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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Single Player MMO

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  erictlewis

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3059

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

11/27/12 3:56:16 PM#21

I don't mind a good story in my mmo.  Heck eq2 has a lot of quest that tell small stories. Like in sundered frontier there is a story called can't has cheeseburger where you deliver a cheeseburger to the npc, and another one where you do a dirty job for kik roe, lol.   Then there is a crafting quest a gnome-land hq where you help Jammie and adam both gnome npc but dressed up like the mythbusters and your doing a craft quest and testing things out for them.   But they were small, short and to the point.

SWTOR took story to the breaking point, that is all their was.  Yes legacy was created to make you level up another alt to 50. After 5 level 50's it gold old quick, and that is all there really was sorry for each class,  the side quests were not fun but yet they had long stories put into them.  Example the one guy tells the story of 3 sith brothers for like 8 space bars on a daily repeatable.

Yes bioware blew it, and some of the other games are as well.

I will stick with eq2 for now as there is nothing out there remotely interesting.

  lizardbones

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10953

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

11/27/12 4:05:01 PM#22


Originally posted by DavisFlight

Originally posted by lizardbones With SWToR, I think Bioware should have focused on the single player story line to the exclusion of the side quests.
Er, no, they should have focused on making a good MMO.

An MMO will never be a good singleplayer game. Why? If Bioware had done a dedicated singleplayer game instead of SWTOR, the combat would have been better, because it wouldn't be limited by the MMO aspect, the quests wouldn't have padding, to keep people paying, and you would actually see the result of your quests. In MMOs, as soon as you leave your little instance, all your work goes away. None of it actually happened in the game world.

No, EA should have gotten an actually MMO company to make SWTOR, not a linear singleplayer game company. The way you tell a story in an MMO is by using all the players, not shuffling them into instances and pretending to be a singleplayer game for a bit. It's wasted resources.




Oh, that's all. Just write a "good MMO". I had no idea it was that simple. Wait. That's sarcasm. It's not that simple.

There's no chance that they would have written a group based game. The odds of any theme park written now being anything other than a solo experience with optional grouping is zero.

They waffled between the story driven character story and quest hub progression in their solo game, doing neither very well. They should have committed to the character story, and instead of quest hubs in the world, given the character story lines some branches. Hell, just put all the leveling content in the character story lines even if they were totally linear. It would have been much better than adding in traditional quest hubs.

** edit **
At the very least, let me zip through all the side quests quickly.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Akais

Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/07
Posts: 268

11/27/12 4:16:14 PM#23

I think some of your argument has merit.

Scripted Storylines shouldn't be so encompassing that it overshadows the story you are writing for yourself by playing. If anything this is where BW got it wrong with SWTOR as compared to some of their console titles.

SWTOR was too scripted ( and I am a fan of story first) which made everyone's individual story the same es everyone else's. I am more a fan of lore being made available in the world or the website as a primer for related dungeons and quests.

Vanilla WoW gave you the whole story on how the world came to be the way it was at the time if you were willing to play each race and read the lore. the lore was of relevance in every dungeon and each dungeon offered lore about itself. WoW:BC and WotLK took advantage of that fact and made a great and a poor expansion but didn't build on the concept of lore.

Lore is optional, whereas the story setups offered by WotLK (and Cata!) and SWTOR aren't.

Lore creates the option for adventuring and exploration where personal story merely sends you there and drops you off.

i  think that your article highlights a failing in this current generation of gamers.

They don't read...

Or, rather, they'd prefer not to.

  ZombieKen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

11/27/12 4:21:47 PM#24

Single Player RPG distribution and monetization = Box sales by brick and mortar retailers, publisher receives wholesale price per unit.  Few if any additional revenue streams (hint books, etc).  Prone to software piracy.

 

Online Single Player RPG distribution and monetization = Box sales by brick and mortar retailers plus direct to consumer sales.  Publisher receives wholesale (physical box) or retail minus delivery and credit card processing (direct).  Multiple layers of additional revenue streams (subscriptions, cash shop, etc).  Completely immune to software piracy because the client is useless without account access to an official server.

 

Sure, there may be some regard for customer satisfaction.  However, to me it looks like they're cranking out new "SP-MMO hybrids" as a way to increase revenue.

MSOTSG with PPE : Massively Single-player Online Task-driven Storyline Game with Purchasable Performance Enhancements *grin*

  Valentina

Novice Member

Joined: 5/28/06
Posts: 1665

11/27/12 4:27:25 PM#25
story was desperately needed in MMO's. They were shallow and boring before, you didn't feel any direct connection in the world or your character and now you do..I don't miss the days when there wasn't a storyline to follow and decisions to make for my own personal interest and level of immersion into the game. I really think it needs to continue to be a componant to an mmoRPG, otherwise as I said before they will feel stagnant and shallow.
 
The option to skip through most of it is there for those who have no interest in it, you can space bar, or hit skip and continue with playing the game as an objective based game.
  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6705

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

11/27/12 4:35:41 PM#26

Why does stories have to be a single, or limited multiplayer, experience? Why can't they involve the world we inhabit and have whoever wants and are able to, to be involved in it?

Obviously it would be hard to design such quests but it can be done as shown in the attempts WAR did with Public Quests and what followed in Rift and GW 2. But still, most MMOs seem to focus on single player quests which has no bearing on the world.

It is about time these devs start thinking outside of their (single player box) and realise that their context is a massively multiplayer one and design the game accordingly.

  azzamasin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/06/12
Posts: 2840

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

11/27/12 4:39:21 PM#27

I am not a Pure Sandbox fan but I do like alot of sandbox elements and one of the best elements of sandbox is there is no hero, you are just a regular guy trying to make it in a dangerous world and your story is what you make of it.

 

Storyline are nothing but forced linearity and I feel linearity is the death of MMO's.

If your idea of a Sandbox is open FFA Full Loot PvP, full crafted world with minimal support for anything combat then your sandbox ideas are bad! Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

  Netspook

Novice Member

Joined: 3/01/07
Posts: 1440

11/27/12 5:07:10 PM#28
Originally posted by DarthRaiden

How can someone put Singleplayer with MassiveMultiplayer together and don't see a contradiction and feel stupid ?

Single Player is entirely different and does not have anything to do with Massive Multiplayer online games other then the game someone plays for himself get some patches from internet at best.

Its another approach and shouldn't be mixed with the superior concept of meeting other over the net and play TOGETHER !

The spproach from developers to derail Massive Multiplayer games is disgusting and unfortunately they attempts fall on players who dont know much about the principles of MMORPG's and why they exist in the first place..

 

Single player (solo) contents are parts of almost every MMO right now, and there are reasons for that. Saying that SP has nothing to do with MMO is both narrowminded and wrong.

The term "MMO" doesn't necessarily mean you have to group with others everytime you wanna do something. It's like in the real world, sometimes you wanna hang out with your friends, and sometimes you wanna be alone. We don't "feel stupid" because we don't see a contradiction, we are actually smart enough to understand that games can mix both terms, and luckily the devs agree with us.

If that is "disgusting" to you, then maybe you've outgrown MMOs, and need to move one. MMOs evolves, but you seems to have been left behind.

  black_isle

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/04/09
Posts: 239

11/27/12 5:27:49 PM#29

I mostly agree with the OP but regards to SP MMO claim i have to say i did a lot more grouping and socializing in 2 weeks of SW:ToR (tnx to heroics and such) than i did in 2.5 months of GW2 (just an example). And i saw tons more RP'ers in both SW:ToR and WoW than any other game in recent memory.

 

So when you look at it that way, it is a bonus that those games have a cool storyline too y'know, in addition to classic mmo features. And i really like the dialogues on ToR. I look forward to every conversation opportunity because i get to see my character act and i just like the choices :/

 
It's a lot more fun than running aorund like headless chicken watinig for the next "dynamic" thing to do or just collecting 10 chicken poo for the local farmer :S
  Hrimnir

Elite Member

Joined: 5/24/10
Posts: 1223

11/27/12 6:14:04 PM#30
Originally posted by Coldren
Originally posted by vayman

Game companies need to let us make our own stories in MMOs. Give us the world, give us the freedom, give us the tools. We'll do the rest.

That said, it would be fine to have some evolving storylines along with the sandbox. Something to rally behind as a community and get involved in before returning to our normal routines within the virtual world.

No matter how hard they try, MMOs aren't going to be able to come close to the stories found in single player games. MMOs should focus on what they're meant to do: provide an online roleplaying experience for a massive amount of players at once.

 

They had that 15 years ago.. It's called Ultima Online.

The only problem is.. It's 15 years old.. No one has tried to do what they did (And still do) since.

Level-less, deep, complex, free and open sandbox... Apparently to hard to do these days, or at least get finance for.

They had that with EQ1 as well.

 

I've been complaining about this for ages.  I honestly believe its a reflection on modern society.  Current generations have a overbearing sense of entitlement, they have either been taught or somehow come to the conclusion that they just deserve things just because they exist, and that they dont/shouldnt have to work for anything.

In EQ1 you started out as nothing and made something of yourself.  You had to prove yourself to in game NPC's and in game NPC factions before they would give you the better or cooler stuff/quests/whatever.

That all changed with WOW.  With WOW it was "you're the //HERO//" and we have to constantly remind you how freaking AWESOME and HEROIC you are.  I remember my first quest as a human was to save a church from an entire horde of goblins.  And i was rewarded with a magical sword literally less than 5 minutes from entering the game.

I remember in EQ you couldnt hit certain monsters without a sword that was just labelled magical.  So even if you had a Steel Rapier, if you tried to kill a ghost you couldnt hit it.  Now, you could find magical swords, but that was the only difference.  You didnt generally even start seeing actual stats on weapons, much less magical weapons WITH stats, until early teens and eartly twenties for magical with stats.  Even then the item might be 3str and 5hp.

Anyways, sadly its not going to change.  Not while that large of a portion of the MMO playerbase is of the "gimmiedat" mindset

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

  birdycephon

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/09
Posts: 1327

Not Safe For Woona (NSFW)

11/27/12 6:17:16 PM#31
But lets face it, some people like to go to a party, and just be around people without actually interacting with them.
  Hrimnir

Elite Member

Joined: 5/24/10
Posts: 1223

11/27/12 6:39:41 PM#32
Originally posted by birdycephon
But lets face it, some people like to go to a party, and just be around people without actually interacting with them.

Thats fine.  The difference is they aren't impeding the people who DO like to interact with other people.

The problem is all MMO's are being made to cater to the "be around without socializing" people.

Its like if you had a club, and instead of having things that groups of people can do, like tables for them to drink at, in groups, and billiards tables for several people to play billiards, or ping pong tables, whatever, that the club had a bunch of isolated booths where everyone showed up to the club, but all you did at the club was drink by yourself in your isolated booth while you surfed the web on your laptop and didnt actually talk to anybody else in the club, or do any kind of group activity.

The problem then arises if you want to go somewhere to drink socially and play some billiards with your buddies, you can't go to that club.  Now, in normal life, you just go to a regular club.  Problem is in the MMO industry the antisocial single player MMO types are the majority of the pie.  SO the people who control the money who pay the people to make the games force them to make games that cater to that demographic, leaving actual MULTIPLAYER lovers, out in the woods.

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

  Netspook

Novice Member

Joined: 3/01/07
Posts: 1440

11/27/12 7:06:23 PM#33
Originally posted by Hrimnir
Originally posted by birdycephon
But lets face it, some people like to go to a party, and just be around people without actually interacting with them.

Thats fine.  The difference is they aren't impeding the people who DO like to interact with other people.

The problem is all MMO's are being made to cater to the "be around without socializing" people.

Its like if you had a club, and instead of having things that groups of people can do, like tables for them to drink at, in groups, and billiards tables for several people to play billiards, or ping pong tables, whatever, that the club had a bunch of isolated booths where everyone showed up to the club, but all you did at the club was drink by yourself in your isolated booth while you surfed the web on your laptop and didnt actually talk to anybody else in the club, or do any kind of group activity.

The problem then arises if you want to go somewhere to drink socially and play some billiards with your buddies, you can't go to that club.  Now, in normal life, you just go to a regular club.  Problem is in the MMO industry the antisocial single player MMO types are the majority of the pie.  SO the people who control the money who pay the people to make the games force them to make games that cater to that demographic, leaving actual MULTIPLAYER lovers, out in the woods.

 

You seem to be assuming that there are only two kinds of people/players. The truth is that a lot (most?) of us, likes to have the opportunity to be both, and to be able to "switch" any time we like. And I admit, I'm less social when soloing, I guess most of us are. If that's problematic for you, then it's... well, your problem.

  KyngBills

Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/06
Posts: 452

11/27/12 7:50:24 PM#34
I don't mind the Solo aspect of leveling...But the whole Story deal, especially to the extent that SWTOR went is just too much...My favorite MMO was SWG, and there was little story...But tons of opportunity to make your own story...Your own City, your own Ship, etc...Games should do more of that and WAY less hand-holding-story-telling...
  Saerain

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/27/06
Posts: 946

11/27/12 9:09:40 PM#35

I don't understand why TOR's story is being referred to here as ‘the singleplayer experience’. That may have been traditionally true, but TOR was a move to change that. It showed that it could be a multiplayer experience, and that's what it is.

If people didn't play through it with their friends, that's their loss, I guess.

Favorites: EVE, VG, LotRO | Playing: None | Anticipating: SC, ED, TD, EQN, CU

  rojoArcueid

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 5827

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

11/27/12 9:13:07 PM#36

i think if MMORPGs were to be focused on single player story, then why not remove the mmo feature from it. Make them full single players with DLC instead of subscriptions like any console RPG. You can talk to your friends through the mic on a pc, maybe with skype or mumble while each one playing their single player experience (i do that all the time and it works)

IF the "mmorpg" is going to be single player based, then why should the player pay for the online servers? i say let it be full single player OR make an mmorpg with story where said story directly involves at least people on your group as a co-op choice, and everyone around are somewhat affected by the general story. Dont focus the story on a single person. Its called MMORPG for a reason. At least GW2 tried to make the personal story like a separate campaign that you dont have to touch if you dont want to. But still, if theres a story, let everyone be affected by it.

My opinion

 

  toddze

Novice Member

Joined: 8/02/08
Posts: 2203

I am not a hater, I call it like I see it.

11/27/12 9:20:02 PM#37

I have been shouting this at the top of my lungs for years! An MMO that focuses on story is not a true MMORPG. I also take it a step further an MMO that focuses on combat is not a going to turn out to be a true MMO. Same with graphics. Those three have no place being a main focus of an MMORPG.

An MMORPG started out as it being about a nice big virtual world with great lore (not to be confused with story), meaningful content, and other players. Those 3 things were what started this genre. Now we have compilation of small instanced zones, busy work errand boy content, and a focus on solo play. There is a market for Online rpg's I dont care if they continue to make these so called MMO's but I want to see some real MMORPG's made again, It worked once it will work again. A true MMORPG was and always will be a niche genre.

Waiting for:EQ-Next, ArcheAge (not so much anymore)
Now Playing: N/A
Worst MMO: FFXIV
Favorite MMO: FFXI

  Zeprimus

Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/11
Posts: 40

11/27/12 10:19:34 PM#38
Originally posted by Pokket
I am just going to give an unbiased opinion on BioWare's approach with "story"

I don't mean to butt heads here, or attack your argument, but by definition all opinions are inherently biased. There are no objective opinions, and claiming to have them may defer readers from your actual point and instead to looking at how you're saying things.


In regards to the topic, I agree; story is a  nice feature, but if it doesn't have fun mechanics centered around it, it's just another feature that goes unnoticeable. When the game is fun to play, story will enhance it, but won't do much for those turned off by how unenjoyable the button pressing is.

Maybe a different approach to stories could help the genre. We have too many stories centered on the player character; while this is nice, everyone is playing that story. Why not introduce stories that show our part as one of the thousands fighting for whatever faction we're a part of?

 

  Raserei

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/04/06
Posts: 1004

11/27/12 11:11:47 PM#39

Finally! Someone who gets why MMO's these days aren't really MMO's! It's like a solo game with other players!

 

Bring back meaningful grouping! Not forced grouping! Most MMO's nowadays are a solo game.

  Terranah

Novice Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3618

11/28/12 12:24:07 AM#40

There's different ways to tell a story.  You all can sit around me and I can tell you a story.  Or you can all sit around me, I give you a setting and you tell me your stories within the context of the setting I established.

 

One method puts people in passive mode.  The other method requires active participation and creativity. 

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