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News & Features Discussion  » [Dev Journal] General: Have MMOs Become Too Easy?

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391 posts found
  Hrotha

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/25/08
Posts: 828

6/28/13 10:16:53 AM#41
@ Headline on the frontpage: It says "HAME MMOs ..."

  junzo316

Elite Member

Joined: 2/19/07
Posts: 1664

6/28/13 10:20:30 AM#42
Originally posted by LionShard
"HAME MMOs BECOME TOO EASY?"

I noticed that too.  Oops.

  Xarko

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 334

6/28/13 10:22:31 AM#43
HAM HAM HAM omnon nom nom
  Kaneth

Elite Member

Joined: 8/19/07
Posts: 1463

6/28/13 10:24:00 AM#44

I wouldn't call MMOs pre-wow era hard, they were just more time consuming. Time consuming doesn't always equal hard. In my DAoC days, it wasn't hard to level, it was tedious. You had to find a group, then find a good spawn location that wasn't camped, then begin pulling mobs, as long as everyone was doing their job no one died and the xps rolled in. As a matter of fact, I hardly ever died in PvE in any mmo I played, and I started in '99 with Asheron's Call.

I played WoW from Jan '05 until about February of this past year. So I have literally been through every iteration of WoW up until Pandaria. I would say that from a gameplay perspective, the game became more fun as things changed. Better quests, neater looking areas, some pretty special events, etc. Leveling became less tedious, but then we have to think about the reason why leveling was made easier.

Mr. Kern, since you used WoW as an example of how you helped "kill the genre", well it wasn't because the game was made too easy. It was because of the utterly stupid narrow visioned focus on the Raid or Die mentality. You guys focused so much on the last level of the game in each expansion, that you completely forgot about the previous levels and zones. When roughly 90% of your game world is underpopulated because it's no longer useful, then you have a problem. There isn't enough focus on the journey, not because it's too easy, but because it's treated with disdain by the devs and the populace. All the work that was done on each and every raid zone, to become unused with an expansion pack or just a major content patch.

Where did all of this focus get you? Well, millions of subs and a ton of money, but at what cost? With each iteration of raising the level cap, all of the work done to the previous zones was pissed away. People didn't want to be in those zones because either they were dead, or they had done them a dozen or so times before. There was nothing rewarding about anything from leveling, aside from reaching the end level "where the game began". Why even bother then? Why not just create a bunch of zones, set the level cap at some low level and then allow the remaining zones to become active content zones for your players? Sure zones can become harder and you'd need gear from previous areas, but if someone wanted to challenge themselves they could. Asheron's Call worked much like that, and if that game had been given proper advertising and support from MS, I think it would have towered as a giant.

The question isn't are mmos too easy, but rather, why is there an extended leveling process and why are devs pissing away manhours on zones that don't get used?

  Onomas

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1138

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

6/28/13 10:26:53 AM#45
Originally posted by Kuro1n
Originally posted by xAPOCx
Originally posted by Xarko
Not necessarily easy, but they became SIMPLE.

I dont see the difference

Noncomplex vs hard. Complex might be more related to knowledge while hard means it takes skill to play properly etc... (well thats how I read it anyway).

MMORPG's aren't complex to begin with lol. Anyone that has played one, can usually jump right in to another.

These new aged games are just down right too easy and take away enjoyment, adventure, and reward vs risk from mmorpgs. You just don't feel like you earned anything. And when you can go from lvl 1 to lvl 80 in 3 days...................................yeah.

There is no skill in newer games, its simplistic as hell.

  grummz

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/07
Posts: 39

6/28/13 10:35:19 AM#46
Glad you guys are liking the points I made in the article. It's not an easy problem. With MMOs getting so expensive, they have to appeal to a wider audience...but in doing so they create a game where everyone gets bored in 2-4 weeks. 

Follow me on <a href="https://twitter.com/grummz">Twitter: @Grummz</a>

  Spiider

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/15/05
Posts: 410

6/28/13 10:43:50 AM#47

Some. There is nothing easy about EVE or Wurm online.

There is an entire world of wrong with World of Warcraft on the other hand.

There are still good games out there, you just need to look.

No fate but what we make, so make me a ham sandwich please.

  Bamboozled

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/13
Posts: 29

6/28/13 10:45:09 AM#48

I think you really hit on something in the article.

 

"Loosing the Journey"

 

I think that possibly the biggest problem with today's MMOs is that there is no story. You are not "writing in a character" into a good book that you can chip away at. You are simply being cattle driven to max level by a series of quest points that many people don't read, and don't care, they simply want the XP and the quest rewards. More often than not, these quests (and the decisions you make in them) do not impact the world or your character (aside from the XP and items). So what is the point? Why not just make a really hard quest to find a magic potion that once you drink it brings you instantly to max level? Which is really what MMOs today are doing.

 

Now, I know time sinks, and I have spent a lot of my life watching mana bars refill so I know how frustrating they can be. But there was something about sitting there cross-legged on the ground that made me interact with my party members. I remember many times sitting there having discussions for 15-30 minutes while we waited. We got to know the people on the other side of the screen. It wasn't all go-go-go.

 

I personally feel that MMOs today have lost that.

 

I can load up Skyrim, say I am going to do a quest, and get lost for three hours in caves and carns that I find along the way. Where I can kill someone and take their house, and come back 3 days later to find it still empty. I guess I am looking for an MMO that provides that same experience.

 

“He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”

- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  vort3x

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/05/06
Posts: 119

6/28/13 10:47:15 AM#49

The answer is ...

YES.

 

  Bossalinie

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/29/07
Posts: 606

6/28/13 10:47:29 AM#50
Most of you have been playing MMOs for +10 years...I would say that you are just too Pro at MMOs...
  tordurbar

Novice Member

Joined: 5/02/10
Posts: 390

6/28/13 10:48:20 AM#51

You are preaching to the choir on this site. I would say that over 90% of the posters would agree with you.

Not me. I like a challenge but I play games to have fun. I strain my brain and my patience at work , I do not want to do so in my leisure.  

Interesting that you mention WOW. Vanilla up through WOTLK had the perfect formula. You make the ui easy to learn, leveling a simple challenge but deep dungeons hard and make even harder dungeons for the hard-core.

You and the rest of the site will be happy to know that developers are starting to agree with you. More and more of them are making just leveling a real challenge.  What is happening is that the worm has turned. As more players are leaving MMOs the developers are turning back to the beginning - EQ, DAOC, etc. Look at the rise of "action combat". Tera, GW2 started the trend and I see one of the titles that I was REALLY looked forward to, Wildstar, is continuing the push. Action Combat is an attempt to bring the difficulty of consoles to MMOs.

I personally don't believe that returning difficulty  to MMOs is going to gender an MMO population explosion. On the contrary more of the casuals will move on. Eventually the MMO numbers will be back to what they were before WOW. Then the hard-core will have what they wished for except for the fact that there will be a lot fewer MMO titles to choose from, a lot less money being spent on MMOs and sites like this one would disappear.

  grummz

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/07
Posts: 39

6/28/13 10:49:40 AM#52
I think its both. We are pro at MMOs, and the formula no longer has any novelty for us. So we have to introduce new ways of playing and experiencing MMOs as well as focusing on the journey, not the end game.

Follow me on <a href="https://twitter.com/grummz">Twitter: @Grummz</a>

  steamtank

Novice Member

Joined: 7/10/09
Posts: 390

6/28/13 10:52:20 AM#53

if this had not been a "play our game!" i would be all on board with the main concept of this message.

 

i was in love with vanilla WoW... i earned every piece of purple on my character.

 

now games hand out giant stats like candy... i play for 20 min and gain half a suit of new armor. so boring.. so fast.

no pride in any accomplishment because it took no effort to accomplish 

  User Deleted
6/28/13 10:57:37 AM#54

The problem is that games are too fast now.  The game is no longer about the overall process of leveling and getting time in end game.  Now you are max level in any game in a week with little effort to find a group and getting to know people.  Thats just the way it is now because there are too many MMOs on the market.  Once the money is no longer there in MMOs publishers will go back to making single/mutliplayer games.  

  grummz

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/07
Posts: 39

6/28/13 11:08:17 AM#55
I know I mentioned what we are doing with Firefall, but its hard to talk about how I feel about MMOs without discussing what we are trying to do to address these things. Otherwise I would have to discuss potential solutions like this "hypothetically, if I were to make a new MMO, I would..."

Follow me on <a href="https://twitter.com/grummz">Twitter: @Grummz</a>

  Shadanwolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/10
Posts: 1851

6/28/13 11:11:41 AM#56

Too much of what we see today is mush. Pap served to open mouthed gamers who  just as quickly spit it out with exclamations of "WOW CLONE"    "BORING" "TOO CASUAL" etc.

I would like to see more success for game developers..... but only when they do their homework and realize its ok to have a game that attracts a smaller but loyal following with a game tailored to   delivering a specific  gaming experience.

  User Deleted
6/28/13 11:11:59 AM#57

Aside from the Firefall plug, the theme behind this article is why I don't last long in any MMO anymore. WoW is the most ridiculous game now. I always said getting there wasn't just HALF the game. It WAS the game. I was the slowest to max level in any guild I joined because I wanted to experience the game, and it seemed no one else gave a crap about the game itself.

 

People would burn through to maximum, paying no attention to the journey, just to switch to complaining full-time about there being no end game. This has become the way to do it.

 

The final nail in the coffin for WoW was the complete simplification of the talent tree. Instead of figuring out our own spec, our hands were now held on a quest through someone else's opinion of what our spec should be. I tried coming back again and again to the game, only to find it easier and easier. And I never cared about 40-man raids. It was that I ended up skipping so much of the original content because I was leveling so quickly.

 

And in SWTOR, when the level cap was raised to 65, in the first hour after the patch, I saw 65s hanging out everywhere. Hell, when the game wasn't even six months old, those players who burned through the game got a free month as an apology for lack of endgame. All the developers had to do was make the game a little challenging.

 

It's sad the most "mainstream" developers can't withstand complaints from people who are there for reward-after-reward instead of those who demand a decent challenge. I remember a time when going from one city to the next was a challenge, or really more like an adventure. And you didn't always have to survive to whole journey, but you didn't care - when you were done, you felt you accomplished something. They've even made shortcuts for that, too.

 

You don't have to prepare. You don't even have to think anymore.

  kjempff

Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/04
Posts: 640

Make worlds not stories

6/28/13 11:16:29 AM#58

Mmorpgs have become the adventure developers create, and no longer the adventure the players find in the world. Sure there were always designed gameplay in the world but there were also just .. world. That freedom might not have seemed much, but has slowly been eaten up by all kinds of game mechanics and more designed adventure. We don't see an area of a map that is not used for a quest, not a mob not part of a quest, we don't see a lair of [monster] just because, we don't see skills or spells that are rarely used, everything is optimized, generalized, standardized.

It is not about easy, it is about everything has become simplistic and the freedom has been taken out. That is why Sandbox is a buzzword at the moment, people are crawing for freedom thinking sandbox will solve that, but in reality sandbox can be just as limiting if the real problem with overly designed gameplay is not understood and dealt with.

  Bravnik

Novice Member

Joined: 5/18/04
Posts: 137

6/28/13 11:21:35 AM#59

Risk vs Reward and Fear of Death mean NOTHING in todays MMO's. No MMO after EQ has any fear of Death and pretty much everything is handed to you on a silver platter.

We need to get back to the days of EQ where not every class can solo, nothing was handed to you, no quick travel, etc. I remember my first run across EQ to get from Everfrost to Freeport. What a trip and a thrill. Yeah, now days you click on a portal or fly there skipping over the world like it does not exist.

I really hope EQ Next is done right but then again I know it will not be. It will have auction houses, easy travel, every class will be able to solo to max level etc. It will just be more of the same crap we have today.

  sirphobos

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 534

6/28/13 11:23:16 AM#60
After playing Neverwinter for about a month, I can say, yes, they are far too easy (and simple).
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