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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Community/Social stuff's importance in MMOs.

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  User Deleted
 
OP  12/19/12 11:52:44 PM#1

I see a lot of posts about what current MMOs are lacking: Sandbox stuff, "deep" economy/crafting/whatever the hell I don't really care about at the moment, etc.

But one sticks out to me: community.

My question that is bugging me is: If community is so important in an MMO, and if it is so lacking right now, what exactly (or what combination of things) creates that communication/social aspect in the first place?

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12298

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

12/20/12 1:29:37 AM#2

Here's my take on it:

I intended to add more to that last one, but the past few years of MMOs have been pretty stagnant when it comes to community and communication innovations. Other than games having Facebook/YouTube/Twitter buttons to push information, there really hasn't been much else added. Any new tools for social interaction seem to have been releagted to group finders and little else.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  UsualSuspect

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1219

12/20/12 2:05:20 AM#3
Originally posted by Enigmatus

My question that is bugging me is: If community is so important in an MMO, and if it is so lacking right now, what exactly (or what combination of things) creates that communication/social aspect in the first place?

Reliance on other people, which is sorely lacking in modern MMO's. Think about it - let's say you have a car, a solo experience, you jump in your car and you drive to work. Done, no reliance on other people. Taking a bus, you end up standing around with other people waiting for the bus, the old person might talk to you while you're waiting, you might see someone you know and have a chat, you jump on the bus when it arrives and interact with the bus driver so you can reach your destination. This is a community in action, people coming together over a sole purpose, one as simple as going to work.

What we have at the moment in the MMO world are games that are 'driven', so you can do it all yourself, solo this, solo that, the ability to craft everything alone, racing forward, completing quest after quest with barely a glance at the person nearby. That is you and your car. A community inside an MMO would bring people together, have them rely on each other, interact with each other and reach the destination together. That's the bus journey.

MMO's like EverQuest had community, modern MMO's such as SW:TOR throw all that out and let you drive yourself to work.

  soulmirror

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/18/04
Posts: 97

12/20/12 2:34:02 AM#4

The big thing is more than an xp grind, which is what most modern MMO's have devolved into from previous iterations.

 

  In MMO's past if I am not grinding, I could explore, work on the house, craft  or assist a guildie / guild with the same thing.  Corpse runs, aid stations, weddings, funerals, city invasions, dragon zerging or in the case of my last guild, sitting on the grassy knoll chatting and waiting for one of the above.  

 

  Forced grouping  aka "the trinity" fostered communication, crafting that required other professions for materials fostered communication / teamwork.  Pick up Groups at that time were not reviled, run over by the forum bus and become a punch line for MMO's, that fostered communication and teamwork.  Working on guild status ---> which improved your ability to grind, etc, that fostered communication and teamwork.  

Active Guide / Developer participation in world events, not as players, but as event coordinators.  For example, a player complained to a Developer that a certain zone was just plain boring, the Dev, seeking to rectify the situation, released a large number of low level "monsters" in the zone.  There was a server wide response for the ensuing Aiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and calls for assistance, fun was had by almost all...

All in all there are a lot of things that have been stripped away from modern MMO's that allowed ealier ones be more than an xp grind.  ( and the fact that classes today can self heal, travel) When this happened, the community went out the window, because there was no need for assistance to get to the "End Game".

 

 

 

PS before the flames ignite trinity and pug, I am using them as examples, I do not necessarily support the trinity, but I do have a problem with Jack of all trades classes.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

12/20/12 2:44:16 AM#5
Like elements, players have different criteria for bonding.
  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2440

World > Quest Progression

12/20/12 2:45:07 AM#6
Originally posted by Enigmatus

I see a lot of posts about what current MMOs are lacking: Sandbox stuff, "deep" economy/crafting/whatever the hell I don't really care about at the moment, etc.

But one sticks out to me: community.

My question that is bugging me is: If community is so important in an MMO, and if it is so lacking right now, what exactly (or what combination of things) creates that communication/social aspect in the first place?

 

It's been my thought that the next batch of MMOs will feature more social based tools.  If anything to gain a huge chunk of online pie in the form social games themselves which is bigger than the MMORPG group if I'm not mistaken.

 

Until another title pops up look for EQN to have some social innovations.  They already have proximity (outside group or guild) voice chat enabled for PS2, SoEMote for EQ2 and a more refined version for EQN.  The idea that players who are strangers could walk up to eachother and have their avatar show live facial and voice chat communications with one another is certainly something not seen anywhere else.  I think that would constitute as a social innovation in MMOs.  We'll have to see.

  eyelolled

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 3088

I am more than some of my parts

12/20/12 2:49:53 AM#7
lack of challenge is one of the things that detracts from social aspects in games.  If they could just make the games hard enough that you needed the social interaction for the hard parts of the game to succeed.  I'm talking so hard that you can't complete it unless you are a practiced coordinated group. I don't mean all content though either, just some.I woudl think it would  be best if 50% of content was too difficult to solo and 15% was too difficult to pug.

All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

  ZombieKen

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

12/20/12 2:59:22 AM#8

Creates community: Interaction through economy.

 

If you have it, and I need it, and I have to talk with you to get it, then I'll talk with you.

 

In finding others to interact with, one method is to join an in-game community, namely a guild.  They are, or at least used to be, a club of people who cooperate looking to further the common good.

 

Replace the personal economy with a faceless auction house UI, and replace the guild community with people who are only in the guild to get gameplay bonuses, and interaction via commerce dies.

 

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

  Rimmersman

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/15/12
Posts: 911

12/20/12 4:51:14 AM#9

I think some of you really need to read this http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/12/18/first-impressions-from-the-age-of-wushu-beta/

And look here http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/749/view/forums/forum/1250/General-Discussion.html

And download this http://www.ageofwushu.com/account/signup/

You wont get anywhere in this game without other players whether it's PVP or PVE.

Come join us, it takes some getting use to but once you do you wont look back.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5547

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

12/20/12 5:02:26 AM#10
All games gather a community. They don't have any specific features in them. Its just elitist to pick which is a "real community".

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1266

12/20/12 7:58:34 AM#11
Originally posted by Loktofeit

Here's my take on it:

I intended to add more to that last one, but the past few years of MMOs have been pretty stagnant when it comes to community and communication innovations. Other than games having Facebook/YouTube/Twitter buttons to push information, there really hasn't been much else added. Any new tools for social interaction seem to have been releagted to group finders and little else.

Social features need to feel like part of the game....  not some cheap add-on just to say you have it.

  tupodawg999

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 587

12/20/12 9:16:38 AM#12

Mindlessly killing mobs is fun up to a point but i think most people want *something else* to do when they're bored of it and if a game doesn't have their preferred something else they quit. There's a list of something elses: crafting, collecting, housing etc but for a lot of people socializing is their something else so how do you create it?

 

Guild functionality is one way and guild-based group activities but i do think the main way is through need i.e. players are inter-connected and need to be social to achieve their goals. As players will only get on with some others there's an incentive to find the people you like the same way there is irl and that pressure to find people you like leads to players playing with people they like which by definition will lead to game "stickiness".

 

However not everyone is social and / or not all the time so how do you have forced grouping and not forced grouping at the same time? One way would be to have group classes and solo classes and for the different classes to level differently. The group classes could be generally pointed at large collections of their settlement's enemies like the nearby goblin caves to fight mobs in a big open dungeon like EQ while the solo classes have a completely different levelling path unique to that class e.g. a druid class could have a lot of quests scattered about in forest areas around the game world which they have to find and a necromancer class might have the same thing but all their quests are scattered around in tombs and ruins etc.

 

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19822

12/20/12 10:04:11 AM#13
Originally posted by Quirhid
All games gather a community. They don't have any specific features in them. Its just elitist to pick which is a "real community".

And there is no mystery to it ... community is just a bunch of people .. whom you may or may not play with.

 

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12298

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

12/20/12 4:56:33 PM#14
Originally posted by mmoDAD
Originally posted by Loktofeit

Here's my take on it:

I intended to add more to that last one, but the past few years of MMOs have been pretty stagnant when it comes to community and communication innovations. Other than games having Facebook/YouTube/Twitter buttons to push information, there really hasn't been much else added. Any new tools for social interaction seem to have been relegated to group finders and little else.

Social features need to feel like part of the game....  not some cheap add-on just to say you have it.

I can't tell if you are agreeing they needed better social features or saying the features I suggested were still cheap add-ons.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Beatnik59

Elite Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2233

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

12/20/12 8:55:37 PM#15

Voice chat, to me, was the greatest blow to community in MMORPGs.

It made the teamspeak/vent server the locus of community, rather than the game server as the locus of community.  As a result, you were more likely to see your social group as your voice chat group, which included people who were logged on to play, people who weren't logged on to play (but logged on to chat), and even people who were logged on to a wholly different game.

I can't tell you how many games I played where guilds were, quite literally, split in two when voice chat was adopted.  You had those who adopted the new technology and those who didn't; those who did tended to communicate only with those who did, and those who didn't tended to only game with those who didn't.

Voice chat gave rise to the big, professionalized gaming clans we see today: the Goons, the Syndicate, For Great Justice, et al.  The need to host the voice chat server caused players to organize around the voice chat provider, rather than organize around the game.  This caused players to indentify their community with their TS/Vent hosting guild or, in the cases of those who don't like voice chat, to communities who wouldn't demand it of them.

And, you know, I can hardly blame anyone.  Communication is fundamental.  Unless you are willing and able to communicate with another person, there's no use having a community with another person.

__________________________
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  CalmOceans

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/11
Posts: 1826

12/20/12 9:08:10 PM#16
 what exactly (or what combination of things) creates that communication/social aspect in the first place?

my list

-Dependency on others

-A good written chat system that discourages everyone using their little closed-off vent server

-No cross-server grouping which allows people to be douchebags and get away with it

-Slow enough gameplay that allows chatting

-Class synergy and gameplay that encourages communication

-No AH which encourages player trading

-General server channels that allow everyone to talk to each other

-Death penalties in some form which encourage dependency on others

-Allow for buffs to be cast on others and allow MGB in towns to encourage communication

-Give cities buffs and encourage people to spend time in them

-No Guild halls, no better way to kill a community than to let people close themselves off

-etc

  CalmOceans

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/11
Posts: 1826

12/20/12 9:10:11 PM#17
Originally posted by Quirhid
All games gather a community. They don't have any specific features in them. Its just elitist to pick which is a "real community".

This is totally 100 percent false.

Going from a game like EQ which was a community marvel where everyone literally sat around and talked to each other, to games like WoW where no one bothered to say a word to another person was like night and day difference. And it's much worse in current games even.

I couldn't believe when I played Guild Wars how literally no one talked, the reason I uninstalled the game was for that reason only. The game had no community whatsoever.

The way a community, or lack thereof, acts, is very dependent on the game mechanics.

 

 

This is Everquest where people literally sat their character down to talk to others. People sitting down on that picture and many standing, are not AFK but they are there to chat to others. It's a shame you can't see the UI or you would see people talking.

Tell me again how it doesn't depend on the game. In current games people don't say a word to strangers.

 

Seriously, if you want to know what makes a community in a game a real community, ask any EQ player who played EQ anywhere from the beginning to where they introduced the guild lobby. They know.

EQ was a community marvel, saying it doesn't depend on the game is false. I have played enough MMO to know not every game has a real community. A few strangers walking around never talking to each other is not a community.

This is a community:

  Quailman

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/08/09
Posts: 170

12/20/12 9:31:39 PM#18
Originally posted by Rimmersman

I think some of you really need to read this http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/12/18/first-impressions-from-the-age-of-wushu-beta/

And look here http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/749/view/forums/forum/1250/General-Discussion.html

And download this http://www.ageofwushu.com/account/signup/

You wont get anywhere in this game without other players whether it's PVP or PVE.

Come join us, it takes some getting use to but once you do you wont look back.

Hmm that definitely sounds interesting. Gonna have to check that out.

Consume. Be silent. Die.

  VengeSunsoar

Elite Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4834

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

12/20/12 9:35:08 PM#19
Originally posted by CalmOceans
Originally posted by Quirhid
All games gather a community. They don't have any specific features in them. Its just elitist to pick which is a "real community".

This is totally 100 percent false.

Going from a game like EQ which was a community marvel where everyone literally sat around and talked to each other, to games like WoW where no one bothered to say a word to another person was like night and day difference. And it's much worse in current games even.

I couldn't believe when I played Guild Wars how literally no one talked, the reason I uninstalled the game was for that reason only. The game had no community whatsoever.

The way a community, or lack thereof, acts, is very dependent on the game mechanics.

 

 

This is Everquest where people literally sat their character down to talk to others. People sitting down on that picture and many standing, are not AFK but they are there to chat to others. It's a shame you can't see the UI or you would see people talking.

Tell me again how it doesn't depend on the game. In current games people don't say a word to strangers.

 

Seriously, if you want to know what makes a community in a game a real community, ask any EQ player who played EQ anywhere from the beginning to where they introduced the guild lobby. They know.

EQ was a community marvel, saying it doesn't depend on the game is false.

That is just a community that is either a.  not a good one.  or b. you don't like.

It is however still a community.  So in that essence he is 100% right.

edit - and in current games those exact same things happen.  People still talk, people still roleplay, people still meet up to shoot the breeze, true possibly a smaller percentage but all the same things still happen.

 

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  CalmOceans

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/11
Posts: 1826

12/20/12 9:36:17 PM#20
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

That is just a community that is either a.  not a good one.  or b. you don't like.

It is however still a community.  So in that essence he is 100% right.

Don't even know what you mean. You seem to love to disagree with me just to disagree, so I won't even bother this time sorry.

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