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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: The Problem No One’s Talking About

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168 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/11/12
Posts: 19

11/06/12 5:20:12 PM#141
Exactly, add systems that encourage players adding the content, mmo problem solved.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/29/08
Posts: 3

11/07/12 12:11:02 AM#142
Originally posted by Ozivois
They need to slow down level progression - that will add more time to subs.  Lower experience gain to a minimum so that players have to spend inordinate amounts of time in every area of the world. Offer raids for every ten levels. Limit daily experience gain.  Make it so that rare level 20 armor is worth looking for because you will be able to use it for another month as you work your way to level 30...

Leveling in RPGs is about doing mission along a finite storyline. Mmos based on 'systems' don't follow a storyline and therefore have no missions and no need for character leveling.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 8004

11/07/12 1:12:16 AM#143

Originally posted by TheNightFly

Leveling in RPGs is about doing mission along a finite storyline.

Two different things without any dependency.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1391


contact me if you are seriously interested in
* C#
* making an old schoolish FPS

11/07/12 5:33:25 AM#144

many of the forum warriors here that are so personally invested in their 

themepark vs sandbox war....


are failing to see that

systems vs. content == sandbox vs. themepark



and lets not ignore that games are not one or the other, but somewhere on a spectrum between the 2.

The End
i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects


Novice Member

Joined: 12/06/04
Posts: 177

I cut my teeth on Pong. \m/

11/07/12 6:07:58 AM#145
Originally posted by elocke

Yes!  Systems!  Thank you!  Finally, someone saying what I've been trying to say for a few years now but more so in the last few months after sinking my teeth into GW2 and realizing it is lack of systems that stops me from playing.   The games adding the systems are the ones I'm playing right now.  Like Lotro and Rift, heck even WoW(although it could definitely use more focus in this department, but apparently they get this and 5.1 looks interesting with a new Brawler Arena system).

The key to those old games everyone talks about like AC, EQ, FFXI are the sheer volume of systems in those games that keep people logging in.  Extra content is awesome and should never stop coming, but MMORPGs are all about adding systems and keeping players in the game.  Somewhere along the way, this core idea has become lost and needs to make a reappearance fast.

This and digital actor NPCs, but that's wishful thinking :D R.I.P. digital actors.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/09/11
Posts: 7

11/07/12 7:32:18 AM#146

Great article Bill!. And an issue which has been winding me up for many years ever since UO really. It still surprises me how much UO got right, that no one copied into newer games and are only now starting to reappear in modern games some 15 years later (such as GW2 and TSW using it's skill system roughly).


I was fortune once to chat with the then Game Director of LOTRO, and discussed live action in game events (I was using UO and Anarchy Online as reference). He didn't seem to grasp the concept at all sadly much the shame as "we already have festivals" was his answer repeatedly. I think even SWG tried it at one stage. And currently all we really have is Eve which is pretty much utterly random due to the scale and nature of what it is (and quite possibly another fluke like WoW).


UO with it's events run live action in game by it's (then) Councilors’ before EA got rid of them were brilliant for bringing the world alive. The player housing and shops also brought the would alive. Along with how detailed the skill system was and hobbies and other side line activities you could do.


But by far my favorite in any of game "system" so far has to be that from Anarchy Online. AO had it's ARK's event team and GM's who were utter stars. The use of story characters or whole new ones alive (ok sometimes dead) walking around the game. In events, in story lines which would only become apparent after weeks, months...years. The way different characters would appear in different areas, how the stories evolved to involve players to effect them in game. Towns being lost or taken over! 50ft giant robots! assassinations of guild leaders (by the Events Team). Busy in a raid and a group of mercenaries popping up and ganking you from GM's as you mouthed off a bit on the forums etc...brilliant! Yes possibly frustrating for you at the time, but as a living breathing world it was great. 


Such things don't need to occur everywhere, they just need to pop up occasionally, surprise people! And the players themselves pick things up and run with it also. The storyline the GM's might of had could realistically go any direction (and probably did with interference from players). 


Complex detailed systems for a player to fiddle and tweak a character is great. But if the tools were there for a GM to blow up a huge chunk of a town, for them to have a small team running around the town causing mayhem or leaking a story out over time is something every MMO should have!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/26/12
Posts: 90

11/07/12 10:51:20 AM#147

A theme park with more "time sink" rides than just "progression" or adding some well thought out sandbox elements that tax people's imaginations a little to create/use/adapt... whatever.

More - different "things to do"


Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/14/11
Posts: 1348

11/07/12 10:58:43 AM#148
Originally posted by elocke

Yes!  Systems!  Thank you!  Finally, someone saying what I've been trying to say for a few years now but more so in the last few months after sinking my teeth into GW2 and realizing it is lack of systems that stops me from playing.  

What "systems" are lacking in GW2 in your opinion?

Actually i think it offers more systems than any other MMO for leveling....

They don´t force you to do a quest in just one path...instead they give you multiple options for almost everything.

All GW2´s systems are equally rewarding in terms of exp offering also multiple leveling vias availables.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/08
Posts: 5

11/07/12 10:46:14 PM#149
There's a MMO game coming out that will address many if not all of these concerns. Check out Citadel of Sorcery:

Novice Member

Joined: 11/06/12
Posts: 78

It's obvious some of these games were started by some sect or something, lmao, hool.

11/07/12 11:01:11 PM#150
Originally posted by theniffrig
MMO's need to take the next evolutionary step & I think that player made content or as Bill put it: "Systems" that give the players lots of different things to do is definately a huge piece to the puzzle of getting MMO's to the next generation. Ofcourse all these systems arn't worth anything if the actual game "sucks" or isn't appealing. So it's going to take a combination of things for the next big successful MMO to get right before people can say we have arrived at the next generation of MMO's.

I think it very well possible if a game has multiple systems such as class and race, then it wont need appeal. It will be appealing to the people who try to have fun with the skills(systems) as they differ.

Best Regards, ...


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

11/07/12 11:14:02 PM#151
This may be the best column I have ever read on this site

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011


Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 36

11/08/12 3:13:04 AM#152

Being new to the GW franchise, specifically GW2, I think they are hitting on most of the points. Except it's certainly not "sand box" yet having been out for a couple months, but Sand Box is over rated in my opinion. But are absolutely on top for price model.

EQ2 or SWG was the closest I know of on the market at the moment for Sand Box, which I played the heck out of from launch until recent. Unfortunately the people who want to play sand box are the ones who want to create it, and usually for their own self created content. Outside of small pockets a true sand box only satifies those people who just want to create Sim City environments (single player mentality). In an MMO environment with everyone creating quests, dungeons, environments - even a couple hundred people doing that creates an overwhelming number of unknown options as a player. EQ2 was on the right track in this regard, but their main game got so dumbed down and irrelevant over the last couple years, and again then to the player created content. To me it's like shooting yourself in the foot.

Eventually your only trying to cater to either the hard core raider's and making them farm the same raid zones all the time for the best gear or cater to the Farmville people who wish they were solo game developers with a bunch of fancy tools. But doing so they have lost their entire game play system and story, that allows random active challenges keeping people engaged in that game system and story line, which is supposed to be the fun part of playing and escape.

If for example you look at anything that SOE or Turbine or Funcom has put out as "FTP" compared to Arena Net's GW2 (and maybe GW1?) they are anything but FTP. This is probably why you get so many people trying so many FTP games and vanishing so soon. It's an impulse model, having very little sustainability.

This is why they all not only require an advanced subscription model to simply be able to wear good gear to be competitive or relevant to go into the content all the few dozen people are at. But ALL of them also do require expansion purchases, costing on average $40-50 USD, then constantly bombarding you with cash store purchases on top of it. Is this because they know they're desperate and know the game isn't fun enough to just enjoy instead of sucking off the long time skittle eaters or are they greedy trying to prey off of their own main fans?

GW2 may have only been out for a few months, but I'm still excited I got the game as a gift and have been extremely surprised. GW2 is so much more FTP than any model I've seen. Sure you buy the box - again if you want the real content in anyother game you need to as well... (unless you want the first 8 or 10 expansions for EQ2 that got so watered down. now you will solo level to max in a week or so to get to where the entire population is at with said paid for expansions).

I did get to max level pretty easily IMO in GW2 being a casual player now over the last couple months, but I never "felt like I had to" I just enjoyed the ride - It's beautiful and lively, the world always feels active and huge even only standing around NPC's only. I still only have about 40% world explored. But regardless of where I go in the world it is always a challenge. The auto-leveling is very well done. This keeps it a game and keeps me on my toes, just very fun that way. 

GW2 actually encourages an MMO environment, you don't need to be grouped to be "grouped" in the world unless you're hitting an instanced dungeon. You can be running around and all of a sudden surrounded by dozens of people doing the same thing. That is very cool. Even NPC's seem a bit real... The world just seems to be different from anything I've seen.

PVP, forget about it... It's crazy fun, the only thing they need to fix is WvWvW server hoping. But still this is insane fun. Literally hundreds of people playing with you at every moment in a fast paced crazy way, all kinds of tactics or play styles, I'm still trying to figure out that game play aspect alone - whoot I have to think and try!!! No script plugins to make sure I'm ducking or running or taking a potion at exactly the right moment, WHOOT!!!. I just think they did a really good job at it and the number of people playing prove that point.

Not trying to sound like a GW2 coolaid drinker, but I did buy every EQ2/EQ1 expansion until recently, and spent hundreds of dollars on top of that over the last year alone, of that since it went ftp to really play a "FTP" game, only to get more and more discouraged with hugely declining populations even despite constant merger servers.

 I get a game like GW2 that is compelling, fun, and I can play the game with no worries of a monthly fee of any kind, any thing in a "Cash" store I can buy with what I earn in game, or I can cheese out and do it the easy way, It's there but I've never seen anything I actually would need or want to do that for. I will happily keep paying for a full box version for new expansions - was doing the same for any other FTP game. But this is just fun, it's out on the table and there's no guess work or tricks in between so far.

Also I was never very good at decorating my houses, in EQ2 i had about 10 of them on my main, there was just piles of crap everywhere to get them out of my bags.... Well I did have one that's cool ;-)



Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 6403

11/08/12 11:44:31 AM#153
Originally posted by ShakyMo
The problem is company execs keep seeing the "10 million" playing wow and think if we make a game like wow and only pull 1 in 10 of those people we will make more money. We just have to make a game like wow with a couple of things that are missing from it.

Hence you get all these wow with a twist games. E.g.

Lotro - wow with rp features
Rift - wow with rifts and free spec switching
Swtor - wow with personal story
War - wow with rvr and pqs
Aoc - wow with action combat and boobies
Tsw - wow with puzzles, story, semi action combat and skill based progression
Tera - wow with action combat and bams
TESO - wow with rvr and open dungeons?
Nw - wow with player made dungeons?

DAoC is WoW with 3 factions and RvR.

EQ1 is WoW with larger raids and HDP.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/12
Posts: 2

11/08/12 11:52:51 AM#154
Things that ruin games for me;

Solo Content Focus; Too many games these days cowtow to the casual gamers whiny cry of "I can't do anything alone, wah!" ... I'm tired of playing games where I can solo a group quest by being 2 levels over the requirement. I'm tired of being able to get through a games content while being a douchebag and not having to work with people to get my objectives done in a sensible way. The last game that I played that made me feel like I had to get to know the community to progress and therefore become a part of the game system itself was EQ2. The only thing that stopped me from playing it was a content patch that killed my video card and I couldn't play any more. I'm not saying its bad so much as not all of us want to be totally alone all the time and theres less focus on making team play avalible for people on a long term basis instead of a random scream for help with a quest and everyone leaving afterwards.

Difficulty not being difficult; The past few MMOs I've played lately have no learning curve or sense of achivement for the things I've been doing. EVE was a really difficult game, but every new peice of information gave me a new sense of power and I could impliment the new knowledge immediatly, try something new and get to know people. FFXI was one of the hardest games that I'd ever seen at the time it came out and while its gotten much easier over the 10 years its been around, theres still a sense of difficulty and ya really need to talk to other people to find out how to do shit, theres no hand holding with auto positioning markers to tell you exactly where to go without even reading your quest chains.

Concept of Levels is outdated; The past few games I've played, and even my current game, allows players to level too bloody fast. In my current game (Fallen Earth), you can hit level cap and be out of something to do in under two weeks. Exp is divied out so sloppily that 4 well known grind camps have developed to get you from 1 to 55 in a couple of days, and automated systems that allows players to earn points while AFK sucks out what little of the gameplay there is left. Theres a lot of games that succumb to this kind of thing though, where the questing content that tells the story of the world is ignored completely and people just cap off to end game, PVP for a bit on the gear grind, and leave. Both F2P and P2P models. DCUO had a fair way of handling it, treating the levels as a tutorial system and making end game be about tweaking your gear to fit your playstyle, but it doesnt have everything I want to make a game attractive. Secret World did away with levels entierly which was great to a degree, but it lacked basically anything ELSE to do when I wasnt in the mood to repeat a quest for the 11ty-billionth time. Mabinogi is still my favorite leveling system simply because I can reset my levels when progression hits the point of eye-ball bleedingly difficult, even in teams, but by no means is it a 'perfect' system.

Sandboxes that are not true Sandboxes; Star Wars Galaxies was a Sandbox. Giving the players control on what was built, where, how it looked, what they could sell from it, create their own events and games and still have an extensive game system to play when they were done screwing around with their friends is what stands out to me as being a Sandbox. I only played the game on a trial for a friend of mine, but I could see the huge amount of potential it had and why it was loved so much. However, building one tiny zone where players can put down buildings that they have no control over what goes into it or how it looks and telling people to afk there then call it a Sandbox, makes me want to slap people. Players having no control over their shared content beyond wheather or not they spawn in this location or that location then slapping a Sandbox name on it infuriates me. I'm an event builder, I like being part of the reason people stay around for more than a year. A game that focuses entierly on hitting level cap and getting uber raid gear and NOTHING ELSE is not really a game I want to play.

Crafting Dead Ends; How many systems have you played where theres a huge varience of craftable items but everyone uses only one specific type? Or the other end of the spectrum, theres only a few items avalible and none of them fit what your trying to play? I was excited when I heard about GW2's crafting system, but actually playing with it, it fell into great dissapointment. Sure I can 'discovor' recipies, but once I find out what certian foods or items do, I can't compound them on my own and create something new based on the types of ingredients -I- want to use, not the forced thought of secret recipies that are locked down to an exact pattern of ingredients. I think I'd actually like to see an MMO that uses Ateleirs crafting system for creating better quality goods, but with more freedom on using my own items (Another call back to SWG and how resoruces had different levels of stats and were not infinate, I really regret not playing the game more).

Though, I have noticed an increasing trend in the Korean F2P model where they've realized that crafting the same piece of gear over and over is retarded and either offer a system where you can only craft consumables that you are going to be using anyway, or the results fo a craft is randomized with stats that can fit a variety of needs (And the repetitive random spawn of things named like 'of the tiger', 'of the eagle', etc). I also believe total lack of FAILURE at trying to craft something is BAD, because the market becomes floooooded with more crafted items than there are players. *Looks at GW2 and its 1.2 millions sticks of butter on the AH, because food can't be sold to NPC vendor*

Cash Shops and Economics; I've been playing a lot more F2P/Freemium models lately as my odd jobs are devoured more and more by people who cant find legitimate pay work, leaving me with less and less free change to throw at my games. As of late, I've been frusturated with game companies who are making offers to their players that just boggle the mind. "Free" makes me think "Low cost cash shop full of conviniences". Currently my favorite cash shop belongs to Mabinogi, even though Nexon doesn't have the greatest reputation or customer support. All their items are priced incredibly low and they really are Convinience items, not pay to win. They're all priced around 10 cents to a dollar, and I know a lot of people who are daily throwing their change into the shop system for just those conviniences (Some spend $100 a week on those conviniences). On the flip side I've been poking around GamersFirst recently and find myself appauled at $8-15 price tags on things listed as 'convinience', or where APB and EVE share a point; Vanity for the Wallet Warriors, "They're willing to pay $20 for a horse, surely they'll pay $50 for a top hat!"

No. No I will not. Goodbye. What happened to companies actually looking at what their players are buying and earning and lowering prices for the economics rather than just screaming about holiday sales? Wouldnt it be better to have a constant revenue stream than rely 100% on international holidays to sell things for your game?

Thats all I've got off the top of my head. Theres probably more I could rant about, but I've got a PVP map to take back. Bloody Techs are like ants...

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/29/04
Posts: 205

11/08/12 6:21:15 PM#155
The MMO that I played the longest was AC. Part of it was there were only a few alternatives. A significant part was the comprehansive scripting. But another part was that it took time to get through game content. It took a full year before the first player reached the max level! With current games, players can powel-level to max in a week or less. Is it any wonder that players leave after a couple of months because they've been everrywhere in the game and there are no challenges left?

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/12/09
Posts: 717

11/08/12 6:30:38 PM#156
Originally posted by MMOExposed
Originally posted by ShakyMo
The problem is company execs keep seeing the "10 million" playing wow and think if we make a game like wow and only pull 1 in 10 of those people we will make more money. We just have to make a game like wow with a couple of things that are missing from it.

Hence you get all these wow with a twist games. E.g.

Lotro - wow with rp features
Rift - wow with rifts and free spec switching
Swtor - wow with personal story
War - wow with rvr and pqs
Aoc - wow with action combat and boobies
Tsw - wow with puzzles, story, semi action combat and skill based progression
Tera - wow with action combat and bams
TESO - wow with rvr and open dungeons?
Nw - wow with player made dungeons?

DAoC is WoW with 3 factions and RvR.

EQ1 is WoW with larger raids and HDP.

what?..both those games were out before WoW...that made no sense


Novice Member

Joined: 10/17/12
Posts: 44

11/08/12 7:42:56 PM#157
Great article.



Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 7136

11/08/12 7:51:26 PM#158
Originally posted by wrightstuf
Originally posted by MMOExposed
Originally posted by ShakyMo
The problem is company execs keep seeing the "10 million" playing wow and think if we make a game like wow and only pull 1 in 10 of those people we will make more money. We just have to make a game like wow with a couple of things that are missing from it.

Hence you get all these wow with a twist games. E.g.

Lotro - wow with rp features
Rift - wow with rifts and free spec switching
Swtor - wow with personal story
War - wow with rvr and pqs
Aoc - wow with action combat and boobies
Tsw - wow with puzzles, story, semi action combat and skill based progression
Tera - wow with action combat and bams
TESO - wow with rvr and open dungeons?
Nw - wow with player made dungeons?

DAoC is WoW with 3 factions and RvR.

EQ1 is WoW with larger raids and HDP.

what?..both those games were out before WoW...that made no sense

So if they were out before WoW then why aren't we talking about cloning them?  Why does it always have to be WoW clone?  Whenever people use that it reminds me of things I try to forget: polyester double knit, milli vanilli, the macarana, seinfeld, 1987 - 1993, achy breaky heart, carrot top, and I could go on but you get the picture I hope.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/24/06
Posts: 2702

"Some do , Some don''t , Others just cry"

Jean Sali

11/09/12 3:12:18 PM#159

Just step back a bit , remove all the auto features that make games more fun so that communities can thrive and you have your games back. Sadly too many people just want to insta win and not have fun playing MMOs these days.

until then none are currently worth playing....


SWTOR and COS games that could deliver !!


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5731

11/11/12 4:43:07 AM#160

That the idea that GW2 is sandbox could have been put forward is astonishing. :D

Nice first post “theletterd”, welcome to where we come to vent a bit about how dire MMO’s have become. One thing I would say is don’t play F2P when your cash is tight, that can only make you less tolerant of the MMO format. There have been some decent releases of late, like SWTOR and TSW, but yes they are not cheap. Though not as good as say Lotro they are solid MMO’s.

If you play grinders you will just end up grinding your teeth and that would skew anyone’s view on the outlook for the genre.

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