions, factional warfare, all very hardcore, to the point of brutal but also to the point of refreshingly different.

Pirates of the Burning Sea has many of the trappings of the standard MMO genre, but also some surprises, a very different economic model, player-conquerable ports, and a very dynamic endgame.

And then there's always Haven & Hearth. I'm not saying you, or anyone, should play it. But it certainly is different ;)
 

Fr]anc[is

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I had been that kid who read the Dungeons and Dragons sourcebooks but never had a group to play with
I'm so glad I wasn't the only freakazoid who did that.
 

Dastardly

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Dennis Scimeca said:
I'm Still Waiting for My MMO

You never forget your first.

Read Full Article
The supposed "growth" of the MMO genre has really been more of a distillation. They've boiled it down to the most absolutely critical (and profitable) gameplay elements, and the rest are filtered out bit by bit. Or maybe it's more of a sharpening... and every time you sharpen a blade, you're removing metal. Or, as with evolution, some potentially useful genetic information gets tossed aside as "junk" because it wasn't the most immediately necessary trait this time 'round. Hell, pick your metaphor.

MMOs used to be worlds. And players paid subscriptions as rent in those virtual worlds. I could go with the tired old "sandbox versus theme park" comparison, too. They weren't guided tours of preconstructed content. They were thematic toolkits for exploring a world with which many of your players were familiar (Star Wars) or maybe not (Everquest, in my case).

The biggest (and worst) portion of the world that's been cut in nearly every MMO? Non-heroic, non-combat gameplay. The ability to be something other than the "hero of the universe" or "slayer of the Big Bads." Crafting wasn't just a diversion or a money sink. It could be a full-time way of engaging the game (and the game engaging you right back). You didn't have to live out the life of a main character. You could live your own. You could be "just a guy" in the Star Wars universe, for instance, instead of having to be Luke or Vader.

(Something that hasn't been streamlined? Prices. Subscription fees have increased or stayed the same. Because the early MMOs got us all used to the idea of continuous payment... to the point that we'll pay continuously for a stagnant experience. We stopped demanding worlds, and they were happy to stop providing them.)
 

DugMachine

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I never will forget my first and last. World of Warcraft was my first true MMO and god dammit that feeling of being in a whole other world with players running around you and doing your own thing... the feeling is just indescribable.

Sadly, I've tried getting that feeling back by making new characters and trying out different MMOs but it's never coming back.
 

Dastardly

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Ayjona said:
Pirates of the Burning Sea has many of the trappings of the standard MMO genre, but also some surprises, a very different economic model, player-conquerable ports, and a very dynamic endgame.
I played in the beta and early on as a Freetrader. This game fell prey to the two biggest problems in any "world PvP" system: unbalanced sides, and unbalanced classes.

Unbalanced sides, well, that's an obvious problem. Once the game slants toward a particular side (in terms of numbers), it's all over but the crying. Having a small number of highly-skilled players can't save you from the fact that the other team has enough players on it to keep the pressure on 24-7. Zerg doesn't win by running over the opponent, it wins by flowing around them.

Unbalanced classes ensured that even on the "winning" side, fun was reserved for a particular group. By that, I mean "Ships of the Line." When it came to port battles, it didn't matter how much you wanted to play. If you weren't a top-shelf Naval Officer with a well-outfitted SoL, you were treated like a liability to the team... and what's worse is they were right. A freetrader effectively had nothing to contribute to the fight that was better than having another huge ship firing on the enemy.

So, the "world PvP" quickly became "Wolfpacks around ports picking on FTs" and "Naval Officers getting to play the 'real game' in their giant ships."
 

Baralak

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Well, good news is, a couple of the classic MMOs are now free to play, like the original EverQuest, or Everquest II, which I feel should have been as big as WoW, but it's requirements were so obscene at the time that even top of the line PCs couldn't run it.
 

octafish

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You can't say just say MMO when you mean MMORPG. Planetside is an MMO that just happens to be an FPS.
 

Gatx

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PaxCorpus said:
So how about EVE Online? And before you say it's boring, it is only boring to those who either don't have the time to understand its mechanics or are simply uninterested in advancing past the initial hour to two hour long tutorial sequence.
A big drawback of EVE is that you're in a ship the whole time so it might not be everyone's cup of tea. I understand that you can around in space stations now though, but still.
 

Zing

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DugMachine said:
I never will forget my first and last. World of Warcraft was my first true MMO and god dammit that feeling of being in a whole other world with players running around you and doing your own thing... the feeling is just indescribable.

Sadly, I've tried getting that feeling back by making new characters and trying out different MMOs but it's never coming back.
Ahh this is a sad realization many MMO players come to. Unfortunately once you learn how to play an MMO, they cease to become a fantasy, you realize the system behind it, and even when it comes to playing a completely different MMO, the feeling can't be recreated because the facade has faded.

In that respect WoW has spoilt any MMO that tries to be anything remotely like it, it would take a truly completely innovative MMO, I'm talking a completely unique set of systems, archetypes, combat, atmosphere, environment etc to give veterans(of which there are a LOT more thanks to WoW) that feeling again.
 

DugMachine

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Zing said:
DugMachine said:
I never will forget my first and last. World of Warcraft was my first true MMO and god dammit that feeling of being in a whole other world with players running around you and doing your own thing... the feeling is just indescribable.

Sadly, I've tried getting that feeling back by making new characters and trying out different MMOs but it's never coming back.
Ahh this is a sad realization many MMO players come to. Unfortunately once you learn how to play an MMO, they cease to become a fantasy, you realize the system behind it, and even when it comes to playing a completely different MMO, the feeling can't be recreated because the facade has faded.

In that respect WoW has spoilt any MMO that tries to be anything remotely like it, it would take a truly completely innovative MMO, I'm talking a completely unique set of systems, archetypes, combat, atmosphere, environment etc to give veterans(of which there are a LOT more thanks to WoW) that feeling again.
Yeah, at the moment WoW is my last MMO and if I ever need a fix i'll go straight back to it. I'm hoping their secret project Titan will be something different... but my hopes aren't too high. I'll stick with my TF2 and indie games for now :D
 

Zing

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DugMachine said:
Zing said:
DugMachine said:
I never will forget my first and last. World of Warcraft was my first true MMO and god dammit that feeling of being in a whole other world with players running around you and doing your own thing... the feeling is just indescribable.

Sadly, I've tried getting that feeling back by making new characters and trying out different MMOs but it's never coming back.
Ahh this is a sad realization many MMO players come to. Unfortunately once you learn how to play an MMO, they cease to become a fantasy, you realize the system behind it, and even when it comes to playing a completely different MMO, the feeling can't be recreated because the facade has faded.

In that respect WoW has spoilt any MMO that tries to be anything remotely like it, it would take a truly completely innovative MMO, I'm talking a completely unique set of systems, archetypes, combat, atmosphere, environment etc to give veterans(of which there are a LOT more thanks to WoW) that feeling again.
Yeah, at the moment WoW is my last MMO and if I ever need a fix i'll go straight back to it. I'm hoping their secret project Titan will be something different... but my hopes aren't too high. I'll stick with my TF2 and indie games for now :D
That's where I would put any hope, but i'm not putting much thought into it.

WoW has become very much a corporate, streamlined, money machine that has no sense of community(PVE OR PVP) and I don't see anything to suggest that titan wouldn't be more of the same in a different skin, plus Greg Street is working on it, which is not a good sign. Buuut, that said, Blizzard have some of their top veteran devs working on it, guys that made WCIII, Starcraft and Vanilla WoW/BC so exceptional, so perhaps there is hope.
 

Augustine

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As a beta participant in GW2, I can say it may very well shape into something special. It is certainly heading in a right direction.
 

bobmd13

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I read the article that Dennis posted and I find it a bit strange.

The Secret World has broken the mould of the modern MMO.

Yes it has its shooting elements and yes it has its gear grind but and its a big but, it has investigation quests.

These quests range from the simple to the diabolical.

When a game has a web browser built in so you can use the internet to research information on quests or find the translation of a specific language or cipher, but still expect you to translate the document, then it is different.

Investigation quests can take hours to do,and that's not the whole quest but one part of it.

I do have a problem with the Secret world and that's the level of content,for Funcom to have anything worthwhile in a few months even, they must have started the work years ago and why wasn't it in the final game then.

An excellent game but a niche market,with some glaring problems at the moment.

A chat system which dies on a regular basis.
A targeting system from the dark ages.
A UI which is below the standard for today.
Ohh and my pet grievance, a vertical bag which can get so long you miss part of it on screen.

I missed out on the fact that some major quests bug out on a regular basis,but this can be corrected by a change of server shard (instance).

Even with these problems a great game,with a steep learning curve.
 

Moonlight Butterfly

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Mar 16, 2011
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bobmd13 said:
I read the article that Dennis posted and I find it a bit strange.

The Secret World has broken the mould of the modern MMO.

Yes it has its shooting elements and yes it has its gear grind but and its a big but, it has investigation quests.

These quests range from the simple to the diabolical.

When a game has a web browser built in so you can use the internet to research information on quests or find the translation of a specific language or cipher, but still expect you to translate the document, then it is different.

Investigation quests can take hours to do,and that's not the whole quest but one part of it.

I do have a problem with the Secret world and that's the level of content,for Funcom to have anything worthwhile in a few months even, they must have started the work years ago and why wasn't it in the final game then.

An excellent game but a niche market,with some glaring problems at the moment.

A chat system which dies on a regular basis.
A targeting system from the dark ages.
A UI which is below the standard for today.
Ohh and my pet grievance, a vertical bag which can get so long you miss part of it on screen.

I missed out on the fact that some major quests bug out on a regular basis,but this can be corrected by a change of server shard (instance).

Even with these problems a great game,with a steep learning curve.
I have to agree. I picked up The Secret World because I heard good things and I am finding it very different and very exciting.

The investigation/mystery missions are excellent and the game even has fake websites that you have to study to get clues and can read for extra background and lore.

The gameplay is great too with a character wheel that lets you play however the hell you want but also a little guidance in the form of 'decks' Which you can fill and receive a class costume as a reward.

I love it at the moment and my only regret is that my friend clocked on that I was playing it and now I have to wait until he comes back from the garage to progress. :p
 

Dennis Scimeca

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Dastardly said:
Dennis Scimeca said:
I'm Still Waiting for My MMO

You never forget your first.

Read Full Article
The supposed "growth" of the MMO genre has really been more of a distillation. They've boiled it down to the most absolutely critical (and profitable) gameplay elements, and the rest are filtered out bit by bit. Or maybe it's more of a sharpening... and every time you sharpen a blade, you're removing metal. Or, as with evolution, some potentially useful genetic information gets tossed aside as "junk" because it wasn't the most immediately necessary trait this time 'round. Hell, pick your metaphor.

MMOs used to be worlds. And players paid subscriptions as rent in those virtual worlds. I could go with the tired old "sandbox versus theme park" comparison, too. They weren't guided tours of preconstructed content. They were thematic toolkits for exploring a world with which many of your players were familiar (Star Wars) or maybe not (Everquest, in my case).

The biggest (and worst) portion of the world that's been cut in nearly every MMO? Non-heroic, non-combat gameplay. The ability to be something other than the "hero of the universe" or "slayer of the Big Bads." Crafting wasn't just a diversion or a money sink. It could be a full-time way of engaging the game (and the game engaging you right back). You didn't have to live out the life of a main character. You could live your own. You could be "just a guy" in the Star Wars universe, for instance, instead of having to be Luke or Vader.

(Something that hasn't been streamlined? Prices. Subscription fees have increased or stayed the same. Because the early MMOs got us all used to the idea of continuous payment... to the point that we'll pay continuously for a stagnant experience. We stopped demanding worlds, and they were happy to stop providing them.)
you have really hit it on the head. they pretty much will have to design them from the ground up to get back to what was lost. a world to live in where the little things are vialble not merely time sinks
 

doctorjackal777

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kyosai7 said:
Well, good news is, a couple of the classic MMOs are now free to play, like the original EverQuest, or Everquest II, which I feel should have been as big as WoW, but it's requirements were so obscene at the time that even top of the line PCs couldn't run it.
I played Everquest the other day because I'd heard so much about it, and boy was I disappointed. It's probably because its such an old game, but the controls, the interface, basically everything was crap. The screen is cluttered with a dozen boxes, it's hard to find what you're looking for, and even talking to NPC's a chore. If I've clicked on you, that means I want to talk to you, why do I have to type hello to start the conversation, and keep typing other words to trigger the rest of your dialog. It's not immersive, it's flow breaking because every five seconds, I get ripped out of the game to have to type in commands. I'm not talking with your NPC's I'm controlling them via text commands, which means all the NPC's might have well have been robots in game. I couldn't even get past an hour before frustration set in and I couldn't take it anymore. If EverQuest II has the same kind of systems then no wonder they didn't do as well as WoW, and it wasn't because of PC requirements.
 

Madman123456

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"This and that Technology tree allows you to create a character that is exactly how you want him to be!"
We've heard this in different MMORPG Teasers, Trailers and the like and its all Bullshit.

There is one way to create a Character that does best for different tasks. There will be toons of certain Professions that will be leveled, skilled and equipped in the same exact way because its the best to perform certain tasks. You see a toon which is a damage dealing Class? You will most likely see him having the Weapons which deal the most damage. If those happen to be swords, he will have Swords. Someone who fits out his toon with a sword and an Axe because he thinks it looks better will be rather alone on the Server. And he will most likely be fucked over in PvP, or whatever other task he wants to do.

So you will see many many People with toons which all look the same, because they have gear, perks, leveling or whatever to make the toon the best it could be for its particular task.



Quite a lot of MMOs have instance, in which you have Teams which must consist of certain classes, most likely and Tank and a healer among them. A Crowd Controller, a damagedealer as well in some cases. You'll have to do stuff, like switching a device on that makes the Boss vulnerable or something. Avoiding "frenzy" periods where that Boss would run around and attack everyone and doesn't respond to taunts or other measures to keep him attacking the tank instead of the healer. You'll have to be at certain Points of the "Arena" at certain times, maybe to try and avoid aggro from Adds.


Another Point very common in mmorpgs is the backwards leveling. You can create a toon that is immensly strong for a rather low level. You can have a toon that clears out a lowlevel instance all by himself.
You can't do that when leveled up fully.
Through the course of the Game, there is less and less stuff you can do that is useful for your toon alone. Eventually, you will have to rely on teams to do everything with you because alone you're too weak to do anything.



Most MMORPGs are like that and if you played one of them, you played them all.
 

cerebus23

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Dastardly said:
Ayjona said:
Pirates of the Burning Sea has many of the trappings of the standard MMO genre, but also some surprises, a very different economic model, player-conquerable ports, and a very dynamic endgame.
I played in the beta and early on as a Freetrader. This game fell prey to the two biggest problems in any "world PvP" system: unbalanced sides, and unbalanced classes.

Unbalanced sides, well, that's an obvious problem. Once the game slants toward a particular side (in terms of numbers), it's all over but the crying. Having a small number of highly-skilled players can't save you from the fact that the other team has enough players on it to keep the pressure on 24-7. Zerg doesn't win by running over the opponent, it wins by flowing around them.

Unbalanced classes ensured that even on the "winning" side, fun was reserved for a particular group. By that, I mean "Ships of the Line." When it came to port battles, it didn't matter how much you wanted to play. If you weren't a top-shelf Naval Officer with a well-outfitted SoL, you were treated like a liability to the team... and what's worse is they were right. A freetrader effectively had nothing to contribute to the fight that was better than having another huge ship firing on the enemy.

So, the "world PvP" quickly became "Wolfpacks around ports picking on FTs" and "Naval Officers getting to play the 'real game' in their giant ships."
Lest you were not a pirate at launch we had no line ships, our writ ships were a joke in port battles, well that and it was lultastic to a NO to drag your 1.5 million gold p herc, while some of your team is in deliverance or something silly.

FTs can cry all they want but pirates of the burning seas just treated pirates like jokes, granted pirates live fast died young and a pirate vs the navy is silly in and of itself, but when you have pirates as a playable faction it does imply they will be a viable faction.

We made good goes at it but when push came to shove the NOs simply put their foot down, we never won a pb that the nats took seriously. Half the time their ques would not even fill up for pirate pbs, well that could have been partially an effect of "off hours" flipping, but still if the nats wanted a port even if it was 3 am on a work day they would get a fleet there for for it.

Now days we got sols they got sols, when i was playing awhile back, 4th rates and whatnot seemed to be getting phased out or some major changes to line ship bundles and etc or something. So many people playing cross servers you could swap ships or get free ships i had a guy give me a mace off his nat just for lulz.

Even for the old school mega imbalances, the game is alot more even now days than back then. And i agree that end game in potbs can be far far more interesting than the end game in most of the mmos i have played. Potbs is partially dependent on some amount of balance in the factions, else one will steamroll.

But your whole life revolves around that end game what ports are flipped, how many points you put toward it, almost every action you can do has meaning in potbs, even if its simply killing npcs around a port to raise tensions, or actual pvp on the open seas.

Most pvp in games is so regulated its near impossible to pvp, old school mmos simply made a server where every character was pvp period. there were no conditions or rules of off limits areas, my first mmo the first time i logged into the pvp server i was camp killed endlessly until i had no items but a wooden starter weapon that was no drop, think i got to level 2 maybe just killing a rabbit and getting a few hits on the level 30 that was camping me.

My friends guild on that server once held the most popular leveling dungeon for an entire week, they kept guarding it in shifts killing anyone that entered. at some point the rest of the server decided to bury any bad feelings they had about anything else and all went en mass to that dungeon and evicted my buddies guild, but not without a heck of a fight.....

Some games are getting back to that old school pvp idea where reps are earned and you did not need killboards and the like, you carved your name on trail of corpses you leave pure and simple.

Me personally i am waiting for a shadowrun mmo, a full 3d sandbox one, player driven econ, pvp, not too enthused by the current sr online stuff to be sure.
 

Yal

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Dec 22, 2010
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doctorjackal777 said:
I played Everquest the other day because I'd heard so much about it, and boy was I disappointed. It's probably because its such an old game, but the controls, the interface, basically everything was crap. The screen is cluttered with a dozen boxes, it's hard to find what you're looking for, and even talking to NPC's a chore. If I've clicked on you, that means I want to talk to you, why do I have to type hello to start the conversation, and keep typing other words to trigger the rest of your dialog. It's not immersive, it's flow breaking because every five seconds, I get ripped out of the game to have to type in commands. I'm not talking with your NPC's I'm controlling them via text commands, which means all the NPC's might have well have been robots in game. I couldn't even get past an hour before frustration set in and I couldn't take it anymore. If EverQuest II has the same kind of systems then no wonder they didn't do as well as WoW, and it wasn't because of PC requirements.
This is a MUD system shinign through, talking to NPCs with /say commands. Everquest is in some ways a little like those early Sierra adventure games that were halfway between text adentures and point and clicks. Man, it took us months to figure out that thing on the beach in King's Quest 2 was a "trident" and not a pitchfork or any other word we could come up with...

But the EQ system had its benefits. You could talk to any NPC, you could give any item to any NPC, even monsters, and there was no quest log at all. That meant quests could be hidden absolutely anywhere. Secret World investigation missions ain't got nothing on old EQ quests.
 

doctorjackal777

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Yal said:
doctorjackal777 said:
I played Everquest the other day because I'd heard so much about it, and boy was I disappointed. It's probably because its such an old game, but the controls, the interface, basically everything was crap. The screen is cluttered with a dozen boxes, it's hard to find what you're looking for, and even talking to NPC's a chore. If I've clicked on you, that means I want to talk to you, why do I have to type hello to start the conversation, and keep typing other words to trigger the rest of your dialog. It's not immersive, it's flow breaking because every five seconds, I get ripped out of the game to have to type in commands. I'm not talking with your NPC's I'm controlling them via text commands, which means all the NPC's might have well have been robots in game. I couldn't even get past an hour before frustration set in and I couldn't take it anymore. If EverQuest II has the same kind of systems then no wonder they didn't do as well as WoW, and it wasn't because of PC requirements.
This is a MUD system shinign through, talking to NPCs with /say commands. Everquest is in some ways a little like those early Sierra adventure games that were halfway between text adentures and point and clicks. Man, it took us months to figure out that thing on the beach in King's Quest 2 was a "trident" and not a pitchfork or any other word we could come up with...

But the EQ system had its benefits. You could talk to any NPC, you could give any item to any NPC, even monsters, and there was no quest log at all. That meant quests could be hidden absolutely anywhere. Secret World investigation missions ain't got nothing on old EQ quests.
I see, I suppose that makes sense. I guess I never really got into those kinds of games, which is why having that mechanic in an MMO is frustrating to me. But I'm surprised you mentioned no quest log as a benefit, how is that a good thing? Yes, having hidden quests is interesting and would reward exploration but really? When I have a lot to do in a day I'll make a list, so that I remember to get everything done, why would you not want that feature in your game. You can have multiple quests going at once, why would you not want a concise list to help you keep track of where you were in each one. I can just imagine coming back after a short hiatus to the game, forgetting what quests I was on and what I was doing, and then just turning it off again.

Captcha: small fries
Now I'm hungry~
 

Yal

We are a rattlesnake
Dec 22, 2010
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doctorjackal777 said:
But I'm surprised you mentioned no quest log as a benefit, how is that a good thing? Yes, having hidden quests is interesting and would reward exploration but really? When I have a lot to do in a day I'll make a list, so that I remember to get everything done, why would you not want that feature in your game. You can have multiple quests going at once, why would you not want a concise list to help you keep track of where you were in each one. I can just imagine coming back after a short hiatus to the game, forgetting what quests I was on and what I was doing, and then just turning it off again.
No quest log is one of those things that is a design flaw but also sort of feature but also definitely a flaw...

One of that game's quests, the rogue "epic weapon" quest (it was pretty epic ten years ago, they out a lot of work into those quests), has you working for dude named Stanos. He's in hiding, before you came on the scene he foiled an assassination attempt and made rather a lot of enemies. A dark elf general had hired one of the human rogue guilds to kill an ambassador in a human city, hoping to start a war. Stanos felt this would be bad for business, betrayed the assassin and now the guild and the dark elf both want him dead. Stanos has a plan for you to kill the dark elf and get the heat off him, and you can do that quest. You'll get sweet dagger for your troubles.

Or... Half the world wants Stanos dead, he's standing right in front of you, and you've got a knife. There's no indication you should follow this route, but if you've read the story it makes perfect sense, and it turns you can and it works. Kill Stanos and you can claim a reward from either the assassin's son or the dark elf (who is actually a raid boss who will murder anyone who tries to talk to him). It took ages for anyone to work this out, I think it was at least a year after the primary plotline was solved. It was awesome.

Now, you could theoretically do this with a quest tracker in place. But I honestly can't ever remember a game that let you just completely ignore your tracker and go do a completely different quest with the same characters. Quest logs are great when they remind the player what the player wants to do next. Except more commonly they just tell the player what to do, and that's sort of a shame.
 

doctorjackal777

New member
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Yal said:
doctorjackal777 said:
But I'm surprised you mentioned no quest log as a benefit, how is that a good thing? Yes, having hidden quests is interesting and would reward exploration but really? When I have a lot to do in a day I'll make a list, so that I remember to get everything done, why would you not want that feature in your game. You can have multiple quests going at once, why would you not want a concise list to help you keep track of where you were in each one. I can just imagine coming back after a short hiatus to the game, forgetting what quests I was on and what I was doing, and then just turning it off again.
No quest log is one of those things that is a design flaw but also sort of feature but also definitely a flaw...

One of that game's quests, the rogue "epic weapon" quest (it was pretty epic ten years ago, they out a lot of work into those quests), has you working for dude named Stanos. He's in hiding, before you came on the scene he foiled an assassination attempt and made rather a lot of enemies. A dark elf general had hired one of the human rogue guilds to kill an ambassador in a human city, hoping to start a war. Stanos felt this would be bad for business, betrayed the assassin and now the guild and the dark elf both want him dead. Stanos has a plan for you to kill the dark elf and get the heat off him, and you can do that quest. You'll get sweet dagger for your troubles.

Or... Half the world wants Stanos dead, he's standing right in front of you, and you've got a knife. There's no indication you should follow this route, but if you've read the story it makes perfect sense, and it turns you can and it works. Kill Stanos and you can claim a reward from either the assassin's son or the dark elf (who is actually a raid boss who will murder anyone who tries to talk to him). It took ages for anyone to work this out, I think it was at least a year after the primary plotline was solved. It was awesome.

Now, you could theoretically do this with a quest tracker in place. But I honestly can't ever remember a game that let you just completely ignore your tracker and go do a completely different quest with the same characters. Quest logs are great when they remind the player what the player wants to do next. Except more commonly they just tell the player what to do, and that's sort of a shame.
I totally get that, but if it were me I'd just word the quest information carefully. Have something like "resolve the issue between Stanos and the guild." The straight forward answer would be to follow what Stanos wants you to do, but if you're the kind of person who thinks outside the box, then 'resolve' could mean something different. However you want to 'resolve' the issue is up to you, and depending on what way you chose the quest would branch in a different direction.
Or alternatively reward the player for exploration by having alternate outcomes come up in NPC conversation. Stanos hired you to kill someone, but on your way to do that you hear about what a douche he is, and how it might be better if he was the one that died instead. Then it gets you thinking, hey maybe I don't have to follow his orders, maybe I can take him down instead. There are options available, and all the quest tracker needs to do is keep track of what you've already done, and what information you've collected relating to it, rather than harping on what the game wants you to do next.
 

Dennis Scimeca

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WoahDan said:
The reason you feel that way vis a vis MMO's having more potential than FPS's is because you are confusing a genre with a perspective...
I specifically called out Portal and Antichamber by way of dismissing games that have a first person perspective but which are not first person shooters. I was only talking about FPS games specifically, and why I give them leeway which I do not grant to MMOs.

ad5x5 said:
First Person Shooter fan? Fan of MMOs? Want to have persistence and consequence? Can't believe you didn't mention the upcoming Dust514.
I covered DUST 514 at E3 and had a long conversation with CCP about how it is going to integrate with and affect EVE Online. Perhaps I will write about that when the time is right...

Dastardly said:
The biggest (and worst) portion of the world that's been cut in nearly every MMO? Non-heroic, non-combat gameplay. The ability to be something other than the "hero of the universe" or "slayer of the Big Bads." Crafting wasn't just a diversion or a money sink. It could be a full-time way of engaging the game (and the game engaging you right back). You didn't have to live out the life of a main character. You could live your own.
This. Think about the crafter in Star Wars Galaxies and then think about persistence and consequence. When a weapons or armor crafter on the Starsider server developed a reputation for quality, people from all over the server would come to them specifically for their gear. Persistence of reputation.

And as a consequence of that crafter doing really high-quality work, they effectively made the game more fun to play for thousands of people by giving them weapons which did more DPS or lasted longer than other weapons crafted by lesser-skilled artisans.

octafish said:
You can't say just say MMO when you mean MMORPG. Planetside is an MMO that just happens to be an FPS.
I recently got into a very long conversation with someone on Twitter about this. Technically, online is redundant. You can?t be a massively multiplayer game nowadays without being online unless we?re talking about a massive LAN session.

For better or worse the general gamer audience understands MMO to mean EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, Anarchy Online, World of Warcraft, The Old Republic, The Secret World and their ilk. So if we're writing about MMRPGs for a mass gaming audience, many outlets choose to stick with MMO to make themselves understood. Sometimes a conversation about doing otherwise just turns into a conversation which is a distraction from whatever the actual issues being discussed are like...um...this one...

bobmd13 said:
The Secret World has broken the mould of the modern MMO.
A single, unique mechanic is not enough to break a mold in my book.

RagTagBand said:
Planetside 2. That is all.
My problem with Planetside 2 right now is that it has limited persistence. This may be due to the lack of multiple worlds but you can't take and lock down planets. Each faction always has a permanent, protected beachhead which seems to defeat the purpose of taking over a planet. You want to kick your enemy off a planet entirely, and force them to forge a new beachhead from scratch, right?

I personally prefer the World War II Online model. It is possible for the Axis or Allies to win the war, after which the server resets and everyone starts from square one. That is also a different and limited kind of persistence but at least it does present a closed system where, within a single cycle of war, there is irrevocable persistence and consequence.

EVE Online is currently the gold standard for persistence and consequence in massively multiplayer gaming.
 

Baralak

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doctorjackal777 said:
Yal said:
doctorjackal777 said:
But I'm surprised you mentioned no quest log as a benefit, how is that a good thing? Yes, having hidden quests is interesting and would reward exploration but really? When I have a lot to do in a day I'll make a list, so that I remember to get everything done, why would you not want that feature in your game. You can have multiple quests going at once, why would you not want a concise list to help you keep track of where you were in each one. I can just imagine coming back after a short hiatus to the game, forgetting what quests I was on and what I was doing, and then just turning it off again.
No quest log is one of those things that is a design flaw but also sort of feature but also definitely a flaw...

One of that game's quests, the rogue "epic weapon" quest (it was pretty epic ten years ago, they out a lot of work into those quests), has you working for dude named Stanos. He's in hiding, before you came on the scene he foiled an assassination attempt and made rather a lot of enemies. A dark elf general had hired one of the human rogue guilds to kill an ambassador in a human city, hoping to start a war. Stanos felt this would be bad for business, betrayed the assassin and now the guild and the dark elf both want him dead. Stanos has a plan for you to kill the dark elf and get the heat off him, and you can do that quest. You'll get sweet dagger for your troubles.

Or... Half the world wants Stanos dead, he's standing right in front of you, and you've got a knife. There's no indication you should follow this route, but if you've read the story it makes perfect sense, and it turns you can and it works. Kill Stanos and you can claim a reward from either the assassin's son or the dark elf (who is actually a raid boss who will murder anyone who tries to talk to him). It took ages for anyone to work this out, I think it was at least a year after the primary plotline was solved. It was awesome.

Now, you could theoretically do this with a quest tracker in place. But I honestly can't ever remember a game that let you just completely ignore your tracker and go do a completely different quest with the same characters. Quest logs are great when they remind the player what the player wants to do next. Except more commonly they just tell the player what to do, and that's sort of a shame.
I totally get that, but if it were me I'd just word the quest information carefully. Have something like "resolve the issue between Stanos and the guild." The straight forward answer would be to follow what Stanos wants you to do, but if you're the kind of person who thinks outside the box, then 'resolve' could mean something different. However you want to 'resolve' the issue is up to you, and depending on what way you chose the quest would branch in a different direction.
Or alternatively reward the player for exploration by having alternate outcomes come up in NPC conversation. Stanos hired you to kill someone, but on your way to do that you hear about what a douche he is, and how it might be better if he was the one that died instead. Then it gets you thinking, hey maybe I don't have to follow his orders, maybe I can take him down instead. There are options available, and all the quest tracker needs to do is keep track of what you've already done, and what information you've collected relating to it, rather than harping on what the game wants you to do next.
There's now a quest log in EQ, if it helps. but yeah, I hate MUDs, but since MMOs are totally text based, I loved having to talk to the NPCs instead of just clicking "Next" over and over. EQ 2 did get rid of that, but they really improved everything. There's even an entirely separate leveling system for your profession, totally different from your standard class. So you cam literally be a lvl20 Cleric/lvl 30 woodworker. Both are great MMOs, though. I think they do "hotbar" combat better than any MMO, bar none.
 

doctorjackal777

New member
May 25, 2009
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kyosai7 said:
doctorjackal777 said:
Yal said:
doctorjackal777 said:
But I'm surprised you mentioned no quest log as a benefit, how is that a good thing? Yes, having hidden quests is interesting and would reward exploration but really? When I have a lot to do in a day I'll make a list, so that I remember to get everything done, why would you not want that feature in your game. You can have multiple quests going at once, why would you not want a concise list to help you keep track of where you were in each one. I can just imagine coming back after a short hiatus to the game, forgetting what quests I was on and what I was doing, and then just turning it off again.
No quest log is one of those things that is a design flaw but also sort of feature but also definitely a flaw...

One of that game's quests, the rogue "epic weapon" quest (it was pretty epic ten years ago, they out a lot of work into those quests), has you working for dude named Stanos. He's in hiding, before you came on the scene he foiled an assassination attempt and made rather a lot of enemies. A dark elf general had hired one of the human rogue guilds to kill an ambassador in a human city, hoping to start a war. Stanos felt this would be bad for business, betrayed the assassin and now the guild and the dark elf both want him dead. Stanos has a plan for you to kill the dark elf and get the heat off him, and you can do that quest. You'll get sweet dagger for your troubles.

Or... Half the world wants Stanos dead, he's standing right in front of you, and you've got a knife. There's no indication you should follow this route, but if you've read the story it makes perfect sense, and it turns you can and it works. Kill Stanos and you can claim a reward from either the assassin's son or the dark elf (who is actually a raid boss who will murder anyone who tries to talk to him). It took ages for anyone to work this out, I think it was at least a year after the primary plotline was solved. It was awesome.

Now, you could theoretically do this with a quest tracker in place. But I honestly can't ever remember a game that let you just completely ignore your tracker and go do a completely different quest with the same characters. Quest logs are great when they remind the player what the player wants to do next. Except more commonly they just tell the player what to do, and that's sort of a shame.
I totally get that, but if it were me I'd just word the quest information carefully. Have something like "resolve the issue between Stanos and the guild." The straight forward answer would be to follow what Stanos wants you to do, but if you're the kind of person who thinks outside the box, then 'resolve' could mean something different. However you want to 'resolve' the issue is up to you, and depending on what way you chose the quest would branch in a different direction.
Or alternatively reward the player for exploration by having alternate outcomes come up in NPC conversation. Stanos hired you to kill someone, but on your way to do that you hear about what a douche he is, and how it might be better if he was the one that died instead. Then it gets you thinking, hey maybe I don't have to follow his orders, maybe I can take him down instead. There are options available, and all the quest tracker needs to do is keep track of what you've already done, and what information you've collected relating to it, rather than harping on what the game wants you to do next.
There's now a quest log in EQ, if it helps. but yeah, I hate MUDs, but since MMOs are totally text based, I loved having to talk to the NPCs instead of just clicking "Next" over and over. EQ 2 did get rid of that, but they really improved everything. There's even an entirely separate leveling system for your profession, totally different from your standard class. So you cam literally be a lvl20 Cleric/lvl 30 woodworker. Both are great MMOs, though. I think they do "hotbar" combat better than any MMO, bar none.
I actually have EQ2 but never got a chance to play it. I installed it, but gave up after two entire days of patch installs and I really don't want to download a game that big. So I guess I'll never know the potential awesomeness~
 

Baralak

New member
Dec 9, 2009
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doctorjackal777 said:
kyosai7 said:
doctorjackal777 said:
Yal said:
doctorjackal777 said:
But I'm surprised you mentioned no quest log as a benefit, how is that a good thing? Yes, having hidden quests is interesting and would reward exploration but really? When I have a lot to do in a day I'll make a list, so that I remember to get everything done, why would you not want that feature in your game. You can have multiple quests going at once, why would you not want a concise list to help you keep track of where you were in each one. I can just imagine coming back after a short hiatus to the game, forgetting what quests I was on and what I was doing, and then just turning it off again.
No quest log is one of those things that is a design flaw but also sort of feature but also definitely a flaw...

One of that game's quests, the rogue "epic weapon" quest (it was pretty epic ten years ago, they out a lot of work into those quests), has you working for dude named Stanos. He's in hiding, before you came on the scene he foiled an assassination attempt and made rather a lot of enemies. A dark elf general had hired one of the human rogue guilds to kill an ambassador in a human city, hoping to start a war. Stanos felt this would be bad for business, betrayed the assassin and now the guild and the dark elf both want him dead. Stanos has a plan for you to kill the dark elf and get the heat off him, and you can do that quest. You'll get sweet dagger for your troubles.

Or... Half the world wants Stanos dead, he's standing right in front of you, and you've got a knife. There's no indication you should follow this route, but if you've read the story it makes perfect sense, and it turns you can and it works. Kill Stanos and you can claim a reward from either the assassin's son or the dark elf (who is actually a raid boss who will murder anyone who tries to talk to him). It took ages for anyone to work this out, I think it was at least a year after the primary plotline was solved. It was awesome.

Now, you could theoretically do this with a quest tracker in place. But I honestly can't ever remember a game that let you just completely ignore your tracker and go do a completely different quest with the same characters. Quest logs are great when they remind the player what the player wants to do next. Except more commonly they just tell the player what to do, and that's sort of a shame.
I totally get that, but if it were me I'd just word the quest information carefully. Have something like "resolve the issue between Stanos and the guild." The straight forward answer would be to follow what Stanos wants you to do, but if you're the kind of person who thinks outside the box, then 'resolve' could mean something different. However you want to 'resolve' the issue is up to you, and depending on what way you chose the quest would branch in a different direction.
Or alternatively reward the player for exploration by having alternate outcomes come up in NPC conversation. Stanos hired you to kill someone, but on your way to do that you hear about what a douche he is, and how it might be better if he was the one that died instead. Then it gets you thinking, hey maybe I don't have to follow his orders, maybe I can take him down instead. There are options available, and all the quest tracker needs to do is keep track of what you've already done, and what information you've collected relating to it, rather than harping on what the game wants you to do next.
There's now a quest log in EQ, if it helps. but yeah, I hate MUDs, but since MMOs are totally text based, I loved having to talk to the NPCs instead of just clicking "Next" over and over. EQ 2 did get rid of that, but they really improved everything. There's even an entirely separate leveling system for your profession, totally different from your standard class. So you cam literally be a lvl20 Cleric/lvl 30 woodworker. Both are great MMOs, though. I think they do "hotbar" combat better than any MMO, bar none.
I actually have EQ2 but never got a chance to play it. I installed it, but gave up after two entire days of patch installs and I really don't want to download a game that big. So I guess I'll never know the potential awesomeness~
Really? I just downloaded it from Steam for the first time on my new laptop, and only had the latest update to download, which was about a gig. Try getting it from Steam and see if it goes by faster.
 

doctorjackal777

New member
May 25, 2009
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kyosai7 said:
doctorjackal777 said:
kyosai7 said:
doctorjackal777 said:
Yal said:
doctorjackal777 said:
But I'm surprised you mentioned no quest log as a benefit, how is that a good thing? Yes, having hidden quests is interesting and would reward exploration but really? When I have a lot to do in a day I'll make a list, so that I remember to get everything done, why would you not want that feature in your game. You can have multiple quests going at once, why would you not want a concise list to help you keep track of where you were in each one. I can just imagine coming back after a short hiatus to the game, forgetting what quests I was on and what I was doing, and then just turning it off again.
No quest log is one of those things that is a design flaw but also sort of feature but also definitely a flaw...

One of that game's quests, the rogue "epic weapon" quest (it was pretty epic ten years ago, they out a lot of work into those quests), has you working for dude named Stanos. He's in hiding, before you came on the scene he foiled an assassination attempt and made rather a lot of enemies. A dark elf general had hired one of the human rogue guilds to kill an ambassador in a human city, hoping to start a war. Stanos felt this would be bad for business, betrayed the assassin and now the guild and the dark elf both want him dead. Stanos has a plan for you to kill the dark elf and get the heat off him, and you can do that quest. You'll get sweet dagger for your troubles.

Or... Half the world wants Stanos dead, he's standing right in front of you, and you've got a knife. There's no indication you should follow this route, but if you've read the story it makes perfect sense, and it turns you can and it works. Kill Stanos and you can claim a reward from either the assassin's son or the dark elf (who is actually a raid boss who will murder anyone who tries to talk to him). It took ages for anyone to work this out, I think it was at least a year after the primary plotline was solved. It was awesome.

Now, you could theoretically do this with a quest tracker in place. But I honestly can't ever remember a game that let you just completely ignore your tracker and go do a completely different quest with the same characters. Quest logs are great when they remind the player what the player wants to do next. Except more commonly they just tell the player what to do, and that's sort of a shame.
I totally get that, but if it were me I'd just word the quest information carefully. Have something like "resolve the issue between Stanos and the guild." The straight forward answer would be to follow what Stanos wants you to do, but if you're the kind of person who thinks outside the box, then 'resolve' could mean something different. However you want to 'resolve' the issue is up to you, and depending on what way you chose the quest would branch in a different direction.
Or alternatively reward the player for exploration by having alternate outcomes come up in NPC conversation. Stanos hired you to kill someone, but on your way to do that you hear about what a douche he is, and how it might be better if he was the one that died instead. Then it gets you thinking, hey maybe I don't have to follow his orders, maybe I can take him down instead. There are options available, and all the quest tracker needs to do is keep track of what you've already done, and what information you've collected relating to it, rather than harping on what the game wants you to do next.
There's now a quest log in EQ, if it helps. but yeah, I hate MUDs, but since MMOs are totally text based, I loved having to talk to the NPCs instead of just clicking "Next" over and over. EQ 2 did get rid of that, but they really improved everything. There's even an entirely separate leveling system for your profession, totally different from your standard class. So you cam literally be a lvl20 Cleric/lvl 30 woodworker. Both are great MMOs, though. I think they do "hotbar" combat better than any MMO, bar none.
I actually have EQ2 but never got a chance to play it. I installed it, but gave up after two entire days of patch installs and I really don't want to download a game that big. So I guess I'll never know the potential awesomeness~
Really? I just downloaded it from Steam for the first time on my new laptop, and only had the latest update to download, which was about a gig. Try getting it from Steam and see if it goes by faster.
I mean I bought a physical copy of the game from a store about say maybe two years ago, and it just was so much epic fail. Just tried to reinstall it now, nothing doing. Looks like that was a waste of money but whatever, I downloaded their FTP version from the website no problem. But it's not even playable even with everything set to minimum so it looks like ass, the lag on it is outrageous and I know my computer is better than that. How the crap are you running this thing on a laptop?
 

Sorryflip

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Jul 9, 2012
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This article was a great read thanks.

I agree and would love to see game developers take a more creative direction in the genre and focus on making great games. However big productions will almost always try to widen up their "player base" as much as possible even in other art/entertainment branches. (Music, movies, books, etc.)Because the main motivations behind the (atleast financial) investors are usualy driven by greed. Aslong as the old formula sells, why fix it?

Although making more specialised MMO games can open up allot of doors for creativity it has a serious reprocussion that already hurts modern MMO's afaik, the community becomes less diverse and becomes more boring.
One thing I really liked about the earlier MMO's is that there wern't many out there. Which caused 1 game to have a community including: hardcore gamers, casual gamers, roleplayers, griefers, carebears, traders, pvpers and maybe more all in one game. This made the world feel so much more alive and provided for allot of amusing situations and also caused the community to react to each other, creating different guilds with different purposes for example carebear guilds to protect traders and roleplayers from griefers and pvpers. I really miss this dynamic community, not only did you have to pick a race and class but also you had to decide what role you were going to play within the world.
 

Baralak

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Dec 9, 2009
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doctorjackal777 said:
kyosai7 said:
doctorjackal777 said:
kyosai7 said:
doctorjackal777 said:
Yal said:
doctorjackal777 said:
But I'm surprised you mentioned no quest log as a benefit, how is that a good thing? Yes, having hidden quests is interesting and would reward exploration but really? When I have a lot to do in a day I'll make a list, so that I remember to get everything done, why would you not want that feature in your game. You can have multiple quests going at once, why would you not want a concise list to help you keep track of where you were in each one. I can just imagine coming back after a short hiatus to the game, forgetting what quests I was on and what I was doing, and then just turning it off again.
No quest log is one of those things that is a design flaw but also sort of feature but also definitely a flaw...

One of that game's quests, the rogue "epic weapon" quest (it was pretty epic ten years ago, they out a lot of work into those quests), has you working for dude named Stanos. He's in hiding, before you came on the scene he foiled an assassination attempt and made rather a lot of enemies. A dark elf general had hired one of the human rogue guilds to kill an ambassador in a human city, hoping to start a war. Stanos felt this would be bad for business, betrayed the assassin and now the guild and the dark elf both want him dead. Stanos has a plan for you to kill the dark elf and get the heat off him, and you can do that quest. You'll get sweet dagger for your troubles.

Or... Half the world wants Stanos dead, he's standing right in front of you, and you've got a knife. There's no indication you should follow this route, but if you've read the story it makes perfect sense, and it turns you can and it works. Kill Stanos and you can claim a reward from either the assassin's son or the dark elf (who is actually a raid boss who will murder anyone who tries to talk to him). It took ages for anyone to work this out, I think it was at least a year after the primary plotline was solved. It was awesome.

Now, you could theoretically do this with a quest tracker in place. But I honestly can't ever remember a game that let you just completely ignore your tracker and go do a completely different quest with the same characters. Quest logs are great when they remind the player what the player wants to do next. Except more commonly they just tell the player what to do, and that's sort of a shame.
I totally get that, but if it were me I'd just word the quest information carefully. Have something like "resolve the issue between Stanos and the guild." The straight forward answer would be to follow what Stanos wants you to do, but if you're the kind of person who thinks outside the box, then 'resolve' could mean something different. However you want to 'resolve' the issue is up to you, and depending on what way you chose the quest would branch in a different direction.
Or alternatively reward the player for exploration by having alternate outcomes come up in NPC conversation. Stanos hired you to kill someone, but on your way to do that you hear about what a douche he is, and how it might be better if he was the one that died instead. Then it gets you thinking, hey maybe I don't have to follow his orders, maybe I can take him down instead. There are options available, and all the quest tracker needs to do is keep track of what you've already done, and what information you've collected relating to it, rather than harping on what the game wants you to do next.
There's now a quest log in EQ, if it helps. but yeah, I hate MUDs, but since MMOs are totally text based, I loved having to talk to the NPCs instead of just clicking "Next" over and over. EQ 2 did get rid of that, but they really improved everything. There's even an entirely separate leveling system for your profession, totally different from your standard class. So you cam literally be a lvl20 Cleric/lvl 30 woodworker. Both are great MMOs, though. I think they do "hotbar" combat better than any MMO, bar none.
I actually have EQ2 but never got a chance to play it. I installed it, but gave up after two entire days of patch installs and I really don't want to download a game that big. So I guess I'll never know the potential awesomeness~
Really? I just downloaded it from Steam for the first time on my new laptop, and only had the latest update to download, which was about a gig. Try getting it from Steam and see if it goes by faster.
I mean I bought a physical copy of the game from a store about say maybe two years ago, and it just was so much epic fail. Just tried to reinstall it now, nothing doing. Looks like that was a waste of money but whatever, I downloaded their FTP version from the website no problem. But it's not even playable even with everything set to minimum so it looks like ass, the lag on it is outrageous and I know my computer is better than that. How the crap are you running this thing on a laptop?
I admit I gotta cut the settings down, but this laptop is pretty new and runs it fine, but my gaming PC runs it at max settings no problem. Sony assumed graphics would go in a different direction when they made the game.
 

Dastardly

Imaginary Friend
Apr 19, 2010
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Dennis Scimeca said:
I was only talking about FPS games specifically, and why I give them leeway which I do not grant to MMOs.
While this wasn't directed at me, I wanted to ask: Do you feel that some of that "lack of leeway" is owed to the pricing structure of MMOs versus your standard FPS? What I mean is that you're expected to pay continuously after your initial purchase.

To me, this means the game grows in cost... and may or may not grow proportionately in value.

This. Think about the crafter in Star Wars Galaxies and then think about persistence and consequence.
God knows I do. I wasn't the best overall weaponsmith, but I did craft the fastest pistols I'd seen on my server. So while I wasn't raking in the dough, I made a (very small) name for myself through my own effort -- effort that had nothing to do with killing critters.

But to go further on the subject of persistence, that was what I loved about the housing. My house was always in the world, even if I wasn't. I had a real, visible presence there, whether or not I was logged in. And, with vendors working the way they did, people needed to travel to these houses to buy their gear, which meant you had walk-by traffic to appreciate all the work you'd put into decorating.

Now? If a game has housing (a BIG "if"), it's instanced. Nothing more than glorified storage. Further cementing the idea that we are no longer creating our own characters. We're just renting one of theirs.

EVE Online is currently the gold standard for persistence and consequence in massively multiplayer gaming.
Which shows us the dark side of consequence. Persistence itself is pretty benign (but incredibly valuable to players). Consequence can create problems. Basically, in a game like EVE, you need to maintain a population of players that are willing to pay to be the victims of your other players. That can be a tall order.
 

Alexnader

$20 For Steve
May 18, 2009
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PaxCorpus said:
So how about EVE Online? And before you say it's boring, it is only boring to those who either don't have the time to understand its mechanics or are simply uninterested in advancing past the initial hour to two hour long tutorial sequence.
I think "two hour long tutorial sequence" should clue you in on why some would find it "boring". While complicated systems like EvE are great, they're not necessary in order to obtain the grand spectacle that is thousands of people interacting in a virtual space. Pardus, a browser based game of a similar vein to EvE though far more simple, offered a lovely vat of seething politics and BS simply by allowing players to build their own economies and blow them up given sufficient numbers and skill.
 

Epic Fail 1977

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Dec 14, 2010
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I don't think MMOs have that much potential, at least not for me, because they can never be even a little bit immersive. There's simply *nothing* as immersion-shattering as another real-life person inside an otherwise believable/convincing virtual space.
 

UzumakiGamer

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Jun 17, 2011
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This article makes lots of good points, but the jelly on the bottom shelf remains the same: MMOs in their current state cost a lot of money to make. All the backers who pay for these MMOs to be made are not willing to bet their money on a crazy new idea, they want something safe like WoW. "WoW makes lots of money, make us one of those."

Until you get someone willing to back a risky venture, or a way to build a grand MMO for a lot less money we will not likely be seeing the MMO of tomorrow.
 

Dennis Scimeca

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Dastardly said:
Dennis Scimeca said:
I was only talking about FPS games specifically, and why I give them leeway which I do not grant to MMOs.
While this wasn't directed at me, I wanted to ask: Do you feel that some of that "lack of leeway" is owed to the pricing structure of MMOs versus your standard FPS? What I mean is that you're expected to pay continuously after your initial purchase.

To me, this means the game grows in cost... and may or may not grow proportionately in value.
I don't think so...I mean, if I'm playing an FPS game and adding all the map packs I'm paying a lot more over time and the baseline experience doesn't change, just the environment within which that experience takes place. It's about extending value, not adding to it, if that makes sense...

I do shy away from MMOs which really don't grab me on account of the monthly fee not so much for the money spent but the pressure to play the game. "Man, if I'm spending $15 a month on this game, I'd better be playing it all the time." I play no video game I own all the time. I bounce around between titles. So when I'm paying a monthly subscription for an MMO and don't play it all the time, I feel like it's a waste of money.

I paid $15 a month for EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies for years, and paid for expansions on top of that. I don't mind spending the money so long as I'm enjoying myself. If I'm enjoying myself, I make time for the game. It's not an obligation to play, it's what I want to do. :)
 

Shjade

Chaos in Jeans
Feb 2, 2010
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doctorjackal777 said:
I played Everquest the other day because I'd heard so much about it, and boy was I disappointed. It's probably because its such an old game, but the controls, the interface, basically everything was crap. The screen is cluttered with a dozen boxes, it's hard to find what you're looking for, and even talking to NPC's a chore. If I've clicked on you, that means I want to talk to you, why do I have to type hello to start the conversation, and keep typing other words to trigger the rest of your dialog. It's not immersive, it's flow breaking because every five seconds, I get ripped out of the game to have to type in commands. I'm not talking with your NPC's I'm controlling them via text commands, which means all the NPC's might have well have been robots in game. I couldn't even get past an hour before frustration set in and I couldn't take it anymore. If EverQuest II has the same kind of systems then no wonder they didn't do as well as WoW, and it wasn't because of PC requirements.
EQ2 is pretty different from EQ, for what that's worth. I only played it for about a week, but it was enough to note how not-Everquest it felt (a feeling contributed to by the way zones with names I recognized in no way resembled the zones I remembered from EQ).

Unfortunately, no, it's not just because it's such an old game. I mean, sure, that may be a factor in why it was designed the way it was, but even when EQ was new the UI, quest system, controls, etc. all felt pretty clunky, unintuitive, and just generally hard to use. It was just that, at the time, given how this was still a pretty new thing and there weren't really better options around, these flaws could be more easily overlooked in favor of the big picture. For a long time I loved Everquest, in large part because of how huge the world was and what fun I had exploring it. I didn't really "connect" with the game until I found the right class for me, but once I tried out a bard and got their song of speed so I could start traveling wherever I wanted without being massacred by the baddies in those zones (because I could just outrun everything that wasn't an insta-gib caster type), that was it for me.

Going back to try EQ again after having played WoW for about a year, however? It was impossible. Literally, it was impossible for me to play Everquest for more than about three hours. Even though I was already familiar with the interface and its various foibles (though some I had to learn, since the game didn't even HAVE a map function when I was playing it before, for instance), I just couldn't stand trying to play a game that was so much less user-friendly, so punishing to play not from a gameplay challenge sense but of mechanics that were just not fun as part of a game, that I couldn't do it. By modern MMO standards it's practically a broken game. (Plus it's, y'know, ugly.)

One point of disagreement, though: I actually liked the dialogue interaction with NPCs. Sure, you could just give them one or two word responses and make it as robotic and anti-immersion as possible, but if you did it that way that was your fault, not the game's. You could get your responses just as well by actually writing out full dialogue with the characters as long as it included the key word. For instance, if you came across some NPC, hailed him and he said:

"Hail, Jackal. I am Niclaus Ressinn, loyal Paladin of Life. I am scouting the Qeynos Hills on orders from High Priestess Jahnda. We have received reports of [undead] prowling these hills of late."

You could just say "undead" and get the next bit, or you could say something like...

"There are undead on the loose? How could these hills have become so corrupt?"

Or whatever you'd want to say in playing your character (Le gasp, role-playing in a role-playing game? Perish the thought!), and you'd get the same next-part-of-dialogue response. You could at least make the semblance of a conversation rather than a data-input function.
 

Dastardly

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Apr 19, 2010
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Dennis Scimeca said:
It's about extending value, not adding to it, if that makes sense...
I can see that, but what I was getting at was more akin to this:

I do shy away from MMOs which really don't grab me on account of the monthly fee not so much for the money spent but the pressure to play the game. "Man, if I'm spending $15 a month on this game, I'd better be playing it all the time." I play no video game I own all the time. I bounce around between titles. So when I'm paying a monthly subscription for an MMO and don't play it all the time, I feel like it's a waste of money.
Which is why I enjoy your column so much. Not only do we often share the same feelings on things, you often word it exactly the way I do.

But that feeling of wasted money is what I'm getting at. Paying continuously raises the pressure to play continuously... or feel like you're leaving money on the table. The pricing structure directly impacts the feeling of play.

I paid $15 a month for EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies for years, and paid for expansions on top of that. I don't mind spending the money so long as I'm enjoying myself. If I'm enjoying myself, I make time for the game. It's not an obligation to play, it's what I want to do. :)
Same for me, on both. I didn't mind paying rent in a virtual world. And that's what both of those games offered. They were some of the last real roleplaying MMOs, to me. I could play a multitude of roles of my choosing.

Our choices now revolve around what particular method you want to use to hit things with sticks, how many or what size sticks you want to use, and how you can hit the right things with those sticks to get bigger, better sticks. Basically, it's all Viva Pinata.

(And on payment, I think I find myself coming down (personally) against pricing schedules of any kind. You know what kind of things I pay on monthly schedules? Bills. If I had to go to Busch Gardens at the same time every month in some use-or-lose deal, I think I'd probably start to hate the whole park before long.)
 

Earthmonger

Apple Blossoms
Feb 10, 2009
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I prefer MMORPGs that play like shooters. A fluid gameplay mechanic is key to my enjoyment. No button-spamming targat-lock garbage. I need to be in control. I need every action I take to render immediately. This has severely limited my options in the MMO scene.

I've tried many games, but I keep returning to an MMO that reared its head in 2003: RYL. The horribly titled "Risk Your Life", for which no official servers still exist. It's now just a scattering of pirate servers, some with the hand-written homebrew tools to develop new aspects for the game. And thousands of us are still captured by it. By its gameplay mechanics, its upgrade system, its fluid PVP. No other MMO plays like it.

The sad part about it, of course, is that the lore of the game has not survived. With every iteration something is lost, and now only the core remains.

I was looking forward to The Secret World until I saw the videos, revealing the same target-lock button-spamming bullshit that 95% of the market insists is gameplay. Hell with that nonsense. Give me freedom and control, not a prison. No desire for a graphically impressive game of chess with the algorithms of crochet.

My search continues.
 

Skratt

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Dec 20, 2008
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I'm right there with you. I want more out of MMOs. I think it is less a function of lack of developer creativity than it is that we are constrained by Human Nature. People seem to love the shit out of grinding. Take WoW for instance. How many times do you see a player doing the same thing over and over and over and over just to get some certain piece of armor or 100% faction? The critters they are fighting pop up in the same place every time like clock work and if you don't grind them there is content you never get to see. They are so proud of their new shiny and they got to watch the entire 7 seasons of Buffy while grinding to get that one piece of phat lewt. *sigh*

I think EVE is attractive to people like us, even if we don't play, because it is based on PVP. It is based on the idea that the game is constantly being changed through conflict. We are FPS players not because we are "grinding" the same map over and over, we are playing in an environment with other people where the important things are constantly changing. That guy we saw in the hall on the left was only there when he was there. Next round he'll be somewhere else. Granted it is the same map / world / planet - but the content is the enemy (PVP or PVE) and the enemy doesn't just hang out in a spot waiting for us to "get within aggro range", they are always actively hunting you from the start. Imagine if an MMO could pull that off, where the AI learns and starts to hunt you? What if in an MMO players could play as one of those monsters and you'd never know if the next random monster you saw was an AI or a player? What if a player who plays as a monster got to level up just by spending time as a monster and the higher level they got, the more choices of monsters they could play as?

But, that would probably alienate a large number of MMO players. They aren't twitch gamers like us. So, I propose that we don't change the MMO development, I propose that someone make an MMO for us and push the boundaries by eliminating quests and replace them with dynamic content. Want to be a trader? Running goods from city 1 to city 2 avoiding the static mobs is mind bogglingly fucking boring. But having to deliver trade goods to a town that was just devastated by war or famine and getting there is never the same experience twice? Once you get the town up and working again, there might be somewhere else you need to take stuff to. You can sign me up for some more of that shit for sure! I'd probably be a caravan guard, but whatever, at least when I take my 2nd and 3rd characters through the area I'm not doing the same goddamn quests again and again and again.

The tech will get there, but I think we're looking at 2020 and beyond because even if they started this project TODAY, it seems to take 5 years to produce any game of size and sometimes you just go broke because you took money from Rhode Island...

We're here Dennis, we just need to wait for the next great genie game designer to try and make this game.
 

Skratt

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doctorjackal777 said:
I actually have EQ2 but never got a chance to play it. I installed it, but gave up after two entire days of patch installs and I really don't want to download a game that big. So I guess I'll never know the potential awesomeness~
You didn't miss much. EQ2 was a series of linked hallways and small playgrounds. I use the term playground, because that is what it reminded me of. Maybe a zoo without fences is more appropriate. "And over here we have the turtles, and over here we have the lizard humanoids, and up there on the cliff we have a stronger lizard humanoid...". The areas were so small in some cases surrounded by cliffs and such that you felt like you were playing in a terrarium rather than a living breathing world. Technology limitation, yada yada, but still. :)
 

Skratt

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Dec 20, 2008
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UzumakiGamer said:
This article makes lots of good points, but the jelly on the bottom shelf remains the same: MMOs in their current state cost a lot of money to make. All the backers who pay for these MMOs to be made are not willing to bet their money on a crazy new idea, they want something safe like WoW. "WoW makes lots of money, make us one of those."

Until you get someone willing to back a risky venture, or a way to build a grand MMO for a lot less money we will not likely be seeing the MMO of tomorrow.
I think part of the problem may actually be in choosing the safe route. The difference between success and failure is sometimes the choice between what is right and what is easy. WoW wasn't safe, it was WoW. They attracted people based on the past Warcraft RTS franchise and overall Blizzard popularity.

You are right, if an MMO publisher wants to make money, they NEED a dev that can innovate. Trying to be safe doesn't work. And that's not hind-sight talking, I said that when WoW first came out and it was basically a copy of EQ (game mechanic wise - quests, zones, levels, etc), it's just that I'm a nobody. Even though I wasn't alone in my statement, I would not have been qualified to give an opinion of that magnitude anyway. I would just be another speculative prick like the rest of the jaded player base. I am indeed sad that my prediction was correct because that means it took many many studios 5-10 years to come to the same conclusion and the only innovation the MMO market had was the Free to Play business model. It will be another 5+ years before any type of MMO game play innovation sees the light of day. :(
 

W3rK

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Sep 2, 2009
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There is actually an MMO (although light on the first "M") that was sort of a "prototype" for Minecraft, founded by Notch himself (although he doesn't mention it much at all) that's actually very different from the usual stuff. It's hard to get into and is still rough in some aspects, but it's being actively developed and - in all honesty - no other game I played gives you such amount of freedom, at the same time driving you to cooperate with others. Terraforming, construction, farming, hunting and, of course, fighting others - it's all there.

Maybe it's not "Minecraft with millions of players collaborating" but it get closest to that from them all. Look for Wurm Online to check it out.
 

2xDouble

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Mar 15, 2010
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You know, there's something available right now that blows virtual reality completely away. It's called actual reality. It's not cheap (definitely pay-to-win), and I hear the consequences for failing at it are pretty severe, but it's easily the most realistic "just a dude" experience you'll ever play. It has infinite content in it, as new content is being added literally every second. (I'd like to see any other developer keep up with that pace...). I suggest you try that instead.

Seriously. Go outside. There are things there.