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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why Do MMORPGs All Use Massive Time Sinks?

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60 posts found
  Jimmy_Scythe

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

 
OP  2/15/11 6:44:56 PM#21
Originally posted by Lerxst
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

It doesn't really make any sense. I realize that F2P games use the grind as 'stick' in order to get players to buy stuff from the cash shop, but aren't there more immediate ways that you can "encourage" your player base to buy that crap. If the goal is to get people to pay for junk, time seems like a horrible way to do it since there will always be people that are willing to waste their lives rather than pay for anything.

The same question applies to subscription games. When your players spend huge amounts of time playing your game, the bandwidth costs eat up your revenue. The less time people play per session, the more money you make because you aren't spending as much on bandwidth. Rather than demanding players sit on their asses for 20+ hours a week, why not just use that sub money for monthly content expansions. You could still do one major box expansion every year just to get a spike in returning players.

I just don't see endless grinding and tedious OCD gameplay as a win-win situation for developers, publishers or gamers. There are more effective ways to keep people paying those subs and buying those items.

Why not just give up the MMO genre and stick with the old FPS games.  They're the only games that have what you're describing.  Most of them don't even require a subsrtiption to play.

 

MMO's were meant to be grind-fests since they first came out.  Even MUDs required repeatedly using skills in order to improve them.

Go back to FPS HURP DERP DERP!!!!

Seriously? Seriously?

BTW, how do you know what MMO's were "meant to be?" Do you know Richard Bartle or something? Nah, you couldn't because then you'd realize that he was actually experimenting with social interactions in virtual spaces. I doubt you've ever been to a tinyMUD or MUSH. Way different than the DIKU deriviatives that most MMORPGs descend from. But then again I doubt you've actually set foot in a MUD.

Don't try to lecture me on history that I lived through and don't claim an understanding that you don't have. There are plenty of actual RPGs that are carried by diverse gameplay and story. There is no reason why MMORPGs can't do the same.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2if5GYXOGyo

  pierth

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/14/06
Posts: 1517

2/15/11 7:30:19 PM#22
Originally posted by severius

Time sinks are the heart and soul of the mmo business.  Without them they would be half-assed single player games with 1/3of the content in a traditional isometric rpg and worse than bugs you get the distinct pleasure of playing alongside the communities of both xbox live and battle.net. :P

But... that's exactly how they are... now

  SwampRob

Novice Member

Joined: 9/05/07
Posts: 1011

2/15/11 7:53:55 PM#23

I'm in agreement with the OP in that such time sinks truly suck.    I'm not saying everything need be instantaneous, but there's a limit.

An example:   I once made a post about Wow complaining that some griffon rides took about ten full minutes.   That's ten minutes of staring at the screen, unable to do anything with your character other that look at him.     And some posters actually defended this saying the game was doing me a favor by giving me a short break in which to make a sandwich or something.   WTH?   Like I need a game to tell me when I should snack, or go to the bathroom?   The game is doing me a favor by not letting me play my character?

I've little tolerance for time sinks like this.   I understand why they exist, and that is to solely benefit the developer.   Such time sinks, in no way, are there to help the player.     All I can do is vote with my wallet.   Any game that does this to excess doesn't keep me as a customer very long.

  SuperXero89

Novice Member

Joined: 8/16/09
Posts: 2614

2/15/11 10:08:46 PM#24
Originally posted by Maar
Originally posted by SuperXero89

You can have and we actually do have MMORPGs that have a relatively minor grind involved, but there has to be some sort of a grind in order to keep people paying those monthly fees.

say's the herd ..........

 

baaaaa

 

Take away the leveling give us content , give gm's tools to create exiting events instead of dedicating 1,000's of hours development and Gm monitoring to leveling .

 

Its the future .

 

Dynamic content that changes constantly , instead of exp goals and time sink levels . 

Once you actually figure out how to implement something like that in such a way that investors are confident in your ideas, you can dream up ideas all day long, but you haven't put forth one single actionable solution to the issue.

  Meowhead

Tipster

Joined: 1/31/09
Posts: 3732

2/15/11 10:44:31 PM#25

I think the reason why MMORPG time sinks annoy me personally are two fold.

First off, many of them are at a really awkward spot where they're not engaging enough that I feel like I'm actually enjoying myself or being challenged, yet they're not QUITE easy enough that I can do it completely without external management.  It's sort of like when I'm at work... they're not making me think hard enough for me to feel engaged, but I have to think just enough I don't have the time to think about more interesting things.

Secondly, when a timesink DOES come around where I can totally leave and stop paying attention (Getting on a 'fast' travel ride like a boat, a horse in LotRO, or a flight path in WoW), I realize that while this leaves me free to do other things, I'm not actually playing the game anymore.

All this basically boils down to the major problem that most MMORPGs are at their heart, watered down, bad versions of real games.  The only real strengths they have as a game type is the ability to play with other people... LOTS of other people... the idea that you're being immersed into some sort of world that is bigger than you... and if you really want to stretch, I suppose you could add that they are crammed full of time wasters, time sinks and shoddily concealed grind, so that if you have the patience of Job or the discernment and taste of a NASCAR themed china plate collector, you get way more gameplay for your dollar than most other games.

People say 'grind and time sinks are the heart of MMORPGs', and I say they're wrong.  They're in there because they haven't figured out a better way to pad out all the empty space and time.  ... or they're just half-assing it and following the example of previous game makers who didn't fix the problem either.  If somebody invents cigarettes that are totally awesome, make your breath smell great and cure cancer, you don't tell the person 'The POINT to cigarettes are that you get to make your breath stink and you get cancer'.  Those are the PROBLEMS, and they are things you would like to fix.  Just because something is associated deeply with another thing, does not mean those two things are inseperable, or that it is desired that they stay together... (Why the heck would you make a car that guarantees the passengers will be safe?  Auto fatalities are the POINT to cars.  I mean, they all have them...)

In my opinion... and your mileage may vary... the best way to fix this problem and reduce the time sink aspect, is to make MMORPGs better.  Wow.  That sounds really trite when I put it that way.  Okay, I haven't taken up enough space writing yet, let me expound on that.

How can game designers make them better?  Well, first make MMORPGs better games.  Better game systems, more engaging.  More time spent requiring at least a tiny modicum of skill.  At least make turning off brain autopilot an OPTION. 

Also, replace time sinks with more gameplay.  It's fine to have lulls in a game, but you can do that with more zen-like gaming.  If I wanted to stop gaming (Watching a flight path, say...), I could just... well, stop gaming.  Travel is mostly boring.  It may add immersion, but at the cost of generally being boring as hell, because after you've viewed the scenery once or twice, you just tap the auto-run button, point your guy in the right direction and read a book or something.

Give people something to do!  Let people jump with their horses, use some sort of skill to spice it up a little... make moving through cities more interesting with a little parkour flavor... anything but 'hold down W until your finger is a bloody stump'

I'll just state a quick example real quick, that most people should be familiar with.  Flight paths in WoW.  You get on ye olde random flying animal, it flies you to where you're going.  Except even in a time waster of 'fast' travel, they waste your time.  They meander, wander here and there, spend a lot of time being scenic.

I've always said they should just install a minigame.  Whenever you see your flying creature's attention start to meander, press space bar, whack them upside the head, and they'll resume flying straight.

Lazy or busy people still get where they're going, and have time to make a sandwich.  People who are in a hurry get there faster, and get a little gameplay.  It's not MUCH gameplay, but it's more gameplay than you're getting while sitting on the toilet, two rooms over. You could even make the gameplay better than merely hitting spacebar... make it like a rhythym game or something.  Seriously, there's plenty of places in MMOs where you can change pure time-wasting into 'I'm at least playing a half-assed game while I play my game'.  Doesn't even hurt immersion.  Heck, whacking an unruly monster trying to give you a slow tour probably ADDS to immersion.  I know I wouldn't put up with anything but the most exacting line from point A to point B, if I was really in that fantasy world.

 

  Loktofeit

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12405

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/15/11 10:58:54 PM#26
Originally posted by Meowhead

I'll just state a quick example real quick, that most people should be familiar with.  Flight paths in WoW.  You get on ye olde random flying animal, it flies you to where you're going.  Except even in a time waster of 'fast' travel, they waste your time.  They meander, wander here and there, spend a lot of time being scenic.

Personally, I'd look forward to going to get some coffee and coming back to see what disasterous mess my pet just flew me into.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  ianicus

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/08/06
Posts: 488

punch it chewie! RAAAAAAWR!

2/15/11 11:07:32 PM#27

cause they want your monies?...

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

2/15/11 11:09:14 PM#28

I can't help but feel this thread is a timely counterpoint to the "OMG let's have more timesinks" thread.

The majority of players agree with jimmy_scythe: they want their time to be well-spent.  Excessive timesinks certainly don't accomplish that.

  Meowhead

Tipster

Joined: 1/31/09
Posts: 3732

2/15/11 11:09:48 PM#29
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Meowhead

I'll just state a quick example real quick, that most people should be familiar with.  Flight paths in WoW.  You get on ye olde random flying animal, it flies you to where you're going.  Except even in a time waster of 'fast' travel, they waste your time.  They meander, wander here and there, spend a lot of time being scenic.

Personally, I'd look forward to going to get some coffee and coming back to see what disasterous mess my pet just flew me into.

That could be an interesting feature, if going AFK meant they were more likely to stray and drop you off at some totally random location where when you come back you'll wonder how you're going to get out of the depths of some creepy skeleton infested ruin... except that's not really what happens.  Generally speaking, you go from safe location A to safe location B.  You're safe before, you click a key, make your coffee, come back and you're still safe.  They could have done a 5 minute fade to black, generally. :)

  Sourajit

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/07
Posts: 456

Lets try it.

2/15/11 11:28:10 PM#30
Originally posted by Reklaw

This would have been a great topic would you actually come up with idea's to lose those massive time sinks you speak of.

Myself don't see these massive time sinks you speak of due to how I play MMORPG's and know quite well there is more time to be put into a MMORPG or RPG then your common FPS or Singleplayer game. Shame many people seem to want the action fast and want it now (commonly speaking of course)

I feel it's kinda lost and everything needs to be handed fast and quikly cause many people seem to think they are in this time race to cap lvl and then it bothers them that it might take them a little longer.

Myself don't really care if I might make cap lvl in 6 months or a year aslong I feel the game is fun to play. I actually find it strange all those speed levelers comming into a genre of RPG may it be MMORPG or just the regular RPG they always seem to  have the same complaint which is "it takes to long"

I also feel that if a game has a negative towards how I want to play I simply choose not to play it. I also think if people would have done the same this genre would evolve more into virtual world where people understand they do not need to cap lvl asap, but the problem lies not with these games but with the mass demand to make this genre into something else. And for the record and proof is all around us is developers and gamestudio actually listen to the majority, else this genre would have evolved allot different then it did/does.

We just try to beat the level cap as it seems in most of the games the level makes your character better.

I personally would love to have a game where there are no levels but in crafting or resource gathering.

The character development is more into skill purchase with an infinite number of skills and you can only use a combination of lets say 10 or 12 (Something like the fury model).

The class distiction is not required but the way you play it defines your class.

Their are never any healers or tanks but just simple characters who form a team and try an instance.

The other way to reduce time sink will be to make the game not a gringo ride to gather armour sets and stuff and rather you get something and you have infinite levels and ways to make it better.

Recently i was into Forsaken World CB3 where they have tried to reduce the time sink by making quick instances and your  joining instances is locked on a per day basis. Something like not more than 5 or 3 times a day.

The above system however makes the above game very controlled. Your character  will hardly be making any development but at a pace which is offered to you by the game. The F2p models are a serious menace to this mmo world. Nowadays games are more into who can play and devote their maximum time to it. There are again daily quests as if you have to play the game daily or your chances for development is reduced. Also i saw a new system where you keep your players logged in to gain some XP.

The time sink will stay in an mmo is what I feel.

No longer a casual players genre it is.

Cheers
Sourajit Nandi

" Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't play this or that. That's nonsense. Make up your mind,and you'll never whine or repent about gaming hours anymore, then have a go at every Game. Open up the Internet, join in all the Mmorpgs you can. Go make the Guild. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible. "

Once An Addict Always An Addict .

  Shoju

Novice Member

Joined: 8/09/06
Posts: 775

2/15/11 11:34:04 PM#31
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

I just don't see endless grinding and tedious OCD gameplay as a win-win situation for developers, publishers or gamers.

The 12 million people running around in the World of Warcraft Skinner Box suggests otherwise.

But Blizzard's formula clearly doesn't work for anyone else though, but other developers haven't quite worked that out yet.

  Jimmy_Scythe

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 3602

 
OP  2/15/11 11:53:03 PM#32
Originally posted by Shoju
Originally posted by Jimmy_Scythe

I just don't see endless grinding and tedious OCD gameplay as a win-win situation for developers, publishers or gamers.

The 12 million people running around in the World of Warcraft Skinner Box suggests otherwise.

But Blizzard's formula clearly doesn't work for anyone else though, but other developers haven't quite worked that out yet.

Just because something is effective doesn't mean that it's necessarily beneficial to everyone involved. As someone who works in advertising, I can tell you that there are ways to get a high number of people to buy anything. In fact, the best case scenario is when we get millions of people to buy almost nothing at all (see also Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill).

The problem with Timesinks in MMOs is that they don't benefit anyone in the business chain. Developers are shackled to a design that allows for minimal creative freedom, publishers have their profits cut into by heavy bandwidth usage, and gamers get watered down, boring games. At this point, anyone that offers an alternative will be making a lot of money. The only reason these techniques are used is because it's the way that MMOs have always been done.

Keep in mind that MUDs were originally available on academic servers for free. DIKU itself was prolific specifically because of all the free DIKIMUDs available. When that model was switched to a commercial purpose, things went the wrong way fast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2if5GYXOGyo

  User Deleted
2/15/11 11:56:16 PM#33

What some call time-sinks, others call content.   An MMO is alot like 1980's arcade games...you can play forever and will never actually beat the game.  You simply keep playing until you die. They may change the color of the spaceship you're shooting at, but it's still basically the same thing.

  Sourajit

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/07
Posts: 456

Lets try it.

2/16/11 12:00:14 AM#34
Originally posted by Qazz

What some call time-sinks, others call content.   An MMO is alot like 1980's arcade games...you can play forever and will never actually beat the game.  You simply keep playing until you die. They may change the color of the spaceship you're shooting at, but it's still basically the same thing.

You do beat the game in level cap.

What you say as content is what i say as "mindless repeatative formula".

Cheers
Sourajit Nandi

" Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't play this or that. That's nonsense. Make up your mind,and you'll never whine or repent about gaming hours anymore, then have a go at every Game. Open up the Internet, join in all the Mmorpgs you can. Go make the Guild. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible. "

Once An Addict Always An Addict .

  Loktofeit

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12405

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/16/11 4:32:38 AM#35
Originally posted by Qazz

What some call time-sinks, others call content.   An MMO is alot like 1980's arcade games...you can play forever and will never actually beat the game.  You simply keep playing until you die. They may change the color of the spaceship you're shooting at, but it's still basically the same thing.

 The game either gets harder the next wave or it ends, no? How many arcade games didn't do one of the two and just played over and over at the same difficulty level?

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19484

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

2/16/11 11:15:42 AM#36

I think we're over-thinking things here.  Timesinks exist to help keep players paying for a sub.  As someone said, you have to find the sweet spot that retains the largest number of subscribers or the least amount of cost.  Real content is expensive, I suspect timesinks aren't. 

Gryphon ride is great example, takes you 10 minutes to ride one, I recall 20+ minute rides in DAOC on horse back in the day.  These prevented me from reaching the actual content, which I would have consumed upon reaching my goal.

The more they can deflect me from the mainline content, in the form of crafting, traveling, or just screwing around moving stuff in my inventory, the longer I'm going to play.  (unless of course they piss me off enough to quit)

Lineage 2 was a classic game.  In order to master the game, you not only had to struggle through a very slow leveling curve, but travel was slow and instant travel mechanisms (which did exist) were very expensive to use.  So we ran pretty much everywhere.

Wait, L2 had pets to speed up combat.  Wait, pets had to be leveled up, and you split the experience per kill with your pet, effectively making you level 2 characters at the same time, keeping you in the game longer.

Well, to be competitive, you had to have the correct gear.  The economy was designed (or borked) so that you coudn't come anywhere close to earning enough adena from drops, you had to gather or craft to make enough to fund your gear.  Ah, but wait, gathering and crafting was restricted only to a couple of classes, so you had to actually level up a crafting character to keep your main character properly outfitted. (or just go buy adena from gold sellers)

I played L2 for about 6 months fairly regularly, and I had a level 52 (out 70) Silver ranger and a lower level (35 or so) Knight.

At that time I'd go out and level up with friends and at our best we'd get....10% exp a night (assuming we didn't die and lose some).  I did some math and estimated it would take me about 1.5 years to reach level 70 (and they bumped that up to 74) to reach the end game Castle combat which is what I was really interested in. 

That's right, they pissed me off and I went and played WOW for the next 18 months.

But some folks stuck with it.... and loved the game (or they botted through the grind)

So in the end I'd say economics more than anything else is the determining factor.

But as MMORPG players, we do sort of expect some level of grind, in fact, that's been true with even single player RPG's since they first started.  There was another form of single player game that didn't have the grinding nature of RPG's, they were called Adventure games and died out pretty quickly.

Face it, many players like the grind, come to expect it and most importantly of all, are willing to pay for it.

Until we all walk away in disgust don't expect that to change.

BTW, I'm currently playing Starcraft II and one complaint I have on the campaigns is they're too short, they don't let me "grind' enough to build up my army for a big battle.

 

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
"People can do with their money what they want. But... that doesn't make it smart" - COORS
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  Unlight

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 2586

2/16/11 11:46:42 AM#37
Originally posted by SwampRob

I'm in agreement with the OP in that such time sinks truly suck.    I'm not saying everything need be instantaneous, but there's a limit.

An example:   I once made a post about Wow complaining that some griffon rides took about ten full minutes.   That's ten minutes of staring at the screen, unable to do anything with your character other that look at him.     And some posters actually defended this saying the game was doing me a favor by giving me a short break in which to make a sandwich or something.   WTH?   Like I need a game to tell me when I should snack, or go to the bathroom?   The game is doing me a favor by not letting me play my character?

I've little tolerance for time sinks like this.   I understand why they exist, and that is to solely benefit the developer.   Such time sinks, in no way, are there to help the player.     All I can do is vote with my wallet.   Any game that does this to excess doesn't keep me as a customer very long.

Now, consider how many calcified old MMOers out there actually believe the griffon ride is a luxury and players should be forced to hoof it across the landscape, just like they did way back when. 

Like Mother Theresa, some gamers see a kind of divinity in misery.  The more painful a game is to play, the more they can pat themselves on the back for enduring it when others (the weak of will and the sufferers of ADHD) turf that grindy PoS in favor of something more fun and interesting.

  drbaltazar

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/28/07
Posts: 7987

2/16/11 11:49:28 AM#38

op!one word!farmville!

  Emergence

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 905

Innovation. Challenge. Both for the players and for us as developers.

2/16/11 12:22:48 PM#39
Originally posted by jpnole

To keep you subbed longer. Like many have said before, mmos are a human "Skinner Box". Our brains can't resist once hooked.

Maybe yours can't :P

I think time sinks are the very reason games make LESS money than expected. Purposeful timesinks, I might add. Timesinks put in solely to waste time, or to extend game life. The time sinks which results as a BYPRODUCT of a core feature make money, because they produce fun.

Exploration and interesting travel *just happens* to bring in time sinks. Take out the time sink, and you lose the exploration and travel as well. But adding in more time sinks to exploration and travel just bogs it down.

This is where the difference is. A fun, interesting, challenging feature is beneficial for the game both in quality and currency. If it brings in time sinks, those time sinks aren't likely to be boring because the feature is fun. No problem there, and those time sinks will bring in players. Time sinks added in AFTER the feature, not BECAUSE of the feature are boring, dull, draining, and will result in boredom and loss of players. Some developers purposefully put in a time sink for the sole purpose of extending gameplay to extend money. Some developers coincidentally put in a time sink because it happens because of the feature. Adjusting the created time sink to give players more time to play and less time to waste needs to be planned carefully, as in SOME cases taking away the time sink does nothing negative, while in OTHER cases taking it away destroys the feature entirely.

 

 

Honestly, the biggest reason I am making a MMORPG is not for the money, which IMO is epic fail for the gaming genre itself. (When money influences a venue, it will lower in quality and become tainted and corrupted at its core. Quality of the game will be tossed aside to make way for Quantity of players. A bad move for gaming). The reason I started Emergence is to make a fun game, which provides challenge without time sinks. Time sinks are there because developers are...IMO...brainless and talentless unoriginal copy-machines. Everquest had time sinks, and everyone just copies off of that model. Why? Because they think that makes for a better game, or more money. Because they are too dull minded or fearful to step outside of that Everquest box.

The makers of Everquest were not intending to make time sinks. Not at all! Time sinks were an accident, a byproduct of the epic video game they made. These talented developers, whose combined minds? (I assume it wasn't just one person) created the Everquest development team were geniuses in their time. They were entirely original, and stepped out into dangerous territory despite all opposition at the time. "You want to make a massively multiplayer WHAT? LOL, you're crazy! That will never make money, and won't be fun! People won't be able to log in from AOL!" The makers of Ultima Online were geniuses as well. PK's and the trammel issue were merely accidental byproducts of an open world. I guarantee the developers didn't think "Let's add in frustrating gameplay, time sinks, item decay, and make sure being a PK is easy and frustrating to new players!" Absolutely not! I'm sure they thought "Let's make an open world where you can do ANYTHING!"

The games have since become outdated, but NOT the core of the games in relation to their time, which were the mindsets of the talented developers. To remake Everquest 1 for 2011, you'd need to get add more than take away. Adding in teleportation or taking out corpse runs wouldn't make the game better. Adding in more abilities to the dull classes (such as Warrior) or new concepts to handle time sinks without harming the original features would be much better. It wasn't the time sinks, but the originality. It wasn't the grinding, but the thrill and excitement. These were huge worlds, amazing worlds, full of life and societies. Time sinks were unintended. Yet the future MMO's would purposefully include time sinks, not learning from the "mistakes" which resulted from the very first MMORPG's. Dark Age of Camelot learned a lot, as did a few games afterwards-- until WoW hit the shelves disguising itself as a game without time sinks, although it had plenty. Ever since then, people believe time sinks are what brings in revenue. I'd entirely disagree. Yet ever since the WoW era, there has been "improvement" in the opposite direction. Rather than DAoC's approach of taking the same core and adding in better features (Such as Combat Styles for Warriors) and inventing original features (3 Realm PvP) modern MMO's decide to diminish time sinks, along with gameplay. Eventually people will be playing XBOX versions of MMORPG's, dumbed down where even a child can become extremely competant. And I don't mean a teenager. I mean a child.

 

Developers need to stop with the time sinks- focusing on them via addition or subtraction. Instead, they need to just create features and gameplay-- and that's that.

If being a developer means being quiet, mature, well-spoken, and disconnected from the community, then by all means do me a favor and believe I'm not one.

  Emergence

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 905

Innovation. Challenge. Both for the players and for us as developers.

2/16/11 12:31:07 PM#40
Originally posted by Kyleran

I think we're over-thinking things here.  Timesinks exist to help keep players paying for a sub.  As someone said, you have to find the sweet spot that retains the largest number of subscribers or the least amount of cost.  Real content is expensive, I suspect timesinks aren't.

You have to?

No, you don't.

 

I think the problem with a lot of MMO's is that they try to get the largest number of subscribers. They create a game and say, "I hope everyone likes it." and when most people do, it's all well and good! Then when subscriptions begin to fall, they wonder "Why didn't we retain them?"

The reason isn't because of buggy releases or unfinished content. The reason is because players don't want to play a game that is so watered down. Think of it like kool-aid. Some people want...

Cherry Kool-Aid

Grape Kool-Aid

Berry Kool-Aid

 

So the developers take all 3 and mix it together. People think the others are gross, "Eww, I hate Grape! I don't mind the Berry." So they add more and more water to dillute it so you taste less and less grape, to satisfy those who won't drink it if it has grape. Yet you "Have" to have grape? I don't think so.

Now the Grape lovers say "I don't even taste grape." the Cherry lovers say "Where is the cherry?" and the fanboys and teens have all left out of 1 month boredom. Retention failed, and the game is dying. There is barely any Kool-Aid left in the pitcher, so the people in one zone find it empty as the world is too big for the now low population, and there are too many servers. Now the developers are left saying,

"Well that's okay, because we built a really big pitcher."

Failing to realize no one wants to play a game that feels lifeless because the world is too big. (Vanguard)

If being a developer means being quiet, mature, well-spoken, and disconnected from the community, then by all means do me a favor and believe I'm not one.

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