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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Raph Koster with another great blog article

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103 posts found
  Cuathon

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/24/04
Posts: 2254

Draw Something is now an MMO. God has forsaken us.

3/22/12 9:09:33 AM#81
Originally posted by BadSpock

Wonderful words by Mr. Koster as always.

Here's the rub - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

SWG type crafting system and economy was amazing and awesome for the people dedicated to it, but like Mr. Koster says, if you just wanted to buy a freaking blaster it was highly inconvenient.

So do you create system that are amazing for say 10% of your playerbase at the expense of the other 90%?

Ideally, you'd want to have a system both would enjoy.

I think EvE online provides a good example - player based local market economy, but with ability to search and compare prices beyond the local scope.

 

Ideally we would have enough inter game variety that we could do away with inefficient and damaging intra game variety. People who just want a damn blaster shouldn't play the same game as people who want to work local markets.

  gilgamesh9

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 137

3/22/12 9:20:32 AM#82
Originally posted by Amaranthar

Do Auction Houses Suck?

His conclusion:

"Every inconvenience is a challenge, and games are made of challenges. This means that every inconvenience in your design is potentially someone’s game."

http://www.raphkoster.com/2012/03/20/do-auction-houses-suck/#more-4080

Why isn't this guy making MMORPGs anymore?

Because he fucked up the first Star Wars MMO.  He didn't understand the IP.  He was bullheaded in ramrodding his cancelled Ultima Online 2 design into an action-oriented universe.  Sony lost a lot on that and lost even more trying to fix it.  That kind of thing can kill a career.

  Cuathon

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/24/04
Posts: 2254

Draw Something is now an MMO. God has forsaken us.

3/22/12 9:23:24 AM#83
Originally posted by gilgamesh9
Originally posted by Amaranthar

Do Auction Houses Suck?

His conclusion:

"Every inconvenience is a challenge, and games are made of challenges. This means that every inconvenience in your design is potentially someone’s game."

http://www.raphkoster.com/2012/03/20/do-auction-houses-suck/#more-4080

Why isn't this guy making MMORPGs anymore?

Because he fucked up the first Star Wars MMO.  He didn't understand the IP.  He was bullheaded in ramrodding his cancelled Ultima Online 2 design into an action-oriented universe.  Sony lost a lot on that and lost even more trying to fix it.  That kind of thing can kill a career.

As if the new SWTOR is any better. Dude I am 1000x the star wars nerd that 95% of SWTOR players are and I think SWG was way truer to the IP.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7649

Logic be damned!

3/22/12 9:40:46 AM#84
Originally posted by Cuathon
Originally posted by BadSpock

SWG type crafting system and economy was amazing and awesome for the people dedicated to it, but like Mr. Koster says, if you just wanted to buy a freaking blaster it was highly inconvenient.

So do you create system that are amazing for say 10% of your playerbase at the expense of the other 90%?

Ideally, you'd want to have a system both would enjoy.

I think EvE online provides a good example - player based local market economy, but with ability to search and compare prices beyond the local scope.

People who just want a damn blaster shouldn't play the same game as people who want to work local markets.

Congratulations, you just lost 90% of your playerbase and have to CU/NGE to keep the game running.

I played EvE for a while, never crafted a damn thing, and it took about 6 extra seconds to find a good deal on goods due to them having a local market economy with the ability to search and compare prices beyond the local scope.

Too far either way, SWG economy on the left, WoW economy on the right - never a good thing.

Now Playing: D3:RoS
Looking Towards: Destiny

  Cuathon

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/24/04
Posts: 2254

Draw Something is now an MMO. God has forsaken us.

3/22/12 9:48:31 AM#85
Originally posted by BadSpock
Originally posted by Cuathon
Originally posted by BadSpock

SWG type crafting system and economy was amazing and awesome for the people dedicated to it, but like Mr. Koster says, if you just wanted to buy a freaking blaster it was highly inconvenient.

So do you create system that are amazing for say 10% of your playerbase at the expense of the other 90%?

Ideally, you'd want to have a system both would enjoy.

I think EvE online provides a good example - player based local market economy, but with ability to search and compare prices beyond the local scope.

People who just want a damn blaster shouldn't play the same game as people who want to work local markets.

Congratulations, you just lost 90% of your playerbase and have to CU/NGE to keep the game running.

I played EvE for a while, never crafted a damn thing, and it took about 6 extra seconds to find a good deal on goods due to them having a local market economy with the ability to search and compare prices beyond the local scope.

Too far either way, SWG economy on the left, WoW economy on the right - never a good thing.


I am well aware that SWG style economy can only get 300k players.

But that doesn't mean shit. Because most servers in WoW support only 5000 players. So the difference between 10million and 5000 is totally irrelevant. However, going EVE style, I would settle for an MMO with only 10000 dedicated players all on one server if it meant I could get my ideal feature set.

  Indol

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 192

3/22/12 10:03:00 AM#86
Originally posted by gilgamesh9
Originally posted by Amaranthar

Do Auction Houses Suck?

His conclusion:

"Every inconvenience is a challenge, and games are made of challenges. This means that every inconvenience in your design is potentially someone’s game."

http://www.raphkoster.com/2012/03/20/do-auction-houses-suck/#more-4080

Why isn't this guy making MMORPGs anymore?

Because he fucked up the first Star Wars MMO.  He didn't understand the IP.  He was bullheaded in ramrodding his cancelled Ultima Online 2 design into an action-oriented universe.  Sony lost a lot on that and lost even more trying to fix it.  That kind of thing can kill a career.

This is basically the opposite of reality. I'm not sure how you came to your conclusions but you might want to reevaluate them since they're not exactly accurate.

Maybe you had a bad experience for some reason, i dunno. But Pre-NGE SWG is still regarded by many many star wars fans as the most star warsey game of all time by a huge margin. I guess it didn't work for you but it worked for a lot of people.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7649

Logic be damned!

3/22/12 10:06:53 AM#87
Originally posted by Cuathon

However, going EVE style, I would settle for an MMO with only 10000 dedicated players all on one server if it meant I could get my ideal feature set.

I think most people would agree with that statement, but you have to have players and money coming in to keep the lights on and make a quality product, not to mention provide updates and additions.

As with all things - you need balance.

Mr. Koster for all his intelligence seems to be very flatly saying that one idea is right, and the other is wrong but that perspective is what causes games to fail.

 

Now Playing: D3:RoS
Looking Towards: Destiny

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7649

Logic be damned!

3/22/12 10:09:21 AM#88
Originally posted by Indol

Maybe you had a bad experience for some reason, i dunno. But Pre-NGE SWG is still regarded by many many star wars fans as the most star warsey game of all time by a huge margin. I guess it didn't work for you but it worked for a lot of people.

I don't think either TOR or SWG were/are really all that Star Warsey.

 

Now Playing: D3:RoS
Looking Towards: Destiny

  Indol

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 192

3/22/12 10:32:35 AM#89
Originally posted by BadSpock
Originally posted by Indol

Maybe you had a bad experience for some reason, i dunno. But Pre-NGE SWG is still regarded by many many star wars fans as the most star warsey game of all time by a huge margin. I guess it didn't work for you but it worked for a lot of people.

I don't think either TOR or SWG were/are really all that Star Warsey.

 

TOR no, SWG I thought so, but it's just a matter of opinion in the end.

I've run across more people that thought SWG was a great star wars game than not, so I see it as at least cursory evidence that the game did something right. It had severe flaws but they were mostly technical or related to being time-crunched out of development.

In the end I feel it represented the star wars universe better than the majority of other star wars games that've been released. I always got a 70's/80's vibe from it just like the original movies somehow, which I thought was genius but apparently this wasn't percieved by everyone who played it.

  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

3/22/12 10:47:50 AM#90

Koster is the single worst thing to ever happen to MMORPGs. The man got to where he is on the ideas of others with UO, placed all blame on its fall on others even though the expac was created while he was there(was released just a few months after he left).

Was the sole reason SWG was created using random generated worlds with no true axis which is why you couldnt jump, could shoot through the ground and buildings and would be stopped by a PEBBLE while on a speeder that wasnt even on the ground!

The man had the audacity to state that the reason SWG had only 1 character slot was due it the amazing amount of pixels the characters had...

Was 100% responsible for the fiasco that was EQ2 that caused mass protests in game and got the man regulated to single player console games by Sony.

This is the reason why the man has not been able to TOUCH an MMORPG for 7 YEARS. He hasnt even been able to get funding for his Metaplace idea since 2006. Raph Koster needs to go away, stay away or at least be ignored by MMORPG makers.

Whoever thought it would be a good idea to listen to a man that actually says game makers should ignore what game players think should be shot in the head...its the very reason why the MMO market is filled with stale outdated ideas and is not moving forward as fast as it once was...too many companies listened to him from 2002-2006 and became trapped by his moronic ideas that they implimented into their games and became trapped by them.

Thankfully most new games out in the last year and coming out are not chaning themselves with his ideas.

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  Indol

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 192

3/22/12 11:08:20 AM#91
Originally posted by jtcgs

Koster is the single worst thing to ever happen to MMORPGs. The man got to where he is on the ideas of others with UO, placed all blame on its fall on others even though the expac was created while he was there(was released just a few months after he left).

Was the sole reason SWG was created using random generated worlds with no true axis which is why you couldnt jump, could shoot through the ground and buildings and would be stopped by a PEBBLE while on a speeder that wasnt even on the ground!

The man had the audacity to state that the reason SWG had only 1 character slot was due it the amazing amount of pixels the characters had...

Was 100% responsible for the fiasco that was EQ2 that caused mass protests in game and got the man regulated to single player console games by Sony.

This is the reason why the man has not been able to TOUCH an MMORPG for 7 YEARS. He hasnt even been able to get funding for his Metaplace idea since 2006. Raph Koster needs to go away, stay away or at least be ignored by MMORPG makers.

Whoever thought it would be a good idea to listen to a man that actually says game makers should ignore what game players think should be shot in the head...its the very reason why the MMO market is filled with stale outdated ideas and is not moving forward as fast as it once was...too many companies listened to him from 2002-2006 and became trapped by his moronic ideas that they implimented into their games and became trapped by them.

Thankfully most new games out in the last year and coming out are not chaning themselves with his ideas.

The next couple waves of MMO's are actually re-employing his, and other MMO pioneers' ideas. They're trending towards being more virtual world and less theme park.

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. You've built up some kind of bizarre vendetta against him based on hear-say and falsehoods. Basically, you're just making s*** up.

  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

3/22/12 11:15:15 AM#92
Originally posted by Indol

The next couple waves of MMO's are actually re-employing his ideas. They're trending towards being more virtual world and less theme park.

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. You've built up some kind of bizarre vendetta against him based on hear-say and falsehoods. Basically, you're just making s*** up.

1. All games are virtual worlds...

2. I think you mean sandbox...which is not Kosters idea either, UO wasnt even the first sandbox MMORPG.

[mod edit]

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  Cuathon

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/24/04
Posts: 2254

Draw Something is now an MMO. God has forsaken us.

3/22/12 11:42:38 AM#93
Originally posted by jtcgs
Originally posted by Indol

The next couple waves of MMO's are actually re-employing his ideas. They're trending towards being more virtual world and less theme park.

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. You've built up some kind of bizarre vendetta against him based on hear-say and falsehoods. Basically, you're just making s*** up.

1. All games are virtual worlds...

2. I think you mean sandbox...which is not Kosters idea either, UO wasnt even the first sandbox MMORPG.

[mod edit]

All games are virtual worlds? Well shit, I guess my craving for virtual worlds can no be satisfied by tetris...

  Cuathon

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/24/04
Posts: 2254

Draw Something is now an MMO. God has forsaken us.

3/22/12 11:56:07 AM#94
Originally posted by jtcgs
Originally posted by Cuathon

All games are virtual worlds? Well shit, I guess my craving for virtual worlds can no be satisfied by tetris...

[mod edit]

I am not sure if you understand what the word world means.

Koster never called gamers stupid.

I didn't even know who Koster was when I began designing my own MMORPG. and then someone said hey thats sorta like SWG and UO. So Koster couldn't possibly have told me what to think.

 

  MustaphaMond

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/09
Posts: 344

"History is bunk."

3/22/12 2:35:43 PM#95
Originally posted by jtcgs

This is the reason why the man has not been able to TOUCH an MMORPG for 7 YEARS. He hasnt even been able to get funding for his Metaplace idea since 2006. Raph Koster needs to go away, stay away or at least be ignored by MMORPG makers.

Whoever thought it would be a good idea to listen to a man that actually says game makers should ignore what game players think should be shot in the head...its the very reason why the MMO market is filled with stale outdated ideas and is not moving forward as fast as it once was...too many companies listened to him from 2002-2006 and became trapped by his moronic ideas that they implimented into their games and became trapped by them.

Thankfully most new games out in the last year and coming out are not chaning themselves with his ideas.

Why would he need funding for an idea that has been defunct for nearly two years now? And, are you not aware that Playdom (i.e., Disney) bought Metaplace...?

 

I think you are misinterpreting what Raph said, or at the very least, what he meant. Time and time again, players clamor for things that are detrimental to their game world. You can watch videos of Sid Meier talking about tweaking the AI in Civ IV and he mentions how fickle and illogical "player logic" can be. What is more, the very stagnation you talk about in this genre is precisely because game makers are trying to listen to what players want too much (at least the majority of players). Given WoW's success, any game that doesn't feature instances, endgame raiding, geargrind, level grind, easy mode everything, etc. is met with howls of indignation from the WoW-zombies. In other words, whenever designers try something different from the cookie cutter themepark, they are met with a vocal minority of players who scream for more instances/l33t gear/etc. If more game makers made games that they thought were fun and stopped making the game that they thought players based on listening to players in focus groups/on forums/etc., then this genre would be a lot better off. And you know what Raph is doing in social gaming? He's being a pioneer, once again. He's not listening to what all of us want (and the people who beg him to go back to MMO's)... he's doing what he thinks is right. You know what? If the guy is happy, he's going to make something of much greater quality and depth than if he was trying to fulfill the expectations of others (i.e., you). And, he's right... social gaming is the next frontier and it makes perfect sense that a guy like him is on the forefront of the new developments in that field. Yes, most social games now suck, but I bet 5 years from now there will be some "hits" and in time, we will see the social gaming equivalent of UO (i.e., a game that breaks all previous notions of what is possible in the genre).

 

Oh, and to say he "got where he is on the ideas of others" is a joke. That statement is true for *EVERY* accomplished person. We are not a rock/island... as Newton said, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Meaning, even one of the greatest minds in physics admitted that his great ideas and insights were borne on the backs of those who came before him. Without Copernicus and Galileo, there'd be no Netwon. Without Newton, no Einstein. Without Einstein, no Hawking... and so on. Undoubtedly, Koster owes much to the earlier devs (e.g., Richard Garriott, Richard Bartle/Roy Trubshaw, etc.), just as the better devs now owe much to him. What is more, have you ever heard of the MUD-dev? It was a collaborative exchange of information, ideas, and insights by some of the industry leaders and Koster consistently cites it (and his colleagues) as sources of inspiration for various design choices. He also points out when various ideas were his and his alone. Most importantly, I've never seen him try to take full credit for implementing another person's ideas, and in fact, whenever people credit him for something he wasn't responsible for in his blog, he sets the record straight. Countless times I've heard him outright say "I stole this idea from another MUD", but you know what, he doesn't really mean it was "stolen." It's a way of saying that he used another person's idea and to point out the idea wasn't his.

 

Anyway, I have a feeling this will all fall on deaf ears. In any case, Koster is one of the better devs out there, especially when it comes to instructing and inspiring the current crop of game makers. His talks at game conferences are always insightful and frequently prophetic. If you don't care for what he offers, then move along, but I for one respect him and feel he is still contributing great things to the gaming community. Just because you fail to see that doesn't diminish his standing any. Hater gonna hate, after all.

  maplestone

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

3/22/12 2:44:24 PM#96

To bring this thread back to the original blog ...

What he's saying that efficient trading is not the same as entertaining trading.  Adding an auction house to an MMO has the same effect as adding amazon.com to the book market.  Prices are lower, but you end up obliterating almost all of the quirky unique bookstores that used to populate the landscape.  You lower prices and increase ease-of-use, but lose all the texture, entertainment and jobs that used to come from the shopping experience itself.

So the question becomes: how can the topology of a market affect the entertainment value added.

If you look at Eve, a lot of the richness of the resource economy comes not from the Jita megamall (although the in-game market tools are a huge, huge boon to casual auctioneers) or the joy of watching lasers slowly digest asteroids, but from the topology of the game universe - the complexity of having to establish trade routes and the time and risk involved in moving all those bulk resources back and forth across the universe and the between regional hubs.

When it comes to player-run vendors, I had a love-hate relationship with marketting in UO.  I loved the idea of having my own little shop in the wilderness, but I didn't enjoy limiting myself to focusing one one set of resources in order to actually establish a niche that could attract customers.  So in the end, I used them more as decorations rather than a serious attempt to actually participate in the game economy. 

In a game like WoW, I don't enjoy the auction house at all - getting an item from there feels like I'm skipping what could actually be gameplay.  I would use it only to gain a resource that that came from a source I couldn't reach (eg: heroic crafting materials, since I am a wierd and quirky person who doesn't do dungeons/raidsd in MMOs) and I would only sell into the auction house to balance those rare purchases.  Otherwise, I actively avoid the auction house - I don't want to know what my time is "worth" doing different activities, I just want to focus on following the fun.

In every MMO I've played, crafting is my main motivation for creating and developing characters, but I prefer to play within my own little private economy of alts than to trade with the wide world.  I find there is something decidedly un-fun about most open game markets, the way they devalue activities that are widely considered fun or can be exploited by bots.

One thing I have not tried are any social network games that have limited trading only within the radius of your fiend-network.  My intuition is that I would probably enjoy this more than an open market (there's something more appealing about grinding to fulfill a friend's needs, but too many of those games come with what I consider evil business models so I've tended to avoid the whole genre).

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17953

3/22/12 3:01:03 PM#97
Originally posted by Cuathon

 

Ideally we would have enough inter game variety that we could do away with inefficient and damaging intra game variety. People who just want a damn blaster shouldn't play the same game as people who want to work local markets.

Sure. You won't find me playign farmville or any game that i have to work local markets.

I will be in WOW and Diablo 3 with millions other killing stuff and progressing.

  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3539

Hipster

3/22/12 3:05:06 PM#98
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Cuathon

 

Ideally we would have enough inter game variety that we could do away with inefficient and damaging intra game variety. People who just want a damn blaster shouldn't play the same game as people who want to work local markets.

Sure. You won't find me playign farmville or any game that i have to work local markets.

I will be in WOW and Diablo 3 with millions other killing stuff and progressing.

 

Good, that's your comfort zone, have "fun"
  Amaranthar

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 2146

 
OP  3/22/12 9:18:19 PM#99
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Cuathon

 

Ideally we would have enough inter game variety that we could do away with inefficient and damaging intra game variety. People who just want a damn blaster shouldn't play the same game as people who want to work local markets.

Sure. You won't find me playign farmville or any game that i have to work local markets.

I will be in WOW and Diablo 3 with millions other killing stuff and progressing.

It's kind of funny you should put it that way.

You are one of a few who keep hammering that players want WoW clones because WoW had such big numbers. And now you pick a game that blows WoW out of the water in the numbers as an illustration for what you don't want to do.

Once upon a time....

  Moaky07

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/24/07
Posts: 2199

MMO sandbox games are as exciting as watching paint dry.

3/22/12 11:01:01 PM#100
Originally posted by Amaranthar
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Cuathon

 

Ideally we would have enough inter game variety that we could do away with inefficient and damaging intra game variety. People who just want a damn blaster shouldn't play the same game as people who want to work local markets.

Sure. You won't find me playign farmville or any game that i have to work local markets.

I will be in WOW and Diablo 3 with millions other killing stuff and progressing.

It's kind of funny you should put it that way.

You are one of a few who keep hammering that players want WoW clones because WoW had such big numbers. And now you pick a game that blows WoW out of the water in the numbers as an illustration for what you don't want to do.

Give me a break.

 

Facebook games are looked down upon for a reason. Holding Farmville up as something to be envious of is simply sad.

 

Folks on MMORPG.com talk about the dumbing down of games, and quite frankly Facebook is leading the charge. Yet that still doesnt stop the fanbois from worshipping Koster.

 

So I suggest they support his Facebook games, and quit worrying about Kosters ideas for MMOs. If they actually sold, he would still be making MMOs.

Asking Devs to make AAA sandbox titles is like trying to get fine dining on a McDonalds dollar menu budget.

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