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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » What Makes Console MMO's "Dumbed Down"? (And other questions)

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  maskedweasel

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Joined: 9/24/07
Posts: 7266

"Kids, try imagining how far the universe extends! Keep thinking about it until you go insane."

 
OP  6/27/13 10:24:37 AM#41

I think we've gotten a lot of good answers.  Primarily the idea that a Console MMO is "dumbed down" , from what I'm to understand,  has little to do with the actual game at all.

 

I get a lot of people talking about the controller,  but the controller doesn't necessarily hinder gameplay, and it really is dependent on how it is used.  FFXI  and FFXIV have different control schemes, and that goes on to games like DCUO and Defiance.  Each game is different but they don't automatically become "dumbed down" simply due to a controller.

 

Some people mentioned system hardware from earlier generations not being strong enough as a cause for a game to be considered "dumbed down"  but performance doesn't seem to hinder any gameplay aspects as far as complexity goes, and this won't be a factor with the new set of consoles.

 

Axehilt seemed to be one of the few who mentioned actual game mechanics in terms of the possible cause,  but ended up comparing a current console MMO to a similar arena based PC MMO, each showing that in their own way, they have their own complexity.

 

And on my last point, when I look at ESO coming out, as well as a number of other games,  but ESO specifically, I wonder why so many feel that, simply because the game will launch on multiple platforms that it will somehow get a treatment of being "dumbed down".

 

I was actually expecting less level headed comments and more rash, outspoken remarks.  Especially since we've seen more Console MMO Articles from this site lately and at least one that I've read mentioned the possibility of this iteration of MMOs being "dumbed down".

"Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


  AIMonster

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/31/08
Posts: 2021

6/27/13 10:45:19 AM#42
Originally posted by Axehilt

A good example of dynamic abilities from LOL is Blitzcrank, a robot who can launch his hand towards an enemy, and if it hits he drags them back to his location:

  • Normally (in an open field), landing the ability will drag them 925 units of distance out of position.
  • If you time a Flash after launching the grab, and aim it backwards, you can pull them even further (1325 units).
  • Or if you pull them across a wall, they're going to have a lot more than 1325 units to travel to get back into position.

That depth is achieved with one fairly simple mechanic.

Except they nerfed flash grabbing about 2 years ago.  You can't do it anymore.  :p

Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:

  Avini

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/11
Posts: 9

6/27/13 10:52:10 AM#43

I see the learning curve for a gaming pad is a lot higher then normal mouse and keyboard, and that is a big problem. There is also the problem with the mmo mouse you can get for computers, you have a lot of key options on the fly without stopping movement, and I can see some troubles when trying to access some of the buttons on a game pad to get that spell.

For instance if you need to heal some one and don't want to use tab target and you need to run at the same time, that is where the mmo mouse shines and the controller seems abit hard to do the same thing.

But again everything is possible, but why make things harder? 

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5627

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

6/27/13 11:04:32 AM#44
Originally posted by AIMonster
Originally posted by Axehilt

A good example of dynamic abilities from LOL is Blitzcrank, a robot who can launch his hand towards an enemy, and if it hits he drags them back to his location:

  • Normally (in an open field), landing the ability will drag them 925 units of distance out of position.
  • If you time a Flash after launching the grab, and aim it backwards, you can pull them even further (1325 units).
  • Or if you pull them across a wall, they're going to have a lot more than 1325 units to travel to get back into position.

That depth is achieved with one fairly simple mechanic.

Except they nerfed flash grabbing about 2 years ago.  You can't do it anymore.  :p

You're missing the point. His argument stands whether you can do that anymore or not. League of Legends is filled with abilities, combos and mechanics similar to this one.

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

  ThomasN7

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Joined: 3/17/07
Posts: 6671

"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.” - Mordin Solus

6/27/13 11:11:56 AM#45
I think it comes down to the hardware limitations. Games on pcs look better and you can do more things on a pc because of memory limits as well. Consoles are awesome though for several reasons. Costs less to upgrade, not as difficult to learn games on a controller and you get to play your game more comfortably on the couch. I think the developers see more of the difference between a pc and console compared to players because devs are the ones actually making the game. In all I still think it comes down to preference. Both are good platforms for gaming.
  SlothnChunk

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/11
Posts: 440

6/27/13 11:15:29 AM#46

In terms of gameplay they don't for the vast majority of MMOs and games period. Exception are genres like RTS.

MMOs were generally dumbed down a long time ago anyway. The days of paying $15 a month for one or two uber complex sandbox MMOs are over.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

6/27/13 1:24:52 PM#47
Originally posted by maskedweasel

As the title says, a few simple answers are requested.  Why are Console MMO's considered to be "dumbed down" in comparison to the "superior" PC MMO?

 After you answer that,  answer me this - Will there ever be a time Console MMO's would be considered on par or greater than what PC MMOs can offer?  If not, why not,  if so,  how?

 And lastly,  Will there ever be a time that Mobile MMOs (MMO's for mobile devices) will take center stage the way Console MMO's have started to recently?

Just because there aren't enough console MMOs. When there are, the spectrum will be as broad as any other genre.

No one will think console RPG like Deus Ex is "dumbed down", and they played exactly the same as the PC version. I don't see why a console MMO needs to be dumbed down. And if they can make a deep RPG like Deus Ex which use a gamepad, there is no reason why they cannot do the same for MMOs.

  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

6/27/13 1:33:23 PM#48
Originally posted by maskedweasel

As the title says, a few simple answers are requested.  Why are Console MMO's considered to be "dumbed down" in comparison to the "superior" PC MMO?

 

After you answer that,  answer me this - Will there ever be a time Console MMO's would be considered on par or greater than what PC MMOs can offer?  If not, why not,  if so,  how?

 

And lastly,  Will there ever be a time that Mobile MMOs (MMO's for mobile devices) will take center stage the way Console MMO's have started to recently?

 I will say I think that console games used to be dumbed down, not because of the limitations of the hardware or the controls, but because companies thought they had to do so due to the audience.

 

I don't feel that is correct and I think console gamers can handle a deep and rich game world just like PC users.

 

The thing is, due to the control differences (unless you tell PC users they have to use a controller or tell console users they have to use a mouse and keyboard) I think you have to develop a game for the console or for the PC and not try to do the same game two different systems approach.

 

Mobile MMOs will definitely take center stage at some point because everything will be mobile. The key will be the design by having something people can pop in and out of at 10-15 minute increments while they're waiting on a meeting, having a lunch break etc., and meaningfully accomplish something in the game.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7755

Logic be damned!

6/27/13 1:40:34 PM#49

It's just old school thinking.

Just about every MMO I've played in the past 10 years I've used the same keybind combination.

WASD

QE - 1,2,3,4,5

Shift + QE12345

Alt+ QE12345

Left/Right mouse button

Easily fit all of those on a controller with bumper/trigger modifiers

 

So if you are talking about game complexity - that's funny because over the past 20 years I've been gaming, console games are getting more and more complex while PC games are getting more and more simplistic.

Funny that eh?

We're getting pretty close to an equilibrium with this new generation of consoles.

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  st3v3b0

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 133

6/27/13 1:40:45 PM#50

Why do people keep saying there are no hardware limitations anymore to consoles?  You are stuck with the same graphics card in a console which means future enhancements to the game (graphically) will never come through.  Numerous of MMO's over the years have improved and enhanced their graphics.  It will end up making the console version very stagnant in comparison to the PC.  Also with regards to the controls, there are limitations to using a controller versus a keyboard and mouse.  Most namely is chat functionality.  Not every MMO player intends or has the capability to play with voice chat, which would basically be required on a console to have any sort of communication.

There is a reason why all of the MMO's to date on consoles have flopped.

  Castillle

Forum Bunny

Joined: 10/24/10
Posts: 2681

6/27/13 1:45:19 PM#51

I don't think its "dumbed down" I think its just that they have to be different for consoles.  I mean look at console shooters vs original pc shooters.  Pc ones are so much more fast paced because the controls allow for that.  If you brought some PC RTS to a console, its going to end up being completely different in consoles.

 

I think console mmos can be considered on par with their pc cousins.  The only time this would happen though if it is focused as a console mmo.  

 

As for mobile MMOs?  I am totally looking forward to Fantasy Life.

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  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

6/27/13 1:58:04 PM#52
Originally posted by SnarlingWolf
 

 I will say I think that console games used to be dumbed down, not because of the limitations of the hardware or the controls, but because companies thought they had to do so due to the audience.

 

Why would they think that? They didn't dumb down the console version of Deus Ex, Dishonored, and a million other titles, compared to the PC version.

  itbewilly

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/05/09
Posts: 345

6/27/13 2:34:17 PM#53
Originally posted by maskedweasel

As the title says, a few simple answers are requested.  Why are Console MMO's considered to be "dumbed down" in comparison to the "superior" PC MMO?

 

After you answer that,  answer me this - Will there ever be a time Console MMO's would be considered on par or greater than what PC MMOs can offer?  If not, why not,  if so,  how?

 

And lastly,  Will there ever be a time that Mobile MMOs (MMO's for mobile devices) will take center stage the way Console MMO's have started to recently?

Because apparently it takes more skill to play a PC MMO when you can key bind dozens and dozens of key's. Thats one excuse i see used a lot and it might have held some water in years past but the recent trend of making games think about their talents and pick and choose a limited number leads me to believe the over-size UI is an element that should die in MMO's

Will Consoles ever be on par or greater? In some peoples eye's they already have. Anyone who games where ever fun gaming is to be had knows this already. It's only the PC Elitist who spread misinformation.

Everquest Online Adventures out-lived and likely out-earned dozens of pc mmos released while it was in service for its decade or so. Would Sony Online Entertainment kept a dying game up on a last gen platform if it wasn't still bringing in money? I guess it was dumbed down because it didnt have a huge ui or keyboard support(pc gamer's would claim) yet it had a usb keyboard and was one of the best mmo's i ever played.

Lastly Mobile/Social Network gaming will eventually became a focal point. It makes too much money for any company to ignore. Look how much money Zynga pulls in and how many monthly paying users its boast's about. Will the die hard gamers who like a good AAA title like this? Not at all. Look at how much hell they are raising trying to convince people Console MMO's are dead in the water before they even start.

I made a post a while back somewhere about the success of Farmville causing companies to focus on mobile/social gaming that got a lot of negative replies but if you look at it from the other end why is it that unfathomable? You could spend millions on an MMO and hope gamer's buy it and pay sub fees long enough to see a return on that investment or you could develop some Social game with mmo properties that people will funnel money into for next to nothing and rake in profits.

Answer is only pc gamer's appear to be against the development of MMO's in other market's. I guess they are afraid if its successful than all those wasted attempts at making good mmo's for pc will be an after thought. Look at the graveyard of dead/dying games released for PC. Only information you need. 

It's about damn time Game companies are trying other avenues. Call of Duty proves a decent console game will sale a ton.  

My two pennies on the matter....

  silvermember

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/12
Posts: 508

6/27/13 2:41:44 PM#54

They are not dumbed down it is just that PC MMO players are used to a MMO in a certain way and in this instance are like dinosaurs. The seem to think that having 30 skills on a bar is a good thing when you only really use 4 at most.

Honestly, I think that current MMORPG are actaully dumbed down to suit the current players. A lot of developer use subpar questing structure, combat and control and possibly story because the market is used to it. There is really any real thinking in most MMORPG (not including EvE but EvE is an exception). There a very few combat scenarios that require any brain  power in MMO. Supposedly, not standing on fire is a great achievement for the majority of players.

PC MMOplayers are going through the same phrase that every other form of entertainment usually goes through. Anybody ever hear someone say how today's music is bad when compared to when he was young? How about how Today's TV is bad compared to when I was young? Or the good old days that old people love to say. The truth was none of those things were better objectively, it is just that you were used to it or it is the only thing they know.

If it was up to some players on this forum, the genre would be stuck back in the day of EQ or UO, fortunately a few people mainly blizzard did not agree with this notion.

  ElRenmazuo

Elite Member

Joined: 10/28/06
Posts: 4293

6/27/13 2:47:26 PM#55
If anything its WoW that really dumb down the genre yet its still one of my all time favorite mmos.
  simsalabim77

Novice Member

Joined: 4/27/13
Posts: 617

6/27/13 2:55:18 PM#56

 

That basically answers your first question. 

I don't think console MMO's are going to be console exclusive, so MMO's on the console are not going to be better or worse than an MMO on the PC as it will mainly be about preference at that point. I prefer playing on my computer in my office to have an hour of time where I can get away from the craziness(the good, but exhausting kind of craziness) of having a family. 

I haven't played a mobile MMO, but I can't imagine them offering the type of depth and persistent world design that people drawn to this genre seem to crave. 

  itbewilly

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/05/09
Posts: 345

6/27/13 3:06:22 PM#57
Originally posted by simsalabim77

I haven't played a mobile MMO, but I can't imagine them offering the type of depth and persistent world design that people drawn to this genre seem to crave. 

Lol City of Eternals is a browser based Vampire MMO. It was what an MMO in the 90's would have loved to be. Lower then average graphics. The hubs were set up more like Guild Wars where you just went from small instance to instance(while seeing other players at least). Surprisingly for a browser MMO it was fun for a few minutes while bored, Had gear,skill bars,and specs and everything. You had pets too you could send on errands and you could have your FB friends do stuff to help ya. You should check it out :X . The system itself wouldn't be bad if it was applied to a better story and game over all.

 

  itbewilly

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/05/09
Posts: 345

6/27/13 8:53:17 PM#58
Deleted... Instead of editing i guess i quoted my last post to fix a typo ><

 

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

6/27/13 9:00:39 PM#59
Originally posted by maskedweasel

Axehilt seemed to be one of the few who mentioned actual game mechanics in terms of the possible cause,  but ended up comparing a current console MMO to a similar arena based PC MMO, each showing that in their own way, they have their own complexity.

I don't know that I necessarily showed that DCUO actually has all that much complexity.  My comparison with LOL's dynamic ability design was what a console MMO should be doing, but which I felt DCUO didn't do.

I think the stronger point is how easily tricked players are into believing simple rules = shallow and complex rules = depth.  That's the core reason players call things "dumbed down".  It's not whether or not a game is truly deep, but whether they think its rules are simple.

Which is why I always ironically point out that these sorts of players are the type who would scoff at Chess, "Pfft, the rules fit on one piece of paper?  Sounds like a dumbed down game for the masses."

  ElRenmazuo

Elite Member

Joined: 10/28/06
Posts: 4293

6/27/13 9:12:51 PM#60
Portal has such simple controls yet its gameplay can be very complex depending on the situation, same thing with other kinds of games like chess.  Fighting games has some of the most complex button combos yet its so simple to pull them off in a split second and one technique after another.  Would be funny to see someone do Akumas Raging Demon with a keyboard.  And when it comes to hack and slash Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden style gameplay its much better with a gamepad and even in that he has many techniques that can be pulled off similar to fighting games.
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