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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Is the 'content locust' a sustainable gaming style?

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55 posts found
  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3545

 
OP  12/17/12 4:27:28 AM#1

Ever since I proclaimed that 'I am a content locust', I've had discussions around it; offline and online.

One of the questions asked in a recent conversation was 'can your style sustain itself?'

I didn't give a justifiable answer to that question at the time as I haven't thought much about it.

I just naturally assumed content will keep on being produced by company X then company Y then company Z and on on on.

As long as there are players like me who'll buy / sub for content, content will be produced; demand / supply thing.

But is it sustainable?

 

I believe it is and one of the reasons for that is my ever-increasing-gaming-backlog that I will never ever clear.

I talked to a few gamers and they all have backlogs that they know they will never clear as well.

PS2 is where my MMO gaming lies right now but after me and the folks I play with get bored, we'll move on.

We can sub back to an MMO we left a few months ago to see the new content since (like SWTOR), finish it, cancel sub and jump to another MMO etc.

Question to the MMORPG.COM community is, do you think this is sustainable? Or is there a flaw in my reasoning?

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  gordiflu

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/22/07
Posts: 764

12/17/12 4:35:39 AM#2

Developers need to finally get to seriously work on procedurally generated content. That way there is no human possibility of you devouring the content, since it is just infinite.

Infinity is the first project that I ever saw working on it seriously. Unfortunately they cancelled the actual game developement and are now just working on an engine.

This and sandbox elements plus player generated content, and now you can be a locust as voracious as you want.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19506

12/17/12 1:21:48 PM#3

The OP is right on.

i also have a big backlog that i am not going to clear .. even Borderlands 2 is unfinished and it is a very good game.

I don't think we ever are going to have a shortage of fun games to play.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

12/17/12 1:28:49 PM#4
Originally posted by gordiflu

Developers need to finally get to seriously work on procedurally generated content. That way there is no human possibility of you devouring the content, since it is just infinite.

And the existing developers are quickly without jobs. Snake consuming itself; baffling why no one's eagerly pursuing the idea.

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.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19506

12/17/12 1:33:13 PM#5
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by gordiflu

Developers need to finally get to seriously work on procedurally generated content. That way there is no human possibility of you devouring the content, since it is just infinite.

And the existing developers are quickly without jobs. Snake consuming itself; baffling why no one's eagerly pursuing the idea.

"procedurally generated content" is not a magic bullet. It may be able to generate a lot of stuff, but is it interesting? I play fun games, not just games with a lot of content.

And as it stands today, there are more games i can finsih, so the amount of content is never an issue for me.

  gordiflu

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/22/07
Posts: 764

12/17/12 2:05:44 PM#6
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by gordiflu

Developers need to finally get to seriously work on procedurally generated content. That way there is no human possibility of you devouring the content, since it is just infinite.

And the existing developers are quickly without jobs. Snake consuming itself; baffling why no one's eagerly pursuing the idea.

That's a very interesting point that I had not considered.

However, I guess eventually some suit is going to realize they can do more content with less people like this. And you still need devs to work on important stuff like game mechanics, lore and such.

Still, yes, you may well be right.

 

  WhiteLantern

Novice Member

Joined: 1/27/10
Posts: 2778

12/17/12 2:08:51 PM#7
My backlog goes all the way back to the PS1, so I could easily keep consuming content and it'll be a viable playstyle.

I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  cheyane

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/17/09
Posts: 2357

12/17/12 2:43:19 PM#8

All of us consume things differently. I give you an example of myself and cereal. I have this cereal I eat which has pieces of chocolate in and nuts and other things like muesli and stuff but I ration myself on the chocolate because I love them so much I do not eat them all in the beginning but rather take one piece with every mouthful and that way I always have some till the end and sometimes in the end I can get two or even three pieces more towards the end.

 

I do this with other things in life too including games I tend to savour or things I love or like and try to make them last but often this makes me take too long and I often do not complete something because I took too long. I am perhaps the exact opposite of the op and I end up not reaching the end of the game because I am too busy trying to replay parts I like or trying to by rolling 8 characters in SWTOR experience every single story and having my highest toon only at 28. I suppose we all do things differently and I am wondering which of  our playstyles is in the majority and I suspect mine isn't.

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  waynejr2

Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3732

RIP City of Heroes!

12/17/12 2:59:43 PM#9
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by gordiflu

Developers need to finally get to seriously work on procedurally generated content. That way there is no human possibility of you devouring the content, since it is just infinite.

And the existing developers are quickly without jobs. Snake consuming itself; baffling why no one's eagerly pursuing the idea.

 People have been playing with it for a couple of decades.  Business jump at the chance to cut expenses with a cheap replacement.  The reason it hasn't happened is that procedurally generated content doesn't match up with human created content.  Unless, the players are will to put up with lower quality, then it would be ok.

  Nataraya

Novice Member

Joined: 4/20/09
Posts: 80

12/17/12 3:18:00 PM#10
Originally posted by cheyane

All of us consume things differently. I give you an example of myself and cereal. I have this cereal I eat which has pieces of chocolate in and nuts and other things like muesli and stuff but I ration myself on the chocolate because I love them so much I do not eat them all in the beginning but rather take one piece with every mouthful and that way I always have some till the end and sometimes in the end I can get two or even three pieces more towards the end.

 

I do this with other things in life too including games I tend to savour or things I love or like and try to make them last but often this makes me take too long and I often do not complete something because I took too long. I am perhaps the exact opposite of the op and I end up not reaching the end of the game because I am too busy trying to replay parts I like or trying to by rolling 8 characters in SWTOR experience every single story and having my highest toon only at 28. I suppose we all do things differently and I am wondering which of  our playstyles is in the majority and I suspect mine isn't.

^Post of wisdom,

Lot of ppl are just consumers, compulsive consumers in particular, a reflection of what is learnt in societies like ours. Consuming for the sake of consumism, gamers nowadays jump from product to product without having the chance to build a comunitiy or dinamyc to get attached to, its true that dev companies must help producing high quality games, but only if the customer push them to; i mean for a company its ok to feed you with subparproducts if that is what you ask for.

If Gamers just want to burn new content mindleslly then they might very well get that. Instead i like to enjoy good games as what they are.., videogames, entretainment, or u name it, where imagination and self motivation are key elements, can u remember those days as a kid...

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3080

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

12/17/12 6:21:11 PM#11

Is it sustainable for whom?

Game by game, no. Players will come and go as your content comes and goes. Maybe.

Industry-wise, yes. There so many games to choose from now, one can hop from game to game to game and never even touch 75% of available games.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13312

12/17/12 8:04:18 PM#12
Originally posted by gordiflu

Developers need to finally get to seriously work on procedurally generated content. That way there is no human possibility of you devouring the content, since it is just infinite.

Infinity is the first project that I ever saw working on it seriously. Unfortunately they cancelled the actual game developement and are now just working on an engine.

This and sandbox elements plus player generated content, and now you can be a locust as voracious as you want.

That's a holy grail problem.  If you pursue a holy grail problem and succeed, then you get rich.  If you pursue a holy grail problem and fail, then you spent a lot of money and have nothing to show for it.  And if you pursue a holy grail problem at all, then you probably fail at it.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13312

12/17/12 8:06:27 PM#13
Whether it's sustainable depends on how much different content there is out there that you consider acceptable.  If you think that 200 games listed on this site suit your tastes, then playing one for a couple of weeks before running out of content and moving onto the next may work just fine indefinitely.  If you're far pickier and think there are only a few games out there that are good enough to be worth playing, then spending only a couple of weeks on each before moving on means you'll run out in a hurry.
  NaughtyP

Novice Member

Joined: 12/02/11
Posts: 795

12/17/12 8:33:28 PM#14

If you consider all games? Then yes absolutely. If you only consider MMOs? I sort of doubt it. MMOs can (and have) cost 5 times what a solid console or standard PC title normally cost to create. And they take longer to make (opportunity cost). Not to mention the longterm infrastructure an MMO needs to maintain will far exceed most non-MMO titles.

I have no idea what a game like SWTOR actually cost EA to make. Lots of numbers flying around. But I'm sure if they took that money and made more sports games or even brand new titles with a "Bioware" label slapped on the front with a bunch of DLC, I would wager they would have made a better return on investment. Who knows how many more times the big companies of the gaming world will throw 100+ million at MMO projects before deciding that it isn't worth it anymore?

Another problem is that the climbing cost of MMO development is hurting the smaller companies. I read an article a while back (sorry forget who was being interviewed) but the gist of it was about how smaller companies will get pushed out of the market when development costs hit a certain point because raising that kind of money is simply beyond their means. This in my opinion is especially bad for gamers that enjoy niche games made by smaller companies.

Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure.

  Draron

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/11
Posts: 1009

12/17/12 10:56:38 PM#15
Originally posted by cheyane

All of us consume things differently. I give you an example of myself and cereal. I have this cereal I eat which has pieces of chocolate in and nuts and other things like muesli and stuff but I ration myself on the chocolate because I love them so much I do not eat them all in the beginning but rather take one piece with every mouthful and that way I always have some till the end and sometimes in the end I can get two or even three pieces more towards the end.

Best analogy I've seen with cereal. But it makes perfect sense.

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3545

 
OP  12/17/12 11:25:10 PM#16
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

Is it sustainable for whom?

Game by game, no. Players will come and go as your content comes and goes. Maybe.

Industry-wise, yes. There so many games to choose from now, one can hop from game to game to game and never even touch 75% of available games.

I wrote primary as a consumer hence the title 'content locust'.

But even 'game by game' I think it is sustainable.

What you have is a group of gamers that are willing to pay for your content and quit once they consume your content.

Once again, 'content locust'.

As long as the money this group is willing to pay is larger than the dev-cost, it is definitely sustainable.

 

Regarding in-game communities, why should I try to build a community in a video game?

I have community sites that specialize in communities and play video games with that community.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3275

12/18/12 4:45:29 AM#17

sustainable for whom?   the player? or the company?

If you mean the player, then yes players can jump from one game to another, to another then to another..  This however answers your own question if you are talking about the company.. The reason a player jumps from game to game is because they devour the content faster then the devs can keep up.. From a business point of view, content locus are hated by the devs.. The are an unreliable revenue sourse, and because of that, cause many logistic nightmares both inhouse and in the game community..  Even Trion, which earned the recent reputation of putting out more regular content then anyone, just laid off dozens of employees..  Obviously they have no intention of working on another expansion of major product with Rift anytime soon, or they wouldn't of done that..  I feel at this time you'll see Rift's content start to decline..

In my opinion, the only way to avoid the effects of content locus is to add more sandbox features and playstyle to the game.. If the industry truely wants "sustainable" content, we need to move away from linear themepark rides..  But then maybe companies don't want that in the beginning.. Maybe they deliberately design a game for X amount of time knowing they will put the game on life support and move on to a new  IP

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3545

 
OP  12/18/12 5:25:03 AM#18
Originally posted by Rydeson

sustainable for whom?   the player? or the company?

/snip

In my opinion, the only way to avoid the effects of content locus is to add more sandbox features and playstyle to the game.. If the industry truely wants "sustainable" content, we need to move away from linear themepark rides..  But then maybe companies don't want that in the beginning.. Maybe they deliberately design a game for X amount of time knowing they will put the game on life support and move on to a new  IP

There is a lot of acceptance / design by gaming companies nowadays that yes, there is a group of players who come in, play the content and leave.

Every gamer do this for every game out there, why should MMOs be different?

The 'content locust' pays the box / sub price just like every other player. Yes, we are the group that'll make MMOs an absolute nightmare on launching day. Yes we are the group that'll consume the content faster than others. And yes, we are the group that forces servers to consolidate 6 months later cause we all left. 

But we pay the box / sub price and that's how we play.

As long as the business knows this early they can sell their product and make money off of us.

Not liking this player behaviour is irrevelent. It will happen so any business with any sense shouldn't have a problem with it from now on.

 

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3080

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

12/18/12 6:17:21 AM#19


Originally posted by jpnz

Originally posted by AlBQuirky
Is it sustainable for whom?

Game by game, no. Players will come and go as your content comes and goes. Maybe.

Industry-wise, yes. There so many games to choose from now, one can hop from game to game to game and never even touch 75% of available games.



I wrote primary as a consumer hence the title 'content locust'.

But even 'game by game' I think it is sustainable.

What you have is a group of gamers that are willing to pay for your content and quit once they consume your content.

Once again, 'content locust'.

As long as the money this group is willing to pay is larger than the dev-cost, it is definitely sustainable.



Ahhh... but what happens in the game for the three or four months that these locusts are gone from the game, waiting for new content? The population drops drastically, making it harder to group up and interact with other players. Servers become deadlands, making other players move or quit altogether.

There is also the gamble that when new content does comes out, the locusts have discovered 5 more new games and never come back.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  cosy

Newshound

Joined: 9/15/04
Posts: 3306

EvE Rules #491 you should never, ever attack Russians on winter months

12/18/12 6:40:52 AM#20


Originally posted by jpnz
'can your style sustain itself?'

Nope, unless you agree to pay 10USD per every DLC and a monthly subscription

PD:EvEisNot4WoWkids
BestSigEver :P

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