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Your Sacred Cows' Mad Disease

Challenging the Tired and Used assumptions in MMO's - and gaming in general.

Author: badgerbadger

"make it accessible" - my concern

Posted by badgerbadger Monday September 10 2007 at 5:34PM
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 my regularly-scheduled rant on sacred cows has become a bit sidetrecked by my viewing of the trailers for the 4h edition d&d rollout...

 Why? Twofold:  Firstly; almost all the SCow's that are mistaken as "the only possible way" are from granddaddy -D... 

hack N slash = RPG....( like it or not; almost from the beginning 'serious' roleplayers tended to move to other,"niche" storyteller games); 

"clerics are here to heal you" ( lets ask Moses - shall we?  "but badger i don't remember moses DOING any healing...OH."  JC did alot of healing.. want to consider him a cleric? or isn't that blasphemy?)

"wizards and clerics are easily distinguished" (the most famous wizard; Merlin; arguably comes from druidic tradition... Gandalf; and the wizards of middle earth; area RACE not a profession- and might i add; basically they're guardian angels sent by the higher power... the point is; like my last point about clerics; ask a 'priest' of Set... in most of the fantasy genre both dealt with entities; not raw energy as jack vance's wizards did)

hard to kill = "high hit points" Oh no one wants to hear THAT again from me; do they?  I guess bruce willis has a LOT of hit points.  I just thought his bad guys couldn't aim.

  I'll hold the rest; I'm sure you get the point.  Really the cognizant point here -there will be a quiz boyz an girls- is that the games that did it other ways never became AS popular; and so made relatively little impact on the "paradigm" of what constituted fantasy roleplay - most 9 even some that influenced how GDD changed) aren't remembered.

Secondly; is that what all the big MMO companies seem to be saying sounds eeriely familiar.

  In the clip; I heard them mock waiting on a turn.  Unless their "mud" is going to make it it real-time; in person games are still going to require turns. But with that and making fun of "grapple"( was grapple really that difficult in 3rd? I believe as a rule most undead and animals SHOULD grapple/overbear - and i've been often flamed for saying so).. what i really got out of this was...

  we're going to make the rules simpler

 classes will be more clear in their roles.  rather than my rant on that - oh and you KNOW I want to - ***sigh***  I'm just going to say; what i suspect that means is ' to guide new players'

  you won't fight a troll; you'll fight 4 trolls - yeah; i noticed this in DDO - make the creatures weaker...

now - the whole provide a graphical network for users is interesting... Too bad it looks about a GENERATION behind MMO's - hell it looks like a flash game; is it? - but to me; what i heard was again; accessability.

  And thats why I brought up the recent articles and presentations by MMO moguls... What I kept hearing was "accessibility".

  From a business standpoint; I realize this makes sense... For all the reasons that most movies try to avoid an R (and the first conan movie HAD an R) -and for all the reasons some mobvies might want an R; a game now might want an M.

  But my concern is;

   I am very concerned that perhaps they are taking all the wrong lessons from the MMO successes - nevermind demographic discussions about target audiences in either RPG or MMO-RPG's...

    And i realize perfectly well the casual market is probably always going to be larger

   but at what point does "make it accessible" simply become DUMB IT DOWN?  I mentioned the trolls - how easy the monsters were in DDO(relatively to 'real' D&D) - at what point does this mean make it so easy that no one has to be "griefed" by the horror of losing once in a while? Did everyone read the article where the "wow-beater" at bioware said; level FASTER than wow?

  Is that how its going to be;a synergy of make it easy / make it accessible between the 2 markets? or better yet a competition to see who can make it EASIEST and MOST accessible?

   A strange cold reminder came to me - how quickly the yu-gi-oh "DUEL MONSTERS" game overtook the game It was a dumbed-down version of; MagicTG...

  so: guess i'll be seeing you all in the REAL "Next Generation" MMO:

  POKEMON ONLINE

* hides in badger cave *

 

 

Meltdown writes:

Heh, kinda hard to follow you until the end. But I understand about the dumbed down thing. I really killed me in the old days of MTG when Portal came out and cards starting reading stuff like "Unaffected by summoning sickness (this creature can attack on the first turn it is summoned)" So we really need the disclaimer. Anyways thats a beef of mine all on its own.

I thought it was funny you mentioned Pokemon Online being the nextgen game. Pokemon was a game that slightly got dumbed down and then mass-produced for the mass market of 10 yr olds. You know what. The original Pokemon games were RPGs of epic proportions that held even the most hardcore RPG player or even D&Der captivated for hundreds of hours. When I tell people I played Pokemon they look at me like I'm some sort of 10 yr old child who sits at home and watches cartoons all day (which is partly true haha).

Anyways Acclaim's secret project is beast racing, but they are planning on having "PvP" in the form of fighting your pets against eachother. Although the details aren't there this is the closest thing to a Pokemon MMO that I see. They have decided on having different types of beasts and breeding (sort of like Chocobo's in FF7). But the main point of the game is racing, and I think if they concentrated on a large number of beasts, a huge breeding system and a wonderful pvp system that it would be a huge success.

Tue Sep 11 2007 9:47AM Report
soulwynd writes:

It's D&D. You can't seriously expect anything else.

Tue Sep 11 2007 9:56AM Report
Grendelio writes:

 "Accesibility" (or plainly: stupid simplicity) is a pandemic disease. Not only in MMORPGs, it is everywhere.  Games, books, films, comics. In most cases, the rule is the same:

 Complicated = no sales.

 Most people are unable to read a game manual. Don´t try to make complicated rules for them. It is easier to make games where you just click, kill and level up. And then You call them "RPG".

  Problem is, where are those old school RPG game companies? Dead.  No more "complicated" RPG games with long text dialogs, a decent story and lots of options. No more games like Fallout or Torment. 

 Fallout II and Torment weren´t translated to spanish. Too much work. Too costly.

These kind of games were too  costly in the end. And companies like Troika died. So now, game companies make the simplest possible games.

Problem is that those companies doesn´t understand that in most cases simple ends up being BORING.

Wed Sep 12 2007 6:13PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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