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News & Features Discussion  » General: Content Locusts Killed My MMO

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407 posts found
  Moirae

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/19/06
Posts: 2606

1/28/12 11:12:35 PM#341
Originally posted by chryses

Maybe the real question isn't about slowing down leveling but giving more options 'outside' of leveling.  I look back at all the MMO's I have played and why I subbed to some for 4 weeks and others for 6months - 6 years.

All the MMO's I stuck with gave me other options besides leveling.  Vanguard kept me going for 6 months due to crafting and house building.  EvE kept me going for 6 years and mostly around trading and manufacturing.  Fallen Earth kept me going for 12 months because of crafting etc.

I judge an MMO on what I can do outside of leveling and I think that is the key here, not slowing leveling down.

 

Yeah, honestly, its been a long time since any games have given options outside leveling. Frankly, most people consider stuff outside leveling to be "fluff". It degrades those offerings and makes the companies think they don't have to offer anything else. 

I may be very angry with the slimy things SOE has done with SWG and EQ2 but EQ2 is STILL my favorite game, even beyond SWTOR (did I just say that? I must be losing it). Why? Because it offers so much more than just leveling. 

  nate1980

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/03/09
Posts: 1839

1/28/12 11:25:28 PM#342

I remember the leveling experience in DAoC like it was just yesterday. It took an extremely long time to reach level 50. It took just as long to get from 40-50 as it did to get from 1-40. You grouped almost 100 % of the time, because group xp was the best way to level up. Because of this, getting groups was easy, people were skilled at team play, and because of the downtime and constant grouping, people socialized a lot. DAoC had a very strong community and had pride in their realms, which made RvR so great.


With that said, would a long leveling up experience work in todays casual market? Even people like me who loved the MMORPG's the way they were pre-WoW have gotten older. I'm 31 years old now, I have a full-time job, and my real life is more interesting than any virtual life could provide. MMORPG's are no longer new, so exploring a new world is no longer magical the way it once was. Because the mechanics are the same, we already know how to play every new game that comes out, so would we really be tollerant towards such outdated mechanics, such as a long level grind?


I think it's the developers who have trained past and current gamers alike to rush through the leveling experience and get to the endgame. That's because the journey is dull and tedious, and endgame activities offer the most challenge and group play. So it's in the developers best interest to retrain gamers to focus their enjoyment on the journey, instead of endgame. To do this, they need to prolong the leveling experience by several months. To do this, they need to make the journey fun and not tedious. They need to encourage group play, but not force it. Grouping 100% of the time, should be just as viable as soloing 100%. There needs to be a large variety of activities to do along the journey as well, because no matter how good the content is, doing the same activity for too long becomes grindy.


If the journey to max levels is fun, then people won't care if it takes them several months to reach max level. Max level should be a continuation of the large variety of activities you experienced during the journey. I would suggest including, but not limiting it to player ran cities, extensive guild tools and features, a seperate persistent and in-depth battleground system like DAoC had, an extensive player ran economy reliant heavily on crafted/gathered items, a unique leveling experience through the use of class quests for each class (instead of a bunch of side quests with a smattering of class quests), and larger raids and organized PvP (at max lvl) to expand upon the already existing PvP and group features already present during the journey. In addition to this, I'd introduce an alternate leveling experience for max level characters, such as PvP ranks and more in-depth class specializations.


  nate1980

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/03/09
Posts: 1839

1/28/12 11:28:30 PM#343

I'd also like to point out that I think Bioware was moving the genre in the right direction with class quests. They aren't the first developer to add them, but they made them more immersive.


  Timacek

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/06
Posts: 182

1/29/12 1:27:14 AM#344

Originally posted by Zekiah

That's what you get when a MMO company spends a majority of their investment in one-time content, ie video cut scenes and VOs.



  Sanisar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/19/09
Posts: 19

1/29/12 1:40:15 AM#345

This just in: Company who has only ever made single-player games develops MMO paced like a single-player game.  MMO players 'bored' before the first free month is up.  More at eleven.


 


Too.  Many.   People.  Blaming.  Players.  For.  Not.  Liking.  Game.




 


  mezlabor

Novice Member

Joined: 1/01/08
Posts: 135

1/29/12 2:13:01 AM#346

I agree with the sentiments in this article. My Favorite MMOS are EVE online and FFXI and both games are marked by a very very long journey. The Journey tho is what I always enjoy the most. I played wow back when it was a much slower leveling proess. I enjoyed the ride. Once I hit end game I got bored very very quickly. Looking back on wow I realize the best time I had in that game was leveling and the "endgame" was incredibly dull.


  THEchad88

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/27/10
Posts: 38

Confusing use of time...(311 song lyric)

1/29/12 2:49:20 AM#347

I like this article on a multiple of levels. Both on the author (as I've always felt MMO's these days were on a faster curve) and all the posters. Some very insightful responses to this.


I got burned out on WoW during burning crusade when I hit the area after nagrand. I was getting antsy because most of my guild was already at the level cap and I was trying like hell to enjoy each and every quest for what they were. Unfortunately it can be a burden to be reading every single quest. Not to mention my friend who I would group with often would just grab all the quests without actually reading about it. And I was sorta playing catch up.


This is sorta the affect I see coming from fast levelers who quickly grind it out. Others who aren't that level feel left out to a degree because they are lower level and skim over stuff to get xp faster and get to the same content the end gamers are already at. I know I did, or at least tried to while attempting to retain the integrity of my enjoyment of the content. Not only that but I found much content ruined by players who had already done the content and just gave out the answers to people who just had to have it immediately without thought of effort to obtain it themselves.


While slowing leveling down will help slow up people getting to the end content I don't necessarily think it will stop those folks from trying to ramp it up as fast as they can.


I am a believer in enjoying the content i'm playing. Taking my time, enjoying the world that has been created, feeling like i'm living in the world that has been created, and enjoying little details that the so called locusts skim over.


Maybe if an MMO would reward players who take the slow down and enjoy things method there would be more that do. Of course the rewards would have to be quite substantial than just a piece of gear. There is too much reward of simple, money, and items these days in MMO's.


Like how about rewards of the kind that unlock areas you couldn't get to otherwise. Whole towns, entire questlines. These have been done before but largely go by the wayside and i think need a HUGE comeback.


Also there needs to be something said for the value of the content you are playing. Wow always was good about producing content but like in SWTOR the have increased the enjoyment of the content by engaging us as players in the quest we're working on. Both with voice acting and selective responses. Why stop there? What about important boss battles where the music becomes as meaningful to the fight as the fight itself? FFXI dragon fights anyone? Set the mood with the environment / graphics / sound. Pace the leveling and length of time in a zone. Quests should build like the plot of a good movie spiraling upwards to the climax. But make the climax worth it! Make it stand out! Rock our socks off! It's not JUST about level pacing or voice acting. Voice acting done well just hightens the experience a degree. But if you add in the voice acting, music, sound, pacing, gameplay they all add to the experience. And something I hope more games try to incorporate all these things together. It's not an easy feat.


 


  binary_0011

Novice Member

Joined: 12/01/04
Posts: 540

Use your common sense.

1/29/12 3:35:26 AM#348

lot of of players skip the fp in swtor and grind HM again and again just to reach max level...what is the point if you ask me.....


binary0011 Xfire Miniprofile
  saitoh183

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/04
Posts: 52

1/29/12 5:03:02 AM#349
Lots of good points and opinions from everyone. All this change to the rush rush to cap is one of the main reasons i decided to go play eve online. Not being a lvl base game and being player driven keeps the game exciting. Dev should take a page from the CCP playbook to try to come up with games that will keep people in for more 2 months after release. Blizz did it..CCP did it..and other before them did it
saitoh183 Xfire Miniprofile
  Nihilist

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/08/04
Posts: 636

1/29/12 5:13:19 AM#350

There is no way mmos are going back to the oldschool grind.

 

Look at the most popular online pvp games like starcraft, counterstrike, league of legends - they have minimal content compared to an mmo, but they have interestng gameplay. Fighting people involes a lot more then pressing tab-1-2-3-4 on the keyboard.

 

This is why newer mmos fail. Once someone has gone through all the zones all they are left with is identical repetition usually in the form of gear grind. They can't do anything dynamic like come up with new strategies or change the world around them.

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6825

1/29/12 7:36:55 AM#351

I think many of you are missing the point.  A game does not have to be a grind, yet can be a entertaining sandbox.  When you get away from the dumb class/level system and go to a more realistic skill system you can extend play for much longer periods of time.  Take for example Eve, there are more skills than anyone could ever learn, you have to specialize which can easily be done in a month or two, yet if you want to diversify it can take quite some time to collect all the skills you need.  

In Eve everything is made in game, only the most basic commodities are available from NPCs.  So resources are important.  The economy is based on the players, not who got which drop.  Crafting is a huge business in Eve.

Eve has many avenues to get those resources.  Eve's biggest disappointment for me is the extremely boring mining design.  Someday CCP will realize that needs to change because most people just give up and bot.  Eve would be better off incorporating SWTOR's design of underlings who mine for you.  Resource collection should never be tedious.

This could easily be translated into a fantasy setting.  Asheron's Call, while it had levels was really a skill based system.  You had to choose what to specialize in.  There was no resource collection in that game per se, yet  the real crafting was based around enhancing drops which were in essence it's form of resource collection.

One of these days these theme park designers are going to realize the great benefit of a skill driven system.  With enough skills you can keep people hooked for years, not months.  The trick with a skill based system is to allow the low skiil point players to be competitive in pvp in a short period of time.  I think CCP has done a very good job in this area.

Housing is another area, that if done right, can keep players in a game.  Two games that really excelled with housing was UO and SWG because housing was not instanced based, but in the actual player worlds.  Player built cities in SWG was an amazing accomplishment.  

A successful game that keeps players playing in any genre could be done using the following:  A deep skill system that keeps players interested in the game that has set skill training times that increases the higher you go and are not limited to playtime.  The economy must be player based and be very varied.  Resource collection must be fun and not tedious.  Pvp balance is important, nothing must be allowed to be overpowering.  Factions are important in a pvp respect and must be more than 2.   Housing based in the actual player world is important, instanced based housing is just not near as interesting.

I think a game designed around the principles above can retain players for a long period of time and keep them entertained.  There is no rush to end game in a game like this, you cannot speed up skills by playing more.  This attracts the casual player as well as the hardcore ones.

  Amaranthar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 2171

1/29/12 8:58:49 AM#352
Originally posted by binary_0011

lot of of players skip the fp in swtor and grind HM again and again just to reach max level...what is the point if you ask me.....

This is the core of the problem. And it's due to the game design.

  • When you start out doing 10 DPS and with 50 HP, earning 10 coppers and gear that absorbs 5 DPS....
  • When max level characters are doing 15,000 DPS and with 100,000 HPs, earning 50 platinum and sporting gear that absorbs 10,000 DPS......
Well, the race is on. It's status as well as reward, and it completely dominates all other things to do.
 
(Numbers may vary)

Once upon a time....

  kjempff

Elite Member

Joined: 10/12/04
Posts: 779

Make worlds not stories

1/29/12 9:34:38 AM#353

Adding to lowering the level speed, difficulty should also be upped.


Because... the outcome is only worth what you invested. If you invested alot in time, skill, practise, and more, the feeling ofcomplishment is just much higher. I played alot of WoW but I never really cared about anything, because I was rarely really challanged and anything I earned seemed like it was handed to me and anyone doing the same.


I assume many have tried the scenario where a friend invites you to play a game, and gives you items to get you started.. that is the worst way of starting a new game, emmediatly it will mean nothing to you because you never earned anything.


This doesn't mean the difficulty should be so harsh it will scare away normal (saner) players, there should just be many difficulties integrated in the game so everyone on their level of commitment/skill/gear will have challanges that they can beat or fail ... yes FAIL I know it is a foreign word on the mmorpg scene... developers come on, failing is what makes you try harder, and eventually gives you more "pride" when you do actually succeed a previously failed attempt.


  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

1/29/12 5:55:15 PM#354

I'm an old school leveler.  I love pvp, but I hate rush leveling.  Never been a big raid guy.  I love long, drawn out content.

 

Me, I'm playing casually right now.  Sometimes group, sometimes solo.  After a week (of an hour or two a night) I'm level 17.  While the storylines are interesting, the leveling is too easy.  There really isn't much tactics being required on these quests.  Only time I died is when I wasn't paying attention, and accidently engaged a champion mob solo when it was the same level I was.  Even then, the fight was close.

 

The game isn't very intuitive.  The "heroic" feel you get is just you smushing mobs, and provided you aren't a total dunce, you will only fight 2 or 3 enemies at a time.  Now I can't speak about later levels, but this isn't fun for someone who wants an engaging time leveling.

In SWG, it took me 2 months to get a full template.  In POTBS, it took me 3 months to hit level 50.  I do it the old fashioned slow way.  I hate power leveling.

 

Another thing is, providing a fast track leveling system doesn't make better players.  The PVP system in this game is sorta fail, but if it was in-depth and smart, you'd have a bunch of people who don't know what they are doing, because there was all the incentive in the world to enjoy your character.  Right now, there is no "enjoying" of your character. 

 

These things might change once I hit later levels, but that's what I've found so far.  If this were a single player game (with limited multiplayer) it would be an awesome game.  As an MMO, its got some great ideas and concepts, but it really falls flat in many areas.

  Boge

Novice Member

Joined: 6/21/06
Posts: 182

1/29/12 8:29:18 PM#355

This is a perfect read and exactly how I feel about MMOs right now.

The solution, a slower leveling trinket.  An item you can equip, or a debuff you can get to make you level slower.  That way people that want to rush can, and those of us that want to experience all of the content at the appropriate level can.  It doesn't take a genius to figure out a solution, but I guess geniuses don't make games.

World of Warcraft is on a bit of the right track with their increased experience items and their frozen experience option you can pay for, but where are the less experience items?  I still want to advance, but just much slower.  It's a simple solution that should not be overlooked.  Unfortunately, I'm just one voice.

  kzaske

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/28/09
Posts: 517

1/30/12 1:51:18 AM#356

It's about the journey not the goal,  It sounds like SWTOR gives out ten times too much experence for thier storyline quests.

I really hope that Guild Wars 2 is not like that.  I want to spend six months doing every quest I can find to get to the level cap.  I don't want to be too high a level for the next thread of quests, that just makes no sense.

  chryses

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/29/07
Posts: 1453

1/30/12 3:02:30 AM#357
Originally posted by Ozmodan

I think many of you are missing the point.  A game does not have to be a grind, yet can be a entertaining sandbox.  When you get away from the dumb class/level system and go to a more realistic skill system you can extend play for much longer periods of time.  Take for example Eve, there are more skills than anyone could ever learn, you have to specialize which can easily be done in a month or two, yet if you want to diversify it can take quite some time to collect all the skills you need.  

In Eve everything is made in game, only the most basic commodities are available from NPCs.  So resources are important.  The economy is based on the players, not who got which drop.  Crafting is a huge business in Eve.

Eve has many avenues to get those resources.  Eve's biggest disappointment for me is the extremely boring mining design.  Someday CCP will realize that needs to change because most people just give up and bot.  Eve would be better off incorporating SWTOR's design of underlings who mine for you.  Resource collection should never be tedious.

This could easily be translated into a fantasy setting.  Asheron's Call, while it had levels was really a skill based system.  You had to choose what to specialize in.  There was no resource collection in that game per se, yet  the real crafting was based around enhancing drops which were in essence it's form of resource collection.

One of these days these theme park designers are going to realize the great benefit of a skill driven system.  With enough skills you can keep people hooked for years, not months.  The trick with a skill based system is to allow the low skiil point players to be competitive in pvp in a short period of time.  I think CCP has done a very good job in this area.

Housing is another area, that if done right, can keep players in a game.  Two games that really excelled with housing was UO and SWG because housing was not instanced based, but in the actual player worlds.  Player built cities in SWG was an amazing accomplishment.  

A successful game that keeps players playing in any genre could be done using the following:  A deep skill system that keeps players interested in the game that has set skill training times that increases the higher you go and are not limited to playtime.  The economy must be player based and be very varied.  Resource collection must be fun and not tedious.  Pvp balance is important, nothing must be allowed to be overpowering.  Factions are important in a pvp respect and must be more than 2.   Housing based in the actual player world is important, instanced based housing is just not near as interesting.

I think a game designed around the principles above can retain players for a long period of time and keep them entertained.  There is no rush to end game in a game like this, you cannot speed up skills by playing more.  This attracts the casual player as well as the hardcore ones.

I agree on the EvE thing totally. 

The one thing that really got me about that game is that you know if you play long enough you can learn absolutely everything.  But that is around 6 years of subbing and that is why that model works well.

When I got bored with EVE I decided to try exploration.  6 months later I was back into the game with exploration skills etc etc.

I have no idea why the bigger companies don't look at CCP for insipiration.  People are dedicated to that game for years not months.

  Mundus

Novice Member

Joined: 6/26/05
Posts: 237

1/30/12 3:38:59 AM#358

The levelling speed has merely been adjusted so that casual players have the chance to reach max level, too.

I don't know how many people reach max level in a few days. But I can't even imagine how that is possible. I'm a rather casual player. I've been playing SWTOR for nearly a month now and my highest character (of 2) is level 12. I've played MMOs since 2000 and not in a single one of them have I ever reached max level.

Not even in Neocron where you could level fairly fast, apparently, and which I have played about 2 years. I got pretty close, though. Same with CoH.

Anyway, it would be interesting to know for how large a percentage of the player base the allegedly too fast levelling is actually a problem. You sure do hear a lot of complaining, but that doesn't have to mean anything. If levelling was any slower in SWTOR I would doubt me reaching max level at all. But if the gameplay in between is fun it doesn't matter. Of course SWOTOR's gameplay is not fun. It's the same old tread-of-the-mill 1-2-3-tab;1-2-3-tab combat. But at least the stories are entertaining enough. It being a single player game with an online co-op would make more sense, though, since hardly anyone wants to group up (for anything else than heroics/flashpoints) anyway.

  maccajnr

Novice Member

Joined: 11/26/05
Posts: 84

1/30/12 4:35:15 AM#359

Not only is SWTOR too fast leveling (I casually reached level 50 cap in less then 3 weeks, and many reached it in less time even), but there's not even anything to do at 50. Except daily quests to get some better gear.


What else?


- legacy leveling? I suspect it will only get me cosmetic gear, as it's cross character.


- datacron hunting? I got all I wanted, anyway it's a joke, something for solo games, not mmo.


- pvp or raids? I'm not at all into it. Anyway, it's again to get gear, which I already have.


 


I can remember my fist MMO, Endless Ages. Skill cap was only 18, but reaching it was an ... endless goal. But motivating to reach it.


  kamerian1

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/11/08
Posts: 7

1/30/12 8:11:06 AM#360

I haven't had the pleasure of playing SWTOR yet, but it doesn't surprise me that this is turning out to be just another "rush to engdame" mmo.  Sadly, that's what almost all of them are nowadays.  My first true mmo was EQ2 (played it from launch - 2010.  I remember that it took me almost 6 months for me to max lvl my 1st toon, but yet, I didn't really notice because the journey to get there was so much damn fun.  Unfortunately, in EQ2 and most all the other big mmo's on the market today, everything from beginning to endgame has been so trivialized that it's nothing to max a toon in a month or less time.  The entire journey to endgame is a joke.


I truly miss the days when it took months to max a toon and finishing any instance, even the lowly level 20 ones was a major accomplishment.  Unfortunately, we are all at fault for allowing this to happen...those that wanted the instant gratification and cried out for it, and those of us that were quite content to savor the journey but didn't speak up enough when the "i want it nows" were yammering in the forums to the devs.  The only way this will ever change nowadays is for us to be very vocal with the game devolpers and then deny them our money when they refuse to listen.


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