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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Theme Park Trap

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  Jyiiga

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/03/10
Posts: 1008

 
OP  12/29/12 3:33:49 PM#1

You know these two charts and this small segment of his presentation really jump out at me. 

Youtube Link

 

"These games have a huge spike and then a huge drop off. So whats happening? Whats happened is the MMO player community has become populated with people that are masters of theme park gaming and they come to your game with all of the knowledge of all of the things that you are likely to have done. They probably understand your game better than you do. 

They chew through the content that you have laboriously spent 3-5 years building in about 90 days. A lot of times they just ignore the stuff that you thought was going to be really cool like, the texts and the quests and the lore and the backstory. They just say "Screw it, tell me which rats to kill and I will kill them". 

So they burn through all of your content in a really short amount of time, they hit the level cap and go back to playing World of Warcraft. 

The alternative is the sandbox graph. This is the subscription graph for Eve Online. Basicaslly what this shows is that a sandboxy game has this completely atypical subscriber trend where you start really small, but you grow steadily over a long period of time because there is no way to get to the end. So once a player becomes vested in this game, there is no offering, there is no point where they get to it and say "Oh I am done now I can quit" right."

 

 

 

  NobleNerd

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/08/08
Posts: 429

Try not!
Do or do not
There is no try.

12/29/12 3:53:29 PM#2

I love your graphs. I love your premise. Eve has always seemed like an interesting game, but I am one of those gamers where when I am adventuring in the world created for me I really do not want to be ganked repeatedly in an open pvp world. I work a full time job so it is not always doable to find friends to play with to protect me. In the long run I am one of the massive amount of people playing MMOs that just shy away from a game like Eve for little reason than the lack of time to put in the effort to stay safe. A quick in and find something that entertains me for a couple hours (even if it lacks all the elements I really want) works for my lifestyle.

 

  jimdandy26

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/12
Posts: 559

12/29/12 3:59:47 PM#3
The horrible problem with that graph is EvE is the WoW of the sandbox games. You look at UO and SWG and they both lost major numbers of subs to wow and its ilk, and never recovered. You can even break it down by patch and show where they both started going downhil. "Sandbox" is not going to save the mmo market, as much as many here would like to say otherwise. The general playerbase is acting as retarded as the American public. They know something is wrong, and they want change NOW, so what do they do? Vote out one party and vote in the other, only to realize that the change they wanted NOW didn't happen, so they vote back in the other party since their rhetoric sounds so promising. All the while not realizing how things really work, and that real change takes time.

I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  Jyiiga

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/03/10
Posts: 1008

 
OP  12/29/12 3:59:55 PM#4
Originally posted by Xepo

I love your graphs. I love your premise. Eve has always seemed like an interesting game, but I am one of those gamers where when I am adventuring in the world created for me I really do not want to be ganked repeatedly in an open pvp world. I work a full time job so it is not always doable to find friends to play with to protect me. In the long run I am one of the massive amount of people playing MMOs that just shy away from a game like Eve for little reason than the lack of time to put in the effort to stay safe. A quick in and find something that entertains me for a couple hours (even if it lacks all the elements I really want) works for my lifestyle.

 

 Do note, that while I agree with much of this. These are not my words. They are taken from the YT video linked above. They were spoken during a presentation for Pathfinder Online. 

  Jyiiga

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/03/10
Posts: 1008

 
OP  12/29/12 4:07:57 PM#5
Originally posted by jimdandy26
The horrible problem with that graph is EvE is the WoW of the sandbox games. You look at UO and SWG and they both lost major numbers of subs to wow and its ilk, and never recovered. You can even break it down by patch and show where they both started going downhil. "Sandbox" is not going to save the mmo market, as much as many here would like to say otherwise. The general playerbase is acting as retarded as the American public. They know something is wrong, and they want change NOW, so what do they do? Vote out one party and vote in the other, only to realize that the change they wanted NOW didn't happen, so they vote back in the other party since their rhetoric sounds so promising. All the while not realizing how things really work, and that real change takes time.

While I do not know much about UO. SWG wounds were self inflicted. There was a perfectly happy, stable and decent sized player base (for its era).. before they started mucking around with the games entire design (while ignoring the players). 

  Traugar

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 167

12/29/12 4:14:00 PM#6
Originally posted by Jyiiga
Originally posted by jimdandy26
The horrible problem with that graph is EvE is the WoW of the sandbox games. You look at UO and SWG and they both lost major numbers of subs to wow and its ilk, and never recovered. You can even break it down by patch and show where they both started going downhil. "Sandbox" is not going to save the mmo market, as much as many here would like to say otherwise. The general playerbase is acting as retarded as the American public. They know something is wrong, and they want change NOW, so what do they do? Vote out one party and vote in the other, only to realize that the change they wanted NOW didn't happen, so they vote back in the other party since their rhetoric sounds so promising. All the while not realizing how things really work, and that real change takes time.

While I do not know much about UO. SWG wounds were self inflicted. There was a perfectly happy, stable and decent sized player base (for its era).. before they started mucking around with the games entire design (while ignoring the players). 

SWGs wounds were the CU followed by the NGE.  Had it been just the CU I feel that it would have been recoverable, but the following 6 months after the CU instead of working on the problems it had they spent time making the NGE.  UO on the other hand had Trammel that inflicted the wounds to that game.  

  jimdandy26

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/12
Posts: 559

12/29/12 4:53:19 PM#7
Originally posted by Traugar
Originally posted by Jyiiga
Originally posted by jimdandy26
The horrible problem with that graph is EvE is the WoW of the sandbox games. You look at UO and SWG and they both lost major numbers of subs to wow and its ilk, and never recovered. You can even break it down by patch and show where they both started going downhil. "Sandbox" is not going to save the mmo market, as much as many here would like to say otherwise. The general playerbase is acting as retarded as the American public. They know something is wrong, and they want change NOW, so what do they do? Vote out one party and vote in the other, only to realize that the change they wanted NOW didn't happen, so they vote back in the other party since their rhetoric sounds so promising. All the while not realizing how things really work, and that real change takes time.

While I do not know much about UO. SWG wounds were self inflicted. There was a perfectly happy, stable and decent sized player base (for its era).. before they started mucking around with the games entire design (while ignoring the players). 

SWGs wounds were the CU followed by the NGE.  Had it been just the CU I feel that it would have been recoverable, but the following 6 months after the CU instead of working on the problems it had they spent time making the NGE.  UO on the other hand had Trammel that inflicted the wounds to that game.  

Yet UO subs rose after Trammel, and dramatically left after wow was launched, never to come even close to where it had been. As for SWG http://rubenfield.com/?p=86 paints a picture that every Galaxies fanboy I have ever had the "privilage" to interact with refuses to believe. They were losing subs before WoW ever came along (they were losing subs before Jtl too, though that managed to bring them back up to baseline for a time, but did not actually gain them any) and it was merely a catalyst that forced them to move before they were ready.

Also, if you want to talk about "wounds" that changes made to games that killed them, you can make that argument about pretty much every game but WoW and EvE, since those are the only 2 that have really rebounded in any significant way.

I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2445

12/29/12 4:58:03 PM#8
I think his premise is a little flawed. Sandbox games (I despise that term) rarely pull newer players in and really only are honey to the bees that like sandbox games. Also, since many are OW PvP, it really turns off many more people. So I think his graph should actually be going down or flatlined for sandbox games too.

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  jimdandy26

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/12
Posts: 559

12/29/12 5:09:30 PM#9
Originally posted by botrytis
I think his premise is a little flawed. Sandbox games (I despise that term) rarely pull newer players in and really only are honey to the bees that like sandbox games. Also, since many are OW PvP, it really turns off many more people. So I think his graph should actually be going down or flatlined for sandbox games too.

You are partially correct. If you pay attention to Evefest at all, pvp is currently trending down, and has been for a couple years. fewer and fewer ships are killed by other players every year. Also, I will mention it though I cannot back it up (I can't find the article now) but there was a poll conducted and something like 30% of the playerbase have more than 1 account.

I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  Jyiiga

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/03/10
Posts: 1008

 
OP  12/29/12 5:17:20 PM#10
Originally posted by botrytis
I think his premise is a little flawed. Sandbox games (I despise that term) rarely pull newer players in and really only are honey to the bees that like sandbox games. Also, since many are OW PvP, it really turns off many more people. So I think his graph should actually be going down or flatlined for sandbox games too.

Regardless of how accurate or inaccurate he is about anything in the sandbox genre.. That first graph is chilling and you would think people would try and break out of that mold a bit. It is obviously a dead end trap. 

  jimdandy26

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/12
Posts: 559

12/29/12 7:09:25 PM#11
Originally posted by Jyiiga
Originally posted by botrytis
I think his premise is a little flawed. Sandbox games (I despise that term) rarely pull newer players in and really only are honey to the bees that like sandbox games. Also, since many are OW PvP, it really turns off many more people. So I think his graph should actually be going down or flatlined for sandbox games too.

Regardless of how accurate or inaccurate he is about anything in the sandbox genre.. That first graph is chilling and you would think people would try and break out of that mold a bit. It is obviously a dead end trap. 

I disagree. I also strongly feel that using the words "trap" and "chilling" are the worst kinds of hyperbole. The first half of that presentation was nothing but hype to show how awesome the sandbox is, which is funny cause he then went on to describe something much more akin to a sandpark. Now, I am interested in the game for that reason, but that is offtopic. His analysis was pretty faulty, cause where is FF11 on that list? Its a themepark and has not fallen into that "trap". He also says that they eat up the content in 90 days and then return to WoW, which is also partially not true as the subs do not follow that trend, only really increasing after a major patch. Also, look at all the different promotions they have been going with since they really started losing subs with cataclysm.

I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  ice-vortex

Novice Member

Joined: 5/21/10
Posts: 901

12/29/12 7:21:21 PM#12
The future of the MMORPG market will be a mixture of themepark and sandbox. Themepark for content to draw in the crowd with sandbox to keep them around interacting in the game. I just hope that the primary thing that vanishes from the market is the instanced content. If anything destroys an MMORPG community more, it is instance content.
  Corehaven

Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/11
Posts: 1574

I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you.

12/29/12 7:28:27 PM#13
Originally posted by ice-vortex
The future of the MMORPG market will be a mixture of themepark and sandbox. Themepark for content to draw in the crowd with sandbox to keep them around interacting in the game. I just hope that the primary thing that vanishes from the market is the instanced content. If anything destroys an MMORPG community more, it is instance content.

 

I always thought that if a dev really wanted to retain players they'd simply make an end game with extreme sand box elements.  What else do players typically do anyways?  They run the same dungeons over and over, grind for gear, and pvp since that is typically some of the only options and even those wear thin for some (like me) very quickly.  More is needed.  Much more. 

 

All I'm saying is they should have their theme park until you reach max level.  Then the sandbox should open up.  Big time.  If that happened most would probably claim, " The real game opens up at max level" and that's fine.  I figure that's a winning formula. 

 

Hey if devs want to create a sandbox entirely that's fine with me.  But in my mind, if you are going to have a themepark build a sandbox on top of it.  A big one.  With tons of things to do.  The better your end game sand box the longer your players will stick around.  Period. 

  KingJiggly

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/11
Posts: 807

Definition for innovation is below. Your welcome.

12/29/12 7:34:26 PM#14
Originally posted by Corehaven
Originally posted by ice-vortex
The future of the MMORPG market will be a mixture of themepark and sandbox. Themepark for content to draw in the crowd with sandbox to keep them around interacting in the game. I just hope that the primary thing that vanishes from the market is the instanced content. If anything destroys an MMORPG community more, it is instance content.

 

I always thought that if a dev really wanted to retain players they'd simply make an end game with extreme sand box elements.  What else do players typically do anyways?  They run the same dungeons over and over, grind for gear, and pvp since that is typically some of the only options and even those wear thin for some (like me) very quickly.  More is needed.  Much more. 

 

All I'm saying is they should have their theme park until you reach max level.  Then the sandbox should open up.  Big time.  If that happened most would probably claim, " The real game opens up at max level" and that's fine.  I figure that's a winning formula. 

 

Hey if devs want to create a sandbox entirely that's fine with me.  But in my mind, if you are going to have a themepark build a sandbox on top of it.  A big one.  With tons of things to do.  The better your end game sand box the longer your players will stick around.  Period. 

Extreme sanbox elemants is for extreme sandbox fans. No offense, but it seems the sandbox population is low and is low for a reason: casuals. Sandbox games often end up... Rabid? That can be fun for some people, however with games like Minecraft pretty much filling there needs for that creative/ casual game, I expect no deep strides in sandbox elements in the near future. Controlled sandbox elements, ie guild built dungeons? Idk, I do not normally play sandboxes.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/innovation

  zymurgeist

Elite Member

Joined: 12/24/04
Posts: 5176

12/29/12 7:36:32 PM#15
Originally posted by Jyiiga
Originally posted by botrytis
I think his premise is a little flawed. Sandbox games (I despise that term) rarely pull newer players in and really only are honey to the bees that like sandbox games. Also, since many are OW PvP, it really turns off many more people. So I think his graph should actually be going down or flatlined for sandbox games too.

Regardless of how accurate or inaccurate he is about anything in the sandbox genre.. That first graph is chilling and you would think people would try and break out of that mold a bit. It is obviously a dead end trap. 

 Not so much. It allows a developer to recoup much of their costs in the initial quarter then settles down to an uncrowded world full of like minded people. The result is a larger variety of theme park games rather than having everyone just play WoW. Some people are content locusts but for the people who play for the long term it can be win/win. They get a larger better financed game than would otherwise be available.

"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11823

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

12/29/12 7:41:07 PM#16
Originally posted by jimdandy26

Yet UO subs rose after Trammel, and dramatically left after Age of Shadows was launched, never to come even close to where it had been.

A more accurate statement. UO's wounds were self-inflicted, as well.

  spizz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/11/04
Posts: 2582

12/29/12 7:43:20 PM#17

Iam not such a fan of the EVE game concept, even it is one of the games out there which is interesting.

But you have definately a point here, doesnt matter if the numbers are correct or not. It shows a trend.

 

 

Now you will ask of course what is the reason for it ?

 

--> I would say it is :

 

* the long term motivation and therefore the game content

* a goal which you can reach over and over to succeed or to get satisfaction

* in Eve you have a strong marketing strategy to bind players with its skill system in real time to make them dependent for longer. This is what I didnt like so much in EVE, but it works when it comes to the distribution factor.

 

At the end I think the content is most important point. 

If you offer just a game with lots of flashy graphics but actually flat gameplay without content for a long term motivation, it will not hold players for longer.

 

Take for example Battleground Europe, this game was released (2001 ?) and it is still around. Of course the player numbers seem to be low, but it was never a beauty with great graphics. The secret was the game content, a concept which did hold you and had a long term motivation. This is an mmofps but mmorpgs should be similar.

 

But you did not include World of Warcraft in your list, this is actually a game which did succeed.

The Vanilla version did offer dungeons which were not that easy, big good organized groups were needed and even then it was not automatically a win situation. There was open world pvp first and later the pvp system was introduced to obtain certain pvp weapons, a progression was needed. 

The game has a successfull subscription system and the development is about the game and not around a cash shop system, therefore they can offer high quality add ons and this leads again to long term motivation. 

 

Everquest was on of the first games and did actually very well in this time, you cant compare the numbers with nowaday. Ten+ years ago there were not so many mmorpg players.

 

Age of Conan is actually a good example, a game which rather fits into a cash shop style game. But you feel it already as soon you enter the game the first time.

 

 

 

 

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11823

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

12/29/12 7:46:07 PM#18
Originally posted by Corehaven

I always thought that if a dev really wanted to retain players they'd simply make an end game with extreme sand box elements.  What else do players typically do anyways?  They run the same dungeons over and over, grind for gear, and pvp since that is typically some of the only options and even those wear thin for some (like me) very quickly.  More is needed.  Much more. 

All I'm saying is they should have their theme park until you reach max level.  Then the sandbox should open up.  Big time.  If that happened most would probably claim, " The real game opens up at max level" and that's fine.  I figure that's a winning formula. 

Hey if devs want to create a sandbox entirely that's fine with me.  But in my mind, if you are going to have a themepark build a sandbox on top of it.  A big one.  With tons of things to do.  The better your end game sand box the longer your players will stick around.  Period. 

Good for revenue, but why on earth would a player want that? If I want sandbox content, I'm going to play a game that has it from the start, especially if I am paying from the start. Why would you want to grind (note: grind is a bad thing) through game play you don't want just to get to the part you do want? Now, before you write that off as lazy, instant gratification or any of the other cute phrases that get tossed around here as the noses turn up in collective proud self-righteousness, really think about that.

 

  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

12/29/12 8:27:10 PM#19

So many misconceptions in this thread about sandboxes lol. I honestly dont think many of you know what a real sandbox is like.

open world pvp = ganking................... LOL.......you do know the majority of sandbox's dont have this or features to prevent this? mix themepark and sandbox.................LOL and so many other comments just made me piss myself............from laughing so hard. You do know that sandbox's have all themepark features and much more right? Themeparks are games that hold you down and back

  jimdandy26

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/12
Posts: 559

12/29/12 8:52:09 PM#20
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by jimdandy26

Yet UO subs rose after Trammel, and dramatically left after Age of Shadows was launched, never to come even close to where it had been.

A more accurate statement. UO's wounds were self-inflicted, as well.

That's funny since that was UO's highest sub point, and the only increase after Trammel. What's funnier is only losing 8% if the playerbase after a year, yet miraculously a steep 20% drop after the launch of Eq2/WoW.  That is not what I would call a self inflicted wound.

I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

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