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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why do we accept lower quality products from MMO developers?

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  lizardbones

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10953

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

 
OP  5/19/13 1:35:53 PM#1

This thread was spawned by the following post in another thread:
Vorthanion's Post: http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/post/5737387#5737387

The upshot is that if you compare MMO development to single player game or multiplayer game development, it seems like the MMO developers produce lower quality products, with fewer features, longer development cycles and a lot more bug fixes.

Now, ignoring the exponentially larger amount of work that goes into an MMO, because the general gaming public neither knows nor cares about that additional work; why does the general gaming public seem more forgiving towards the flaws of MMOs?

I think it's because MMOs offer an experience that just isn't available in other games. Running around in a virtual world with other people doing stuff around you. This is something that is missing from every other type of game, and it's something that people miss when they don't have it. Players are willing to put up with more to get that feeling.

What do you think?

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Bladestrom

Elite Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 3909

5/19/13 1:59:17 PM#2
Mmos are more difficult to make, and as you day offer an experience you get in single player game. Re bugs, a single player game has 1 release- if they had to release new content frequently after release then the bug count would rise. Also, look up 'agile versus waterfall' development'. Explains a lot about why consumers benefit from frequent but less than perfect releases.

rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW (10000 hrs on main mage)> oblivion > LOTR (600 runemaster/Hunter) > Rift (230 hours mage) > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(1000 elementalist), Wildstar

Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO, LOTR

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5736

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

5/19/13 2:01:41 PM#3

OP, I think you should take measures to prevent this from turning into another bashing thread. And wouldn't "polish" be a better word than "quality"?

On the topic, tho, I'm not sure we do: Remember, MMOs started enjoying mass market success only after their level of polish improved significantly.

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

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

5/19/13 2:18:07 PM#4
Originally posted by lizardbones


Now, ignoring the exponentially larger amount of work that goes into an MMO, because the general gaming public neither knows nor cares about that additional work; why does the general gaming public seem more forgiving towards the flaws of MMOs?

I'm not sure I can ignore an exponentially larger amount of work.

But then again, I'm not really qualified to compare the amount of work that goes into various different modern games.

If (big if) I were to accept the premise that flaws in MMOs are more easily forgiven, I would argue it's because the persistent database that MMOs provide is so much more compelling than simply a game.

( or I might argue that we people on forums have a tendency to complain about the loosest thread we can pull on but in the end we are also buying or not buying the tapestry as a whole )

  ZombieKen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

5/19/13 2:25:50 PM#5

In some cases it might be the difference between 30 hours of content and 300.

In others it might be trying to render hi-res high-poly environments in a heavily networked environment.

Even other cases might be trying to meet player expectations for feature set.

 

But most of all, I think the reason players accept mediocrity is because that's what they've learned to expect from over-budget incomplete games.

 

In reality, who knows?

 

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

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 4176

5/19/13 2:33:18 PM#6

Lower quality as compared to what? That mythical imaginary MMO with features that we can't even agree on?

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's because they are designed in the imperfect real world by imperfect real people...final answer.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13828

5/19/13 2:35:32 PM#7

When you have more systems designed by more people having to interact with each other in more--and often unforeseen--ways, you have vastly more things that can possibly go wrong.  That tends to mean that more things will go wrong, which leads to the impression that the game is less polished.

So we're left with a choice between a simpler game where you can't do nearly as much versus a game that seems less polished.  Does preferring the latter mean accepting lower quality work from MMO developers?  If so, then there's your answer.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12406

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

5/19/13 2:38:11 PM#8
Originally posted by lizardbones


Now, ignoring the exponentially larger amount of work that goes into an MMO, because the general gaming public neither knows nor cares about that additional work; why does the general gaming public seem more forgiving towards the flaws of MMOs?

I would change 'general gaming public' to 'MMO gamers' because the general gaming public doesn't put up with what MMOs deliver.

 

"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

  lizardbones

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10953

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

 
OP  5/19/13 2:41:55 PM#9


Originally posted by Quirhid
OP, I think you should take measures to prevent this from turning into another bashing thread. And wouldn't "polish" be a better word than "quality"?

On the topic, tho, I'm not sure we do: Remember, MMOs started enjoying mass market success only after their level of polish improved significantly.




I could try to take such measures, but I don't honestly believe it would work. All I could say is that I tried to take the high ground, lording it over the bashers, when really I was just trying to cover my own rear. If a game has less content, more bugs or has less game play, it's a lower quality product. Hrm. I may amend my post title if I can reflect that it's the product, not the work that I'm referring to.

I think a lot of people on this site understand the differences in developing an MMO versus a single player game and the different infrastructure required for an MMO launch. We've certainly discussed it enough.

I don't think all fifty million people playing MMOs in the world know the development difference, and I don't think they really care. They still forgive things in MMOs that would never be forgiven in a single player games.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  lizardbones

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10953

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

 
OP  5/19/13 2:52:15 PM#10


Originally posted by Iselin
Lower quality as compared to what? That mythical imaginary MMO with features that we can't even agree on?

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's because they are designed in the imperfect real world by imperfect real people...final answer.




Some of these threads are hit and miss, either what gets posted resonates with people or it doesn't. I'm going to have to go with my experiences here, because I can't really speak for everyone.

If I compare the single player "questing" in games like Deux Ex, Silent Hill, Alan Wake or even Half Life 2 to games like WoW, Rift, or even TSW, I find that the single player games do a better job. My PvP experience is far less extensive, but Team Fortress 2 offers PvP that is compelling, in environments that are repeated much the same way that WoW's battlegrounds are, yet it's more compelling. That's a multiplayer example, but it's a non-MMO game and the premise for comparing multiplayer PvP games to MMOs holds as well (I think). The only analog where there is not a ready comparison are dungeons.

I'm not suggesting that MMOs should have as much focus as single player or multiplayer games where there is only one style play. I'm wondering at the people who play MMOs, and who also play games like Deux Ex and the like. If Deux Ex had SWToR's questing, would anyone bother to play it? Yet they played SWToR to the tune of half a million people paying a sub, even after F2P became an option. What else did SWToR offer that kept those people? That's what I'm curious about.

MMOs have something, some experience or some draw that other styles of games do not have. Is it just other people running around in the world? What is it?

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Gardavsshade

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/27/11
Posts: 667

5/19/13 2:55:28 PM#11

Hey OP...

Have you ever played EA's Sims Medieval? During the Intro Patrick Stewart does the narration, and he says it best....

"People are Dumb."

There's your answer.

  PulsarMan

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/20/09
Posts: 235

5/19/13 2:57:27 PM#12
MMOs have more tech limitations placed upon them than a single player game. Those limitations are finally beginning to be alleviated. 
  Bladestrom

Elite Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 3909

5/19/13 2:58:48 PM#13

People forgive things in mmorpgs that they would never forgive in a single player, but equally there are things in a single player game that they would forgive that they would not forgive in a mmorpg.

e.g

MMORPG: I can tolerate some lag in a large battle because I know there are real people playing at the same time and this is very expensive to process and synchronize.  I would not tolerate heavily scripted and restrictive battles as it restricts the interactions and options for real players.

SINGLE Player: I can tolerate heavily scripted battles where sometimes scripting goes badly wrong because I understand it is difficult to model an entire battle in a convincing manner.  I would not tolerate lag.

rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW (10000 hrs on main mage)> oblivion > LOTR (600 runemaster/Hunter) > Rift (230 hours mage) > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(1000 elementalist), Wildstar

Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO, LOTR

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

5/19/13 3:02:12 PM#14

Personally I look at it holistically.  I would be more than happy to ditch MMORPGs if a game like Diablo 3 had strong grouping mechanics and long-form progression, because that sort of game would have just about all that I want from a PVE RPG: grouping, progression, and fun combat.

I definitely don't stick with MMORPGs when they feel like all their features holistically aren't pulling enough weight to hold my interest.  So in that regard I don't accept lower quality work.

I mean obviously MMORPGs will have worse graphics than a same-generation singleplayer game.  That's just their nature.  But if you're providing a more interesting and fun game as a result of those sacrifices, then it's fine.

  Scalpless

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1355

5/19/13 3:11:35 PM#15
Originally posted by lizardbones


The upshot is that if you compare MMO development to single player game or multiplayer game development, it seems like the MMO developers produce lower quality products, with fewer features, longer development cycles and a lot more bug fixes.

Uh, no they don't. MMOs have a huge amount of features and content.

Let's compare two recent high-profile games. Skyrim is probably the largest mainstream modern SP RPG on the market. It's ~41 square km. People have calculated that vanilla Guild Wars 2 was roughly 100 square km. Unlike Skyrim, GW2 has multiplayer, social features, a semblance of class balance, hundreds of different skills and lots of different enemy types. It has bosses, too, most of which are better than the one boss copy-pasted all over Skyrim.

Actually, the only feature Skyrim, a SP "sandbox" has that most MMOs don't have nowadays is player housing, but it's much easier to make in a SP game. Skyrim is also full of bugs, but people don't mind them as much in SP games.

That's Skyrim, currently the largest mainstream SP RPG, compared to a relatively simple MMO like GW2. If we took another SP like like CoD... how many features CoD has? "Run forward", "shoot" and "watch explosions"? Yeah, not much of a contest.

  lizardbones

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10953

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

 
OP  5/19/13 3:22:35 PM#16


Originally posted by Gardavsshade
Hey OP...

Have you ever played EA's Sims Medieval? During the Intro Patrick Stewart does the narration, and he says it best....

"People are Dumb."

There's your answer.




Heh.

More often than not I agree with the statement, but I don't think it applies here. :-)

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 4176

5/19/13 3:29:21 PM#17
Originally posted by lizardbones

 


Originally posted by Iselin
Lower quality as compared to what? That mythical imaginary MMO with features that we can't even agree on?

 

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's because they are designed in the imperfect real world by imperfect real people...final answer.




Some of these threads are hit and miss, either what gets posted resonates with people or it doesn't. I'm going to have to go with my experiences here, because I can't really speak for everyone.

If I compare the single player "questing" in games like Deux Ex, Silent Hill, Alan Wake or even Half Life 2 to games like WoW, Rift, or even TSW, I find that the single player games do a better job. My PvP experience is far less extensive, but Team Fortress 2 offers PvP that is compelling, in environments that are repeated much the same way that WoW's battlegrounds are, yet it's more compelling. That's a multiplayer example, but it's a non-MMO game and the premise for comparing multiplayer PvP games to MMOs holds as well (I think). The only analog where there is not a ready comparison are dungeons.

I'm not suggesting that MMOs should have as much focus as single player or multiplayer games where there is only one style play. I'm wondering at the people who play MMOs, and who also play games like Deux Ex and the like. If Deux Ex had SWToR's questing, would anyone bother to play it? Yet they played SWToR to the tune of half a million people paying a sub, even after F2P became an option. What else did SWToR offer that kept those people? That's what I'm curious about.

MMOs have something, some experience or some draw that other styles of games do not have. Is it just other people running around in the world? What is it?

 

But you can't do that. You might as well try to compare MMOs to a Michael Connoly thriller or a Cohen brother's movie or a Broadway Production of Les Miserables  since they're all entertainment.

MMOs can only really be compared to other MMOs. As Quiz said, they have complexities that are unimaginable in single player games. Even the FPS games with on-line components you mention only have that tiny scenario PvP similarity to MMOs. MMOs do that and then 2000 other things that single player games don't have to do.

Many things that are extremely challenging to do in MMOs, are trivial in single player games. You don't have to look any farther than a world that changes depending on your actions to see that... or an NPC who evolves. You're trying to compare apples to oranges.

Apples to apples? I'll stick to my original reply.

  faxnadu

Novice Member

Joined: 3/28/08
Posts: 956

5/19/13 3:36:51 PM#18
Originally posted by Iselin

Lower quality as compared to what? That mythical imaginary MMO with features that we can't even agree on?

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it's because they are designed in the imperfect real world by imperfect real people...final answer.

amen

  worldalpha

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Joined: 11/03/11
Posts: 401

Working hard on WorldAlpha

5/19/13 4:12:06 PM#19
MMOs require a lot more time than a typical single player game.  So, some features are not as robust in MMOs as single player.  

Thanks,
Mike
Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20703

5/19/13 4:18:52 PM#20
Originally posted by Iselin

 

But you can't do that. You might as well try to compare MMOs to a Michael Connoly thriller or a Cohen brother's movie or a Broadway Production of Les Miserables  since they're all entertainment.

MMOs can only really be compared to other MMOs. As Quiz said, they have complexities that are unimaginable in single player games. Even the FPS games with on-line components you mention only have that tiny scenario PvP similarity to MMOs. MMOs do that and then 2000 other things that single player games don't have to do.

Many things that are extremely challenging to do in MMOs, are trivial in single player games. You don't have to look any farther than a world that changes depending on your actions to see that... or an NPC who evolves. You're trying to compare apples to oranges.

Apples to apples? I'll stick to my original reply.

Of course you can. I compare novels, to movies, to games, to MMOs everyday. One min i am reading the latest Jack Campbell movie, is one minute i am not playing a MMO.

So obviously i have to judge, at every moment when i want some entertainment, what is the most fun for me. And that involves comparing all the entertainment.

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