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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Handholding in MMOs

Posted by MikeB Friday December 31 2010 at 4:17PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Handholding in MMO" by bastionix. In the thread, bastionix asserts that all the handholding in today's MMOs make him feel like a "helpless baby" and wonders why things have changed so drastically from the past:

MMO used to have no quest markers, maps, minimaps, quest updates (0/10).

What happened?

Let me put this into terms of how I experienced this:

EQ: No handholding.

WoW: Maps, Quest markers, Minimap, Quest updates

Rift: Maps, Quest markers, Minimap, Quest updates, Range to NPC, Direction to NPC, Area of mobs to kill highlighted, Marker over their head

What's next? A homing device and a tricycle? Is this really the future of MMO?

I'm supposed to be a hero who can save the world, not a helpless baby.

Dameonk notes that prior to all the built-in quest help players were creating guides and using database websites such as Thottbott anyways:

I'm actually with zymurgeist on this.  I remember when first playing WoW I would have thottbot open on my 2nd monitor and every time I got a new quest I would look it up and see where the mobs are I needed to kill.  Really the way the games are doing it now just cuts out the middle-man for a lot of people.

LOTRO just recently added this to their game, it was something the players have been asked for.  Companies don't just add these kinds of features on a whim.

Rydeson is more inclined to agree with the OP, feeling that all the help has indeed become a bit ridiculous:

     Agreed.. the hand holding is getting rediculous anymore..  do this, do that, then this, then that..  I like questing, but questing should be with a purpose.. A SERIOUS and meaningful purpose and not just used as a breadcrumb trail.. Anyone else remember EQ1 epic quest?  Those would take weeks or months to complete.. Remember the Coldain Prayer Shaw questline?  I remember questing the wisdom shield that was in Luclin.. I cant' remember the name of it, but it had a lion's head on it... Those quest actually gave me the sense of accomplishment..  These go kill 10 X task are over played and over used..  I don't mind repeatable if done right.. Sometimes camping a location in the zone is a good thing..

donkeys takes things one step further, noting that players have been getting around exploration going as far back as the days of the original EverQuest, where players were apparently known for drawing up maps on pen and paper (my how far we've come!):

No, people made their own EQ maps with pen and paper:

Players would be crying to mommy if they had to do this now.

I have mixed feelings on this whole situation. I can agree to some extent, I mean I've found myself feeling the quests I've been doing in many contemporary MMOs (Rift included) to be kind of going through the motions and pointless, and I do blame the handholding. I recall playing LOTRO back in the day and seriously having to read the quest text and refer to the landmarks and direction from which I should proceed from those landmarks to find my objective.

I don't take joy in long-winded scavenger hunts to complete a quest, I'm not a masochist, but not being led around helped me actually appreciate the game world and veer off the beaten bath. If I saw something in the distance while searching for a quest objective, I might go ahead and take a detour and check it out. But when I have so much information pointing me to where I need to go I feel less inclined to look anywhere but my UI and simply head from quest marker to quest marker, so on that level I agree with those of you who are frustrated by all the handholding.

BUT....

It doesn't mean I don't want quest tracking or information of any sort, as looking around for two hours for a needle in a haystack isn't something I want to repeat again. Things could certainly stand to be toned down a bit, or at least have options in the UI to disable certain elements of the tracking (as long as the quest text/cutscenes are also adequate enough to provide solid directions).

What do you think of all the handholding? And what do you propose as a solution? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The Downtime Blues

Posted by BillMurphy Wednesday December 29 2010 at 6:04PM
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DCUO patched today.  As I've made it abundantly clear lately, I love that game.  The problem with today's patch is that the servers are still not back up.  Ah, the joys of beta (and live experience too sometimes).  Patch day always seems to equal "Problem Day" for most games.  And now, as I wait for my lovely wife to come home with nothing but free time to do all things Geek, all I really want to do is log into my current hero-of-choice and bash some skulls.

But I can't.

I've got the Downtime Blues.

It reminds me of the early days of Anarchy Online, or more notably World of Warcraft.  Back in 2004, when WoW was the hot new kid in town the servers seemed to be down more often than they were up as Blizzard scrambled to meet demand.  These were the days when extra time would be added to your subscription for free because you couldn't play for days in a row. 

Really, DCUO is in beta.  I'm not really complaining that they need some extra time to get things in order.  I'm just expressing sadness that I wanted to play this evening and can't it seems.  And I can't be the only one around here who gets a little petulent when they get home from work to find the servers down, can I? 

You know the times I'm talking about.  When all you really want to do is go home, put on some comfy clothes, grab a beer or whatever you drink, and log into your favorite world.  Then when you go through the motions of letting the dogs out, feeding the kids, making sure Suzie (not Ford) has her homework done, and getting yourself all lined up for a good hour or two of gaming... the one game you want to play doesn't work.

Talk about a bah humbug indeed.

Snow Day!

Posted by garrett Monday December 27 2010 at 12:44PM
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Here is why MMOs rock, because when there is snow, you can play. Right now most of our beloved east coast is under about a foot of snow. These are the times that you see MMOs become more and more active. Players log into a game they have not checked out in months because there is not much else to do.
Exploring these older games can offer some great finds that you might have missed.
 
Playing games like Ultima again or even checking out EverQuest after years of not playing. I get nostalgic with old games and MMOs. It makes it fun to go back and see how far gaming has come.
 
Even better, if you could get your D&D group together on a day like today you can have an all day adventure. Few people can go anywhere just make sure someone brings the Doritos. Back, in 1995 I can remember driving home for a game of D&D from work in a blizzard. I was reading GamePro and Weaponlord was on the cover. If you have not played Weaponlord it is an awesome old game.
 
It is these times I remember most in the snow. Now, my old crew of players can log in and meet up on our computers to check out other worlds while ours resembles Northrend.
 
So take a snow day and check out some games, you may be surprised what you find.

Community Spotlight: Console MMOs

Posted by MikeB Thursday December 23 2010 at 3:45PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Why no console mmorpgs?" by KarmaCry7. KarmaCry7 wants to know why we arent' seeing more console MMOs hit the market, going so far as to assert that console MMOs are the future:

At this point I would like to see a great or even decent xbox live mmorpg. AoC was supposed to release console versions but they never did. This is a market that is hungry for convenient online interaction and Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star only gave a very small effort in motivating the market to become an active part of their community growth.

I look at some PC games as being a waste of time and effort. Having to download strange patches, graphics that look out of wack because you don't meet the requirements as advertised etc. Payment transactions for monthly fee payments can be a pain. It just seems that the console generation of mmos can become a lot larger, more stable, reliable and long lasting. I just want to see more X-Box mmos to be considered by devs.

I'll go as far as to say every sorry and failing PC mmorpg would be considered by me if they were available for download on live.


Games I would sub on X Box Live


1. Star Wars Galaxies
2. War Hammer
3. City of Heroes
4. Age of Conan
5. Everquest 2


If these games were there, I'll be building my network on live and would actually care that these games still exist.

What does the MMORPG.com community think about the state of console MMOs? Find out below!

Loke666 sees similarities between the state of console FPS games a decade ago and the current state of console MMOs, feeling that its simply a matter of time until console MMOs are much more prevalent:

You can't just port a game, it would be pretty bad and I doubt most X-box users would like it. To make a good console MMO you need to make a console MMO from the start. We already seen tries to make games for both with rather bad results, FF XI excluded.

There are some companies making MMOs exclusively for X-box even if nothing is released yet. Most promising with most experienced devs is Zombie labs lead by Jeff Strain (Diablo, Warcraft 3, Wow, GW 1 & 2).

There will be rather popular console MMOs, 10 years ago few people believed in console FPS games. But they will need to find the right mechanics for a game like that. That will happen but it might take a while.

Your list however have only smaller games and porting them would most likely not lead to much, AoC were actually made to be both for PC and X-box but the console version was canned.

EQ Next will most likely release on PS3 as well as PC, but I can promise you that no SOE will be ported to X.box ever. SOE is however spending the time with making the next EQ game multi platform and I doubt they would spend all the job on the current game that is 6 years old.

Omali notes that there are several console MMOs already running, but points to Microsoft as someone to blame for a variety of announced console MMO projects never seeing the light of day:

There are console MMOs. Playstation 3 has Final Fantasy XI, Massive Action Game, and soon to be DC Universe Online (already in beta), Final Fantasy XIV, the Undead Labs zombie MMO, Turbine's console MMO, and a few other titles not coming to mind right away.

As for the Xbox360, you have Final Fantasy XI and that's pretty much all, but if you want an idea as to why there are no MMOs coming to the 360, you should ask Microsoft. There have been numerous reports of Microsoft blocking MMO initiatives in the past. Funcom noted Microsoft's resistance as the reason Age of Conan hasn't come out on the 360, and Cryptic has done the same noting that Champions Online and Star Trek Online were announced to be virtually finished on the 360 before they were canned. Square Enix has stated that Final Fantasy XIV on the 360 is a possibility, but that Microsoft is the main issue blocking any progress, and has even gone as far as saying that Final Fantasy XI is only on Xbox Live because it was released in Live's infancy, and Microsoft didn't have the kind of strict guidelines that they have now.

Antaran sees the console development cycle as a significant barrier to successful MMOs on consoles:

Don't get me wrong guys and gals, i'm not a hater of consoles at all, i just don't see the longevity of MMOs on them from a developer point of view. think of it this way, a company makes an MMO for Xbox, 2-3 years later a new xbox comes along and fair enough it may be backwards compatable for a majority of disc based games or downloaded games but the coding for the MMO would have to be altered in a huge way and therefore be completely buggering for the people who don't buy the new one as well as it costing the developer even more money which, everyone knows, devs prefer not to invest huge amounts of time and money in MMOs after they've launched aside from patches now and then and more money making ideas from expansions.

As many users have noted it's true there are a few console MMOs floating around, and it is also true that many console MMO projects have been nixed due to issues between developers and Microsoft (who also have a terrible track record with MMOs on the PC), but while there have been many failures and a good deal of resistance to console MMOs I definitely have to agree with Loke666 as far as the similarities between console MMOs now and console FPS games just a decade ago.

Once the logistics are figured out and a game comes along that targets the console gamer demographic I think we'll start seeing many more of them. Console MMOs need their "Halo" in order to clear the way. No one believed FPS games could work well on consoles until Halo came around, and well, now here we are, with FPS games being developed primarily for the console gamer demographic and the PC gamer getting the ports. I still feel like we're in the Twilight Zone with regards to that, but I digress.

In the near future we have DC Universe Online, which works great with both a mouse and keyboard as well as controller, and just may strike a balance between console gamer and PC gamer tastes. It's definitely a game I'm keeping my eye on if just to see how it all plays out on the console side of things. Having played the game myself I can definitely see the concessions made in the interface and game controls for console users, but I also don't find the game suffers much at all for that, it all works pretty well and that's a good sign.

While I'm a passionate PC gamer (I also play on consoles), I'm just as passionate about the MMO genre in particular, and I'd love to see it grow across platforms.

Community Spotlight: GM Events in MMOs

Posted by MikeB Thursday December 16 2010 at 12:31PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "GM driven events in MMORPG ?" by NineDots. In the thread, NineDots wonders about the prevalence of GM events in MMOs, and seeks the advice of the MMORPG.com community in identifying MMOs that feature such events:

I was wondering if it is frequent to see events directly driven by GMs (Game Masters) in MMORPG?

What I mean is when GMs would actually take direct control of some of the game mechanics such as monsters to interact with players.

Here is a recent example where GMs took control of monsters to attack cities:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dd4TcOdO5A

Do you know of any other MMO with such events?

Hopscotch73 notes that Fallen Earth makes extensive use of GM events:

The team at Fallen Earth are great for these, there's a weekly (well, not so weekly lately)  trivia night where the head GM (Community Director Tiggs) asks questions for players to win player-donated prizes, and then they have live events like Hillstomper attacks for Halloween and the destruction of Boneclaw, plus live events that were run for the anniversary.

Just this past weekend the Devs and GMs took to the test server to play around with the players and answer questions - they spawned some monsters at the end for everyone to have fun with.

The stated aim seems to be to have one of these events a month if possible, they're always a blast, so I hope they can do this.

Trouble is, it's easier to do this in "smaller" games like FE and Deadfall than in "bigger" games, where you have multiple servers and multiple times the qq-ing from people that miss events because of time-zones and RL.

Such events are great for making players feel like part of the game. I guess if you've played an MMO with these sort of events you'd really miss them not being there, and if you haven't...well then you don't know that you're missing anything.

GrayGhost79 takes us back in time to the GM events of Ultima Online:

This is something that started way back with UO and it was one of the big appeals of it. GM's and event moderators would hold all kind of events in game. Some events had you protecting cities from mob invasions, others had you going out to dungeon crawl. When there was an announcement for the game Garriott would do it in game as Lord British (His in game char). He would call for an assembly in his castle and the town criers would announce it to any passing by them. 

3 of the most memorable for me were the Moonglow invasion where players actually had to defend the city from a siege. If the players succeeded on their shard then the city remained on that shard, if they failed it became a demolished city haunted by spirits. 

Another was the launching of Stygian Abyss. The GM's and Event moderators took on the roles of chars from the lore to act it out and the players fought in the war which eventually led to the launch of the Stygian Abyss expansion. 

My favorite of all though was the whole thing between Lord Blackthorne and Lord British. There was always something going on event wise between the two of them. They were the two lead devs and players got to side with whomever they wanted with most of the events. 

All in all it was a blast. I missed those events and am glad seeing some of the newer MMO's copying UO.

just1opinion highlights EverQuest II as another MMO featuring GM events:

EQ2 has GM events, BUT....the only people that know about them are the people that read the forums, because that's where they announce them. They're GREAT though.  They often give away rare shinies that are rare collectables, and assorted other rares items.  The events are usually a lot of fun and involve some quest that they give you.

One time I was in Paineel and was suddenly attacked by flying COWS.  Since cows are not plentiful in EQ2 and I have NEVER had one thrown at me.....I knew there was a GM SOMEWHERE.  I got bombarded with cows....like LOTS of them.  So I went looking for the GM, found him/her and got a GM vanity pet!  It was funny and a nice surprise.

I love how EQ2 has these events because it makes the world seem very alive.  They also generally EXPECT you to roleplay with them, and that also makes it loads of fun.

Funny that no one mentioned the MMO that was driven almost entirely on GM events: The Matrix Online. The Matrix Online featured a designated "Live Events Team" that moved forward the game's storyline by putting together incredibly elaborate events for the players on a regular basis and role-playing their parts as the franchise's signature characters such as Morpheus, Niobe, Ghost and more.

This was easily MXO's best feature, but it also highlighted a number of issues with the concept, namely that it was an incredibly costly feature when measuring the effort involved vs. the amount of players exposed. The Live Events Team had to do some serious tricks to make sure that they could include the most players possible across the game's servers and this was no small task, even so, many players were dissatisfied, missing events due to not being at the rightp lace at the right time, etc.

The event focus also opened up potential for griefing, though the Live Events Team did have a number of tools to deal with griefers, it required a lot of effort to get things working smoothly.

Live Events are definitely awesome and I really enjoyed my time participating in them in The Matrix Online as well as a number of other games, but I don't think we'll see many MMOs going forward that focus as heavily on them as The Matrix Online did due to the aforementioned issues.

Do you enjoy GM driven events and do you currently play any MMOs that utilize them with any regularity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Back to Normal

Posted by BillMurphy Wednesday December 15 2010 at 10:44AM
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I landed from Maui, Hawaii back in Cleveland, Ohio late last night. 

I wasn't kidding in last week's column when I said I'd be taking a holiday in Hawaii.  My wife (so weird to say that) and I got married on December 4th and took off for Hawaii on the 6th.  I had some articles written and hiding away for Jon to post while I was gone.  Coming from the northern midwest and in December no less, Hawaii was an incredible experience.  Snorkling, traversing to the top of Haleakala and peering down upon the world, endless breakfast buffets, $12 dacquiris, the best ahi tuna steak I've ever had, swimming face to face with hundred year old turtles, getting tanned and red in December... and all with the the most amazing person I've ever known.  It was absolutely one of the best weeks of my life.

But as day six of our honeymoon came around we both felt oddly homesick. We missed our dogs.  We missed the snow that was falling and our Christmas tree.  We loved paradise, but missed the Holiday Season as it's represented in Norman Rockwell paintings.  So here I am back to "Normal". 

It seems a lot's gone on since I was away, or so my 300+ e-mails tell me.  I've got the big DCUO beta patch downloading and I'm anxious to see how the game's changed (I hear mixed results) and write up a bit for this week's DCUO column.  Cataclysm hit while I was away, and I'm pretty sure I'll have to cave in and boot that up this weekend too. 

In any case, it feels good to be home.  Even good to be back at work.  I love vacations, but they should remain vacations... because they're more special when they're fleeting.

Cataclysm, Betas, and 2011

Posted by garrett Tuesday December 14 2010 at 12:54PM
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For a holiday season that is normally slow, the MMO market is abuzz right now. There is a lot going on as games enter Beta, Cataclysm is upon us, and the first half of 2011 is shaping up to be an important time in MMOs.
 
Right now I am playing Cataclysm and have not leveled nearly as fast as other players. I am only 81. I know that is pathetic, but time is not on my side in Azeroth. Overall I am pleased with the pacing of the game and Blizzard seems to have sped thing up for players. This trend heralds the games of the next decade as MMO game play will become much faster.
 
Speaking of next decade games, RIFT has started its VIP beta and keys are tough to get. If you are one of the lucky ones to get a key then win! It is exciting to see games enter BETA, especially RIFT which has been on our hot list for a while.
 
Another game that is flying in the testing hemisphere is DC Universe. From the demos we saw back at E3 the game looked very good with a rich IP and lots of fast paced action my guess is players are eager to join the DC Heroes in their fight against crime.
 
Overall, this has become a very busy December for MMOs. As we move into 2011 there are a lot of games hitting the market. Demos for the 2011 season will be very important as more games show off what is coming in the next generation of MMOs.

Community Spotlight: The Importance of Player Housing?

Posted by MikeB Thursday December 9 2010 at 3:17PM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Player Housing The Key to Enjoyment?"" by Skillzeroo. Skillzeroo comments on the lack of player housing in contemporary MMOs and how he feels they add so much to the experience:

Really tired, too lazy to type out a big long post on it but does anyone else feel like player housing is sort of... needed in new MMOs? It obviously isn't limited by hardware and there doesn't seem to be an excuse to not get it out.

Mounts, faster travel? Been done ten thousand times over...

End Game raiding to look forward to in your "goals"? Been done ten thousand times over.

But player housing, while it has been done, has never REALLY been a standard for MMOs especially recently.. Why is this? Its something to work towards and something I'd definitely want... I remember my first time in LOTRO being amazed and spending an entire night just going around looking at all of the houses and things people put around them and inside of them.. Its something in the game itself that you can claim is "Yours".. Its something that doesn't disappear when you log off and come back when you're back online.. Its always there!

How does the rest of the MMORPG.com community feel about player housing? Find out below!

Honoursword enjoyed the housing in Star Wars Galaxies, and offers a few ideas of his own as to why player housing isn't more commonplace:

The best player housing I have ever played is definately SWG. That game had so many things wrong with it but had Crafting, Resource Gathering and Player Housing years ahead of any other game in terms of quality. In fact it still does.

Player Housing is apprently quite resource intensive in terms of hardware and databasing. Most games that have it will do it from the ground up, in other words will add it while they developing the game engine initially. I remember a Blizzard dev saying somewhere that if Player Housing was a 5 minute job then it would definately be in WOW by now. Unfortunately, it isn't and takes a lot of planning and dev work to certainly do right.

Would love to see another SWG housing system developed in an MMO.

Cephus404 doesn't see the appeal in player housing:

I honestly don't care about player housing, except as a place to store things I don't want to lug around with me all the time.  In any game I've ever played where they had player housing, I've never once done anything there that meant anything.  I don't think anyone ever came over to my "house" more than a handful of times, I don't think I went to anyone else's "house" very often either.  Therefore, decorating my "house" seems pointless if there's hardly anyone who will ever see it.

I'm there to play a game, not show off.  Most people are the same.

Chasemme takes the middle of the road point-of-view:

I think housing is a great addition to an MMO if done well. Not necessarily the 'key,' but definitely worth the time if done correctly. I have memories of people designing and decorating their houses to hold auctions in, it's where guild meetings were done. People would set up an entire casino, or turn it into a large shopping mall with their own vendors.

None of this stuff is necessary. All that can really all be done effectively in a small space where you put an auction house, a guild chat, and a dice mechanic without having to give an individual player anything special, but the point was to offer immersion and freedom.

Having a place to decorate was never important to me. So a random piece of data that only I could access I don't really care about. Having my own house in a world with limited space, where not everyone would have one, made it something I aspired to someday afford.

All depends on how it's done I guess.

Since Star Wars Galaxies was my first MMO I found the presence of housing to be a pretty important feature given how awesome they were in SWG. The irony though is the fact I never actually did anything with my giant house in Star Wars Galaxies, I simply used it as a storage bin. However, houses and player structures really added to the game world (though they took from it in some cases, especially on more wild worlds).

People really came up with some amazing stuff. Walking into a crafter's ship/tech shop and seeing it actually look convincingly like a workshop with machinery and parts hanging everywhere in a sort of organic fashion really added to the game's immersiveness and encouraged players to show off their creativity.

We often focus on what the developers are providing for us in MMOs, but sometimes the most interesting additions are what the players contribute themselves through their own creativity and expression. The beauty of sandbox games, I suppose. But that is for another discussion! :)

What are your thoughts on player housing? Share 'em with us in the comments below!

Community Spotlight: The Death of Crowd Control?

Posted by MikeB Friday December 3 2010 at 11:18AM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “Crowd control? A thing of the past?” by Averros. Averros uses his thread to comment on the state of crowd control (or lack of) in MMOs today:

 “I have noticed that very few games have crowd control anymore..... my favorite class in EQ1 was the enchanter.... EQ2 the Coercer, hell even CoX I LOVED Controllers. What has happened to this in games. I enjoyed this mechanic for the strategy of groups. Now it is simply Healer, Tank, DPS. Does anyone else miss this type of mechanic?

If you know of a newer game (Other than EQ2) that has crowd control, please list it here. I would be happy to find a game again that has the CC classes!”

How does the MMORPG.com community feel about the state of crowd control? Read below to find out!

Ajrock622 has a number of thoughts to share on the topic:

“I miss the days of Daoc sitting watching your group die while you stood mezzed/rooted/stunned but it was so much fun when you were on the other side.

You have a point in my opinion. However you can't really deny they still exists Warhammer has knockdowns, roots, and knockbacks. WoW has roots and stuns. Aoins has Asians? Even Eve has electronic weaponry.

Developers seem to be moving towards less fight changing CC (shorter durations unlike 1 min single target mezzes of Daoc). Especially in PvP. I always liked how single target spells lasted tons longer than AoE ones in Dark Age and that you could also spend points into ways to offest the time it lasted on you.

I think the biggest problem facing crowd controll is immunity timers. Finding the right length of time so someone can't stunlock you is at the front of the list. Gone are the days when you could keep someone locked down for more than 20 seconds but with it went being interupted if a melee looked at you when you were casting. Pre-kiting and combat kiting was an artform. Nothing was more frustrating than being locked down not being able to cast except once every 30 seconds as a caster. When WoW came out and you only got set back a half second or less when being swung at I thought it was overpowered as Warlocks.

The point is you are correct in the fact that CC classes no longer exist. Healers have to be able to do damage or they are gimp and everyone needs to have a self heal these days.”

Wizardry wonders why people like crowd control in the first place:

“I have to ask why so many like crowd control?If i was a puller and made a bad pull,shoudl i be rewarded with having skills that can make my bad skills mute?Personally i never liked the massive mob scenario,i prefer 1-3 at most with controlled combat,any more is unrealistic ,your tank should be dead fast if fighting 6+ strong mobs.

If you make a bad pull or draw unwanted aggro,then it should be up to your groups fast thinking skills to help you survive,it shouldn't be a mez everything and your safe routine.IDK maybe it is just me ,but i like the challenge of a skillful game,i don't like easy out mechanics.

Thing of the past?I doubt it ,there is always some old school dev out there ,from Eq days ,thinks it should be in there.IMO i would rather not see it at all.”

Chile267 also laments the lack of dedicated crowd control classes in contemporary MMOs:

“I loved my Controller in COH. He was an Earth controller with Wind as his secondary. I would place a rock formation AOE around all mobs in a certain radius as a hold. Then I would put Volcanic Gases AOE in center of them which was a choke+Dmg. I would add in an Earthquack AOE for knockdown. The boss I would keep held with a Fossel hold. While the tank tanked and everyone else blasted away. I also had a Hurrican around myself (secondary Wind powers) which I buffed with Target + ToHit Debuffs so any mob held in place that fired ranged at me would miss most of the time, and if they broke out and ran to me the Hurrican would push back and then do knockback.

Controllers are fun and part of any good MMO. I do wish they had more controllers like COH style, unfortunalty the end game and repeated mission of COH wore on me after a bit and I left. I still think COH had the best controllers.”

Dedicated crowd control classes aren’t on the class roster for many new games due to the fact that CC in general is viewed negatively these days. Most players don’t like to lose control of their characters and so the role of CC in MMOs has eroded over time. I was never a fan of pure crowd control clasess, but then again I’m not often a fan of pure anything, I prefer hybrids. To use City of Heroes as an example, I much prefer the Dominator to the Controller. The Dominator can lock things down just as well but can also really lay waste to his enemies. I’m pretty sure the days of mass-mezzing a whole warbands worth of people at once are over forever.

What are your thoughts on the state of crowd control/crowd control classes? Share ‘em with us in the comments below!