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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Popoular MMO models that drive me bonkers... with apologies

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34 posts found
  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

 
OP  9/30/11 12:49:31 AM#1

1. Modern quests. First and foremost, I fume at the sight of the yellow exclamation point. Quests have made the transition from a little something extra to the main focus of leveling. I've had numerous conversations with advocates of this formula, and the main defense that I hear is "you don't have to do them". Now, that's true; however, there's so much of the focus on quests that persistent world content is neglected, leaving a quest-less experience a dull one. Obviously, I'm mainly talking about WoW, partially because it's what I have the most experience with, and partially because it has had such an impact on the rest of the medium. It's not just the yellow exclamation point, but much of what comes with it, which leads into number two....

 
2. Questing hubs. These take the adventure out of an adventure game. Quests used to seem like such a fun thing... an adventure. I can't understand, for the life of me, why quest hubs are appealing to people. You talk to some random NPC, whom has some contrived reason for you to fulfill some mundane task. I'm not just talking about fetch quests here. Some quests go too far and act like your character is the sole hope for the world, like it's some kind of single-player game. And it just comes across as cheesy and uninteresting. How about just putting stuff in the world? Instead of having a quest that tells you to go to some cave to retrieve (or kill) something, why not just have the reward inside, waiting to be discovered on its own? Quests these days are more like chores, and I feel like I just going through the motions to get them over with, or for the reward.
 
3. Personalized stories. Don't get me wrong, there should be some kind of background or lore to the world, but not some single-player campaign, explaining how you are the hero... just ignore the thousands of people around you. In my opinion, a player should just be a small part in a much larger world. I understand there are people that like some type of narrative, and that's fine, but my issue is that the efforts, time and money going towards those narratives could be put to far better use.
 
4. Stringent level categories. This is a pretty broad topic. Don't get me wrong, I love RPGs, and the feeling of progression and getting more powerful. What I don't like is the features changing simply because there is a level gap. e.g.: mobs having an increased agro range, your ability to hit, succeeding with spells or status effects, reduced damage. In PvP, if someone has a few levels on you, it's a huge advantage, simply because you can't hit them as well, and your spells don't work. Broadening the level categories would also make world PvP more viable, because there would be a larger percentage of people that could fight each other.
 
5. Battlegrounds... the world PvP killer. I despise instanced PvP. I've known multiple people that have complained about level grinding, then go and grind the BGs. I don't think BGs would bother me so much if it didn't detract some something more fun. I don't just mean on the killing side, but it also adds a sense of danger and tension to wandering around the world. Battlegrounds take the most interesting and dynamic part of an MMO, and turn it onto Call of Duty.
 
6. Queuing. Queuing for raids; queuing for BGs. No one even has to go anywhere anymore. My last month in WoW, I hardly saw anyone in the field (partially, because of phasing, but I'll get to that later). Everyone was just in town, queuing for shit. Why even have a world? Why not just a set of instances, where people only to interact to beat on stuff, like the old online game, because that's what it is, a step backwards. I mean, just making it to a dungeon can be an adventure in itself. What if in Lord of the Rings, they just queued up for Mt. Doom and teleported there. A lot of paper would have been saved.
 
7. Phasing. WoW's big answer for a contradiction they started. It was their attempt to make the world more consistent by making it less consistent. At this point, it's just one more thing that detracts from the persistent world. This is only conducive for a personalized campaign, which I think is silly anyway. Now, even more time, energy and money is being dumped in to a system that qualifies a play style not fit for an online game. Can't a system be constructed where you can actually change the world? I think MMOs should be more like real life, in the sense that people have the ability to change the world, and collectively, change it in a big way.
 
8. I'm not sure what the official word for it is, but I've really only seen this in F2P games. There is actually a function that will take control of your character and walk you to your objective. Honestly, is this what gaming has become, where you don't even play anymore? I thought that auto-tracking was bad enough, now this. I'm kind of at loss for words.
 
9. Cooldowns. I think are the biggest cop out in gaming history. They just reek of poor design. They're just so arbitrary. I know what the logic is; it's "well, if that can be used too often, then it's too powerful." Colldowns seem to go hand in hand with characters regenerating almost instantly in between battles; it's because people can't stay out of the action for more than a few seconds without becoming bored and complaining. I'm not saying that you need to wait five minutes between each mob, but at least build it into the system, so if someone doesn't like waiting, then he can spec or gear his character to regenerate more quickly. It would be an advantage, and another way to set yourself apart. On the flip side, you can forgo that luxury and make yourself more powerful in other areas. I'm tired of all of this shallow pseudo-customization. I know that I'm going to get the argument about the strategy behind colldowns. Yes, there is a strategy to them, but I think that a system with more flexibility and customization is more strategically demanding. Between the colldowns and insta-regenerating, you're not really in control of your own resources. If I want to waste all of my potions or blow all of my magic in a last ditch effort to get through a fight, then I should be able to do so.
 
10. Diablo-esque looting systems. For me, I would much rather be able to customize my own gear to a further extent than having to pick up a random piece of gear every few levels. I tihnk it would be more fun and immersive if most of the sutff that I found wasn't vender trash. Some systems have implemented variations of breaking down not-so-usful stuff into components. Having to constantly upgrade my gear gets tiresome and it begins to feel more like a chore making sure my gear is up to snuff in order to survive in my current level-appropriate zone.
  Niieh

Novice Member

Joined: 9/15/08
Posts: 46

9/30/11 11:42:46 AM#2

 

That's an interesting list, although I have no problem with most of the items on it, except for 1, 2, 3 and 8.
 
I agree with your comments about questing. I tried Rift when it was in beta and I really didn’t like it because I was sent from one questing hub to another, where I had to do the exact same quests but with a slightly different story each time. Quest should be an adventure indeed!
Quest hubs an sich are not that bad, if there are enough of them and if they don’t send you from one to another in a linear way. Imagine a huge world where you would by accident discover a little town and there you would find a number of different NPC’s that had quests for you… that would be no problem at all. It’s the linearity of progression that is boring.
 
Nr. 8 on your list is a really horrible one. I’ve even heard of some Asian games that do not have an autorun-towards-your-quest-target function but that even have a built-in autobot. So you can watch some TV, go have dinner, or sleep while your character kills mobs and gains exp. Lol! What’s the point in playing a game like that?
 
I don’t really understand why you don’t like cooldowns. I think combat would be much easier and much more boring without cooldowns. I actually like having to think about when to use certain abilities because they have long cooldowns and because it is therefore important to use them at the right moment. Although they could of course be replaced by huge mana-drains or something, which force you to think the same way.
 

http://www.questhard.com

  Nerf09

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/04
Posts: 3008

9/30/11 4:03:52 PM#3

You pretty much enumerated what's changed from Everquest1 to WOW.

  SkillCosby

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/23/08
Posts: 694

9/30/11 5:11:46 PM#4

Excellent post. I completely agree.

Out of your list, the things I hate the most about modern MMOs are the Questing Hubs, Single-player Story, and Instanced PvP.

Moreover, I'd love to get some randomized item statistics going. That alone made any grind less ruthless.

 

 

Sticky this. Maybe some dev might read it.

  RefMinor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3545

Hipster

9/30/11 5:49:23 PM#5
NPC's catch your own chickens!
  Nerf09

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/04
Posts: 3008

9/30/11 6:03:25 PM#6

Game developers make things far more complicated than they have to be.

WWIIONLINE.  No skillbar, no 500 skills devs have to make up and balance, all the devs did in WWIIONLINE was give you a gun which shoots a projectile and at X distance has Y armor penetration at Z angle.  From this stone-age simple formulae an infinite amount of tactics opened up that were always changing with different terrain and different enemies in different formations and different situations.

You know how many options/tactics you have with autolock fireball that has X maximum distance, and does exactly Y damage?  One.  That's why devs make an insanely stupidly large amount of skills on their stupid little skillbar, and then spend a majority of their time balancing everything.

  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

 
OP  9/30/11 7:48:32 PM#7
Originally posted by precious328

Excellent post. I completely agree.

Out of your list, the things I hate the most about modern MMOs are the Questing Hubs, Single-player Story, and Instanced PvP.

Moreover, I'd love to get some randomized item statistics going. That alone made any grind less ruthless.

 

 

Sticky this. Maybe some dev might read it.

 

 

You flatter me too much. I'm not out to change anything; I was just ranting. I have a lot of ideas about what I would do if I was to make an MMORPG, but I doubt it would be a popular game. What's good in a game is mainly subjective, and with the cost of gaming what it is, devs have to do what will turn a profit. Hence why you see so many WoW clones.

Also, I totally agree with the randomizatoin. I didn't include that apect becuse it's just something that's lacking in most games; I was mainly picking on existing features that I don't like. Games definitely need more random qualitties to keep it fresh. In fact, I would probably have bosses randomly generated in the world. Rift attempted something along those lines, but it wasn't as good as I hoped, and it got boring pretty quickly.
  xaritscin

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/11
Posts: 329

"Antherea Online will see the light, eventually"

9/30/11 7:57:27 PM#8

unfortunately the only mmo which looks to have "random gear stats"....is Dofus.....but i bet to differ in the stats thing, armor and weapons should only give defense and attack as stats, character quality based on gear its pretty lame.....

  Biggus99

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/30/11
Posts: 964

9/30/11 7:58:57 PM#9

You could have made your original post much shorter by just saying, "I hate WoW."  Would have saved you some keystrokes.

  grawss

Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/11
Posts: 438

9/30/11 8:58:40 PM#10
Originally posted by blognorg

List of Stuff

I see your wall of text, and raise you one more!

Is the technology there yet? For MMOs to work without your list, would we not have to have a bunch of dynamic content? Better AI?

 

1. Modern quests. The quest issue would be taken care of by creating enough "stuff to do" in the world that people can effectively create their own quests. While yes, there should be a bit of direction on what you could do next, that should never encompass everything possible. To avoid having to create absurd amounts of dynamic content, the developers should constantly be creating new things to do, such as new tribes or new dungeons (not instances) for people to befriend/kill/explore. These new creations should not be thrown into a list of patch notes; it should be open ended enough that people need to learn it the hard way. "Going out to collect 10 bear pelts" should be an option, but why does it need to be a quest? The leatherworker probably needs some kind of pelt, and if it were real life, he'd probably pay you some money for them. That's simple trade, not a "quest."

 

2. Questing hubs. Questing hubs are pretty much glorifed mission areas. There's a group of people that need stuff done, and they'll trade you crap to do it. There's nothing wrong with quest hubs, as long as it doesn't involve a bunch of NPC standing around waiting for the "hero" to come do everything for them. The issue is, should the "quests" that do exist be repeatable? If Bob the Soldier is collecting people to attack a warehouse full of demons, and you help out (or do it yourself without Bob), should the next player get the same option? I want to say no, but without dynamically created "quests" that are based on the actions of both players and NPCs, we just aren't there yet. And without "quests," the game pretty much involves exploring and killing for items. I'd like a bit of direction.

 

3. Personalized stories. Everyone should be able to make a name for themself, but not because some worthless AI says, "you're special." The story in my ideal MMO would be created simply by doing stuff. If you enter a temple and kill the "boss" without touching any of his minions, you'll probably make a name for yourself as an assassin. Kill off a bunch of players without provocation, and you'll make a name for yourself as a murderer. Kill off a few murderers, and they'll tell stories of the great bounty hunter. Not that "personalized story" is equal to making a name for yourself, but if the idea to make the player feel special, then they are both practically the same thing. The thing is, we have personalized stories in single player RPGs. If the idea of an MMO is to put a bunch of players in a huge world, then having more than one player with the same personlized story just doesn't work; and that's exactly what we have now.

 

4. Stringent level categories. Remove levels, period. How does it work in real life? People gain skill from experience, and that skill reflects on their "power." If I am a ten year veteran of a video game and a player who has been playing for a week comes and stomps me into the ground, then I've either gotten complacant or haven't learned a damn thing in all that time. You mentioned something about the time and resources that could be saved by removing personalized stories, but what I don't understand is why you didn't say the same for levels. If we have sixty levels, then we are effectively splitting our MMO into 59 relatively equal parts, with the last level having far more content to keep players busy. Why not combine all those levels, therefore quadrupling (at a minimum) the amount of content available? Removing levels alone would be a huge step toward creating a world big enough to satisfy explorers without the need for dynamic content.

 

5. Battlegrounds. These exist to provide PvP balance and an easy way to get into the fight. Until balance issues are solved, we'll always have either bad world PvP or battlegrounds. The easy method would be to create a game with zero factions, effectively throwing all the players into a huge free for all. I've always disliked the idea that I can't kill another player just because his character model dictates my alliance with him. I want to be able to diplomatically insert myself into a tribe of savage warriors, become their leader and start a war. PvP shouldn't just be RvR, 1v1, or even RvRvR; those are limits, not options. If the developers would allow the players to PvP as they please, then diplomacy, strategy and intelligence would become the defining factor rather than some artificial limit on who they can or cannot attack.

 

6. Queuing. I think this issue would be solved automatically by the other issues going away. :P

 

7. Phasing. This is where dynamic content is required. If a given player is allowed to change the world, can another player change it further? Only so much exploration can be done before someone gets the itch to kill off a leader or dungeon boss. Should the dungeon boss stay dead, or be replaced by a generic secondary model with randomized stats? I want to be able to change the world, or get a 100% unique item from a 100% unique boss from a temple that later turns into a rat-infested dump due to a lack of owner, but I just don't see that happening until developers move from "content creation" to "content creator creation." I am truly curious how difficult it would be to create a system that automatically created content based on a large set of variables and rules. That's something that would have to be done from the ground up, but the first company that does it right might be able to cash in big time. :D

 

8. Yeah, Grenado Espada had an auto-attack system (as in, the characters would automatically attack nearby enemies) where you could AFK level in some cases. So lame. :(

 

9. Cooldowns. I don't take the exact stance you've taken on cooldowns, but I do believe there is a better way. My ideal system would involve a near-limitless number of spells/abilities, which you can combine to get an effect. An example would be to combine "forward slice" with "slow run speed" to create a forward slice that slows the enemy's run speed. Forward slice would be pretty much free, but to slow the run speed would take some mana. If a player had 100 mana, then a slow of 10% might take two mana. But a slow of 50% might take 30 mana, because that's pretty damn powerful. But then you could add "requires leg hit," which would reduce the cost of a 50% forward slice slow from 30 mana to 20 mana because you have to hit a certain part: their leg. What this would allow people to do is dump as much mana/resource as they'd like without some limit like a cooldown to prevent constant use. The consequence wouldn't be to wait an hour for it to cooldown; it would be how much it actually costs to perform such a powerful manuever.

 

10. I've always taken the stance that gear should be mostly for vanity or play style choices (like a weapon). As I said somewhere previously in this post, if I am a ten year veteran and get killed by a week-old player, it's my own damn fault for not learning. And in the case of #9, creating the correct skill set to be either as broad or specialized as possible should be more important than passive bonuses that add nothing to my character other than bigger numbers. Aside from upgrading gear for the next leveling zone, I don't think taking a month-long break from the game should put a player at a huge disadvantage when fighting those who played the month.

Sarcasm is not a crime!

  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

 
OP  9/30/11 10:03:18 PM#11
Originally posted by grawss
Originally posted by blognorg

List of Stuff

4. Stringent level categories. Remove levels, period. How does it work in real life? People gain skill from experience, and that skill reflects on their "power." If I am a ten year veteran of a video game and a player who has been playing for a week comes and stomps me into the ground, then I've either gotten complacant or haven't learned a damn thing in all that time. You mentioned something about the time and resources that could be saved by removing personalized stories, but what I don't understand is why you didn't say the same for levels. If we have sixty levels, then we are effectively splitting our MMO into 59 relatively equal parts, with the last level having far more content to keep players busy. Why not combine all those levels, therefore quadrupling (at a minimum) the amount of content available? Removing levels alone would be a huge step toward creating a world big enough to satisfy explorers without the need for dynamic content.

 

To be honest, I'm a little partial to levels, though I haven't had a whole lot of experince with skill-based systems. The only ones that I'm familiar with are Oblivion, Darkfall and Mortal. My thought on it is that some activities are more enjoyable than others. I didn't like having to grind out certain skills simply becuase I wanted to be good at them. For instance, I would like to have a bow as a viable weapon, however, I don't like killing every enemy I come acoss for the next several levels just to do so. Not to mention the spells; oh, god, the spells. Also, you're still going to have a power devide, and removing levels won't solve that. Even if progression is done through increasing skills, there's going to be some quantifiable figure tied to them. e.g. I have 100 skill in swords, and you only have 30; I win. My thought is to gain experience through a multitude of ways, then apply skill points to whatever you want to.

 

 


5. Battlegrounds. These exist to provide PvP balance and an easy way to get into the fight. Until balance issues are solved, we'll always have either bad world PvP or battlegrounds. The easy method would be to create a game with zero factions, effectively throwing all the players into a huge free for all. I've always disliked the idea that I can't kill another player just because his character model dictates my alliance with him. I want to be able to diplomatically insert myself into a tribe of savage warriors, become their leader and start a war. PvP shouldn't just be RvR, 1v1, or even RvRvR; those are limits, not options. If the developers would allow the players to PvP as they please, then diplomacy, strategy and intelligence would become the defining factor rather than some artificial limit on who they can or cannot attack.

 

PvP ballance seems like something that would be really hard to predict in a game, and would probably need teeking regardless. A free-for-all format seems a little hardcore and is prime for griefing. The way I would do factions is not something that you should choose right out of the door, but something that would be acquired gradually. You wouldn't necessarily even pick a faction, or you could be part of all of them to an extent. Factions give people some other motivation to PvP other than to be a dick. It would also be nice to have some areas where you can feel safe, especially in the beginning of the game. However, I do agree that you should be able to attack anyone at anytime, just make it so it's not beneficial or perhaps even detrimental for killing your own faction, depending on your goals. Killing one faction may raise your reaputation with the other faction, so if you don't want anything to do with the other side, then it wouldn't behoove you to attack your own.

 

Like I said, this is all just subjective speculation. It's alwys nice to hear interesting ideas, as long as they don't turn into arguements. I had a long, entertaining conversation with a friend some time back about what we would do in an MMO. Innitially, we just weeded out what we didn't like about today's MMOs, but once we got down to the dteails, our differences set in, and the flow of ideas became symantical bickering. It's all in good fun, though.

 

  grawss

Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/11
Posts: 438

9/30/11 10:37:36 PM#12



Originally posted by blognorg

To be honest, I'm a little partial to levels, though I haven't had a whole lot of experince with skill-based systems. The only ones that I'm familiar with are Oblivion, Darkfall and Mortal. My thought on it is that some activities are more enjoyable than others. I didn't like having to grind out certain skills simply becuase I wanted to be good at them. For instance, I would like to have a bow as a viable weapon, however, I don't like killing every enemy I come acoss for the next several levels just to do so. Not to mention the spells; oh, god, the spells. Also, you're still going to have a power devide, and removing levels won't solve that. Even if progression is done through increasing skills, there's going to be some quantifiable figure tied to them. e.g. I have 100 skill in swords, and you only have 30; I win. My thought is to gain experience through a multitude of ways, then apply skill points to whatever you want to.




Who said anything about skill points? :P
The skill point system is just a copout for the game not actually requiring any skill. Instead of player ability, they hand out a bunch of arbitrary numbers that players can grind to become more powerful.

Just so there's no confusion on this front, I'll lay out my opinion of "progression." Progression should be through completing difficult tasks, gaining skill as a player, experiencing game content and PvP. The issue is, MMOs just aren't fun enough. Instead of providing fun experiences, the developers create grinds to target the perfectionist in all of us. I am of the firm belief that if people stopped supporting pointless grinds, beit quests/gear/skill/level/whatever, then we'll end up with better games.

With that said, I do support vanity items/gear. If I kill Bob the Invulnerable with my bear hands, which I got via killing Bob's pet bear (with my bare hands), then I should get a gold star to prove it.

If you'd like, I wrote another wall of text you can peruse to get an idea of an alternative to the level system, while keeping all the benefits of the current way of doing things. Read it here.



Originally posted by blognorg

PvP ballance seems like something that would be really hard to predict in a game, and would probably need teeking regardless. A free-for-all format seems a little hardcore and is prime for griefing. The way I would do factions is not something that you should choose right out of the door, but something that would be acquired gradually. You wouldn't necessarily even pick a faction, or you could be part of all of them to an extent. Factions give people some other motivation to PvP other than to be a dick. It would also be nice to have some areas where you can feel safe, especially in the beginning of the game. However, I do agree that you should be able to attack anyone at anytime, just make it so it's not beneficial or perhaps even detrimental for killing your own faction, depending on your goals. Killing one faction may raise your reaputation with the other faction, so if you don't want anything to do with the other side, then it wouldn't behoove you to attack your own.

 
Aye, free-for-all PvP is hardcore, but that can be solved with server types.

As for factions, I do believe the choices should be entirely with the player. Provide NPC-created factions (such as that warrior tribe I spoke of), but allow players to create their own similar to EVE's system.

I realize this is getting a tad off topic, but I do want to say that I hate "reputation" as it exists today. If I kill some random guy in the middle of nowhere, or I assassinate the King of the World and get away with it unseen, why do I still lose reputation? How the hell do they know I was the one that stuck 'em in the back? Unless I leave survivors, my reputation should never drop. :P

Players, however, are a different story. They always come back, so having a certain amount of consequence from killing players without provocation (I touched on that a bit in my post) is fine. Bounties could be created, which awards those who find the bastard and kill him dead.

I think our ideas for what an MMO game should be follow a similar basic path, but go separate ways once we get into the nitty gritty. That's fine, but you say "argument" like arguments are a bad thing. :P

Sarcasm is not a crime!

  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

 
OP  10/01/11 1:37:47 AM#13
Originally posted by grawss

 

Who said anything about skill points? :P
The skill point system is just a copout for the game not actually requiring any skill. Instead of player ability, they hand out a bunch of arbitrary numbers that players can grind to become more powerful.

 

Just so there's no confusion on this front, I'll lay out my opinion of "progression." Progression should be through completing difficult tasks, gaining skill as a player, experiencing game content and PvP. The issue is, MMOs just aren't fun enough. Instead of providing fun experiences, the developers create grinds to target the perfectionist in all of us. I am of the firm belief that if people stopped supporting pointless grinds, beit quests/gear/skill/level/whatever, then we'll end up with better games.

With that said, I do support vanity items/gear. If I kill Bob the Invulnerable with my bear hands, which I got via killing Bob's pet bear (with my bare hands), then I should get a gold star to prove it.

If you'd like, I wrote another wall of text you can peruse to get an idea of an alternative to the level system, while keeping all the benefits of the current way of doing things. Read it here.

 

I get what you're saying now. So, no progression at all in terms of your avatar. That eleminates quite a bit of what an RPG is. I'm not saying it's wrong, but were talking about two completely different things here. However, I would disagree that games with skill points require no skill, because if you have two characters that are the same level, then it comes down to skill. Albiet some games reccquire less skill than others, most games are still demanding on the player themselves. I would opt for a game that recquires both. 

 

You also mentioned keeping areas and content valid throughout the game. You're right; most games don't do a very good job at that. Once you traverse a site, there is nary a reason to return, but I don't think it would be very hard to remedy that. Just off the top of my head, you could make the resources and drops from mobs still useful for crafting (even if they don't give good exp enymore). Also, you could throw in some random occurrences to keep the interesting. I'm sure smarter people than I have come up with better, but that's why I'm not a game designer :-P

 

I read the post from that link. It kind of sounds like fantasy Call of Duty. You're absolutely right, though; people do get addicted to the grind, but hey, it's what some people enjoy. I've enjoyed grinding in some games, because the combat itself was intersting to me. I disagree that the leveling system limits eveyone to the same speed of progression (unless you're talking about a specific game). In the MMO that I used to play, my knowledge and skill with the game and my character allowed me to level much more quickly than others. It did take me time to acquire that knowledge and skill, but that just a form of progression in itself. 

  ZombieKen

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

10/01/11 1:46:23 AM#14
Originally posted by Nerf09

You pretty much enumerated what's changed from Everquest1 to WOW.

Ditto, I was thinking the same thing.

 

Probably the only one I personally don't have issue with is cool downs.  I feel it adds a level of strategy to skill use.  Blow the cooldown at the wrong time, and then when you need it the skill isn't available and the party wipes.

 

I see this as mostly a healer related mechanic.  If anything it bucks the trend toward easy-mode game mechanics.

 

BTW: OP, fantastic post.  Archived for reference.

MSOTSG with PPE : Massively Single-player Online Task-driven Storyline Game with Purchasable Performance Enhancements *grin*

  grawss

Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/11
Posts: 438

10/01/11 2:46:03 AM#15


Originally posted by blognorg

I get what you're saying now. So, no progression at all in terms of your avatar. That eleminates quite a bit of what an RPG is. I'm not saying it's wrong, but were talking about two completely different things here. However, I would disagree that games with skill points require no skill, because if you have two characters that are the same level, then it comes down to skill. Albiet some games reccquire less skill than others, most games are still demanding on the player themselves. I would opt for a game that recquires both. 

"MMORPGs" are no longer RPGs. They stopped being role playing games when roles stopped being played. :P

Levels and skill points no longer matter because there is a maximum skill/level. Everyone will get there eventually, making levels/points worthless. Unless there is a reason to stay at a lower skill/level, or not everyone can reach the max, then there is no point for any of it other than to waste time grinding through quest after quest just to get to the "end game."

Gear does indeed provide a certain amount of progression, but I have some problems with it. One, this isn't a pen and paper game; people are going to be able to play far more than I am, which means I'll be left in the dust. Two, it separates PvP players into two or more groups: Those who have fun, and those who are still grinding gear in order to compete. Three, it creates artificial thresholds that people have to cross before they can attempt "harder" PvE content. A side effect of the "stairway of bosses" problem that gets created as gear progresses is the need for more progression that rewards even better gear, aggravating all the issues I've listed. An expansion pack follows, and the entire process starts over.

And as for skill point games requiring skill, I concede that point. They definitely require some amount of skill, but the idea I was trying to get across is that systems of differentiation make a lack of "uniqueness" less apparent. Rather than give Bob and Jack plenty of ways to make themselves more unique on their own merits, the developers tend to throw in crap like skill points. If Bob has 50 less sword skill than Jack, that must mean Jack is a more "progressed" player. If peoples' idea of progression involves hitting a mob until their fingers bleed, then I'll be happily living in the stone age. :P


Originally posted by blognorg

You also mentioned keeping areas and content valid throughout the game. You're right; most games don't do a very good job at that. Once you traverse a site, there is nary a reason to return, but I don't think it would be very hard to remedy that. Just off the top of my head, you could make the resources and drops from mobs still useful for crafting (even if they don't give good exp enymore). Also, you could throw in some random occurrences to keep the interesting. I'm sure smarter people than I have come up with better, but that's why I'm not a game designer :-P

There are definitely ways to keep content attractive. Territorial control, dynamic events, world PvP, PvP "escort" quests across multiple zones, outdoor dungeons, world bosses, etc.

The issue (for me) is that lower level zones can't really be made useful in ways other than what you've explained. What lower level wants to see a bunch of high level players duking it out in their zone, killing all their spawns, etc. I'd prefer they do away with the level system entirely and use the zone for something fun rather than a place people only go when lower levels haven't put up enough resources on the market. :P


Originally posted by blognorg

I read the post from that link. It kind of sounds like fantasy Call of Duty. You're absolutely right, though; people do get addicted to the grind, but hey, it's what some people enjoy. I've enjoyed grinding in some games, because the combat itself was intersting to me. I disagree that the leveling system limits eveyone to the same speed of progression (unless you're talking about a specific game). In the MMO that I used to play, my knowledge and skill with the game and my character allowed me to level much more quickly than others. It did take me time to acquire that knowledge and skill, but that just a form of progression in itself. 

I've never actually played Call of Duty except for an older single player version. My computer is pretty much worthless for such things. :(

The thing is, the system I outlined would allow insane people such as yourself to enjoy themselves a grind if they want it. It wouldn't be as long, but the moment they exit the system into the "real world," they would be faced with other grinds like so many MMO games have.

And you're right, some people are faster than others at leveling. But what knowledge are you speaking of? The knowledge of hitting button 1 followed by button 2? :P Or the knowledge of where the quests are and how to do them? Because if it's the former, everyone has that by level 10. And if it's the latter, then you're doing the same exact thing you've already done. If you're talking about your first run through and just being better at learning than others, well, I made a note of in the post. I'll quote it (note the parenthesis):
 
"This prevents those who learn MMOs quick from progressing much (they kill/complete quicker, so it isn't entirely equal) faster than those who learn MMOs slower."

I want to be out of the leveling system as soon as I know how to play, and the current leveling systems just can't do that for me. I don't care a bit about the story, or Mankirk's Wife, or collecting a billion more bear pelts. I just want to get to the real game as soon as possible, because I gain absolutely zero enjoyment from trudging through worthless quests just to gain a bunch of worthless levels that mean absolutely nothing the moment I hit max, where I'll vendor all the worthless gear I had collected just so I can go get more. >:(

Sarcasm is not a crime!

  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

 
OP  10/01/11 5:17:50 AM#16

 

Originally posted by grawss

 

"MMORPGs" are no longer RPGs. They stopped being role playing games when roles stopped being played. :P

Levels and skill points no longer matter because there is a maximum skill/level. Everyone will get there eventually, making levels/points worthless. Unless there is a reason to stay at a lower skill/level, or not everyone can reach the max, then there is no point for any of it other than to waste time grinding through quest after quest just to get to the "end game."

Gear does indeed provide a certain amount of progression, but I have some problems with it. One, this isn't a pen and paper game; people are going to be able to play far more than I am, which means I'll be left in the dust. Two, it separates PvP players into two or more groups: Those who have fun, and those who are still grinding gear in order to compete. Three, it creates artificial thresholds that people have to cross before they can attempt "harder" PvE content. A side effect of the "stairway of bosses" problem that gets created as gear progresses is the need for more progression that rewards even better gear, aggravating all the issues I've listed. An expansion pack follows, and the entire process starts over.

And as for skill point games requiring skill, I concede that point. They definitely require some amount of skill, but the idea I was trying to get across is that systems of differentiation make a lack of "uniqueness" less apparent. Rather than give Bob and Jack plenty of ways to make themselves more unique on their own merits, the developers tend to throw in crap like skill points. If Bob has 50 less sword skill than Jack, that must mean Jack is a more "progressed" player. If peoples' idea of progression involves hitting a mob until their fingers bleed, then I'll be happily living in the stone age. :P

 

agree to some extent that RPGs are no longer RPGs, but for all intensive purposes, you're still playing a role. However, that simple of a definition will describe pretty much every game ever made. The difference, as I've come to accept it, is that RPGs tend to focus on character progression (both in story and in quantifiable combat progression). MMOs seem to fall short in the story department, but not for lack of trying.

 

I think a game like what you're talking about would be interesting, but I'm still not sure how it would really apply to an MMO format. I mean, if you truely want a game that only relies on the skill of the player, then you can't have the character grow in power, nor can better gear be aquired, lest it offset the balance. You're saying that these low-level zones are antiquated because of advancing levels, but if there weren't levels at all, then they would just be pointless from the get-go. You said that the player would already be acclimated with the tests in the begining, so why would extra time be spent out in the world killing stuff? I guess what I'm getting at is: why would need a huge, expansive world? It seems something like that would resort to an instanced format pretty quickly. What is there to do out in the world besides killing stuff to get better at the game? I guess you could have some kind of story element. But really, most people don't do the quests for the story. It would be kind of like what happened in WoW with the Battle Grounds; it was just a much more convenient way to get straight to the point... killing other players. Why pend time hunting around the world when they are basically placed at the tip of your blade?

 

Why would you say that skill points are worthless because there is a level cap? Isn't that the reasoning for them, to set yourself apart from other players. If you can build your character differently, then you may be strong vs some characters or weak vs others. It seems like it adds more depth to me.

 

 

It wasn't until WoW that I ever heard the term 'end-game' coined. If anything, that's the biggest travesty; there is WAY too much focus on the end game. For me, it was the adventure to get to that max level. Why should those experiences be discredited if they are fun? Why does the max level need to be acquired quickly? I've played gmaes where just being a high level was admirable.  I don't like the gear grind formula either, but it would be easy to make a game where that itsn't the focus. I agree that the current state of affairs in most modern MMOs is grim in terms of the content, but I feel that it can be turned around.

 

 

 

Originally posted by grawss

And you're right, some people are faster than others at leveling. But what knowledge are you speaking of? The knowledge of hitting button 1 followed by button 2? :P Or the knowledge of where the quests are and how to do them? Because if it's the former, everyone has that by level 10. And if it's the latter, then you're doing the same exact thing you've already done. If you're talking about your first run through and just being better at learning than others, well, I made a note of in the post. I'll quote it (note the parenthesis):
 
"This prevents those who learn MMOs quick from progressing much (they kill/complete quicker, so it isn't entirely equal) faster than those who learn MMOs slower."

I want to be out of the leveling system as soon as I know how to play, and the current leveling systems just can't do that for me. I don't care a bit about the story, or Mankirk's Wife, or collecting a billion more bear pelts. I just want to get to the real game as soon as possible, because I gain absolutely zero enjoyment from trudging through worthless quests just to gain a bunch of worthless levels that mean absolutely nothing the moment I hit max, where I'll vendor all the worthless gear I had collected just so I can go get more. >:(

 

 

 

It was probably my innitial post that put your mind in the WoW frame of reference, but there are other games out there that have skill points, which are quite different. The game that I was refering to was Ragnarok Online. I rolled a mage in that game, which played much differently that most MMOs. It actully mattered how some spells were executed. They primarily used elements for combat, so you had to be quite familiar with the mobs, because they all have an element associated with them. If you tangle with something that you don't have the right element for, then you're screwed. Back when I played RO, there were no pets, no quests, no cooldowns and nothing was instanced. RO felt very much like an action game, becuase I  was constantly having to scramble around. Most of the time I was one misclick away from death. Unfortuntaely, the game had a low playerbase and began attempting to addapt elements from more popular games. They did some good and some bad, but that doesn't undo all of the good times that I had playing.

  grawss

Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/11
Posts: 438

10/01/11 2:48:52 PM#17


Originally posted by blognorg

I think a game like what you're talking about would be interesting, but I'm still not sure how it would really apply to an MMO format. I mean, if you truely want a game that only relies on the skill of the player, then you can't have the character grow in power, nor can better gear be aquired, lest it offset the balance. You're saying that these low-level zones are antiquated because of advancing levels, but if there weren't levels at all, then they would just be pointless from the get-go. You said that the player would already be acclimated with the tests in the begining, so why would extra time be spent out in the world killing stuff? I guess what I'm getting at is: why would need a huge, expansive world? It seems something like that would resort to an instanced format pretty quickly. What is there to do out in the world besides killing stuff to get better at the game? I guess you could have some kind of story element. But really, most people don't do the quests for the story. It would be kind of like what happened in WoW with the Battle Grounds; it was just a much more convenient way to get straight to the point... killing other players. Why pend time hunting around the world when they are basically placed at the tip of your blade?

"What is there to do out in the world besides killing stuff to get better at the game?"

What do people currently do in MMO games? They kill stuff, kill players, gather resources, complete quests, run dungeons. I'm not exactly sure what you're asking past that; do you want specific examples? :/

It seems you're placing so much value on gear that you believe there is no possible way any other system of MMOG could work because there is a lack of character progression in the form of power gains. I never raided specifically for gear, and I don't believe most people do either. If people will pay $200 for a Team Fortress 2 hat that does nothing but look nice, then people will raid if it provides them with any sort of award for completion. Just as gear is a status symbol, so are vanity items that drop from doing the same tasks. And if raids/dungeons actually required skill rather than memorizing scripted encounters, then the status symbol would mean far, far more.

And that isn't even counting the "fun" aspect.


Originally posted by blognorg

Why would you say that skill points are worthless because there is a level cap? Isn't that the reasoning for them, to set yourself apart from other players. If you can build your character differently, then you may be strong vs some characters or weak vs others. It seems like it adds more depth to me.

Most skill point systems that aren't hugely complex have a certain amount of points you can apply to various skills. This means 99% of people will throw the maximum amount of points into their "specialty," then a bunch into the "necessary" skills (stamina for melee, intellect for casters, etc), which leaves a negligible amount of points to spend in places that differentiate players.

And in those systems that do happen to be incredibly complex, most people will skip it by going online to find the latest cookie cutter build and copy that. Point systems very, very rarely actually do a good job of setting players apart from one another, and all they end up becoming is another grind you have to complete for every time you want to change weapon types.

In other words: Why does the number 64 mean I lose to someone with the number 91 regardless of how good or bad he/she is?



Originally posted by blognorg

It wasn't until WoW that I ever heard the term 'end-game' coined. If anything, that's the biggest travesty; there is WAY too much focus on the end game. For me, it was the adventure to get to that max level. Why should those experiences be discredited if they are fun? Why does the max level need to be acquired quickly?


If they focus on developing content for lower levels, max level players will get bored with nothing to do. If they make it so all the levels are equally important and increase the time it takes to get through them, then they have to balance a single game multiplied by how many levels there are, plus balance each level within a few levels to make sure one isn't too much more powerful than the next. With a single level, they know what abilities a given player has, they know what gear a player has access to, etc. When they start creating content for all the levels, however, it becomes much, much more difficult to create anything but simple encounters that don't rely on a player knowing his/her abilities to a high degree, because the developers don't know. :P

So what's the point of levels? They just make development harder, they split content, and they get old way too fast. If you like the grind, I'm sure they can input a different type of grind to suit your fancy. Actually I'm 100% positive they will. :P

Sarcasm is not a crime!

  GroovyFlower

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/11
Posts: 1252

Skyrim

10/01/11 4:45:52 PM#18

I only play games where i am free what to do and how to play with no hold hands.

So i dont have your problem i just dont buy games that show me the way no thinking needed and the game hold your hand to end game. Plus worse of them all safe gameplay no risk pvp and all instanced bah... no way i gone play such games even if there free it won't polute my HardDisk on my PC:P

  User Deleted
10/01/11 4:46:35 PM#19

Basically the OP seems to want the halcyon days where you sat around for hours waiting for a mob to pop and then hope you tagged it first. That's great. Unfortunately the majority of gamers think differently.

If the systems in place don't work, people would stop playing. Casual players benefit greatly from all the aformentioned gripes.

I personally dont play a game as a time sink. I play to have fun.

  grawss

Novice Member

Joined: 9/07/11
Posts: 438

10/01/11 4:56:59 PM#20
Originally posted by Terronte

Basically the OP seems to want the halcyon days where you sat around for hours waiting for a mob to pop and then hope you tagged it first. That's great. Unfortunately the majority of gamers think differently.

I didn't get that impression at all. :/

I think what he wants is for developers to stop trying to herd him into a box, even if that box looks pretty from the inside. All he wants is more freedom, while keeping the basic idea of a "themepark," which is to give people things to do. The issue is, themeparks have become a linear road with little to no option of deviation from the norm.

 

And please, simplifying things to that extent has its place, but your entire post shouldn't be based upon it.

"WoW is a game where you kill stuff for loot."

Be better than that. :P

Sarcasm is not a crime!

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