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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » The playerbase is massive, but the world is designed around small group/solo gameplay. how to fix this?

14 posts found
  MMOExposed

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 6043

 
OP  11/07/11 12:43:34 AM#1

I was reading another poster's comment in another thread

this part caught my eye.

 

 

 

VirusDancer say

"You could remove every other player in the game (perhaps leave enough friends to fill out a party), and tada - the world is pretty much scaled to accomodate that.  For the most part, the worlds are scaled as if they were in a single player game.

Now add 10 more people.  Add 100 more people.  Add 1000 more people.  The world is the same world that was designed for that single person or that group of friends playing together.  It is crowded now though, eh?"

 

 

looking back on the game world, VirusDancer is right. From Themepark to Sandbox to Sandpark. They game world in all of them are designed around solo or small scale party.

 

yet the game world fits massively more players. But nothing in the game world, seem to be designed to fit this massive playerbase feel.

Its always,

"Iam raiding this open world Boss with my party"

"iam fighting this npc solo"

"iam attacking this guild over there's guild keep"

 

when will MMORPG's game world expand beyond these small group gameplay, and into something of even greater scale and stability? Do we have the tech for this right now? what about if the game were to have WoW like graphics or something, then could it handle this level of mass scale gameplay?

I cant wait to see the future of this and how Developers handle this.

  stayontarget

Guide

Joined: 10/04/08
Posts: 6129

Girlfriends come and go but Epic battles are Soulbound

11/07/11 12:55:21 AM#2

L2 had/has it in there sieges.  And I got to ask, fix what?  I don't see the problem with smaller scale design. 

Velika: City of Wheels: Among the mortal races, the humans were the only one that never built cities or great empires; a curse laid upon them by their creator, Gidd, forced them to wander as nomads for twenty centuries...

  Uhwop

Elite Member

Joined: 3/20/10
Posts: 1656

11/07/11 1:02:27 AM#3

If MMO worlds are designed around a single person, or a small group; something I don't think anyone who doesn't design these worlds can even claim, then why are single player games so frigging small?

Oblivion is a pretty big RPG, the world is great in that game, but it's no where near the size of even a small MMO world.  It's not even the size of a single WoW continent.  I can't think of a single player game world larger then oblivion.

Some MMO's aren't designed as "open world" games.  DDO and CoH are examples.  But even city of heroes isn't smaller then any single player world I've ever played.

When I read the quoted comment, the thought that popped into my head was,

He's trying to say some game only feels like it's crowded or has many people playing because the world is so little, and that the developers do this on purpose to make it seem like there are more people playing then there really is. 

So I'm curious, and I have to ask, what game world did he develop that he's qulified to state that MMO worlds are designed in size to fit a single person or a small group?

  Xstatic912

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/20/11
Posts: 367

11/07/11 1:14:16 AM#4
Originally posted by MMOExposed

I was reading another poster's comment in another thread

this part caught my eye.

 

 

 

VirusDancer say

"You could remove every other player in the game (perhaps leave enough friends to fill out a party), and tada - the world is pretty much scaled to accomodate that.  For the most part, the worlds are scaled as if they were in a single player game.

Now add 10 more people.  Add 100 more people.  Add 1000 more people.  The world is the same world that was designed for that single person or that group of friends playing together.  It is crowded now though, eh?"

 

 

looking back on the game world, VirusDancer is right. From Themepark to Sandbox to Sandpark. They game world in all of them are designed around solo or small scale party.

 

yet the game world fits massively more players. But nothing in the game world, seem to be designed to fit this massive playerbase feel.

Its always,

"Iam raiding this open world Boss with my party"

"iam fighting this npc solo"

"iam attacking this guild over there's guild keep"

 

when will MMORPG's game world expand beyond these small group gameplay, and into something of even greater scale and stability? Do we have the tech for this right now? what about if the game were to have WoW like graphics or something, then could it handle this level of mass scale gameplay?

I cant wait to see the future of this and how Developers handle this.

True, but your missing the main point in developing MMO's... I think dev's have taught of this grand scale, but you run a serous risk of when the game becomes too big and the player base shrinks. Remember MMOs fight to keep our attention and hope that we keep paying for months/years even. You or 5% of the game population might appreciate this grand/mass scale gameplay, but i fear most of the populace wouldn't stick around for too long to support the game.  So dev's scale back and try to find the perfect balance of not too small and not too grand.

Also that mass scale gameplay you speak of have been done alot by korean mmo companies, that involve sieges etc, and they use Aion type graphics also. But the failed to take off as only a few persons find them worthwhile..

  rojoArcueid

Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 5597

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

11/07/11 1:34:02 AM#5

regarding bosses and raids, some games have this 5 man, 10 man, 25 man battles.... there should be like 50 man battles, quests that require many people together to be 100% complete or to have the epic loot, otherwise just get a good loot thats not epic... something like that... create things that promote big chunks of people together in the gameworld...

just my opinion...

also, if the game servers can hold so many people  logged at once, the server should handle most of them together at one same place :p

My endgame begins with character creation and ends with a new mmorpg

  User Deleted
11/07/11 1:35:54 AM#6

Let me just state for me I feel that HUGE open world (the size of Asherons Call) coupled with the ability to do anything is what I enjoy most.  There is nothing wrong with small groups or solo because a great majority of us see the open world persistance and character progression as the most enjoyable form of game play.  This sort of gameplay can only be had in an MMO type of world with a few exceptions, namely Elder Scrolls and Fallout 2 to name a couple.  Even with those games there is an ending and the persistance is only illusuory due to the nature of having to have a story be told and completed. 

 

I find nothing in the world wrong with solo or small group play as long as the content of the game is diverse and can be shared by all, because we are suppose to be heroes in the MMO world afterall.  What I detest about MMO's are 2 of the most widely accepted forms of playing the game and most old games followed the "forced grouping and sitting at one spawn spot camping the mobs" and msot of the newer MMO's go for the "rush to endgame following a set path and switch to a Raid Or Die mentality".  I hate both of those styles of game plays.

 

In a perfect world a raid is something you do ad-hoc and is done in the open world when a "call to arms" goes out for an impromtu reaction to a percieved threat.  The journey along the way should be exploratory with minimal to no hand holding and no clear lack of direction except for hints from your local pub or town crier.  If I wanted to level in 1 part of the world and my buddy wanted to level in another part of the world and a 3rd person wanted to do endgame content nearby either of us that should be perfectly acceptable.  No more should a player be told where to go and how to get there and the thrill of adventure and exploration should be the main reason to play the game.

 

Ohh well thats my take on the perfect MMO, sadly I doubt something liek that will never happen.  At least GW2 promises to shake the long standing notion of the WoW mindset, so that for me is at least a start.  :)

  VirusDancer

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/04
Posts: 3684

Heroes are about character - not gear.

11/07/11 2:29:34 AM#7

There are a few things with what I was saying there.  In no particular order, in looking back on the comment - the following comes to mind.

They are not MMORPGs...they are MPORPGs.  They're not massively multiplayer - they're massively populated.  There could 3000 people on a server, but the gameplay is built around groups of 1 to 20.  Most people can reach max level playing by themselves - easily.  Most dungeon content is 5 person.  Raids are 10 to 20 people or so.  The majority of content is solo, then 5 man, and then that 10-20.  That's not massively multiplayer.  That's singleplayer and co-op.  There are games like EVE where you can have hundreds of people involved in an operation (if it is PvP, you can have hundreds of people per side).  Some PvP in other MMORPGs might have 20v20 or 40v40; but that is rare.  Most are smaller.

So let's go back to that 3000 people (yeah, it might be high).  Okay, let's cut that in half.  1500 people.  Say we put together a 5 man group to do the "solo" content because we'll also want to include the 5 man dungeons.  5 man groups - 1500 people - okay, so we have 300 groups.

Now take your favorite book - make 300 copies of it.  Layer the pages, so you read page one three hundred times - page two three hundred times.  Insane, right?  Now take your favorite movie - on DVD - broken down by chapters.  Watch each chaper 300 times before you watch the next chapter.  Crazy, right?

Perhaps instead, think about the movie just by itself.  Imagine that you're watching a movie like the A-Team.  Imagine that as you're watching that movie, you're watching 300 A-Teams in that world following along in the same plot.  Arrrrrrgh, what?

Basically, that is what we have in MMORPGs.  We have game worlds - which are populated with 3000 or more people - but designed for groups of 1-20 or so . . . doing the same thing.  We have massively populated (crowded) singleplayer/co-op games.

When we think about actual themeparks, we do not call them massively multiplayer.  They might be massively populated and crowded . . . but the people at the park are not really interacting with each other in the least.  Much like the MMORPG themepark, other people tend to be more of a hindrance than a benefit.

We have a massive amount of players playing at the same time - but they definitely are not playing with each other in the least.

Think about most games - you can play them to level cap - without interacting with another player - you can turn off your chat channels, you can ignore things like the auctionhouse, etc - you have your Persistent Online RPG...singleplayer.  Or you can play with a few friends...and ignore the other 2995 players on the server - you have your Persistent Online RPG...co-op.

I do not think a sandbox is the answer - not a pure sandbox.  I can't remember the last actual sandbox I played, nor do I think people really want a pure sandbox.  Most posts I see on the matter are looking for a themed sandbox, a directed sandbox, or some variant of sandbox-themepark hybrid.

That there are other players in the world doing things - should matter.  That you are doing something - should matter.  The world should refflect that there are 3000 heroes in the world - not that there are 600 groups of 5 doing the same thing without regard to what each is doing.

Some games have broken this at times.  RIFT is trying to be more massively multiplayer with RIFTs/Invasions - where you can multiple raids coming together to tackle something.  Thing is, you can ignore it - go for a smoke - it goes away - and you're right back where you were before it.  It does not matter.  GW2 is talking about chained dynamic events - which do not look like they will have the ignore it and it will go away factor that RIFT suffers.

Other games have done various things as well - Hell, even back in WoW in trying to get the gate open for BC - servers were working together - MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER!  Course, then it went back to the massively populated singleplayer/co-op game.

Like I said, just some of the thoughts that came to mind in looking back at that comment I had made.

I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  Grahor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/11
Posts: 854

11/07/11 2:49:07 AM#8

Eve was built around a concept of massive multi-user conglomerates engaging in large-scale meaningful world control.

 

The main "whine"? "There is no place for solo pvp!"

 

You can't have it both ways, and the majority of people want solo and small-group content. So games are designed around it.

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

11/07/11 2:56:54 AM#9

Massive was usually achieved not through combat, but through economy, and interconnection between players (one character per server, everything crafted, player had to specialize you could not be top-notch crafter and best possible fighter, etc) to create world where players are cooperating and depending on each other even if they don't know each other.

Now mmorpg's revolve around doing things and then npc reward you. Like in single player games. 

 

That's biggest diffrence.

 

Massive combat won't be hugely popular never.  There can be niche in game for massive combat (siges, teritorial control) but if you revolve whole game around that that might not work.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5549

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

11/07/11 5:36:38 AM#10

Bigger is not always better. Some people forget that sometimes.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  VirusDancer

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/04
Posts: 3684

Heroes are about character - not gear.

11/07/11 2:26:22 PM#11
Originally posted by Quirhid

Bigger is not always better. Some people forget that sometimes.

The thing is - in what way do you mean that - in regard to MMMORPGs?

Bigger worlds would not be better?

The bigger populations are not better?

A bigger list of servers to choose from?

I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  Torik

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2326

11/07/11 4:08:52 PM#12
Originally posted by Zylaxx

In a perfect world a raid is something you do ad-hoc and is done in the open world when a "call to arms" goes out for an impromtu reaction to a percieved threat.  The journey along the way should be exploratory with minimal to no hand holding and no clear lack of direction except for hints from your local pub or town crier.  If I wanted to level in 1 part of the world and my buddy wanted to level in another part of the world and a 3rd person wanted to do endgame content nearby either of us that should be perfectly acceptable.  No more should a player be told where to go and how to get there and the thrill of adventure and exploration should be the main reason to play the game.

When I first heard about the concept of raiding, this is how I imagined things to work out.  IT was quite a culture shock when I found out htat EQ/WoW style raiding was 'organized'.   A 40-70 man raid that is done every few weeks/months feels really epic.  A raid you do every week on a schedule is just a grind.

  Torik

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2326

11/07/11 4:16:18 PM#13
Originally posted by Grahor

Eve was built around a concept of massive multi-user conglomerates engaging in large-scale meaningful world control.

 

The main "whine"? "There is no place for solo pvp!"

 

You can't have it both ways, and the majority of people want solo and small-group content. So games are designed around it.

That is what you get when you have a whole bunch of PvP combat oriented players with not enough outlets for their aggression.  With big formalized alliances combat got more organized and less ad-hoc.  Wehn I played EVE I would see people posting about how they started wars just for the heck of it.  A lot of the 'bad' behaviour in EVE stems from the fact that a lot of the players are bored and want more action.  You can get more 'action' in small group and solo PvP than if you are always part of a large slow-moving fleet that only attacks strategic objectives in time of war.

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

11/07/11 4:30:04 PM#14
Originally posted by VirusDancer

...

That there are other players in the world doing things - should matter.  That you are doing something - should matter.  The world should refflect that there are 3000 heroes in the world - not that there are 600 groups of 5 doing the same thing without regard to what each is doing.

Some games have broken this at times.  RIFT is trying to be more massively multiplayer with RIFTs/Invasions - where you can multiple raids coming together to tackle something.  Thing is, you can ignore it - go for a smoke - it goes away - and you're right back where you were before it.  It does not matter.  GW2 is talking about chained dynamic events - which do not look like they will have the ignore it and it will go away factor that RIFT suffers.

Other games have done various things as well - Hell, even back in WoW in trying to get the gate open for BC - servers were working together - MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER!  Course, then it went back to the massively populated singleplayer/co-op game.

Like I said, just some of the thoughts that came to mind in looking back at that comment I had made.

And this right here is the key, well said.

You don't have to have a massive amount of people all doing something together at one time to make the game more of an MMO.  This is bad both technically and logistically.  I mean, do you really want to be a single grunt soldier in an army of 2000?  It may sound good on paper, but the reality would be pretty dull.  Wait for hours to attack...10 minutes of extremely confusing battle...done.

The key is having the WORLD be the common link between players.  Like VD says above, things you do in the world should matter, and cause an imprint in the world that affects other player.s  This is how things work in reality, and it's how they should work in an MMORPG.

But instead of dynamic worlds that are influenced by players and influence players in turn, we get static worlds that serve as little more than "staging areas" for solo questing.  This has got to change.

Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?