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News & Features Discussion  » General: MMO Growing Pains

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98 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/07/11
Posts: 5

2/01/12 5:50:53 PM#61

I don't really hold high hopes for any game to measure up to my standards. I'm a specific person looking for a specific game that will probably never be developed unless I do so. I do like the stale form still and grinding end game, it's what I do instead of playing Farmville/CoD for 6-20 hours a day. The limiting factor really should be the story of the game, not that arbitrary wall that magically appeared when the last one came out. Bringing down that "wall of infinite height" and replacing it with a castle or town that gets levelled would be so much more interesting. The less companies tell us, the more we want to explore and the more we want to play. Take a line from the Myst games and leave out the story or the hotbar.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/16/05
Posts: 5

2/01/12 5:54:18 PM#62

I agree that the standard model has grown stale. I tried about a week of Conan and D&D before saying "wow clone" and being bored.

I don't think the answer is balancing the Sandbox level, though. I think it's about content. A lot of games have you running minor variations of the same 20 quests over and over (eve, city of heroes). And others let you run the same dungeon as many times as you'd like (wow, everquest, etc ...)

It would take some serious design and truly clever engineers to get around the resource issues, but how about a game that remembers your state? Rolling Content. Timelines - both personal and game wide.  That's what I'm talking about.  Sure - it would seperate players a bit.  "Sorry - I already killed that dude in another quest - can't tank it for you".

But it would bring us closer to the old fashioned paper and pencil games that the original MMOs were trying to emulate in the first place. And it would help restore the Sense of Adventure and make us feel like our quest lines are more unique.

Heck - people would reroll new characters just to be able to go through the content they missed the first time through. And not just because it was "grey" - but because their actions made it unavailable.



Novice Member

Joined: 7/29/11
Posts: 468

To err is human, but to really f*ck things up you need a computer.

2/01/12 6:10:50 PM#63

Originally posted by PaybackXero

Originally posted by Kiljaedenas

Originally posted by maplestone

Originally posted by Jowen

Hi. I'm an EVE'r. Dunno what you're talking about.

Mission, mission, mission, mission, mission, "epic story arc!"


( it's structured a little differently, but it's there )



Yes, it's there, but dude...that's maybe 10% of the game content at best. If that's all you think Eve is, you didn't put any kind of effort into discovering the deeper aspects of it. 

EVE would actually be better if it was mission, mission, mission, mission, epic story arc. Instead, it's "Wait 10 years to get useful skills, have fun not being able to speed up the process", "Yay, mining for 5 hours!", and "Oh fun, just lost my ship"


I'm all for open-world MMO's with the freedom that EVE has, but when you have people grouping together to MINE FOR 5 HOURS, then your game has taken a terrible, disturbing turn. (And consequences for losing. Those suck too. RL is bad enough, I'm not looking to get punished for failing in-game as well.)

I guess what I'd want is EVE with no corp alliances, no corps larger than 50 or so members, no penalties for dying, auto-mining and a massive reduction in cost for items. I'm looking for an economy more WoW like - farm minerals for 1 day, earn enough gold for the rest of the year. But that's my two cents on EVE.


Forgot my biggest complaint there at the end. No way will I ever play a game with the leveling system like EVE's. I'm not interested in anything but end game and exploration. I've GOT to be able to max my character out within a month max for me to even consider a game. Only wish I had known EVE's system before subbing that one month. 

So yeah, full ability for all ships and the cash to buy em within a month, or the game is pointless to me.


Eww, eww, eww, eww! You actually LIKE that crap?! I don't even really know where to start with those comments. That stuff I put in red...that would completely obliterate absolutely everything that makes Eve unique and worth playing. I'm pretty sure that the day even one of those aspects gets put into the game is the day when 90% of the playerbase cancels their subscriptions.

That "Wait 10 years to get useful skills"...did you even try to look at any of the guides? With a little bit of planning and focused skill training you could be very effective at one of several major roles in either single player or multiplayer aspects in under three months, and a valuable asset to your corpmates.

"Yay, mine for 5 hours"...don't like mining? Then pick one of the other SEVERAL DOZEN different activities that you could do instead.

"Oh fun, just lost my ship"...then learn how not to lose it next time, and there are many techniques that can be used for this. That's part of the fun; coming up with your own strategies to AVOID losing your ship and watching them work, and the sense of satisfaction you get from overcoming that challenge.

Going by that statement about you HAVE to be able to max your character in a month and go for end game, you're obviously completely addicted to the traditional WoW-like themepark MMO. Eve Online is therefore completely beyond you, and there's nothing I can tell you that could change that. Sorry, but this just isn't your game, and I recommend you try something else.

Where's the any key?


Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/11
Posts: 288

2/01/12 6:25:04 PM#64

Originally posted by BadSpock

WoW used instancing because a lot of players complained about camping mobs, ninja tags, mob trains etc.

PvP become instanced because a lot of players complained about being ganked/griefed etc.

WoW gave us quests because a lot of players complained about the grind.


We look back with rose colored glasses, I know I do when I think of times with UO.

But the truth is somewhat different.

Would we actually want to go back? In some ways, and in certain areas - for sure, without a doubt.

In others?

99% would say "not so much."

"Occupy MMORPG! We are the 99%!" JK


It's hard to let go - to think back on our earlier days and not be rosey eyed. Entire genres that I loved growning up no longer really exist - space combat sims!

Sure, there will be "other" ideas that challenge the WoW conventions - but will they be successful? Millions are still playing and enjoying the WoW model.

Only time will tell.




I agree with this post.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 342

2/01/12 6:26:57 PM#65

Single player RPGs is the way to go. Don't care much about this genre anymore. Not sure what am I even doing here tbh.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/04
Posts: 3726

2/01/12 6:29:00 PM#66

You had me until the end, when you left Guild Wars 2 off the list of games that may refresh the stale genre. Arenanet are innovating the genre in the exact way one would want a developer to go about doing so. They've redesigned the Fantasy MMORPG from the ground up. They didn't feel beholden to old design strategies when developing the game, but nor did they throw out things that work for their game, just because they are similar to things that have been done before. They determined what they wanted the game to provide to players and then worked at finding the best way to provide the desired experience, while actively working to eliminate most of the negatives of previous MMORPG design strategies.

Not only do they have the right approach to design, but they are fortunate enough to have the money, support and freedom granted them by Arenanet to develop an innovative game with out fear of the money being cut off or having a premature release forced upon them.

We won't know exactly how well it all works until we play Guild Wars 2, but they are attempting some serious innovations to the genre and going about it in exactly the right manner, with the support of a Publisher that is willing to give them the resources and time they need to achieve success. To neglect them from the article seems like a very deliberate and petty snub.


Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated


Elite Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 3630

If you can't kill it, don't make it mad.

2/01/12 7:48:49 PM#67
Originally posted by Valgar1

Nice article,

Until we have a developer care more about the game there making then the money they can make ,they will all play it safe. Simple as that.


WoW showed them billions of $$$, now thats what they want.

Well... Then you are going to be waiting for a long, long time... ALL the investor/suit types care about is the ROI (Return on Investment).  Thats why they (not the Dev's) are in control of what does and doesn't get done.  When one is risking tens of millions of (other peoples money) taking risks with that money is usually well down the list of aceptable activities. Hence the endless stream of games using pretty much the same dynamics. 

Until the cost of producing these games comes WAY down, thats simply the reality that we will continue to see. 


Novice Member

Joined: 4/04/07
Posts: 381

2/01/12 8:14:13 PM#68

I agree 100%. 


Elite Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 3630

If you can't kill it, don't make it mad.

2/01/12 8:19:16 PM#69
Originally posted by Comaf

The article reflects a lack of completely thinking outside of the box.  The concept of a fantasy elves included mmorpg is not stale because it has rarely been done.  Any mmo without housing and instanced pvp is a MMOVG massively multi player video game - it's not an mmorpg because as you full well know, cosmetic races and mirrored classes do not mimic RPG whatsoever. Broken lore in RIft with mercenaries and tauren paladins along with necromancers running with all pets out through Cimmeria is bs, or copy paste sith v jedi playing Huttball I mean c'mon.


So the real question isn't if it's all stale.  The real issue is where the heck have mmoRPGs gone?


1.  Dark Age of Camelot 2 ... Where is it?>

2.  Modern day version of Ultima?

3.  Everquest updated?

4.  Vanguard Saga of Heroes 2 or even 1.5?

 5. Asheron's Call?

Those are mmorpgs.  They have been buried and forgotten, replaced by video game theme park crap.


 So please do not complain about the stale factor of mmorpgs.  What you mean is that themepark mmoVGs are stale.  Yes - they are.  I am still waiting for an mmorpg however. 

1. Warhammer Online (Face palm...).

2. EA pulled the plug on the Ultima MMO

3. EQ2... (Need I say more?...).  Now EQ is going F2P.

4. I'd settle for having the original Vanguard cleaned up, and re launched, with a decent marketing budget. But thats NOT going to happen.  The only question now, is *when* (not if) SOE is going to pull the plug. 

5. Ashrons Call 2 (Turbine and Microsoft messed it up so badly, that they eventually pulled the plug (right after selling us an expansion of course...)).

So far, there really isn't a good record for follow up games. I'm rather disappointed that ToR didn't turn out better. Given the huge budget, there really isn't any excuse for many of the ill considered design choices, and rough edges found in the 30's and higher (level wise). 


Novice Member

Joined: 11/27/11
Posts: 19

2/01/12 8:33:26 PM#70

Originally posted by AdamTM

"First-person shooters are prime examples of this. Call of Duty. Battlefield. Counterstrike. DOOM. Stripped of their audio-visual finery and emptied of all their little details, they're all the same. Cut them open and you'll see Wolfenstein 3D written across the entrails."

Nice strawman bro.

I'm sure if you strip away all the "little details and visual finery" from DeusEx it would be just like Wolfenstein


dear god, get some competent writers


First of all, you may want to check the by-line again. Bro is a very gender-specific term. 


Secondly, yes. If you want to take it that far, Deus Ex might as well be another dolled-up Wolfenstein. XD


Novice Member

Joined: 11/27/11
Posts: 19

2/01/12 8:35:02 PM#71

Originally posted by Blindchance

I find it rather ironic and hipocritical that this article comes so close after 9/10 review of SWTOR. I don't blame you, it seems to be a wildly spread disease between gaming journalists. Are you all so afraid to lose preferential treatment by gaming industry ?


MMORPG genre is not stale, it is rotten. Its rather sad that the only healty dose of innovation and originality has to be delievered by unexperienced and poorly financed / managed developers. Just imagine how games like Earthrise or Darkfall could shine with a real studio behind them.


I'd like to point out that gives us free reign on what we write. None of us are obligated to agree with everyone else. In fact, there's probably a reason why a non-fantasy column has steadfastedly refused to comment on SWTOR so far.. *cough*


Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 957

2/01/12 9:10:36 PM#72

With what we have recieved in SWTOR I think the answer is definitely Yes MMO's have grown stale. So long as people keep buying into the next MMO that clones WoW's mechanics (and yes argue as much as you like that SWTOR doesnt except I bought it and played it enough to recognise that it is 90% wowclone) then this is where the genre will remain.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/23/05
Posts: 812

2/01/12 9:30:16 PM#73
Originally posted by TheCrow2k

With what we have recieved in SWTOR I think the answer is definitely Yes MMO's have grown stale. So long as people keep buying into the next MMO that clones WoW's mechanics (and yes argue as much as you like that SWTOR doesnt except I bought it and played it enough to recognise that it is 90% wowclone) then this is where the genre will remain.

I agree, we need to stop buying into hype. The industry needs to know that MMO is getting stale, the faster the better. That being said I dont agree with the article. We are not growing, in fact we are going backwards.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/10/11
Posts: 340

2/01/12 10:29:32 PM#74

MMOs are stale to people because they probably play too many MMOs.  MMOs are not stale to people who are newer to them or are not burnt out on playing World of Warcraft like the writer of this article.  The problem is the writer of this article has been playing a lot of the same thing and not playing anything different.

If you ask a person who plays Modern Warfare 3 if it is stale they will answer, no.  If you ask a person who has quit playing MW3 if it is stale, they'll answer yes.

In time you will find all of the games you listed as "not being stale" as stale.  It won't even take that long to hit that point.  It will feel fresh for a month and then stale for another.

For the record FPS titles are not stale.  The genre has many sub-genre elements.  An outsider to it will just see "oh you shoot a gun that's JUST LIKE COD."  But if you play MW3, BF3 or Halo 3 you will see massive differences in the play.  There are not that many FPS titles out there that do well without being innnovative.  It is not a bunch of clones being pumped out.

But most people will look at the graphical screen shot and say OMG SAME GAME.

Website: / YouTube:


Novice Member

Joined: 5/02/09
Posts: 6

2/01/12 10:42:56 PM#75

The saddest thing about the MMO genre is that the Saga of Ryzom's code is open source.


I have always thought that the team who takes Saga of Ryzom and makes it look less 1999 and more 2010+ with much of the features we've been spoiled by (and visuals that aren't so weird, to put it plainly) would probably have one of the best MMOs ever made.


That said, WoW proves there is a large enough group of people out there who enjoy being told what to do to get the next purple which is no different than the purple they are replacing which is very slightly different from all the purples everyone else is wearing.


I miss our genre.


At one time we had EQ, UO, DAoC, AC, and SWG. All bringing different things to the table, all with pretty similar levels of market share. Now we have WoW and WoW in space. There are a whole bunch of MMOs on the horizon but unless they bring the AAA experience (which doesn't require AAA a budget... remember Allod's?) they will just be another crater in this pock faced landscape that is MMOs.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/02/06
Posts: 413

2/02/12 12:05:00 AM#76

Microsoft finded Vanguard, then screwed the devs. Sony picked it up and screwed the game even more.

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 179

2/02/12 1:00:11 AM#77

Funny to see that all MORPGS are WOW with a coat of paint, when WoW was just EQ1/AC/DAOC with a coat of paint as well. Everyone seems to forget that the MMORPG business didn't start with WOW at all.

The only thing that wow brought to the genre back then was retarded artstyle. In 7 years it evolved, of course, especially pvp wise, but the crap artstyle remained. Only MOP (not the rappers) seems to finally change this a little.

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Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/09
Posts: 517

2/02/12 1:26:27 AM#78
A good though provoking article with lots of thought provoking comments.  Overall, a good read.  Thanks.
As for my thoughts about MMORPGs in general, I am not so sure.  I think the staleness of MMOs is being brought about by market and economic factors.  The development of this genre of games has exploded in cost.  The first generation of them could be make for less than ten million dollars, now it takes hundreds of millions and that is with every cost cutting measure you can throw at it.
Games like Blizzard’s WoW are unique; I doubt there will ever be another game whose sales are anywhere near those experienced by that specific product.  Yes, no matter how much it pains me, games are a product.  They are designed to be enjoyed then updated or expanded by the player or discarded by the player at the player’s option.  In today’s market there are simply too many games out there to allow another smash like WoW.  The best I think any company can realistically hope for is what SW:ToR has done, two million plus in box sales during the first month is nothing to sneeze at.
There have been a lot of MMOs that have tried to be different but being different is usually punished by poor retention rates.  Games like Vanguard had great ideas and goals but were rushed to market before the game was actually playable.  Who rushed it, I doubt we will ever really know but I think we can blame the CEO and the publisher for at least part of it.
Back when MMORPGs required a lot of time, most gamers had the time.  These days most gamers don’t have the time, they want to jump on play a little and jump off.  Most modern players simply don’t want to take a more than a month or two to reach max level, they want to be effective now.  Simply put, they want as much as they can get as soon as they can get it.
I think MMOs have become the “fast food” of the gaming industry.  So much as become about how much can I get as fast as I can, which has really hurt those gamers that don’t mind spending time crafting their characters (on line persona’s).
As for the OP’s comments about First Person Shooters, she is dead on.  Pick up weapon, use weapon to damage things/opponents, move on to next thing/opponent.  At least most of the modern MMOs have a little more to offer than that, sometimes very little more.
Just my two cents.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/21/10
Posts: 700

2/02/12 1:30:13 AM#79
Originally posted by 77lolmac77
I have a feeling Blizzard is going to change MMOs again when Titan comes out. Then every game will be a "Titan clone"

It will be funny seeing clones trying to steal titans glory.At least this time we will not be victims of their clones again and we will be laughing of their tries.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/04
Posts: 981

"Shutting down threads sense 2004"

2/02/12 2:25:51 AM#80

All good post, but one never hit exactly....


The reason for the clones? Taking a leap cost money that could be lost in that leap. APB prime example, the idea and concept was great, the execution was not and even after all said and done the devs openly admitted they fell flat and got relaxed once they had a working prototype , key word prototype. Once it started selling pre-orders they where done and never finished the half baked code. Money became tight and people got greedy.

World Of Warcraft = Proven Model. Simple as that, in business this is this only thing that will sell. Indi companies can attempt to make something unique, but many players today expect quality. While a unique Indi game might have what players are looking for like sieging that DAOC brought with cumbling walls etc... they graphics and gameplay are expect to be that of a AAA title. Sure indi companies can get a small faithful following, but the only thing that will change this whole genre is when warcraft finally becomes nocraft and no one plays it or any new title that comes out that is like it.

I think the author said it best, the only time this will happen is in fact, time... when games that are released with the WoW quality yet fail to get any population or for that matter profit, will the industry finally take a step back and say...

"hmm. I think this genre is dead or need inovation, who want's to take the next big chance on a new gamble?"

"The monster created isn't by the company that makes the game, it's by the fans that make it something it never was"

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