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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » What can developers do when making a MMO to improve the community?

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76 posts found
  MightyChasm

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/03/13
Posts: 311

2/22/13 3:52:37 PM#41
Originally posted by birdycephon
Originally posted by MindTrigger

The problem with lack of or poor community in MMO games is a fundamental design flaw.   Darkfall is the ultimate example of this.  If there was ever a game that had a worse cesspool of degenerate, angry, depressed rage-filled people, I would be surprised. Not all Darkfall players are like this, but this game has the highest concentration of angry players that I have seen.

The kind of game you build dictates the kinds of people you are going to attract into the community.  If your game is a full loot open world PvP only, where the main focus is just on killing and taking things from people, then your game will attract those kinds of people and repel the kinds of people who are more likely to be friendly, cooperative and interested in community. By the way, that's perfectly fine.  There's nothing wrong with wanting to design a game like Darkfall and attracting those people to it.  However, if you were wondering why that community is generally abrasive, then look no further than the game's design.

Your average themepark these days caters to casual players who just want to run the treadmill of leveling and get to end game in the fastest time possible.  Most of these players look at community and social features as an obstacle to accomplishing their goal.  Most of them don't understand why anyone would *want* to craft, or hold a social event, or even explore the map.  They don't care about or understand anyone who might want to run a virtual shop, entertain other players, play a scientist, get involved in politics, or anything else that doesn't focus on PvE / PvP combat for the sake of leveling.  Those are the types of people today's themeparks attract, generally speaking. And that's ok too if you find this fun.

Even though most sandboxes in recent years have been low-budget indie games that have largely failed, all you have to do is spend a little time in one to see how massively different the community in these games is.  Building a community is often the first thing sandbox players begin to do upon joining the game.  From the time they log in, they are starting to make relationships with other players, finding a place to make a home, figuring out what they can do to help build their guild camp or town, etc.  They are often much more focused on cooperation with others than their own goals.

As crappy and problematic as Xsyon was back when I tried it, as soon as I started playing it I started getting some of that old Star Wars Galaxies vibe back.  People were gathering, helping each other, trading, going off on adventures, making plans for long term goals and player driven gameplay.  Automatically you see many more creative players, politicians, ambitious people who want to build businesses, social players, explorers, support players and all kinds of different of people.  This creates a completely different game and a different community than you will ever see in a themepark game no matter how hard you try to make it different.  The community is a reflection of the types of people your game attracts.

The short answer, in my opinion, is that you can't fix the community in most of these games by just setting up more rules.  You change the community by *including* more types of MMO players whether you enjoy their style of gameplay or not.

This guy hits the nail on the head. If the game encourages debauchery, then thats what the community is going to embrace. 

I think the debauchery part can be deleted.  He said that he has played in a lot of nice communities, would like to be part of one tbh. 

  Aelious

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2312

World > Quest Progression

2/22/13 3:55:36 PM#42
Reliance on others can certainly help the jerk factor but for it to work there would need to be detriment soloing. Not sure that's the best route.

In the end the company can't be afraid to lose short money banning jerks. The problem there is where you draw the line. General chat nonsense, unless directed at a player, would have to have clear guidelines IMO. I hate the kiddish chat as well but it can equate to a free speech deal.

As far as private chats it again comes down to the willingness to put the smack down. Honestly I have only come across one jerk in the few months I've been back playing WoW. I think LoL still take the crown for jerkiness. Unless of course their 30 or so psych analysis unit has made progresses. Hopefully so.
  birdycephon

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/09
Posts: 1327

Not Safe For Woona (NSFW)

2/22/13 3:58:39 PM#43
Originally posted by MightyChasm
Originally posted by birdycephon
Originally posted by MindTrigger

The problem with lack of or poor community in MMO games is a fundamental design flaw.   Darkfall is the ultimate example of this.  If there was ever a game that had a worse cesspool of degenerate, angry, depressed rage-filled people, I would be surprised. Not all Darkfall players are like this, but this game has the highest concentration of angry players that I have seen.

The kind of game you build dictates the kinds of people you are going to attract into the community.  If your game is a full loot open world PvP only, where the main focus is just on killing and taking things from people, then your game will attract those kinds of people and repel the kinds of people who are more likely to be friendly, cooperative and interested in community. By the way, that's perfectly fine.  There's nothing wrong with wanting to design a game like Darkfall and attracting those people to it.  However, if you were wondering why that community is generally abrasive, then look no further than the game's design.

Your average themepark these days caters to casual players who just want to run the treadmill of leveling and get to end game in the fastest time possible.  Most of these players look at community and social features as an obstacle to accomplishing their goal.  Most of them don't understand why anyone would *want* to craft, or hold a social event, or even explore the map.  They don't care about or understand anyone who might want to run a virtual shop, entertain other players, play a scientist, get involved in politics, or anything else that doesn't focus on PvE / PvP combat for the sake of leveling.  Those are the types of people today's themeparks attract, generally speaking. And that's ok too if you find this fun.

Even though most sandboxes in recent years have been low-budget indie games that have largely failed, all you have to do is spend a little time in one to see how massively different the community in these games is.  Building a community is often the first thing sandbox players begin to do upon joining the game.  From the time they log in, they are starting to make relationships with other players, finding a place to make a home, figuring out what they can do to help build their guild camp or town, etc.  They are often much more focused on cooperation with others than their own goals.

As crappy and problematic as Xsyon was back when I tried it, as soon as I started playing it I started getting some of that old Star Wars Galaxies vibe back.  People were gathering, helping each other, trading, going off on adventures, making plans for long term goals and player driven gameplay.  Automatically you see many more creative players, politicians, ambitious people who want to build businesses, social players, explorers, support players and all kinds of different of people.  This creates a completely different game and a different community than you will ever see in a themepark game no matter how hard you try to make it different.  The community is a reflection of the types of people your game attracts.

The short answer, in my opinion, is that you can't fix the community in most of these games by just setting up more rules.  You change the community by *including* more types of MMO players whether you enjoy their style of gameplay or not.

This guy hits the nail on the head. If the game encourages debauchery, then thats what the community is going to embrace. 

I think the debauchery part can be deleted.  He said that he has played in a lot of nice communities, would like to be part of one tbh. 

Of course, I'm just giving an example. 

  Edeus

Novice Member

Joined: 6/10/10
Posts: 513

2/22/13 4:00:15 PM#44

TERA seems to have an ok community at the moment.  Let's analyze it to death! In no particular order:

1. it has tons of group play through BAM's,

2. has the trinity

3. has a rigid questing lvling system

4. has very cliche classes. 

5. It also has a very korean look to it. 

6. It has rabbit girls!

7. Extremely fast paced and semi unique battle system (only semi unique because other games have had it before...)

8. graphics are so l333tsauce

9. Rabbit girls!

10. Boobies!!

 

Maybe one or two of the above is the reason, i dont know.

Taru-Gallante-Blood elf-Elysean-Kelari-Crime Fighting-Imperial Agent

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

2/22/13 4:42:56 PM#45
Most of the suggestions for improving community in this thread would create games I wouldn't be interested in playing.  It's hard not to take that a little personally.
  HolyMount

Novice Member

Joined: 2/22/13
Posts: 5

2/22/13 4:47:09 PM#46
Originally posted by maplestone
Most of the suggestions for improving community in this thread would create games I wouldn't be interested in playing.  It's hard not to take that a little personally.

haha , I think a lot of people are pve orientated, if you like pvp that is not bad or wrong, just enjoy it.

  FARGIN_WAR

Novice Member

Joined: 12/19/12
Posts: 169

2/22/13 4:48:27 PM#47
Originally posted by MMOExposed
What can developers do to improve the community?

 

The game I hear about most for having a bad community is World of Warcraft.

 

But is that really the developers or games fault? 

 

Seem more like the community itself and alone. What's stopping another game from also having the same community or a worst community?

Oh I don't know. Stop designing MMORPGs as single player games with a chatroom might be a step in the right direction though.

If you don’t do stupid things while you’re young, you’ll have nothing to smile about when you’re old.

  Vunak23

Novice Member

Joined: 11/27/10
Posts: 659

In your house Eatin' your Cookies!

2/22/13 4:52:24 PM#48
Look at FFXI and some of the older games that are known for their really great communities. Analyze them. Don't casualize the game. Makeing it so accessible fosters the troll/douche behavior for some reason. 

"In the immediate future, we have this one, and then we’ve got another one that is actually going to be – so we’re going to have, what we want to do, is in January, what we’re targeting to do, this may or may not happen, so you can’t hold me to it. But what we’re targeting to do, is have a fun anniversary to the Ilum shenanigans that happened. An alien race might invade, and they might crash into Ilum and there might be some new activities that happen on the planet." ~Gabe Amatangelo

  Vigiliance

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/24/11
Posts: 205

2/22/13 5:05:16 PM#49

Make player interaction actually matter.

 

The problem with most MMO's is that you can play every aspect of the game without ever having to be sociable.

 

Take the most popular mmo to date as an example (WoW). Want a group... click a button and wait. 

 

want to raid, click a button.

want a five man click a button.

want a guild invite... click a damn button (probably not the best guilds wouldn't require some sort of previous interaction but it happens.)

want to play in a battleground/pvp hit a button

Almost every bit of group content in the game is taken care of for you in an automated fashion, which means you need no social skills and you don't have to talk.

This conveience isn't a horrible thing but it does enable a player to be a complete dick and still be able to play the game to nearly its full potential.

 

Want a good community, make reputation matter and im not talking about NPCS. Good communitys self regulate because there is a reason to do so. Grouping should require communication and some amount of socialization and outreaching in a non automated way. The more popular games like WoW become the more other games emulate them and some elements of that game are killing the ability to have a significant and important community. When the community isn't important you can troll, bash, and grief with little to no consequences.

  User Deleted
2/22/13 5:39:45 PM#50

What comes to mind instantly? Stop with the gated content. Seriously, we've seen every game out there now do the whole "we do have 4-5-6 mans and you run these dungeons to see lore and you get gear from them bla bla bla" even with the games that weren't originally supposed to be about dungeons they suddenly turned into that. (cough GW2)

When will these people realize that:

a) they aren't going to get the numbers WoW has by catering to this type of player

b) it's well known that these types of players won't stay with a game long enough for any meaningful profits so why do it at all

c) this type of player, specifically the dungeoneers/raiders are only interested in 1 thing and that's to burn thru your content as fast as they can so stop attracting them.

d) the players who demand a LFG tool, gear check, dps meters are usually the first ones to troll, gank, pk, and have the flea's equivalent of and attention span and usually are the people who cause the biggest problems in the community or are reported as being the worst of the worst when new players are trying to get help usually in chat channels.

I think that about covers it.

  Theocritus

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3613

2/22/13 7:33:17 PM#51
There's little doubt that the death of the community started once players could do everything solo (cough WoW)...... Make your game where players have to depend on other players for things and you will ahve a better community, but that won't happen until these companies quit copying WoW.
  Quirhid

Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5492

I dare you to pin a label on me.

2/22/13 7:40:04 PM#52
Originally posted by Theocritus
There's little doubt that the death of the community started once players could do everything solo (cough WoW)...... Make your game where players have to depend on other players for things and you will ahve a better community, but that won't happen until these companies quit copying WoW.

Look around. Games like LoL are toxic partly because of the player dependency. You make one mistake and you wont hear the end of it. One player has the ability to throw the entire game for his/her team. You want more of that in games?

You know what made old communities so good? -Because they were small!

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

  xeniar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/09/06
Posts: 800

2/22/13 7:47:31 PM#53
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Theocritus
There's little doubt that the death of the community started once players could do everything solo (cough WoW)...... Make your game where players have to depend on other players for things and you will ahve a better community, but that won't happen until these companies quit copying WoW.

Look around. Games like LoL are toxic partly because of the player dependency. You make one mistake and you wont hear the end of it. One player has the ability to throw the entire game for his/her team. You want more of that in games?

You know what made old communities so good? -Because they were small!

Yes i do, if that player makes an honest mistake big deal.. if he's doing it on purpose the community will quite basicly ban him. If a game had a community in wich people are actual individuals instead of random players, assholes and trolls will only bring downfall on themselves. because nobody would group with them. have fun playing a game by yourself when u need the help of others.

I have to give you the last sentence tho. the bigger a community gets the harder it is to manage. But i have faith in that community's are selfregulating like that given the tools.

  greenreen

Elite Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1423

2/22/13 9:52:48 PM#54

MMOs should make your reputation matter, that makes community.

Without anyone being distinct, everyone is replaceable and faceless. Your nickname doesn't matter and has no impact on games these days. Things like master loot allowed you to let in scum just because you could control what they touched. Scum needs to be with scum or it finds ways to be scummy by earning trust and clearing out the guild bank or running off after something expensive is given to them or just not showing up to planned events.

Crafting has taken a downslope. As long as crafting gets easier and there is nothing distinct, why does it matter who sells it, all the buyer wants to find is the cheapest price. There is nothing different about my +1 boots from my neighbor's +1 boots. This results in undercutting because no one has something they can be known for and no one looks for who has somthing different. No one needs to specialize because everyone learns everything. How many times have you heard of alts just for crafting. That shouldn't exist. Crafting should be as time consuming as combat dungeon running and it should have specialties and paths like character builds. The choice to be a crafter should consume as much energy as the choice to be a warrior.

Making guides on the forum should impact the game somehow. I had stickies in one game forum, it did me no good in the game, only the people that read the forums knew my name. Do you know how frustrating it was to watch people say dumb things about things I had given detailed reports on elsewhere.

I also think there needs to be chosen sides. The classic good and evil dichotomy. Without a choice of a path for your character and its moral standing, there is no reason to have an opinion on your character. Again, just another generic, faceless, nameless replaceable object. Without any distinction to what you can accomplish or what you can participate in with your alignment, you are a he/she who just jumps into any bed that is free. I'm not saying the characters can't have hybrid skills but they need some path to take that can differ the things they can do in the game. That makes guilds that can operate on one type and they have a natural enemy or a type that are disincluded. Nothing like feeling more special than having a clubhouse others can't join.

 

 

 

 

  MMOExposed

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 5917

 
OP  2/23/13 10:25:22 AM#55
Originally posted by strangiato2112

1.  Make it group dependant

2. Make it appeal to a mature community.

 

But what appeal to mature community?

  loulaki

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/20/11
Posts: 791

2/23/13 11:50:21 AM#56

trying to build a community is like trying to build a society, so its wise to check some history of society and rulers and check how every system ended...

so yes developers are responsible(not full) for building a gamming community !!!

  eyelolled

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 3082

I am more than some of my parts

2/23/13 12:35:47 PM#57

eliminate public forums and  globat chat.   Make the private forums have a consistant waiting list.  Once a person is banned, they are allowed to requeue  to be added back into the forums, but they are at the bottom of the list.  And you have to have an active account to post in the private forums, so obviously account support would not be handled there.  

 

use game mechanics that promote co-operative play and lack of competition in the PvE environment.

 

Fight gold spammers and botters actively and consistantly.

 

 

 

 

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

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/23/13 1:58:31 PM#58
Originally posted by xeniar

Yes i do, if that player makes an honest mistake big deal.. if he's doing it on purpose the community will quite basicly ban him. If a game had a community in wich people are actual individuals instead of random players, assholes and trolls will only bring downfall on themselves. because nobody would group with them. have fun playing a game by yourself when u need the help of others.

I have to give you the last sentence tho. the bigger a community gets the harder it is to manage. But i have faith in that community's are selfregulating like that given the tools.

Small communities are, in fact, the perfect vehicles for insularity and exclusion. I think we (all of us) define "toxic" very differently indeed. Was the adult community of the United Staes more toxic in the 50s, or in (say) the 90s?

That depends, largely, on who you ask.

Middle aged suburban golf-playing white males were at their peak in the 50s. Just ask Ozzie Nelson or Hugh Beaumont.

Women and minorities, on the other hand, may not remember that era quite so fondly.

(Go figure, which ones weren't allowed in the Country Club?)

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.

  Rossboss

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/10
Posts: 241

2/23/13 3:18:06 PM#59
Originally posted by craftseeker
Originally posted by dave6660
Originally posted by craftseeker
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Rossboss
Originally posted by craftseeker
 

+1

Voice of reason in all of this nonsense. Hire a professional to enforce behavior.

OOoh, like secret goon squads that come to the home of anti-social jerks and kick the snot out of them?

Sounds like a great idea, in fact, I'll do it for cheap. 

 

Thus demonstrating you are, in fact, exactly the kind of anti-social-jerk that should be avoided when playing MMORPGs

Your sarcasm detector is broken.  Go to the auction house and buy a new one.

If you look like a duck and sound like a duck you can expect to get shot like a duck.

BTW  I can still hear the sound of quacking.

Wow, you guys flipped out because I said enforce. Sorry, my original post was poorly worded.

I meant it in a mental sense, not a physical sense. Not like kicking people out of the game, more like designing events and adventures to benefit players who don't act like complete jerks.

Actively design and enforce rules with both benefits and reprimands for players depending on how they act. For instance, make a form of travel that benefits the players for having a group of people to share the work.

Rowboat mechanics if you will, where everyone works for the same goal and gets to the goal faster by working together, but the same goal can be met with only one player in the boat. Also, make players who just sit on the boat freeloading a ride pay for the other's work through currency or another form of payment, like they would pay for a ferry.

There also needs to be more cross player/class mechanics, like one class providing a debuff that other players can trigger for stronger attacks or other benefits. Like a player puts a curse on an enemy that enables another player's attacks to deal extra damage.

Player A puts target in a "Weakened" mode through the use of a normal skill.

Player B uses Magic Missile which has an additional effect when an enemy is in a "Weakened" mode.

Player C uses Heal which additionally increases Player A's Attack and Casting Speed if their target is in a "Weakened" mode.

Player D uses Courage which increases other player's pet attack and casting damage while their target is in "Weakened" mode.

Etc.

The main issue is that players are being rewarded for the wrong reasons for being in groups. They are in groups for personal gain instead of to help the group as a whole. But that's a whole other bag of worms.

I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.
I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.
I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.

  sketocafe

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/19/11
Posts: 544

2/23/13 4:05:56 PM#60

I'm sure these have both been mentioned in the thread. but here they are again anyways. 

Put a legal translation of "Don't be a dick" in your ToS and enforce it on people who habitually make others feel sad. I'm not talking about language or idiot memes but people who consistently target other players they run accross for verbal abuse and ruin their experiences in your game. Ban them. 

The second thing is encourage players to work together. WoW servers actually had  decent communities in TBC when lfg was just a foul stench on the horizon and grinding heroics for badges of justice was difficult when you were just starting to gear. When I last played, the difficulty had been completely removed from the grind (unfortunately the tedium was left in) and you didn't have to communicate with your group at all to finish something and collect your emblem dealies. Even without a cross server lfg, you wouldn't need to exhibit any signs of teamwork at all, although the fact that everyone is a stranger and the only people who seem to speak are the arrogant douchebags probably leads to the lack of challenge. 

If you want your players to have a community, you need to give em reasons to form one. Do that and they will, don't and it's asshole city.

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