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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Content Locusts Aren’t the Problem

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74 posts found
  Fusion

Old School

Joined: 5/21/03
Posts: 1293

11/29/12 9:26:48 AM#41
Originally posted by Burntvet

And yet, none of the things mentioned in the article will stop MMORPG.com from having dozens of features/articles/columns/previews/anything else hype and praise the next "themepark of the week" to the skies.

We have seen it over and over again.

How can the "themepark of the week" MMOs continue to garner such heavy coverage and positives reviews, at this site and others, and then crash 2-3 months after launch?

 

Advertising is what the company runs on > tons of coverage and biasness on said advertisement deals. 

Un-bias and lots of coverage are not possible on an advertisement funded sites, that's just the cold fact. You cannot be 100% honest if you wan't to get more funding from advertisement deals in the future.

 

After all, sites like this are just businesses after all, they might've started with an honest agenda, but they need butter for their breads at the end of the day.

Currently playing: -

Waiting for: ESO, ArcheAge, Class4, EQN.

Dead and Buried: NWO, GW2, SWTOR, Darkfall, AO, AC2, Vanguard, CoH/V, EnB, EVE, Neocron, FE, EQ, EQ2, DAoC, FFXI, FFXIV, SWG, WoW, and billions of eastern junks!

  Tithenon

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/11
Posts: 105

11/29/12 9:50:18 AM#42

Yes, there's a such thing as content locusts, but I agree they are not the problem, only the symptom of something that needs to be done in the MMO industry.  The tight control over content, listed in this article, is the problem.  Developers need to take a tabletop role-player viewpoint, I think; in tabletop, you have the main purpose of an adventure, the waypoints and minor adventure 'stepping stones' -which is what most MMORPGs now call 'quests' (shudder)- to get to the main event, side tasks and character upkeep (spending experience, purchasing reload equipment such as arrows, components, etc., visiting family and friends for advice, aid, and extra gear they have accrued while the character's been away), and random encounters. 

 

In MMOs, you have the main 'quest' which, in all honesty, is nothing more than a small task, at least, or a small task in a longer chain, at best.  The latter is rarely done, and so the content locusts come along, grind their character from 0 to 60 in a week, and move on; it's not their fault the developers are so short-sighted.

 

On top of, and adding to that, is the fact that people do call little tasks quests, when the word quest should be at the top of a chain...

 

Quest

Campaign

Adventure

Task/Objective

 

The word quest speaks to a very large task that is going to have many parts toward completion.  The character is supposed to travel through difficulty, catharsis, a long road and a long time, to arrive at this point.  In role-playing terms, a quest should consist of between one and three campaigns, a campaign should consist of between two and five adventures, an adventure should consist of between one and five tasks or objectives.  A task is your FedEx, kill, collect, and travel 'quests' which take between two and thirty minutes to do IN the MMORPG.

 

This adds to the lack of meaningful ANYTHING in the MMORPG, because your 'quests' are thirty minutes long, INCLUDING travel time, with no truly random encounters.  Which is another thing I've been wanting to address these past couple of days on here...

 

Not every single creature in the game has to be placed in a zone BEFORE game release!  For pity's sake, you're going to have some creatures, yes, that will be in their natural habitat, but these should be IN ADDITION TO pop-up creatures that spawn just over the next hill, or deep in the forest, when your player comes to call on that area.  These creatures need to be geared toward the player-character, not the player-character having to be geared to the zone before they can enter and explore it.  Come now, it's ridiculous that I -such as in Warhammer Age of Reckoning- move into a zombie-infested area and barely kill two zombies before they're respawning, each of them slightly more powerful than I am.  Why should I be restricted to zones my character, no matter how s/he is spec'd, can handle, why aren't the creatures in the zones popping up around corners, over hills, and in the woods my character is able to handle, based on my character's presence?  Hmmm?

 

I'm an explorer, I want to explore, that's my thing, and if you, the developer, are going to take some time to develop this absolutely beautiful world, I want to see it.  "Sod the quest," as Superfluous would express!  Let me climb the mountains, see the rivers, etc.  Have things in the areas that are set as something of a boss -I hate that term, also-, and have that boss be scary as hell, but don't inundate the area with things I can't handle because I haven't earned the level to be there, yet.  Make many of the monsters/creatures in an area tune to my character, so I have conflict, yes, and so the adventure I'm on is challenging, yes, but not so I'm overrun with super-fast spawning -Warhammer- creatures that I have to earn the right to kill in the first place, please?

 

I wish my notifications were working properly so I could see answers to my posts, but in some ways, I'm also glad I can't, because someone is going to disagree with me in such a way that will get my hackles up, and then I'll get banned, hehe.

  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

11/29/12 9:50:58 AM#43
Originally posted by BadSpock

The problem people fail to admit is that the majority, the "modern" MMO gamer likes to consume content, and no game really has as much high-quality content as WoW.

This is how the game has lasted 8+ years at #1.

Constant change too. Nothing new right now? Wait a few weeks - there will be a new patch with new raids/dungeons and/or new dailies and factions or another holiday event that will last a few weeks.

WoW stagnates horribly in the 6-8 or so month cycle before a new expansion is released, and yes I'm sure their sub numbers flucuate a lot in that time - but lots come back each and every time.

No new game can compete with 8+ years of content additions.

So the locusts come, devour, get bored and leave. Some go back to their old nest, some wait for the next meal.

Point is - there is a lot to do in WoW outside of Raiding/PvP - is most of it kind of pointless? It's a video game - of course it's pointless.

You are failing to bring the evolution of the MMO gamer into account.  While there are still lots of players who haven't grown tired of themeparks, and likely many who never will, more and more people are.

If WoW (or WoW 2) was released today as a pure themepark, with all we know about themeparks now, it would have the same problems as the others do.  The difference was WoW brought in the mainstream market years ago, and set the standards that most other games would go on to offer after.  It is an anomaly as was mentioned in the article, and there are several reasons for it.

You also don't address the growing number of players who woudn't stay today for all that 8 years worth of content development because they are tired of themepark game play in general.  I wouldn't.  I only finished about 25% of GW2 before I left because I was bored to death.  Same with Rift, TOR and other games over the past several years.

I"m sorry, but if you think running out of content is the only problem these themeparks have, you are wrong friend.  The type of content and lack of systems in these games has grown stale and repetetive.  Yes, there will always be a market for it, but gamers do evolve and expect more sooner or later.  We are seeing that now from people who have had their fill of also-ran themeparks.

A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7649

Logic be damned!

11/29/12 10:06:16 AM#44
Originally posted by MindTrigger
Originally posted by BadSpock

The problem people fail to admit is that the majority, the "modern" MMO gamer likes to consume content

I"m sorry, but if you think running out of content is the only problem these themeparks have, you are wrong friend.  The type of content and lack of systems in these games has grown stale and repetetive.  Yes, there will always be a market for it, but gamers do evolve and expect more sooner or later.  We are seeing that now from people who have had their fill of also-ran themeparks.

Certainly not the only problem - would never suggest such a thing.

Big problem is that the only alternative the genre has thus far been presented with... is a lack of content - or the notion of "players as content."

PvE in a sandbox generally = "lack of content" as the systems-based content they tend to champion is nothing more than randomized (as random as computer programming can truly be i.e. deterministic) repeat-offender grind content.

Beyond that, you have "players as content" which requires both A) a desire for both positive and negative player interaction (cooperative vs competitive) and requires B) a critical mass of players to actually find content and create it.

How many times in EvE have I (and I'm sure others) done low/Null sec roams and found absolutely zero fights? How many times do you find blob vs. 1-2 randoms? How many times do you find fun, challenging (fair) contests?

Hell I had the same problems with finding players for open world PvP in WoW RIFT and TOR!

Lack of systems in themepark has indeed grown stale and repetitive for some, myself included at times - but the content is always there on demand. It's like turning on the TV and going to the On-Demand menu - you might not find something you really enjoy but there is always SOMETHING there.

Lack of content is just as bad a problem as lack of systems IMO.

No one has offered up real solutions to either problem yet.

The REAL answer is of course "sytems as content" - but that requires extremely complex systems.

Thus far the only time that philosophy has really "worked' has been with A) player Housing and B) complex crafting/economies.

"Worked" is highly relative though - some people simply could care less about housing and crafting/economies.

No one has thus solved the "PvE in a Sandbox" conundrum - just as no one has thus far solved the problem of satiating the appetite of Content Locusts.

PvP has always been the devs "answer" to the problem - as PvP is dynamic and complex - but PvP isn't for everyone.

We need dynamic and complex PvE too.

Now Playing: D3:RoS
Looking Towards: Destiny

  LordZeik

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/17/08
Posts: 91

11/29/12 10:17:18 AM#45
I once had a dream that a game could keep me interested after I hit cap level, and devoured most of what it had to offer. Looking for the promised lands game after game. I came to the conclusion that the next biggest game. Was simply just a composition of several other games before it X_x. Oddly, enough I seem to spend more of my time playing mmorpgs that are not translated into English. It seems Westernizing has killed some of the challenge. I can play a game in Malaysia or Korea. Wait for it to hit North America. Then all of a sudden it's like the game got lobotomized. This leaves me to believe that the faults partially lie elsewhere. Who makes the calls on what to tweak for these international games? I'd personally love to sit them down and tell them where they went wrong.... Anyways, more games on the horizon more small pockets of entertainment ahead. Here's looking towards the future? Or is it the past all over again.
  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/29/12 10:43:01 AM#46
Originally posted by Burntvet

And yet, the big scores keep rolling in.

Which tends to indicate that looking to others to do game evaluation for you is always a losing strategy, yes?  Particular others who are paid with advertising?

What's that bleating sound?  Oh, another new game being released, there goes the herd.

The biggest problem with having a vote is that not many will invest the enormous commitment of time and research that a truly intelligent excercise of the franchise requires.

The biggest problem with reading review sites for opinions is?

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Sleepyfish

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/25/09
Posts: 314

11/29/12 6:24:54 PM#47

You cant draw fruit flies unless you have rotten fruit. Or if you take a huge crap and dont flush for like a week. There are two problems one, the gear grinds are not even good gear grinds, its been a long time since gear grinders had a game as good as EQ or FF as far as challenge, we need a game that keeps them locked in dungeons for days and weeks not just a few horus so they will be so occupied they will stay the hell away from non gear grind mmorpgs and making stupid demands.

Heres my case, I think the gear locusts make up probably about 200 to 300k total players, about the population of EQ2, as soon as they land everyone leaves dropping the population after a few months since no one but them wants the grind. Developers looking for fast money know they can get 500k starting  players that they bait and switch and the 200k locusts who come to, with tweaking they can get close to about 900k to a million maybe two million. Make their money and hand over development to the games production company like GW2 is starting to do with Nexon.

A few of these developers need a few false advertisement lawsuits to put them out of business to end that crap and the locusts need to find a game to settle down on, so they can leave the rest of us the hell alone.

 
  wordiz

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/13/12
Posts: 481

11/29/12 6:26:08 PM#48
Only a limited resource can be threatened by locusts. Quit giving people dead ends and they can't devour a game.

http://thewordiz.wordpress.com/

  evolver1972

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/11
Posts: 1126

What is "real"? How do you define "real"?

11/30/12 10:51:02 AM#49

I find it amazing that "it's the devs fault for not making enough content" when some players spend as much time in game as they would at a job, blow through content, and then complain there's not enough.

 

I spend roughly 8-12 hours/week playing MMOs.  I always thought that was fairly typical.  I mean, how much of your life is wasted if you spend much more time "entertaining yourself".  Sure, if it actually is your job, obviously you spend a lot of time doing it, but if it isn't your job, then why should you complain when you spend that much time in it to find that after a month or whatever, "there's nothing to do".  I find that notion to be patently ridiculous.  Even more ridiculous is to blame it on the developers for "not making enough content".

You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!

  nilden

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/26/05
Posts: 819

11/30/12 3:22:01 PM#50
Originally posted by wordiz
Only a limited resource can be threatened by locusts. Quit giving people dead ends and they can't devour a game.

This is exactly the problem and solution. This is why after getting max level on multiple characters in every major MMORPG since UO and EQ I play Minecraft.

How to post links. Check it Archeage
LoveMinecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

  Faelsun

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/07
Posts: 482

11/30/12 7:47:11 PM#51

The answer is simple how does one, kill locusts? If there were some way to thin the locust population and stagger their imprint on the world rather than the forced subjugation you have now. Maybe they would have to work a bit harder to attain the phat loots. You either do this with pvp or with PVE content so hard the thought of getting a dungeon cleared in a day is a distant dream, more like a couple of weeks. Then you give non locusts benefits or gear that locusts can't get doing locusts things and that also will thin the herd becuase they might have to compete in the actual game world and do something besides do dungeons, and spam local chat.

 

Also topic is misleading, Of Course locusts are the problem.

 
  Faelsun

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/07
Posts: 482

11/30/12 7:50:27 PM#52
Originally posted by Jaedor

I'm playing differently than I used to. I'm engaged with 4 AAA mmos at once instead of being loyal to one. From my perspective, it's quite strange.

 

As a result, I'm also spending more money. My gaming entertainment budget is a lot higher today than the $13/mo I used to spend. For the industry, this is a good thing. It does feel strange, though, and I find myself continuing to search for something that may be lost to time.

 

I'm just playing DAYZ until someting not crappy comes along. The freedom to kill players I don't like has been long missed.

  MurlockDance

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/20/10
Posts: 1065

12/01/12 4:29:14 AM#53

People keep saying that WoW is an anomaly, but is it? It is one of the best developed games out on the market, and they tend to develope expansively, that is, to please many and on several levels. There is stuff for the content locusts, and there is stuff for those who like to stop and smell the flowers, like me. As such, it provides in general the longest term enjoyment for both kinds of players.

Outside of the grinds, of which there are many, there are things like arena, now the pet battle system, economic activities with the AH, exploration outside of flagging the achievements. There is still so much to see and do, resee and redo.

The only game I find that is equivalent in that sense is EQ2.

Both of these games are nigh-on impossible to entirely complete. What I mean by that is getting all of the endgame PvE gear, get the best PvP gear and titles, get the best slot in arena, be the best crafter with all of the recipes in the game, etc. I mean, after 8 years of playing these games off and on, I certainly haven't seen all of the content, and I think even the min maxers are a lot like me. There will still be stuff they haven't done or seen.

The issue more is that recent releases are too slimmed down and streamlined that they don't offer as many elements of play.

Playing MUDs and MMOs since 1994.

  Leviathonlx

Novice Member

Joined: 1/22/09
Posts: 139

12/01/12 2:58:08 PM#54
Originally posted by MurlockDance

People keep saying that WoW is an anomaly, but is it? It is one of the best developed games out on the market, and they tend to develope expansively, that is, to please many and on several levels. There is stuff for the content locusts, and there is stuff for those who like to stop and smell the flowers, like me. As such, it provides in general the longest term enjoyment for both kinds of players.

Outside of the grinds, of which there are many, there are things like arena, now the pet battle system, economic activities with the AH, exploration outside of flagging the achievements. There is still so much to see and do, resee and redo.

The only game I find that is equivalent in that sense is EQ2.

Both of these games are nigh-on impossible to entirely complete. What I mean by that is getting all of the endgame PvE gear, get the best PvP gear and titles, get the best slot in arena, be the best crafter with all of the recipes in the game, etc. I mean, after 8 years of playing these games off and on, I certainly haven't seen all of the content, and I think even the min maxers are a lot like me. There will still be stuff they haven't done or seen.

The issue more is that recent releases are too slimmed down and streamlined that they don't offer as many elements of play.

 

I blame the fact that so many games try to copy off WoW yet fail to even do that well leaving out large things that should be in any modern MMO release such as multiple things to do at 'end game' from dungeons, raids, to 'casual' content or other quality of life improvements like LFG systems. One of the larger mistakes I see occur all the time is so much effort being put into the leveling portion of the game and the max level content being nonexistent.

 
  MurlockDance

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/20/10
Posts: 1065

12/02/12 5:24:46 AM#55
Originally posted by Leviathonlx

I blame the fact that so many games try to copy off WoW yet fail to even do that well leaving out large things that should be in any modern MMO release such as multiple things to do at 'end game' from dungeons, raids, to 'casual' content or other quality of life improvements like LFG systems. One of the larger mistakes I see occur all the time is so much effort being put into the leveling portion of the game and the max level content being nonexistent.

 

Yes, that and too many bucks spent on fancy pants VO and cutscenes. ToR is the worst offender.

I really do not think that that gives us bang for the buck. A cutscene here and there to tell a story is good, and VO can be very nice if used properly, but I find that overusing both is an irritation and a waste of money that could be spent developing the world content in such a way that is even more immersive. Too many cutscenes can break immersion because they force on the player how the developer wants him/her to see the world.

Playing MUDs and MMOs since 1994.

  evolver1972

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/11
Posts: 1126

What is "real"? How do you define "real"?

12/04/12 8:23:50 AM#56

Content locusts aren't bad per se.  Content locusts who play MMOs like they're a second job (or the only job in some cases) and then complain "there's nothing to do after 700 hours of gameplay in 2 months" are the problem.  They seem to be the loudest, most negative types out there.

 

I'd also say that content locusts are the reason there are so many games out there that are superficial gear grinds.  If that many people are going to run through so much content in so little time, in many cases companies may feel they have no choice but to implement grinds in order to keep the locusts playing.

 

Tell you what, stop playing a single game for 30+ hours/week and you probably won't get bored.  Companies may also feel they can take more risks with more in depth play rather than just having to through content out there to keep the locusts happy.

You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!

  evolver1972

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/11
Posts: 1126

What is "real"? How do you define "real"?

12/04/12 8:28:57 AM#57
Originally posted by MurlockDance

People keep saying that WoW is an anomaly, but is it? It is one of the best developed games out on the market, and they tend to develope expansively, that is, to please many and on several levels. There is stuff for the content locusts, and there is stuff for those who like to stop and smell the flowers, like me. As such, it provides in general the longest term enjoyment for both kinds of players.

Outside of the grinds, of which there are many, there are things like arena, now the pet battle system, economic activities with the AH, exploration outside of flagging the achievements. There is still so much to see and do, resee and redo.

The only game I find that is equivalent in that sense is EQ2.

Both of these games are nigh-on impossible to entirely complete. What I mean by that is getting all of the endgame PvE gear, get the best PvP gear and titles, get the best slot in arena, be the best crafter with all of the recipes in the game, etc. I mean, after 8 years of playing these games off and on, I certainly haven't seen all of the content, and I think even the min maxers are a lot like me. There will still be stuff they haven't done or seen.

The issue more is that recent releases are too slimmed down and streamlined that they don't offer as many elements of play.

 

Both of the games you mentioned have been out for a long time and have had several expansions.  That's why there is so much to do and see, and so much for so many different playstyles.  But was it like that originally, in their vanilla releases?  I don't think so.  Yet, people seem to expect that a game being released now should have as much content and expansiveness upon release that those two games took nearly a decade to produce.

 

That's the main problem I see with gaming in the present.

You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!

  Celebereg

Novice Member

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 37

12/04/12 1:39:11 PM#58

I played SWG from the beginning, suffered through CU, and terminated my participation with NGE. 

 

I played SWG for years, would still be playing it today if not for horrifically inept project leadership.

 

Hate the use of Sandbox and Themepark terms as stereotypes of MMOs.  To me, an MMO is about virtual worlds, and being a world, your avatar is able to live and breathe "so-to-speak" or  "experience life" in an alternate reality.   It therefore must have depth, must have multiple dimensions of activities and progress/achievement ... a building process of accomplishment, for avatars, for activities, for guilds, for communities.  The world around you should be "built by activity" and "sustained by activity" allowing players to choose and find their individual niches from a selection of game and player-based systems and cohesively around shared or common core activities.

 

SWG gave us that, until inept leadership unwound and destroyed it.  They launched it prematurely - missing crucial content - due to a bad corporate decision.  Lacking core theme-based content, and with weak leadership and weak sustained vision, weak project leadership  and management fundamentals (including integrating and managing community feedback), the development team then was caught in catch-up mode, trying to catch up for a false start, and tripped over themselves week after week, month after month, lacking vision and reacting in an ad hoc manner, zigging and zagging in response to ad hoc criticism from players.

 

Lacking vision, they could not maintain cohesion with high level design tenets and quickly lost their way, tripped themselves and their development infrastructure, and essentially crashed and burned to the point that critical staff were gone, design was confused and breaking, they couldn't sustain the bloat of confused design elements, and they didn't know which way was up.  Complete project Leadership failure that was quickly evident and was allowed to continue for years.  Smedley owns that.

 

Instead of owning that leadership failure, they deflected and blamed the design that they broke, and sold shareholders on the need to revamp the game (and again).  CYA instead of dealing with ineffective Leaders.  Leaders were spared the embarrasment and accountability for leadership failure (not design failure, the design started out sublime), deflecting blame onto original game design inappropriately, and so we lost the greatest MMO ever built due to corporate shennanigans... Smedley at the top of the blame pyramid who somehow survived the greatest failure and injustice of the MMO genre that laid waste the creativity of the MMO's for a decade and a half so far, and let inept SWG leaders like Daniel Erickson of the NGE fame to go on and pass his sacred cows to the same effect with SWTOR with its shallow NGE-like design fundamentals.

 

A premature start and lack of effective leadership sank SWG, but there is no doubt that had they just held course to high level design tenets and caught up with missing content, I would still be playing and paying pre-CU today, and loving every minute of it.  

 

So I've been a locust, and every MMO since SWG has been something to kill time with until the next one came along, also to disappoint, and ever waiting for someone to deliver again on the promise of the MMO experience.

 
  darkhalf357x

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/25/12
Posts: 1041

I'm only playing the role chosen for me. Who you supposed to be?

12/04/12 8:12:48 PM#59

Great post Bill.  Mirrors a lot of what I (and others here) have been saying for awhile now.  BadSpock also made some great points that this is what gamers (today) want to play.  I just starated WoW a few weeks ago, and I must admit, albeit its shortcomings (level too fast, linear questing, etc) its a fun experience and there is a TON to do.

So it makes sense that developers try to 'copy' or 'mimic' that.  The next one to become the leader of the pack will no doubt have to introduce sandbox like systems that allows players to create the content. I want something to DO outside of questing/pvp/raid/dungeon.  Let me fish. Let me build a boat or a flying contraption. Let me explore. Give me something (pretty) to look at. GW2 almost made it but the lack of progression killed it for me (along with the fact I couldnt get into action combat - just not what I prefer in my RPG).

Im also playing multiple MMOs until one comes out that can monopolies all of my interests.  Eyes on ArcheAge at the moment.

  citadelli

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/06
Posts: 36

12/04/12 10:47:10 PM#60

Well writen article with some good points.  But I think the true challenge for MMO's nowadays is and the way corporations are handling a new player base and it is completely and uterly ignored in these forums.

I'm guessing the majority of people on MMO post sites are similar to me, age 30's-40's. People who used to play D&D and were the pioneer role play gamers on Genesis and the PC etc. Now have jobs, kids, and are driven dedicated people. 

The MMO landscape has evolved along with those of us. The 1 to 2 million of us, who are still here looking for "the"game in a genre that has drastrically changed.

How did it change? WoW. Blizz did the most amazing gaming marketing campaign to draw in a new type of MMO player by the tenfold. Straight up brilliant, but changed our landscape forever. But they are only one part of the change. As us original MMO gamers evolved so did the next generation that didnt grow up on MOGS, and table top games, but rather XBOX and PS2's etc in a digital world.

IMO WoW is only popular because people went to it.  You look for an MMO that has population, friends bring in friends and have a good time. WoW was good in many ways, shallow in most others, but they had people, which draws people and the marketing behind it to boasted that at every chance. Honestly WoW has only been successful because of their marketing, which was completely ignored from SOE and majority of titles that hosted games like UO or DOAC at that era. Blizz really didn't have anything revolutionary or drastically different beyond easy leveling and lots of instant gratification which takes us to the other point.

As we aged and changed so did the genre. Don't forget this is a commercial and capitalistic Genre, as is well pretty much everything. Point in case would be the music industry, look back 60-70 years then move forward, you have the Beach Boys, you have the Beatles, you have Manudo, New Kid's on the block, Nsync?, Justin Beeber and so on. An ever changing cycle with the majority of popular sales world wide targeted towards a certain demographic. Is the MMO market much different?

Well first we used to be more of a "cult" market really. Some might call us nerdy techy types, on the leading edge of hype trendy technology that was actually pretty expensive and complicated. Now those are given out pretty easily. New box's are pretty cheap, technology and interfaces easily understood by most. One of my coworkers was setting up a computer for his youngest daughter last week like he did with all of his other kids, and she couldn't get past the keyboard because of her previous interactions with the iPad. Again another change.

I think what we're seeing is the continued surge of those evolving from the Xbox360/PS3 environments where they were continually conditioned people to beat the game on a linear track and move onto another title, hence the "locusts" people mention. Honestly the market and development reflects this in every way. Unfortunately most game developers also seem to be trying to keep up with these trends only to a negative affect to their product in the MMO world scape. And lets not even mention the foriegn asian market because I know very little about those games but has quadroupled the player base.

Why wouldn't they? Let's look at a few facts. Most major console title's like Halo, or MWF, are dishing out more than major motion pictures for production, and bringing in way more revenue than them. Selling hundreds of millions of boxes at around 60 bucks a pop, at least tripling the sales of the most popular movies on the market.

From a story line, these games are very linear, from a pvp aspect they are dead as soon as the next release comes out. They don't even stack like MMO's. But these are the clients who have been merging into the MMO world over the last decade, our "locuts"; Beat it, on to the next; follow the popular herd to a new game and or release that doesn't allow for you to carry your character or continue to build your hero any more.  It's a very different world. The different MMO companies seem to be trying to catch up to this and continually try to suck in the billions of dollars being used for gaming entertainment.

Probably no different than why I can't understand my X-wife, or why my kid wants/NEEDS a new $60 game every month :-P

How have we seen this affect our games?

Well most of my complaints would revolve around poor marketing for most major titles, and the success of marketing for other titles that have kind of ruined the genre. But beside that there are crucial differentiators that are obvious.

IMO there are a few titles over the last couple decades that had stood out as true MMOs. UO, EQ2, SWG, VG. Each of these had had their good stuff and eventually major short fallings.

UO absolutely revotionary, simply couldn't compete with upcoming major devolepment titles and progressive systems, poor management and dissruptive ownerships.

SWG could have been would have been the next evolution of this. This is literally the biggest proprietary title on the planet, and should have gone so far. NGE did kill this game, but why? Battlefronts had come out and did amazing on the consols selling millions, they twitch played production to try to replicate that, not realizing those people were'nt MMO'rs yet (check the timeline). That was really what that was about. NGE failed and almost no production money was put into the title after that, and the few remaining developers did their best to make the best game they could, but unfortunately it wasn't enough, and was then killed because of the next fail of the new SW MMO SWTOR.

VG, which I really think "physically should be" what an MMO is, was again just sabotaged by many poor desicions and never received much love after it's poor launch.

EQ2 was MY game forever. I loved it and was dedicated to it since beta. I just think they swung way to far to left over the last couple years and now the game being "ftp" has only added a dozen ways to make you pay for it. Management dummied it down so much that you either are playing it as a newbie locust, are a Sim City crafter/decorator or are left with raid grinding. The game had so much to offer, but they completely yanked out the core game play aspect. No matter how much candy you throw in, once you lose the real game play, the core, there is no back bone to hold it up. If SOE had half the smarts that Blizz did this game would have rivaled WoW. But now SOE has chosen to completely disregarded their original player base and proves to only play "twitch" development to find everyway they can to cash grab from customers instead of continue to make them loyal.

What I am currently playing is GW2. It has honestly been refreshing over the last three months. I don't feel any level grinds, and when I am over powered for a zone I am quickly put back in my place even in zones way below my level. The PVP is amazing and I spend most of my limited time there. I paid to buy the game (as almost all FTP games do, but have actually saved hundreds of dollars over the last few month from my last game that was "FTP"). There is no monthly sub, no constant barrage of market items.  Simple and fun.

FTP is an illusion to suck in new people, simply an illusion.

To any publishers out there. Just make the game fun please, make it easy. If you want a serious and dedicated player base, don't keep changing subscription rules, just stand up for what you believe in continue to develop the story. That will keep your players active and loyal. I don't honestly see how the "fly by night" players bring in real non-spurt revenue, aka most of the "locusts" people are complaining about should become the complete focus.

 

 

 

 

 

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